Imagine this breakfast conversation somewhere is middle America:

"Hi, honey; good to have you home. How was your business trip?" "Not bad; I was in Rochester for a couple of days. While waiting for my flight, I saw this great business center by an anonymous business-center designer. Have you heard of her? I think you would like her anonymous business-center-designer work."

What are the airport managers, CountyLegislature, and county executive thinking about? Rochester has all these cultural resources that are a great way to distinguish our fair burg from all the rest. Please, please reconsider this ill-conceived plan to remove this signature work from our airport!

Tom Burke, Birch Crescent, Rochester (Burke is president of RoCo - the Rochester Contemporary and a business traveler.)


I am deeply dismayed by Congressman Randy Kuhl's immoral decision to support President Bush's veto against embryonic stem cell research. This pivotal research is the key to unlocking biomedical pathways for cures in diabetes, Parkinson's, Lou Gherig's disease, and many more. These embryonic stem cells could have been salvaged for promising research at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Now they will be destined to be discarded by fertility clinics.

I pose this question to President Bush and Representative Kuhl: Can science and religion coexist?

Ramesh Padman, Pittsford


The Center for Governmental Research may have the best of intentions with their efforts this election season, but based on your report ("We've Got Issues," Metro Ink, July 19), they do not seem to understand why voter apathy exists. The problem is not issue-based. The problem is with "the system."

People are fed up because no matter who is elected, the results are always the same. Elected officials are committed, in this order, to their own re-election, party loyalty, and then maybe their constituents. And their re-election includes an overriding loyalty to corporate interests. People lose their jobs, health care, and human dignity while our "representatives" commit to funding tourist attractions, corporate welfare, and campaign war chests.

Based on my interactions with the electorate, CGR would best serve the community if they were to push for Instant Runoff Voting, transparent counting of ballots, and public financing of elections. There will never be substantial, progressive change in our society until the fundamental structure of our government is changed. The disaffected voters understand this; they just feel powerless to do anything.

Dave Atias, Berkeley Street, Rochester (Atias is co-chair of the Green Party of Monroe County.)


Our government can hardly bring a stop to the Israel-Hezbollah conflict ("Cease Fire," Urban Journal, July 26).It shows no inclination to even try.

Israel had released prisoners previously in exchange for hostages. Why not this time? Why are they holding more than1000 women and children prisoners? When Israel kills of hundreds of people to retaliate for its soldiers who were taken hostage or killed, President Bush calls it "defending itself." He sends weapons --- then blames Syria and Iran for helping to arm Hezbollah.

Sure, we will negotiate, just not with anyone involved: Hezbollah, Syria, or Iran. Of course, Mr. Bush's idea of negotiating is to list all the top items requiring negotiation, then to tell the parties involved that these items are nonnegotiable.

Since we have armed Israel for a very long time and clearly sided with its government against Palestine, how can we be included in any brokering of deals? The United States should recuse itself, as judges do in cases where they are too biased to be fair or objective.

Granted, it is difficult to find objectivity, as Israel has lost credibility and provoked many of those who have supported it since 1967. But countries that are more removed than we are should be allowed to try, as a committee, to settle the present situation without our meddling. Then all involved must follow any recommendations made by such a committee.

Byrna Weir, Brighton


I am writing to support Tom Suozzi for governor and to comment on Eliot Spitzer's long-running, expensive, yet still largely unfocused campaign.

I am a long-time local resident and very politically active, having served for five years in my town government and continuing to advocate strongly within my town. I consider myself a Democrat, though I have voted for Governor Pataki and have flourished within my town's Republican political setting. I am planning to vote Democratic this November.

What I like about Tom Suozzi and the reason I joined his campaign is that he is fresh, energetic, and unfazed; he brings a strong financial background as a tax attorney; he has a proven track recordas a county executive in a state district with many needs, and he has flourished as a Democrat in a Republican stronghold in New York State, which I know from personal experience is no easy feat.

As an Upstate New Yorker, I take issue with Spitzer's characterization of this area as "Appalachia." He offers no real program to help jump-start the Upstate economy, and by that comment he made fairly clear his lack of appreciation for the people of this region. His entire history is centered around Wall Street and the very wealthy of New York City.

Tom Suozzi offers substance. Eliot Spitzer offers ambiguity.

Judith Wolf, Pittsford


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