Meeting Minutes – January 2015

Present: Lisa, Basav, Annette, DC, David, Lindsay, two new members (Avi and Harriet)

Polar Bear Plunge
$2,055 in pledges from Green Neighbors. The first $1,000 goes to CCAN but the rest or half of the rest goes to us.
37 groups participated and Green Neighbors ranked 7th!
Would recommend doing the event again next year.
Action Item: Lindsay will post on the web soon, making use of pictures available on the web via Annette and Rob
Pepco-Excelon Merger
Poses serious environmental concerns because, among other things:
1) As one of the biggest owners of nuclear reactors and are often times opposed again solar and wind subsidies. Have actively lobbied against solar and wind incentives. The worry is that they will fight against local incentives in DC.
2) Also give funding to lobby groups that seek to charge rooftop solar users extra. This has actually happened in Arizona and other states.
There is much online about the topic. There have been two public hearings at the Public Service Commission. March 26th is the deadline for written testimony.
The proposal is to join the current organizations that are joined as the Power DC Coalition. See the proposal for details, but as a summary, the following actions would be taken:
1) Sign Green Neighbors’ name as part of the Coalition
2) Assign a point of contact
3) Provide a quote
4) Link to the Power DC website from our website
5) Submit written testimony
6) ANCs to pass a resolution in opposition to the merger
7) Incorporate in the upcoming Anya Schoolman event
Action Item: Check which ANCs have already passed the resolution. Lisa confirmed during the meeting that 4C passes a resolution already. There are 4 ANCs in each ward.
For those meetings that GN members attended, primary support for the merger came from groups that have benefitted from public benefit efforts and/or contractors of Excelon or BGE.
Suggest that we keep our eye on requirements for the merger if it does go through. To that end, Basav mentioned that the best way to make our voice heard in that way is to join the coalition.
The Coalition has conference calls, which should be added to the proposal. Basav will be the main person who will attend the conference calls but will also email for help to attend a call if he couldn’t. Lisa and Basav will continue to coordinate but keep the group in the loop and ask for help when necessary, as many are interested.
Lead for the ANC contacts. Basav will look to find out the ANCs and find out which have passed through the coalition. At the next meeting, we will go over the ANC list and figure out an action plan.
Requested changes:
Add in something stating that Pepco not being a producer and therefore being more amenable to Groundswell-like energy producers.
Add the logo to the letter.
Change the phrase “Additional expense may be required since the merger case may go on for some time” with something like “Additional expense maintaining at a similar level may be required since the merger case may go on for some time. If greater expenses are possible, the group can vote to amend this proposal”.
Add information about the conference calls.
Passed a vote unanimously based on the changes noted being made.
Action Item: Finalize the letter online before the next meeting.
Action Item: Basav to send final version of proposal to the group, which Lindsay will post to the web.
Action Item: Lindsay link to the DC Power website from ours.
Website
Especially after the polar bear plunge, we had a lot of people go to the website. At the next meeting, we could propose how to more effectively utilize it. For example, the tips section is not updated frequently.
Suggestion to make the website family-friendly would be good, considering how many new families are coming in. Ties into mission. Supporting neighbors of all ages to be sustainable, environmentally and economically. But need to nail this down as our name grows.
Harriet mentioned that she found us through a Petworth Facebook group.
Action Item: Make sure the Facebook page links to our website. See about making a Facebook page in addition to the group.
Action Item: Brainstorm any small tips or updates for the website, like the Farmer’s Market dates being announced.
Action Item: Lindsay check Green Neighbors email to make sure the “email a tip” function is working
Walter Reed Zoning
The DC Office of Planning recently presented the the proposed zoning plan for the Walter Reed campus. It will create a Walter Reed zone. The proposed zoning will include 8 zones. There are 2 key meetings coming up that will impact the zoning decision making process at Walter Reed. On February 2nd the Walter Reed Community Advisory Committee will be meeting at the Ft. Stevens Recreation Center, 13th and Van Buren, at 6:30 pm to discuss and potentially vote on the proposed zoning. On February 3rd, ANC 4A will take up the same matter. The 4A meeting will be held at the Brightwood Education Campus located at 13th Street and Missouri Avenue at 7:00 pm. The Office of Planning will make a full presentation of the proposed zoning.
Decided to table the item until the next meeting, but if anyone would like to attend either of these meetings and report back, let us know!
International Dark Sky Association
Wayne Savage emailed Catherine that he is a member of the International Dark Sky Association. They are working on forming a DC chapter. They would like to address the city’s plan to replace 70,000 streetlights with LED lights. Specifically, blue light is worse for light pollution and may have health impacts. They requested to speak at this January meeting, but the notice was too short. The question is whether we would want them to come to a meeting and present information. This might take quite some time to allow for adequate Q&A. Suggest a 2-hour long meeting with business up front and LED light presentation and discussion after that.
DC lived in the first dark sky community and it can look desolate or abandoned at night. It was also mentioned that in a city with crime issues, darkness can be a problem. LEDs are good for dark skies in that they direct down. DC was not aware that the blue aspect of the lights were troubling. Another detail is inconsistency in light, which doesn’t allow pedestrians’ eyes to adjust, etc.
Next Meeting
Next meeting would have fallen on President’s Day. Propose moving to the 4th Monday of the month.
Facilitator Next Time: Basav
Annette: Note taker
Action Item: Clarify if the meeting will be two hours long and update the Library reservation if so
Action Item: Lindsay will update the calendar accordingly
Anya Schoolman Event
The 9th of February is the only day in February that the large room is open, but it was decided that it was too soon.
Monday, March 2nd, Tuesday, March 3rd and a couple other dates are available in March.
Action Item: William to schedule based on Anya’s availability
Lindsay note: The free audits program that the DDoE representative talked about is actually not running. Lindsay confirmed by emailing the person listed on that page directly.

2 thoughts on “Meeting Minutes – January 2015

    • Yes, and for the life of me, I (Lindsay) I can’t figure out why I wrote William instead! The minutes were just updated.

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