Julie Philipp's blog

Green Times 18

Hmmmm...

I was just thumbing through the transcript of Monroe County Executive Maggie Brook's State of the County address, and I counted 18 "greens." I did not count the number of times she said "sustainable,"" renewable," or "clean."

So, I'm left wondering...is Monroe County really a leader when it comes to being green? Or are we just on that green wagon, trying to look greener than everyone else? Is this political "greenology" or the real thing?

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Forget the Silver Lining

The word "greenology" has not made it into any dictionary yet, but I'm guessing it's only a matter of time. Google it. It's already becoming a cliche on the World Wide Web.

There are greenology sites that explain all things green, and there are a number of businesses jumping on the green wagon by calling themselves names like Greenology Plant Care. My favorite is a link to a t-shirt:

http://www.lovestogarden.com/index.php/tee-shirts/greenology...

Greenology could also become a political approach that could be used when the economy is lousy, the budget is in the red, your favored projects appear to be flailing, you've lost a lawsuit, and controversy surrounds several recent actions taken by local lawmakers belonging to your political party.

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Can we afford "affordable?"

Have you gotten lost in the city recently?

I don't mean downtown. I mean it's neighborhoods, where a lot of people live in rundown houses and apartment buildings.

Most people who drive in and out of the city every day for work do not see these neighborhoods. But there are a lot of them, despite numerous programs to demolish, renovate, or build better housing for people whose income falls below the median. The pace of improvement has been falling far behind the pace of decay for more than a decade.

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A Sound Experiment

I've never considered myself much of a scientist.

So I consider it a stroke of luck when a grant application calling for a "hypothesis" crossed my desk -- just one day after I helped my daughter put together a middle school science fair project. I actually knew how to phrase a hypothesis, and WXXI was awarded money to conduct experiments to test my hypothesis.

So what is a broadcast news director doing in the laboratory?

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A Toast to Your Teeth

Scientists at Cornell University's state Agriculture Experiment Station are working with oral biology researchers at the University of Rochester to develop a new way to fight tooth decay.

It works like this: Take grapes. Make wine. Put the leftover seeds and skins in toothpaste, mouthwash, and gum. No more cavities.

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Back in the USA

For the past two weeks, I've been visiting family in England.

What are folks there talking about over the dinner table? Here is an unscientific sample summarizing our evening conversations:

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Make Me Care

That is a big part of my job -- making a connection between you and what's going on in the community around you.

It's particularly challenging for me at election time. Research, and my experience with Voice of the Voter, shows most people feel disconnected from politics, government, and community. My sense from the Voice of the Voter participants is a lot of folks have lost faith in ANY politician's ability to affect positive change within the "system." Even the "good" politicians don't stand a chance when they get into the legislative chambers. (If they can get there in the first place.)

But if enough people care, the "system" can't stop progress.

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Mr. Brizard Comes to Town

It's been 30 days since Mr. Brizard came to our town.

But today, the new Rochester City School Superintendent really found his place in our community.

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Drug Dealer on Broad Street

People who know me, know I'm rarely early to anything. Punctual, yes. Late, sometimes. Early, nope.

But WDKX's Liz Medhin and I finished up shooting a promo for Brizard: Square One in record time yesterday (despite a few extra takes - all my fault) and I hit all the green lights going over to the Democrat & Chronicle offices for a meeting. The parking gods were on my side, guiding me to an open spot not too far from the front door. Heck, I had 15 minutes to kill.

I decided to stay in the car for a few of them. I didn't expect it to be a particularly insightful experience; I just didn't feel like feeding the meter any more nickels than I had to.

But then I saw him. The drug dealer on Broad Street.

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Dinner with the Neighbors

Dan Gundersen, Upstate Chair of the Empire State Development Corporation, didn't hesitate yesterday when I asked him what surprised him most when he started his job in Upstate New York last year.

He visited Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and many other communities. They all had the same general economic challenges, worries, and needs. Yet, Gundersen noted, the cities failed to work together toward significant change, choosing instead to battle one another in Albany for their fair shares.

Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy agrees. Not so long ago, he likened the situation to a large family scrambling over a small amount of food.

Now enter Governor Eliot Spitzer carrying a big bag of groceries -- and suddenly regional cooperation doesn't seem so hard.

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