Tuesday, July 31, 2007



Mayor Robert J. Duffy today announced the release of the recommendations portion of the Citywide Housing Market Study. The full recommendations portion of the Housing Market Study can now be viewed at www.rochesterhousingstudy.com.

"Now we can embark on formulating a housing policy and continue to ensure that investment is based on community input and thorough data analysis," said Mayor Robert J. Duffy. "The next stage of policy-making will involve taking the Study to residents through public meetings in each quadrant of the city, meetings with neighborhood leaders and other community stakeholders, and working closely with City Council. The recommendations and public feedback will be used to form our new policy. It’s important that we offer everyone a seat at the table as we continue to shape our City’s housing policy."

The Study involved a thorough analysis of the city and its neighborhoods, including research of national best practices, more than 100 personal interviews and several focus groups representing residents, neighborhood leaders, realtors, bankers, developers, City staff, and service providers.

A wide range of ideas and strategies resulted from the Study, including:

• Capitalize on the growing number of people who want to live in the city and provide them with greater range of housing options. Grow and build on successful efforts like the City’s "City Living Sundays" campaign.

• Strategically focus public investment, using an inclusive public process and a consistent process for monitoring trends, to ensure that investments are having the intended impact.

• Build on the City’s considerable Brownfield redevelopment successes. Lobby Albany for additional resources to provide developers with the resources and technical assistance to continue our Brownfields recovery.

Sign up for announcements and email reminders at the Study website, www.rochesterhousingstudy.com.

Friday, July 27, 2007

We were the "Bright Spot" on 13WHAM-TV!

Bright Spot
The Injury Free Coalition , Allstate, and all the volunteers 07/26/07)
Tonight our Bright Spot shines on the dedication of a safe place to play.

I had trouble with my computer when I tried to view this video clip, but I hope it works for you!

We had such a great time! Thank you, to the camera crews/reporters who braved the very hot and muggy weather to come and cover our fun and uplifting event!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


[Grant Gives Kids Safer Playground]

Site of the new, improved playground.
Grant Gives Kids Safer Playground
by Bonyen Lee
photo by Chris Coffey
Published Jul 14, 2007

There's one more safe place for children to play, thanks to a $60,000 'Little Hands' grant from Allstate Insurance Company.

Volunteers built a new playground at J.P. Riley park. The Injury Free Coalition for Kids out of Golisano Children's Hospital received the money. Doctors from Strong volunteered their time Saturday.

The new play equipment replaced play parts that were more than 30 years old.

Doctor Anne Brayer is a pediatric emergency doctor. She wrote the grant when she noticed a need among children who hurt themselves because of bad play equipment or because of a lack of play areas.

"It's a safe place for kids to congregate, Dr. Brayer said. "It allows them to play outside, which is much more healthy for them than being indoors all the time. It's a great place for families to come and congregate - there will be benches for parents and a place for them to interact with their kids as well."

The playground also features a brand new basketball court.

For more information on the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, click on the link below.  

Injury Free Coalition for Kids
Golisano Children's Hospital
[Print Friendly Version]Print Friendly Version

 The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin promptly on
THURSDAY, JULY 26th, at 2:30pm!
Everyone is welcome to attend the celebration and dedication!
Please arrive at 2pm, as parking and seating is limited,
and have your children visit the Fire Department's Fire Truck,
and see a Mobile Police Command Center in person!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

July 12th Emergency Meeting Minutes

Hi, Everyone! We had a great meeting this evening with Deputy Chief Of Police Sheppard!

It was wonderful seeing so many of our neighbors and local business people in attendance! I hope even more folks will join us at our next meeting! There will be another Special Topic Meeting with Deputy Sheppard on Monday, August 13th at 6:30pm at the Lyell Branch Library. Please come to listen and to be heard!

Most of the meeting was a rousing discussion between the attendees and Deputy Sheppard. LONA thanks him for his dedication to our group, and for spending his valuable time with us this evening!

Deputy Sheppard informed us that the security cameras are still being researched, as we don't want to invest in technology that will be obsolete in just a few short years. We want to invest in cameras that will be able to be integrated into newer and more versatile systems, especially ones that are wireless and capable of  being linked to the Internet, as well as being weather-proof, bullet-proof, and be able to turn in 380 degrees. The new tentative date that they will be installed is now set for mid October 2007. We can't wait!

