Sustainability

lastest reports are that the unemployment rate in Duluth is six point nine . Thank you Mayor Ness . It’s curious that we as a city haven’t embraced sustaniblity concepts beyon(sp) what has been done..I’m curious why we’re not more progressive. Noithing in the paper about solar prodjects. I could get down into that but Mister mayor leave a legacy.

22 Comments

Steven

about 12 years ago

First, please take a little bit of time to use correct spelling and grammar; it will be easier for others to review and comment on your article.

Second, it is not obvious to me if you are implying that the Mayor is responsible for the low unemployment (when compared to the nation) or to be blamed for...something. Do you think they are other factors involved in our local economy (both for good and for bad) other than the Mayor's office?

So, what is the point of your article?  You want the City to be more progressive....with energy? Is that correct?  I am not trying to be overly difficult, just trying to understand your point. 

What specific role to you think the City should play in encouraging solar use?

nbayuk

about 12 years ago

I have to agree. There is quite a bit of ambiguity in this post. I try not to be a grammer and spelling boffin, but they were both atrocious. Anyway, I think Mayor Ness has done an excellent job thus far. A 6.9% unemployment rate is pretty good, comparativley. It is a sign of the times and will more than likely improve along with the rest of the nation. We are a little ahead of the game, which is great! I am in full support of all things green and solar. I feel this is the future for America if we could get our collective shit together and focus. We are still bickering about the validity of global warming while China is making massive headway on a major solar program. There are many inevitable patents out there I fear we will lose because of the lack of maturity of some of our leaders. I know Mayor Ness is a big advocate for green technology and I hope his colleagues around the state will follow suit. Although with the Republican take over and eventual randsacking of the legislature, this will be at least a 2 year hinderance for any progress. As for the city's role for solar energy.......lead by example please!

German Chris

about 12 years ago

Is randsacking what the Rand corporation does?

jill

about 12 years ago

ease up people.
http://www.dyslexia.com/famous.htm

frank, i hope you don't(and i don't expect you would)take this criticism to heart. (also, not trying to say you are dyslexic, just trying to make a larger point. also, i myself believe you are a genius.)

I appreciated your point, and would also like to see Duluth become more of an Environmental Leader. 
Also, I stray from divisive generalizations such as 
"Although with the Republican take over and eventual randsacking (ransacking) of the legislature, this will be at least a 2 year hinderance (hindrance) for any progress", because with mindsets like this, we are magnetizing paralysis not progress. 

Anyway, Gobble Gobble.

admackbar

about 12 years ago

How about a little respect, people? Its Frank F---ing Nichols!

Steven

about 12 years ago

Frank Nichols! :)

I fully support green ideas and sustainability, but I personally get tired of saying we should "do it!!!", but it seems there is little in the way of specific ideas....especially in regard to encouraging the free market and/or Joe Citizen want to do it (as opposed to being forced to do it).  Kind of like everyone talking about the weather, but no one doing anything about it.  Just my two cents.

Frank Nichols

about 12 years ago

Sorry about the grammar ,usually I do better. Reading my post you are right , that was bad. Getting old has it's issues and I am more embarrased then you are. I'll try to do better   A good reason why you shouldn't post after you been out on the town. Has to be some reason we have such a good unemployment rate. I would think that it has something to do with the Mayor's policies just as he would be blamed if it was 10 % unemployment. As far as do I live a perfect green life, of course not, I do what I can. I know that I got my electric bill down to 19 dollars a month and also have stopped most stormwater from running off my property. I would love to have a sustainable house with solar and wind and if I was a younger man and building a new house I would certainly try to do that. 
      So why do I think we're not as progressive a community as we could be.  Where does the money go? We spent 400 million on new schools , how many solar panels are there on those schools? Was there any attempt to make our schools susstainable?  We have a hundred million dollars of new hockey rinks, did we do anything like the Phil. Eagles who are installing wind turbines and solar to supply good renewable energy to their stadium? The NFL is going to lead on this, who would have thought that? Do we have a committee set up studying these things? If so I apologize , but I haven't seen this. Have we tried even one solar/wind street lights? Could that be a new industry for someone. Why do you have to buy them from China or Japan?  Whether you agree with green energy or not somebody is going to make these things.  I,m not saying it would be easy to do , but I don't see any of this. What is happening at the Rice Lake dump? They capped it, are they using the biogas caused by the fermentation , to generate power? What a perfect place for a solar installation. Electric bikes are becoming huge in some places, could we make them here?  
     In closing I guess I just don,t see this type of developement being very high on the list of our priorities. I'm not saying there aren't good people trying to do this, We have a good local food thing happening and I know we're trying to get wind manufacturing here and that,s a good thing. And no I don't think I'm all that smart and I would happy to sit on some committee.

