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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

Re: “An atheist in the Town of Greece

Steve - you are misinformed about the constitutional purpose in guaranteeing freedom of religion. The fact is that freedom of religion was SPECIFICALLY put into the constitution to protect minor religions from the predations of major religions like Christianity. That specifically large orthodox churches of various denominations could not jam THEIR Christian beliefs down others throats. The freedom of religion clause specifically forbade the government from adopting a single religion of any sort as their "base" religion. In that way the very people you named guaranteed that people like yourself could not - even if they were in the majority - dictate what religion people were exposed to as part of government. In the case of freedom of religion the majority most certainly should NOT rule.

6 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Lee Drake on 07/09/2014 at 4:16 PM

Re: “An atheist in the Town of Greece

Too bad that Dan Courtney is going to deliver an inclusive invocation. This will demonstrate absolutely nothing about the principle at stake here. If Greece had been hosting inclusionary invocations, there would have been no court case. I heard samples of these invocation on 1370 Connections -- WOW!!. I wish I could find transcripts of them to point you to, because until you hear what was being said at these invocations, you cannot get to an informed opinion on the matter. Most callers into Connections said that they were in favor of the invocations until they heard the tapes. These invocations trashed non-Christian religions and their followers in the most blatant and insulting way. That the Supremes could have ruled in their favor without at least a scolding for allowing such divisive hateful utterances is evidence of just how UNrepresentative these guys are -- this Gang of Five white, Catholic guys, with their ridiculously idolatrous view of the Founding Fathers.
I believe the Town of Greece is viewed in the nation kind of like Dayton Tennessee was following Scopes. I really hope it doesn't besmirch our whole region.
So glad I don't live in an intolerant place like Greece NY.

8 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Sanity Monger on 07/09/2014 at 4:11 PM

Re: “An atheist in the Town of Greece

The U.S. Senate and House start their sessions with prayer every day. The President of the United States has participated in the National Prayer Breakfast for the last 61 years. There are chaplains in every branch of the armed forces to tend to the spiritual needs of its members. Law enforcement, fire departments and hospitals have chaplains as do public universities. Many of the Founding Fathers such as John Adams were Deists who believed that religion was good for one's moral character, even if they rejected the orthodoxy of religion. Thomas Jefferson wrote his own version of the Bible. 86% of the people in Greece according to the Census are Christian. An overwhelming 65% are Roman Catholic. Majority rules in this country. The fact that a small handful of shrill atheists want to ram their opinion of a Godless world down everyone else's throat doesn't mean they should be allowed to run roughshod.

11 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by steve on 07/09/2014 at 2:43 PM

Re: “An atheist in the Town of Greece

Greece; Critical Thinking Rediscovered

Thank you Dan Courtney…for reminding us that men and women are capable of critical thinking to make moral decisions without relying on the god's to determine (let alone agree upon) what’s right and wrong.

Len Simms

10 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Lenton Simms on 07/09/2014 at 1:34 PM

Re: “Disappointment in medical marijuana law

Joe Morelle is "mindful" ? Since when ?????

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by NYS needs to wake up !!! on 07/09/2014 at 11:41 AM

Re: “An atheist in the Town of Greece

I would like to call out our good friends at the Greece town board. They claim to universally accept faiths, and indeed spent (how much?) money taking a claim to the supreme court to support their stance that prayer belongs at a governmental meeting. Their claim was that they allow "all faiths" to offer up a prayer and yet they ridicule faiths such as Paganism and Pastafarianism in the public media claiming they're not going to allow members of those faiths to provide opening prayers. Apparently they get to decide what are "serious" faiths. I am an ordained pastafarian minister, and yet they didn't even deign to give my application to offer up a prayer a reply. Another friend with pagan beliefs got a similar shrug off.

Freedom of religion does not mean free to be Christian or not religious. It means ALL religions are treated equally - whether YOU happen to believe in them or not. This is a lesson the Greece board still needs to learn. Their insistence at being inclusive of religion in the town of Greece, means they must be inclusive, not exclusive. ALL religions, regardless of their "seriousness" in their eyes.

13 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Lee Drake on 07/09/2014 at 11:29 AM

Re: “An atheist in the Town of Greece

Hurrah! for Dan Courtney offering an Atheist invocation at a Town of Greece monthly Town Board meeting, though it might be just as well if there were no invocations of any kind at any of our governmental meetings. I’m not a Justice Scalia, but from my readings of the US Constitution there’s a clear desire by our Founding Fathers to separate church and state.

If our mass interest in faith were any measure of our collective judicious processes, you’d think the moral imperative to solve Climate Change would rule, but it doesn’t--at least on any scale that will matter. The poor of our nation and the nations that didn’t cause Climate Change are going to get hit the first and the hardest by Climate Change and yet when we try to address this profound immorality, like in the previous 20+ Climate talks, we tend to fail.

Squabbling about who gets to say what before a governmental meeting is a tempest in a teapot. Rather we should focus on the decisions taking place at these governmental meetings and if faith has any merit at all it should shine through.

