Wednesday, July 28, 2010
My Opinion, NOT LONA's:
I am not satisfied with the police department's handling of these cameras, as I really want us to be at the table when the actual cameras are ready to be placed. There is some committee/group that will be comprised of many different officials, but WE as citizens should have a seat there as well. ... [LONA lobbied for and was provided $250,000 in grant funds, and we have only one of the ten promised cameras as of today. (I am not sure where the one at Colfax and Ferrano is from. I don't ever recall hearing about high crimes over there, but if there are/were, I would hope that our LONA residents there would join us at our meetings, as we all want to work together to make our entire neighborhood better!)] ... I do not know if a date/time has been selected yet, but I do not feel well represented, as none of the neighborhood presidents have been invited, nor the sector leaders. It seems that someone from the quadrant will be speaking for everyone, but they might not have our interests in mind.
The locations I suggested, to be added to those that were formally requested, are:
* Planet and Parkedge - to cover Sebastian Park
* Glide and Emerson - to cover Bianci Park
* Willow St end, or Santee and Abb - to cover JP Riley Park
* Otis and Rockview - as I thought the tree coverage might not be too dense, and the camera could possible see all the way to Mt. Read, keeping our nicer streets nice.
* Otis near train tracks - to cover JR Wilson Park
* Sherman and Otis - near School #30
* Lyell and Cameron - due to prostitution traffic, as well as an access to Child St (JOSANA/POD/CHNA) and toward 490
* Lyell and Burrows - due to prostitution traffic
I do not know what order these should be ranked, as I would like to base a decision on updated crime stats/reports for our neighborhood, in some sort of graphed form. I think if we could see the "hot spots" as the police do, we could help them prioritize the camera placement more effectively.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Staff reports • July 22, 2010
Rochester-area residents can now text crime tips to the Rochester Police Department.
Rochester Police Sgt. Gary Moxley today announced a new program where anyone can anonymously text a crime tip to city police officers. Tipsters are not required to leave his or her name in a message. Officers said they will not attempt to identify the owner of the cell number.
Send tips to 274637, which spells “crimes,” then type “TIP 177” at the start of the message, and then type your tip.
For those who prefer to share information on the phone, call CrimeStoppers at (585) 423-9300.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Summer is finally here! The kids are off from school, families are packing for vacations, backyard pools are open and everyone is looking for ways to beat the heat. The Rochester Police Department offers these helpful tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer.
- Headed out to skate or ride your bike? Wear a helmet and other safety equipment. Helmets can reduce the risk of a head injury by as much as 85 percent. Wrist and knee pads will help you spend the summer cast-free!
- What’s summer without a barbecue? Make sure that your grill is in good working order before using. Never use a charcoal grill indoors and make sure your grill is located away from any structures and out of the path of children.
- Is your playground safe? Falls cause 60 percent of playground injuries, so use at least 9 inches of wood chips or mulch to provide a safe cushion. Secure playground sets properly and encourage the use of appropriate safety equipment when playing games. Make sure to remove nets when not in use. Trampolines should be used by only one person at a time and have side guards to prevent falls. Never let young children play on or near a trampoline without supervision.
- Open windows can help cool you down but also pose a danger. Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of open windows. Whenever possible, open windows from the top - not the bottom, and keep furniture away from windows to discourage children from climbing near windows.
- Time to cut the grass? Make sure small children are out of the yard. Turn the mower off if children enter the area. If the lawn slopes, mow across the slope with walk-behind rotary mowers, never up and down. With a riding mower, drive up and down the slope, not across it. Never carry children on a riding mower.
Each year, about 300 children under the age of five drown in pool accidents, and over 2,100 children are rushed to the emergency room for near-drowning accidents. In 2005, 17 children drowned in accidents involving home inflatable pools, up significantly from previous years. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than 5 minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
- Use layers of protection to prevent a swimming pool tragedy. This includes placing barriers completely around your pool to prevent access, using door and pool alarms, closely supervising your child and being prepared in case of an emergency.
