WBEZ | green http://www.wbez.org/tags/green Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en China to screen political candidates in Hong Kong http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-04/china-screen-political-candidates-hong-kong-110749 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP680171184547_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Pro-democracy activists took to the streets in Hong Kong after Chinese officials announced a plan to pre-screen candidates for Hong Kong&#39;s next chief executive. Author Wen Huang joins us to tell us why he thinks it&#39;s a sign that democracy is eroding in Hong Kong.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-china-to-screen-candidates-in-hong-kong/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-china-to-screen-candidates-in-hong-kong.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-china-to-screen-candidates-in-hong-kong" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: China to screen political candidates in Hong Kong" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 11:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-04/china-screen-political-candidates-hong-kong-110749 CPS tries composting pilot program http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-tries-composting-pilot-program-110277 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/compost.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Still not sure why you should compost your food waste? Just ask a second grader at Blaine Elementary School in Lakeview.</p><p>&ldquo;Because the other food that you throw away that you think you can&rsquo;t compost, has to go to a landfill and that&rsquo;s not good,&rdquo; says 2nd grader Chloe. &ldquo;It makes all these gases that are really bad.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;After we compost this, we take it to this big composting station (and) it will go into this special microwave and then it will turn into this rich soil so we can put it in some places in the environment,&rdquo; adds her classmate Harrison.</p><p>These second graders are pretty much right--except about the microwave part. They learned this as part of an 8-week pilot program that&rsquo;s got Blaine students collecting their lunch scraps every Friday this spring and sending them off to a commercial composter.</p><p>Partners in the program include the Chicago Community Trust, Loyola University, Seven Generations Ahead and Blaine parents. The final partner is CPS&rsquo;s office of sustainability.</p><p>This was surprising, since less than a month ago -- in response to a Freedom of Information Act request -- the district told WBEZ that it neither &ldquo;performs waste audits, nor knows of any schools that do.&rdquo;</p><p>But today, the district acknowledges that there have actually been many such assessments in the district.</p><p>Blaine did theirs before starting the pilot and, according to parent Adam Brent, found huge potential for diverting trash from the landfill. .</p><p>&ldquo;We came up with about an 88 percent diversion of total waste stream that would not go to the landfill &nbsp;if we separated out the food waste and the liquids,&rdquo; Brent explained.</p><p>These numbers match up closely with those from audits across the city that show that roughly half of all milk is discarded while 25 to 30 percent of all food on the tray. One recent Harvard study indicates that 60 to 75 percent of all vegetables served in schools also end up in the trash.</p><p>CPS says it&rsquo;s aware of the problem and encouraging schools to come up with creative solutions. Among these are dozens of on-site composting programs that have sprouted up all over the past decade.</p><p>Jen Nelson has been working on the issue for five years as Seven Generations&rsquo; Zero Waste Program Manager. She calls on-site composting program a good first step, but notes it can only really tackle fruits and vegetables.</p><p>&ldquo;But when you can look at opportunities for commercial composting you can all of the sudden get to the meat and dairy and bones and much larger volume of that food waste,&rdquo; Nelson said.</p><p>For instance, the day we visited Blaine, compost bins were full of half-eaten pizza that would&rsquo;ve otherwise ended up in the landfill. &nbsp;</p><p>Still, the 45 pounds of scraps that Blaine collects each week represent a drop in the bucket. The project&rsquo;s primary goal is to figure out how to expand commercial school composting in Illinois, a state where it&rsquo;s still much cheaper to send scraps to the landfill.</p><p>But if Nelson has her way, that won&rsquo;t be the case for long. She serves on the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition aimed at making composting as attractive in Illinois as it is in states like California. And she says that getting groups like CPS on board, could be key.</p><p>&ldquo;I spoke to a gentleman who owns a compost facility out of state and his comment to me was &lsquo;wow, if Chicago Public Schools were doing commercial composting I would site a facility near Chicago as quickly as I could because it would be worth it. I could make money from that&rsquo;.