Currently, Rochester is experiencing a mixture of wintry precipitation and snow, which is solidifying into icy road conditions as well as slick sidewalks. Furthermore, as ice collects on power lines, they become weighed down and more likely to break. This is causing power outages that could potentially last for days. Therefore, it has generally been advised that Rochester residents prepare heavily for the winter storms, taking into mind not only the road conditions over the course of the storm, but also the items that they will need in order to stay safe at home.
Nonetheless, there are some individuals who will need to hit the road either because they are commuting to work or because they need to go in search of important winter weather supplies. Additionally, the added complication of the COVID-19 pandemic means that lots of people may need to visit the hospital during these winter storms. Waiting for an ambulance may not be as attractive an option as driving.
No matter what your reasons for driving, it’s important to take road conditions extremely seriously. Several inches of snow are expected during the latest winter storm in Rochester, as well as ice and slush. Every year, 1.25 million people die in road crashes. An additional 20 to 50 million people sustain injuries or permanent disabilities as the result of car crashes annually, and the reality is that the likelihood of being in a car crash can significantly rise when you drive during severe weather incidents.
How Can I Prepare for Winter Storms in Rochester?
Your first priority should be avoiding the roads completely. If you have time, make sure that you stock your house with necessary groceries before the storm hits. This is both because many grocery stores will likely close temporarily due to severe weather, and because reaching those that do stay open will be remarkably dangerous during and shortly after a winter storm.
Firstly, make sure that you have everything that you need in order to live for a few days without leaving the house. Make sure that you have food that you can prepare even if your home doesn’t have electricity for a few days, as well as lots of bottled water that can be used to drink and to bathe with if need be. Another thing that you should consider when preparing to avoid driving for a few days is arranging a first aid kit. But of course, you can’t necessarily avoid driving entirely during the winter storm. Therefore, you should also explore safe driving tips in order to ensure that you are as safe as possible, with as little likelihood of running afoul of bad conditions as possible.
What Should I Do to Be Safe When Driving During a Winter Storm?
If you have time to do so, you should first make sure that you have the right winter tires for your vehicle. Not every car is going to work with the most common types of winter tires. For example, in October 2014, there were 43,000 Subaru vehicles sold in the United States. However, not all of those Subarus will necessarily correspond to the same types of winter tires. Having the wrong types of winter tires is as bad as or worse than having no winter tires at all. Winter tires create the kind of traction that will keep your car from sliding on black ice, and in this sense, they’re incredibly important. Additionally, tire chains can further enhance your ability to drive during bad Rochester weather. You should carry them in your car, and when the roads are slick, use them.
Once you’re on the road, you need to make sure that you aren’t driving too quickly. The reality is that driving too quickly can be deadly when the roads are icy, and it’s not worth risking your life. With that in mind, you should also be careful and make sure that you don’t brake too quickly. Both braking and accelerating too quickly can cause your car to slide and spin out over the ice, sending you off the road. Even if you manage to stay on the road and in control of your car, braking and accelerating too quickly on the road can cause your car serious damage.
But then, there is also the possibility that your car will slide over the ice regardless of how careful you are. In that case, you need to make sure that you increase your following distance so that if your car does skid and slide, you have more time to course-correct before you collide into the vehicle in front of you. Keep this rule of thumb in mind: whatever the distance that you keep between yourself and the car ahead of you when you’re driving on dry pavement, you need to multiple that by 10 in order to be safe when driving over ice. You should also avoid trying to pass other cars, as you may be more likely to lose control when you do so. Additionally, passing other cars will put you in closer proximity to them, which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid. If other cars do attempt to pass you, you should very carefully steer towards the shoulder in order to give them more room.
In general, you should avoid driving at night, as this will obscure your vision and make it harder for you to tell when you’re dealing with ice. Additionally, you should check for ice around your windshield wipers. Even if your car’s thermometer reports temperatures above freezing, you shouldn’t trust them overly much.
While driving on these icy roads in Rochester may be hard to avoid, you need to do what you can to stay home. If you do need to drive, stay as careful as possible, and do everything you can to avoid a collision.
