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Archive for May, 2010

Green Jobs Philly News #19

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

is sent monthly to 6,645 Philadelphia residents. Subscribe or Unsubscribe:

Gavin DiRusso & friend

Gavin DiRusso & friend

Enroll with Green Jobs Philly, like Gavin DiRusso“I want to stay involved in the green building field. I have an affinity towards green roofs because of my experience and hands-on work style, but I am open to anything. I am a self starter and work very well with others. I pride myself in taking on challenges and learning new things. I want a career that can benefit from a non-conformist and has the passion and drive to lead their industry.”


All skills can be adapted for the green economy.  From accounting to zymurgy, from GED to PhD, people are creating new jobs providing goods and services that cost less and clean the environment.  Take these steps:
* LEARN GREEN: read current and back issues of Green Jobs Philly News.  These link you to hundreds of Philadelphia initiatives.  Google “green Jobs” + philadelphia
* MEET GREEN: visit the events (see below) to meet others seeking work or hiring.


Fishtown Collage

Fishtown Collage

”It’s been really nice dedicating a day to take pictures of each part of the city, trying the figure out the vibe, and create it through these collages [at right and below]. I’ve gotten an amazing response to them. People in Philadelphia love their neighborhoods. Each one of them is so unique. It’s been great to watch people pick out recognizable buildings/murals/statues in their specific neighborhood collage. That’s the whole point I guess, to bring some sort of joy and pride to the lovely citizens of this city.” Shana Hostetter
—She is applying to grad schools for either Sustainable Design or Landscape Architecture with an emphasis on sustainability.

[The] “Green Jobs Philly newsletter has galvanized the local green scene, connecting skilled people with positions and serving as a bulletin board for all kinds of sustainability info.”  –Philadelphia Daily News, 4/21/10.  Find us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER


WORK READY PHILADELPHIA “provides academic enrichment, career and college preparation and access to the growth economy for thousands of young people each year.”



Philadelphia has lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs. Green factories can restore our industrial prominence. These can be organized and run by workers, solar-powered for health and quiet, producing all the useful goods we need for a much better American Way.
—By decentralizing industries to neighborhood control, products can be made with pride and skill, by those with least formal education.  Production schedules and product design could suit local resources.  Recycling processes could be developed for all materials.
—Operating expenses and living costs are reduced by interneighborhood exchange of such goods as tools, pottery, bikes, glassware, clothing, solar equipment and furniture.
—Industry has been the noisiest and ugliest part of cities.  By rescaling and soundproofing industries for neighborhood life, they can blend with urban beauty.
—Philadelphia can learn to luxuriate in the necessities before the necessities become luxuries.  In societies whose goods are crafted more is appreciated, less is consumed.  This kind of priority gives us a short work day amid pastimes worthy -of leisure: romping, playing, sunbathing, musicmaking, storytelling, meditation, inventing, dancing, exploring, exercising, learning.
—Such an industrial base thrives on peace rather than war.  Relying on regional raw materials makes us independent of foreign supplies, ending the competition for these which has caused most war.
—Here are examples:

South Philly Collage

South Philly Collage

WATER: Rainwater barrels (filters, valves); Carousel biodigester ( fiberglass recycled plastic, nuts & bolts & bearings, pvc substitute, shovels and carts); green roof understories (drains, flashing, sealant, microfab, sopradrain); Depaving (recycling machines, grinders, pickaxes).
TRANSIT: Cargo bicycles and carriers (frames, chains, cables and sheathing, panniers); Bikepaths (aving, shade arbors, rest areas and fountains); Walkways (mosaic: tile, glazing, kiln, shade arbors, rest areas and fountains); Ultralight rail (steel, alloys, woodwork stations & cars, stained glass, electric motors, ironwork, access ramps.  ENERGY: Insulation (newsprint, fly ash, boron, weatherstripping, caulk); Solar electric arrays, Solar hot water (glazing, boxes (metal, wood); Thermal windows (glazing, frames, argon); Windowbox heat grabbers.  FOOD: Greenhouses (glazing, framing, tubing, misters); Cultivators, Mulchers, Irrigation, drip (tubing, valves); Orchardry (pruning shears, shovels); Processing (bottles, jars, buckets, cookers, canners, dehydrators).  HEALTH: Swabs, recyclable Surgical tools.  HOUSING: Cement, Rebar, Lumber, recycled.  CLOTHING: Sewing machines, Threads, Cloth, Tires (recycled for shoes).  HOUSEWARES: Clay, Ceramics, Wood, Steatite.  FINANCE: Treefree paper (local currency), Ceramic (local coins).  ARTS: Musical instruments (strings, percussion, winds); Stained glass, Paint, tree free, theatre settings,costumes).  RECREATION: game balls.  COMMUNICATIONS: radio, internet




