Commission advances fracking moratorium 

No more free ride Funding jolt for city EV stations. Brooks, Slaughter weigh in on lake levels. Rochester's grad rate falls again.

The City of Rochester's Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that City Council pass a one-year moratorium on natural gas exploration and extraction within city limits. City Council will consider the moratorium at its June 19 meeting.

University of Rochester faculty and staff lost a significant financial benefit: free tuition for their children. Starting in 2013, children of UR employees will pay about $5,600 annually, which is still a significant savings. Regular tuition is about $43,000 annually.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority awarded the City of Rochester $228,000 toward the installation of 24 electric vehicle charging stations. The stations will be installed at City Hall, the Port of Rochester, the Public Market, and some public parking garages.

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said she opposes a new International Joint Commission proposal for regulating water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The plan would cause millions of dollars in damages for property owners and recreational boaters and will impact Monroe County Water Authority facilities, she said. Congress member Louise Slaughter, who represents a long stretch of Lake Ontario shore, urged the IJC and state officials to meet with shoreline property owners and consider their input. In the past, she's pushed for a flooding and erosion mitigation plan to accompany any new lake levels plan.

The graduation rate for the Rochester school district dropped from 46.1 percent in 2010 to 45.5 percent in 2011, says the New York State Education Department. If students who completed the requirements in August are included, the rate increases to 49 percent. Superintendent Bolgen Vargas puts some of the blame on low attendance and truancy.

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