The placement of the cameras will be a very involved process, and Deputy Sheppard assured us that community members' input will be welcomed and valued. There will be many different variables that will be considered, such as the number of calls for service in any given area, as well as the observations by area residents. The security cameras will have the ability to be moved to "hot spots" as the crime patterns change, but Deputy Sheppard anticipates that once a camera is in place, and the level of disturbance/crimes are lowered/eliminated, it will be very difficult to convince the people in the area to give up "their" camera so it can be used elsewhere.

I asked if the City of Rochester could utilize the all-encompassing camera technique, like the one used in London. After watching CNN, I was impressed by their level of efficiency and effectiveness in apprehending the terrorists in the past few weeks. I wondered if the county could use federal homeland security funds to create a similar camera program here. Deputy Sheppard said that in the future, we may emulate a similar program, but it is not in the plans for right now. He said that the idea had been proposed by Mayor Johnson over ten years ago, but many were in opposition, saying that it might violate civil liberties.

Deputy Sheppard has not yet found out about setting up a "Hooker Hotline", but he assured us that he will return in August with that information. LONA residents would like this to be a number where anyone can call in when they spot a prostitute, so that the police can come immediately and arrest them, their pimp, and the "john". Deputy Sheppard also updated us that, as he had promised, there have been, and will continue to be, at least two prostitution details per month. The last one netted over twenty "ladies" and "johns".

He has not yet gotten approval for the cable television public access channel posting of the "johns", but he did give us some suggestions on how to go about publicizing the names and faces in other creative ways. As most of the "johns" are coming from the suburbs and surrounding areas, we in this area of the city hope to shame the customers into finding their vices somewhere closer to their own homes.

We discussed how there is prostitution in all suburbs, and the whole of Monroe County, but it operates differently, by manner of escort services and "call girls". We joked and said how we'd love to have that same level of business conduct here, as no one connects the MainStreet of Pittsford (just used as an example) with the place to pick up prostitutes, like they do with Lyell Avenue. The shame is that the overwhelming majority of our area is as nice as any suburb, but it is very hard to shake that long-standing perception, due to the bad publicity that makes the news, more so than all of the good that goes on in our neighborhood - as in our rebuilding the J.P. Riley Park playground this Saturday!! Hint, hint  :)

We discussed the underlying problem of drugs being a factor to why these women are on the streets in the first place. We all agreed that the penalties must be more severe, especially for the recidivistic ones, and that there must be a drug treatment program that helps turn these women around, so that when they are released from jail, they won't fall back into the same lifestyle.

The drug issue is also a problem in the suburbs, but the dealing is handled quietly in homes and by phone arrangements, versus openly on the streets. Also, people buying drugs in the suburbs are often buying in larger quantities than the less affluent users here in the city. Residents expressed frustration that police reports were not automatically generated when we call 911 for help, thereby not adding nuisance points to properties, and not making landlords responsible for the illegal activities happening which are infringing on our quality of life. Drug deals, loud noise/music, and domestic violence continue to plague the area, but it appeared to some attendees, that because our area is less affluent, less action is taken to make the necessary changes to eradicate the problems.

It was decided that we would be creative as we do our part to help combat the problems in our area. LONA will be posting the license plate numbers and vehicle's owner's names on our web site, as well as using digital photography and video cameras to record the "johns" with the prostitutes.

Anyone who has a video camera, or digital camera, will record a video clip, or photo, along with the pertinent information - the where, when, who, and what was observed. They will then post the clip onto the popular YouTube web site. Then, they will send a link to that clip to LONA, and we will post a link to those clips.

We hope that as little Susie is online with her Pittsford Sutherland high school buddies, she will be astonished to see the same car she just borrowed to go to the movies with her friends was used only days before as a way for her loving daddy to solicit a prostitute while her mom though he was just working late, or that he was out with his co-workers/friends for their weekly poker/bowling/whatever night.

Deputy Sheppard even went so far as to promise to purchase a video camera for LONA to help us as we begin our first endeavors into the twenty-first century technology world. I will be looking for video recorder models that are easy to operate, and easy to upload onto the Internet. He will also be able to help us gather information for our license plate listings, so that our posts will be as accurate and complete as possible.

