james's blog

A Splendid Time Was Had By All

We had a most beautiful gathering at the wind- & solar-powered Abundance EcoVillage S.E.E.D. Center Sunday to celebrate the wrap up of our 20-episode Dream Green radio series.
Thanks to all who came, and
to Crepe Escape's Christine Goodale for her amazing lunch spread including chestnut and butternut squash soups, spiced hot cider, bread with exquisite fixings (basil butter, humus, pesto, salad dressing) and fruit desert bars to die for, everything homemade,
to Great Taste's Steve Boss for helping with the menu,
to Rich Sims, Bob Ferguson & Brian Stains for prep and presence,
to Frank Cenatori (who'll be featured in a Bruce Springsteen tribute/KRUU benefit concert at the Sondheim Center Jan 20 & 21) and Jeffrey Hedquist (with his brand new CD) for providing beautiful song,
to Stuart Tanner for his most excellent slide & audio presentation (which we'll have up on this site soon),
to Lonnie Gamble for his moving congratulatory words in summary,
to Roland Wells for his never-ending sound support, 
to Stuart Valentine, Ken Walton & Bill Dyer for S.E.E.D. Center logistics,
to the Dream Green team: Mo Ellis, Donna Schill (thanks for filming Sunday's proceedings), Christine Schrum, Tanell Pretorius, David Hurlin, Ryan Olson, Caleb Flynn, Roland, Stuart and James,
and to all our generous sponsors, as well as the Iowa Power Fund's Office of Energy Independence.

Join Us for the Dream Green Series Wrap Up...

at the S.E.E.D. Center in Fairfield Sunday, November 20th Noon to 2pm


Organic luncheon servings include homemade bread sandwiches, soup and salad as presented by CREPE ESCAPE's Christine Goodale, and GREAT TASTE's Steve Boss & Kathy DuBois. S.E.E.D. Center is adjacent to Abundance EcoVillage. Entertainment and brief presentations celebrating solar-powered KRUU-FM's 20-part statewide energy efficiency and sustainability series, funded by the community with a matching grant from the Iowa Power Fund's Office of Energy Independence. Heartfelt thanks to the community not only for making this series happen, but for making KRUU the Midwest's first solar-powered radio station and a vital part of Fairfield's do-it-yourself connect-the-dots inner outreach.

DG20: Sustainable Conclusions

In the final segment, Dream Green series' co-hosts Stuart Tanner and James Moore sum up what they've found in their journey of discovery across the state highlighting success stories, cutting edge communities and best practices in energy efficiency. They'll talk about where Iowa is at, what they've learned, and where they see the state heading, sustainability-wise.

DG19: Wind in the Sales

A Look at MidAmerican Energy & Turbine Manufacturers Siemens and Clipper Windpower

This week “Dream Green” co-hosts Stuart Tanner and James Moore are talking about the wind in the ‘sales’ ofsome of Iowa’s key players in the wind industry. Tune in online at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 29 at www.kruufm.com. (Rebroadcast Monday, October 3 at 7 a.m. Archives of series available at www.greeniowa.org.)

Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy is number one in the nation in ownership of wind-powered electric generation among rate-regulated utilities. Around 20 percent of the company’s electric generation capacity comes from renewable resources. When a new project involving 258 new wind turbines is completed in Iowa, over a quarter of the total capacity will come from wind. The project will add around 600 megawatts to MidAmerican Energy’s generation portfolio, enough to power an additional 190,000 homes.


"There hasn't been a road we've taken across the state on this whole series where we haven't driven past big long wind turbine blades being pulled by trucks," said co-host James Moore. "When you realize MidAmerican, a utility company servicing Iowa and working with Iowan manufacturing, is projecting a 25% ratio of wind in its portfolio by 2012, you get the picture of Iowa's leading role in this area. We have a great discussion with company spokesperson Tina Pothoff."

DG18: Green Alternatives: Rich Pirog & Amana Colonies

dreamgreen  Iowans making a greener tomorrow... today.

Amana Society president John Peterson & Amana Farms manager John McGrathThursday, September 29 at 7pm

[Rebro Monday, Oct 3 at 7am]

This week co-hosts Stuart Tanner and James Moore speak with food advocate andAmana's methane digester educator Rich Pirog, who worked for 20 years at ISU's Leopold Center and this year took a position at Michigan State University, as well as Amana Society president John Peterson and Amana Farms manager John McGrath who give a walking tour of Amana Colonies' renewable methane digester.

Follow the journey across the state at www.greeniowa.org.

A Small Town Doing Big Things

dreamgreen  Iowans making a greener tomorrow... today.

