What to do in Rochester, NY
Friday, June 02, 2006
  Paetec Opens

Parking? Security? Fan support? Stop it.
News reporters have been reporting some concerns over the highly
anticipated opening of Paetec Park, the home of the Rochester Rhinos
A-Leage soccer team and Major League Lacrosse team the Rochester
Rattlers. Although also showing optimism most of these concerns are
unwarrented. Less than a half mile of very clean well kept streets,
sidewalks and parks separate Paetec Park with Frontier Field. In most
cases, parking at Frontier field or wherever folks usually park in the
High Falls area will work for attending events at Paetec Park. Saturday
will be pack no doubt - as both the Rhinos and the Redwings have games.
Additional parking is on the way. Security? Everyone in the city of
Rochester and anyone associated with the Rhinos understand that if any
security breach or incident would damage all entities so severely that
on Saturday night, high falls might be the most secure safe places to be
in the entire state. No need to worry.
Fan Support? The paper reported on the 7 or 9 "pro" sports in
Rochester competing for the communities dollar. Soccer and the new
stadium will win out. If there isn't enough fan support for all team,
the Rhinos need not worry.
All in all, this is a historic event for rochester. Nearly 30,000
expected to be in the high falls area. This is only something to cheer
about and enjoy the game if you are one of the lucky ones with a ticket.

Friday, March 31, 2006
  good weather in Rochester
This post would have been more relevant last week.  Today is a gorgeous early spring day in Rochester and I hope everyone is able to enjoy it even if it's from the window of your car on your drive home from the office.  Last week however was a different story.  How many years is that temperature average they speak of on the news.  100 years or so?  To me that means it's Not News!  Our weather is not hard to figure out,  there is an average and a range in which the daily temps differ from that average. Rochester,   in our neck of the woods,  varies quite a bit so it gets cold sometimes and warm sometimes.  So what am I barking at?  People getting upset it's cold!  Last week might have been below average so the local media and folks that apparently appreciate weather smalltalk are all cracking jokes aobut "spring in Rochester".   Where is that today.  Today is like summer but without leaves.  Bottom line is that Rochester weather might not be the best for 6 months of the year but it's Rochester weather.  It's no surprise.  The only surprise this year if anything is that the weather has been great.  No complaints here and I would hope no complaints anywhere.   Now enjoy a nice cold beer this evening and enjoy!
Friday, February 24, 2006

Again? What is the current plan for the ferry terminal building up at
the "port of rochester". Actually - it's not really a port is it?
it's a river and a lake meeting up.
Anyway - Where did being a politician Ever qualify them to make good
decisions about business-like ventures. We need business people to
control where develpment goes, maybe with some assistance and incentive
by the government but not the leadership of government. I can't even
think about it anymore. Maybe next time.

Friday, January 13, 2006
  One Last Ferry Remark?
I must share as I have since day one that Rochester should have never entered the Ferry business. You might also be surprise to hear that I still support having it here though. Here me out. Rochester owning and running the Fast Ferry service to Toronto is almost as crazy as having Penfield operate the Airport. The initial mistake by the City of Rochester is by leading the people and media to believe the Ferry would make money on it's own. Very few entertainment projects much less transportation projects make money on their own - yet they provide value. Just as each piece of any business or community may not make money on it's own but may contribute to the value of the whole. Millions go to the Blue Cross arena, Frontier Field and the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. We don't want those facilities to close do we? And those subsidies come from the county in addition to the City as the entire community may benefit. Maybe the Ferry is the same. So Duffy is right - the City cannot afford to lose an estimated 2.7 Million per year. I only want to hear just Once from anyone in politics or the media one simple question. What is the estimated economic impact for having the service in operation? Everything can have a study done to estimate the impact. Is it greater than 2.7 Million? It just may be. (think about tax revenue from sales and hotel, income taxes from the jobs created at the terminal at a minimum, etc) If it is, I believe another public entity should run the service, maybe the state. The general public will still see it as a losing proposition but that's why we elect politicians and not go by popular vote on each issue. Either way, the City should never have been in the position to take on such a responsbility and shame on the county and state not recognising this. - al
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
  More Ferry Discussion

