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Spisak for State Rep- 60th District
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Who We Are: The Ohio Green Party

Greens provide real solutions for real problems, because our members are locally-based activists just like you. Whether the issue is universal health care, corporate globalization, alternative energy, election reform, or decent, living wages for workers, Greens have the courage and independence necessary to take on the powerful corporate interests.

The Federal Elections Commission recognizes the Green Party of the United States, and we have had successful candidates running in many states from California to Colorado to Maine. We also are part of a global Green movement, with shared ecology and justice-focused values. Some of these Green Parties have received enough popular votes from their countrymen to serve at the highest levels of their respective governments. With your help, we will be able to be able to say the same in 2006 and beyond.

Third Parties Have Changed America

What the two corporate-dominated political parties don't want you to remember is that, over the centuries, American third parties have been at the forefront of many progressive changes we now consider essential, including the 8-hour day, voting rights for women, and the abolition of slavery. In fact, the Republican Party was itself a third party movement 150 years ago, when Abraham Lincoln and other anti-slavery activists left the dying Whig Party.

With Your Help, We Can Win

It is time to move beyond the failed two-party system that has produced candidates who have not fixed the healthcare, living wage, and other key issues of our time. All we get is more excuses about why things cannot be changed, while corporations accountable to no government continue to control our lives.

The Green Party supports Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) , which would encourage coalition-building instead of negative attacks against opponents, and allow each of us to vote for our favorite candidate instead of the candidate we dislike least.

The "spoiler" arguments by adherents of the two-party system would be addressed by IRV, where all parties would have a fair chance at victory, and where winning candidates would have to reach out to losing candidates to build the coalitions necessary to win 51% of the vote.

Will You Join Us?

The Green Party has been growing rapidly since 2001, and includes college students, senior citizens, and all ages in-between. We need compassionate, forward-looking people like yourself to serve as candidates, donors, and volunteers. With your help, we can build a party and a nation that are focused on peace, justice, living wages, and sustainable growth.


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Spisak quits 60th District Race, will run for Congress instead!
 
Mahoning Valley Green Dennis Spisak, one of the first elected Greens in Ohio has filed papers to run as a write-in for Ohio’s 6th District Congressional seat. Dennis previously submitted sufficient petition signatures to qualify as a candidate for the 60th District Ohio House seat but was disqualified on a petition form technicality and thusly barred from running for any other Ohio office as a write-in in the upcoming November election. More details on Dennis’ campaign will be forthcoming.

New Campaign Website: http://www.votespisak.org/electspisak.tripod.com/
I want to thank the 323 voters who signed our peititions to tun against Bob Hagan this November.
 
We will now begin working hard on our run for Congress. I hope you can join us in this campaign!!!!

Dyes Could Turn Windows Into Powerful Solar Panels. By Alok Jha, Guardian (UK), July 10, 2008. "Windows could be used as powerful solar panels thanks to a clever new technology that concentrates the sun's rays. The technique uses transparent dyes to capture, concentrate and redirect light along the surface of the glass to photovoltaic (PV) cells in the frame, which convert the light into electricity. The breakthrough means that there is a tenfold increase in power output compared to use of the PV cell alone. The team, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), claims the technology could slash the cost of generating electricity from sunlight, making it more competitive with standard grid power. This is because the expensive PV cells only need to be installed at the sides of the panels, rather than across the whole surface... Marc Baldo, an electrical engineer at MIT [said,] 'The concentrator collects light over its whole front surface, but the solar cells need only cover the area of the edges.' As the edges of a glass panel can often be 100 times smaller in area than the surface itself, he added, solar panels would need 100 times fewer PV cells to collect the same energy. 'So we can save money. Since industry can't produce enough solar cells to satisfy demand, this might also be a good way to stretch production.'"
 
Dennis Spisak-Green Party Candidate
 
 
 

Why Not A National Single-Payer Health Plan?
 
July 13, 2008
 
Why Not Single Payer?

Part 6: New "Health Care For America Now" Coalition May Reflect 
Divisions in the Movement for Universal Healthcare

By Miles Mogulescu
Huffington Post
July 10, 2008

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miles-mogulescu/why-not-single-payer-
part_b_111718.html

In the past two days, Huffington Post blogs by Roger
Hickey of the Campaign For America's Future and Gerald
McEntee of the American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees union have proclaimed the creation
of "Health Care for America Now!", a new coalition to
fight for universal healthcare.

On the face, this seems like an exciting new
development. It is certainly a good thing, to the
extent that it places universal healthcare at the top
of the agenda for the next president and Congress. Its
first proposed TV ad is a powerful critique of the
private insurance industry. (See
http://youtube.com/watch?v=tirU5qpmFK4)

However, if you scratch beneath the surface, the new
coalition reflects significant divisions among
progressives about how best to achieve universal
healthcare.

Many progressives support HR 676, the legislation
sponsored by Rep. John Conyers and co-sponsored by 90
House members to create a universal single payer
healthcare system in America similar to that in most
other advanced capitalist countries. That's not what
the "Health Care For America Now!" coalition supports.
According to its Statement of Common Purpose, its plan
will provide "a choice of a private insurance plan,
including keeping the insurance you have" along with "a
public insurance plan without a private insurer
middleman." HCAN's plan would also give government a
"watchdog role." Supporters of HR 676 want to abolish
the wasteful private insurance system under which
approximately 30% of every insurance dollar goes not to
providing health care, but to administrative costs,
executive salaries and shareholder profits; and replace
it with a single national system, similar to Medicare,
in which every American is covered from cradle to
grave, every patient can choose his or her own Doctor,
and treatment is determined between patient and doctor.
HCAN wants to reform the present private insurance
system, albeit with a strong commitment to providing a
public alternative that consumers and businesses can
buy into and which it hopes will compete in the
marketplace with private insurance.

