New York State telling Monroe County that its financial condition is "fiscally stressed" is the pot calling the kettle black. And yet the state is the cause of 83% of the county's financial stress in the form of MANDATED spending. New York State is a business-unfriendly tax hell and it wants to make sure the counties follow its example.
I just checked with a Costello representative and he tells me that the number on the website was wrong. Hope that's helpful.
"Costello said the company will invest upward of $1.5 million...to improve the Erie Canal path"....It looks like this has been reduced to $500,000, according to an update on their website.
The Monroe County Fair and Recreation Association owned the old fairgrounds and Dome Arena but it reached an agreement to sell them last year. Media reports from the time of the sale say the Association had been operating the facilities at a financial loss.
Your arguments have a certain amount of logic to them. The problem is that regardless of your anecdotal evidence, the numbers don't lie. They don't lie here in Monroe County, and they don't lie anyplace else in the nation.
The fact remains that if 2 16-year old males are arrested for the same drug possession charge, if they are of different races, the outcomes in the supposedly impartial courts of law will be different far more often than not. The problem is in the entire system - the war on drugs that makes victimless activity a crime (and thus fosters the violence you see as the cause of the disparity), selective prosecution and differences in the quality of lawyers available due to disparity in incomes. Overworked public defenders barely have time to meet their clients, much less indulge in an active defense. Privately paid lawyers have more stake (and time) to engage the court in the adversarial relationship that should properly define the process.
The system obviously breaks down along class lines. Historic events and trends have conspired to leave one race in a specific (under)class. Until the system is fixed, and the laws are made to be actively less partial the disparity will continue and the racism built in to the system will continue. No one person drives the system any more, no more than any one person gets up in the morning determined to incarcerate more blacks than makes any kind of logical or demographic sense.
Until we as a society get our collective heads out of our collective rectums, the problem will persist and the underclass will continue to be far over-represented by African-Americans.
MJN - Unfortunately this shot cannot be taken from Main St... because the hulking, double-deck Broad Street Bridge blocks the view! I like the idea of re-watering it, but I'd just as soon support removing the top section and bringing traffic down to the first level.
This is a big shame. I haven't followed the story of how and why the County opted out of the traditional County Fairgrounds out at E. Henrietta and Calkins. However, that spot is right in the middle of Monroe County, and thus, more fair for all residents who wish to go to it.
Getting rid of the big carnival rides, etc. That is fine, but why do you have to move it? Calkins Rd is accessible by bus. If there's a problem with people parking on roads around the former Fairgrounds, get a posse of deputies together and put up signs saying "You'll get a ticket if you park here" and then hand out the tickets - MC Sheriff and Henrietta Police and volunteers. It takes imagination.
Moving it to Ogden seems to make it remote and separate. What about the pie contests, jam contest etc? Get young people involved in those things -- what about a contest between all high schools to make homemade jams, pies, other things. Because even in the City we grow food or can go to the Public Market and get locally grown cherries, etc. What can we do to bridge the differences between City and non City life in Monroe County?
TIM LOUIS MACALUSO - So you believe that a great wrier like Orwell could only have written a novel such as "1984" because of his medical condition? Does that mean that Ray Bradbury was probably suffering from heartburn when he wrote “Fahrenheit 451” (or when Vonnegut wrote “Slaughterhouse- Five”)?
Hi MJN - I live in the city's northeast quadrant and I see open-air marijuana sales on the corner near my residence continually, despite arrests made just earlier this week. No I don't believe that the sellers or buyers are dumb or blind. I believe that the sellers are well-motivated and accept the risk willingly. Buyers prefer the convenience of being served right in their cars. Both groups likely have a sense of impunity because police enforcement is rare and inconsistent. Sometimes the police will run some low level harassment (e.g. circling around or maybe idling nearby), but very rarely will they exit their cars. The offenders were involved in some street violence requiring an emergency response just this last weekend and the police chief had within recent weeks also called out the specific street name as a known problem spot, these things being what's most likely prompted the recent arrests.
I'm not actually convinced that drug trafficking and use are quite as prevalent outside of the city as within it. Maybe it is, nevertheless it's only within the city that the law is openly flaunted and it's only within the city that the drug activity correlates to ongoing violence.
The truth is that many people do use marijuana discreetly and without drawing undue attention to themselves and those people maybe go undetected for many years. Other people associate with street gangs, commit various crimes open. Especially when violence flares up, police are forced to respond and, after patting people down, oftentimes the thing which police can most easily charge is marijuana possession.
Lincoln DeCoursey – So your common-sense explanation as to why 650% more inner city black youths than white youths get busted for pot possession in Rochester is because there are fewer places to sell weed unobserved then in white neighborhoods so the blacks, completely ignoring how many of their number are being arrested, continue to be more open about it? Must be their eye sight and hearing are also more defective then those faculties in whites because so many of them apparently don’t see or hear the cops coming.
