Update 19 April 2022

President’s Message

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Karen Emerson, President 19WCA

Finally, the snowdrops and crocus are blooming!

Have you seen this bunny? He has been traveling around the neighborhood. Hope you see him on your street soon. Please join in the fun and if he arrives at your home, keep him moving around.

COVID and influenza continue to plague us, causing much illness. The latest trends show COVID and influenza cases increasing again. The encouraging news is that the hospitalizations are less. COVID continues to mutate and infect many of us. I am very encouraged to see that the vaccination rate for 14619 and 14611 increasing steadily at 69.4% and 64.5% respectively. So as much as we would all like to be out without masks, I fear it is still too unpredictable to meet in person.

We had a Meet and Greet with the President of the Monroe County Legislative, Representative Sabrina LaMar at the Arnett Library on Saturday March 19th. Unfortunately, I was under the weather and could not attend. Thankfully Josie Mc Clary was able to step in and host. I understand it was a good experience for all who attended. I am very pleased with these Meet and Greets. We have had Mayor Malik Evans, County Executive Adam Bello and President LaMar. I continue to be impressed by the dedication of our elected representatives. If you have attended these events, I am sure you will agree that it is a very good way to connect with our elected officials. I look forward to welcoming our city and state officials soon.

We have an enthusiastic and organized team working on Square Fair which will be held June 4th at Aberdeen Square. The Thurston/Arnett Business Association is preparing for Ease on Down May 21-28. Check these events out!

I am happy to report that we have at least one street that will be participating in Blocks in Bloom. Our monthly Mini Clean Sweep will concentrate on Thurston/Chili corner April 9th 10-12.  May 7th with be the City wide Clean Sweep so if you miss this month have no fear you can join in May.

The Westside Farmers Market is getting ready to bring fresh fruits, vegetables and entertainment to the area starting June 7th. Thanks to Jackie Farrell and the market advisory committee for their hard work for the last 15 YEARS.

Ebenezer Baptist Church at 174 Thurston Road is offering dinners this Friday. If you haven’t tried them, you should. Salad Supreme is back and Zoc’s Burgers and Shakes will be re-opening soon.

As always, I ask you to keep our food pantries supplied with staples for our neighborhoods that are experiencing food insecurity. Please consider being a volunteer if you do not already. Please let the office or myself know how we can be of assistance to you.

Karen Emerson, President 19WCA


Girl Scouts Williams Park Service Unit

The Girl Scouts Williams Park Service Unit is extremely thankful to the 19th Ward Community Association for allowing us to utilize the office space for our successful Cookie Drive Thru Booth Sale. We sold over 75% of our cookies. We are grateful for the support of the community in helping our girls learn critical skills and grow as entrepreneurs.

19th Ward Community Cats

The 19th Ward Community Cats had an immensely challenging year in 2021. With a mild winter and the spay/neuter clinics in shutdown until May due to the pandemic, we started the season with a long list of sites with cats needing help. We TNVR’d (trap, neuter, vaccinate and return) 63 feral cats.  The bulk of the trapping is done by two volunteers. Other members of the group assist in the pre- and post-surgery care of cats, transport to clinics, do laundry or trap cleaning after a TNVR session, fundraise, monitor our Facebook page, keep group statistics, check on colonies and their feeders, purchase supplies, or perform any of the other numerous chores necessary to keep us going!

In addition to TNVR we responded to 59 other “cat situations” and calls for assistance.  50 of those were stray or abandoned cats and kittens to whom we gave vet work and found homes or no-kill rescues/fosters. To accomplish this we trapped kittens young enough to be “socialized”  and fostered them.  Some of our volunteers have spent considerable time doing that work. Fostering feral kittens  and socializing them so that they can become companions, lessens the number of colony cats we have in the Ward and thus improves neighborhood life for both humans and cats living here.  Those 50 cats will no longer have to struggle to find food and shelter. They will be forever indoor pets. The other interventions included  arranging for low-cost spay/neuter of owned cats, assisting colony feeders with food and warm shelters, educating residents on pet and colony cat care and veterinary needs, educating neighbors about feral cats and the benefits to our community, and finding new feeders for abandoned colonies. Adding this work to our TNVR program adds up to 158 cats (and their caregivers) receiving our help in 2021.

So far in 2022 we have already placed or adopted out 11 cats or kittens!  Our first site for TNVR is the Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach program. Staff and residents there have built a shelter and have fed feral cats. We assisted them in TNVR for 8 adult cats. 4 kittens were taken in and 3 have been adopted already. This type of collaboration is exactly what makes our group model unique and successful. Thank you to everyone at Spiritus Christi for your compassion!

