GUEST COLUMN: Crisis gives us time to reflect, UAlbany student writes

first_imgSome say the COVID-19 global pandemic is really “ruining” their lives. I agree that the pandemic has caused drastic changes in everyone’s life.GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGEThe Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.Thank YouBut instead of viewing my life as being ruined, I like to believe that this has opened my eyes. My eyes are finally seeing the world in a new light. For one, we have been truly privileged and, at times, ungrateful.Students my age are complaining about having classes online and having to remain at home or in their off-campus apartments.But what about the young adults all over the world who can’t attend college at all?People are annoyed that they can’t go to the gym or salons. But what about the people who are forced to live in hiding due to their country’s dictator?I know I am taking a dramatic approach. But seriously, we have been far too ignorant for far too long. There are so many things to be grateful for during this time.Be grateful for having your family and loved ones.Be grateful for having a roof over your head and food to eat. Be grateful for your health.As I have started to incorporate these new mindsets into my present daily life, I’ve been spending more time with my family. I had forgotten how important quality family time was, as I was always “too busy.”It always seemed there’d be enough time for that. Did we all believe the coronavirus couldn’t touch us? That we, as Americans, were untouchable?When I think about what it’s been like for me being in self-quarantine, I’ve found myself guilty of these mindsets at times.Yes, I wish I could go get my nails done and go to the gym with my friends. I wish I could still go out on the weekends or shop at the mall.But once I really reflected on everything, it all started to click for me.People are dying. People have to go home to their abusers or to no home at all.Kids are starving because they relied on school meals to get fed. People are losing their jobs and unable to support their families. The people who still do have jobs are risking their own health, every day for the rest of us. And that’s just in our own country.  But as this pandemic has proven to many families, life is unpredictable and shouldn’t be something we take for granted. Just the other night, my grandmother, mother and I, created our own at-home salon. We did our own nails and face masks while reminiscing on past times together.When the night had ended, I was no longer thinking about how much I wished I could go to the mall or the nail salon down the street.I was thinking about how, in this moment, being with them was all I needed.  I never really thought about what a need and a want truly are. But for so long, I’ve considered so many things necessary that truly are not.I am one of the lucky ones going through this. These “inconveniences” everyone keeps talking about have become something I want to personally start considering blessings.All of these precautions being taken are not inconveniences if it means saving someone’s life. center_img So, the lessons of the COVID-19 virus, to me, is that life in the U.S. is a privilege that for so long so many of us have forgotten.The lesson is that we should be grateful for what we have and not what we don’t.The lesson is that we should all look at this as a wakeup call, because what happens when the virus is overcome and life goes back to normal?Will we go back to the way things were, along with the mindsets we’ve all carried for so long? Or will we reflect on this terrifying period of our lives as a chance to change?A chance to be better. Not only ourselves, but as a country. Alexis Varamogiannis, a native of Syracuse who grew up in Loudonville, is a second semester junior at the University at Albany. She is a communications and sociology major, with a minor in journalism. GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGEThe Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.Thank YouMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusHIGH NOTES: PPEs, fighting hunger, backpacks and supplies for kidsEDITORIAL: No chickens in city without strong regsEDITORIAL: Don’t repeal bail reform law; Fix it the right way Categories: Editorial, OpinionFor The Daily GazetteAs I’ve been stuck in my adolescent bedroom for the last couple days, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the entirety of our country’s current crisis.last_img read more

Beluga reshapes its semi-liner services

first_imgIts semi-liner routes are those with a high number of tramp voyages because of high regional demand or existing long-term contracts. Because of this high sailing frequency, the company claims it is able to quote “competitive” rates for additional general, breakbulk, container and small to medium sized project cargoes on liner B/L terms whenever there is sufficient space left on its ships.There are six routes but the line says these should not be regarded as static and can be quickly adapted to market opportunities.Bremen-based Beluga is a supporting industry carrier of the Cargo Equipment Experts (CEE), a global network for cargo equipment owners serving the heavy and outsized cargo industry.last_img read more

