Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Wednesday, May 12

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Heroes Act protects workers’ health

The May 9 editorial (“Get bills right the first time”) decries the Heroes Act, protecting workers hit hardest by the pandemic in nursing homes, warehouses, meat processing plants, etc
New York state nursing homes had over 30% of the deaths and 37,500 staff (25%) were infected.
State and federal governments do not track worker infections or investigate workplace outbreaks.
Public health has been severely cut (10% since 2008) due to anti governmental, anti-regulatory bias. Cuts resulted in a lack of preparedness, protective equipment, non-existent emergency plans.
The editorial board refers to “onerous requirements for safety and health practices” and states that New York businesses are already “overburdened with state and federal health and safety regulations.”
In fact, the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration has no airborne infectious disease standard. California is the only state that does.
Only 16 states in the country require worker training to prevent exposure to SARS CoV-2 and only a handful have passed worker protection requirements.
This has led to preventable infection, and death especially among essential workers. The CDC recently acknowledged that the virus is spread via inhalation and yet most of the workplaces covered by the Heroes legislation do not have worker protection plans and continue practices that allow for inhalation of contaminated air.
Low wage and minorities workers have been most affected.
The Daily Gazette should advocate for the well-being of workers and their families who need protection from exposure to a potentially lethal infectious disease instead of propagating anti worker, antigovernment, anti-regulatory myths.
Jonathan Rosen
Schenectady

Rose has unique insight for Sch’dy

After this difficult year, we should all agree that the Schenectady Board of Education is in need of new faces.
While Jamaica Miles and Erica Brockmyer would both be strong additions, Sam Rose is clearly the ideal candidate for those who want to see the district become more transparent and respectful of its students, parents and workers.
In his own words, Rose sees the Board of Education as the democratically elected check to ensure the voice of the people. As such, you can rely on him to hold the district accountable to the community.
Rose is a lifelong resident who currently works at the New York State Education Department.
This gives him a unique insight into the specific challenges facing any school board member. In addition, over the last year, Rose has not only developed a deep understanding of the specific issues that face the Schenectady School District, he has shown a genuine concern that these issues exist. Rose’s plan to solve these problems includes increased community and staff engagement as a means to finally rebuilding trust, a needed step to improving the overall quality of education for all of Schenectady’s students.
Mike Silvestri
Rensselaer

 

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

18 Comments

William Marincic

So the CDC according to the New York Times lied about the outdoor transmission of the coronavirus. What else did they lie about?

RAYMOND HARRIS

They didn’t report that the CDC “lied”, they said CDC updated its advice. As Lou said, check with Trump regarding lies.

BTW – I see Trump is trying hijack his Big Lie with the same phrase for the election was stolen. He’s so original!

Sounds like someone forgot to take their Hydroxychloroquine and intravenous bleach injection while sunning themselves in UV light this morning.

To the Daily Gazette staff:

I’d like to read this editorial, “Get bills right the first time” from May 9th, but for the life of me I can’t find it.
The DG search function is as primitive as this commenting system. There’s no way to sort the results which may run hundreds of pages, but in this case a search on “Get bills right the first time” only returns this letter above. Even using a custom Google search isolated to this domain doesn’t return anything but this letter. Same if you search on “Heroes Act” although you get 2 pages of mentions, but nothing more recent than October 2020.
This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to find something on the dailygazette.com website and been stymied.

Typically letters referencing specific articles in past issues have the URL embedded making it easy to go to the source. I’d like that on the DG site as well, in addition to the ability to sort search results.
Thank you.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Chuck, when on my iPad, and I download the Gazette there is an “Archives” spot on the upper bar that when hit can bring me back to a month of full issues. When there another tab indicates: “For older editions , Go to the Archives” If for some reason you couldn’t get the editorial I copied pasted here:

Get bills right the first time
Wouldn’t it be great if New York’s full-time state Legislature got bills right the first time, instead of having to go back and fix them after the fact when the flaws are exposed?
It happened with bail reform.

