Go Newark. Live Green. Love Pink.

"He who knows his WHY in life can live through any HOW" - Victor Frankl

Friday, November 20, 2009

Top Ten Emerging Environmental Technologies

LiveScience introduces 1o technologies that are shaping tomorrow's globe. But, will these technologies work? Be sure to visit the Top 10 list for full disclosures, and take a look at the linked sites, for more perspective on the technologies.

10. Make Paper Obsolete
Electronic Paper has a flexible display that looks much like real paper, but can be reused.
9. Bury the Bad Stuff
A new disposal method for CO2 admission is to inject it into the ground before it reaches the atmosphere.
8. Let Plants & Microbes Clean Up After Us
Bioremediation uses native plants and microbes to clean up contamination.
7. Plant Your Roof
Roof gardens help absorb heat, take up Co2, and give off oxygen, absorb storm water, and reduce summer air conditioning costs.
6. Harness Waves and Tides
New York City's East River is now in the process of becoming the test bed for six tide-powered turbines.
5. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion
OTEC technologies convert the thermal energy contained in the oceans and turn it into electricity.
4. Sunny New Ideas
Solar cells and solar thermal collectors must make way for more efficient solar converts that use mirrors and parabolic dishes.
3. The 'H' Power
The promise of a "hydrogen economy," however, is not one that all experts agree will ever be realized.
2. Remove the Salt
Desalination, the removal of salt and minerals from seawater, is a promising way to provide potable water in places where drinking water is limited resource.
1. Make Oil from Just about Anything
Fans of thermo-depolymerization, or making energy oil from any carbon- based waste, say a ton of turkey waste can produce 600 lbs of petrolium.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stand by Your Brand

"Branding is the expression of your value," says Melissa Dawn Johnson, creator, Brand Me Minutes. The Essence.com contributing writer believes whether you're trying to get ahead at work or in school, "you are always presenting and repackaging your value." Depending on how clearly you present your value, determines how much an individual will buy into it. To survive the fire storm of brands out there takes courage and motivation. Take a look at Melissa Johnson's video that speaks to weathering the storm.

Ms. Johnson's logic plays out pretty clearly in my life. And what is equally noteworthy, is how some folks can be intimidated by your value. Johnson says, "people get their impression in 3-5 seconds. They only know what you give them; verbal and nonverbal." This means, one has to be confident in their message, and decisive in their delivery.

Here's how this apparent truth has played out in my life. A few years ago I went for a job interview at a distribution headquarters in Fairfield, New Jersey. I interviewed with the Vice President of Marketing & Communications, who asked me a series of questions about my resume. On it, I provide detailed accounts of my positions in administrative support and operations management. My experiences were generally in the hospitality industry, in addition to several temporary assignments at corporations in New York City and New Jersey. After reading all that was impressive for a professional college graduate with responsibility under her belt, Mr. VP stopped, stared, and questioned me about what he read last called, "A Letter Pink'd Editorial Consultant." He asked me, "What's Pink'd? Do you write in pink color? "

I responded, "I am a freelance writer, and I produce cross-sector professional copy. Pink is more than a color to me, so it's my personal guarantee in my services to clients. LadyPink is my pen name." Mr. VP a mid-50's, peppered man smiled and said, "I don't relate to the color, but I can definitely appreciate your brand. I believe you too!" I smiled and reveled in the fact that the brand was effective.

Today's financial, sustainable, and creative rebirths are being spearheaded by innovative thinkers, who effectively showcase their brands as memorable, knowledgeable, and reliable. You might be asking, "How does one make their brand stand out?" Well, in case you haven't noticed, design and presentation is key.

