In this week's Newsletter: Possible solar ombudsperson for NYC, where to donate to victims of the East Village gas explosion, what's blooming in Stuyvesant Cove Park, and much more!
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Time for a NYC Solar Ombudsperson?

We've written quite a bit recently about New York State's new energy plan, and how it will help ramp up solar installations in the city. This week, Queens Councilmember Donovan Richards introduced a bill that would establish a solar ombudsperson position at the Dept of Buildings to help building owners work with the city to get solar systems installed.

According to Capital NY, the ombudsperson would be responsible for soliciting comments and questions from building owners on the installation and maintenance of solar arrays. The person would then use the comments to make recommendations on how to better streamline the process.

The ombudsperson would also compile monthly and annual reports for the buildings commissioner and mayor on the progress of solar installations and any persistent problems therein, according to the legislation.

“The creation of a solar ombudsperson is an integral part of the larger effort to build a sustainable and greener future for New York City,” Richards said.

Ways to Help in the Aftermath of the East Village Gas Explosion

What a difference a week makes. Last Thursday, as everyone knows, a huge gas explosion at 2nd Ave and East 7th St ultimately leveled half a block of century-old tenements, killed two young men and injured about 20 others. Numerous families, couples and single people lost their homes, their pets, their possessions and any kind of certainty about the future. Some had been living on 7th St for multiple decades, and there are currently vacate orders for two adjacent buildings, 125 2nd Avenue and 41 East 7th Street, leaving the residents of those buildings homeless and uncertain about how much smoke, fire and water damage has occurred in their homes.

DNAInfo has curated a list of crowdfunding campaigns to benefit some of the victims. Please give if you can, these folks could really, really use your help right now.

What's Blooming in Stuyvesant Cove Park (Early Spring Edition)?

Even though it may not necessarily feel like it, spring is here! Finally! And that means it’s time for the Park to wake up and start going through its fascinating bloom cycle. This year, we're going to let you know which plants are in bloom and some information about each one.

Then we hope you’ll visit the Park to see each species live and blooming in person.

Here are the plants you can expect to see blooming over the next few weeks:

Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum)

Creeping Phlox (Phlox stolonifera)

Purple Leaf Sand Cherry (Prunus x cistena (pictured above) 

Want to see pictures of each flower and learn more? Visit the Solar One blog!


Upcoming Events at Solar 1

Stay tuned for more spring events coming up soon!

Other Events

NYC Grassroots Alliance Monthly Meeting
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street bet Central Park West & Broadway, Manhattan, 7-9pm, free

CHP Power Breakfast & Tour: Enhance Your Building’s Power Reliability
Toren Condominium, 150 Myrtle Ave at Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, 9am-12pm, free

The State of Sustainability Policy: Progress and Opportunity
Columbia University, Low Library, 2960 Broadway at 116th St, Manhattan, 6-7pm, free

Solid Waste to Solid Gold: NYC Can Turn Solid Waste into Compost and Energy
Seafarers & International House, 123 East 15th Street bet 3rd Ave & Irving Pl, Manhattan, suggested donation $6/students $3
Refreshments will be served.

Passive House Modelling Course with PHPP (Passive House Planning Package) in NYC
AEA Main Office, 505 Eight Avenue, Suite 1000, bet W 35th & W 36th Sts, Manhattan, 9am-5:30pm wed-Fri, regular course fee $500/discounted fee $200
This course is primarily aimed at building design professionals that have a good understanding of energy modeling for buildings. It would also suit graduates of the Certified Passive House Consultant / Designer program.
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