Fiction award goes to Native American writer

The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies at UR has awarded the 2011 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize to author Linda LeGarde Grover for her debut short story collection “The Dance Boots.”

Grover, a professor of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, was presented with the award and $7,500 in prize money on Thursday, Nov. 3. Her story collection, which she read from at the ceremony, describes the struggles of a native North American Ojibwe community in the modern world.

Past winners of the Janet Heidinger Kafka award include Anne Tyler, Ann Patchett and Toni Morrison, all of whom were honored with the award before going on to receive much more widespread recognition.

The award, which specifically goes to an American woman writer whose book-length work has been published in the previous year, is given by the family and friends of Janet Heidinger Kafka, a writer and editor who died in a car accident at 30 years old, in honor of her “high literary standards and personal ideals.”

URMC receives state grant to fight childhood obesity

Dr. Stephen Cook of URMC’s Golisano Children’s Hospital has received a portion of a $4.5 million grant from the state Department of Health to be distributed over five years to nine different regional organizations.

Initial awards, which were announced on Wednesday, Nov. 9, are for $150,000, but recipients can qualify for additional awards up to $500,000. Cook will lead the Finger Lakes Obesity Prevention Learning Collaborative, which is funded solely through state money and will work with pediatric practices in Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Wayne and Seneca counties on this initiative.

Between 2008 and 2010, the rate of obesity in children in prekindergarten, kindergarten, second, fourth, seventh and 10th grades ranged from 13.6 percent in Wayne County to 15 percent in Monroe County to 20 percent in Seneca County, according to the Department of Health.

The grant will allow pediatricians to better target the obesity epidemic by giving practioners and parents valuable skills in combating the behavior of children at risk, according to Cook.

Eastman professor funded to write, explore education

Assistant professor of American studies at the Eastman School of Music Rachel Remmel has been awarded a research grant of $31,920 from the Spencer Foundation, an award that will allow her to spend the 2011-2012 academic year writing a book on the architectual origins of the graded school model used in American schools. The funding will allow her to conduct research  on how the graded school model functions in Boston, Philadelphia and Cincinnati.

Remmel teaches a variety of classes on art history, writing and photography and has presented her work at numerous prestigious national conferences.

The Spencer Foundation works to understand and investigate the ways that education works worldwide and the ways that it can be improved. It has awarded more than $250 million in grants since it was established in 1962.

In Rochester

RGTA moving ahead with $49 million bus terminal

The Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority has approved The Pike Company construction firm to design and build a proposed $49 million bus terminal in downtown Rochester, which has been on the table since 2009 when the Renaissance Square project was abandoned.

Construction on the 26-bay bus station, which will be located on Mortimer Street between North Clinton Avenue, Pleasant Street and St. Paul Boulevard, is slated to begin in May 2012 and conclude in the spring of 2014.

The center was seen by many as a solution to the throngs of traffic and parked buses on Main Street, but ignited controversy last winter because many residents felt that funds could be better used for Rochester’s other pressing problems.

The Pike Company’s contract is currently for $2.79 million. The company will draw final blueprints, according to the RGTA.

Maggie Brooks wins re-election as county executive

Maggie Brooks, incumbent Monroe County Executive, was elected to a third term on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Brooks, a republican, overcame the challenge presented by democratic contender Sandra Frankel, who has been a Brighton supervisor for the past 20 years.

Election results show that she won the position by a nearly 6-1 margin. County-wide, 39 percent of voters are registered democrats and 31 percent are registered republicans.

Brooks, whose campaign focused in large part on job creation and on erecting a stable tax rate, will be the only Monroe County executive in history to commence a third term of office when she is sworn in this January. She is also the first female to ever be elected County Executive in Monroe County.

Buletti is a member of the class of 2013.



Understanding our complicity in white supremacy with Dr. Belew

Dr. Belew reminds us all that understanding our involvement in the perpetuation of white supremacy is the first step in creating social change.

The worst weight-loss advice

You shouldn’t need to go on an extreme diet just to lose weight or feel good about yourself, and a lot of weight-loss advice on the Internet can actually be really toxic — or just flat-out stupid.

Looking towards Starbucks for my gender

I am genderfluid. On days when Emmely becomes an ill-fitting hat, Starbucks is there to save the day.