Fuel Cell

EPA Recognizes Sustainable Communities with Smart Growth Awards

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 12/01/2010 - 12:25.

2010 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

2010 Awards cover

"Well-conceived, effectively implemented environmental protection is good for economic growth… A clean, green, healthy community is a better place to buy a home and raise a family; it’s more competitive in the race to attract new businesses; and it has the foundations it needs for prosperity." – EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, March 8, 2010

In 7th Year, REALNEO.US Surpasses 500K Annual Unique Visitor and 1 Million Annual Page Visit Levels

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 04:15.


Google Analytics Traffic Data for realNEO.us for October 19 - November 18, 2010 (31 days)

Based on Google Analytics of realneo.us traffic, we are now at a level that exceeds 500,000 unique visitors and 1,000,000 page visits per year, and both metrics have been growing steadily for as long as we have tracked our web traffic metrics... so expect realNEO.us to exceed 1 million hits per year forever hereafter. By how much we exceed these metrics, with what growth rate for the future, is up to our members and community who create the content here that now attracts over 1,000,000 reads a year.

THE MONEY BUSINESS - The art museum's new boss gets a crash-course in American arts funding - CleveScene

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 11/04/2010 - 01:11.

It's a toss up to me between my two favorite assets in Cleveland - The Cleveland Orchestra or the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) - so I am always interested in unique perspectives on those worlds. The CMA is especially interesting right now as they near completion of a massive expansion, that is going very well, and they bring a new Director on board - from the Canadian Museum of Art - David Franklin.

In this week's Scene Magazine, Michael Gill offers the most informative and interesting perspectives on recent CMA developments I've seen, with THE MONEY BUSINESS - The art museum's new boss gets a crash-course in American arts funding.

I've had a good feeling about Franklin from all I've read, and this adds to my enthusiasm. He seems like a personable family man who will integrate with and celebrate with the community rather than hover above, as is so often the case with people in such lofty places - we'll be seeing much human interest in this family in the community, and expect people will appreciate the additions to the community - and neighborhoods of Shaker, where the Franklins have settled.

Of interest in Gill's informative reporting are some financials on the museum and it's operations, including - "Its largest and most dependable source of public funding — the cigarette tax — is just a $1.5 million fragment of the museum's $30 million overall budget". As the museum is one of the greatest in the world and one of few that are FREE - YES FREE - I'd say this is one public expenditure worth spending... although I strongly oppose this sin tax. I'd prefer to offer them some SALES TAX, de la MedCon.

I want to thank and acknowledge the tens of thousands of you who volunteered with the Sierra Club and local campaigns

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 11/04/2010 - 00:38.

Sierra Club Post Election 

Last night's election gives way to a Republican Majority in the House of Representatives while Democrats will retain control of the Senate.

This split control of Congress will be a challenge, but we have no intention of ceding America's future to Big Oil.

Do you?

We've worked too hard to turn back now.

I want to thank and acknowledge the tens of thousands of you who volunteered with the Sierra Club and local campaigns across the country. While there were some painful losses, your presence in campaigns across the country bolstered our champions and helped drive our agenda forward.

The question is, which side will the new House Republican Majority choose? Will they bow to the Big Oil and Coal interests who expect a return on their $247 million investment in the elections? Or will they listen to what Americans want: clean energy jobs that will lift our economy up.

Not having to seriously consider alternatives to the dominant ways of doing things is one of the beauties of privilege

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 11/02/2010 - 15:52.

I once told an supposedly "green" friend that in the future he will not get to jet off to India or Brazil if he can afford, as that will not be ecologically responsible. He nearly cried.

Flying Is One of the Worst Things You Can Do for the Environment -- So Why Do So Many Well-Intentioned Folks Do It?

It's not easy being "Green" - that is life... as highlighted here, and provided in full below, from AlterNet:

The trouble with this is that flying is the single most ecologically costly act of individual consumption, one that requires the exploitation of large amounts of environmental and human resources. In a world of deep inequality, it thus also speaks to privilege -- most notably what we might call ecological privilege -- and its ugly flipside, disadvantage.

Moreover, the climate-destabilizing effects of air travel -- per passenger mile -- dwarfs that of other modes because of the enhanced climatic “forcing” it brings about: due to the height at which planes fly combined with the mixture of gases and particles they emit, conventional air travel detrimentally impacts global climate approximately 2.7 times more than that of its carbon emissions alone, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The Senate scrapped the leading bill to curb carbon emissions following opposition from Republicans and coal-state Democrats

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 10/16/2010 - 09:11.

