Commentary: My Christmas List

first_imgCommentary: My Christmas ListDecember 21, 2019   Posted by Janet WilliamsBy Mary Beth SchneiderThe StatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—It’s all well and good to say “all I want for Christmas is you.” But we all know that truth be told, we want so much more.Trouble is, much of it cannot be wrapped in pretty paper and tied with a bow. And most of it wouldn’t fit under the Christmas tree. But what wonderful gifts they would be.Mary Beth SchneiderSo, Santa, if you’re listening: I want a president who doesn’t call opponents juvenile names and who doesn’t Tweet insults. I want a president who supports our allies instead of coddling dictators. I want a president who doesn’t lie every single day, including on easily disproven things such as whether he signed a bill into law that actually was passed under a predecessor or whether any new sections of a border wall have been constructed.I want traffic lights that are synchronized. (Start with West Street, please.)I want politicians who put country over party, principles over partisanship and who seek to understand the needs of all their constituents, not just those who wrote them checks. And I want independently-drawn legislative and congressional districts that lead to fair representation.I want blue jeans that fit perfectly even after they are washed. (Just saying.)I want health care that is universal and affordable. And I want life-saving drugs such as insulin to be at a minimal cost. After all, the people who invented insulin in 1923 – Frederick Banting, James Collip and Charles Best – sold the patent for one dollar because they felt it was unethical to profit from a discovery that saves lives. A life very precious to me has required insulin since she was a child; it shouldn’t cost hundreds of dollars each month.I want a facial moisturizer that really does eliminate wrinkles. (Asking for a friend.)I want people to realize that the only fake news lies completely made up. Reporters are human and make mistakes – but take it from me, they agonize over them and strive every day to get important stories out and to get them right. And I want people to know that good journalism doesn’t come for free. Subscribe to as many sources as you can – but especially to your local newspaper. In most communities, there is no one else to cover your mayor, your council, your schools, your community.I want to win the lottery. (Hey, it could happen!)I want the Statue of Liberty to represent our present, not our past. I have Dutch ancestors who came to what later became New York in the 1600s, seeking a new world. I have Irish ancestors who fled famine in the 1800s. I have Hungarian ancestors who came in the early 1900s, fleeing oppression. For the most part, they came with almost nothing. Some, like my grandmother, couldn’t speak English. Yet they built homes and lives, and the nation is richer for people like them.I want zero calorie chocolates. (So long as they taste like 200-calorie truffles.)I want children to go to school without once having to wonder if that bang is from a slammed locker or an active shooter, and parents who don’t have to kiss them goodbye in the morning, wondering if that is the last kiss.I want to go through life without once being told “ok boomer.” (Seriously.)I want a government and corporations to realize we have very little time – if, that is, we have any left at all – to address climate change before our world no longer sustains life as we know it.And I want to be more grateful for the gifts I’ve already got.So I’m grateful for the gift of a father, who loved me no matter what and thought everything I did was just great.And I’m just as grateful for the gift of a mother who, while she always loves me, definitely doesn’t think everything I do is perfect. It taught me to take responsibility for my shortcomings and to try to do better.I’m grateful for the gift of a son and daughter who have given me years of memories and the pleasure of knowing so much more are in store. And I’m grateful for a husband who has shared all that with me.And I’m grateful for the gift of writing and the knowledge that some people enjoy it, too.Merry Christmas. I’m wishing, too, for your Christmas wishes to come true.FOOTNOTE: Mary Beth Schneider is an editor at, a news website powered by Franklin College journalists.Print Friendly, PDF & EmailFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Press release: Welsh Secretary: North Wales is a shining beacon of export success

