World Business Academy Taking Responsibility for the Whole 2018-04-20T20:21:23Z https://worldbusiness.org/feed/atom/ WordPress https://worldbusiness.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/cropped-Academy-Favicon-150x150.png Angeline <![CDATA[Reviving Retail in Santa Barbara: Solutions to the ‘Retail Apocalypse’]]> https://worldbusiness.org/?p=11304 2018-04-20T00:09:42Z 2018-04-19T23:35:58Z The World Business Academy The retail sector in Santa Barbara, particularly downtown, has been struggling. Santa Barbara retailers currently face a perfect storm due to recent local natural disasters that have added to the impact of e-commerce, national trends, neighborhood vacancies, Byzantine local regulations, and the high cost of doing business in the city. On […]

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The World Business Academy

The retail sector in Santa Barbara, particularly downtown, has been struggling. Santa Barbara retailers currently face a perfect storm due to recent local natural disasters that have added to the impact of e-commerce, national trends, neighborhood vacancies, Byzantine local regulations, and the high cost of doing business in the city.

On March 21, the World Business Academy’s Global Citizens Club convened a panel of local thought leaders and retail representatives to discuss the current state of State Street and how to champion more innovative solutions to improve the local economy. Moderated by Academy founder Rinaldo Brutoco, the Academy is working to bring people together to make downtown Santa Barbara a more desirable destination for residents and tourists, to boost pedestrian traffic, and improve our local economy by revitalizing the local retail sector. The meeting included guests such as Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo, City Council members Kristen Sneddon, Eric Friedman and Jason Dominguez, and representatives from Assemblywoman Monique Limon’s and Supervisor Joan Hartmann’s offices.

Now in its 30th year, the World Business Academy is a Santa Barbara-based think tank and action incubator for positive solutions to the critical environmental and social crises that directly impact our community. The Academy advocates for sustainable energy use and other timely environmental issues by working to elevate the consciousness of people in the business community and encouraging them to use their influence to take responsibility for the environment. The Academy works to embody “think globally, act locally,” as it delves into related issues important to the community. Santa Barbara’s economic health, housing needs, and retail sustainability are among the issues the Academy seeks to address over time.

Revitalizing State Street

A key goal of the meeting was to start a discussion about how to create a coherent and actionable downtown plan for Santa Barbara. Currently, no one is spearheading this issue. There is no plan of action to help State Street regain its lost luster and lost sense of community. The area faces high vacancy rates and the perception that it’s not safe, dirty, and unwelcoming. State Street has an unappealing mix of retail tenants to the local community. The large Macy’s building at Paseo Nuevo, located on city-owned land, is vacant with ideas floating around for more department store retail to fill the space – an idea we should question considering the decline of department stores and their success in the county and across the nation. The downtown area also lacks housing or live/work spaces for local people who could walk to State Street businesses.

State Street needs to be revitalized to meet of not just the tourists, but the needs of the local community as well. “It’s appealing to teenagers or tourists, not so much locals,” said Kate Schwab, Marketing and Communications Director for the Downtown Santa Barbara organization, citing findings from a study her organization commissioned on the Downtown area. Schwab was among the panelists participating in the discussion, and said it’s time to work on bringing new, engaging businesses to downtown.

Another panelist, Angel Martinez, the former CEO of Deckers Outdoor Corporation, noted that other communities and business are experiencing these same issues with their changing retail neighborhoods and unappealing malls that now all seem to look the same.

“We are now finding ourselves in the world of retail in a revolutionary moment… Think of the Internet today as a railroad, a new railroad. It has done one really critical thing, it has upended the distribution model.” Martinez said local stores are no longer the main purveyors of goods; people no longer need the general store because they have Amazon.com, he said.

“We’re not reacting well to a sudden revolutionary shift and what we perceive as retail. We have to rethink everything. State Street ended up as a far too-long mall,” Martinez said. “You have to go back to what works for the local community.”

Ken Oplinger, President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Santa Barbara Region, mentioned the widespread perception that State Street is dirty, has high rents, and is unsafe for visitors. He said that commercial real estate people must work with the city to bring the right kinds of tenants to the vacant properties.

Amy Cooper, the owner of Plum Goods – a gift, home, clothing and jewelry store featuring ethically made merchandise and an art gallery – said shopping should be an inspiring, spontaneous, authentic, and creative experience that makes people happy and stirs the imagination. “You can find things online that you are looking for but you can’t find what you’re not looking for,” said Cooper, who also advocated for having a point person to coordinate revitalization efforts Downtown.

“With the vacancy rate we actually have a chance to create a vision for our town and implement it,” Cooper said. “I don’t want to see this jewel of State Street lose its luster.”

