Eight Chapters, Thousands of Members, One Voice

Job Opening at Poirier + Associates Architects in Santa Barbara

Paul Poirier + Associates Architects is a nationally recognized firm with a focus on sustainable design and a diverse project mix, including commercial retail, restaurants, civic and custom residential. We are seeking a full-time self-motivated Architectural Drafter with a minimum of 3 years AutoCAD architectural drafting experience to join our firm located in Santa Barbara. Candidates mist be client focused and have experience working as part of a team in a professional environment. This position requires the ability to work under the guidance of Architects/Project Managers while also coordinating with other team members. We are looking for a positive, dependable, responsible and conscientious individual who works well both independently and as par of a dynamic team.

Candidate must have the following skills:

– Proficiency in AutoCAD & Microsoft Office

– Proficiency in Revit, SketchUp & Photoshop a plus

– Ability to complete a full set of construction documents in AutoCAD and Revit

– Ability to understand plans, sections, elevations, and working sketches, change orders, submittals, request for information, etc.

– Excellent written and verbal skills

– Strong organizational skills and the ability to multi-task and prioritize

– Architectural degree a plus

Compensation dependent on experience, Poirier + Associates offers health insurance, paid holidays, vacation and sick time to full-time employees

Please send your cover letter, resume and work samples via email, PDF format files, 5MB maximum to Rose@sbarchitect.com No phone calls or drop-ins, please.

Source: USGBC California Central Coast

Green Awards 2012-2013 Book Available NOW!

USGBC-C4 proudly presents the 2012-2013 Green Awards Book. This bi-annual publication features the best green projects from around the California Central Coast that participated in our Annual Green Awards Program. The 2012 & 2013 Green Awards had so many outstanding projects and we’re excited to share them with you. Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you for participating and helping us in our journey to make sustainable communities available to everyone within this generation. Order Your Copy Today!

Source: USGBC California Central Coast

Gateway to Green Schools- Georgia Brown Elementary School, Paso Robles


Congratulations to Georgia Brown Elementary School in Paso Robles, CA for completing the Gateway to Green Schools Program! To celebrate this achievement, they held a school carnival filled with fun carnival games, face painting, and cotton candy as well as interactive lessons in recycling, composting, and gardening. During the celebration, Georgia Brown was presented with their $500 grant check for completing Gateway to Green Schools. Georgia Brown is looking to use the grant to invest in on-site rainwater catchment in hopes of reducing their impact on the growing water shortage in Paso Robles. Together, we can make sustainable communities available to everyone within this generation.

Source: USGBC California Central Coast

Santa-Barbara-beauty

Pacific Regional Summit a Great Big Gaucho Hit

Santa-Barbara-beautysanta_barbara_bayWINTER_3Winter_Hall_2_lightenedtif

There is always something special about a gathering of the USGBC tribe, and this past weekend’s Pacific Region Summit was no exception. In fact, it was exceptional. Chapter leaders from California, Nevada and Hawaii, met with each other and Doug Widener and Ryan Snow of USGBC’s Community and addressed the subject of Chapter rejuvenation, sharing successes (NCC’s Building Health Initiative, San Diego’s GAP program, C4’s Smart Trailer and Inland Empire’s Workforce Training Program) and digging into areas needing attention (volunteer burnout, member engagement, innovative fundraising strategies).

After an ice-breaking round of Pecha Kucha presentations Friday night, attendees were treated by a talk by Patagonia’s “Chief Story Teller” Vincent Jackson on sustaining and embedding moral responsibility throughout a business. The full Saturday program on the wonderful Woodmont College campus featured Host/MC Paul Poirier highlighting Santa Barbara’s environmental history from the great oil spill onward, USGBC leader extraordinaire Kevin Hydes keynote relating twenty years of USGBC to present day issues, greetings from Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and a multi-threaded USGBC California advocacy briefing.

With occasional breaks to enjoy the great weather, Saturday’s session continued with a number of presentations and  involved group discussion around more fully realizing USGBC’s transformative mission and vision. Safe to say that all who attended (and all were sad that organizers Lorraine Alexander and  Marc Costa were called away to other coasts, countries and circumstances) came away with much warmth…for the people “on the phone” they are aligned with throughout the Pacific and the country, from the spectacular weather and from the renewed enthusiasm that comes from added perspective and personal interaction with so many stellar people.