&rdquo;</p><p>If and when all of the pieces fall into place, Nelson estimates that the district could divert more than 13,000 tons of its CPS cafeteria waste from the landfill each year. &nbsp;</p><p>But the physical matter of waste reduction is just part of the story. This spring, Nelson trained dozens of teachers in a new &ldquo;zero waste&rdquo; curriculum (in alignment with Common Core) that will roll out to CPS classrooms in the fall.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been having a lot of fun training teachers and giving them really cool hands-on activities like making a model landfill and model compost in a two liter bottle,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The students can build it and observe the differences between the two systems and see why things can biodegrade in one and not in the other. It&rsquo;s an exciting opportunity to help teachers really bring it into the classroom.&rdquo;</p><p>Finally, Nelson says an even broader goal is to plant the seeds for a new healthy crop of what she calls &ldquo;zero waste ambassadors.&rdquo;</p><p>And from the words of the precocious second graders at Blaine, it sounds like this crop is well on its way to taking root.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">&nbsp;<em>@monicaeng</em></a>&nbsp;<em>or write to her at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org">meng@wbez.org</a></em></p></p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-tries-composting-pilot-program-110277 New rules of the road possible for Chicago pedicab drivers http://www.wbez.org/news/new-rules-road-possible-chicago-pedicab-drivers-110106 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 8.37.11 AM_0.png" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago pedicabs could soon have to follow new rules of the road, much to the dismay of many drivers. The City Council is set to vote Wednesday on a slew of new rules and regulations for bicycle rickshaws popular around Wrigley Field and downtown. It would be the first time the city sets any regulations on the growing industry.</p><p>Many pedicab drivers say they&rsquo;re for some regulation, but argue that the ordinance put forth by Ald. Tom Tunney (44) goes too far. Tunney&rsquo;s measure is years in the making, and requires pedicab drivers to get $250 annual licenses for their cabs, to buy insurance, post fare schedules, apply for &ldquo;chauffeur&#39;s licenses&rdquo; to drive the pedicab and other changes.</p><p>But it&rsquo;s the ban on driving on the downtown portion of Michigan Avenue and State Street, and rush hour restrictions in the Loop that has caused the most protest from drivers. At a joint City Council hearing Tuesday with the committees on License and Consumer Protection and Transportation and Public Way, many drivers testified that the bans would put a big dent in their finances, as downtown is not only where many of their patrons are, but it&rsquo;s where they want to be dropped off.</p><p>&ldquo;What health risk to pedicabs pose? What causes more traffic congestion - a double parked limousine? A 50 foot bus making a turn? Or a pedicab in a bike lane? Pedicabs should be part of the solution and not banned from downtown,&rdquo; Chicago Rickshaw owner Robert Tipton said.</p><p>Nikola Delic, owner of Nick&rsquo;s Pedicabs, is one of many drivers that argued that the ordinance discriminated against pedicab drivers.</p><p>&ldquo;If the horse carriages and cab drivers can pick up their fares in the downtown district, I don&rsquo;t see why the pedicabs wouldn&rsquo;t be able to do the same thing,&rdquo; Delic said. &ldquo;Because horse carriages are blocking the same amount of traffic as one pedicab [and] they&rsquo;re moving slower.&rdquo;</p><p>Drivers submitted a petition Tuesday with over 500 signatures. It requests that aldermen take the entire street restriction section out of the ordinance.</p><p>Tunney has said that he&rsquo;s open to changing portions of the ordinance, but the street ban is off the table.</p><p>&ldquo;The ordinance, I believe, will help legitimize the industry, increase public safety and improve the flow of traffic on our congested streets,&rdquo; Tunney said at the hearing. &ldquo;There are...many good and safe operators but we&rsquo;ve certainly had a few problems that this ordinance is designed to address.&rdquo;</p><p>Commissioner Luann Hamilton from the Chicago Department of Transportation said the department would support reducing the restrictions, and they aren&rsquo;t concerned by pedicabs riding on those streets.</p><p>Another sticking point for drivers is a rule that would cap at 200 the number of registered pedicabs allowed in the city. Drivers contest that this rule will kill off jobs, and that 200 is an arbitrary number, as there&rsquo;s no official measure for the number of pedicabs driving around the city. The ordinance would allow for the number to be changed by the licensing commissioner.</p><p>The ordinance sailed through the joint committee vote, with only two &quot;no&quot; votes from Ald. Ariel Reboyras and Ald. Brendan Reilly. Penalties for violating the act could range anywhere from $100 to $5,000, depending on the violation or number of infractions.