Transcript: Need to Know Rochester for June 11 , 2010

Associated Show Highlight: 
Duffy's Future & the Future of Mayoral Control

(Julie) THANK YOU, WXXI'S BOB SMITH, HOST OF 1370 CONNECTION WHICH AIRS EVERY WEEKDAY BEGINNING AT NOON ON WXXI-AM 1370 - OR YOU CAN LISTEN LIVE ON YOUR COMPUTER AT WXXI DOT O-R-G.

 

THIS WEEK MAYOR DUFFY HELD HIS FIRST LOCAL PRESS CONFERENCE SINCE BEING NAMED GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE ANDREW CUOMO'S RUNNING MATE.  ON THE SAME DAY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE QUESTIONING WHY DUFFY IS RECEIVING A GOVERNMENT SALARY WHILE DRAWING A GOVERNMENT PENSION FROM HIS FORMER JOB AS CITY POLICE CHIEF.  DUFFY SAYS HE'S NOT BOTHERED BY THE POTENTIAL FOR INCREASED SCRUTINY - OR BY THE FACT HE'S THE NUMBER TWO GUY ON THE TICKET.

 

(DUFFY) I am who I am and I think that I can't change who I am. I don't have a big ego, I am very comfortable with supporting the Governor and supporting him. I think that the greatest asset for any Lieutenant Governor, if they are elected, is to have a strong relationship with the Governor. I feel I have that, I have a very strong personal professional relationship which I think is an asset if we are elected. And I will just leave it at that...

 

(Julie) DUFFY SAYS HE IS CONVINCED THE CUOMO DUFFY TEAM COULD BRING ABOUT POSITIVE CHANGE TO THE UPSTATE ECONOMY - DESPITE PREVIOUS EFFORTS WHICH NETTED FEW RESULTS.

 

(DUFFY) When I look at some of the things that work in Rochester, and here is my belief what works here. When you can bring very good, talented, committed people together on a team, when you can bring a community together on issues you can accomplish almost anything. There is no miracles to be worked here, but I believe government has worked well here and not because I'm the Mayor, but because we have some great people on our team, great people in this community have really worked hard. Those priciples there they translate into state government. And I know their have been many attempts in the past, their have been many well intentioned attempts across New York State. I believe that with what the Attorney General brings and knowing Andrew Cuomo as I know him with his passion for this, his abbility to bring talent together, his absolute focus on doing this, I believe the same principles can apply statewide. I think also you learn from mistakes, you learn from things that did not work, and you try to go at those a little differently. Their are no miracles, their are no easy steps, this is about hard work and committment. And in this campaign as you can see already their are those that will be on the daily attack personaly, that solves nothing, attack the problems...go after the problems first and that's what we're going to do.

 

(Julie) DUFFY SAYS HE DOESN'T PLAN TO RESIGN DURING THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN, BUT HE OPENED THE DOOR TO THAT POSSIBILITY IF HE FELT HE COULD NO LONGER FULFILL HIS RESPONSIBILITIES AS MAYOR HE MIGHT.

 

(DUFFY) The campaign schedule has not been put out yet so their is not an official campaign schedule for me or my role at this point. I'm getting some invitations certaintly to speak to people, but I think when that comes I'll have a better assessment, but it is my position. And I think that anyone who has worked around me in the last 4 plus years knows that I'm here early, I'm here late, I'm here on the weekends. I think my family and coworkers can attest to the fact that their is not going to be any short changing. But I think that is a fair question, it has not started yet that part of it, and I will make that assessment and make those decisions as they come.

 

(Julie) HE SAYS HE KNOWS HIS CAMPAIGN HAS CREATED AN AIR OF UNCERTAINTY HERE IN THE FLOWER CITY.  BUT HE SOUNDED A PHILOSOPHICAL NOTE - CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT.

 

(DUFFY) When Mayor Johnson decided to retire their was uncertainty. And if I do decide to retire 3 years down the road their would be uncertainty. If I was hit by a car tomorrow their would be uncertainty. I decided to join Andrew Cuomo in his campaign, yes their is uncertainty but one of the things I feel very confident with is that I have a great relationship with City Council, with President Warren and City Council. And we will work very hard to aleviate that uncertainty as quickly as we can in terms of what would happen. I want to just say one thing, I am the person that when he won the Primary in September of 2005, refused to put a transition team together because we had general election to compete for. I'm not looking beyond anything right now. I've joined a campaign to run with who I hope is going to be the future Governor of New York State, as the Lieutenant Governor candidate. This is a campaign that will not be decided until November. So their will be uncertainty in many different ways, I think we have to manage that.

 

(Julie) AS WE MENTIONED EARLIER IN THE PROGRAM - ONE OF THE BIGGEST UNCERTAINTIES OUT THERE IS THE FUTURE OF MAYORAL CONTROL LEGISLATION NOW THAT BOB DUFFY MIGHT NOT BE LEADING THE CHARGE.  JUST PRIOR TO HIS PRESS CONFERENCE, DUFFY MET WITH VALEDICTORIANS FROM ALL OF THE CITY HIGH SCHOOLS.

