Congress is on the offensive against disabled Americans

Posted On Oct 20 2020 by

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionOn May 28, 1988, Lisa Carl went to her local movie theater, something millions of Americans can do with ease and comfort.Yet when Lisa tried to go into the theater, the manager refused her ticket, denying her entry because Lisa had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair.When an advocate called the theater owner about the incident, the manager coldly stated, “I don’t want her in here, and I don’t have to let her in.” Lisa later testified before Congress, “I was not crying on the outside, but I was crying on the inside. I just wanted to watch the movie like everyone else.”While the cruelty is heartbreaking, the true outrage was that in 1988, the law actually sided with the theater owner, who was free to legally discriminate against Lisa and deny her access to a public theater because she was born with a disability.  Fortunately, millions of Americans with disabilities and their families refused to accept this discrimination.They shared their stories and pushed and prodded a bipartisan coalition of legislators to end decades of legally sanctioned discrimination through passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. At the signing ceremony, President George H.W. Bush noted that before the ADA, “tragically, for too many Americans, the blessings of liberty have been limited or even denied.The Civil Rights Act of ‘64 took a bold step towards righting that wrong.But the stark fact remained that people with disabilities were still victims of segregation and discrimination, and this was intolerable.”Bush declared, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” Decades later, the forces of discrimination are working hard to rebuild that wall. Businesses have had 27 years to comply with the ADA public-access protections.Yet rather than investing time and energy to achieve this goal, they are waging a propaganda campaign to convince Congress that their own lack of accessibility isn’t the problem — so-called drive-by lawsuits are.Notably, supporters of the ADA Education and Reform Act often do not dispute that they are violating the law.Rather, they simply resent being sued for what they believe are “minor” ADA infractions. Ever since I lost my legs when an RPG tore through the cockpit of the Black Hawk helicopter I was flying over Iraq, getting around has been difficult. I can’t always enter restaurants or other public spaces.I have to spend a lot of time planning how to get from one place to the next. An incline that is a few degrees too steep or an entrance that is a few inches off the ground can determine whether I am able to access an area without assistance.Being unable to independently enter a movie theater, store, hotel or restaurant is not only humiliating, it limits the freedom to pursue certain jobs, to access necessary services and to enjoy basic conveniences that most Americans don’t think twice about.  Led by the hospitality and retail industries, special interests want to shift the burden of ADA compliance away from business owners and onto individuals with disabilities.They’re backing a bill that has already passed the House Judiciary Committee, the so-called ADA Education and Reform Act, which would reward businesses that fail to comply with the law.The bill would allow businesses to wait until they are notified of their failure to meet legal obligations before they even have to start removing barriers that prevent Americans with disabilities from leading independent lives. This offensive legislation would segregate the disability community, making it the only protected class under civil rights law that must rely on “education” — rather than strong enforcement — to guarantee access to public spaces.As the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Rights Task Force and other civil rights organizations wrote in opposing this bill, “We know of no other law that outlaws discrimination but permits entities to discriminate with impunity until victims experience that discrimination and educate the entities perpetrating it about their obligations not to discriminate.”For decades, from enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through passage of the ADA, Congress has worked to enshrine the principle in law that no American should be denied access to a public space because of who they are, be it their race, nationality, religion, gender or disability.The ADA Education and Reform Act betrays this bipartisan legacy.  I understand that not everyone thinks about these things because, for most of my adult life, I didn’t either.But the truth is that everyone, whether they realize it or not, is just one bad day away from needing accessible options to help them get around their community.While I understand people might not think of some ADA violations as significant at first glance, I can assure you they are more significant for those of us with disabilities than you know.If Congress passed this misguided legislation, it would send a disgraceful message to Americans with disabilities that their civil rights are not worthy of strong enforcement.It is not too late to defeat this dangerous legislation and keep every American living with a disability from becoming a second-class citizen.U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth is a Democrat representing Illinois.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more


