I am both amused and saddened by the depiction of dfaROCHESTER in the article "Divide or conquer? The Dems' Dilemma" (June 29).
dfaROCHESTER is many things, because we are a diverse group of people. We are teachers, students, inventory-control specialists, lactation consultants, lawyers, programmers, student employment coordinators, secretaries, and many other professions. Some of us are retired or unemployed. We are also outspoken, hardworking, honest, caring, involved, concerned, and respectful of each other.
We have never thought of ourselves as intimidating --- though I have noticed many people are surprised at how dedicated and hardworking we are. If that's intimidating, then so be it.
We are also not a faction of 15, as an anonymous source called us. We are far stronger than 15, with upwards of 60 people attending our monthly Meet Ups and various other events and activities throughout the month. Some of our "quiet" members research news articles and post them on our message board, thus providing an educational service to the group. One of our members operates a nationwide talent bank of people with various skills needed in political campaigns. We have 30-40 very active members, though the public will never see some of their activities.
The article states that dfaROCHESTER is defying Joe Morelle. This is incorrect. In order to defy him, we would have to have the intent to do so and we do not. We are supporting candidates --- plain and simple. That we do not always support the Democratic Party's designated candidates simply means we find great value in other candidates, and we believe voters deserve many choices when they seek the best candidate.
We cannot be considered a faction of the Democratic Party, since dfaROCHESTER is open to members of all political parties and we are willing to endorse members of all parties. We are like-minded, fiscally conservative and socially progressive people and are willing to endorse anyone who believes in those values.
The most amusing part of the article concerns the anonymous "political insider". This person would only make comments if he/she could remain anonymous. This issue is not important enough to warrant the words of a mysterious, anonymous source.
Thomas R. Janowski, Organizer, co-founder, dfaROCHESTER, Hazelhurst Drive, Gates
Writer Krestia DeGeorge's response: The anonymous source says the characterization of dfa's size was not intended literally --- and frankly, we never expected that it would be taken that way.
I couldn't believe my eyes! Front-page coverage on my most beloved printing process ("Wood Type Rising," June 29). We typofiles are few but obviously are growing. Michael Neault's article supports my contention, hopefully, that given the opportunity more people will realize the beauty, tranquility, and therapeutic qualities of an almost lost art.
I have been collecting letterpress equipment for many years, most of it stashed throughout the city, my garage, and basement. Lately I've been trying to convince myself that organizing it all into one space and opening it up to the public might be the best way to preserve and advance letterpress printing.
I'm in the middle of a business plan to establish a PrintingArtsCenter here in Rochester. It will be a non-profit entity offering paper making, letterpress workshops, and book binding. I'm modeling this enterprise on the 20-year-old, very successful Center for Book Arts in Minnesota and hope to be operational within six months.
Mitch Cohen, The PinMark Press, Glenhill Drive, Brighton
"Wood Type Rising" (June 29) brought yesteryear back to me in a big way.
As a former printer's devil, it was great to see wood type, or "circus type," coming back as a printed art form. After more than 40 years in the publishing, newspaper, and related businesses, it did bring back with sadness and joy my early years with the smell of the paper and ink under my fingernails.
William C. Gerling, Henrietta Street, Rochester
"Monroe Tobacco Money Is Gone," read the D&C headline. Surprise, surprise. Did anyone think that money would be applied to worthwhile needs? Steve Minarik and his puppets in county government couldn't shake any of that money loose to maintain nursing services for city school children.
No Monroe County Republicans would dare to do anything without Mr. Minarik's approval --- not if they want the continuing support of the party. Of course, they are always generous with COMIDA benefits for their corporate sponsors. All too often, those corporations pocket the money and take the jobs out of the county within a few years. And of course our local commercial news media never pick up on any of this. Can't alienate Mr. Minarik; he might not grant us any more "sound bites" for the evening news. So much for liberal media bias.
If all of this upsets you, don't blame Mr. Minarik, Republicans, Democrats, or anyone else in government. They are simply doing what the rest of us allow them to do. If you don't vote, or if you always vote your party line, you don't have to look any farther than the nearest mirror to see whom to blame.
Until you demand better from our politicians, you can't expect anything more. Believe it or not, they will respond if people demand what they want at the ballot box.
Dan Walsh, South Avenue, Rochester
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