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Finding ‘Democracy,’ assessing Wegmans

Reader feedback 11.3.04 

RIGHTS, WRONGS

So Bishop Tutu is concerned about why we "detain people without trial" (Metro Ink, October 13). Enemy combatants who behead civilians, homicide bombers, etc., are neither American citizens nor criminal defendants. At least since 9/11, we have been at war with religious fanatics who want to become martyrs by slaughtering "Crusaders" and enter a heaven filled with 72 virgins.

            A senior Taliban commander recently released from Guantanamo was just killed in Afghanistan fighting against combined American and Afghani forces. Too bad he didn't get arrested and receive his Miranda warnings.

            And by the way, Bishop, there's genocide in the Sudan, soldiers cutting off limbs and raping children in Sierra Leone, and lots of other horrors being perpetrated in the world today that would seem more worthy of your concerns. I doubt there's much "due process" in other prisons not far from Guantanamo, either.

            Alan L. Glaser, East Main Street, Rochester


SOUND FAMILIAR

After reading Chad Oliveiri's interviews with Jon Haliniak of WXXI and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! ("The Sounds of Silence," October 13), I am seriously considering withdrawing my support from WXXI, though I have been a long-time supporter of PBS. Democracy Now!is an award-winning independent voice that uncovers stories that fall through the cracks of the mainstream media.

            The interview with Haliniak and his defense of WXXI's decision to not air Democracy Now!, despite the wishes of hundreds of listeners, sounds like a parody of the Bush White House. It seems WXXI has made a hasty decision and is now determined to save face by not reversing it. In Haliniak's words, it was a "staff-managerial-programming decision." In short, no single individual is responsible. Sound familiar?

            When asked for evidence that Amy Goodman stated her opinion on air, or that the program exhibited her bias, Haliniak said the decision was based on "her body of work." In short, no specific evidence. Sound familiar?

            When asked if WXXI would change its decision if more contributing listeners were to voice their desire to have the program aired, Haliniak said, "Not at this time." They have made no mistakes and are going to stand by their decision, no matter what the people want. Sound familiar?

            The logic is also Bush-league. They want a "range of opinions and voices to reflect a non-partisan approach." So let's see: If you have an opinion, which Amy Goodman is accused of having, you can voice it only in a non-partisan way. How does one do that? Or isn't it more that the station should present viewpoints from a variety of perspectives, and thus achieve balance? How can one expect a single voice to articulate an opinion and balance it at the same time?

            Well, they do allow the conservative Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered. Haliniak justifies this by saying Carlson's show is not a news show. Aha! Here's a way out, WXXI: Simply run Democracy Now!as an opinion show, even though Amy Goodman doesn't give her opinion. Or maybe you could require that she do so, and use her show to balance Carlson's. Seems logical, doesn't it?

            I realize that WXXI is afraid of losing its federal money if it riles the current conservative government. But those of us who have appreciated and supported WXXI all these years have come to expect courage and integrity and fairness and in-depth programming on the part of PBS, and to have our wishes considered at least as much as those of a particular political persuasion that happens for the moment to be in power.

            Robert H. Herzog, Rawson Road, Victor


FINDING DEMOCRACY

There is an alternative for those who want to listen to Democracy Now!but can't access it on a local station. WOFF Radio On Demand offers access to Democracy Now!archived programs so you can listen whenever you want to whatever you want from wherever you are.

            Just visit www.woffradio.com and click on Democracy Now!, which is listed under "Indie News" along with several other independent "point of view" sources. You have the choice of either accessing the KPFA archives or going directly to the Democracy Now!web site, which offers several listening options.

            Paul Yonge, James Street, Syracuse (Youngeand Syracuse-area resident Richard Groff are involved in the creation and operation of WOFF.)


LOVIN' WEGMANS, BUT SMALL IS GOOD

I am not against Wegmans. The business shows flexibility in its marketing, in being able to keep up with new demands of the customers. It has created value with "Food You Feel Good About" and house-brand canned vegetables. The deli and bakery sections are well appreciated, and I like being able to get pharmacy items while shopping for groceries. I have noticed with interest the many recent improvements to Wegmans' East Henrietta Road store. New refrigeration units and wider aisles have made shopping easier for me and hopefully more efficient for stocking. I continue to support Wegmans as a great place to do business.

            However, I do not favor Wegmans' proposal to build a superstore at the Monroe County Fairgrounds location in Henrietta. First, I prefer to shop in a smaller, simpler place that I can get into and out of quickly. If I need fancy food or gourmet items, I have the choice of going to the bigger Wegmans in Henrietta or Pittsford. I also have the choice of Tops, Lori's Natural Foods, Gro-Moore, and summer farmers markets. I appreciate the options I now have.

            My second reason is my desire for Henrietta --- my home of more than 12 years ---to have an identity as more than a collection of businesses. "Community building" rather than commercial building is what the town's Comprehensive Land Use Plan envisions. What is it that brings us together as neighbors? Having another brick-and-mortar store, paving over more land, putting in another stop light on Calkins would not further that goal.

            Brighton-Henrietta Town Line Road, Jefferson Road, East Henrietta Road, West Henrietta Road, parts of Lehigh Station Road, parts of Calkins Road, and part of Winton Road are busy and commercial. Calkins Road from Hylan Drive to East Henrietta Road, where the Wegmans development is proposed, still has a local flavor.

            Laura E. Arney, Barnfield Road, Henrietta


WRITING TO CITY

We welcome and encourage readers' letters for publication. Send them to: themail@rochester-citynews.com or The Mail, City Newspaper, 250 North Goodman Street, Rochester14607.

            Our guidelines: We don't publish anonymous letters --- and we ask that you include your street name and city/town/village. We don't publish letters that have been sent to other media. While we don't restrict length, letters of under 350 words have a greater chance of being published. We do edit letters for clarity and brevity. And in general we don't publish letters (or longer "op-ed" pieces) from the same writer more often than about once every two months.

  • Finding ‘Democracy,’ assessing Wegmans

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