Don’t sacrifice on competitive bidding

first_img“Another section of the bill would eliminate a requirement that contracts for maintenance and operation of cafeteria or restaurant services be put out for competitive bidding, potentially saving districts money on these expenses.”“The bill would give districts relief from other contract-rewarding requirements and allow them to seek out vendors that provide the “best value” for the money.”This, as I read it, would eliminate competitive bidding? Doesn’t that leave the doors open to favoritism and cronyism? Don’t we have enough corruption in our state government now? Do away with competitive bidding and see what happens. Talking in generalities and no specifics as to exactly what the mandates are, and exact changes desired, leaves the door wide open to much less clarity in our already very expensive New York state educational system. Doesn’t sound like “best value” to me.Bob LullRotterdamEditor’s Note: The text of the bill contains more specifics as to the mandates and the proposed relief.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Car hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnRotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighbor Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRe Dec. 30 editorial, “Give districts mandate relief”: The content starts with subject matter about Earth Day and then evolves into descriptions about changes to mandates from New York state.As stated, about the bill, [SS247/A6513], it contains more than 30 significant changes to mandates involving transportation, educational management services, and special education.Going past the next four paragraphs regarding teaching about Earth Day, and the burden on districts and teachers when the state micro-manages day to day activities, we get to the paragraph I don’t understand.last_img read more

Kennedy: Amazon Go stores unlikely to kill convenience stores

first_img“The movement of Amazon and all the other entrants into convenience … shows the value of convenience [stores],” said Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives for NACS, founded as the National Association of Convenience Stores.“Brick-and-mortar is still faster than the Internet to quench a thirst or feed a hunger.”The trade group, based in suburban Washington, D.C., counts some 155,000 convenience stores nationwide. Together, they sell more than three-quarters of the fuel purchased in the country.For 2018, both fuel gallons sold and in-store sales increased, according to NACS, making 85 percent of convenience store operators surveyed optimistic about 2019 first-quarter revenue – the highest showing in five years. Food led the strong in-store growth last year.Lenard said the “cool technology” from Amazon – the new Go stores rely on a smartphone app to check you in, tally your purchases and let you leave at will, later charging your Amazon account for what you bought – has everyone’s attention.But he said Go stores are different from convenience stores because they have limited daily hours, some are closed on weekends, and they don’t sell fuel or tobacco and other restricted products.To Lenard, they’re more akin to a quick-service restaurant, a view shared by other Amazon-watchers.Indeed, RBC Capital Markets, in a research report this earlier week, pronounced Go more of a threat to urban “quick eateries” than to suburban convenience stores, according to a story in Supermarket News. Right now, Go stores operate in Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago; New York City is on tap, too, although no timetable has been announced.If nothing else, Lenard said, Amazon’s technology shows “that things are changing and that retail is alive and well.”But he cautioned that “boring retail will be in trouble.”Lenard, who hails from eastern New York, said he was familiar with Stewart’s Shops, the homegrown convenience chain that has been investing heavily of late in new stores and expanded food offerings.“Stewart’s and every other retailer will succeed by making the shopping experience fast, interesting and convenient,” he said.Marlene Kennedy is a freelance columnist. Opinions expressed in her column are her own and not necessarily the newspaper’s. Reach her at marlenejkennedy@gmail.com.More from The Daily Gazette:Clifton Park doctor pleads guilty to giving drugs to non-patientsSt. Mary’s Healthcare starts expansion that will put coordinate care under one roofMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Everything from The Daily Gazette Sunday, Oct. 18 Categories: Business, News, OpinionCue the ominous theme song from “Jaws” (duun-dun … duun-dun … duun-dun duun-dun …) as another industry looks over its shoulder to see whether Amazon is gaining.This time, retail observers say it’s the convenience store sector on which the online behemoth – with brick-and-mortar designs – has a bead.They cite a Bloomberg report last fall that Amazon Go plans 3,000 cashier-less food stores by 2021, and the analyst note last week that suggested gas stations would give Amazon additional locations for Go stores or customer pickup “lockers,” while providing a reliable new revenue stream in gasoline.Replicating the quick-food and fuel sales central to convenience stores would take a giant shark-sized bite out the sector, they say.An industry spokesman, though, is more sanguine.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, Oct. 29

