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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Last 30 Days

Re: “DiNapoli's report on school safety raises serious questions

You don't need the community help to fix this. You need clear, high expectations that are understood and followed by all. This is a best practice at all of the better schools regardless of location or student demographics. It is just plain silly to think that student behavior will improve when no one in the system at any level has an understanding of how important school culture is. A new code of conduct policy or community forum will not help. You need to hold kids, teachers and parents accountable but the real problem is that this can't be done because there is no preparation in the district. What other large organization on the planet would have its employees report the day before the business opens and expect things to go smoothly?

It is laughable that the RCSD has most staff report 24 hours before the kids arrive. How much understanding or continuity can happen given such a pitifully short period of preparation? The U of R is having the East staff spend 3 weeks preparing. 3 weeks! Why aren't all of the other schools doing the same? $$$$$ that's why. If you want to solve the discipline issues, you need have everyone on the same page and that won't happen in a ten minute meeting the day before school starts.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Gotta Say It on 01/16/2015 at 6:32 PM

Re: “County DA Sandra Doorley jumps parties

Newyorktaxpayer wrote "I am disappointed with Ms Doorley's decision to switch parties...The county Republician Party has been involved in many scandals that have not yet been resolved.. Is there something about the Democrats that made you jump ship?" I would answer YES: There are plenty of scandals in the Democrat Party to point to: Locally there are all of the Lovely Warren missteps as well as those by McFadden. Statewide, Cuomo decommissions the Moreland investigative committee, Sheldon Silver probed for failure to report income. Democrats don't have a monopoly on virtue.

16 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Bart on 01/16/2015 at 2:00 PM

Re: “County DA Sandra Doorley jumps parties

This is just the latest piece of evidence of a major rift in the local Democrat party with two wings battling it out - the Lovely Gantt wing and the non-Lovely Gantt wing. Anyone associated with the latter (a classification that includes Doorley) is actively evaluating their options. It goes a long way in explaining this move.

14 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Animule on 01/16/2015 at 7:34 AM

Re: “County DA Sandra Doorley jumps parties

I could be wrong. Anyone have any ideas as to who the Republican party is going to throw in the ring for County Executive, hmm...

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by badthingk on 01/16/2015 at 6:48 AM

Re: “County DA Sandra Doorley jumps parties

I am disappointed with Ms Doorley's decision to switch parties. She seems to be doing a stellar job as DA. She is in the courtroom on a regular basis. This said, I voted for her as a Democrat. She will not automatically have my vote as a Republician. I believe there is much more to this story and she owes us, the voters, an explanation. The county Republician Party has been involved in many scandals that have not yet been resolved. It is very much an "old boys" club despite the occasional female candidate. Why, Ms Doorley would you choose to align yourself with them and why now? Is there something about the Democrats that made you jump ship? Please explain your decision.

12 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Newyorktaxpayer on 01/15/2015 at 7:25 PM

Re: “Liberté. Solidarité.

I used to read City newspaper because it had the balls to actually give an opinion that was both thoughtful and not necessarily politically correct; to really report about politics and current events from an unbiased and perhaps a fresh and thought provoking angle. Those days are long over. City hasn't been an "alternative urban newspaper" for quite some time which is too bad. This week's "Urban Journal" article by Mary Anna Towler shows just how far City newspaper has come from being a champion of free speech. The radical concept of Free Speech by its very nature will be offensive to someone. Free does not come with gradations. Free means Free! I get it. One must be willing to put something on the line in this period of history. To stand up for Freedom is not a politically correct thing to do. Someone might take offense to what you have to say and walk into your work and shoot you. But at what cost is taking the safe unoffensive route? Another bit of fear creeping into our lives? Another bit of freedom being given away? Another voice of diversity being silenced?

10 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Linda Mosley on 01/15/2015 at 9:39 AM

Re: “Water power

Quietly, and with little fanfare, local media bakes Climate Change into environmental articles—as they should. If the public is not continually informed of the changes that Climate Change is having locally, they’re going to continue to think Climate Change is a political issue. We cannot possible plan for our future if our local reporters don’t consider Climate Change in the present and in the future.

“Shifts in precipitation patterns, brought on by climate change, also play a role in the erosion. Overall, the amount of precipitation that the Rochester area gets hasn't changed much, but more frequently it's coming in heavy bursts. And those downpours tend to be more intense than in the past. "On an observation basis, I think we've seen more what we call flashy storms, where the water rises very quickly within the creek, within the parks, more so than in the past," says Monroe County's Rinaldo.”

