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Recent Comments

Re: “RBTL by the river: the next big thing

I have difficulty understanding why City (and many Rochesterians) reflexively respond to any potential downtown development with the tired and predictable reference to a lack of population growth in the metro area. First, why must we assume that metropolitan population growth will remain forever stagnant? Second, Monroe County's population is the highest it has ever been, to the point that the county has actually been able to decrease its tax rate. Third, downtown population has more than doubled since 2000, and in reasonably short order it has the potential to triple over what will have been a 20-year span. Finally, development in Webster, Victor, and Pittsford is never met with the same demoralizing defeatism (aside from harping on traffic concerns). We are no longer in 2005 or 2010. The Rochester of 2018 is a different place, and it's time for City to realize that its pessimism is so passe.

5 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by AVS on 11/08/2018 at 6:21 PM

Re: “Rochester Muslims share their experiences

Atheism is a very reasonable cure for many societal ills. As a parent, I believe in early childhood science rather than brainwashing our little children and thus perpetuating outdated mythology.

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by AVS on 11/28/2015 at 10:39 PM

Re: “Are we really willing to tackle poverty?

Is it possible that Rochester's poverty cannot be tackled? The multiple factors which maintain poverty can be found in every American metro area. Furthermore, poverty is almost always concentrated - have you heard of the metro area where poverty is spread evenly? It doesn't exist. These other metros have "tackled" the problem (largely one of statistics) in one of two ways:

1. "Younger" regions redraw city boundaries to include inner ring suburbs. Not surprisingly, poverty statistics drop significantly. In Rochester's case, including Greece, Irondequoit, Brighton, and Henrietta would drop the poverty rate under 20%.

2. "Older" regions have done a better job of attracting young professionals to their urban centers, thereby bringing up income averages and making their statistics look better.

Given that #1 is unlikely, I would say that maintaining a heavy focus on #2 would be the best use of tax dollars and quite possibly "solve" the poverty issue in the most expedient fashion.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by AVS on 02/11/2015 at 12:03 AM

Re: “Rochester's big growth area: poverty

Rochester has a poverty problem which cannot be denied. That said, the data from the Rochester Area Community Foundation needs to be examined closely. The poverty rate data works against old northeast and northern midwest cities which suffer from arbitrary boundaries - boundaries which make the cities a tiny percentage of the metro area as a whole. For instance. the city of Rochester comprises only 19.4% of the entire metro area. Conversely, Raleigh, NC comprises 35.5% of its metro area and Oklahoma City comprises 46.3% of its metro area.

If the city of Rochester were redrawn to include Irondequoit, Brighton, Greece, and Henrietta, the city would then make up 40% of the metro area and an apples to apples comparison could be made. Under such a circumstance, the poverty rate would fall from 32.9% to 19.9% - BELOW the midpoint of 22.9% for similarly sized regions. That would place Rochester in the ballpark of Raleigh (16.2%), Oklahoma City (18.2%), and Salt Lake City (19.9%).

Again, this is not to deny our poverty problem. It simply serves to:
1. Promote a more fair discussion
2. Avoid making our self-perception problem worse than it needs to be

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by AVS on 02/02/2015 at 9:00 PM

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