Wednesday, October 5, 2005

LONA Meeting Minutes Of September 12, 2005

LONA Meeting Minutes Of September 12, 2005

Meeting began at 7:11pm

LONA President Mike Visconte opened the meeting and covered:

- What officers have been doing over the summer: visual observations of the neighborhood houses and reporting those that needed structural and aesthetic attention, met with other area neighborhood groups to discuss area violence that has suddenly grown, and other related tasks

- Most agencies are out of community funds for community block grants and the like

- Many negligent absentee landlords are bringing our neighborhood's image and property values down

- Election of LONA officers at next meeting: nomination cut off date is 21 days before next meeting

- Street captains are needed for each street in our neighborhood: duties would be to report any pot holes, trees that need pruning to stay clear of power lines and the like, and to alert us to the presence of drug houses or other suspicious activities. We then report these items to the Lyell NET Office for further action to be taken

Burglary/Robbery Report

- Streets with lots of recent incidents: Villa, Michigan, Curtis, Emerson, Plover, Avery, Rutter, Burrough, Canton

- sign up for Neighborhood Call List to be on watch /on guard

- the business "Family Dollar" on Lyell Avenue was robbed five (5) times in the last month

- house numbers are available upon request

Review of June's LONA Minutes - 3 page report

- re: sex offenders - Missing and Exploited Children spoke and offered tips on safety precautions

- it was explained what police can and cannot do under the law, probation and time limits were discussed, and concerns were raised that some offenders are placed to live next to schools and daycare centers

- City Councilman Bob Stevenson reported on the successful prostitution details

- County Legislator Carla Palumbo reported on the meth labs were being investigated

Water Works (on the corner ofDewey Avenue and Felix Street) is building a brand new communications center

- moving over the hill, no trucks were allowed in or out

- windmill was to be put up to make the "green building", but it would have been too tall

- Neighborhood Group information sheet

LONA Vice President Bob Van Sice re: SUNOCO gas station

- Sunoco station (the corner of Sunset Street and Lyell Avenue) to be revamped and expanded by adding another pump

- there was another meeting held on the same night as our LONA meeting at 6:30pm

- Sunoco requested to be open 24hours; LONA objects to the store being open 24hours, we'd prefer the store to close from 11pm to 6am, due to the undesirable elements hanging around who leave debris, trash, bottles and even used condoms

- 45% of "johns" returned to burglarize homes in our neighborhood

- we would like to request that the Sunoco store to be secured and only sell gas between the hours of 11pm - 6am

- local area neighbors agreed to LONA sending a letter expressing these views

Mike Visconte - LONA needs to know about these concerns to be able to act on these issues

Bob Van Sice - LONA has no objection to a new building, but not for the old trolley system to be destroyed - perhaps a low cost lease could be an option

Q: Why are they expanding the gas station when there is a Sunoco at the corner of Lyell Avenue and Lee Road? Why demolish the building? Less cost to keep original?

A: each one is a privately owned location. Also, that Lee Road location is not in the Lyell-Otis neighborhood, as we end at the canal.

County Legislator Carla Palumbo - phone or email her any concerns

- Tuesday Sept 13th County Leg Meeting as well as the Democratic Primary

- loan on tobacco loan so there won't be a huge deficit at the county level of government

- look at the numbers, they are fiscally sound

Bob Van Sice - Mary Bailey is on the ballot

Special Violent Crime Report by Officer Vaughn

- there have been several shootings in our and surrounding areas recently

- Aug 25th at 10:30pm @ 62 Villa Street - no arrest yet, but good leads

- Aug 26th at 11:20pm @ 33 Sterling Street - a man died after being shot over a fight, arrest was made of Michael Seeler born 1984, 21 years old, indicted by the grand jury

- @ Pierpont Street - arrest was made

- Aug 28th a 2yr old was shot in the face while waiting at the bus stop on Dewey Avenue by a drive by shooter - there are many leads