first_imgA treat for America: another Trump termIt seems like Halloween has been a three-year adventure for the assassins in Congress ever since The Donald won the presidential election fair and square.The ghouls, ghosts and demons have been working overtime to cheat the good folks of this great nation out of a duly-elected president.The assassins are the Muellers, Nadlers and Schiffs, whose purpose is not to work for the betterment of the nation, but to protect a corrupt deep state and bring down our president. Their latest witch hunt is he committed “quid pro quo” i.e. “a favor for a favor.“What a laughable joke. The only crime here is their shameful attempt at yet another coup.It seems that every time the ghouls in Congress come with another phony ploy to bring our nation down, a spate of unfounded lying hate letters by the local vampires follows.What is their purpose or intent? Act like a monster and put an RIP sign on this great nation.What’s more is the underlying reason for their charade is the Democrats have not one person who can beat Trump, thus, “If we can’t beat him, we’ll cheat him.”I agree, he’s done and said some stupid things. So what.So, for all you trick or treaters out there, get a life, throw your goofy face masks away, buy your own candy and celebrate five more years of prosperity and safety.John OsterlitzGlenville Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionMcCarthy pay hike request not too highSchenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy requested a 16% raise, an extremely shocking increase. Or is it? For all those who feel this is an exorbitant increase, let’s look at this more closely. A 16% raise over 12 years is a less than 1.3% per year. The figure is far below our 2 % inflation rate per year.I wonder how many of us would be accepting of a 1.3% raise in our employment salary or Social Security benefits. Is that how little you value your city’s chief executive? My suggestion is that you look for something else to complain about: $16,000 over 12 years is hardly worth your effort and makes us look like we are living in a third-class city.Joseph KaczynskiSchenectady Jaquith will be very good for NiskayunaI am writing in support of Rosemarie Perez Jaquith for Niskayuna Town Board. Rosemarie has lived in Niskayuna with her family for 20 years. She has a long history of service to the community and believes very strongly in making necessary changes as she has shown during her lengthy service on the Niskayuna school board.Rosemarie comes from a law enforcement family and is well versed in the challenges and changes that are facing the Niskayuna Police Department and its hard-working police officers. Not only does she support veterans such as her husband Grant, Rosemarie voted to support the disabled veteran property tax exemption when it was before the Niskayuna school board several years ago.She is kind, friendly and smart, and has supported the education of our children and the needs of our neighbors for years. I believe Rosemarie Perez Jaquith would be an exemplary addition to the Niskayuna Town Board.Mathew B. TullyNiskayuna Julie Garcia is a candidate running for NYS Supreme Court judge in the 4th judicial district. A search on the internet reveals that Ms. Garcia has a past that includes flawed judgement and irresponsible behavior. These actions speak to her moral aptitude and credibility. How will she be able to preside over cases impartially, and judge others, for the conduct that she herself is guilty of? Ms. Garcia’s decisions will always be biased in matters that have touched her personally, including substance abuse issues. This flawed judgement will cast a shadow on her future decisions. Ms. Garcia also uses where she lives as a reason to vote for her. We should vote for the most qualified and impartial candidate. This year voters are to choose four candidates from a pool of six. Before we invest over $3.5 million in a person (14 years’ salary and benefits) let’s make sure they are up to the standards of the position. Ms. Garcia served one term as the Essex County DA years ago, after which she could not get re-elected. If the voters of Essex county did not want her after four years, why do we want her in office for 14 years?Cindy ConverseLake GeorgeMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Scotia’s leadership has a proven recordEvery day, I pass campaign signs for Maria Peterson for village of Scotia trustee. They say, “Revitalize Scotia.” As a 40-year resident, I’ve seen politicians and slogans come and go. I question her message because it’s unclear and hope she doesn’t mean the village lacks vitality. Scotia lives up to the definition of vitality; it has the capacity to live, grow, and develop, and shows itself to have life. Collins Park is beautiful; Freedom Park thrives; Jumpin’ Jacks attracts thousands; the Glen Sanders Mansion seems lively; businesses continue to open on Mohawk Avenue; and we have our own fire, police, and department of public works. The 1st National Bank of Scotia continues to invest in the village. There’s a dog park; Flint House; our streets are clean and winterized; and crime is low.There’s quality of life here, and the village is looking good. I’ve looked at Peterson’s website and Facebook and haven’t found what she means by “revitalize.” I saw a brief mention of lowering taxes. I’d be curious where the cuts would occur. Privatization? That always results in lower quality service and no savings. I think the village has vitality, and I appreciate the present leadership of the village.Richard Moran Jr.Scotialast_img read more

