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In politics, we sacrifice ethics for loyalty

Mary Anna Towler's "Ethics, schmethics" on political corruption (Urban Journal, June 3) reminded me of the Sherlock Holmes story where the crime is solved because of the dog that fails to bark.

She lists several current news stories concerning political corruption, including FIFA, and leads with a quote of a professor/soccer fan, "If FIFA were run by child molesters, mass murderers and...some other heinous folks — it would have zero effect on my soccer watching."

Curiously, she omits any reference to the most significant and hotly current news of massive political corruption — that of the Clintons' purported "charity."

Ms. Towler later writes, "In politics, the result is that increasingly, we don't vote because we don't think it matters." But the situation is far worse. We vote.

Democrats' support for Hillary Clinton has not decreased despite the evidence of massive corruption. We vote, but we don't care as long as the candidate is of our tribe.


Port angst

Readers continue to weigh in on the controversial plan to redevelop the Port of Rochester with a hotel, condos, and other amenities.

Don't be fooled by this minority of people...They are a small minority trying to look like a majority. Their act is being exposed. First the building was too big, then it didn't fit, now they just think any development on the port is bad. Let's stand up against these bullies and support a new Port Of Rochester.


The people of Rochester and all surrounding suburbs don't realize how BIG a chunk of Charlotte beach property the city wants to sell. Once it is gone, it is GONE. The city wants to sell part of this uncut, unpolished gem for development of privately owned condominiums and townhouses. Once they're built, you won't be stepping on that property again, unless you live in their apartments or condominiums.

Another part of the beach parcel will be for a 10-story high-rise hotel. Pfft! There goes the view...unless you'd care to rent a room.

Many people say they only come down to the beach a couple times a year....maybe because they have their own backyard pools. But let the city go ahead with its plans, and the beachfront landscape with its public picnic grounds, concerts, boardwalk, and parking will be forever changed. This wide open space with ample parking lots is going to shrink. And a few years from now, many Rochesterians visiting the lake, will say, "What happened?"

Most of us who are complaining about the development do so with one thought in mind: KEEP IT PUBLIC! We are not against development of our natural gem; we just don't want to see it fall into private hands and turned into private lands. Use the land for stores, boutiques, restaurants, water parks.

This land belongs to ALL OF US. Let's not give it away to only those few who can afford to live there.


Happy to see something happening. I've been waiting my whole life for Charlotte to be developed. What an embarrassment when a city of 1.1 million has a waterfront that basically is one huge parking lot that's empty 355 days a year.


The truth about school spending

City staff writer Tim Macaluso blogged on how stories about Rochester school district's per-pupil spending (News, June 5) often don't present the full picture.

You are correct that the spending does not tell the whole story, in that it does not address the causes of the high spending. However, neither does your blog.

Victor does not have one in three ninth graders absent on any given school day. Why does the RCSD tolerate it? And Victor does not spend its education money on school-choice busing. Why does the RCSD? And I think that most of the local towns pay less per teacher in salaries and benefits. Why does the RCSD continue with an untenable situation?

You also failed to address one of the most important factors leading to the high level of poverty. In Rochester, a significant number of children live in one-parent homes, and that is highly associated with poverty. Why no leadership on actively discouraging teen pregnancies? You can be sure that Victor and other local towns have a much lower rate.


I remember poring over RCSD financials a few years ago as part of a Blue Ribbon Panel. What we found is that the per capita dollar figure is the average which includes the special education costs, which are significantly higher than the suburban districts. In fact, it is not clear to me that the suburban budgets adequately include costs for their students who are sent to BOCES programs (not typically a city option).

The city is required to provide services for all students at all schools, which means that some neighborhood schools need to set up special classrooms for a small number of students — costs that the neighboring suburban school districts may not have. Comparing the per-student cost, without complete context, does a disservice to all.

That said, I don't believe that we can continue to increase school spending while enrollment is declining. Nor should we eliminate the number of neighborhood schools in some parts of the city without looking at the impact on both the students and the community. This is far more complicated than most articles can capture.