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Archive for March, 2009

Green Jobs Philly News #10

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

CITIES GET THEIR GREEN ON” MSN City Guide features Philadelphia urban farms, by Philadelphia freelancer Nicolas Gilewicz

Green Billy Penn, by Kenneth Thomas

Green Billy Penn, © by Kenneth Thomas 2009

ECO-CENTERS FOR PHILADELPHIA proposal by the Day Street Design Collaborative, Kensington.  A delightful introduction to rebuilding Philadelphia.  By Kevin Adams, Rebecca Maule, Guinevere Pascale, illustrations by Kenneth Thomas  

BE YOUR OWN BOSS says the Empowerment Group of Philadelphia   Their Business Resource Center at 2111 N. Front St is open 8am-6pm, Mon-Thurs.  HIRE EACH OTHER!

City of Philadelphia’s new BUSINESS RESOURCE PAGE

14 GRANT REQUESTS posted at Green Jobs Philly  Here’s one for $3,000-$6,000 from Daniel Ferry “I would like to build a green/solar-empowered roof on my building to lessen the severe runoff of the Walnut Hill/Mill Creek corridor, and also make my non-profit building/recording studio energy-neutral. As an experienced contractor I can perform most of the labor (carpentry/plumbing/electric) myself and would need help only in solar installation technique and to cover the cost of materials.” 

Faith Beckford

Faith Beckford

 Love Your Fruits & Vegetables requests $5,000-$15,000 to “put fruit & veggie dispensers into public and private after school programs, libraries and other public meeting places for kids - especially in urban Philadelphia so that kids are not forced to go to the corner store and purchase candy chips and other snack food loaded with artificial sweetners and colors that are so bad for them and does not promote concentration, or mental acuIty. Conduct cooking classes and sustainable workshops for inner city kids.”  See her booth at Go Green Expo. Faith Beckford 


PhilaFEL (Philadelphia Fund for Ecological Living) gathers tax-deductible donations to be distributed for greening of Philadelphia’s lowest-income neighborhoods.  

PHILLY GREEN SERVICES: list yours free


—Pennsylvania’s part of the stimulus includes $258 million for weatherizing low-income houses,  tax credits to $1,500 for moderate income families for windows, roofs, insulation, water heaters, heating and cooling systems. Also, 30% tax credit for solar or small wind systems, no cap.  

Not surprisingly, Philadelphia’s budget request primarily fixes existing grey infrastructure.  On the green side, $34 million is for weatherization of 10,000 homes, and $25 million is for transit-oriented development.  On the greyer side, $100 million is sought to “revitalize” the Market Street Corridor, including the Convention Center.  Again, this is a rough calculation; everyone’s will differ. 
—CITIZEN REACTIONS TO MAYOR’S PROPOSED BUDGET: “The City Budget: Tight Times, Tough Choices”  compiles preferences of 1,700 Philadelphia taxpayers.

Middle Class Task Force in Philadelphia (2/27) chaired by Vice President Biden. Green for All founder Van Jones (author of Green Collar Economy) said, “There should be a moral principle where they say, ‘Let’s green the ghetto first.’”  He added that young people should be encouraged to “put down those handguns and pick up those caulking guns.”
—Of the $786 billion stimulus bill, 11% is for green programs, and just 1/2 billion is for green jobs training (that’s one dollar of every 1,572).
—Therefore, most of the greening of Philadelphia’s economy will not be done by government or corporate investment.  Most will be done by Philadelphians directly, creating businesses and organizations that directly meet our urgent needs for heating, eating and healing.

Federal bill HR 676 would replace health insurance companies with universal coverage.  Such protection would free thousands of Philadelphians from high insurance premiums, lack of medical access, and unpayable illness.  According to advocates, Philadelphia “would save $539 million a year, enough to cover its budget shortfall of $2 billion over 5 years.”  And would enable many to create jobs, including green jobs, doing what we enjoy doing.  


KNIGHT GREEN JOBS TRAINING CENTER will train Philadelphians to weatherize and insulate.  They’ve just received $900,000 of stimulus.

The GREENandSAVE ECO ACADEMY is “dedicated to providing the highest quality training and support services for individuals that want to take part in next level ‘Green’ industries, ranging from high-efficiency homes and offices to emerging energy technologies. All GSEA courses are designed for full and immediate implementation by their graduates so they may begin earning money at once. Equally important are the many opportunities for post-graduation support and continued education. In addition employment in the green collar industry not only offers the chance to earn good money but it also has the built-in, feel-good feature of helping people save money and improving America’s environment.” 

