TheJerseySierran_Polos by chrstphr


									4                                                                                                                        The Jersey Sierran: January-March 2009

COOL CITIES CORNER                                                                         Cool Cities News
Middlesex County                                                                           By Faith Teitelbaum, our Cool Cities co-Coordinator
                                                                                              The Cool Cities Campaign has been hav-       How to Do an Energy Audit and on How
                                                                                           ing a busy time. Our goal this year is to get   to Do A Carbon Inventory, respectively.
Freeholder James Polos                                                                     functioning green teams in every Cool
                                                                                           City in NJ (that’s 80!) We are focusing our
                                                                                           efforts in Monmouth and Ocean counties.
                                                                                                                                               The Shore Group Conservation
                                                                                                                                           Committee hopes to influence towns to
                                                                                                                                           include cleaning up their coastal lakes

discusses Global Warming                                                                      Laura Bagwell and I gave a Cool Cities
                                                                                           presentation to the Monmouth County
                                                                                           Environmental Commission in April. In
                                                                                                                                           into every Cool Cities Climate Action
                                                                                                                                           Plan. We have begun to work on a joint
                                                                                                                                           project between the Urban Coast
                                                                                           July the Monmouth County Board of               Institute at Monmouth University, the
Interviewed by Stefano Crema (                                             Freeholders pledged to reduce green-            Environmental         Partnership         of
                                                                                           house gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by             Monmouth County (environmental
   James Polos says that political action    afford to support all municipalities          2050. The Monmouth County Cool                  commissioners from 14 towns),
to confront global warming reminds him       requesting help. In his view, it would be     Cities Partnership (comprised of mem-           Monmouth University Water Watch and
of the effort to institute recycling in      much more efficient if the state would        bers of the Sierra Club, League of              the Monmouth County Cool Cities
New Jersey. Both initiatives started         let counties deal with individual munici-     Women Voters, Unitarian Church of               Partnership. Our goal is to clean up the
small, but with time gained speed and        palities. Many counties have better rela-     Lincroft, St Mary’s of Colts Neck and The       coastal lakes in New Jersey, starting
public support. Environmental groups         tionships with their municipalities than      Methodist Church of Red Bank) is work-          with our local lakes of Takanassee Lake
went directly to the public, bypassing       the state does. He suggests that the state    ing with the Freeholders to put on              in Long Branch and Deal Lake in Asbury
government, to teach people how              come up with a standardized set of cri-       lunchtime seminars on the environment.          Park. Oct 25 we had over 50 people
important recycling was. As public inter-    teria and designs to allow municipalities     We also held a Saturday joint training at       cleaning up a section of Deal Lake. We
est awakened, local governments started      to avoid customized set ups.                  the County Agricultural building in             eventually want to build rain gardens
supporting recycling.                        Furthermore, with the limited expertise       Freehold on Nov 15, entitled “What is a         and educate the people surrounding the
   At the state level there was initial      available to the individual municipali-       Green Team.” Jim Polos, Freeholder              lakes as to the effects of fertilizers from
support without a mandate for action.        ties, mayors have a hard time determin-       from Middlesex County was our featured          their lawns on the lakes. Then we hope
As the cost of solid waste disposal          ing if the suggestions they receive from      speaker. Another joint training will be         some of these people will form ‘green
increased, the state passed enabling         consultants conform to best practices.        held in January or February entitled            teams’ in their towns.
legislation. A similar thing is happen-         Polos thinks that overworked public        “How to Build a Green Team.”
ing with global warming. Just four           officials might not pay attention to state       In October, Stockton College Prof              For further information on Cool
years ago Polos asked about the possi-       goals unless they are given substantial       Patrick Hossay presented training ses-          Cities go to or con-
bility of Middlesex County’s vehicle         help. He thinks that the 2020 goals out-      sions in Toms River and Point Pleasant on       tact me at
fleet utilizing hybrids and alternative      lined in New Jersey’s Energy Master
fuels. At that time it was difficult even    Plan are reachable with effort, but not
to get information to evaluate the suit-     the loftier 2050 goals. The state should      LETTER TO THE EDITOR
ability of such vehicles. It took several    come up with a series of intermediate
months to obtain a few test vehicles;
then heavy equipment manufacturers
threatened to void warranties if bio-
                                             goals, and provide incentives. There
                                             should be no unfunded mandates.
                                             Communities successful in implement-
                                                                                           Solving the Gasoline Crisis
fuels were used to power them. After         ing green initiatives will be imitated by     By Edward Hannaman ( of our Central Jersey Group
months of testing, Middlesex County          others, under the pressure of their con-
held a forum, which was attended by          stituents. A dozen New Jersey communi-           The obvious short term response to           ny, person or entity as follows: The first
more than 120 people, where results          ties are leading in green initiatives.        the ever-worsening oil crisis is the            would be for the development of an
of the tests were disseminated, and it          It is also important that sustainability   prompt development of a far more fuel-          internal combustion engine capable of
was announced that 10% of the county         plans at the county level mesh with           efficient internal combustion engine.           powering a normal vehicle at 60 mph
fleet would be hybrid.                       plans developed at the community level.       The true, long term solution would be a         with an average of 175 mpg. The second
   That was in 2004 when the price of        Middlesex County is the first in New          plentiful, reliable substitute for oil as an    would be for a suitable replacement
gasoline was $1.78/gal. Not many             Jersey to have developed a county sus-        energy source (one that doesn’t subvert         energy source for vehicles, one which is
municipal officials rushed to buy            tainability plan, thanks to a grant that      the world’s corn crop).                         environmentally friendly, cheap and
hybrids. Then came Al Gore’s movie “An       Sen. Bob Smith helped to get.                    To achieve this I propose a                  renewable. Perhaps someone could
Inconvenient Truth,” and a spike in the         The federal government should also         “Manhattan-type” project/contest to             refine photoelectric cell technology to
cost of fuel, and the phones started ring-   play a part in setting policies and pro-      achieve energy independence. If we can          propel a vehicle, and create highly effi-
ing. Starting in 2007, Middlesex County      viding funding. But Freeholder Polos          spend ten billion dollars a month for the       cient rechargeable batteries to supple-
has been helping communities to inte-        believes that before adding to the exist-     war in Iraq, why can’t we offer that kind       ment power. Perhaps chemical reactions
grate green technologies, from planning      ing tax burden, the federal government        of money to the inventors of a revolution       could be a power source.
solar projects to writing ordinances to      should eliminate unnecessary and ineffi-      in energy technology? How about giving            With this financial incentive one can
promote green buildings.                     cient programs and subsidies.                 one billion dollars to each of ten univer-      imagine that new companies would be
   Polos believes that a major obstacle         Local grassroots efforts alone will not    sities with leading science reputations –       formed by venture capitalists, scientists and
for municipalities has been the bureau-      have the impact needed to solve the           e.g., MIT, Cal Tech, even our own               entrepreneurs to compete for the reward.
cracy associated with Trenton. The sim-      problem of global warming. There are          Rutgers (full disclosure: I’m a graduate!)        Even if the breakthroughs were not
plest of projects requires hiring consul-    commercial and industrial developments        to solve the energy problem?                    achieved quickly, this effort would
tants and engineering firms for cus-         in green energy practices that can only          Then offer two additional “prizes,” of       demonstrate a national conviction to
tomized designs. The state can not           be stimulated by federal incentives.          similar magnitude, to any school, compa-        reject our self-defeating energy paradigm.

