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Feedback 10/28 

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Lessons from California

What an incredible opportunity the City of Rochester had earlier this month to learn how some of the poorest communities in California are thriving.

Dr. Anthony Iton of the California Endowment spoke at the 5th annual Guyer Lectureship in Public Health at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and presented his groundbreaking work tying ZIP code to life expectancy. How wonderful that walkable streets and access to green spaces impact our health more than blood pressure medications and surgery for obesity!

Perhaps we should use Dr. Iton's work as a model to help guide us while we address the challenges impacting the health and well-being of those living in the Rochester region — obesity, gun violence, failing schools, and intergenerational poverty to name a few.

Let's put our heads together to be sure all in our region are able to reach their fullest potential in a safe and healthy community.


Abortion by any other name

In her October 14 Urban Journal ("Abortion rights limits are indeed an attack on women"), Mary Anna Towler writes, "It's hard to speak out for something that opponents call infanticide. And facts and medical science get shoved to the side."

What else can we call it? Facts and medical science have shown that during pregnancy, a living human infant grows in her mother's womb. The decision to have an abortion, even when made for the compelling reasons that Ms. Towler cites, is still nothing less than the termination of that life.

I say this not because I want to declare war on other women or demonize the mothers who have had to make this terrible decision, but because I feel it is necessary to speak up for the unborn child.


'Bore' was a bust

The "Big Bore" (News, October 14) is anything but, which is confirmed by your placing the county executive race on your cover. You clearly recognize the importance of breaking the Republican stranglehold on this influential office, and you're fully aware of the real issues separating the candidates. So I was dismayed that your calling the race a bore plays into the hands of the Republicans' "low profile" strategy, which, by discouraging people's interest in voting, helps maintain the Republican status quo.

We surely don't want an "interesting" race like Donald Trump's xenophobic, misogynist, racist, circus-like campaign that gets constant media attention. How about a reasonable discussion of issues like a countywide school district or a countywide progressive income tax to replace the regressive property tax and sales tax for school funding?

How about a real jobs program instead of the absurdity called COMIDA? How about electing county legislators on the basis of proportional representation instead of gerrymandered districts? How about putting everybody under one big single-payer health plan instead of the crazy-quilt private-for-profit rip-off that we have now?

We thankfully don't have to deal here with typical Republican tactics such as purging registration lists, challenging voter ID's, and negative campaigning where Democrats are labeled "tax and spend" (and the Republicans "tax and steal"). So the media should be highlighting, even dramatizing, the key issues in this race to convey their import to voters.

Congratulations to City for doing its part, despite the unfortunate headline, in covering the campaign issues that are vital to our collective welfare.


GOP not interested in cooperation

I find it amazing that some people still say that President Obama is at fault because he didn't find a way to work with the Republican Congress. The current chaos in the House of Representatives with the Republican majority attempting to find a speaker shows that Republicans cannot even work with themselves.

The Tea Party faction doesn't want government to work except to implement their extreme social agenda of banning abortion, deporting undocumented immigrants, and establishing a Christian theocracy that allows individuals to discriminate on religious grounds.

Unfortunately, I do not see the situation improving until Congressional districts are not gerrymandered and more middle-of-the-road candidates are elected.


Here comes the sun

Solar is a great idea, but they still need time to bring the costs down (no subsidies), and the efficiencies up. Until then, we can wait. And when you do [get solar], use a local company.


Like all technology, it's getting better with time. I've been following solar/wind power tech more over the past few years because I've started using solar out at my camp (as opposed to being grid-tied and paying a monthly charge to a utility company, when in reality I'm hardly using any electricity at the camp.) I tell you, it's nice not paying a monthly service fee. If I had the funds to buy a system to power my actual house with solar/wind, I'd do it.


A vote for Sanders

Bernie is not only a dreamer but a doer. He is someone who can reach across party lines to bring about the change we need in our country. He is absolutely correct that a revolution is what we need. The people of America need to rise up and take back their government from the pundits and the politicians for sale.

With a president like Bernie, we could see real and meaningful change from Washington for the first time in a long time. Bernie is not for sale, and that means a lot to the American people, including me.



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