- At public pools or beaches, swim only in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Swimming lessons are available at many of the City of Rochester’s Recreation Centers and pools. Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
*Provided courtesy of the American Red Cross
Home & Vehicle Security
Whether you are heading out of town for a week-long vacation or just into the backyard to do some gardening, keep the following tips in mind. To learn more, contact your City of Rochester Neighborhood Service Center to schedule a home security evaluation or crime prevention session for you and your neighbors.
- Call 911 immediately to report all suspicious activity such as persons loitering, going door to door, or the sound of glass breaking.
- Report any attempt to break into your house, garage or vehicle, such as cuts on your window screens near the locks, broken auto glass or rummaging through your car.
- Never leave items of any value in an unattended car; always roll up your windows, lock your vehicle and use security devices like alarms or steering wheel locks.
- Keep your doors, windows and garages locked when not at home – even when you’re in the yard or at a neighbor’s.
- Install and use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
- Notify a neighbor when you are going to be away.
- Discontinue newspaper delivery when going on vacation.
- Keep outside lights on all night AND use motion sensor lights all around your home.
- Trim shrubs to deny burglars a hiding place, especially shrubs around windows.
- Lock up ladders and trash toters where they cannot be used by a burglar.
- Don’t leave returnable cans etc. out for the “homeless”.
- Never open your door for a stranger.
- Be a good neighbor…watch your neighbors' property.
There’s nothing like the freedom of riding your motorcycle on the open road. But motorcycles are especially vulnerable to distracted or reckless driving. So be extra cautious and remember these tips.*
- Get trained and licensed.
- Wear protective gear -- all the gear, all the time -- including a helmet manufactured to the standards set by the DOT.
- Ride unimpaired by alcohol or other drugs.
- Ride within your own skill limits.
- Be a lifelong learner by taking refresher rider courses.
For vehicle drivers:
- Look for motorcyclists -- Use your eyes and mirrors to see what's around, and check the blind spots when you're changing lanes or turning at intersections. Look, and look again.
- Focus on driving -- Hang up the phone, put down the MP3 player, settle the passengers, and drive.
- Use your turn signals -- Signal your intentions for everyone's safety.
- Give two-wheelers some room -- Don't tailgate or pass too closely.
- Take your time -- Nothing is as important as the safety of your loved ones, yourself, and the others with whom you share the road.
*Provided courtesy of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation
The City Planning Commission conducted a Public Informational Meeting on June 14, 2010 regarding the proposed Zoning Text Changes prepared by the City Zoning Office.
At that meeting it was announced that a second Public Informational Meeting will be conducted by the City Planning Commission on July 19, 2010, beginning at 6:30 PM in City Council Chambers, Room 302A, to receive and review written and verbal testimony regarding this project. This item is Case #8 on the Planning Commission agenda.
Also at that meeting, speakers requested that the Zoning Office hold a workshop to present and discuss the proposed changes in preparation for the July 19th meeting. In response, two workshops have been scheduled as follows:
Thursday, July 8, 2010, from 3:00-5:00 PM in City Council Chambers, City Hall, Room 302A, or
Tuesday, July 13, 2010, from 3:00-5:00 PM in City Council Chambers, City Hall, Room 302A.
Please consider attending one of these meetings. Also, please share this information with others that may be interested.
Attached are the documents that will be presented and discussed, which include: 1) a spreadsheet itemizing the proposed changes; 2) the draft legislation which shows that physical changes to the zoning text; and, 3) a separate document that outlines the changes to the Site Plan Review triggers as noted in the spreadsheet.
At the conclusion of the July 19th meeting and after reviewing all written and verbal testimony, the City Planning Commission will prepare a recommendation to City Council regarding the Zoning Text changes.