first_imgNorth Wales’ stamp on the Board of Trade meeting in Lancashire will be strengthened by students from Bangor University who will take part in the first ‘Ideas Hack’ – an initiative that forms part of the Department of International Trade’s National Trade Academy Programme that seek to engender a culture of exporting in our future business leaders.Working in teams, they will work to develop a new food or drink product and accompany exporting strategy to pitch to a panel of experts in a Dragon’s Den style scenario.Ahead of the meeting in Preston, Alun Cairns will seek the views of some of North and Mid Wales’ most successful exporters at a meeting in Wrexham to discuss the priorities, opportunities and challenges they face on their exporting journeys around the world.It is part of a series of engagement opportunities undertaken by the UK Government as part of its Export Strategy review.Exports from Wales rose by 12.3% to £16.4 billion in the latest year on year figures, and is home to nearly 4,000 exporters with an average value per exporter of more than £4.2million.Wales is also growing in stature as a destination for inward investment, with latest figures showing that 85 foreign direct investment projects were secured in Wales last year, creating over 2,500 new jobs and safeguarding over 11,000 more.Only last month, Toyota announced its commitment to building the next generation Auris vehicle at their plant in Derbyshire, and confirmed that the majority of the engines will be sourced from Deeside, helping to secure 3000 jobs across the two sites.Alun Cairns added: Export support is a key way that the UK Government can help businesses succeed and grow. The Export Strategy review will draw on expertise from across government and the private sector, helping us to understand how best to support British companies to take advantage of opportunities in overseas markets. Throughout this process, I want to see significant input from businesses in Wales, both large and small, to ensure we develop a strategy that meets their needs. North Wales’ dynamic mix of major exporters are making a substantial contribution to Wales’ global business ambitions, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said today as he embarks on a series of export themed visits across the north of the UK (29 March).Mr Cairns will attend the second Board of Trade meeting in Preston this afternoon, convened to help boost exports, attract inward investors and ensure the benefits of free trade are spread equally across the country.Presided by the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, the Board of Trade brings together prominent figures from business and politics from each part of the UK to provide local expertise and guide the Board on trade and investment matters.It will coincide with the presentation of the very first Board of Trade Awards, designed to recognise excellence in trade and investment across the whole of the UK.And leading Welsh exporter Halen Môn will be among the first recipients as their business achievements at home and overseas are lauded at a Board of Trade reception this evening.Since it began its exporting journey in 2001, Halen Môn has seized the expert support on offer from the UK Government, and now have their products stocked in over 100 British shops including M&S, Waitrose and Harvey Nichols, and can be found in over 22 countries globally.Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: The UK Government wants to celebrate the achievements of businesses that are demonstrating exceptional innovation, delivering prosperity to their local communities, and championing free trade. Halen Môn are a company doing just that. I’m delighted to see their name embossed on one of the very first Board of Trade awards handed out today. Halen Môn’s success is down to the entrepreneurship and dedication of those involved in the company. But Government has also had a part to play. From setting up meetings with buyers in markets ranging from Hong Kong to Singapore, China, Russia and Japan, to helping them navigate the necessary paperwork, we have been ready to support them on every step of their exporting journey. ENDSNOTES TO EDITORSHalen MônSituated in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Halen Môn, the Anglesey Sea Salt Company has been making sea salt since 1997, and exporting its products since 2001 when the company joined forces with an American distributor.Today, Halen Môn’s sea salt is enjoyed across the UK it has been served at the London 2012 Olympics, a Royal Wedding and is a vital ingredient in Green and Blacks Chocolate and Piper’s Crisps. The company continues to build their international reputation and currently exports to more than 15 countries.In 2015, the company opened a new visitor centre that offers guided tours, tasting sessions and unique insights into how their sea salt is produced. The centre is part of a new salt-cote that the company has built with support from the Welsh Government, the AONB Sustainability Fund, the Lottery Coastal Communities Fund, the Fisheries Local Action Group, and HSBC. The company has also created more than twenty jobs in the local area and supports many more through their ‘local business preferred’ policy of using local suppliers.The UK Government has assisted with the paperwork required to comply with export and labelling regulations and helped them to establish meetings with potential customers in overseas markets. The company also relied on Welsh and UK Government support to apply for, and successfully obtain Protected Designation of Origin status in 2014, which supports the company’s exporting strategy in Europe and beyond.Board of TradeAlun Cairns is joined on the Board of Trade by two expert business advisers from Wales, Lord Rowe Beddoe and Heather Stephens.Lord Rowe Beddoe has a distinguished international business career and brings with him decades of experience gathered during his years as Chairman of the Welsh Development Agency and Cardiff Airport.Heather Stephens was part of the small team which launched the insurance group Admiral in 1993 in Cardiff. Since its launch Admiral has grown to become one of the largest private sector employers in Wales with a turnover of more than £2bn. She is also currently the chair and founding member of The Waterloo Foundation, a charity aiming to give grants to companies in the UK & worldwide.Membership of the Board of Trade is restricted to Privy Councillors.The only member is(i) Secretary of State for Department for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade (Chair)Advisers to the Board(i) Secretary of State for Scotland(ii) Secretary of State for Northern Ireland(iii) Secretary of State for WalesEngland (6)(i) Patricia Hewitt – outgoing Chair of UK India Business Council(ii) Andrew Mills – CEO Virtualstock(iii) Collette Roche – Chief of Staff, Manchester Airport(iv) Marnie Millard – CEO Nichols PLC(v) Iqbal Ahmed – Chairman, Chief Executive and Founder of Seamark Group(vi) Edward Timpson – former Minister of State for Children and FamiliesScotland (2)(vii) Brian Wilson – former Trade Minister(viii) Ian Curle – CEO of Edrington GroupWales (2)(ix) Lord Rowe-Beddoe – former Chair of Welsh Development Agency(x) Heather Stevens – Chair and founding member of The Waterloo FoundationNorthern Ireland (1)(xi) Mark Nodder (CEO of Wrights Group)center_img Welsh Secretary joins International Trade Secretary at the second Board of Trade meeting in Preston to boost North Wales-Northern Powerhouse links Halen Mon scoop one of the first Board of Trade awards for global export success Bangor University students take part in first Ideas Hack programme Alun Cairns will also gather North Wales exporters in Wrexham to seek views on the UK Government’s Export Strategylast_img read more

