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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Urban Journal

Re: “Our anonymous comments

I personally would prefer not to create yet another account, as I already have 10 million...

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by MrRochester on 03/19/2014 at 6:07 PM

Re: “Casinos, casinos,casinos everywhere

This is crazy! We approved the beginning of this madness last November? People want some casinos in NYS; but why more? If the Senecas can keep some people from going out of the state to gamble, I guess it's ok; but let's not get carried away.

Of course, there would be an initial economic boost as borrowed money is spent. Longer term, more jobs would be lost than created. A casino is too much of a drain on the local economy. It is a fantasy to think otherwise.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Mike Bruton on 03/17/2014 at 2:33 PM

Re: “Casinos, casinos,casinos everywhere

"Sometime in the next decade, New York will be awash in casinos. I wonder if the politicians and business leaders who wanted them will be sorry."

This is what you get with government who enacts legislation with no thought of the long term consequences. People seem to buy the instant gratification scheme. But it is just that...a scheme. A political scheme.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by johnny on 03/17/2014 at 10:30 AM

Re: “The roots of addiction

To the person stating addiction is not a disease because of lack of organ involvement?! I gather you also feel mental illness is not an illness? Why therefore is there such a high genetic disposition for alcoholics? Why is it from day 1, when an alcoholic takes that drink, it initiates a craving for another, & another, whereas a non alcoholic can drink a half of a drink and leave it? You might want to read the AA Big Book.

Posted by Reader22 on 03/07/2014 at 4:57 PM

Re: “Religious freedom and our other rights

It seems to me that the complainants in the original Arizona case were not deprived of anything. They should have simply used the free market to obtain another photographer. Hurt feelings do not trump the freedoms afforded everyone in the exercise of their conscience or religion. Would the writer force
conscientious objectors to carry a weapon or a pro-life doctor or nurse perform an abortion? The first amendment of our Constitution protects all of us, thank God, or Allah , or Vishnu or L Ron Hubbard, or Voltaire or every other Upper West Side humanist!

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rich from Greece on 03/06/2014 at 10:45 AM

Re: “Religious freedom and our other rights

The authoress states that "the Constitution doesn't give us the right to impose our religious beliefs on other people." This isn't exactly false, inasmuch the Constitution doesn't really have anything to do with relations between private individuals, one way or the other.

However, it is more accurate to say that the Constitution explicitly forbids a transient political majority from imposing its values and beliefs on the rest of us. Yet that is PRECISELY what Obama and Sibelius seek to do. And it is precisely what happens when the state willfully and knowingly violates the conscience rights of a small business owner.

On balance, this column presents a strong argument for strictly limiting the power and reach of government. Let us hope it portends a welcome change in editorial direction!

17 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by b.d.g. on 03/05/2014 at 2:17 PM

Re: “Religious freedom and our other rights

Why should the government have the power to fine or throw in jail:

• A vegetarian graphic artist who refuses to produce posters for a butcher shop?
• A banquet hall proprietor who won't book a Boy Scout function because he dislikes Scout policies?
• A hotel manager who refuses to host a conference of climate change deniers?
• A pizzeria owner who won't deliver to a union-busting law firm?
• A photographer who turns away fur-wearing clients?
• An accountant who won't service a business that exploits people with gambling addictions?
• A contractor who turns down a remodeling job for a tobacco shop?
• A caterer who won't take part in a function if alcohol is present?
• A mechanic who refuses to help out operators of fracking equipment?
• A commercial landlord who refuses to lease to a business that sells tobacco products?
• A bodega owner who refuses to provide customers with a certain periodical because it contains superstitious material like horoscopes? (Oops!)

17 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by b.d.g. on 03/05/2014 at 1:37 PM

Re: “Religious freedom and our other rights

"The objects of the discrimination are lesser beings, not worthy of service – or protection."

Like the bakery in NM that was forced to sell a wedding cake to a gay wedding against the owners's religious beliefs, or be forced out of business? I wonder why they aren't worthy of protection.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by human rights campaign on 03/05/2014 at 12:41 PM

Re: “The roots of addiction

A requirement of my office cleaning job is that I clean the restrooms. Not long ago, I found a pill on the floor in a restroom. I wondered what it was, so I took it home and identified it. I don't remember the exact drug name, but the purpose given was to relieve anxiety and to help prevent panic attacks.

Personally, I had to give up taking an anti-depressant because after several years it didn't really work, yet the side effects continued.

These types of drugs are not addictive like alcohol and we would all be better off to just "buck up" and not be on them.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 02/21/2014 at 3:53 AM

Re: “The roots of addiction

"It isn't drug addiction that kills addicts, it's drug prohibition. Addicts who get a steady supply of pure morphine or heroin at a known level of potency and clean hypodermics, can live long, happy productive lives."

