Sunday, April 21, 2013


Running on Amberley Green
When I was campaigning for council, I was derided a couple of times for my green signs. Although the signs, in my mind, depicted how I felt about Amberley -- green, rolling hills -- they were seen as being an indicator of another kind of "green." The green of someone who cares about the environment. Did this interpretation of  a one dimensional yard sign hurt my feelings? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I welcomed it, and if I happened to lose those two votes (I did), I hope that the passage of time has proven that green is a sign of foresight and progressiveness when it comes to economic development and the future of Amberley and Cincinnati.

Recently, Amberley Village Council voted in favor of an agreement that would give The Walnut Group the exclusive right to conduct a due diligence investigation into the feasiblity of developing Amberley Green consistent with Amberley's Long Range Plan. The agreement, Resolution 2013-09, requires that The Walnut Group develop detailed site plans, including street and utility diagrams, street layouts, specific designs, as well as possible tenants, timing, and economics. Because the concept plan of The Walnut Group is consistent with Amberley's published Long Range Plan, it includes strong references to Amberley's Vision Pillars that require sustainable and ecological practices as well as connectivity.

Which brings me back to "green." According to this morning's Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati is ten years ahead of other municipalities in terms of sustainablility. Last week, I wrote about our recycling program. We have been gardening at Amberley Green for a year. Tomorrow at 6:00PM, Amberley is celebrating nine years of being a Tree City, USA community. Next month, on May 19th, we will be hosting "One Stop Drop," a large-scale recycling event at Amberley Green where residents can bring documents for shredding, small electric appliances for recycling, and any kind of shoe to give to foundations that will reuse them.

A strong componant of building a greener community is the ability of residents to commute within the area without the use of cars. Cycle trails, sidewalks, and walking paths make a community more friendly and, from an economic standpoint, a more desirable area in which to buy a house and raise a family. The Walnut Group's concept plan includes a town square, Univeral Design housing, a corporate tenant, plenty of green space and walking paths. It is up to us, the citizens of Amberley Village, to insist on a safe means to connect to Amberley Green, French Park, and our other myriad amenities, without needing to resort to our cars.

If you haven't yet connected with your neighbors on Amberley Village Nextdoor, please accept my invitation to do so now. Stay informed! CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fill Up That Bin!

Ok, so you've got your new 65 gallon recycle bin. Have you filled it up yet? I mean, have you really filled it up? Are you maximizing the recycle potential of your trash?

The most recent issue of Hamilton County Solid Waste & Recycling's newsletter "WasteLine" has Amberley Village falling out of the top 10 municipalities for recycling. The truth is, our recycling rate stayed almost the same, but our solid waste output increased.

As I drive around Amberley on Friday's, I notice a lot of recyclable items stacked at the curb alongside the bins. Cardboard boxes, for example, are recyclable if you break them down and put them in the new, larger bin. In my household, I've become a super recycler -- empty toilet paper, paper towel, or gift wrap tubes go into the bin. Empty tissue boxes also go into the bin. In fact, I've been guilty of pulling recyclable items out of the trash and putting them where they belong -- in the recycle bin. If you're not sure what can be recycled, clicke HERE for a list.

 Now I'll get off my (recyclable, cardboard) soapbox and talk about something else. Trash in the streets. This usually occurs just after trash day, but I have a favor to ask. We all need to take care of our community. If you see that something from your garbage has blown out of the can, or for some reason not made it into the truck, please pick it up and dispose of it. If you see someone has thrown a beer can into your yard over the night, please pick it up and recycle it. I always ask myself, if I don't pick it up, who will?  All of us working collectively can resolve this issue and go far to keeping Amberley the beautiful community that we love.