Spike Lee Follows Up With “If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise”

The New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl Victory Parade

We finish this week’s focus on the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with much help from Spike Lee’s documentary “If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise,” which recently showed on HBO and is periodically being repeated. The followup finds many of the same people who told of their immediate post-Katrina experiences so see how they are faring, and what has changed in the intervening years. Lee begins with the Saints’ Super Bowl miracle victory this past February and how it marked a turning point in the morale of the citizens of New Orleans. Recovery was certainly on its way, thanks to the work of Brad Pitt’s “Make It Right” organization rebuilding so many homes and the rise of sound charter schools in the midst of the New Orleans public education system – among other things. But the improvements also mask some of the ongoing rot within.


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Net Neutrality Ought To Concern Green Businesses

The week finishes where it began and with an effort to link a couple of themes we have pursued (harped on?) this week: net neutrality and the greening of your business. The debate over net neutrality is not likely to be a front-running concern in the midterm elections, which might be unfortunate, given the ways a tiered internet medium could warp the dissemination of ideas across it. Most individuals, as we noted on Tuesday, might not really be aware of or concerned about how some services and advertisements and media get to their computers that much quicker or higher up search lists than others. But for non-profits, small businesses, green(ing) businesses, and mission-based institutions, a tiered-by-fees network could prove to be a notable hurdle to their aspirations.


| Category Greening, Marketing, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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Baltimore Continues To Revitalize Inner Harbor With Residential Park

Baltimore Inner Harbor & National Aquarium

The revitalization of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor began in fits and starts as early as the late 1950s by Mayor Thomas J. D’Alesandro, Jr. Though technically a ‘harbor,’ the specific area known as the Inner Harbor was always too shallow for ocean-bound vessels, oven those built in the early nineteenth century. The Inner Harbor thus served as a rump of warehouses and cheap housing for laborers who had to travel a couple of miles east to get to the docks holding the big cargo ships. Almost as soon as the last medium-sized ships stopped coming into the eastern/inner harbor in the late 1950s, work went into finding other uses for the space. The first round of improvements mostly consisted of tearing things down and creating open spaces that could be used when necessary, but hardly grounds (no pun intended) for economic vitality. Rebuilding came in the 1980s, with a focus on tourism and attractions (the National Aquarium, Harbor Place Hotels, a myriad of restaurants, and the Maryland Science Center. Most of this rebuilding was along the eastern rim of the shallow harbor, but housing took a bit longer to enjoy a similar renaissance.


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Possible New Role For Pollution Credits: Lowering Runoff Into The Chesapeake Bay

Map of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The idea for a carbon tax to create a carbon credit market seems politically a dead letter in the current economic crisis, but the idea that credits could be traded for those who are able to achieve stated limits on pollution still might have some influence. A micro-economy has been suggested for the Chesapeake Bay region, with pollutant run-off being the currency that might be traded. The Foundation Center gives us access to a report on how such an exchange might be developed, how it might improve conditions in the bay, and perhaps how it could be used successfully to deal with other pollutants.


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#Interview: Linda Cronin-Gross, President of LCG Communications, Blogger, PR Pro

Linda Cronin-Gross, Founder and CEO of LCG Communications

Linda Cronin-Gross, President of LCG Communications

We have been reaching out to some of the influential people in the nonprofit/mission-based/greening/housing (etc.!) communities to hear about the work their organizations are involved with and how these individuals got involved in that work. Their insights and experiences can inspire us all as we continue our work in our chosen areas.

The series of interviews continues with Linda Cronin-Gross, founder and president of LCG Communications (Brooklyn, NY). She has been in the worlds of politics and public relations since the late 1970s, and she founded LCG Communications ten years ago in an effort to educate nonprofits on the benefits of strategic communications for progressive, issues-driven organizations and campaigns as well as for small businesses. She is a member of the National Writers Union as well. Linda Gross’s success has not been linear or without challenges (like walking a straight line through the lobby of the Rockefeller Center with a teary-eyed political candidate). Yet her perseverance and good humor have been critical to the success she and her firm have enjoyed over the last decade. So how did she grow from music teacher to adviser and communications specialist to greening groups and progressive organizations throughout New York?