State needs new plan for its energy future

Posted On Oct 20 2020 by

first_imgWhile Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised to wean New York from fracked gas, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) has plans to tie the state to Pennsylvania shale gas for the next 40 years. A “model” microgrid consisting of the same turbines that are sickening people near compressor stations — a solution which ties us to last century’s solutions rather than the technology of the future, exacerbating the mess our children will have to clean up — is precisely the kind of wrong-headed thinking we don’t need. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Hey. What if the Sheridan Hollow community — which all will agree may have a major environmental chip on its shoulder from that trash incinerator — proposed getting its heat and electricity by situating a turbine in the Egg or Concourse?The two Taurus 70 turbines proposed for the old Answers plant would produce about 63,000 metric tons of CO2 [carbon dioxide] annually from burned fuel and, at a conservative 5.8 percent rate, would leak an additional 1,328 metric tons of methane.Applying methane’s Global Warming Potential of 86 over 20 years, the life cycle fugitive methane impact expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) would be 114,208 metric tons annually. This is about 180,000 metric tons of CO2e that should not happen and a clear indicator that NYPA thinking on this catastrophe must be happening in a vacuum chamber.NYPA: Go back to the drawing board. Put a solar farm on some marginal state land. Use the Hudson River for geothermal heating and cooling. Get back to us when you’ve got that written up.Dennis HigginsOtegoMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more


Trump must start acting like an adult

Posted On Oct 20 2020 by

first_imgI am wondering when our elected national officials are going to do something about the adolescent ravings of POTUS.Does anyone really care that he has a bigger button or any other appendage? He sounds like the 11-year-old that Steve Bannon referred to several days ago when commenting on CNN. Grow up Mr. Trump. Develop a little dignity.Norrine ThompsonNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more


Letters to the Editor for Thursday, May 9

Posted On Oct 20 2020 by

first_imgCalling Duci “gritty” was a complimentIn Steven Cook’s April 29 Daily Gazette article (City’s longest-serving mayor dies), I was quoted as using the adjective “gritty” to describe Frank and the people of Schenectady. Some readers might be unfamiliar with the definition of “gritty,” so please let me explain. The word sounds much different than what it means.“Gritty” is defined as “showing courage and resolve” or “tough and uncompromising.” Like John Wayne’s character, Rooster Cogburn, in the movie “True Grit,” Frank Duci also showed “true grit.” Frank grew up in the Depression and had to be tough and determined to get through those hard times, as his father died when Frank was just 12 years old. Frank often told me of the odd jobs he took to help his widowed mother, Nancy. Whether it was working those odd jobs, getting through school, serving in the U.S. Navy or representing the city he loved as a county legislator, city councilman or mayor, Frank demonstrated “courage and resolve,” the likes of which we rarely see. Later in life, on the political battlefields, Frank could appear “tough and uncompromising” as he fought for what he believed was best for the citizens of Schenectady, who, like him, worked hard to make a living and fought for our nation and its ideals. Frank’s determination and resolve, often against all odds, was a most admirable trait of members of our “Greatest Generation” who won a world war and transformed our nation. I hope readers understand that my use of the term “gritty” was meant as the highest form of compliment.Michael CuevasSchenectady Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionCuomo sides against New Yorkers in NRAI’m embarrassed to say I’m from New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo welcomes illegal immigrants, but thinks I (a lifelong resident) don’t belong here because I’m an NRA member.David DenisonGalway  Give Lyme disease attention it deservesThere seems to be an inordinate amount of attention lately in the media over the recent “outbreaks” or “epidemics” of measles in the United States.According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just over 700 cases of measles have been reported in the United States so far. Why is there such a created panic over measles, which is over in a couple days, and almost no concern over Lyme, which has expanded to all 50 states and is truly a real epidemic?James ShearGlenvillecenter_img Blame is being placed on unvaccinated Jewish Orthodox communities, and schools in many of these communities have been closed.When I look up the CDC statistics on fatalities for measles, I found that about one in 10,000 cases of measles results in a death, usually from complications from additional factors.That’s a fatality rate of 0.01 percent, one-hundredth of 1 percent. Compare that to the rampant spread of Lyme disease, which is getting virtually no media coverage.The CDC estimates about 300,000 cases of Lyme annually, numbers which actually may be greatly underreported.Lyme, once established in a patient, can have debilitating consequences for years. Treatment for Lyme is still almost non-existent. Try and find a doctor who will aggressively treat an embedded tick bite with 10 to 14 days of an antibiotic. They are very difficult to find, as most adhere to the CDC guidelines of one dose of doxycycline for a tick bite. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more


$17bn US REIT plans move into UK shopping centres

Posted On Oct 20 2020 by

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Privates on parade

Posted On Oct 20 2020 by

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Non-Europeans dominate overseas investment in UK

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Uxbridge offices: Swing bridge

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Shop specialist is LAP dancing to a bigger tune

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Industry outsider gets top Railtrack position

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