I can appreciate folks concern over the money being put into the fast
ferry. I really can. It doesn't look too good does it.
I'd like to inject some reality into the subject though - something I
have yet to see in 5 years of fast ferry media. I won't discuss is
much, only will mention it. Has anyone seen an economic impact study
on how the fast ferry is affecting our community? Everything else is
subsidized and I assume and hope for good reasons. Blue Cross arena
doesn't make money as an entity upon itself but I'm sure glad it's here.
Maybe the ferry works the same way. Some new jobs, their taxes
collected. Even if just a few hundred folks come down from Canada where
are they spending money? What is the ferry worth?
A second reality is that any benefit the ferry does reap goes to the
entire Rochester metro area and even state and most insignificantly the
City of Rochester. Regardless of success or failure of the ferry, the
City should not have to, nor does it make sense for the City and only
the City to support the ferry. Just as I hope the City doesn't have to
pay for the Arena and other sports and arts facilities downtown that
need subsidies. We all benefit. In fact I heard less than 5% of ferry
passengers were from the city.
Anyway - regardless of any opinion I may have or you may have on the
feasibility of the Fast Ferry - isn't there a chance it's worth it as
long as the economic impact outweighs whatever municipality kicks in the
funds to support it? If the answer is no, sell it today, if yes, the
State or at least the county should subsidize the ferry.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
  Winter Driving a concern?

Yikes - the other day I witnessed had 3 or 4 potential accidents and one
actual accident all on a 15 minute trip from Henrietta to Penfield.
How many years does someone need to drive in snow to realize accidents
are bad and not worrying about getting hit or running off the road is a
nice benefit. Some apparently hard to take in tips I'd like to share:
slow the heck down!; stop tailgaiting - what are you trying to do?
Stare at the girl in the car or something? Stop accelerating to red
lights - it will still be red when you get there, if you're lucky it
will turn green before you ever waste your breaks or gas to
re-accelerate, bonus!; Did everyone forget that little law where if
you turn onto a multi-laned road you're supposed to first turn into the
closest lane and Then change lanes? I see accidents waiting to happen
every day with that one. Wow, do we look stupid driving around. Take
it easy, enjoy your time in your vehicle and get where your going
safely, likely just as fast, and without raising your stress levels!
Happy driving.

