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Tremont brightens Professor with LEDs; school garden grants from Whole Foods

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/29/11 @ 4:04pm

· Tremont's Professor Avenue will be the city's first neighborhood install of LED sidewalk and building lights. Grants and the street's top chefs came together to raise $15,000 and to push the project forward from an idea hatched at the "10,000 Little (micro) Ideas to Keep You Believing in Cleveland" community networking event in 2008. The group blogged that it spun its wheels for a year and a half trying to get Cleveland, Cleveland Public Power and FirstEnergy on board, but when they tired of getting nowhere, they took the matters into their own hands (with support from Councilman Joe Cimperman). The lights were purchased from Edge-LED who manufactured the units in Wisconsin. The LED sidewalks will be lit up on Sept. 9 at 8:30 p.m.

· This falls into the bin of educating the next generation about from where their food comes: University Heights Whole Foods is accepting online applications for school garden grants. In partnership with FoodCorps, Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program will give 1,000 local schools $2,000 each to build or expand their school garden. Applications accepted through December 31.

· How is Ohio's tax code influencing sprawl? Hearings across the state headed by the Ohio House's Tax Structure Study Committee are a venue to air concerns. Smart growth advocates, Greater Ohio, urge supporters to attend and speak at the field hearings. You can ask or inform a legislator:

  • How tax expenditures or "tax breaks" have impacted your town or city's economic health
  • How the tax credit for rehabilitation of historic properties has benefited your center city's revitalization
  • How raising county sales and use taxes might impact your region's economic future
  • How working "regionally" has (or could) reduce costly new greenfield development and thus has (or could) lower costs that are recouped through taxes

The Study Committee hearings are in Dayton (August 29th); Toledo (September 12); Akron (September 16); Zanesville (September 19) and Columbus (September 22). If you are interested in testifying or attending, or if you have questions, contact Gene Krebs, Greater Ohio Senior Director of Government Affairs and Policy for more information.

· Schools, especially those with "innovation" in their title, deserve new thinking about their learning space, PD architecture critic Steve Litt writes in his review of 2011 Cleveland Design Competition winners. Did the competition provide enough push for a stand alone campus for one of Cleveland Municipal School District's 17 innovation schools, which is renting in a church space, but wants to build at Cleveland State University?

· If Northeast Ohio is to stimulate new economic prospects and become a player in climate change carbon reductions, a focus on buildings and the fields of 'green construction' and deep energy retrofits are imperative. Find out how energy savings on the order of magnitude of 90% reduction in heating and cooling power (the target for the PNC SmartHome) are within reach. What can ordinary citizens and businesses looking for an edge learn from the SmartHome? Where are your best bang-for-the-buck energy efficiency investments? Can green building survive and even flourish in a prolonged down economy? A panel discusses these and other salient "State of Green Building" issues this Wednesday at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, a program of the Climate Change exhibit.

· Phase two of the $3 million re-design of Perk Park is underway, and is on schedule for a October ribbon cutting, Freshwater reports. With 3,000 residents living within a three-minute walk of the park, we wonder, how many large green spaces, parks and playgrounds are available in downtown, and is it sufficient?

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