More on Climate Change in our area: http://rochesterenvironment.com/weather&cl…

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Frank J. Regan on 01/15/2015 at 7:58 AM

Re: “School integration is more than enrichment

Mark, Sorry friend, I live in this district and I find I have to challenge your assertion. These people very much believe that it matters who their child sits next to in school. That is indeed the issue for them. They don't want their kid sitting next to a "city kid". And appealing to the common good is looked upon as a negative argument not a positive one. This is the place where the powers that be fought for exclusionary town prayers, the district has a Good News Club that teaches creationism as an after school program and the most important political issue is the registration of assault rifles. It is sad and ugly, but appealing to reason and the belief that it just can't be that bad and pervasive is simply naive.

1 like, 10 dislikes
Posted by gary pudup on 01/14/2015 at 7:16 PM

Re: “Some City Council members want say in RHA appointments

It doesn't matter how you slice the pie. Nothing can change the fact that Adam McFadden essentially appointed himself as RHA Director. He wanted to make needed changes, but, also didn't mind the gigantic pay increase. HUD didn't approve, and since they control the purse strings; he's gone.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 01/14/2015 at 6:19 PM

Re: “Liberté. Solidarité.

I have to respectfully disagree with the conclusions of this editorial. Freedom of speech, especially in the press, should not be compromised by the idea that such freedom might offend a reader or viewer. Exactly what principles are you sticking up for by deciding not to publish any of the cartoons, especially the front cover of the latest issue? Certainly not freedom of speech, or the freedom of the press. Perhaps, the principle of not offending someone else's beliefs, but is that really the principle that motivated you to launch City Paper those many years ago? I would hope not...

14 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Joe Flaherty on 01/14/2015 at 12:57 PM

Re: “School integration is more than enrichment

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglas asked: "What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?" Today, nearly 163 years later, I ask: What, to the African American is your bleeding-heart rhetoric? Douglass answered his own question by stating that, where black people were concerned, celebration of the 4th of July represented "fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages." With regard to the history of public education in this nation, state, county, and city, and ongoing, rampant, bleeding-heart-rhetoric about so-called "equality" --- my answer today is exactly the same as Douglass' was in 1852, which brings us to the article at the link below.

With regard to the historic, intentionally-created, and intentionally-maintained, dual, race-based, unequal, public education system --- the article (at the link below) easily ranks among the biggest bunch of bleeding-heart, super-liberal, hogwash that I have ever read. The content is nothing more or less than puffed-up, super-rhetoric of the highest order, which is so filled with fundamental contradictions, conflated distortions, and abstractions --- that the author ends up undoing some of his own arguments. Let us examine my claims.

1. There is absolutely no evidence --- nothing that substantiates the authors fairy-tail-theory that "most parents in the Spencerport school district would welcome participation in the Urban-Suburban program." In fact, if history is an accurate indicator, the exact opposite is likely true. Nor is there one single iota of evidence that "the voices of opposition [are] few" in number.

2. "Urban-Suburban [might be] a [so-called] low-maintenance integration plan," but way more importantly, is the fact that it is a thoroughly ineffective, miserably failed, so-called "integration plan." Let's examine the facts: a) The program is 50 years old; b) there are 18 suburban school districts in Monroe County (excluding two, overwhelmingly white BOCES districts) --- only 7 of which have participated in the urban-suburban program (over a 50 year period), which means the other 11 have made it clear that they want no parts of racial, so-called "integration" ; c) it's difficult (to say the least) to make a credible case that 500 students of color, spread out over 7 suburban school districts (while their own home district remains at least 85% students of color), and the districts that they are being "integrated" into remain, in most cases, over 90% white --- represents some type of effective model of so-called racial "integration." What a joke; d) Monroe County has some of the most racially segregated schools in the nation, and that's how the overwhelming majority of white people intend to keep it --- period. http://www2.monroecounty.gov/government-sc…

3. It's exceedingly easy to detect phoniness within the author's argument. For example, as a so-called benefit of the program, he touts the superficial, and largely irrelevant idea that "thousands of suburban kids get to know classmates whose lives are very different from their own." So what? By the way, since it's supposedly significant that "thousands of [mainly white,] suburban kids get to know classmates whose lives are very different from their own" --- is the opposite not also true, and/or important, i.e., that 500 urban students of color "get to know" white students whose lives "are very different from their own" --- or is this a one-way 'benefit'? And then there's the important question of how well most of them really "get to know" each other.

