Week Ahead: Fracking discussion, RCSD budget vote, State of the City address, Preservation Board considers University Ave. complex


On Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the local anti-fracking group R-CAUSE will hold a panel discussion titled “Hydrofracking as Seen Through the Lens of Public Health.”

Two panelists will discuss the possible environmental consequences of fracking, and fracking’s potential impact on human health.

The speakers are Dr. David Carpenter and David Kowalski. Carpenter, a public health physician, is the director of the University of Albany’s Institute for Health and the Environment. Kowalski is a professor emeritus at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. R-CAUSE’s press release says that, in his retirement, Kowalski has become interested in how different energy sources affect the environment and human health.

The event will take place at RIT’s Panara Theater, which is in the LBJ building. (An RIT campus map is available here.) The event is free and American Sign Language interpreted. Jeremy Moule
This item has been corrected. City received incorrect information about a speaker's title.

The Rochester school board will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, to review Superintendent Bolgen Vargas’s 2013 to 2014 proposed $728 million budget. The board will meet again at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, to vote on the budget. Both meetings will be held at the district’s central office, 131 West Broad Street. Tim Louis Macaluso

Rochester Mayor Tom Richards will give his annual State of the City address at 7 p.m. today (Monday) at School of the Arts on Prince Street. It’s unlikely that Richards will roll out any grand initiatives or programs; the speech is typically a chance to highlight accomplishments as well as to identify ongoing challenges.

It will be interesting to check the tone and substance of the speech against the backdrop of the pending mayoral primary. Richards is being challenged by City Council President Lovely Warren. Warren says the Richards administration has not done enough for the people in the city’s neighborhoods — a charge Richards denies. So if I were a betting person, I’d say that Richards will spend a good chunk of time tonight talking about what his administration has done and still plans to do in the neighborhoods.

The speech will be carried live by YNN (cable channel 9), City 12 TV, and the city will stream it on its website, www.cityofrochester.gov

The City of Rochester’s Preservation Board meets on Wednesday, May 8, and one of the items on the agenda concerns a controversial apartment proposal for University Avenue. Morgan Management hopes to take over the property at 933 University, demolish the veterans' building that’s there, and build a new one for them, and build a large apartment building, three and four stories high, with 102 one- and two-bedroom units.

Critics say the size and scale of the proposal are inappropriate for the East Avenue Preservation District.

Morgan must get approval from both the Preservation Board and the Planning Commission. On May 8, Preservation Board members will listen to public comments and then make their own remarks, but they won’t vote.

The comments will be sent to the Planning Commission, which will meet on May 20, take comments from the public, and vote. If the Planning Commission approves the project, the application will then go back to the Preservation Board for a vote.
Tonight's meeting starts at 6 p.m., but Morgan's application won't be heard until 7:30 p.m. in City Council chambers, 30 Church Street.

Christine Carrie Fien