Friday, December 09, 2005
  where is the cold rush?
It has been at least 3 or 4 years of the Rochester Cold Rush campaign. Did it end this year or in typical fashion are any activities simply unknown without find it yourself. I don't recall much marketing material in years past other than the somewhat embarassing pile of snow we had to have trucked in from Buffalo so kids could slide down a 10 foot hill. I think it's a great idea and something that could really be a differentating feature of a Rochester winter.
Maybe a campaign to show how many other cities are actually colder that Rochester? That was a joke, however isn't there some film festival soon? And ice-skating at that park and some shows at the various performing arts center? I'll have to find some stats on other cities but I don't believe folks in western new york realize we have lots to offer for a metro area just over a million. One last thought - how about a county wide or even region wide promotion of winter activities?
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
  NHL in Rochester tonight?
I've heard both opinions I'm about to comment on thus far this week on the radio and in hallway conversations at work.  If you weren't aware the NHL is having it's Buffalo Sabre game here in Rochester against the Washington  Capitols.  Some see this as an opportunity to show that Rochester can support a professional sport.   I think that is assinine and doesn't even deserve the comment.  Fact is that we support Buffalo sports as they are our local professional sport.  Sure,  I would love a sport of our own but how do you prove Rochestarians can support it?  I've heard 1/3 of all fans at Buffalo Bills games are from the Rochester area.   Some fraction of the Sabres crouds are probably from Rochester as well.  I think that is fact enough for the folks concerned.  Should it matter though?  No.  The cities image and someone with money are the pre-requisites for attracting and expansion or moved pro team here someday.  Not the attendence to a Wednesday night displaced NHL game against a boring team like the Capitols. 
Although that is all I wanted to say,  I feel having normal NHL prices at the war memorial in town is ludicrous.  If this is a test of our community someone isn't seeing straight.  That being said it looks like it will be a near sellout and that's great for the folks that feel they cannot drive the hour to Buffalo for any of the other games. 
Monday, October 24, 2005
  Division 1 hockey
I was told once Hobart-William Smith college is in Rochesters defined Metropolitan area.  I believe they have some sport similar to field hockey or lacrosse for woman that is technically NCAA division 1.  Well,  putting that fact or near-fact aside,  Rochester has been for at least the past 10 years the largest Metro area in the states to Not have a division one major sports team.
Yet another fact that does Not put us on the map.  This season however marks the first year the RIT hockey team, who has had successful division 2,  then division 3 sucess,  will compete at the DI level.  Great for them and even better for the Rochester community.  I hope this will pave the way for more up and coming programs to turn division 1.  As a sport fan in general you could argue many sports already have too many top level teams.  But from the perspective of what this community deserves I'm estatic over the possible emergence of RIT as DI accross the board in the next few to 10 years.   Also of any metro area over 1 million we have the largest ratio of college students.   almost 7.5 percent vs. an average of 3.5 percent.  Hopefully this means we are a great market for contuing this new trend.  Maybe Nazereth in lacrosse,  st. john fischer in football,  Uof R and RIT in everything that makes sense.  Financially I feel the community will support such a transition and I sure will keep my eye on how this develops over time.
Friday, October 21, 2005
  Politics as usual
Is this age of communication how come great ideas that would "save" the city only come out during elections?  Especially the case of city council members running for Mayor or when Senators run for President at the national level.  Talk is cheap.
If you read my previous post,  violence in the city of Rochester regarding kids is indeed alarming and should be a hot issue.  Reality shows that our murder rate is not actually higher than average in america though.  This is looking at murder rate for our metropolitan area of 1.1 million or so.  But focusing on the 220,000 residents of the city are they getting the answers they are looking for from their next leader in Mayor?  Unfortunatly we cannot stop all murder instantaneously, nor can we "fix" the families that are perpetuating poor behavior overnight.  The only thing I can suggest and history has proven this approach is the following:
Increase or make it look like we are increasing police presense immediately.  Don't look the other way for the small things.  Sure,  murder are #1,  but if we treat abuse, drug possesion and even loitering as real offenses, we restore some order and perception the police will find you and put you away if you break the law.
Secondly,  and actually most important for the long term is restore funding for and never cut again the funding for after school activities and in general,  art, music and sports.  Students who participate in some of these activities benefit in so many ways,  just one being keeping them off the street at night. 
Friday, October 14, 2005
  Heating Costs in Rochester

If you're breathing you've heard the media state our fuel costs in
relation to heating this winter will go up between 40 and 60%. If you
spent $1000 last year an extra $500 is certainly something to be
concerned with. But, aren't we smart enough to make the little
updates? Maybe some really don't know but you can buy a programmable
"smart" thermostat for less than $40. It makes a big difference. Then
take your usual temperatures you set everything at and drop it a couple
of degrees. Throw something in front of the drafty door or install some
nifty foam or plastic around gaps in doors and windows and see if we
can't save some of the hundreds we're being told we're about to spend.
It's not the end of the world.

Monday, October 03, 2005
  Violence in "the city".

I have a theory or maybe something more of a hunch. Now is not the
time nor place to go into detail but if you have lived in a variety of
cities and metro areas around the country city size varies without much
reason. Rochester is 35 square miles. The metro area of Monroe county
and surrounding coutinues is obviously much larger. Memphis or
Jacksonville Florida are metro areas around the same size as Rochester
however their cities are much larger. Over 100 square miles for each.
What does this mean? Of the 65 metro areas over 1 million in population
there is usually a city to "rest of metro area" ratio of 1:1. I will
provide examples in a specific article on doRochester.com in the near
future. Stay with me though. Rochester has the greatest ratio of All
65 metro areas with a ratio of 1:5, meaning only 1/5th of this metro
area lives in "the city". Who cares? Nobody should as it's just an
invisible boundary. However in the northeast in general and in
Rochester specifically this fact has negative effects as violence in
"the city" get news coverage or schools in "the city" fall under one
blanket of scandal. I believe democratic mayoral candidate Chris Raj
and in the past Major Bill Johnson has mentioned having this communitiy
fall under one municipality or something similar. There are unlimited
benefits from my persepective - too many to list here, but the folks
that are against this idea are simply scared - mainly as monroe country
residents are for the most part Not Rochester residents. The financial
burden on the city of Rochester to support suburbanites visits to work
and to sporting events and trips on the ferry is unjust and will only
keep this metropolitan area in financial crisis. I'm sure the powerful
people understand who money changes hands, but with the vast majority
of county voters being outside the city, it's hard to sell the idea
that Rochester proper is still the most important part of our economy.
I'm all in favor of our entire metro area sharing services, the post
office calling us all Rochester and so on... That alone will help local
businesses benefit from business traverlers or vacationers looking for
say jewlery. On the internet they look up Rochester and only get
rochester proper businesses or those who fall under the near-random
definitly of being served by the Rochester postal service. Searches on
the internet and all kinds of community stats make our region appear as
smaller than it really is. Potentially diverting state and federal
monies, private investment and tourism.
Statisical comparisons occur all the time based solely on the size of
the city in the middle of a metro area. Unfortunatly the size of the
city is quite meaningless and that's why the the feds came up with the
idea of Metro areas a few decades ago. Why not make our local
political landscape match the idealistic approach to community
facilitation by joining up and putting on a hat labeled Rochester.