Just think, If Bobby Duffy were still mayor he might have had the roadway torn out and the Broad Street aqueduct "rewatered” by now and we could be listening to frogs croaking in the deathly silence of downtown Rochester.
Nice shot. The full panorama here is really nice.
Have you read "The New Jim Crow"? Have you even taken some time to go to YouTube and listen to Michelle Alexander talk? Have you done the comparative studies and analysis regarding impact of the War on Drugs" and the minority community? The problem is not that the police give some latitude to minor offenses, it's the serious consequences and disparity that happen to some people and not others. Before reading the book, I held the notion that policing was being done fairly across the board. Maybe, maybe not. Numbers don't lie. And please don't quote Abraham Lincoln to me ("Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics"). There are no sets of numbers you can look at to show a different interpretation of the facts.
As for the ". . . favorable consideration in the corner of African Americans - and pretty much only them? What has that done to middle class educational opportunities in the city? And what has this condescension/pity done for African American students?" I can refer you to any number of my past posts and comments. These are issues I've been hollering about for years now. I would NOT call it "favorable consideration." I call it "social promotion", and it is pernicious and evil in the way it has eroded the educational situation in the city. Condescension and pity have only led to our current state of 5% college readiness at graduation. I am 100% behind higher rigor, keeping back kids who can't do grade level work, and getting the quality of our graduates to a point where far fewer of them have to spend all their college financial aid on remediation and fewer than 10% drop out in the first semester (it's over 25% now).
I respect greatly the work of Bill Cosby and Thomas Sowell and William Raspberry and Cornell West. The fact remains that you can preach all the "responsibility" you want. RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT RATES OF DRUG USE/DEALING ARE STATISTICALLY THE SAME AMONG THE WHITE COMMUNITY AS THE BLACK COMMUNITY. I intentionally bolded all that, because the point doesn't seem to be sinking in - the laws are race neutral, enforcement is not. Look at the percentage of our population in jail, then do a demographic breakdown. If you want to try to convince me that the black community is that much more drug using and violent than the white community (please adjust for poverty) you'll have to use actual science.
I do not think that very many police or DAs wake up in the morning and say "I'm gonna bust me some black people today." I think that the whole society has been adversely impacted by race and past racism, and that racial stereotypes persist in media and in people's minds causing UNINTENTIONAL bias in action. We see what we want to see, and act on that, rather than taking a step back and asking if we can believe our eyes, or if we've got some sort of impairment that makes our vision blurry - through no fault or our own.
It's not an attack to say "This is happening." It's not me saying "Police are racist." It's me, and Michelle Alexander, and Ice-T, and any number of other people trying to get people to realize the unintentional - but real - disparity and the socially devastating impact this unintentional disparity is having.
End the War on Drugs now! It's been a failure and has resulted in the social oppression (intentional or not) of an entire community.
How can talk you so confidently about your vision of racial oppression (admittedly backed by an academic industry to maintain it) when you are daily exposed to enormous overt racism concentrated amongst one group? And which group would that be? Wouldn't an objective case study of racism concentrate on the experiences of recent immigrants, and perhaps particularly from Africa, and where they see racism coming from? And out of which group is the most inter-group violence coming from?
You want to talk about race then put the RCSD cards - which you embody - on the table. For how many decades now has RCSD put favorable consideration in the corner of African Americans - and pretty much only them? What has that done to middle class educational opportunities in the city? And what has this condescension/pity done for African American students?
As for suggested readings your timing is good. You might try NYT's 6/11 "Chicago Tactics Put Major Dent in Killing Trend" for pertinent police activities. Or also the Readers Pick comments for NYT's 6/11's "The Effects of Race-Neutral Admissions". Perhaps you could encourage your students to read some recent work by Bill Cosby or Thomas Sowell.
Finally, thank you Lincoln DeCoursey for some finely written points.
Hi Yugoboy - I guess where the difference of opinion is that you're saying that the the state is "targeting" city dwellers with intent to hold them down in society. I just don't see this as plausible. I'm inclined to believe that law enforcement in all municipalities does an honest, impartial job of enforcing the law according to local community standards, showing discretion as appropriate.
Yes the city does have a stronger police presence than in the suburbs, but city police commonly overlook small infractions as an exercise of discretion. In the city, minor criminal activity is more likely to be ignored or responded to with a warning or with a less-robust investigation due to more lenient community standards and due to stretched police resources. Rural and suburban police are most apt to prosecute minor crimes to a greater extent due to more-stringent community standards and a lack of other things to do. At least this is what I think, I may be wrong but I suspect that many who have been on both sides of the fence do hold this general view.
