Minutes of Feb. 18, 2009 meeting

North Quabbin Energy
Feb. 18, 2009 meeting
Millers River Environmental Center
Attending:  Pat Larson, Pat Roix, Linda Paquet, Steve & Janice Kurkoski, Brian Nugent, Cara Cleveland, Cathy Stanton

Potlucks/discussions
Ten people attended the recent potluck at Pat Larson’s house to share ideas and talk about ways that we might connect to the “Transition Towns” initiative. It was decided that we would not formally pursue that connection, but would certainly use some of those approaches and ideas in our work in the North Quabbin region. Ideas shared included: ways to start a town energy committee (on behalf of Barre), supporting Green Start sign-ups for area towns, writing pieces about energy for local newspapers, newsletters, and websites (eg. “how-to” columns, perhaps in coordination with the Hands Across North Quabbin/Green Economy Task Force education committee). Future educational meetings for NQE were discussed, including a potluck at Linda Paquet’s house this spring to see her masonry stove and solar hot water system, in combination with a potluck dinner. We will ask people to RSVP for these potlucks, so hosts know roughly how many to expect.

Home Show/Energy Expo March 28
• We should continue to call back potential vendors who expressed interest but haven’t signed up yet.
• The speaker list is almost complete. We have speakers on solar thermal, solar PV/community solar power generation, sustainable agriculture, GCC “green learning,” weatherization, windows, and more.
• We need to sign up volunteers for various tasks: roadside signs, setting up, table staff, recycling station, floaters to give people a break at tables, presentation area, clean-up. Pat Larson will coordinate the volunteer sign-ups.
• We will decorate the Chamber of Commerce window to advertise our “Got Green? Get Local!” theme. Linda Paquet will coordinate this.
• Recycling: We will borrow recycling bins from Franklin County Solid Waste Disposal. Steve and Janice will pick these up. We will also have regular trash containers available, but will hope to use them minimally. We’ll recycle all bottles and cans. All food vendors are being asked to use paper or compostable items, which Rick Innes from Clearview Composting will take. The Chamber will help by supplying paper plates and cups. Pat will draft a letter to the food vendors to explain our goal of composting/recycling as much waste as possible. We will ask the Chamber to purchase the compostable utensils on our behalf, and to use that as part of the proceeds they have agree to give us this year.
• We’ll hold a raffle drawing at 6 p.m., giving away a Dean’s Beans gift basket and accepting old (name-brand) printer ink cartridges and cell phones as entries. Items collected will go to Athol and Orange schools for their recycling fundraisers.
• Town energy committees will have a presence at our NQE table. We will also promote Green Start sign-ups. Linda is asking Ken Levine to make a North Quabbin map showing where there are town energy committees already and which towns could still start them. We’ll also have a free literature table in the cafeteria. Janice and Pat are working on getting literature
• Brian will do winsert demonstrations in the cafeteria during the day.
• Cathy will go on Managers Corner on AOTV on March 11 to publicize the Energy Expo.

River Rat Race
We may need to find a canoe for this, as Janice’s is very unwieldy! We will figure this out in March, and perhaps have a work bee in April to decorate the boat and paddlers (Pat Roix and Janice). We also need to check what the arrangements are this year, as there are questions about both the logistics and the sponsorship of the race.

Winsert workshops
We had a total of 21 attendees at the two winsert workshops, plus seven people from NQE. Many towns in the area were represented, and many people talked about wanting to pass the idea along in their own networks. We have spent $575.73 of the $1000 grant so far. Manny King’s youth group at the YMCA is making winserts for their own homes and helping to make them for the Valuing Our Children building, and we decided to use $250 of the remaining funds to help them buy supplies. We will also earmark $150 for making DVDs of our edited tape from the workshops. At some point we will follow up with the workshop participants to see how they’re doing with making frames on their own. If this is proving to be a barrier for people, we will suggest ways that they might get help with ripping lumber or making frames.

Next meeting: Thursday, March 19, 6:30 p.m.

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