Friday, February 20, 2009

See the film, EATING ALASKA, March 1 at the JACC

Many thanks to Ellen Frankenstein of Sitka for recently sharing her new documentary Eating Alaska with Juneau-ites. If you missed this film about the choices and challenges we face in eating locally, you can check out the web site Stay tuned for future showings. This movie is an official selection of the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival.

Thanks also to Amanda Rutledge at Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, and the table participants who shared information about growing, harvesting, hunting, fishing, etc. in Juneau.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Juneau Commission on Sustainability - UPDATE

The Commission is currently working on initiatives in three main focus areas:
  1. Energy and Greenhouse Gases
  2. Food Security
  3. Community Outreach
Under Energy and Greenhouse Gases, the Commission is finalizing a baseline inventory of Juneau's greenhouse gases. The inventory is expected to be completed and presented to the Assembly soon. We will then be able to set targets for reductions, and develop a Climate Action Plan to proceed toward making those reductions.

Other initiatives that the Commission is exploring include:

  • A revolving loan program for landlords and businesses to implement energy-efficient improvements to apartment buildings and commercial structures;
  • An "Energy Card" to receive a sales tax exemption on energy-efficient products; and
  • Legislation to provide a municipal property tax credit on energy-efficient improvements.

On the Food Security side, the Commission is planning the 2nd annual Farmers Market ,August 29, 2009. This year, the Commission is applying for a grant from the Division of Agriculture to help expand the Farmer's Market. Let us know if you'd like to help organize, or if you have ideas for mini-seminar topics.

Under Community Outreach, the Commission builds partnerships with other organizations in Juneau to further sustainability projects (eg participant in 2008 Earth Day forum), maintains this blogsite, puts on public events such as the Re-Energizing Juneau Forum (May 2008), and engages in general promotion via radio and the press. In the future, the Outreach committee hopes to start a recognition program to showcase the sustainability efforts of local businesses.

To get involved in any of these projects, come to the next Juneau Commission on Sustainability meeting, March 4 at 5:15 pm in the downtown Library conference room.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Juneau: One of the top 10 low-tax places to retire

From the Anchorage Daily News:

RAIN? WHAT RAIN? . . . U.S. News and World Report has listed Juneau as one of the top 10 low-tax places to retire in America. Here's the list, from Billings, Mont.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Doral, Fla.; Henderson, Nev.; Juneau; Manchester, N.H.; Nashville, Tenn.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Spokane, Wash.; Stafford, Texas.

So, maybe marketing Juneau as a retirement destination is not a ridiculous notion. With a little work, it could have real economic and socially sustainable potential. With draws like the local arts community, the permanent fund dividend program, great outdoors, indoor fitness facilities (including four athletic clubs, three yoga studios, a pool and a new aquatic center), a regional hospital, the university, and lots of community volunteering opportunities, it’s a possibility.

As a neighbor suggested to me recently, why not have a booth down at the docks in the summer providing some information on retiring in Juneau?