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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Urban Journal

Re: “The race issue – again

Goes beyond race, there is a huge amount of deference given to the police in our hero-worship blinded society. To be certain, Mike Brown may have had it coming, but Eric Garner certainly didn't - anyone with eyes in their head can see the truth.

If We the People don't demand some sanity from LE and other armed departments of our Government, we'll have no one but ourselves to blame when tragedy strikes us through these institutions.

Adam Arroyo is still waiting for any sort of justice (or news of any sort) for the execution of his dog and shooting up of his apartment by Buffalo PD back in '13, in a botched SWAT -style raid. They were nice enough to leave a copy of the warrant, he came home to his apt shot up, dog dead, front door destroyed. Warrant was largely illegible and for a different address. And this for an Iraq war vet - thanks for the professionalism. On average NY residents pay out $5 for every man woman and child in the state, every year, just to cover police misconduct in NYC - not including the legal fees (couldn't get a total for the entire state). Most police found guilty of misconduct (imagine what the evidence must be for that to happen at all) stay on the job, and that aspect of their records is shielded from public scrutiny by NY law. Likewise, misconduct judgments do not come out of officer's pensions or salary - they might not even be aware of how much $ they cost the taxpayers after a given incident.

More oversight, more accountability to go with the increase in latitude LE has been accumulating since the War on Drugs and War on Terror were launched. If LE wants the continued support of the public, they can earn it like everyone else. Respect is earned or lost by conduct, not title.

Posted by Miller on 12/13/2014 at 4:50 PM

Re: “The race issue – again

How many police officers and their supporters live in the neighborhoods where the march was going to be? Very few? None? Want to start to change the mindset? MOVE. If I worked at the Ford plant, guess what I'd be driving. Same thing.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mike Bruton on 12/11/2014 at 11:10 PM

Re: “Racism, separateness, and the Ferguson decision

I am confused. Which of Johnson's stories does Towler find credible (see attached link)? This guy lied every time he opened his mouth. The claims of racism ring hollow as well. The left simply does not like the outcome of the grand jury proceeding. Now that a GJ in NYc has also cleared a cop in a killing, perhaps the rioters will move on to the new story. They are welcome too take Warren with them.

20 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 12/03/2014 at 3:38 PM

Re: “Did Dems learn a lesson? And is it the right lesson?

"On inequality, labor, infrastructure, public health, and civil rights, liberals are more closely aligned with the interests of low and middle income Americans than Republicans are." Without picking apart each item here, this election would seem to indicate that any and all critical issues to the average citizen who cared to vote, were positions support by the Conservative and Republican right. Otherwise the Democrats would not have suffered such a TERRIBLE lost. You went on to say Climate Change should be an item high on a voter's concern list. Yet, if you Google "polls us citizen", climate change does not even show up on the first page. If you Google "polls us citizen climate change" every article I checked, and there are many, were written by climate change groups and they all believe at least 67% of all Americans think it is important. Maybe you personally should broaden a bit what you read. You go on to criticize those "Democrats" who abandoned the President and his policies. Just maybe they read articles by others than those who are part of the Progressive and Extreme Left, who at least somewhat tell the truth about the President and his policies, they are failing. The leader you love has failed over and over, in one issue after another. What is worst, most of those failings are linked to a scandal. Mary Ann, you go on the say that "Hope and Change" helped pass the Affordable Care Act. This happens to be the latest Presidential scandal. The architect of the Affordable Care Bill has been exposed via videos that he, closely working with the White House, specifically lied about "Keeping your Doctor, Keeping your Insurance", "Paying for insurance who used it by those who did not use it", "You will pay $2,500 less with the act" and "It is not a tax" SO THAT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WILL PASS IN CONGRESS. He even went on to say that HE WAS COUNTING ON THE STUPIDITY OF THE AVERAGE CITIZEN to pass the bill. Mary Ann you end with "What Obama and the Democrats do in the next two years is not irrelevant, though. They can do what they've done in the past two years. Or they can do unite around the progressive issues that got Obama elected in 2008, remind Americans of how closely their own goals align with those of traditional Democrats and seek common ground with moderate Republicans...." First of all what Democrats have done in the past two years is exactly what they have been doing since this President was elected in 2008. They have gained their support from the voters using phrases and promises they never keep. To even dare to call a "traditional Democrat" a progressive is terribly offensive. Traditional Democrats were for majority rule and care of the poor. The Progressive of today believes "they know best" what society needs and plan to create an America based on that philosophy. In other worlds, "the ideas of the few to control the world of the many". The biggest problem the Progressive Democrat has today is that they have run out of "HOT BUTTON" items to cause the "uninformed voter" to get excited about. Same sex marriage is being accepted. Climate change has been exposed as opinion and not science. Abortion and contraception is no longer an issue which can be construed as the most important issue for women. Women are not one issue voters. The word "racism" has been over used by the Democrats in describing the attitudes of Republicans and Conservatives and even the average citizen has seen through that lie. As I see it, with no hot buttons, the progressives may just loose a lot more elections and again maybe recede into the far distant pass, in the political eyes of this country. Other than that, please Mary Ann keep pushing your Progressive agenda, it gives me something to respond to ....

