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Neighborhood schools would save
There is a simple and obvious way to cut the cost of busing: bring back neighborhood schools. The city only buses kids who are more than 1.5 miles from their schools. Parents pick far-away schools that they can't get to for parents' night because they don't want their children walking even a few blocks in unsafe neighborhoods.
Multiple buses pass down the same street, each picking up only one child to go to a different far-off school in a different direction. What a waste! Other districts in the state give all kids a ride.
We could probably cut the busing budget by $20 million if kids went to a nearby school. The schools would be pressured to improve if the families in the neighborhood saw them as "their schools." A win-win proposition.
BRYAN D. HICKMAN
Vice chair and co-founder of E3 Rochester, Inc., a nonprofit that recruits charter schools to open in Rochester.
DEC's flawed mission
Instead of focusing on energy options for New York in a time of climate change, this critical dialogue was hijacked for six long years by one of the worst options — fracking, another fossil fuel option.
During that time we could already be moving forcefully toward 100 percent renewables by 2030, which many groups are now just starting to press their representatives on.
One of the fundamental problems with the whole fracking issue is how the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation understands its mission: "based on the balance between protection of the environment and public health and economic and social considerations."
Our DEC's mission should not be to balance anything but the integrity of our life-support system — especially as we rush headlong into climate change. If our state authority continues to see its mission as a balancing act for everyone and everything who wants a part of our very compromised environment, we are in deep trouble.
FRANK J. REGAN
I love the Food Truck Rodeo most of all the events in Rochester because of its simplicity and lack of pretension. "Here is a lot of delicious food and beer. Please, consume these items."
THOMAS J. MORRISEY
When parents fail
On a reader's comment that the problems in the Rochester school district are the result of poor parenting: I don't disagree that parents should equip their children with fundamental skills necessary for success in school. However, what should we do when parents fail their responsibilities? Do we just throw their children on the garbage heap?
When we fail to help these kids we are creating another generation of parents who can't or won't prepare THEIR children accordingly. Like it or not, if we fail these children in the same way their parents do, we are only perpetuating the problem.
Jazz Fest: the last word
After reading all the reviews, I certainly appear to have missed as much or more that I dearly would have loved to hear. Such is the problem of being only one person who must attend on a linear timeline. By Saturday night, my wife and I were exhausted.