When police in Greece or Brighton or Pittsford start arresting kids for waiting for the bus, then we can take this issue seriously. Oh wait, that NEVER happens. Kids in Pittsford, Brighton, Irondequoit use drugs and alcohol all the time. How many are prosecuted every year? How many blacks in the city are cautioned or arrested by cops going about their daily business? A lot more. Should EVERYONE follow the law? Yeah. Should everyone be treated equally under the law? Yeah. Does that actually happen in real life? Yeah right!
About fifty years ago, before flagrant disrespect for the law and society's common values became commonplace.
What time period was that exactly? When the cops were all pillars of society, icons of morality and rightness that deserved our unreserved trust and compliance? Oh right...
Once upon a time, the police were renowned in our society for their dedication to the law and were deeply respected by everyone. If they told you to do something, you DID IT, not because they could threaten you but because they deserved your respect. Now people, especially young people and people in the city treat them deplorably. They have to deal with the worst of the worst in our society. Now these kids were innocently standing on a sidewalk, waiting for a bus. But the police don't necessarily know that. And the kids should have realized that. It is unfortunate it went as far as it did. But maybe we can learn a lesson from it.
You said "If a police officer tells you to move, you do not legally have to move unless you are actively committing a crime, interfering with an investigation, and so on."
Really? Is this sound legal advice? And what if an officer asks you to stop? Can you refuse to do that too? What if an officer is dispersing a crowd? Do you still refuse to move? Ignoring a simple request is the kind of stupid and irrational righteous insolence that many people have for authority. Jeez, just move along will ya?
"And yes, technically, even if they weren't blocking the entrance, if a police officer told them to move, they should have moved."
No. Never. A million times infinity no.
If a police officer tells you to move, you do not legally have to move unless you are actively committing a crime, interfering with an investigation, and so on. Mind you, this comes a day or two after a young man, not under investigation, was beaten by the RPD for refusing to leave a public side walk.
Waiting for a bus isn't a crime and it's borderline pathetic to try and justify and/or rewrite RPD's actions in this situation.
Since other people have already pointed out the underlying racism, I won't keep beating a dead horse.
This article bends over backwards to be apologetic to the police department as if both sides have equal arguments for their actions. The police actions are clearly not justified in this instance. Customers may have had to walk around a crowd of young men, but none were prevented from going in the store of leaving the store.
Not only did one police officer arrest these young men, but several police officers participated in the arrest meaning, to me, that the actions of the police were systematic and that none of the officers questioned the lead officers actions.
This could be considered an isolated incident if not for
--The arrest of Benny Warr by police for waiting at a bus stop. He was thrown to the ground and pulled out of his wheelchair by arresting officers.
--The Arrest of Willie Lightfoot by the RPD for DWI when he confronted officers beating a detained man. He was at his barbershop and not operating a motor vehicle at the time.
--The arrest of Emily Good for filming the police stopping a young black man.
--The retaliation against Emily Good supporters by systematically ticketing their vehicles outside the Flying Squirrel Community Center.
and countless other incidents.
The reason there is such a prevalent no snitching policy among Rochester residents is because if you talk to the police you will get beaten and/or arrested and whatever help you were trying to give will backfire. The police know that your poor, disadvantaged and no one will believe your story unless you recorded it.
I expect more from my local paper when covering stories of this nature. You've disappointed me and many other people City Newspaper.
I'm not sure if you meant to write it like this, but this is worded terribly racist.. especially the following lines: "All of us in the Rochester community need to confront the issue of black teenagers downtown. We need a solution – and it can't be to simply remove the kids. They have as much right to be on Main Street as anybody.
They also have as much responsibility as anybody to behave properly. And it's the behavior problem that we haven't figured out how to deal with."
"The issue of black teenagers...." Wow, even your code fell apart and your racism is naked, Ms. Towler.
"confront the issue of black teenagers downtown. "
Are you serious? I guess white teenagers never cause problems, downtown or in other places.
Kudos to City newspaper for its trenchant analysis of issues relating to the future of our regional core. These issues deserve strong community input, with respect paid to the conclusions.
Our Planning & Zoning Director notes that "we have to serve three categories: workers, residents, and tourism." These categories should not be considered mutually exclusive.
Rather, each of these categories should reinforce each other, making downtown more desirable for workers, residents and tourists alike. Doing this will enhance the tax base. Seeking tax base first will actually undercut tax base growth, by truncating the appeal in each of these categories.
Today’s concepts of “new urbanism” evoke the relative self-sufficiency of olden villages, where a person worked and lived within an easy walk of each other, in an environment appealing to all. “Planned communities,” such as Columbia, Maryland, followed this concept.
