Nice shot. The full panorama here is really nice.
More video reviews! I love this. :)
Are you aware that the developer receives a refund from the state for his PILOT payments by virtue of Medley being located in an Empire Zone? The Syracuse Post Standard has published the amount of these refunds for several years, via a searchable database on their website -- data through 2010. I asked Empire State Development for the amount for 2011, and it was nearly half a million dollars. So, it's not fair to say that Congel has paid his PILOT payments. The taxpayers of NY have paid his PILOT payments. By my estimation, NYS has refunded him (or the previous owner) over $2.5 million since 2007, while the project paid slightly less than that in PILOT and property taxes. Add this to whatever tax write off he is getting for depreciation on the building, and he is making money on this situation.
I am a semi-regular at Swan's and have had the sampler platter many times. Delicious every time. Never have I; seen it listed as, heard it referred to as or thought of it as a "German garbage plate".
Thanks for pointing out the error, we have corrected it in the text above. Apologies for the mistake.
I like walking with Dayna and Adam!
It certainly makes me want to check out the film.
What lovely discussion without too much spoilage.
Thanks for this!
I've always been fond of the Beechwood neighborhood, and this looks like a great excuse to visit more often. Thank you for bringing this bright spot to our attention. Would love to see more highlights from this quadrant.
"If he walks away and that place goes dark, we'll receive no taxes," D'Aurizio says
How is that possible? If the PILOT is terminated, he would still own the property, would he not? Would not he still be responsible for taxes on the property's actual assessed value?
big eyed PHish
You're absolutely correct, Stratford Fan. We've corrected the article. Thanks.
The "innovation" that Urbanski claims to want has been possible for more than a decade under the Living Contract provision of the RTA contract and the school-based planning team policy, no further governance change is legitimately warranted. (Unless the goal is more power for the RTA.) Under the Living Contract, teachers at any school can vote to waive provisions of the contract to make it more flexible, innovative, or student-centered, they just haven't done it. The School-based planning Policy gives schools unprecedented autonomy and teachers and parents decision-making rights . (These aren't advisory bodies, they are deliberative.) Few, if any, of these SBPTs have used this authority to build "community schools" or otherwise innovate, even though they've always had the power to do so. We should all be skeptical of Urbanski's latest "innovation" idea that is frankly, nothing more than a power grab disguised as reform. The latest in a long list of his Trojan horses.
Vargas' remedy of "conversion charters" is equally empty, but also gives the allusion of change, the latest in a long line of Superintendent "reformy" moves. The only substantive change that conversion charters will bring is to governance: the school-based planning team will be replaced with a board that may or may not include parents and teachers. Same contracts, same work rules. (Charters in name only.) The public should also be skeptical of Vargas' new calls for school autonomy given that he dismantled the student-based budgeting, the "gold standard" in practices to support school autonomy. He also appears to be unwilling to take full advantage of the new state teacher evaluation law to make staffing decisions based on effectiveness, rather than seniority, another key principle of school autonomy.
In either case, parents will be relinquishing their decision-making rights and getting very little, if anything in return. Let's hope they do their homework and don't buy the snake oil that either is peddling.
You should know that Tom Rooney, not Brian Bedford, plays the role of Angelo in Measure for Measure.
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.
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?
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