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Pittsford officials shanked
Kudos, I suppose, for the Pittsford Board of Trustees for publicizing the Planning Board's two members who accepted free rounds of golf from a developer petitioning the board on behalf of a pet project (News). Apparently they were shocked, shocked that such shenanigans could take place.
To me, the only surprising things are that these two Planning Board members could be bought so cheaply, and that someone actually called them out for it. Not even free membership to the country club? Just some free rounds of golf?
And although one suspects that such arrangements are more a part of the normal tango between developers and town planning boards than some sort of aberration, I think it's disingenuous for the trustees or City Newspaper to categorize this as a mere conflict of interest.
Conflict of interest would apply if a Planning Board member had direct ties to the developer's company. I think accepting rounds of golf, or any other such inducement, should clearly be labeled what it really is: graft, bribery, and corruption.
Whole Foods would hurt other grocers
Whole Foods could take money from Hart's, Wegmans, Trader Joe's, and other markets. City of Rochester residents, as well as communities to the west, east and south, should be concerned about Whole Foods' 10-acre "luxury retail center" proposed for Monroe Avenue near Clover.
Lack of adequate parking at the site of Mario's, traffic on Monroe Avenue, and the waste in demolishing two good buildings should defeat the proposal, even without getting into principles, ethics, and questionable practices of Whole Foods. But "should" does not always happen.
The Brighton Town Board meets every other Wednesday. And a Clover Downs neighborhood group will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, in the First Baptist Church on Allens Creek Road to discuss the Whole Foods proposal. The meeting is open to the public.
Rochester on stage
Rochester Lyric Opera is reportedly interested in converting First Church of Christ, Scientist building on East Avenue into performance space, and the City of Rochester is studying a new downtown theater.
Yes, yes, yes! There is so much talent here in Rochester and not enough room to show it. We are especially in need of affordable places for smaller groups that may not have the resources to own and manage their own playhouse or stage, but could rent one out for their show.
Renting space for smaller theaters was in the plans for Renaissance Square, but the rental fee was far beyond what any group could afford. RAPA is currently renting spaces for smaller theaters.
With so many performing arts groups reaching for audiences, the issue should not be the need for additional space (there is enough now), but the need for arts coverage by the media. We don't need a large downtown theater. We have the Auditorium, Eastman Theatre, and Kodak Center for Performing Arts.
ALLAN O'GRADY CUSEO