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City of Rochester Communications Bureau

City of Rochester Communications Bureau

It’s easy to characterize the photonics headquarters dispute as local leaders fighting among themselves. But that’s not really accurate.

On Sibley Building side, you have Mayor Lovely Warren, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman, Rochester Institute of Technology President William Destler, Senator Charles Schumer, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Assemblyman Joseph Morelle and Wegman CEO Danny Wegman.

On the Legacy Tower side, you have Rochester Business Alliance CEO Robert Duffy and a bunch of CEOs whom I referred to in an earlier post as New Rump Group. Certainly, their companies have an impact. But since the average Rochesterian couldn’t name a single one, I would hardly call them “local leaders.” Not to mention, none of these guys has anything to do with this project. At all.

Therefore, it’s way more accurate to say local leaders, many of whom directly worked on the photonics plan, are fighting with Duffy.

It’s even more accurate to say the University of Rochester is fighting SUNY Polytechnic.

Here’s how sources are describing what’s going on: SUNY Poly wasn’t too happy when U of R announced support for the Sibley site. SUNY Poly sees itself as being in charge of photonics project. It claims it is the Department of Defense’s designee and put together Rochester’s winning (secret) application. SUNY Poly teamed up with Duffy to promote Legacy Tower. I’m sure Legacy is a very fine place, but did SUNY Poly even visit Sibley? Does anyone think 25,000 square feet of office space is so important to this project? One of the reasons SUNY Poly wanted Legacy is to stick it to U of R.

Meantime, U of R says it has a seat at the table. (Documents related to governance structure need to be made public ASAP.)

This is about power.

My last blog post, I thought this was about a group of presumptuous businessman trying to hook up a developer and wield influence. I was right that it’s a group of presumptuous businessmen. I was wrong in that it was only about real estate. The events of the last week showed this is bigger than office space.

Except for the head of a quasi-lobbying group, Rochester leaders are aligned. And they’re ready to take on Albany.

(Side note about Danny Wegman: He hasn’t explained why his name was on Duffy’s letter supporting Legacy one day and on another letter supporting Sibley the next day. I asked if he knew his name would be on the Duffy letter, and his reps didn’t answer. See Below.)


Links of the Day:


– Fishkill Prison Inmate Died After Fight With Officers: “Like he was a trampoline, they were jumping on him.”

– Groceries, gas, guns & guitars at North Country store.


66 Responses to Local Leaders Aren’t Fighting

  1. August 18, 2015 at 2:42 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    so it all about the egos . why am I not surprised.

  2. August 18, 2015 at 2:50 pm rochester_veteran responds:

    Actually, Legacy Tower is a beautiful building with a newer infrastructure and a nicer area of downtown, but the announcement took me by surprise as well. From all I’ve read and heard, it seemed like the Sibley Building was a lock. The Sibley Building is beautiful as well, but even though the Liberty Pole bus stop is gone, the N. Clinton Ave side of the Sibley Building can get pretty rough, it’s to be avoided and I used to make a point of walking on the other side of the street to avoid getting hassled.

    • August 18, 2015 at 3:15 pm Brian M responds:

      Nicer area of downtown? You mean in an area that has nothing else there except monolithic single use buildings intended for only 9-5 use.

      It being in Sibley would bring revitalization and actual mixed use to the building and area. It’s an area where workers can be in eyeshot of the East End, and remain in the area to go to the upcoming attractions of the Midtown area. When you’re trying to attract a new generation of workers (Gen Y), they prefer mixed use, less car-centric areas to work in.

      • August 18, 2015 at 3:24 pm Rachel Barnhart responds:

        Legacy is only a stone’s throw from Sibley, but I agree that it’s way more sterile.

      • August 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm rochester_veteran responds:

        Dinosaur and the Rundel Library are right around the corner from Legacy Tower. Washington Square and the Geva is a block away and that area doesn’t have the issues with the bums and toughs that hang around N. Clinton.

        • August 19, 2015 at 10:56 am Brian M. responds:

          “Bums and toughs” are everywhere. If you bring more people into an area – professionals, shoppers, etc – the negative effect of presence of such bums would be reduced by more “eyes on the street,” in the words of Jane Jacobs. This is what an actual city is – not an isolated tower-in-the-park business building with nothing within eyeshot around it, but a place teeming with a mixture of people. The City of Rochester should not be continuously treated like an office complex like it was for decades.

          • August 19, 2015 at 11:20 am rochester_veteran responds:

            Brian, have you ever walked the “gauntlet” next to the Sibley building on North Clinton during the daytime? Ever read the accounts that the women who go to MCC Daemon campus have to put up with from that crowd? Why do you think MCC is moving Daemon to Kodak Office? One of the reasons is student safety concern. That’s not to say it can’t change, but given the objective choice between Sibley’s and Legacy Tower, taking into account infrastructure, location and atmosphere, Legacy is the better choice as it’s move in ready and has everything in place. Sibley’s is still a work in progress.

