SPRING CREEK HOMESTEADING Update
Upcoming Workshops –
- January 31 – Seasonal Cooking – 1 – 4 p.m. Laura Zaino will help you figure out how to turn winter storage vegetables and high tunnel greens into tasty winter fare. Unlike a cookbook, learning in this class involves getting to taste the food before you’ve committed yourself and family to a whole batch of rutabaga and mustard greens.
- February 7 – Milk Jug Greenhouses – 10 – 11 a.m. Justin Wheeler will help you get a jump on your garden by showing you how to build and use milk jug greenhouses. These clever little devices are cheap and effective seed starters that require minimal effort on your part, but get your garden going in February and March.
All workshops will be at Goldenrod Alley Farm, 156 West Hamilton Ave, State College, PA. There is a $12 sliding-scale registration fee. For more information, please visit the Spring Creek Homesteading website. Register by email or phone (237-0996)
From September 2014 to early January 2015, I worked to help set up and then manage the Friends & Farmers Online Market. The market’s December launch was surprisingly successful. Revenue data from a December 31 launch update to the Co-op Board of Directors below; rent, insurance, supplies and other expenses not shown. On January 8, Melanie Rosenberger took over as the first paid market manager.
For more info, to register as a customer and shop, check out the market online.
|Customer Payments||Cost of Goods Sold (Payments to Farmers)||Co-op Income||Gross Profit (Co-op Income/Total Income||Number of Orders||Average Order $||Number of Vendors|
- December Newsletter –12.17.14 CITY-GREEN Newsletter
PSU Energy Strategy Updates
Sent to Board of Trustees, Borough Council, Sustainability Institute and Office of Physical Plant:
- 12.18.14 PSU Energy Strategy Update
- 1.11.15 PSU Energy Strategy Update
- 1.19.15 PSU Energy Strategy Update
Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program Report
Released Friday, January 23 via email by Denice Wardrop of PSU Sustainability Institute:
Denice’s cover letter
Community Email Discussion of HNMCP Report
A few initial comments:
“…Because so many stakeholders are concerned that an engagement process would be insincere, it will be important to emphasize that Penn State has not already set the energy-related goals that will be produced in this engagement process.”
It will be interesting to see how they manage this one when the most impactful energy decision has already been made (WCSP conversion and future CHP along with continued use of fossil fuels). This has set the path. PSU and timeline was reactive to MACT rule not proactive (or even creative) in addressing long-term energy goals.
The pipeline was not the result of an energy-related goal, but rather a non-creative, reactive approach to MACT compliance (avoidance).
Why only 1 local resident and 1 local government representative on the Task Force? The report talks about the task force being comprised of “local residents,” but only 1 resident is listed in the Task Force’s composition:
- 4-8 faculty members (1 of whom is co-chair),
- 2-4 OPP representatives (1 of whom is co-chair),
- 2-6 students (2 of whom are the task force liaison and secretary),
- 1-2 SI representatives,
- 1-2 Penn State administrators,
- 1 local resident, and
- 1 local government representative.
What happens after July 2015 (after Provost issues the 5-year Strategic Plan which includes the energy-related goal)? Where is the next community (public) access point? What assurance is there to PSU’s committment to the energy-related goal?
Many of you are more in tune with the energy discussions than I am, but I did attend the Sustainability presentation at the Borough on December 10, and it was clear the public was not much of a “stakeholder” in their endeavors.
[Borough Manager] Tom Fountaine opened with “We Are State College, We Are Penn State” (yes, this is a quote, and burned on my brain), and many of the presenters were open about the fact they were working with the Borough, who will decide what will happen, and when decisions are made, the public can be informed.
There is another Sustainability presentation Jan 29th. Perhaps you could share some of your thoughts there. If this is to be a ‘town-gown’ initiative with ‘real world experience’, it seems more than one resident should be participating.
The following excerpts from the report contain a pretty amazing error though. I wonder who at PSU conveyed this misinformation to the Harvard interviewers? Do Lara Fowler and Alex share this misconception? The Sustainability Institute?
“The University Park Campus is not subject to a local municipal government; instead, it is incorporated as a separate municipality from the surrounding community, which is divided among six different municipal governments. Despite this fractured governmental structure, the university and the communities are closely linked.