FREE COLLEGE TUITION AT COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF PHILADELPHIA for laid-off workers:  Many community colleges are promoting “encore career” transitions 
—CCP EXPLORING GREEN JOB TRAINING CURRICULA.  Panel for 5/13 “A Time for Change: A Green Economy and Green Jobs”

BIG PICTURE PHILADELPHIA releases kids (grade 7-12) to learn based on their interests and passions.  Their first school is at former Women’s Hospital in East Falls, allied with Eastern University.

NEED INDEED is “connecting the classroom with the community”


NEIGHBORHOOD RADIO Prometheus Radio Project in West Philadelphia has been cheerleading low-power radio for many years.

cheering for new radio voices

cheering for new radio voices

TThey promote radio that’s “an independent community-based collective of creative individuals, committed to airing challenging and nontraditional cultural, educational and news content that will raise awareness and encourage activism around pivotal social and economic justice issues.”

WPEB 88.1FM  covers West Philly “providing a channel for groups, issues, and music that have been overlooked, suppressed or misrepresented by other media.” (the new WYBE) “is a learning channel that believes in the power of community. Many of our programs are created by our members - people like you!”

G-TOWN RADIO “The Sound from Germantown”

PHENND FOR OURSELVES: newsletter provides resources for hands-on service-learning 


GRID MAGAZINE #3 March 09 contributes to Phillly’s grid-unlock; makes clear there are green jobs and green paths ahead.


WIRELESS PHILADELPHIA now “free and available nearly citywide” was “created to transform Philadelphia’s neighborhoods by making high-speed Internet access more available and affordable through Digital Inclusion – the initiative that helps people who are not online gain access with hardware, software, tech support/information, and broadband Internet service, so they can begin to use this technology to improve their educational, employment, health, and life opportunities.” 

 PHILADELPHIA RESOURCE LIST by Philadelphia University.

BIKE STREET JOURNAL ONLINE: the voice of Neighborhood Bikeworks Apply for NBW Summer Camp. or call 215-386-0316.

According to FOX News, Mayor Nutter says Philadelphia was the country’s first capital and will soon be the “green capital.” 2/27/09


 ENERDELPHIA by Rick Mohr offers a directory of local organizations “that focus on renewable energy or energy efficiency. Use it to reduce fossil fuel use; save money; get rebates, tax credits, loans for home energy investments; find classes and workshops; meet local people interested in energy issues; find green energy work.

FIFTY ENERGY STAR BUILDINGS IN PHILADELPHIA : U.S. EPA designates 50 Philadelphia-area buildings in 2008. These are among the nation’s top 25% efficient.  They cost 50 cents less per ft2 to operate than average buildings, consume nearly half the fuel.  Among local awardees: Nazareth Hospital, American College of Physicians. 

PENNSYLVANIA SMALL BUSINESS ENERGY EFFICIENCY GRANT PROGRAM provides 25% matching grant, maximum $25,000, for purchase/installation of energy efficient equipment or processes.  Available to PA businesses with 100 or fewer employees: manufacturers, retailers, service providers, mining, agriculture. (keyword: Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program)  (717) 783-84111 Deadline 5/1


GREENHOUSE PROJECT Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority has invited six applicants to submit proposals for above-ground agriculture projects. RDA intends to allow successful proposers to use land held by RDA for 3-5 or 5-10 years starting this growing season.  

EMERALD STREET URBAN FARM PROJECT being planned for 5 vacant lots on Emerald & Dauphin  in East Kensington. “We have sent letters to the owners and are planning on going to the Housing Authority. We are making the land use ligitimate, developing a business plan, gaining community support, fundraising, building infrastructure and planting in two existing bed.” Help welcome:  

Butterfly weed

Butterfly weed

HUNDREDS OF PHILADELPHIA WEEDS CATALOGED ON WEEDALOG, many of which are edible.  Join the WEEDOBLOG to share your information.

COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE is boosted by Farm to City , which seeks neighborhood distribution sites on behalf of five regional farms.  


Tax deductible donations buy trees, mulch. Checks payable to “Community Health Collaborative” (memo: POP): Philadelphia Orchard Project, c/o Michael Nairn, Treasurer, Box 30931, Philadelphia, PA 19104 or via PayPal

PHILADELPHIA EDIBLE LANDSCAPING BLOG edible landscapes, urban farms, gardens, orchards.



THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER TRAIL will become “the region’s first green transportation corridor for multiple communities, a strong catalyst for economic development, and a critical access point to open space and commuting paths for underserved neighborhoods.”  Nine trail segments will close gaps and add 5 miles. Funding sought:


GREEN JOBS JERSEY: Contact to start an equivalent site there.  Cost: $150 database + $25/month hosting.

PHOTOVOLTAIC FACTORY six miles east of Trenton



3/11 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY AND CONSERVATION WORKSHOP for RETAILERS The Enterprise Center, 4548 Market St.  6-8:30pm, Cost: $20, includes materials & dinner.  “ In today’s economic and social climate, it is more important than ever to be aware of new technology and policy changes that will help your business cut costs and conserve energy. Register  Andrew Toy (215) 243-4101

3/13-15 GO GREEN EXPO  Convention Center, 11 & Arch, Hall B.  Doors open 10am.

3/14  KIDS CLUB VEG-IN for the GREAT AMERICAN MEAT-OUT: a day without eating meat. “In the style of a 60’s Sit-In, we will host a Veg-In, complete with a veggie cooking class and art project. Kids will make their own bandanas to wear at the event and create a group banner promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle. Cooking class with vegan chef Lydia Chaudhry, lunch 11-noon. Art projects noon-1pm.  Whole Foods, 20th. & Callowhill. 215-620-2130

3/16 ABOVE GROUND URBAN AGRICULTURE WORKSHOP urban farming techniques and business planning for urban farmers.  Horticulture Center, Fairmount Park, 8:30am-12:30pm.  Lunch by Penn State Extension 12:30pm.  RSVP ( Above Ground Ag Workshop in subject).

3/16 PRESERVATION MEET-AND-GREET “For those working in historic preservation and related fields– and those who hope to be.” Preservation Alliance Young Friends.  Studio Lounge of Solefood, Loews Hotel, 12th & Mkt, 5-7pm

3/18 FAIR FAIR showcases sustainable and socially responsible Philadelphia businesses and organizations. “Our goal is to encourage our community to be aware of their spending power and to introduce them to services and organizations that are active in unifying the community around healthy ways of living. 10-4, Connelly Center, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Ave, Villanova

3/19 SUSTAINABLE NEIGHBORHOODS 6-8:30pm, Academy of Natural Sciences, panel re: “necessary components of a sustainable neighborhood” “Panel presents inspiring ideas and projects that they are leading in Philadelphia.”  RSVP

3/26 NONPROFIT CAREER FAIR 10am – 2pm. Jake Nevin Fieldhouse Register

3/28 & 29 ELECTRONICS RECYCLING (rain or shine) 11am-3pm, Cedarbrook Middle School, 300 Longfellow Road, Wyncote.  “Televisions, Computers, Monitors, Keyboards, Drives, Cables, Cords, Peripherals, Fax Machines, Scanners, Laptops, Stereo Equipment, Speakers, CD & DVD Players, Telephones, Remote Controls, VCR’s, Projectors,  Digital Cameras, PDAs, Speakers, Radios, Answering Machines, Camcorders, Electric Typewriters, Video Game Systems, Pagers,  Microwaves, Toasters, USB Media, Magnetic Media,Zip Disks, Audio Tapes, Floppy Diskettes, Ink Cartridges, etc.” COST:  $1.00/lb 215.208.1613 “Nothing we collect will be tipped into landfills, incinerated as solid waste, or dumped in developing countries!”

4/02 SOLAR NOW: HOW SOLAR POWER IS FINALLY AFFORDABLE IN PA “ The Solar industry in Pennsylvania, and particularly in the Philadelphia region, is about to boom as a result of the roll-out of two Solar incentive programs.” Academy of Natural Sciences, 5:30–8pm. RSVP  215.694.2104 

4/4 BRIO VIM GRAND OPENING EXTRAVAGANZA pay-what-you-can yoga, 1241 Carpenter St, 6pm-midnight.  



