Guest Column: Privacy – Where does it begin … or end?

first_imgHowever, if the item pertains to a public employee, the courts have repeatedly found that public employees have less privacy than others because they are supposed to be more accountable than others.If an item about a public employee relates to that person’s duties, usually the information is public because disclosure would result in a permissible (not an unwarranted) invasion of privacy.That’s the basis for your right to records indicating the salary, overtime payments, attendance, findings of misconduct, and similar items concerning public employees.I’m a public employee…and if you are not, I have less privacy than you!The point is that you have the right to know various details about me and others, those who are supposed to be your public servants.Robert J. Freeman is executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government. We used to have a joke in the house. If the phone rang after 9:00 p.m., it was either my mother-in-law, or a reporter who’d gotten kicked out of a meeting, seeking an opinion or a comment regarding a board’s compliance with law.My name, home address and home phone number (still a land line) are in the phone book and available online.  Anyone can find me.  My wife, on the other hand, uses a different name for good reason.First, she doesn’t want to be associated with me (completely understandable), and second, she’s a psychotherapist and doesn’t want clients to know where she lives, or her home phone number.She has perfectly valid reasons for saying, “No, never!”  I have equally good reasons for saying, “I don’t care”, and never the twain shall meet. So what do we do about privacy?The courts have given us guidance. When records relate to a private individual, the state’s highest court has offered a standard: the reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities. What would a “reasonable person” feel about disclosure of a particular item?If that person believes that it’s one of those items that is nobody’s business, intimate or highly personal, it’s likely that the item can be withheld. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Everyone says, emphatically, “No!”  Well then, why do we see them today?Very simply, the sensibilities of society have changed and are constantly changing.  What had been so intimate, highly personal, risqué or off color seems to be more acceptable today.Next, I ask whether anyone has kids, and whether they’re users of social media.Parents grimace, and I suggest that our kids share information about themselves with their peers that their parents would never share.There are generational differences in views about privacy.Young people, their parents and senior citizens have different notions about what is private and what isn’t.And this is my favorite: two equally reasonable people can look at the same items and disagree. I use my own life as an example. Categories: Editorial, OpinionMany know that the New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) generally gives the public rights of access to records of state and local government agencies, with certain exceptions. My favorite exception states that an agency may withhold records to the extent that disclosure would result in “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” That standard also appears in the federal FOI Act and numerous access laws in other states.When I offer a presentation, I often ask the crowd: “Unwarranted invasion of personal privacy….anyone know what that means?”  Nobody raises a hand, and I say, “That’s OK.  Nobody knows what it means, and nobody will ever know what it means.There isn’t a judge alive who can define that phrase any better than the average reasonable person.”     Then I ask whether anyone has seen the Victoria’s Secret ads on TV, and a few people giggle, some sheepishly, but everyone admits to having seen the ads.Would those ads have run on network TV 25 years ago?last_img read more

Flexi-time

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‘It’s discouraging’: Nurses lambast COVID-19 spokesperson for calling them ‘room boys’

first_img“This is business. Welcome to Indonesia,” Yurianto, who was also appointed by the government as COVID-19 spokesperson, said as he smiled as if he was joking. He later argued that was the reason he did not disclose the names of the hospitals where the patients were being treated, except the official referral hospitals, such as Jakarta’s Persahabatan Hospital and Sulianti Saroso Hospital.“Hospitals are no longer carrying their social functions. Hospitals are just businesses now. A hotel with nurses as their room boys,” Yuri said.The government has set up a protocol for hospitals that only those designated as referral hospitals could treat COVID-19 patients. If a non-referral hospital or clinic finds that a patient is a COVID-19 suspect, the administrator must send the patient to a referral hospital appointed by the government using an ambulance, accompanied by medical personnel with protective gear.The news comes as nurses and medical workers across the nation struggle to serve patients, putting their own health at risk over the past few weeks.“So far we have received a report that one nurse has died after she had contact with COVID-19 patients,” Harif of PPNI said.  Topics : Read also: Two Sanglah hospital nurses placed in isolation after developing fever, cough“I think right now, what we need to do is focus on serving others and not use degrading words. Please appreciate us. Even the President appreciates us, why does a spokesperson talk like that?” he added.Amid the COVID-19 surge in the nation, Yurianto turned to mentalist cum YouTube personality Deddy Corbuzier to speak his mind about the pandemic.In the video podcast, published and having gone viral on Monday, Yurianto criticized private hospitals for rejecting COVID-19 patients because they did not want other patients to know they were treating people with the  infectious disease.center_img The Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI) has expressed its disappointment over a statement made by the Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, who called them  “room boys” in a popular podcast.“This really affected our spirit. I don’t think it was necessary for him to say that. We have been very focused on serving patients, thus hearing his statement is discouraging,” Harif Fadhillah told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.Harif said nurses across country had been giving their best for the past few weeks to work hand in hand with other medical workers to treat patients, especially those infected with the novel coronavirus. Two nurses in Sanglah had even been placed in isolation.last_img read more