          • I agree with this absolutely! Until we clean up these clowns around Sibley, it’s not saying much in their favor.

          • August 19, 2015 at 12:05 pm Brian M. responds:

            Picking B&L would just allow the “gauntlet” to continue. Picking Sibley would be changing things there, bringing in a different mix of people. That is the basic logic of how cities work: a constant, dynamic changing of area characteristics, depending entirely on who you bring in.

            Legacy Tower will just contribute further to Rochester’s doldrums, to its overarching characteristic of being a gigantic office complex with gauntlets of annoying people dominating – simply because there is nobody else there!

          • Brian, let’s have people come to a place that’s not very desirable (the gauntlet) to get new jobs and help our city grow. we can tell them, “Yeah, it’s not a very safe place, but hopefully it will get better with time. Maybe.”

            That’s a great sales pitch for Sibley’s.

  3. August 18, 2015 at 3:03 pm Adrian Martin responds:

    I don’t think this is just SUNY Poly trying to stick it to UofR for the hell of it. Looks like this is the opening round in the fight for control over hundreds of millions of dollars. SUNY Poly and UofR both want to control it and both are trying to set a precedent of controlling decision-making by determining where the HQ goes. If SUNY Poly (or UofR) get their way, I bet each side expects that they’ll be able to funnel grant money to their own favored labs/spinoff companies as well.

  4. I still don’t know what is going on. I used to think that the media reported facts. Having these facts, it should be simple to make a conclusion. Who really was awarded the DOD contract? Was it SUNY or was it the U of R? Someone has to be in charge of this project. As best as I can tell, SUNY has been awarded a grant to pursue this research. To assist them, they are locating in Rochester to utilize the resources of the U of R and RIT. Still sounds like SUNY is in charge. You use the term “local leaders”. I would argue that elected officials are NOT local leaders. Instead, most politicians are nothing more than pawns to their political party insiders. I don’t know if we have any true “local leaders”. A true “local leader” would have scolded the main combatants in this tussle and told them to act like grown ups and drop their egos and let SUNY decide for themselves where they think their headquarters should be. Then all parties involved ( I mean those who actually will be involved like the U of R and RIT ) can start to get to work. The politicians need to STAY OUT OF the way. Of course, if we ever get an elected official that has honesty, integrity, common sense, and truly values the success of our community over his own aspirations, then I would welcome a politicians involvement. Sadly Joe Morelle is NOT that guy.

  5. August 18, 2015 at 3:55 pm L.William Marshall responds:

    i have to politely disagree with OAJ ,I think they need to stay out of it because face it what have they really done for us lately. the two D.C. senators only care about NYC. and getting money for them one doesn’t know that others can do as good if not better then she can time to retire and enjoy life locally had one that could have become a leader in albany but bowed to NYC area. so maybe they should stay out of this and let a committee of local talent sit dow with their big boy pants and work something out

  6. All the while 99.9% of Rochestarians could care less.

  7. Both UR and RIT have ties to Sibley and photonics, so it’s logical they want it sited there. However, it’s a long way from ready. Legacy is a turnkey, and they could move in tomorrow. Both have adequate parking, but I think the advantage is to Legacy. Both are beautiful buildings, one old, one new. Where would I want to take visitors? No contest. For the ambiance, not to mention the view, it’s Lagacy hands down.

    • August 19, 2015 at 8:07 am rochester_veteran responds:

      It’s going to be interesting to see how this ends up as SUNY Polytechnic is the DOD’s contract designee and claims that it has the power to make this decision. If that’s the case, the Legacy Tower may be a done deal. As I commented in my intial post to this thread, IMO, Legacy Tower is a beautiful building and as you commented, it’s turnkey, just move in and set up shop and there is stuff around there, Dinosaur and the Rundel Library are right around the corner and Washington Square, the Geva is a block away and it’s a short walk to the War Memorial and Convention Center.

      With that said, I don’t blame Seligman, Morelle and the others for being pissed as SUNY Polytechnic President Alain Kaloyeros acted unilaterally in what’s supposed to be partnership. This is typical BS politics and power-playing, something that can be quite common amongst academic types.

      • August 19, 2015 at 11:48 am Some Guy responds:

        Rent-seekers. ALL of them. Kayaloeros and wife, since 2008, have pulled in $9,340,258.00 — $9.3 million — just from state taxpayers. That is criminal. They don’t work in the private sector, and if they did, their employers (aka, the taxpayers) would own the intellectual property that they underwrote the research and development costs of (and they’d be paid MARKET salaries with MARKET benefits and ZERO tax-exempt pensions).

        Of course, Seligman and Destler don’t want the inconvenient truth exposed that the entire system of publicly-funded research has been so thoroughly corrupted that it’s a foregone conclusion to longtime Smugtown natives that, just like the proverbial wet dream, Rochester’s self-styled illuminati will manage to screw this one up as well. But plenty of them will have their pockets lined in the process, which I contend is the point all along.