"We have had it" Law and Order detail - high warrant/guns/drugs; working with many officers - a full force, getting guns off the streets

Comment: Sunday before the child was shot, there was a gang of kids with guns on Villa Street - trouble makers have moved in recently

Also on Rodgers and Wolf Streets near Sherman Street - there was a gang of men with cars and gunshots were heard on Warner Street

- special attention is being paid to the house; the landlord is getting them out - those tenants cannot disturb the quality of life in the neighborhood; they left their last residence for the same reasons

- if no response from 911 or 311, ask to speak to a supervisor

- some relatives of these trouble makers live in the pallet company around the corner

- the landlord will be gathering information on the tenants from the residents of the immediate area

- 38 Sunset Street - JT Simmons; pimp with his employees - drugs there and at Sunoco gas station's sidewalk; they pick up stash after contacting buyer

- 168 Rockview Street - antennas; 14 cars, people, selling - vice squad is aware of activity; call police with plate numbers and descriptions. There had been a drug house on Glide St - pictures helped close down two (2) houses!

Q: representative from Cameron Community Ministries noted that there had been a raid on a house and there were many people with guns on the street - they hadn't been notified and CCM was concerned about the neighborhood children's safety

A: call 911 and ask to speak to a supervisor

Mike Visconte:

- LONA officers met with Commander Corridi; we want a phone tree available as well as a neighborhood watch and to extend the operating hours of PAC-TAC - there needs to be more training opportunities

- also, LONA would like more police check points to target drunk driving and seat belt compliance, which can also lead to drug arrests and unlicenced vehicles as well as non licensed or uninsured drivers

- LONA also is requesting a safety gun lock dispersion

- our Westside officers are down by 20; ACT Program; PAC-TAC is available during the day as well

NET - reported by Chuck Stechna, Assistant NET Administrator

- he worked 34 years with Rochester Recreation Dept

Sharon Conheady wanted to relay information/stats:

- 85 code, 197 High Grass &Weeds, 368 service calls - higher than any other NET office,

- 399 cases in enforcement; ticketing begins - NOT where we want to be, we'd rather have compliance, we want to work with landlords, C of O's, inside and outside

- raises red flags: landlords might give up on houses, foreclosures, to demolition, what will happen with these properties - they may be boarded

- owner occupied; we extend work schedules

Q: LONA Treasurer Mary Ann Batz - Why do I have to live next to a slum?

A: Chuck - change happens right here through LONA and the NET and the landlords/owners working together

Q: What are the stats on owner occupied vs rental properties in our neighborhood?

- Laws need to be stricter, as they used to be - and tenants have right too

1500 calls & walk-ins - Q: what has been resolved?

A: LONA Vice President Bob Van Sice - Our NET office is understaffed

Q: Letter of "working on it" was received, but not when the problem was resolved

Q: How many times do we need to make complaints until action is taken

Q: cars parked on Michigan Street, many unlicenced without permits

Q: Apartment on Santee & Emerson Streets -Four (4) years with bricks falling, but no ticketing

A: NET's Chuck - it is presently in enforcement

A Moment of Silence was held in memory of Phyllis Biatta - she was a LONA member for many years

NCS - Northwest Community Services / Community Development Corp's Cheri

- new office building located at 275 Driving Park; they help rehab and resell houses

- fundraiser: personalized bricks are $50 each for the walkway, no special designs are available, 15 characters per line, order forms are available

- $10K was received from Sector 3

back to NET's Chuck Stechna

Q: Bob Stevenson was very helpful working with CSX to clear debris - American Pallet has debris on Wolf Street

- tires are dumped at CSX railroad crossing on Otis Street

- pictures, EPA should be notified of the burning pallets

37 Wolf Street - the relatives are living at American Pallet Co

- trailers, trucks with different plate numbers are parked at vacant house

- people are paid under the table

- a person's hand was injured at 301 Otis Street

A: NET's Chuck Stechna - NET is working with George Whitecare of CSX; call Chuck at 428-7676