Even the name of the new coalition, "Health Care For
America Now," is confusingly similar to an existing
coalition called "Healthcare-Now" which has been
working for several years to unite community
organizations, labor unions, churches and business
groups in support of HR 676. The single payer bill has
been endorsed by 394 Local Unions, 99 Central Labor
Councils, 33 state AFL-CIO's and 14 national and
international labor organizations including the United
Auto Workers, the National Education Association, the
United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, the
International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and the
California Nurses Association/National Nurses
Organizing Committee. HR 676 has also been endorsed by
hundreds of community organizations and such national
organizations as the NAACP, League of Independent
Voters, Physicians for National Health Care Program,
the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist
Board of Church and Society, and 32 City Councils
including Baltimore, Louisville, Indianapolis, Detroit
and Boston. (For more information on HR 676 and
Healthcare-Now see: http://www.healthcare-now.org and
http://www.pnhp.org)

So the new HCAN coalition in many ways represents the
division of the progressive movement for universal
healthcare into competing coalitions with competing
plans for healthcare reform, one supporting the reform
of the current private insurance system and the other
supporting the creation of a single universal public
system. Leaders of both coalitions are dedicated
progressives who truly believe their approach is best
-- indeed, although I'm an active supporter of single
payer, some of the founders of HCAN are close friends.
One wonders, however, if many of the organizational
sponsors of the new HCAN coalition, which includes such
prominent groups as MoveOn, AFSCME, NEA, Planned
Parenthood and the AFL-CIO, clearly understand the
differences. For example, the NEA is a sponsor of both
coalitions. The AFL-CIO is a sponsor of HCAN, but 33
State AFL-CIO's have endorsed HR 676. I'm a member of
Move On, but as far as I know, MoveOn has never polled
its members to determine whether they support universal
single payer health care or a reformed hybrid private
insurance/public system. If Mov On is going to throw
its support to one side or the other of this key
debate, it should ask its members' opinions, just as it
did in deciding which Democratic candidate to support
in the primaries.

This division in the progressive healthcare movement
into competing coalitions could endanger healthcare
reform, as was the case recently in California. Last
year the California Legislature, under pressure from a
progressive coalition of community organizations and
labor unions, passed a bill which would have created a
state single payer system, had it not been vetoed by
Gov. Schwarzenegger. This year some liberal Democratic
legislators, with support from the SEIU, tried to forge
a compromise with Schwarzenegger for a private health
insurance mandate. It was defeated in the State Senate
after being opposed by a majority of the progressive
health care movement in California who support a single
payer system.

Why is a single payer system more likely to bring
affordable universal healthcare than reforming the
current private insurance system? I've written about
this in great detail in this "Why Not Single Payer"
series on the Huffington Post and the links to the
other articles in this series are given at the bottom
of this post. To quote from Part 5, "Any healthcare
reform plan that's based on private insurance is
fatally flawed. The incentive of private insurance is
upside down. The less care a private insurance company
provides for the same premiums, the higher their
profits. Most of us saw the cases in Sicko of insurance
companies paying bonuses to employees who rejected
healthcare claims from the sick. With hundreds or
thousands of different private health insurance plans,
it's impossible to negotiate consistently lower costs
with health care providers and drug companies. A single
payer system has the market clout to reign in costs.
Most important, private insurance is a colossal waste
of money. Administrative costs for Medicare are 2-3%.
Approximately 30% of private insurance premiums go to
overhead, profits, and executive salaries...Overall the
administrative costs of private insurance exceed $400
billion a year. That's enough to cover all of the
uninsured without raising taxes." (For a more detailed
critique of HCAN's plan see:
http://www.pnhp.org/blog/2008/07/09/a-policy-response-to-health-care-
for-america-now/)

Most progressive supporters of incremental reform based
on a private/public hybrid will admit that in an ideal
world, they would prefer a single payer system. They
will argue, however, that the insurance and drug lobby
is so powerful that single payer would never pass -- a
compromise which maintains the private insurance system
but regulates it and provides a competing public
alternative is more "pragmatic." I think this argument
is misplaced. The private insurance industry will no
sooner accept intrusive government regulation which
limits its profits, and a public alternative which is
truly competitive, than it would a single payer system.
Incrementalists will also argue that most Americans
won't accept single payer because they want to keep
their present employer-based insurance, even though
most Americans are seeing their share of premiums rise,
their deductibles increase, their choice of doctors
reduced, and their insurance claims often denied. But
polls show that a majority of American voters will
support a single payer system, a majority that is only
likely to increase with a mass citizens' movement for
single payer and further public education on the
alternatives. A recent CBS News poll asked "Which do
you think would be better for the country: having one
health insurance program covering all Americans that
would be administered by the government and paid for by
taxpayers, or keeping the current system where many
people get their insurance from private employers and
some have no insurance?" 55% chose "One Program for
All" and only 29% chose "The Current System."

HCAN is right that the only thing that can overcome the
power of the insurance and drug lobby is a massive
citizens' movement for universal healthcare. Where
they're mistaken, in my opinion, is in trying to divert
that movement to a compromise that will never work,
rather than focusing that movement on forcing a
Democratic Congress and a President Obama to pass and
sign HR 676 and bring a truly universal healthcare
system to America.

Developing an US Energy Plan to Deliver 75% of US Electricity by 2050
 
July 12, 2008
 
In January, Scientific American writers unleashed an ambitious plan to halt global warming, eliminate our dependence on petroleum and the substantial trade deficit, boost the economy and create 3 million jobs, and brighten the dismal forecasts for the mid twenty-first century.

The plan is conceptually simple but would be substantial to implement:

Construct a 30,000 square mile array of solar panels in the Southwest,
along with concentrated solar power arrays and, a massive direct-current power transmission backbone to distribute electricity throughout the country.

Excess power produced by the photovoltaic arrays would be distributed and stored as compressed air in below-ground caverns.

Development of such a system could provide almost three-quarters of the nation’s electricity by 2050.

If this sounds like fantasy-land, it’s not. The technology is already here, and even if it wasn’t the need for renewable power is very real. Some scientists are calling for an all-out Manhattan-Project-style focus on developing alternative energy sources. One thing is almost certain: if we can’t move beyond coal as our (worldwide) primary energy source, we’re in for a rocky future.