</p><p>Other pieces of the ordinance:</p><ul><li>Drivers would have to get a doctor&#39;s note stating they&rsquo;re capable to operate a pedicab and pass a geography exam before receiving their &ldquo;pedicab chauffeur license&rdquo;</li><li>All drivers must be 18 or older</li><li>Pedicab operators must have a valid automobile driver&rsquo;s license - from Illinois or another state</li><li>Pedicabs aren&rsquo;t allowed on sidewalks</li><li>Pedicabs are only allowed to carry four passengers</li></ul><p>Tunney&rsquo;s ordinance does not set fares for pedicabs, regulate where they are able to park or designate certain places they can hang out and wait for fares.</p><p>If the ordinance passes the full City Council Wednesday, the new rules and regulations would take effect by June.</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-23d1776b-b381-d33a-af9d-cc36336fa4bd"><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda"> </a><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/new-rules-road-possible-chicago-pedicab-drivers-110106 Herd of goats, llamas, sheep and burros are grazing around the O’Hare grounds http://www.wbez.org/news/herd-goats-llamas-sheep-and-burros-are-grazing-around-o%E2%80%99hare-grounds-108408 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-07707cd9-7e20-3f9e-2c35-610b395b0a92">A herd of goats, burros, sheep and llamas are chewing their way through the grounds of O&rsquo;Hare International Airport in Chicago. The Chicago Department of Aviation showed off their latest &ldquo;employees&rdquo; this week, though the animals have been at work, clearing the vegetation around the airport for almost a month.</p><p dir="ltr">The group of 14 goats, five sheep, three burros and two llamas will graze inside fenced areas around the airport at least until the end of 2014. Officials say the animals were brought to the airport as a sustainable way to clean up the dense scrub vegetation that covers much of the grounds.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It gets pretty rocky under here,&rdquo; said Rosemarie Andolino, CDA commissioner. pointing to a five-acre field of grass and brush behind her. &ldquo;And there (are) areas where it kinda goes up and down and lawnmowers in many cases don&rsquo;t provide or aren&rsquo;t adequate to get to some of these areas.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/goats13.JPG" style="height: 225px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Three of O’Hare airport’s latest hires explore their new workspace. The burros are part of a herd of 25 animals that will eat vegetation around the airport to help maintain the grounds. (WBEZ/Lauren Chooljian)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Andolino said the contract for the goats won&rsquo;t exceed $19,500, and it expires by the end of 2014. The commissioner didn&rsquo;t have estimates as to how much it cost to maintain the grounds before the animals, yet a spokeswoman maintained there may be some cost savings down the road.</p><p dir="ltr">The herd won&rsquo;t be eating at the same spot everyday &mdash; Andolino says they&rsquo;ll move around to different places on the airport&rsquo;s grounds, depending on need. As for concerns about the animals during brutal Chicago winters, officials say the herd will only be out as long as weather permits.</p><p dir="ltr">Most of the animals in the O&rsquo;Hare herd come from Settler&rsquo;s Pond &mdash; a shelter for abandoned animals in Beecher, Ill. &mdash; but four of them were originally owned by Joseph Arnold, head of Central Commissary Holdings, LLC. The airport contract isn&rsquo;t technically their first job: Arnold&rsquo;s four goats used to provide milk for the goat cheese served at Chicago restaurant <a href="http://butcherandtheburger.com/">Butcher and the Burger</a>.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/goats17.JPG" style="float: left; height: 225px; width: 300px;" title="A day-old lamb stays close by her mother at their new home, the O’Hare International Airport. They’re part of a herd of animals eating its way around the fields at O’Hare. (WBEZ/Lauren Chooljian)" />Though they might seem an unlikely sight among the security fences and planes flying overhead, the burros, goats, sheep and llamas Tuesday seemed to make themselves quite at home. One of the sheep even gave birth to a lamb Tuesday, and all the animals gathered around to greet him.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a little boy and his name is O&rsquo;Hare,&rdquo; said Pinky Jenota, one of the caretakers from <a href="http://www.settlerspondshelter.net/about.html">Settler&rsquo;s Pond</a>. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s doing great, he was up suckling on mom, planes flying overhead. He didn&rsquo;t flinch, Mom didn&rsquo;t move - everybody&rsquo;s content.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">For now, the herd will continue munching around a five acre space on the airport grounds. Officials say they should finish that section in the next few weeks, and then it&rsquo;s on to the next spot.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer/Reporter Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a> .