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The real enemy in the climate change war
I was shocked, but then thought again about the various meanings behind the cover of City announcing "Victory over climate change" (April 15). What initially surprised me is how widely the headline varies with the scientific and political facts.
Too many Americans and many members of Congress still don't recognize how profoundly we're into a climate war which threatens the very existence of the planet as we have known it. "Wake up!" is the message of James Hansen. If we continue business as usual, everything we're planning for the future has a high probability of taking a dangerous, radical turn.
A further subtlety in the title is the buried question: "Who are we at war with?"
Pogo gave the answer when he said, "We have seen the enemy and he is us." It's my feeling that we can't just blame Big Coal, Big Oil, or the Koch brothers for causing all of our carbon woes. We all enjoy the luxury of using fossil fuel every day.
I came down on the side of liking the elusive cover for another reason which answers the question, "What's the ultimate cause of the climate war?" It's my opinion that our climate problems are caused by the extreme consumer–industrial society which holds that we can enjoy endless, mindless growth without paying a price.
The ultimate solution to the climate war isn't just cutting back on our fossil fuel use, or buying a Prius, or even switching to alternative power. The answer is to somehow figure out how to build a new, non-fossil-fuel-based society founded on less greed and greater sustainability.
School board should reject budget
I am very dismayed about the proposed Rochester city school district budget cuts.
Superintendent Vargas and CFO William Ansbrow have made an unethical proposal that would deprive teachers, many of whom have over 20 years of experience and are 100 percent grant-funded, of positions in which they have saved the community untold thousands, if not millions of dollars through helping students find jobs, receive diplomas, and learn to speak English. The BOE should vote no to the budget and ask that Vargas and Ansbrow resign.
These shortsighted budget cuts would only end up costing more in the long run. Currently, the Office of Adult and Career Education Services helps people at about 30 percent of what BOCES would cost.
Rochester has a long tradition of helping those in need. Proposed cuts in programs at OACES and Youth and Justice go against that tradition. The BOE needs to uphold our values and vote no to the budget.
Theaters ignore inner city
Congrats to the Lyric Opera folks, and boo to City for only covering half of the story (Urban Journal, April 21).
The Arts and Cultural Council of Rochester lists 30 major performing arts centers in the Greater Rochester region — none within a one-mile radius of Rochester's inner city, and only a handful within a three-mile radius. Of note, 40 percent of Rochester's inner city residents are pedestrian transporters, meaning that a performing arts center on East Avenue does nothing for much of Rochester's population.
Again, the inner city is ignored. Because the majority are poor? Because they're black and Hispanic?
Regardless, worry no more. The Joseph Avenue Arts and Culture Alliance is working diligently to convert a long dormant yet landmark-designated synagogue into the Center for Performing and Visual Arts. It will be a transformational project for the region.
PRESIDENT, JOSEPH AVENUE ARTS AND CULTURE ALLIANCE
WWWD? (What Will Wegmans Do?)
Readers shared their thoughts about the East Avenue Wegmans parking lot.
I don't believe that hundreds of drivers per day use the Wegmans lot as a cut-through. In another article I read, it said 200 cars per day cut through from East to University. That makes little sense to me. A cut-through is used to make driving easier, and cutting through the Wegmans parking lot is extremely hard.
I believe that those hundreds of drivers are in the same situation I've been in many, many times in that parking lot. I look for a spot, I can't find one, and I leave to return again at a less busy time of day.
Having lived for over a decade in a major East Coast metropolis, few things seem more amusing than Rochesterians' obsessive worries about parking. We have a world-class supermarket in the city. Earth to everyone: stop complaining so much!
Do theater numbers add up?
It is good to see that the Rochester art scene is doing well after having some troupes fold in the past. I continue to be surprised, however, at how little questioning there is of the financial desirability of a new theater for the RBTL. Everyone wants a nice, new place, but can it pay for itself?
I was recently in Orlando, where they have a very nice new theater, half paid for by the private sector and half by government. However, Orlando is a larger city, and they have something we do not: lots and lots of tourists. Shows here sell out only on the weekends except for blockbuster plays, so will a bigger theater attract more during the week? Even on weekends, how many people who cannot get the Saturday night tickets go to a matinee instead of not going at all?