        Welfare in its entirety is utterly unconstitutional, counterproductive, and inherently immoral because it is predicated on theft. But even with that said, at least po’ people welfare has at least the possibility of at least some moral good resulting from it (however immoral the act of stealing the resources from those who labored in the first place,and however deleterious the impact on self-sufficiency this engineered culture of dependency causes) — corporate welfare is morally reprehensible to the entire notion of legitimate governance.

        And that practice has been taking this region down for generations, and it’s inherently evil, no matter how much the irresponsible cheerleaders that populate most of the Rochester media industry say to the contrary (not lumping the owner of this blog in with any of that, the Fast Ferry was perhaps the most glaring example of this total abandonment of critical thinking, but it was not the first and will not be the last).

        • So what do you suggest? Tell them not to have it here because someone may make money?

          • August 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm Some Guy responds:

            That if public dollars perform research, that the profits from that research go back into the public treasury, not line the pockets of an insular group of pathological rent-seekers.

            Paying a single government employee, supposedly a “civil servant”, $1.5 million per year, is obscene. There’s a reason these people don’t go to the private sector for this, because they’d be paid MARKET rates with MARKET benefits. It’s pure, unadulterated GREED of the highest echelon government employees, and the taxpayers are the victims.

            http://www.seethroughny.net, Alain E Kaloyeros

            Why people squabble over crumbs that are preordained to go to a precious few that will never include them, rather than ask why so much is being taken from the taxpayers’ pockets in the first place, is the epitome of insanity. If one condones these acts by which government is barely more than the means by which a few consolidate wealth and power, then the entire concept of the rule of law, and the freedom and liberty it exists to protect, are at existential-level threat.

          • So I ask you, do we tell them not to put it here?

          • August 19, 2015 at 4:19 pm Some Guy responds:

            The real question is why people are excited over a Stalinesque economic process returning a pittance in what was originally taken from the people, and how much better off the people would be without the taking occurring in the first place.

            Those dollars don’t belong to SUNY Poly or the UofR or RIT — they belong to the taxpayers, period. These dollars don’t fall out of the sky, they were either taken from people or printed (and devalued the labor and purchasing power of everyone who doesn’t have a license to print dollars). There are better uses for them, and those decisions are the purview of those who earned those dollars honestly, not the aforementioned rent-seeking class.

            “The government is good at one thing. It knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say, ‘See if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk.”

            This region’s stagnant economy and woefully abysmal poverty stats are the result of economic distortions caused by government policy. More of the same is guaranteed continuation of failure.

          • August 19, 2015 at 4:39 pm Adrian Martin responds:

            I have an image of “Some Guy” writing these comments while sitting on a pile of gold bullion in a bunker, cradling a shotgun with a Rand Paul poster on the wall and a dog-eared copy of “Atlas Shrugged” next to his computer.

          • Hey Some Guy, let’s try a simple answer to the question.
            Do we tell them to:
            A) Keep it here
            B) Let another area have it

            Your answer can be as long as one alphabetic symbol which occurs prior to C in the English language alphabet.

          • August 19, 2015 at 9:42 pm rochester_veteran responds:

            Adrian Martin, besides resorting to personal attacks, do you actually have anything of substance to post that refutes the points Some Guy is making? Why should any public employees be enriched at taxpayer expense for the tune of $9,340,258? While I’m happy that Rochester got this Photonics Center, it’s all taxpayer money, OUR money and I can only hope that the investment pays off better than Start-Up New York that created a grand total of 76 jobs last year at the cost of $200 million-plus of taxpayer money, OUR money!

          • This article http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0DE0DD1030F936A25752C0A9619C8B63 is a few years old, but it explains a little bit about the background of Dr. Kaloyeros. He does indeed make a great deal of money. It would seem, however, that he is instrumental in transforming areas into new tech centers. It explains that he is sought after by other states and countries to do for them what he has done for New York. It also explains that he receives royalties for patents he has developed over the years.

            Should he be paid that much? I don’t know. If he is lured away to another university or municipality what will be the impact; will the contact he made follow him away from NY? I don’t know. If his salary were to be cut would he move elsewhere? Probably. Would the projects he worked on and was in the process of working on stay in New York? I don’t know, but I would guess they would not.

            Having the hubs he has helped establish and grow in NY gives New Yorkers jobs; provides a more workers who settle here which adds to sales tax revenue, property tax revenue, income tax revenue, excise tax revenue on items from gasoline to tobacco to liquor. The college system gains notoriety which draws students who would have gone elsewhere and will hopefully establish lives here after graduation at the companies that moved here because of the hub.

            In business, very often the highest paid employee is the top sales person. If he doesn’t sell the product or service, the company won’t need the people to make it or provide it, the people to staff the support function, etc. You can build a great mousetrap, but if there is no one to sell it what good does it do you?