Personally, I live in the city by choice and view city living as a luxury, not anything to be risen out of. I understand that I am probably in the minority view in that respect. Fortunately we do have free choice to live and raise our families where we prefer, whether in the city or the country. Even with limited means there is affordable housing in rural environment and, to an extent, in the suburbs also. I don't believe that anybody is trapped in the hood by the state.
Hi MJN - I didn't miss that the article used racial buckets to break down the recent increases in marijuana arrests, but I chose not to focus on that in my response because I don't believe that law enforcement's response to crime varies by the offender's race. I think that the author could have just as easily chosen to point out that the majority of offenders were males despite survey results indicating similar rates of illegal marijuana consumption among males and females. But what would be the point? Nobody would reasonably infer that the police are sexist or that the law is inherently discriminatory. Similarly I don't see the point of race in this article.
It makes more sense to look for common-sense explanations. Offhand, my first thought would be to instead try bucketing the results by location of offense, e.g. city/urban vs. suburban/rural areas. It makes common sense to me that city offenders will tend to sell and use marijuana more-or-less out in the open to a greater extent, due to the relative lack of availability of secluded spots, and with the assumption that the city police will have better things to do than enforce mostly misdemeanor-level marijuana offenses. Meanwhile people who choose to live in the suburbs are not likely to even encounter police.
If anything, I suspect that city folks probably actually do get off with warnings way more often than suburban and rural folks do, but open-air drug activity in the heavily-patrolled city, is much more readily detectable to police.
In other news, water is wet.
It's no surprise that urban minority youth are targeted far far far more than are suburban white kids. The idea is to put them "in the system" as soon as possible. The sooner we can put them under control of the criminal justice system, the sooner we can ensure that we can prevent their voting, accessing low-cost public housing, getting jobs where you have to "check the box" and other elements of modern life.
Lincoln DeCoursey, while your points are technically valid, as MJN pointed out, you missed the big one. Suburban white kids are as or more likely to use and deal drugs than their urban counterparts. However, enforcement in the suburbs is FAR FAR FAR different from enforcement in the city. If Johnny Pittsford gets caught smoking some weed in a park, his parents are going to get a call, he may get charged with a misdemeanor, and the parents can afford a lawyer to ensure that little Johnny's life isn't sent off-track by a poor choice made at 16. If Bobby Crescent is arrested smoking weed in a park, he's going to be arrested and charged under the Rockefeller drug laws. He's going to get some overworked public defender who will encourage a plea deal that will prevent jail time, but leave Bobby with a criminal record that he will have to live with for the rest of his life. His plans and dreams are most likely over.
Ted Christopher - one reason you have been exposed more in the city than in the suburbs is due less to a desire to smoke openly than to a need, due to lack of places to hang out. There are plenty of suburban homes where the working or vacationing parents do not know that Johnny Pittsford is hanging out with his 12 friends smoking up a smog cloud in their house. Teens in the suburbs have more access to cars, larger more private parks, and many other choices urban youth do not. If you are being exposed to older African-Americans (low to mid 20s), realize that they have already likely been put on the felony track and have little to lose. Their dreams are already dashed on the shores of the Municipal Court House.
While my own personal (Libertarian) preference is for legalization and making underage use subject to treatment/deterrence penalties that will not leave a permanent mark, until they start enforcing these laws equally in white and black neighborhoods these laws are not good laws. They are tools of oppression to be used by the state to keep the majority of one particular group of people from advancing.
Don't believe me? Read "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander before you reply. Over 15 years ago, Ice-T made a similar point in his book "The Ice Opinion" only with far fewer statistics and court cases at hand than Ms. Alexander did.
Lincoln DeCoursey - I see you missed the point. The decision to smoke pot or not IS a personal choice. But more disturbingly, apparently the decision by the cops as to who to arrest or not for doing so is also a personal choice. If a white kid gets a warning and a black kid gets the slammer for possessing the same amount of weed, then the black kid does have a legitimate complaint. Or do you support inequitable and arbitrary application of the law by the police?
I agree with Dave.
In fact being a daughter of a current resident, I am ashamed of the "care" I see going on at that facility. The patient next door to my mother has had to call 911 several times, because the nursing staff and aides fail to answer call lights.
The meals they provide my mother consist of green beans on a plate.
The nurses/aides can be seen texting on their cell phones or watching tv in the lounges.
A law suit has been filed in NYS Supreme Court challenging the red light cameras all over Rochester as unconstitutional based on violating the 5th Amendment right to due process.
People should not have to give up their civil liberties to live, work, play or just drive in the city. I am the Plaintiff in the court case. Read more and follow the case through court at:
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