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The events in Nicaragua

In CITY's article about Nicaragua, you —more or less casually—accepted one possible narrative for the unrest in Nicaragua. To quote CITY: "In April, people flooded streets in Nicaragua's cities to protest President Daniel Ortega's plan to raise social security taxes and cut benefits to seniors. Protests against Ortega and his administration have continued, and police have responded with brutal, sometimes deadly force."

I propose a different narrative: The unrest in Nicaragua represented a coup attempt, supported by the Nicaraguan right wing and the US right wing. For example, the so-called student leaders were invited to visit US far-right politicians like Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. They were welcomed with open arms.

It is true that the coup leaders have won the propaganda war, but the Nicaraguan government continues its progressive, successful leadership. "The threat of a good example" still motivates US foreign policy against Nicaragua. We should see the unrest for what it is, not for what the right wing wants it to be.


Entertainment and Parcel 5

On city officials' interest in a Kansas City entertainment complex as a possible model for Parcel 5: The "Kansas City Live!" concept should be a non-starter for Rochester because of the noise that would impact adjacent residences. Five or six outdoor concerts a year could be tolerated, but clearly not 50. And you definitely don't want potential visitors from the suburbs and beyond taking their dollars elsewhere to avoid the noise.

It would be a disaster if most every concert-goer was only after a free or cheap good time. How unfair it would be if taxpayers were forced to subsidize this type of artificial vibrancy. The reality is that Rochester's population is too small to sustain a permanent entertainment complex without massive subsidies.

What goes on Parcel 5 should be very different from the former Midtown Plaza. At first glance, a park seems like the obvious Plan B, but it's tough to envision suburbanites travelling downtown to experience a park when they have better and more abundant green spaces where they are.

For many years, Midtown Plaza functioned as a public town square, and then it didn't. A worse version of Midtown Plaza is not the answer. It has to fail.

Another thing Parcel 5 shouldn't be is the blighted empty lot it is now. Parcel 5 needs to just go away. I have an idea: Let's expand all the surrounding buildings into Parcel 5 until it disappears.


CRCDS and the neighbors

Last week, local developer Angelo Ingrassia and Flaum Management Company announced a new development plan for the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School campus. It includes new residential buildings on top of the hill, where development already exists, and it leaves the south lawn undeveloped. Members of an adjacent city neighborhood group were pleased, as was the Landmark Society of Western New York. But a Brighton resident posted this comment on CITY's report:

Yes, the members of the Highland Park Neighborhood Association are happy. Yes, for selfish, aesthetic, "street appeal" reasons the Landmark Society is happy. But the losers? The people living in the Town of Brighton on the east side of the campus, who were given no consultation whatsoever during this entire process.

The new plan shows a 16,000 square-foot building literally feet from the property lines. And it's uphill, so the new building's windows will look down into the neighbors' houses and yards, destroying privacy. Light pollution at night, noise in the day, a parking lot with salt pollution in winter, plus fumes. All in a quiet woodland neighborhood.


The intelligence of voters

On Urban Journal's "Trump, US Challenges, and American Voters' IQ": I'm sure that anything that hinders the Electoral College process will be ruled unconstitutional. Thank God that our forefathers were so much smarter than we are today and were wise enough to see the dangers created by the popular vote.

Of course the left advocates for the popular vote, because they are fine with California and New York electing every president. There are those of us who want better for the country than what California and New York are doing to their own states.



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