            I’m not defending his salary, just putting it in perspective. Again, are we better with him or without him?

          • August 20, 2015 at 11:20 am Some Guy responds:

            Adrian R Martin,

            Why am I not surprised that an apologist for uncontrolled pork spending — designed to benefit a small elite — has the following c.v.: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adrianrmartin

            Why is it that the only people lobbying for massive expansions of government that do not actually serve any legitimate public interest, are those who collect a paycheck as a result of massive expansions of government, and use government computers to attack individuals who merely question the propriety of such nine-figure pork projects. That’s $1,350 that is not in the pocket of each man, woman, and child in the county (NYers get $0.58 “back” for every dollar in federal taxes paid: http://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/).

          • August 20, 2015 at 11:30 am Some Guy responds:


            $1,350 pays books for 2-3 years for the college freshman daughter of some guy working in a machine shop.
            $1,350 pays for months of groceries for a family of four.
            $1,350 pays a weeks’ wage for the public servant fixing deteriorating bridges.
            $1,350 pays for school clothes and supplies for a family of four for a year, and the accrued credit card debt for the clothes and supplies purchased the year before.
            $1,350 buys two netbooks and a year of high speed internet access for a family that didn’t have it before.
            $1,350 put in a Roth buys $20,000 in retirement purchasing power for a 25 year old working their first job.
            $1,350 pays for a year of insurance co-pays for a diabetic who needs insulin.
            $1,350 pays for the property tax surprise a widow on a defaulted Kodak survivors’ pension and SS gets in the mail because her adult children had to move away to find opportunities for their own families, and cannot help their mother plan the finances when their deceased father always took care of those things.

          • Some Guy,
            I must admit I’m puzzled as to where the amount of $1,350 came from. I didn’t see it anywhere in the earlier strings, but I may have missed it.
            I’m not saying that there are many good uses for $10,800.
            I hear your points of view.
            My simple question deals with the reality of the situation. Given the facts that people (or entities that eventually funnel the money to people) will make a sum of money from this project do you support it coming here or should it go elsewhere?
            Each time I ask this, you respond with what seems like facts or phrases from a book you have read.
            All I want is your honest opinion of whether this project should be here or elsewhere. A one word answer will be sufficient.

          • August 20, 2015 at 12:25 pm Rachel Barnhart responds:

            The money is spelled out in the MOU between Suny and UR. The DoD $15M – only sources privy to that.

          • Thanks Rachel. How does the $15M translate down to $1,350? Was that mentioned here at all?

          • August 20, 2015 at 1:08 pm Some Guy responds:

            Tom, it “costs” $1B in tax receipts to send “back” $600M in pork, and there are ~740,000 people in Monroe County.

            I’m old enough to recall when this was a very prosperous region, not because it was on the DoD gravy train, but because people here worked hard, innovated, employers paid their fair share of taxes for the benefits they received from the public treasury, and sold useful goods and services in the marketplace to people all over the world, and they did all of this without a system predicated on taking things from people against their will.

            In other words, it was not a false prosperity, because there was a measure of INTEGRITY in the system. Integrity and “Pay for Play”/rent-seeking are mutually-exclusive to each other.

          • The government has decided in its wisdom (oxymoron) that it is going to help fund a Photonics Institute. The idea of the Institute is generally regarded a good idea and something that is needed (setting aside costs as a matter of consideration)

            So now, the given is that $600M will be paid by the government. It is going to be built SOMEWHERE. Yes, it may be expensive and we don’t know what the end results will be (Fast Ferry?? I hope not).

            The error of the logic of NY having to pay 1 billion to get back 600 million is that the ratio is historical and not predictive. Look at SC, the lowest state on your list from WalletHub. The return for each $1.00 is $5.38. What would your calculation be if the location were to be changed to SC?

            The answer is that we (NY) would still pay tax because it is based on income, but instead of the state getting Photonics Institute it went to SC our rate of return just dropped further and their rate increased.

            The WalletHub numbers are also lacking needed explanation. The sum of the return for the 50 states is 60.44. Simple logic would lead one to think it should be 50 (dollar in = dollar out) but obviously other calculations play into it.

            So if historically we got back .58 per dollar, and we don’t accept the Institute being located here, our taxes won’t change because that number is based on income, but the federal expenditure will just go elsewhere, leaving us with still less of a return per tax dollar.

            If you want to get a better `return’ for your tax dollar move to Mississippi, New Mexico or North Dakota. Possibly the rate of return is so good because the tax collected is low (because there is less income generated in the state).

          • August 20, 2015 at 4:40 pm Some Guy responds:


            Doesn’t it seem odd that just about all the people who are lobbying for a photonics institute and deem it some latent need, stand to benefit significantly, either financially or politically, from its creation, and don’t stand to lose any “investment” in such an institute because they won’t have any personal assets at stake?