</em></p></p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 13:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/herd-goats-llamas-sheep-and-burros-are-grazing-around-o%E2%80%99hare-grounds-108408 City of Chicago plans to go green - using private funds http://www.wbez.org/news/city-chicago-plans-go-green-using-private-funds-104240 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS5313_IMG_6944-scr_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The City of Chicago is moving forward with plans to use a huge private trust to fund infrastructure projects.</p><p>The trust hasn&rsquo;t found investors yet, but the board heard presentations from the Chicago Public Schools and facilities and water management departments Thursday. All three are planning large energy efficiency upgrades they want the trust to pay for.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a reduction of energy, it&rsquo;s reduction of manpower, reduction of ongoing maintenance, it&rsquo;s an improvement in our carbon footprint,&rdquo; said Tom Powers, commissioner for the Chicago Department of Water Management, describing upgrades to an aging steam-powered water pump he said could lead to millions in savings.</p><p>The city currently has four steam-powered pumps which require around-the-clock staffing. The replacement station at Jardine would be &ldquo;one of the most green water pumping stations in North America,&rdquo; Powers said.</p><p>If the water management project is funded by the infrastructure trust, the savings would likely be used to pay back private investors. The trust&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-announces-picks-infrastructure-trust-board-99981" target="_blank">five-person board</a> also heard presentations from lawyers hired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s office on developing an initial request for qualifications from potential investors.</p><p>The city hopes to find investors willing to put in a minimum of $50 million dollars to be paid back as energy retrofits yield large savings.</p><p>&ldquo;We can&rsquo;t decide that we know for sure what the terms will be,&rdquo; said David Hoffman, the city&rsquo;s former Inspector General who is now on the trust board.</p><p>He played the role of watchdog at the meeting, questioning lawyers and department heads as to whether they were already accounting for the infrastructure trust funds in their budgets. All three city departments who presented were careful to say that any projects they had budgeted for in 2013 already had funding sources.</p><p>The trust has been the object of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-inspector-general-given-power-investigate-infrastructure-trust-102075" target="_blank">ongoing scrutiny</a> because it was established to operate independent of City Hall and is now applying for nonprofit 501(c)3 status. Its status as an independent entity would exempt it from many of the transparency requirements city entities are subject to. When the ordinance establishing the trust was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/unknowns-dont-derail-emanuels-infrastructure-trust-98520" target="_blank">first passed</a>, some aldermen worried that it could lead to lucrative private contracts being granted behind closed doors.</p><p>Other presenters at Thursday&rsquo;s meeting included David Reynolds, commissioner for the Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility management, and Pat Taylor, Chicago Public Schools Chief Property Officer.</p><p>Reynolds presented a proposal for a large project retrofitting and automating lights, repairing heating, cooling, and ventilation, and making structural efficiency improvements to city buildings including City Hall and the Chicago Cultural Center. Reynolds projected a project cost of $37 million that would result in $3.3 million in yearly savings on energy costs.</p><p>He said a structure that could provide large sums of up-front funding would be an ideal structure to allow pursuit of efficiency projects that are longer-term, such as replacing boilers in buildings.</p><p>Taylor echoed Reynolds as she explained a massive energy efficiency project already underway in the public schools. She hopes investors in the trust will be interested in reimbursing the costs in exchange for a promise of returns. She estimated $3 million dollars in annual savings in energy costs beginning as soon as March 2013.</p></p> Thu, 06 Dec 2012 16:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/city-chicago-plans-go-green-using-private-funds-104240 Unpacking the barriers to going green http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/unpacking-barriers-going-green-98425 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/recycling.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 466px;" title="(Flickr/Damon Taylor)"></div><p>In theory, it’s easy to get behind a green lifestyle.&nbsp; Not many of us actively want to waste resources or damage the Earth.&nbsp; But in reality, going green isn’t always that simple. &nbsp;Green products can be expensive, and trying to figure out which techniques and tools will get the most bang for your buck can be confusing.