Mar 022018
 
NYC Composting Program

Image from BioCycle.net

VID Reviews NYC Composting Program in Forum at the March General Meeting

On March 8th VID will present a forum on the NYC Composting Program … or How Greenwich Village Will Be Getting Greener!  

One third of what New Yorkers throw away is food scraps and other waste and that can be used to generate renewable energy as well as compost to create soil.  

To explain how local residents can participate in New York City’s innovative waste collection programs, Village Independent Democrats (VID) will host Tal Zaken, Senior Coordinator, Organics Outreach in the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability of the Department of Sanitation, at its general meeting on Thursday, March 8.  

Tal will explain how residents and buildings can participate in curbside collection or convenient neighborhood drop-off spots for organic waste material.  The meeting, which begins at 6:30 pm, is at St. John’s Lutheran Church Annex, at 83 Christopher Street.

“VID has been working for years to make New York City cleaner and greener,” said Nat Johnson, Chairman of VID’s Environmental Committee.  “If extended and developed, this program of the DSNY could be a game-changer in terms of waste removal and renewal.”

The City of New York already operates many compost collection sites in lower Manhattan, including:  

  1. Abingdon Square Greenmarket West 12th Street & 8th Avenue Saturdays: 8am–1pm*
  2. Hudson River Park’s 14th Street Park at 10th Ave. 14th Street Park at southwest corner of 15th St. and 10th Ave Daily: 7am-7pm
  3. Hudson River Park’s Chelsea Waterside Park at W. 23rd St. Chelsea Waterside Park at 23rd St. and 11th Ave entrance Daily: 7am-7pm
  4. Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 at N. Moore St. Pier 25 at N. Moore St. near kid’s playground Daily: 7am-7pm
  5. Hudson River Park’s Pier 40 at W. Houston St. Pier 40 at Houston St. near Dog Park Daily: 7am-7pm
  6. Hudson River Park’s Pier 51 at Horatio St. Pier 51 at Horatio St. near comfort station
  7. Hudson Square – 6th Ave & Spring St, East side of 6th Avenue just north of Spring Street, in front of the entrance to God’s Love We Deliver Hours: T/Th, 8:00am-11:00am, year-round.
  8. Tompkins Square Greenmarket E 7th St & Ave A Sundays 8am-1pm*
  9. Union Square Greenmarket NE Section of Union Square Park Mon* , Wed, Fri, Sat* 8am-5pm
  10. West 23rd Street at 8th Avenue, South side of W 23rd Street, just west of 8th Avenue, in front of the Vitamin Shoppe. Hours: Tu/Th, 8:00am-11:00am, year-round

 

The full list is at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/docs/nyc-food-scrap-drop-off-sites.pdf

See the full agenda for the March 8th Meeting Go to CALENDAR

* Textiles

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Feb 282018
 

VID’s General Meeting Covered L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning and More…

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning were the mail topics at February’s General Meeting held at PS 41 on the 8th.  John Weatherall spoke a meeting addressing the L train shutdown at a February 14 MTA Open House.  

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Chris Marte

Chris Marte discusses 85 Bowery

Chris Marte made a report on 85 Bowery, a building where almost 75 residents, children and seniors among them, were evacuated because of structural issues which the new landlord had not addressed.  He had disputed the status of the building as rent-stabilized and had not fixed the staircase for two years, so the court ordered the evacuation and gave the landlord two weeks to do the repairs.  The tenants, many of whom don’t speak English, were sent to a homeless shelter in East New York, where they were packed six to a room.  Both VID and DID sent letters to the local electeds. There’s more background and an update here.

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Berger

Keen Berger

Keen Berger spoke of her work with the New Sanctuary Movement, the deportation of Jean Montrevil to Haiti, and the future deportation of Ravi Ragbir.  Both of these people are activists in the NSM.  Nydia Velazquez introduced a private bill to rectify the situation.  Eric called for a motion that VID support special bill HR 4937–this passed unanimously, and Jonathan Geballe will work on it and send it out.

Assemblymember Deborah Glick introduced Julie Menin–she worked with Julie and CB1 after 9/11, then Julie ran for Borough President, after which Ms. Menin became the Consumer Affairs Commissioner and is now the Media and Entertainment Commissioner, where she is working on womens’ issues such as pay disparity.  Deborah applauded her for her long history of community organizing.

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Menin

VID Feb. 2018 Meeting with guest speaker, Commissioner Julie Menin, Mayors Office of Media and Entertainment, describing NYC Kids Rise program

Julie expressed her happiness to be back and spoke of NYC Kids Rise, her program to provide low-income children a $1,000 college savings account.  She is also involved in protecting the undocumented.  In Media and Entertainment, her focus is on various programs to provide women opportunities in film and onstage, including a $5M fund for women filmmakers and playwrights.  She also promotes sustainability and when a production is in the neighborhood, everything must be bought locally.  

Following Commisssioner Menin the Club listened to the candidates running in the Democratic Primary for Federal offices. The endorsements went to Gillibrand, Nadler and Maloney after in-depth discussion.