Monday, September 26, 2005
  Autumn is here, summer is gone.

Autumn is here, summer is gone. The ferry has limited their trips,
the Rhinos have ended their season. Constuctions crews are working
extra hard to finish projects. Mayoral campaigns shift into a new gear.
Snowblowers are changing hands. Winter is upon us. Winter in
Nothing to do you may think? What do you want to do? Parks to cross
country ski, downhill skiing, downtown ice skating. Many think our
weather has something to do with our economy not really growing over the
past 30 years. Ever been to Minneapolis? It's not weather, it's jobs.
If you have a good paying rewarding career you'll like Rochester. Is
spending time with family and friends indoors without grand metropolitan
plans all that bad anyway. I'd like to think in our communitiy less
money is spent during the winter months and that's a good thing! I at
least welcome the chance to take a few months off from mowing the lawn.

Sunday, September 18, 2005
  small town feel.
Just back from Chicago I have ideas of how great it would be to live in a major metropolitan area with all the people, restaurants and "things to do". Then I get back to my home with a yard that is quiet at night and think how much I love Rochester. Sure, of course we don't have 55 restaurants on some street in downtown. We're not supposed to! The problem is that Rochester was unique back in the day when I hear of stories of families headed downtown to shop and dine. Well that's not what is efficient anymore for our economy. The nicer places to eat and shop are outside downtown where most of us live. I don't feel there is anything wrong with that. I think downtown is actually quite busy even on the weekend when comparied to many cities larger than us especially down south. If I hear people are looking for something that's not in Rochester I always ask what? Most do not really have an answer. If they are looking for a selection in nightspots like a Chicago or New York then certainly I'll help them move as I'm not sure why they came to Rochester in the first place! Regardless it's nice to be home and 12 months a year everyone can make Rochester home and have plenty to do. Let me know how I'm wrong and I'd love to try and change your mind.....
Monday, August 29, 2005
  End of Summer?
I wanted to title this End of Summer Already but I can't imply the Summer flew by.  It was nice and long and I hope everyone took full advantage.  I must plug Rochester as just a terrific place to call home during the summer.  Whether you're young and single living within walking distance to cafes, restaurants, bars and festivals or settleing down in the towns outside of the city it's just great to be here.  No forestfires,  no mudslides,  earthquakes or hurricanes.   A short drive away from niagara falls,  the finger lakes or the adirondacks.  If you're someone who is bored or isn't aware of all the options we have here let me know - I want to help you out as I believe you're most certainly missing something. 
Although I must admit those hot & humid days in July were hard to take I cannot complain. 
  Let's get down to business.
This probalby isn't news to anyone but my original attempt to starting a blog on doRochester.com failed due to security issues. As you may know these peskly little robot post comments on less-than-ideally-secure blogs and other websites and I'm guessing every post simply didn't need ads for larger penises or breasts all while losing weight. I believe the folks at blogspot will supress these garbage producing bots and we can get to business. Now the internet technology has these nifty work verificaton images and all.. I was going to re-post older blogs from the other site but being that they are outdated I'd rather simply start over again. I'll likely include a weekly post realted to the Rochester, NY area but who knows. Anything goes so please stop by frequently and comment and suggest all you want... Outside the blog please send any comment from http://dorochester.com/contact/
~ Al @ doRochester.com
An attempt to share some thoughts on living in Rochester, NY. Please share what you think... doRochester.com

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