Archive for March, 2010

Sierra Club response to President’s new offshore drilling strategy

In a speech today, President Obama unveiled his new strategy on offshore drilling, which will keep some sensitive coastal areas open for drilling, including the Arctic’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas which are of concern because they provide important habitat for polar bears, whales, and other marine life. Much of the South and Mid-Atlantic  coasts will also remain open.  The new plans will leave Alaska’s Bristol Bay off-limits to drilling.

Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune:

“We’re very disappointed to see important areas like the Arctic coast and the Mid and South Atlantic stay open to oil drilling.

“We also disagree with the Administration’s proposals to expand drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.  This would substantially increase the chance of oil spills damaging the Everglades, the Florida Keys, fragile coral reefs and Florida’s beaches. It would also jeopardize the $62 billion coastal tourism industry that employs almost a million Floridians. Fortunately, the Administration can’t take this action alone; congressional approval of new drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico would be required under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

“What we need is bold, decisive steps towards clean energy, like the new clean cars regulations announced this week–not more dirty, expensive offshore drilling.

“The oil industry already has access to drilling on millions of acres of America’s public lands and water. We don’t need to hand over our last protected pristine coastal areas just so oil companies can break more profit records.

“Drilling areas like the Arctic threatens marine life like whales and polar bears. Where there is offshore drilling, there is a constant danger of oil spills. One oil spill is all it takes to destroy a coastal tourism economy and the jobs that depend on it.

“Drilling our coasts will doing nothing to lower gas prices or create energy independence. It will only jeopardize beaches, marine life, and coastal tourist economies, all so the oil industry can make a short-term profit.

“President Obama has taken important steps to combat global warming pollution and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Our nation’s increasing investment in clean energy and efficiency measures make drilling in sensitive coastal areas even more unnecessary.

“There’s no reason to drill our coasts. We can achieve real energy independence and economic vitality by investing in clean energy like wind and solar and efficiency. This kind of power creates good, lasting American jobs and positions our nation to become a global leader in the new clean energy economy.”

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March 31, 2010 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

SPC carpooling/low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicle preferred parking

St Petersburg College has made environmental sustainability a top priority, and that certainly applies to the college’s facilities. One example: the availability on certain campuses of preferred parking for carpooling and low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.

To be eligible for a carpool parking spot, just provide transport to Clearwater and St. Pete/Gibbs for more than one individual.

To take advantage of low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicle parking spots, view a list of eligible automobiles by visiting http://www.spcollege.edu/sustainability/Documents/low_emitting_and_fuel_efficient_vehicles.pdf



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March 31, 2010 at 11:26 am Leave a comment

Genocide and Human Rights Awareness Month

In April 2010 the Florida Holocaust Museum will host its first annual Genocide and Human Rights Awareness Month (GHRAM). The goal of GHRAM is to build public awareness about the Holocaust, the current genocide in Darfur, past genocides and human rights violations such as  the Armenian Genocide, the Cambodian Killing Fields, the Rwandan Genocide and the genocide in the former Yugoslavia.

Programming during GHRAM will include exhibitions, commemorative events, events focused on public education, advocacy, and student workshops. The annual program will be held in memory of Dr. Stephen Feinstein who was a guest curator for the Florida Holocaust Museum for ten years and founding director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

During the first week of April, the Florida Holocaust Museum will host the outside projected exhibition, Darfur/Darfur, which consists of photographs taken of the genocide in Darfur by photojournalists. An indoor version of the exhibition will be on display for the entire month of April.
The Museum will hold a reception on April 3, 2010 to inaugurate the annual initiative.
Other confirmed programs include a public talk by Nicholas Kristof on April 6, Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) on April 11, Rwandan survivor and author, Immaculee Ilibagiza on April 14, Croatian author, Slavenka Drakulic on April 20, Dr. Edward Kissi speaking on the role of the UN on April 29 and many more.
For more information, please contact Erin Blankenship or Ula Szczepinska at 727-820-0100.

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March 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

Offshore Drilling Town Hall Meeting

On Wednesday, March 31 a Town Hall meeting will be conducted by Newt Gingrich at the Vinoy Hotel in downtown St. Pete.  During this meeting, he will be touting economic development at the expense of our coastal economy.

Hands Across the Sand plans to demonstrate to show their commitment to protect our coasts and our economy against offshore drilling, and promote clean energy and clean energy jobs.

The doors for the Town Hall Meeting open at 6pm Wednesday, March 31.  Hands Across the Sand volunteers will meet by 5:30 along 5th Ave North.  They will be wearing black to signify an oil slick.

For more information, visit http://www.protectfloridasbeaches.org/, http://www.protectfloridasbeaches.org/ or http://www.handsacrossthesand.com.

Call Cathy Harrelson with any questions at 727-415-8805.

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March 29, 2010 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

Allstate and Clearwater campuses to display human trafficking awareness exhibit

SPC’s Center for Human Trafficking Awareness is sponsoring  two visits by The Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum.