Chapter’s Annual Appreciation Day Honors List
                                                                                           our dedicated volunteers, our friends in        Act, A-121, a bill promoting the recycling
                                                                                           Trenton and Washington and our many             of beverage cans and bottles by imposing
                                                                                           members and supporters. Jeff Tittel,            a refundable deposit on the container.
                                                                                           Chapter director, went on to note some          His remarks brought forth the story from
                                                                                           of our recent accomplishments, as well          Congressman Pallone of how, as a stu-
                                                                                           as the challenges that lie ahead.               dent at Middlebury College, he had got
                                                                                             Bernadette Bizer (a Madison High School       his start in politics by working on
                                                                                           sophomore), Club volunteer-of-the-year          Vermont's        Bottle     Bill.     Then
                                                                                           Dave Yennior, and Alan Steinberg (EPA           Assemblywoman Greenstein explained
                                                                                           Region 2 Administrator) received awards.        how she had become a prime sponsor of
                                                                                           Others in attendance were Congressmen           the New Jersey Bill, along with Valerie
                                                                                           Rush Holt (12th CD) and Frank Pallone           Vainieri Huttle (37th AD) and Nilsa Cruz-
                                                                                           (6th CD) and Assemblywoman Linda                Perez (5th AD).
                                                                                           Greenstein (14th AD).                              EPA Administrator Alan Steinberg was
                                                                                             Bernadette Bizer was recognized for           commended for his efforts to clean up
                                                                                           her efforts to build awareness of envi-         the Passaic River, as well as his efforts
                                                                                           ronmental issues among young people.            to limit the harmful impact of New
                                                                                           Bernadette recently organized an envi-          Jersey's Permit Extension Act by send-
                                                                                           ronmentally friendly coffeehouse for            ing a letter to legislators pointing out
                                                                                           teens. Attendees were encouraged to             that some aspects of the proposed legis-
                                                                                           support the environmental movement              lation might well be in violation of fed-
                                                                                           by bringing their own coffee mug to the         eral environmental laws. His efforts
Ken Johanson, Alan Steinberg, Bernadette Bizer, David Yennior, Jeff Tittel. Photo by
Wynn Johanson and Stacey Ayala.
                                                                                           coffeehouse, rather than using a throw-         resulted in amendments that eliminated
                                                                                           away cup, and by making a voluntary             some of the most egregious provisions
  Our annual awards ceremony took            tions of those in attendance, it appears      donation to the New Jersey Chapter.             of the bill.
place in the historic Pretty Brook           that their efforts were successful.           Due in large part to Bernadette's dedica-          Many of our faithful benefactors were
Farmhouse, on the campus of the                 Ken Johanson, Chapter chair,               tion and hard work, the event was a             present, along with the Chapter staff,
Princeton Day School, on November            expressed the Chapter's appreciation          great success.                                  and many volunteer officers of our
16th. Joan and George Denzer did their       and thanks to all those who have helped         Dave Yennior was recognized for lead-         Groups, Sections, and of the Chapter
usual great job in organizing and coordi-    in achieving the Chapter's goals during       ing our campaign to motivate the                itself. The weather was crisply coopera-
nating the event. Based upon the reac-       the year, including our excellent staff,      Legislature to pass the Smart Container         tive, as was a herd of deer just outside.

                 A variety of Club books, notecards, badges and clothing is available from

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