            And I’m sure the WalletHub data assumes a default position of viewing government wisdom as oxymoronic! Sadly, government employees often have every incentive to extract as much in administrative costs as they can possibly get away with, and every incentive to not cut costs. Again, in a free market, cost exist as a restraining factor, because customers ultimately pay 100% of the costs. Take away the customers, like government spending, and all of a sudden, there is no check, no restraint, just decision-making processes that assure an unsustainable future.

            The charts at this link explain the lifecycle of a bureaucracy: http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2015/06/collapse-part-2-nine-dynamics-of-decay.html

            And no one’s saying extrapolating historical data will always be perfect, but take a look at the Bradley, the Joint Strike Fighter, every iteration of ballistic missile defense, the Salon article, etc. and it should be pretty clear that the Pentagon is just like the rest of the government — in that it has the financial responsibility of a ten year-old — just enough sense to know what bankruptcy is, but not enough to avoid ever going there.



            And then there is the matter of just what will the Pentagon do with this low-cost processing power that no longer has cost barriers to mass deployment. My guess is it will put the existing domestic surveillance grid on steroids. Which, to someone employed in such capacity as Adrian Martin whose future earnings depend on such manufactured “need”, would explain their vast apologetics. But to regular folk with sense of patriotic duty that is a function of one’s conscience, there’s very little upside to this. Artificial intelligence that is exponentially less reliant on external power sources and EMF interference/snooping is AI that is that much more likely to drag humanity down rather than lift it up. Follow the money.

        • August 20, 2015 at 5:19 pm Adrian Martin responds:

          Congrats on finding my public LinkedIn webpage. But I’m confused as to why you think my background is some sort of scandal. Most people (including myself) would be proud at going to good universities and then getting a job that helps save lives. It sounds like you’re saying that anyone with a government job is de facto in favor of 100% taxation/spending. That’d surprise many of my coworkers, cops who dislike the welfare state.
          My joke at your expense was based on your little tirade against monetary expansion (printing money). Monetary expansion can be very useful and is not the same thing as devaluing labor. The belief that monetary expansion is evil is closely linked to the belief that we should peg the value of the dollar to the value of gold, which is a crank idea held by Ayn Rand libertarian types. Hence my joke about you sitting on a pile of gold bullion in a bunker.

          • August 21, 2015 at 10:12 am Some Guy responds:

            Government employees on government computers on government time, engaging in political activity, is a huge conflict of interest. The taxpayers are allegedly paying you to “save lives”, so that’s what you should be doing since you seem to actually believe such propaganda, not lobbying to take more of other people’s money. And government employees were never supposed to be the tail wagging the dog. That’s the entire reason the founders did not want to grant the District of Columbia voting rights, they knew what rent-seeking and profiteering was way back in the 1700’s as well.

            And, I’ll bite, just whose lives have you saved, Mr. Keyboard Commando? Oh, right, that’s “classified”. And what corporations were you shilling for working for the Commerce Dept re: Iraq and Afghanistan? Hundreds of thousands of lives may have been lost, and tens of thousands of American troops permanently disfigured, but you and your rubber stamp are what make you some lofty individual with character beyond reproach, right? More and more people are seeing through your BS, with is not even pro-government BS, because government has to exist within the rule of law, and you really exist more in a “Twilight Zone” of constitutionality, so the most accurate description of you would be self-serving, pro-bureaucracy, and anti-Constitution.

            So you send everyone else the bill, and we are expected to pay it, or else. Even though the people never consented to paying such a bill, and certainly aren’t provided with any objective information whatsoever as to whether or not the bill is even legitimate in the first place. That same bias is at issue with Kaloyeros is what renders you totally incapable of rendering any objective view on whether or not other people should continue to be forced, at gunpoint, to pay your salary.

            Your position is not a creation of the free market, and society got by just fine without it from colonial times to the post-9/11 hysteria that expanded government wildly beyond the confines of the Constitution. So I think we’ll get along just fine without it now. But bureaucrats will protect the bureaucracy at all costs, damn the Constitution. Hence why you feel you have to attack any political perspective that questions the necessity of all of these government programs that never existed until very recently. And the people were freer and were not deprived of the standard of living they earned when government wasn’t taking so much to cover the costs of all of these positions of dubious necessity. You could have ten PhD’s from Harvard, and it wouldn’t change a thing that you basically engage in theft-by-proxy for a living. A garbage man or a cashier at Wegmans has infinitely more character than someone like you, and always will, because they actually earn their money by providing valuable services to customers who choose to use their services via their own free will.

            Politicians are put into office by the people who pay for their campaigns. Banks and government employees own the government, and if you were as smart as you claim you are, you’d know that, and grasp the insidious consequences of what happens when necessary checks and balances are obliterated by such, well, RENT-SEEKING.

          • August 21, 2015 at 12:14 pm Adrian Martin responds:

            I’m called a keyboard commando by an anonymous internet troll. Hurtful.