| Category Community, Greening, Interview, Nonprofit, Politics | | 1 Comments

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Baltimore’s ‘Parks And People’ Plans Organizing Efforts for Block Projects

Baltimore's Parks and People Foundation

We wanted to remind you of an informative and important meeting sponsored by Baltimore‘s Parks and People Foundation this May 13th. We tweeted the event a day or so ago, but it is worth a posting here as well. The Parks and People Foundation has been hosting a series of meetings and workshops entitled ‘Community Greens Workshop Series’ meant to get folks engaged at the local and neighborhood level to restore and upkeep green areas and small parks. The meeting on the thirteenth concerns the efforts needed to make such engagement practical and profitable for the community. It is being held at Monroe Street United Methodist Church
400 S. Monroe St., Baltimore City .

Want to do more in your neighborhood but don’t know where to begin? Learn tips for organizing your block project, generating volunteers, and building leadership. Come with questions! Please RSVP to Sarah at 410-448-5662 x128

The keynote speaker is Ellen Burke, Partner at City Life Historic Properties, LLC. She is also Vice President for the Baltimore Community Developers Association and honored as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in business and philanthropic concerns. She will be discussing some of the tools of communication and community organizing.

She will be joined by Kate Herrod, Director of Community Greens, who will be discussing the value of such projects as alley gating and greening. Baltimore City has a hidden treasure of small green spaces and urban micro-parks (my term). These tend to be off the city administration’s radar (especially during a recession), but are a life-affirming quality in their neighborhoods. Ms. Herrod will offer advice on keeping them green and the community engaged in their upkeep.

Once inspired by what you learn at the workshop, or if you are already inspired but can not make it on the 13th, be sure to check out their Calendar of Events and follow the Foundation on Twitter. MKCREATIVE already follows their good works, and we hope to see you at one of their May meetings.

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Greening Your Business Requires A Recipe For Success

Earth Days and Ecofests help keep us motivated and connected in our efforts to go green. When it comes to baking in long-term and structural improvements, though, we need tried-and-true ingredients and good guidance. Julie Gabrielli, founder of GoForChange has provided just such a recipe to move us all toward a greener work environment and a greener economy all around. The company’s general mission (and one that was founded in the early days of interest in any greening movement) is to work with small- and mission-based companies to improve their eco-standards and their bottom lines:

Julie Gabrielli, Founder of

Julie Gabrielli, from her site

GOforChange has a big vision for a community that is life-affirming in all senses. We work with small business owners who want to find simple, practical ways to increase their profitability, satisfaction and success by going green. We’ve been at this for 20 years, so green isn’t a fad or trend to us. We know how to go right to the heart of the matter, cut through the clutter and get to the gold. Using timeless, grounded frameworks, we work with you to customize a plan that fits your unique values and interests


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Some Green Goodness To Sum Up Green Week

Create Change from Baltimore EcoFest

We have posted a number of tidbits about Green Week, from Baltimore Green Works’ EcoFest through various local and national events this week. We must keep the enthusiasm up, of course. Green Week draws to a close, but not the need to be creative and disciplined with our use of resources and our development of sustainable technologies. But in the spirit of a well-earned Friday afternoon, we wanted to end this week’s series with a few local and a (surprising?) international marks of success.

We have already praised Baltimore City for (finally) getting hybrid-technology buses on the road, and we note the development again. But Baltimore is full of projects and efforts that are greening urban neighborhoods, giving options to driving cars, and producing green products for us to enjoy.


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EcoFest Success and Green Construction in Baltimore

Ecofest 2010

EcoFest Drum Circle

Baltimore GreenWorks pulled off another great EcoFest (the first being in 2005) this past week! Weather was a bit cool, but sunny and the MKCREATIVE team members who attended this small gathering had a great time. Many folks came out to enjoy good food, music, and bonding. A number of eco-engaged sponsors and merchants were there as well, which made a great reminder of how public interest and private enterprise can work together for the enrichment of both. (more…)

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Baltimore Hosting A Number of Homeownership & Greening Events

Earth Day 2010

EcoFest @ Druid Hill Park
Saturday, 17 April

The approach of Tax Day can cloud memories of other opportunities, so we wanted to post reminders of a number of upcoming events for the greening of Our Fair City. First off, please do not forget the fun we will have at Druid Hill Park this Saturday, 17 April, from 12:pm to 6:pm. EcoFest hosted by the Baltimore GreenWorks and a myriad of local vendors and greening organizations. The weather prognosis looks good for the weekend, and what a great way to wash away memories of sweating over your 1040?


