Orchard Street Ravine Work Party This Saturday

Calling all volunteers.

With Spring hard on our heels, we’re starting the monthly work parties are starting up again in Orchard Ravine.  This S

aturday, March 12th, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm Orchard Street residents, Morgan Community volunteers and other neighbors will be gathering at the Ravine to help clear weeds, among other activities.

Join us for good conversation, a cup of coffee and some pre-spring clean up. Let’s get those weeds and blackberries under control early this year.

For the new folks who might show up, please don’t hesitate to email Paul Prentice if you have any questions about the work party or procedures.  Also, please RSVP to paul@prenticedesign.com if you are coming and remember, tools are provided, but YOU have to bring your gloves!

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Tool Library “Ask An Expert” Returns This Saturday

This Saturday drop by the Tool Library, at the Horticulture Center, north end of South Seattle Community College, for another session of “Ask An Expert.”This interactive feature allows West Seattle neighbors to show up with any kind of question about their house, yard or other items where tool use is required and engage in friendly and informative discussions with members of West Seattle’s Green-Friendly contractor and building trades representatives.

On hand for this Saturday’s session, which is from 10:00 am through 12:00 noon, will be Eric Thomas from  Solar Epiphany,  Laura and Doug Elfline from Mighty House Construction and Josh Brincko of International Studio.  Drop by and bring your questions – below are a few starter questions to get you thinking…

  • How economically can I add solar electric or solar thermal;
  • Can I insulate my house with non-toxic insulation and how does that work;
  • How can I capture the run-off from my roof efficiently;
  • Are thermal windows a good investment;
  • Are green construction techniques more costly than regular methods?

While you’re there, check out a tool from the Tool Library.  Also, if you have extra tools that you’re not using, consider donating them to the Tool LIbrary, Sustainable West Seattle is a 501(c)(3) non-profit which means your donations will be tax-deductible.

Seattle Central Library Hosting Urban Agriculture Panel

The Seattle Public Library is hosting a public talk on  “Urban Agriculture”, at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, March 22, at the downtown library in the Microsoft Auditorium on the mail level (5th Avenue side).

Local experts from Mithun, the P-Patch Trust, Alleycat Acres and other organizations will discuss the successes and challenges of their unique design processes as well as the many benefits of locally grown food.

This program is co-sponsored with the Seattle Architectural Foundation.

Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required. For more information contact the Central Library at 206-386-4636.

Block Watch Captains’ Network Monthly Meeting Tonight

The West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network has a great agenda for their March 22nd meeting tonight at 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Southwest Police Precinct headquarters at 2300 SW Webster St.

Do you think of crime prevention in terms of deadbolts on doors and locks on windows? There are more far-reaching options, such as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

What is CPTED? It refers to a group of strategies intended to reduce the fear of crime and the opportunities to commit crimes such as breaking and entering, assault and vehicle theft. The principles of CPTED are used by police, landscape designers, architects, city planners and many others to make parks, properties and neighborhoods more crime-resistant.

Come learn about the principles of CPTED and how to apply them to your building or property or neighborhood. Community Police Team (CPT) Officer Jonathan Kiehn, who conducts CPTED training, will offer specific strategies to make your neighborhood less crime-friendly; he’ll share some success stories that have resulted from the implementation of CPTED principles.

After the presentation you will also have an opportunity to ask specific questions about your own home, business, local park or neighborhood. Bring a photo and get a mini-consult on what you can do to improve your safety! Kelly McKinney, from Seattle Neighborhood Group, and others who have implemented the CPTED principles, will also be on hand to answer your specific questions.

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City Fruit Offering Fruit Tree New Fruit Grafting Class

City Fruit is again offering useful courses for the permaculturist and home gardener/farmer.  This time it’s  Grafting New Fruit onto Existing Fruit Trees.

The class is being taught March 12, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Bradner Gardens Park classroom,  1733 Bradner Place S., in the Mt. Baker neighborhood.  Best bets for West Seattle folks is to take any of the regular buses from West Seattle downtown and catch Link light rail to the Mt. Baker station and walk or bike north

This course provides an introduction to the whip graft, cleft graft, bud graft and pleach. You can practice grafting and learn the in’s and out’s of rootstocks. Instructor Greg Giuliani grew up on a Snoqualmie Valley farm with a 1930’s orchard. He learned how to graft in order to re-create these heritage fruit varieties, not available in stores. He has been a member and instructor with the Seattle Tree Fruit Society for twelve years.

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Open House for New Energy Rating & Reporting Law

The Seattle Department of Planning and Development is hosting an open house this Thursday, March 17, for building owners and others interested in learning more about the City’s building energy benchmarking and reporting ordinance – the new Building Energy Rating and Reporting Ordinance. Partner organizations will be on hand to share resources available to help building owners lower energy use and costs.

The Open House will take place from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm in the Bertha Landes Room at City Hall on 600 5th Avenue. The presentation will begin at 5:30 pm.

Energy used in buildings accounts for almost 26% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced in Seattle. Much of that energy goes wasted because buildings aren’t as efficient as they could be. As a result, many building owners and tenants are spending far more on energy than necessary.