Anniversary protests as Hong Kong democracy movement faces triple threat

first_imgSeveral thousand demonstrators marched in Hong Kong on Tuesday evening — defying authorities a year after huge pro-democracy protests erupted — as the movement struggles in the face of arrests, coronavirus bans on crowds and a looming national security law.Seven months of massive and often violent rallies kicked off on June 9 last year when as many as a million people took to the streets to oppose a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China.As city leaders dug in, battles between police and protesters became routine, leaving the financial hub’s reputation for stability in tatters and swathes of the population in open revolt against Beijing’s rule. Topics : A year later, protesters are on the back foot with Beijing planning to impose a sweeping law banning subversion, secession, terrorism and foreign interference.Anti-virus measures also forbid more than eight people gathering in public. Small rallies still flare up, however. Defiant crowds a few thousand strong gathered on Tuesday evening in the city’s upmarket Central district to march and chant slogans. ‘Forced loyalty’ Under a deal signed with Britain ahead of the 1997 handover, China agreed to let Hong Kong keep certain freedoms and autonomy for 50 years.But protests over the last decade have been fuelled by fears those freedoms are being prematurely curtailed, something Beijing denies.Analysts say the space for dissent has rapidly diminished in the last year. “I don’t think the passion has subsided much, but the problem is that many actions are now not allowed,” Leung Kai-chi, an analyst at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), told AFP.Beyond a withdrawal of the extradition bill, the informal and largely leaderless protest movement’s core demands — such as universal suffrage and an inquiry into police tactics — have been rejected.China’s planned national security law — which will bypass the city’s legislature once written — has pushed anxieties further. Opponents fear the law will bring mainland-style political oppression to the business hub given similar anti-subversion laws are routinely used to stamp out dissent over the border.”First [Beijing] loses the hearts and minds of Hong Kong’s people and then it seeks to force them to be loyal,” said Kong Tsung-gan, an activist who has published three books on the protest movement.Beijing says the law will only target “a small minority” and will restore business confidence. Over the last year, around 9,000 people have been arrested and more than 500 people have been charged with rioting — facing up to 10 years in jail if convicted.The protest movement was already on the back foot before emergency coronavirus laws banned gatherings of more than eight people.Still, demonstrations have resurfaced since the security law plans were announced — including tens of thousands defying a ban on a June 4 gathering to mark the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. Riot police were quick to charge and fire pepper spray to disperse the crowds in a series of small cat and mouse confrontations, with at least 25 arrests made throughout the evening.  “We have been through a lot,” a 23-year-old protester who gave his first name as Michael, told AFP.”But I still have to show my position, come out and tell the regime that we haven’t forgotten.”Earlier Tuesday, organizers of last year’s huge rallies called on the government to lift legitimate protest restrictions on a city now largely free of coronavirus infections.”This movement has not finished,” said Jimmy Sham of the Civil Human Rights group, which espouses non-violence. But city leader Carrie Lam, an unpopular pro-Beijing appointee, said the protests must end. “Hong Kong cannot afford such chaos,” she said, adding residents needed to prove Hong Kong people “are reasonable and sensible citizens of the People’s Republic of China” if they want their freedoms and autonomy to continue.last_img read more

Enviable lifestyle comes with canal-front retreat

first_imgThe home at 41 The Promontory, Banksia Beach.THE buyers of 41 The Promontory, Banksia Beach, acquired both a home and an enviable lifestyle when they purchased the property for $1.479 million on July 24.The two-year old, four-bedroom, three-bathroom house is positioned on a 1094 sqm cul-de-sac block with a staggering 44m canal frontage.L J Hooker senior sales agent, Martin Howard-Smith, said the market responded well to a home that took full advantage of its site and position.“It was built by the owner to an exclusive design … it really was exquisite,” he said.“It was a house that brought the outside in and the inside out.” There was a games room, with its own bar area and glass-front drinks fridges, that led to the outdoor entertaining space.More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019The home at 41 The Promontory, Banksia Beach.“And then you had a magnificent open-plan lounge/dining and kitchen,” he said.Mr Howard-Smith said other features — such as a butler’s pantry, fireplace, swimming pool and spa — all added to the appeal.“It had a pontoon and easy access to the Pumicestone Passage,” he said.“The market in the last 18 months really has picked up again and properties are now selling well on Bribie Island — there’s a strong demand for canal homes.“We’re getting quite a lot of people still from the Brisbane area who are looking to come into Bribie. “It’s a popular location because it doesn’t matter where you are on the island, you’re only minutes away from the waterfront.”last_img read more

Renovator lands owner $500K more than she paid

first_imgA brick facade was added to the house at some stage in the 1950s.Ms Leach had listed it as having rental income divided into four flats, one three-bed unit and three two-bed ones “which gives you the opportunity to get your DA and head works completed while the property pays for itself”.“At some point, most probably the 1950s, there was brick facade added to the front of the house but underneath is a character home,” was how her listing described it. “There are quality neighbours in the form of renovated Queenslanders either side of the house and this part of New Farm is highly sought after for its centrality.” FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK There are four flats earning income already on the property. 162 Heal Street, New Farm, is in a high demand zone.THE owner of an inner city renovator has just sold it for half a million dollars more than she paid a decade ago.Demand for houses in the inner city has shown no sign of waning, with agent Beth Leach of Beth Leach New Farm landing a tidy $1.75m contract for the investment property.The property at 162 Heal Street, New Farm, has nine bedrooms, four bathrooms, and three car parks on a 615sq m block that has cityscape views.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours agoA view like this one would be a delight in any inner-city pad.center_img The home (marked out in yellow) has “location, location, location” down pat.last_img read more