          • August 21, 2015 at 1:37 pm Some Guy responds:

            You’re the one who claimed to save lives for a living, I just know enough to call out that sort of BS from a keyboard commando like you educated so far beyond his intelligence.

            It’s practically a given that when asked for names, dates, and circumstances of all these people you supposedly ‘saved’ and used as the shameless justification for the creation of the position you occupy at public expense, self-preservation instincts will naturally kick in, and the question will remain unanswered.

            There was a letter to the editor at the D&C last month about the absurd overuse of the word ‘hero’, that you’d benefit by reading. Keyboard commando, you’re a thief-by-proxy, and certainly no hero. Your employer’s primary ‘rain-maker’, DHS, was largely architected by a man named Markus Wolfe, former head of the East German Stasi. Chew on that for a while as you lecture the blogosphere on what a patriotic American you are, from your taxpayer-supplied computer…

          • August 21, 2015 at 4:25 pm Adrian Martin responds:

            Never called myself a hero. I help save lives just like a traffic engineer saves lives designing safer roads. My office has nothing to do with DHS, and DHS has nothing to do with Markus Wolf (no “e”, FYI). I’m a city employee, just like the garbageman you strangely think isn’t a govt worker. And the taxpayer did not buy my droid phone. This is my last reply to you as I doubt anyone else following this thread cares about your hysterics.

          • August 22, 2015 at 10:55 am Some Guy responds:

            Most people in the region choose garbage service the same way the choose cell phone service, through free choice, which it is clear is something you appear to have great difficulty understanding.

            What federal agency do you think provided the framework to even create the place you work, those massive privacy-obliterating, audit-trail burning “information-sharing protocols”? So where does a great deal of the government grant money for this originate from, smart guy, the Commerce Dept.? Let alone the physical building, and the subsidized bonds to build it and the datacenter it uses? That was primarily DHS. The exact same DHS that hired former head of the East German Secret Police Markus Wolfe, a man who was tried and convicted for the unlawful detention, coercion, and bodily harm those under his command did to others. How much did the contractor who built the “crime analysis center” contribute to local elected officials to grease the skids for a very lucrative prevailing wage contract?

            But just the fact that an employee of the Rochester Police Department, on government time, and on a government computer, spends the taxpayers’ time they are paying him for, engaging in partisan and hyper ideological personal attacks against people on the internet who merely expressed their opposition to not being robbed further in what is little more than a government extortion racket, shows you’re got some very serious psychological issues. You know the threat an open and honest debate on the constitutional role of government poses to your lifestyle of theft-by-proxy, you just don’t want to give up what appears to be a multi-generational belief that stealing is OK so long as it gets endorsed by 51% of the people who vote, and any discussion of whether or not the charters that created said governments ever delegated such powers to the government that the people themselves do not possess, and therefore, could never legitimately delegate.

            We get it, you want the tax-free taxpayer-guaranteed pension you barely contributed to, the artificially early retirement, the artificially-generous health benefits, the lifetime job security at a salary no one in the private sector would ever pay for such work product because unlike the garbage man, there is no objective value in what you do. No one would willingly pay for your services with their own money, so you have to resort to force or the threat of force to get paid for the job no one would actually pay you to do in the real world.

            So this myopic assertion that you perform some vital public service lacks any objective basis. You’re just a poorer, dumber version of someone like Kaloyeros, another RENT-SEEKER, looking to take by force what they cannot obtain through reason. This needs to be repeated, you use a police department PC in a taxpayer-funded facility to lobby for more government by attacking people who merely don’t want to be robbed any further providing for the PRIVATE interests of those who buy politicians, either directly, or through their union. That’s pretty damn low, and that arrogance might some day cost you the very security clearance your position requires.

            Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

          • Rachel, it would probably be a good idea to have your webmaster preserve this board, as it might just end up being relevant investigating Hatch Act violations by city employees.

          • August 26, 2015 at 5:00 pm Adrian Martin responds:

            Or perhaps retitle this post “local leaders aren’t fighting, but my commenters are”

  8. August 19, 2015 at 10:22 am Monkeytoe responds:

    If SUNY Poly is the designee, and wrote the application that got the project located in Rochester – why are the Rochester people fighting their choice of building? Shouldn’t we show some gratitude?

    Shouldn’t we be happy that it is in Rochester? And – frankly – I could give a damn what the various politicians have to say about it. These are more or less the same people who picked the site for the Rochester Rhino’s stadium, more or less killing off a successful soccer franchise. These are the same people – more or less – who gave us the Fast Ferry and poured millions into High Falls with no return.

    If both UofR and SUNY Poly get 2 members on the board – then who puts other members on the board? It sounds like whoever else is on the board will be making this decision, as SUNY and UofR cancel out each others’ votes.

