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Max Schulte | WXXI News

Washington Grove's 'incredible trees' are now protected

Washington Grove sits nearby a bus route, but at the center of this 26-acre woodland you could easily forget you’re in a city. Lee Sengbusch thinks so, anyway. He lives just down the street, near Cobbs Hill Park. “You feel right, like you’re way out in the forest. It’s so quiet and peaceful. There’s nothing like it in Rochester," Sengbusch said. "Most cities don’t have this, so we’re so blessed to have this right nearby.” The landscape is marked by valleys and hills formed 10,000 years ago by...

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KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival Coverage

Previews, reviews, and more from WXXI and CITY reporters

Ashleigh Deskins / WXXI

Searching for spirituality in ‘Remnants’

Just a few moments into Friday’s KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival show “Remnants,” at Ellison Park, I became ashamed of my inferior spirituality.

The park, just off of Interstate 490 and Blossom Road, is home to the remnants of Rochester’s long-ago heritage. A replica of Fort Schuyler. And the spirituality of the Haudenosaunee people.

Gino Fanelli/CITY

The Rochester Police Accountability Board’s executive director is free to hire his own staff, city attorneys said Friday, walking back a letter that stated any hires needed the City Council president’s approval.

What may seem like a minor miscommunication grew out of a nearly year long conflict between city officials and the Police Accountability Board over the amount of autonomy the agency has.

In a surprising vote, a panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration on Friday recommended against approval of a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people 16 years and older.

The 16-2 vote against broad use of the booster, which would be given about six months after completion of the two-dose immunization regimen, dealt a setback to Pfizer and complicates the FDA's approach to boosters.

Governor Hochul's office

Gov. Kathy Hochul ordered the immediate release of 191 state prison inmates Friday. Under terms of a new parole reform law signed by Hochul, they are no longer required to be incarcerated for committing technical parole violations. The governor also is taking steps to improve what she called “hell on earth” conditions at New York City’s notorious Riker’s Island jail.

A local OB/GYN is accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate multiple women. Dr. Morris Wortman is now being sued by a former patient – a woman who says he is her biological father. A second adult has come forward, saying Wortman is also his father. The story has led to questions surrounding donor conception. What does the law state? What rights do patients – and their children – have?

Our guests this hour discuss a range of issues. Our guests:

  • Tyler Brown, reporter with 13 WHAM News 
  • CJ Lore, Rochester resident who says he is the biological child of Dr. Morris Wortman
  • Greg Franklin, adoptions and assisted fertility attorney with Ashcraft, Franklin & Young, LLP
  • Lindsey Wrobel, one of 28 donor-conceived siblings in the same family

Local youth climate leaders are gearing up for the Green Games. It’s an initiative where they’ll challenge their peers across the Rochester/Finger Lakes region to take action when it comes to combatting climate change.

They join us to talk about Meatless Mondays, fossil fuel divestment, an art challenge and more. Our guests:

  • Bridget Mousaw, junior at Brighton High School, leader of the Brighton High School Climate Club, and Rochester field organizer for the New York Youth Climate Leaders
  • Poppy Burack, 8th grader at School of the Arts, who is trying to bring back SOTA's Climate Club
  • Lola DeAscentiis, senior at Mercy High School, member of the New York Youth Climate Leaders, and participant in the ROC City Compost Pilot program 
  • Harrison Jurenko, senior at School of the Arts, and member of the Seneca Park Zoo Urban Ecologist program

wegmansamore.com

Wegmans is going to reopen its Amore Italian restaurant at the East Avenue store.

It’s been closed  since March 2020, but the supermarket company says it plans to reopen Amore in December. There was not a specific date given for the reopening.

“We are very excited to reintroduce Amore to our guests,” says Wegmans Restaurant Operations Manager Mauricio Valdivia. “We spent the last year and a half experimenting with new recipes and reinventing the menu to give our customers a new taste of Amore.”

uswateralliance.org

First hour: Previewing the Green Games

Second hour: Discussing issues surrounding donor conception

Ashleigh Deskins / WXXI

After five decades, Garth Fagan Dance continues to evolve. It must, if it is to survive. The pandemic has shaken all of the dance world down to the pointe technique of its toes.

