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On Irondequoit's library plans
A recent letter to the editor misleads the public about the Irondequoit library proposal ("The Issues in Irondequoit," Feedback).
In April, Irondequoit voters overwhelmingly approved a proposal to build a new central library on the Town Hall campus. Shortly after, an anti-library lawsuit was filed. In lieu of wasting money on litigation, a re-vote has been scheduled for December 14.
Currently, Irondequoit operates two library branches less than three miles apart. This results in costly duplication in expenses. Combining our limited resources into operating a new central library is a much better use of taxpayer dollars.
Building new is more cost effective, as the current library branches would require expensive construction, which costs more than the current proposal to build a new central library. Furthermore, building on the Town Hall campus will put property back on the tax rolls. The McGraw branch, assessed at over $1 million, could be sold, while the Evans branch reverts back to the West Irondequoit School district with the potential for the district to sell it and put it back on the tax rolls.
While there is not yet a final design, both the Library and Town Boards have publicly vowed that the new library will complement the Town Hall building. Both boards have also said that any trees that are salvageable will be moved to other parts of the Town Hall campus and new trees will be planted. Parking will not be an issue, as additional spots will be added and DPW staff will shift their parking. The Farmer's Market and Fourth of July Festival will continue, and all operations will be coordinated so as to not cause parking issues.
The cost of the project is $29 per year for the average $100,000 home, which includes interest. Grants, fundraising, and the sale of the McGraw property will offset as much of the costs as possible.
I urge Irondequoit residents to get the facts at www.libraryproposal.com and attend the upcoming public information meetings. Dates will be finalized soon.
STEPHANIE A. SQUICCIARINI
Squicciarini is president of the Irondequoit Public Library Board of Trustees.
The fallacy of our Best of Rochester
I look to your paper for insight, commentary, and current local events and issues. However, I was dismayed (again) this year by the winner's of the Best of Rochester ballot. I appreciate the brief preface/caveat provided by the editors; it helped to soften the foreboding sense of disappointment.
After several years of taking part in the survey, I have taken a recreational interest in following local businesses and start-ups, tracking trends, and listening to discussion with many "stakeholders" in the area. As such, I assumed that I understood the popular opinion of businesses, blogs, restaurants, arts and the like in Rochester at any given time.
If there is no malpractice involved, the only logical conclusion I have arrived at is that the survey sample has 1) no clue what comprises good aesthetic, quality, or taste or 2) formed opinions or decisions based on inexperience or lack of aptitude.
Your caveat states the survey is a glorified popularity contest; I understand this statement. What I do not understand is why City Newspaper promotes the survey as legitimate. Businesses often use the survey as a promotion; if the survey is a glorified popularity contest, how much merit can one assume by winning the ballot? Winners of the survey should be suspect based on the survey sample. I personally believe that the standard should be set higher for media outlets such as yourself, and that the City Newspaper name should be behind an actually qualified and deserving winner.
Why doesn't City Newspaper promote a survey where "qualified" foodies, socialites, experts, artists, musicians look at all entities fairly, unambiguously, and authoritatively? I would pay for such a survey; a Zagat Survey of Rochester.
Thank you for your time and 51 weeks of great coverage.
A feature (Best of Rochester) whose introduction incorporates both an apology and a disclaimer has clearly reached the end of its useful life span.
What was once an interesting concept has deteriorated into an e-mail- influenced, skewed contest, influenced by how many employees one can "encourage" to vote in one's behalf. Pit a pizza chain with over 40 outlets against unique pizzerias? An Italian restaurant with four seatings of over 100 people nightly open seven days a week and employing at least 100 people against a six-employee restaurant?
Equally important, responses represent both the distribution of City Newspaper itself (did you drop any off in the inner city 14621 area? Gates-Chili?) and (nightmares for Occupy Rochester!) the income demographics of our city.
Time to revamp, to restore both interest and relevance.
NEIL R. SCHEIER
From the editors: For the record, we have numerous distribution sites in both the 14621 and Gates-Chili areas.
I participated in the charrette and presented our group's findings at the end of the day ("Reining in Urban Sprawl," News). There were some statements in presentations by folks who participated that tended to lean on some gentrification of the two mobile-home parks in the village. I intend to participate further. I hope we can do so without resorting to gentrification.
Gambling is good for you!
I've seen the TV ads. I've read the newspaper endorsements and the political mailings. I'm convinced; gambling will be good for me. If fact, it's hard to find any down side. We will keep millions of dollars in New York State, have more money for education, create jobs, and even lower taxes!
My God, gambling is the medicine that will cure all our economic ills! Why didn't we do this sooner? Why, right here in Rochester alone there will be many opportunities and advantages.
Without doubt, the greatest beneficiary of more gambling will be our colleges and universities. St. John Fisher College might open a School of Casino Management. Nazareth College could extend its art major to include Vegas Style Choreography and Dance. MCC will be a big winner with new courses in bartending, dealing, security, floor walking, and valet parking.
RIT could add a College of Gambling Software to work in conjunction with its animation and digital programming departments. Much of the next generation of gamblers will likely play hybrid video-game/slot machines, where the choices of the characters will be determined by a pull on the handle.
Local schools with nursing programs will increase enrollments as new specialties arise in the treatment of chronic carpal tunnel syndrome, respiratory diseases, and depression.
New hospitals will be needed to treat the cancer and asthma that employees will acquire working in dense, smoke filled rooms. That also means more doctors and perhaps, if we're lucky, a new world class Cancer Treatment Center.
Government employment will expand as well as more public housing for the elderly who have squandered their retirement savings will be needed, and Rochester can finally get back that suicide hotline that was eliminated due to lack of funding.
Pundits have long bemoaned the brain drain of local college grads moving where there are more jobs. With increased gambling, this trend should be reversed. There will be jobs galore in the arts, in technology, in the sciences, in health care, in the "service class," and especially in mental health services treating addiction.
Perhaps new slot machine manufacturers will locate in the Kodak Business Park. It will be just like the old days! Prosperity for all! And the beauty is, no product must be produced, no damage to the environment. (They have fantastic cigarette-smoke scrubbers now!)
Gambling is a godsend. It will put people to work, improve our schools, lower taxes, build new businesses, and fix the local economy. Why did we wait so long?
It's just too bad we can't do the same thing with heroin and crack! Boy, then none of us would have to work anymore.