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Reader feedback 12.03.03 

First lesson

When representatives of all the city's interest groups crowd into her office and "start talking to Maggie Brooks" ("Lessons from the Johnson Loss," November 12), I hope her first response to that cacophony is something like this:

            The single most important key to the success of this or any city on Earth is parents. Parents must be good citizens themselves and insist that their children be, too. Parents must instill in their children a respect for law and order.

            Parents must know where their kids are, what they are doing and with whom, especially after dark. Parents must discipline their kids, insist that they neither do nor deal drugs and generally stay out of trouble.

            Parents must actively value education, keep their kids off the streets and in the schools, and require decent grades and graduation.

            When this happens --- when in huge numbers Rochester parents really are parents and not just sources of offspring --- grades and employment will rise, crime rates and taxes will fall, and the city will once again become safe, civilized, and attractive to prospective employers and to people looking for a good place to live and work.

            And, declining therefore in size and importance, both city and county governments will be left to do the single thing they were invented to do: govern.

            Peter Dzwonkoski, Westmoreland Drive, Rochester

Taxes mattered

Why should the City paper worry about "Will the GOP screw the city" (November 12) when City Hall is doing that to the city now? Candidate Johnson was accurate when he claimed that he helped create jobs in the suburbs. More accurately, he helped move jobs from the city to the suburban towns.

            While we "315-ers" don't get to vote in MonroeCounty and the city, we do pay enough of your sales taxes --- since so many of us work there and shop there. Excepting OntarioCounty, the stores are concentrated within MonroeCounty.

            Instead of speculating on the reason for the landslide vote, did the City staff ever consider surveying suburban voters to find out why they voted the way they did? I suspect it was taxes, not Johnson's race, that was the overwhelming factor.

            If I could have voted, I would have voted for Brooks. My reason would have been an incident at work last year, where a young black thug brought a pistol onto school property. A security guard called 911, but the police never came.

            I just don't get it! Instantaneous acute lead poisoning --- from bullets --- is the biggest problem the city is facing, yet City Hall worries more about lead poisoning from peeling paint.

            Rick Nudd, Arbor Road, Walworth

Scott raves

With so much wrong in the world, it was refreshing to see the story on Scott Wallace (November 19). I found out about Scott's show back in 1996 by flipping through the channels. I could not believe the plethora of music I had never heard. From then on, I have stayed on as many Friday nights as I could to catch new songs. Sometimes I felt as I was hearing music for the first time.

            Scott is a wealth of musical knowledge, and he knows more history than most musicians. He is a bona fide musicologist when it comes to old R&B and soul, often being able to tell you where and when the tracks were recorded and what musicians were there.

            Scott is probably responsible for about half of my CD collection. He further fuels my music-buying habits every time I tune into the show. Keep up the work, Scott. Please continue to educate the public on the music that has influenced me as a musician and individual as well.

            Jason Muskopf, East Avenue, Pittsford

Ferry fantasy

Regarding the fast ferry: They should have a "Plan B" in case it gets stuck in dry dock. How about a Super Summer Cruise Ship, with special effects and events such as meetings and weddings downstairs; cars sent for lower prices; a UPS franchise. And any profits would be put in trust to refund all the taxpayers who are paying for Frontier Field and maybe the soccer stadium.

            Or don't even do the thing.

            Ray Tierney Jr., Village Lane, Brighton

Bring dogs in

Several months ago, State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno urged his colleagues to have compassion for dogs who are left tied up outside without proper shelter. "Around here they freeze to death," he said, "and they are also left out in the blistering sun."

            On September 22, Governor Pataki signed a bill requiring that dogs kept outdoors be provided with a waterproof, structurally sound, and adequately insulated shelter that allows freedom of movement and normal postural adjustments. The shelter and area immediately surrounding it must be regularly cleaned.

            Hopefully, concerned citizens will report violations to humane societies or law-enforcement agencies. This law should be strictly enforced.

            The New York legislature should also follow the example of a recently enacted Connecticut law, which limits how long a dog can be tethered outdoors. Even with adequate shelter, the life of a chained or otherwise isolated dog is lonely and unhappy.

            During the Vietnam War, dogs, hundreds of whom were killed in action, prevented an estimated 10,000 American casualties in Vietnam. Dogs worked themselves to exhaustion, despite smoke and dust inhalation, in rescue and recovery efforts at the WorldTradeCenter. Dogs are currently assisting American military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq.

            Those who chain and isolate their dogs deprive themselves of the love dogs offer. Dogs are indeed "man's best friend," deserving of a place in our hearts and inside our homes.

            Joel Freedman, North Main Street, Canandaigua

,h4>Writing to City

We welcome and encourage readers' letters for publication. Send them to: 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. 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 once every three months.

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