 

(DUFFY) These kids to me represent success. And one of the things that I'm most proud of is that these young men and women are all going on to great schools, they represent the success of our school district and that's all that I care about is trying to find ways of great success for our kids. So I still support a governance change. The Attorney General his last official visit here for a press conference downstairs he made his comments on record, I won't repeat them you have them on record where he stood with this. I think now is the time to see will the community carry this forward and make it about the community wanting change, not just one person.

 

(Julie) AS THE COMMUNITY REORGANIZES AROUND THIS ISSUE, AREA STUDENTS ARE EARGERLY AWAITING THE FINAL BELL MARKING THE START OF SUMMER VACATION.   DESPITE STUDIES SHOWING KIDS AREN'T GETTING OUTSIDE AND PLAYING IN THE DIRT ANYMORE, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THEY'LL BE DOING THIS SUMMER AT THE FREEDOM SCHOOL.  THE AFTER SCHOOL AND SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAM HAS STARTED AN EARTHEN ARCHITECTURE PROGRAM.  MORE FROM NEED TO KNOW ROCHESTER'S CARLET CLEARE.

 

(Jurgensen) An Eco-dome is a structure that is a patented process; it's a structure that utilizes polypropylene bags to encapsulate the earth that's on the site.

 

We have the scratch coat which is the first coat, you might put a second scratch coat on to bring out the level...

 

(Carlet) RON JURGENSEN IS THE PROJECT MANAGER AT THIS ECO-DOME TRAINING GROUND ON WEBSTER AVENUE. THE CALIFORNIA NATIVE’S IN ROCHESTER AS PART OF A TEAM OF 24 TRAINERS FROM THE NATION. THE GOAL IS TO TEACH A CREW OF STUDENTS, AND ADULT VOLUNTEERS, HOW TO BUILD HOMES USING DIRT.

 

(Jurgensen) Basically we dug a hole that was 30 by 30 and went down four feet, and utilized that earth -- to act -- to help with the foundation and filling the bags.

 

(Carlet) THE GROUP SHARES THE WORK LOAD. SOME SHOVEL AND SIFT SOIL. OTHER’S FILL THE BAGS WITH A DIRT AND CEMENT MIXTURE. THEN BARBED WIRE IS LAID DOWN INBETWEEN EACH LAYER.

 

(Jabari) It's kind of fun. You just come out here...just work really.

 

(Carlet) JABARI DOS SANTOS HAS BEEN LEARNING THE TRADE OF BUILDING ECO-DOMES SINCE LAST FALL. HE COMES HERE EVERYDAY AFTER SCHOOL. DOS SANTOS SAYS THE EXPERIENCE HAS TAUGHT HIM A LOT ABOUT HIMSELF.

 

(Jabari) I enjoy working with my hands. I never thought I would. I never thought I would be the one to mess with my hands in cars and mechanics or none of that. But actually this does teach me to work with my hands a little bit.

 

(Jurgensen) This is a training exercise. This is to train youth, disenfranchised youth, to give them a way out of poverty. And we train them to be trainer-builders.

 

(Carlet) STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN THE PROJECT ARE PAID. DOS SANTOS SAYS HE MAKES 75 DOLLARS A WEEK, AND COMES HERE AFTER SCHOOL INSTEAD OF PLAYING BASETBALL OR FOOTBALL. JURGENSEN SAYS STUDENTS CAN PUT IN 48 HOURS TO LEARN THE SKILL. BUT THE PROGRAM REQUIRES A HUNDRED-32 HOURS.

 

(Jurgensen) It is a system that is ...you can train people to do, so that they can do it themselves and it does not require an apprenticeship program to utilize that technique.

 

(Carlet) THE HOMES HAVE A KITCHEN, FULL BATH, PLUMBING AND ELECTRIC. AND THEY ARE ENERGY EFFICIENT. JURGENSEN SAYS THE HOMES WOULD CUT A 3 – HUNDRED DOLLAR RG&E BILL DOWN TO 100 BUCKS.

 

(Jurgensen) We're using radiant heat, you facing right now, I’m facing the southern exposure, the two niches that you see here that you are looking at that will have a solar panel in it.

 

(Carlet) EVEN THE FLOORS WILL BE HEATED. THE IDEA TO BUILD THESE EARTHEN HOMES STARTED WHEN THE FREEDOM SCHOOL WANTED TO EXPAND ITS CURRICULUM, AND ADD A GREEN VOCATION. BUT THE PROJECT HAS PROGRESSED. NOW TRAINING IS USED TO HELP IN THE HAITI RELIEF, BY TEACHING HAITIANS HOW TO BUILD THEIR OWN HOMES.

 

(Jurgensen) It will house...provide temporary housing for over 400 people. And it will provide an orphanage school facility, k-12 school facility, a food water and clothing bank, because water is a major probably there. It will provide a community center and a prayer chapel, and it will have a medical clinic.

 

(Carlet) A GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS WENT TO HAITI IN MAY TO START TRAINING. JURGENSEN SAYS ANOTHER GROUP WILL GO AROUND THE BEGINNING OF NEXT MONTH.  VOLUNTEER STEPHANIE GIANFORTI SAYS SHE’S…

 

(Stephanie) Chomping at the bit, we can't wait to get there.

