J.A.M., you raise important points. Regarding our contribution to the Eastman House: we make contributions to numerous area arts organizations and other non-profits, as do many local media. That support is clearly stated on the organizations’ promotional material. We’ve written articles praising those organizations, and we’ve written articles criticizing them.
On the issue of the apartment ownership: It’s a two-flat, 100-plus-year-old house next door to our home – meager competition for a 102-unit, spanking new building. I suppose you could say any new apartments are competition for our units. But I’ve cheered on other new apartment developments, when they were in locations I thought were appropriate. And you might make the argument that the density in the neighborhood, and the resulting popularity of the area, makes our apartments more desirable. Our property value has certainly increased. So perhaps we have a vested interest in more apartments. And any development that adds to the city’s tax rolls helps every other city taxpayer, including me.
But overall, I think you’re right: On the apartments issue, I should have indicated that my husband and I own a rental property in the neighborhood, letting readers decide whether that had any bearing on the subject.
To Rochester Resident: I do indeed live near the East Avenue Preservation District. I hope that proximity hasn't influenced my decision, but it's hard for any journalist to be certain that we're completely objective about the things we cover. I do think my long-time residence there informs my writing. And I'm not at all against apartments; we lived in one, two doors from our current home, when we moved to Rochester. And we own a rental double next door. We like living in a neighborhood that includes a variety of ages and uses. That's why we settled there. That's why we have stayed.
Several readers have noted that I didn't oppose the demolition of the Cataract Building. That was a hard decision for me, personally, because I agree that the building was an important one, and we've lost far, far too many important buildings in this city. This newspaper has campaigned to save many of them. And we fought hard for one of the city's most controversial preservation districts, Corn Hill. But in each case, we've tried to consider the feasibility of the project. Others disagree, but in our opinion, no firm, feasible alternatives had been presented.
To Rotten: Advertising has no impact on my decisions, but so that we're dealing in facts, not fiction: the George Eastman House is by no means a major advertiser for City. In fact, we donate a substantial amount of advertising to the museum's film program.
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