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Cobbs Hill Village project deserves your support

Our non-profit, Rochester Management, is very proud of our ability to provide quality, affordable housing to those in need in Rochester, including senior citizens, veterans, students, and low-and-middle income individuals.

However, one critical project, the redevelopment of our affordable senior housing community Cobbs Hill Village, has not yet begun. As someone deeply committed to serving those who are often overlooked, I feel compelled to speak out about the need for this modernization and expansion project to commence.

There is a dire need for affordable housing for seniors. Anyone who is looking for themselves or who has searched on behalf of a relative aged 55 and older will readily tell you that there are no immediate openings available at this time unless you can afford market-rate rents. We have hundreds of seniors on our waiting lists for senior communities in Rochester. If we have the resources to help address this shortage, we have the responsibility to do so.

Cobbs Hill Village has been a part of this community for decades. It has served as an ideal location for affordable senior housing for 60 years, and we should rebuild the community now in order to better position it for long-term sustainability. It is situated next to the Monroe County Water Authority and has no other homes immediately adjacent to it. This non-parkland parcel has been zoned high-density residential use since 1957. We have no desire to change that. The modernized Cobbs Hill Village will remain on this same parcel, not infringing in any way on the park.

We are committed to improving the living conditions for our 60 current residents and to serving more seniors in Rochester through our modernization plan. The current 10 buildings, with cinderblock interior walls, outdated mechanicals, and limited square footage, do not allow seniors to continue to live independently with ease and dignity. Our plans to replace these outdated buildings with two modern multi-unit buildings and a row of townhomes will allow us to add modest amenities that will greatly improve the lives of our elderly residents. Improved accessibility, energy efficient HVAC systems, a small fitness room, and computer lab are just a few examples.

Our seniors are important members of this community who have worked and volunteered for many businesses and organizations that serve everyone in the community. If we have the ability to help our seniors retain their independence and age in place, that is exactly what we should do.

This redevelopment of Cobbs Hill Village must begin. We cannot allow the voices of people who are only thinking of themselves and keeping others out of their neighborhood to distract us from doing the right thing. All people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic resources, or disability, must be allowed to continue to live in this beautiful area of Rochester... just as they have since 1957.


Hill is president and CEO of Rochester Management, Inc., which operates Cobbs Hill Village.

Merry Christmas to all. . .

You have to hand it to those pragmatic Republicans: they see a problem and set about trying to fix it. The problem? "Today, the top 1 percent of households own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined" (The Washington Post). The fix? Massive, permanent tax cuts to the top 1 percent. That way, we can create a permanent American aristocracy of inherited wealth, and look forward to the incompetent sons of the wealthy class ruling us forever. Sound a bit like the England of George III, from which our forefathers and -mothers revolted?

. . . and to all a good night.


Sinclair's propaganda isn't 'news'

On our report on Sinclair Broadcasting's "must run" conservative segments on its local television stations, including Rochester's WHAM 13: Thank you for "Masked Media," your important, well-done December 20 cover story. It's an example of how actual local journalism works.

However, you're too generous in the sub-head describing Sinclair-Channel 13 as promoting "a conservative view." More accurately, as the article itself notes, Sinclair is presenting as "news" what is slanted, biased propaganda promoting racial and ethnic stereotypes that fit a right-wing agenda.

Sinclair is merely following a variation on the Murdoch Fox-Wall Street Journal business model. Today's broadcast and cable news is about infotainment, which isn't to be confused with journalistic integrity seeking accuracy and observable truth.

Channel 13's general manager, Chuck Samuels, cleverly elides the Sinclair-mandated content issue by stating that corporate HQ hasn't told Channel 13 to slant local news stories. What integrity!

Of course it's hard to slant coverage of fires, weather, and high-school sports. But, as Samuels knows, that's not what either the article or national stories about Sinclair's injection of mandated content into its local stations refers to.

Samuels clearly has memorized the Sinclair corporate's PR talking points about "different views" being showcased in the segments shown locally as mandated by Sinclair. Different? Mark Hyman and Boris Epshteyn's are offset by what contrasting views? I guess they are different than Michael Savage or Sean Hannity, at least in name.

On the other hand, Samuels was honest about what local broadcasting "news" is about: numbers and the advertising dollars that follow; if it works and makes money, who cares if it's full of half-truths and re-enforces bigotry?

Sinclair is just the latest outcome of eliminating the Fairness Doctrine, along with successive administrations allowing six conglomerates to own 80 percent of the media, including the "news" sources that most Americans use.

The result? Coverage of celebrities and "on the one hand, on the other" sports-like commentary by paid pundits: marketing and PR not to be mistaken for journalism in the age of digital media.


I have had enough of the local news broadcasts for various reasons. One of the local stations had the lead-in as "Live, Local, and Up to the Minute." The local newscasts are anything but that. I now call it the Commercial Hour.

Channel 13 recently started the newscast with four minutes of local news. It then had a full two minutes of national news re-hashed followed by another two minutes of commercials. The next segment of two minutes was again a re-hash of national news, and so on. All total, there were seven minutes of national news and 13 minutes of commercials.

There was a lot of the "Stay tuned at 6 or 11 for the full story." You either get half of the news story or half of the weather report. Who has the time to watch a "local newscast" for a whole hour to get all of the details when we can get it all with the click of a mouse on the web?

Everything is "Breaking News." It is like the boy who cried wolf.

Channel 10 has laid off its best news and weather people. Now Channel 13 is using the far-right, subversive technique of putting on the propaganda segments "Full Measure" and "Terror Watch," subliminal messages similar to the ones used in brainwashing. Respected anchors like Don Alhart, Ginny Ryan, and Norma Holland have lost their integrity with the corporate-mandated editorial shift to the right.

I just do not trust Channel 13 anymore. Its integrity is gone.


The "Terrorism News Alert" clued me in to a change at WHAM. The article says "Samuels dismisses that it feeds a Republican or conservative viewpoint." What it is is fear-mongering that perpetuates distrust and hate of certain groups of people associated with Isis. It never mentions home-grown white supremacist terror that has caused me more worry than any other kind of terror in the US.

I also became tired of the national news' apocalyptic tone. Every night, there was something to be afraid of, whether a rain storm or a terror attack. I was a lifetime WHAM viewer. Now I watch the local news and weather and then change the channel, or I change it immediately when the "Terrorist News Alert " comes on.


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