The COVID-19 has had far-ranging impacts on all aspects of life and the economy. With schools, restaurants, and gyms closed, perhaps permanently, life has been upended for millions.
Some of the most harrowing effects of this include things like divorce and increased drug use. Studies have shown that those who get regular physical activity are 30 percent less likely to get depression. However, the closure of gyms threatens even folks who would normally be quite active.
This can have cascading effects in all aspects of life, including marriages. Relationships are strained, sometimes leading to divorce in these troubled times.
It is often in the early stages of recovery when people are most likely to relapse. Folks trying to break addiction habits need support to have the best chance possible at staying sober.
However, getting support is complicated in times when people need to stay apart or risk spreading a deadly virus. With divorce up and gyms closed, people are more alone than ever and that poses a significant risk in terms of their odds of recovery.
A survey by The Recovery Village looked at 1,000 adult Americans and how often they were using drugs in the past month. Respondents reported having used alcohol, marijuana, prescription opioids, benzodiazepines like Xanax, cocaine, and prescription stimulants like Adderall.
It wasn’t just that people were using these substances, however. It was that they were using them more. The survey found that 55 percent of people reported using more alcohol in the past month, with 18 percent saying they used “significantly” more, and 36 percent reported increased use of illicit drugs.
Why were people turning to drugs? Over half of survey respondents said it was to deal with stress. Another 39 percent were bored and 32 percent said they were trying to manage mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
All of this adds up to a dangerous situation, especially for recovering addicts. If they are experiencing additional stresses from the COVID-19 pandemic like divorce or financial trouble, they may be even more likely to relapse.
Using Health and Fitness to Combat Addiction
Luckily, there are some places trying to help. The Phoenix is a gym community with locations in 22 states. This gym specifically tries to help recovering addicts build a sober community so that they can stay on the right path and lead better lives.
Of course, this comes with some challenges during the pandemic. Due to restrictions, they are now offering things like live streaming and community challenges in lieu of in-person classes. They have national live streaming events as well as virtual programming based on location.
Even where in-person classes are allowed, they are sticking to regulations regarding social distancing and proper mask-wearing. All of this keeps their members safe while still allowing them to get the community and activity they need to be healthier and stay sober.
They strive to make this affordable by offering membership for the price of 48 hours of sobriety – that’s it. Beyond that, classes will vary in price depending on length, location, activity, and more.
No matter what your circumstances – from drug addiction to divorce to financial trouble – you can find something at the Phoenix to help. Maybe it is rock climbing. Maybe it’s community yoga. Maybe you have a stationary bike at home and can do cycling. The Journal of Public Health found in a study that cycling lowers premature mortality by up to 30 percent and lowers the risk of developing cardio-respiratory diseases by about 40 percent. However you choose to move your body, it can lead to great benefits for both your body and mind.
All of this adds up to a huge community impact. When someone is trying to cope with drug use, it can have a ripple effect in their life and even lead to things like divorce. That can suddenly make everything more complicated and stressful. In fact, more than 10 percent of couples say they divorced due to drinking or drug abuse.
Suddenly, you have to deal with divorce on top of substance abuse. Maybe you have real estate you have to untangle or custody to consider. All of this can be an incredibly heavy burden. It might sound strange to think that a gym could help, but the Phoenix aims to do just that. Those 48 hours of sobriety can start someone down a path that will change their life forever.
The gym has helped nearly 43,000 people in 22 different states try to regain their sobriety and their lives. The Phoenix faces additional challenges thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic but is still moving ahead with its mission through things like online classes and virtual community challenges.
This ability to keep a community together and supportive in tough times is a lifeline for many. Whether their main issue is drug use, divorce, financial trouble, or something else entirely, the Phoenix is a bright spot in a dark time.
Imagine there was a way to do just a little extra work, but to make a huge difference doing it. Gloria Grattan, a local eight year old, has imagined just that and is hoping that you and the rest of Rochester can join in and lend a hand by growing just a little extra in your garden this summer (or gardening for the first time, if you don’t already!).
