Israel honors victims by refusing to yieldSadly, Matt Oill and others of his ilk overlook the terrorist actions of the Palestinians: rockets into residential areas, suicide bombers, and, yes, raising their children to hate Israel and throw rocks and worse. Israel is reactive, not proactive. Hamas and other Palestinians attack Israel, including but not limited to peaceful citizens on buses, in cafes and in their homes. And their leaders misdirect funds and materials designed to improve the lot of their citizens, not only for rockets and bombs, but to build tunnels into Israel for kidnappings and attacks, with cement that could have built schools, hospitals and homes. These are funds that could have fed citizens and created jobs.If the Palestinians were to recognize Israel’s right to exist and stop their aggression, they could live in peace with Israel and all could prosper.The Holocaust gave rise to the expression “Never again.” Israel honors those who were murdered by refusing to yield to those who would destroy it, those who would destroy the only true democracy in the Middle East, where citizens of all faiths can live in peace if only allowed to do so.Bruce S. TrachtenbergNiskayuna Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionPut Liberty back, fix local traffic patternsEnough. Put Lady Liberty back on her pedestal.Mess around with the disaster that is the Eastbound Western Gateway Sidewalk wall/view stopper/dirt cyclone generator. Or, the idiocy that is the eastbound traffic from Washington Avenue attempting to move left, contending with three lanes of commuters and then clashing with the exiting GE/Mont Pleasant traffic off I-890 as that traffic descends, out of the sky, into a blind spot, with the intention of moving to a right-hand lane. All the while traveling, at varying speed, around a tight curve.I have at least six more suggestions for a remedial civil engineering class at Union, RPI, or HVCC to work on, if anyone cares.Dick CurtisSchenectady World is less better without Frank DuciThe world is a less better place with the loss of Frank Duci. I used to work with him downtown in GE in Building 55, and he always had a smile for everyone.I found him to be a man of his word. I used to play in a softball league when they had the diamonds in the park. They were in pretty bad shape. So I asked him if the city could do anything about them.He made a date with me to go and look at them. It was a super-hot day, but he said he would go. So he did, and he took his time and looked at all the fields. The next thing I knew, they were being repaired and much better to play on.When they were talking about limiting dogs to three per household, I explained to him that I had a state license that allowed me to have up to 10 dogs. So he invited me to the next town meeting that was to discuss the issue. The town dog catcher was there and she insisted that dogs cause dirt and cockroaches. I told her to come to my house and if she could find one cockroach, I would give her a year of my salary.Frank had the limit instituted and excepted individuals with state licenses.He was a really great guy and looked out for the people, especially the little guy. Like I said, the world is a less better place without him and too bad there aren’t more like him.He was always easy to reach if you needed to talk to him. Now with some people, they are just too busy to be bothered. So, all I can say is rest in peace, Frank.Wanda HunterSchenectady Thanks to stranger who helped with tireOn May 16, the tire pressure light went on as I was taking my granddaughters to dinner. I stopped at Stewart’s on upper Union Street to fix the problem. As I was finishing, a man offered to check the tires with his gauge. I was so thankful for the help. It is heartwarming to know that this stranger was willing to take the time to help me.Valerie SantoSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes
The Netherlands’ industry-wide pension fund for construction workers, BpfBouw, is eating into its funding surplus because its contribution rates were set too low, according to its chair. Contributions for the construction scheme will have to increase as they do not cover the running costs, the board said in its 2018 annual report. Unions and employers in the construction industry would have to agree on a new funding arrangement, it said.“We cannot continue like this,” said Mieke van Veldhuizen, chair of the board of the €52.8bn scheme, who represents employees.According to the annual report, BpfBouw’s coverage ratio fell by approximately one percentage point last year, although it subsequently rebounded to 115.7% at the end of March 2019. A declining coverage ratio reduces the chance of pensions being indexed. The scheme has not been able to raise pensions in line with inflation for years. As a result, pensioners have lost around 9% of the purchasing power on their pensions.“It is up to social partners to determine the contribution level,” Van Veldhuizen said. “It is up to us to determine whether we can manage pensions in a balanced way. We have stated that we cannot go on like this for years. Because of the low contributions, we are eating into the coverage ratio and thereby disadvantaging pensioners.”BpfBouw has added its voice to those of metal and engineering sector funds PME and PMT, which have already warned that the current contribution levels are too low and should probably rise next year. The only alternative to a contribution increase would be a reduction in accrued pensions.The effects of a planned new pension system – which is still being hotly debated in the Netherlands – are difficult to estimate. Until an agreement is reached, the current rules need to be applied.BpfBouw is the fourth-largest pension fund in the Netherlands and the only one of the Dutch ‘big five’ that is not at immediate risk of having to lower its pension payouts, due to its healthy funding position. After years of stagnation, the scheme has been able to partly index pensions in the past couple of years to keep up with price inflation.
More are set to follow, with Liverpool well down the line in negotiations for Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori, while they are trying to hammer out a complicated deal for £20million-rated Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrik Mkhitaryan. But the fact a bulk of the business has already been done – not taking into account striker Luis Suarez who is publicly courting a move to Real Madrid – will be advantageous to Rodgers, according to Ayre. “It’s always important. It’s not always possible but it’s always important,” said the managing director. “Particularly from the playing perspective, the manager and the coaches and all of the staff want to know that they’ve got the squad together, particularly ahead of pre-season. “We’ve worked tirelessly, a lot of people behind the scenes worked ahead of the transfer window to identify those players that interest us. Then the hard work starts, negotiating and bringing these deals together.” Liverpool were able to confirm the Aspas deal on Sunday after personal issues with his agents were sorted over the weekend. The 25-year-old scored 12 goals in 34 league matches as Celta Vigo avoided relegation on the last day of the season. By then a deal had already been lined up for a fee in the region of £7.7million. “It wasn’t a tough decision at all. I’m really happy to have come to a big club like this one,” said the Spaniard. “Having weighed up all my options for this window, a massive club like Liverpool was always my first choice.” Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre believes the early identification and capture of transfer targets gives the club a boost ahead of the squad’s return to pre-season training. Press Association Press Association Sport understands Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will attend the Reds’ Melwood training ground on Tuesday for a medical before finalising personal terms on an £11million-plus transfer agreed on Friday. The Belgium international will be manager Brendan Rodgers’ fourth signing before the end of June after previous deals for Manchester City defender Kolo Toure, Sevilla midfielder Luis Alberto and Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas.