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Oswego Looks To Reduce Its Carbon Footprint, Save Money

OSWEGO, NY – The Port City is looking to reduce its carbon footprint and save some money in the process.

The city has been awarded a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Energy Efficiency Block Grant.

It would enable the city to take part in the Climate Smart Communities program.

At tonight’s committee meetings, Mary Vanouse, community development director, is expected to request the council to authorize the purchasing agent to request proposals from qualified energy management contractors to implement this project.

The NYSERDA grant of $49,616 requires a match of $2,611 in city funds.

“This contract will help the city to benchmark its current energy use and identify and apply for additional grant opportunities to reduce the city’s energy consumption, carbon footprint and ultimately its operating costs for city facilities,” Vanouse explained.

The Climate Smart Communities program is a partnership of state and local governments whose goal is to combat climate change.

The program emphasizes local actions that will save taxpayer dollars and support other community goals while protecting the climate.

According to Vanouse, 47 other communities have already pledged to make their municipal operations and their communities ‘climate smart.’

Becoming a Climate Smart Community establishes a locality and its leaders as forward-thinking and innovated, she added.

Climate Smart Communities position themselves as good investments for the future, especially for renewable energy, energy efficiency, weatherization and other “green” businesses and jobs, she said.

Also on tap is a discussion, requested by Mayor Randy Bateman, regarding an ordinance relating to the use of personal flotation devices by fishermen.

This dialogue is in response to the deaths of two fishermen last fall in the Oswego River.

The city held public meetings to discuss how to make things safer during fishing season.

A follow-up meeting was conducted to consider the suggestions offered during the public meetings. The use of personal flotation devices was one of the options under consideration.

Fidelis Health Care Helps Catholic Charities Go Green

FULTON, NY – Fidelis Health Care is helping Catholic Charities of Oswego County go green by supplying the agency’s food panty with re-usable bags for its consumers.

While supplies last, visitors to Catholic Charities food pantry will receive a re-usable bag courtesy of Fidelis Health Care.

Consumers will be encouraged to use their bag each time they visit the food pantry as they will earn additional points for use towards food from the pantry.

Fidelis Health Care Marketing Representative, Sara Upfold-Harrell (left) presents Helen Hoefer, director of emergency services at Catholic Charities of Oswego County with re-useable bags. The bags will help Catholic Charities go green as they are distributed to those who visit the agency’s food panty.

Fidelis Health Care Marketing Representative, Sara Upfold-Harrell (left) presents Helen Hoefer, director of emergency services at Catholic Charities of Oswego County with re-useable bags. The bags will help Catholic Charities go green as they are distributed to those who visit the agency’s food panty.

Director of Catholic Charities’ Emergency Services Program, Helen Hoefer explained, “We have a client choice food pantry that provides our consumers with the opportunity to walk through and, with the help of a volunteer, pick out the food items that they prefer. Each client has an assigned amount of ‘food points.’ Based on their point allotment, clients are able to select the fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins that they prefer. It is a very efficient and personal way for our consumers to get the food they need for themselves and their family.”

“We are grateful to Fidelis Health Care for providing the re-useable bags and helping us and our consumers go green to help our environment,” added Hoefer.

Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Client Choice Food Pantry is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, call 598-3980.

Catholic Charities of Oswego County serves all people in need regardless of their religious affiliation.

Primary funding sources for Catholic Charities of Oswego County programs are the United Way of Greater Oswego County, the Diocesan Hope Appeal, the County of Oswego and private donations by individuals and local companies and organizations.

Oswego County Continues Down Green Path

OSWEGO, NY – You wouldn’t know it from the weather. But, Oswego County is going green.

Actually, the proper term would be “greener,” according to David Turner, director of the county’s Community Development, Tourism and Planning department.

Barry Leemann, chair of the Oswego County Legislature, created a “Green Team” to make the county more energy efficient and save money.

Besides Turner, the team members include representatives from the county, SUNY Oswego and the Regional Planning Board.

It has been able to access grant funds for energy conservation projects, the chairman noted.

Early last year, by taking advantage of National Grid’s Small Business Program, the county completed energy audits of several buildings and installed energy efficient lighting at Camp Hollis, the Pulaski and Oswego courthouses and the Buildings and Grounds facility in Oswego, he said.

With the help of a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) grant last fall, the county began retrofitting more than 600 light fixtures at the Legislative Office Building on East Bridge Street in Oswego.

The project considerably reduces energy consumption at the facility and is expected to result in an annual savings of approximately $17,500 in utility costs, Turner pointed out.

Certain county departments are looking into the use of more green products, he said, adding that the Highway Department did a test with bio-diesel in one of their trucks to see how that would work.

While several projects have been funded, the county is looking for funds for more projects in the future, Turner said.

The program has already produced savings.

In a six-month period for one of the (lighting) programs, it has saved 35,869 kW hours, Turner pointed out.

“Dollar-wise, we’ve saved $2,600 (in electricity costs) at those three places in six months,” he said. “So we have saved about 10 percent of what we put into the project in just six months.”

The county is committed to being a ‘green,’ Turner said, adding that the Green Team’s efforts will make it even greener.

Families who want to find out how they can reduce utility bills, conserve energy and become more energy independent should visit www.RenewOswegoCounty.org

The site contains information and links to cash incentive programs from federal, state, utility, and third-party sources.

Eastern Shore Associates’ ‘Green’ Initiatives Save Kilowatts, Trees, and Dollars

Eastern Shore Associates Insurance (ESA), a Trusted Choice® agency, has saved more than 100 trees, and will save more than 34,135 kilowatts as part of energy saving and recycling initiatives throughout its offices, said Melissa Calverase, ESA vice president, finance.

“We’ve nearly completed refitting all the lighting in our Fulton office through National Grid’s Energy Savings Plan with high efficiency fluorescent bulbs and fixtures that is projected to save $3,800 (34,135 kw) annually in electric costs. National Grid’s program covers 70% of the materials and labor, so we will recover our return on investment within one year after the changeover has been completed.

Eastern Shore Associates Insurance (ESA), a Trusted Choice® agency, Fulton, has saved more than 100 trees, and will save more than 34,135 kilowatts as part of energy saving and recycling initiatives throughout its offices, said Melissa Calverase, (far right). ESA vice president, finance, with a shredded documents bag. “That translates into a projected annual savings of $3,800,” Calverase said.” ESA offices also participate document shredding and in recycling glass, plastic, metal and cardboard. In Fulton, office-recycling efforts are coordinated by Sheila Casper, (far left), ESA commercial sales and marketing, and her daughter, Kiley Casper, administrative assistant, who is holding high efficiency fluorescent bulbs. “Every Friday, employees volunteer to collect recyclables from the bins located throughout our office,” said Sheila Casper. “With it, our employees have helped re-purpose or recycle hundreds of pounds of raw materials while saving space in local landfills”

“These new lights use half the wattage of our previous fixtures and provide brighter, more natural light, with no glare.

“Electric savings are only the beginning of the efforts we’ve undertaken. All our 11 offices have gone paperless whenever possible by using electronic files and document scanners, while also participating in our annual document-shredding program. At the Fulton office alone, we’ve saved 102 trees since we started the program with Shred-It in 2007.”

ESA offices also participate in recycling glass, plastic, metal and cardboard. In Fulton, office-recycling efforts are coordinated by Sheila Casper, ESA commercial sales and marketing, and her daughter, Kiley Casper, administrative assistant.

“Our employees sign up to volunteer to collect recyclables every Friday from the bins located throughout our office,” said Sheila Casper. “Kiley and I have always been big advocates for recycling and we’ve helped coordinate this program for the past two years. With it, our employees have helped re-purpose or recycle hundreds of pounds of raw materials while saving space in local landfills”

Tim Gerrity, an electrician with SmartWatt Energy, Inc., changes a lighting fixture at Eastern Shore Associates Insurance (ESA) in Fulton as part of a National Grid Energy Savings Program. Changing all the lighting at the Fulton office with fixtures that use half the wattage of the previous fixtures is expected to save the agency $3,800 annually. The Energy Savings Program covers 70% of materials and labor, so ESA expects a full return on its investment in less than a year after installation is complete, said Melissa Calverase, ESA vice president, finance. “All of ESA’s 11 offices throughout central New York participate in glass, metal, plastic metal and cardboard recycling,” Calverase said. “We also use electronic files and scan documents as often as possible to reduce paper usage. Our program with Shred-it in Fulton has also saved over 100 trees since we began using the service in 2007.”

Headquartered in Fulton, Eastern Shore Associates is an ESOP (employee stock owned) company. ESA offers a full range of business and personal insurance, including property, liability, automobile, boats, farms, recreational vehicles, workers compensation, and bonds. In addition, they offer financial

“Our agency roots date back to 1846,” said Wallace. “And we have more than 100 years of continuous representation with some of our insurance companies. 2010 is our 24th year as Eastern Shore Associates Insurance.

“Other services include commercial risk analysis, loss control, and employee benefits. We also meet the insurance needs of many New York municipalities, schools, and emergency services.”

Eastern Shore Associates Insurance is an independent agency with offices in Fulton, Camillus, Oswego, Pulaski, Hannibal, Phoenix, Camden, Waterloo, Rochester, Walworth and Felt Mills. ESA’s main office is in Fulton at 598-6000 and on-line at www.esainsurance.com.

Port City, SUNY Oswego Embrace Green Technology

By Samuel Weisman, Contributing Writer

OSWEGO, NY-This week the Common Council authorized the purchasing agent to seek proposals to install photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Crisafulli Hockey Rink on East Ninth Street.

This is just one of the many small steps the city is taking to reduce energy usage and cost.

An 18-foot tall wind turbine sits atop of Lee Hall. This vertical axis windmill can produce enough electricity to power some of the lights in the building.

An 18-foot tall wind turbine sits atop of Lee Hall. This vertical axis windmill can produce enough electricity to power some of the lights in the building.

The photovoltaic panels, which turn solar energy into electricity, would create more than 530,000 kilowatts of electricity annually and would cost $201 per month to power up the building.

Mary Vanouse, community development director, said, “As a city we are a large corporation and it’s so important that we reduce our energy usage and cut cost for the community.”

Some of the other initiatives the city has taken to help reduce energy consumption are conducting energy audits for the municipal buildings and installing a new lighting system in the DPW building.

There is also a small demonstration rain garden outside of City Hall, which is a green way of helping with storm water management.

Rain gardens take rain water from impermeable surfaces, such as roofs and roads, and instead of directing the runoff into the storm drainage system, the water irrigates gardens helping them flourish.

The rain garden in Oswego is home to a beautiful red flowering plant called Oswego Tea.

The Oswego Tea plant grows in the rain garden outside of City Hall.

The Oswego Tea plant grows in the rain garden outside of City Hall.

There are directions on how to build a rain garden as part of the display outside of City Hall.

Vanouse said, “Our city is driven by water and this is just one of the ways that urban applications can help us.”

“When the sewer systems were built in Oswego the waste water and storm water systems were the same,” said John Moore, director of sustainability and diving coach at SUNY Oswego. “So when we have monsoon like rains the lines get backed up, instead of overflowing into homes the water would get bypassed into the lake. This is one of the problems of the old system and why you are seeing all the construction around. They are separating the lines.”

SUNY Oswego is also implementing green technologies on campus in its effort to become carbon neutral with the installation of a wind turbine atop Lee Hall and the construction of a new science building which will be heated by geothermal power and have photovoltaic panels on the roof.

The windmill is an 18-foot structure that produces 10 kilowatts per hour during peak performance and could produce 40,000 kilowatts annually.

This is enough to power some of the lights in the building.

Moore said, “It’s an experimental program with Impact Technologies. They were looking for places to install the beta-type turbine so we approached them. The advantage to us is that they will come as guest speakers in classes and share their experiences. It is the ground floor of new technology intended to be an iconic thing.”

There is no maintenance required for the small wind turbine.

Instead of having an evergreen cut down and donated every year for the Children's holiday celebration, the Port City had this one planted.

Instead of having an evergreen cut down and donated every year for the Children's holiday celebration, the Port City had this one planted.

