More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDo we really need a review of flushing standards?The review of toilet flushing regulations demanded by President Trump because, 1) they were an Obama-era regulation and thus inherently flawed, and 2) that “people” are flushing their toilets “10 to 15 times as opposed to once,” is not based on reality. I’d like to know this: Have any official, credible and unbiased studies, or even a single such study, been submitted to support such bizarre, fictional claims?Even in the 60s and 70s, depending on the quality of toilet engineering, manufacture and local water supply, reasonable people flushed more than once occasionally. When I first heard about the Obama administration’s proposed toilet waterflow regulations, I was skeptical whether they could be achieved without necessitating multiple flushes more often.The amount of water used by toilets and urinals in this country is truly mind-boggling. Water is life.Our species is truly insane to needlessly continue to “flush it down the toilet.” However, modern engineering, in my personal experience, has met the challenge.The last toilet I installed in my basement uses a fraction of the water used by my previous toilet and cost around $50. We will face increasing water shortages and higher water costs in the future unless we conserve it. For the sake of our survival, we should not abandon real achievements based on the behavior of some politician’s “imaginary friends.” Sensibly, my new basement toilet has two buttons, appropriately and sensitively labeled, the use of which I will leave to the reader’s imagination.Bruce PettitJohnstownSmart Cities preserve valuesUpper Union Street in Schenectady has what we consider a well-preserved mixed use/mixed occupancy community, with pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly sidewalks and streets. However, McDonald’s is proposing a project that includes the demolition of an existing long-term clothing store building, replacing it with additional parking and an additional drive-thru for its Dean and Union street location.This project is kitty-corner from a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru that has currently added to traffic congestion and standing vehicles on Dean and Union Street sidewalks, creating two hazardous pedestrian/bicycle obstacles. In addition, Bruegger’s bagels allows 4-car parking access across the street from what will potentially be the third curb opening for the proposed McDonald’s double-drive-thru project, which in our opinion tips the scale for this project in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety.Our understanding of Smart City growth is a plan that seeks to conserve historic streetscape buildings, preserve community customs and values, and not separate housing, business, recreation, education, industry and government. If Schenectady is seriously considering a plan to pursue a smarter, safer and more sustainable city, as was demonstrated at the Smart City open house, smart growth cities do not demolish buildings, replace them with parking lots and alter the streetscape to accommodate automobiles.This project will be presented at the City Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, Room 110. Now is your time to voice your concerns.Gary J. Lessard, P.E.Donna M. LessardSchenectady
Supermarket retailer Morrisons has been granted permission to appeal a High Court ruling, which found that the organisation was partly liable for a data breach leading to the payroll data of around 10,000 staff being posted online.Andrew Skelton, who was a senior auditor at the organisation’s Bradford headquarters, posted employees’ names, addresses, bank account details and salaries online in 2014, and was jailed for eight years in 2015. Skelton received disciplinary action during his time at Morrisons, leaving him disgruntled, but had retained access to sensitive employee information.A total of 5,518 Morrisons employees sought damages through the courts for the distress caused. In December 2017, the High Court ruled that Morrisons was vicariously liable for the criminal misuse of data. The supermarket took the case to the Court of Appeal in October 2018, but the judges backed the ruling of the lower court.Following this, Morrisons applied to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the latest decision. This permission was granted on 15 April 2019; the case will now be put before the Supreme Court.Nick McAleenan, partner and data privacy law specialist at JMW Solicitors, representing the claimants, said: “While the decision to grant permission for a further appeal is of course disappointing for the claimants, we have every confidence that the right verdict will, once again, be reached. It cannot be right that there should be no legal recourse where employee information is handed in good faith to one of the largest [organisations] in the UK and then leaked on such a large scale.“This was a very serious data breach which affected more than 100,000 Morrisons’ employees. They were obliged to hand over sensitive personal and financial information and had every right to expect it to remain confidential. Instead, they were caused upset and distress by the copying and uploading of the information.”Morrisons is unavailable for comment at the time of publication.