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Seven dime bags of marijuana hardly seem worth the effort ("Accusations traded over police altercation," September 28), but as long as it is illegal, the police must enforce the law. The reform of marijuana laws is not big on my list of priorities, but it seems that it would be important to move part of this discussion to state legislators.
I would guess that there are many, many grams and dime bags of marijuana sold on the patios of Pittsford, in the garages of Gates, and in the back yards of Brighton, but those youth seem to be exempt from these laws.
Too few black applicants
I will not argue a single point of this article ("Black teachers matter," September 21), but it misses one CRITICAL fact: If the Rochester City School District hired every single person of color who applied for a teaching position in our city, we STILL would not have enough black teachers.
In a school district where black students form the single largest racial group, very few of them return to our district to teach.
Good design for better lives
Education, poverty, and urban design are all compatible and interdependent. When kids go to school in a city or neighborhood that doesn't reflect who they are, or does not bring joy, then where is the motivation to learn and give back to the community? When we watch protests on TV and people are ransacking their own neighborhoods, we ask why. It is because they do not feel that it belongs to them.
The design of Rochester currently caters too heavily to people passing through by car, either to work, shop, or dine. So, investing in a riverfront will provide a destination for city residents and a hub around which local pride will grow.
The city has also started making great strides in bicycle infrastructure (for an American city, anyway). Check out Lake Avenue, Chestnut Street, Court Street, and the new bike parking and corrals that have begun to pop up around the city. It is a good start, and it can only improve.
As for transit, I definitely agree that the route layout needs optimizing. More crosstown options and higher frequencies need to be available. Investment in transit, including streetcars and circulators, will help residents and visitors from different walks of life get a better Rochester experience.
Deadly roads like Lake Avenue are primed to become transit corridors; imagine a streetcar that takes you from downtown out to the lakeshore and back, with plenty of stops in between.
We can't just throw money at schools and ignore the environment around them. By making the city more pleasant and safe through the built environment, I think people will be all the more inspired to invest in education and give back to challenged communities.