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Community Voices - Kelly Molesky

Posted by Daniella Mostow on June 1, 2015 in Community Voices

Kelly Molesky photoHow have you interacted with the Dashboard?

Well, I work at the Oberlin Public Library, so it’s in my library. I turn it on every morning. I have also noticed over time how people will come in just to look at it, which is kind of cool. I think kids get a real kick out of the animation with the squirrel. I am also realizing that it is a great way to advertise the programs going on here. And yeah, it’s a cool tool.

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Community Voices - Sal Talarico

Posted by Leah Martin-Rosenthal on May 21, 2015 in Community Voices

Sal PicMr. Sal Talarico is the Finance Director for the City of Oberlin and manages the city’s finance department.  He has served the City of Oberlin for 15 years, and a total of 20 years in the public sector.  The finance department is responsible for financial reporting, liability, property and health insurances, utility billing, revenue collections, accounts payable, payroll, treasury and investment management, income tax collections and administration, and debt management. 

What words/images would you use to describe Oberlin?

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Community Voices - Alison Ricker

Posted by Melissa Cabat on April 27, 2015 in Community Voices

alison rickerAlison Ricker is a Science Librarian at Oberlin College. She has held this position for thirty-one years. She has also collaborated with other science librarians in Ohio to present a poster at the 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting, on digitization projects in the sciences among the Five Colleges of Ohio.

 

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Community Voices - Ian Yarber

Posted by Emily Belle on April 17, 2015 in Community Voices

Ian YarbergIan Yarber is the head of the Recreation Department of Oberlin. He oversees recreation-related activities around in the town. He was born in Oberlin, and returned here about 17 years ago. Ian has a three year-old daughter.

Q: What comes to mind when you think of Oberlin?

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Community Voices - Krista Long

Posted by Melissa Cabat on March 27, 2015 in Community Voices

10408886 10205315515192490 303125158256278654 nQ:  What words/images would you use to describe Oberlin? 

A:  Let’s see…progressive, beautiful, historic, small town, musical.

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Community Voices - City of Oberlin, General Maintenance Division Employees

Posted by Enzo Cabili on March 20, 2015 in Community Voices

          
Will BlackmonWill Blackmon Johnny MooreJohnny Moore

 

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Community Voices - Matt Adelman

Posted by Jake Holtzman on March 16, 2015 in Community Voices

feve interiorMatt Adelman (whose wife is the Assistant Director of the Oberlin Project) is an Oberlin resident and one of the owners of The Feve. He genuinely loves Oberlin and is committed to care for both the environment and the Oberlin community. He has taken steps with The Feve such as a recycling initiative, a lighting retrofit, and fundraisers for local non-profits.

Q: What are some words and images you would use to describe Oberlin?

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Community Voices - Tom Geller

Posted by Carley Stein on February 11, 2015 in Community Voices

Tom Geller is a freelance writer who chose to use the services of Providing Oberlin with Efficiency Responsibly (POWER) to insulate his home.

Q: How did you hear about POWER?

I’ve been around Oberlin for about five years now. It’s a small town, so you find out about everything pretty soon. I’m actually friends with somebody whose mother is one of the people who runs POWER. Also, I’d gone through a different program called CHIP, which the city offers, and I found it really lacking. I figured I’d give POWER a try; I’d seen the signs around and so forth.

Q: Why did you contact POWER?

Well, [my house] was a fixer-upper when I bought it. I bought it really cheap: The entire kitchen had to be torn out, there was no insulation in the attic, there were a lot of problems all over. And so I did a few things when I first bought it, including putting insulation in. But I knew that the windows were leaking and the insulation wasn’t great, and so forth. So really [contacting POWER] was just out of need. It’s too bad [the work] couldn’t have been done before the winter started, but the insulation company was too busy.

Q: When you bought your home was energy efficiency a consideration?

To be honest, I didn’t really think so much about energy when I bought the place: I knew I was going to improve the place. And when one of the original contractors said, ‘Yeah well, we’re tearing out these walls we should put in insulation,’ I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, I never even really thought of that’ -- that when you tear out walls, you put up new insulation... so it really was kind of the last thing on my mind. But then with the polar vortexes coming through, it became forefront of my mind.

Q: Have you done any previous work to improve the energy efficiency of your home?

No, this was the first home I owned. But I did do some work before POWER got here it: It just wasn't as good as what they did.

Q: How would you describe your initial walkthrough with POWER?

It was great, especially compared to the CHIP program, which was very badly run. [Greg Jones] came over, described the program, and gave me some papers. [Later] they sent somebody to actually do the assessment, and he was terrific. They put a big fan in the door and they close off all the windows and such and basically see how airtight the house is. It was a good six hours of stuff, and the guy was really good with me. Then I got Ritsko insulation, who were terrific, who actually did the work. So, pretty much from beginning to end it was good.

Q: Have you saved money on energy?

It’s kind of hard to tell, because they only did the work a couple of months ago. And it was sort of as the polar vortexes were ending, and my energy bills had been so variable up until then. I will say that the first thing I notice is that smells stay around in the house longer: It's not as drafty. That's for better or worse, of course.

Q: How would you define sustainability and what actions have you made to contribute to sustainability?

I think, generally speaking, the lifestyle I enjoy is not sustainable in any way. I’d say that's true for Americans generally -- and I don't pretend that it isn’t. And there are small things that we do: I’m glad that Oberlin has a recycling program, for example... But, yeah, my energy consumption personally is way out of line with what I give back to the world generally.

Q: Do you have any final thoughts?

I really do want POWER to do well. They did such a good job by me, and God knows there are plenty of places in Oberlin that could use it. The housing stock here is not great, and partly that’s because the value of the houses is so low. If you have a $40,000 house and it's going to cost $10,000 to fix it up, well, it's not as worth it, because you’re never going to get more than $40,000 for it, no matter how fixed up it is.

So having something like POWER makes it possible to make the houses more livable and certainly more energy efficient.

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A New Years Resolution Idea - The Oberlin Pledge

Posted by Sharon Pearson on January 16, 2015 in Community Voices

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Each January is a new start for many people.  If offers a proactive person the opportunity to start again. Regardless of whether a person believes in New Year’s Resolutions, making commitments at the start of a new year can teach a person how to make, set, and work toward achieving goals. 

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Oberlin among elite communities across the nation leading the way on energy efficiency

Posted by Sharon Pearson on January 15, 2015 in Energy Matters

GUEP Semifinalst MapOberlin, Ohio – January 14, 2015 – Today, Oberlin officially advances to the Semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition that is challenging communities across the U.S. to rethink their energy use. At a press event in Washington, D.C. today, Oberlin was announced as one of the 50 communities who are leading the way on energy efficiency.

“Oberlin has made a commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions below zero by the year 2050 and energy efficiency is a huge part of that equation. Right now, the average Oberlin home is losing an estimated $450-500 per year in missed energy savings at today’s energy prices. We have access to efficiency programs that will, in most cases, nearly triple a homeowner’s investment. Some income-qualified programs pay for all the work. Collectively, over the course of the two-year competition, the status quo in Oberlin will lose us nearly $8 million. So while winning the $5 million prize purse will help these efforts, we have an opportunity to “win” a far greater amount of money in the process. And those savings will continue after the competition ends.” – Sean Hayes, The Oberlin Project

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