  9. Enough politics! Close the door and get this settled before we have another absurd fiasco like Renaissance

  10. August 19, 2015 at 4:55 pm rochester_veteran responds:

    Adrian Martin, besides resorting to personal attacks, do you actually have anything of substance to post that refutes the points Some Guy is making? Why should any public employees be enriched at taxpayer expense for the tune of $9,340,258? While I’m happy that Rochester got this Photonics Center, it’s all taxpayer money, OUR money and I can only hope that the investment pays off better than Start-Up New York that created a grand total of 76 jobs last year at the cost of $200 million-plus of taxpayer money, OUR money!

    • August 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm Adrian Martin responds:

      $730k for a public employee is a lot of money but it needs to be compared against what he could make in the private sector. Everyone here is assuming he’d be making less, but it’s possible that he could make a lot more. If you look at his bio, he’s got patents up the wazoo and was running a successful lab. People that do that can make a lot of money.
      It’s pretty much guaranteed that this will be better than that StartUp NY fiasco. It’d be hard to have a worse idea than that one.

      • August 21, 2015 at 9:27 am Some GUy responds:

        Adrian Martin, are you aware that the royalties from patents granted to employees of private corporations while doing work paid for by said corporation, don’t actually go to the employee, they go to the corporation? Didn’t think so.

        And it’s not $730K, it’s $1.5M, as he’s collecting TWO high six-figure government checks.

        • Do you know what the patent was? Was he self-employed when he developed it? Did he develop it using his employer’s work-space and tools or was he on his own? Was the work related to his employment at the time? If you were working for Kodak in the film processing area and developed a children’s board game like Candy Land, Kodak wouldn’t have a claim on the patent.
          Employment contracts are the key.
          Kaloyeros is definitely a genius in demand. He is the founder of SUNY Polytechnic, not just hired help. He brought in over half a billion dollars from a partnership of firms including GE and Lockheed among others.
          He may be an expensive employee, but if he brings in multiples of what he costs, isn’t he worth it?
          Look at his bio. To replace him with his unique talents and vision would be near impossible.

          • August 21, 2015 at 1:14 pm Some Guy responds:

            If he’s actually worth that, he should go get private VC to pay the bills, but he doesn’t, and that’s the crux of the argument — that the private sector doesn’t engage in such pie-in-the-sky schemes to begin with, with grand promises that seem to have an even worse track record of materializing than a COMIDA PILOT agreement.

            And he’s been on the SUNY payroll for almost a decade, so I doubt anything he’s been patenting for 2/3 the life of a patent, is on his time and on his dime. We won’t see a return to real innovation and real entrepreneurship until governments are put back in their place. Borrowing money from China to make the rich richer just isn’t a legitimate function of constitutional government. Adults need to step up and be adults, and say no matter how lofty the mission statement, scientific-sounding buzzwords employed by journalist acting instead as the public relations arm of government, or promises of jobs and mass economic revitalization, and say that the process itself is simply too susceptible to abuse to involve funds taken from the people by government.

          • The private sector doesn’t engage???? Don’t tell GE and Lockheed because they engaged for half a billion.

            By the way, reading through the lengthy e-mail stream, I didn’t see your answer to the multiple choice question.
            Scroll back to August 19 at 4:52 and pick an answer. It can be A or B (which is easier than Rock Paper Scissors since there are fewer choices)

          • August 22, 2015 at 11:02 am Some Guy responds:

            c) None of the above.

            Saying the choice is between getting robbed and the money coming to a rent-seeker in town and being robbed and the money going to a rent-seeker out of town is a false dichotomy. I absolutely want the best for my neighbors, but I also want the best for my fellow countrymen. Oftentimes, that action needs to be in the form of restraint.

          • Since the Photonics Institute will be going SOMEWHERE, and you refuse to face that as reality, I will leave you to your theoretical world. I wish you well.

          • August 23, 2015 at 11:06 am Some Guy responds:


            I’ve heard that before. “Thousands” of fuel cell jobs in Honeoye Falls. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians coming here annually on the Fast Ferry. Ten thousand jobs at the Corning optical fiber R&D and manufacturing facility out by RIT. Downtown being revitalized by High Falls, then Frontier Field, then PaeTec Park. Close to a billion in tax abatements by COMIDA in the last decade alone, and yet few promises kept. These things simply never materialize the way their cheerleaders claim they will (while attacking the skeptics for providing an overdue dose of reality to the pipe dreams). Government dependency isn’t a competent economic revitalization plan, eliminating bloated government bureaucracy and restoring government to a realistic size and scope is the only way to restore balance and create the necessary incentives for sustainable growth.

            But that also means that the region’s #1 employer, governments, will have their employees get hysterical towards any threat to their paycheck. Just observe the speed at which Adrian Martin felt the need, at his taxpayer-funded office and on taxpayer-paid time, to personally attack someone questioning the need for the bloat which he derives a paycheck from. Government operates by and for the government employees, not the people, and they’re hard at work creating every plausible justification for their theft by proxy racket.

