Corrections or additions?
These articles by Catherine Moscarello were prepared for the
October 11, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Solar Business: Home Tour 2000
Cassandra King’s fondest hope is that New Jersey
residents will soon clean up all the pesky smudges and soot that
around the electric switchplates in their homes and businesses. Those
who maintain that they have found the strongest cleaning solution
for that thankless task won’t even begin to measure up. King is Senior
Program Manager for the New Jersey Office of Sustainable Business
and the dirt she wants to eradicate is the kind that emanates from
non-renewable energy sources (609-633-3674, www.bgnj.org).
"It’s a common fallacy that the public believes electricity is
clean. When people flip the light switch or push the button that
their morning coffee, they don’t think about the big smokestack
pollution out of a power plant. They just don’t make that
In an effort to underline that link in the minds of builders,
and anyone considering building a new home or business, King’s office
will join forces with Fully Integrated Residential Solar Technology
Inc. (FIRST Inc.) in conducting a tour of solar energy businesses
and solar-powered homes on Saturday, October 14, from 10:30 a.m. to
4 p.m. (For directions, information and to register, call
Promising fun, information, and, believe it or not, a free lunch,
the tour itself is free and starts out from WorldWater Corporation
at Pennington Business Park.
Tour-goers will begin with a look at WorldWater, a company that
remote solar electric systems internationally (www.worldwater.com).
Following that, a behind-the-scenes visit to Energy Photovoltaics
Inc. (EPV) gives insight on the research company on Bakers Basin Road
that develops thin film photovoltaic technologies (solar electric
Skeptics who doubt the value of renewable energy should prepare
for a conversion experience at the next stop. Lyle Rawlings,
founder and president of FIRST Inc., will conduct a tour of his
off-grid home built in 1991. Rawlings’ home does not have a hookup
into any commercially produced electric power (U.S. 1, March 16,
Anyone unable to join the early part of the tour is welcome to begin
with lunch in Rawlings’ Hopewell residence at 12:30 p.m. and continue
with the three remaining passive solar designed homes of Bill
and Laura Sanders in East Amwell; Alice Celebre
and Cynthia and Mark Miller in Solebury, Pennsylvania. All the
stops on the tour were selected not only for their close proximity
but also for their emphasis on the power of one to reverse the
current reliance on foreign oil.
While fuel prices climb steadily and predictions for over-the-top
home heating bills looming during the approaching winter, is there
anything individual homeowners can do at this stage to make a
"Yes," says King, referring to the new program that allows
consumers to shop among competing sources for their electrical energy.
"Every customer who selects `green power’ makes more of a market
for 100 percent renewable energy."
Present day rules for choice do make "green electricity" a
hard market to break into but King says, "For me, it was so
Switching to renewable energy is a way for me to choose a better
for my child. Using solar energy frees us from dependence on foreign
oil. Our economy is strongly connected to our energy uses and that
places us and our national security at risk. Besides, there are huge
environmental benefits. Consumers switching from fossil fuels could
eliminate one-third of New Jersey’s air pollution."
After graduating from Rutgers University in 1991 with a BA in history,
King worked as a marketing specialist for Emmanuel College in Boston.
She returned to Rutgers for a year and a half of course work in
and environmental science providing a strong background for her work
as a consultant for GPU Energy in its process of obtaining permits
and designing pollution control equipment. She gained experience with
national energy efficiency and sustainable construction issues at
the Washington, DC-based Building Codes Assistance Project. That,
along with her involvement as a consultant for various real estate
investment and management projects, laid the groundwork for her
position working with New Jersey companies to institute sustainable
initiatives and developing policy relating to clean energy, clean
transportation and sustainable building.
Retrofitting an older structure for passive solar collection is
of course, but King agrees that incorporating solar power into the
design of a new home is the best way to go. "When you build a
home that takes advantage of all the possibilities for solar energy,
you are paying, in effect, for all of your electricity usage for the
next 30 years. It is a large investment up front. It’s a commitment.
The good news is that we’re finding that there is an increase in the
global use of solar power. As the technology improves and becomes
even more efficient there is an exponential decrease in the cost of
providing that energy."
— Catherine Moscarello
Advice columnist "Dear Abby" often counsels
readers who are looking for suitable life companions to venture out
of the usual bar scene with its predictable inhabitants and to break
into new territories where people with varying interests are more
likely to congregate. It boils down to lifting your sights from the
same old area where you will find the same sort of public. In the
courting ritual between employer and employee, especially in the
tight labor market, companies would do well to follow Dear Abby’s
"Finding and Keeping Good Workers: Nontraditional sources of
investigates some tried and true methods employers might try along
with some not-so-obvious but also true ways of searching out the right
employees for the right openings. Jeff Stoller, vice president
for human resource issues at the New Jersey Business & Industry
will highlight some areas that have been there all along but before
now just have not been targeted in the search for workers. The
sponsored by the Human Resources Management Association, is Monday,
October 16, at 5:30 p.m. at the Yardley Inn. Cost: $35. Call
A graduate of Hamilton College, Stoller earned both an MBA and a
degree in regional planning at Cornell University. After working on
the staff on both the federal and state levels (at the United States
Senate and the House of Representatives, and in the New York Senate
and State Division of the Budget) Stoller joined NJBIA in 1983.
