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Boston LISC Staff blog

Community Development Partnership Act

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The Community development Partnership Act, signed by Governor Deval Patrick on August 7th, 2012 is the most significant new support for the community development field in Massachusetts in decades.  The Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations led a successful two year campaign for the legislation that Boston LISC was proud to be part of.  In important ways, this legislation is the result of the Community Development Innovation Forum that MACDC and LISC cosponsored.  Next Monday October 29th, the Community Development Innovation Forum/Mel King Institute will hold a public forum on the CDPA at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, You can find the details here.

The legislation is modeled in substantial measure on a program that has operated both statewide in Pennsylvania and also for the City of Philadelphia.  A recent article from the urban affairs web site Next American City discusses both the Pennyslvania program and the CDPA.

 

LEED-ND for Talbot Norfolk Triangle

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During the first week of October I attended a LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND) charrette hosted by Talbot Norfolk Triangle Neighbors United (TNT) and Codman Square NDC. Kaid Benfield of the Natural Resources Defense Council joined the technical team and wrote three blog posts on The Atlantic Cities about the experience:
How LEED-ND Can Improve Older Neighborhoods
One Incredibly Easy Way to Let People Know Your Neighborhood Is Getting Better
Low-Income Housing Can Be Energy Efficient Too 

LEED ND is a rating system developed by the US Green Building Council for neighborhood planning and development based on the combined principles of Smart Growth, New Urbanism and green infrastructure and building. The LEED ND system provides a framework for neighborhoods to assess their strengths and focus on opportunities for future sustainability measures. 

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LEED-ND for Talbot Norfolk Triangle

E-mail Print PDF

During the first week of October I attended a LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND) charrette hosted by Talbot Norfolk Triangle Neighbors United (TNT) and Codman Square NDC. Kaid Benfield of the Natural Resources Defense Council joined the technical team and wrote three blog posts on The Atlantic Cities about the experience:
How LEED-ND Can Improve Older Neighborhoods
One Incredibly Easy Way to Let People Know Your Neighborhood Is Getting Better
Low-Income Housing Can Be Energy Efficient Too 

LEED ND is a rating system developed by the US Green Building Council for neighborhood planning and development based on the combined principles of Smart Growth, New Urbanism and green infrastructure and building. The LEED ND system provides a framework for neighborhoods to assess their strengths and focus on opportunities for future sustainability measures. 

Read more...
 

Jumping In

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By Crystal Aiken

New Sector Fellow

As of Monday, September 10, 2012 I became the newest member of the Boston LISC team and now here I sit one day later writing my very first staff blog post. I already feel like a part of the team. My first day consisted of a staff meeting and attempting to decode the various acronyms flying around the office. I also spent some time learning about the programs I will be deeply involved in, including the Resilient Communities/Resilient Families initiative and the Financial Opportunity Centers. I am excited to help residents in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan identify and address community challenges through the Resilient Communities/Resilient Families initiative. It is incredibly inspiring to see community members successfully driving change and improvement in their neighborhoods.

 

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Solar Power, Falling Free from the Sky

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Installing solar panels on individual homes and businesses is a win-win-win situation in the triple-bottom-line world of the green economy, so why aren’t more people doing it? According to an article in the New York Times last week there are several misconceptions about solar power – that it carries high up-front costs, that it’s only for tree-huggers, and that you’re getting a bum deal because there can’t be enough profit in solar power for you to benefit if the installer is making money.

Most people want to know what the “catch” is when they hear that you can get a system installed on your roof for zero money down, with no maintenance fees, and you can purchase the solar energy your roof generates at a fraction of the cost that your utility is charging. In fact, the homeowner wins by getting cheap power at a stable price over a long-term contract, the solar installer wins by creating a relationship that is profitable over time, and the environment wins because we’re using less fossil fuels.

How is that possible?! Well, as the article explains, when we dig up or frack out fossil fuels from the Earth we are essentially trying to unlock solar power from the geologic record. We use big machines (that burn fuel) to dig holes or clear mountain tops or force fluids into the ground to release oil, coal, and natural gas that were created by the power of the sun millennia ago. Then, through a complicated and inefficient process, we turn that fossilized solar power into electricity. In the meantime, the sun is beating down on us and our roofs all day, every day. With existing technology we can cut out all the costs and process of extracting fossil fuels and harness the energy that is, as Danny Kennedy of Sungevity states in the article, “falling free from the sky.”

Cutting out the costs of extracting and processing fossil fuels leaves a lot of room for profit by homeowners and solar installers.
 

 
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