Show respect for the flag and stand up


first_imgRe May 29 letter, “NFL anthem stance is unAmerican”: As I understand it, Denis Brennan seems to think the “piece of cloth” (the American flag), as he puts it, is just that and that it doesn’t represent the ideals of being an American.  I would ask him to check with the family members of the thousands of men and women who lost loved ones fighting for that flag and what it represents to them. To stand for the national anthem, he says, is forced patriotism. I call it respect for what the flag means to most Americans.Linda CorteseNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfect Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Karch criticises German pension system’s interest rate sensitivity


first_imgThe German occupational pension system has overlooked its interest-rate risk sensitivity, a dependency that will force it to re-evaluate its approach to guarantees, according to Heribert Karch, chair of the country’s pension association.Karch, chairman of the aba and chief executive at MetallRente, said that, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the German pensions sector was proud of how well it weathered the crisis.“But we overlooked how sensitive to interest rates we were,” he told the aba’s annual conference in Berlin this week.“Today, we still finance a greater number of countries than we do economies. This results in a interest rate dependency and a sensitivity to interest rates that forces us to re-think the dilemma of [low] returns and guaranteed [payments].” Karch called for the industry to truly re-think the issue and not simply assume a defensive stance.“If we can come to a sensible agreement, then I am not worried that we can ensure [income] security for employees.”The chairman’s comments came shortly after the German government received two detailed reports on pension reform, examining possible tax incentives to boost participation and the role of collective bargaining agreements.The respective ministries, for finance and social affairs, have offered tacit support for one of the main findings, proposing the use of an auto-enrolment system to boost participation rates.However, aba and Karch warned against attempts to introduced a defined contribution-based system, without any guarantees, noting it would be a difficult reform to sell.“The federal government must now look at the numerous reform proposals and settle on the right shape of reform.“The aba stands ready to offer its assistance – both with the big picture and the detail.”last_img read more

TENNIS : Drop shot: Jensen sees most cohesive unit in 5-year tenure despite loss of key trio


first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on January 26, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Emily Harman walked off the court without finishing her match.Notre Dame had clinched a victory over the Syracuse tennis team in the second round of the 2010 Big East tournament, and there was nothing Harman could do about it. She left the court with the empty, disappointed feeling because her match could not make a difference.After congratulating her opponent, she and the Syracuse team trudged through the inclement weather to the van. The players and coaches piled in for the long drive that would conclude their season. Before they made their way back to Syracuse, however, the team had a talk.Head coach Luke Jensen congratulated his team on its hard work to get to the tournament. Every girl spoke about what the season had meant to her.‘It was a very emotional moment for all of us,’ Harman said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat was just the start of a whirlwind, emotional offseason for SU. In the nine months since the loss to Notre Dame, three key players have dropped off the roster, including C.C. Sardinha, a freshman last season who moved up to the No. 1 singles spot, and Eleanor Peters, who had the most collective wins of any member of the Orange.Despite this, however, Jensen thinks the Orange has solidified into a more cohesive team. And in his fifth year at the helm of a Syracuse program he built from the ground up, Jensen will rely on the seniors of his first recruiting class, combined with a mix of youth, to get over the loss of those two players and departing senior Chelsea Jones. And to aim for his No. 1 target: Notre Dame.‘Notre Dame is our target,’ Jensen said. ‘It’s got to be our target.’That won’t be easy with the losses. Sardinha transferred to Oklahoma State shortly after SU’s loss in the Big East tournament. She was a highly touted recruit who quickly worked her way up from the bottom of SU’s singles lineup to the top. She went 16-5 in singles play last season.Sardinha informed the coaching staff of her decision shortly after the Big East tournament. Jensen said she left to be closer to her grandmother. But Harman thought she was considering the move even before the tournament.‘I didn’t know personally from her,’ Harman said. ‘I had my suspicions, but you never know with collegiate teams.’Peters was unable to return to the team because she wasn’t granted a redshirt year, Jensen said. Peters hovered around the middle of the lineup but had the most wins of anyone on the team.Jensen said Peters is playing in professional tournaments near her home in Washington, D.C. Harman and Jensen also said Peters is another huge, unexpected loss to the team.And the last part of those losses is Jones, a departing senior who walked on to the team the year before Jensen took over as the head coach. Jones hadn’t been on the professional circuit, unlike all of SU’s younger players. Despite being a strong doubles player, she was unable to provide the same experience on the court.With those three important pieces gone, SU will rely on three freshmen to fill the void: Maddie Kobelt, Aleah Marrow and Eva Raszkiewicz. The time they’ve spent playing professional tournaments has put them in a good position to do so.‘They’ll fight their tails off to the very end, and that’s what we need,’ Harman said. ‘No negative energy at all. It’s great to be with them. It’s great to have them on the team. They make me better every day.’This group of recruits contributes to the cohesiveness of the team because they buy into what the team is doing, Jensen said. College has more of a team aspect than playing on the pro circuit, and Jensen tries to emphasize that with his players.Each of those recruits brings something unique to the Orange. Jensen thinks Marrow is the best athlete he has had in his five years at SU. Raszkiewicz came over from Europe after much convincing from Jensen. And Kobelt has one of the best all-around games Jensen has seen at Syracuse.But the attitude of cohesion is what stood out most to Kobelt when she visited SU.‘What stuck in my mind was the attitude that the girls had,’ she said. ‘All the girls on this team — even though they were dead in the battle of their matches — they were all cheering for themselves and cheering for their teammates and being supportive.’And the second part of replacing those players includes Jensen’s first recruiting class — now seniors — stepping up. Seniors Christina Tan and Simone Kalhorn, who were already captains last year with the absence of more experienced seniors, will lead the way. Tan said beyond their ability on the court, however, it is their familiarity with SU tennis in particular that has helped the recruits.‘We’ve been through the program for three and a half years now, so the experience is there,’ Tan said. ‘In terms of knowing exactly what’s going on and really helping the newer ones with everything, with on-court stuff and off-court stuff.’The cohesion of the team also leads to an even playing field and tight competition. Tan said the entire team has a pretty even skill level, so anyone could end up at No. 1 on any given week.After close challenge matches, Alessondra Parra earned that spot for this weekend’s matches. This will be the first time in her two and a half seasons at SU that Parra will move above No. 3.‘I think we have a team that is very equal,’ Jensen said. ‘Usually on a team you get one, two, maybe three players that set themselves apart from everybody else. But this year we truly have the deepest team, the most solid across the board.’The defeat in the Big East tournament and the loss of Jones, Peters and Sardinha set SU back. At the beginning of the fall, there was no knowing what would become of the eight players who showed up for fall tennis. Yet after just a few months of playing together, the team has become a single unit. And despite the losses, Jensen thinks he has a better squad than last season.Jensen said if the 2011 team were to play the 2010 team, the former would win simply because it’s a ‘better collective.’This collective now has one objective: beat Notre Dame. Jensen said this is the goal. Harman should not have to walk off the court mid-match unless it is for a Syracuse victory.Not individual glory. Not wins against lesser teams. Notre Dame.‘They’re the dominant team in our conference,’ Jensen said. ‘They’re a dominant team in the nation. If we can beat Notre Dame, we can beat anybody.’alguggen@syr.edulast_img read more