Solutions Proposed:

  • Develop a comprehensive plan and commission to oversee downtown revitalization; this commission should be appointed and lead by the city in partnership and with local stakeholders such as businesses, organizations, landlords, and concerned citizens
  • Draw inspiration from other similar sized communities while creating and maintaining the uniqueness of Santa Barbara
  • Identify and hire a specific person whose sole job is to oversee the downtown retail situation (Kate Schwab has volunteered to help fill this role)
  • Upgrade city lighting and storefronts
  • Regularly clean up downtown and make it more sanitary
  • Make downtown more welcoming and improve the experience of walking on State Street
  • Impose a vacancy tax on vacant properties
  • Stop trying to compete with Amazon.com and cater to the community’s needs and wants

Addressing the overall need for housing, establishing affordable housing downtown and citywide

Santa Barbara lacks housing, especially in the downtown area, where local people work, live, shop, and eat. Ideally, housing areas would be in locations where residents could walk, bike or take a bus to work.

The City Council can and should immediately appoint a commission that would begin developing housing plans and units, in addition to addressing specific local issues like granny flats. The plan should seek to provide affordable housing downtown for local residents vs. favoring developments that become high-end vacation homes. As a major landowner, the City should use its power to create a desirable mix of retail and residential units in the downtown corridor. This requires thinking outside the box with incentives for affordable rentals, creative living cooperatives, and developing other ideas to increase housing density downtown and across Santa Barbara. Why should the vacant Macy’s building simply become another store? Does our downtown need another large store? What about tearing down the building and erecting housing lofts with commercial space on the ground floor and apartments, lofts, or condos on the upper floors?

Encourage local entrepreneurship with flexible and creative city programs

Among the other factors identified as inhibitors to improving downtown and attracting new, exciting businesses are the inexplicably long permitting process, the high initial costs for starting a business, and the challenge of filling large retail spaces that aren’t as suited for newer, smaller, and locally owned business entrepreneurs.

What we can do:

  • Allow and encourage “popups” and “incubator spaces” by streamlining permitting for downtown retail spaces
  • Think outside the box on ways to create a locally grown group of entrepreneurial retail businesses catering to the local community, creating a vibrant “Santa Barbara” where locals want to shop
  • Find more ways to support local and uniquely Santa Barbara stores in getting started and being successful downtown through incentives or other supportive programs
  • Invite local retail “stars” to partner with the city and the downtown community to create high-quality experiential retail experiences with a local-national brand

Finally, former Santa Barbara Mayor Hal Conklin mused about what makes Santa Barbara unique. “Santa Barbara is more than a place. It is really a state of mind. It is an attitude people have who love what they have.” Conklin presented five suggestions for the city and other stakeholders:

  1. Establish an economic plan
  2. Build housing around that plan
  3. Plan for all development to use the least amount of transportation needed, making sure the plan allows people to walk to work
  4. Build a plan that inspires and supports that sense of place
  5. Look to community leadership to work with City Hall to coordinate the effort. “It’s the community that designs it. City Hall is a partner in making that happen.”

In conclusion, the saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child. The World Business Academy believes it also takes an entire village’s effort to re-invent itself, and that everyone in the community can and should take part in it.

“Let’s all think outside the box and make more beauty from this,” Brutoco told the crowd in his closing remarks. There is so much opportunity here, let’s being the community together to help the vision of a new Santa Barbara come to life.

Want to watch a recording of the meeting? Check it out here.

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Angeline <![CDATA[Upcoming Earth Day Focuses on Resiliency]]> https://worldbusiness.org/?p=11295 2018-04-18T16:54:34Z 2018-04-17T23:11:23Z Visit The Academy at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival April 21 and 22 at Alameda Park  The World Business Academy urges all members of the public to celebrate Earth Day this year by learning something new and charting a course for action in your personal life. How are YOU going to be a part […]

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Visit The Academy at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival April 21 and 22 at Alameda Park

 The World Business Academy urges all members of the public to celebrate Earth Day this year by learning something new and charting a course for action in your personal life. How are YOU going to be a part of the solution to the many challenges facing our environment? What small actions can YOU take to help the planet? How can YOU live more sustainably?

If you’re looking for inspiration this Earth Day, don’t miss the Santa Barbara’s Earth Day Festival, a fun event hosted by the Community Environmental Council (CEC). The Festival takes place this Saturday, April 21 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday April 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Alameda Park in Santa Barbara. Click here to learn more (sbearthday.org). Please visit us at our booth in the Public Square area, booth # 310! The Academy will be presenting on California’s Roadmap to Resiliency, and what you and our government can do to create a sustainable future for California.

CA's Roadmap to Resiliency

This is Santa Barbara’s celebration of the year — we want to see you here learning and celebrating the earth! If you are a parent, take your kids to get them learning early how to be a better steward of the Earth. The festival offers plenty to do for the entire family on both days. There will be live entertainment and music; speakers; and the largest Green Car Show on the West Coast (check out the electric, hybrid-electric and fuel cell vehicles!). Guests also will enjoy the Beer & Wine Garden; a fantastic Kid’s Corner; scores of exhibit booths featuring environmentally friendly products, services, non-profits and organizations; a bike valet for those who are riding over; a food court and food trucks; and a Zero Waste Zone.

