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.
Now, I'm the last one to complain that RCSD employees are overpaid. We're generally not. We make middle class money for long hours and significant stress.
$1,000,000\10 = $100,000 Granted, that also includes benefits, payroll taxes, social security and the like. But that still seems a bit high. I would at least like more data.
A podcast is basically a radio show that you download or stream, they are awesome! There are thousands of them, about pretty much anything. Some are produced specifically as podcasts, and some are just recordings of radio shows. There are usually no commercials, but they might have live reads for sponsors.
Some of the ones I listen to are:
The Adam Carolla Show
The Dan Lebatard Show with Stugotz (daily Miami radio sports show)
Around the Horn (daily ESPN show)
The Football Ramble (English/European Soccer)
The B.S. Report (various sports/pop culture from Bill Simmons)
Men in Blazers (soccer show on Grantland network)
Marek vs. Wyshynski (daily hockey show)
NPR radio shows tend to all be available as podcasts too
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?
To paraphrase Marc Maron (who I've never heard of), WTF is a podcast?
Another example of stone-deaf Cuomo: He touts his 'women's legislative agenda' and yet does NOTHING to get rid of Sheldon Silver who paid off the sexual harrassment victims of Vito Lopez. Cuomo pays nothing but lip service.
For anyone who knows a city student or works with them, this is a SCARY, SCARY situation. Kids need these important services. School staff can NOT address these issues as well as School Coordinators! It will cost more than just money in the long run.
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:
These people must be out of their minds.
PLEASE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE ARTICLE ABOVE. IT IS MOST INTERESTING, IF NOT AMAZING, FOR SEVERAL REASONS:
1) Some of the comments in the article MAY be indicative of the very first time that any semblance of a small fissure of public disagreement has occurred between Dr.'s Vargas and Urbanski --- who have pretty much, walked in lock-step (at least publicly) concerning all major education issues --- since the time that Vargas was first hand-picked to so-called "lead." In fact, development and implementation of All City High was obviously an almost exclusive, joint-venture between leaders of the Rochester Teachers Association and Rochester City School District's top Administration.
2) Surely it is not news that the 7 people who were elected to lead the RCSD are totally out of touch. Instead of them issuing policy directives, and insisting that the highly-paid Superintendent adheres to their directives --- they are continuing their long-standing abdication of responsibility, and literally begging the highly-paid Superintendent to keep them informed of what he's doing. So, we have the 7 people who are elected to lead the school district NOT holding the highly-paid Superintendent accountable for his actions, and you have us (voters and taxpayers) NOT holding the 7 people who are elected to lead accountable for their in-actions. So, NO ONE IS HOLDING ANYONE ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANYTHING. WE LITERALLY HAVE THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND, AND WE WONDER WHY CHANGE AND IMPROVEMENT NEVER OCCURS? A couple of clear, outstanding examples of the phenomenon referenced above are as follows:
a) "Some board members say the superintendent's decision caught them off guard." WHAT???!!!
b) "Something is very inconsistent about all of this," says school board member Van White. "All along we've been asking for data on All City High, and just two weeks ago we were told everything is fine there." WHAT???!!! Well, now that Board members know (based on the latter quote) that the highly-paid Superintendent has essentially been lying to them --- what do they intend to do about it? And, if Board members follow their long-standing, normal pattern of not doing anything about it, what do we (voters and taxpayers) plan to do about the fact that they are not going to do anything about it? Will we all just continue the long-standing pattern of no one holding anyone accountable for anything? When will heads roll?
3) There are some statements in the article that are disingenuous (to say the least), and designed to bamboozle and hoodwink the public into believing that some type of magical transformation has occurred. The following is a classic example: "But school officials say that All City High was always intended as an immediate option for students floundering or at risk of dropping out of the five schools that are being closed. The school has fulfilled that mission, officials say,..." WHAT???!!! Are we to believe that there are no longer any students who are "floundering or at risk of dropping out?"