I've learned first-hand how people become environmentalists. They realize they are being polluted, get mad as hell, and do something about it... NIMBY... Not In My Back Yard!

Learning the harm of lead poisoning in my back yard made me an environmentalist against lead poisoning in my community and worldwide.

Learning the harm of pollution from the Arcelor/Mittal Cleveland Works steel mills in my back yard made me an environmentalist against steel production pollution in my community and worldwide.

Learning the harm of pollution from Medical Center Company coal burning in my back yard made me an environmentalist against coal burning in my community and worldwide.

Which has me exploring how big is my back yard... how big is my community?

realNEO Word of the Day: Scheme - [skeem] - Unfavorable overtones (selfish, devious) began to creep in early 18c.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:28.

scheme
   [skeem] noun, verb, schemed, schem·ing.
–noun
1. a plan, design, or program of action to be followed; project.
2. an underhand plot; intrigue.
3. a visionary or impractical project.
4. a body or system of related doctrines, theories, etc.: a scheme of philosophy.
5. any system of correlated things, parts, etc., or the manner of its arrangement.
6. a plan, program, or policy officially adopted and followed, as by a government or business: The company's pension scheme is very successful.
7. an analytical or tabular statement.
8. a diagram, map, or the like.
9. an astrological diagram of the heavens.
–verb (used with object)
10. to devise as a scheme; plan; plot; contrive.
–verb (used without object)
11. to lay schemes; devise plans; plot.

Air pollution may shorten lives in real NEO by 14+ years - reducing power plant pollution will have almost immediate benefits

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 09/10/2010 - 04:32.

 

The chart above shows citizens of Northeast Ohio have the worst level of mortality from coal fired power plants in America - based on an online risk assessment tool accompanying the September 2010 Clean Air Taskforce study The Toll From Coal - An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America’s Dirtiest Energy Source. As the introduction states: "Among all industrial sources of air pollution, none poses greater risks to human health and the environment than coal-fired power plants – perhaps most consequential of all from a public health standpoint – fine particle pollution."

Fine particles are especially dangerous because they can bypass the body’s defensive mechanisms and become lodged deep in the human lung. Indeed, research also indicates that short-term exposures to fine particle pollution is linked to cardiac effects, including increased risk of heart attack. Meanwhile, long-term exposure to fine particle pollution has been shown to increase the risk of death from cardiac and respiratory diseases and lung cancer, resulting in shorter life-expectancy for people living in the most polluted cities compared to people who live in cleaner cities. And although research suggests fine particles reduce the average life span of the general population by a few years, the life of an individual dying as a result of exposure to air pollution may be shortened by 14 years.

The hopeful news for Northeast Ohio in this science is:

Because most fine particle-related deaths are thought to occur within a year or two of exposure, reducing power plant pollution will have almost immediate benefits.

The worst news is, considering the greatest harm to human health comes from fine particle pollution, and Northeast Ohio has many more sources of fine particle pollution than just the 500 major coal power plants considered in the data of this study (think Mittal), it is an understatement to say the air pollution situation in Northeast Ohio is far worse than it appears in this Clean Air Taskforce report, and there Ohio is ranked the second-worst America gets... and the Cleveland-area is the 8th most toxic metropolitan area in the county...

Warn the World About Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown's Family Coal Fired Pollution Factory in University Circle - Disclose MCCO

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 09/05/2010 - 07:34.

I'm starting my deep research into the corruption that is Medical Center Company (MCCO) - Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown's family coal fired pollution factory in University Circle, Cleveland Ohio - and as I search the web for articles about Senator Brown's energy policy, I find good opportunities to educate the world about the harm his family pollution does here.

For example, the Breakthrough Institute has a posting about Senator Brown - The Sherrod Brown Test: Finding Consensus on Climate Policy... If we want to pass policies that will truly catapult the United States into a clean and prosperous energy economy, slash global warming pollution, and make clean energy cheap and abundant, we need to pass the "Sherrod Brown Test." - to which I posted the following clarification for the world:

You should disclose Senator Sherrod Brown's brother Robert Brown is Chairman of the Board of Medical Center Company (MCCO), which is a coal fired steam plant in a poor urban disadvantaged Cleveland neighborhood... burns 44,000 tons of coal a year... pumps over 4,000 tons of pollution into our air (since the 1930s) - all to heat private institutions like Case Western Reserve University (where Robert Brown is Treasurer), University Hospitals, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Museum of Art - and they want a license to burn coal for 5 more years... and want to build an additional coal plant in the same neighborhood... Sherrod is the King of Coal in Ohio.