            And for the record, if gold isn’t a viable form of money, why did FDR issue Executive Order 6102 and confiscate privately-held gold coins?

  11. Pingback: Second Photonics Institute Planned » The Rochesterian

  12. September 17, 2015 at 11:19 am Monkeytoe responds:

    Looks like B&L (Legacy) won.

  13. [Rachel, I would have cited your employer, if they’d had anything on the subject]


    “Created: 09/28/2015 9:09 PM WHEC.com

    New details have emerged on an investigation into the state’s Buffalo Billion program.

    Prosecutors are looking into how contracts were awarded and whether elected leaders played a role in choosing them.

    Sources tell the New York Times a federal grand jury issued a subpoena for SUNY Polytechnic Institute, which played a key role in administering Governor Cuomo’s program.

    The paper reports that a 2013 request for proposals was written in a way that favored a construction company whose CEO donated thousands of dollars to Cuomo, and disqualified other bidders.”

    How sad that it requires a federal grand jury in a totally different federal court jurisdiction to investigate corruption in the NYS / NY Poly “Buffalo Billion” program that reasonable people recognized was “pay for play” politics all along. The U.S. Attorney for this region is the spouse of the Lt. Governor, so it’s not a surprise these boats are not getting rocked by the guy who swore an oath to uphold the law.

  14. September 29, 2015 at 4:23 pm Some Guy responds:


    “Created: 09/29/2015 3:29 PM WHEC.com

    The State University of New York has hired a Manhattan law firm for up to $1.5 million but so far state officials and the firm aren’t talking about it, or whether it’s related to a federal investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature economic development efforts.

    The state comptroller’s office released a heavily redacted copy of the contract with the firm Kelley Drye and Warren on Tuesday following an open records request from The Associated Press.

    The Park Avenue firm began working for SUNY in July. SUNY Polytechnic Institute has reportedly been subpoenaed in connection with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigation into Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion project, which saw SUNY Polytechnic selected firms to participate in high-tech projects.

    A spokeswoman for the firm declined to comment Tuesday.”

    Any bets on when “Photonics Institute” in Rochester will become the equivalent of “Monorail” in the Simpson’s Springfield?

  15. April 30, 2016 at 2:11 pm Some Guy responds:

    Looks like the U.S. Attorney’s “Buffalo Billion” investigation is picking up steam:


    THe investigation is focusing on top Cumo aide Joseph Percoco, longtime Cuomo family loyalist-turned lobbyist Todd Howe, mega-Cuomo donor and Buffalo developer who got large share of “Buffalo Billion” funds Louis Ciminelli, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute head Alain Kaloyeros.

    I wonder when all the people on this board excusing all the backroom dealing that resulted in the “600 million [yet to surface] dollar” local photonics money laundering scheme, I mean institute, will eat crow.

    • Still waiting for all the starry-eyed naifs who attacked anyone here demonstrating even a hint of skepticism that the highest paid state employee, Alain Kaloyeros, was somehow going to engineer a regional economic turnaround (or even be the spark the initiates one) with more than a half billion in other people’s money, when the primary reason this region remains an economic and cultural backwater is an obscene volume of government involvement in anything and everything that has absolutely nothing to do with legitimate functions of government.

      One has to wonder if it is not a good thing the local photonics spending has barely been a trickle, otherwise local developers, including one who just happened to host a Cuomo fundraiser as investigators were poking around his involvement with the rigged LDC contracts that ripped off taxpayers, might have found themselves squarely in Bharara’s sights.


      “ALBANY – The president of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide were charged Thursday in a sweeping criminal complaint that rocked the state Capitol.

      Alain Kaloyeros, the SUNY Poly president credited with creating the burgeoning nanocenter in Albany, and Joseph Percoco, who was once Cuomo’s closest ally, were among nine people accused in the complaint from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office.

      The complaint outlined an extensive series of bribery and extortion schemes centered on some of the state’s most-prominent construction programs throughout upstate New York.

      There was no immediate comment from Cuomo Thursday morning. Bharara is scheduled to address the media at noon.

      The charges stem from the group’s “roles in two bribery and fraud schemes in connection with the award of hundreds of millions of dollars in New York state contracts and other official state actions,” Bharara’s office said.”

      I posted this just over a year ago, and it is even truer today; most government these days is worse than the mafia, and will lecture or use force without hesitation, and pontificate on the virtuosity of their theft-by-proxy scheme to enrich themselves and their friends:

      “Why people squabble over crumbs that are preordained to go to a precious few that will never include them, rather than ask why so much is being taken from the taxpayers’ pockets in the first place, is the epitome of insanity. If one condones these acts by which government is barely more than the means by which a few consolidate wealth and power, then the entire concept of the rule of law, and the freedom and liberty it exists to protect, are at existential-level threat.”

  16. Pingback: SUNY Poly Folly » The Rochesterian

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