City Council will conduct a Public Hearing on August 17, 2010, to be held in City Council Chambers, Room 302A, beginning at 8:00 PM to consider the Planning Commission’s recommendation regarding the legislation.
If you have any questions, please contact me by e-mail or phone, or Marcia Barry at email@example.com
We look forward to seeing you. Thank you in advance for your assistance with this project.
Zina Lagonegro, AICP
City of Rochester
Bureau of Planning and Zoning
30 Church Street, Rm. 125B
Rochester, NY 14614
I didn't know if the Lyell-Otis Neighborhood Association members were aware of Monroe County's new "HUD Lead Hazard Control & Healthy Home Grant".
We are offering a reimbursement grant up to $5500/unit to control all lead and healthy home hazards. Costs beyond the $5500 must be covered by the owner.
Please share this information with property owners in your association. We have room for new applicants as our goal is to make 350 units lead safe. Our grant started in Jan 2010 and will run until Dec 2012.
Here's a link to our web page that explains our grant and includes a Homeowner Grant factsheet/application:
Lee Houston, HUD Grant Project Director
Lee Houston, Associate Public Health Sanitarian
Monroe County Department of Public Health
Bureau of Sanitation
111 Westfall Road - Room 908
P.O. Box 92832
Rochester, New York 14692
(585) 753-5571 (phone), (585) 753-5098 (fax)
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Most residential burglars devote little if any time to the advance planning of any specific break-in. Their crimes are, for the most part, crimes of opportunity. They pick what appears to be an easy mark. If their advance checking and closer examination reveal a greater risk than anticipated, they move onto a safer target. The more you can do to keep your home from looking like an easy target, the safer you are. There are also many steps that you can take to minimize your loss and improve your chances of recovery if a break-in does occur.
Don't "welcome" a burglar into your home.
Landscaping and Yard Security
Bushes, Shrubs and Trees: Trim shrubbery and trees so doors and windows are visible to neighbors, and from the street. Trimmed landscaping should not provide concealment for criminals. If you have a second floor, prune trees so they can't help a thief climb in second floor windows. Place trellises where they can't be used as ladders to gain entry to the upper floors.
- Ground plants (shrubbery and bushes) within four (4) feet of any sidewalks, driveways, doors or gates, should be maintained at a height of not more than two (2) feet.
- Ground plants between four (4) and eight (8) feet of any sidewalks, driveways, doors, or gates, should be maintained at a height of not more than four (4) feet.
- Ground plants under windows should be maintained at a height that is below the window sill.
- Trees should be trimmed so that the lower branches are more than six (6) feet off the ground.
Plant spiny (thorny) plants along fences and under windows. Such plants will discourage even the most nimble intruder. Protecting with spiny plants is as effective as the use of barbed wire, and a lot more attractive.
Street numbers should be easily visible from the street. Critical time can be saved by emergency responders when the street address for the house is visible from a distance.
On your house:
- Use numbers made of reflective materials, or black on white, that are 6 inches high.
- Keep numbers new and clean and replace when necessary.
- The numbers should be placed under a light and near the front door or garage entrance.
Limited or Direct Access to Yards and Store Rooms:
Intruders look for no, or few obstacles blocking quick exits. Fences prevent burglars from carrying away large items if the gates are locked. Gates should be locked at all times, even when your are home!
Ladders and tools should be stored in a garage or storage shed, and these areas should be locked.
Landscaping should also be designed to control access to your property. Proper barriers make the person with criminal intent feel uncomfortable as he or she approaches your home or business.
Exterior and Interior Lighting
It is a known fact, that good lighting is a deterrent to crime. While any lighting will help reduce your risk of becoming of a victim, the proper lights, used correctly will be the most effective deterrent to criminal activity.
