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A Report From the Weather Front

DSC 0111 199x300 A Report From the Weather Front

Baltimore kids enjoy a day off from school

The nor’easters that have pummeled the eastern seaboard over the last month or so have provided many a fun day for kids unencumbered by the duties of school. Businesses and city budgets have been less enthusiastic as they have seen a notable falloff in customers or a striking pothole in their treasuries. The winter season still has 2-3 more weeks left, according to Puxatony Phil, so the snow shovels should not be put away just yet. Still another effect of the storms is to revivify the the media brouhaha about Global Warming.

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| Category Climate Change, Community, Media Review, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Opinion, Politics, Reviews, Sustainability | | 0 Comments

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#Opinion: Like Rome Before the Fall? Not Yet (According to the New York Times)

Article by Piers Brendon. Originally published in the New York Times.

Vice President Joe Biden complains that he is being driven crazy because so many people are betting on America’s demise. Reports of it are not just exaggerated; they are, he insists, ridiculous. Like President Obama, he will not accept “second place” for the United States. Despite the present crippling budget deficit and the crushing burden of projected debt, he denies that the country is destined to fulfill a “prophecy that we are going to be a great nation that has failed because we lost control of our economy and overextended.” (more…)

| Category Book Review, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Opinion, Politics, Reviews | | 0 Comments

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Stark Figures on Housing in Major Markets

The crash of the housing market might be behind us (although ‘Objects in Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear’), but the recessionary effects abound, as does the detritus of the houses themselves. So many built on the belief that mortgages could be offered indefinitely, and paid back indefinitely as well. The momentum of the buildup meant that has credit got crunched new homes got finished and now we have a glut. Recent news reports have concentrated on that glut, and we wanted to pass some of the grim statistics to our readers.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Community, National/International, Politics, Revitalization | | 0 Comments

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The Social Costs of the Housing Crash: Hispanic Communities in NYC

300px Brooklyn Bridge Postdlf The Social Costs of the Housing Crash: Hispanic Communities in NYC

The Brooklyn Bridge, seen from Manhattan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week we posted a couple of reports pointing to the relative stability in the housing market that Baltimore has ‘enjoyed’ and how the faltering economy seems to have spurred growth in the non-profit sector. Today we are reminded of how important the qualifier ‘relative’ is. Optimists and bank executives largely believe the economy has bottomed out, but the social ramifications (and, likely more of the economic ramifications in the commercial real estate sector) are still to be dealt with. Many of the social tensions that the economic crisis has wound up do their worst damage on those communities already strained by marginalization: recent immigrants and the working poor.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Banking & Finance, Community, News and Current Affairs, Sustainability | | 0 Comments

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Google’s portfolio now to include electricity distribution

Wow. Whether it was the boom & bust of Buzz! (and probable resurrection), the Request For Proposal to establish a gigabit fiberoptic network (NPR news story), or the latest move for Google to purchase and resell electricity, the search giant has been inspiring tweets and blogs of all stripes the last few weeks. Our blog has reported some of these developments, and the most recent Googlegrowth deserves mention as well. What might the distribution by Google mean for the non-profit and mission-based sector of the economy?

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| Category Greening, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Politics, Technology | | 0 Comments

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Baltimore non-profits bring change for good in bad economy

The Johns Hopkins University Gazette had a recent article about Hopkins students working with local non-profits as they pursue their degrees, which seems a fine introduction to the good work area non-profit and community groups have accomplished over the last number of months. Though the economy overall remains sluggish, non-profits have been able not only to continue their work but also to draw in (even if temporarily) the underemployed who want to better their communities with their extra time. Let us see some of that in action.

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| Category Community, Local/Maryland, Nonprofit, Politics | | 0 Comments

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CEOs and social media – a strong combination?

A new technology is invariably difficult to put down for the fearless first adopters. Those who move more slowly toward that technology might feel intimidation from those who adopted early and have since honed their skills. Those who waited might also begin to ask if adoption is even necessary. Such a dynamic might be especially acute in the world of social media, almost invariably multi-million-dollar enterprises that began as projects for recent college grads. But as social media head toward a certain maturity and expectation, are such networks really useful for corporate entities and/or their boards?

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| Category Community, Marketing, Media Review, Nonprofit | | 0 Comments

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‘Top 10 Ways to Use Recovery Funds for Green Buildings’ – Nos.8 & 7

In our ongoing periodic series concerning the best ways to use ARRA funds from the Obama Administration’s recovery package to green existing buildings and to build the next generation of green infrastructure, we turn to numbers 8 and 7 on the list (please see our Archives for previous entries).

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| Category Community, Grants and Funding, Greening, Revitalization | | 0 Comments

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#Sustainability: Alex Steffen’s ‘Seattle Model’ for Wealthy, Green, Cities

300px Alex Steffen in 2008 #Sustainability: Alex Steffens Seattle Model for Wealthy, Green, Cities

Alex Steffen talks green cities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Late last November Alex Steffen gave a two-night presentation at Seattle’s city hall concerning the climatic crises the planet faces, and how single towns and cities can change the direction we are heading. The videos have recently been posted at his group’s website, worldchanging.com, and we think they are well worth a watch.

The talks are about 90 minutes each, and your time is rewarded with an entertaining survey of existent green technologies and a shocking review of the environmental and economic problems we face. But what distinguishes Mr. Steffen’s ideas within the environmental movement is his enthusiasm for growth and prosperity.

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| Category Climate Change, Community, Greening, Sustainability, Technology | | 0 Comments

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#PublicPolicy: Baltimore’s Crisis – Is a Sustainable Resurgence Possible in 2010?