After rushing through a bill to reduce discrimination against indigent criminal suspects who were forced to remain in jail for their inability to pay even modest amounts of cash bail, lawmakers had to go back and take out crimes that obviously never should have been subject to release without bail in the first place.
Before the law could be fixed, there were a few instances in which a violent felon who was released without bail under the new law committed a new crime. These reports undermined the legitimate fairness and intent of the reforms, and undercut public confidence in them.
It’s been an uphill battle ever since to get the public back on board, even after the law was amended.
It happened with the repeal of the law that has for decades allowed police departments to withhold disciplinary records of its officers from the public. In the wake of the George Floyd killing, the public demanded more access to these types of records and more transparency in how complaints are adjudicated by police departments. But in their haste to ride the wave of public sentiment, lawmakers failed to make it clear which records are available and even how far back in time records may be held. Must unsubstantiated claims against officers be released, or can they be withheld? Are all disciplinary records available, or only records dating back to the date the bill was passed? Every day, it seems, the courts offer different interpretations. Wouldn’t it have been better if they’d just taken the time to get the law right in the first place?
And now it’s happened with the so-called Heroes Act, a bill passed in the heat of the coronavirus pandemic that places onerous requirements for health and safety practices on almost all businesses in the state. The bill was well-intentioned enough — protect workers from airborne illnesses such as coronavirus, and give them standing to make complaints and demand improvements without retribution.
But as with other legislation, lawmakers didn’t consider the entire picture.
New York businesses are already overburdened with state and federal health and safety regulations, and the new rules could be costly at a time when many companies are struggling to recover from the economic shutdown. New York businesses had a strong record of safety during the height of the outbreak, which makes one wonder why new regulations were even necessary.
But they passed the bill nonetheless, and in doing so they left a lot of the requirements unclear, and potentially exposed businesses to unnecessary and possibly frivolous litigation.
… Now it’s happened with the so-called Heroes Act, a bill passed in the heat of the coronavirus pandemic that places onerous requirements for health and safety practices on almost all businesses in the state.
So now, even though Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed the bill, lawmakers need to go back and make “technical amendments” before they can put it into practice.
These include clarifying a requirement that companies with 10 or more employees create workplace safety committees. The Business Council of New York asks, rightly, who and how many employees will make up these committees, and whether each location of a multi-site business needs its own committee.
The original bill allows employees to sue their employer for violation of the standards, which could result in a steady stream of litigation, even for businesses legitimately trying to comply with the law. In response to those concerns, lawmakers are agreeing to give businesses a 30-day “cure” period to fix any violations pointed out by employees before lawsuits can be filed.
Businesses had raised this concern prior to the bill’s passage, but the bill passed anyway. And now lawmakers have to go back and amend the law.
This is all going to result in delays, confusion and potential legal battles that likely wouldn’t have arisen if legislators had taken the time to consider the bill’s shortcomings before they voted on it.
New York taxpayers pay 213 state legislators $110,000 a year in base pay — plus per-diem pay and stipends for leadership positions — to work full time on legislation. They all have staffs and access to other state agencies and departments as resources.
Is it too much to ask that when they pass important legislation, they get it right the first time?

Thanks Lou.
That’s one alternative i hadn’t thought of. You’re reading the “E-edition”, I’m on the website.
But I’m letting my whine stand. The website really looks like a small town news site. DG’s strength is in it’s journalism, not its internet acuity.
Thanks again.

LOUIS RESTIFO

I only read the Gazette on my iPad, so I don’t know if my computer has the same configuration and I’m not home to check right now but, on my iPad, I typed in “Get bills right the first time” in the search bar, tapped it and the title with the date of the paper came up, hit the title and the article loaded.

jclark124

William–

“Science is not the truth. Science is finding the truth. When science changes its opinion, it didn’t lie to you. It learned more.”

William Marincic

That benchmark “seems to be a huge exaggeration,” as Dr. Muge Cevik, a virologist at the University of St. Andrews, said. In truth, the share of transmission that has occurred outdoors seems to be below 1 percent and may be below 0.1 percent, multiple epidemiologists told me. The rare outdoor transmission that has happened almost all seems to have involved crowded places or close conversation.
NY Times
It didn’t learn more it lied, just like it lied to help the teachers unions, just like it’s not telling the truth on deaths.

I realized this morning that the only way we’re going to show Biden succeeding is to take the video tape since he’s been president and play it backwards.

Joseph Vendetti

Anyone see there was two ppl in favor of adults and children speed around the city on ATVs & dirt bikes?

RAYMOND HARRIS

Let them bail them out when they get caught and have to pay $2,850 to get the machines back. Somehow I think they are tied to the illegal activity (do it themselves, have relatives who do it, etc.).

RAYMOND HARRIS

How delusional is republican Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader? “I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election,” McCarthy said after meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House alongside other Congressional leaders. Oh really?

Joseph Vendetti

There was a person killed on cutler st on an atv another almost killed on corner of easter & nott terrace – so don’t know what it will take?

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