The Academy wishes to extend our congratulations to local water activist Florencia Ramirez of Oxnard and the ocean activist collective SeaLegacy, both of which will accept the CEC’s 2018 Environmental Hero Awards on Saturday at 2 p.m. on the Main Stage. SeaLegacy, whose “Starving Polar Bear” video went viral in late 2017, emphasizes that healthy oceans absorb carbon from the atmosphere and help reduce the impact of climate change – a critical component of building climate resilience. The award will be accepted by local resident and SeaLegacy patron Jodie Willard. Florencia Ramirez, an author whose book “Eat Less Water” has been featured on CBS and NPR, draws a direct line between climate resilience and adapting to a water-constrained world. After accepting her award, she will share her kitchen-table approach to protecting water supplies in a cooking demonstration at the festival’s Roots stage on Saturday at 4:15 p.m. You won’t want to miss that!

Earth Day this year is dedicated to ending pollution caused by the proliferation of plastics. Plastics poison and injure marine life, litter beaches and landscapes, and clog waste streams and landfills. In response, Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics. Learn more here (earthday.org).

Finally, we’d like to mention another worthy event happening locally on Wednesday, April 25, at the Granada Theatre from 7-9 p.m., in conjunction with Earth Day. It’s a free community town hall called “Drought, Fire and Flood: Climate Change and Our New Normal.” This discussion will address urgent questions about how we can improve our readiness and response to climate impacts and what this new normal requires for both policy and practice to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure, our businesses, our homes, our community, and our region. As The Academy has written previously, climate change is happening in our backyard – just consider the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide – and we need to be prepared. Participants at this town hall include UCSB experts, former FEMA Director James Lee Witt, a panel discussion moderated by CEC’s CEO/Executive Director Sigrid Wright, and Q & A session with officials from Santa Barbara Fire, the county, and nonprofits. The more we all learn about climate change in our backyard, the better our future will be.

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Angeline <![CDATA[Nuclear Power, Cancer and Infant Mortality]]> https://worldbusiness.org/?p=11288 2018-04-16T17:36:38Z 2018-04-16T17:35:47Z By Jerry B. Brown, Ph.D., Director, Safe Energy Project I first learned about “the secret legacy of the Nuclear Age” from epidemiologist Jay Gould in the winter of 1997.  With Ernest Sternglass, a radiation physicist, Dr. Gould founded the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) to investigate the impact of cumulative doses of low-level radiation […]

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By Jerry B. Brown, Ph.D., Director, Safe Energy Project

I first learned about “the secret legacy of the Nuclear Age” from epidemiologist Jay Gould in the winter of 1997.  With Ernest Sternglass, a radiation physicist, Dr. Gould founded the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) to investigate the impact of cumulative doses of low-level radiation on human health, including their role in America’s cancer epidemic.

From 1998 to 2003, as executive director of RPHP, I participated in the second Baby Teeth Study in American history, testing children’s teeth for the presence of carcinogenic Strontinum-90 (Sr-90) – a manmade radioactive isotope only created by nuclear fission reactions in atomic bombs or nuclear power plants.  The first Baby Teeth Study, carried out during the Cold War bomb test years, showed a strong correlation between increases in Sr-90 and the incidence of childhood cancer and leukemia. This inspired President John F. Kennedy to pass the historic 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty banning all aboveground nuclear weapons testing, signed by the U.S. and the former U.S.S.R.

Unfortunately, due to the rapid commercialization of nuclear power plants in the 1970s, RPHP’s study found that Sr-90 in baby teeth began to rise again. It is now at levels equal to those at the height of the bomb test years – proving that the expansion of nuclear power has undermined all the health benefits of the 1963 Test Ban.

As director of the Academy’s Safe Energy project, I have coordinated two radiation-health studies on the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California. The first 2014 study by epidemiologist Joe Mangano showed that “since the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant opened in the mid-1980s, San Luis Obispo County has changed from a relatively low-cancer to a high-cancer county.” The second study, published in a peer-review medical journal by radiation chemist Chris Busby, found “a remarkable and statistically-significant 28% overall increase in infant mortality rates in the coastal strip group relative to the inland control group.” According to the study, a pattern of rising infant death rates (in the first year of birth) has occurred since Diablo Canyon opened in the mid-1980s.

The Academy submitted information on these studies to the State Lands Commission. In making its decision to grant Diablo Canyon a lease extension to continue operating until 2025, the Commission never reviewed – indeed, never mentioned these radiation-health studies! This is one of the main reasons that the Academy filed a lawsuit against the Commission and PG&E, the owner of this nuclear plant, with the goal of closing Diablo Canyon now: to prevent further illness and loss of life due to cancer and infant deaths.

