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Here Comes Solar’s Juan Parra Talks to Univision about Community Solar

Watch Solar One’s Juan Parra explain how community solar makes renewable energy accessible to every New Yorker on the Spanish language television network Univision.

In the clip, you can see Juan and correspndent Berenice Gartner on the roof of an HDFC co-op building in Crown Heights. The solar installation, including the cool canopy for the panels, was installed by Brooklyn Solar Works. You can also catch a glimpse of Daroga Power‘s community solar installation, which you can sign up for on the Here Comes Solar website here.

Ansd while the segment is in Spanish, even non-Spanish speakers will be able to follow along. Congratulations to Here Comes Solar, Brooklyn Solar Works and Daroga Power on the great press for their great work!

Tiny Eels, Big $$ & Native Rights on Long Island

Native Americans of the Shinnecock tribe have been living in eastern Long Island since long before European settlers arrived in the 17th century. And while you might not expect a reservation to be located near now-trendy Southampton village, that’s exactly where David Taobi Silva lives and fishes, and he claims he has aboriginal rights to do so, even if it is against Department of Environmental Conservation regulations.

At issue are tiny glass eels that are illegal to harvest in New York, a regulation state officials call vital in protecting a depleted population. But Mr. Silva told the officers that he was free to gather the eels, citing an aboriginal right to fish locally that is based on Shinnecock tradition and ancient treaties that predate and supersede government laws.

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Will NYC Be First in the US to Try Congestion Pricing?

Since the 1970s, off and on, NYC has considered a congestion pricing plan, where drivers would be charged a fee for driving in Manhattan south of 60th Street during certain hours of the day, for the purpose of relieving congestion on the streets and raising badly needed income for the public transportation system. Unlike previous plans, the current one under consideration does not include tolls on all the East River bridges. But opponents still believe the fees will be a drain on commuters.

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L Train Closure Open Houses Are Coming

Got questions about the planned L train closures? Join the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the NYC Department of Transportation for a series of open houses to learn and ask questions about plans for the 15-month closure of the Canarsie Tunnel, beginning in April 2019. Please join us at one of these events, and feel free to arrive anytime during the timeframes listed.

East Williamsburg: Wednesday, January 24
5-8pm
Progress High School
850 Grand Street bet Bushwick Ave & Waterbury St, Brooklyn

Manhattan East Side: Wednesday, January 31
5-8pm
344 East 14th Street bet First & Second Aves, Manhattan

Williamsburg: Thursday, February 8
5-8pm
Williamsburg Community Center
195 Graham Avenue bet Scoles & Stagg Sts, Brooklyn

Manhattan West Side: Wednesday, February 14
5-8pm
Our Lady of Guadalupe
328 West 14th Street bet Eighth Ave & Hudson St, Manhattan

You can download the flyer here.

NYC Will Divest Pensions of Fossil Fuel Investments Within 5 Years

NYC manages five public pension funds worth $189 billion, with almost $5 billion invested in fossil fuel securities offered by almost 200 different companies. In a first-in-the-nation step towards the goal of divestment, the Mayor and Comptroller will submit a joint resolution to pension fund trustees to begin analyzing ways to divest from fossil fuel owners in a responsible way that is fully consistent with fiduciary obligations.

“New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major US city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels,” said Mayor de Blasio. “At the same time, we’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits. As climate change continues to worsen, it’s up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient.”

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Teaching Teachers to Teach Climate Science

This letter, by Solar One BFF Joy Garland, appeared in the December 28, 2017 Letters to the Editor in Town & Village newspaper.

Have you ever wondered how schools are preparing our students from kindergarten through high school to understand climate, how it affects us and what we can do about it? One solution that has been suggested is to reach out to the teacher training colleges who prepare the adult students to be teachers before they enter the children’s classrooms. Here in New York City, Teachers College, Columbia University and New York University are both participating with the New York CityDepartment Of Education (DOE) Office of Sustainability, to increase environmental and sustainability education for teachers and students. There is also an initiative from NYC DOE to strengthen the sustainability coordinator position in each public school.

We were delighted that State Senator Brian Kavanaugh was able to speak at the recent meeting of the Environmental Education Advisory Council (EEAC) dealing with the aforementioned issues. The senator spoke about initiatives on the environment that he sponsored when he served in the State Assembly before he won a spot in the State Senate recently. He also offered suggestions for helping to improve environmental and sustainability education in the schools.

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