New stories on the ‘Local’ page


I just finally updated the Local page with my final four RBJ stories. I learned a lot while interning and freelancing for them for a year and a half, about both myself and how the Rochester media world runs itself, and even though it didn’t turn out how I had hoped I am much better for it. Here’s to all the better things in the future, cheers bitches 🍸🍸🍸


Does that make it population control?

Say you can’t have children and are poor. According to the nice people at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Medicaid will not help you.

Despite state law saying,

Insurers are required to cover the diagnosis and treatment of correctable medical conditions and shall not exclude coverage of a condition solely because the medical condition results in infertility. Private, group health insurance plans, issued or delivered in the state of New York providing coverage for hospital care or surgical and medical care are required to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility for patients between the ages of 21 and 44, who have been covered under the policy for at least 12 months. Certain procedures are excluded from this requirement, including IVF, GIFT, ZIFT, reversal of elective sterilization, sex change procedures, cloning, and experimental procedures. Plans that include coverage for prescription drugs must include coverage of drugs approved by FDA for use in diagnosis and treatment of infertility. (New York Consolidated Laws, Insurance, Section 3221(k)(6), Section 4303(s).)”

Say you can’t have children and are rich. No problem, either you have great insurance or can pay out of pocket.

Selling out or buying in?

Is there a difference?

The daily news reporter job did not pan out. I don’t want to say the job was misrepresented at the interview…I will say I didn’t plan on putting 1,500 miles on my car in two weeks.

In the end the commuting was just too much for work I didn’t really want to do in the first place. My reporter dreams were just that, dreams. Being a daily news reporter sounds exciting and I’ve romanticized it all my life, but it’s not what I really want to do. I took the position because it looks good on paper. I want depth, I want time. I want a lot, but mostly I want to not be miserable. I hate coming back to coffee and freelancing, because it feels like giving up, but it’s the only time I have…time.


New Year, new job, new pictures

For anyone who may have glimpsed my angsty rant a few weeks ago this will come as. potentially, good news.

I have a real life reporter job! No, not freelancing, an actually full time gig that is semi-close.
I started at the Batavia Daily News this week as the Orleans county reporter and so many stereotypical reporter things have already happened to me (besides letting my freelance work backup), not finding out about cancelled meetings until I get there, sources not getting back to me, having to stay late because we needed more content, etc. I’m actually pretty excited to cover all the town meetings, local government is pretty damn interesting if you actually pay attention. I say that now, what with it being all new and shiny, but I think it’s still a good and very much needed change, regardless of how it turns out.

I did get a few random pictures this week too, how about that? On my way back to the office from one of my cancelled town meetings I saw a bunch of trucks with blue flashing lights pass me so I pulled a U turn after about a minute when it suddenly dawned on me that I’m a reporter now. Come to find it was some shoddy electrical in an apartment complex and turned out to be nothing, but I still had to wait nearly an hour to find that out. But, I did pull out my camera just in case.


Then, on the night I had to stay late to gather some extra stories, there was this TOTALLY EPIC sunset. Seriously, my pictures don’t do it justice. I took them while I was stopped at a railroad crossing waiting for a blessedly long train to pass.


I think I wrote six stories total for BDN, two for RBJ. Overall, I’d say it was a successful first week.

Suffering, suffocating, impatient, entitled grump

I need an environment that encourages asking uncomfortable questions. I’m tired of writing about local business leaders who won this award or that award for sitting on the board of a charity that barely does anything lasting for the community. I want to find out where the roadblocks are and who put them there. There are big juicy stories in my small town, but even with the internet there is no avenue for them to be effective when those same business leaders have such close relationships with the local media.

Living and working downtown I often see these leaders propped up and lauded regularly while passionate, talented people who truly care about the community are left unheard. Rochester is one of the poorest metropolitan areas in the country, but you would not know that from our newspapers and magazines. Our community development projects have done little to change poverty but have always looked very good (and been very profitable) for the organizations that sponsor them. Plus they make great press coverage, impressive headlines and glitzy photo-ops.

I just feel like I’m losing hope here. It’s being siphoned off by self-congratulating, disconnected wackos. There are good ones of course, and they give me warm fuzzy feelings when I get to talk to them and share their experiences, I just can’t help but feel like they’re too far from the majority. Instead they’re offered up as rare diamonds, ‘Here! This is a great person who does so much real good for the community,’ and it’s just another shiny distraction from the people who are just trying to make more money and/or please their overlords (with more money).

There’s no graceful ending to this post, just a feeling of futility.


The president of a student debt collections agency.

Lisa: How soon after you started the company, did you realize college costs were skyrocketing and how did you have to accommodate for that?

President: How it’s cost… Well, they’ve been… (trails off)

L: They’ve been skyrocketing the whole time?

P: Even compounding, they’ve been going … (trails off again) But if I am not mistaken, I think almost 2% per year for 15 years maybe I haven’t (starts audibly shuffling papers)… I’ll bet you right out of the gate they were … Actually, no, I never studied the numbers right there. Anecdotally, they were going up, but I don’t know what the percentage was. I knew they were going up. Lisa, this is before you were born.

L: Right, yeah.

P: What percentage rate were they going? I don’t know. They’ve been compounding it over 2% per year at least for shifting years or was it 2% or was it greater back then, I don’t know what specific percentage it was, but it’s been compounding, it’s been going up for as long as I had been in business.*

L: Okay. You knew going into it (business).

P: Yes.


L: What community outreach are you involved with personally besides the company?

P: Well, my personal full answer would be those are my personal … Those things that I keep personal, those are my own.

L: Okay.

[Off the record stuff]

P: My travel, I’m involved in my industry association and I’m politically active. My travel keeps me out of town on those associations.

L: Okay.

P: I’m on the financial literacy initiatives from that perspective. I contribute here in terms of treasure, my time and talent is on my national association level.

L: Okay.

P: Those are the three things the time, talent and treasure.

L: Yeah. What’s your day-to-day involvement with the company like?

P: Okay. My day-to-day, well, I have an A class executive team that is also a long time to developing. It’s kind of my foundation like the CN Tower to build more concrete underground and above ground, the foundation.

L: Right.

P: I spend time kind of I share how I think, but I don’t make decisions towards them.

Lisa: Okay.

P: They know what they do and I share what I think. My time is spent looking at what our consumers will look like in the year 2020. How would they want to talk to us? What will our customers be? What will they want? How will their needs change because they will dramatically change? Most of my time is spent looking at other things. I will share how I think with my A team today, but they are paid to make their day-to-day decisions. They know what their responsibilities are. Their job is to get things done.


L: What are some of your hobbies?

P: Well, I’ll tell you I like to read classic inspirational-type books like Horatio Alger stories or Earl Nightingale essays or Dave Barry books which just make me laugh so hard I cry.

L: Okay.

P: I’m also a movie buff.

L:What was the last movie you saw?

P: Cop Car.

L: What are you reading right now?

P: I’m reading … I’m actually rereading Acres of Diamonds**.

*College inflation rates have been rising at an average rate of 7% per year for decades, often double or triple the general inflation rate.

**Excerpt: “I say that you ought to get rich, and it is your duty to get rich … The men who get rich may be the most honest men you find in the community. Let me say here clearly … ninety-eight out of one hundred of the rich men of America are honest. That is why they are rich. That is why they are trusted with money. That is why they carry on great enterprises and find plenty of people to work with them. It is because they are honest men. … I sympathize with the poor, but the number of poor who are to be sympathized with is very small. To sympathize with a man whom God has punished for his sins … is to do wrong. … Let us remember there is not a poor person in the United States who was not made poor by his own shortcomings…”