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Angeline <![CDATA[Published… But Censored]]> https://worldbusiness.org/?p=11268 2018-04-05T21:27:10Z 2018-04-04T21:25:27Z The Difficult Truth of Diablo Canyon Sometimes we tell a truth that people don’t want to hear because it’s controversial, it doesn’t meet a certain political agenda, or it makes people uncomfortable. This is the case with the aging and dangerous Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County. We spoke an inconvenient […]

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The Difficult Truth of Diablo Canyon

Sometimes we tell a truth that people don’t want to hear because it’s controversial, it doesn’t meet a certain political agenda, or it makes people uncomfortable. This is the case with the aging and dangerous Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County. We spoke an inconvenient truth about this ticking time bomb, and a newspaper didn’t want to hear it. So, we’ll share this truth with you.

On March 29, the New Times, a weekly alternative newspaper in San Luis Obispo, finally printed a letter written by Jerry B. Brown, Ph.D., director of the Academy’s Safe Energy Project, debunking a series of falsehoods about Diablo Canyon published in a previous Opinion Letter to the New Times by Ellie Ripley, a self-proclaimed “fan of Diablo.”  We could not let these lies stand, and Jerry, a passionate authority on nuclear power and Diablo Canyon, felt it imperative to correct.

We understand that Diablo Canyon has its supporters in San Luis Obispo County, because it is a major employer and helps the local economy, but … lies are lies. The Academy is not in the “fake news” business.

Jerry submitted a detailed response of about 500 words to the New Times in reply to Ripley’s 1,076 -word letter, but the paper did not act and did not publish his reply. After some phone calls to the editor, the New Times requested that Jerry’s reply be pared down to a mere 250 words before the editor finally would print it.

Jerry edited his reply letter to 244 words and it was published. However, the paper deleted a key sentence which contained an essential but highly disturbing truth. This is the sentence that was censored and cut: “And, a peer-reviewed study by renowned radiation chemist Dr. Christopher Busby found a 28 percent increase in infant mortality rates in the zip codes near the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.”

As this Busby article was published in a peer-review medical journal, there was no reason for the paper to cut this one sentence, except for either outright censorship and/or a fear of offending the powers that be in San Luis Obispo. Either way, it’s an outrage! Jerry noted that over the decades he has worked on the radiation-health issue, the media has backed away many, many times from publishing anything linking radiation from nuclear power plants and cancer.

This is all the more reason the Academy must win its lawsuit against Diablo Canyon. We want to be able to say that the State of California has deemed it important to investigate this radiation-health issue through an Environmental Impact Report. Dr. Busby’s research and findings matter, whether or not they rock the boat in San Luis Obispo County.

Here is the 244-word version of the piece that Jerry wrote, with nothing censored, so you can read the truth.

Unsafe, Dirty and Unnecessary

Ellie Ripley’s Letter of 12-21-17 is filled with misleading and inaccurate information about the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. I wish to correct her most glaring factual errors.

First, Ripley says, “There are no dirty emissions released into the air that can spread freely into the atmosphere.” In reality, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows all commercial nuclear power plants to routinely release radioactive gases and liquids. And, a peer-reviewed study by renowned radiation chemist Dr. Christopher Busby found a 28 percent increase in infant mortality rates in the zip codes near the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Second, Ripley claims there are no safety issues at the plant. In 2013, the NRC identified Diablo Canyon Unit 1 as “the third most embrittled reactor in the United States.” This means it’s less likely to be able to handle the stress of a sudden shock, such as the rapid water cooling of the reactor in an emergency. A Fukushima-like earthquake-tsunami could cause a core meltdown.

Ripley characterizes closing Diablo Canyon as “environmental hypocrisy.” In fact, Diablo’s antiquated cooling system sucks in 2.5 billion gallons of water daily and discharges it back into the ocean, killing 1.5 billion fish annually. THAT’S environmental hypocrisy!

Finally, she claims renewables will not be ready by 2025 to replace Diablo’s lost power. PG&E affirms it can replace Diablo Canyon with 100 percent renewable energy by then.

 

 

 

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Angeline <![CDATA[A Sneak Peek Into Our Distributed Energy Future]]> https://worldbusiness.org/?p=11258 2018-04-05T22:12:48Z 2018-04-03T18:14:45Z The World Business Academy has joined with Clean Coalition, a non-profit organization with expertise in both policy advocacy and technical analysis, in a collaborative effort to survey solar potential for both south Santa Barbara and western Ventura counties. Utilizing Clean Coalition’s unique survey methodology, the Academy is identifying and mapping optimal county/municipal, commercial and industrial […]

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The World Business Academy has joined with Clean Coalition, a non-profit organization with expertise in both policy advocacy and technical analysis, in a collaborative effort to survey solar potential for both south Santa Barbara and western Ventura counties. Utilizing Clean Coalition’s unique survey methodology, the Academy is identifying and mapping optimal county/municipal, commercial and industrial sites to determine their maximum solar generation. The flyover videos below provide a visual reference regarding the tremendous potentials of the communities in the Moorpark Sub-Area.

