Monday, March 24, 2008
MAYOR DUFFY JOINS CHIEF MOORE TO ANNOUNCE BLITZ ON GRAFFITI BLIGHT (City of Rochester News Release - 02/28/2008)
Mayor Robert J. Duffy and Rochester Police Chief David Moore today joined City Councilmember Lovely Warren, Neighborhood Empowerment Team Director Molly Clifford and Dept. of Environmental Services Commissioner Paul Holahan to announce a crackdown on graffiti. The “Crime Stoppers” hotline and reward system will now be used to collect information leading to the prosecution of graffiti taggers. The public is encouraged to call 911 for in-progress events or to call Crime Stoppers (423-9300) with tips on possession of graffiti materials or suspicious activity, and will be rewarded should those calls produce evidence. “It is important that we stay aggressive and continue to look for creative new ways to prevent the blight that graffiti creates in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Robert J. Duffy.
“I want to thank the ‘Graffiti Task Force’ for their hard work and City Council and Chief Moore for their ongoing partnership.”
“Graffiti adds to the deterioration of a neighborhood. It's not only unsightly but can signal an increase in gang activity,” said Bob Wiesner, Chairman of Rochester Area Crimestoppers. “This is another great use of our Crime Stoppers hotline and we encourage the community to stay alert and keep us informed so we can keep our neighborhoods safe and attractive.”
In Sept., 2007, Deputy Mayor Patricia Malgieri asked Clifford to assemble an interdepartmental team to look at the increase in graffiti incidents and make recommendations to the administration. The "Graffiti Task Force" compiled a report detailing a number of suggestions, including the use of the “Crime Stoppers” hotline and reward system. The Task Force also recommended that City Administration review comprehensive anti-graffiti legislation for submission to Council that does the following:
• Clarifies the City’s role in graffiti removal and outlines its notification and enforcement policies
• Clarifies the property owner’s role in graffiti removal
• Establishes a mechanism to cover some of the City’s costs of graffiti removal
• Allows for the legal use of public space for graffiti art
• Encourages the use of anti-graffiti materials on buildings and in building materials
The proposed anti-graffiti legislation is being drafted and City Council will be briefed once it is complete.
Other recommendations of the Task Force’s report include:
• Outfit DES "Defacer Eraser" team with digital cameras so photos of graffiti can be
e-mailed to a centralized database as part of the City’s work order system (implemented 10/07).
• Recruit neighborhood groups for “on-the-ground” assistance. With the delivery of a “Defacer Prep Pack,” community group volunteers can remove light graffiti, adhesive materials and prepare surfaces for the Eraser crews.
• Use the “Prep Pack” concept, the City also plans to make graffiti removal a greater focus of its successful “Clean Sweep” beautification effort.
RESIDENTS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN 18TH ANNUAL FLOWER CITY LOOKING GOOD PROGRAM (City of Rochester News Release - 03/12/2008)
Mayor Robert J. Duffy today encouraged residents to take advantage of the City’s 18th annual "Flower City Looking Good!" program.
"This popular initiative celebrates Rochester’s rich horticultural heritage," said Mayor Duffy. "It encourages residents to engage in healthy outdoor activities in our beautiful historic parks and neighborhoods and along our trails and waterways. For nearly two decades this program has consistently encouraged environmental stewardship and highlighted the importance of our natural resources. It instills pride through beautification and cleanup efforts that ultimately strengthen the vitality of our city."
The program includes events like the "Flower City Days at the Rochester Public Market," "Rochester Blossoms!," "Maplewood Rose Weekend," and the hugely successful "International Coastal Cleanup," which draws several hundred volunteers each year. Residents are invited and encouraged to attend the months of upcoming activities geared towards beautifying Rochester’s neighborhoods.
Visit www.cityofrochester.gov for an entire listing of activities, which begin with April garden talks and conclude with the 2008 Rochester River Romance in October, or call 428-6770 or 428-6767 to request a detailed brochure. Residents may also visit www.democratandchronicle.com for monthly program information.
16TH ANNUAL CITY LIVING SUNDAYS SET TO BEGIN (City of Rochester News Release - 03/18/2008)
This year’s annual celebration of city lifestyles, neighborhoods and home ownership will take place 12 noon -- 4 p.m., March 30 at Wilson Foundation Academy, 200 Genesee St. for the city’s south area; April 6 at East High School, 1801 E. Main St. for the city’s northeast area; and April 13 at Aquinas Institute, 1127 Dewey Ave. for the city’s northwest neighborhoods.
City Living Sundays is a consortium of area lenders, neighborhood associations, private businesses, the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, the Landmark Society of Western N.Y., Rochester City School District and the City to market Rochester’s homes while promoting the unique advantages of city living.
At each of the three City Living Sundays, home shoppers can to attend a “neighborhood city living expo,” participate in an informational seminar and select from the more than 100 houses to visit that will be open for sale each week in the area of the event.
One-stop homebuying information booths will be staffed by knowledgeable lenders, Realtors, school district personnel, and bi lingual staff who can provide facts, offer advice or answer questions about all aspects of home purchase and ownership, as well as about specific homes to be open for inspection that weekend. Neighborhood residents will be on hand to describe unique qualities of their part of the City.
At the homebuying seminars, bankers, Realtors and attorneys will discuss the entire home buying process and visitors can find out about City housing grants. Representatives from the City School District will also participate in the seminars to provide information on local schools.
Fact sheets, pictures and tour maps of the properties will be provided at the information sessions for the open houses.
Prospective homeowners can also "preview" the neighborhoods to be featured each Sunday by taking free tours of city neighborhoods, offered by the Landmark Society of Western N.Y. The bus tours highlight neighborhood amenities and resources, ranging from schools and shopping districts to historic sites and places of worship. A tour of the city’s south neighborhoods will be offered Sat., March 29. A bus tour of the city’s northeast neighborhoods will be offered on Sat., April 5 and a tour of the city’s northwest neighborhoods will be offered on Sat., April 12. Call 546 7029, ext. 10, for more information and reservations.
House hunters seeking updates or more details about City Living Sundays may call 428-CITY(428 2489) or visit www.rochestercityliving.com. Participating lenders are: Citizens Bank, CNB Mortgage, Nothnagle Home Securities, ESL Federal Credit Union, M&T Bank, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC Mortgage Corp., Bank of America and Key Bank.
Complete information about this year’s program can also be obtained on the City Living Sundays website at: www.citylivingsundays.com.