</p><p>So what are the barriers to going green, and how can you go green cheaply? Friday on the <em>Afternoon Shift, </em>we’ll get insight on those questions from two women who put sustainability front and center in both their personal and professional lives.</p><p>Tune in just after 2:00pm to get tips from Samantha Mattone and Helen Cameron on how to make your lifestyle more sustainable. Mattone is project manager for the <a href="http://chicagoconservationcorps.org/blog/">Chicago Conservation Corps</a>, the city’s environmental volunteer service program. Cameron is co-owner of the restaurant <a href="http://www.uncommonground.com/">Uncommon Ground</a>, which has won awards for its eco-friendly approach.</p><p>Call 312-923-9239 to share your story on what’s keeping you from going green, or to share your favorite green tip.</p></p> Fri, 20 Apr 2012 08:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/unpacking-barriers-going-green-98425 Harvesting the future: Wolfe Island's wind energy http://www.wbez.org/content/harvesting-future-wolfe-islands-wind-energy <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-09/WolfeIsland_HarvestFuture_webpic.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-10/wolfe%20island%20wind%20farm_F%26C_Chris%20Trimmer.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 471px;" title="Wind turbines tower over the farm fields that once sustained the Wolfe Island community. (Front and Center/Chris Trimmer)"></p><p>Wolfe Island is a sleepy agricultural community in the Thousand Islands region on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario. In 2009, the 48 sq. mile island became host to an 86-turbine wind farm, the second largest wind energy project in Canada. Owned and operated by TransAlta, the Alberta based oil company, the wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power 75,000 homes a year.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-repeat-x: no-repeat; background-repeat-y: no-repeat; background-position: 0 5px; background-position-x: 0px; background-position-y: 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; } div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted #aa211d; border-top-width: 1px; border-top-style: dotted; border-top-color: #aa211d; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; } ul { margin-left: 15px; } li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-repeat-x: no-repeat; background-repeat-y: no-repeat; background-position: 0 5px; background-position-x: 0px; background-position-y: 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-06/FC-logo-sm_0.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 38px;" title=""></a><br><ul><li><a href="story/gas-drilling-could-take-air-out-offshore-wind-93875"><strong>Gas drilling could take take air out of offshore wind</strong></a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/greatlakesjobs"><strong><span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">INTERACTIVE GRAPH:</span></strong> <strong>Are the Great Lakes a great source for Jobs?</strong></a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/imadeajob"><strong>Are you a job creator? Tell us about it.</strong></a></li></ul></div><div class="inlineContent">&nbsp;</div></div><p>With wind energy projects planned throughout the Great Lakes by both Canadian and US governments, Wolfe Island may be one of the first communities in the Great Lakes region to accommodate the shift towards wind energy production.</p><p>This audio collage weaves together the voices of island residents to explore: What happens when industry lands among sanctuary?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2>Great Lakes wind projects struggle for footing</h2><p>Offshore wind-energy advocates face tall hurdles in the Great Lakes, but some projects are advancing. WBEZ’s Maham Khan brings us these snapshots.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="tableauPlaceholder" style="width: 554px; height: 769px;"><noscript>&lt;a href="#"&gt;&lt;img alt=" " src="http:&amp;#47;&amp;#47;public.tableausoftware.com&amp;#47;static&amp;#47;images&amp;#47;Gr&amp;#47;GreatLakesoffshorewindfarmproposalsandstudies&amp;#47;Offshorewind&amp;#47;1_rss.png" style="height: 100%; width: 100%; border: none" /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</noscript><object class="tableauViz" style="display: none;" height="769" width="554"><param name="host_url" value="http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.tableausoftware.com%2F"><param name="name" value="GreatLakesoffshorewindfarmproposalsandstudies/Offshorewind"><param name="tabs" value="no"><param name="toolbar" value="yes"><param name="static_image" value="http://public.tableausoftware.com/static/images/Gr/GreatLakesoffshorewindfarmproposalsandstudies/Offshorewind/1.png"><param name="animate_transition" value="yes"><param name="display_static_image" value="yes"><param name="display_spinner" value="yes"><param name="display_overlay" value="yes"></object></div><div style="width: 554px; height: 22px; padding: 0px 10px 0px 0px; color: black; font: 8pt verdana,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;"><div style="float: right; padding-right: 8px;"><a href="http://www.tableausoftware.com/public?ref=http://public.tableausoftware.com/views/GreatLakesoffshorewindfarmproposalsandstudies/Offshorewind" target="_blank">Powered by Tableau</a></div></div></p> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 13:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/harvesting-future-wolfe-islands-wind-energy Assessing Chicago's green credentials during a budget crisis http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-22/assessing-chicagos-green-credentials-during-budget-crisis-92314 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-22/Chicago River.