PHILADELPHIA COOL ROOF LAW requires all new construction in the City to use highly reflective roofing materials that meet or exceed Energy Star cool roof standards.  Cool roofs deflect the sun’s light and heat, reducing indoor temperature on hot days, extending the life of the roof, and reducing the outdoor air temperature of the surrounding area.

Local book, Local author, Local hope

Local book, Local author, Local hope

BOOK REVIEW: Release the Prophetic Destiny in Philadelphia: A City Under Reconstruction. Literally preaching the gospel of green jobs, Maurine McFarlane raises a scriptural and practical call to fix Philadelphia.  She declares that everyone, of all faiths and income, needs to repent of  greed.  Then, she says, we can rebuild our city by restoring the jobs that globalization took away.  This will heal our fatherless families, from which much crime rises.  To create these jobs she prescribes energy efficiency, tree planting, microfinance, CDCs, smart growth, and legisation to promote them.  She emphasizes the need to rely on local resources and talents as much as possible.  Our greatest local resource?  Philadelphia’s poor (24% of us) are essential partners.  Ending poverty here is both a moral imperative and practical necessity.  Philadelphia cannot become a green city without becoming a just city.

DECONSTRUCTION vs DEMOLITION: Los Altos Hills, California offers free, fast track permits for disassembling buildings rather than smashing them.   Deconstruction reduces noise and dust pollution, extends the life of landfills and returns reusable materials to the marketplace. Building owners may offset the cost of deconstruction by donating salvaged materials to nonprofit organizations
pilot program in Philly ILSR

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA SURPLUS PROPERTY LIST of “properties that are owned by the City, and are not being used in connection with the work of any City department, board or commission, or any other governmental agency.  When authorized by City Council, surplus property of the City may be offered for sale under certain conditions.”




GREATER PHILADELPHIA FOOD SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION GRANTS for “innovative ways to address major sectors of the food system through business development, farmland preservation, public awareness, school food, and natural resource

PHS CITY GARDENS CONTEST “celebrates the beauty and diversity of Philadelphia…”  Categories: container and vegetable gardens to street planters, garden blocks, green roofs, etc. Deadline 6/10.

PHILADELPHIA ORCHARD PROJECT (POP) WINS $15,000 GREEN HERO AWARD. To date: 19 Orchards, 215 fruit & nut trees, 352 berry bushes & vines, and “countless edible, medicinal & ecological perennials”

LOVEPHILLYLOCALFOOD for Philadelphia urban “gardeners, farmers, and anyone interested in growing. It is also intended to show what areas of the movement are lacking resources, in hopes that nonprofits and government organizations that seek to assist the movement will focus on creating solutions for the gaps that are apparent from the website.”  Also has a social networking component for people in the urban agriculture movement to interact more freely, not just gardeners or farmers but also members of nonprofit organizations and government officials.”




