Whole Foods Plaza's pros outweigh cons
Like nearly every development I've seen in my 50-plus years living in Brighton, the Whole Foods Plaza development has both pros and cons. This portion of Monroe Avenue has been a source of accidents, injuries, and traffic delays for many years. The development site itself is an over-paved brownfield eyesore with poor drainage. Converting the site to a public park would be at an enormous cost to Brighton and would do nothing toward improving traffic and safety in the area. What do we do?
• Traffic safety will be dramatically improved, with less loss of life, fewer injuries, and fewer damaged cars;
• Drainage will be corrected;
• There will be more trees on the site than at any time in my life;
• The businesses on the site will be quality businesses, benefitting Brighton's economy.
Development cons: Traffic studies show a slightly improved traffic flow at non-peak hours, but that will probably be more than offset by longer delays during peak traffic periods. No proposal has yet been put forward by any agency or individual to solve the traffic-flow difficulties, with or without development.
It's with considerable regret that I have watched the opposition leadership involvement in the public discussion about this development. I see oversimplified misrepresentation and divisive tactics being used rather than reasonable fact-based ideas. Consider the full-page ad recently run in this newspaper. What alternatives are being proposed?
Our town supervisor is portrayed negatively, yet with this development, there will be a dramatic improvement in traffic safety and the developer will pay for it.
Like all developments, this one has pros and cons. Do we really want to lose the benefits? And what will we do if this development is stopped?
The RPD, trust, and discipline
On Urban Journal's "Police, Community, and the Gap in Trust," which included quotes from a WXXI interview with Locust Club President Mike Mazzeo: So let me get see if I understand Mazzeo. Because discipline of officers is poorly done sometimes officers act badly. If you put discipline in place that might hold officers accountable then officers might decide to do their job even worse. No wonder he has not been consulted.
The Wall and US history
Both as reality and symbol, The Wall is about the inflammation of the ever-present xenophobia in the structure of the American polity. Among other things, the idea and reality of The Wall invite the already unburdened to accept simple answers to complex questions. Actions taken in ignorance and denial replace curiosity, interest, and honesty.
More than all else, The Wall creates a wall against remembering American complicity in Latin America, which created the exodus of many Hondurans, Guatemalans, Haitians, etc., to refuge in North America. They come here not to rape and pillage but to survive in a humane environment.
Conveniently lost is the willingness to face the reality of the result of American political support for Latin dictatorships everywhere south of our border. How much the tragic politics south of our border can be attributed to American policy is hard to pin down, but it is a lot.
Americans are notoriously and conveniently forgetful of all things historic, a handy way to claim undeserved innocence in our invasive foreign policy. The reality should arouse shame and sorrow in Americans sufficient to overcome our usual complacency, ignorance, and sense of entitlement.
Could we as a polity cease to be self-blinded ninnies? One can only hope and wish.
RCSD schools and parents' role
Concerning the situation with the City School District: I was a substitute teacher, teacher aide, and teacher assistant at the City School District and other districts for a good number of years.
My basic point of view is this: Unless a student can come into a school with a certain level civil behavior, nothing will change. I realize that poverty and a difficult home situation creates hardships for a student, but it is the direct responsibility of parents and other people the student comes into contact with to help that student become a caring and civil human being.