Here is David Ellison's position on burning coal at MCCO - TOO LITTLE TOO LATE FOR ALL OF US, David. Good Luck.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 09/02/2010 - 18:59.

Susan Miller just sent me County Executive Green Party Candidate David Ellison's written statement to the Federal EPA protesting the burning of coal by Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown's brother (Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz' Brother-in-Law) Robert Brown's Medical Center Company (MCCO), which harms the health of my family and the millions of citizens of Northeast Ohio... spreading death and destruction worldwide.

Is David Ellison the only candidate for County Executive who formally protested the burning of coal at MCCO? That should be easy to determine.

I challenge the other candidates for County Executive... and ALL standing local politicians... to put forth their written positions submitted to the Federal EPA regarding burning coal at the politically-corrupt MCCO plant, in politically-corrupt University Circle, or withdraw from offices and races to represent citizens in government anywhere in the world, for cause (being murder).

What if environmental policy was based on minimum standards of environmental justice - Thou Shall Not Cause Thy Neighbor Cancer!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 08/27/2010 - 07:30.


Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter Headquarters, on the fringe of the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas

A few days after attending the EPA public hearing regarding the renewal of the license for Medical Center Company to continue burning coal in University Circle - which was OPPOSED by representatives of the Sierra Club, Environmental Health Watch, Earth Day Coalition, Women Speak Out For Peace and Justice, and all citizens who testified - I met with Neil Carman, Ph.D., the Clean Air Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, in Austin, Texas, to discuss real NEO air pollution issues, the MCCO licensing situation, and next steps for improving the environment in Northeast Ohio.

Covert Operations: elected politicians as merely “actors playing out a script.”

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 08/25/2010 - 07:26.

Facts prove it is unsafe to live near the Arcelor/Mittal Cleveland Works steel mill, and citizens of Northeast Ohio have reasons to be concerned about 100s of other major toxic pollution point sources in the greater Cleveland area, yet our regional pollution monitoring has been broken since 2003, and is broken today, and citizens and the media do not care at all. How is it possible the people living in one of them most polluted places in America do not care about public health - about their own health? How did citizens here become such nihilists?

Northeast Ohioans must rise up from metal and soot ashes still being spewed upon us by excessively polluting toxic industrial forces that have corrupted local politics and destroyed the region and the lives of those living here... yet leaders and citizens here do not care.

The results of poor leadership, poor management and poor strategies are measured in real econometrics, every day

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 08/14/2010 - 08:12.

As I explain to "outsiders" what obstacles to true economic development we are confronting here in Northeast Ohio, I point to the concluding half of my "Preamble: Real Co-op for Open Food, Information and Community Development 2009", where I explain "you can't manage what you don't measure. Leadership here does not want to be measured.

At that time - February, 2009 - I explained the risk from having poor local leadership was greatest then, as we had just brought into office a wonderful new President, who must stimulate bad local, state, national and global economies... we had tough battles ahead requiring good local footsoldiers, as $ billions in NEW federal funding initiatives was flowing our way.

They raise the stakes, in exploitation of the difficult economic times here, by attempting to corrupt the good will of our new President.

PD Continues... Case Western Reserve University steam plant may wait months for decision about permit renewal

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 08/12/2010 - 06:46.

Mattie Reitman of the Sierra Club standing-up to EPA against MCCO burning coal in University Circle Cleveland Ohio
Mattie Reitman of the Sierra Club standing-up to EPA against MCCO burning coal in University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio

John Funk of the Cleveland Plain Dealer continued his expanding coverage of the dangerous situation in University Circle that is the Medical Center Company. Outlining the timeline below, Funk highlights that "The permit, the facility's first ever, expired in 2003, and authorities have been reviewing the company's renewal application ever since" and "Built in 1932 and expanded with gas boilers as needed, the steam plant is operated by the Medical Center Co., a non-profit corporation whose board of directors represent CWRU and the major institutions that make up University Circle. The plant burns about 40,000 tons of coal per year." At issue is the renewal by the EPA of their permit to continue burning coal for five more years, which is outragous.Public feedback to the EPA is encouraged!

