February 15, 2019

Proposal Would Restrict Neighborhood Groups

Author: Rachel Barnhart The City of Rochester is considering a dramatic proposal to regulate neighborhood associations. Little Italy Neighborhood Association President Silvano Orsi said a City Council aide gave some neighborhood leaders a copy. The document sets out requirements for neighborhood groups to be “officially recognized” by the city. Those requirements include being a 501c3 corporation, electing officers every two …

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January 16, 2019

City Quietly Paid Pegulas $1.1 Million; Won’t Release Payment Details

The City of Rochester quietly paid the company managing the Blue Cross Arena $1.1 million back in November – and won’t release any details about the payment. Rochester for All discovered the November 8 payment to Rochester Arena LLC in the city checkbook register. We filed a Freedom of Information Law request for, “All information related to check number 70001016 …

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January 14, 2019

Ethics Board Decisions Are Here

The City of Rochester Board of Ethics has finally issued advisory opinions for several complaints filed by Rochester for All over the past year. The board did not find any violations, even though it acknowledged the conduct occurred in some cases. The board issued recommendations in those cases. Rochester for All was never contacted by the board to appear at …

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December 28, 2018

City to Demolish Houses for Police Station; Won’t Release Site Selection Study

Author: Rachel Barnhart The City of Rochester wants to spend $500,000 to purchase seven houses and three vacant lots to construct the Goodman Section police station and Southeast neighborhood service center. Legislation has been submitted to City Council for approval. Six houses are on Laura St. and one is on East Main St. Each resident will be given $1,000 to …

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December 28, 2018

RPD Bans Chasing Moving Cars. Why Does It Allow Shooting at Them?

Author: Rachel Barnhart Updated with video of shooting. It’s not okay to chase a stolen car, but it is okay to shoot at one. The Rochester Police Department’s policies played out in last night’s shooting of a 15-year-old boy who was behind the wheel of a stolen car. First let’s look at the general orders regarding chases and shooting at …

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December 21, 2018

Downtown Developers Get Big Money in Latest Hunger Games

Several developers will get large grants from the state for downtown projects. The Regional Economic Development Councils held its annual award ceremony earlier this week. Often referred to as “the Hunger Games,” regions around the state compete for prizes. The Finger Lakes Region was awarded $86.5 million for various projects. Here are the downtown Rochester projects receiving state cash: – …

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December 20, 2018

Federally-Funded Housing Program Helped Well-Off Buyers

 Author: Rachel Barnhart Want to buy a home with no money down, no closing costs and a low interest rate? Sound too good to be true? That’s what the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America promises to low-to-moderate income homebuyers, even those with bad credit. Despite NACA’s marketing materials offering help to those who may not otherwise qualify for a …

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December 18, 2018

Monroe County’s 2018 Election: What Results Say About 2019

Author: Rachel Barnhart Update at end of article. The 2018 midterm election results show some familiar divides in Monroe county – city-suburbs and eastside-westside. The results also show suburban voters continued their tradition of ticket-splitting, or not voting a straight party line. Check out our interactive maps. Click on each election district for results. GOVERNOR Eastside-Westside This divide was most …

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December 14, 2018

Funk ‘N Waffles Closed. What Happens to $27k City Grant?

Author: Rachel Barnhart When Funk ‘N Waffles closed its Rochester location, city taxpayers may have lost $27,617.23 in grant money given to the restaurant. The grant was awarded in October 2017, about five months after it opened at the former Water Street Music Hall site. The restaurant closed last month, blaming poor location and cost of operating the large space. …

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December 10, 2018

Yes, Campaign Finance Laws Matter

Author: Rachel Barnhart Rochesterians learned last week that the Monroe County District Attorney is investigating Mayor Lovely Warren’s campaign finance activities. James Sheppard and I, her opponents in the 2017 mayoral race, filed complaints that her political action committee (PAC) functioned as a second campaign account. We allege she used the PAC as a vehicle to raise and spend more …

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