Luxembourg 
Member since Nov 26, 2014


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Re: “A theater for Parcel 5?

There are financial ramifications from such a decision. If everything goes according to projections, all the people can sit around a campfire and sing folk songs. But what if things do not go according to the sales pitch, like happened with the fast ferry, Frontier Field, and even the Geva loan. What would be the financial hit to e city, if any? You never see any discussion about that.

The demographics of theRBTL attendees is also a mystery. Are they mostly older suburbanites, who are very unlikely todo a ealkabutafter the show, or young , urban singles that are then looking foursome thing todo. It matters because it is the city, not the country, that is making financial commitments.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Luxembourg on 10/20/2017 at 10:24 AM

Re: “Police training program challenged

If the city wants its officers to be trained better in de-escalation, which seems on the face of it to be a good idea, isn't it their responsibility today for such training. It is the union that is paying for this training, and based on my brother in law's experiences as a cop, the training the union is paying for seems like a good idea.

The de-escalation people think that,someone charging you with a knife is not armed, and therefore should be handled with kid gloves. It does not matter whether the criminal is a would be murderermor a very,sick puppy, it is the cop's life that is at risk, and they are under no obligation to allow themselves to become victims.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Luxembourg on 09/28/2017 at 7:19 PM

Re: “The complicated path to teacher diversity

Kathryn, I,think you used the salary for Rochester, Mn, not NY. Refer to the link below. The starting salary is $45k, with a maximum of $133k. This for working 10 months a year, not 12. Teachers will not make,it to the top 5%, much less 1%, but then they do not have an education in the most challenging field either.

http://www.nctq.org/districtPolicy/contrac…

6 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 09/13/2017 at 8:49 PM

Re: “Activists push district to hire more teachers of color

Very informative article. I was able to learn that it is possible, with a straight face, to talk about being interested in raising city school kids' test scores without even once mentioning that one way to make a significant improvement is to encourage a rapid expansion of charter schools in the area. The D&C article showed the results for the local charter schools. Using a simple average (I did not have access to the number of students by school in order to calculate weighted averages), I was able to determine that the charter schools on average had 25% of their students considered to be proficient, versus 8% in the RCSD schools. Three times as likely to be proficient!! And with similar demographics. Those results were not just in Rochester. The NYT had a good article that found that the charter schools in NYC not only outperformed NYC public schools, but that they had improved at a faster rate. Neither Macaluso nor the committee thinks this is worth considering.

The second thing I learned is that not every ill in the world is to be blamed on white males. Just most of them. Minister Clifford Florence " drew a straight line between the district's largely white, female teaching force and the low test scores of the district's mostly minority students." Really?

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 09/02/2017 at 1:20 PM

Re: “How to reduce poverty: Boost workers' wages

Mark,

How can you recommend the CPI report as either independent or objective, and therefore credible? Credibility requires that one does not have any conflicts of interest, which would include selectively including information that supports one's prior positions.

CPI is a non-profit that states that part of their mission is the promotion of "economic justice", Thus publishing a study to support their position simply contains a conflict of interest. Would they have published a study that contradicted their position? doubtful. Next, consider the author, Brownell. He is also an economic justice warrior, and he is lacking any degree in either economics or any field remotely related to economics. He has both a conflict of interest and lack of professional credibility. Finally, consider Robert Reich, who is referenced repeatedly. He does have the economic credentials, but he also has a conflict of interest. His stated public positions are pro union and pro increased minimum wage. Did he have the potential to cherry pick facts to support his biases.

One might as well say that studies financed by the Koch family are objective and credible.

A more objective look at the impact of a minimum wage increase was one done by the CBO in 2014 (link below). As one might expect, such an objective study finds both positive and negative impacts from a minimum wage increase. They looked at an increase to either $9 or $10. At the $10 level, they find that it would increase the wages of those impacted by it, but that it would also cost 500k jobs. One could expect that a $15 minimum wage would have much bigger impacts on both low income wage earners and the number that would be expected to lose their positions.It would certainly accelerate the retail industry's efforts to replace low income workers with automation.

https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/11…

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 08/15/2017 at 1:52 PM

Re: “People pack City Council for Parcel 5 forum

In reading and re-reading this article and the accompanying one in City, I realized that there were two significant items that bothered me.

1- The apparent low level of interest of Rochester residents. Once you take away the vested interests (RBTL and Geva factions) and subtract a few for suburbanites that were interested, how many "regular folks" does that leave, 30-50? that s less than most suburban school board meetings have attend. Given the financial risks to Rochester, and its poor track record of having projects work out financially, it is very surprising.

2- The second thing is how the press (both City and the D&C) have thus far failed its readers by providing no real analysis of the projections. For instance, there are three main revenue streams; Broadway plays, other events, and parking. Does the growth in attendance fit with history, or are they hockey stick type graphs? Is there sufficient demand in Rochester for 50 additional events without significantly impacting Eastman, Geva, or Blue Cross? And it would seem that the RBTL's parking gain might be coming at the expense of the companies that provide parking at today's theatre. The answers to all of these questions, and more, may be positive. However, when you do not have anyone looking at the numbers with an independent eye, and instead focusing only on the politics, you are not likely to get realistic answers.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 08/13/2017 at 5:18 PM

Re: “How to reduce poverty: Boost workers' wages

You say that the only way to reduce poverty is to increase wages. It would certainly take some out of poverty, but for others, those that either lose their jobs or have their hours shortened due to the increased cost, it would worsen their situation.

Instead of mandating wages above their market levels, how about the government takes actions to lower the costs of living for people. They could lower property taxes, which are outrageously high in upstate (3%+ of market value), or reduce the sales tax levels (8.25%). If someone rents a $50k house, then their rent includes $1500-1700 of property taxes. In most states, it would be ~$500. What would a 4% sales tax do for the poor? Or reducing gasoline excise taxes to the median of the US states instead of being one of the highest.

Be creative instead of just another Democratic sheep.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 08/10/2017 at 3:09 PM

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