Month: October 2020 Page 1 of 4

Congress must lead by example on addressing sexual harassment

first_imgIn one case, Chloe suspected he was intoxicated when he sent the text.According to the module, behavior must be “pervasive and/or severe” to fulfill a hostile work environment claim.The module then asks, “Are these actions severe? Are these actions pervasive?” and prompts a yes or no response.The module tells the user that the correct answer is “no,” so the Chief of Staff is unlikely to face any consequences.However, these behaviors still impact the professional environment – tolerating them tells everyone it is acceptable to objectify a coworker, as long as you’re polite about it and don’t do it too often.By not addressing the low-level sexual disrespect described in the training, those behaviors are normalized, which creates a culture that will tolerate escalation into higher levels of harassment and assault.This pattern has been laid bare this week: a report published by the Times last Monday exposed rampant sexual harassment throughout Congress, including many instances of the “lawful” behavior outlined in the training. As someone who leads workshops to limit sexual misconduct on a university campus, I eagerly took the publicly-available training myself.Representative Jackie Speier appears in a welcome video touting her hopes that the training module will teach employees how to “identify and stop sexual harassment,” a reasonable goal.Yet after taking the half-hour module, the only thing I learned was how to label sexual harassing behavior, which does nothing to actually prevent it. This training failed to teach me any skills that actually stop sexual harassment.If Congress is to take sexual harassment in the workplace seriously, it must acknowledge the research that reveals trainings like the one Congress just mandated actually do little to prevent it. With the power to set the tenor of our national discussion, Congress cannot settle for just explaining legal definitions in this moment of heightened awareness.Congress must lead the country in changing the very culture that enables sexual disrespect and harassment in the first place.Consider the test case that accompanies the congressional training: “Chloe,” a congressional staffer, often receives compliments on her appearance from her Chief of Staff, a man. Coworkers have observed him hug Chloe on at least two separate occasions in the past six months.On three occasions, Chloe received a late-night text from the chief of staff complimenting her on the outfit she had worn that day. Sure enough, these behaviors escalated as well: Representative Speier recently revealed that two sitting representatives have groped staff on the House floor.Forget being unbecoming of Congress, this behavior is unbecoming of any decent human being. If Congress is serious about preventing sexual harassment, the established culture of sexual disrespect must be changed.Research shows that efforts focused solely on labeling behaviors or changing the behavior of potential perpetrators are ineffective at engaging participants to change. What has proven effective is changing the broader culture that supports sexual misconduct.Two methods bring success in changing a community’s culture: engaging the community in a conversation about a shared set of acceptable behaviors, and empowering bystanders to intervene when behaviors occur outside the established norms.The workshops I facilitate in my graduate and professional student community leverage both of these methods to promote culture change on campus.Through scenarios, participants discuss the impacts of various low-level instances of sexual disrespect. As a facilitator, I lead participants to identify behaviors and attitudes in their community that enable sexual disrespect and teach them the skills to change their culture for the better.Ultimately, culture is shaped by every member of a community; everyone shares the responsibility to improve it. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe past month’s mandates for sexual harassment training in both the Senate and House appeared to be a victory in the fight against sexual misconduct. While the scenarios I facilitate are designed for a graduate student body, their principles are universal.Congress should be seeking out trainings that can have a real and positive effect on improving workplace climate, like the one I facilitate.Congress has this obligation not just to its own employees, but as our country’s leaders, to set an example for us all.By repudiating the dangerous culture that already exists, Congress can lead the country in establishing a new one.A culture that supports and welcomes all to a community is a culture that will stop sexual harassment before it can even start.Stephen D. Albright, a native of Saratoga Springs, is a Ph.D. candidate in physics and Title IX assistant in the Office of the Provost at Yale University.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

Please explain receipts tax, governor

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTwenty-six dollars and 11 cents ($26.11) is the amount I pay every day that my wife is in a local nursing home. This amount is 6.8 percent charged by New York state as a “cash receipts tax assessment.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo, can you or one of your henchmen justify and/or explain this absurd tax to me and the overtaxed residents of New York state?Dave WardBroadalbinMore from The Daily Gazette:Broadalbin-Perth’s Tomlinson seizing the day by competing in cross country and golf this fallEDITORIAL: 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?last_img read more

Substance is lacking in today’s discourse

first_imgHere’s what everyone is really saying nowadays. Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah,Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah,  Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.Roy PechtelDuanesburg More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady County warns of possible COVID-19 exposure at Schenectady restaurant, Rotterdam barEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Reasonable gun control is needed

first_imgWouldn’t it be great if people with slightly different opinions could get over the hyperbole so we can get some real dialogue under way?I think that there are two schools on gun rights. One school is the Second Amendment gives me the right to any weapon imaginable. Making any guns illegal is an infringement on my rights. I have lots of friends who aren’t offended by that. However, when asked if that means they should be able to own a bazooka, an RPG, and be able to mount a .50 caliber machine gun in the back of their pickup truck, they say of course not. See? They’re actually in the group that thinks there are already some reasonable limits. The discussion needs be about what the limits should be. There will be some disagreement on limits. But let’s at least understand that this is where the discussion is. The discussion isn’t let’s sell bazookas at Wal-Mart. For everyone who thinks citizens should have RPG’s and bazookas and .50 cal machine guns and that we should sell them at Wal-Mart, I disagree. I hope reasonableness prevails.While we are at it, let’s drop the “It won’t prevent a bad guy from getting a gun” deflections, too. I can’t name any law that once passed actually eliminated the unwanted behavior. Neither can you. It’s an impossible standard that gets in the way of reasonable dialogue. We legislate safety. We never get 100 percent compliance. Let’s grow up.Glenn GraySchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcyFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationTroopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stopEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Install Lock 7 gates to alleviate flooding