There have been Several posts lately about plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and their need for renewable energy charging sources. PHEVs are a stepping stone as the future of transportation heads toward electric vehicles powered either by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. Solar power would be the ultimate source of clean energy for either type of electric vehicle.

The authors of the Scientific American article think all of this energy can come from solar power. Here are some excerpts:

Utilizing only 2.5% of the sun’s energy falling onto the 250,000 square miles in the Southwest suitable for constructing solar power plants could match the total power used in the US in 2006.

With a massive investment in solar power plants and infrastructure, solar could provide 69% of US electricity and 35% of total energy (including transportation) by 2050.

If wind, biomass, and geothermal power sources were also developed, the US could produce 100% of its electricity and 90% of its transportation energy (in the form of hydrogen) from renewable sources.

To make this happen, the US would have to invest $10 billion per year for the next 40 years. For comparison, the US is now spending $12 billion per month for military involvement Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. The entire solar array would cost approximately 15% of the total bill for both of these operations. $420 billion is also less than the tax subsidies paid for the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure in the last 35 years.

A conversion to renewable energy of this scale would displace 300 coal and 300 natural gas-fired power plants, and eliminate all imported oil. Even better, greenhouse-gas emissions would be reduced to 62% below 2005 levels.

In sum, the potential is there, but it’s going to take some work. As the authors conclude:

The greatest obstacle to implementing a renewable U.S. energy system is not technology or money, however. It is the lack of public awareness that solar power is a practical alternative—and one that can fuel transportation as well. Forward-looking thinkers should try to inspire U.S. citizens, and their political and scientific leaders, about solar power’s incredible potential. Once Americans realize that potential, we believe the desire for energy self-sufficiency and the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions will prompt them to adopt a national solar plan.

As the Green Party Candidate for the 60th district, it's time we have lawmakers in Columbus and Washington stand up and declare that we will be non-dependent on foreign fossil fuel by 2050.

I am ready to make that stand. Will Bob Hagan? Will Tim Gordon? Or will they still be making speeches about firecrackers and puppymills?

Dennis Spisak- Campaign Site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Ohio and America’s problems in the 21st Century

 

July 7, 2008

 

* America is losing jobs. The private sector has lost more than 400,000 jobs in the last six months. Over the past seven years, 3.4 million manufacturing jobs—one out of every five—has been shipped overseas. Today, a smaller percentage of Americans have jobs than at the beginning of the Bush administration.

* Basic costs are skyrocketing. The price of gasoline has increased by more than $2.50 per gallon since George W. Bush took office and the average household will spend $2300 more on gas this year than in 2001. The cost of health insurance has nearly doubled during the Bush Administration. Tuition and fees at public four-year colleges are up 46 percent since 2001. And now food prices have begun to rise.

* American incomes are stagnant. Adjusting for inflation, American workers haven’t made any salary gains since Bush took office. In fact, real median household income dropped nearly $1000 from 2000 to 2006. The number of Americans in poverty increased from 31.5 to 36.5 million from 2000 to 2006. Now, one out of every eight Americans is considered poor.

* We’re mired in debt. Sixteen percent of mortgaged homes are now “underwater”; that is, the mortgage owed equals or exceeds the value of the house. It is estimated that by June 2009, nearly one in four homes will be underwater. At least two-thirds of college students graduate with some debt and the average debt among graduates exceeds $19,000. More than 850,000 families filed for bankruptcy last year, a 38 percent increase over 2006.

Progressive solutions:

For heaven’s sake, let’s stop squandering $340 million dollars per day on the war in Iraq; let’s put that money to work here in the U.S. instead. For example, to soften the blow of the current recession, state and local governments need federal aid so they can continue providing critical community services. To restore America’s economy, we need to invest in ourselves. That means fixing our nation’s bridges and roads, expanding mass transit and broadband access, becoming energy independent, developing new “green” technologies, and ensuring that every child receives a high-quality education. To redirect spending to where it’s needed, we need to eliminate tax breaks for wealthy corporations, especially those that reward companies for sending jobs overseas.

 

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign Site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links to Progressive Job Programs and Healthcare for All Ohioans Act

Ohio Needs A Green Communities Act

July 4, 2008

Beth Daily of the Boston Globe reported yesterday that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the Green Communities Act that will do away with long-standing obstacles to building renewable energy power projects in the state and to make homes and businesses more energy efficient.

The law will provide rebates to homeowners and businesses to install insulating windows and more efficient boilers. Homeowners and businesses will also be able to rent solar panels from utilities to avoid expensive upfront costs as well as wind turbines. They will also be allowed to sell surplus energy back to the utility companies. The new law could help save millions of dollars through energy efficiency and hold down consumers’ electric bills. Governor Patrick also has set an aggressive goal to increase solar power in the state by 600 percent in four years.


As the Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th district, I believe we need a state representative who is willing to work with other leaders in the house and senate in Ohio to make the same kind of commitment here in the Buckeye state.

Dennis Spisak   Campaign Site; Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Renewable Energy Pioneers -- Right in Northwest Ohio-Why Not Youngstown?

July 3, 2008

According to an article from James Canterbury from Toledo he reports this week that Ohio is becoming a leader in alternative energy research and development. For example, the Sunlight Corporation in Toledo has been making flexible solar panels for years and is now expanding to become one of the largest manufacturers in the country. But that's not unusual, according to Sunlight's vice president.

"Even though people might think there is not much sunshine in this area, actually there are quite a lot of manufacturing and research efforts in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan," says Liwei Xu, Ph.D.  Much of that research, which is done at the University of Toledo, is resulting in some surprising uses for alternative, renewable energy. The technology exists today that could help you recharge your dead cell phone with your own personal solar panel.

While Sunlight Corp. tries to harness the power of the sun, one local school district is roping the wind -- or hopes to in about a year. Archbold Schools District is raising a wind study tower with help from Green Energy Ohio.   "Basically, what results we will get from that is what size wind turbine would benefit our school district the most and provide us with the most energy to help offset our electric and utility bills," explains Laura Bickel, science teacher.  These alternative energy pioneers are doing what it takes to become future power players.

Again, we see other areas of Ohio jumping on the renewable energy bandwagon, while the Mahoning Valley political leaders stay mum on the subject and refuse to act.

Even the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the city of Houston, Texas is giving wind power a try. The heart of the U.S. oil patch on Tuesday began using wind-powered electricity for about a fourth of its municipal power needs at a lower price than it is paying for power produced from coal and natural gas, city officials said.

The move shows how renewable energy's prospects are improving at a time of soaring fossil-fuel prices. Long derided as an expensive niche, wind power now is moving closer to the mainstream.

As the Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I again point out the high tech and blue-collar jobs that can be brought to the valley if we turn our attention to renewable energy manufacturing jobs for this area. Why is incumbent Bob Hagan failed to speak up on this subject? Why has Republican candidate Tim Gordon failed to speak up on this issue? Do they not want new jobs and neighborhoods for our poor, working, and middle class of the 60th district?

Dennis Spisak-Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links to progressive job programs

Finally, US House Introduces Feed-In-Tariffs

 

 

July 2, 2008

U.S. Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA), Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Mike Honda (D-CA) introduced landmark legislation last Thursday that will provide security for investments in the renewable-energy sector by guaranteeing rates for renewable-energy generation. This policy mechanism, also known as a national feed-in tariff, may be the single most effective tool to expand renewable energy development that we know of.

International Energy Agency, the European Commission and the United Kingdom’s Stern Review have determined that feed-in tariff policies in Germany, Spain, France and other European Union countries have achieved larger renewable energy deployment at lower costs, compared with policies in other European Union countries.

The legislation has two principle titles. The first would streamline interconnection standards and the patchwork of policies currently governing interconnection. The second title addresses the actual process of setting of renewable energy tariffs, and what would qualify. This bill would not only apply to the mom and pop backyard wind turbines, and rooftop solar - the tariff extends to projects as large as 20 megawatts!

As it is currently written, the tariff would be revisited no later than one year after it is enacted and every two years thereafter, thus incorporating a ratcheting mechanism that allows the rate-setters to adjust for technological advances, bottlenecks in supply chains, changes in demand, and other unforeseen stimuli that might necessitate a rate revision.

According to a statement released by the bill’s co-sponsors:

“Enacting a federal renewable-energy payments policy would streamline what could become a patchwork regulatory structure and an unstable investment climate for the U.S. domestic renewable energy market. It also would complement incentives for renewable-energy deployment, such as existing federal-tax credits as well as proposed plans to cap carbon emissions and set federal renewable-electricity requirements, among others.”

Rep. Inslee added:

“With hundreds of billions of dollars in capital slated for investment in the clean-energy sector in coming decades, we’d be fools if we didn’t ensure American manufacturers would be on the receiving end of this rapidly growing market.”

Rep. Delahunt continued:

“It is time for the United States to take a leadership role in the new ‘clean energy’ economy. By giving our own consumers access to proven financial incentives and boosting demand for clean energy technology we can position the United States to become a world leader in this emerging sector of the global economy that has the potential to create thousands of new ‘green-collar’ jobs here at home.

As the Green party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th district, It is about time the US House recognizes that feed-in-tariffs have helped renewable energy grow in Europe. We will also need such tariffs here on a state-wide basis to help renewable energy production to grow here in the 60th District.  This is an important piece of legislation needed for the poor, working, and middle class of the valley.

Dennis Spisak-Green party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Check out our links to renewable energy and progressive job programs

New Jersey’s Solar Success-Why not Ohio?

July 1, 2008

 

Last week in the New York Times, Anthony DePalma wrote about New Jersey’s booming solar power success.

With oil prices skyrocketing, demand for solar power is booming. And New Jersey, which has used a rebate program to help install more solar panels than any other state but California, is getting burned by its own success.

Skip to next paragraphThere is a backlog of more than 700 applications for the rebates, and property owners have to wait months, even years, to get solar panels installed. The program, which is paid for by surcharges on all utility bills, has been shut down several times over the last three years because applications far outpaced rebate money. Some solar installation companies have had to lay off workers while they waited for rebate checks to be sent.

All this has convinced New Jersey regulators that it is time to wean solar energy from public subsidies altogether. The state plans to replace rebates with energy credits that can be bought and sold on the open market.

As it works out the details of the transition, New Jersey — not the place most people associate with solar innovations — finds itself at the forefront of a growing national debate about the role of government in helping stimulate this sector of the energy economy.

Under a state energy master plan, solar power should account for 2.12 percent of New Jersey’s electricity by 2020. But even though more than 3,100 residential and commercial solar systems have been installed during the six years the state has offered rebates; they generate only 0.07 percent of current energy needs.

The state is planning to turn to a program it started several years ago that issues energy credits. The concept is simple: Solar projects generate energy credits every year, and the state requires utility companies to buy them to offset carbon emissions from their power plants and to help meet renewable-energy targets. By purchasing credits, the utilities do not actually generate solar power, but they offset the cost of installing and operating solar equipment.

New Jersey plans to greatly expand the program by allowing the credits to be bought and sold like commodities, with long-term contracts and prices set by the open market.

Regulators say that will be fairer to ratepayers and help the state reach its renewable-energy goals faster. They also say the plan provides safeguards for small installers and ensures competition by prohibiting any company from capturing more than 20 percent of a utility’s yearly credits.

SunEdison, based in Maryland, has already made inroads in New Jersey using a new approach — called power purchase agreements — that smaller companies do not have the capital to duplicate.

Under those agreements, which the state first allowed in 2004, property owners do not have to buy or operate their solar projects, or handle the sale of energy credits. Instead, they avoid all up-front costs by contracting with SunEdison or other large companies, and bill property owners at fixed rates that are lower than utility company rates.

SunEdison has put up more than 22 solar systems in New Jersey, along with dozens in others states, mostly for large retail companies like Kohl’s.

Experts say these purchase agreements can promote the move to solar power. And regulators hope that a vibrant market for energy credits will speed that growth to the point where solar power can compete with conventionally generated electricity.

Again, we see another state moving ahead of Ohio in providing renewable energy jobs and savings to the poor, working, and middle class.

