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Transgender questions, Xerox execs' pay, Renaissance Square reforms

Reader feedback 4.27.05 

HEARING VOICES

Frank De Blase writes: "It's Tilbrook's voice you hear on pop classics like 'Tempted'" (Short Takes, April 13). It should be noted that although Glenn Tilbrook may have contributed backing vocals, the lead vocals on "Tempted" are, to borrow a phrase, "the fruit of another"--- namely, Paul Carrack. He was with Squeeze for a brief period and was also a member of blue-eyed soul group Ace, best known for "How Long (Has This Been Going On)."

            Not that anyone cares, or ought to. I just felt like being a smarty-pants music nerd.

            Tom Clifford, South Avenue, Rochester


ANSWERS, PLEASE

"New Battleground for Human Rights: The Bathroom" (March 23) raised three questions for me:

            1) This seems like a lot of fuss and bother over a very small component of the population. What percentage of the population are we talking about?

            2) Why are transgendered folks lumped in with gay people? It seems to me that most transgendered people are not homosexual.

            3) What, exactly, needs to happen to convert a men's or women's bathroom into a unisex bathroom?

            Donald S. Hall, Vick Park B, Rochester

            Jennifer Loviglio's response: Although some researchers have tried to estimate the size of the transgender population, it's still unknown. If you count the number of people who've undergone sex-change operations, you miss a majority of transgender people who cannot or will not have surgery. If you track people who've sought counseling for transgender issues, you miss those who don't seek therapy. And as Pam Barres of the Rochester Transgender Group says: "It's not a census question. It's not a question most people would answer truthfully."

            Barres says that despite their differences, transgendered and gay people band together in GLBT groups because they have common enemies. And although sexual orientation and gender identity are not the same, transgendered people have always been part of gay community. Barres points to the involvement of drag queens and butch lesbians in the Stonewall Riots in NY in 1969.

            Regarding your final question, Barres suggests putting a sign on the door that says "restroom," and not "men" or "women."

            "In almost all bathrooms they have toilets, not just urinals," Barres says. "You can leave the urinal and change the sign. And put a lock on the door."


MONEY MATTERS

This is the news: Xerox announces additional compensation for its millionaire executives. What's the significance for the rest of us?

            This has not suddenly become a world in which being laid off by a major corporation is a thing of the past. Nor are people of our community free of the burdens that assault the victims of unemployment, those who lack adequate health care, public schools struggling to survive, social services constantly understaffed.

            Some observers predict that our society is on the road to disaster. We note the grand smiles on the faces of capitalism's champions, preening as responsible citizens, featuring gems of inspirational rhetoric in speeches addressed to their peers. The setting typically is a banquet where the honoree will modestly accept a leadership award. Our nightmares have a sustained foundation in reality.

            Are we being poor sports? Should we stop meditating on the nature of greed, and cheer wildly for those who are living proof that anybody willing to work hard enough can join the special folks on Cloud Nine?

            At least one more bad dream for hastening Rochester's downfall: gambling. The people playing away the grocery money can safely bet that Xerox's millionaires will never be among them.

            Martin Fass, Linden Street, Rochester


REVISING REN SQUARE

It looks like Renaissance Square is a done deal, other than getting the rest of its funding and doing the demolitions and construction. This project, however, should be done differently.

            A new performing arts center and new Monroe Community College campus should be constructed as two separate buildings on the Renaissance Square site, with the former resembling the much-missed Palace Theater, though on a larger scale. The new MCC center should resemble the also-missed Claude Bragdon train station.

            The bus station should be located on the first floor of the Sibley Building. This would eliminate the health and traffic problems of an underground station and would eliminate the need for more state and federal funding. Aid from both governments could instead be used for the following: to build a new Amtrak station at the site of the current one, resembling the Bragdon station; to restore the EZ Rider downtown shuttle service; and to create a light rail or trolley system.

            The public should be assured that the Performing Arts Center will not detract from the Geva and Auditorium theaters and smaller ones. The new Renaissance Center should be a focal point for all of downtown, spurring revitalization and a link between the East End and High Falls, improving both. It is also critical that any businesses in the buildings slated for demolition be guaranteed new space in Sibley and Midtown.

            Kevin F. Yost, Middle Road, Henrietta


URBAN ED

What a wonderful article on the Jump Off Campus Store located in Madison High School of Excellence (Metro Ink, March 23).

            This SouthWest Area Neighborhood Association program under the leadership of executive director Pat Jackson and in partnership with Madison, Dr. Andrew Ray, principal, is truly a tribute to all of the wonderful programs and activities at SWAN.

            The Austin Steward Young Entrepreneur Program has been made possible by two key individuals: State Senator Joseph Robach and Monroe County Legislator Calvin Lee. They have shown a true commitment to the southwest area and its residents.

            In addition to their eight weeks of classroom training and a buying trip to New York City, the student-owners are truly learning valuable hands-on experience in running a business. They are learning management skills, marketing and advertising skills, math and accounting skills.

            Thank you for your interest in the southwest area of the city and in particular the SouthWest Area Neighborhood Association.

            Linda Terrell, program manager, Austin Steward Young Entrepreneur Program


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, Rochester 14607.

            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 --- and we don't publish form letters generated by activist groups. 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.

  • Transgender questions, Xerox execs' pay, Renaissance Square reforms

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