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Bill Brown on 11/13/2014 at 8:41 AM

Re: “Did Dems learn a lesson? And is it the right lesson?

Many (not all) of the states Republicans won in the Senate last week were vulnerable seats for Democrats anyway. State politics are becoming closer aligned with how states vote in presidential elections, especially in off-year cycles. Each midterm election except for 1998 and 2002 in recent political history has thrown out the President's party. South Dakota and Alaska haven't voted for a Democrat for President since 1964. Montana hasn't since 1992. Louisiana and Arkansas last turned blue for Billy Clinton in 1996. As for Colorado, Mark Udall wasn't a particularly inspiring candidate; but he still held Garner under 50% of the vote. Another problem (which unfortunately didn't happen in NY) is the backlash to the so-called "war on women". It became more of a cliché slogan than a campaign strategy, in part b/c women can see when they are being pandered to. Telling women to vote for you b/c you support abortion rights is sexist. Women care about a helluva lot more than abortion (at least the women I know do). Minimum wage, child care subsidies, environment (anti-fracking and Keystone pipeline), health care, etc. But no no, by all means, women are singularly monolithic in their ideas and only care about the right to abortion. Right. Just like all men care about is the right to keep guns. That's one reason Wendy Abbott did so poorly in Texas. You can't repeat one idiotic slogan over and over. It doesn't work even for the Republicans. Also 2/3rds of eligible voters didn't vote.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by steve on 11/12/2014 at 2:08 PM

Re: “Young adults love cities? Will Rochester benefit?

The South Wedge and East End are doing pretty well in that regard. The Wedge is the fastest growing neighborhood in New York north of N.Y.C. Monroe Ave. bars are hopping on a Friday night. It is not as if Rochester isn't trying to sell itself to Y.P.s Groups like the Rochester Improvement Society are springing up all the time. There does need to be a more concerted effort to create livable and walkable urban villages with more amenities than 7-Eleven , which is pretty much what Park has now (though Abundance Co-Op is very popular with my friends and isn't terribly far away, but still not convenient).

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by sean on 11/06/2014 at 3:21 PM

Re: “Young adults love cities? Will Rochester benefit?

We need to stop selling Rochester as a place that's relatively free of traffic jams and rush hour traffic compared to the larger cities. Young urbanites don't want to drive. They may not even want to own a car. They probably have astronomical student loan debt, so even with higher than average incomes, they are not rich.

Rochester needs more young professionals. We need them to move here, and to stay a while.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 11/06/2014 at 1:24 PM

Re: “Young adults love cities? Will Rochester benefit?

Whether or not this is benefitting Rochester, there really is no question. Many of the residents in the lofts downtown and in High Falls are young professionals. YP housing is what Midtown and Sibley are currently being repurposed for. YPs and empty nesters are basically the main thing that Rochester has positioned itself to attract, and these segments are where a lot of Rochester's recent success have come from.

Many younger people come to Rochester as college students and reside initially in the Southeast neighborhoods or perhaps around PLEX. The well-established rental markets and commercial corridors (e.g. Monroe Avenue) make these areas magnets for college-age people on a budget. These people are having positive experiences with the city and are often staying in place or exploring slightly upmarket options nearby while they start off careers.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lincoln DeCoursey on 11/06/2014 at 10:56 AM

Re: “Heroes and cowards in the climate-change war

"Heroes and cowards" is one of the most concise and effective articles I have read in a very long time that explains the environmental problems facing us.

2 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Tom Janowski on 10/03/2014 at 6:03 PM

Re: “Heroes and cowards in the climate-change war

CO2 is not pollution. The public appears to realise this but the media is the last to wake up. It's the sun stupid. When the sun varies a tiny amount the earth varies a tiny amount. Since when is 1 or 2 degreeas and 10 centimetres of sea level rise a climate disaster?

19 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Art Esian on 10/01/2014 at 5:48 AM

Re: “'I Believe': Fringe and Rochester's future

This is what I tried to showcase - not only that people across the city believe but that we are working together to make it happen - with my show Rochester Stories. There is a lot of good out there and a lot of collective energy.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Aprille Roelle Byam on 09/26/2014 at 4:54 PM

Re: “Our job after the tragedy of Pierson and the Glazers

September 5th, 2014

To the family of Officer Pierson and the Rochester Police Department : I am deeply sorry for the tragic loss of a husband, father, son, brother and more.

