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[ news from the week past ]

SOTA vandalism

Rochester police arrested 28 School of the Arts students for crimes such as criminal mischief, graffiti, and trespassing. Students allegedly defaced the SOTA building in a senior prank that got out of control, school officials said.

Xerox wants tax cuts

Xerox Corporation is seeking a reduction in the assessed value of its properties in Webster. The company wants a $60 million reduction that, if approved, would cut the town’s tax revenue by more than $2 million. Xerox also wants the City of Rochester to reduce the value of its downtown office building from $13 million to about $10 million.

Kodak can sell patents

Eastman Kodak got a sprinkle of good financial news from a bankruptcy court hearing. Kodak wanted approval to sell patents, some of which are the subject of an ownership battle with Apple and Flashpoint Technology. Though the court did not fully approve Kodak’s request, the judge outlined ways the company could le-

gally proceed with selling the patents. Kodak needs to sell about 1,100 patents to raise badly needed cash.


COMIDA vs. the Greece school board

The Greece school board passed a resolution opposing a package of property tax breaks for Greece Ridge Mall. The County Industrial Development Agency is proposing a plan to limit property tax increases on the mall for 25 years. The mall’s owner, a subsidiary of Wilmorite, plans to reconfigure the former Bon-Ton space into several smaller units.


Groundhog daze The City of Rochester is marshalling resources to tackle a persistent and vexing problem. Open-air drug markets? Truancy? Yes, but this time they’re also talking about groundhogs. “We’re not getting taken over, but we have a groundhog issue,” says City Council President Lovely Warren.

Autopsy for the crime lab

County officials said that, at the request of the State Commission on Forensic Science, they’ll conduct a thorough review of the crime lab’s policies and procedures. County officials will report back to the commission in six months. The State Inspector General’s office recently released a report that was highly critical of some lab officials’ actions, and the county fired the lab’s director as a result.

Eating his way through Rochester: City Council President Lovely Warren wants a plan for tackling Rochester’s groundhog invasion. Photo PROVIDED

The hungry herbivores are helping themselves to residents’ gardens, she says, and their burrowing is undermining the stability of homes, garages, and other structures. The problem seems to have started last year, Warren says, and she’s gotten a handful of complaints so far this season. What’s behind the invasion? Habitat destruction, she says. Walt Nelson, agriculture and horticulture program leader with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County, says it’s simply nature at work. “If there’s ample food and the weather’s good, the breeding goes on and the numbers start to increase,” he says. “So it goes up and down, sort of like a roller coaster.” Warren has instructed Rochester Animal Services to come up with a plan to deal with the critters. But Nelson says that will be tricky because

as well as being excellent diggers, groundhogs can climb. “If he wants to get into your back yard, he’s going to get there,” Nelson says. “You just have to make life uncomfortable so that they decide they want to move on.” If you set a fence deeply into the ground, for example, that might discourage a less determined groundhog, he says. Warren says some residents trap the groundhog, and then Rochester Animal Services will take the creature to the end of the driveway and release it. But that’s not a solution because the animals can come back, and they’re usually part of a family. And Animal Control Services staff have warned against taking the animals to wooded areas, Warren says, because that would upset the balance in individual ecosystems.


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june 20-26, 2012

Profile for Rochester City Newspaper

June 20-26, 2012 - CITY Newspaper  

Cover: Bye bye unions? | News: Busy Maplewood library needs a new home | Chow Hound: Cure | Music: Silent Auction | Classical: Sarah McLachl...

June 20-26, 2012 - CITY Newspaper  

Cover: Bye bye unions? | News: Busy Maplewood library needs a new home | Chow Hound: Cure | Music: Silent Auction | Classical: Sarah McLachl...