Supporting Whole Foods in Brighton

Here is my presentation I just presented tonight in the open forum in support of the Daniele’s Whole Foods project in Brighton.  It has been three years and many thousands of dollars spent by the Daniele’s in an effort to bring a multi million dollar project to Brighton.

February 28, 2018 Daniele proposal for Whole Foods plaza in Brighton.

Good evening , My name is Mark Anthony, a lifelong Brighton Resident. Our family started the the family business, Anthony Funeral Chapel at 2305 Monroe Ave. in 1952, the year I was born. I live at 2288 Clover Street right behind clover lanes and I support the proposed Whole Foods project

I have three specific topics to address tonight. Change, purpose and leadership

Change. Monroe avenue as we all know is main corridor and a center of influence in Brighton. A gateway to our community and a place where one can find pretty much anything one might need. In my lifetime I have seen it transformed from single family homes to retail and service space and see it continually morphing and adapting as needs change. I see this opportunity with the Daniele’s project exciting and as a needed and welcome change.

One thing that will not change is my avoidance of Monroe ave during different times of day or seasons, and I’m fine with that. There will also be many times that you will find me in Whole Foods as it meets the dietary and nutritional needs so many of us are looking for. I do not see it affecting my life and how I live it because I can adapt, and I welcome the opportunity it brings. I know that I live next to a commercial zone and realize it has its issues but it is one of the main reasons I choose to live here.

Purpose. Development brings new opportunity, taxes and revenues helping support and maintain a strong and viable community. We should want successful business and be supportive of quality projects such as this. The last thing we want are closed storefronts and abandoned buildings that you find in communities that did not find ways to adapt to change. So our purpose is to support commerce, support this family and developers like them who have vision and are willing to work with us. Our purpose is to adapt to change. As a professional who has dedicated his life to helping people adapt to the ultimate change, a death of a loved one, I know there is no way around change, and there is life sustaining growth in change. As the late Wayne Dyer says,

When you change the way you look at the world, the world you look at changes.

Leadership. Albert Einstein once said: Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. As a business owner I know we need to support the leaders that will get us for A to B and also need to support the imaginative leaders, because, everything that exists today, did not exist until it was first imagined, EVERYTHING.

The Daniele family have created successful businesses after successful business. From a modest pizza shop to multiple business ventures today, they have clearly proven their success and provided us significant evidence of creating services that our communities have celebrated and gathered around for years. While it may not be the only reason to approve their project, I really believe that much like other imaginative leaders like the Wegmans, the Wilmot’s, The Eastman’s, The Schlegels, the Bauschs and other successful Rochester families, the Daniele’s want to make our town and city a better place.


But, truly, We all want that, no matter what side we appear to be on, and I believe that.
You as a community representative are in a position where you need to cross every T and dot every I and then listen and listen again to anyone who has an opinion or thought about just about everything. I, commend you and applaud you for your effort, but also feel frustrated and a bit angry for the time and cost you create for our business community. I have known this family for many years and know they will do “whatever it takes” to help the town meet their needs, now it’s time to help them. It is time to acknowledge the imagination, success and good will of this family and provide them with an affirmative position on this project. It is time to lead not just represent. Lead by continuing to be a support to those you represent and lead for purposeful change and growth for our town. But most importantly, lead openly, honestly and authentically. Know one will ever fault you for that.

Thank you.

“Blessings on your journey”

Day 100

Day 100

Exactley 100 days ago I made the commitment to sit down at the computer daily and share an authentic thought, idea, desire, dream etc. in a daily post on my blog.  Twenty six times I posted short excerpts from my book “Living and Dying”  The remaining post’s tackled subjects such as comfort, guns and the NRA, reality, feelings, thoughts on love, making changes, blessings, neutrality, giving thanks, freedom, honor, happiness, joy, hope, creativity, moods, hate and tears to name a few.

I made this commitment to practice authenticity and reveal my thoughts, concerns, dreams and desires to whom ever felt moved to follow along.  While I did the practice of being openly vulnerable and honest, I also stuck in a little hope that it would be a shared journey and one that fostered community, discussion and growth.  After 100 days I feel my wanting it to be something may have created a roadblock for many (including myself).  Often when we want something we close the door to growth and expansion because in some ways we’re saying to the universe, we dont have it to begin with.  I also know that sometimes the work being done can’t be seen or isn’t meant to be seen.  I’m a little caught up in seeing results, and I know better. I’m also very sensitive to the idea of being alone, and often feel like I am.  Perhaps my biggest fault and in many ways my greatest gift is my intense and sincere desire to make the world a better place.  So, bear with me on the next 100 days and for those of you who have joined me on this journey, Thank YOU!

More to come!

”Blessings on your journey”



Day 99

Comfort is a shelter, a warm blanket, a refuge. Fortunately, we do not need to do anything extraordinary to produce comfort, because it is something that already exists within each of us and all around us. Real comfort can be found in the context of daily living.  It is a grace. We just need to open our arms and receive it. We just need to open our arms and give it.

Friday night I had the privilege of being in the comforting presence of singer-songwriter Chris Wilson.  Chris was playing in a small bistro in the Mirror Lake Inn, in Lake Placid, NY.  It is a beautiful and intimate venue that he has the privilege and pleasure of playing at many times a year.