Support candidates who support seniors

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionEarlier this year, several neighbors and I along Helderberg Avenue had an opportunity to sell our homes and help create the Village at Whispering Pines, a unique community for our senior citizens.Many will say I speak from a self-interest. While true, as I would have made a small profit, I did so more for the prospect of being a part of something that Rotterdam needs — a senior community with memory care, assisted and independent living, one-family homes, townhouses, a golf course, as well as leisure activities.The senior citizens of Rotterdam deserve the right to receive care in their hometown, a town they built. If it wasn’t for them, Rotterdam would not be the place it is today.So, as you vote this year for our supervisor and Town Board, I ask you to consider re-electing Supervisor Steve Tommasone and electing Rachel Rappazzo and Stephen Signore for Town Board. Why? Because senior living is important to our neighbors and to them.Jim PalluttiRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationCar hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Flynn ready to step in over Faso

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Much has been made about the Democratic drive to unseat Rep. John Faso in the 19th Congressional District. There are seven players vying to be on the ballot in November. That’s a wealth of possibility. But how effective and electable would each one of them be? When you look for proposals to repair the damage done by Faso and his fellows, there is only one candidate who stands out: Brian Flynn. Instead of sound bites, Flynn goes into detail, point by point, not only about what needs to be changed in Washington, but how he suggests we go about doing so.Flynn doesn’t shy away from tough questions. Asked why his company outsourced jobs when he talks about bringing jobs to New York, Flynn’s answer was unambiguous: Railway infrastructure near his manufacturing plant was nonexistent and getting products to market was difficult. Outsourcing the transportation aspect of his company meant he could bring 150 more manufacturing jobs to the area. That’s an honest business assessment — and a good solution.Brian Flynn is a third-generation Greene County local. He’s no carpetbagger. Family and business are both here. What’s at stake in the 19th District affects him as much as it does us.For two years, we’ve had a politician in Washington who only answers to his Republican masters rather than advocating for constituents. It’s time we had a champion in Washington – and Brian Flynn is ready and able to step into the fray for us.JOELLYN KOPECKYWarnervilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Cuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Battling McIlroy retains lead