“I am working on two renewable generation projects in Philly that would potentially create over two dozen local green jobs. It might be six months off but I will keep the website and your contact handy. Great work that you do and hopefully everyone appreciates it.”  –Mark Fischer

“Going through last issue’s links, I realized just how easy it can be to get involved.  All along, I have been complaining that I’ve tried to live a greener existence, and I want to, and maybe even find a job to help out, and all these sites pretty much just explained that opportunities have been here all along.  Sitting in the dark, brooding over how stupid it was that a few minutes ago, I removed all the bottle caps from my recycling before I put it out, I checked out the “Green Jobs Philly” site and my room lit up like a fluorescent light bulb. 
—“The fact that GJP links activists with advocates, people who can actually move a project forward, is so interesting to me.  I’ve always seen that big step as the roadblock; that you can get all your little ducks in a row, but if there’s no sign on the road, they’re still going to find cars a threat. There are jobs available that not only help the environment and economy, but the idea that there are even jobs available in the current economy is just about as big a deal.
—“Between Urban Habitat, Green Jobs Philly, and Green for All, there’s enough ways to get involved to shut people like me up forever.  I plan on checking these sites out habitually, in an attempt to put myself out there.  Reaching the end of my college career, I find I’m sporadically hit by a wave of sheer terror, thinking of myself in the working world, possibly stuck behind some desk or counter, frittering my best years away for a crappy paycheck. 
—”I guess there’s always frustration or uplift in either direction.  I could just as easily watch An Inconvenient Truth tomorrow and get all pissed off about air pollution and global warming.  In a fight like this, it pays to be hopeful.  I guess you’d have to be.”  –Justin Klugh

“Great article in City Paper.  Almost missed it - a friend from California forwarded it to me.  Do you have your own listserve you could add me to?  I don’t want to miss anything else!”  –Judy Wicks
—[REPLY]  Green Jobs Philly has a listserve for connecting to action.

“You might recall we spoke about a grass roots effort we are trying to get off the ground at Temple Beth Am in Abington. We are holding our first meeting as a task force.  At the initial meeting we would like to offer some projects that we can jump into immediately  as well as think about projects for the future.
—”Can you pass along any environmental  projects in the Philly area ( or suburbs, there are quite a few impoverished areas in the burbs too) to me that we could jump on board right now?”– Missy Gurmakin
—[REPL.Y]  Within your own neighborhoods you might foster a movement toward Edible Landscaping.  Plants both beautiful and edible.  Extras you’d grow could go to inner city.  See “Edible Landscaping” by Rosalind Creasy
—More generally, you might begin with an inventory among you of greatest concerns and greatest enthusiasms.  You might decide whether you want to do ONE project together or whether you might, in the name of the group, to apply efforts one, two, three together according to interest.  Then bring in more from your congregation to initiatives under way.

“Want to thank you for creating the Green Jobs Philly web site and monthly emails. It is a great resource for what is happening in the city.”  –Andrew Dahlgren

“I read Green Jobs Philly today.  What a great resource– it’s brimming with events and info.  I’m registered for a workshop for Saturday.   Thank you!!”  –Priscilla Molina

“Is a PDF available of your article “Prepare for the Best“?  Wow!  Please send me the link if so.  I’m already passing on your article to others but don’t know how long it will be up.  I’ll see and hear Van Jones speak in Minneapolis tomorrow afternoon as part of a group involved in urban farming and sustainable building practices and materials.  Thank you for nurturing me by getting right down to how we will realize this world for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.”  –Barbara Sarapas
—[REPLY]  The article should be there for quite a while.  It’s available in Spanish

“After reading your article “Prepare for the Best,” with all the wonderful lists of existing organizations and efforts, I am wondering if what I am trying to set up may already be in existence. As chairperson for the Logan Square neighborhood Association (LSNA), I have been contacting other neighborhood “Green Team” chairpersons (NoLibs, Fairmount, etc.) to share information, ideas and efforts and assist in elevating Philadelphia collectively. Thoughts? Suggestions?”  –Michael E. Resnic
—[REPLY] Our neighborhoods need networks of green networkers.  There are indeed hundreds of categories of initiatives that can be taken to clean the environment, promote social justice, and reduce costs of living.
—Your neighborhood comprises some wealthier people, others losing jobs or losing income, and some lower-income people needing lots of help.  Let me know more specifically what you have in mind and I’d steer you to related efforts.


YOUR TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS TO GREEN JOBS PHILLY WILL BE MATCHED BY NEW VOICES FOUNDATION.  Checks to Community Health Collaborative (memo: GJP) 140 W. Sedgwick St, Philadelphia PA 19119.  Thanks!