The article is included in entirety below to protect this information for public health and safety...

Case Western Reserve University steam plant may wait months for decision about permit renewal

Billionaires aren't used to being told what to do by citizens - congratulations!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 08/11/2010 - 21:55.

If you wonder why some powerful people in town and their pawns and puppets have been up in arms about realNEO and us bringing MCCO to trial... take a look at these financials (tons of money) and realize MCCO is listed as a Non-Profit Foundation for "Public, Society Benefit – Multipurpose and Other: Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution" and a "Charitable Organization" - which is perverse, as they in fact cause immense public harm and they shouldn't even have this exemption... and should be "For Profit" and Paying Taxes

With 2009 assets of $66 million and annual sales over $33 million, MCCO was gaming another $500 million (according to former East Cleveland Mayor Brewer) in new funding (probably federal money) to build a new COAL facility at Lakeview and Euclid... even bought the land. The Opportunity Corridor is also being discussed - and the public is asked to wait a year before seeing any plans... as MCCO asks for a 5 year coal burning extension to operate as is for $150+ million more in activity - to burn 220,000+ TONS more coal... spew around 25,000 TONS more pollution...

PD Writes: Old-fashioned Ohio coal still being burned at tech-savvy University Circle institutions

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 08/09/2010 - 20:55.

This excellent article on the MCCO coal burning powerplant in University Circle - Old-fashioned Ohio coal still being burned at tech-savvy University Circle institutions - by the Plain Dealer's John Funk speaks for itself... and is truthful to the best of my knowledge... and I learned some important new information. Thank you John Funk!  I've included the entire PD article below in the interest of public safety.

Thank you Mattie and the Sierra Club for making all this happen - love the conclusion... "The solutions are not as forth coming as some might think," Reitman said. "You can't just put up a wind turbine and call it warm." Now to get a timeline in writing from MCCO for all aspects of their planning to move off coal, WITH CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT!

Old-fashioned Ohio coal still being burned at tech-savvy University Circle institutions

John Funk, The Plain Dealer

The tall smokes stacks at the back of the Case Western Reserve University campus belong to the Medical Center Co., a non-profit that has been burning coal for nearly 80 years to heat CWRU and much of University Circle.

After reading your message, I'm concerned about the human impacts of pollution in northeast Ohio.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 08/04/2010 - 13:43.

Daily Air Quality Forecast for Cleveland-Akron-Lorain

Reitman, Mattie <mattie [dot] reitman [at] sierraclub [dot] org> Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 12:13 PM
To: "Carroll, Matthew" <MCarroll [at] city [dot] cleveland [dot] oh [dot] us>
Cc: Norm Roulet <norm [dot] roulet [at] gmail [dot] com>, "Ryan, John (Brown)" <John_Ryan [at] brown [dot] senate [dot] gov>, "pamszoo [at] sbcglobal [dot] net" <pamszoo [at] sbcglobal [dot] net>, "sgreenberg [at] ehw [dot] org" <sgreenberg [at] ehw [dot] org>

Matt, thanks for the update on this issue.  After reading your message, I'm concerned about the human impacts of pollution in northeast Ohio.
 
First and quite simply, I think that it's inadequate to expect networked monitors in a region as large as northeast Ohio to be able to compensate for each other's outages, and that it's a matter of opinion whether high particulate levels are unhealthy only if they persist for a 24-hour period.  I'd say it's downright insensitive to claim otherwise, particularly for those who live in a relatively less polluted area.

Rideshare to Washington DC - leave TONIGHT - return TOMORROW night

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 08/03/2010 - 13:56.
08/04/2010 - 00:00
08/05/2010 - 06:00
Etc/GMT-4

It seems I suddenly need to go to Washington DC to meet with Federal officials about air pollution in Northeast Ohio. As timing is critical, I need to leave tonight and drive - returning tomorrow night. Rather than make the trip alone, wasting all that gas for just one person, I thought I 'd see if anyone else in the realNEO community would like to share a ride to-and-from DC for a day-trip there - we should be there for full business hours... 8am-midnight.

Location

White House, etc. Washington, DC
United States
Phone: unlisted