People

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Green MBO dropped in pricing dispute

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Ken condemns historic views

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This is your life change

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Tranmere Rovers to invite Indonesian soccer talents to train in England

first_imgThird-tier English soccer club Tranmere Rovers, which currently plays in League One, is set to be in Jakarta on Feb. 7 to 9 in search of young soccer talents, no more than 15 years of age, to be trained at the side’s soccer academy in Merseyside, England.The three-day visit will also include a seminar and coaching clinics for Indonesian coaches and players.The club, in cooperation with Santini Group, one of Indonesia’s leading conglomerates that also happens to be the club’s investor, will also hold a mini-tournament at the Aldiron complex in West Jakarta. “We are providing [a direct opportunity] for soccer talents to train in England, the birthplace of soccer. This has been our motivation from the beginning,” Santini Group director Wandi Wanandi said as reported by kompas.com on Wednesday.Tranmere Rovers has one of the top soccer academies in England, namely the Tranmere Rovers International Academy, which is also home to Liverpool’s women’s soccer team. The academy, Wandi went on, offered state-of-the-art facilities and courses that allow its students to learn strategies from experienced coaches and FIFA-accredited mentors.“The club has developed an excellent academic system and […] a nutrient center, which teaches students to pay attention to what they eat as athletes,” Wandi said.Club owner Mark Palios acknowledged that the partnership between the club and Santini is pivotal to both the club and young local players. He said that through the program, many young players would be exposed to world-class soccer professionalism and later share these skills with their peers. “We are helping each other out here. From our side, the mission is to bring England soccer, especially the third-tier tournaments, closer to the Indonesian people,” he said.The club previously cooperated with East Java’s Surabaya administration in 2018 under the Liverpool-Surabaya sister city agreement. The cooperation had a similar goal, which was to provide a better playing experience for talented young players. A group of young soccer players from Surabaya was sent to England to train with the club and improve their skills on the pitch.Last year, during a special interview with The Jakarta Post, Palios mentioned that experiences from joining world-class tournaments would form a player with better skills and instincts. So, during their time in the academy, these young players would not only learning about strategies, proper diets and nutrients, but they would also get ample playing experience, he added.Topics :last_img read more