more than 16,500 New Jersey employers, NJBIA is the largest state
business lobby in the nation, and Stoller’s main focus there is to
follow legislation and regulations affecting labor issues such as
job training, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, and
safety (609-393-7707, ext. 209, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Stoller says companies need to ask some critical questions when they
are searching for good employees:
a good employee covers two main components: 1.) Trained individuals
with the necessary technical skills to perform the job. 2.) People
who possess fundamental workplace skills such as consistent
promptness, self-control and emotional maturity and an ability to
work with others,
So where’s a good place to look? Stoller recommends some close-at-hand
sources for trained and disciplined people.
of military personnel, retired military, and reservists who have the
necessary scientific and technical skills along with the discipline
employers are searching for. "They’re trained, they’re
they are still young enough to be willing to embark on a new
is the guidance department of local high schools, community colleges
and vo-tech schools. "Sure, workers have come to us out of these
areas before but in a state experiencing its lowest unemployment rate
in 30 years, hiring officers didn’t need to reach out to them in the
past," says Stoller (www.njbia.org).
with skills and discipline that employers are seeking. "With
employers might need to look at the fact that maybe the job
doesn’t really require a full-time, year round person," says
By adapting the job to the availability of the applicant, both sides
come out with the factors that create success.
from welfare to work programs. These individuals receive extensive
training from state and federal entities and are motivated to succeed.
"Companies can help people help themselves by placing them in
that important `first job.’"
by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers have been
encouraged to reassess their true requirements for jobs.
finding the best candidate is a simple matter of raising or lowering
a workstation to accommodate a wheelchair. While that process had
already begun, now there is even more reason to pursue those types
of accommodations. Mark Boyd , the new commissioner of labor,
recently went out of his way to highlight the gifts and talents
people bring to the workplace."
are undisputed over many years but some women may have had career
interruptions and now desire to return to the workforce. Companies
have the opportunity to be creative with scheduling, childcare
and job-sharing to make this return profitable for employer and
them be tempered if and when the current economic boom levels out?
Stoller maintains that creative tactics will be around for a long
time to come. "There is an ongoing concern brought on especially
by demographic changes. As older workers of the Baby Boomer generation
retire, will younger workers be able to keep up a new pace? There
is always that pressure in the workforce."
Dear Abby knew it all along. There are still good catches out there.
Maybe employers have been looking in all the wrong places.
— Catherine Moscarello
Transitions. In the context of atomic energy, transition
signifies an abrupt change in energy. In music, a transition flows
gracefully and weaves connecting sounds between passages. In real
estate, experts who play a part in this process can create either
a harmonious suite or something just short of a nuclear explosion.
A seminar on transition teams, sponsored by the Ewing-based Community
Associations Institute, will examine the roles of the experts in the
transition process (www.caionline.org). Geared to the interests of
residential property managers, builders and developers, service
and boards of unit owners, the program will analyze the varying
that make up a smooth transition. It will be on Tuesday, October 17,
at 8:30 a.m. at the Woodbridge Sheraton. Cost: $35. Call 609-882-3223.
The Community Association Institute follows up with another workshop
on "Rules Enforcement and Conflict Resolution" on Wednesday,
November 15, at 6:30 p.m. also at the Woodbridge Sheraton. Panelists
are Karyn Kennedy of the Kennedy Law Firm in Montville, Darlene
Rasmussen of Wentworth Property Management in Red Bank, and Susan
Radom of Radom & Wetter in Somerville. Cost: $75. Call
New Jersey law mandates that a "transition" must occur when
75 percent of the units in a condominium or town house complex have
been sold. On paper, this process promotes a gradual shift of control
from the developer or builder to the members of the community
Since all the parties concerned know from day one that transition
will happen, the change can be smooth when proper documentation is
maintained and when all the players act in good faith to fulfill all
Stark & Stark attorney Thomas Pryor will discuss legal issues
that are essential in any transition (609-896-9060, E-mail:
"I look at this gathering as a means for the professionals who
deal with the transition process to come together to openly discuss
their experiences and to serve as a team," he says.
Admitting that some transitions can and do result in lawsuits, Pryor
says that neither side is really "the bad guy." "It all
comes down to a few basics," Pryor says. "Both parties should
come to the process knowing what questions to ask, what documents
are required and with enough professional expertise behind them to
know which analysis of problems is the correct one."
From the auditor’s viewpoint, David Ferullo, of Wiss & Company
LLP in Red Bank, sees transitions as "not too controversial"
(732-747-0500, E-mail: email@example.com). "In the years leading
up to the transition, every homeowners’ association has an annual
audit," says Ferullo. "When those financial statements are
properly accounted for, and the funding for future repairs and
of common elements such as roofing and siding is in the bank, there
is usually no problem. However, it is important to keep personal
out of it and that’s hard to do when it’s your house that has the
crack in it."
Representing the engineer and the developer will be William Pyznar,
Falcon Engineering (908-595-0050), and Francine Chesler, K.
Hovnanian Enterprises (732-225-4001). While neither was available
for comment, Steve Dahl, vice-president and legal counsel at
Hovnanian’s Edison office, offered the developer’s perspective.
has an in-house department devoted exclusively to the process of
transitions and we try to take it one step beyond what’s required.
We encourage homeowners’ associations to hire an engineer. Then tell
us what you think we didn’t do right. At that point we enter into
a dialogue that results in our doing the work or paying the
to hire someone to correct the problem," Dahl emphasizes that
the formula for success in a good transition is two-fold. "There
must be good communication and good management."
— Catherine Moscarello
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