Fulfilling California’s Responsibility to Provide Clean Water

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Photo Credit: Kings County Official Website (http://www.countyofkings.com/)

By Kacey Bills, MPP 2014

When I was a child growing up in Fresno, California, beach weekends were common over the blistering summer. My family always headed to the Central Coast on I-5, making a halfway pit stop in Kettleman City to get chocolate milkshakes. My anticipation for the sugary treat would be at its peak as we drove past the Waste Management and California Aqueduct signs along the highway. The proximity of a waste landfill and a major water source was peculiar to me. That mental image coupled with the lack of visible housing from the freeway made Kettleman City seem like one giant truck stop.

I recently read an article by the California Report describing the concern of Kettleman City residents over the expansion of the Chemical Waste Inc. Hazardous Waste Landfill.[1] When I learned of the controversy over the private company offering to pay Kettleman City’s $500,000 water debt pending the project’s approval, my childhood curiosity about the small town was transformed into an adult fascination.

Kettleman City is representative of many small farming communities in the Central Valley, with the population being predominately Latino, low-income, and with English as a second language. Water supplies in these communities have been proven to contain unsafe levels of chemicals, such as arsenic and nitrogen.[2] With many of the residents of these communities living below the poverty line, tax revenue to provide the necessary infrastructure for clean water is limited. Kettleman City has been attempting to provide safe water for decades, and has accumulated over $500,000 in debt in the process. People in these communities spend a disproportionate amount of their income on water and sanitation (20% compared to the national average of 0.5%).[3] Governor Brown has attempted to deal with this issue by signing AB 685, “The Human Right to Water Bill,” which specifies that all people are entitled to clean, safe, and affordable water.

That bill clearly establishes the state government’s responsibility to provide clean water, and yet Kettleman City officials must choose between the lesser of two evils: Either agree to the landfill expansion and afford clean water from the California Aqueduct, which flows within 3 miles of the town, or oppose it and attempt to get state grant funding. With clean water established as a basic human right, it seems exploitative for water to also be used to extort the support of townspeople for a project that they might oppose.

“The Human Right to Water” Bill is considered in the 2014 California Water Action Plan, one of the targets of which is to “provide safe water for all communities.” The state hopes to achieve more equitable access by encouraging collaboration across agencies and local governments.[4] The legislature is relied upon to allocate funds for communities in need. It is likely a standard grant process will be used to determine where the funds will go. Grant writing requires the hiring of technical experts, which is unaffordable to many disadvantaged communities. Furthermore, processes may take years to be implemented, and even longer to become an effective force for change in ensuring clean water systems.

Access to clean safe water in California is not equitable.[5] In 2010, the UN released a special report on California’s inability to provide safe drinking water to its residents. It stated that over 250,000 California residents do not have access to safe drinking water and must purchase bottled water.[6] With the mean income in these communities only $14,000 a year, water is a major expense. A 2011 study by UC Berkeley found smaller water systems in California have higher percentages of Latinos and renters receiving drinking water with high nitrate levels. Data proves what is easily observed on a drive through the Central Valley. The people who work to feed the world are at risk of being contaminated by the resource that gives them a livelihood: water.

Investigations by the California Department of Public Health and Environmental Protection Agency have shown no conclusive evidence to suggest Chemical Waste Inc. has contaminated the water supply in Kettleman City.[7] Conclusive evidence would require identification of the toxic substance in the environment, as well as proof of the pathway to an individual’s body. It’s common for scientific studies on contaminants to never lead to conclusive evidence. The company may never be proven responsible for the high levels of toxic exposure in Kettleman City, but it doesn’t mean that a community should negotiate a contract over a basic human right.

Kettleman City is already exposed to a wide range of toxic chemicals. The town should be spared the expansion of one of the largest hazardous waste landfills in the country and have its water debt paid off through state water funds The residents should have affordable access to the clean water from the California Aqueduct that flows directly past them. A responsible government should not force citizens to over-pay for a resource it designates a basic human right.


