Sunday, December 21, 2008

Change the Margins - ripples on...

This in from Nina Berger:
"I've attached a flyer/rfp about "Pitch the City" - a partnership between D2E and the City of Boston to encourage residents to pitch their ideas about how to make Boston a greener place. The four finalists will pitch their ideas in person to Menino and a distinguished panel of judges at D2E on Sunday, April 5. ('Change the Margins' continues to be the prime example of the type of idea the city is looking for!!)"

Flyer information below:

An exploration into sustainable living.
Help turn Beantown into Greentown. Submit your ideas!

Boston has been recognized as the 3rd greenest city in the nation.* Help us get to number one!
Ever thought of a better way to do things in Boston ... to live, work, commute, eat or heat? Under Mayor Menino’s leadership, Boston has implemented numerous sustainability initiatives, and he recognizes the importance of the insights of residents when it comes to innovative ideas. This is where Pitch the City comes in.

What’s your big idea?
Pitch the City is an open contest that seeks creative ideas to help make Boston better for people and the planet. A jury will review all proposals and choose four finalists to pitch their ideas to Mayor Menino at Down:2:Earth, Boston’s sustainable living expo on April 5th at the Hynes Convention Center.

Who can apply?
Anyone, except current City of Boston employees.

What types of ideas?
We want you to think big, but we know that sometimes the best ideas come from thinking small. We want ideas that we can implement now to help save energy, money or resources and that make Boston an even greener, healthier place to live. Don’t overlook the importance of implementation. Often the idea is the easy part, while figuring out how to implement it throughout the city is another issue. Ideas about how the City can encourage broad adoption of sustainable behaviors among citizens are welcome. We are always interested in
public awareness and outreach ideas.

Topics to consider:
• Sustainable Communities
• Food Systems and Dining
• Alternative Transportation
• Environmental Awareness
Submission Due Date: February 2, 2009

How do I submit?
STEP 1: Submit your idea online at
• One-sentence objective
• 500-word-max summary of your idea
• Your name, age, email address and phone number
Or mail your submission package to:
(must be postmarked by January 29)
Pitch the City
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201

The Pitch the City team will review initial proposals and by February 9th will contact 10 semi-finalists whose proposals have been selected to proceed in the selection process.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Boston Changed the Margins!

Here is the text of the letter we rec'd today after our exposure on wbur
Dear Ms. Dooley-

I am writing to let you know that after Mayor Menino and I received the letters from your students encouraging us to change the margins and use less paper, the City of Boston has in fact begun an effort to change default margins at city buildings. Thanks to Bill Oates, our CIO (and Watertown native) all computers at Boston City Hall were reset in early May. Together we are helping save paper, increase environmental awareness and Green Boston!

Please thank all of your students for their tireless advocacy. Their efforts are making a big difference in the City of Boston and around the world. Keep up the good work.

-Jim Hunt
James W. Hunt, III
Chief of Environmental and Energy Services
City of Boston
One City Hall Plaza, Room 603
Boston, MA 02201
(617)635-3425, f. (617)635-3496

-----Original Message-----
From: Hunt, James
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 9:26 AM
To: Oates, Bill
Subject: Change-margins


Remember that in life it's often the little things that can make a big difference. Here's a small home cooked idea from school kids (I'll send up a copy of a sample the letter) about changing default margins in Microsoft word. By changing margins from 1.25 inches to .75 we increase available space per page by nearly 20%, improve the environment and reduce paper costs and taxpayer dollars.
Let's see if we can do this.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

wbur-fm - Interview with Robin Young

Interview with Robin Young:
Here are some pictures, Turns out Robin Young knows our school and came to our Auction once. She was wonderful and her staff- Jill Ryan and Doug were kind and solicitous.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Watertown Commits to Changes Margins!

Joseph Mahoney, the IT director for the City of Watertown came to our class today to thanks us for sending a good idea and to say that he would instruct all Watertown offices and agencies to "change the margins" to save paper. This includes the schools, public works and all at City Hall. He expects this to happen in 2 or so weeks. Mr. Mahoney was clear that he would monitor how our "change the margins" measure was working and would create methods to analyze the results. Mr. Mahoney said he also would encourage more double sided printing, when replacing older machines he would buy machines that printed doubled sided and implement other methods to use less paper. He promised to report to us through the summer and even into next year, if we wanted.

Thanks to the work of all the 4th grade, Ilana and Eric in particular, we have made a real difference in our community. Special thanks to Watertown Council Member, Susan Falkoff, for being in our corner from the very beginning. Her advice and encouragement have been invaluable.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Haudenosaunee and Colonial Voices on youtube

Part 1 and Part 2 - essentially the podcast with visuals including clay figures and other student generated images.

Part 1

Part 2

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Podcast of Haudenosaunee and Colonial Voices

4th grade recording and final project can be heard here:

Once you get to storypodnewengland you will need to click on the POD icon in upper left of blog entry at that site, to hear the podcast.

Haudenosaunee and Colonial Voices
Sat, 7 June 2008