Officer Pierson, a decorated Rochester Police Tactical Officer, was murdered yesterday by a " career " criminal in an exchange of gunfire on Hudson Ave. near Avenue D in Rochester, NY. The officer was shot at close range by the accused. This " career " criminal was already a felon; on supervised parole by the State of New York; and, just released from serving a 3 1/2 year sentence in the Wyoming Correctional Facility.

I am OUTRAGED by this senseless, tragic, and cowardly act of violence against the Officer Pierson, the department and the Greater Rochester Community. And, I intend upon personally seeing to it... that justice is served to the fullest extent of the law. Recently, five RPD officers in our police department have been shot and seriously wounded in the line of duty... the majority of these police officer shootings have been committed by career criminals and to the best of my knowledge only one of the police officer shootings in the past were committed by TWO YOUNG MEN that were not career criminals. Officer Pierson was murdered by a " career criminal " in illegal possession of a stolen handgun in the progress of fleeing an officer of the law for a second violation of probation. When a convicted, served felon flees his / her probation someone has to find them wherever they may be and this is no easy task for NYS Probation or the local police departments where it is believed that the person is hiding.

All of Rochester knows that illegal handguns on the street are a big problem...but where did the murderer get the handgun ? How can this still be buy an illegal handgun as a convicted felon in 2014 ? Where are the handguns coming from in the States of our Union ? Why do young men of our Greater Rochester Area and career criminals continue to shoot, kill, and murder each other as well as police officers without any concern for life or consequences ? Why does a young wife and mother have to live the rest of her life with this terrible burden...the murder of her husband ? What will become of the children without a father ? And... more so, how can we help the entire community and the Pierson Family ?

Can we, as a community, help this family through this terrible tragedy... I know I will help the Pierson Family in any way possible. I will also, again and again...and over and over...until this entire community in Monroe County and Rochester finally realizes that all need to find solutions to this on going plague of violence and murder in Rochester toward Police ( the last line of defense). Until we remove illegal handguns ...not legal handguns, however, from our streets the murder and violence will continue. Until we change the " mindset " of young men and career criminals the murder will continue.

We can make change by demanding a group meeting of the NYS Dept. of Parole and Corrections as well as the Monroe County Sheriff's Dept.; The Rochester Police Dept. ; The Monroe County Dept. of Probation, Maggie Brooks of Monroe County and Lovely Warren of Rochester. Together we can and will hasten the process of finding strategies to take the handguns off the streets for illegal sale and possession. The next step would be to build probation and staffing personal to its highest level, in our communities' histories, that would be humanly possible, in the NYS Probation and in the Monroe County Probation. The next step would be to intervene with young people at the early ages ( 7-16 years old ) of a young person's life to attempt to change the "mindset " that shooting someone out of fear; or because of poverty; or because there is no father present in the home; or because there are no jobs available would not be the right choice to make and that poor choices will have negative, life long consequences for all families and our community.

There are already intervention programs in Rochester but these programs are underfunded. One of many programs, Teen Empowerment, can and will be expanded to a total of three locations. Central Ave., Genesee Street., and Hudson Ave near Ave D. As well, we need to elect City, County and Supreme Court Judges that will impose proper sentencing without plea bargaining.

The most important change or requirement of probation, in my opinion, COULD be that those that are released back into society on probation, after serving " their time ", can and will be ordered into mandatory attendance in our area churches to learn how to better live moral lives with respect, dignity, hope, trust and care toward all people.

I am going to make sure that these changes do occur in Rochester / Monroe County and I will hold all elected and appointed officials accountable in every way legally possible.


585 755 8821 CELL

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by crm135790 on 09/22/2014 at 7:04 PM

Re: “Toward what end? Obama's ISIS policy

I’m sure the Nobel Peace Prize Committee is also disappointed in Obama too. Granted it’s their own fault for awarding him the Nobel Prize seemingly for doing nothing more than getting out of bed one morning. How many other Peace Prize recipients have personally given the order to execute dozens of foreign nationals with drones, as well as several American citizens (oops). How many Peace Prize recipients stated “I’m really good at killing people” (reference He continually mentions that he got Bin Laden, although I don’t think he actually pulled the trigger. It’s not that Bin Laden and some of those terrorists didn’t deserve what they got, but it’s a dangerous world and Obama supporters can’t have it both ways.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Benton on 09/18/2014 at 7:27 AM

Re: “Our job after the tragedy of Pierson and the Glazers

I worked in social work for many years and agree with you about releasing people with problems back into the same environment is not working. But if would be nice if you mentioned something about personal responsibility on behalf of the guy who murdered Daryl Pierson. It was not a crash. To excuse him completely on social isues is so politically correct that it is not helping the problem either.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by June Avignone on 09/13/2014 at 2:38 PM