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Upcoming Greening Events in Baltimore To Highlight Sustainability Successes

On our entry for 25 March we touted some notable greening projects in New York City, including Annie Novak’s rooftop farm. We also noted opportunities for Baltimore’s citizens to get involved in similar projects. Today we follow on with that call-to-action to draw your attention to a couple of festivals and conferences meant to inspire and educate the Baltimore community to strive for environmental and economic sustainability. We also want to offer kudos to Towson University’s students, staff, and faculty who recycled 140 tons of materials in the fourth annual “RecycleMania” competition held among Maryland’s institutions of higher learning. They far exceeded their goal of 120 tons, itself an expansion over the 114 tons recycled last year. And they did so despite those crippling blizzards in February smack dab in the middle of the competition. (Cue sappy music) Of course, Maryland’s citizenry and environment are the big winners, as schools across the state competed in the 10-week competition.


| Category Automobiles, Climate Change, Community, Conference/Congress, Education: General, Greening, Local/Maryland, Nonprofit, Politics, Sustainability | | Comments Off

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New York Seems To Be The New Green – Is Baltimore Next?

Brownstones in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. P...

Image via Wikipedia

We spotted a tweet that nicely builds on our own report and interview with Steve Frillmann at Green Guerillas. Annie Novak, noted vegetarian and urban-eco farmer, posted a blog at “The Atlantic Monthly” this week, discussing her work with ‘Growing Chefs’ and with reclaiming rooftops for agriculture (a reclamation that lowers the energy demands of the building as soil insulates it from the sun’s heat and the winter’s snows). The entry is part autobiography – part call-to-action. Her work is certainly inspirational, if only for her ability to grow good food on top of a storage warehouse!


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Saving Money, Reducing CO2, and Getting Profitable IS That Easy

Windows 98 Shutdown Screen

Shut down your machine!

The Ford Motor Company did not require the same sorts of bailouts that the General Motors conglomerate did last year. Its family-run structure likely kept its owners, managers, and designers on their toes because they had their own ‘skins-in-the-game.’ Now posts a story about how the company went ahead and saved another cool $1.2 million by, uh, turning off the computers at its headquarters at night and on weekends. The decision is rewarded thusly, according to TreeHugger: “By centrally controlling the power settings on the company’s computers, they are saving an estimated $1.2 million annually and keeping between 16,000 and 25,000 metric tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere.”


| Category Automobiles, Climate Change, Community, Conference/Congress, Greening, News and Current Affairs, Site Administration, Sustainability, Technology, Urban Farming | | Comments Off

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

Alex Steffen

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,, 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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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…)

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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,

Mmm, I wonder if Will Ferrell and his comedy compatriots at saw Green Team video a couple of years ago. (more…)

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In-depth: ‘Series on 10 Ways to Use Recovery Funds for Green Buildings’

Last Friday (22 January) we blogged about some of the ways money from the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)” was being put into the greening of standing buildings and the creation of green public and government buildings.

There was a very positive response to the posting, so this week we are starting an occasional “Top 10″ series where we drill-down on a particular subject. The first series focuses on a list compiled by the U.S. Green Building Council. (more…)

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Living in & loving Baltimore!

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

The Baltimore Media website has just released its latest e-dition, with stories about how jealous Pittsburgh is of Charm City and how many great restaurants one can enjoy after a day’s community gardening. (more…)

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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: How to Launch Greening Projects

Federal economic stimulus has come in many guises, but we at MKCREATIVE want to call attention to those that pertain to housing and to the environment. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (‘ARRA‘) includes numerous opportunities for such work. (more…)

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Well-designed primer on the effects of greenhouse gasses

Concerns over the environment sometimes radiate more heat than light, but the website ClimateCentral serves as a great resource for answers and questions. The site is chock-full of stories, images, statistics, and (a personal favorite) ‘microanimations’ that demonstrate processes and technologies in a concise manner for the interested layperson. (more…)

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