Frank Nichols

about 12 years ago

Here is a small thing that could be tried. Most of us pay 3.50 cents for electricity for street lights. Take one intersection haveing one street light. Going to the middle of each block you have about 15 residences each paying 3.50 a month or 42 dollars a year times 15 equals 630 dollar a year. A company named Enertia Engineering has an advanced type of solar street light. I am going to use prices  and operating facts from their fact sheet. This is just one company I just pulled them up, never heard about them before, whether they are the best or worse I don't know. They are more expensive up front 3000 dollars versus 400 for standard light. But installation cost are minimal vs a new standard light . No trenching no wires on the pole or in the ground  These are their fiqures. Total one time costs installed. 6100 for standard st light vs 3100 for the solar . Further saving are accrued because you don't have  to buy electrity with the solar light, maintenance is cheaper . In their analysis a regular street light cost about 500 dollars a year to operate vs 75 for solar. 
    You could try a test intersection using the 630 dollars we are paying for our street light. In five years you have recouped your investment and now you only have minimal maintenance costs and you are not buying electricity from the Dakotas or someplace. This is a small example of sustainability as to some degree you are now in control of your own lights.Their are places doing this with the main resistance to this coming from power companies. I'm not saying do the whole town just one intersection as a test. Do diligent research as to who has the best light for your money. Not a real big thing but a step in right derection. The intersection I would pick would be Lake and Suoerior.

Frank Nichols

about 12 years ago

I was doing so well with my spelling, That would be direction and Superior

A Fraud

about 12 years ago

The unemployment rate IS NOT how many people are unemployed, it is how many people are currently collecting unemployment money.

Millions of people have run out of their unemployment money and still are not working.

Duluth's real unemployment rate is closer to 40% when you factor in people colecting welfare and social security and those that have run out of unemployment money.

rediguana

about 12 years ago

And the underemployment rate is far higher, and the rate of the working poor not paid a living wage in this town is astronomical.

Facts

about 12 years ago

Fraud,

Before putting your misinformation out there so strongly, you should understand basic economics.

The unemployment has nothing to do with those collecting unemployment.  The rate is determined by the number of people in the labor force compared to the number looking for work.  You can run out of unemployment benefits, be collecting social security, or be a full time college student AND be looking for work and you would be counted in the statistic.

Unemployment is calculated the same across the country.  I don't think Duluth's rate is anything to celebrate - but it has been better than both the state and the nation for the last two years.

wildgoose

about 12 years ago

I like Frank's idea about the street lights.  We are thinking of getting a new one on our block I would like to look into that.

huitz

about 12 years ago

Though Frank's comments approach hyperbole, I have to agree with a lot of the sentiments.  Duluth is well known for misappropriating resources.  A common joke in Colorado was along the line of, "We build malls, eateries, and tech centers that work, where in Minnesota, they build hockey rinks and Christmas drinks."  No offense, just saying.

