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Hate fines? Don't run red lights
I read with interest Christine Fien's article about red-light cameras ("Second Thoughts About Red-Light Cameras"). Why is this even an issue?
Loretta Scott complains that the red-light program angers more people than any other city program. I'm sure it does if you're one of the ones getting caught disobeying the law and paying a fine. I can't see people complaining if they have obeyed the law and didn't go through a red light. Then she complains that there's "no wiggle" room if you're caught. Why should there be "wiggle" room? You went through the red light or you didn't. Take your medicine and quityerbitchin'.
Scott complains that red-light camera tickets disproportionately punish poorer people with less disposable income. Maybe that's because poorer people go through red lights disproportionately more than people of modest means or rich people.
Then Adam McFadden complains that the red-light camera locations look similar to the shape of Rochester's troubled crescent neighborhoods. Please!
Are we ever going to get rid of the complaining about everything the city, county, state, and country try to do that benefits us all? If these red-light camera intersections did not have any means of stopping violators and crashes occurred repeatedly, then I think Ms. Scott and Mr. McFadden would raise hell and demand something be done.
I am one who sometimes used to put my foot to the floor when a yellow light came on to try and save some time. Only when these red-light cameras showed up did I come to my senses and stop my dangerous driving. I don't like paying fines when my own stupidity caused it.
Ms Scott and Mr. McFadden, some day your life may be saved by somebody who decided NOT to go through that red light. Lighten up. Don't wanna fine? Don't go through a red light.
TOM DOLAN, IRONDEQUOIT
Racism and guns
Federal firearms regulations should be amended to make membership in a racist organization, racist posts on social media, or any other evidence of a racist orientation sufficient evidence of serious mental illness to deny gun ownership. Period.
On Wednesday night, the Omer Avital Quintet played the best set to date of the 2015 XRIJF before a little over 200 fans. On Thursday the Stanley Clarke Band played two sold-out shows of 700. To me this was one of the worst shows of any of the 14 festivals. Three electronic keyboards and a drum kit with 7 cymbals says it all. (Based on the cheering, at least 95 percent of the crowd wouldn't agree with me.) At the Ali Jackson Trio's 10 o'clock, show the two-minute hi-hat solo on "Tea for Two" by Ali had more musicality than the entire Clarke set.
Theo Croker's group played a nice set at Kilbourn. And earlier in the festival, some nice sets were done by some of the less hyped groups, including Dave Gibson's Boom, Kavita Shah, The Splendor, Jane Bunnett & Maqueque, and Saxofour.
My take on jazz is usually almost identical to Ron Netsky's, which is why I was so disappointed he didn't review the Moutin Factory Quintet at Montage. He obviously can't be everywhere, but this group by my lights was easily the very best so far in the entire Festival.
They are a cutting-edge, hard-bop group from France led by their bassist, Francois Moutin, who is the equal of Christian McBride or any other top-level bass player one can name. His duet with his twin brother Louis on drums of an Ornette Coleman tune was, in my view, comparable to Anat Cohen's rendition of "La Vie En Rose" at last year's festival, and there can be no praise higher than that.
Why isn't this group better known? They routinely play before audiences of 4,000 to 5,000 people in Europe, where they are incredibly popular among jazz fans. The answer, I suspect, is American provinciality and the width of that barrier known as the Atlantic Ocean.
Beth Hart was amazing. Gary Clark Jr. was lukewarm at best. He should've been the opening act for HER.
When is a sell-out not a sell-out? Apparently on June 23 at the Eastman Theatre. The Gary Clark Jr. concert, which was phenomenal, was advertised as being nearly sold out. I purchased my ticket online the moment they were available. At that time, the best available seat was in the tenth row.
According to numerous sources, the only tickets available at the door on concert night were in the upper balcony. Why, then, were there nearly two dozen empty seats in front of me in the orchestra right section? This was not due to people leaving early or heading to the aisles to dance. These seats were never populated.
Also, how was it that the front rows of the theater were designated "general admission," according to an usher? And what was with the "Gary Clark Jr. VIP Badges"?Some explanation is in order for the non-very important folk. Maybe it really is about who you know.
JAZZED AND CONFUSED
Behind a name
Thank you for publishing U.T. Summers' obituary. We had the pleasure of knowing her at Valley Manor. Some of your readers may have wondered what "U.T." stands for. She told us that her father, when a student, was so favorably impressed by the University of Texas that he... need I finish? It happens that my father-in-law was among those who helped make it impressive, so we heartily approved of his choice of names.
BILL TROW, WEBSTER