As the Green Party Candidate for State Representative, I would work to bring Ohio and the 60th district the same type of renewable energy choices other Americans are being offered today.

Dennis Spisak- Campaign web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

U.S. Mayors Endorse Single Payer Health Care! Bob Hagan Did, But Bob Now is Silent

June 30, 2008

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Miami, adopted a resolution
this morning in support of single-payer national health insurance.

The assembly, in unanimous vote, backed a resolution calling for the
enactment of the "United States National Health Insurance Act," H.R. 676.

The bill, which is also known as the "Improved and Expanded
Medicare for All Act," is sponsored by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan
And 90 other members of Congress.

"This is a major achievement, a qualitative change in the movement
for genuine health care reform," said Dr. David Prensky, a retired
dentist from Palm Beach, Fla., who helped promote the resolution. Prensky is
a member of the Chicago-based Physicians for a National Health Program
(PNHP).

"It shows that our country’s mayors now support the kind of approach
that every other industrialized country has — an approach that
guarantees health care for everyone at an affordable cost," he said.

"Mayors, in a very real sense, are closer to the people than most
elected officials," Prensky continued. "They are closer to the
grassroots, where their communities and constituents are suffering.
Meanwhile their city budgets are being shattered by health costs for
their own employees."

Conyers’ bill would guarantee everyone care for all medically
Necessary services, contain costs by slashing the administrative waste and
bureaucracy associated with the private insurance industry and assure
patients their choice of doctor and hospital.

The resolution was introduced by Mayor Lois Frankel of West Palm
Beach, Fla., and six other mayors from Baltimore to Santa Cruz, Calif.
Frankel worked in cooperation with the statewide advocacy group Floridians
For Health Care and the national group Healthcare-Now.

"By taking this action," said Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator
of PNHP, "the mayors have put, in the boldest way, single-payer national
health insurance on top of the domestic agenda, squarely in the
middle of the legislative and presidential elections."

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a nonpartisan organization of mayors
representing cities with a population of 30,000 or more. It currently has about 1,100 members.

Text of Resolution adopted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, June 23:

Resolution in support of the United States National Health Insurance
Act, H.R. 676

Submitted By:

The Honorable Lois J. Frankel, Mayor of West Palm Beach, Fla.

The Honorable Wayne J. Hall Sr., Mayor of Hempstead, N.Y.

The Honorable Carolyn K. Peterson, Mayor of Ithaca, N.Y.

The Honorable John E. Marks III, Mayor of Tallahassee, Fla.

The Honorable Sheila Dixon, Mayor of Baltimore, Md.

The Honorable Becky Tooley, Mayor of Coconut Creek, Fla.

The Honorable Ryan Coonerty, Mayor of Santa Cruz, Calif.

WHEREAS, every person deserves access to affordable quality health
care; and

WHEREAS, the number of Americans without health insurance now exceeds
47
million; and

WHEREAS, millions with insurance have coverage so inadequate that a
major illness would lead to financial ruin, and medical illness and
bills contribute to one-half of all bankruptcies; and

WHEREAS, proposals for "consumer directed health care" such as Health
Savings Accounts or Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) would only
worsen this situation by penalizing the sick, discouraging prevention
and saddling many working families with huge medical bills; and

WHEREAS, managed care and other market-based reforms have failed to
contain health care costs, which now threaten the international
competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers; and

WHEREAS, administrative waste stemming from our reliance on private
insurers consumes one-third of private health spending while the
single
payer Medicare system has administrative costs of less than 5 percent;
and

WHEREAS, U.S. hospitals spend 24.3 percent of their budgets on
billing
and administration while hospitals under Canada’s single payer system
spend only 12.9 percent; and

WHEREAS, Harvard researchers estimate that more than $300 billion
could
be recovered by replacing private insurance companies with a single
public payer, enough to cover the uninsured and to improve coverage
for
all those who now have only partial coverage; and

WHEREAS, entrusting care to profit-oriented firms diverts billions of
dollars to outrageous incomes for CEOs and threatens the quality of
care; and

WHEREAS, The United States National Health Insurance Act (H.R. 676)
would assure universal coverage of all medically necessary services,
contain costs by slashing bureaucracy, protect the doctor patient
relationship, assure patients a completely free choice of doctors,
and
allow physicians a free choice of practice settings; and

WHEREAS, most polls show that the majority of Americans support
universal health care; and

WHEREAS, as of the date of this resolution, the majority of American
physicians (59 percent) believe that Single Payer is the best method
of
securing universal health care; and

WHEREAS, The United States National Health Insurance Act (H.R. 676)
will
guarantee every mayor that all residents and employees of his/her
city
will be fully covered for health care and save millions of taxpayer
dollars now spent on premiums to provide less than full health
insurance coverage for government employees; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors expresses its support for The United States National Health Insurance Act (H.R.676), and calls upon federal legislators to work towards its immediate enactment and further urges the adoption of a process to insure that health care providers justify any increase in health care costs.

Are you resolved? Current State Representative Bob Hagan was involved at the beginning. Now Bob Hagan remains silent on the Single-Payer Health Care as he takes Lobbyist and Corporate PAC monies from Medical Mutual and other Health Care providers.

Seriously... any organization you belong to... any labor group, religious group, social or community organization that you belong to can do an endorsement.

Also you can check to see if your congressperson has signed on as a co-sponsor.

Ask your congressperson to sign-up as a co-sponsor of HR-676!
Get any organization you belong to -- civic, religious, labor,
community, etc. to pass an HR-676 endorsement resolution: Here is how
to do that via a non-physician group.

OH Single-Payer Action Network: http://www.spanohio.org/

OH PNHP Ohio http://www.pnhpohio.org/

OH Health Care for All Ohio http://healthcareforallohio.org/

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I support Payer-Health Care and the Health Care for All Ohioans Act!