Moore said, “You would expect someone that someone would have to go up there and grease the bearings, but there are none. It works by opposing magnets so the moving parts, they never touch.”

Unlike large industrial windmills, such as those at the Tug Hill Wind Farm, the prototype windmill on campus is designed to be used on the roofs of small businesses and residences.

“Our goal is to become carbon neutral. But more than that our goal is to educate our students and community on what it really means to be green. What better place to try some of these experimental technologies than on campus,” Moore said.

The geothermal heating system requires drilling holes and tapping into the Earth’s energy will heat and cool the new science building.

The cost of this system is comparable to more conventional methods using fossil fuels, but it is much cleaner, requires no fuel, and is renewable.

As for the new science building, the official groundbreaking is Friday at 1:30 pm.

The building itself will be open for business in the fall of 2013.

Ronald J. (Greeney) Green, 73

Ronald J. (Greeney) Green

Ronald J. (Greeney) Green

Ronald J. (Greeney) Green, 73, of Fulton died May 19, 2010 at home. Born in Vernon, he graduated from Oneida High School and joined the Navy serving during the Korean War. Ron moved to Fulton 27 years ago. He was an electrician and worked at Rome Air Force Base, Oneida Ltd., Miller Brewery and New Process Gear, where he retired in 1999. He was a member of the Country Cruizers, American Legion in Munnsville, E.L.O.S.T.A. and he was the president of I.O.O.B. Club.

Ron was predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Elizabeth “Betty” Green, who died August 30, 2007. He is survived by five daughters, Susan (Randy) Bartlett of Ocala, FL, Cheryl (Randy) Hokanson of Fulton, Sheila Simpson of Fulton, Sandra Chapin of Harpursville and Cynthia (Robert) Dunbar of Fulton; mother, Beulah Green of Oneida Castle; two sisters, Bonnie Carver of Oneida Castle and Jen (Jack) Erenwein of Sherrill; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services are 10 a.m. Tuesday at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton. Burial with military honors conducted by the U.S. Navy and Fulton V.F.W. Post #569 will be at Jacksonville Cemetery, Lysander. Calling hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. Contributions in memory of Ron may be made to Country Cruizers, c/o Mike Abare, PO Box 238, Hannibal, NY 13074.

Foster Funeral Home, Inc.
www.fosterfuneralhome.com

PJC Goes Green for May Meeting

OSWEGO, NY – Wendy Cobrda, Central New York’s “Data Diva” and the guru of green, will share her findings about consumers’ attitudes toward environmental issues when she speaks at the May meeting of the Professional Journalists and Communicators of Oswego County begin at 5 p.m. May 19 at Bridie Manor.

Wendy Cobrda

Wendy Cobrda

Cobrda was recently featured on the front page of the Post-Standard in an article on green attitudes among Central New York residents. She will talk about the differences between the types of research available to writers: syndicated weighted studies, primary research, polls, secondary research and demographic sources.

She will share data used for the CNY Green article and explain how to interpret these data.

Cobrda is co-founder and CEO of Earthsense, an applied marketing company that surveys Americans and provides the data to businesses to help them understand consumer attitudes toward green products and eco-friendly companies.

A veteran of the target marketing industry with 20-plus years building innovative data and consulting solutions and a 10-plus years serial entrepreneur, Cobrda founded Earthsense with Amy Hebard as the culmination of several greenfield ventures, including target marketing consultancy Catenate (client list includes HP, Borders, Turner Broadcasting, John Hancock, Experian) and Catosphere, a demographics e-commerce portal; business development for top segmentation and syndicated research companies (Claritas, Market Statistics, Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI), Group 1 Software).

Earthsense has its headquarters in the Syracuse Technology Garden business incubator where Cobrda is an integral part of the facility’s business network.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from SUNY Oswego and lives in Manlius with her husband, Pete Buonfiglio, and their two children.

The PJC meeting is open to the public.

The cost is $12 for club members and $14 for non-members.

Reservations are required and may be placed with Muriel Allerton by calling 592-5900 or by e-mailing her at murielal@twcny.rr.com.

