Update 19 – July 2021

President’s Message Karen Emerson

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Karen Emerson, President

SUMMER has begun!

There continues to be a steady flow of food coming and going from our food pantry. It is so interesting to see what thoughtful things are left in the cupboard: toiletries, spices, formula, baby foods, breakfast cereals and picnic supplies for the holiday. Thanks to all who are providing needed food for our neighbors in need.

I know we all have concerns about the violence that is pervasive in our city and country. What can we DO? I am meeting with our Neighborhood Service Center (NSC) representatives, our public safety committee and Captain Michael Jones, RPD to familiarize our organization with the current situation. I would encourage anyone who is interested to also attend the Police and Citizen Interaction Committee (PCIC) meeting held every second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM at Public Safety Building Auditorium, 185 Exchange Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14614.

These meetings help keep us informed. The next meeting is July 14, 2021.

Our NSC is located at Southwest Quadrant Neighborhood Service Center
(585) 428-7630
923 Genesee St
Rochester, NY  14611
James H. Demps III, Administrator.

James Demps and John McMahon are our representatives. This is the place where you can call about the quality of life issues that are the most concerning to most of our neighbors. They are able to intervene on issues of noise, parking, safety and trash.  For your information.

The Noise Ordinance is as follows:

Noise should not be audible beyond your property line between 10 pm and 8 am. Noise should not be audible beyond 50 feet from your property line between 8 am and 10 pm.  How to make a complaint. Call 911. You are not required to give your name. It is important to make a complaint especially if it is a recurring problem. This information is used to show a pattern.


Toters should not be out earlier than the evening before trash pick-up day, and they must be returned within 24 hours after pick-up. Call 311 or NSC for issues.

Remember it is the NSC that has the authority to deal with quality of life issues. It is good that the 19th Ward Community Association has the information but understand that we have no ability to reinforce any city ordinances. Continue to let us know what is going on.

Enjoy the summer, keep vigilant and stay cool!

Karen Emerson, President 19th Ward Community Association

Carol Kramer

I have lived in the same house on Rosalind Street for 37 years. My husband Ron and I moved to the 19th Ward with encouragement from our good friends, and now next door neighbors, Karen (current president of the 19th Ward Community Association) and Ben Emerson. I grew up in a small town in Niagara County and never imagined I would live in a “big” city. But, I have lived in Rochester for 42 years, and now I can’t imagine living in the country. Ron and I raised our two daughters here and they are both successful in jobs that are challenging and serve the greater good.

I came to Rochester after completing my master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with the Deaf. With Rochester School for the Deaf and The National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT, Rochester was a logical choice for employment. I started my career in 1979 as a Manager of a newly established group home for deaf adults who had been living at various developmental centers across the state. I moved on to Rochester Rehabilitation Center at the Al Sigl Center as a vocational counselor in the sheltered workshop for 4 years. From there I took a job with New York State as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for OVR (Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, later known as VESID – Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities; now known as ACCES-VR – Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation). I worked with deaf consumers and people with other physical, mental health or learning disabilities. I was a counselor for 14 years, a senior counselor for 7 years, and the Director of Counseling services for the district office for 13 years.

After 34 years and the three name changes it seemed like a good time to retire in 2018. Vocational Rehabilitation counseling kept me connected to the Rochester community as we worked with individuals to help them identify training to be able to return to or start competitive employment. This job keeps you connected to individuals, employers, training programs, treatment providers, and other social services. It was challenging and interesting, and when people found jobs they often did not think were open to them it was very rewarding.

What I love about the 19th Ward and Rochester are the things that many people say. The parks, the arts, the water activities, etc. In spite of the recent problems with violence and inequality I believe there are opportunities for personal and community growth. In the 19th Ward I love the houses with all the beautiful woodwork inside, and the gardens people maintain at home and for the community. The people are hard working and friendly. I love our public resources – gems of the community! I am a big supporter of the Arnett Library – a welcoming place for all. I am a member of the Friends of the Arnett Library, a great group that supports the library with programs for all. Several years ago Ron and I took up the tradition of donating 2 bicycles every year to the library to be given to children ( 1 boy and 1 girl) who participate in the summer reading program. For us it’s a pleasure to support children reading in any way possible, and at the same time to encourage them to be outside and active. I can’t take credit for the idea, our daughter Abby won the bike when she was in 6th grade. We remembered how pleased she was about the bike, that we wanted to continue the tradition when the original sponsor was no longer available.