Exterior lights are important, especially near doors and in the rear of the house, where intruders do most of their work. All sides of your home should be protected by security lighting that is located high out of reach, and is vandal resistant. Lighting in carports and garages is critical. For garages, an automatic garage opener is the best choice. Almost every garage door opener made today has a light that comes on when the opener is activated, lighting the garage interior. In carports, it is best to either leave a light on, have a light on a timer, or have a light connected to a motion sensor or photo electric cell.
The best light to use on the exterior is a motion detector type of fixture. The advantage to this type of light, especially in the backyard, is that the light warns the resident that someone is in their yard. While there is a concern that dogs, cats, or birds will trigger the sensor and cause the lights to come on, if the resident sets the sensitivity of the sensor correctly this will not be a problem. In the front yard, any type of lighting will be effective, as long the lighting pattern covers the entire front and sides of the house. Sensor lighting will be effective, but is more prone to "false alarms" caused by things like people walking down the sidewalk, or children playing.
When residents go out for an evening, they usually leave on their "burglar beacon". A burglar beacon is a small light that is left on so they don't walk into a dark house when they come home. These are lights like the one above the kitchen sink or stove, the hallway light, or a light in the corner of the living room. Unfortunately these lights are a signal for the criminal that no one is home. If you go out for an evening leave a radio and several lights on. When you go on vacation put at least two lights, in different parts of the house, and a radio on timers. You want it to appear as though someone is home.
House and Garage Doors
Entry doors should be solid core wood (at least 1 3/4" thick) or metal wrapped. Your door should fit it's frame tightly, with no more than 1/8" clearance between the door and the frame. If the gap is too big, replace the door or bolt a sturdy metal strip to the door edge. You will boost your protection, and save energy too.
Most hollow core doors can be easily broken through. If the door is flimsy or weak, or doesn't fit securely into the frame, it offers little protection, no matter what locks you use.
Doors with decorative glass panels or windows are easy marks. It takes only seconds to break the glass and unlock the door. If you do not want to replace such doors, install a break-resistant plastic panel, such as Lexan®, or decorative grille over the glass. Attach the grill with special non-removable screws.
For the best protection, install a wrought iron security door over your front door. Wrought iron doors not only provide an extra level of visible security against a break-in, they also allow you to open your front door to strangers, or leave the front door open for ventilation.
Your garage door should be securely locked at all times (even when you are home). Keeping it locked is just as important as keeping your home locked, especially if the garage is attached to the home. Once inside the garage a burglar can work uninterrupted at getting into the house.
If you install a "doggie door" be sure it is not a way in for burglars as well as the dog. Do not be complacent by the fact that you have a small dog. Burglars come in all sizes!
Locks, Strike Plates and Hinges
The "lock-in-knob offers you privacy and convenience but it does not offer security from intruders. In fact many "lock-in-knob" locks can be opened by using a simple credit card. You may have privacy, but you don't have security.
All exterior doors require the use of a deadbolt lock. When you turn the key the locking mechanism slides a strong metal bolt from the door into the door's frame.
When you buy a deadbolt lock, MAKE SURE:
- The bolt extends at least 1" into the front edge of the door.
- The strike plate is attached through the trim to the door frame with screws at least 3" long.
- It has a rotation case hardened shroud that prevents it from being twisted off with a pair of pliers or other tools.
The two most common types of deadbolts:
Single Cylinder Deadbolts - Have a thumb turn on the interior side. They are convenient to use and may speed up the exit process in the event of fire. If used near a window they can be opened by breaking the window and reaching through. This type of deadbolt lock does not prevent the burglar from taking your property out through the door.
Double Cylinder Deadbolts - Utilize keys on both sides. This type of lock should be considered if there is glass window within 40" of the lock. However, this type of lock does present a potential fire escape hazard. This type of deadbolt lock can delay a burglar that wants to use the door to remove your property from your home.
As many as half of all burglaries take place without forced entry. Many times the burglar uses a key. Be sure your keys don't fall into the wrong hands.
- Never carry identification on your key ring or holder.
- Re-key all locks when you move into a new house or apartment.