Dennis Spisak-Independent Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Http:votespisak.tripod.com

Check out our links page on health care……

Cutting Solar Power Costs


June 28, 2008

The costs of generating solar power will be on par with the costs of power made from fossil fuels like natural gas and coal within a decade, according to clean-tech research and publishing firm Clean Edge and green-economy nonprofit Co-op America. The two groups collaborated on a new report, the Utility Solar Assessment (USA) Study, to provide a roadmap for utilities, solar companies, and regulators to work together so the nation can derive 10 percent or more of its power from the sun by 2025.

In related news, the Financial Times reported last week that the U.S. is set to overtake Germany as the world’s largest wind market in 2009. American wind energy is riding the wave of an investment boom accounting for a 45 percent jump in capacity last year alone.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative, I will work in Columbus to help continue to cut renewable energy costs so it can be made more affordable to the poor, working, and middle class. Now is a pivotal moment for renewable energy in the United States. There is a real opportunity here for companies to stake a major claim in the market because there has been a pent-up demand.

Dennis Spisak- Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Check our links to renewable energy programs

Youngstown Could Get 1.3 Million Dollars From Public Transportation Act of 2008

 

June 27, 2008

 

As I have posted information regarding improving mass transportation for the Youngstown area this week, the negative response to mass transit is that only those who use mass transit should pay for it.

 

Yesterday I attended the WRTA Mass Transit Board of Directors Meeting and it was noted NO mass transit service can operate solely on user fees.

 

Thus, either local, state, or federal aid must be provided.

 

The following is information regarding H.R. 6052, which could give the Youngstown area 1.3 million dollars for Public Transportation. The Act reads as follows:

 

COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

H.R. 6052, THE “SAVING ENERGY THROUGH PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 2008”

June 12, 2008

BACKGROUND

In 2007, Americans took more than 10.3 billion trips on public transportation, the highest level in 50 years. Public transportation use is up 32 percent since 1995, a figure that is more than double the growth rate of the population and up substantially over the growth rate for vehicle miles traveled on our nation’s highways for that same period. Public transportation use saves fuel, reduces emissions, and saves money. Public transportation use saves the United States the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually, or more than 11 million gallons of gasoline per day. Public transportation use is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. A commuter who switches from driving to work alone to public transportation can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 pounds per day, or more than 4,800 pounds in a year. Public transportation use provides an affordable alternative to driving, as households that use public transportation save an average of $6,251 every year. As such, increasing public transportation use is a priority of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

A primary objective of H.R. 6052, the “Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act of 2008”, is to reduce the United States dependence on foreign oil by encouraging more people to use public transportation. According to a recent study, if Americans used public transit at the same rate as Europeans – for roughly 10 percent of their daily travel needs – the United States could reduce its dependence on imported oil by more than 40 percent, nearly equal to the 550 million barrels of crude oil that we import from Saudi Arabia each year.

 

H.R. 6052, THE “SAVING ENERGY THROUGH PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 2008”

To increase public transportation use across the United States, H.R. 6052, the “Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act of 2008”:

                         

                         Authorizes $1.7 Billion of Capital and Operating Funds for Transit Agencies to Reduce Fares and Expand Transit Services. This section authorizes $850 million (General Fund) for each of fiscal years 2008 and 2009 to allow public transit agencies to reduce transit fares and expand transit services. These funds will allow transit agencies to provide incentives for commuters to choose transit options, thereby reducing our nation’s transportation-related energy consumption and reliance on foreign oil, as well as decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions. These funds will be distributed under current law urban and rural transit formulas (49 U.S.C. 5307 and 49 U.S.C. 5311, respectively). The Federal share for these grants is 100 percent and funds will only be available for a two-year period.

 

                        Increases the Federal Share for Clean Fuel and Alternative Fuel Transit Bus, Ferry, or Locomotive-related Equipment and Facilities from 90 percent to 100 percent. Under current law, the Federal share of the portion of transit buses, ferries, or locomotives that is for clean fuel or alternative fuel-related equipment or facilities for compliance with the Clean Air Act is 90 percent. Under the Federal Transit Administration’s interpretation of current law, the total Federal share for alternative fuel buses only increases from 80 percent to 83 percent. The bill increases the Federal share for the alternative fuel vehicle-related equipment from 90 percent to 100 percent of the net project cost for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. As a result, the total Federal share for such buses will be more than 90 percent.

 

Extends Transit Benefits to All Federal Employees. Under current law, all Federal agencies within the National Capital Region are required to establish a transit pass benefits program and offer transit passes to Federal employees. The bill establishes a nationwide Federal transit pass benefits program and requires all Federal agencies in the United States to offer transit passes to Federal employees. The bill also requires that the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) to establish specific guidance for implementing the nationwide transit pass benefits program. The guidance will ensure that Federal agencies have the necessary administrative procedures to ensure that Federal employees properly use the program.

The current law requirement originated with Executive Order 13150, signed by President Clinton on April 21, 2000. The Executive Order required that all Federal agencies within the National Capital Region offer transit passes to Federal employees. It also required the Department of Transportation (“DOT”), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy to implement a nationwide three-year pilot transit pass benefit program for all qualified Federal employees of those agencies.

The Department of Transportation has determined that both the National Capital Region program and the nationwide pilot program are a success, and recommends that the transit pass benefits program be extended to all Federal employees nationwide.

 

 

                        Extends Transit Benefits to All Federal Employees. Under current law, all Federal agencies within the National Capital Region are required to establish a transit pass benefits program and offer transit passes to Federal employees. The bill establishes a nationwide Federal transit pass benefits program and requires all Federal agencies in the United States to offer transit passes to Federal employees. The bill also requires that the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) to establish specific guidance for implementing the nationwide transit pass benefits program. The guidance will ensure that Federal agencies have the necessary administrative procedures to ensure that Federal employees properly use the program.

The current law requirement originated with Executive Order 13150, signed by President Clinton on April 21, 2000. The Executive Order required that all Federal agencies within the National Capital Region offer transit passes to Federal employees. It also required the Department of Transportation (“DOT”), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy to implement a nationwide three-year pilot transit pass benefit program for all qualified Federal employees of those agencies.

The Department of Transportation has determined that both the National Capital Region program and the nationwide pilot program are a success, and recommends that the transit pass benefits program be extended to all Federal employees nationwide.