Frank Nichols

about 12 years ago

I appreciate the fact that you are taking me to task for probably my worse post ever, right up there with "things', I see there seems to be a problem with my facts. I use the unemployment statistics because I can't find any numbers on those people that have ran out of unemployment, perhaps you're able to fraud or is that my name. You claim the unemployment rate in Duluth is 40%. How do you come by that, got any facts, like to see them. That's almost half the working population. You count people on social security as unemployed. last time I looked it meant they retired. How can you be a full time student and be unemployed, sorry, don't quite understand, clarify it for me if you could. I'll give you the welfare thing.I can't find % of people on welfare in Duluth, maybe you can. Are you saying that 33% of working people in Duluth are on welfare. Help me out on that. You say Duluth is doing better that the state and nation. In Sept. 2010 the rate in Duluth was 6.9%, state 6.7 % the nation 9.6%. so you could be half right. Could you enlighten me on how you got this 40% number. Here's some other numbers to mull about. Out of 370 cities Duluth was 72nd. at 6.9%, El Centro Calif. was 30.4% and Bismark was 2.8% Duluth's unemployment was 9.2% in Jan 2010 and in Sept. 2010 was 6.9%. Almost a 30% improvement. I'm sure a lot of things caused that. Could have been something Mayor Ness did , don't know. If it would have went the other way he would have been blamed so we should give him something. Appreciate you plumbing me up and looking forward to you explaining this 40% number , just has me a little confused.

Bob

about 12 years ago

I think Duluth needs to regain its long-lost entrepreneurial spirit and especially access to private capital before its citizens day dream about green jobs that will never come here.

Paging Phillip Falcone....

Frank Nichols

about 12 years ago

I think somebody could do this and make a bunch of money if they were really good at it. A good portion of electric costs to stores is external lighting displays. You take the casino as an example of a full on use, whether you like it or not. Part of the thing that would make this idea work would be your creativity of the product. Go to Solar  Lighting Guide and search solar tree.  Lights don't have to be like the casino. The money will be made in the use of new technolgy , such as led lighting, Needs to be self sustainable thru use of solar and perhaps wind . This stuff works or else why would Walmark be doing it. But I'm not thinking of that scale for the beginning. Start small,  give yourself a budget of say a hundred dollar or maybe two and build your own lighting design. You build what you can afford but you make it really nice.  This also has to be affordable in the market. It has to work in Duluth's weather. Got  to have back up power. Your going to have to get really creative but I think it can be done. While obviously it is ,in lot of places. So actually there are two potential job's here. One being solar / wind streetlights , the other art lighting. Thinking about it if you went to that site Solar Lighting guide  I think there's a place for someone selling some of those products.  Not only would you be building and selling something you like and can believe in, it would move us toward sustainability of the city of Duluth. This has way more pluses then negatives and the time is arriveing, so much stuff going on out there, going to be huge for somebody.

Jadiaz

about 12 years ago

I guess I'll have to do some more research on the light poles, but for now my concern would be with no back up source of power (as was stated no wire trenches and none in the poles), what happens in Duluth when we have a blizzard for a couple of days, or even typical short overcast weather for days or a week at a time? How would these solar lights be beneficial? Like I said, I myself plan on researching them tomorrow. It's a great idea if there is a way to have a seperate power supply, i.e. a deep cycle battery, connected to the grid, something, for when we just dont see the sun around here at all or very little. As far as wind, all I've heard is that the wind turbines are huge and noisy. Anyone have first hand experience? I do like Solar and have been wanting to expand my knowledge/use of it. I started with using a couple freeloader chargers to keep my cell charged. Anyways that's my ramble for now.

zra

about 12 years ago

Talk to Paul @ the Brewhouse about wind and PV (photovoltaic) power ... he'll gladly pull you a pint and talk your ear off about it.

Frank Nichols

about 12 years ago

Found a 2 year study done by UMD Prof. Taek Kwon  in 2006 for the Transportation Data Research Laboratory on using a solar/ wind street light for rural use. They  actually built one and tested it for two years. I think it's at the DOT compound by The Mesabi- 6th ave intersection. Also looked into using solar powered lights for making storefront displays and oh LED'S were expensive but then I found that you can get a string of 100 LED  Christmas lights with solar panel , battery backup, and sensor to come on at dark and shut off for like 15 dollars. Might have to try and make something.

Bob

about 12 years ago

ROI, Frank, ROI. I have not heard you say anything about it. You're all conjecture without sound economic reasons for the Mayor to build your vision of his legacy.

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