EPA Award Deadline Looms

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking nominations for their 2009 Western Region Environmental Awards program.

The deadline to submit nominations is February 8. Those with residences, businesses or organizations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands are eligible.

The goal is to identify and honor those who made significant contributions toward improving the environment last year.
Click here for criteria and other information on the contest.

Two Valley residents were recognized at the 2007 awards: Dennis Washburn, then Mayor of Calabasas and presently a Calabasas City Council member; and Robina Suwol of Toluca Lake who founded California Safe Schools.

CSUN Sustainability Event

As part of a nationwide Climate Change Teach-In, California State University Northridge will be hosting an all-day event with speakers, workshops, headlined by Andy Lipkis of Tree People.

The Teach-in On Climate Change and Sustainability is open to the public.

Kickoff is at 10:45 a.m. and Lipkis will speak from 11 a.m. to noon. "I told Andy he could go on at 11 a.m. and then I realized we needed to have an introduction," said Ashwani Vasishth of the odd start time. "Plus it sticks in peoples' heads." he added with a chuckle.

Vasishth is the newly appointed director of the CSUN Sustainability Institute. He and others who have been involved in the start-up of the Institute will speak from noon to 12:30 on the CSUN Greening project. From 1:15 to 3 p.m., there will be hour-long panels covering Climate Change Science, Climate Change Policy, and Actions to Combat Climate Change Impacts.

The West Valley Occupational Center starts a new program for solar panel installers on Feb. 9.

The 100-hour program will teach participants the basics of installing photovoltaic (or PV) solar panels, said Luis A. Lopez, assistant principal of the West Valley campus. By fall, he added, "we plan on offering the advanced 300 course that leads to a state certification in solar panel installation. Eventually we plan on offering the NABEP Test here on Campus."

That test is required by contractors to be licensed in solar panel installers.

In the summer, Lopez said, WVOC will be offering a Hybrid Technology class in their automotive program. Other classes are going to be developed in that arena including hydrogen conversion kits and how to convert hybrid cars to all-electric.

For more information on the classes offered by WVOC call (818) 346-3540.