November 18, 2009

PVSN Meeting:
Wed, Nov. 18, 2009 
Location: Media Education Foundation, 60 Masonic Street, Northampton MA (next to Woodstar)

Meeting Agenda:
8:00-Breakfast and informal networking
-Formal Networking
9:00 First Class Networking Software Presentation/Discussion
10:15 EPA Project Update–Indicators of Sustainability

Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network
November 18, 2009 Meeting Minutes
Media Education Foundation (MEF) Hampshire Co–Northampton

Present: Catherine Ratté-PVPC, Nancy Hazard-Greening Greenfield and World Sustain, Paul Lipke-Health Care Without Harm, Rich Roth-Earththrives, Richart Keller-new to region, Planner, Craig Marden-HAP Housing, Jono Neoiger-Conway School, Regenerative Design and W. MA Permaculture Guild, Meg Vickery-guest curator of Sustainability show at UMASS, Rochelle Prunty-River Valley Market, Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Collaborative, Patrick Dufour, Kirsten Bonanza- Earthrives, Rose Zdybel-UMASS, Sue Bridge (Conway Board of Health), Jeff Rosen-PV Eats and Solidago Foundation,  Rick Taupier (UMASS -), Sandhya Sundararagaran (UMASS Graduate Student – Indicators), Tom Rossmassler-now with Energia-new worker owned Energy Service Company in Holyoke

Informal Networking 8-9am:
Following the informal networking between members, network chair Eric called the meeting to order.  The meeting began with each member sharing a brief overview of their organization and their work on sustainability

Member Updates:

Karen Ribeiro-working with Partners for Greener Building-women owned cooperative getting started in Westfield.

Meg Vickery-“Greening the Valley-sustainable architecture in the Pioneer Valey” opens on 2/10, including a “green Lounge” designed by Lorin Starr and another architect to showcase green building materials.

Rick Kellart-moved to Valley from Providence to PV co-housing, has worked as a land use planner among many other professions-securing certification from BPI-Building Performance Indicators, has done energy auditing, worked with low income populations on housing issues, and on solid waste and recycling-also has experience with indicator projects with the Annie E. Casey foundation

Jeff Brown-Ridebuzz-still working to get more people into fewer cars. One empty seat to the sun every 2 days! Promoting individual ride-sharing and also ride-sharing to events.

Craig Marden-HAP Housing The big green affordable housing project funded by MTC is winding done-ends in June 2010. He is teaching an energy efficiency course at UMASS and also working with the Putnam Voc tech school in Springfield showing students how to do energy efficiency retrofits.

Patrick Dufour-psychologist in the Valley committed to collaborative work


Jono Neiger-Conway School of Sustainable Design and W. MA Permaculture Guild and Permaculture Institute of New England (PINE)-starting a demo/training center on a piece of land and it might be in our region…

Sue Bridge-Conway Board of Health and local sustainability activist. Over 3 years has taken 8 scruffy acres and built an off-grid cottage, 1000 sq ft, very light and sunny, electricity and heat from the sun with a little wood back up, radiant heat and 1.5 years in an edible landscape. Town-using a community action fund to help people in lower 1/3 of income scale to make their properties more energy efficient.

Sandhya-mechanical engineering major working on her thesis evaluating potential electricity storage facilities and is working on sustainability indicators for Network. Previously worked with CEERE performing energy audits.

Eric Weiss-Chair of Network-works at Hill Town Resource Management Collaborative (HRMC), 10 towns in Hampshire and Franklin counties collaborating on solid waste and recycling and now branching out to include all sustainability issues. New Hingham school looking at siting a wind turbine at the school

Rochelle Prunty-River Valley Market-open for 1.5 years-working to enhance the local food system with a sustainable business-have solar PV.

Betsy Powers-also with River Valley Market

Kirsten Bonanza-sustainability consultant in the area-just completed Master’s in Sustainable communications and socially responsible business-eager to co-create sustainable solutions

Rose Zdybel-PhD student in Industrial Engineering with a focus on operations research with Professor Erin Baker, working to finish green building decision support tool.

Catherine: spending a lot of time facilitating regional application to Feds for competitive Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds and also helping member municipalities apply for state administered EECBG funds. PVPC is working on commuter rail, getting bikes on buses in Hamdpen county, helping Hilltowns apply for CDBG funds, doing Master Plans in member municipalities and promoting smart growth and balanced transportation.


Sustainable Step New England (SSNE) is officially closing its doors

The Network will have its First annual Member’s Only retreat/dinner on 12/2/09-with guest speaker Woody Tasch-one of the founders of the “slow Money” movement.

Network Work:

Presentation on First Class-Patrick Dufour walked members through a demonstration of the capabilities of First Class software to facilitate collaboration. First Class is a tool. Kirsten pointed out that Antioch and Goddard colleges have been using First Class and are moving off them. Goddard is going to use Google groups-it is free. First Class would allow members of the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network to work remotely together-members present supported the need for the Network to be able to more effectively collaborate between meetings and encouraged staff and volunteers to seek funding to do this (if funding is necessary) Rick Kellart, Jeff Brown, Eric Weiss, Rick Taupier, Kirsten Bonanza and Catherine Ratté volunteered to form an ad hoc IT group to look into the issue.

Rick K. volunteered that in his years of association with the Annie E. Casey foundation they never settled on any collaboration software, but it was and is a perennial issue.

In addition to software to collaborate, the Network wants to look into simulation tools to publish data-all of these ideas are ways to get people to use the web-site, but members present were clear in stating that they do NOT want technology to drive our purpose. We want project-based collaboration.

Possibilities: First Class, Google groups, WiserEarth, Basecamp, Microsoft Project (deemed ‘horrid’ by one member present), Wolfram for simulations, among others….

EPA Deliverables:

Rose Zdybel (UMASS) Update of the Decision Support Tool

Continues to work on tool to make it inspirational and user friendly.

Sandhya Sandararagaran (UMASS) Indicator update

Sandhya presented preliminary data (see powerpoint on web-site)

Member comments:
need to see data description; DEP has muni data on waste-problem is that it is self-reported

If we could it would be great to have previous 10 years along with ‘baseline’ year so we’d have a sense of regional trends

Look into the Sustainable Indicators Network

Town Clerks should have records of “doing business as” to count local businesses???

Catherine (PVPC) update on Skills Bank and Art of Sustainability

Art of Sustainability: at PVPC offices and moving to Shelburne Falls in January.

Next Meeting 01/13/10 at Co-op Power offices in Greenfield


Prior meeting minutes are here Normal 0

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