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Sprawl and decline, Bush and the law

Reader feedback - 7.26.06 

BLEEDING THE COUNTY

I was so glad to read your article about Neil Jaschik ("Growth Without Growth," July 12). His has been a consistent voice for reason in this community. His opinions on endless sprawl while our population shrinks are right on the mark.

Unfortunately, a major project that will only greatly increase urban sprawl is about to be implemented. The Monroe County Water Authority is about to begin construction of a new $110,000,000 water treatment plant in Webster. The final cost is sure to exceed the $110 million currently estimated. The amazing thing is that there is absolutely no need for this project --- at least in MonroeCounty. The existing water sources (in Greece and the City's Hemlock supply) are more than adequate to serve our declining population. Has anyone heard of a water shortage or water pressure problem anyplace in MonroeCounty in years? The answer is a resounding no!

So why is the Monroe County Water Authority building the Webster water plant? The announced intention is so it will be able to supply more water to surrounding counties and expand the water distribution system into more unserved areas in the adjoining counties. This is absurd! Believe me, if you run a water line down a road, development will surely follow, especially business development.

Businesses will not go to areas that do not have adequate public water supplies. Push those water mains out into WayneCounty, where property taxes are lower (primarily because of the Ginna nuclear power plant), and development will surely follow just as morning follows night.

This is absurd. MonroeCounty is broke, but the Monroe County Water Authority is spending $110 million-plus to bleed people and businesses out of MonroeCounty. And because it is an authority, this is happening with virtually no public input and no governmental oversight.

Paul E. Haney, Broadway, Rochester (Haney is the Monroe County Legislator from the 23rd district.)


WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

The "Emptied Out" articles on abandoned housing (May 17 and 24) miss the point and dance around what is wrong in most of New York State (except for the big sucking noise that is New York City).

Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs: where have all the jobs gone? If there are no jobs, people cannot rent or own property. They cannot buy goods. Property owners have little or no interest in keeping their property, let alone keeping it up. Where there is no money for the populace, there is no future. Where there are no jobs, there can be no high taxes, whether for the homeowner or the business owner.

What are your politicians doing? It looks like nothing at all. A lot of hand-wringing and blaming. Not one lick of movement. Measure this, measure that. You cannot create home ownership among people who have no jobs, thus no money.

And there is crime. Gangs, gangs, and more gangs. Then the sad story from the politicians: that you cannot hire more police because there is no money.

So let's see some real reporting. Stir up your citizens and make them demand more from their government officials. The city should be trolling constantly for new businesses to come into Rochester. The government should be offering incentive packages to high-tech companies. New YorkState has many colleges that turn out inventive and smart people.

I have always taken pride in saying that I come from mid-state New York. But I don't acknowledge that much anymore. Start using your minds! Bring in the jobs, and you will have a whole new economy. And your housing situation will begin to take care of itself.

Marcia W. McLoughlin, Scottsdale, Arizona(McLoughlin says she left New York "because there were no good jobs.")


FOLLOWING ORDERS

The first grievance against King George in the Declaration of Independence is "He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good." George Bush repeats this offense with his "signing statements." So is it "our duty to throw off such government," as the Declaration commands us?

Bill McCoy, Magee Avenue, Rochester


'WHILE THERE IS TIME'

Anyone interested in how so many Germans let Hitler rise to power? And once there, how they let his totalitarian regime take over their country and cause such devastation? People in Germany were an educated populace. How could they have let themselves become trapped in such a situation?

If you want the answer, just look at what is happening in this country. We are supposed to be a model of a freedom-loving democracy. One of our rights is the right to a timely trial where we can be judged by our peers. Looking at the history of totalitarian states, it's easy to see the necessity of the right to trial by jury.

Today a number of our citizens and others have been imprisoned for years without a trial and without charges being brought against them. We as a country have let the Bush administration bypass our jury system.

Hitler did not grab his power overnight. It happened little by little. Perhaps every action seemed somewhat justifiable. Maybe this happened again and again, until finally it took great acts of courage to voice opposition, even as thousands upon thousands of innocent people were being slaughtered by the state.

What we see around us is a sorrowful history in the remaking. I for one will work to change its course while there is time.

Kenyatta DaCosta, Atkinson Street, Rochester


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 --- 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.

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