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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

La Crosse Clean Energy Coalition

Taking things into our own hands is often the only way to get something started or done. A new group in La Crosse has decided to do just that when it comes to clean energy. Six working groups (see "Read More") have been established to nudge our neighbors in sustainable directions. We hope to hear more from the group in the future.

Their next meeting is on Thursday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ho-Chunk Nation Three Rivers House (8th and Main). For more info, read on.

Reminders about upcoming and ongoing events:

1. Green Drinks - an informal gathering to talk about local environmental issues and ideas meets the third Tuesday of each month, 6:30 p.m. at Hackberry's, above the Food Coop

2. Step It Up Day, Saturday April 14 - to celebrate the National Day of Climate Action. Will there be a local activity?

3. Earth Day at Cameron Park on Saturday, April 21 (rain site: Three Rivers School)

TASK GROUPS

1. Light Bulbs (Michelle Jerome r3bebes@yahoo.com). Plans are well underway for obtaining screw-in florescent light bulbs and creating a give-away package with literature, with goal of raising the consciousness of the public about appliance efficiency and other consumer choices we make.

2. Green businesses and construction (John Servais jgservais@yahoo.com).
Time will be spent researching the codes that govern new residential and commercial construction. Minnesota might offer a good example. The group will also investigate which local businesses are setting a high standard for green energy practices, and will study how to publicize those successful practices.

3. Political Action (Glen Jenkins cgjenks14@centurytel.net).
Important is encouraging people to speak at the public hearings for the Eco-Municipality legislation. Members of the committee will contact Steve Doyle and Steve O'Malley, at the County, and City officials to brainstorm how and where to be effective. They will seek out ways of getting members of the business community involved in clean energy efforts.

4. Residential Efficiency (Karl Oldenburg koldenburg@yahoo.com).
The issue is how to motivate home owners to make improvements. A novel idea is to work through Xcel Energy to measure the energy consumption of a specific La Crosse neighborhood. The goal would be to encourage a friendly competition among homeowners and possibly neighborhoods in the pursuit of lowering the "carbon footprint."

5. Wind Energy (Carolyn Jenkins cgjenks14@centurytel.net).
The first task is to research current wind projects at Winona, Wilkins (S of Tomah), Trempeleau, the McNealus Steel turbines W of Rochester, and the proposed Gund-Luth wind project out of Westby.

6. Tours to Ecological or Alternative Energy Homes (Joel Lazinger jplazi01@aol.com). The first task is to compile an e-data base of such alternative homes, and the committee seeks input--so send ideas in. Tours in the spring and summer could follow the pattern of what is already done in other areas by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. How can local building ordinances can be made to be more friendly to alternative construction practices?

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