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Feedback 9/16 

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Study World of Inquiry's example

I find it interesting that Mary Anna Towler (Urban Journal, August 26) calls for schools with an urban/suburban/rural draw, and "superior teachers, facilities, and specialists" meant to "bring together in one place...students of a large area."

That idea, floated in the late 1960's, did not actually go "nowhere." It was the basis for the foundation of World of Inquiry Elementary School, which families clamored to get into, and which (now a K-12 school) is still a gem of the city school district.

In the ensuing decades, however, access for students from outside the district was dropped for political and funding reasons. The exemplar is right in front of our noses, but we need to find out what happened to the broad geographic, socioeconomic, and cultural mix portion of a successful formula for that school so that we can keep from running into the same barriers.

WENDY LOW

Migrants are our responsibility

During World War II, millions of refugees in Western and Eastern Europe were forced to abandon their homes to flee the Nazis. Once they reached the borders of their homeland, where could they go? Who would take them in? It is nauseating to consider how often our nation turned its back on these migrants in their time of crisis.

Fast forward 70 years. According to Amnesty International, the number of migrants who have crossed the Mediterranean so far this year is approaching a quarter of a million. Speaking as a concerned citizen of the United States, I find it shameful that the world's most powerful navy is not doing more to aid these refugees. The size and magnitude of the US Navy carriers alone could provide shelter to tens of thousands of migrants fleeing war.

If we truly are a humanitarian force for good, then we have a moral obligation to not only rescue these people when things go drastically wrong, but to provide them with a first-class escort to freedom.

For years, the innocent people of Libya and Syria have been held under the iron fist of sadistic warmongers, bloodthirsty mercenaries, religious fanatics, and calculating politicians. The children of these countries deserve far better than this.

In cooperation with our European partners, we should vow to rescue and liberate every single migrant who attempts to cross the Mediterranean. Let us not lose another precious human life when we have the resources and capacity to intervene. After-all, history is only doomed to repeat itself when we fail to act on the lessons we have learned.

GEORGE C. PAYNE

Founder and director of Gandhi Earth Keepers International

Paint job doesn't fit neighborhood's character

As a resident of the St. Paul Quarter, I couldn't be more hopeful about the mission of Hive Village — the local LLC that is refurbishing some of the neighborhood's buildings into loft and retail spaces. However, I couldn't be more despondent about the colors that The Hive has chosen to paint the facade of the otherwise gorgeous old building at 155 St. Paul Street.

Bright blue-periwinkle and saturated primary yellow now sting the eye as one walks along this previously beautiful stretch of the street. The only color that works (the building is now painted three colors) is the neutral gray on the left, which easily could have been used for the whole facade.

If integration with the rest of the neighborhood is The Hive's goal, then from a visual standpoint, it already risks failure. If uninformed, I would never guess that this is the work of a smart, dedicated, local company. Instead, I'd think it was the gaffe of an out-of-town developer who never stopped to get a feel for the neighborhood.

I would also never guess that the ground-level retail spaces are intended for small local businesses (part of the admirable Retailent Rochester campaign). Instead, I'd think those colors are setting the tone for a gimmick-based chain restaurant.

I wrote to Hive Village with a request to tone down the colors and received a prompt and appreciative response. I got the impression that The Hive DOES value feedback. If others have opinions, messages can be sent via the contact form at www.hivevillage.com or to info@hiveprop.com.

I absolutely agree with The Hive's goal of an authentic urban neighborhood, but the color scheme insults the character that already exists here.

VALERIE BERNER

Breath tests beat court

New York spends millions of dollars processing DWI drivers, which consumes court and probation employees' time and creates expensive programs.

About 10 years ago, North Dakota introduced "24/7 Sobriety." It requires repeat offenders to report each morning and evening for approximately five months to a police facility to submit to a breath test to prove they have not been drinking.

Instead of separating offenders from their cars, this program concentrates on denying them alcohol. They can drive all they want. They're under court order, however, not to drink. Noncompliance results in a mandatory and swift arrest and jail time.

Since 2005, over seven-million tests have been administered to over 30,000 people. A 2013 paper in the American Journal of Health reveals that the program resulted in a 12-percent drop in drunk-driving arrests and a 9-percent drop in domestic violence arrests.

Punishment, although modest, is swifter, more certain, and less costly. It is much easier to hold the violator in a local jail for a few nights than to send that person to prison and require attendance at numerous programs and install an interlock system. Other cities in the US and UK have started using this program, too.

Why can't it be adopted here in New York State, at least on an experimental basis? But then it would dry up a nice source of revenue for government coffers.

JAMES R. BOEHLER

Boehler is a Rochester attorney

Don't write off Sanders

While I understand Ms. Towler's pragmatism (Urban Journal, September 9), I was disappointed by her immediate dismissal of the Bernie Sanders campaign. At this point in 2007, we were raising similar concerns about President Obama's electability.

The Real Clear Politics poll cited in the article shows Sanders defeating Trump, Bush, and Walker in a general election. His favorability ratings outdistance those of his competitors by a wide margin.

Mrs. Clinton is a seasoned politician and a capable leader, but her fealty to Wall Street and big business along with her shifting positions on trade and the environment contribute to her growing trust deficit.

Senator Sanders is the only candidate in the race who has made wealth and income inequality a central pillar of his campaign. His commitment to labor issues and social justice are borne out in his voting record. As someone who believes that economic inequality is the moral issue of our time, I can't in good conscience lend my support to any other candidate.

If every person who said that he or she would vote for Sanders if he were "electable" voted for Sanders, then perhaps he would become just that.

RAVI MANGLA

Bet on a Republican president in 2017

Hillary won't win the presidency and yes, you will have a Republican president in 2017. Republicans don't hate Obama because of racism. They just don't like the fact that he has been the worst president since Jimmy Carter and maybe one day you'll wake up and see what we mean.

JOHN SMART

Another place for solar

I would love to see Monroe County put solar arrays on the sides of our expressways. This is done in Massachusetts and I believe it's a great use of the land buffering the expressways.

THOMAS MYERS

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