ASHLAND CONSERVATION COMMISSION
April 26, 2000
CALL TO ORDER– The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Carole Wheeldon at 7:05 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Members present were Bruce Moats, Kari Tuck, Karen Amarotico, Carole Wheeldon, Russ Otte, Ashley Henry, Howard Braham and Russ Chapman. Staff present were Dick Wanderscheid and Sonja Akerman. New member Mort Smith was not able to attend the meeting.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Chapman moved and Moats seconded to approve the minutes of the March 29, 2000 meeting as submitted. The motion was unanimously passed.
PUBLIC FORUM – There was no one present who wished to speak.
ASHLAND SANITARY & RECYCLING UPDATE – Chapman informed the Commission 1) 26 tons of phone books were collected. Talent Elementary School received first prize for collecting the most and Briscoe Elementary got the second prize. 2) A new building is being constructed at the transfer station that will enable the site to offer full service recycling. Certified wood will be used. 3) Ashland Sanitary has made an arrangement with Pathway Enterprises, Inc., a company that hires developmentally disabled adults, to take apart old appliances such as washers, dryers, and dishwashers. They remove the valuable parts (such as motors) out of old appliances, and take the unsalvageable parts to Schnitzer in White City. 4) Hazardous waste disposal days will be May 5 and 6 at the Jackson County Expo Center. People are encouraged to carpool with their wastes. 5) Chipper week resulted in 66 customers en-route and 12 at the transfer station, which has been typical for the past few years.
Green Business – Ross Finney reported he has seven businesses interested in the program (Ashland Community Food Store, Standing Stone, Ashland Greenhouses, Architectural Design Works, Stratford Inn, Brothers Restaurant and Parkside Inn). He has had the initial meetings with the businesses and he will be setting up meetings with Cathy Cartmill and Robbin Pearce, the City employees who will be monitoring and operating the program. He noted he was impressed with all the measures Stratford Inn has already implemented. In addition to recruiting pilot businesses, he has made a presentation of the program to Lithia Springs Rotary Club and will make one to the Chamber of Commerce in May. He has also had a phone conversation with Wendy Siporen of the Mail Tribune. He estimated the program would be well on its way by mid summer. Wheeldon thanked Finney for all the work he has done in order to get this program going. Braham asked if Finney needed more from the Commission at this point. Finney responded that if any members visit these businesses, it would be nice to show their support. He also thinks it will be important to publicly thank the businesses. Henry asked about the logo and Finney stated each business will get the Sustainable Ashland logo, probably in the form of a sticker, with some writing on it so it can be posted in the window. Wanderscheid noted that since this is a pilot program, no decisions have been made yet about what kind of plaque or sticker to use. Wheeldon volunteered to work with Finney on this because she wants to make sure these businesses are acknowledged as soon as possible. Finney also suggested putting the Green Business Program on the City’s web page. This would be good promotion for the program as well as businesses in the pilot. A summary of what each business has done should be included. Wanderscheid suggested asking each of the businesses what they would like to have in the summary. Braham recommended putting energy into the promotion now while the businesses are in the process of becoming Green businesses. Finney said this is served by the presentations he is making to the various clubs (Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, etc.). He feels there are a lot of businesses that are aware of the program now. The Commission then discussed what the Tidings could do to highlight these businesses over a time period. Wheeldon said this should be great incentive for other businesses also. Braham added it would be nice if the Tidings could write an article and have a photo of all the Green businesses. Henry will talk to editor John Enders about this.
Education Subcommittee – Tuck reported Energy Analyst Cathy Cartmill only received one phone call as a result of the articles written this winter, so the committee is unsure as to how effective they were. It could be the articles were so clear no one had questions. Otte mentioned again that something needs to be done about all the people dropping off kids at the schools, especially at Ashland Middle School. He wondered about the possibility of writing articles for the Tidings about this, but realizes it would be a touchy subject. Otte stated that Grand Rapids, Michigan sold all its yellow school busses, used that money to give families tokens for public transportation, then increased the number of public busses during the peak school hours. This maximized what was already existing. Although Ashland would be dealing with different issues, the concept is there. Wheeldon said there is a Transportation Committee asking such questions as "why can’t I get on the bus with my son and continue riding it downtown to work", and "Why can’t I get on an RVTD bus to go to Medford?" Money is shrinking for public transportation, so there is a need to break everything open. Otte said he doesn’t have any answers, only questions. Wheeldon said the Transportation Committee will get something presented to the Council by August. When asked by Braham, Wheeldon said it will also include solutions. Neighborhood meetings have been taking place, as well as making sure the hospital, university, school district, store owners, etc. are involved. Particular neighborhoods have particular situations. There aren’t enough dollars to fix the problems, but there are resources – we just need to figure out how to use them. Meetings are taking place from 8:00-10:00 a.m. in the Council Chambers on Friday mornings.
TID Subcommittee – Wanderscheid will check out meeting dates then get back to the members. Wheeldon said that with the Green Business program being launched, this committee could now move into education.