Again, our next meeting will be on Monday,August 13th at 6:30pm at the Lyell Branch Library. We hope you will attend, and bring a neighbor with you! We need as many people joined together as possible to make these important changes happen!

If anyone would like to make a comment to any of our posts, please do so! I also look forward to receiving your email address, so that we can keep you informed as quickly as possible to any and all happenings in our neighborhood.

Thanks for reading, and for supporting your neighborhood association and local Lyell area businesses!

PS - LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS!!! Please send me your business web site so I can link it to our site, as I hope you'll link our site to yours!  :)

PS - LYELL AREA RESIDENTS!!! Please send me your photos of your friends and family having fun in the Lyell Avenue area! The general public doesn't know how wonderful our neighborhood really is - and they should! 

Please email me your great pictures of your new deck and pool (with your grand kids having fun!), your gorgeous gardens that you tirelessly weed and keep blooming, and any fun event that you attend at our local parks and area spots where friends, food, and fun are happening! Also, label them as to who is in the photo, since I don't know everyone in our neighborhood...yet! :)

Family, friends and fun - is what our area is REALLY all about! Let's show off the good, and it will make the bad perceptions vanish!


Help make a safe place for
our neighborhood children to play!
Volunteers are still needed
to help build the J.P. Riley Playground
this Saturday, July 14th, at 8:30am.
You don't have to stay all day!
Any amount of time you can give will be helpful!
Plus, the more people who help,
the faster the work will go!
If you can:
open a box
separate pieces
hold a beam
backfill a post
turn a screw
hammer a nail
or test out a new swing...
your attendance is desired!
Please come and lend a hand!
Refreshments generously provided
by Assemblymember Susan John
will be available all day to those who help! 
J.P. Riley Park is located on Santee Street
between Otis and Emerson Streets
near the intersection of Villa Street.
We were very blessed to have many
handy and exuberant volunteers show up today!
(Pictures are posted on the LONA - Pictures page!)
We weren't able to finish the project today,
due to a few mechanical/technical difficulties,
and a heavy rain, but, we will be finishing very soon!
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin promptly on
THURSDAY, JULY 26th, at 2:30pm!
Everyone is welcome to attend the celebration and dedication!
Please arrive at 2pm, as parking and seating is limited,
and have your children visit the Fire Department's Fire Truck,
and see a Mobile Police Command Center in person!
It was wonderful for the area children to want to be
involved in building their own playground,
but I feel the need to mention that we must
have our area PARENTS and/or GUARDIANS
accompany young children at ALL TIMES!
As we know, there are many good people in this world,
and then there are the not-so-good people
who may want to do harm to the most innocent among us.
LONA posts the area's sex offenders on our web site to help parents/guardians protect the children they love
from such people, many of whom,
unfortunately, live in our neighborhood.
PARENTS! Please always supervise your children!
We want everyone to have a safe and happy summer vacation,
and that can't happen if children aren't properly protected!
Kids need guidance and structure, nurturing and love.
There were many youngsters showing up with other youngsters,
and I was worried that after we left,
they would be left to fend for themselves, yet again.
LONA wants the very best for all of our kids,
as I'm sure you do too!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

CITY GARDENING CONTEST ENTRY DEADLINE IS JULY 31 (City of Rochester News Release - 07/03/2007)

City residents are reminded that July 31 is the entry deadline for the 16th annual Flower City Looking Good Garden Contest, which recognizes outstanding gardens in the City of Rochester. Over 285 city gardens have been recognized since the contest began in 1991.

Award winners will be chosen in the following categories:

Best Neighborhood Enhancement Garden

Best Educational Garden Project

Best Wildlife Habitat Garden

Best Use of a Water Feature

Best Use of Container Gardening

Individuals may enter their own garden or that of a friend and/or neighbor. Entry blanks are available at City library branches and City Recreation and Community centers, or access via the Democrat and Chronicle web site: www.democratandchronicle.com/ads/flowercity/2007, call 428-6770 or fax 428-6021.

Completed entries must be returned to the City's Bureau of Recreation at 400 Dewey Ave., Rochester, NY 14613. Winners will be recognized in the fall during an official City Hall ceremony, at which time they will receive professionally enlarged and matted photographs of their winning gardens and certificates.