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Don't pick on Pacino

Despite your negative and misleading movie review of "Danny Collins" (April 13), my friend and I went to see it because Al Pacino is starring in it.

Portraying an aging rock star, Pacino shows he is not just the "Godfather" star. The story is a lesson for all would-be entertainers who may put their families and friends out of their lives in pursuit of fame.

Annette Bening is superb as the understated hotel manager, and Christopher Plummer's lines are exquisite and perfectly delivered.

It is a movie I will long remember. I hope your review doesn't discourage moviegoers. Pacino is far from "mildly creepy" as your review said.


Wegmans plan is bad for Probert Street

I am a Probert Street resident. I attended the public information meeting on April 22 at the East Avenue Wegmans store, which was held to explain the plan for the proposed Wegmans parking lot revision and the reasoning behind it.

I can't get comfortable with the solution that is proposed by the very same cast that brought us the original flawed design of the lot.

I don't understand how opening up a portal on Probert Street will relieve the cut-through traffic which planners say is the cause of congestion in the Wegmans lot. The cause of the congestion is simply that the East Avenue store has a customer volume exceeding that of the Pittsford Plaza store, with a fraction of the Pittsford Plaza parking space. (Note: A Wegmans spokesperson says that Pittsford has more parking because all of Pittsford's customers drive. East Avenue, however, gets a lot of foot traffic, she says.)

Clearly, Wegmans designers and City of Rochester planners have put 10 or 12 pounds of traffic volume into an eight-pound bag and are now attempting to implement an iffy solution to the predictable congestion at the expense of Probert Street residents. This won't fly with me.

I won't gladly swallow the bitter pill of degrading the quality of our life on our street in service of another bit of hypothetical hocus pocus authored by Wegmans traffic "experts" and overly-compliant city planners.

We on Probert will reap the disadvantages of increased traffic volume on our now quiet and relatively pleasant little street and will receive absolutely nothing in return. Indeed, we are being asked to endure yet another extended period of construction dirt, noise, and disruption.

No, no, and again no to this smoke and mirrors proposition!


Giuliani at Fisher

So, St. John Fisher is bringing in Rudolph Giuliani to give this year's commencement speech. Giuliani is the man who recently said, "I do not believe that the president loves America ... He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."

I find Fisher's choice interesting. Here is what I've noticed over Obama's presidency: it has brought racism right out in the open. The significant number of people who are still uncomfortable with having a black man as president have learned that they can make these dehumanizing, veiled, racist comments, and as long as they don't use the n-word, it gets excused as "just politics."

Giuliani knew what he was saying and who he was saying it to. He is separating the president out as "not like you or me." We've heard this kind of thinking before in our history. I say this as a person who has had major issues with some of Obama's policies (as I did with his predecessor), but who understands the difference between honest disagreement and hate speech.

Mr. Giuliani has the right to speak at Fisher without disruption. Members of the graduating class also have the right to let Mr. Giuliani know what they think of his divisive comments.


I'm one of those Fisher alumni referred to in Christine Carrie Fien's article on the choice of Rudy Giuliani as the college's 2015 commencement keynote speaker (April 29).

The college's growth over the past few decades has been great to watch. Not just the physical campus, but also the increased diversity of students and faculty, and the expanded number of disciplines — a source of pride for all members of the Fisher community.

I felt part of that community until the announcement of Mr. Giuliani's speaking there. Who made this choice? President Bain? A faculty or student committee? A wealthy donor? No one seems to know or want to tell.

Mr. Giuliani represents the opposite of the values of teachers, administrative leaders, and staff that I knew as a student and in the years since.

The former New York City mayor's long list of public statements and some of his personal behavior reveal a divisive figure. He's maligned President Obama on numerous occasions. Hardly characteristics deserving an honorary degree from a supposed center of higher education.

The student government president's and administration's statements quoted in the article are sad and absurd: leadership and resilience after 9/11? Mr. Giuliani has these qualities to share with his audience? A man who continues to profit both financially and politically from that horrific tragedy?

If leadership and resilience are the selection criteria, why not invite, for example, Representative Tammy Duckworth, the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress in Illinois, the first disabled woman elected to the House of Representatives, and a severely wounded Iraq combat veteran?

There are many other possibilities from politics, business, education, the arts and sciences that actually embody leadership and resilience worth imitating.

Mr. Giuliani's prominent place at this public event is a stain on Fisher's claim to be an institution of higher learning and intellectual integrity.


Transit center problems

RTS CEO Bill Carpenter recently announced that the agency would no longer bus city school students.

Those of us who opposed use of federal dollars for the transit center boondoggle consistently predicted the issues that almost immediately ensued following the opening of the center. Those dollars could (should) have been used to improve the paltry public transit system. Instead, we have a crime issue, reduced service, removal of some one-third of the bus stops in a system that already barely functioned to get anyone where they needed to go unless you're a suburbanite working downtown.

And those folks don't seem to want to make use of the service much at all, and will now be even more hesitant since hearing all the bad news about the transit center.

Besides this transit center debacle, we've also recently had a bus fare increase to fund bonuses for clearly incompetent executives. Can a mid-sized city hold its head up with essentially no public transit system? Yes, Bill Carpenter should be run out of town, but it was a large cabal of local officials who backed the transit cesspool. The level of cynicism and corruption in front of our faces should wake us all up to the sorry state of our local leadership.

For those of us who saw this coming from miles away, believe me, the schadenfreude nowhere near compensates for the sorrow and shame we now feel for our city.


You know what fixes this? Neighborhood schools with equal and adequate funding and plenty of community support. Instead of shipping our kids all over the city, they need to go to school where they live and invest in that community. Problem solved, $60 million saved. (Not really, but you get the point.)


So the decades-old city school busing saga continues. This was quite possibly the only way it could have grown worse.