Fall 2021 (Oct./Nov.) * No. 6
Eureka Development Gets Approved:
Bye Bye Trees
Bye Bye Trees
A proposal to develop the land between the 500 block of Eureka and the Oregon Garden was presented to the Planning Commission which did not approve it because of certain deficiencies. The proposal went to the City Council which conducted a de novo review on October 4. Sustainable Silverton, as well as other parties, objected to the development because it would involve cutting down over 35 trees, some of them mature oaks, and because it appears that there are wetland issues.
Sustainable Silverton also mentioned the recent designation of Silverton as a Tree City, USA, and the many references in the Energy Study proposed by Sustainable Silverton and adopted by the City toward preserving trees and the environment. Sustainable Silverton recommended a hydrologist be consulted. The City Council voted to approve the development. It appears that the standards set by the City for development were too lax to withstand a review of the Land Use Board of Appeals should the proposal be appealed to them.
Sustainable Silverton should work with the City’s Green Team to review the development code so that they comply with the provisions of the Energy Study.
Many thanks to our October Recycling Volunteers. We can’t do this work without your help!
Drivers: Steve Slemenda and Kevin Mowrey.
Table Hosts: Michiel Nankman and daughter’s, Annabelle & Mieke, Michael Finklestein, Elyce Hues and her daughter Haley.
Interested in hosting or driving in the future? Write to Sustainablesilverton@gmail.com and address it to Kelley Morehouse.
Winter volunteer hours are 11 am -1 pm on first Saturday of the month at the Farmer’s Market. We really need your help! Be sure to dress warmly.
CAR FREE DAY RECAP
Thanks to everyone who went “CAR FREE” on Wednesday, September 22.
Here are the successes from Silverton’s first-ever Car Free Day:
The City of Silverton issued a proclamation endorsing our efforts.
We raised awareness about the importance of alternative modes of transportation to enhance the quality of our community.
In addition, local businesses supported our efforts by allowing us to place flyers in their windows. We thank them for their support!
What improvements would you like to see to make it easier to use alternative transportation?
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas for Car Free Day day 2022.
Give-away Saturday a Success
Karen Garst organized a new (hopefully, an annual) event for Silverton on July 24. Called Give-away Saturday, residents were encouraged to put items they no longer wanted in their driveway. The event was planned for 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and an article was written by Melissa Wagoner for Our Town and posters were put up downtown.
Under the adage, “reduce, reuse, and recycle”, it was a success. Residents were happy to easily dispose of items they no longer needed. Other residents were seen already at 7:30 AM checking through the items. By 11:00 AM, most everything was taken!
Plan on joining this event next year. It will be held on the fourth Saturday, July 23, 2022.
Oregon Department of Energy Re-Launching Solar + Storage Rebate Program with Additional $10 Million in Funding
SALEM – The Oregon Department of Energy announced on September 13, 2021, a re-launch of the Oregon Solar & Storage Rebate Program, which offers rebates to residential customers and low-income service providers who install solar or solar and paired energy storage systems (batteries).
program first launched in January 2020 and, to date, has made funding commitments to 369 projects, representing over $1.38 million in investments. The program’s initial funding was exhausted by the end of 2020, but the Oregon Legislature allocated an additional $10 million earlier this year to continue the popular program.
Homeowners are eligible for rebates up to $5,000 for solar and an additional $2,500 for paired energy storage installed at the same time. Low-income service providers – such as nonprofits, municipalities, or other organizations serving low-income Oregonians – are eligible for up to $30,000 for solar plus $15,000 for paired storage. Rebates are issued to ODOE-approved contractors, who pass the full amount of the rebate on as savings to their customers.
The program has a special focus on expanding access to renewable energy to Oregonians who may not otherwise be able to afford the investment in solar. At least 25 percent of rebate funds each year will be reserved for low- or moderate-income residential customers and low-income service providers. ODOE plans to update administrative rules for the program to encourage even more participation from low-income service providers, such as affordable housing organizations.
ODOE will resume accepting rebate reservations from eligible contractors on September 27. Contractors can still sign up for the program through ODOE’s website, (https:// www.oregon.gov/energy/Incentives/Pages/Solar-StorageRebate-Program.aspx) where Oregonians can also learn more about program eligibility and rebate caps, and can find a list of approved contractors.
Gas appliances no longer eligible for Energy Star’s top rating
EPA kicks gas-burning heaters and clothes dryers off its “Most Efficient” list
Gas-burning appliances, like heaters, ovens, and clothes dryers, are responsible for about 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Rocky Mountain Institute, a clean energy research nonprofit, also found that gas appliances released more than double the amount of nitrogen oxide pollution than natural gas power plants did in 2017, contributing to ozone pollution in communities and leading to more than 4,500 premature deaths.
It’s unlikely that natural gas-burning furnaces will ever be able to compete with the efficiency of electric heat pumps, devices that can both heat and cool homes. Heat pumps do not convert fuel into heat; rather, they move heat that’s already available in the environment from one place to another. In the winter, they pull heat energy from the outside air, even on very cold days, and pump it inside. In the summer, they work in reverse, pulling heat out of the house and dumping it outside. Some energy is required to do the pumping, but no energy is required to create the heat.
It’s a significant change for the “Most Efficient” program, which is not only consulted by consumers, but forms the basis for many utility and government rebate programs that incentivize people to buy efficient appliances.
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IN SILVERTON
Sustainable Silverton is asking our neighbors to participate in the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) “Slow Your Roll” program. On foot or on wheels, we can all take steps to ensure we help each other stay safe while walking and rolling. We come from all places and all walks of life, but by respecting each other and staying alert, we can make Silverton streets safer for everyone.
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road-users. They account for over 25% of road accident deaths. Pedestrian deaths and injuries are often preventable and yet pedestrian safety does not command the attention it merits. We all have an important role in prevention of pedestrian-related accidents.
Crosswalk safety is a shared responsibility; not just between the driver and the pedestrian but also with government, transportation, and police departments.