first_img Press Association Rory McIlroy will take a narrow lead over Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger into the final round of the US PGA Championship as he looks to claim a second major title in four weeks and third tournament win in a row. McIlroy took a one-shot advantage into the third round at a soggy Valhalla and held onto it thanks to a second successive 67 to lie 13 under par, but the identity of his nearest challenger came as something of a surprise. Wiesberger was a total of 12 over for his last two appearances in the US PGA before this week and had only made one halfway cut in five previous majors, but carded a flawless 65 which was completed in stunning fashion. “I just knew I needed to make a couple (of birdies) coming down the back nine to keep the lead or at least be tied. The two birdies on 15 and 16 were huge. “It’s where I want to be, it’s the best place to be in a tournament. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” McIlroy’s Ryder Cup team-mate Graeme McDowell felt the course was playing more like a regular PGA Tour event than a major championship, but the final pairing of McIlroy and Day began their rounds scrambling for dramatic pars. Day hooked his tee shot on the second so badly that it cleared Floyd’s Fork, the creek running down the left-hand side of the hole, and into deep grass on the far side. Television commentator David Feherty initially looked to be searching for the ball in order for Day to work out where he could take a penalty drop, but the Australian then sent his caddie Colin Swatton to wade through the creek to assist. When the ball was found in a good enough lie for Day to be able to play it, the 26-year-old then took his shoes and socks off as well and made the journey across to the other side. Instructing Swatton to throw a pitching wedge, Day duly hacked out of the rough, pitched onto the green and holed from 12 feet for a remarkable par. Two holes later it was McIlroy’s turn to escape without losing a stroke after pulling his drive into a hazard on the par-four fourth, which had been reduced to 292 yards to allow players to try to drive the green. After taking a drop McIlroy pitched to 11 feet and holed the putt, although he was joined in the lead by Day who was left with a tap-in birdie after missing from close range for an eagle. Both players then made birdie on the fifth but McIlroy reclaimed the lead when Day bogeyed the sixth after a wild drive and the world number one was two clear when he holed from five feet on the par-five seventh for birdie. However, McIlroy duffed his chip from the edge of the eighth green and a repeat on the 12th meant he was briefly a shot behind Wiesberger when the world number 70 birdied the 16th and almost holed his approach to the 17th. However, McIlroy responded in stunning style, holing from 20 feet on the 15th and then reducing the 505-yard 16th to a drive and a nine-iron which stopped two feet from the hole. It impressed Luke Donald, who wrote on Twitter: “Hmmm, drive and a 9 iron into 16 #wow.” After Wiesberger had birdied the last there was another massive drive from McIlroy on the same hole to set up a closing birdie from a greenside bunker which secured the outright lead. The 28-year-old world number 70 holed from inside three feet for birdie on the 505-yard 16th, almost holed his second shot to the par-four 17th and then left an eagle pitch just inches short on the 18th. “It was a dream come true really, going out there with Phil (Mickelson), one of my heroes,” said Wiesberger, who lost a play-off for the Lyoness Open in his native Vienna in June, the event he won in 2012 for his second European Tour title. “I played beautifully today, I didn’t miss a lot of shots, set up a few nice opportunities on the last few holes especially. I’m very proud of myself the way I played. “It’s a completely new situation for me, only my second cut in a major in six attempts, so I am quite a rookie in this particularly situation. I have driven it really nicely this week and if I can do it again it will settle down the nerves and I am going to have fun tomorrow.” American Rickie Fowler, who has finished in a tie for fifth, second and second in this year’s majors, was a shot behind Wiesberger on 11 under with Mickelson another stroke back after both shot 67. Australian Jason Day was alongside Mickelson after a 69. McIlroy, who won the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool and a first World Golf Championship event in the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday, is aiming to become the first player since Padraig Harrington in 2008 to win back-to-back majors. The 25-year-old won his first two by eight shots and was six ahead after 54 holes at Hoylake but was happy simply to still be in the lead here. “The guys got pretty close to me at the Open and today and I was able to respond on the back nine,” McIlroy said. “It’s not the biggest lead I’ve ever had but I am still in control of this tournament and it’s still a good position to be in. last_img read more

Michel Platini will open training camp of BiH football team

first_imgAccording to the first plan of construction of the new training centre of BIH football team whose foundations were laid on 19 March 2011, and the construction is in final stages, so it should be opened soon near Zenica.The construction of the training camp was financed by FIFA and UEFA with 8.5 million BAM, and it will be solemnly open by the head of the UEFA Michel Platini.Municipal administration financed around 800 metres of access road and the total cost of the project with construction of 24 two-bed rooms is 10 million BAM.(source:

Leicester scramble to unlock ’14 seconds’ Silva shambles

first_img“I’ve spoken to him. I feel for the lad. He is not only so keen to come, but the deal was also agreed between the clubs, it is just the finalisation.Adrien Silva“It is World Cup year for the player and he is in limbo. He is a strong character and I am sure he will be fine.”Leicester are working to overturn FIFA’s decision.“We are still trying to finalise it, it is still up in the air,” said Shakespeare. “It is important to keep a level head. In truth, I don’t understand it all. You identify the players then you leave the other bits to the legal people.”Share on: WhatsApp Manager Craig ShakespeareLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Portugal midfielder Adrien Silva has been unable to train and remains in limbo as Leicester City bid to sort out his future, manager Craig Shakespeare said on Friday.The 2015/16 Premier League champions agreed a deal with Sporting Lisbon for the 28-year-old on August 31, the final day of the summer transfer window.But the club reportedly missed the deadline to register their new signing by a mere 14 seconds.Leicester officials are confident the necessary paperwork was sent before the midnight deadline, having been granted an hour’s extension to complete the deal.Sporting insist the deal is binding but the uncertainty currently leaves Silva in limbo, unable to play and even train with Leicester even though he is in the city.“No he is not training,” said Leicester boss Shakespeare ahead of Saturday’s home game against current champions Chelsea.last_img read more