Web pages, blogs, social apps, feeds, and e-blasts are in-your-face communication portals we are all plugged into. These five notifications make transparent what we do, want to do, will do, and have done. As you plan your coming out party, and your packaging inclusions remember - Fabulous design and invigorating copy is what baits, hooks, and preserves your space in the mind of collaborators.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rutgers Expansion Keeps Relationships in Tact

Rutgers Newark celebrated the latest addition to the Center for Urban and Public Service. Today's ribbon-cutting stoked excitement and anticipation for the next few years, where enrollment in public service tracks are expected to rapidly increase. As a result of this expected growth, the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) now occupies 111 Washington Street, the former home of Rutgers Business School.

The partnership was clear: Rutgers-Newark, City of Newark, and Newark Public Schools (NPS), gathered together to congratulate Dean Marc Holzer on moving his vision for SPAA forward. But what was also interesting was the not-so-silent uncertainty of how an upside down Trenton will affect continued progress.

SPAA plays two roles in the Newark sphere. Its nationally acclimated graduate program yields distinguished leaders in public service, including Newark's Deputy Mayor Margarita Muniz, who was also in attendance at tonight's event. Additionally, the college shares research and implementation strategy with NPS and the City in the areas of finance, budgeting, judicial activism, and local control.

Alan Sadovnik, Ph.D. is Co-Director for the Newark Schools Research Collaborative and Institute on Education Law & Policy. He says, "I hope [the new administration] continues to use research-based evidence to help improve the districts where they have not met previous goals." Pedro Noguero, professor in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at NYU is currently working with Sadovnik and the research collaborative on a project that would replicate the Harlem Children's Zone in Newark's Central Ward.

Despite social, economical and gubernatorial upset, it's amazing how sectors in Newark are still moving forward. Programs with measurable goals, and proven mission's are demonstrating reason for state and private investment.

Although I am not sure what a Christie administration means to this neighborhood, optimism-especially caressed at events like today's, taste best with Chardonnay in-hand and a jazz ensemble.

It's Not that Bad, Jersey--Really!

So Christie won and there are a lot of upset Democrats. Why are they upset? Because, things are going to be shook up over the next four years. Status quos will be challenged everywhere, and business as usual will be redefined for many city and education governments.

If that’s not a consolation, then think about this. How long has your town been under the same regimen? How long have city services and education systems remained epic, tiring and troublesome? Have any of your elected officials been arrested lately?

New Jersey is broken-and it’s not Jon Corzine’s fault. He was just a rich man with time, executive experience, and the chance of his lifetime to play an awesome game. Except that game was with our lives!

Jersey needs a chance to become competitive again. Graduates from our distinguished universities should have the chance to lay their knowledge on the state where they built their foundation. The retail industry should bustle, providing jobs, culture, and tax revenue. Our schools should be nurturing and cultivating genesis’s, with 21st century educators determined to teach in the times!

I can’t say I KNOW Governor Chris Christie can accomplish all that needs to be done in New Jersey. However, “we’re going to turn Trenton upside down,” not only sounds like a promise I can hold him to, but a foreshadow. Whatever is going up in Jersey’s municipalities—will be going down.

From the hand of…


Gov Election on Twitter

@NewNewark People are disappointed.
Understandable BUT localgovt needs a wakeup
call and so do we as citizens,
need2stop looking4 a "savior"

Monday, October 26, 2009

What a Performance Doc...What a Performance!

There was quite a scene in downtown Newark on Friday, when Broad St., Park Pl. and Military Park lit up with the sights and sounds of the 2nd Annual Newark Art Parade. Over fifteen 8 ft. art modules, their designers, and the Shabazz High School band lined up at 765 Broad Street, the home of the Barat Foundation Art & Media Center to take pictures and prepare for the march.

Each piece of portable art was produced by locals including teams from Floyd Little's Athletic Clinic, Newark Boys Chorus, Central High School, Newark Vocational High School, Slam Dunk the Junk, NJ Clean Communities, and the YES Center under the creative direction of Terry McKnight, an art instructor from Newark Vocational High School.

Before the move began, residential and commercial fans, followers and media took pictures and congratulated the participants. Among the dignatires to celebrate the Barat Foundation and Newark Arts Council production, were Municipal Council member Donald Payne Jr., Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and Newark native and NJ State Senator Terese Ruiz. The Newark Art Parade kicked off Newark Open Doors, a three day multi-gallery art showcase.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hey Jersey!

