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Your August 1 article re. new appointments to the Rochester school district administration once again demonstrates one of the major impediments to better education in Rochester ("Vargas Heats Things Up").
Adam Urbanski does not consider Patty Malgieri "a friend of public education‚" based on his experience with her at the Center for Governmental Research. From my extensive volunteer experience at CGR during the period to which he refers, I found Patty to be passionate about what was or was not happening in Rochester public education. The Center's fact-based conclusions and recommendations to the school district may not have fit Mr. Urbanski's agenda, but they could have made that universe more mission driven and successful.
His is the missing friendship.
LINDA SHAPIRO WEINSTEIN, BRIGHTON
For me, art is about making you think, about seeing the world through a different lens ("St. Paul Mural, Lewd or Cuddly," Feedback). After less than five seconds of looking at this beautiful mural by a world-class artist, it is apparent to me that it is two bears sleeping.
I respect the fact the there will always be people with varied opinions, that there will always be controversy, but that, to me, is intertwined with art as a medium. Art gives us beauty as well as allows us an outlet to reflect upon our own inner world via our projections upon the outer world while examining someone else's very personal and heartfelt expression.
If someone chooses to think that is sexual, that is fine with me, but do not assume that a child would think so, or any other person on the street, for that matter. I am grateful to see the beautification of areas of the city that rightly deserved it, and look forward to more projects like it in the future.
Posted on rochestercitynewspaper.com
The roots of
I agree with the main point of "Accepting Violence" (Urban Journal, July 25): "Collectively, we have developed a culture of violence; we glorify it." But rather (again) taking the easy route of finger-pointing at the NRA and certain politicians, where is the "courage and leadership" to also go after our fabled institution‚ Hollywood?
Be it movies (such as Batman), TV shows‚ or violent video games (which this paper reviews), it would seem that Hollywood certainly has a great deal of culpability in pushing this "culture of violence" on the American population.
Oh, yes, I know the old argument: "Nobody forced you to buy that ticket or watch that show." But could it be that the influence of the violent Hollywood culture leads some of these sick individuals – who have exercised their First Amendment rights by viewing the violent trash – to then exercise their Second Amendment rights and purchase their weapon of choice?
Naw, it's just easier to continue to blame the Second Amendment‚ the NRA‚ and certain politicians. Hollywood, it seems, is off limits.
AL KEMPF, EAST ROCHESTER
While visiting the Finger Lakes from Ontario, Canada, I saw the headlines: "All this money and students can't read: what?!" (I'm a teacher) and "Organic Farmers Continue Fight with Monsanto" (we're farmers), so I decided to pick up the paper. Turns out the most interesting article by far was the interview with Rev. Marvin McMickle.
That man certainly has his head screwed on correctly. He speaks so eloquently and passionately about societal problems, which are pretty much the same in our rural Ontario community. We don't have race problems, yet I see white students daily exhibiting the same "hopeless" behavior as the young black male population in the US.
In my opinion, the most interesting point the Reverend made was when he said: "The hearing is not the issue. It's the surviving after having been heard that's the issue." We can get the disadvantaged to speak up, but without a plan to help both the advantaged and disadvantaged, we cannot progress.
Somehow we need to make kindness and caring "sexy" and "cool" again so that people will do it. Luckily, caring and kindness are self-seeding. The more you show it, the better you feel and the more you want to continue doing it.
Rochester is indeed lucky to have such a wonderful man as one of her citizens. We need more people like Rev. McMickle, who are not afraid to discuss these politically charged issues, who are not interested in laying blame, but want to look at the reality of the situation and speak openly and honestly about what needs to be done to change direction.
JAN DUFFIELD, FORDWICH, ONTARIO, CANADA