Sales records smashed with sale of five-bedder in Everton Park

first_imgFamily livingWhich means that 25 Little St could be the highest normal residential sale in the neighbourhood. In an area where the median house price is $601,000, he said the size of the block and its location set it apart. Perfect place to sit back and chillMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours agoAfter crunching the numbers, auctioneer Phill Broom from Harcourts said it could be a record breaker for Everton Park.Although number of residential properties in the area have sold for more, he said these appeared to be part of anamalgamation into a development site. BIG EARNER: This home might be a record breakerTHIS home might be on Little St, but when it came to the auction the sales price was anything but small.The sale of the expansive family home in Everton Park might just be a new record for the suburb.The five-bedroom home at 25 Little St, Everton Park was auctioned off for $1.21 million on Saturday.center_img Modern interiors“It is a huge, it has five bedrooms, a study and a media room,” he said. The home is on an 809 sqm block, and it also has the benefit of neighbouring on to parklands. “Those bigger blocks have become much rarer in the family friendly suburbs,” he said. Although only a handful of homes in the area have cracked the million dollar mark, Everton Park has grown by 33.6 per cent over the last five years according to CoreLogic.last_img read more

Mortality rate change could boost Dutch pension scheme funding

first_imgFor decades, pension funds have had to continually increase provisions because of improvements in life expectancy.Kleinloog said that in particular the mortality of elderly women had increased significantly since January, with death rates of those aged over 80 20% higher than expected. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has suggested that higher mortality was linked to a flu epidemic last winter.The consultant said that, if the high first-quarter figures were to continue for the rest of the year, it was plausible that mortality rates could exceed the predictions for the entire year by 3.5%.The mortality rates not only affect pension funds’ liabilities, but also the retirement age for the Dutch state pension (AOW). If life expectancy improvements slow down, the AOW age will not be raised from its current level of 67 years and three months.Kleinloog said that the AOW age could not go down if longevity were to decrease.In September, the Dutch Actuarial Society (AG) will issue new mortality tables for the next two years, based on the figures up to 2018.Kleinloog said: “If their calculation method is to remain unchanged, the rise of life expectancy will be lower than in previous prognoses.”Recently, data from the UK’s Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) showed that improvements in mortality rates had been close to zero since 2011, after improving 2.6% annually between 2000 and 2010.In January, a report from consultancy LCP said that liability risk transfer deals, such as buyouts, in the UK were becoming more affordable in part because of stalling improvements in life expectancy.Last year, consultancy group Libera indicated that applying the CMI’s data could slice between 2.5% and 3.5% off liabilities in Swiss Pensionskassen.Contrary to the model used by the federal statistical office, the CMI incorporates regular adjustments to the increase of longevity. The standard tables, used by all Swiss pension funds, project an unbroken upward trend. Liabilities of Dutch pension funds could decrease as a result of rising mortality, consultancy Sprenkels & Verschuren has said.The trend of higher mortality in the Netherlands had continued during the first quarter of 2018, the company said, following mortality figures from the previous few years that were also higher than predicted.The trend has also been observed elsewhere in Europe.According to Daan Kleinloog, partner at the consultancy, pension funds’ coverage ratios could rise by 0.5 percentage points.last_img read more

2 injured in road crash

first_imgILOILO City – Two persons were injured ina road crash in Barangay Tuburan, Zarraga, Iloilo. The 43-year-old resident Eric Lamela and50-year-old Hulio Bescuer of Barangay Poblacion, Zarraga both sustained woundsafter the crash, police said. They received medical treatment atthe Metro Iloilo Hospitalin Jaro district.   According to police investigators, theincident happened around 10:50 p.m. on Feb. 1. The motorcycle driven by Bescuer reportedlyhit Lamela who was riding on a bicycle./PNlast_img

Scoring Machines

first_imgYou might have seen an article in the Indianapolis star which takes us back to the past boys’ basketball season.  Cooper Neese of Cloverdale took a run at the top scoring seniors in Indiana history this past year.  He passed the likes of Kyle Macy, Chris Thomas, and then took aim on IU stars James Blackmon, Jr.,  Alan Henderson, and Butler’s Billy Shepherd.  Neese finished 7th all-time in scoring in Indiana high school history with 2,496.  Following are the people ahead of him.Trevon Bluiett, Rick Mount, Brody Boyd, Deshaun Thomas, Marion Pierce, and Damon Bailey.  The most interesting of these to me is Marion Pierce who graduated from Lewisville High School in 1961 with 3,019 points.  Remember, there was no 3-point goal in those days!last_img