 

    Establishes a Vanpool Pilot Program. The bill establishes a two-year pilot program to allow the amount expended by private providers of public transportation by vanpool for the acquisition of vans to be used as the non-Federal share for matching Federal transit funds in five communities. Under current law, only local public funds may be used as local match, and this pilot program allows private funds to be used in limited circumstances. The provision requires the private providers of vanpool services to use revenues they receive in providing public transportation, in excess of its operating costs, for the purpose of acquiring vans, excluding any amounts the providers may have received in Federal, State, or local government assistance for such acquisition. The Department of Transportation will implement and oversee the vanpool pilot projects, and will report back to Congress on the costs, benefits, and efficiencies of the vanpool demonstration projects.

 

                         

 Increases the Federal Share for Additional Parking Facilities at End-Of-Line Fixed Guideway Stations. The bill increases the Federal share for additional parking facilities at end-of-line fixed guideway stations to increase the total number of transit commuters who have access to those stations. The bill increases the Federal share from 80 percent to 100 percent for fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

 

 

If local and state funding is not available, it’s time for Tim Ryan to step forward and  work to see that the Transportation Act of 2008 is passed.

 

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District

 

Campaign Site:  Http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

Your Economic Stimulus Check just went to Saudi Arabia and Exxon

June 26, 2008

The Ohio Public Interest Research Group Education Fund released a report yesterday that showed in just 19 weeks the Economic Stimulus Check that President Bush and Congress gave to you went to pay for the increase in gasoline prices since February 2008. The Ohio PIRG Summary follows:

America’s dependence on oil has become increasingly painful. Two thirds of oil in the United States goes to transportation, with the largest share consumed by cars and trucks. As the rising price of gasoline makes driving more expensive, Americans have sought alternatives by driving a little less and riding public transportation more.

Unfortunately, government policy does too little to help Americans drive less. Energy experts generally agree that the era of cheap gas is over. Scientists likewise agree that road-based global warming pollution must be reduced. But lawmakers have not taken enough steps to help Americans consume less at the pump. On the contrary, overall government policies continue to encourage more driving at the expense of alternatives, leaving Americans poorer, stuck in worsening traffic, and emitting dangerous levels of global-warming pollution.

Nothing illustrates how the lack of transportation options hurts consumers and our economy more than the fact that, since approval of the tax rebates in February, Americans on average have already spent the amount of their stimulus checks at the pump. The standard stimulus rebate check for American families with a joint filing couple and a child is $1,500. As of this week, the average family household will have already spent over $1,500 at the gas pump since February 13th when President Bush signed the tax rebate checks into law.

The situation is akin to families signing over their rebate checks to big oil companies like Exxon Mobil or sending them to oil-producing countries like Saudi Arabia.


We can reduce our crippling dependence on oil through long-term solutions that will make it easier for Americans to drive less. Modern buses, light rail, commuter rail and other forms of transit more efficiently move passengers with less fuel. Transit also reduces traffic congestion and encourages more compact development patterns that, in turn, further reduce the amount Americans must drive.

Existing public transportation already reduces America’s oil dependence. Analysis by Ohio PIRG shows that net oil savings from public transportation totaled 3.4 billion gallons in 2006, the last year for which full data on transit agency and ridership is currently available. These oil savings are enough to fuel 5.8 million cars for an entire year and to save about $13.6 billion in gasoline at today’s prices. In metro Columbus, public transit saved 1.6 million gallons, the equivalent of $6.5 million at today’s gas prices.

Comparing spending on transportation in neighborhoods with different access to rail and bus routes underscores the gas-saving benefits of public transit, according to newly released analysis by the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) as part of a Brookings Institution project. Based on analysis of 2000 Census data in 52 metro areas, neighborhoods with the best access to transit routes spent an average of $728 monthly on all transportation costs, including gas, insurance, upkeep, and transit fares. Households in communities with the least access to transit, by contrast, spent an average of $925 per month.

America’s crippling dependence on oil is a long-term problem that requires long-term solutions. Only a minority of Americans currently has satisfactory access to public transit.  The lack of convenient alternatives to driving means that Americans are more vulnerable to high gas prices and that future attempts to jumpstart consumer spending will be diluted.

The tax rebate program will cost the Treasury $168 billion. By contrast, the four-year total of federal spending on new public transportation projects through 2009 is only $6.6 billion. Helping Americans to drive less will require more aggressive investment in public transportation.


Public transit solutions can do far more. At present, under funded transit agencies are struggling to keep up with the record volume of riders. Despite the success of new rail lines and bus routes around the country, a long line of new transit projects remains stuck on the drawing board due to lack of funding. Federal, state, and local governments must invest in solutions to oil dependence through more and better public transportation.

All of these investments will require far-looking commitments by lawmakers. But we cannot afford to continue to squander spending in ways that do not address the long-term problem.

As the Independent Green Party candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I will work with bringing renewable energy resources to our homes and vehicles, work on improving mass transit, and making the 60th district less dependent on fossil fuels.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Candidate for State Representative-60th district

Campaign web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

War stops US Renewable Energy Plans

June 25, 2008

I was reading an article by Jonathan Rynn last week who reported that when New York City wanted to make the biggest purchase of subway cars in US history in the late 1990s, more than US $3 billion worth, the only companies that were able to bid on the contract were foreign. The same problem applies to high-speed rail today: only European or Japanese companies could build any of the proposed rail networks in the United States.

The US has also ceded the high ground to Europe and Japan in a broad range of other sustainable technologies. For instance, 11 companies produce 96% of medium to large wind turbines; only one, GE, is based in the United States, with a 16% share of the global market. The
differences in market penetration come down to two factors: European and Japanese companies have become more competent producers for these markets, and their governments have helped them to develop both this competence and the markets themselves.