Students express off-campus housing safety concerns


first_img“Part of the scope of this [renovation] project included removing dated security bars from the property and replacing them with a Ring Doorbell and Floodlight camera system on the exterior of the property, giving residents more knowledge and control over who has access to their home when they are not there,” the statement read. In the email screenshot posted to Facebook, Juraso said the property owner was “well aware” of the incident, and “their stance remained firm.” The post was taken off of the page Thursday. Rusher alleged Jurasko reported the post for harassment and it was subsequently deleted. “Security bars are not promised anywhere in the lease and as a property management company, we never imply or promise the safety of our residents,” the email read. “I think the email was hostile and unnecessary for one, just to say that they don’t ensure the safety of residents with … but especially callous, insensitive given the recent incident,” Rusher said. “Even though I don’t know the specific details, I feel like it was understandable for us to request safety measures, especially those that were included when we first signed the lease, such as safety bars.” In addition to a new security system, the housing company said it is installing new fences to replace the original security system. Rusher, who is majoring in international relations global business,  said the email dismissed the safety concerns of Mosaic residents. In the Facebook group, the company’s statement was met with harsh criticism. Rusher’s post accrued over 180 comments from students, many of whom shared similar experiences. The post was removed from the page Thursday. When junior Keala Rusher discovered off-campus property management company Mosaic Student Community wasn’t going to reinstall safety bars on her windows, she had concerns. In the comments, many students wrote that they experienced difficulty with Mosaic’s maintenance of utilities, including the air conditioning, and other residents complained of being forced to live in smaller “closet-like” rooms. Students complained in a USC Facebook group after Mosaic Student Housing removed window safety bars from its houses. (Photo courtesy of Mosaic Student Housing) According to Rusher, the incident began when her housemate, Alejandro Gonzalez, a senior majoring in aerospace engineering, asked for security bars to be replaced on the window after they were taken off for renovations and repairs to the building.center_img In response to the allegations, Mosaic released a statement addressing the renovations and student concerns. DPS Assistant Chief David Carlisle said that students should consider the safety measures in place before deciding to lease with certain off-campus housing companies. Carlisle said checking the location and security amenities of properties can help students feel safer. Students encouraged Rusher to contact the Department of Public Safety with safety concerns and legal counsel for representation. Rusher said that following the recent death of student Victor McElhaney during a robbery attempt near campus, security and well-being became an important concern for her and her housemates. “Mosaic built a small house in the backyard of the house that we are currently leasing and … they re-painted the exterior of our house and in order to do that they had to take off the security bars that were already on the windows,” Rusher said. “They almost moved me into a literal closet-sized room despite the floor plans suggesting otherwise,” one student commented. “Renovations include … [a] repainting the exterior of the home and adding security fencing between the front of the house and the back of the property,” the statement read. She posted a screenshot of the email exchange between her housemate and property manager Courtney Jurasko in the “USC Memes for Spoiled Pre Teens” Facebook group. “If a student feels unsafe, we would be happy to do a quick security assessment of the facility,” Carlisle said. “But, if it is a privately owned properly, the owner has no obligation to conform to what we recommend. But, students can make recommendations.”last_img read more