I’ve also been a long time member of the Southwest YMCA (and when it was the Arnett Y). I served on the advisory board and now chair the annual Flower Sale to support the Y’s financial assistance program. COVID interfered this year, but look for us to be back selling flowers next year! Join me in the early mornings for some great programming with wonderful neighbors. I also have been a co-hostess for the annual 19th Ward Womens’ Soiree (again interrupted by COVID last year, to be determined for this year). One of the best nights of the summer when typically 75 to 100 neighbors gather for a purely social event. Homemade cookies and beverages accompany a LOT of conversation. It’s a great place to meet old and new friends, enjoy an evening outside, and I get to indulge my passion for baking without having to eat all the cookies myself! A true win-win.

I have tried to be an active member of the 19th Ward Community Association. We learned about the association from Karen and Ben even before we moved here. So we joined right away. I have helped out in the office, participated in some committees, and more recently I was the secretary for two years, and I am now the Delegate for District 11. I have helped organize the Candlelight Dinners for several years; we even managed to figure out how to have a Zoom Candlelight event this year, hoping for a return to in person dining next year. I was honored to be recognized as Citizen of the Year in 2017. My hope for the 19th Ward as a neighborhood and the Association as a vital part of the neighborhood, is that we reach out to each other in friendship whenever possible. There are relationship building events sponsored by the Association and other organizations and we can all reach out to our neighbors and get to know them better. I learned from my parents’ example that being involved in your community, whether it is a neighborhood, small town or city, builds the connections that give us all the strength to respond together to the challenges that come with being an active citizen and a good neighbor.

Around the Neighborhood


A total of seven helpers participated in the hastily-summoned berry-picking day held on the busy Fourth of July. A gallon of fresh black raspberries was gathered. Home-made cookies fortified the effort. Next berry-picking opportunity will be the regular July 11th, “Second Sunday” of the month general 19th Ward volunteerism at Rapids Cemetery (90 Congress Avenue off Genesee Street) from 1:00-3:00pm. More berries will be ripe at that time.

MaryDan. Berry bushes grew wild at the cemetery. Now the bushes are cultivated in rows with pathways.
Jake. Red and yellow examples of the black raspberries are not yet ripe.

Annie. Blue latex gloves make it easier to pull off the raspberries.

MaryDan. Trellises and pathways make berry harvesting easier this year.


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From Mark Sweetland’s garden
Snap Dragons from Arnett Bird and Butterfly Garden


People’s Choice – Part of their every day menu!

Community News

Rochester City Council Round-Up Presented by City Council South District Rep. LaShay D. Harris

Get Healthy – a free, new event series featuring vinyasa (flow) yoga classes for all skill levels and ages will take place 9:30 a.m., Thursday, July 8 at the City of Rochester Public Market, 280 N. Union St. Yoga on the Bricks classes will take place every Thursday morning through the summer under the Market’s D shed and will be held rain or shine. No registration or payment is required.

Recent Violent Activity in Community – If you see something, say something…We need your help. If you know anything about any criminal activity, call Crime Stoppers at (585) 423-9300.

On June 24, 2021 Chief Herriott-Sullivan announced that Rochester Police Department will be getting assistance from federal prosecutors to address recent gun violence.  RPD is looking at ways to keep violent crime suspects from being released after arrest with the help of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Monroe County District Attorney’s Office to target the appropriate cases.  The Chief added she will also be working with U.S. Marshalls Office and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to combat the violence.