Please note that this survey is a work in progress, and many properties have yet to be surveyed. If you own or know of a property that would be a good candidate for solar development, please email us at survey@worldbusiness.org with your contact information and property address. We will map your property and send you an aerial photo with an estimate of its solar potential.

 

Goleta

With its newer, high-capacity distribution infrastructure, and high concentrations of commercial-industrial properties along the Hollister corridor from Storke to Turnpike intersections, Goleta offers tremendous potential to not only reduce system load at the point of greatest consumption (commercial-industrial properties consume almost 70% of total system energy), but also serve as a net exporter of energy to adjacent communities.

La Cumbre/Upper State/Downtown Santa Barbara

The Five Points/La Cumbre/Auto Mall complex offers ample roofs and parking areas that can host multi-MW solar generation. Combined with the commercial properties ranging down to the intersection at De La Vina, this area could service much energy demand in the Hope, Foothill, San Roque, Hitchcock and Samarkand residential neighborhoods. As the camera moves down through mid-State Street (De La Vina to Micheltorena), optimal properties are less concentrated but still present and can become anchors to surrounding neighborhoods. South of Micheltorena, we have mapped the blocks of State Street between Chapala and Anacapa, and will expand our survey outward to include city blocks along Santa Barbara and De La Vina Streets. Solar generation will vary, depending upon roof conditions and shading.

 

Cabrillo Waterfront (SBCC to the Zoo)

The SBCC campus and public parking lots along Cabrillo offer high generation potential. Combined with large warehouse properties located south of the 101 freeway, this area can generate additional energy to power the desalination plant and other downtown city blocks.

 

Montecito Microgrid

This flyover features how the survey will ultimately look after mapped areas are processed using Clean Coalition’s spreadsheet algorithms. Instead of yellow/orange polygons, each location’s solar potential, incorporating shading and roof density estimates, is displayed. The Academy and Clean Coalition are currently working to develop an initial microgrid system in the Upper Village (East Valley and San Ysidro), which will later be expanded to include properties along Coast Village Road and south of the 101 freeway. We hosted a meeting on the Montecito Community Microgrid in February, you can read more about it here.

 

Ventura/Oxnard/Port Hueneme/Camarillo

Although the Academy has not yet started to map this area in earnest, this flyover demonstrates Ventura County’s massive solar potential, particularly in the Oxnard area, where rooftops and parking lots at many sites often exceed 1 million square feet! A few mapped locations provide a reference point when looking at square miles of un-solarized properties.

 

Areas to be Surveyed:

Downtown Goleta

Calle Real (Fairview to Patterson)

Milpas Street (Anapamu to Cabrillo)

Cliff Drive at Meigs Road

Carpinteria

Ventura/Oxnard/Port Hueneme/Camarillo

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Angeline <![CDATA[SCE’s Energy RFP: Opportunity or Trap?]]> https://worldbusiness.org/?p=11246 2018-04-10T18:13:06Z 2018-03-29T20:23:14Z By Robert Perry, Director of Energy Research For renewable energy advocates, 2017 was a pretty good year. First, the Public Utilities and Energy commissions denied Southern California Edison’s proposed refurbishment of the Ellwood Power Station in Goleta and the construction of the Puente gas peaker plant in Oxnard. This decision is considered by the energy […]

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By Robert Perry, Director of Energy Research

For renewable energy advocates, 2017 was a pretty good year.

First, the Public Utilities and Energy commissions denied Southern California Edison’s proposed refurbishment of the Ellwood Power Station in Goleta and the construction of the Puente gas peaker plant in Oxnard. This decision is considered by the energy community as a watershed moment, marking the beginning of California’s transition from centralized energy to a distributed model based on renewable energy generation and storage located close to consumption. These decisions were accompanied by city council resolutions passed in Santa Barbara and Goleta to target a 100% renewable energy portfolio.

Finally, SCE rebooted its suspended energy proceeding for Goleta, and expanded it to include the Moorpark Sub-Area encompassing South Santa Barbara and Western Ventura counties. This Request for Proposals (RFP) proceeding, launched February 28th, seeks to develop between 76 and 95 megawatts (MW) of capacity, preferably in Santa Barbara County to help resolve its resiliency issues.

From outward appearances, it seems that the wind is at our back and smooth sailing lies ahead. Unfortunately, the situation is far from simple, and the RFP exists both as an opportunity and a potential trap for local communities.

The Opportunity

In their RFP documentation , SCE has stated a “strong preference” for renewable distributed energy resources (DERs) and placed a premium on developing DERs in Santa Barbara County. The Academy, in collaboration with non-profit Clean Coalition, is surveying the Moorpark Sub-Area and has found an abundance of optimal locations to produce at least 76 MW on already developed commercial-industrial sites. To mobilize the community to develop these locations, the CleanEnergy805 coalition (of which the Academy is a partner) hosted two local workshops that were well attended by developers and site owners.

