What's New at the Alliance
What a year it's been! Though you may not have heard a whole lot from the Alliance lately, we've certainly been keeping busy. Last year, the Alliance coordinated the Energy Independent Communities Pilot Project for the Chequamegon Bay Region, and now we're on to the next step- using the information we gathered to create an action plan for regional energy independence! If you're interested in being a part of this monumental undertaking, please contact us to volunteer! 715-682-1189
In other exciting news, the Alliance for Sustainability has opened a new office! Of course, we are eternally grateful to the City of Ashland for providing space for us in the past, which has been instrumental in our work over the last few years. That being said, we're very excited about our new office space, located at 208 Third Avenue East in Ashland. Stop by and see us sometime or just keep your eyes peeled for our Open House later this summer!
The Alliance will also be organizing a series of study circles focused on RE-LOCALIZING- food, energy, and the economy. For more information, check out the Transition movement by clicking on the link on the right sidebar. If you'd like to host a study circle or just join in, contact the Alliance at 715-682-1189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In collaboration with Northland College students, the Alliance for Sustainability recently hosted an event at the Soo Line Depot in Ashland to bring attention to some of the more sustainable transportation options available in the area. Proud local owners and businesses brought their hybrids, electric, biodiesel and flex fuel vehicles to show off, and volunteers from the Sunshine Community Bike Shoppe provided free bike tune-ups on site. They also collected over a dozen used bikes that will be refurbished and redistributed for use in the community. We'd like to give a special thanks to all of the volunteers and contributors who made this event possible! THANK YOU!!
Bay Area Rural Transit (BART) was also on site, distributing passes for free rides on the bus. In coming weeks, BART will be adding a hybrid bus to their fleet for use on the City of Ashland's dedicated route. This new BART bus will get about double the gas mileage of the bus currently in operation. Help conserve even more energy by riding the BART bus today! Call 682-9664 to get on board! You can also check the BART schedule and rates by visiting the link on the right sidebar.
Fun with Northland College's industrial tricycle. The big trike is used to collect compost on campus.
Tom Galazen shows off his electric tractor, which is charged by solar and wind energy.
Save the Date! Pie & Politics - June 24, 2010 at Big Top Chautauqua
It's coming fast! The 14th Annual Pie & Politics is just around the corner, and this year's celebration is shaping up to be a fantastic event! Of course, we'll have the unbeatable Local Foods Picnic ($15/person) and free, delicious pie following the presentation. This year's featured speaker will be David Morris of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
David Morris has been recognized as one of the most enlightened, energetic, and thoughtful
speakers on the future of America. He believes that rural America
provides the economic backbone of the country, and he co-founded the Minneapolis and Washington, D.C-based
Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR) in 1974.
David has been an adviser on energy to four U.S. Presidents and is a nationally
known expert on ethanol, wind-generated power, and electric vehicles. A syndicated columnist and author of more
than 200 books and articles, he is listed by The Utne Reader as one of
the top 100 visionaries in America. Bill Moyers calls him one of the nation’s
most innovative thinkers. His articles
have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, LA
Times and the Smithsonian magazine. He
appears regularly on TV and radio shows, including All Things Considered, NBC’s
TODAY show, The O’Reilly Factor, and CNN Financial News. For more information, visit the Institute for Local Self-Reliance by clicking on the link on the right sidebar.
This year’s event will focus on examining the ways we can relocalize our economy in the Chequamegon Bay region. Mark the date on your calendar now and make sure you don't miss this event!
Are we keeping PACE with renewable energy trends?
In the past couple of years, communities all around the country have been trying to develop ways to reduce overall energy consumption and increase the use of renewable energy sources. There are a few new ideas that may increase the incentives and help reduce the often prohibitive up-front costs of home energy retrofits. One of these innovative methods (already legal in Wisconsin as of May 2009) is called PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy.
PACE is a financing mechanism that allows individual homeowners to opt-in for an opportunity to invest in home energy retrofits through a line-item on their property tax bill. This means that only those taking advantage of the program have to pay for it, even though it will work like most other special assessments on a tax bill. Once a fund is established, homeowners can borrow money from their local or county government (at low interest rates) to upgrade efficiency and install renewable energy systems on their property. The amount of money homeowners save on their energy bills is more than the annual payment they make to cover the cost of the upgrades. Don't know where you'll live in five years? No problem! Since the payment is tied to the property, government funds are protected from risk of foreclosure, and any remaining payments transfer to the new property owners (along with the upgrades) if a home is sold. For more information about PACE initiatives, visit the PACE NOW link on the right sidebar.
If you'd like to provide input or get involved in setting up a PACE program in our area, contact the Alliance at 715-682-1189.
Clean Energy Jobs
Act - Last Chance to Pass on 40th Anniversary of Earth Day! CONTACT YOUR
Madison, Wis. – Wisconsin’s largest environmental advocacy organization
is asking Wisconsin legislators not to kill the Clean Energy Jobs Act
on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
“The Clean Energy Jobs Act is the most important clean energy bill
we’ve seen in Wisconsin since the first Earth Day 40 years ago,” said
Keith Reopelle, senior policy director at Clean Wisconsin. “Today we’re
asking Wisconsin legislators to embrace the spirit of Earth Day and
mark this special occasion by passing this vital legislation.”
The bill, designed to create jobs and clean our environment by
increasing Wisconsin’s commitment to renewable energy and energy
efficiency, is scheduled to be voted on in the Assembly on Thursday.
Despite recent studies showing that the bill would create over
15,000 jobs in the state and save homeowners and businesses billions of
dollars on electricity bills, Senate leadership now appears poised to
kill the bill by not bringing it to a vote on the final day of the
legislative session tomorrow, April 22nd – the 40th anniversary of
“Killing the most important clean energy bill in the state’s history
is no way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day,” said
Reopelle. “We hope that our legislators realize that to do so would be a
Earth Day is celebrated across the planet but holds deep roots in
Wisconsin. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the first event
which was held on April 22, 1970. The late Senator Nelson’s daughter,
Tia Nelson, said her father would be calling on Wisconsin legislators
to continue Wisconsin’s history of environmental leadership and pass
the Clean Energy Jobs Act on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
“Papa would ask our legislators to support this important bill that
protects the environment and promotes energy independence,” Nelson said
of her father. “On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, our legislators
should be working to strengthen our commitment to renewable energy.”