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Reader Feedback 6.4.03

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What about the homelessh?

One of Rochester's Center City Master Plan proposals is the conversion of the former Erie Canal aqueduct (below the Broad Street Bridge) into a pedestrian passageway, history display, and retail space.

                  When I used to work in Corn Hill, I often had to go to Rundel Library and other eastside business places. The walk across the river on cold or stormy days was bitter! The proposed passageway would have been very useful.

                  But I am concerned about the people who now live in the tunnel. Can emergency shelters house them all? The people who live in the tunnel must have reasons for living in that cold, dark place with no running water or sanitation. How can those reasons be addressed when they are evicted from the tunnel?

                  We have empty buildings (the former Genesee Hospital and the former State Hospital on Elmwood Avenue, to name only two conspicuous ones). Would it be possible for one to be converted to low-income housing?

                  I urge city government, working with other agencies, to plan for the housing of the occupants while they are planning the reuse of the old aqueduct. Housing for these homeless people deserves as high a claim on our stressed government finances as does the aqueduct itself.

                  Elizabeth H. Stewart, East Avenue, Rochester

Don't wait for law

"Right to Know Gets 'No'!" (May 14) provided an excellent history of the bill for neighbor notification by lawn-care companies before spraying.

                  The three reasons County Legislator Pieter Smeenk gave for rejecting the proposal boil down to dollar signs: unaffordable, hurting small businesspeople, and County Health Director Andrew Doniger's memo which, in the end, was concerned with costs.

                  Even if the estimated costs of enforcement ($50,000 to $100,000 for three years) are inflated by a factor of five, any cost would be anathema to the county with its current budget woes.

                  We cannot wait for a law to do something. Steps can be taken by both lawn-care specialists and by those hiring them.

                  Some companies already offer chemical-free treatment; others could follow suit and encourage it. A few companies do warn neighbors when using chemicals, but only just before they begin. This is too late to close all windows, remove things from yards, take clothes off the line, and leave for a few hours. Twenty-four hours, if not the proposed 48, would help.

                  Property owners could assume the responsibility themselves for notifying their neighbors next door and across the street if spraying is planned. The city and towns could recommend such notification, to avoid complaint calls.

                  Many people do not realize the possible consequences of pesticide applications. They might welcome presentations at neighborhood meetings, or brief printed information.

                  Master gardeners from the Cornell Cooperative Extension are offering a free program on environmentally friendly lawn care through the project Great Lawns/Great Lakes. For more information or to schedule a presentation, call Kimie Romeo, project coordinator, at 461-1000, ext 252.

                  Who knows? If we all work together, a law might not be necessary.

                  Byrna Weir, Brighton

Protect Elmwood!

A group of homeowners from Brighton is fighting a battle with the Monroe County Department of Transportation to preserve their neighborhood. If you are from Brighton, you should be concerned, because the last truly residential through street is about to have its character devastated.

                  I am talking about the section of Elmwood Avenue from the Twelve Corners east to Clover Street. A motorist can still drive through this neighborhood and get a feeling for what a wonderful town we have. The DOT is planning a reconstruction project that will require the removal of many hedges and trees that took a long time to mature.

                  At meeting after meeting, my neighbors and I have told the DOT that its plans are unacceptable. We simply want 4-foot shoulders instead of the standard 6-foot shoulders. It would save our landscaping and neighborhood.

                  In other places in the county, the DOT has relaxed its standards. Why not here? If you think that preserving this residential neighborhood is important --- or perhaps that the big guy should not always step on the little one --- support our efforts.

                  The next meeting with the DOT is at 7 p.m. on June 5 at the Brighton Town Hall. Call a politician. Tell him or her you don't like the DOT's plan.

                  Harry M. Yaeger, Elmwood Avenue, Brighton

Cost shaving

Thought you might like an answer to your concern in "I Snub You" about logos in restaurants (Barfly, May 7). I retired a few years back after more than 40 years in the food business, calling on restaurants for most of those years.

                  Many years ago, the idea of putting a company's logo on menus was introduced to help defray the cost of printing menus. If a customer used a product and agreed to place that company's logo on their menus, the company would absorb the cost of the printing.

                  As you know, the cost of printing continues to rise. (This may be why City has its printing done in Canada.)

                  EJ Brock, Penfield

Writing to City

We welcome and encourage readers' letters for publication. Send them to: themail@rochester-citynews.com or The Mail, City Newspaper, 250 North Goodman Street, Rochester 14607.

                  Our guidelines: We don't publish anonymous letters --- and we ask that you include your street name and city/town/village. While we don't restrict length, letters of under 350 words have a greater chance of being published. We do edit letters for clarity and brevity. And in general we don't publish letters (or longer "op-ed" pieces) from the same writer more often than once every three months.

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