Who's behind the opposition to Whole Foods?
While I enjoyed the drawing of Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle in the paid advertisement on the back cover of CITY, I must take issue with its message.
The public doesn't know who is behind the big money being spent on ads like this one to fight the proposed Whole Foods development project on Monroe Avenue. Unfortunately, this lack of transparency has made it difficult to challenge the flood of misinformation that has spread about the project.
The planned development project is bigger than zoned, but not by that much. The store will be a fraction of the size of Wegman's just down the road. If it increases traffic, it's because citizens want to shop there and it's successful as a retail outlet.
In return, the developer has promised to build several different traffic-calming devices to make traffic flow easier through the corridor than it currently does. He also plans to improve the bicycle pedestrian path that parallels Monroe Avenue behind the retail outlets. That could effectively decrease the number of vehicles on the road, as people like me choose to cycle to the grocery store instead of drive.
All of this is called incentive zoning and is the way communities like ours get improvements made. We're getting new sidewalks along South Clinton and Elmwood Avenue the same way this summer. There's nothing wrong or illegal or mysterious about this type of "deal." It's all out in the open.
What's hidden is who doesn't want Whole Foods and what are their real reasons?
Douglass and his education
On our essays on Frederick Douglass and education: Douglass worked diligently to expand his vocabulary to the point that many teens of Rochester are unable to read his autobiography simply because the words he used are too big. All the more reason to study hard in order to someday read it, because Frederick Douglass is truly the North Star.
Crediting the artist
For our February 13 cover photograph of the face of a Frederick Douglass statue, we failed to note the statue's sculptor. The photo is of one of the 13 reproductions, created by Rochester artist Olivia Kim, of the statue of Douglass in Highland Park.
Kim's reproductions have been placed at sites in the city that are relevant to Douglass's life in Rochester. The statue photographed for our February 13 cover is at the corner of Alexander and Tracey Streets, the site of a school attended by Douglass's daughter.