The museum consists of a cargo truck outfitted as a replica of the trucks involved in a recent slavery operation (U.S. v. Navarrete, 2008), in which farm workers were manacled, locked each night in a truck, beaten and forced to harvest tomatoes in Florida’s fields. The replica will be accompanied by displays on the history and evolution of slavery in Florida.

The Clearwater Campus will host the mobile museum on April 1 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m, in the Language Arts parking lot. The display will visit the Allstate Center on April 7 from 1-5 p.m. at its main entrance.

This event is free and open to the public. The Center for Human Trafficking Awareness Web site is maintained by personnel from the Center for Public Safety Innovation at the Allstate Center.

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March 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm Leave a comment

St. Petersburg College to participate in March 27 Earth Hour

St. Petersburg College announced today that they are an official supporter of Earth Hour.

On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. the world will send a powerful message that climate change is a priority that must be dealt with now. By turning off non-essential lighting for one hour—Earth Hour—hundreds of millions of people across the globe will show their support for lasting action to protect Earth’s natural resources, environment and climate, now and into the future.

Led by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour has grown from a city-wide effort in 2007 to a global phenomenon that has captured the world’s attention. Each year, individuals, organizations, businesses, and state and local governments come together to show their support by turning off the lights in homes, the workplace and at iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Las Vegas Strip, Sydney’s Opera House and more. In 2009 alone, hundreds of millions of people turned out for Earth Hour – spanning 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents.

St Petersburg College is proud to be an official supporter of Earth Hour. On March 27, we will turn off all non-essential lighting within our control on all campuses.  This however does not include certain lighting effecting the life-safety and security of our users.  We encourage you to join with us and millions of Americans in making Earth Hour 2010 the biggest effort yet. Getting involved is easy.

  1. Sign up at EarthHour.org
    Show your support, be counted and get tips on how to reduce your impact on the environment.
  2. Spread the Word
    Invite students, friends and family to join the movement.
  3. Turn off the lights
    Turn off all non-essential lighting in your home 8:30 p.m. local time on Saturday, March 27.

To learn more about Earth Hour visit www.EarthHour.org.

To learn more about sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green at green.jason@spcollege.edu.  Then visit http://www.spcollege.edu/sustainability, join the facebook group and follow us at http://twitter.com/sustainableSPC.

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March 22, 2010 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

St. Petersburg College to install first rooftop photovoltaic solar project

St. Petersburg College will begin installing its first photovoltaic system on the Clearwater campus March 19.

The system, which will generate renewable power for the electrical grid, will be installed on the roof of the LEED Gold Natural Science, Mathematics and College of Education building, already one of Tampa bay’s most environmentally friendly buildings.

Installation should take about a week.

“The 3.5 kilowatt thin-film solar blanket will be the first commercial installation of the new generation of solar collection systems installed in this area,” said Jason Green, SPC Sustainability Coordinator. “The installation demonstrates St Petersburg College’s dedication to finding solutions to the global warming issue.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our Student Chapter of The Florida Engineering Society,” said John Williams, Academic Chairman of SPC’s Natural Science Department.  “Students will be able to compare this system in this environment with data collected at an identical installation in Littleton, Colo.”

This system to be installed was selected because of its tolerance to hurricane force winds, harsh environments, better performance in lower light conditions and flexibility.

“One of the benefits of a thin-film system is that it is basically a peel-and-stick system that sits directly on top of the existing roof membrane and doesn’t require a great deal of additional structure,” said James Pedicone, SPC Project Coordinator.  “Also, the company which originally installed the roof manufactured and will install the solar collection system, so we are able to maintain the original roof warranty.”

Utilizing free solar energy through the solar thin film application showcases SPC’s commitment to greening the environment and maximizing internal efficiency.

“The research data retrieved from this project will be utilized to determine the most energy efficient solar applications as we continue to expand our sustainability efforts as well as decrease our energy consumption,” said Diana Wright, SPC Energy Coordinator.

To learn more about sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green at green.jason@spcollege.edu.  Then visit http://www.spcollege.edu/sustainability, join the facebook group and follow us at http://twitter.com/sustainableSPC.

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March 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm 1 comment

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who we are:

Early in 2008, St. Petersburg College recognized its responsibility to model to our students, employees and community ways to minimize global warming emissions and provide the knowledge to our graduates to help achieve a more environmentally friendly future. Because of this, the College made sustainability (defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs) a top priority. As a result, the Office for Sustainability was established.

what we do:

Working alongside internal and external partners, the Office for Sustainability focuses on the following areas of environmental stewardship: educational programs and corporate training, energy and natural resource conservation, green buildings and facilities, carbon emissions, recycling and student activities.

learn more:

To learn more about The Office for Sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green, Sustainability Coordinator at green.jason@spcollege.edu

sustainable | SPC