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Reader Feedback 11.02.05

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'ORPHANS,' CORRECTED

While we were very pleased with Joseph Sorrentino's thorough and supportive article about our work with war orphans in the October 12 issue, we must bring to your attention two errors.

First, we are not usually referred to as "World Orphans Program." To clarify, "World Orphans Rehabilitation Program" is the subtitle of a program normally referred to as PROJECT LIFE. If your readers wish to contact us, they may do so at Project Life, 13302 Stillwater Road, Waterport, New York14571, 585-682-0730.

On the web, we may be contacted by visiting the site of our parent organization at worldlifeinstitute.org, and then selecting PROJECT LIFE World Orphans Rehabilitation Program.

Second, our host families do not pay the costs of bringing a child here. Project Life pays all expenses of documents, visas, airfare, and travel, as well as education, recreation, and transport once children are in western New York. Hosts take care of basic food and clothing, but in fact much of this is also donated to Project Life and passed on to the hosts.

We would really appreciate your passing this information on to readers. Thank you.

Linda Redfield, director, and Deborah Wilson, assistant director, Project Life, Waterport


CANDIDATE RESPONSES:

FROM MAINS

Thank you for another very positive description of my record and qualifications for mayor in your recent endorsement article (October 26). Once again, after reading it, I am puzzled by the logic of your endorsement --- this time of Bob Duffy. You express some very serious reservations about Bob, particularly his apparent un-readiness for the specific demands of the job and his penchant for addressing every major problem by creating a committee.

The contrast with your description of me --- "intelligence, vision" --- is dramatic, especially in combination with your previous assessment of me: "energetic almost to a fault," someone who "looks for solutions... [and] comes up with creative ideas" (August 31). Although you have never discussed it in detail, my Rochester Children's Initiative, for example, which at a glance appears to be a public-health program or an early-education intervention, is in fact the only proposal on the table that gets at the root causes of violence. Programs like RCI have the best promise for long-term crime reduction.

The logic of your endorsement, then, is based on Bob's apparent popularity, on the one hand, and your doubts about my ability to sell my vision, as you say, to lead and inspire, on the other. This is self-fulfilling logic at best. Of course, no one doubts the value of popularity; it seems to make the world go round these days. But I've been "selling my vision," building consensus, and providing leadership for 20 years in public life, including to an often divided City Council. And I believe that most citizens of Rochester will find my combination of deep understanding of our problems, great, creative solutions, and a determined, high-energy leadership approach to be genuinely inspiring and exactly what we need.

Wade Norwood said many times in the last weeks of the primary that it isn't just about popularity, or TV-screen leadership. John Parrinello also urges voters to "choose the mayor you need, not the one you like." Right now, we need experienced leadership.

To that point, I hope voters will remember my extensive track record, which includes the Responsible Bidder Ordinance, a ban on tobacco billboards, the city's first AIDS policy, a compromise that got the Living Wage Ordinance passed, Domestic Partnership benefits and registry, neighborhood connections to build up the Genesee River Trail, a comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance, and this area's first-ever tax-relief fund. My deep fiscal experience and aggressive approach to sound money management have saved Rochester taxpayers millions.

I'm disappointed that your endorsement reflects a preference for popularity and vague promises over solid plans that address the real challenges we face. I believe that should Bob win, in part on the strength of endorsements like yours, the Duffy bandwagon will ultimately turn out to be a disappointment to average Rochesterians, who I sense, at this crucial juncture, are desperately hoping for real change. With my experience, leadership, and vision, I offer just that: real change. Fortunately, voters can decide for themselves.

Tim O. Mains, Rochester


FROM MAJ

As the war criminals in the White House start receiving their many well-earned indictments, what better time than this election to talk about radical changes in the way our government serves "We the People"? Taxpayers cannot afford to throw away our votes by continuing to place our bets on career bureaucrats and professional politicians. Even the smiling mayoral candidates you see daily on expensive television commercials sold out their eyes, ears, and souls to their corporate campaign contributors long ago --- concerns of the average citizens be damned.

In my campaign for mayor of Rochester, I've unfortunately watched City's sporadic coverage of one of the biggest election-year cycles in this region's history turn from naive to uninformed. With almost every office in MonroeCounty up for election, it's disheartening to read that your self-described "liberal" paper failed to write openly about connecting current events with our current state of democracy.

What good are elections if they merely shuffle desk chairs at the store of the status quo? What good is the mainstream media if they're owned by the company store?

Far from concerning myself with being excluded from some of City's mayoral pop quizzes, I've continued to focus on sharing ideas outside the echo chamber of your porcelain tower.

Instead, I'm out on the streets connecting the dots:

• Joining together on common ground with marches against the senseless killing going on in Iraq and the senseless killing going on in Rochester because I believe that taxpayer money being spent on bombs over there would be much better spent on books right here.

• Focusing on better witness protection programs and changing the message around "Stop Snitching" T-shirts.

• Advocating for not just committees but binding referenda on big-ticket items like the fast ferry and the boondoggle bus terminal being proposed at the wrong location and in the wrong configuration.

• Explaining how those in power do not want a well-educated population because that would create a better functioning democracy to act as a counterbalance to their fascist one-dollar-one-vote system.

• Discussing the End of Prohibition with safe and sensible legalization policies in order to reduce violence in the drug trade and provide drug addicts with arrest-free treatment opportunities.

• Honoring the people who fought, struggled, and died for the rights and freedoms we enjoy today, and making clear that giving our rights away via a curfew or the Patriot Act makes us all less safe and less free.

• Protecting small businesses by opposing the Certificate of Use and calling out misuse of corporate welfare at the Rochester Economic Development Corporation (REDCO).

• Blogging every unfiltered problem and reasonable solution at www.RochesterMayor.com

On November 8, vote for the independent Red, White & Blue party on Row H, as in Horse. Just look for the galloping Horse along the bottom of your ballot. We are the mayoral and City Council candidates bucking the system right now.

Chris Maj, Glasgow Street, Rochester


FOR PARRINELLO

You are a liberal newspaper, and the city is richer because you exist. But I fear your liberalism may not stretch so far as to advocate a complete change of political scenery.

But we need it badly. The present Democratic crew, which has been entrenched too long, has failed. The city is a mess, and a change is in order. Failing schools, increasing crime, etc., etc.: few think Rochester is coping with its problems in a way that gives hope for the future.

So let's give John Parrinello a chance to make a change. He's a real underdog, but he's a gutsy, smart guy who is willing to fight for what he believes. He believes in police on the streets, and he empathizes with those who live in poverty and aren't able to give their kids an environment conducive to success. And he has plans to change this. The drug houses will go down under his reign. Many things will change --- for the better.

Dear, dear Democrats, put party affiliation to the side and vote your conscience. Surely it is telling you we need a change. To achieve it, you have no choice but to not vote Democratic. Just this once!

Dorothy Livadas, East Avenue, Rochester


SUPPORTING ANDREWS

As a resident of the 21st legislative district, I am pleased that Carrie Andrews is the Democratic and Working Families candidate to represent us in the CountyLegislature. She showed the kind of energy and enthusiasm she will bring to the job by walking door to door on every block in the district at least once during the primary campaign. We need her energy, idealism, intelligence, and understanding of the issues facing working people.

Gary Levine, Queens Street, Rochester

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