The community/public-service website LiveBaltimore.com recently announced a free workshop entitled “Is Now The Right Time to Buy a Home?” The website then had to announce that the tsnownamis of 2010 have forced postponement. Keep an eye on the site, as LiveBaltimore will soon post the rescheduled event. Which begs the question, IS now the right time?

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| Category Affordable Housing, Banking & Finance, Community, Local/Maryland, News and Current Affairs | | 0 Comments

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Google’s Experimental Fiberoptic Network: Coming to Your Community?

Google, makers of Android, Chrome, GMail & GMaps (merely touching the surface), has announced plans for a 1 GB/sec fiberoptic network, and the company has petitioned for communities to present Requests for Information (RFI) by 26 March. According to Google’s press release, the company has been working with federal agencies since last summer to channel ARRA (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act) monies into developing fiberoptic cable, and are now striking out on their own to develop a test-case. Could your community be that beneficiary? Town and city governments are encouraged to apply, of course, but the site also points out that individuals can nominate their communities as well:

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| Category Hardware Review, News and Current Affairs, Technology | | 0 Comments

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Recovery Funds for Green Buildings: Nos.10 & 9 in Our Top Ten List

A week or so ago we posted the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) report on the “Top 10 Ways to Use Recovery Funds for Green Building.” The report outlined ways local and state governments, as well as community organizations and socially-conscious businesses could draw upon the Obama Administration’s recovery package. With the federal government ‘closed’ and snuggling under a thick blanket of snow, we thought this the perfect time to study the 10 Ways in greater detail for our clients and readers. [Paul Schafer, cue the music!] (more…)

| Category Climate Change, Community, Grants and Funding, Greening, Local/Maryland, Sustainability | | 0 Comments

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Baltimore: Snowed in but blogging on!

Baltimore (nay, the east coast) has been whacked with back-to-back Nor’easters that have closed schools for at least a week, and moved the MKCREATIVE staff to work from our home satellites (power permitting). Today’s entry is just a small praise for a big community.
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| Category Community, Local/Maryland, News and Current Affairs, Opinion, Politics | | 0 Comments

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Fossil-Fuel Producers as Fossil-Fuel Deniers

This report might fit under the rubric of John Cleese’s famous rejoinder, “Well, aren’t you Master of the Bleeding Obvious?!” But we must remind ourselves that all is not as it may seem. A report by Jonathan Owen and Paul Bignell in the British newspaper The Independent outlines many of the links between multi-national oil & fossil-fuel producers and think tanks who argue against global-warming or argue against the notion that human activity is causing it. As an example that Owen and Bignell cite, “ExxonMobil is a key player behind the scenes, having donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past few years to climate change sceptics. The Atlas Foundation, created by the late Sir Anthony Fisher (founder of the Institute of Economic Affairs), received more than $100,000 in 2008 from ExxonMobil, according to the oil company’s reports.” (more…)

| Category Climate Change, Community, National/International, Politics, Technology | | 0 Comments

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Audi’s ‘Green Police’ Ad: Not Just Another Pot Shot at the Green Movement

Repost of original article by Leo Hickman, Feb 8, 2010, guardian.co.uk

Mmm, I wonder if Will Ferrell and his comedy compatriots at Funnyordie.com saw Audi’s Super Bowl ad (Sunday)? If they did, then they might have recognised the ad’s satirical vision of a world patrolled by the “green police”.

The reason being that they made virtually the same joke – scoring far more laughs in the process – in their Green Team video a couple of years ago. (more…)

| Category Automobiles, Climate Change, Greening, Marketing, Media Review, Sustainability | | 0 Comments

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A review of iPad reviews (Pt. 2)

Yesterday we saw some of the challenges, criticisms, and bawdy jokes tossed at the iPad. Today we turn to some of the reviews and ideas that could well make the iPad the kind of ‘game-changer’ that even Windows users expect of Apple. (more…)

| Category Apple, Community, Hardware Review, Software Review | | 0 Comments

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A review of iPad reviews (Pt. 1)

Rumors of an iTablet/iSlate/iPad from Apple, Inc. have been circulating for a few years now. Therefore, the announcement of the iPad at the end of January felt less shocking – less ‘magical’ – for many than previous releases (I can still hear the gasps as the iPhone came out of Steve’s pocket in 2007). Now that a bit of the dust has settled, MKCREATIVE wanted to offer a roundup of some of the comments on the iPad, and to suggest some points that non-profits and community groups might want to consider about the product and about what it might mean for the near future. (more…)

| Category Apple, Community, Hardware Review, Reviews, Software Review | | 0 Comments

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Voting against our interests

Last week the BBC posted an intriguing synopsis of the tendency of a majority of Americans to vote against their economic interests. A classic example (though not referred to in this particular article) was the general support for the Bush Administration’s tax cuts, though less than 4% of the population directly benefited from them. Though we all periodically act “against” our own self-interest, analysts are wondering about the political fallout of such decisions at the national level.

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| Category National/International, News and Current Affairs, Politics | | 0 Comments

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2010 Non-Profit Technology Conference

Following up on yesterday’s theme of making 2010 a great year for outreach and communications: the 2010 Non-Profit Technology Conference (NTC) is going to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, April 8-10. The conference is at the Omni Hotel in the CNN Center, and registration is now open. (more…)

| Category Community, Conference/Congress, Grants and Funding, Marketing, Nonprofit, Revitalization | | 0 Comments

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How to get your e-newsletters read, not deleted

Looking to refresh contacts and client-relations for 2010? Wanting guidance to expland those client lists? Next Tuesday, 9 February, NetworkForGood.org will be hosting a seminar on how to get email blasts and e-newsletters out of the Junk Box and into the conscousness of your group’s clientele. Kivi Leroux Miller, president of EcoScribe Communications will be our hostess. (more…)

| Category Community, Grants and Funding, Marketing, Nonprofit | | 0 Comments

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