Because the university is not subject to the authority of any municipal governments, interviewees describe the relationship between Penn State and local municipal governments, particularly the Borough of State College, to be mostly hands off.” Page 18 (part 2)
Could it be that this is really the legal position that the Administration takes, that University Park is “incorporated as a separate municipality?” There is of course the University Planning District (UPD), but the State College part of the UPD is still subject to Borough zoning, and its regulations can be changed by us at any time. My understanding is that there is an agreement between the Borough and Campus security delegatingm certain police powers to PSU, but that this is a voluntary arrangement.
Perhaps the “hands off” description is still true, and has been the custom around here so far, but I don’t think it is legally inevitable.
Wow! Not only might we wonder where that gem of misinformation came from, we might also wonder why the researchers took it a face value, and didn’t confirm it. Good question about Laura and Alex.
Katherine Watt Email to Student Researchers and Advisors
I realize that fact-checking wasn’t part of the assignment given to you by Denice and Lara at the Sustainability Institute – a design flaw I pointed out at the outset in September (see attached…9.8.14 Watt to SI, OPP, DEP, Borough, 10.23.14 Watt to Fogarty) – but as a result, misinformation is being inserted into the public record.
At a minimum, it would be helpful if you could provide a source individual and/or legal citation for the currently unsupported claim that Penn State is incorporated as a municipality.
Denice Wardrop Email Response
Thank you for your comment, we are currently looking into the matter. Since this was a student project, Josh and Tara’s responsibilities to it were completed when they submitted the report.
Therefore, correcting any factual errors is the responsibility of the Sustainability Institute, as the project partner. We welcome additional comments, and given that it was not entirely clear in the email where comments were to be directed, please let me specify that they should be sent to me at email@example.com. (1.27.15 Wardrop to Watt)
January 15 Email to Eligible Alumni Voters from Janine Andrews:
…The alumni elect three trustees annually for three-year terms and the call for nominations is now underway. Just click on the link below to nominate up to three candidates for membership. Your unique election credentials are provided below–please visit the URL below and log in with the credentials provided. Once you have voted, your credentials will expire, so this message may not be forwarded to other individuals for voting purposes. Nomination Link…
Once you reach the website, under the Instructions section, you will find the names of those trustees whose terms expire on June 30, 2015. Additionally, a link with information regarding who may be nominated; the number of nominating votes required; qualifications for membership on the Board of Trustees; Trustee responsibilities and expectations; and a current listing of Board members is also available.
The deadline to submit your nomination ballot is 5:00 p.m. (Eastern), on Wednesday, February 25, 2015. The names of all persons receiving 250 or more votes will, if eligible under the qualifications provided and with their consent, be placed on the election ballot (to be distributed April 10)…All alumni who receive the nomination ballot will automatically receive the election ballot….In the event you have technical difficulty accessing the URL site, need technical support or have questions regarding the election process, contact PSU Elections Support at 1-866-307-0041.
I nominated myself and Jordan Crolly.
Jordan Crolly, Class of 2013
“If elected, I will work with the BoT to bring together the expertise to implement aggressive energy policy to wean the University off of fossil fuels by 2030 by dramatically increasing investments in energy conservation efforts and incorporating significant on-site renewable energy generation. I will also advocate for complete transparency during the energy planning process, while encouraging participation from community members who wish to participate and learn from these efforts.”
Katherine Watt, Class of 1996
“I plan to continue working on the PSU Board of Trustees to wean the University from fossil fuels by 2030 by decreasing the size, scope and reach of the University in response to global economic contraction as we move into the post-carbon era.”
If you are a PSU alumni reader interested in supporting our candidacies and eligible to vote, please vote for us, and pass along the info to your networks of PSU alumni. I don’t anticipate campaigning much or getting the 250 votes needed to get on the April 10 ballot, but wanted to throw my hat into the ring.
In addition to writing a monthly column for Voices of Central PA, I’m formatting my non-fiction pieces from the last few years (back to 2008) into a book and will send it out to agents starting next month.
I’m also planning to devote more time to fiction writing, beginning (I think) with a play depicting a fictional situation in which the seven Borough Council seats are occupied by Dave Stone, Susan Venegoni, Mark Huncik, Janet Engeman, Mike Rybacki, Johan Zwart and Smita Bharti, while I serve as Borough Solicitor and entirely made-up characters serve as Mayor and Borough Manager. Depending on how that project goes, I may try to get the play produced locally, perhaps in the Borough Council chambers…