December 2009 Recap – Lunney’s in the news
December 31, 2009 – EXETER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Provident Bank secures financing for EHS solar array
The installation of New Hampshire’s first micro-turbine and what will be the state’s largest solar array at Exeter High School has surely tried and tested engineers, electricians and school personnel. But there is one group of unsung people that has worked as tirelessly and thought outside the box to make the unconventional energy project a reality — bankers.
"It’s a fairly non-traditional loan because of the structure of the relationship between the school and Revolution Energy (the company that is spearheading the project)," said Allison Field, regional vice president of commercial lending at Provident Bank in Exeter.
Field helped Revolution Energy and SAU 16 through the loan process and financial aspects of the project, and was even on-hand to see some of the first panels go up on Dec. 11.
"Allison is great as well; very friendly and personable," said Mike Behrman, one of the principals of Revolution Energy. "Provident Bank has been fantastic and, in our opinion, is at the forefront of understanding where the sustainable market is going."
Typically, loans are back by collateral, such as a building or equipment that a company is in possession of. In this case, the equipment will be sitting on top of the Exeter High School, but owned by Revolution Energy until the end of the contract, at which time the panels will be transferred to the school.
"It definitely required us to think creatively and really evaluate how this would benefit the school, the community and the company," said Field. But she described the project as "a clear win-win situation," which made the bank redouble its efforts to make the loan work.
The first year of the contract the school will be paying Revolution Energy $150,998 for its services, which will include installing and maintaining the solar panels, micro-turbine and natural gas boilers, as well as providing all of the energy that comes from them. The price of the contract will fluctuate over the 10-year span, but never by more than a few hundred dollars, according to SAU 16 Chief Financial Officer Nathan Lunney.
For the $150,998 price tag, the school will be getting an anticipated $170,000 worth of energy and, according to Lunney, that number will go up the second year. In fact, if the price of electricity continues to climb, the school may get roughly the same amount of energy every year, but it will be worth more.
"If 10 years from now electricity costs are double what they are now, we’ll be saving twice as much," said Lunney, "and in year 11 it will be absolute savings," because the panels will be owned outright by the school.
Until then, the contract has language built in that will allow the payments to fluctuate slightly unless the school does not achieve the savings it is anticipating, in which case the school will pay less. "We can’t lose in this," said Lunney. "If for some reason we were only to save $130,000, we only pay $130,000."
Lunney was the man who made the energy project in SAU 16 happen, and he said it’s just beginning. Next he has his sights fixed on changing out the lighting ballasts in some of the older schools in the district, which may be less flashy than solar panels, but can save significant amounts of energy. "We did it at Stratham (Memorial School) four years ago, and it took a $90,000 annual (electricity bill) and turned it into a $75,000 bill," he said, "and I would like to talk to the School Board in the spring about a solar project or micro-turbine at (the Cooperative Middle School)."
For now, though, he is thinking smaller and is discussing with Revolution Energy the possibility of assisting a student group with installing a solar panel on the new sign at the entrance to Exeter High School. "What better way to show how we do things here than to have a solar panel right at the entrance?" he said.
And with future projects, Field said Provident Bank will be there. "We’re very involved in the communities we serve, so being able to do a loan like this really pleased us," said Field. "We’re tremendously proud of this loan because of the absolute benefits to the community, the schools and the environment …; and we have a lot of faith in these guys."
By Lucian A. McCarty
December 31, 2009 – TACOMA, WASHINGTON
The News Tribune’s Adventurers of 2009
Our Adventurers of the Year for 2009 stood out for their individual achievements or for their efforts to rally others around a cause or mission. Some are like Phil Anderson had to lead the state Department of Fish and Wildlife through a huge budget cut and significant layoffs. Elizabeth Lunney is being recognized for the decade in which she led the Washington Trails Association. Rosendo Guerrero is an honoree when he heeded the call to help clean the litter-strewn banks of the Puyallup River. Then there are those who again tested their mettle on snow- and ice-covered mountains:
Who: Executive director of the Washington Trails Association, a trails advocacy group.
This year: She announced earlier in 2009 plans to step down, after leading the group since 1998. “It’s exclusively a personal decision. Leading WTA has been a great experience,” Lunney said. “But I have a 2-year-old son motivating me to rechannel my life’s priorities.”
What they did: Among the WTA’s accomplishments while Lunney was the helm include doubling membership to 8,000 people; doubling the number of hours volunteered for trail maintenance projects, valued at more than $1 million a year; and establishing a youth program that has introduced 500 young volunteers a year to hiking and trail maintenance.
Looking back at her time with the group, Lunney said, “I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with people like (trail advocate) Ira Spring and Greg Ball (who started the group’s volunteer trail maintenance program). It’s a little sad that people coming into the organization today don’t have the opportunity to get to know those two.” She also said she was pleased to see the group grow while staying true to its volunteer roots.
But there is work that remains undone, such as working to get the State Legislature to fully fund the Department of Natural Resources’ recreation program.
Lunney said she will most remember seeing volunteers working on trails, seeing people out hiking.
“Being able to live and breathe that for 10 years has been fabulous.”
What’s next: Lunney will continue to work with the WTA until a new director is hired, something she does not expect to happen until January or February. But even after the transition, Lunney said she plans to don her hard hat and help out on trail projects.