4. A classic, and extreme example of a fundamental contradiction, conflated distortion, and abstraction is contained in the author's claim that "our own experience [has] made it absolutely clear: socioeconomic integration of our schools is essential, though not sufficient to reverse the catastrophic outcomes in the city schools." What? The guy is literally making it up. There has been no local "experience" that involves, on any significant level --- "socioeconomic [and certainly not racial] integration of our schools." Thus, any claim regarding relational impact on "outcomes in city schools" is a matter of total fallacy.The writer is also very careful to shroud his argument in the cloak of "socioeconomic," as opposed to racial "integration" (even though we know that the two are as closely correlated as they could possibly be, especially within deeply-entrenched, thoroughly segregated, Monroe County).

5. Another conflated distortion is the idea that it "matters where you go to school, or who you sit next to." Of course, it "matters where you go to school" --- in the sense that some schools are much better than others (for many complex reasons), but there is no evidence what so ever, that it "matters who you sit next to." That is to say, just as in the case of good schools that are overwhelmingly, predominantly white --- good, overwhelmingly black or brown schools, don't become any less 'good' --- because few or no white students attend. Thus, again, in part, the latter quote represents a false dichotomy or fallacy, and really seems designed to skirt a critically important, historic issue, and question: 'Why are so many predominantly white, suburban schools good, and so many predominantly black and brown, urban schools bad (based on measures such as orderly classrooms, and general environments, modern, high-tech facilities and equipment, graduation rates, parent and community involvement, etc...)? This is NOT just one huge coincident. So, what (specifically) has produced this condition?

6. It is most interesting that, in the process of attempting to validate the 'significance' of the miserably-failed urban-suburban program, the writer extracted a totally de-contextualized quote from "the 1966 Coleman report on equality of educational opportunity." The full truth of the matter is, the Coleman report raised more questions than answers regarding widespread, educational improvement for black and brown children attending public schools. And clearly, with regard to public education, where the masses of children of color are concerned, in some respects, since the time of the original 1966 Coleman report, overall conditions have grown worse. For example, I'm quite certain the author would shy away from discussing the facts that: "The Coleman report gave rise to mass busing in public schools. As a work of sociology, the Coleman Report was full of subtleties and caveats, but the mass media and makers of policy focused on one prediction--that black children who attended integrated schools would have higher test scores, if a majority of their classmates were white. That last point is key because in 1975 Coleman concluded in a new study that busing had failed, largely because it had prompted white flight. As white families fled to suburban schools, the report concluded, the opportunity for achieving racial balance evaporated. Political support for busing quickly waned. Many civil rights leaders, educators, policy-makers, and sociologists who had embraced Coleman's earlier findings now were outraged.They blasted him for abandoning his earlier commitment to desegregation. Some members of the American Sociological Association even moved to have him expelled, albeit unsuccessfully. (Coleman was elected president in 1991)." http://pages.jh.edu/~jhumag/0400web/18.htm…

7. Of all the many illogical, nonsensical, abstract notions contained in the article, the following takes the cake: "If we are going to give the poorest children in our community a chance to succeed in school, we need not just Urban-Suburban, but a family of urban-suburban prodigies to bridge the gap." What?

8. The author is obviously speculating relative to when or how "socioeconomic [/racial] integration works." Since it has not existed on in any large, or even medium scale within Rochester, and certainly not within Monroe County --- none of us know for certain how, or even IF it works.

9. IF it is true "that good schools teach students how to care for each other, and about our obligation to work for the common good" --- then how do we logically explain that, as stated in the article --- according to "Chris Widmaier, a science teacher and the swim coach at the city's World of Inquiry School --- suburban kids don't even make eye contact with my swimmers. The fact is many of them have no idea how to talk to people who are different from them?"

10. Based on a very long, and clear history of well organized, well financed, and thoroughly effective resistance, I would urge urban parents and families to categorically, unequivocally reject (as totally unrealistic) the old, old, hyper-liberal, bleeding-heart, rhetoric regarding the assertion that: "If we truly believe in equal opportunity, we must break up the segregated schools that have preserved inequality for decades." Socioeconomic / racial inequality was built into the fabric, foundation, and structure of the public education system (from day one), and there is absolutely no evidence that the vast majority of predominantly, but not exclusively, white parents have the least bit of interest in "breaking [it] up." In fact, nearly all available evidence seems to indicate the exact opposite. Thus, my humble, but staunch recommendation would be focusing with laser-like precision on fixing urban schools as they currently stand --- as opposed to chasing an integration-pipe-dream for another 50 or 100 years. Our children can't afford to wait --- period. http://blackagendareport.com/content/publi…

4 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Howard J. Eagle on 01/13/2015 at 2:03 PM

Re: “The race issue – again

As an anthropology student this past year, I learned something I never really thought about before. The term "race" was fabricated by us to separate groups of people by color and levels of society. Here we find the term penetrating our daily lives. People use it to distinguish themselves from those oppressed or those doing the oppressing. I guess where I'm going with this is that if "race" was not taught to our upcoming generations, we'd find more in common with each other on a human level. Perhaps then we might at least see some respect from one person to another; some more precaution and more thought out actions on the street.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Curtis Lotsawater on 01/13/2015 at 1:49 PM

Re: “Liberté. Solidarité.