7 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Frank J. Regan on 07/09/2014 at 10:49 AM

Re: “Disappointment in medical marijuana law

CBD = Can't Be Done (republican code)

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Immortal Illumined on 07/09/2014 at 10:48 AM

Re: “Disappointment in medical marijuana law

the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13

ENLIGHTENMENT...i was a brainwashed evil, mean, christian conservative until i tried it at 17 years old...i hated gays, immigrants, women's rights, blacks, marijuana, i was Rush Limbaugh's #1 fan....until i smoked marijuana, changed the world....hope the EVIL POPE is enjoying the marijuana revolution around the globe, keeping the flock brainwashed and against marijuana, gays, and women's rights...you don't deny ease from pain and suffering for billions of people unless you are PURE EVIL...

1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy...#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed...

"any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420

from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

20 years behind us southern states and NEW YORK, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states and more blacks are in prison then were slaves before the civil war...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

Deaths by Alcohol: Millions
Deaths by Tobacco: Millions

Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade

Deaths by Guns: Millions

Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions

Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom

love and freedom forever

AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS! 33

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Immortal Illumined on 07/09/2014 at 10:48 AM

Re: “Disappointment in medical marijuana law

The New York State Legislature has declared that marijuana is a medicine, defined the afflictions that it is to be prescribed for, who will grow it and dispense it, and the form in which will be administered. Our legislators will instruct medical doctors on how it is to be prescribed. I wonder when anyone in New York government earned degrees in medicine that makes them expert enough to write medical-related laws? I recall a TV commercial in which an actor says “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV” That would seem to apply here. I didn’t hear anything about the NY legislators consulting with the American Medical Association or any other physician organizations on their opinion of “medical” marijuana. No pharmaceutical companies were consulted that I am aware of. It makes me wonder what else our legislators can define as “medicine” - magnets? mineral water? mushrooms? Tic Tacs?

8 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Bart on 07/09/2014 at 6:24 AM

Re: “Downtown's patron saint

Very disappointing that Mr. Glazer subscribes to the fallacy that parking in suburban areas is "free." It's not free, it's just bundled into the cost of the development. If tenants or residents or employees of suburban development had to pay the $2,500-$3,500 land and construction costs PER SPACE for surface parking lots, the thinking on "free" parking might be very different.

It's very disheartening to hear Mr. Glazer say that without parking "you have almost nothing to give people." That's an extremely pessimistic view of the city, in my opinion. Without parking you still have the architecture, art, culture, streets, parks, history and community of the city, things that don't exist to the same degree in auto-oriented suburban areas with "free" parking.

Parking may be, as Mr. Glazer says, "a fact of life" here and now. But unless progressive developers seek to change that and help nudge the market in a different direction by offering mobility choices (unbundled parking costs, developer or employer paid transit passes, bicycle storage rooms and shower facilities, car sharing arrangements, etc.) this community will perpetuate the vicious cycle of more parking, leading to streets that people don't want to walk down, leading to more people driving and demanding parking at the front door. Downtown becomes nothing more than a handful of nicely rehabbed buildings appended to parking garages.

Some of Mr. Glazer's apparent views on downtown reminded me of a conversation I once had with a real estate broker who said "I get calls from clients all the time that want to be downtown. They just want cheap, convenient parking." Well, then, those clients don't really want to be downtown. They say they do, but they really have no clue about how real urban places truly function. I feel like that mentality is frustratingly pervasive in Rochester: people say they want downtown to succeed, but when it comes down to the details and the sacrifices they might have to make, like maybe taking the bus, or parking a few blocks away from their destination, or interacting with people who might not be the same class, race, or mental health status as you, people from this region just get lazy and find the McMansions of the P towns and the office parks of Victor too easy.

6 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Urban Explorer on 07/08/2014 at 2:52 PM

Re: “Downtown's patron saint

Patron Saint of downtown? Seriously? Could this interview be any more one sided?

When I saw the cover of City Newspaper I was stunned. I thought sure, this is going to be a puff piece. .

It is hard to get the true story out of corporations but I think it is time for developers to pay their own way rather than sucking up our diminishing resources.

There is nothing in this piece about all the money that Buckingham Properties taken from the city, county and NYS. There is nothing about the purchase of valuable real estate from the city for pennies on the dollar, if that. Nothing about the failed job development that caused Buckingham Properties to have tax incentives taken away by NY State. Most companies don't hire new employees when they move they just shift them around from place to place and get tax breaks.

Fair and balanced article? I think not.

The city and all the taxpayers are paying for a lot of these projects in the city.

Below is an excerpt from the article in The Rochester Business Journal with the link to the article included below.

The board's thumbs-down came May 4, upholding regulatory changes included in then-Gov. David Paterson's 2009-10 state budget. The decision was backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of the Empire State Development Corp.

"The Cuomo administration has been clear that it views the Empire Zone program as a waste of taxpayer dollars, and we moved aggressively to eliminate the program," Adams said in a statement. "Therefore, I am pleased with the decisions by the Empire Zone Designation Board not to overturn the original decertifications by the commissioner."

Adams, president and CEO of the Business Council of New York State Inc. from 2006 through 2010, was recruited by Cuomo to lead the ESDC in January 2011, replacing Pittsford resident Dennis Mullen.