Thursday, September 22 at 7pm [Rebro Monday, Sept 26 at 7am]

Join co-hosts Stuart Tanner and James Moore as they shine the Dream Green spotlight on Fairfield, Iowa with a visit to Ecovillage featuring a tour of Amy Greenfield and Troy Van Beek's sustainable home, and interviews with Mayor Ed Malloy, who  was named by MSN.com to a nationwide list of 15 greenest U.S. mayors for the city's efforts on their go green initiative, and sustainability coordinator Scott Timm, who also works for the Iowa State University Extension Office.

Learn what great strides this entrepreneurial haven in the southeast corner of Iowa is making in terms of self-sufficiency and sustainability

DG16: University of Iowa's Integrated Sustainability Efforts

dreamgreen  Iowans making a greener tomorrow... today.

Liz ChristiansenThursday, September 15 at 7pm

The Dream Green focus this week is on the remarkable sustainability efforts at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Co-hosts Stuart Tanner & James Moore speak with UI's Office of Sustainability director Liz Christiansen, energy director Glen Mowrey, power plant manager Ben Fish, environmental specialist Darice Baxter and take walking tours of UI's energy control center, power plant, energy district, and student gardens.

Follow the journey of discovery across the state at greeniowa.org.

DG15: Green Policy

dreamgreen  Iowans making a greener tomorrow... today.

Thursday, September 8th at 7pm on solar-powered KRUU-FM

John Collins

This week Dream Green spotlights green policy with featured guests David Osterberg, founder and executive director of the Iowa Policy Project, and John Collins, associate chair of MUM's Sustainable Living Department.

James, David Osterberg & StuartPolicy has played, and continues to play, a critical role in the growth of the green sector. Learn how Iowa became the first state in the U.S. to pass legislation promoting the use of renewable resources and about other alternatives that have worked elsewhere.

Former Iowa state representative David Osterberg was chairman of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee as well as the Agriculture Committee. In 1983 he was instrumental in getting the first green legislation passed in the country under then governor Terry Branstad. He ran as the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 1998 and worked for one year as a consultant to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Osterberg holds an M.S. in water resources management and another in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa. [Read more below.]

Dr. Elaine Ingham & Francis Thicke

dreamgreen  Iowans making a greener tomorrow... today.

Dr. Elaine InghamThursday, September 1st at 7pm [rebroadcast Mon, Sept 5 at 7am on solar-powered KRUU-FM], the Dream Green series interviews microbiologist Elaine Ingham, founder of Soil Foodweb Inc. Recognized around the world as a leader in soil microbiology, Ingham is a key author of the USDA's Soil Biology Primer. In 2011, Ingham was named as The Rodale James with Francis Thicke at Radiance Dairy FarmInstitute's chief scientist. She also teaches courses at Maharishi University of Management.

Also featured is Francis Thicke, owner of Radiance Dairy Farm, an 80-cow, grass-fed organic dairy farm located in Fairfield with a number of sustainable components. After earning a PhD in soil biology, Thicke worked at the USDA in Washington, D.C., serving as the National Program Leader for Soil Science for the USDA-Extension Service. He and wife Susan returned to full-time farming in 1992. Thicke ran unsuccessfully for the position of Secretary of Agriculture for Iowa in 2010 as a member of the Democratic Party.

River Renaissance: Davenport's Green Shoots

Thursday, August 18 at 7pm [Rebro Mon 7am]

Founded in 1836, Davenport is the largest of the Quad Cities. With a population of almost 100,000, it is Iowa's third largest city. In 2007, Davenport, along with neighboring Rock Island, won the City Livability Award in the small-city category from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The Dream Green series visits with Mayor Bill Brian Ritter of Nahant Marsh with JamesGluba at his office and takes walking tours of the new 96,000 square foot LEED-certified police department, the wastewater facility which is saving the city $800,000 to a million dollars a year by trapping its own methane gas, award-winning compost facility and even a nature preserve called Nahant Marsh, one of the last remaining urban wetlands on the Upper Mississippi River.

A BECON of hope this week

James with BECON Ex. Dir. Norm OlsonThis week on Thursday, August 11th at 7pm on solar-powered www.KRUUfm.com, the "Dream Green" series visits the Biomass Energy Conversion Facility in Nevada, Iowa to speak with its executive director Norm Olson, PE. He takes co-hosts Stuart Tanner and James Moore on a walking tour of the BECON facility which serves as a bridge for bringing applied technologies from research to the marketplace. Mr. Olson has been a project manager for the Iowa Energy Center since 1992. He developed the concept and led the implementation of the Energy Center’s two research facilities: the Energy Resource Station in Ankeny, Iowa and the BECON Facility in Nevada, Iowa. Mr. Olson also coordinates the Energy Center’s biomass to chemicals and energy portfolio of projects. Prior to joining the Energy Center, Mr. Olson was the energy engineering manager at the University of Iowa. Mr. Olson is a registered professional engineer.

