E-mail to League...and e-mail in general

From the Greenwich TIME editorial page, regarding public hearings and the public's "right to know"
No option to unwieldy public forums
December 10, 2002

For good reason, First Selectman Richard Bergstresser remembers the meeting last January where many of the 700 townspeople present jeered at him over plans to open town beaches to nonresidents to satisfy a state Supreme Court ruling. The former IBM executive says he wants to find some other way to gather public opinion than meetings like that one.

We understand his viewpoint. Emotionally charged gatherings may be cathartic for those spouting vehement opinions, but often the message they convey gets lost. That easily could lead someone who is even-tempered and logical, like Mr. Bergstresser, to conclude that soliciting public views via e-mail or in writing could be a better way to encourage community participation.

Would it be neater? No doubt. Would it allow people to comment confidentially if they disagree with neighbors they don't wish to offend? Certainly. Would it be the best way to promote the democratic process in our town? We don't think so.

Messy as such meetings can be, giving townspeople an open forum to share their views is one of the best ways we know to foster an open give-and-take within the community on such important matters of interest to residents as nonresident beach access, floor area ratio regulations for houses or foreign language programs in public elementary schools. At their best, these meetings can encourage the sharing of constructive ideas.

In discussing his first year as first selectman, Mr. Bergstresser told Greenwich Time's editorial board that the public meeting he called 11 months ago on beach access "was a bad mistake."

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the Greenwich TIME website]

John Rountree
jrsolar@earthlink.net jrsolar@ earthlink.net

Connecticut Green Power Conference
March 14, 2002 (That's next Thursday)

Hilton Hartford, 315 Trumbull Street
Hartford, CT

Co-Hosted by:

U.S. EPA New England
(EPA webpage for additional event information)

Connecticut Green Power Conference For Business and Institutional Customers

March 14, 2002
Time: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Hilton Hartford Hotel 315 Trumbull Street, Hartford, CT
(860) 728-5151

Rooms are available at a group rate of $135 per person (if booked before
March 8). Call 1-800-HILTON to make your reservation at the Hilton Hartford
and mention the "Environment Northeast" event on March 14, 2002.

Come Learn Why Business and Institutional Customers in Connecticut Are
Buying "Green" Power and Clean On-Site Generation - Hear from Suppliers What
Your Options Are - Find Out Where to Get Support and How to Take the Next

Sponsors: EPA New England, Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Conn.
State University, organized by Environment Northeast

Contact: Please fax this page by Feb. 28 to (207) 773-1798 to reserve a
space for each attendee or mail it to Environment Northeast, 28 Grand St.,
Hartford, CT 06106. Please direct any questions to Michael Stoddard at (207)

Fee: The registration fee is $40 per person and can be mailed with the
registration or paid at the door. The fee is waived for nonprofits,
government employees, and panelists. Space is limited. Lunch is included.


The Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University

Co-Hosted and Organized by:
- Environment Northeast

With Financial Support from:
- Connecticut Clean Energy Foundation
- Institute for Sustainable Energy at ECSU
- Pew Charitable Trusts


Connecticut Green Power Conference
Thursday, March 14, 2002

8:00 Arrival and Registration

8:30 Welcome

Dan Sosland, Executive Director, Environment Northeast
Joel Rinebold, Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Energy at ECSU
John Moskal, U.S. EPA New England

9:00 What's Happening with Green Power

Why We Care about Green Power in Connecticut

- Dan Sosland, Executive Director, Environment Northeast

National Overview of Renewable Energy Markets and Leading Customers

- Matt Clouse, Program Manager, Green Power Partnership, U.S. EPA

The First Town in the Northeast to Go Green

- Carl Leaman, Selectman, Town of Westport, Connecticut

10:00 Buying Green Power From The Grid

Moderator -- John Moskal, EPA New England

Retail Suppliers

- Bob Maddox, Director of Marketing, Connecticut Energy Cooperative
- Rich Travaglini, Director of Marketing and Sales, Green Mountain Energy

Advice to Customers on How to Pursue Grid Power

- Mark Crowdis, President, Think Energy, Inc.

Customer experience

- Harry Kinne, Director of Facilities, Wesleyan University


11:15 Coffee Break

11:30 Buying Green "Credits", "Certificates" or "Tags"

Moderator -- Michael Stoddard, Staff Attorney, Environment Northeast

Introduction -- What are Credits and Tags?

- Gabe Petlin, Green-e, Conservation Resource Solutions

- Tom Boucher, Executive Director, NativeEnergy
- Jane Hotchkiss Gordy, Environmental Energy Consultant, representing Pure

Customer Experience

- Chandra Shah, National Renewable Energy Lab, Federal Energy Management


12:30  Lunch

Keynote Speaker: Jessie Stratton, Co-Chair, Environment Committee,
Connecticut General Assembly

1:30 Value and The Bottom Line

- Joel Rinebold, Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Energy

Analyzing the Costs and Benefits of Green Power to Your Organization

- Mark Crowdis, President, Think Energy, Inc.

§ marketing / community relations
§ price hedge, price stability
§ peak shaving (on-site)
§ reliability, availability, security (local, on-site)
§ employee productivity / comfort / pride
§ opportunities for aggregation


2:30 Where To Get Support (Financial, Technical, PR) and What Is The Next

Moderator -- Karyl Lee Hall, Staff Attorney, Environment Northeast

- Mark Clouse, EPA Green Power Partnership and John Moskal, EPA New England
- Karen Mendes, Connecticut Clean Energy Fund
- Gabe Petlin, Green-e
- Joel Rinebold, Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Energy at
- Lynn Stoddard, Office of Pollution Prevention, Connecticut DEP


4:00 Summary and Adjourn

Dan Sosland, Executive Director, Environment Northeast