Temperatures are falling and the Fringe Fest is a distant memory. Well, technically it’s only a few days in the past, but given the rapid change in temperature it feels like a season ago.
This was the fourth year for the First Niagara Fringe Festival, but it was the first time I’d ever attended. I love Rochester and I love going downtown. But to be honest, I generally avoid events where there are lots of people or the potential for traffic congestion. Since I had a press pass, though, I decided to take full advantage of it, and for 10 days I immersed myself in the fun.
And I do mean fun. Here are a few of the highlights from my week at the Fringe…
Back in May, we noted National Nurses Week with a piece on Ida Jane Anderson, New York State’s first registered nurse. John Zicari, a reader from York, Maine, wrote to tell me that he’d been doing some genealogical research on his family from Rochester, and shared a family photo of his great aunt, Katherine Fitzgerald Osborn. She was a nurse at what John had been told was Rochester’s Park Avenue Hospital. There’s no date on the photo but, John says, “She died in 1925 so it is pretty early picture of the facility.”
I love genealogy and especially old photos. But I had to confess: I’d never heard a hospital on Park Ave. Cafes? Yes. Art galleries? Yes. A hospital? No.
But as my grandfather used to say, you learn something new every day…
Driving down East Main Street recently, I spotted the name “Martha Matilda Harper” engraved on a building near the old Beech Nut packaging plant. My interest was piqued, since the building at 1233 East Main Street currently houses Tire Trax sales and service. It turns out that the facility is the former laboratories for Martha Matilda Harper, Inc.
I can’t believe that I’d never heard of Martha Matilda Harper, but we can thank her for just about everything having to do with our modern salon experiences, as well as her groundbreaking business methods that pioneered modern retail franchising…
The First Niagara Fringe Festival is winding down, with just tonight and tomorrow left to check out some of the fun. I’ve been blogging daily on my personal blog about the festival, so hop over there to see everything I’ve been up to this week. But if you’re hitting the festival for the first time this weekend, here are a few things that you can still catch…
The First Niagara Fringe Festival opened this week, with over 500 shows happening at more than two dozen venues over ten days. But the heart of the Fringe is the Spiegelgarden, located at the corner of Main and Gibbs Streets, across from the Eastman Theater. There are shows, artwork, food and more, including the centerpiece Spiegeltent, which is home to the Cabinet of Wonders, Princess Wendy’s Late Night Tease Room, comedian Jamie Lissow, Silent Disco and Brown Bag Disco.
I confess I’ve never been to the Fringe, now in its fourth year, but after I did the Remote Rochester tour this week I just had to go downtown for opening night festivities at the Spiegelgarden. What amazing wonders await you! Here are a few of the things happening at One Fringe Place…
The opening of a medical marijuana dispensary in Kodak’s old Theater on the Ridge at Eastman Business Park has recently been in the news . Columbia Care will turn the leaves, stems and stalks of the cannabis plant into medicine for people with cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, and other neurological conditions. The facility is expected to be up and running this January…
I’ve got a bit of a dilemma reviewing the Remote Rochester event at this year’s First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival. If I tell you too much, I might give away some of the surprises and ruin the experience. If I don’t tell you enough, you may not understand what it’s all about and miss what might be the most fascinating journey you’ll take through the streets of Rochester.
So I need to find a balance. I’ll begin with this question:
Do you trust me?
If there’s a cemetery tour happening in Rochester, you can be sure I’m there. For anyone interested in local history, there’s no better place to find unusual stories and bits of trivia, and I’m fascinated by the history buried all around us.
A few weeks ago, the City of Rochester hosted the annual Genesee River Romance weekend celebrating the Genesee River and its surrounding trail and gorge system. In 2014, I took full advantage of the weekend of events that include tours of the old subway and aqueducts, the Rundel Library, the Falls, and cemeteries. Somehow, I missed the adverts for this year’s event, so I only had time to catch one thing: the tour of Charlotte Cemetery…
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.