Re: “'Fix' the schools? Maybe we're not up to the job

"Students by law in NYS are REQUIRED to attend school from ages 6-16. Education Law 3210 section 2b. :
"Absence from required attendance shall be permitted only for causes allowed by the general rules and practices of the public schools." If students don't have a legal excuse to be absent (family emergency, religious observation, court attendance, etc.), even if the parent gives permission, the absence is still illegal under NYS law. Since the children are under the care of their parents or guardians, the parents/guardians are responsible for any of their illegal actions and should be prosecuted for not observing educational law. No need for child endangerment, neglect or other trumped -up charges (though I do personally consider it a type of child abuse), use the existing law on the books and prosecute them. Believe me, attendance will go WAY up when parents start going to jail. "

Obviously the law is not enforced. WHY?

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by johnny on 09/08/2014 at 8:41 PM

Re: “'Fix' the schools? Maybe we're not up to the job

Students by law in NYS are REQUIRED to attend school from ages 6-16. Education Law 3210 section 2b. :
"Absence from required attendance shall be permitted only for causes allowed by the general rules and practices of the public schools." If students don't have a legal excuse to be absent (family emergency, religious observation, court attendance, etc.), even if the parent gives permission, the absence is still illegal under NYS law. Since the children are under the care of their parents or guardians, the parents/guardians are responsible for any of their illegal actions and should be prosecuted for not observing educational law. No need for child endangerment, neglect or other trumped -up charges (though I do personally consider it a type of child abuse), use the existing law on the books and prosecute them. Believe me, attendance will go WAY up when parents start going to jail.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by dave on 09/08/2014 at 5:24 PM

Re: “'Fix' the schools? Maybe we're not up to the job

The parents are bad. First day attendance at RCSD schools was collectively 83.64%. That means over 16% of students were absent from school - on the first day. This is before any flu bugs and other illnesses work their way through the school population.

Why is not sending your child to school not considered to be a form of child abuse? And why are these parents not denied financial benefits if their children are not attending school? If you have a child that is "chronically absent" from school, SNAP benefits, rent assistance, the Earned Income Credit and other forms of social assistance should be cut. It's the only way to make the point that school matters. Begging kids to go to school does not work. This might.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Animule on 09/08/2014 at 1:39 PM

Re: “'Fix' the schools? Maybe we're not up to the job

How can we improve the schools when the students don't even show up? And why should they? They know that the taxpayer will provide them with free housing, free heat and free food anyway for the rest of their life, as they teach the next generation how to do the same. The democrats don't have and don't want a solution. This is just a game they've played with other people's lives to gain political power. SHAMEFUL!

6 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by johnny on 09/08/2014 at 10:22 AM

Re: “'Fix' the schools? Maybe we're not up to the job

I want to commend Mary Anna Towler for her advice in her article in City
(September 3-9) to focus on a broad community effort, and especially to cease pointing fingers.
Being the daughter of an Elementary School headmaster, and the good fortune of being read to by him every night before bed, I can’t say enough for the power of books.
We have wonderful public libraries! The programs offered in our public libraries are usually free and certainly the books are.
The important part of literacy is to discover the joy of books through the pictures and stories that can be read aloud. One picture I have of my 2 year old daughter, is her very carefully constructed “book street” she made in her room for her favorite stuffed animal to inspect, making up stories as she looked at the pictures.

Another opportunity will be the family day November 9, from noon to five at the Memorial Art Gallery in conjunction with the exhibit “Golden Legacy”. It will open with an opening lecture, Sunday October 19, 2 PM by Diane Muldrow, Golden Books editorial director, “Everything I Need to Know in Life I learned from a Little Golden Book”. If you haven’t read Robert Fulghum’s “Everything I Needed to Learn, I learned in Kindergarten”, you might want to read it.

In terms of healthy habits, another advantage of books: when you read a book, hands are clean, and ideally it’s a time that you don’t snack, unlike eating food in front of a TV.

Finally, let’s remind young mothers we meet of the importance of reading aloud . Why not “book parties” as play dates, where each child brings a book to share (for grown-ups to read to them). The child can look forward to the power of being the one to read.

Books, unlike videos and TV, ask you to pay mindful attention to them, and so by sharing them, you demonstrate how to pay attention to the world and people around you.

-- Kitty Jospé

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by kitty jospé on 09/06/2014 at 7:00 AM

Re: “'Fix' the schools? Maybe we're not up to the job

You would have to be a monster not to get a lift from School 23.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by rocparent on 09/04/2014 at 6:02 PM

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