Health Ministry declares 68 of 70 patient samples negative for coronavirus

first_imgShe also guaranteed that all testing followed WHO standards, saying that each test took two to three days to complete.“We hope there will be no more suspected cases; no more people should be examined for having similar symptoms to the new coronavirus.”Read also: Climate, immunity, incompetence? Indonesia’s zero recorded coronavirus cases raise questionsCOVID-19, which is believed to have originated in a market selling wild animals in Wuhan, China, has killed 1,113 in the mainland and infected more than 44,600 people as of Wednesday, AFP reported. Indonesia continues to insist that it has no confirmed coronavirus cases despite positive diagnoses found in neighboring Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, raising concerns among scientists worldwide that the virus might be spreading in the country undetected.A study conducted by researchers from Harvard University found that Indonesia should have already confirmed at least one to 10 cases of the new coronavirus, given the high average daily air-travel volume from Wuhan to the country.The Harvard study stated that Indonesia’s zero confirmed cases “may suggest the potential for undetected cases in these locations given the expected connection before travel control measures were implemented”.The ministry’s research and development agency head, Siswanto, played down the report on Tuesday, saying that the study was based only on mathematical calculations to predict the spread of the virus, so it might not reflect the facts. (syk)Topics : The Health Ministry’s research and development agency has examined 68 out of 70 samples from patients suspected of being infected by the Wuhan coronavirus, now called COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. All 68 specimens tested negative, according to a ministry official.“The other two samples are still being tested,” the Health Ministry’s surveillance and quarantine director, Vensya Sitohang, said on Wednesday.Based on the results, Vensya emphasized that there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia to date. last_img read more

Up to 9 million people to fall into poverty, unemployment as COVID-19 hits: Sri Mulyani

first_imgRead also: Red tape stymies social aid“In a severe situation, it is possible that our growth will fall to a negative level,” Sri Mulyani said during a livestreamed briefing after a limited Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “This situation will definitely affect our social and development conditions.”The government has projected that Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth will fall to a 21-year low of 2.3 percent this year under the baseline scenario, and the economy could even contract 0.4 percent under the worst-case scenario.The World Bank recently slashed Indonesia’s economic growth projection from 5.1 percent to 2.1 percent this year as a result of the pandemic. It also projected more than 11 million people could fall into poverty in the East Asia-Pacific region, a stark contrast to its earlier forecast that economic growth would be enough to lift 35 million people out of poverty this year. The government has projected that millions of people will fall into poverty and unemployment as the COVID-19 pandemic batters the Indonesian economy, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said.Under the “bad” scenario, 1.1 million new poor and 2.9 million new unemployed people would be added. The worst-case scenario projected 3.78 million people would fall into poverty and 5.2 million would lose their jobs.Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data showed that the country’s unemployment stood at 7.05 million out of the workforce of 133.56 million last year. Meanwhile, 24.79 million people lived in poverty – 9.22 percent of the population – a decline of about 880,000 compared to the year before. World Bank lead economist for Indonesia Frederico Gil Sander warned that millions of Indonesians, including those from poor families and informal workers, were lacking economic security and that the situation would expose them to shocks caused by the pandemic.As many as 2.8 million people had lost their jobs as of Monday, according to data from the Manpower Ministry and the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan). More than half were furloughed and placed on paid or unpaid leave.Read also: Govt introduces new social benefits as 2.8 million lose jobsIn addition, about 70 million informal workers were at risk, as they had lost their incomes as a result of the call for social distancing.Sri Mulyani said that the second quarter would be the hardest quarter this year as economic growth could fall to 0.3 percent and could even contract by 2.6 percent during the period before slightly recovering to 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent in the third quarter.“If the hard situation lasts long enough, there is a possibility of recession in which Indonesia’s GDP contracts for two consecutive quarters. This is what we’re trying to avoid,” she said, adding that the growth scenarios were dependent on the pandemic’s progression.She added that the government had prepared measures to address and solve such challenges, including measures that had been outlined several times by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.Read also: Five more months to business as usual: Business players“We will use the state budget to focus on the healthcare sector – which includes measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak – on the social safety net and on support for informal businesses, micro, small and medium enterprises and formal businesses as the outbreak’s impacts include layoffs that will affect social development,” Sri Mulyani said.The government has set aside Rp 436.1 trillion (US$26.36 billion) in funding, equivalent to 2.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), for stimulus packages focusing on healthcare spending, social protection and economic recovery programs. (prm)Topics :last_img read more