Jefferson Monthly Article – The Commission thought Amarotico’s article was fine as it was. The July issue will have an article written by Tim Holt. Wheeldon offered to write the August article, probably on transportation.
Update on Solar Program – Wanderscheid related Applied Power Corporation from Lacey, Washington won the bid. The total cost of the contract for three 5-kW systems (on buildings at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Southern Oregon University and the Post Office) and a 15-kW system (on the Police Department) is around $289,911. Approximately 260 people have signed up to participate in the solar program. Mid June is still the target date for completion of these systems, with the ribbon cutting ceremony to take place on June 23.
July 4th Parade Float Discussion – The theme of the parade this year is "Oh Oh It’s Magic". The Commission has until June 26 to decide whether or not it will participate, so it will be on the next agenda. Wheeldon said a couple members could march with only the banner since most will be out of town.
Ashland Community Food Store Booth ' April 22 – Finney stated he was at the booth with Green Business information and Paige Pruitt had a demonstration on worm composting.
Compost Classes for 2000 – Wanderscheid asked if the Commission would authorize $100 for Claudia Law, who has taught these classes for the last three or four years. She has never received nor asked for any kind of compensation but has put in an incredible amount of time over the years. Otte moved and Amarotico seconded to approve this allocation. The motion was unanimously passed. Tuck informed the Commission Paige Pruitt will be offering another composting with worms class on Saturday, June 3. Participants will still receive $8.00 coupons (which are paid out of the Conservation Commission budget) to use toward the purchase of bins at Ashland Sanitary. Wanderscheid said seven of these coupons have been used. Kari also noted Pruitt is now a worm-composting consultant and will go to individual houses to set up these systems for a small fee.
Pollution Solution Tour ' May 1 – Wanderscheid reminded the Commission the tour will be from 10:00-3:00 p.m. on May 1st at SOU. A natural gas powered shuttle will pick up people by the bus stop in the downtown area between 10:30 and 2:00. The tour has been on the East Coast and from Ashland it will go to Eugene and Portland.
Discussion of Jefferson Monthly Article by Annick Roulet-Stevenson – Chapman wanted the Commission to know the legalities of printing articles written by others. A newspaper reporter from France wrote this one in particular. Prior to sending the article to Eric Alan, the City Attorney was consulted and in his opinion, as long as the author, newspaper and translator were credited, it should be OK to print the article; however, the author should have been given the opportunity to approve the translation. In this case, the author found out about the article being printed and was not happy she wasn’t directly consulted. She also was not happy with the preface stating there were some inaccuracies in the article. In talking with Alan, Chapman found out there is only a 24-hour copyright law so legally, printing the article was fine. Alan explained a concept in law called fair usage to Chapman. Through e-mail and the phone, Alan communicated with the author, smoothed out misunderstandings, and ultimately received a kind response from her. However, Chapman felt badly this happened and advised the Commission, if this ever comes up again, the author should be directly consulted and if there are any doubts, to ask Alan, since he is editor and makes the final call. He also has to answer to what is printed in the magazine. Since Chapman does not write for a living, he was not aware that anything like this would happen. In turn, he wanted to make the other members aware of the situation.
Budget – The current balance is $777. Wanderscheid said the Commission will need to spend $300-400 for more compost bins; however, Dan Murphy will be checking to find out how many bins we still have. Since the classes will begin after this fiscal year, this item can wait until after July 1. He also said the Association of Oregon Recyclers education conference is May 18 in Kaiser. This is the day after the Oregon Natural Step Leadership Conference for Sustainable Communities. Wheeldon said she plans on attending the Natural Step conference and would be willing to attend the AOR conference also. Wanderscheid stated the big AOR conference is September 21, 22 and 23 and this will come out of next year’s budget. Chapman noted the AOR conferences he has attended have been very worthwhile. Tuck said it cost around $600 to use certified wood for remodeling the house for the North Mountain Nature Center and asked if any of the budget could be used to offset this cost. Wanderscheid noted we are almost in a new fiscal year and the Commission’s budget will be replenished July 1. Otte moved to authorize the expenditure to send Wheeldon to the Oregon Natural Step Conference and the AOR Conference in May (with a cap of $350), and that the residual funds (with a cap of $600) offset the cost of using certified wood at the North Mountain Park remodel job. Chapman seconded the motion and it was unanimously passed.
COMMISSION ITEMS – 1) Tuck mentioned the Parks Department received a $10,000 grant from the Collins Foundation, thereby bringing down the cost to $50,000. Fundraising for this project is now in full swing. 2) Otte stated he just returned from Wisconsin, where he spent Earth Day at the University. Instead of a recycling logo using the common three items (symbolizing reduce, reuse and recycle), the University’s circle also contains three other items having to do with the pre-cycle concept. He mentioned this in case the Commission would ever want to look at something different to hand out (for example at the 4th of July parade). 3) After Amarotico referred to the hazardous waste event, Chapman said there is a need to educate people not to buy more than they need. 4) Wanderscheid pointed out the new member on the Commission, Mort Smith, had a previous commitment so was unable to attend the meeting, but he is very excited about being a member.
AJOURNMENT – The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.