The Rochester School Board now says that an internal complaint has been filed against three RCSD employees, including Supt. of Schools Lesli Myers-Small by another district employee.

Initially, when the news broke on Thursday night, as first reported by the Democrat and Chronicle, there was word that the board held an emergency meeting and decided to hire outside counsel to investigation an allegation of harassment against Myers-Small.

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Across the Universe with Jeff Spevak

Provided

It’s not that Rachel McKibbens has an issue with a cappella. 

But “unlike other venues,” she says, “it would have been a risk for us to book the YellowJackets.”

As the 12-day KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival unfolds, the University of Rochester vocal group is the last thing that the usual unusual clientele of The Spirit Room would expect to find there. Not in the midst of all those skulls and voodoo tchotchkes and drag queens.

News from NPR

If you are old enough to remember the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, there's a good chance that a lot of what you remember are the prurient details, as recounted in the Starr Report.

As new data shows 1 in 500 Americans has died from COVID-19 and the delta variant continues to surge across the country, the next challenge many health care leaders face is within their own staffs: the 27% of of U.S. health care workers who have not been vaccinated against the disease as of July, according to a study by The COVID States Project.

It started out as the summer of possibility. Earlier this year, lines outside restaurants were long and bars filled up with noshing revelers. People started shopping for clothes to look presentable again after more than a year of pandemic isolation.

Dr. Wahid Majrooh is acting minister of public health in Afghanistan, and he faces two looming challenges: leading the country's COVID response and maintaining health-care services in the wake of the Taliban takeover in mid-August.

More news from NPR

Arts & Life

Ashleigh Deskins / WXXI

Searching for spirituality in ‘Remnants’

Just a few moments into Friday’s KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival show “Remnants,” at Ellison Park, I became ashamed of my inferior spirituality.

The park, just off of Interstate 490 and Blossom Road, is home to the remnants of Rochester’s long-ago heritage. A replica of Fort Schuyler. And the spirituality of the Haudenosaunee people.

Ashleigh Deskins / WXXI

After five decades, Garth Fagan Dance continues to evolve. It must, if it is to survive. The pandemic has shaken all of the dance world down to the pointe technique of its toes.

Ashleigh Deskins / WXXI

What a bargain: For a mere $8, Rochester’s Unleashed! Improv offers a quick synopsis of any show at Rochester Fringe. Imagine! You only need to go to this one show — “Unleashed! Improv Presents: Other People’s Shows” — during the entire 12 days of the festival! This one! It’s all the exclamation points you need!

More arts & life stories

From the Inclusion Desk

Courtesy of Endless Highway / Endless Highway

A wheelchair swing and an accessible merry-go-round are some of the new adaptable features at Basil A. Marella Park in the town of Greece that will allow more playtime for families with kids with disabilities.

Endless Highway, an organization that provides inclusive sports and recreational opportunities, partnered with the town of Greece to make the upgrades at the park. 

During the pandemic, people found themselves alone a lot more than usual.

That includes young people with disabilities who lost something important -- opportunities to build social skills. While there are programs to help with this, what can be done to ensure people with disabilities have the necessary support and resources?

That’s the focus of this Inclusion Desk discussion, moderated by WXXI News reporter/producer Noelle E.C. Evans with guests:

Leaders from organizations that provide services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities say they are dealing with a staffing crisis. Direct support professionals provide assistance to people with disabilities, helping them live and work in their communities. Leaders say there was a staffing shortage prior to the pandemic due to inadequate funding, and now the issue has reached a crisis point.

This hour, we discuss the role of direct support professionals, the state of staffing for their field, and the impact the shortage has on people with disabilities. Our guests:

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk

Erica Jae

Democrats in Washington are working on the details of their enormous budget reconciliation bill.

President Joe Biden wants to include $400 billion for home health care services.

This has long been a priority for disability advocates and others who say the investment is needed to keep people in their own homes and communities and out of institutional settings.

More stories from the Inclusion Desk

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