IS VULGAR CRAP
City is an important periodical in our home, and we count on it to pursue news with an alternative point of view. My kids enjoy City, and I appreciate the cultural flavor it brings to our family.
Thus, I was intrigued to see your story on procuring adult entertainment in Toronto ("Hey, Bud," August 3). I thought maybe it would be a thoughtful exploration of businesses many people here in the States tend to dismiss as wicked. Surely, City would devote a cover article to newsworthy fact finding and big picture shifts of ingrained thought patterns.
However, I gave City too much credit. The article was juvenile, sophomoric, and vulgar. I love a well-placed four-letter word, but the obscenities in "Hey, Bud" were beyond my tolerance. Every city has its slimeballs, and I was most offended by Mernagh's focus on one Torontoslimeball's views about working women. Equating a woman's physical attributes with pizza toppings is not worthy of inclusion in a news feature article. I got the feeling City paid for Mernagh to have a good snicker and nudge fest. "Oooh, look at me! I use four-letter words, and I'm so edgy!"
Crap reporting isn't improved with an edgy flavor; you just end up with vulgar crap reporting. City can do better than to dress up misogynistic toilet humor in a journalism overcoat.
Mary Joan Deutschbein, Penfield
Let me get this right: a cover story basically promoting marijuana use and prostitution in Toronto ("Hey, Bud," August 3)? Are you kidding? Those things are illegal because of the tremendous negative impact on people. Marijuana use causes dementia, paranoia, and impotence. Prostitutes can give you a venereal disease. Not to mention that these things can easily lead people to commit even more illegal activity.
Enabling vice like that is bad for society. Just about anyone --- except, I guess, for the article's author and your editor --- can tell you that. It's unfortunate that enforcement of these illegal activities is so lax in Toronto, but it's more unfortunate that your newspaper saw that as a sneaky way to explicitly advertise these crimes in a three-page article with four photographs, one graphic, and glossary sidebar!
I guess you wanted to put an acceptable face on activities that are banned by most decent societies. You've really hurt the reputation of your newspaper with that article.
Steve Walter, Rochester
AND THE BULL
Please allow me to offer my congratulations on City's four awards from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. I want to especially congratulate Jennifer Loviglio, whose writing I have followed since I came to Rochester in June of 2000. I remember reading one feature of hers that I found in questionable taste, but for me the rest of her writing has been a model of excellence as modern commentary and local journalism. But don't let my admiration for Loviglio's talent cast a shadow on the achievements of Erica Curtis, Adam Wilcox, and Rich Gardner, whose feature writing I truly appreciated.
I find it ironic that I should be congratulating City writers for their merits the same week that I feel the need to send a strong message of disgust for its editors' recent decision to publish a tawdry, tasteless feature article ("Hey, Bud," August 3). I have learned to expect that people like Matt Mernagh will have a voice on the internet and even in some print publications. But I also choose to tell City editor Mary Anna Towler (whose political writing I continue to read with pleasure) that I find it less than salutary that a widely circulated, general interest magazine like City would print an article subtitled "Getting Stoned and Laid in Toronto."
I generally obtain my copy of City while shopping at the Tops supermarket on Penfield Road. Who in that family-orientated community needs to read about a character named Mr. Fucking by a writer who suggests that Rochester residents may need a "lubricated helping hand" when making a purchase of a human being to enjoy a moment of sensual indulgence?
And as for offering local residents buying tips on bagging the Wild Wiggy Weed: Were you all stoned when you made the decision to print Mernagh's rakish garbage? What a missed opportunity. In five minutes I found far better writing on this subject via a simple Google search on the internet.
Come on, people. Either continue to serve the general Rochester community with good reporting and excellent political commentary, or start a bottom-feeding fanzine and hawk it on the corner near the Krudco store. Better yet: Maybe you could market nonsense like Mernaugh's on the corners of Lyell Avenue, where the sad business of selling human flesh and desperation still goes on every day in the richest and best educated city in New York State.
Amylouise Donnelly, Rochester
The future of Rochester demands strong leadership and willing hands. We are at a tipping point for significant progress or regression. The next mayor of Rochester must challenge us to address the difficult issues, engage in meaningful dialogue to dispel myths, and commit to be a part of the solution.
We believe that Wade Norwood is that kind of leader. He insists on building on the experience and assets found in each segment of the community and empowering citizens. He sees the link between a strong educational system, classroom teachers partnering with parents, and the economic health of the city and surrounding communities. Wade knows that extraordinary effort is required if we are to face the future with courage. He insists that city services be models of effective efficiency and educational reform.
Let us take a look Wade Norwood in action: When the community faces a crisis of confidence in leadership, Wade steps forward to forge new relationships to save the JordonHealthCenter from collapse. Furthermore, he leads a coalition to rebuild the Rochester children's safety net. When business leaders are frustrated by city process, scarce resources, and neighborhood disengagement --- as in Hickey Freeman's proposed move from the city --- Wade meets with all parties, convinces them that there is greater future in staying together than in falling apart, and rebuilds their commitment to the future for city workers and business alike.
When the grand design of Neighbors Building Neighborhoods is in danger of becoming just another studied strategy, Wade insists that City Council find the funds and that all neighborhoods be included in designing and supporting their own futures. Thus NBN has become a reality and a nationally recognized model.
Wade has formed respected links, from City Hall, locally, to the League of Cities nationally; from Rochester to Albany and other cities statewide. He has formed respected networks through which city dreams and initiatives can continue to become a reality supported by safe streets, sound neighborhoods, and effective schools.
We urge you to join us in the triumph over adversity, the victory over limitations, and the achievements that Wade Norwood's vision, eagerness, and leadership will ensure.
Ruth and Bill Scott, ArvineHeights, Rochester (Ruth Scott is president and CEO of Scott Associates Executive Consulting firm and is a former president of Rochester's City Council. Bill Scott heads the Vocal Music Department of the Hochstein School of Music.)
Eight months after leaving the Democratic Party, I feel I have a clearer head and a healthier perspective on the status of the local Democratic Party and how the race for Rochester's next mayor is shaping up.
I am supporting Bob Duffy. It isn't because I dislike Republican candidate John Parrinello (though his pot-smoking charges against Duffy are unnecessary and ridiculous). It's because Bob Duffy is the kind of peace-brokering Democrat that might have kept me from leaving the Democratic Party.
Bob Duffy is no panacea for what ails Rochester or urban America in general. He is a good, decent guy, but so are Wade Norwood and Tim Mains. What this Republican likes about Democrat Bob Duffy is his humility, his independence, his general demeanor. He doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but he knows how to listen. And he doesn't seem to owe anyone anything.
Wade Norwood is an exceptional human being, but he owes too many people. I think Bob Duffy will be independent and humble enough to ask for help from the community, and enough of a peace broker to attempt to settle disputes. That's the Bob Duffy I know as a neighbor and a friend.
County Executive Maggie Brooks is considered a centrist leader who knows how to talk to both sides of the aisle. By electing Bob Duffy our next mayor, we city residents can send to City Hall a man who has a similar temperament, who is looking for compromise, and who can keep an open mind.
Adlai Stevenson once said, "A politician is a person who approaches every subject with an open mouth." Having worked closely with people like Maggie Brooks and Bob Duffy, I believe they each possess the class and dignity to prove Stevenson wrong.
Christopher J. Wilmot, East Avenue, Rochester(Wilmot represents the 21st district in the Monroe County Legislature.)
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