4) The article also contains some brand new language, which the writer seems to be attempting to palm off as part of the norm. It is not. For example, we have heard, and read general rhetoric concerning the idea and possibility of future, "teacher-led-schools," but there hasn't been any mention of parents being a part of leadership until now. Thus, based on the following quotes, apparently someone has had an epiphany, and realized that, with regard to leadership, it's critically important to include parents: "Urbanski says he supports more innovative schools, such as parent-and teacher-led community schools. But he says that Vargas wants to convert the failing schools to parent-and teacher-led charter conversion" schools." I repeat, the term "PARENTS" in the latter quotes is BRAND NEW LANGUAGE. Yet, (based on past rhetoric), it is my unequivocal view that parents need to be very cautious, and even suspect. That is, we have heard TALK in the past about "shared leadership and decision-making," but for the most part, it has boiled down to nothing more or less than just TALK. Additionally, in my humble, but firm view, it is important for us to reject the idea, and past practice of hand-picked parents being assigned as our so-called "leaders" (such as, for example, many of those who are part of the so-called District Parent Council) who are clearly disconnected from the vast majority of RCSD parents and guardians. Instead, we must insist on a completely democratic process that provides equitable opportunities for involvement and engagement of ALL RCSD PARENTS AND GUARDIANS. According to information in the article, there is already a serious, potential, fundamental problem with Vargas's idea of "parent- and teacher-led charter conversion" schools," i.e., "A majority of the teachers [BUT NOT THE PARENTS] in the school would have to agree to the conversion..."
Indeed, parents and guardians, especially those whose children are struggling the most, should be skeptical of any type of charter school arrangement --- because one thing is crystal clear: Charter schools definitely "siphon off the better performing students from the host school system, leaving the district with mainly low-performing, disruptive students — those requiring more and costly special services."
It is important to give credit where credit is due. If he is really serious, Urbanski is correct about one thing: “The goal should be to fix the broken system, not opt out of it."
Here's a solid article that points out some of the flaws of "reformers" like you Mrs. Remis, and your local education cronies ( Gantt, Warren, Williams, etc). Charter's are a corporate hustle and don't deal with the real issue that is holding back many RCSD students, overwhelming concentrated POVERTY. You can call out teacher accountability and unions and support charter schools until you're blue in the face, but more and more people are realizing the dishonesty and lack of evidence to support this new con game. How is your child's unionized, non-charter, affluent, suburban school performing?
Fracking and energy independence are an interesting pair....until you realize the gas industry is preparing to sell fracked gas to foreign countries.
AMEN HOWARD EAGLE...I COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF!!! Sad to see, but it appears that 9 people "dislike" hearing (reading) the truth. You keep speaking that truth brotha cuz the people that really care about our children are listening and reading!!!
There has been some national coverage of this finding. I saw that some scholars pointed out this was perhaps indirectly associated with a more aggressive police presence in minority inner city neighborhoods (which has been significant in reducing black-on-black violence).
I still have not seen the obvious explanation. Some African Americans are smoking marijuana much more openly than any other group I am aware of. My overwhelming exposure to marijuana in the city (via smell) has been from young African Americans smoking in public.
Leave it to the ACLU to push their innuendo.
Mr. Partner's statement illustrates the problem perfectly - RCSD admin is detached from what goes on day-to-day in their schools. As a former agency employee, I relied heavily on Student & Family Support Center Coordinators to help me ensure that I met my program (funders) goals. School SWs & counselors are already overwhelmed - to think they can step in and fill the void of a SFSC Coordinator is downright foolish. What RCSD will end up with is disorganization, disruption of academic time, duplication of services, violation of student & family privacy, violation of RCSD & school policy, and a lack of awareness among teachers & students as to what services are available and how to access them. The services will be less effective and less efficient, plain & simple.
SFSC Coordinators also act as liaisons to the community - not just the programs located in the school. How will that be replaced? By SWs that can only work with the Special Ed population? By Guidance Counselors that already have a caseload of 300 students? This is RCSD pulling the wool over everyone's eyes - even their own.
This is NOT about money - not when RCSD gives the Hillside Work Scholarship program $600,000 - a program that will only accept students already on the path to success and that will terminate a student with quickness if they fall by the wayside. This is going backwards. Really expected more from Vargas (a guidance counselor himself). What a shame.
Parents should be cautious of the charter conversion option. Converted charters are not 'real' charters: they have the same contracts and work rules as the district schools. Charters in name only.
This is a sad, sad state of affairs. If the center's counselors and social workers saw more than 5,000 students in the 2011 to 2012 school year, um...that's a lot of kids who received support. And now ten positions have been cut, so other social workers with be over-burdened in an attempt to deliver the same kind of quality care to the same numbers of students in a school district that is currently ranked one of the WORST in our state? Seems like you should be hiring social workers, not firing them.
I understand that counseling programs are expensive, but jail is even more expensive.
Is there REALLY no where else fat could have been cut? Seems like these kinds of support services are critical to the city youth population.
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