Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 24, 2015 · Page A21
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October 24, 2015

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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page A21

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Rochester, New York
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Saturday, October 24, 2015
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DemocratandChronicle .com Saturday,October24,2015 Page21A CONNECT WITH US All submissions must include your name,address and daytime telephone number. Limit letters to fewer than 150 words; essays to 450 words. Readers are limited to one published letter every 30 days. Send to Letters to the Editor,Democrat and Chronicle,55 Exchange Blvd.,Rochester NY 14614; email dcedit@gannett.com. Call (585) 258-2250. Fax: (585) 258-2356. All letters and essays chosen for publication are subject to editing for length,clarity and accuracy. Iappreciate your effort to bring suicide out of the darkness in our community, but I was saddened to see your article, “Parents seek answers, awareness after 12-year-old’s s uicide,” both online and on the front page of last Sunday’s paper. It is important to remember that most students who are involved in bullying do not become suicidal. Research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion and des pair. It can also lead to depression and anxiety, which can contribute to sui- c idal thoughts and behavior. Yet, the v ast majority of youth who are bullied d o not become suicidal. W henever possible, discussions on b ullying and suicide should center on p revention and encourage help-seek- i ng behavior. Y ou made no mention that 90% of people who die by suicidewere suffering with a mental illness at the time o f their death, most often depression, a nd that there is treatment and help a vailable. S ome suicides appear to be impulsive or spur-of-the-moment, or may f ollow a very upsetting event. But while we all go through painful experi- e nces, suicide is not a normal re- s ponse, and only a small percentage of people react by taking their lives. Suicide almost always results from the pain and desperation of a mental illness. When researchers carefully examine suicide deaths through a “psychological autopsy,” t hey often find that the person had been suffering from an unrecog- n ized, untreated mental disorder, like d epression or bipolar disorder. W e encourage anyone who may be s truggling to seek help. There are o rganizations out there, such as the N ational Suicide Prevention Lifeline a t 1-800-273-TALK, a round-the-clock c risis call center in which anyone can call to ask for help and get connected with resources in your community. T here are also a number of local r esources including the 2-1-1Lifeline. T o learn more, you can also visit w ww.afsp.org. S arah Clark is director of the Western New York chapter of the American F oundation for Suicide Prevention Not a normal response SARAH CLARK GUEST ESSAYIST "Suicide almost always results from the pain and desperation of a mental illness. When researchers carefully examine suicide deaths t hrough a ‘psychological autopsy,’ they often find that the person had b een suffering from an u nrecognized, untreated mental disorder, like depression or bipolar disorder.” Unclog political gridlock by electing opposites If opposites attract, then I have a suggestion that may unclog the political gridlock in congress. Electing and promoting liberal Republicans and c onservative Democrats to p ositions of leadership and power may well solve the prob- l em. Since the ideological gap between the two is as narrow a s a two party system will allow, it seems that a sensible consensus can be achieved on measures of national concern. Too long has this political insanity reigned. It is a malaise that is affecting our economy, national security, faith in elected officials, national morale and hope of the future. Expecting the extremists on b oth sides of the aisle to coalesce into a cooperative alliance to get things done is an illusion. We must give the common sense moderates a chance. BOB TACITO WEBSTER The irony of New York state’s use of energy The article on solar energy entitled “Genesee County lands solar company, 700-plus jobs” caught my eye. Having been in the energy business for the past 36 years, I was intrigued by the mention in the article of the up to 8.5 megawatts of low-cost hydropower needed for this new manufacturing facility. Iwonder why they don’t use solar power in their solar plant. Why do they need low-cost hydropower that will be taken from existing consumers? We know the grid replacement for this hydropower will come from natural gas. Maybe New York does actually like natural gas, which according to the US EIA supplies 36.5 percent of New York’s 3.625 quadrillion btu energy needs. But like the use of silicon in the making of solar cells (which starts with mining in states outside NY), New York state is OK using natural gas, as long as it isn’t produced in our backyard. JOHN HOLKO ALEXANDER, GENESEE COUNTY Here are three things t hat would improve NY Three items that would radically improve New York state but are opposed by Albany are term limits, initiative and referendum and school choice. These three proposals have been supported by New Y ork state voters in polling for m any years. We need citizen legislators; not career politicians. School choice would give students in failing city schools the opportunity to attend private schools. Finally, initiative and refer- e ndum would give New York s tate voters the power to put proposals on the ballot. WILLIAM MULLIGAN JR. HENRIETTA The true definition o f multitasking After reading Katie Golde’s article, “Why Multitasking is a Waste,” which claims that “only 2percent of us multitask effectively,” I think she may not completely understand the concept. While she does correctly d efine the term: “Multitasking means trying to do more than one thing at a time,” Ms. Golde only goes on to describes electronic multitasking; and that’s the problem. When our tasks are related, such as those involved with electronics (the smartphones, tablets, and laptops that are mentioned), the information in our brains bottlenecks, as her research shows. And I don’t dispute that. But in order for multitasking to be effective, the tasks must be unrelated in kind. For instance, I’m able to have clothes washing in the machine, dinner cooking in the crockpot, while I’m raking the yard and talking on my cellphone. That is true multitasking — doing more than one thing at a time. HEIDI MITTIGA IRONDEQUOIT It’s time for mothers to u nite to combat bullying Shame on the schools for