- Know who has keys to your home. Do not give keys to maintenance or deliver people. If you must leave a key behind, leave it with a trusted neighbor. Make sure that each member of your family knows where his or her key is.
- Never hide a key outside. Burglars know all the hiding places.
- Do not hang keys on hooks within plain view inside your home.
The strike plate is attached to the door frame with screws. The metal bolt of the deadbolt lock slides into the strike plate to secure the door soundly to the door frame.
A high security strike plate is required to keep the metal bolt from being kicked from the door frame when locked. A high security strike plate should have at least 4 screws that are a minimum of 3 inches long.
Hinges are often installed with the same 3/4" screws as the common strike plates. Replace these with 2" to 3" fully threaded screws so the hinges are anchored to the sub-frame.
In some cases the hinges are installed in such a manner that the hinge pins are exposed to the exterior and an intruder may attempt to remove the pins in an effort to gain entry.
Hinges can be pinned by installing a partially threaded screw into the frame side of the hinge. The unthreaded portion of the screw is left exposed and the head of the screw is cut off. A corresponding hole is drilled into the door and hinge on the opposite side, so when the door is closed the exposed portion of the screw fits in to the door. This will prevent the door from the being lifted out.
Arcadia Doors and Sliding Glass Windows
People often install sturdy locks on their front doors but leave arcadia (sliding glass) doors and sliding glass windows "wide open" to illegal entry. Burglars look for both of these because they are easy to open. Usually, arcadia doors and windows are more secluded than a front door, making a perfect place for burglars to hide and enter. Two factors must be protected against.
Prying the Lock
Most arcadia doors and sliding windows come equipped with a lock that is easily pried open. A supplemental lock must be installed.
Broomsticks (they should fit snug), "Charlie bars" and finger operated locks provide some protection.
Key locking devices are much preferred because they can prevent the burglars from using the door or window to remove stolen property.
There are several types of supplemental locks available. Keyed locks may be keyed alike with other entry lock sets and deadbolts. Check with your locksmith or hardware store and select a sturdy type that most suits your home.
Many arcadia doors and sliding windows can be lifted out of their tracks from the outside.
Two sheet metal screws placed in the track above the removable part of the door or window can prevent it from being removed. Adjust the screws so that the doors or window will just clear underneath them.
Drill a hole and insert a nail through the inside frame and part way through the metal door frame. You can remove the nail but the burglar can't.
Double Hung Windows
To secure a double hung window, drill a downward sloping hole into the top of the bottom window, and through that into the bottom of the top window. A pin can now be inserted, locking the window shut.
By partly opening the window (less that 4 inches) and making a second set of holes, the window can then be used for ventilation. Remember, open windows and doors, even if secured, should never be left unattended while you are gone or asleep.
Do you keep extremely valuable property (jewelry, television sets, computers, other electronic equipment, etc.) in your house? Do you often leave your house unattended for more that a few hours (go to work or school for example), or do you want more protection? These are reasons to invest in a quality alarm system.
The FBI has announced that over a ten year period, and average of 1 of every 4 residences throughout the nation will be burglarized. Based upon statistics like these, the Rochester Police Department recommends that most homes be protected by a good security system.
Many quality alarm systems are available. Before you purchase a security system, your should have in mind what kind of system your want. This will prevent buying more equipment that you actually need. Read as much about different brands and types of systems as you can. Talk to friends and neighbors that have alarm systems. We recommend that you speak to at least three security alarm companies about their product and service prior to purchasing any alarm system. Remember, you get what you pay for in many cases.
Choosing Your System
Common questions asked by people considering an alarm system:
- How do I know the right company to choose when considering the purchase of an alarm system?
- How much protection do I need?
- How much should I expect to pay
Tips to help when choosing an alarm company
- Ask about insurance...general liability, workman's compensation, and errors and omissions. You have every right to ask for certificates of insurance for these items. This protects you!, because if the company is not properly protected, the claim or losses falls on you!