PHILADELPHIA NATURAL DYE INDUSTRY being started by Elissa Meyers and others who seek land for growing indigo, marigold, and other plants which create brilliant color.  They’ve completed an apprenticeship





WHITE FENCE INDEX displays the average Philadelphia residential costs for electricity and natural gas.  “PECO predicts that residential and commercial customers alike will experience a 10% average increase in monthly electric bills beginning in January of 2011 when rate caps terminate.”  Provided byKO Angotti energy auditors

high-class low-income housing from recycled materials

high-class low-income housing from recycled materials

PHILADELPHIA EARTHSHIP PETITION to City Council.  These low-cost residences are built using discarded tires.  Rashida Ali-Campbell

PEACE ADVOCACY NETWORK “Philadelphia veganism, animal advocacy, and social justice

PHILADELPHIA DISC GOLF is chemical-free, tree-planting, flower-friendly form of the game, in Fairmount Park

URBAN BLAZERShas grown to annually serve 700 young people from Philadelphia’s most under-resourced communities. Our programs consist of experiential education and are typically delivered through outdoor activities…”

GIUDE TO GREEN COLLEGES includes several in Philadelphia

dignity for healing is green

dignity for healing is green

THE EMPOWERED MUNICIPALITY: Pennsylvania cities take control.


MISSIONEURS (mission + enterprise)  LISTSERVE


MEDIA MOBILIZING PROJECT MMP stood with PASNAP’s striking technicians and nurses at Temple University Hospital; continued work on the first episode of MMPTV — scheduled to premiere this spring — which will connect the stories of health care workers, students, and immigrants; and supported local immigrant parents and families in their successful fight to retain their right to drive.”



GROWLOTS is Philadelphia’s newest and biggest garden tool.  This site will help urban gardens and farms take control of land to harvest a green city.  With widespread malnutrition here, 60,000 chronically hungry children, struggling food pantries, and gross dependence on imported food, it’s essential that most of our city’s 40,000 vacant lots become farms, edible landscapes and orchards.  Transferring control of food production to neighborhoods will create healthy work and healthy people, stimulate related enterprise, reduce crime, freshen the water and air, and plant Philadelphia’s next 300 years.


5/6 “ADULT BIKE REPAIR CLASS in North Philly“  6:30-9pm series to May 27.  NBW North Philadelphia Shop, 1426 W. Susquehanna Ave.

5/7 TAKING YOUR FOOD PRODUCT TO MARKET “Learn what it takes to put your homemade delicious recipes into your local markets. An expert from Weavers Way Co-Op will show you how to distribute in their stores.”  Point of Destination Cafe, 6460 Greene St, 8-10am

5/8 YOUTH SUMMER EXPO Imhotep Charter School, 6100 N. 21st, 9am-3pm.

5/8 BLAST OFF TO DETROIT! SOCIAL FORUM FUNDRAISING DANCE PARTY spinning 80s/Boogie Funk/Hip Hop, 9pm-3am, 4811 Chester Ave.  Philly’s Road to Detroit meets every Third Thursday of the month at the American Friends Service Committee, 15th and Cherry St., 6pm.

5/8 VILLAGE ARTS SPRING BRUNCH 11am-2pm, Ile Ife Park, 2544 Germantown Ave.  Tickets $50/adult, $25 per school aged child.   “Performances by students from The Village of Arts and Humanities, fabulous food and drinks, explore it for the first time. Silent auction with donations from Garces Restaurant Group, John & Kira’s chocolates and more.”

5/8 EVELYN SANDERS ORCHARD PLANTING, 10am, 3016 Percy St. RAINDATE: May 9 @ 1pm

5/11-13 ADVANCING YOUTH DEVELOPMENT.  “Learn what it takes to be a great youth worker and the theory behind what you do.  Arte Verbrugghe

5/12-14 REINVENTING OLDER COMMUNITIES at Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.  Workshops consider the benefits of gentrification, converting foreclosed housing to condos, whether the poor should own homes, whether green jobs are worthwhile, and whether the Community Reinvestment Act (fair lending practices) is obsolete.  Featured speaker is FED Chairman Ben Bernanke.  President Obama has been invited.


