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Feedback 7/18

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MCC downtown:

Sibley or Kodak?

If floor space and ownership are the issues, the county needs to frame the discussion around those two issues ("A Downtown Campus, from MCC's Perspective," News Blog). Until now, the county has framed the discussion around "security."

Anybody who knows Rochester knows that it's absurd to talk about the Kodak site as being somehow more secure than downtown. Compared to the High Falls-Jay Street-Lyell Ave-Lake Ave neighborhood where Kodak is located, downtown is a real safety net. We're talking about something that's really a well-trafficked, well-policed, well-populated professional office area versus something which is frankly, well, not squarely within yet on the very cusp of the ghetto.

The main thing here, and I think Mayor Richards hits the nail on the head, is that a critical component of MCC's charge is to provide accessible education to the city community. Positioning within downtown is critical because students are reliant upon RTS buses: any city campus needs to be not just downtown, but within close proximity to the bus lineups. Kodak on the other hand is not even downtown. It's in the High Falls neighborhood and leaning towards Lyell Avenue-Lake Avenue at that.

If the Sibley Building is no longer suitable for MCC's downtown campus, the real question is what other downtown location is available? Moving the downtown campus outside of downtown just doesn't constitute a valid option.

LINCOLN DECOURSEY

Posted on rochestercitynewspaper.com

This whole MCC project makes no sense at all. I'm all for growing downtown, but building this two miles from the sprawling (lost of room for expansion) Brighton campus is foolish ("A Downtown Campus, from MCC's Perspective," News Blog).

If you want a second campus, how about putting it in the northern part of the county. I suggest the vacant Kodak parking lots at Lake and Ridge, next to Kodak's research buildings. New construction and plenty of room for expansion. Furthermore, this could serve people from Hamlin, Parma, Greece, northern Rochester, Irondequoit, and Webster.

Wouldn't it be wiser to have a north campus and a south campus, rather than a south-central and a south campus? When school administrators make these nonsensical decisions, how are they legitimately qualified to teach our students?

JOHN

Posted on rochestercitynewspaper.com

Bring back

the draft

The Afghanistan war is the longest in US history. Could there be any reason for this? We have an all-volunteer military. Because of that, those responsible in government for making decisions about military engagement can wave off criticism and ultimate accountability by simply saying: they are all volunteers.

These volunteers do outstanding work in defending out country, and we are always grateful to those who serve, and especially those who volunteer. Yet could our gratitude be in part because when volunteers serve so generously, other sons and daughters don't have their lives interrupted and aren't put in danger? It is easier for those in government to use volunteers than those who have been drafted, and wars go on and on, and we pay for them handsomely.

I am for the re-institution of the military draft. It's not perfect, and it can be unfair. But I am convinced that if we had a military draft, we would have been out of Iraq and Afghanistan a long time ago. The families of this country would have been pounding the streets and government offices in Washington, D.C., demanding the end of the wars. Our dedicated, competent military "volunteers" are being "used."

Yes, a military draft is unpopular. But wouldn't it demand greater common sense and balance to the military engagements we find ourselves in? Wouldn't it be worth it to do anything that would save the unnecessary cost and destruction of lives and families? With the draft, military people would not be shipped out without a totally good reason, one that enjoys the approval of the American people, not just those in government.

FOSTER ROGERS, ROCHESTER

Jobs and IDA's

One of the biggest problems with the IDA's is that there is little follow-up on job creation ("IDA's, by the Numbers," News). No one checks to see if the promised jobs are created, and there is no penalty if they are not.

IDA's in New York State claim to have created 1.5 million jobs from 2003 to 2009. Yet from 2000 to 2010, the number of jobs in New York remained roughly unchanged at 6 million.

One of the biggest projects approved by COMIDA is the Irondequoit Mall project, but nothing has been done on this and none of the promised jobs have been created. Yet the owner continues to enjoy his tax breaks. Too often this is what development through IDA's looks like.

ALEX WHITE

Posted on rochestercitynewspaper.com

Show on violence

wasn't responsible

I was appalled and infuriated listening to WXXI's 1370 Connection show on July 10 on cutting violence in the city. Although I appreciate the frustration and challenge that law enforcement confronts daily, I felt the dialogue between host Bob Smith and Police Chief Sheppard did not delve into the true depth and broader elements at play in violent behavior.

C'mon: blaming the recent rise in violent crime in our area on "the heat"? Really? And then host Smith referred to when he was young (and I'm paraphrasing here), it was all about fistfights and all anyone came away with was a bruised or injured jaw, but with knives and guns someone could die.

Well, Mr. Smith that wasn't the only harm created in that so-called "harmless" violence. The psychological damage to the individual and society at large from our misguided acceptance of violent behavior is tremendous.

It is not the tools of violence that are the motivating and destructive forces (though less access to killing apparatuses would definitely lessen fatalities). Entertaining our thoughts of violence is what leads to violent actions. Thoughts are pretty much involuntary acts, but it is in how we allow our thoughts to mold us into action and reaction that our behavior can become estranged from common sense and decency.

Sadly, this wasn't the most egregious error on this program. A caller went on what I would describe as a racist, classist, bigoted commentary that neither the host nor the police chief challenged or discredited. The person continued unchecked, hung up, and the show moved on without any reference to the caller's condemnation of two cultures.

Basically (and again I'm paraphrasing) the caller said lack of family values was the reason for the violence, and that blacks and Hispanics need to learn not to have children and black and Hispanic males need to learn how to be fathers. I was aghast, first to hear someone say something so blatantly discriminatory on the air but worse yet that it went unchallenged. Totally disrespectful and indecent on all sides. I was ashamed to be a citizen of this city at that moment.

Please, as people in public view, stand up for what is honorable, just, and fair. Your presence and analysis on the radio impact a large and broad spectrum of our community and require a high level of responsibility on your part.

THOMAS WARFIELD, ROCHESTER

A weak Obama

This is all too typical of Democrats ("Be Proud, Democrats!" Feedback): Fall in line and blindly support. That's the reason I am no longer a Democrat.

"It's an imperfect law...we need to improve on it" are not weak responses. They are honest responses. Obama's health-care law is, at best, weak, and it gives me nothing but hope when I hear elected representatives state this. It gives me hope that someone will want to continue to improve health care in America instead of being happy simply because their is a law.

Adding gay marriage to the mix, Obama graces the cover of locally distributed Pride 2012 magazines and some in the gay press, if there is such a thing, are falling over themselves to praise the president for paying lip service to gay marriage. But it is just that, lip service. The president doesn't intend to do anything other than announce his support. What I really don't understand is how an African American could admit to "wrestling" with the idea of equal rights.

Jill Stein, presidential candidate for the Green Party, and the Green Party itself have never wrestled with equal rights or the issue of gay marriage. They have always stood up for it. So Obama's words are again, weak.

TOM JANOWSKI

Posted on rochestercitynewspaper.com

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