[1] Plevin, R. (2014, February 3). Kettleman City Weighs Toxic Dump Expansion Against Funding for Clean Water. The California report. Retrieved February 8, 2014, from http://www.californiareport.org/archive/R201402030850/b
[2] California Water Boards. (2013, January). Communities that Rely on a Contaminated Groundwater Source for Drinking Water. Retrieved from http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/gama/ab2222/docs/ab2222.pdf
[3] Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque. (2011, August) Retrieved From http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/18session/A-HRC-18-33-Add4_en.pdf
[4] California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Food & Agriculture. (2014, January). California Water Action Plan. Retrieved fromhttp://resources.ca.gov/california_water_action_plan/docs/Final_California_Water_Action_Plan.pdf
[5] Balazs, C., Morello-Frosch, R., Hubbard, A., & Ray, I. (2011). Social Disparities In Nitrate-Contaminated Drinking Water In California’s San Joaquin Valley. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(9), 1272-1278.
[6] Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque. (2011, August) Retrieved From http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/18session/A-HRC-18-33-Add4_en.pdf
[7]California Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Public Health. (2010, December). Investigations of Birth Defects and Community Exposures in Kettleman City, CA. Retrieved fromhttp://www.calepa.ca.gov/EnvJustice/Documents/2010/KCDocs/ReportFinal/FinalReport.pdf
 
reprinted with permission of The Policy Forum at Mills College.

USGBC-C4: 2014 Action Plan- Building Beyond Zero

Zero Energy, Zero Water, Zero Waste, Zero Carbon…Building Beyond Zero
USGBC-C4 has some exciting plans for 2014! Check out our 2014 Action Plan to see how we plan to engage and inspire the Central Coast Community. We look forward to building a healthier community and continuing our mission to make sustainable communities available to everyone within this generation. Contact us today if you want to get involved and help your community.

Source: USGBC California Central Coast

USGBC-C4: 2014 Action Plan- Building Beyond Zero

Zero Energy, Zero Water, Zero Waste, Zero Carbon…Building Beyond Zero
USGBC-C4 has some exciting plans for 2014! Check out our 2014 Action Plan to see how we plan to engage and inspire the Central Coast Community. We look forward to building a healthier community and continuing our mission to make sustainable communities available to everyone within this generation. Contact us today if you want to get involved and help your community.

Source: USGBC California Central Coast

USGBC-C4: 2014 Action Plan- Building Beyond Zero

Zero Energy, Zero Water, Zero Waste, Zero Carbon…Building Beyond Zero
USGBC-C4 has some exciting plans for 2014! Check out our 2014 Action Plan to see how we plan to engage and inspire the Central Coast Community. We look forward to building a healthier community and continuing our mission to make sustainable communities available to everyone within this generation. Contact us today if you want to get involved and help your community.

Source: USGBC California Central Coast

USGBC-C4: 2014 Action Plan- Building Beyond Zero

Zero Energy, Zero Water, Zero Waste, Zero Carbon…Building Beyond Zero
USGBC-C4 has some exciting plans for 2014! Check out our 2014 Action Plan to see how we plan to engage and inspire the Central Coast Community. We look forward to building a healthier community and continuing our mission to make sustainable communities available to everyone within this generation. Contact us today if you want to get involved and help your community.

Source: USGBC California Central Coast

Pacific Regional Council- Leadership Summit Scheduled for March 14th & 15th


PRC Leadership Summit- Westmont College, Montecito, CA

The Pacific Region Council’s Leadership Summit is an exclusive event held for chapter leaders in the Pacific Region. The Summit will be held on the campus of Westmont College, at the beautiful LEED Gold certified Winter Hall, located on over 100 acres of rolling woodland in Montecito, just outside of Santa Barbara, CA.

Chapter Leaders from ten Pacific Region Chapters are invited, joined by USGBC National staff, for a day infused with education, leadership development, strategic partnering, membership, emerging professionals and chapter imaging.
The summit launches on Friday evening at the Christian Fellowship Center and continues for the full day Saturday at Winter Hall. Sunday is an optional day but will be filled with fun events planned to explore and enjoy Santa Barbara and Montecito.
To learn more about Hotel Reservations & Summit Registration:
Contact: paul@sbarchitect.com

Source: USGBC California Central Coast