While we sat and listened to Chris, it was easy to see how his songs and music produce a refuge, a shelter that resonates in the hearts and soul of all who hear him. During a break, I asked him how he perceives song writing to be and how he goes about it. His immediate response was you take what is within you, in your heart and put it out there. He went on to say, any of us can write great words or make it sound like the Rolling Stones but the  real comfort, the real beauty, comes from within each of our hearts and souls.

The opportunity for all of us in the message today is, we all have a song inside of us to give. Much like the line above, We just need to open our arms and give it.

What song will we write today?

”Blessings on your journey”


Day 98 – From my book “Living and Dying”

The energy associated with emotion is very strong and one that can be very difficult to embrace. It will cause us to move out of our comfort zone, and it will challenge us to what feels like a breaking point. It will feel large, in charge, and scary at times, but it has its purpose. It is there to move us toward something new. It is there to make us choose. It is there for our own good, to shock us out of our old patterns. It is there to be embraced and it will move us towards love. The dilemma in all of this is that we have a choice.

In the many years I devoted to limiting emotion in my life, I was in a constant war with myself. In my new experience of embracing and choosing emotion (e=motion) I have blossomed to do many new things and have grown in many ways. It has been challenging, and I do fall off course. But if I were to have to do it over again, I would choose the course of energy and motion.

I have always loved the quote “When in life have you learned the most, when everything was easy or when you were most challenged?” In my experience, all of my major growth has taken place in change and movement from one place to another. Perhaps that is why I chose funeral service. Is there any other experience that challenges us to move from one place to another that is more profound? I think not.

”Blessings on your journey”

Can you smell the spring?

Day 97 – from my book “Living and Dying”

As I look around the field of experience and energy in the world, I see movement towards a new and exciting place. It brings with it feelings of trepidation but underlying our fear, I sense a feeling of hope. It is as if our place in the world has moved a little because it may feel a little odd and strange.

It is a gray and rainy day where I sit today. The trees are just beginning to bud, and you can feel and smell that Spring is here. The birds wake me up each morning, and I watch their excitement and exuberance at the feeder. Any day now, life will burst through the binding that holds it and bring with it a new expression of the same life that has always been there, always connected but hidden from our view through the winter months. I remember last year, and the years before, where I had the same feelings and thoughts, yet I hope that somehow today I will grow and blossom into a better place.

While my view of the world outside reflects the darkness in my mind and darkness in the world around me, I know that if I can find a new thought to hang on to, a new place of hope, a hopeful connection, perhaps I can escape from the damp and dreary hole of self despair. You see, it is the memory of new life that highlights my connection with despair, and I need to remind myself that it is only a thought, a memory of the past. If I can change my thought, I can change my world. When I look out into the world today I can choose to see only new life. I will choose not to accept the memory of despair, because that is not what is real for me today. It is only a trap of my mind, a memory of the past.

”Blessings on your journey”

Today in the news

Day 96

I Just listened to Wayne LaPierre the head of the NRA speak on the news.  It is hard these days to not question everything one person says and today is no different.  The past few days guns and their laws have been a hot topic in the press.  Hearing from family’s in pain, school representatives, students, politicians, clergy, law enforcement, the list goes on, and its the same list every time there’s a crisis. I believe this debate will continue and there probably will be a few changes that should or could be added to the current laws.

Wayne LaPierre said many interesting things today that resonated with me.  He commented as he always does on the 2nd amendment, the right to bear arms.  As a conservative American and one who would do anything to protect my family from any evil, it caused a physical and emotional reaction within me.  While I am not currently a gun owner, I could sense a strong and real connection with my forefathers, the ones who created this protection in the amendment to our Constitution . It also made me realize that while I have this connection with my forefathers through our family heritage of hundreds of years, there are many living here that do not feel or have that (perhaps that is what fueled Trumps win last year).  While I would love to live in a world that does not require or need protection, I don’t feel I’m going to experience that in my lifetime.

He advocated for better enforcement of the current gun laws, which he feels is not being done to the extent of the law. He also advocated for having guns present in the hands of well trained individuals in currently banned school zones. His argument was the only thing to stop a gun in the hands of a bad guy was a gun in the hands of a good guy.  Now, while that idea makes me shutter just a little bit, he said if not, take the guns out of the White House, the Capital, the stadiums and public areas and from the entertainers and those who pay for that protection.  Interesting thoughts.

The conversation will continue with the intent of keeping our loved ones safe. But, maybe the conversation isn’t about guns at all, but more importantly about changing what our country wants to be and believe in. I send all my love to those affected by the series of events that have rocked our world this week and in the pastweeks and months.

“Blessings on your journey”

Three things!

Day 95

1. There will always be factors and people that we cannot control; how we respond can determine the quality of our lives.

2.  There’s always more than one right answer, path, possibility, nuance, or flavor – so insist upon none.  Insisting on details, always limits you.

No matter how good we are at controlling our circumstances, there will always be factors and people that we cannot control. How we respond to these experiences to a great degree determines the quality of our lives.  Life can be and is designed to be meaningful, fullfilling, joyous, purposeful, peaceful, loving, etc. (add your adjectives here).  While at times we are challenged and feel broken do not be dismayed.

3. Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.   L.R. KNOST

”Blessings on your journey”