Downtown Rochester has this potential, if only it offered a warmer, more human, feel than the straight lines, hard surfaces and over-illumination that define today’s downtown emotional experience.
Older buildings may offer the requisite ambience, as City been foresightedly noting for many decades, as exemplified in the place-making buildings pictured. They don’t build banks like that anymore.
The Cook’s Opera House could once have been restored into an ornate, acoustically excellent 1,000-seat downtown theater for about $2 million. Contrast that with the stated $90 million cost for a downtown roadhouse theater today.
South Water Street, a winding cobblestone street between those two demolished buildings, was an appealing alternative to the normal straight city streets.
This Canaltown project would have restored components of the 1820s Erie Canal through downtown, together with related buildings of that era, with a unique resulting tourism draw. We now watch Buffalo investing in what Rochester once had first.
As noted, the core of this 19th-century riverside complex was destroyed in order to make way for a box of a convention center, which did not have to be located right there. A place for people to congregate was provided, while simultaneously removing a reason for people to come to downtown in the first place.
City landmark laws even today would not have protected this wonderful complex, given a municipal mindset to demolish. The City Code establishes that preservation will not happen on its own merits, but shall conform to external plans for the site. This rather defeats the purpose of landmark legislation.
Other good and important place-makers are routinely at risk today unless this unfortunate loophole is closed in the City Code.
City policy ought to be cherishing and protecting its worthy landmarks, instead of destroying them or allowing abutting projects to diminish the landmark experience.
By capitalizing better on such quality of live issues, city policy could better enhance its ostensible goals of serving “workers, residents, and tourism” in a manner which genuinely reinforces and benefits each of the categories.
Douglas A. Fisher
I must have missed something.. if the planners/government officials in Rochester are so determined to fix our city then why was nothing done about CityGate? Why is nothing being done about the 3 story office buildings being built at midtown when in this article they talk about creating a truly urban city and not a suburban office park. Frankly, the new D&C building and Windstream building look like an office park to me. And they both go against the CURRENT zoning code. What makes that okay? To me it seems that the city knows what it wants to be but doesn't know how to do it. They need to take some ideas from Buffalo because their city is seeing a major revival. Unfortunately I can't say the same about Rochester. I would never comment on this but I am an environmental design student at UB and I've grown up in Rochester. Everything the city is doing is not impressing me.
Interesting. I think I'll attend the presentation.
We live in a diverse country, some are theist, others are not. Non-denominational prayers should be offered before public meetings. This way, those who are theist, feel included in the political community. Public prayer has been a tradition practiced since the founding of the country, if the founders who penned the Bill of Rights believed this act contradicted the First Amendment, then surely they would have nipped this practice in the bud, or made a clause for an exception to public prayer.
Rather interesting thing to say Ms. Towler, given that you were one of her critics when Mayor-Elect Warren laid plans to run nine months ago.
Let me start with the actual words of our first amendment of the US Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
It is clear that this amendment states "Congress" shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Has Greece attempted to create a law respecting any specific "establishment" of religion? NO!!!! The amendment goes on to state that "Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech". Thus it would be a violation of our Constitution to stop the Greece board from praying at the meetings - a specific right to free speech.
Now I know there are millions across this country including Mary Anna Towler who choose to make this simple statement of rights a million other meanings. Sorry, I read it simply and with that there is no law broken yet. If the Supreme Court rules against the Town of Greece, then they would create a ruling which is counter to the US Constitution......
One additional note: Mary Anna's reference to Mark's Gospel has been misinterpreted .... Jesus did not want people to "pray in public" in such a way as to gain praise from their peers. Jesus prayed in public as did the apostles. Our founding fathers often prayed in public - often it was to ask for guidance. Somehow today our Progressives and Liberals are doing exactly what Mark's Gospel was suggesting should not be done ..... that is "attempting to tell all that their government is better than God and can offer all we all need on earth" ..... thus telling everyone how great they are ....
A non-sectarian prayer invoking God's blessings and guidance on behalf of the community and its leaders has nothing whatsoever to do with advancing a particular religion. Citizens ought to be profoundly grateful for civic leaders possessed of the wisdom and humility to acknowledge the need for prayer.
@ Hammel - No way I'm reading that. Cut it down by about five paragraphs and I'll think about it...