The Trap

For Santa Barbara County, SCE has reserved the right to accept proposals for gas-fired generation (GFG) resources, meaning that possibly one or more 25+-year natural gas power plants could be developed which would directly conflict with the municipal resolutions targeting 100% renewable energy. Although such plant(s) would likely be located outside city limits (somewhere between El Capitan and Gaviota), use of fossil-fuel GFG power would keep Goleta and Santa Barbara from meeting their obligation to develop a 100% renewable energy portfolio.

Second, SCE’s traditional RFP process— which has historically contemplated approval of a few large generation projects— is not suited to distributed energy, which would require the development of a much higher number of sites to achieve the same result. To maximize stakeholder participation, fundamental restructuring of the procurement process is needed to streamline approvals and provide market certainty.

Finally, the RFP requires that all proposals be submitted for review no later than June 21st,  an extremely short timeline for the number and scope of projects needed to supply the requested amount of power on a distributed basis. Furthermore, unless projects meet certain “fast track” requirements, eligible sites must be approved for “interconnection” to the grid through an arcane and time-consuming process. In this RFP as currently configured, if you can’t “fast track,” don’t bother.

The Danger

Despite community efforts to assemble projects, if an insufficient amount of renewable energy is approved under the RFP, SCE will probably elect to include one or more GFG projects in the RFP. This would saddle the area with expensive, long-term facilities that will likely retire early and be paid for by ratepayers (i.e., you and me), regardless of how long they operate. Furthermore, this scenario effectively prevents the achievement of local 100% renewable energy goals until the plants are retired.

We are the Solution.

SCE’s RFP should be seen only as a first opportunity along the path to distributed, renewable energy, and communities must ensure that it doesn’t adversely impact progress towards their 100% renewable goals. Remember, the utilities and regulators work for us, and community activism can go a long way to determine how the RFP is conducted and whether GFG resources are approved. Register on the RFP website, track and comment on its progress and let your elected officials know that they should be calling the shots on local energy development.

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Angeline <![CDATA[Reviving Retail in Santa Barbara Community Meeting]]> https://worldbusiness.org/?p=11243 2018-04-05T21:26:07Z 2018-03-29T19:18:43Z Community Solutions to the ‘Retail Apocalypse’ Santa Barbara retailers currently face a perfect storm due to recent local natural disasters that have added to the impact of e-commerce, national trends, neighborhood vacancies, Byzantine local regulations, and the high cost of doing business in Santa Barbara. The World Business Academy’s Global Citizens Club convened a panel […]

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Community Solutions to the ‘Retail Apocalypse’

Santa Barbara retailers currently face a perfect storm due to recent local natural disasters that have added to the impact of e-commerce, national trends, neighborhood vacancies, Byzantine local regulations, and the high cost of doing business in Santa Barbara. The World Business Academy’s Global Citizens Club convened a panel of local thought leaders and retail representatives to discuss the current state of State Street and how we can champion more innovative solutions to improve our local economy. In this video you will hear how the community can come together to nurture locally owned retailers, make Downtown Santa Barbara a desirable destination for all, boost pedestrian traffic, and improve the local economy by revitalizing the local retail sector.

Unfamiliar with the term Retail Apocalypse and the current state of national retail? Check out the latest news on this pressing issue.

Can’t watch the whole meeting all at once? We’ve split it up by speaker into a Youtube Playlist.

Speaker Bios (In Order of Appearance)

Moderator: Rinaldo Brutoco, Founder & President, World Business Academy

Rinaldo Brutoco is the Founding President of the World Business Academy.  An economics and business expert specializing in energy policy, renewable energy, finance, innovation, and the causes of and adaptation strategies for climate change, Mr. Brutoco publishes cutting-edge articles and books that address the role and responsibility of business in relation to critical moral, environmental, and social concerns of the day. For almost thirty years, Mr. Brutoco has been an international leader in advancing the nature of responsible corporate governance, corporate accountability, transparency, and ways that corporations can fulfill their social compact by providing goods and services that the public needs and wants in appropriate and financially prudent ways.

Kate Schwab, Marketing & Communications Director, Downtown Santa Barbara

Kate Schwab moved to Santa Barbara 23 years ago, to open Borders Books & Music in Downtown Santa Barbara. She joined the Board of Downtown Santa Barbara in 1999 and has served as secretary and vice president. By the time Borders closed, Kate was the district marketing manager, handling marketing and events for 11 stores from San Luis Obispo to Simi Valley. In 2009, Kate joined the Metropolitan Transit District as the Assistant Marketing Manager. In June of 2013, Kate began her Dream Job with Downtown Santa Barbara. There, she serves as Marketing & Communications Director, and is currently having the time of her life. She even lives downtown, and finds herself shopping, dining, wine tasting and enjoying movies and other fun stuff in the best place to live in the entire world. She is, in short, a big fan of both Downtown Santa Barbara specifically and Santa Barbara South Coast in general. Go ahead – ask her.