City Councilman and Mayoral Candidate Tim O. Mains

- Every Neighborhood Is Important! Many challenges the city faces- we are at a turning point

- we need more than * looks good * means good * big picture type of mayor

- we need a hands-on person like Mayor Ryan was; Mains is ready to drive the agenda

- Mains is acquainted with local government, schools, finances - doesn't want to take over schools, will support schools; example: #50 school in the 14621 neighborhood - 90% passed math test, but support is needed

* Rochester's Children's Institute - break the cycle of poverty

most direct way is to reduce number of poverty and concentration

* Make an investment inthe city - Lyell-Otis and Edgerton - the promise is great!

* Pioneer Tax Plan - city auction of homes and commercial property

- plan to double value, ½ the taxes

for example: the Flat Iron Cafe - bought the building for $15K, put in $30K in improvements, $50K in sweat equity, the property is now worth $120K

- current tax rate is approximately $44/per $1000, $21/per $1000 under Main's tax plan

- money saved can pay for improvements

- space out the tax "bite" over five (5) years

- $5K can potentially grow to be in the $50K -$80K range; give tax breaks to encourage investment

- Local newspapers: The Democrat and Chronicle and City Newspaper both like his ideas as they are bold and independent

- Mains is on the "Working Families" party line on the ballot

- more info on breaking the cycle of poverty; Rochester is as strong as its weakest neighborhood

- 20 years of experience as an educator and a city council member; Mains has energy, is available and responsive - he will not quit! The city of Rochester can improve with an activist, active mayor

Q: the Children's Initiative: birth to kindergarten - What agencies will be involved? How to monitor and join?

- overworked caseworkers; saturated like a sponge - the Peter principle - duplication of effort

A: Tim Mains - over 100 organizations - don't talk to each other, promoted only by themselves

- this program is modeled from one in place in Vermont, and other cities

- identify families; sign in window for each live birth

- child care worker involved - even during prenatal period

at city hall - build a database - catalogued into: who, what, etc; match people to services; connect with food cupboard

- strung out on drugs and need treatment

The United Way and Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks back his plan

- United Way will manage the common intake form

- Where are overlaps in services? Gaps? Make more services evenly available - neighborhood visits

- 1 day per week at recreation center, kids are evaluated while moms connect/network

- child healthcare specialists share and build connections

City Councilman Bob Stevenson

- busy summer re: hookers; 180 arrests of 125 different women

- Sept 7th: 20 women go before Judge Tom Morse

- $2500 cash or $5000 bond; came in late, so judge doubled the bail

- 30 more in jail or enhanced diversion; come back after 90 days

- drug evaluation or not; if not, bench arrest and jail for 90 days

- 16 court watchers - 24 different women on 24 different days - $5 per car to park each time

Sunset/Glide/Rockview/Avery Streets in Lyell-Otis

Mr. Matthew Finger's electronic devices

- FCC - blames the neighbors for buying "cheap"gear

- found very large amount of marijuana

Comment: Did he give up a name? Now this guy thinks he's immune to the law!

- interrupts cord-free telephones, cellular phones, baby monitors, televisions, etc

- need license plate numbers

W.A.V.E. meeting of NET, SIS, westside leaders: every other Wednesday

PAC-TAC hours

- woman videotaped "johns"cars

- van along with an 11pm - 2am patrol scared the "johns" away! 6 to 8 people are needed for this to work

- McNaughton/Waldo/Rockview areas

- off hours requires police access

PSA 45 to back up PAC-TAC

Q: Where to sign up for PAC-TAC?

A: Call Officer Joe Hayes at 428-7628

Jim Thurston is the Lyell-Otis's western area Block Captain

LONA President Mike Visconte - call us with tips! LONA organization will take the heat off from neighbors

Meeting adjourned at 8:38pm

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