Soap Box

My very own cute little soap box!

Posts Tagged ‘green jobs’

Oil spills and more roads

Posted by eemilla on June 19, 2010

From Governor Perdue’s weekly email:

North Carolina’s Response to the Gulf Oil Spill

Gov. Perdue on Tuesday joined officials from the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the U.S. Coast Guard to discuss the state’s ongoing preparations in the event oil were to reach North Carolina shores.  A briefing in Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh was held for state legislators and another session for local elected officials, local government managers and public safety officials from coastal counties.

Gov. Perdue stressed that experts, including the Coast Guard and U.S. Environment Protection Agency, believe there is only a remote chance that any oil will reach North Carolina shores.  If any oil were to reach North Carolina, the state is prepared.  North Carolina had a plan in place to deal with an oil spill long before the situation in the Gulf, and that plan is being updated to handle the current situation.  Gov. Perdue reminded participants that North Carolina beaches are clean and open for business this summer season.

“I believe North Carolina has the best emergency management team in the country. We have proven over and over we can handle whatever emergency comes our way,” said Perdue.  “No matter how small the chance that oil could reach North Carolina, my goal, as always, is for us to be prepared.”

Additionally, the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety has launched a web page dedicated to providing information and useful links regarding the Gulf oil spill.  The page is located at the department’s home page at www.nccrimecontrol.org and can be reached by clicking on the Gulf Oil Spill tab.

Support Grows for Mobility Fund

Broad-based and bipartisan support for Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposed Mobility Fund continues to grow across the state, as evidenced by the number of resolutions passed by local municipalities and other organizations. Twelve groups have already signed resolutions supporting the innovative transportation funding legislation, while four others are pending. They include the:

·         City of Goldsboro
·         City of Charlotte
·         City of Concord
·         City of High Point
·         Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
·         Durham Transportation Advisory Committee
·         Greensboro Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Org. Transportation Adv. Comm.
·         NC Joint Regional Forum (League of Municipalities and the Assoc. of County Comm.)
·         Centralina Council of Governments (nine counties in the Mecklenburg area)
·         Cabarrus-Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization
·         North Carolina Regional Councils
·         North Carolina Turnpike Authority

The Carborro/Chapel Hill/Durham Metropolitan Planning Organization and the cities of Archdale, Rocky Mount and Thomasville have approved resolutions and expect to have them delivered soon.

The Mobility Fund was proposed by Gov. Perdue in her budget as a new way to finance projects of statewide or regional significance to help reduce congestion and improve mobility. It sets aside funding for priority projects, the first of which would be widening I-85 north of the Yadkin River bridge on the Davidson/Rowan County line.”

The fund is being considered by the General Assembly as part of the FY 2010 budget.

For more information about the Mobility Fund, visit www.ncdot.gov and click on “Governor’s Proposed Mobility Fund” under “Latest News.”

While North Carolina may have a disaster plan in the event the  oil or tar balls from BP’s spill heads our way, Governor Perdue doesn’t mention anything about offshore drilling off the North Carolina coast .  Many North Carolina residents still support offshore drilling, even after the BP fiasco.  However, Governor Perdue hasn’t issued a press release committing herself to any position either for or against.  In September 2009, she signed Executive Order 23 to study offshore energy (which to Governor’s Perdue’s credit does support wind energy), but since BP’s Gulf spill her press releases have been isolated to the response if any of the spill comes ashore in North Carolina.

The irony comes in the next paragraph were the “mobility fund” is once again promoted; as I stated last week, I have no problem with the increase in vehicle registration fees, but the emphasis on where the funds will go is my problem.  Building more roads eases congestion for a few years, but as long as the population grows the decreased congestion will quickly return to its previous levels just across more roads.  I haven’t spent much time in Raleigh and its outward belts, but I did live in Atlanta for a year in which I witnessed eight lanes congested on I85 and I285 as well as the local roads (e.g. Ashford-Dunwoody, Peachtree, Hammond Dr, Roswell Rd) from 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm every weekday.  The long term solution is to decrease the number of single occupant vehicles.  Mass transit provides that option as well as providing jobs that cannot be exported.  I’d love for Buncombe County and the City of Asheville to support Governor Perdue’s Mobility Fund with the caveat that public transit receive priority over increasing the road supply.


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Governor Perdue has it wrong on mobility.

Posted by eemilla on June 14, 2010

Over a week ago, Governor Perdue spoke in favor of increasing car and light truck registration fees in order to fund highway improvement projects like widening congested road and other transportation projects.  Her emphasis is on expanding highways not reducing private passenger vehicles on the existing roads by increasing public transit, and frankly I am angry.  I don’t mind the proposed five dollar increase on my vehicle registration; I do mind public transit following widening roads as the goal of the mobility fund.  Many studies support her remarks about congestion crippling business and productivity, but many studies also support that widening and building new roads is a short term fix.

Please yell it from the roof tops that this is poor, short-sighted, backwards thinking policy.  Please, Governor Perdue, get on the bus (or better yet, the high speed rail connecting Asheville with Charlotte)!


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Weekly Green Challenge (triple dose)

Posted by eemilla on November 4, 2009

Last week’s challenge was to give your car some loving, and below I’ve given couple of simple and obvious suggestions.  Check out the honor roll for more ideas.

With the time change and checking your smoke detectors’ batteries, you should also think about getting the car a tune up.  In addition to saving gas money, routine maintenance will either help you over the 200,000 mile threshold or help you get a better trade-in credit.  Of course keeping the air filter and oil changed is important, but also be sure to have the tires rotated and their pressure checked.  Proper tire inflation helps with their wear and your gas mileage.