 Monroe County Advisory –  Residents are warned of the deadly substance found in street drugs Xylazine, often referred to as “Horse Tranquilizer”, has been linked to fatal overdoses in Monroe County. Xylazine has been found to be cut in heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. Narcan does not work on this substance, however Narcan should still be used since Xylazine is often mixed with opioids. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Monroe County IMPACT team at (585) 753-5278.

The Monroe County IMPACT team (Addiction Services) was created nearly a year ago and has brought greater focus and coordination to treating people and families suffering from addiction. The IMPACT team has visited nearly every house where an overdose has occurred within 24-hours, including nearly 100 overdoses, visitations and referrals in the last three months alone. The IMPACT hotline is available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. by calling (585) 753-5278 or emailing Impact@monroecounty.gov. Additionally, Open Access is a service that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for individuals in need of substance use evaluation. Any resident or family member who is in need of treatment and care can call Open Access at (585) 627-1777

Roc City Compost Program– Roc City Compost provides an opportunity for residents to divert food waste and other compostable materials from their refuse containers and bring them to drop-off sites on Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning July 14. Participants will receive a tool-kit with a list of acceptable materials, a countertop container and a larger bucket to convey materials to the drop off locations. Those interested in participating in Roc City Compost can call 311 or visit www.cityofrochester.gov/compost.

Drop-off times and locations include:

•     Genesee Valley Park, 131 Elmwood Ave., Wednesdays, 9 a.m.–noon and Saturdays from 1 – 4 p.m. 

•      Cobbs Hill Park, 100 Norris Drive, Wednesdays, 1–4 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m.–noon.

Rochester Food Policy Council – Applications are open to join Rochester’s first Food Policy Council (FPC). City residents with a passion for food and interest in driving community change to support a healthier, more equitable local food system are encouraged to apply!

Learn more and apply at www.rocfoodpolicy.org! Hard copies of the application are available at all City library branches and Neighborhood Service Centers, and completed applications can be dropped off at those locations as well. The deadline to submit an application is July 30, 2021.

Council Member LaShay Harris can be reached at lashay.harris@cityofrochester.gov or by phone 428-7538


Genesee Baptist Church, 149 Brooks Ave. will be hosting a vaccination site July 15 and August 5, 12-7pm.


We are excited to announce J.O.I.N., a community initiative organized by the joint efforts of  SWAN at Montgomery Center, Beyond the Sanctuary and MC Collaborative to inform, inspire and involve the residents, business owners and community organizations within the 14608, 14611 and 14619 zip codes.

Starting July 6th and continuing through August 31stJ.O.I.N. will host various community outreach events every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm right at the corner of Jefferson and Frost Avenue (560 Jefferson Avenue vacant lot).

Each week, the J.O.I.N. partner organizations will be available along with guest partners who will provide information and services related to health, wellness, education, and economic mobility. We invite your participation and encourage your support of this summer outreach initiative on Jefferson Avenue by signing up as a guest partner to share information about your business or organization, provide on-site services or just stop by to say Hi and see what’s going on the Avenue.

For more information and details about scheduling a day and time slot(s) for your business or organization to participate in the J.O.I.N. summer outreach initiative, please contact our J.O.I.N. project manager, Jocelyn Basley at 585-563-5148 or respond to this email

Committee Information

Reach out to our office manager if you would like to get involved.

Delegates Council

Delegates Council meets virtually on second Thursday of each month at 7pm via Zoom. No meetings will be held during the months of July and August 2021.

Garden Committee

The Garden Committee is loving these summer gardens! Please volunteer if interested!

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee is in search of a new chair. Get in touch!

Housing Committee

The 19th Ward Housing Committee will meet the third Thursday of each month at 1 pm when we are able. Please get in touch with our Office Manager about how we’ll meet during social distancing. Our meetings generally last about an hour. A City representative from Buildings and Code Enforcement attends to work with us on specific properties, concerns/issues, code enforcement, etc. 

Schools Committee

The schools committee is looking for a new Chair. They are continuing to meet and will keep us updated on the good work they’re doing.