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Archives for July 2016

Reflections on Life and Work

Ok, I admit it. I tend to be a workaholic. As such, I often have a difficult time finding balance in my life. However, over the past six months, my wife and I have made a conscious and deliberate effort to inject some other important elements into our lives. For example, we have been exercising more faithfully, spending more talk time together, and taking more time for reflection and prayer. Of course, all of this takes a sizable chunk out of our day.

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Paint the Town Green: A Practical Approach to “Green” Downtown Development

By Crystal Stitzer and Doug Harsany

The term “green” is so overused in today’s society that it almost defines cliché. Today it seems that every organization wants to be and claims to be green. In many cases the rhetoric goes farther than the reality. A lot of things are marketed as green, but many may not really be as environmentally friendly as proposed.
At the time of the Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010, British Petroleum’s mission statement read, “We help the world meet its growing need for heat, light and mobility. We strive to do that by producing energy that is affordable, secure and doesn’t damage the environment.” It all sounds so idyllic, like cows eating grass. Even the company’s logo is designed to make a green statement. It has the bright yellow sun shining in the middle, surrounded by a ring of green leaves, like a big sunflower. According to the February 2015 BP Gulf Recovery Factsheet, BP has spent approximately $28 billion on response, cleanup, early restoration, and claims payments. There were 1,096 miles of shoreline that had some oiling, and 776 of those miles required some measure of cleaning. We are not trying to vilify BP, but what they found out is what Kermit the frog told us long ago. “It’s not easy being green” (The Jim Henson Company Muppet Character)!

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“Deconstructing” the building blocks of Country Club Townhomes: Collaboration, Creative financing, Patience and Perseverance

By Geri Campos Lopez (HCED Consulting, LLC), Guest Contributor

Country Club Townhomes, a 31-unit mixed income community, was constructed amidst incredible challenges during the Great recession. Yet with strong collaborators, creative financing, patience, and perseverance, this project was able to bring high quality homeownership construction and design to a blighted neighborhood. This project also infused a public and private investment of $6.5 million as a booster shot to the local economy when it was most needed. This article will “deconstruct” the elements that contributed to the success of this catalytic project, and detail lessons learned which may apply to your community.

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