By Jeffrey P. Mayor
The News Tribune
December 25, 2009 – REDDING, CALIFORNIA
Gibbins and Lunney makes all-region JC football list
Shasta College linebacker Zach Gibbins and College of the Siskiyous running back Patrick Lunney have been named to the All-California Region I team by the California Community College Football Coaches Association.
It is the second straight year that Gibbins, a sophomore from Anderson High School, has earned an all-region selection. Lunney is a sophomore from Mount Shasta High School and this is his first all-region honor. The teams were announced on Wednesday.
Gibbins led the Knights in 2009 with 112 tackles, almost twice as many as anyone else, and 13.5 tackles for losses. He tied for the state lead in total tackles with Ryan Carleton of San Joaquin Delta. Gibbins also had four sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery for Shasta. Gibbins tied for the state lead in total tackles.
Lunney, who holds the Northern Section career rushing record, finished second in the state with 1,549 rushing yards and also scored 12 touchdowns.
The Redding Searchlight
December 22, 2009 – PAKENHAM, ONTARIO
Pakenham postmistress gets her job back – but for how long?
Within the span of five days, Pakenham postmistress Jeanne Barr has lost and then regained her position at the front counter with Canada Post.
But the question remains – how long she will keep her job this time?
Mississippi Mills Mayor Al Lunney who rallied on Barr’s behalf since her initial job loss in early December said he is taking a cynical approach.
“This is an absolute joke, a disaster,” he said. “I don’t trust them farther than I can throw them. I think this will come up in January again.”
Barr’s job loss and rehiring timeline is complicated. In early December the English-speaking Pakenham resident learned she was being replaced with a bilingual worker. This was followed by a public outcry from residents and she was given her job back.
But on Dec. 18, her managers said she could no longer serve customers because she is not bilingual and she was left to choose between two options. She could serve as a floater filling in for sick leave and holidays at post outlets within a 50-kilometre radius or take up a mail delivery route in Kinburn where she would work about 20 hours a week. Either option was a steep pay cut from her full-time job in Pakenham.
“I would be taking these positions at a big pay cut and I would lose my seniority,” she said.
Barr was also worried if she took the job in Kinburn she would be taking the job of another woman.
On Tuesday, local MP Gordon O’Connor was on the case and put in phone calls to Canada Post.
Lunney said he rattled a few chains.
“Anyone who thinks we aren’t going to be watching this like hawks is crazy,” he said.
O’Connor’s phone calls seem to have been enough to get Barr her job back. When asked about Barr’s reaction, Lunney said she was cautiously excited.
“I think she’s gotten used to it and the nonsense that’s going on,” he said.
Barr’s job was on the line because Pakenham is part of the National Capital Region, making it obligatory for front counter Canada Post workers to be bilingual.
By Erin Fitzgerald
December 14, 2009 – NANAIMO-ALBERNI, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Local MPs take stands for, against the HST
Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney said it was essential to pass the Harmonized Sales Tax in order to streamline the tax system and make operating businesses easier.
In a global market, having a federal and provincial tax structure is counterproductive, he said.
Lunney joined his fellow Conservative Party members, Liberal and Bloc MPs on Tuesday in voting in favour of the legislation that will enable B.C. and Ontario to harmonize their provincial sales taxes with the federal Goods and Services Tax.
Only the NDP voted against the bill, said Lunney. It passed by a vote of 253-37. Lunney insists all Parliament did was enable the provinces to bring in their own legislation to harmonize the taxes. He added that reducing costs in the forest sector may allow companies in that industry to hire more employees and that factored in his decision.
Nanaimo-Cowichan NDP MP Jean Crowder doesn’t see business clamouring for Lunney’s level playing field.
"We’ve heard from too many business associations right across the country who oppose the HST," said Crowder. "The TD Bank, of all people, published a study in September that said this is going to be a burden on consumers."
Crowder, the federal NDP’s Aboriginal Affairs critic said the HST places an unfair burden on First Nations communities in B.C.
"Part of the problem is that First Nations are already the poorest of the poor and this will have an impact on their spending power, given their limited income, she said.
"There were no consultations with First Nations in B.C. about the HST and repeated court decisions have ruled that governments have an obligation to consult with them."
The NDP has not given up the fight to stop the HST.
"It still has to go to the Senate and I suggest British Columbians who oppose HST write letters to every senator they can. It still has to be passed by the provincial legislature, so people should call their MLAs and tell them what they think about the HST."
By Walter Cordery
The Daily News
December 11, 2009 – SENECA, SOUTH CAROLINA
Lunney Museum Closed for Major Renovations
Lunney House Museum, 211 W.S. First St., Seneca, will be closed for major renovations from Dec. 11, 2009 to May 27, 2010, at which time there will be a grand reopening. Stay tuned.
December 10, 2009 – LONDON, ENGLAND
A Spring Bouquet of Sows in Southend and Westcliff
Starring Kelly McGillis and Rolf Saxon, Frankie & Johnny in the Clair-de-Lune is set in 1960s New York. Terence McNally’s romantic comedy has also been filmed with Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer; the two leading actors for this staging directed by Michael Lunney are also well-known to film audiences.
You can see it from 25 to 29 January, 2010 – that’s a Monday to Friday run, by the way.
By Anne Morley-Priestman