Red-letter day! The local left-wing paper and the vocal local right-wing talk show host agree! Specifically, that much/most of what Charlie Hebdo publishes is pretty disgusting. And much would properly be denounced as hate speech and/or bullying in this country.

See Bob Lonsberry's column from Jan. 12:
http://lonsberry.com/writings.cfm?story=37…

Although I'm sure Bob (and I, and I'm sure many other people) would not agree that mocking the pope is less disgusting than mocking Islam.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Rochester Musician on 01/13/2015 at 1:04 PM

Re: “Rochester's big growth area: poverty

It's folly to spend more to fight poverty. Let's put people to work at 40 hrs/wk minimum. In addition, we need a government that encourages people to save more and to be responsible. Leadership by example is ALWAYS in good taste.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 01/12/2015 at 3:02 PM

Re: “Finger Lakes' fuel, tourism industries clash

"The company says that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wouldn't have signed off on the natural gas storage project if it wasn't safe."

Are there any rational people left who believe this type of statement? Our government told us Hanford, Rocky Flats and Love Canal were all "safe".

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Tom Janowski on 01/11/2015 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Some City Council members want say in RHA appointments

And what does the city charter have to say about what you propose, Mr. Haag?

Steve Bathory
Rochester, New York

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Istvan Bathory on 01/10/2015 at 10:19 PM

Re: “Parent makes tough decision concerning RCSD

Teacher here. I will keep this short and sweet. I found out that pretty soon our building won't have paper to make copies on , and students and staff will NOT have toilet paper. The district didn't have the decency to properly fund our schools. Look no further than the recent D&C article outlining the embarrassing, inept way our district budgets our schools. Shortchanging our students must stop. Again and again we see blatant examples like this. I applaud this parent. Why would I keep my child in a highly dysfunctional , unsafe environment that doesn't hold its high ranking officials accountable? Why?

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Scorsese93 on 01/09/2015 at 6:51 PM

Re: “Finger Lakes' fuel, tourism industries clash

Expanding on this great article a little, the fight to preserve our Western New York State environment should not simply be characterized as one industry vs. another.

As Roland Micklem (86), stated at the "We Are Seneca Lake Pre-Arraignment Press Conference at the Town of Reading Court, November 5, 2014", and I transcribe a portion: “…this action that we are doing is far more than trying to protect Seneca Lake. The actions we are taking now has cosmic implications. I look upon what we’re doing is the action to help save perhaps the only planet in the Milky Way galaxy that supports life. I want you to really think about that. This is much, much bigger than our local battle here to save Seneca Lake. Climate Change is now pretty well accepted by the world scientific establishment, and it seems like in this country is the only place in the world where there are still naysayers. And this is something that will sure do us in unless we take very strong and meaningful action. So if I’m going to jail, I look upon it as going to jail to save the planet….” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeh_Hcqs_H…

That was a cold, cold evening listening to the speakers speak, but Roland’s talk warmed me up. We are all part of something very big going on at this time in history and we need to continually connect the dots.

2 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Frank J. Regan on 01/09/2015 at 2:38 PM

Re: “Marina may miss a season

I've noticed that Greg Weycamp is nowhere to be found. Oh yeah; He's not from here. If he was, he'd be doing some of the project management for the city. Is Edgewater concerned that the bedrock may be too deep to anchor a high-rise?

If Greg Weycamp wants a marina, then shouldn't he at least be here helping build one? It was a BIG mistake to hire an out-of-town developer for the port. Weycamp makes grand promises for Rochester's port and then flies back to Chicago to balance the books.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 01/08/2015 at 3:52 PM

Re: “Parent makes tough decision concerning RCSD

We all know about the poverty/behavior issues that bring RCSD down. But badly behaved staff? Are you kidding? No other business or service industry would survive a year with a prickly front office. There is NO excuse for that. Shameful.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dawn Wendt on 01/08/2015 at 12:45 PM

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