We're approaching the moment of expansion, and we're talking about it everywhere. We're registering for conferences at Jersey's best colleges, and chatting with cocktails in hand at local hotspots.

You and I are exchanging among fellow, professional tree-huggers, the feasibility AND brilliance we see in sustainability. The chatter is great, usually entertaining AND informative. But- it seems we need to qualify what sustainability MUST mean in order for so many minds to meet at any ONE juncture.

The 'S' word means ENACTING plans that ONLY support ONE outcome: Earth and opportunity exist indefinitely. That's right sustainability is a VERB! So, if the S word is YOUR goal, then it's already MORE than a buzz word to you. Thus, you belong to NJPros. If you were swept up and into the buzz-hive, then Green is only a fling, and you better hope the rest of us get it right.

The New Jersey Professionals Network is the place where eco-minded people (and folks who want to learn what the buzz is all about) meet-up to ENACT. We are shop owners and professors, analysts and writers (and of course so much more). Let's use virtual and real-time forums to enact as a cohesive unit. In this movement, the HOW becomes easier and the WHY is clearer.

We'll shake hands soon!

President, NJPros

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

International Music Lockdown!

The 9th Annual International Music Festival was held Sunday, September 20th at Newark Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium. A function of Newark’s own Streetz96 - 96.5 FM and Roadblock Radio, the evening’s top billing included national favorites Fabulous and Rick Ross, and international flavors Buju Banton, Beanie Man, and Machel Montano. The festival doors opened at 12 noon as advertised, while third party vendors greeted early-bird patrons on the concourse with cash-only food, drink, and trinket options in hand. What started as a refreshingly, beautiful day easily turned into one of discomfort and confusion, especially those folks who bought the $6o tickets from ticketmaster.com.

Let’s review how this was not a Pink friendly event:

You were locked-in! If you needed something from your car (pick up diaper bag, left digital camera, change shoes)– it wasn't going to happen. If you needed to take your disruptive child to a sitter, so you and your partner could return to enjoy the show – it could not happen,. If you didn’t bring cash because you figured there would be an ATM machine on the premises – there was not, and it just wasn’t happening. If you neared the gate to even think about lighting up a cigarette, you were reminded there was no smoking in the stadium, and once you left, you would not be allowed back in! So much for human decency.

The audience was not recognized until 2:45 PM! That is, three and a half hours after the doors opened, and forty-five minutes after the show was supposed to start.

The hosts were embarrassing! Either they were someone’s family member, or the event producers hired two island guys off the street in an emergency -that morning, and told the lucky winners to “go host a concert.” Throughout the entire eight-hour production, the hosts burned time by bull-horning, rhetorically mundane questions at us in between sets. “Whose here to see Beanie Man? Whose here to see Rick Ross? Whose here to have a good time? Whose here from Jamaica? It was like watching Showtime at the Apollo and D.L. Hugely asking, “are you ready for your next act say ‘oh yeah’,” except, D.L. took 5 seconds to allow backstage to prepare their transitions, not several minutes, hours, moments.

Just when I thought I captured all that held me in contempt; for these two, I noticed the chant that obviously served as their instruction and script. When an artist finished their set and the hosts returned, the hosts engage the crowd with “we gotta keep the show going, yeah yeah….we gotta keep the show going…” every single time!

As if it weren’t painfully obvious that the independent artists who were selected to perform were in no way ready for a live crowd, they were introduced as the minor artists and were blatantly referred to as filler treats, while the real artists took their time showing up for the event.

Hours were wasted between major artists with performances by non-manicured independent musicians who lacked raw talent, and DJ music mixes that were loud, sloppy, and insisted on asking us if we were having a good time.

If this is the 9th edition of an International Music Festival, I’m skeptical to learn how years 1 through 8 turned out. Moreover, how is it even allowable to name an event an international function, when the roster includes artists from three islands of the Caribbean and America only? Interesting.