Works grind to a halt in Panama

first_imgProduction levels dropped to 25 percent while talks broke down on how to settle a dispute over USD1.6 billion in cost overrun, and the ambitious Panama Canal expansion project has now ground to a halt.The GUPC threatened to stop works in January, but the two parties opted for continued discussion.However, no agreement has been reached and although the ACP has demanded that the GUPC resume work on the project as required by the contract, the consortium continues to seek an appropriate solution.The break in negotiations puts the expansion project and up to 10,000 jobs at immediate risk, and without an immediate resolution the ACP faces years of disputes and potential project failure, along with huge cost overruns.The project is currently more than 70 percent complete and the lock gates are to be delivered this year, but an additional USD1.6 billion of funding is required to reach completion.According to canal officials, other foreign contractors and project managers have expressed an interest in completing the remaining 30 percent of work that remains on the third canal lock, but  the administrator of the ACP, Jorge Quijano, has insisted that under no circumstances will the 2015 construction deadline be pushed back.The project, which is already running nine months late, would double the capacity of the 80 km canal, which already carries 5 – 6 percent of world commerce.”We’re going to finish the canal whether it rains, thunders, or there’s lightning,” declared the country’s president, Ricardo Martinelli.  www.pancanal.comwww.gupc.com/palast_img read more

