Tag Archives: unitarian

A Syrian refugee camp got solar power for the first time.

Steph Speirs thinks about solar the way one might think about a community garden. Why go through the trouble of planting panels on your roof when you could instead plug into a shared neighborhood resource? Through her company, called Solstice, Speirs and cofounder Steve Moilanen roll out community solar gardens that allow people who don’t own their properties — or who don’t have the means or interest in installing a home setup — to tap into a local solar project and save a few bucks on electricity.

Solstice identifies locations for new community projects, works with local developers to arrange financing and installation, and ensures subscribers see credits on their electricity bills. Speirs’ company has earned seed funding from Echoing Green, a social entrepreneurship fellowship, and was recently picked for the selective Techstars startup accelerator. Solstice currently has solar gardens scattered around Massachusetts and intends to expand nationwide.

Community solar isn’t a new idea, but Speirs and her team are working hard to make it more accessible. Example: In 2015, the First Parish Unitarian Church in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, couldn’t install panels on its roof because of its status as a historic building. Last year, the church leadership became aware of Solstice and its existing community solar program in Bridgewater. The congregation voted to plug into the project, thus saving 10 percent on its electricity bill and putting its sustainable values into practice. Better yet, individual parishioners followed the church’s lead and signed up, too. “We’re proud that these are typical stories at Solstice,” Speirs says.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

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A Syrian refugee camp got solar power for the first time.

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Scott Pruitt is now offering lessons in the art of the burn.

Steph Speirs thinks about solar the way one might think about a community garden. Why go through the trouble of planting panels on your roof when you could instead plug into a shared neighborhood resource? Through her company, called Solstice, Speirs and cofounder Steve Moilanen roll out community solar gardens that allow people who don’t own their properties — or who don’t have the means or interest in installing a home setup — to tap into a local solar project and save a few bucks on electricity.

Solstice identifies locations for new community projects, works with local developers to arrange financing and installation, and ensures subscribers see credits on their electricity bills. Speirs’ company has earned seed funding from Echoing Green, a social entrepreneurship fellowship, and was recently picked for the selective Techstars startup accelerator. Solstice currently has solar gardens scattered around Massachusetts and intends to expand nationwide.

Community solar isn’t a new idea, but Speirs and her team are working hard to make it more accessible. Example: In 2015, the First Parish Unitarian Church in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, couldn’t install panels on its roof because of its status as a historic building. Last year, the church leadership became aware of Solstice and its existing community solar program in Bridgewater. The congregation voted to plug into the project, thus saving 10 percent on its electricity bill and putting its sustainable values into practice. Better yet, individual parishioners followed the church’s lead and signed up, too. “We’re proud that these are typical stories at Solstice,” Speirs says.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

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Scott Pruitt is now offering lessons in the art of the burn.

Posted in alo, Anchor, Crown, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, Northeastern, ONA, Ringer, solar, solar power, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tim DeChristopher banned from dangerous acts of ‘social justice’

Tim DeChristopher banned from dangerous acts of ‘social justice’

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher, who was locked up for 15 months for disrupting an auction of oil and gas leases on public land, is now out of prison and trying to put his life back together. As part of that effort, DeChristopher secured a job at a First Unitarian Church — that is, until the Federal Bureau of Prisons stepped in.

Cliff LyonTim DeChristopher.

DeChristopher wasn’t seeking a job in oil leasing or even environmental activism — fields related to his “crime.” But the feds, in their infinite wisdom, put their feet down. “You know what, we’ve been too easy on these hippies and their subversive jobs at churches.”

From the Deseret News:

DeChristopher had been offered a job with the church’s social justice ministry, which would include working with cases of race discrimination, sex discrimination or other injustices that fall contrary to Unitarian beliefs.

“The Bureau of Prisons official who interviewed Tim indicated he would not be allowed to work at the Unitarian church because it involved social justice and that was what part of what his crime was,” [DeChristopher’s attorney Patrick] Shea said.

Ken Sanders, proprietor of a downtown rare books store, instead offered DeChristopher a job as a clerk. That employment has been deemed “safe,” Shea confirmed.

Oh god, but what’s in the books? Science, economics, politics? What’s in the books???

Susie Cagle writes and draws news for Grist. She also writes and draws tweets for

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Tim DeChristopher banned from dangerous acts of ‘social justice’

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