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.
Today's Turn Out for Tom Mailer was highly offensive. I guess desperate people can do those kinds of things.
We can all agree that more people should vote. If for no other reason than that smaller turn outs tend to favor the fringe elements of the political parties.
As to the rest of Ms. Towler’s lecture...
Along with the right to vote comes the right to enroll in the party (or no party) of our choice. If this results in an overwhelming number of citizens being enrolled in the same party in a given area, so what? No one is shut out of the democratic process UNLESS their party-of-choice refuses to field a candidate. That there are no Republican or Conservative candidates for mayor or city council is the fault of each party’s leaders, NOT the process. The Greens haven’t a prayer of winning, but that hasn’t stopped them from running. That the Republicans and Conservatives consistently refuse to put forward candidates while consistently whining about the way the city is run speaks loudly about their lack of respect for their party members in Rochester, their lack of faith in the efficacy of their message, and speaks even louder about the fact that they’d rather complain then do anything to fix what they claim are the city’s problems.
And, at the risk of being called unpatriotic, the fact is that the oft-repeated statements about those who fought and died for OUR right to vote ignore the fact that most of those who died did so for THEIR right to vote. Namely the right of white males over 21. As to the rest of America’s potential voters, women did not gain the vote nationally until 1920. And blacks, despite the passage of the XVth. Amendment in 1870, realistically did not receive the permanent right to vote until the passage of the XXIVth. Amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And those between 18 and 21 did not receive the right to vote until 1971.
Clearly another cry into the night to try and urge maintenance of the status quo! Sad but so true.
In the end Tom Richards is just playing games with the voters and the people trying to revive his campaign. He endorsed Warren and yet will not stop the last minute efforts to get him elected. Any respect I had for Richards is now gone.
Richards is just adding to the confusion and offers another reason why people are turning away from voting.
This will probably be censored, as so much of the real conversation about the mayor's race:
A hint of sour grapes?
The proportion of Rochester voters has gone largely unchanged--the population is declining, so too then, are absolute votes. Warren won the primary by the largest margin IN HISTORY-- a history that you deem insignificant, apparently. I know for a fact that Warren's camp did a ton of voter reg work. How much do you think Richards did? ZERO, because it wasn't in their interest to register voters.
Where is your outrage about the TurnOUt's unethical campaign practices: their lack of disclosure, the misleading information, not to mention THEIR LACK OF CANDIDATE? And where was your outrage when Duffy defeated Norwood by less than 2,000 votes?
It should be noted that your outrage over voter turnout lines up perfectly with the messaging of the TurnOutForTom crew, Rochester's own Tea Party. CityNews has become their echo chamber, their very own FOX news.
I thought City was the paper for the voiceless, willing to take tough policy stands for the people. You've become a mouthpiece of the establishment.. PERIOD.
Though voting is important, I detect a hint of sour grapes in that people didn't come out to vote for the "right" candidate, ie. Tom Richards. But I agree with the sentiment of voting. However after that, we all need to be quiet. This is a representative democracy, not the Athenian Assembly. Our opinion is irrelevant until the next election.
In defense of shallow insignificance? Now there's a unique position I would have never predicted.
I like the changes made by the D&C. Before the change, everyone at lunch would pass sections of the D&C around, look through them quickly and pass them on. Now we all manage to find something of interest to read.
I would say that in 2013, quality over quantity does not apply to print news media. With few exceptions, everyone has cut the number and quality of stories. So, especially in the case of the D&C, quantity makes things more palatable without an increase of quality. Now, at least, the D&C can be a part of my news gathering.
i would like to see more, real investigative reporting. I would like to see reporters and the media follow up on information given to then rather than just printing what could amount to no more than opinions. It is so hard to take back words that have already been out there and more and more often we are seeing negative publicity on things that don't exist.
"But newspapers also have a responsibility to be community leaders."
And one of the ways that newspapers can be community leaders is to utilize changing technologies to enhance interaction with their readers.
For example, readers now have the ability to communicate with newspaper editors and reporters with questions and feedback about articles and editorials via posted comments. This provides those editors/reporters with the opportunity to respond in real time to those questions and to clarify or elaborate on any points they raised which were questionable, unclear or underreported.
Unfortunately, in the case of the D&C AND City Newspaper, the ability for two-way communication is not being taken advantage of. Reader questions and comments are ignored and 21st. Century newspapers pay as little attention, of not less, to their readers as any two bit paper from the 19th. Century.
On a related note, particularly amusing is how the D&C is quick to print any :Letter to the Editor that praises their operations while consigning to the round file any letter containing even a hint of criticism or a suggestion that their management and staff might not walk on the water.
Amen! The D&C has been on a downward slide for a while now. The issues with news coverage are duly noted. Add to that the inability to proofread, to provide competent customer service and to offer a printed weekly television listing for newsstand customers. The new "more" is hardly that.
The D&C is owned by Gannett, why would they print stories from Berkshire Hathaway (BH) and other newspapers? They would have to pay BH for the articles and employ less at the D&C. If you want to read stories from other companies, then buy a D&C and a BH newspaper. I think the changes to the web and to the physical paper were very positive. If I could read City articles in the D&C, I would just pick up the D&C and skip City.
Shallow insignificant stories and events lead to conversation amongst friends. Every normal human accomplishes several insignificant events every day, we enjoy learning that others accomplish the same worthless crap everyday.
Constant, real, education and certification teaches me significant things, City newspaper and the D&C teaches me about local and national insignificant things that start conversation with my friends.
This critique seems to believe that City serves as an investigative engine, I enjoy it for the stories on new restaurants and the coupons that go along with them. Your liberal slanted stories only inform me that you really dislike fracking.
ARobinson - You say that like it's a bad thing.
As a matter of fact, I find City Newspaper not to be objective in any manner or fashion. It is incredibly biased toward liberals and prejudiced toward conservatives.
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