first_imgIs Lock 7 dam the cause of Stockade flooding?I attended part of the March 23 Watershed Symposium at Union College and learned that the Lock 7 dam in Niskayuna lacks release-gates and thus causes most of the flooding we experience in the historic Stockade. The canal dams upstream are liftable, either partially or fully, giving them the ability to release excess water and also reduce the threat of ice-jamming. It is this “pooling of water” at Lock 7 that causes most of our flooding. Can New York state own this engineering mistake and move toward correcting it?Susan DuFourSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, Jan. 15

first_imgHelp others live by donating blood“The things we do so that others may live” is the understated motto of the United States Air Force Pararescue Service, heroes among heroes.It also characterizes the selflessness of the men and women who donate blood products and register as organ donors. These personal gifts of life are the ultimate expression of individual commitment to the health and welfare of society.Rapid advances in medical science are subjecting the supply chain to stress which may jeopardize the ability to provide a time sensitive perishable product in a moment of urgency.The system is overly reliant upon a minority of Americans who voluntarily step up on a regular basis to keep supplies flowing. One never knows who will be in dire need now and where one donation will make the difference.There is still time to make a New Year’s resolution that is realistic and easy to sustain. I am a registered organ donor and recently topped off 21 gallons of blood. Like fellow donors, I do it without expecting recognition or reward. There are the incidental benefits of blood pressure monitoring and blood screening that may detect issues requiring further examination.In closing, I wish to thank current donors who know their decision is appreciated beyond words by grateful beneficiaries and their families. Please continue to encourage others to join in the effort to provide a second chance at life.Mark RahnScotia National Grid must hear all voicesI must communicate my displeasure, at the very least, regarding the National Grid tactic of trying to shut people up who disagree with its expansive plans. This has degenerated into a case of one of the biggest and most powerful companies in New York state basically attempting to push through its agenda for its E37/Albany Loop fracked gas pipeline proposal by any means it can.National Grid does not have the right to try and invalidate our filed E37/Albany Loop testimony with the state Public Service Commission (PSC) or that of several others who are in opposition to this project, while it is being properly vetted.Apparently, National Grid’s game plan at this point is to attempt to keep others who disagree with out of the formal deliberative process.Based on past experience, we know that they also prefer to limit full discussion by having only one public hearing and then expect to go on their monopolistic way.Those days are over. We are fed up with having environmental policy take place behind our backs simply because “we” don’t have the money and lawyers that they do.We out here will continue to fight this and other battles like it.We hope that the PSC will see fit to address the practice  of “bullying” by National Grid and set the record straight for all to see.Kenneth ScallonNassauMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Schenectady Clergy Against Hate brings people togetherEDITORIAL: Make a game plan for voting. Do it now.EDITORIAL: No more extensions on vehicle inspectionsEDITORIAL: Don’t repeal bail reform law; Fix it the right way Able-bodied people should have to workMr. Leon’s short and concise letter on Dec. 16 (“Nations like America take care of the poor”) was wrong. Wealthy, compassionate, civilized nations do not deprive those that cannot take care of themselves of food stamps.There is nothing wrong with expecting able-bodied people to work for their food. President Trump is requiring people that are not disabled, seniors or single parents to get a job. The people Mr. Leon is referring to are poor because they don’t work.We live in the greatest country on the face of the Earth. No other country is even a close second. What makes us great is anyone can get a job, especially now, if they want one. I, for one, am tired of paying for able-bodied people to stay home and wait for the check. We give people food, pay for their rent and subsidize their utilities when many are able to work. But the Democratic Party has made it too comfortable to live off the rest of us.One of the first things Obama did as president was remove the work requirement for welfare. He just perpetuated the problem.What makes us the greatest is not the “things” we give people; it’s the chance we give people to make something of themselves.Dave EdwardsHalfmooncenter_img Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDiscipline starts at home with parentingThe headline in the Jan. 12 Sunday Gazette reads “Parents voice school safety fears.” I had to wait 30 days to tell my answer to this ongoing problem, of which politicians and the superintendent will not talk about. That is, it starts at home.These kids needed and need strong discipline. They don’t have it or will not have it. So, if these so-called parents will not do it, then turn it over to teachers and principals — and no complaints about it. You expect schools now to raise your kids, feed them, clothe them and provide supplies.Well, let them do discipline. If you have to have police walking halls, so be it. You the people let it get to this. Now pay the piper and get with program. This is chaos, brought on by liberals and socialist Democrats in charge. Are you hearing me politicians?Al MarvellScotialast_img read more

Office or home bids

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Crawley & Gatwick offices: Crawley’s flying low

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Offices: Period drama

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Property lending up to £81.7bn

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