Boston’s Mayor Menino recently held a press conference in our back yard (literally, right outside our window, on Fay Street in the South End). Menino was in our ‘hood to announce a new initiative with the Boston Police Department to proactively address neighborhood issues with crime and work to improve the neighborhood’s overall quality of life.
You may be asking yourself, of all the streets in Boston, why Fay Street? It’s because the residents of East Berkeley, Fay and surrounding streets are some of the most conscious of their surroundings. Residents recently formed a neighborhood watch program that is the most proactive in the city – demanding that the city and police department listen and react to their requests. Kudos to them for making a difference and getting results.
The conference was a call to action for Boston residents. The city would like its people to take an active role in reporting petty crime and social and physical disorders like abandoned buildings, graffiti, litter and vacant lots. As city dwellers, we sometimes become accustomed to metro living and ignore empty lots, graffiti, etc. Maybe you aren’t accustomed to it – maybe you are actually sick of it. Well, this is an opportunity to take more of an initiative to clean up your home, and actually see results. The BPD will compile, review, analyze and map this data to identify “hot spots.” The city can then focus on those areas that generate the biggest amount of citizen complaints for quality of life issues – addressing small problems before they become bigger ones.
This is great news for many neighborhoods in Boston that often see a lot of the same issues – loitering, street harassment, vandalizing, etc. The BPD will enlist and dispatch Community Service Officers, who will use community meetings and visits to help solve these recurring problems. Take advantage of this and get involved! If you see anything in your neighborhood or around the Bean, contact the Mayor’s Hotline (617-635 -4500) or by visiting the City’s website or reading the release.
Thanks for the drop by, Menino!
Did you know that venture capitalists have poured $8.7 billion into energy-related startups in the U.S. since 2006? The buzz lately around cleantech being the next “big thing” for the economy is spreading like wildfire. This technology breakthrough has great potential to generate jobs and build industries with little impact on the environment. Could this possibly be bigger than the other big booms that came out of recessions? The telephone and phonograph developed during the depression of the 1870’s, the integrated circuit in 1958 or when personal computers went mainstream during the 1980 slump? An article this week by Jordan Robertson of the Associated Press, “Where’s the next boom? Maybe in ‘cleantech’,” highlights this emergence as a dominant force in venture capital investments over the next few years.
The Obama administration promises that funding in cleantech will create jobs and spur entrepreneurial ideas in the U.S. However, are those jobs available now or will they appear in the U.S. after the products are created and on the market? Organizations also are concerned that this spread of green entrepreneurism and ideas will be pushed overseas, creating further jobs and manufacturing in other countries like China rather than in the U.S. (U.S. letting China take lead in producing energy) Time will only tell.
Metis works with a new ultracapacitor company called Ioxus, meaning “power” in Greek, to promote its product to the U.S. market. Ultracapacitors are rechargeable green energy storage devices that are used to prolong the lifespan of other energy sources, such as batteries. More recently they have become a topic of interest in the green automotive energy world, where their ability to store energy quickly makes them suitable for regenerative braking applications, whereas batteries have difficulty in this application due to slow charging rates. The greatest thing about Ioxus is that they are the first ultracapacitor company with engineering and manufacturing entirely in the U.S. They also are a great example of one of the companies evolving from this next big boom – promoting and educating the importance of green technology. Every little step to making us more environmentally friendly helps – let’s keep it going in the U.S. by creating more products, jobs and ideas that will help build up the economy again so we are all a little more comfortable with the financial system and our future.