Also on the docket is a walking tour with Iowa State University Extension water resources engineer Matt Helmers, who take Tanner and Moore to a prairie research field outside of Boone, Iowa for a discussion on switch grass, prairie grass, crop rotation, soil erosion and much more. An assistant professor in the ISU Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Helmers ia an Iowa native from Sibley where his family still farms. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research focus is on water quality and hydrologic effects of agricultural best management practices, including strategic placement and design of buffer systems and methods to improve water quality in tile drained landscapes. His extension focus is on education of producers and other stakeholders on the impacts of agricultural practices on water quality and methods to minimize these impacts. 

Just a quickie...

I just spoke with someone who heard our latest program on Lonnie Gamble and the MUM Sustainable Living Center. He said, "I loved the show and what you're doing. It made me want to make my whole house green."


Home is Where the Heartland Is

Nynke, Travis Cox & Jim at MUM Sustainable Living CenterTHURSDAY, AUGUST 4th at 7pm [Rebro Mon Aug 8th at 7am]

This week Stuart and I speak with Prof. Lonnie Gamble about a wide range of sustainability issues and take a walking tour of Maharishi University of Management's new Sustainable Living Center in our hometown of Fairfield, Iowa.



We also speak with Sustainable Living Dept faculty speak with Sustainable Living Dept faculty member Travis Cox and check in with two MUM sustainability students, Minca Borg and Jim Schleppenbach.

I call Prof. Gamble Lonnie Appleseed because he seems to plant seeds of possibility in every mind he touches and everywhere he goes. Join us for a lively discussion of all things green on Thursday, August 4th at 7pm CST on solar-powered www.kruufm.com.

PowerFilm, Inc & Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities

Next up, airing Thursday, July 28th on solar-powered KRUU-FM at 7pm, Stuart and I travel to Ames to check out a solar manufacturing company named PowerFilm, Inc., for a chat with co-founder and CEO  Frank Jeffrey and president and COO Tim Neugent. This innovative company has been going since 1988, employs 100 people, recently hiring 10 new employees. They work closely with partner businesses, provide thin solar film for military applications like solar tents--even solar hats for night time reading!! Their latest venture is developing a flexible computer screen with Hewlett-Packard. We also take a walking tour of their facilities and learn about the intricate, complex manufacturing system involved in producing thin solar film.

We also meet with Bob Haug, director of the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, at their LEED-certified headquarters near Ankeny. IAMU represents more than 550 municipal electric, gas, water and telecommunication utilities statewide, and maintains a marketing relationship with more than 185 associate member businesses. Organized in 1947, the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities today is the largest organization of its kind in the country.

Spotlight on Dubuque

"Dream Green" Dubuque TripDubuque is Iowa's oldest city. But it is one of the state's brightest examples of what's possible when city planning is inspired by active citizen and business participation, and guided by visionary leadership. The day we were there, the local newspaper headlines read: "City on its way to reducing greenhouse gases by 50%." Later that day, we learned that Dubuque was receiving the Governor's 2011 Environmental Excellence Award. Learn what Dubuque is doing right with its balanced and inclusive approach from Mayor Roy Buol and sustainability coordinator Cori Burbach. Thu Jul 21 at 7pm CST; Rebro Mon Jul 25 at 7am www.kruufm.com www.greeniowa.org

Sustainable Agriculture Featured

On Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m., the Dream Green series will air interviews with some of Iowa’s “greenest” agricultural advocatesJames with Malcolm Robertson. Tune in online at www.kruufm.com as show hosts Stuart Tanner and James Moore talk sustainability with Fred Kirschenmann, former Director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and take a walking tour of the Hort Farm with Malcolm Robertson, Leopold Center staff. 

“If we want to be sustainable and energy efficient in Iowa then clearly what happens in the agricultural sector is crucial,” says “Dream Green” co-host Stuart Tanner. “The Leopold Center for sustainable agriculture is the place to go to find out what is happening and what needs to be done. In this week’s broadcast, Fred Kirschenmann addresses the toughest questions on the issue of sustainability and agriculture. He has thought deeply about these issues for decades and has a practical knowledge based on running a 2,600-acre organic farm himself.”