We could really use some help.  We need additional volunteers who can help with trapping, delivering food, checking sites and following up with community requests for help. A few hours every month would make a big difference for us. Many hands make light work! It can be overwhelming to have so few doing so much. Volunteering is a great way to help the community and the cats, and the bonus is that our volunteers get to know their neighborhood and contribute in a unique way.

We desperately need foster caregivers.  Often all we need is someone who can look after a cat for a week until we can place it in long-term care.  But that week can be critical in getting a friendly, homeless cat to safety.  We need people with patience who can socialize kittens who were born outside and aren’t used to people. We also need people who can volunteer for long-term foster care.  We’ll provide the gear and guidance.

If interested please call Robin Glenski at 585-709-6229.

You may also donate by making a check out to :

The 19th Ward Community Association and in the memo write “for cats”. Checks can be dropped off at the association or mailed to: 216 Thurston Road, Rochester, NY 14619


 It is a joy for members of the 19th Ward Community Association to collaborate with teachers and the members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity of the U of R to assist students in our neighborhood schools with learning to spell. After several months of tutoring students via Zoom and hearing about in-school practices and spelling bees, we anticipated the actual Spelling Bee, held on April 2nd at the University of Rochester.

The role of members of the 19th WCA Schools Committee included registration with the Scripps Spelling Bee, communication with the principals and teachers of Schools 10, 16, 19, and 29, coordinating with the Rochester Area Community Foundation, which is providing funding, purchasing tee-shirts, trophies, and gift cards, providing refreshments for the attendees, and working with the fraternity members who made all the on-campus arrangements.

Seeing the children, who came with their eager families, play games and eat pizza with the fraternity brothers and then participate with poise and skill in spelling the many challenging words during the Bee was delightful. The audience sometimes gasped in surprise when 6th graders were given words that their parents could not spell! We heard expressions of anticipation for returning next year.

Our hope is that this interest in words will strengthen these students for success in all areas of their learning in the future. The winners of each grade can look forward to receiving a $500 scholarship from the Rochester Area Community Foundation upon their admission to an accredited college or trade school.

Douglas and Charlotte Giebel

“It was my first time attending the Spelling Bee and I thought it was quite successful! An unexpected blessing for me was that my son attended with me. He is a 5th grader in the District and has struggled with reading for several years. To my surprise he really enjoyed it and plans to enter next year. I believe this will inspire him to work even harder on his reading and spelling. For me that speaks volumes as to the importance of this event for our scholars and our community. Many thanks to all the participants, especially the Giebels!” (Dr. Phyllis Moss, Schools Committee Chair)

Rapids Cemetery

Our volunteer schedule includes the second and fourth Sundays of the month from April until October. Join in and let us know when you plan to come. Our initial work will involve branch-clearing following the winter season. We will also begin to make our pedestrian trails safer for mobility – John Curran

Arnett Branch Library

It is National Library Week (April 3 – 9, 2022) and the Rochester Regional Library Council is seeking nominations of libraries and library workers to celebrate! You can find all the eligible libraries at the Regional Library Council website (rrlc.org). You can find the Arnett Branch spcifically at this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6RGRZ5N

Upcoming Events

19th Ward Community Association Mini Clean Sweep – April 9, 2022 10-12noon. Location Thurston/Chili Ave.

Other news:

The Rochester Museum & Science Center is offering free admission for RCSD students during spring break(4/17-23). Registration is needed, more information at https://www.rcsdk12.org/takeover

Assistance Available to Help City Residents Pay For Past-Due Water Bills, COVID-19 Related Funeral Expenses

(Wednesday, March 30, 2022) – City of Rochester residents may be eligible to receive funding to help pay for past-due City water bills under the N.Y. State Low Income Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) and for funeral expenses under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program.

Any delinquent water charges remaining unpaid on May 15 may be added to the upcoming year’s tax bill for the parcel of property against which they are a lien.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought hardships to many of our citizens, and I want to make sure that our residents are aware of the availability of these federal and state programs designed to ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic,” said Mayor Malik D. Evans.

A benefit of up to $2,500 is available per household to pay the cost of water services. Eligibility and benefits are based on income, household size and amount owed. To apply and learn about eligibility and income limits, visit https://otda.ny.gov/programs/water-assistance/.

To apply for funeral assistance, residents can call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at (844) 684-6333, Mon. to Fri, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Multilingual service is available. To learn more about eligibility visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance.

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.

Garden Committee

The Garden Committee is seeing spring flowers again! 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.