Rochester’ mayoral election: the city is ready to move on from Tom Richards while welcoming its new mayor Lovely Warren
Last September, the primary voters of the Democratic Party elected Lovely Warren over the incumbent mayor Tom Richards; and yet, the sitting mayor was the candidate of the establishment. The election results left most people in shock, because no credible political analyst or statistical polls couldn’t predict the debacle of Richards ‘campaign. However, the supporters of Lovely, known as the ‘’Believers’’, were convinced and expected the positive outcome of their efforts. Now, after the party backed the winner of the primary election and Richards, graciously and with humility, withdrew his campaign and announced his support to his former competitor; still few Richards’s fervent supporters are working hard to put him back into office by using the back-door means through the Independence and Working Family lines. They believe their defeat came from the low turnout of their voters- i.e. the white electorate- and the ‘’ cynical tactic’’ attributed to Lovely campaign which is, allegedly, based on racial divide. Ironically, they are using the same tool which they formerly criticize their opponent of making use of.
In fact, Liz Serling wrote an article: ‘’Tom Richards is who the times, and Rochester, need’’ in which she said ‘’and I really hope Lovely Warren continues to advocates a different type of voice about the tale of our two cities, because she is educated serious and passionate about our community’’. It is clear, this statement intent to discredit Lovely and to depict her as a divider of our communities. In doing so, one may think, the Richards supporters are engaging in the same strategy they are accusing their opponent of. Thus, this is a loaded concept that signals to the white communities of Rochester that, it is acceptable to reject Lovely Warren and reinstate their candidate in office. With her article, Liz is suggesting that Lovely Warren should stop telling the truth about the situation of our beloved city and find something else to talk about. I believe’’ the tale of our two cities’’ is based on the facts. Although, this reality doesn’t fall on Richards administration alone, because the situation has been there way before Richards became the Mayor. In addition I found misguided to ask Lovely Warren to bury the truth about the gap that exists between our different communities. How can you fix something broken, if you are ignoring the reality of it- to begin with?
Now, what is clear is that, Richards’ friends are playing ‘’kitchen sink’’ politics, by throwing everything and anything on Lovely’ campaign. At first, they question her qualifications and skills; but it did not work well for them because her long experience as a public servant (city council member and president) shows she is more qualified than Richards at the time he became Mayor about three years ago. Then, they came up with Lovely Warren will not be an independent mayor. A well -connected friend of mine told me that ‘’those people cannot stand David Gantt and that is the main reason, they are doing this’’. However, they should remember Lovely is an independent individual, ‘’educated, serious and passionate about our community’’, if you want to believe Liz Serling’ words! Thus, you get to believe Lovely when she says ‘’I am an independent thinker. I have a Bachelor’ degree in Government, and I have a law degree. All those things I have earned on my own right and I stand on my own two feet’’. Finally, they are coming back to the accusation of racial divide. It’s a scare tactic intended to deny Lovely the majority of the’ ’white vote’’. However, their plight becomes a lost cause.
In fact, I can assure you the call that Lovely Warren made has been already heard and answered, there is no going back. When she said ‘’ no one can look at this seat and look at the city and do it by themselves. It has to be all hands on deck’’, all the citizens of this city nodded their heads and said we support you and we are with you to overcome the challenges of our communities. As a volunteer with Lovely campaign, I can report to you about my experience acquired on the ground. For months, now, I have seen during my many walks door to door or working on the phone, there is a great interest of our communities in Lovely campaign and her agenda for this city. If you visit her campaign headquarters situated at the different locations you would find crowds of fine men and women from the white community working tirelessly for the success of her campaign. Believe me, none of them is what you may consider as ‘’crazy white liberal, do gooder’’. You also would see small business owners stopping by to express their support with cakes and candies as treats for the volunteers. These people are supporting Lovely because they know she is one of those few politicians who speaks her mind. They like the fact that she is telling it like it is. Who wouldn’t like to hear the truth out of the mouth of a politician these days? They are supporting Lovely because they believe in her agenda on the education of our children, safety of our streets and economic development of our city. Finally, they are supporting her because they know, she will use a great sense of pragmatism to solve this city issues.
Amusingly, I red in different papers some ‘assertions’ from friends of Richards that, the revival of his campaign is worrying Lovely’ camp, however what they don’t realize is that, from the day they made public their intention, the volunteers became more excited and motivated than ever before. I also noticed the citizens of Rochester show more interest in Lovely campaign because they felt unfairness from the Richards ‘friends deeds. At the end their attempt became a vehicle of motivation and source of energy for Lovely people. Finally, I can say Rochester is ready to thank Tom Richards for his service (God bless him and his family) but our communities are moving on and are welcoming our next mayor: Lovely Warren.
I am convinced that everyone will get out and vote, to do his/her part in supporting Lovely because no one would want to miss the boat that will make history- which is electing our next first female mayor. I can say I am proud of being part of it.
It just stuck me today what happened. While the democrats voted for Lovely, the republicans can't vote in the primary. Apparently it is the republicans that support Richards.
Despite its successes, the Rochester region still has its share of environmental problems.
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