We must all work together to feed poor

first_imgLuckily, the Schenectady County Health and Equitable Food Action Plan provides an incredible blueprint for how we can work together to alleviate food insecurity.We have already had initial conversations with Trinity Reformed and Bellevue Reformed’s Little Food Pantry, but much more coordination of services can be done, both locally and with larger Schenectady County entities like Schenectady Inner City Ministry (SICM) and Concerned for the Hungry’s Food Providers Network.As we journey into a new year together, I pray everyone in our community will consider new ways to partner and strengthen our efforts to feed our hungry neighbors.Rev. Dustin G. WrightSchenectadyThe writer is pastor of the Messiah Lutheran Church.More from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30% All too often we think of food insecurity as only something affecting rural and urban areas. Yet the face of hunger in America is quickly changing.In Rotterdam’s Mohonasen school district, for instance, about a third of students now receive free or reduced-cost lunches from the National School Lunch Program.In response to this need, we at Messiah Lutheran Church in Rotterdam opened the Bread of Life Food Pantry a bit over two years ago on Oct. 4, 2015.This ministry quickly grew to operate twice a month, serving roughly 130 meals in that time. Plans to expand our hours and facilities, as well as to provide skills building services like cooking classes or public speaking classes, are also in the works.Over the last two years, however, we realized that no individual congregation or organization can tackle the issue of food security in Rotterdam and other nearby communities alone. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

A shed start

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The biggest fish for Fry

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JP Morgan ends City stand-off

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Fast-track planning tackles urban decay

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A prudent Assembly

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Labor unions feel ‘terrorized’ by unscheduled protest at headquarters: Leader

first_imgRead also: Key points of labor reform in omnibus bill on job creation: What we know so far“We’ve called the Pulo Gadung district police and they said the police did not receive any plans for a protest at our secretariat,” she said, adding that the police should investigate the incident and uncover the perpetrators.Neither the chief of the spokesperson for the East Jakarta Police responded immediately to a request for comment when contacted by the Post.The government considers the bill on job creation to be essential as it has been struggling to attract foreign investment to help improve economic growth. If passed, the omnibus bill would amend about 1,200 articles in more than 80 prevailing laws, including the Labor Law, which have been blamed for hampering investment in the country.Labor unions, however, rejected the bill after rumors surfaced that it would reduce severance payments, enforce an hourly pay system to replace the minimum wage and eliminate sanctions against companies that fail to provide health insurance.The government has set up a team comprising government officials, businesspeople and labor representatives and tasked it with coordinating deliberations and public consultations over the omnibus bill following the rejection by the unions.According to Coordinating Economic Ministerial Regulation No. 121/2020, the ministry set up on Feb. 7 a team of 14 labor representatives, 12 business representatives and 19 government officials.Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions president Said Iqbal, however, told the Post that the newly formed team did not involve the labor groups much and instead had a tendency to divide them. (mpr)Topics : Congress Alliance of Indonesian Labor Unions (KASBI) chairwoman Nining Elitos called an unscheduled protest, which was held at the union’s secretariat, an “act of terror” against them. The unions firmly reject the controversial omnibus bill on job creation.An unknown group of people staged the protest without any prior notice at the KASBI secretariat in Pulo Gadung district, East Jakarta, on Monday.The protesters, who arrived by public minivan at about 9 a.m., briefly spoke about the omnibus bill before they started burning tires and demanding KASBI be dissolved, according to Nining. “This is an act of terror against our unions. We believe that this [protest] occurred because of our stance on the omnibus bill,” she told The Jakarta Post on Monday.She alleged that the unknown protesters are supporters of the omnibus bill and were there to intimidate the unions.“If they were talking about the omnibus bill, it indicates that they could be supporters of the bill. However, we’re not completely sure either,” she said.She added that there were no police officers at the scene during the protest and the Pulo Gadung district police did not receive any information regarding the demonstration.last_img read more

