Morgan Management has submitted a revised plan for a proposed apartment development at 933 University Avenue. The proposal has faced opposition from some neighborhood groups over its size and density. Eastman House officials oppose the project, too, as they had hoped to acquire the land.
Morgan Management has revised its plans several times in response to neighborhood concerns. The last iteration lowered the number of apartments to 102 and increased the number of parking spaces to 164. It also dramatically changed the exterior.
The new plan would retain but restore the Monroe Voiture clubhouse currently located on the site. It also drops the proposed number of apartment units from 102 to 99. The design and placement of the building remain unchanged.
The city's Preservation Board will take up the proposal at its August 7 meeting. But the board is not expected to make a final decision on the proposal until October.
The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case has engulfed the country in a conversation about race and justice, once again. It is tragic that a black teen lost his life in a situation so ordinary that it defines mundane: walking, snacking on candy, and talking to a friend on the phone.
How many other teens in this country were doing the exact same things that night, but didn't end up dead from a close-range gunshot?
Even more tragic is that America in 2013 is far more divided on the basis of race and skin color than many of us want to believe. Many white Americans simply don’t understand what it feels like to be a person of color in the US today. They assume that their experience of the most routine situations — waiting for a taxi, inquiring about an apartment for rent, or shopping for clothes — is the same for everyone.
It’s not surprising that many Americans are confused by Zimmerman’s acquittal, and they’re conflicted about whether justice was served. Why wouldn't they be, considering that we so often live separate and unequal lives? Many of our urban school districts and neighborhoods are neatly segregated. The cradle-to-prison pipeline is not an obscure rap lyric; it’s a reality for many young black males and their families. And some politicians continue to resort to stereotypes of welfare moms and drug-dealing thugs to bait voters.
If we learn anything from the Martin-Zimmerman case, it’s that somewhere in the American psyche, young black males are not ordinary. Often they exist in the spectrum of faceless, menacing, hoodie-wearing boogeymen: subconscious tags for fear, suspicion, and violence.
Candidates for public office in New York have filed their latest financial reports, and both Rochester mayoral contenders are raising money at a good clip.
Incumbent Mayor Tom Richards started the year with an opening balance of $107,676. He reports contributions of $94,175 and expenses totaling $58,523.83 from the second half of January to July 11, 2013. He reports a closing balance of $143,327.17.
Challenger and City Council President Lovely Warren had an opening balance of $18,770.18. She reports receiving $45,253.96 in contributions from the second half of January to July 11, 2013, and spending $40,990.29 over the same time period. Her closing balance is $23,033.85.
On the state Board of Elections site, you can see who gave to each candidate, and how much. This is a link to a search page on the BOE's site. Enter the candidate's last name to see his or her latest disclosure form.
Representative Louise Slaughter endorsed Rochester Mayor Tom Richards for re-election at a press announcement earlier today. Richards is in a primary battle with Lovely Warren, who is president of City Council. (Warren's response to Slaughter's endorsement is at the bottom of this blog.)
Slaughter said that Rochester has seen unprecedented investment, more than $1.7 billion, under Richards’ leadership.
“This city is on the march,” Slaughter said. “I need to keep my partner.”
Richards said Rochester went through a period of disinvestment at the business, government, and community levels. But that period is over, he said. Responding to critics who have suggested that he has been mostly concerned with downtown development, Richards said that more than two-thirds of the investment is in projects outside of downtown.
Redevelopment is not about buildings, he said. Improvements to downtown are for the benefit of the people who work and live in them, he said.
And Slaughter said that Richards has made great strides putting women and minorities to work.
Today's press conference was held at the 1872 Café on West Main Street, not far from the Susan B. Anthony House at 17 Madison Street. Anthony was arrested in 1872 after attempting to vote in the presidential election.
Both Slaughter and Richards said that the café and improvements in the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood are representative of Richards’ commitment to improving city neighborhoods.
City Council members Elaine Spaull, Carla Palumbo, and former Council member John Lightfoot were among the city and neighborhood leaders who attended the event.
WARREN'S RESPONSE (via e-mail):
"Our campaign is about the people of the City of Rochester not the big named politicians, special interest groups or high roller donors. This is about everyday citizens, middle class families, children who are being lost to an educational system that continues to fail them, and families who have and continue to lose loved ones in the streets of our city. My campaign is for everyday Rochesterians, not a who's who of Greater Rochester area. I respect everyone and their right to support whichever candidate they choose. However, at the end of the day, I knock on the doors to my neighbors and the people who actually live in the City of Rochester and ask them for their vote because it is voices that matters, and their votes that count — and that why 6,246 voters signed my petition; more than double the number collected on behalf of Mayor Richards. This race is about them, for them, and I will continue to work hard on their behalf."
OK, this is kind of awesome.