Hal Conklin, President, USA Green Communities

Mr. Conklin has been one of California’s leading advocates for effective community government, serving in multiple leadership roles including Mayor and City Council Member of the City of Santa Barbara, President of the California League of Cities in Sacramento, and Vice President of the National League of Cities in Washington DC. He spearheaded the development of Santa Barbara’s “Cultural District,” including the restoration of the Stearns Wharf and Granada Theater, a “downtown retail restoration plan” that included Paseo Nuevo, a nightclub district on lower State Street, and the waterfront revitalization. Mr. Conklin served for 10 years as the Co-Director of the Community Environmental Council, in which he pioneered the city’s model, multi-dimensional recycling programs. Mr. Conklin also served for 17 years as the Director of Public Affairs for Southern California Edison, where he led a team with a strong focus on expanding renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicle infrastructure build-out in local communities, and smart grid technology. In 2012 he retired from SCE and became the President of USA Green Communities, setting standards for sustainable environmental practices for local governments throughout the US.

Angel Martinez, Former CEO, Deckers Outdoor Corporation

In 1980, Angel was a founding employee of Reebok International where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer upon his retirement in 2001. Angel was a founder, CEO and Co-Chairman of Keen Footwear, LLC from 2002-2005 and also a founding board member of Ariat. Angel joined Deckers Outdoor Corporation on April 11, 2005 as CEO and President and was named Chairman of the Board on May 28, 2008. Angel is a founding member of the Board of Advisors for the Reebok Human Rights Awards and was the executive producer of the “Human Rights Now!” tour in 1988, with Amnesty International and Bill Graham. He serves on the board of Tupperware, a Fortune 500 company, as well as Korn Ferry. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival board, and is on the Board of Governors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Angel was honored a second time as the 2008 “Person Of The Year” by Footwear News and was honored with the Footwear Industry Icon Award in 2011. A native of Cuba, Angel immigrated to the United States in 1958. He is a graduate of the University of California at Davis, where he was an All-American in cross country and track. Angel and his wife, Frankie, have four children and now live in Santa Barbara, California.

Amy Cooper, Owner of Plum Goods Store

Amy Cooper is the founder and owner of Plum Goods — a gift, home, clothing, jewelry store and art gallery featuring ethically made merchandise. She began her career in San Francisco working in political campaigns, public relations and corporate communications for companies such as Charles Schwab. After moving to Santa Barbara in 1996, Amy continued in brand management and marketing for companies locally and nationwide, most recently as Brand Manager for Toad & Co. In 2010 she launched Plum Goods, a six-time winner of Best Gift store in SB. In December 2016 she expanded the store from 2,000 to 4,000 square feet to feature sustainable clothing, shoes, fine jewelry and accessories for men and women. In 2017 she won Santa Barbara’s Business Champion of the Year award for her efforts on behalf of local retail. She is a board member of Downtown Santa Barbara and serves as head of the Retail Committee. She lives in Santa Barbara with her daughter.

Ken Oplinger, President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Santa Barbara Region

President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Santa Barbara Region since May 2013.  Previously ran the Chambers in Bellingham, WA, Visalia, CA and was the lobbyist for the Chamber in Fremont, CA.  Graduate of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, (BA in Political Science and Spanish).  Graduate of the Institute for Organizational Management at UCLA.  Past Chairman of the Board of WACE, served on the Planning Commission of the City of Visalia (CA) for three years, the Planning Commission for the City of Blaine, Washington for six years, three as the chair, and served on the Blaine City Council until returning to California.  Past winner of the Russell E. Pettit “Excellence in Leadership Award” and the WACE Executive of the Year Award.

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Angeline <![CDATA[Academy Featured in Local Magazine VOICE]]> https://worldbusiness.org/?p=11235 2018-03-28T19:19:44Z 2018-03-28T19:19:44Z Thinking Globally, Acting Locally If you missed the Friday, March 9 issue of the local Santa Barbara’s VOICE Magazine (AKA CASA Magazine), please check it out! We are thrilled to share that our very own Rinaldo Brutoco is on the cover of the weekly issue, which features a well-written and comprehensive article about The Academy, […]

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Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

If you missed the Friday, March 9 issue of the local Santa Barbara’s VOICE Magazine (AKA CASA Magazine), please check it out!

We are thrilled to share that our very own Rinaldo Brutoco is on the cover of the weekly issue, which features a well-written and comprehensive article about The Academy, titled, “The World Business Academy: Taking Responsibility for the Whole.”

We’re grateful to the Voice magazine and its staff for recognizing The Academy, Rinaldo, and the work we continue to do on behalf of the community. It is our hope that the article inspires the local community to embrace and embody the Academy’s mantra and purpose – to think globally and act locally.

The article featured an interview with Rinaldo in which he discussed our work and goals: to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant; to replace nuclear and fossil fuels with locally produced, sustainable energy sources; to promote and establish the Santa Barbara Microgrid; to establish 100% renewable energy in California (The Clean Energy Moonshot); and to emphasize sustainability and resiliency in the rebuilding of Montecito.

