branding ypsi a solar-friendly

If you’ll recall, not too long ago I mentioned that there was a fellow here in town who had been promoting solar. Actually, that’s kind of an understatement. The fellow, whose name is Dave Strenski, has done quite a bit more than just “promote” solar. Among other things, he’s the guy who built the photovoltaic system that now powers the Ypsi Food Co-Op. Anyway, Ypsilanti councilman Brian Robb thinks that now’s the time that we, as a community, should get behind what Dave’s doing in a significant way. And, he’s proposing that we launch a new “friends” organization to lead the way. One of the names he suggests for what would essentially be a fundraising group is Ypsilanti People’s Solar Initiative (YPSI), which sounds good to me… At any rate, if you’re interested, follow that last link and hear Brian out. Personally, I don’t have an extra grand to contribute toward making City Hall solar, but I’d sure as hell help do something like plan a series of shows at local bars with the proceeds going toward such a project. I like the ring of “solar city.” [Nevermind, it’s already taken. What isn’t already taken, however is, “Most Solar Friendly City in a Relatively Sunless State.” And, I think that would look great on our official “Welcome” signs.]

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  1. brian r
    Posted March 19, 2007 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Talk about your coincidences.

    Over the weekend on my site, a loyal reader mentioned Citizenre, a Massachusetts-based company whose business model is to manufacture solar panels and then lease them to customers at the going current rate for electricity. This effectively locks in the price of energy for the next 40 years. In addition, NPR just profiled Citizenre this morning on Morning Edition. They hope to have over 100,000 custumers signed up by the end of the year. The only drawback is Citizenre has yet to build their proposed $650M factory that will produce these zero-investment solar panels.

    Perhaps I was a bit confusing when I spoke of being a friend of solar energy. My recommendation was a $100 suggested contribution and not the $1000 level you mentioned. That would be more of the SUSTAINING level rather than the FRIEND level.

    Seeing that, it makes the $100 level seem like a bargain. I look forward to receiving your check.

  2. mark
    Posted March 19, 2007 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s kind of off topic, but you mention that you have “loyal readers.” I’m just curious at to how you measure loyalty. That’s always been an issue for me. Do you have them recite oathes? Anything else? I’m thinking about having “Five Levels of Loyalty.” If I do it, the public launch will be on May Day. I’ll send you a copy of the press release.

  3. mark
    Posted March 19, 2007 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    And that Citizenre thing, if it’s legit, is seriously cool.

    As for my level of solar friendship, I guess, for now, you can put me at the “maybe we have a future together” stage. I’m not walking away, but, at the same time, I’m not ready to start writing checks. I’m somewhere in the middle, doing my research and sifting through the America’s Most Wanted database. I have a real good feeling about this one, but you never know… And, a little wining and dining might help.

  4. ol' e cross
    Posted March 19, 2007 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    As an English major, I believe in the value of symbols. (Although I trust our engineering councilmal Robb has the cost/benefit analysis worked out, I like the idea even if it’s a fiscal wash.)

    As one who likes the idea but routinely falls short of expectations, I pledge 50 bucks.

    As one who knows his own limitations and won’t promise more than an honest man can fulfill, I can only vow to be a friend-of-a-friend.

  5. mark
    Posted March 19, 2007 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Don’t act quite so fast, Ol’ E. I’ve got an investigation underway… It’s just a hunch at this point, but, as I recall, Councilman Robb moved here just about the time that Citizenre was launching an internal initiative called Operation Little Towns Are Easy Prey.

    Of course, I’m kidding. We all know that Councilman Robb came to town to exact revenge for his great great grandfather, Isaiah Robb, who was made a laughing stock in Ypsilanti’s downtown after it was pointed out, to the hilarity of all in town that fall day, that he’d been wearing his boots on the wrong feet. He left town swearing vengeance, and that is what brought the young Robb here well over a century later. (I remember that from his campaign literature.)

  6. ol' e cross
    Posted March 19, 2007 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Okay Mark. As testimony, I’ve been using your free ball shaver for than a year (a bargain, even though I’ve had to buy $69 replacement “monkey powered” batteries monthly with VG Kids stickers saying “re-engergized for smoothness”) and allowed you to digest the greater part of my ring finger.

    If this is “stage three” of loyalty, I’m ready for it. Just tell my wife and daughter I loved them.

    (Sorry Brian. I think I may need to spend my last 50 bucks on a 50/50 chance I’ll get a MonkeyPowerTrio LP.)

  7. brian r
    Posted March 20, 2007 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Here is a 63 page report titled “Citizenre Warnings & Red Flags.”

    On a more serious note, I measure loyalty much as the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club does. Those willing to complete the requiste initiation are put on what I refer to a double-secret probation. After an appropriate amount of time has passed (usually long enough to weed out those who could be loyal as compared to those who are out to destroy my empire), they are placed in a training course that was modelled on the junior executive program they run at Anderson Consulting. After this intensive 16 week course, we usually have a dinner and plaque presentation for all those involved. At this point, all involved are considered to be loyal.

    I admit it’s a work in progress, but our data shows a 94% loyalty rate.

  8. dr. teddy glass
    Posted March 21, 2007 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    It would take a hell of a lot of solar panels to change the perception of Ypsi. I think the accepted rate is 100 panels per murder.

  9. Ethel Carette
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Did you see the video:

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