Lisa Jacques, a candidate for Rochester City Council and a city business owner, is encouraging people to show up to Tuesday night’s Council meeting with $5,000 in hand to buy Midtown Tower.
Council is due to vote Tuesday night to sell the tower and an adjacent parking lot to Buckingham Properties, which will rehab the building for housing and commercial use.
Jacques is trying to make a point about the amount of public assistance the developer will receive for the project, including a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement through COMIDA, and $6.7 million in assistance from the city.
“This deal either represents total corruption by our city leaders, or our elected officials truly believe that downtown properties are worthless,” Jacques writes in a letter. “Either belief is unacceptable.”
Tuesday’s meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in Council chambers at City Hall, 30 Church Street. Christine Carrie Fien
On Tuesday, the International Joint Commission will hold a hearing in Rochester on its Lake Ontario water levels plan. The hearing is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency, 125 East Main Street. Anyone who wants to speak can register starting at 1:30 p.m.
The new Plan 2014 is based on a previous proposal, Bv7, which sought to allow more of a natural fluctuation in lake levels. The current plan, which has been in place since 1963, calls for keeping the water relatively stable. But the IJC says that more variability would benefit coastal habitats, particularly wetlands, which have been damaged under the existing plan. Lakeside property owners said proposal Bv7 would have caused too much erosion and damage.
Plans 2014 and Bv7 are similar in many ways, but there is one key difference. Plan 2014 incorporates trigger points, extreme high or low levels that will cause the IJC to take actions to moderate water levels. That’s done via a hydropower dam on the St. Lawrence River.
Xerox officials will appear before the Monroe County Industrial Development Agency to request tax incentives to possibly expand a toner plant.
COMIDA will hold public hearings on the proposal today (Monday, July 15).
Xerox is considering a 50,000-square-foot expansion of its Webster toner plant; company representatives have told local media that the decision hasn’t yet been made. A COMIDA summary says that the Webster site is under consideration, along with off-shore locations.
The summary says the expansion would be a $5 million investment and create the equivalent of 25 full-time jobs. The company also plans to invest $30 million in equipment, the summary says.
Xerox is seeking property and sales tax abatements amounting to $441,508 over 10 years, the summary says. But the summary also says that over the same period, the breaks would generate about $4 million in revenue from state income tax, property tax or payment in lieu of taxes revenue, and sales tax revenue.
Webster town Supervisor Ron Nesbitt has spoken out against the proposal. He told WROC channel 8 that the company is asking for the incentives at the same time it’s suing the town to get its assessment lowered.
The COMIDA board meets at noon on Tuesday, July 16, at the Watts Conference Center, 49 South Fitzhugh Street. The meeting agenda is available here. No vote is expected at tomorrow's meeting.Jeremy Moule
Project T.I.P.S. (Trust, Information, Programs, and Services) will hold an event in the Jefferson Avenue and Flint Street neighborhood. The group’s purpose is to rebuild trust between residents and law enforcement.
Group members will do door to door, anonymous community surveys from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and also engage residents in conversation about quality of life issues, and gather info about crime and violence. Members will also provide information about services including health care. The door to door visitors will include a police officer, firefighter, and two volunteers.
The event will continue with a community cookout and get together at Jefferson Avenue and Flint Street. Christine Carrie Fien
So this happened yesterday.
I was leaving a parking garage in downtown Rochester — putting my money in one of those machines that people seem to have so much trouble with — when I was approached by a parking attendant. (Actually, I’m assuming he was an attendant. I didn't look closely.) It’s not unusual to see an attendant standing next to the machine, just in case someone needs help — which kind of defeats the purpose of having the machines, does it not?
“You doin’ OK, there, sweetheart?” (He was probably less Humphrey Bogart-ish, but I do remember the “sweetheart.”)
I told him I was, stuck the second of two dollar bills in the slot, and waited for the receipt button to light up. The presumed attendant seemed excited by the fact that I needed a receipt, and urged me to wait. He then handed me a receipt — I don’t know where he got it — for $10. My fee was $2.
“That’s not right,” I said.
He assured me repeatedly that it was fine, and — being your classic conflict-avoider — I drove off.
I don’t want to get this guy in trouble; that’s why I didn’t name the garage or the time of day. But it sure seems like some kind of scam. I can’t be the only person this has happened to, right?
And, no, I’m not going to keep the extra money. (I swear.)
“Even though the new health care law is requiring some changes, we are not going to do anything that will hurt our employees. Wegmans will continue to offer health care benefits for part-time employees, but eligibility requirements will change. This change will not take effect for our existing part-time employees until 2015. We have met one-on-one with each impacted employee to reassure them and to let them know we are going to do everything we can to help them through these changes. Our proudest achievement has been our inclusion in Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list. We are there because we care deeply about our employees.”
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