Robbers grab 100,000 surgical masks at gunpoint as Ukraine enters shutdown

first_imgUkrainian shops, restaurants and transport shut down on Tuesday as the country tightened restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus, while police arrested five people suspected of trying to rob 100,000 surgical masks at gunpoint in Kiev.The country has seven confirmed cases of the coronavirus so far, including one death. The government has encouraged people to stay at home wherever possible except to buy food and medicine, but has stopped short of introducing curfews.Following a series of emergency steps introduced by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, parliament in a special session on Tuesday approved measures including fines and prison sentences for people who broke mandatory quarantine. “Of course, no one is happy about the restaurant shutdown,” said Mark Zarhin, the owner of a restaurant chain.”It is like a perfect storm in Lviv. We face both ‘plague’ and war today. It is the worst. But it’s not the fact that we close the restaurants that is bad, but the fact that we don’t know for how long. We cannot predict anything.”The nationwide shutdown will include the closure of the Chernobyl area, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in April 1986 that has since become a visitor attraction.Kiev’s main airport was mostly empty after the government banned passenger flights to and from the country, and announced a shutdown of domestic air travel from Wednesday.The authorities also announced the arrest of a group of people who, initially posing as members of the state security service, stole a stash of 100,000 surgical masks at gunpoint from a private seller who had stored them in his car.”Instead of negotiating the purchase and sale conditions, the criminals attacked [the seller], took the masks and beat the man,” Kiev police chief Andriy Kryshchenko said. “Wearing police uniforms and threatening to use firearms, the criminals took possession of the whole batch of goods.”  Topics :center_img The economic fallout from the epidemic also continued to bite as the hryvnia currency slipped to 27 to the dollar for the first time since June 2019.The central bank said it would not impose foreign currency restrictions and added it had $25 billion in reserves to continue market interventions.Nevertheless it warned of an economic hit on Ukraine, which is still fighting a simmering conflict against Russian-backed forces in the eastern Donbass region that has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014.In Lviv, a picturesque city of cobblestone streets in western Ukraine that is popular with tourists, restaurants and cafes closed and supermarket attendants wore masks and gloves while working at the tills.last_img read more

Public transportation ridership drops by 70 percent

first_img“The decline in passenger numbers is part of an effort to reduce crowds and prevent further spread of COVID-19,” Irawati said, adding that the fall in the number of passengers indicated that the strategy to reduce people’s mobility to stymie the virus had been successful.As of Friday afternoon, Indonesia’s death toll from COVID-19 had risen to 32 while the number of infected people had reached 369. Jakarta has recorded the highest death toll in the country with 18 fatalities.Adita explained that the ministry had also ordered transportation operators to carry out frequent thorough cleaning using disinfectant, provide hand sanitizers and masks for sick passengers and measure the body temperature of employees and passengers before they board any means of public transportation.She said the ministry had imposed other measures on public transportation such as keeping distance between passengers and limiting the number of passengers on board to only 50 percent of capacity. To support the government’s policy in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Transportation Ministry has been coordinating with regional transportation agencies. Complying with the top officials’ call for social distancing, the Jakarta Transportation Agency has also issued a public statement for city public transportation operators to raise alarm against the transmission of COVID-19. Jakarta Transportation Agency head Syafrin Liputo told the Post that passenger numbers on Transjakarta buses had decreased by about 50 percent to 501,126, as recorded on Thursday. Transjakarta buses usually transport over 1 million passengers a day.The number of LRT passengers dropped to 1,246 on Thursday from the usual 4,000 passengers per day.PT MRT president director Jakarta William Sabandar also reported that the number of passengers on the MRT had nosedived to 28,000 people a day, a drop of around 72 percent from the usual 100,000 passengers.PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) also suffered a decline after the COVID-19 outbreak hit the city. KCI’s spokesperson Anne Purba said the number of passengers on the city commuter train had dropped up to 50 percent.”We only transported approximately 550,000 passengers on Thursday, fewer than the usual 1 million passengers a day,” she told the Post. (trn)Topics : The effect of social distancing and the work-from-home policy has created a significant decrease in the number of public transportation passengers, the Transportation Ministry reported.”There has been a drop of about 40 to 70 percent,” the ministry’s spokesperson, Adita Irawati said in a written statement published by the ministry on Friday.The statement said the ministry had followed President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s call for social distancing, by applying such measures in airports, seaports, railway stations and bus terminals.last_img read more

Indonesia examines plan to reopen schools in December or next year

first_imgHe assured that the government would make a decision soon, saying the education sector would be the last to be reopened after the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).”Compared to other sectors, education will be the last. Given the unmeasured risks, we can’t calculate [the exact date] just yet.”President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo previously suggested to delay the start of the school year, as allowing schools to reopen their campuses as scheduled would be a great risk to the country’s education, tribunnews.com reported on Sunday.  The ministry’s deputy coordinator of education and religious affairs, Agus Sartono, said the ministry had considered allowing students to return to campus in late August or early September.”But the end of December is better […] We don’t want to be like France and South Korea. They reopened their schools too early and many students were exposed [to COVID-19],” he said.The Jakarta Education Agency previously planned to reopen schools on July 13, in line with the government’s academic calendar. The plan, however, had to take into account the central government’s policies and each school’s preparations in curbing COVID-19 transmission. According to agency head Nahdiana, authorities have formulated three different scenarios for students returning to school. The first option is to reopen some schools and allow all of their students to attend, the second is to reopen several schools and only allow half of their students on campus and the third option is to reopen all schools while requiring some students to study from home. The government is mulling over plans to reopen school campuses by the end of the year or at the beginning of 2021, after students were required to study from home in the final few months of the school year to remains safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the government’s official academic calendar, the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year is slated for July 13. However, it may order schools to reopen for on-campus activities in late December at the earliest — if the pandemic shows signs of receding. “That’s just an estimation. According to our calendar, [the new school year starts] in mid-July, but I won’t recommend [students going back to campus],” Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said in a statement on Monday.Read also: Ministry suggests shorter school hours as part of ‘new normal’center_img Topics :last_img read more