Climate change is happening in our backyard, and it is here to stay unless we commit ourselves to challenging the status quo through individual and collective actions. We at the Academy will work to remain at the forefront of the conversation on how Santa Barbara and the TriCounty region can make substantive, environmentally positive changes that can improve our community’s energy resiliency. We will continue to engage local business leaders, elected officials, concerned citizens and stakeholders in discussing the ways we can improve our community and bring energy security to the Santa Barbara area.

Keep up to date with our latest developments on:

SBR3 and Community Microgrids

Closing Diablo Diablo Canyon

 

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Angeline <![CDATA[Video – Rebuilding Montecito: Pathways to Resiliency]]> https://worldbusiness.org/?p=11196 2018-04-05T22:28:23Z 2018-03-06T17:54:39Z Global Citizens Club Meeting Explores Rebuilding After Disaster The Academy’s February 20th meeting Rebuilding Montecito: Pathways to a Resilient Future explored resiliency on a personal, community, and countywide level as we addressed the rebuilding of a community deeply affected by climate change. Following the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslides, we need to pursue solutions for a more resilient electrical […]

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Global Citizens Club Meeting Explores Rebuilding After Disaster

The Academy’s February 20th meeting Rebuilding Montecito: Pathways to a Resilient Future explored resiliency on a personal, community, and countywide level as we addressed the rebuilding of a community deeply affected by climate change. Following the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslides, we need to pursue solutions for a more resilient electrical grid and infrastructure that can withstand the ever-increasing instability of our climate. 

Want to read more? Check out our summary of the meeting here.

Can’t watch it all at once? Check out our meeting segments on the Academy Youtube page.

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Angeline <![CDATA[Rebuilding Montecito Community Meeting]]> https://worldbusiness.org/?p=11173 2018-04-05T22:51:20Z 2018-03-01T00:39:45Z Global Citizens Club Meeting Explores Grid Resiliency in Montecito The Academy’s February 20th Global Citizens Club meeting Rebuilding Montecito: Pathways to a Resilient Future explored resiliency on a personal, community, and countywide level as we addressed the rebuilding of a community deeply affected by climate change. Following the Thomas Fire and Montecito landslides, we need to pursue solutions […]

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Global Citizens Club Meeting Explores Grid Resiliency in Montecito

The Academy’s February 20th Global Citizens Club meeting Rebuilding Montecito: Pathways to a Resilient Future explored resiliency on a personal, community, and countywide level as we addressed the rebuilding of a community deeply affected by climate change. Following the Thomas Fire and Montecito landslides, we need to pursue solutions for a more resilient electrical grid and infrastructure that can withstand the ever-increasing instability of our climate.

Each member of the panel, moderated by World Business Academy founder Rinaldo S. Brutoco, touched on a unique subset of resiliency. Speakers and panelists included First District County Supervisor Das Williams, Jina Carvalho of the Glendon Association & Santa Barbara Response Network, Charles Newman of the Montecito Planning Commission, Jennifer Cregar of the County Division of Energy & Sustainability Initiatives, and Craig Lewis of the Clean Coalition. The meeting, while addressing the aftermath of an awful tragedy, had a positive energy that inspired all attendees to think critically about what we must do moving forward, and how we can rebuild our communities in a strategic, innovative way. We here at the Academy firmly believe that a community microgrid is an essential component of a more reliable, resilient, and renewable Santa Barbara.

The World Business Academy and the Clean Coalition have partnered to create a community microgrid for Montecito that would establish areas of energy stability within the town in the event of another natural disaster. Craig Lewis presented on this joint project and explained how a microgrid could withstand potential grid disruptions during disasters like the Thomas Fire and Montecito landslides, while presenting maps of Montecito’s potential solar sites that have been developed in collaboration with the Academy’s Director of Research, Robert Perry. According to Lewis, establishing a Montecito microgrid would cost after federal rebates and tax credits as little as $3 million. In addition to the proposed Montecito community microgrid, the Academy has been working actively with other regional allies on a community microgrid alternative to the proposed Puente natural gas peaker plant (which was rejected in October by the California Energy Commission).

The Academy has been pursuing clean energy and the establishment of community microgrids with its SBR3 program over the past four years. We believe that community microgrids, based on renewable energy resources and investments in hydrogen storage, are the key to the Clean Energy Moonshot- a 100% renewable California in 10 years or less at no additional cost to the ratepayers. In conjunction with the Clean Coalition and other community allies, the World Business Academy sees this tragedy as an opportunity for a resilient renewal of our local energy system, and encourages Montecito to become a leader in local renewable energy generation.

You can watch a recording of the meeting here.

 

Additional Resources:

To learn more about the SBR3 Program and the Clean Energy Moonshot click below:

https://safeenergyproject.org/santa-barbara-microgrid/

https://worldbusiness.org/california-clean-energy-moonshot/

Catch up with the Academy’s latest blogs:

Climate Change in Our Backyard

Academy Continues Effort to Close Diablo, Protect CEQA

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