Q&A: Kentucky’s Mark Stoops previews 2015

first_imgKentucky coach Mark Stoops speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days, Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)Kentucky coach Mark Stoops speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days, Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)You’ve heard from Kentucky’s coordinators. Now here’s head coach Mark Stoops before today’s Louisville Alumni Kickoff Luncheon. Talking recruiting, vibe heading into 2015, all here:MARK STOOPSOn getting early commitments: ” We’ve had a nice quiet week. We haven’t had a lot going on with recruiting (laughter). It’s been good. It’s been exciting. It’s important to get in on guys early. It’s important to recruit them the whole way and keep them all the way through, like you know, it’s been a good week.”On getting all the signees on campus for fall camp: “Not all at this point. We’re still working on a couple guys. I’ll give you an update first day at camp to see where we’re at. We’re working our way through that. You know one, we already announced to the public that won’t be there.”On the mood around the program: “It’s an exciting time. We just had our last workout this morning, a group workout, obviously guys have been training all summer and they’ll continue to do a little bit next week. We had our last session this morning where the coaches spent some time with the players and then we leave and the players do their own 7-on-7, we’re not allowed to be there when the balls out. They did some 7-on-7.“It’s exciting. The players have worked really hard. They’re bigger, they’re stronger, they’re anxious to get done with the lifting and running and get on with football. It’s just an exciting time and a time- everybody is ready to move on. I’m done. I’m ready to move on as you know with the talking season. And they’re done with the just lifting and running, they want to put the pads on and get out there and play football.”On the longest stretch he’s been away from football: “I took a full week. One week was the most I took. I really didn’t leave town much this summer, so I was around quite a bit. I did leave for a week and go on vacation with my family, went to the beach. So seven days was the most that I stepped away from.”On if he was itching to get back: “To be honest with you, no I was OK. I took those seven days and even put my phone up for a while, so I had some missed recruiting calls and some people reaching out to me and later I said, ‘I was at the beach and put my phone up,’ and everybody was good with that. Everybody can wait a day or two until I get back to them.“It was a good summer. I feel good. I feel like we made a lot of progress. I feel like our staff has done a nice job of getting some time away but also, as you can tell by some results, by the way our players look and recruiting we don’t ever step away from it too far. Guys are anxious and refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to go.”On if this was the first time he felt comfortable enough to put his phone away: “Yeah, I say that, I say I put it away for a few days, it’s maybe when I’m at the beach for four or five hours but it’s never truly away. You always have to stay on it. I think as things come together and the team gets better, your staff understands what’s expected of them and where I’m at, and the comfort level, it certainly gets better as it goes on.”On if he noticed the vote in the coaches poll: “I did not. I did not.”On what he thinks about it: “You know I don’t really pay much attention to any of that. I just want our team to be better. It gets boring talking about that but it’s the truth. I want us to be better day one this year than we’ve been last spring, than we were last fall. That we’re better. We’re going to take that approach everyday. We’re going to control the things we can control. We had a good day today. We had a good morning. To my knowledge after we left everybody stayed healthy on the 7-on-7. Like I said that will be the last group workout before we report next Thursday. It’s been a good summer and I know our players have improved. I know we made progress. I know the recruits we brought in look good and are going to help our team, the guys that are here now. We’re just anxious to get into camp and get better and go to work”On if his brother voted for him: “I have no idea. I don’t even know if he has a vote this year. He does? It could be. I don’t know.”On if he feels more positive feelings this season: “Certainly. Any time you put the amount of work in that we put in, then you expect to be more confident. You expect that to be more confident. You expect it to be more positive because you know you’re better. I always use the adage about being sharper. We’re sharper. We have sharper tools. Guys, the players, have worked hard. Our coaches have worked hard. You’re going into Year Three, we should be better; we expect to be better. But we still know that it’s a day to day approach. Nothing’s going to be given to us. Just because we’re better doesn’t mean we’re going to win any more games. We’ve got to go to work and see what happens.”On injuries and surgeries from spring and if he expects them to all be back: “I do. I do think Glenn Faulkner – as you know, I just released the other day – he’ll be out for the season. He got injured this summer. Kobie (Walker). There’s a good chance Kobie could be out for a couple weeks, but in general, we’re going to be, we should be at full strength.”On recruiting burnout affects coaches as they get older: “I think it’s extremely important piece of our job and it’s really important as you’re piecing your staff together with guys that can recruit. I would never put an age limit on that or anything like that because I’ve seen plenty of fellas who are getting up there in age that are outstanding recruiters and unbelievable work ethic. I don’t think it has anything to do with age, or at least in my opinion, I’ve seen some great ones, some great recruiters and great work ethic of some older guys, both at Florida State and here, guys I’ve had. But I think it’s really important to have guys who are passionate about it and that work at it. You have to do it. You have to do it every day. And you’ve gotta stay on it and be organized and relentless in your approach, relentless in your work ethic about recruiting because we have to recruit so many guys. It takes a lot of good players. We all have our own egos and think we can coach anything, but bottom line is you better have some players also. And then again, development is such a big piece of it. You’ve got to get good players and develop them. I think it’s real important and I do think that the recruiting piece is getting looked at by a lot of people because it is kind of crazy. It is out of hand at times with what we do. But gotta do it.”On what part is “crazy:” “I just think I was all for – I was one of the few. There wasn’t too many, I thought the early signing period would go into effect, I thought there was enough steam and momentum to get that done. But that’s a piece of it. You get guys committed and you work hard for a year, a year and a half, two years. You have them committed for a bit of time and for a month and a half, we’re babysitting guys we have committed. We’re spending a lot of money; we’re going on private planes, going to see them every week for guys we’ve had committed to us for two years. If they want to sign; if you have a commitment both ways, why not give them a piece of paper and let them sign it and get it done? Get the contract sealed up. The way it works right now is we have to go hard all the way through the first week in February, the first Wednesday in February. That’s one piece you asked me about. We could go on and on, but that’s a piece of it.”On how much losing the final six games last year hurt the continuity of the most recent class: “Not sure. I don’t know if that had a piece of it or not because some of them flipped a lot later than that. I don’t know. There’s a lot of things that go into play when it comes to recruiting, but I think, like I told you the year before, to only lose one through the course of the year like we did in ’14. Last year we lost a few down the stretch, but again we’re going to concentrate on the ones we got. I think it’s a class that I’m very excited about. The guys that are here right now, the guys who came in December are some special players. We’re very excited about the guys we signed.”* For instant updates on the Wildcats, follow me on Twitter @KyleTucker_CJ. Email me at [email protected]last_img read more