5/15 WOODFORD ORCHARD HARVEST FESTIVAL, 10am NW of 33rd & Dauphin.  Celebrate the strawberry harvest.  Help cleanup and planting, eat grilled gardenburgers, take tour of historic Woodford Mansion.  RAINDATE: May 16 @ 10am

5/15 NOT A DROP TO DRINK! performance by Public Eye: Artists for Animals ”puppetry, film, theater, live music feature the dangers of fracking (drilling for natural gas) .Parade with the cast & crew, large-scale puppets. Children can come to the show dressed as their favorite animals!” 1-2pm performance, 2-3pm parade. Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St.. $5 child, $10 adult.  215-620-2130

5/15 NATIONALITIES SERVICE CENTER PLANTS GARDEN FOR REFUGEE SENIORS Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church, 5200 N. Broad, 9am-1pm. Light snacks provided.  (215) 324-7554

5/16 INTERFAITH GREEN FAIR: CONNECT VALUES & ENVIRONMENT, 1-5pm, Mishkan Shalom, 4101 Freeland Ave (Manayunk)

5/19 YOUNG FRIENDS OPEN HOUSE, “adults age 40 and under who share a common interest in greening and the positive impact it has on the Philadelphia.”  5:30-7:30pm at Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, 100 N. 20th St , 1st fl.  RSVP


5/22 Exploring Ways to Support Our Community Members who are Coming Home from Prison and Their Families. First United Methodist Church, 6001 Germantown Ave.  9am-2pm.  Free.  Breakfast and lunch provided.  RSVP 215 525-0460 x410.

5/26 NEWS YOU CAN USE: JOB HUNTING70% of all open positions aren’t listed on any job site.  Do you know where to find them?” 400 Market Street, 12th Fl.  8-9:15am  register

5/27 INFILL PHILADELPHIA DESIGN REVEAL Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch St, 4-6:30pm Register


6/5  PennMOVES COMMUNITY SALE.  PennMOVES collects items left behind by University of Pennsylvania students when they leave campus each summer. Last year over 90,000 pounds of items were collected. 8am to 6pm.  Penn Ice Rink, 3130 Walnut St.  8am-6pm.Early admittance fee $5 for 8-10am.  All proceeds to United Way charities in West Philadelphia.


7/12 CENTER FOR MALE ENGAGEMENT SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAM.  Four-week intensive for African American male high school students graduating June 2010 who intend to enter the Community College of Philadelphia in fall 2010.  “You will be assigned a Support Coach who will assist you.  Dates of Program 7/12-8/5. Apply by 5/27. 215.751.8817

7/12 DESTINY STATEMENT SUMMER INSTITUTE  “We Train High School and College Students to Succeed in School and Life! “A personal, professional and academic process that teaches how write personal mission and vision statements, identify core strengths and intelligences and how to set goals in the seven key areas of life.” Monday-Friday 9am-2pm at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, 2800 W. Cheltenham Ave.  There are three, one-week sessions from which to choose: 7/12-16; 7/19-23; 7/26-30. 267.918.1145


“I would like to subscribe to the Green Jobs Philly email list, I am working with individuals who have experienced homelessness, and this web site and email list is a great resource for helping people access jobs.”  –Melissa Berkey-Gerard, Recovery Services Coordinator, Project H.O.M.E.

“I am a student at Temple, reporting about the Solar Panel Factory that is projected to be built at the Navy Yard this year and the 400 jobs that are estimated to be created through the factory. I was wondering if you know anything about the factory and possibly the types of employment it will provide to the Philadelphia region. Also, as an expert in the green industry, I was wondering if you have any information about the pros and cons of building such a facility? In what other areas should Philadelphia be focusing besides Solar energy? If you have any spare time to chat by phone, please let me know!”  –Dana Ritter
—[REPLY]  The Heliosphera solar panel factory is an excellent enterprise.  But even greater benefit to average people will come through simple passive solar tools built by neighbors and installed in their neighborhoods.  My booklet Green Jobs Philly features dozens of such initiatives that will transfer power and well-being to lowest-income neighborhoods.

