Newton-Wellesley Hospital has plans for a new cogeneration power plant in our community that will will result in more gas leaks, smoke stacks putting out more dangerous particulate matter, and throwing any chance of greenhouse gas reduction commitments to the curb. However, there is still an opportunity to raise questions and concerns about how it will affect our lives—especially our health and our property values.
The planned power plant is alarming because:
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The goal is to get them to immediately pause the plans from proceeding so that the community may have appropriate input. Their actions affect our community. They provide a valuable service to the community, but we would ask them to consider us and our health before moving forward.
Are you curious about electric vehicles (EVs)? Already an EV owner? Take part in the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant’s (WMLP’s) new EV awareness and incentives program, Wellesley Drives Electric.
“Research has shown that electric cars are better for the environment. They emit less greenhouse gases and air pollutants over their life than a gas or diesel car. It is more important now than ever that community leaders don’t take a backseat to the advancement of EV’s but actually drive the momentum in their community’s use of EV’s. The WMLP is here to do that,” said Don Newell, WMLP Director.
Whether new to EVs or already an existing EV driver, through this program residents can learn more about the different types of available electric vehicles and charging, get connected with dealers, hear about upcoming local EV events, and connect with EV rebates and incentives for EV charging that are available only to WMLP customers.
In addition to the launch of the new Wellesley Drives Electric website, customers will now have access to comprehensive EV resources and support via a toll-free support line (1.833.443.8363) and email firstname.lastname@example.org staffed by EV Specialists.
Learn more about electric vehicles and their many benefits at wellesleydriveselectric.org and sign up to receive the latest information about incentives and upcoming events. About Wellesley Drives Electric: Wellesley Drives Electric is an outreach program to inform the electric utility customer about the savings and benefits that come from choosing an electric car and charging it at home overnight. wellesleydriveselectric.org
About The Wellesley Municipal Light Plant: The Wellesley Municipal Light Plant ("WMLP") implements best business practices to protect the safety of our employees and the public, deliver environmentally sustainable and highly reliable electricity and telecommunication services at competitive rates and provide financial and in-kind support to the Town. The WMLP conducts its affairs in a socially responsible and ethical manner, with respect for our many stakeholders. https://wellesleyma.gov/228/Municipal-Light-Plant
About Energy New England (ENE): ENE, an organization serving the needs of municipal utilities in the northeast, works with numerous businesses, residents and utilities to help promote the principles of conservation, efficiency, and environmental stewardship, and advances the many benefits available through integrated sustainability planning. ene.org
For more information contact: Mark Scribner, Program Manager, Electric Vehicles, Energy New England, 508-698-1228 // email@example.com or Alex Banat, EV Marketing Specialist, Electric Vehicles, Energy New England, 508-698-1229 // firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekly climate vigils will be held every Friday from 3-4pm on the grounds of Wellesley Town Hall (525 Washington St., Wellesley). Join the movement and hold a sign to help raise awareness of the Climate Emergency.
Folks will be standing quietly (with thermoses of something hot!) every Friday for the foreseeable future. The model is Greta Thunberg and her organization FridaysForFuture www.FridaysForFuture.org . Hundreds of similar actions are being taken in towns across the USA and around the globe, many on a weekly basis.
Bring friends, family and neighbors. Feel free to bring a sign. For ideas, Google climate protests signs, you'll get hundreds of clever ideas.
Last month, Wellesley's Natural Resources Commission made a declaration of a Climate Emergency. This declaration affirms that the climate crisis is an environmental emergency. The Natural Resources Commission commits to educating the public and Town Government about the environmental impacts of climate change, to include the climate emergency as an agenda item at every Commission meeting, and to explicitly consider the climate emergency in all its decision making.
To read the Declaration In full, click here.
Dr. Regina LaRocque's presentation on the health benefits of electrification this week at the Rotary Club event had everyone ready to take action. She offered clear facts on how moving toward electricity, vs. natural gas, in our homes/lives will result in significant health benefits for citizens of Massachusetts.
Wellesley residents and businesses are invited to learn what they can actually do at Electrify Wayland's event on March 4th, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in the Large Hearing Room, Wayland Town Building in Wayland or on February 29th, from 1-3pm, at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center in West Concord.
Electrifying your home’s heating system with a heat pump is one of the most effective ways to reduce your overall carbon footprint and make your home more comfortable. Homeowners who want to learn why heat pumps are climate friendly, who don’t have air conditioning, or who have an aging heating system (more than 15 years old) and want to know about replacement options should attend this event.
You will learn about suitable options for your home by talking with installers, neighbors who have installed systems, and HeatSmart volunteers. You will also learn about available financial incentives for cold-climate air-source heat pumps, geothermal systems and heat pump water heaters.
