Green Jobs advocate Van Jones to speak at Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner

 

photo of Van JonesA look at the greening of the U.S. economy will be the topic of the Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner.

Van Jones, advocate of green jobs and former advisor to the White House, will presentReBuild the Dream at 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center.

Reservations are required. Seats are $15 for students and $35 for nonstudents. Cocktails will be at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. A cash bar will be available. Reservations can be made by calling (309) 438-8790.

The event, which is part of the 2012 Speaker Series, is sponsored by Office of the President and the Illinois State University NAACP Student Chapter.

A Yale-educated attorney, Jones has written two New York Times bestselling books – The Green Collar Economy, the definitive book on green jobs, and ReBuild the Dream, a roadmap for progressives in 2012 and beyond. He is the founder and president of ReBuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy.

Jones has a 20-year track record as a successful, innovative and award-winning social entrepreneur. He is the cofounder of three other thriving nonprofit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All.

A former advisor to the White House and President Barack Obama, Jones helped run the interagency process that oversaw $80 billion in green energy recovery spending.

The Speaker Series of Illinois State University seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process.

If you need special accommodations to fully participate in these programs/events, please contact Julie Barnhill, Presidential and Trustee Events, at (309) 438-8790. Please allow sufficient time to arrange accommodations.

http://mediarelations.illinoisstate.edu/identity/1213/nov/jones.asp

Normal Gadgets Accepting Cell Phone Donations for Neville House and Cell Phones for Soldiers

Bloomington, IL (November 14, 2012) – Normal Gadgets, the cellphone-smartphone-tablet repair shop based in Bloomington, has teamed up with CDV/Neville House and Cell Phones For Soldiers to accept gently used and broken cell phones as donations. Normal Gadgets is asking Bloomington/Normal residents to help troops to call home and those assisted by the Neville House to have accessible cell phones for 911 emergency calls. By donating to Normal Gadgets, Twin City residents can provide safe accessible phones for those in need and for troops that want the precious connection to loved ones back home.
Beginning today, residents can donate their phones to Normal Gadgets located at:

Normal Gadgets
2103 North Veterans Parkway
Suite 112
Bloomington, IL 61704

“A 911 cell phone can mean the moments between life and death in a violent relationship. A soldier far away has a small sense of being home when in contact with family and friends as they are deployed away,” said Terry Ballantini from Normal Gadgets. “Understanding that Normal Gadgets is in a unique position in being able to clean and repair donated cell phones, allows us the compassion to fix them up and get them to those in need.”
Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and responsibly recycled to reclaim materials.

For more information, please visit www.NormalGadgets.com

 Full Press Release (pdf)

 

Locally Funded Hazardous Waste Collection a Major Success

With a year-long effort complete, the Ecology Action Center is excited to announce the success of the first-ever locally funded Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection in McLean County. The September 29 event at the Interstate Center in Bloomington drew an unprecedented 1,951 cars carrying the wastes of nearly 3,000 area households. 161,640 pounds of hazardous waste materials were safely disposed of and prevented from entering our groundwater or surface water supplies.

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection is a critical service necessary to protect groundwater and surface water supplies from contamination. Unfortunately, in times of tight budgets, this need often goes unmet. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) traditionally has funded HHW collection events, offering assistance to a limited number of Illinois communities on an annual basis.

McLean County was fortunate to be the recipient of HHW funding for five years in a row, from 2002-2007, receiving 90% of the costs necessary to hold a HHW event. These events were well attended, drawing nearly 1600 households.

However, in recent years IEPA funding has become much more limited; in some years no funding was available at all. Nonetheless, the need for proper disposal continues. The Ecology Action Center receives more inquires about safe disposal of HHW than any other topic. But without local disposal options, much of this material is likely to be disposed of improperly, either poured down the drain or hidden in curbside trash to be dumped in the municipal solid waste landfill.

The September HHW event was the first to be funded completely by local resources; The Ecology Action Center led fundraising efforts for this private/public partnership, ultimately raising $143,079 to cover the full costs of the effort. 51% of the event funding came from McLean County, the Town of Normal, the City of Bloomington, and other McLean County municipalities. Contributions from individuals or families raised another 26% while sponsorships and contributions from businesses raised 11%. Finally, the We Care Twin Cities Half Marathon raised 9% of the needed funding for the event.

While a large turnout was anticipated and the EAC worked to take all possible steps to prevent long wait times, the demand ultimately exceeded the capacity of the event facility, resulting in long waits for many residents. Working closely with Bloomington Police, the EAC was able to bring all waiting vehicles off the street and onto the facility property before closing the event, 45 minutes after the scheduled ending time. While no one was denied entry, many could not wait out the long lines and were not able to dispose of their materials. Some people, hearing about the long lines, decided not to attend.

The need for more frequent HHW Collection is now clearly established as this is the only means to reduce wait times and better accommodate the needs of more residents while still providing the service in a cost-effective manner. Building on the success of the recent event, the EAC is now adjusting its focus to work towards more regular HHW collection.

Full Press Release (pdf)