"Applications were reviewed in a thorough and open process, and now a final decision has been reached by the board to affirm the decertification of businesses that were not in compliance with the requirements of the Empire Zone program," Adams said.

The three Buckingham Properties sites were among those decertified three years ago by the ESDC.

"We've been fighting it since 2009," said Laurence Glazer, Buckingham Properties CEO, of the ruling. "They were in place. They were halfway through, or two-thirds of the way through, the whole program."

Tax breaks for the 33 entities were quashed after they were decertified by the ESDC for failing to meet newly imposed requirements for job creation and capital investment.

All Empire Zone participants were reviewed by the ESDC in 2009 to determine whether workers and/or real estate were transferred to a business with similar ownership and whether investments met program standards.

Manufacturers were required to generate $10 in wages, benefits and capital investments for every $1 in tax credits to be accepted into the program, the 2009-10 budget stated. Non-manufacturers in Empire Zones were required to show a projected ratio of $20-to-$1.

http://www.rbj.net/print_article.asp?aID=191551

8 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Dorothy Paige on 07/03/2014 at 3:37 PM

Re: “Downtown's patron saint

An optimist among nay sayers, what a breath of fresh air. Thank you for refreshing the minds of Greater Rochester of the incredible central cities in America. Rochester's potential can be seen 60 miles to the west.
Your understanding of risk, (which our region is often adverse to), remains an important component of change. Downtown has left the starting gate of a new future lets hope the crowds cheer and join in the race. I certainly will!

12 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Stephen Karl on 07/03/2014 at 8:03 AM

Re: “CSI: invasive species

According to some sources, the Erie Canal (or in its earliest incarnation, the canal, or Clinton’s ditch) issued the sea lamprey to the Great Lakes. There might be more invasives that made their way to the Great Lakes via the canal, but I don’t think the canal is just “taking on a new, undesirable role as a pathway for the spread of aquatic invasive species.”

Note: “It is not clear whether it is native to Lake Ontario, where it was first noticed in the 1830s, or whether it was introduced through the Erie Canal which opened in 1825.[” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_lamprey

More on Invasive Species in our area: http://rochesterenvironment.com/invasive_s…

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Frank J. Regan on 07/03/2014 at 7:36 AM

Re: “Downtown's patron saint

Back in the eighties, Buckingham bought up a bunch of warehouse space on University Avenue, near Culver. Everyone though they were crazy. I remember Mr. Glazer saying they wanted to be ready when the new University Ave. off-ramp from the newly rebuilt Can of Worms brought more traffic to the street. Now that piece of University is humming. Genius.

14 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kathryn Quinn Thomas on 07/02/2014 at 5:31 PM

Re: “Can you crowdsource prosthetic limbs? Yes, you can.

I am teaching a group of Academic level international students and we used this article for a reading comprehension quiz. Additionally,they had to define "crowdsource," "profound" and "creeping," for instance, and use them in a sentence that matched the way the words were used in the article. "Upend" was a challenge: it doesn't literally mean to turn something upside down but to change dramatically. Similarly, "entangle" was supposed to be understood as literally becoming enmeshed, yet some chose the metaphorical meaning of being entangled in problems.

Despite these difficulties, the students, many of whom are majoring in engineering and industrial design, appreciated what e-NABLE is all about and a few even saw the "robotic hand" at Imagine RIT.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lori D. Nolasco on 07/02/2014 at 2:35 PM

Re: “CSI: invasive species

Although it gets no press, pale swallow-wort is also using the canal, highways and rail lines to spread as well. The canal path edges are choked with it in some spots.

Posted by Tom on 07/02/2014 at 11:45 AM

Re: “Police reorg splits Southeast

What really matters, in my opinion, is where and how tax revenues are spent in Rochester, NY Money spent on controlling crime by police is at the "tail-end"of the system which is very expensive... Courts, attorneys, jails, corrections facilities etc.

Perhaps another way to spend money would be at the beginning of the system through intervention programs like Teen Empowerment and living a moral life. Teen Empowerment is one way to help and the rest is up to proper parenting ( living a moral life... in particular during the summer months. Another way is through a good, solid education. If we focus on these three things then perhaps things will change in Rochester. As well, the final step is being able to earn a living wage. We need jobs in Rochester and we need to repopulate the City with good, solid taxpaying citizens. The population has fallen to 210,000 from just over 300,000 citizens.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by crm135790 on 07/02/2014 at 9:46 AM

Re: “Crunch time in the Legislature

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren will soon have to make a decision whether or not to renew the contract with Redflex. I hope she will be honest and upfront when the results of the study are available. I have my doubts though. The red light program might just be producing so much easy money that nobody on the receiving end would want it to end; No matter what!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 06/30/2014 at 12:58 PM

Re: “Police reorg splits Southeast

I hope Mayor Lovely Warren will rethink her police reorganization plan. We don't need time and money wasted while community relations continue to deteriorate. It's disingenuous for the mayor to champion this plan as a cure-all.

Southeast community organizations will fail if policing gets split up as proposed. The mayor and police should be shoring up community groups, not tearing them apart.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Mike Bruton on 06/28/2014 at 12:09 PM

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