WEEK AHEAD: Single payer activism; RPD reorg; downtown district; commissioners and cookies; solar suburbs


The Everybody INstitute, a day-long training event for activists and organizers, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  on Saturday, May 24, at School Without Walls, 480 Broadway. The event is being presented by Metro Justice and advocates for single payer health care from across New York State. It will be led by Ben Day of Healthcare NOW! 

Training for focus on developing skills and strategies for single-payer organizing, messaging, outreach, public education, media, and legislative advocacy.

Limited low-income scholarships to attend the event are available. Call (585) 325-2560.

Public meetings on the reorganization of the Rochester Police Department are scheduled for Tuesday, May 20, and Thursday, May 22. Both meetings run from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The first meeting is at the Public Safety building auditorium, 185 Exchange Boulevard. The second is at Aquinas High School, 1127 Dewey Avenue.

The RPD is changing from two patrol divisions, one on each side of the city, and a smaller downtown section, to a five-section model. One of Mayor Lovely Warren’s campaign promises was to reconfigure the police department in order to strengthen the police-community relationship.

There is a general meeting this week on a proposed downtown business improvement district. Anyone can attend.

The meeting is from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 28, at Hochstein School in the recital hall, 50 N. Plymouth Avenue. RSVP to 546-6920 or info@RochesterBID.org

The Rochester Downtown Development Corporation proposed the district, which would, for a fee, provide enhanced services to property owners within the district’s borders. The proposed district consists of 13 neighborhoods — everything within the Inner Loop and also High Falls, the Upper East End, and the Monroe-Alexander neighborhood. BY CHRISTINE CARRIE FIEN 

Rochester schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas will hold one of his coffee and conversation meetings on Tuesday, May 20. The meeting is an opportunity for the public to question the superintendent questions or to bring issues to his attention.

The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the district’s central office,131 West Broad Street.

The Rochester school board will hold a similar meeting from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 22. It's being called "commissioners and cookies." Students, teachers, and families can talk directly to the commissioners regarding their concerns. The board's monthly general business meeting follows the event. BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO 

Webster and Penfield will hold public informational meetings about potential municipal solar projects.
Officials in both towns are eyeing a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority program where a private company builds and owns a solar farm, then sells the generated electricity to a local government. The government buys the power through a contract, at lower cost than its current electric rates. After several years, the government can buy the solar power system.

The Webster Town Board will hear from Larsen Engineering representatives at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, at Town Hall, 1000 Ridge Road. Webster officials are considering the installation of a solar farm on five acres of land at the town waste water treatment plant on Phillips Road. Supervisor Ron Nesbitt has said officials expect the solar panels would offset the electricity consumed by the treatment plant.

But town officials still have questions, Nesbitt says, and haven’t decided how they want to proceed.

Larsen Engineering representatives will talk to members of the Penfield Town Board at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, at Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue. Penfield officials are looking into a possible solar farm at the town’s Department of Public Works facility on Jackson Road. Supervisor Tony LaFountain says the panels could offset a significant chunk of the electricity consumed by town buildings.

“It’s just yet another opportunity for us to try to better manage our costs,” LaFountain says. BY JEREMY MOULE