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former Mayor Richard M. Daley wanted to make Chicago the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/daleys-green-crusade" target="_blank">greenest city in America</a>. He got a lot of credit for being environmentally friendly but the record turned out to be mixed: more green roofs but still no city-wide recycling. And despite claims that the Chicago River's water quality improved more recently, it became clear that the river still ran dirty. The federal government said it wants the river <a href="http://articles.chicagobreakingnews.com/2011-06-02/news/29614721_1_sewage-overflows-chicago-river-waterways" target="_blank">cleaned up</a> and Mayor Emanuel signaled that he had his eye on it too - he wants it to be a <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2011/september_2011/mayor_rahm_emanuelannouncesplanstomakethechicagoriverthecitysnex.html" target="_blank">recreational space for residents</a>. But how central are environmental considerations to Chicago politics? And what happens to sustainability in the face of a budget crisis? To find out, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> was joined by <a href="http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/hhenderson/" target="_blank">Henry Henderson</a>, director of the <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/" target="_blank">Natural Resources Defense Council's</a> Midwest program.</p><p><em>Music Button: Balkan Beat Box, "Delancy-Stefano Miele Balkan Carnival Remix", from the album Nu Made, (JDub)</em></p></p> Thu, 22 Sep 2011 13:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-22/assessing-chicagos-green-credentials-during-budget-crisis-92314 Evanston solicits first input on bag ban http://www.wbez.org/story/evanston-solicits-first-input-bag-ban-86998 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-25/paperbags.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-25/evanstontownmeeting.jpg" style="width: 402px; height: 201px; float: left; margin: 7px;" title="Attendees discussed at tables the pros and cons of a banning bags. (WBEZ/ Odette Yousef)">Evanston residents and other interested groups had their first chance Tuesday night to weigh in on a proposed ban on single-use shopping bags.</p><p>While opinions ran the gamut - from favorable to opposed - all agreed that they would like to see Evanston become a greener place. Where they disagreed was: how?</p><p>Some City Council members proposed eliminating both paper and plastic at the checkout last month. The idea quickly hit national news, and Tuesday night's meeting drew more than one hundred people who wanted to discuss the details of such a move. Patrick Rita, from the Renewable Bag Council, flew in from Washington, DC, specifically for the meeting.</p><p>"We have not had a locality in any state around the country actually enact a paper bag ban," said Rita, whose organization, the Renewable Bag Council, is made up of brown paper bag manufacturers.</p><p>Rita says while many local governments have banned plastic bags, the furthest any has gone on paper bags has been to charge a per-bag fee. But Ald. Ann Rainey of Evanston's 8th Ward, says a fee won't go far enough to change consumer behavior.</p><p>"Settling for anything less than a ban would be settling for nothing," said Rainey at the meeting.</p><p>Rainey initially proposed the ban, saying it would cut down on environmental waste. Evanston's legal department will compile and present feedback from the meeting to the Administration and Public Works Committee next month, before a new ordinance is drafted.</p></p> Thu, 26 May 2011 04:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/evanston-solicits-first-input-bag-ban-86998 Teens learn about faith through weatherstripping http://www.wbez.org/story/al-gore/teens-learn-about-faith-through-weatherstripping <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/photo 2.JPG" alt="" /><p><div><div>Church elders and environmentalists are working together on Chicago's South Side. They hope to show teens there's a link between faith and saving the earth while helping them grow into responsible men. Their method involved weatherstripping.<br />&nbsp;</div> <div>About 20 young men sat on folding chairs in the fellowship hall at Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church.&nbsp;Tools of the barber trade got more than the traditional use here this cold night. Church elder, Clifton Wilkes, showed the young men how to put plastic on a window frame to keep out cold air. He slowly moved a blow dryer across the plastic, and the teens watched as the wrinkles disappeared, and the plastic became as smooth as glass.