The argument against this, of course, is that alcohol is legal and highly regulated, and it is the most abused drug, and has destroyed very many lives.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rochester Musician on 02/20/2014 at 9:47 PM

Re: “The roots of addiction


Drug "addiction" is not a disease. A disease manifests itself as a breakdown of one or more of our organs due to any number of internal or external factors. Drug addiction may seem to manifest itself as a disease because continued use of certain drugs is damaging to our organs: for example, the harm done directly to the lungs by cigarette smoke or to the liver by alcohol.

The term "addiction" simply implies a biological change of brain connectivity. This new connectivity causes the drug addict's brain to behave differently than someone whose brain has not been modified by addiction. Furthermore, addiction does not imply a simple cause-and-effect relationship between the drug and the resultant behavior: if it did, intervention by other drugs or behavior modification therapy would be much more predictable and successful.

In fact, the addict's brain as an organ is working just fine, doing what it has been reprogrammed to do: create a demand for the drug of choice, and release large amounts chemicals that induce pleasure to the user when the drug is used - dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, in particular.

This is not to deny that some drugs act directly on our organs, such as the heart, as in the case of amphetamines. Their impact on the brain is less of a rewiring than to create a sudden increase in neurochemicals that stimulate existing brain functionality.

The rewiring process in the brain continues with continued use of the drug or drugs that cause the rewiring. The rewired brain remains rewired even after the drug user ceases to use drugs. This explains "relapses." All the therapeutic treatment in the world is not going to cause the brain to return to its original, unmodified state, in a matter of weeks, months or even years.

As a result, the rewired brain continues to create a craving for the substance that created the intense pleasure so familiar to the user long after drug use ceases. Resisting is a matter of willpower generated in other higher-level brain functionality. However, the lower-level brain functions usually win this battle of wills, as they have a much more powerful impact on behavior.

You experience this sort of battle yourself whenever you find yourself in a situation where your brain is demanding that you urinate, and you are in a situation that doesn't allow it, at least in an unembarassing fashion. If you can't extricate yourself from this situation, you are going to pee your pants, regardless. And drug users will eventually find themselves in a situation from which they cannot extricate themselves.

One solution for the addict is to find activities that are pleasurable, but do not have harmful side effects, either on themself or others. Falling in love with someone is a good start; mountaineering is another; caring for other people will work too. Anything that produces a lot of good feelings to replace those that were being generated by the drugs. Our body doesn't care how they are generated, but we do.

Garrett A. Hughes

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Garrett A. Hughes on 02/20/2014 at 6:28 PM

Re: “The roots of addiction

It isn't drug addiction that kills addicts, it's drug prohibition. Addicts who get a steady supply of pure morphine or heroin at a known level of potency and clean hypodermics, can live long, happy productive lives.
Some high functioning addicts - Charles Dickens, Frank Sinatra, Florence Nightingale, the great surgeon William Halstead, Irving Berlin.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Sam Abrams on 02/20/2014 at 4:12 PM

Re: “The roots of addiction

These treatments for drug addiction are inhuman treatment as addicts perpetuate until death usually with these regimes..

The problem with all western governments is that they are overridingly influenced by the ultra-financially powerful pharmaceutical giants. So much so that they control government policy on hard drug treatments and where of course they supply methadone et al that provides billions of dollars in revenues. But they don't care about the harm that this treatment does and only look at the bottom-line. That is why this maintenance treatment policy goes on infinitum as it creates vast profits for big Pharma. Indeed governments go out to suppress all information concerning a 'cure' for these terrible treatment drugs that enslave addicts for life through dependency. There is no humanity in this form of treatment only profits as addicts spend a lifetime on treatments that are more addictive than the drugs they purportedly try to eradicate. But wouldn't it be good for once that a western government did something out of the ordinary and stopped supporting big Pharma and introduced a 'cure' that is available at a cost of a mere 10% of present treatment regimes. Then addicts would come off hard drugs for good and thereafter lead a normal life in society and give something back. But will a single western government rebel against the powerful pharmaceutical cartel, I very much doubt it as they have our politicians and leaders in their back pocket. That is what is called democracy where big business rules supreme. For an introduction of what is going on and the 'cure' that is available readers should visit -

Dr David Hill
Chief Executive
World Innovation Foundation

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by David Hill on 02/19/2014 at 2:37 PM