Nat Johnson reported for the Environmental Committee, speaking of the four pillars of the Committee:  use less and reuse, use everything more efficiently, protect the neighborhood and world environments, and assure progressive policies rooted in social safety nets and environmental justice.  There will be a presentation in the VID March 8 meeting featuring Tal Zakan, Senior Coordinator, Organics Outreach, DSNY, to discuss recycling.  There will also be a Town Hall followup on these same themes.

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Audience

Tony Hoffmann, Sara Kimball, Laurie Hardjowirogo

Laurie Hardjowirogo recounted a great meeting two weeks ago where phonebanking at Livvey Mann’s persuaded 50 voters to re-register upstate at their second homes.  The Committee is working with organizations like True Blue and people like Julian Spector, and will host a forum with Ross Barkan and Andrew Gounardes at Greenwich House.

Tony and Laurie outlined the last Campaign Committee meeting, which was attended by 19 people and set the calendar for endorsements.  There will be a forum for statewide candidates on May 7, and a breakfast March 3 which Nadler will probably attend, and petitioning begins March 6.

See Full Minutes

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Feb 012018
 

The start of the New Year was all about standing up and being counted…

Throughout Manhattan VID Members and friends gathered to support progressive agendas.  At the January 11 General Meeting, Erik Coler got the ball rolling on standing up and being counted by introducing his newest idea – posting anti-Trump fliers in coffee shops to stimulate membership in VID.  [Meeting Minutes Here]

Standing Up and Being Counted_DiNapoli

NYS Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli

This meeting also hosted NYS Comptroller Tom DeNapoli who regaled the club with a speech congratulating Jerry Nadler, Brad Hoylman, Deborah Glick, and others. He complimented the VID holiday party and spoke of the intricacies of the comptroller’s office and the financial soundness of the city, then took questions about prison reform, Medicaid and nursing homes.

On the Immigration front, Keen Berger and Erik Bottcher reported on the demonstration for Ravi Ragbir, head of the New Sanctuary Coalition.  Erik Bottcher spoke about the rally, which was attended by Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and during which two Councilmembers, Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez, were arrested.  Keen also mentioned Jean Montreal, who also is in danger of deportation.  

The Environmental Committee met on January 19th.  Nat Johnson, Chair of the committee, reported that the Trump administration was undermining EPA regulations, which required public hearings, not being held in New York.  He urged members to register objections at the EPA website.  The night before they had met with the Manhattan Solid Waste Management organization.  

Laurie Hardjowirogo solicited volunteers for the True Blue anti-IDC phone banks.   

On Saturday, January 20th a large number of VID Members and friends gathered for the Women’s March. (See the slideshow for Tony Hoffmann’s pictures).

On January 22, VID Member, Livvey Mann host a second-home registration phone bank. 

On January 25th there was an anti-IDC demonstration in front of Senator Flanagan’s office. 

And, then there were the Inauguration festivities for Councilmember Carlina Rivera and for Council Speaker Corey Johnson (also depicted in the slide show – thank you Tony).

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Dec 212017
 

VID’s Renewable Energy Forum Packed with Details

Renewable Energy_speakers

Nat Johnson, VID’s Environmental Committee Chair; John Franceschina. President, New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) and Greg Hale. Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Energy & Finance, Office of the Governor

Nat Johnson, Chair of VID’s Environmental Committee put together an excellent program for December 4th’s Renewable Energy Forum which included speakers from the NYS Reforming Energy Vision (REV) program and the New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO).

REV’s 2030 goals include a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels; 50% of electricity from renewable sources; 23% reduction in energy consumption of buildings from 2012 levels.  Ambitious but as Greg Hale, Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Energy & Finance, Office of the Governor says, “Doable.”  Their strategy is to support a broad range of renewable options, from rooftop solar panels to grid-scale wind farms, all with an emphasis on integrating these diverse energy sources into the grid. Simultaneously, New York is working to reduce soft costs and other market barriers to make these solutions more competitive in the energy market.  To accomplish this REV has embarked on more than 40 initiatives covering seven categories:

  1. Renewable Energy
  2. Building & Energy Efficiency
  3. Clean Energy Financing
  4. Sustainable & Resilient Communities
  5. Energy Infrastructure Modernization
  6. Innovation and R&D
  7. Transportation

You can review Mr. Hales whole presentation, Reforming the Energy Vision – New York Public Service (PowerPoint)

Renewable Energy ForumAnother fast-growing option utilizes Geothermal energy.   John Franceschina, President, New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) explained the process and benefits for using ground-source heat pumps to heat and cool buildings in New York State.  First, it is a naturally available and steady resource; the earth itself is a solar collector as well as an energy storage system.  Geothermal heat pump (GHP) Systems are extremely scalable, from low income housing to community loops serving multiple buildings on college campuses (such as the Skidmore Energy Node Project).  Since the Renewable Energy Forum,  on December 11, 2017, New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan and New York State Senator Robert Ortt announced the passage of their new law allowing geothermal heating & cooling systems to be included in New York’s On-Bill Recovery Financing Program.  This program, administered by the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), allows homeowners, small businesses and not-for-profits to finance energy efficiency improvements through a charge on their utility bill.

You can also learn more about the movement toward geothermal energy from The Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE)

OR you can download VID’s Forum Resource sheet.

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