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Garbage plate special

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Last week's meeting of the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association (SBANA) included one aside that could make some waves: the Nick Tahou's building at 320 West Main Street --- home to the beloved garbage plate --- could soon become home to any number of non-profit organizations.

            The building is owned by the Tahou family, says SBANA Board Member Dan Hoffman, which still runs its first Nick Tahou Hots at that location. But, according to Hoffman, the former railroad station is in need of repair, and the Tahou family would like to hand the building over to non-profit entities that could get the funding necessary to embark on renovations.

            "It needs some work in the upper levels," Hoffman says. "It's attractive and it has historic value. And it's at the gateway of the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood. So right now we're pulling our plans together for some sort of not-for-profit ownership."

            One potential tenant that's been rumored is the Frederick Douglass Museum. The property is already adjacent to a sizable parking lot. But neighborhood officials are quick to say that any discussions about a future use for the site are preliminary.

Barred from babies

After giving birth to four neglected children, three of whom were born with cocaine coursing through their bloodstream, a Rochester woman was issued an unprecedented court order:

            Stop having babies.

            Monroe County Family Court Judge Marilyn O'Connor issued the ruling as part of a series of steps the mother must take to reclaim custody of her children, all of whom are now in foster care.

            "Because of a pattern of neglectful behavior exhibited by respondent mother, this court is taking the unusual step of ordering respondent mother not to get pregnant again as a condition of the disposition plan," O'Connor ruled.

            The case that led to the ruling was the matter of Bobbijean P., a baby who was placed in protective custody just days after birth.

            The mother, called Stephanie P. in court documents, and the father of two of her children, Rodney E., must comply with a plan developed by the Monroe County Division of Social Services, as well as the extra provisions expounded by O'Connor.

            Rodney E. is also banned from impregnating any more women.

            In addition, O'Connor extends the couple an offer to be medically sterilized at the taxpayer's expense.

            The baby Bobbijean P. was born March 23, 2003, at Highland Hospital. Within days, she was placed in foster care. The matter is the fourth finding of neglect against Stephanie and the second against Rodney, both of whom have a history of substance abuse.

MusicFest 2004

Ten years running and we've still got a Rochester MusicFest. With a new marketing firm --- Lead Dog (NYC) --- leading the charge, the fest has been slimmed down to three rather impressive days.

            Headliners this year are Earth, Wind, and Fire (Mayor Bill Johnson's faves), Gerald LeVert, The Brothers Johnson, Carl Thomas, Impromp2 featuring Vesta, The Dazz Band, Calvin Richardson, and Rochester homegirl Tweet.

            Three-day passes are available for $59, weekend passes for $49, and individual day tickets range from $15 to $32. Child discounts are available.

What is family?

Karen R. Goulet, a mother in Geneva, and several other parents convinced Roseland Waterpark to take a look at what family means to them.

            Goulet, her partner, and their son were not allowed to renew their family season pass at Roseland this April. "We were told we did not meet their definition of family," she says. She knows of at least four other gay-parent families that were told the same thing.

            Goulet and other parents complained to Roseland and wrote letters to local papers. Roseland at first tried making exceptions on a case-by-case basis, but parents pursued. So within the last week, Roseland officially changed its definition of family.

            The family definition was never intended to exclude families, traditional or not, says Craig Low, Director of Marketing at Bristol Mountain, which recently bought Roseland. "It was to prevent, say, five 20-year-old buddies getting together and saying 'Hey, we're a family.'"

            The original definition said that a family is a "husband and/or wife and their children." Now at Roseland, a family includes parents and/or guardians and children under 21. Families must live together and may have to provide proof of age and residency --- not marriage or sexual preference.

            Roseland's website (www.roselandwaterpark.com) has been updated with the new definition.

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