not reporting bullying. I know firsthand that it happens often. Apparently, VADIR and DASA are useless since the schools refuse to follow the guidelines. You can’t address a issue if you don’t even acknowledge it. Zero tolerance should mean no bullying, not no reporting. It’s time for mothers to unite. Mothers Against Bullying. I am confident if mothers get involved, bullying would get addressed. MADD and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense Gun in America get things done. Time to add MAB. LYNN REINA GREECE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Whether at school or at work, adults and kids alike know how hard it is to concentrate when your stomach starts to rumble. Rochester Area Community Founda- t ion, Foodlink, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, and other community partners work together to ensure that families have enough nutritious food to prevent hunger pangs altogether. Central to these efforts are federal child nutrition programs that support families and children in our community t hrough pre-school, school-based, and out-of-school time programs. T he child nutrition programs lever- a ge broad community support and pub- l ic-private partnerships. They are part icularly effective when combined with e fforts to address hunger at the local l evel. Our Summer Meals Partnership o f Rochester works to increase partici- p ation in the free and nutritious summer meals program. Last year, 5,791 more meals were served compared to s ummer 2013. A ccess to federal programs helps e nsure our children have quality nutri- t ion, child care, and enrichment activities that improve their overall health, d evelopment, and school achievement. The return on investment will be seen t hrough improvements in the future h ealth of our workforce, and our current and future economic growth. Yet significant gaps remain, particularly in programs that serve children when they are away from school — after school, on weekends and during the summer. T his year, Congress has a chance to close these gaps by passing a strong child nutrition bill that makes investments in and improvements to these critical programs. Our representatives should increase and protect access to quality, nutritious foods in programs that serve children, prioritizing programs that help c hildren during out-of-school time. AMarch 2013 report by the Center for G overnmental Research found that as m any as 16,000 youth from low-income f amilies in Rochester are missing out on f ree summer meals. The reauthorization b ill should make it easier for community p roviders to establish summer meals s ites by streamlining summer and after- s chool meal programs and providing alternate delivery models. Communities and the federal govern- m ent can work together to end child hung er and ensure that every child has the f ood he or she needs to be strong and h ealthy. Julia Tedesco is executive director of F oodlink. Mairéad Hartmann is co-chair of the Summer Meals Partnership of R ochester Invest in child nutrition JULIA TEDESCO AND MAIRÉAD HARTMANN GUEST ESSAYISTS When I say t hat fixing homelessness is good for business, many skeptics may r aise an eye- b row. The assumption is that caring for homeless individuals costs money, and those individuals don’t have the financial means to participate in the l ocal economy. But, as we’ve r ecently learned here in Rochester with the revitalization of the old Cunningham factory, doing the right thing is a tide that can raise all boats. I am a lifelong western New Yorker. I grew up here, raised my family here and serve the community in a variety of ways, including as part of Greater Rochester Enterprise I nc. and the Monroe Community College Foundation. At M&T Bank, where I serve as regional president, we understood t he benefits of the Carriage Factory Apartments and provided the financing. M any people think homelessness is a big city problem, but that’s actually not true. In the peak of winter in January, there were almost 800 people homeless in Monroe County. And 222 of them were children. T here are dozens of unique r easons that people become homeless, but significant mental or physical health problems can be a large contributing factor. For these individuals, they n eed intensive care that the s helters or the streets can’t provide. As a result, they become a revolving part of the system, not getting the care that would help them turn their l ives around. Instead, taxpayer m oney goes into emergency services they end up needing when things get too bad. Last year alone, Monroe County funded more than 8,400 place- m ents for homeless individ- u als and families. As many of you know, the Cunningham Factory in Rochester is located on a brownfield and fell into disrepair when the f actory folded many years ago. Not only was it much needed land that wasn’t being utilized, it was creating a lag on surrounding property values and nearby home sales were stag- n ant. Leaders from the Rochester homeless advocacy community, area developers and an architect came together with a n out-of-the-box idea: What if we redevelop the Cunningham Factory and make them into s upportive housing units, using the redevelopment as an anchor to restore the Susan B. Anthony section of the city? Permanent supportive housing is a concept born here in New York state that reaches t he most vulnerable, at-risk p ortion of the homeless com- munity. Individuals and families with mental illness and addiction receive not only housing, but also 24/7 care for t he illnesses or issues that h aunt them. Eighty-five percent of those who enter supportive housing remain stably housed and only 5 percent end back out on the street or i n a shelter. This type of p roactive and preventative care is actually less expensive to taxpayers — the cost savings more than pays for the housing itself. S ince the Carriage Fact ory Apartments opened, three homes have sold on nearby King Street. And people are excited to live there. Even more importantly, more t han 70 people have begun to get their lives back and contribute to our community. We have so much more to do and so many more people to help. I know that many of o ur Rochester state legislators—on both sides of the aisle — are calling on the state to fund the creation of 3 5,000 supportive units over the next 10 years. Five thousand of them would be for the g reater upstate community. I applaud those efforts. Rochester is proof that this model works and strengthens every aspect of our local community. Dan Burns is regional p resident of M&T Bank AT ISSUE: SUPPORTIVE HOUSING FOR HOMELESS Fixing homeless i ssue good for all THINKSTOCK DAN BURNS GUEST ESSAYIST

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