Our household is into our sixty-second week of being a one car household!  With our one year milestone and our return from walking hilly San Francisco, we decided to park the car one day a week.  If you have public transit, use it!  Not only will it reduce your footprint, but you are also providing a good job to someone in your community and decreasing the congestion for someone else.

This week’s challenge to have zero food waste is second nature for me, thanks to my mom’s super frugal habits.  Dinners’ leftovers became either lunch or a late night snack, and I carry on the tradition in our home.  If I don’t eat it, my husband will most likely throw it in a burrito wrapper with cheese to finish it off.  My biggest problem with food waste are those ingredients I buy to make special recipes then fail to incorporate into our weekly meal plans.  This week I have a portion of cream cheese left over from the super awesome peanut butter chocolate cake I made for our wedding anniversary, but other recipes include my favorite golden sesame tofu that leaves me with pineapple juice or the plethora of recipes that call for just egg whites or egg yolks.

Regarding the reclaimed or recycled challenge, I did go for Marcal’s Small Steps because it was half the cost of the Seventh Generation pack, and I don’t mind it (and my honey hasn’t complained yet either).  Thanks for your thoughts!

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Big Three Bailout?

Posted by eemilla on November 14, 2008

While I cannot imagine anyone who would argue that failure from the Big Three US auto makers would be devastating to our slumping economy, I am enraged that anyone is even suggesting that Detroit deserves a bailout.  The financial industry has been overly greedy, and no, I don’t believe they deserved a bail out; however, Detroit has been in jeopardy since the eighties.  I watched Roger and Me over ten years ago.  Since the Big Three seem to blame all of their financial woes on their pensions and the credit crunch, it seems to me that they should’ve gotten behind universal healthcare years ago.  However, I think we should be realistic and place the blame where it truly belongs: greedy short sightedness.  Detroit should not have stood in the way of producing higher fuel efficiency vehicles for the past twenty years; they should have gotten behind universal healthcare.  Research and development money should have been spent on more fuel options not more cup holders and DVD players. 

It is outrageous that this bailout was passed in the first place, and who is going to be brave enough to stand up and say enough is enough?

I am not an economist, but I want the bailout to stop going to corporations that have been exacerbating the gap between the classes in this country; I am angry that although the banks have been given the cash injection, they still don’t want to lend.  It disgusts me that Congress has no problem writing checks to major corporations with huge accounting departments that should know better, but there is never enough money for healthcare.  There is never enough money for a public transportation initiative, and even after the August 2007 bridge collapse which followed the 2005 levy failure, there isn’t enough money to maintain the existing infrastructure of this country.

Enough with excessive and reckless corporate welfare; help the unemployment and underemployment problem by putting people to work on both our aging infrastructure and the infrastructure of new energy.  Follow Senator Clinton’s plan to give funds to cities and local governments so they can purchase foreclosed homes, and help homeowner’s get their stupid and reckless loans refinanced; if taxpayers have to help out people that made bad decisions and should have known better, I would rather help out those that don’t have finance degrees over those that do.  Assistance should go to actual citizens not corporations.

Not that I do not enjoy a lump sum payment from out of nowhere, but I think it would be pandering and ill advised to dole out another economic stimulus payment to the general public.  I don’t recall exactly where I heard this, but someone said that a repeat of the recent payments would be a nice boon to China and Mall Wart as everyone would rush to buy another big ticket television or maybe just more cheap, plastic crap.  Besides, spending too much is part of what created this nasty mess.

Sacrifice and conservation are on the menu for the foreseeable future, and I hope we can take this opportunity to improve our country and economy.

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President Barack Hussein Obama

Posted by eemilla on November 6, 2008

Whoo-hoo!  After waking up at 5:20am on Election Day to spend most of fifteen hours handing out ballots, my trepidation and hope carried me through until I heard that Senator Obama had won the election by a good healthy margin that cannot be stolen.  After I tried to watch my local races, I passed out and had to helped into bed sometime after eleven.  

When I arrived at work the reality of the world hit me and deflated my elation.  I work with two ultra conservatives (in a three person office), and they seem to be looking forward to a failed Obama presidency.  However, I will not be cowed, and I am still joyous and proud of this country.  I am thankful that I was able to finally vote for a candidate who was not the lesser of two evils.  I truly believe that President-elect Obama will be a fearless leader who will give this country his all to raise us out of the mess we are in.  He will remind our elected officials that they work for the people not the lobbyists, and he will remind us, the people, that prosperity and happiness have to be earned with hard work not purchased on credit.

I hope to see a major transition from old school energy to new renewable and safe energy.  I can’t wait to see increased public transportation options; I want everything from bike lanes, sidewalks, bus stops, more buses, and light rail for longer travels.  

I look forward to living in a country where health care is a right not a privilege.  I am excited to think that prevention will take precedence over reactive surgery and drug abuse.  I cannot wait for the boom in the health care industry due to the new insureds as they will be even more stable, well paying jobs.

The thought of the wealth being spread not to major, multinational, multi-billion dollar corporations, but to hard-working families and small businesses is so energizing, and I cannot wait to do my part in stopping corporate welfare.

I love my country, and its ideals.  I am genuinely proud to be an American today, and I think is the first time I have been so proud.  I say this because I love this country, but it is the love of a parent for a child.  I am not blind to the blunders, and I think I help the future more by being critical rather than fawning.

Although the road is long and seemingly never-ending, YES WE CAN!

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