“I just got your latest news edition and thought of something. On our site at we have a widget that displays jobs from I think it would be more appropriate for us to list your jobs as they are local.”  –James Wurster
—[REPLY] Sure, this would be welcome, since you folks are neighbors

“I am a job counselor for ex-offenders.  What resources do you recommend?”  –Lenny Wright
—[REPLY]  While some large green companies are locating here, they’ll hire at best a few hundred.  Providing constructive work for hundreds of thousands, including 100,000 Philadelphia ex-offenders, requires us to take initiatives that rely on neither City Hall nor Wall Street.  My booklet Green Jobs Philly introduces neighborhood-based industries that low-income and least-educated people can start, with little money.  These build and install tools that reduce the costs of living while cleaning water and air.  Top of the list: insulation factory, urban agriculture, solar box heaters, cool roofsdeconstruction (instead of demolition).

“I am a volunteer with HIAS, which re-settles amongst others, Burmese refugees in South Philadelphia.  I am trying to find land that we can use for a community garden for the neighborhood residents.  Any leads?  Please contact me, Hannah Lee

“Thanks for making our Full Employment seminar a success.  Your information was timely and important and your delivery was superb. We appreciate your doing it on short notice.”  –David West, Beulah Baptist Church

“As we look to expand who controls the grassroots food justice movement, it is important to consider the large contingent of farm interns who labor countless unpaid hours. Who can afford to work without pay?  Unpaid work excludes chronically hungry people and many working class people from small scale agriculture.
—”Small scale farmers make little profit from growing food — even when selling food to the wealthiest neighborhoods. Grants often support educational programs for kids to grow food for hungry people. Though inspiring, it is not sustainable or feasible to change a broken food system with such programs.
—”If we are to build food sovereignty, middle class farm interns, small scale farmers and food justice activists will need to seek direction from chronically hungry people, working class farm workers and food workers. Please share any work that promotes this type of class-conscious solidarity.  Please let me know if you are interested or involved in building food sovereignty in Philly.”  –Gina Giazzoni

“Please sign me up for any ideas, events, courses you have on closing the rural-urban food-waste loop!  I am going to try to work my dissertation on that topic, and I would love to know what is going on here in Philadelphia and internationally.”  –Catherine Brinkley
—[REPLY] See  My articlePrepare for the Best refers to urea recycling in three cities, in the Water section.  World champions: Swedes collect urine from apartment houses, store it six months, then use as fertilizer (EcoSanRes). Mexicans collect urine from city hall and schools to fertilize fields (TepozEco). Zimbabweans plant fruit trees atop privy muck (ArborLoo). Book: The Humanure Handbook.

“Nice work with your Green Jobs website/newsletter!  Thanks for your  efforts and dedication.”  –Peggy Hartzell

“Over the thirty years that I have embraced this idea of raising most local public revenue from the taxation of land values, there have been very few elected officials, economists, community development experts, etc. etc. etc. who understand the nature of property markets and the impact of taxation on property markets. Even those who do appreciate the issues have been quiet about expressing support. There are at least two reasons for this.
—”First, and this applies to the people I worked alongside for three decades in the community development field, they have a vested interest in programs designed to mitigate but not solve the problem of dysfunctional property markets. We have a proliferation of government programs that provide career opportunities for a large number of people. And, well-intentioned nonprofits each offer programs to soften the impact of the current system on at least some people, and the nonprofits are constantly in fund-raising mode, doing things that justify foundation and public financial support. What all this produces are band-aid approaches to providing affordable housing and affordable mortgage financing and a degree of community revitalization.  Developers get tax abatements and interest rate subsidies for targeted construction. There are low income housing tax credits. Buyers receive forgivable grants to pay closing costs or even make down payments. Affordable housing activists create land trusts and construct housing units subject to deed restrictions on resale. Limited equity cooperatives are constructed to counter the effects of rising land prices. Government either constructs public housing units, offered a deep subsidies or provides vouchers to help people afford “market rate” rental apartments. The list is long, indeed, and would largely be unnecessary if property taxation was revamped to tax land values fully but not tax property improvements at all.
—”Second, a good deal of financial support to the campaigns of those seeking office comes from those who benefit most by the existing system. Owners of multiple income-producing properties, land banking firms and property speculators (as well their the law firms that represent their interests) are major contributors. They have a firm grip on public policy decisions and few elected officials have the fortitude to take them on.”  –Ed Dodson


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