Re: “The roots of addiction

Your article is moving and all too real. I do believe that many people do use drugs as a form of self medication, but it is only a fraction of initial users. Probably a greater fraction of those who are already recreational users begin to use in this way. Whatever the intial reason, we have proven that that which that which alters brain function can all too often also end up controlling it.
Also, there is frequently no bright line separating prescribed drugs and illicit drugs with respect to abuse and dependancy, they are frequently part of one slippery continuum.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Steve on 02/19/2014 at 12:56 PM

Re: “A place with no vision

It is easy to feel depressed by all the bad news. It's also possible to miss some of the good things that are happening. The key to long term solutions may be to draw energy from the good to overcome the bad. It was heartening, for instance, to hear of the adoption by Action for a Better Community (a long standing force for good in Rochester) of the Cure Violence model developed in Chicago. There are programs focused on students, like Rochester Mentors and the Borinquen Dance Company. As Martin Edic mentioned, there are federal funds coming in for revitalizing the spaces cut off 50 years ago by the Inner Loop. Young entrepreneurs are staying in the area, starting companies and getting support and mentorship from established business people.

Yet, as you say, here are problems that seem intractable, and may well be if we don't come together. What's missing is a collective sense of being in this together and a leadership voice that says, "Let's declare what we are FOR and work together on building energy and support for that. " There will be plenty of opportunities to discuss what we are against.

What if City were to call for a gathering of all segments of our community into a very large scale conversation, in the form of a Future Search or a World Cafe? I imagine one to two-thousand people in the Convention Center all invited to come together to answer a few basic questions: What do we want for our community? What do we share in common with each other across all our differences? What are we willing do together to bring about a future worthy of us and our children's, children's children?

Other cities have done this (Seattle comes to mind). We can too.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Charles Pfeffer on 02/16/2014 at 12:04 PM

Re: “A place with no vision

it's a Lovely situation we have here...

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gary Indiana on 02/14/2014 at 8:14 AM

Re: “A place with no vision

Here we sit in Rochester, within an hour of 3 million people and we do nothing. Look at all of the development in Buffalo. Why? They have new buildings going up, while their tallest building is EMPTY. Syracuse is getting a whole new interstate 81, possibly a tunnel under their downtown. Billions are being thrown around everywhere but Rochester. To add more salt to the womb, we in Rochester are paying for it. Now they want a new stadium. Our political "representatives" must be the lamest in the whole country. Why not a 3 million plus metroplex centered on Rochester?

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by johnny on 02/13/2014 at 6:02 PM

Re: “A place with no vision

dead on.

welcome to little detroit.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Gary Indiana on 02/13/2014 at 3:47 PM

Re: “A place with no vision

Fire, fire!
Another lame comparison to Detroit? Really? It might be time for an editor to retire and pass the torch to someone with vision. I completely agree with the situation with our towns, villages and splintered lack of vision. But there are incredible things taking place in Rochester these days. Downtown will be transformed in the next year. Inner Loop filled in. College Town, etc. But how did this happen? Most of it was driven by private sector investment and federal money. Detroit has no private investment.
Get a cup of coffee and take a long walk. You need a perspective shift.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Martin Edic on 02/13/2014 at 10:04 AM

Re: “URBAN JOURNAL: Still seeking solutions to city school problems

I read the article with interest and agree that it is going to take each person in the village to take a hard look at themselves to see if they have one finger pointing out but 3 fingers pointing back at themselves. Personally, I'm glad the Charter schools have come and made an impact. The Uncommon schools have one mission-to see that more urban children get to college because education is what changes the status quo. Everything about those schools implies that the student can make it and the staff is going to ensure that they do. That's been my experience. For children that don't fit the very structured mold of a charter school, I think we as parents and grandparents are going to have to realize that we are going to have to teach our children to read ourselves. No waiting for the CSD to do it. No waiting for a reading teacher to show up in the district. Each one teach one so when our children hit the front door of their school they have the basics down pat.
On Thursday, 1/30 Dr. Karsonya W. Whitehead gave students at the U of R the Carter G. Woodson lecture. To say the least, it was inspiring. Her point was that as teachers, educators, parents, we have an obligation to "spark the genius" in each child through our own ability to maintain the vision that genius is indeed there. so the child can become empowered. There are some teachers and parents (it is a team) who are able to hold on to the vision and see the gifts in each child and are able to cultivate that gift. this to me is the challenge in teaching... can the adult take the lead in establishing rapport, stirring interest, and ultimately inspire the passion in the child to be the best student he/she can be despite poverty or any other potential road block? The answer is yes. It has been done in other urban cities, and it can be done in Rochester.
On next Thursday, Dr. Raymond Winbush will be speaking at the Baobub Cultural Center on the strategies needed to raise African American boys. Any teacher or parent even remotely connected should hear what he has to say.

5 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by GHarrion on 02/02/2014 at 4:37 PM

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