 

(Carlet) SEVERAL ROCHESTER ORGANIZATIONS ARE INTERESTED IN THE GREEN TECHNOLOGY. THE BAOBAB CULTURAL CENTER ON UNIVERSITY AVENUE PLANS TO BUILD A MUSEUM.  AND FREEDOM SCHOOL ON THE NORTH GOODMAN STREET IS IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING THE FIRST EARTHEN CAMPUS IN THE STATE. I’M CARLET CLEARE, FOR NEED TO KNOW ROCHESTER

 

(Julie) IT'S TIME NOW FOR THE BUSINESS SECTION WITH THE DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE.

 

MATT DANEMAN, BUSINESS REPORTER FOR THE DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE JOINS US AGAIN.

 

(Matt) Julie happy Jazz Fest opening weekend.

 

(Julie) That's right it is, it starts this weekend...Friday evening. We are definently on a trend here, we are going to start out this segment with sort of a positive take on the economy.

 

(Matt) Some continuing signs of turnaround in the economy, things are getting a little bit rosier. The Federal Reserve does something called the beige book, which is basically just a survey of economic condidtions around the U.S. And for the first time since December 2007 all 12 sort of Federal Reserve bank districts, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have seen, all simutaniously, some upbeat increasing economic signs. In Western New York, these signs are based on a variety of different factors and different surveys and such, in Western New York they pointed to auto dealers and retail malls seeing turnaround and growth and in sales. The housing market particulary in April was very very strong compared to April of 2009 though a lot of sales and pricing had dropped off in May as the big tax credit...

 

(Julie) Right that expired.

 

(Matt) That expired. But still a lot of hopeful signs that across the U.S. and in the Rochester area we've seen a variety of things such as unemployment rate ticking down, here's some more indicators that maybe maybe we are finally out of the recession. Although their are always these nagging questions whether there's a double dipper recession to be had too.

 

(Julie) Well we'll wait and see.Just to put a little damper on our positive story, the second one bankruptcy for Garlock Sealing Technology.

 

(Matt) Yeah based out of Wayne County, Garlock employs about 700, very big employer there makes sealing products, things of that nature. For a long time in its history a lot of those sealing products and gaskets and things of that nature used asbestos. Major asbestos manufacturers around the country have already gone through the process, Garlock seems to be going through it now which is it's filed a type of a bankruptcy in essance to create a cap on a fund to pay as much as 500 million dollars over the next 10 years on continuing asbestos litigation. The major manufacturers like I said have done this for years and created these funds in these caps. Garlock over the past 30 some years has paid more than a billion dollars in settling asbestos litigation.

 

(Julie) It has been a longstanding thing so what happens to the folks who work at Garlock? And it is such a major employer in Palmyra and in Wayne County.

 

(Matt) Exactly, the sense being this will not directly impact day-to-day operations. They will still pay their employees and pay their bills, business will go on as usual, this is a more of a provision of the tax code that allows them...provision of bankruptcy code that allows them to set aside this particular capped fund without major difficulties and disruptions to work a days business. But right now were not anticipating anything really impacting employees or how they go about their daily operations.

 

(Julie) Alright Mott's still on strike out there.

 

(Matt) Yeah on the flip side of impacting daily operations, another Wayne County sizable employer. Back on May 23rd about 300 hourly workers walked off the job over pay and benefits dispute, still going on and really no end to this in sight. And really both sides have started upping the ante. Mott's...Dr. Pepper, Snapple group which owns Mott's and the factory has brought in people, outside labor to run the plant and is ramping up production. At the other end of the Union in recent days has done picketing outside of other Dr. Pepper, Snapple group plants around the country, obviously trying to sort of bring the bully pulpit to bear on to that company. So you see both sides are really sort of entreching and pushing hard over this kind of issue. And no new talks are planned between the Union and the company in the forseeable future.

 

(Julie) Alright thanks so much for coming in today. MATT DANEMAN, BUSINESS REPORTER FOR THE DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE.  AND I'M JULIE PHILIPP FOR NEED TO KNOW ROCHESTER.  BEFORE WE GO, VIDEOGRAPHER MARTY KAUFMAN TAKES US TO THE TOP OF THE FIRST FEDERAL BUILDING DOWNTOWN WHERE HE CAPTURED BANDING DAY.  THIS IS THE DAY ROCHESTER'S NEW FALCON CHICKS LIVING ON TOP OF TIMES SQUARE WERE PULLED OUT OF THE NEST AND TAGGED SO SCIENTISTS CAN TRACK THEM THROUGHOUT THEIR LIVES.  AND THE CHICKS WERE GIVEN NAMES - JEMISON AND CALLIDORA.  BUT THEIR PARENTS - BEAUTY AND ARCHER WERE NOT TOO HAPPY ABOUT THE WHOLE PROCEDURE.

 

(ANNCR) Previous Need To Know Rochester broadcasts can be seen if you have Time Warner's on demand service. Go to Rochester On Demand channel 111. Then look for WXXI news. There you'll find a selection of recent Need To Know Rochester Programs.

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