Monday, September 15, 2014

WEEK AHEAD: Port designs, LGBT forum, county Dems to push for review of tax exemption, local climate march

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Edgewater Resources will present its designs for the first phase of the redevelopment of the Port of Rochester at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, September 17, in the auditorium of Charlotte High School, 4115 Lake Avenue.

Last April, the City of Rochester selected Edgewater to develop approximately three acres of public land next to Ontario Beach Park. City officials say that the port area is an undervalued and underused asset.

Edgewater will present a multi-use development that includes a hotel and condos, along with other amenities.

The project has been controversial. Some accuse the city of privatizing the port at the expense of the broader Charlotte community. Some people also object to tall buildings that would block views and to the overall change in the culture and character of Charlotte that the project would surely bring.

The Empire State Pride Agenda will hold a forum for the public to meet Rochester's pro-LGBT candidates from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, September 17, at Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church, 707 E. Main Street. 

State Senator Ted O'Brien; Assembly candidate Gary Pudup; and county legislator candidate Erik Nixon are expected to participate in the forum. Also attending will be representatives of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, Trans Alliance of Greater Rochester, Open Arms church, and LGBT supporters and allies. 

According to a press release, the Pride Agenda is partnering with candidates and local community groups to discuss issues important to the LGBT community, and to advocate for the passage of the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act and for continued funding for LGBT health and human service needs. 

The forum will include a panel discussion and an interactive question-and-answer period. BY CHRISTINE CARRIE FIEN 

A Monroe County Legislature committee will take up a Democratic proposal to review a property tax exemption program. The committee meets at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the County Office Building, 39 West Main Street.

At issue is a state-authorized exemption. Under the exemption, any commercial, industrial, or retail business that invests a minimum of $10,000 into a building — including renovations or new construction — can claim exemption on the investment, according to Legislature Democrats. The exemption phases out over 10 years.

Democratic Legislator Paul Haney introduced the legislation, which would establish an Industrial and Commercial Incentive Board. The board would review the county’s use of the exemption program and develop a plan for its future use. The County Legislature would have to approve any changes to the program.

Haney says that the exemption has benefited good projects, but that it’s also being used by big box retailers, which would still build in the county without tax breaks.

A day before the People’s Climate March in New York City, Rochester will have its own climate walk.
The local march starts at 8:45 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of the Americas, 864 East Main Street. Participants will walk to the Rochester Public Market on Union Street. People are encouraged to bring their own signs and T-shirts or they can dress as their favorite species threatened by climate change.

The march is being organized by R.E.S.E.T. – Rochester Earthlings Supporting Endurable Temperatures – a local coalition of people and groups concerned about climate change.

The march will end at the market’s Nature Tent, near the offices at the center of the market. Organizers have arranged for family-friendly activities, including face-painting.

The People’s Climate March is Sunday, September 21, in New York City. It is an effort to demonstrate to US and world leaders that there is broad public support for climate action, and organizers expect hundreds of thousands of people from across the US and the world to participate. BY JEREMY MOULE

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