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Wilkes passed the pane around so students could get a closer look. He invited them to thump lightly on the surface.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;See how tight it is?&quot; Wilkes asked. &quot;Don't punch a hole in it. Just see how tight it is.&quot;<br /><br />The environment trumped the usual topics of family, school and teen problems here at Barbershop Rap. Teens meet monthly with adult male mentors, who show them how to become responsible men.<br /><br />Wilkes said they wanted to perform a volunteer service for the community. So they partnered with <a title="blocked::http://www.faithinplace.org/" href="http://www.faithinplace.org/">Faith in Place</a>, a group that works with congregations to promote sustainability.</div> <div>Rev. Bernard Clark said they want teens to see how faith is tied to the environment.<br /><br />&quot;God blessed us with the Earth,&quot; Rev. Clark said. &quot;Man, in his infinite wisdom has begun to do things that are destroying the Earth. So what it does is teach the young people how to go green, how to begin to help replenish the Earth.&quot;</div> <div><br />&quot;The ecological divide is wide,&quot; said Veronica Kyle, who's with Faith in Place. &quot;Most people in the African-American community on an average day-to-day basis are not dealing with environmental ecological concerns. People are too busy dealing with the skills of the survival pyramid, you know, 'Let me take care of my family, I'm doing the best I can, yes, Al Gore, what does that mean to me?&nbsp; I'm not gonna have an $80 organic T-shirt, no, I can't afford organic vegetables.' But that's just one sliver of the movement.&quot;<br /><br />Weatherization is another. Kyle wants to show there are ways to save energy and save money for very little cost. She observed as the lesson continued. Several minutes went by, and some teens started chatting and getting out of their chairs. One of the mentors noticed and motioned toward Kyle:<br /><br />&quot;Listen, with you all doing this? Seriously, act like young men, act like young men,&quot;&nbsp;the mentor told them. &quot;Act like you're interested.&quot;</div> <div><br />&quot;As a matter of fact, when I ask the mentors who were the shining stars, it's not just who installed the most kits, it's who had the best attitude, who had the best work ethic,&quot; Kyle said. &quot;Every time we get summer job opportunities, we contact your mentors and say, 'Hey, we have jobs.' As a matter of fact, right now, I have six job openings, right now.&quot;<br /><br />The young men sat up and paid attention.<br /><br />Rev. Clark said weatherproofing will earn them some money. It may change attitudes toward them, too.<br /><br />&quot;This weatherization piece allows these young people an opportunity to go into homes of senior citizens and other adults in the community who otherwise might read the paper, watch the news, and think all young people are thugs, gang bangers, drug dealers, and whatever,&quot; Rev. Clark said. &quot;They're like 'Wow, they're so intelligent, they're so nice, they're so generous'.&quot;<br /><br />The teens put their skills to work several days later. Five of them headed out to work on apartments in the neighborhood.<br /><br />They approached Joyce Williams' apartment, and asked what she needed to be done. Williams told them she had air seeping in around her doors. The young men sealed the gaps.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&quot;See, you can put your hand here, and there won't be no wind coming through,&quot; one of the teens told Williams.</div> <div><br />&quot;Hope I save money on my heat now, that heating bill is (exclamatory sound). It's very high,&quot; Williams said.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The teens headed out the door toward the next apartment.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&quot;Thank you all,&quot; Williams said. &quot;Have a blessed day.&quot;</div> <div>&quot;Thank you,&quot; a teen said, adding, &quot;Stay warm.&quot;</div> <div>Williams closed the door behind them, still saying, &quot;Thank you,&quot; and then, &quot;God bless.&quot;</div> <div><br />One of the teens, 15-year-old Darrieon Gunn, said the project has helped him gain job skills and confidence.<br /><br />&quot;It took me to a whole other level, because now I'm feeling so good about myself, me helping other people, me knowing I'm making them happier and I'm making them warm,&quot; he said.</div><div>All together, Gunn and the other teens in Barbershop Rap weatherproofed about 100 homes.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>They were part of a larger effort by Faith in Place that weatherized more than 600 houses and apartments. <br /><br />NOTE: <em>WBEZ Pritzker Journalism Fellow Samuel Vega contributed to this story.</em></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 13 Jan 2011 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/al-gore/teens-learn-about-faith-through-weatherstripping