Improving special ed
On the Rochester school district's special-education problems: Why can't the school district get this right? Because New York school systems are set up to tally honors and AP credits, not deal with children who cannot perform up to grade level, no matter how hard they try.
My child was expected to do what she could not do. Her dyslexia was diagnosed in third grade, when she was too far behind to catch up in our school system. Her mind's processing issues were diagnosed even later. How did my child deal with this? She walked out the school door.
I live in a suburb. I know other parents whose children did not perform up to the level expected in the suburbs, whether or not they were special ed students.
More money – and time – for these students is the answer. But there is no time, since students must graduate on time.
Just another broken-hearted parent who believes in public schools,
Poverty and housing
On Urban Journal's "Yet Another Report Says Our Poverty Rate Persists": Nobody seems to get that there are plenty of poor people in the suburbs and beyond. Everyone has a unique story to tell. Let's back out from the inner-city poverty lines of discussion. What's the point of continuing with the tried and true methods for dividing people?
Save your criticism for those who are intent to get rich off the backs of rich and poor alike. The rents in the city are too high at all the levels. If you charge too much for rent, that's less money to spend elsewhere. City Hall needs to stop helping greedy real estate investors. Right now they're playing the role of Robin Hood in reverse. How is that right?
RBTL at Parcel 5
On a consultant's comments about a proposed Rochester Broadway Theatre League venue: The AMS consultant's visit only confirms what was clear in my mind already: This has the potential to do great damage to smaller established venues and create issues for other artistic companies needing space to thrive in what is a great city for the arts.
Yet the current administration wants to push another Auditorium-like theater down the city's collective throat, with little or no money raised (save for Tom Golisano's contribution). And the planning process has been more than just "opaque": It is being done with little to no information given to the public, with no need for public discourse, since any disagreement will likely be swept under the proverbial rug.
The consultant can state that Rochester would see a "bump" in business with the new theater, but that bump will just be a metaphorical bump in the road: small when it hits you, and ultimately means nothing.
I applaud the RPO, RCB, Blackfriars, Downstairs Cabaret, the RMSC, Geva, and the Strong Museum for expressing their need. If Rochester is going to be a true city of the arts and for the arts, artists should have the support they need. But they will not find it from the current administration and those who support the RBTL project. They are way too invested in the one-stop shop that is the new theater, and it will be a loss for the entire Rochester arts community if it goes up.
"Cullom said it's not unusual for cities like Rochester to see a bump in development and improvements in arts and cultural centers after a large venue is built."
Planners said almost exactly this before the million-dollar upgrade to Silver Stadium and before the creation of Frontier Field and the soccer stadium.
There is no "bump." These stand-alone, money-sucking entertainment venues benefit only themselves. And, frankly, they don't even do that, requiring constant subsidies. Until RBTL proves that it can financially sustain a new theater, let's take it off the table. We don't need it.
KATHRYN QUINN THOMAS