From the hand of…


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Working Green Summer Update

What a summer. I know I haven't blogged in quite some time, but the good news is, I've been busy! It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to work with the WORKING GREEN Youth Employment program, a collaborative initiative between the City of Newark, Building Green Solutions, LLC, Jewish Vocational Services, and the Essex County Environmental Center. Funded by a grant award from the City of Newark, Department of Workforce Development, this collaborative worked with 15 Newark youth (ages 18-24), giving them practical work experience in a Green job and training in vocational areas.

As Project Director for Building Green Solutions, LLC, Department of Media & Community Relations, I had the interesting task of owning the logistical side of the field days - the days not at JVS. Of the five-day work week, three days fell under my jurisdiction. Dubbed "BGS days," our workload consisted of a beautification project, trips to a Green-job site (I'll expand on this on a future post), and workshops at the Essex County Environmental Center.

The beautification project for the WORKING GREEN pilot, was implemented in-part with the City of Newark's Adopt-a-Lot Program. Where the WORKING GREEN staff spent the second half of the six-week program cultivating a garden at 288 Hunterdon Street in Newark, NJ. Formerly an abandoned lot, upon completion this space will be known as The Hunterdon Street Community Garden, under directional support from the Greater Newark Conservancy.

Although many may think they are aces with a Green thumb, everyone needs directional support and training. For the Hunterdon Street Community Garden, that hands-on training came from Marie Pasquariello, Site Director for Parks for People, a program of the Trust for Public Land. For the first half of the program, staff worked along side Parks for People staff at Jesse Allen and Mildred Helms parks in Newark, learning the intricacies of landscape design.

The WORKING GREEN pilot ends Friday, August 21st, 2009. I look forward to sharing student experiences and further updates.

from the hand of...


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Newark: Keep What We Own - WATER!

What would you do if every shower you took cost $45, or each flush of the toilet bowl registered $2 on the water bill? Outraged at the sight of such an invoice, you Google Newark Water bills and return results include comments from dozens of equally outraged Newarkers. You say to yourself, “How did this happen? How is this right? When did this go into effect?"

We are fortunate enough to live in a country where decisions about public property cannot be made without the support of tax payers through our elected officials. While we have not reached $45/shower just yet, it is fast becoming a possibility in Newark.

As protesters gathered today at the steps of City Hall, their message was clear: no Municipal Utility Authority (MUA) for Newark! Unmoved by Ledger language that the proposal had been ‘ditched,’ Newark Water Group founder, Bill Chappel, joined by Weequahaic Park Super Neighborhood Chairperson Brenda Toyloy, and People’s Organization for Progress Newark Chapter President, Debbie Strong lead the coalition of residents, tax payers, educators, and non-profits, for the third time to date saying “No MUA” to Mayor Booker and the city council.

Also vocal and in attendance was former poet laureate Amiri Baraka and former Newark Mayor Ken Gibson, both of whom citied the many civilizations that have gone to war over water rights. “If this goes to pass, you can believe that historians will show this was the downfall of Newark," said Gibson.

The threat of a Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) is real. The City of Newark owns a 38,000 acre watershed in Milford, New Jersey (ever wonder our facet water is so refreshing?) In a proposal to the City Council, Mayor Booker sought approval to franchise (sell a portion of) the watershed to an external governing body (MUA), which would then give them the right to raise rates, adjust purification settings, and make whatever changes they choose to increase profits and lower production costs.

In the May 31st Star Ledger article entitled, “Cory Booker ditches proposal for water authority,” Booker is quoted as saying, "I realized we were rushing this thing in order to get the goal that I wanted, which was more revenue, and that we were rushing too fast." While it is admirable to admit error, it is also questionable why one would give up ownership of an asset as invaluable as water for a short term cash-flow injection. These questions and more were asked inside the Municipal Council Chambers at their monthly meeting.

How important is your civil RIGHT to water?