‘Green’ Vehicles To Be Featured At Sustainability Fair

OSWEGO, NY – Chevrolet’s prototype fuel cell vehicle, the Equinox, will be available to test drive  by Central New Yorkers who attend SUNY-Oswego’s first Sustainability Fair—”Green Products and Ideas” – on April 21.

The fair will take place between 4 and 8 p.m. in SUNY-Oswego’s Campus Center Arena.

It is free and open to the public, and parking will be available.

The fuel cell Equinox runs on electricity created by an on-board fuel-cell stack and is virtually pollution free, emitting only wisps of water vapor. The vehicle carries 4.2 kilograms of compressed hydrogen on board, enough to drive about 168 miles before refilling. A GM representative will be on hand to provide more information about the fuel-cell process.

Other vehicles being exhibited include a faculty built electric sports car, a student built wood gasification truck, a Prius, a Honda hybrid, and a Smart Car.

The Sustainability Fair will also offer homeowners and community members an opportunity to gain information about products, services, and money-saving initiatives from a range of Central New York vendors and speakers.

Chris Carrick of the state’s Energy Research and Development Authority will provide information about home energy efficiency and tax incentives.

Ashley McGraw Architects will host a booth demonstrating the college’s new apartment complex , The Village, with information on the components that qualify it for LEED Gold, a top Green Building Council certification.

Other vendors will introduce visitors to green cleaning services, solar and wind energy contracting, organic farming and gardening, and more.

The fair is sponsored by SUNY-Oswego and an ad hoc group of college and community members; it is part of the college’s Quest Day of Research and Creativity.

The American Chemical Society and Oswego’s Auxiliary Services have provided underwriting.

For more information, visit http://www.oswego.edu/sustainabilityfair

Leg. Chairman Leemann Announces Launch of ‘Green’ Web Site

Oswego County's new "green" website.

Oswego County's new "green" website.

Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann today announced the launch of a new Web site that will help Oswego County residents save money on their energy bills and give them information about energy conservation projects.

“Oswego County is committed to being a ‘green’ county, and our county Green Team continues to make significant advances toward energy savings, recycling, and conservation of our resources,” said Legislature Chairman Leemann, District 4, West Amboy. “The launch of the new Web site, www.renewoswegocounty.org, is another example of the County’s continued commitment to our sustainability efforts. It will serve as a valuable resource for our residents as they look for ways to conserve energy and save money on their utility bills.”

Legislator Leemann said the Web site is developed through a partnership with Blue Springs Energy, LLC, a Rochester-area company that helps communities access clean and renewable energy grants, incentives and credits.

“Last year the Green Team conducted energy audits on seven county government facilities, including lighting, heating and ventilating systems, energy management systems, and options for wind and solar power generation at various sites,” said Legislator Leemann. “This positioned us to then apply for financial assistance to begin to move some energy conservation projects forward.”

As a result, the county has received nearly $711,000 in state, federal and private sector grants to help pay for energy conservation and lighting system upgrades in six county facilities. When completed, these projects will help avoid the emission of almost 280 tons of greenhouse gases each year and reduce the County’s annual energy costs by nearly $90,000.

The renewoswegocounty.org Web site highlights countywide energy efficient initiatives including the energy conservation projects in county buildings, the ferrous metals recovery program at the Oswego County Energy Recovery Facility, the household hazardous waste facility which opened last year, and the county recycling program.

“Blue Springs Energy is proud to partner with Oswego County in helping its residents, businesses and not-for-profit organizations save money on their energy bills and help the environment,” said Larry Simpson, President of Blue Spring Energy LLC. “The new Web site provides useful information on federal tax credits, New York State programs, utility incentives, private sector resources, and county government’s Green Team efforts.”

“This represents another important step on Oswego County’s path to sustainability,” said Legislature Chairman Leemann. “Our residents have shown their commitment to a green environment through their participation in the single-stream recycling program. Since we adopted single-stream recycling in early 2009, we’ve seen a 65 percent increase in the amount of materials being recycled. This translates to a savings in landfill space, reduces the amount of materials taken to ERF, and generates more revenue through the sale of recyclables to offset county property tax dollars.”

For additional information, visit www.renewoswegocounty.org.

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