- Ask for the company's city business license, which allows them to do business in your community.
- Ask for local referrals of other customers in your area that have had systems installed like the one being proposed to you.
- Check your contract! Review carefully what you sign, make sure everything is agreed upon in writing. Know what the warranty period is and what is included in the warranty.
- Remember, an adequate design should consider the structure, the lifestyle, the perceived needs and the budget of the occupant.
- Ask is the company has been established for 3-5 years.
- Ask if it is going to be monitored locally or outside of the state of Arizona
- Be sure the company does the entire installation and down not subcontract work out.
Other Home Security Information
Home Inventory List
Keep a "Personal Property Inventory List" in a safe place, possibly with your insurance papers. This helps to recover stolen property in the event of a theft or burglary. Keep a duplicate copy in a safe deposit box or other safe place.
The more complete your inventory list the better. In case of a loss by causes other than theft it may help you establish your loss with your insurance company. As an example, if you have a fire in your residence and lose a couch, an end table and a portion of your carpet in your front room, the accurate listing of when and how much your paid for the items will assist you in establishing your loss.
On the inventory list indicate the room the property was located in. Make the description of the item as complete as possible. Include the manufacturer model number, size, color, and the material the item is made of. This list might include damage marks, repairs, etc. Make sure to list the manufacture's serial number on the list. Do not confuse the model with the serial number.
Do's and Don'ts
- Use the security devices you have.
- Leave lights on inside and out when your go out for the evening.
- Have the police and fire department telephone number near your telephone.
- Carry only what is absolutely necessary in your purse.
- Check with the manager before letting repairmen in your apartment.
- Close your drapes in the evening hours.
- Be suspicious of people loitering around your house, apartment complex, or the parking lot.
- Call the police if you see anything suspicious.
- Don't keep large sums of money in your home.
- Don't carry large sums of money while you are out
- Don't let strangers in to "use your telephone."
- Don't undress in front of open windows.
- Don't leave notes on your door.
- Don't hide a key (leave one with a trusted neighbor).
- Don't display expensive equipment or items in plain view through your window.
- Don't use your name or telephone number on your answering machine message. Use a generic message that does not state that your are not home.
- Don't answer personal questions on telephone surveys.
- Don't admit "service reps" from utilities unless you have an appointment or can verify their authenticity.
Rochester Police Department
Northwest Neighborhood Service Center (585) 428-7620
Friday, July 2, 2010
June 15, 2010
Dear Community Leaders:
It’s that time of year again when Action for a Better Community’s Energy Conservation Program administers the HEAP Cooling Initiative”. The cooling program provides an energy efficient air conditioner to those in need who meet the following criteria:
-Applicant must be income eligible, see guidelines below.
-At least one family member must have an acute medical condition that is exacerbated extreme heat and said condition must be documented by a physician.
-An application must be completed.
-Applicant/household can not have a working air conditioner less than 5 years old.
-Renters and homeowners can qualify; restrictions may apply in some rental cases.
ABC will start accepting applications on Monday, June 14, 2010 and continue through the close of business on August 13, 2010. We have a limited number of units to install on a first come, first serve basis. Please call 442-4160, press “0” for operator for more information, including a list of acceptable documentation required.
Family Size .... Monthly Income .... Annual Income
1 .......................$ 2,030 .....................$ 24,360
2 ...................... $ 2,654 .....................$ 31,848
3 .......................$ 3,279 .....................$ 39,348
4 .......................$ 3,903 .....................$ 46.836
5 .......................$ 4,528 .....................$ 54,336
6 .......................$ 5,152 .....................$ 61,824
7 .......................$ 5,269 .....................$ 63,228
8 .......................$ 5,386 .....................$ 64,632
Each additional person Add + $468
Thank you and we look forward to providing this service to the residents of Monroe and Ontario County this cooling season.