The City aims to help owners and tenants reel in energy use and costs, and reduce their environmental impacts, and has a number of green building and energy efficiency programs and policies in place. One such policy is the Energy Disclosure Ordinance, passed last year, which requires commercial property owners to annually measure and rate — or “benchmark” — the energy performance of their buildings and provide these ratings to interested buyers and renters. The legislation puts in place a process whereby utilities will upload complete energy consumption data to a single common record for each building owner via an automated process, eliminating one of the biggest challenges owners have faced when trying to understand how their building is performing.

“This program will provide building owners with easily accessible information on how their buildings are performing compared to industry norms to guide their energy efficiency investments,” said Jayson Antonoff, Energy Disclosure program manager. “Tenants, buyers and lenders can also use this information when considering where to buy, lease or invest in a space similar to how consumers consider MPG ratings when buying a car.”

Benchmarking is a standardized way for owners to evaluate a building’s energy use. Many Seattle building owners already benchmark their properties using a free, online benchmarking tool from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called Energy Star Portfolio Manager – the same tool that the city is requiring all owners to use.

“Benchmarking has been the biggest boon to track exactly what properties are spending on energy and be able to share this with our clients and show them what upgrades can be made,” said Dave Low, director of sustainability practices for Kidder Mathews, a commercial real estate firm that manages 300 buildings in the Puget Sound area. “This has helped building owners lease and sell their buildings.”

Open house attendees will learn about the many programs, rebates and other financial incentives available to help owners improve building efficiency.

“We welcome the opportunity to take part in this important event to help Seattle property owners improve building energy efficiency,” said Glenn Atwood, City Light’s conservation resources director. “There are many programs, services and financial incentives available to owners to help lower energy use and cut operating costs. City Light experts are available to help our customers find ways to start saving today.”

Exhibitors include:

For more information, contact Rebecca Baker at 206-615-1171, or by email at Rebecca.baker@seattle.gov

Improve Your Ability To Be an Agent of Change

Sustainable Seattle is hosting a special one-day workshop that will help you find your strengths as a change agent, and build on them.

The workshop is Advanced Change Agentry for Sustainability, and will be taught by Alan AtKisson, who will draw on his experience – and help you draw on yours – to deepen your practical understanding of:

  • Why change for sustainability is different – and what you need to do differently when your are working on sustainability change processes
  • When, why, and how to use systems thinking and other tools to increase your chances of success—and also when not to use them
  • How to map cultural dynamics and plan effective strategy for change
  • The role of power in change processes, and how to deal effectively with power games
  • Knowing your own “API”—authority, presence, and impact—and learning how to systematically improve all three factors of success.

The workshop takes place at the Seattle Public Library, main branch, Wright-Ketcham meeting room, 1000 Fourth Avenue, downtown Seattle. For more information and online registration, go to http://sustainableseattle.org/training/231

This workshop is part of the ISIS Academy, a professional training program run by AtKisson Group affiliates around the world. They focus on change for sustainability, and integrate the technical skills you need with the people skills that make change possible—and personally rewarding.

A co-founder and former co-chair of Sustainable Seattle, Alan AtKisson now lives in Stockholm, Sweden. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear one of Sustainable Seattle’s most inspiring speakers as he returns to Seattle to celebrate our 20th anniversary.

Over the past two decades Alan has worked in over forty countries helping companies, governments, cities, communities, universities, and institutions of many kinds to advance sustainability—often in very challenging circumstances. He has also taught hundreds of professionals and professionals-in-training to develop their skills for designing, initiating, leading and managing change for sustainability.

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Solar Washington Forum Looks at Innovative Solar Programs

Solar Washington‘s March Community Forum will be about “Community Solar in Washington,” and takes place Monday, March 14, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Seattle flagship REI store, at  222 Yale Ave N, just north of downtown hard by the I-5 freeway.

Lately, many Solar Washington members have been asking “What’s up with Washington’s recently-implemented, and innovative Community Solar program?”, so we’ve created a program just for you in March. We’ll break down the details with the state’s leading experts, and you’ll also get a preview of some the state’s larger and higher profile community solar projects that have a likelihood of occurring in 2011. Speakers will include:

They’ll guide us through the ins and outs of community solar; current challenges, obstacles, and solutions; and what to expect from 2011 legislative interpretations and changes.

Plus we’ll all be treated to a presentation by Linda Irvine, Community Solar Project Manager for Northwest SEED, on the goals, status, and successes of Washington’s first “community based bulk purchasing program of solar electric systems” in progress with the innovative Solarize Queen Anne program.

We’ll also get a glimpse of what Solar Washington will be up to for 2011. We’ll introduce you to all the committees and will roll out our new business membership plan.

Don’t miss this enlightening and informative discussion if you want to play a part in the Community Solar phenomena that has the potential of, yet again, putting Washington State on the Nation’s “Solar Map”.

Can’t make it down to REI? Skip the traffic and join us ONLINE to listen or chat questions for the speakers. You must reserve a Webinar seat in advance to participate.

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