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Editorial missed the mark

An editorial on the subject of government-run schools (Commentary, February 25) that omits any mention of parents and taxpayers doesn't deserve a reply. Nevertheless, some of its howling illogic cries out.

The writers would have us believe that financial incentives will motivate job applicants, but won't motivate employees after they're hired. That the only factors known to work in the real world — competition, choice, and accountability — must be eschewed, because the laws of human nature don't apply in this utopian fantasy land.

And that we must treat school employees like kindergartners, where everyone is above average. Treating them as adults will hurt their feelings.

Lord help us.


Orchestras must compromise to survive

I read your analysis on the RPO (Music, February 11). You started off with a "catch" that caught my attention: the difference and/or balance between "pops" and the hard core or pure classical music. The purists must continue to learn that they must reach across the aisle once in a while or their numbers will not grow and classical music will suffer.

As I continued to read, I became lost in the names, titles, and classical jargon. As someone who doesn't have the depth of knowledge in the classics, I was lost. The classical world has always struggled with how to draw more listeners; they like the challenging music.

When I receive the cards which advertise the RPO schedule, I am repelled by information overload. You can't draw in new members or classical enthusiasts with a piece of music in D minor. Less than 1 percent "speak the language." That is a small audience.

It is very difficult to maintain an orchestra without some musical concessions. The goal is to increase the audience, not alienate it.


Climate change and our snowy February

I find nothing to disagree with in Mary Anna Towler's recent editorial (Urban Journal, March 4) on the deplorable conditions in city neighborhoods during this extremely snow-filled winter.

However, I believe she downplayed the significance of global climate change, missing a golden opportunity to remind folks of this extremely drastic happening in our world today.

This winter may end up looking like a good one in the not-that-distant future.


On "Our future with snow" (Urban Journal, March 4)

Brighton charges property owners about $25 per year for sidewalk plowing, the city charges more like $45, yet Brighton's sidewalks seem better plowed. Why?

Maybe there is a way for the city to get better plowing without spending more. Relying on property owners to do it isn't working.


"What do we need to do to create a walkable, bikeable, mass-transit-centered Rochester of the future?"

Are you serious? There are thousands of people out of work, yet still receive a "paycheck." Couldn't they help clear the sidewalks so that the payer of these wages can get to work?


Snow removal is expensive. The city needs to make budget cuts. If I were mayor, I'd start by scrapping the police reorganization.