So, most of my desk and desktop is cleared out for the new batch of interns who will replace me starting January. My last day at the internship…………last day of having to wake up everyday at 7am for five days straight, work till 4:30p.m, catch a bus at 5, go to my other work, come back at 11, get ready for work the next day, shower and crash. And trying to fit my studying for GREs, applying for colleges, staying in touch with people, etc in my already crowded schedule. So, I should be happy right? But I don’t……….I had tremendous satisfaction from this job and I learned something new almost everyday. I have to say that the only thing that kept me sane in Albany is my work at the Gazette because it not only kept me busy mentally, I also enjoyed it. I would do it as a living if it only paid more. Today, I’m sad that I’ve nothing exciting to look forward to. I’ll be working 5 months in the mall and I shouldn’t be really complaining because most people don’t have a job, but a mall job is not personally satisfying in the least. I’m nervous about how I’m going to be able to pay the bills; nervous living in this run-down place by myself; nervous about fighting my way through life……..I just have to remember that it is five months and I can see my mom again. Hopefully, having only one job will allow me to see my boyfriend and friends up at Oswego more often. Hopefully. For now, I have to stay strong and take things one step at a time. I can do it.
Gov. Paterson’s new pension reform December 11, 2009
Gov. David A. Paterson signed into law Dec. 10 a Tier V pension reform legislation that is supposed to save New York state around $35 billion in the next thirty years.
Some of the key elements of Tier V include:
- Raising the minimum age of retirement from 55 to 62 years and imposing a penalty of up to 38 percent for anyone who retires before age 62.
- Requiring employees to continue contributing three percent of their salaries toward pension costs, as long as they accumulate additional pension credits.
- Increasing the minimum years of service required for a pension from five years to 10 years.
- Capping the amount of overtime that can be considered in the calculation of pension benefits for civilians at $15,000 per year, and for police and firefighters at 15 percent of non-overtime wages.
Members of the New York state Teachers Retirement System will have a separate Tier V benefit structure which would include:
- Raising the minimum age of retirement without penalty from 55 years to 57 years.
- Contributing 3.5 percent of their salaries to pension costs.
- Increasing the 2 percent multiplier threshold for final pension calculations from 20 to 25 years.
“An unsustainable pension system is not going to help any of us,” Paterson said. “This is to alleviate for the next generation some of the problems we are facing right now. This will be a system that will be sustainable over the next few years. The savings this reform achieves will help to lower property taxes by reducing not only State spending, but local spending as well”
Speaker Sheldon Silver joked that the governor signed the Silver bill into law.
Also attending were Sen. Craig Johnson; Assemblymen Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Charles Lavine, Tom McKevitt, Fred W. Thiele, Jr; Assemblywomen Michelle Schimel and Nassau County Executive and Chairman of the Commission on Property Tax Relief Thomas R.Suozzi.
South Korea trying to Handle the Past September 4, 2009
Members of the Truth and Reconciliation are recording memories of the surivivors of Korea’s devastating 1950-1953 war. South Korean men, women, and children have had a long and burdensome history. North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950. An armistice was signed in 1953. People were fleeing from the opposing army as innocent people were being shot. Fifty-eight years later, investigators have so far unearthed the remains of 108 people from the trench, a quarter of them women and children.
South Korea has a repressive and depressing past, which also has an influence on their present. It is rather unfortunate that most of the world does not hear about this because Korea only brings up images of North Korea and their nuclear program.
North Korea and South Korea are two completely different countries in governance and economy. It’s high time we give South Korea due recognition of their oppressive past. Even the South Korean government is guilty of executing their own people for the fear that some were aiding North Korean soldiers. At least efforts are now being made to acknowledge the burdensome past.
Swine Flu in India August 13, 2009
Swine Flu has finally reached India and it is causing authorities and people to panic. The worst affected city in India is Pune, about 300 kilometres from Mumbai. It started with the death of a 14-year-old girl and there are now 61 registered cases of Swine flu in Pune alone. There are 115 cases of Swine flu across the country. Cinema theatres, schools, and shopping malls have been shut down in Pune. Authorities recommend the wearing of masks.
No one would have ever thought that Swine flu would spread across continents and reach as far as India. The most number of deaths are in the U.S, although it is not talked about by the media. The rate of growth of Swine flu in America is especially alarming now as students prepare to go back to school.
Harry Potter Mania July 15, 2009
‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ released last night at midgnight to a frenzy. Movie theaters greeted girls and boys dressed as withches, wizards, and death-eaters eager to watch the sixth book in action. AMC 30 in Warrenville, IL has over 20 shows of the movie playing on Thursday. AMC Garden State 16 in New York has around 23 shows. Never before has a book series and movie series been as popular as Harry Potter.
My friend Jenny, 21, dressed as a witch accompanied by a broom, went to the theater two hours early just to get a good seat. My friend Esther from New York told me that the theater was a “madhouse.” I find the entire “phenomenon” to be unbelievable. In my 21 years, I have never seen people getting so frantic about a movie. It is crazy. I can’t wait to see the movie in France. i wonder whether French people will be this crazy too?