If you haven't already, feel free to let the organizers know about your interest in heat pumps to help inform our future work — please take this very quick 5 question survey .
You are invited to join hundreds of community leaders and activists for the 33rd annual Local Environmental Action conference to learn key skills and explore the pressing issues facing our health, climate and environment today. This event, hosted by Toxics Action Center and Massachusetts Climate Action Network, will take place on Saturday, March 7, at Northeastern University in Boston.
At Local Environmental Action, you’ll hear from inspiring movement leaders, choose from 16 workshops, and meet many inspiring people from across the region. If you’re looking for the skills you need to strengthen your work, want to learn more about issues facing the climate and environmental movements, or don’t know where to start taking action, this is the conference for you.
Don’t miss out. Register today!
Do Wellesley’s candidates for Town offices share your values?
Find out at an afternoon with the candidates.
Join us on March 8th from 4:30-6:00pm at the Village Church to hear from, and meet the candidates.
This is just ahead of the March 17th date when Wellesley heads to the polls to elect candidates to variety of important Town Board positions.
Be there. Listen, ask questions.
Zero Waste Wellesley Challenge Item of the Month for February is black plastic containers.
Black plastic is not recyclable according to our RDF and thus goes directly into waste and landfills. There is no aftermarket to sell it.
Please stop and think when you order take-out or get a to-go leftover container from your favorite restaurant.
ASK if they use black plastic and REFUSE it and ASK for a recyclable alternative.
Give input on Complete Streets at a public hearing on Wednesday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kingsbury Room at the Wellesley Police Department.
Complete Streets is a grant program from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Mass DOT) that helps communities provide safety and accessibility for all methods of travel - walking, biking, transit and driving - for people of all ages and abilities. Money from the program is used for technical assistance and construction funding for improvement projects
Wellesley recently received a Complete Streets grant of $35,000 and is developing a prioritization plan or "wish list" of improvement projects to consider.
Residents are encouraged to attend the hearing and share their ideas on projects, areas of town (schools, bike lanes, trails, etc.) and user groups (children, senior citizens, citizens with disabilities, etc.) that should receive priority.
Ideas may also be shared using the interactive map on Wellesley’s Complete Streets portal. This portal, open since November 2019, will close on Friday, February 7.
There is no limit to the number of comments that may be submitted.
Prior the Complete Streets public hearing, the Traffic Committee will host a presentation and discussion at 6 p.m. on the updated redesign of the Great Plain Rotary at the intersection of Great Plain Avenue, Wellesley Avenue and Seaver Street. Learn more about the proposed improvements to pedestrian safety, sidewalks and overall intersection safety and ask questions.
During this year’s Annual Town Meeting, Wellesley’s town meeting members will vote on a citizens’ petition to prohibit the sale of fur. This citizens’ petition is being proposed on the heels of the statewide California fur ban, recently signed into law, and simultaneous to other state and local initiatives to ban fur sales in Connecticut, Hawaii, New York City, Minneapolis, Portland (OR), and Toronto. The primary motivation for these bans stems from the rampant animal cruelty in the industry, which results in over 100,000,000 animals being killed every year for their fur by anal electrocution, clubbing, gassing, or poison. 85-95% of these animals are raised in cramped, filthy cages on fur farms, unable to ever participate in behaviors natural to their species, and where the skinning of animals while incapacitated but still alive has been regularly documented.
Often left out of discussions of the fur industry, however, is the significant detrimental impact it has on the environment. While the fur industry regularly markets itself as sustainable and eco-friendly, EU regulatory agencies have deemed these claims as false and misleading advertising. A recent study by the independent consulting group on environmental sustainability, CE Delft, shows why. It found that fur is the worst offending textile, natural or synthetic, in 17 of 18 environmental categories including climate change, ozone depletion, and toxicity (only cotton scored worse in the category of water depletion), ranging from 2 to 28 times the environmental impact of other textiles.
For example, the climate change impact of mink fur is 5 times higher than the second worst offending textile, wool (sheep being high methane producers requiring lots of land and feed). Put differently, producing 1 kg of mink fur requires 11.4 minks and 563 kg of feed comprised of mostly chicken and fish. This highly inefficient process taxes land and water resources, and produces significant waste runoff that is consistently reported to pollute local water supplies. And for what? Is a decorative pompom on a winter hat or trim around a hood worth the toll this industry takes on animals and the environment alike?
While fur farming has been banned in nearly all countries in the EU, 80% of the fur purchased in the United States comes from China, where there is no regulatory oversight of either animal cruelty or environmental harm caused by fur farms.
For more information on Fur-Free Wellesley, including the complete bylaw, please visit this website or Facebook page, or contact the organizer, Liza Oliver at email@example.com.