Take Germany as an example. Even though the sun is not so shiny in that part of
Europe (like Youngstown), Germany has put up 88% of the photovoltaics for solar power in Europe. Partly, this was the result of a feed-in tariff; that is, Germany guarantees that it will pay about 0.10 euro (15 US cents) per kilowatt/hour of electricity to whoever produces wind or solar electricity. The average for electricity that is paid for nonrenewable sources is about 0.05 euro per kwh, so Germany is effectively paying double for its renewable electricity in a successful effort to encourage its production. Every year, the guaranteed price is lowered, so
that the renewable sector can eventually compete on its own, having gotten over the hump of introducing new technology.

Germany's other advantage is that it is a world leader in manufacturing renewable technology equipment - 32% of the solar equipment manufacturers in the world are located in Germany. In addition, almost 30% of global wind turbine manufacturing capacity is German.

In Denmark we can see the advantages of good policy plus competence in building machinery. The world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, is Danish. According to the Earth Policy Institute, "Denmark's 3,100 megawatts of wind capacity meet 20% of its electricity needs, the largest share in any country." The Danes have created a fascinating experiment in democracy by building most of
their wind turbines through the agency of wind cooperatives, which may be joined by individuals and families.

Spain has undertaken one of the most ambitious programs in wind, solar, and high-speed trains. The Gamesa Corporation is the second-largest wind turbine manufacturer, and Acciona Energy is the largest wind-park developer. The Spanish government has very ambitious plans for wind production, and occasionally wind power provides as much as 30% of the country's electrical power.

Spain is also the world's fourth-largest producer of solar energy equipment and is a leader in the development of concentrated solar power - a form of solar power obtained by using a very large quantity of mirrors, typically, to concentrate solar rays onto a tower that produces steam, which then turns a turbine, generating electricity. They are often built in deserts and can spread over several acres. These new solar technologies will probably result in lower-cost electricity for long-distance applications than photovoltaics.

Asia is an important producer of renewable energy and train equipment as well. As of 2006, Japan produced about 39% of the solar cells in the world and has encouraged solar energy in Japan with subsidies for purchasing the equipment as well as generous research budgets. Japan's Shinkansen high-speed rail network covers much of the country. China is set to take off as one of the world’s biggest producers of solar and wind equipment owing to its rise as a manufacturing nation.

Europe sets the pace
But Europe and Japan's dominance in renewable technologies is really based in a broader domain of competitive competence. They dominate the most fundamental sector of the economy, namely the production of machinery for manufacturing industries in general (often referred to as the mechanical engineering sector).

The European Union produces almost twice as much industrial equipment overall as the United States, according to data compiled by the EU, Japan produces almost as much as the US, with about half the population. The split among the EU, US, and Japan, which together produce most of the world's machinery, is 52%, 27% and 21%, respectively.

A robust industrial sector is the infrastructure we need for building the tools that will help us to avert climate catastrophe. Think of the industrial sector of an economy as an ecosystem. Instead of the grass and leaves that feed the plant-eaters that feed the meat eaters, a modern economic ecosystem contains industrial equipment that makes production technology that creates the goods and services that people consume.

The different niches of an economic ecosystem, such as the various machinery and equipment sectors, thrive as a self-reinforcing web of engineers, high-skill production workers, operational managers and factories. As of 2003, Europe's
manufacturing sector made up 32% of its nonfinancial economy, while the manufacturing sector of the United States comprised only 13% of its nonfinancial sectors. The decline of American machinery and manufacturing sectors, in conjunction with the on-again/off-again nature of American renewable energy policy, explains why Europe and Japan are so far ahead of the United States in the transition to a more sustainable economy.

And America's decline can be traced to one overriding factor: a military budget that comprises nearly half of the world's military spending. For decades, as the late Professor Seymour Melman showed in many books (such as After Capitalism) and in numerous articles, the Pentagon has been draining not just money but also the engineering, scientific and business talent that Europe and Japan have been using for civilian production. As Melman often pointed out, the US military budget is a capital fund, and American citizens can use that fund to help finance the construction of the trains, wind and solar power, and other green technologies that will help us to avoid economic and environmental collapse.

That economic collapse, if it comes, will be caused by two major factors: the end of the era of cheap oil, coal and natural gas; and the decline of the manufacturing and machinery base of the economy.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I believe both problems can be addressed simultaneously, as Europe and Japan are showing, by moving the economy from one based on military and fossil fuel production to one based on electric transportation and the generation of renewable electricity.

I will work in Columbus to see that we bring renewable energy jobs to the poor, working, and middle class of this valley.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for 60th district.

Campaign web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links to Progressive Works Programs

Geothermal Energy: Power from the Earth…NOW!

June 24, 2008

Geothermal energy is not glamorous—its plants look more like coal-fired power plants than sleek, modern wind turbines or space-age solar mirrors in the desert.

But don't judge geothermal by its steam stacks.

Geothermal is used commercially in more than 20 countries (more than 70 if you count ground source heat pumps) and generates more than a quarter of the total electricity used in Iceland and the Philippines.

The U.S. is the world's leading geothermal energy producer, though geothermal generates less than one percent of America's total electricity output.

The Promise

Geothermal has one main advantage over today's leading renewables: it is not dependent on a sunny or a windy day. It is available virtually 100 percent of the time and therefore doesn't require a back-up fossil fuel power plant or energy storage capacity.

Geothermal is clean and safe. At facilities like the Geysers, where wastewater is reinjected back into the ground to replace the extracted steam, it is also sustainable. And it can be scaled up to generate power for major metropolitan areas.

Geothermal's potential is enormous. The amount of heat within 10,000 meters (about 33,000 feet) of Earth's surface contains 50,000 times more energy than all the oil and natural gas resources in the world.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that geothermal could provide between 4 and 20 percent of current U.S. electricity needs by 2025. It is already price competitive with coal-fired power plants in many places.

The Challenge

While geothermal heat occurs everywhere, the most easily accessible geothermal resources are naturally occurring hot springs at or near the Earth's surface. These geological features are found on less than 10 percent of Earth's land area.

Today, there are three ways to harness geothermal energy, all of which require access to a hot springs or hot wastewater.

  1. If the hot water reaches the surface as steam, it can be harnessed to drive an electric turbine. This is called a "dry steam" system.
  2. If the hot water remains a liquid at a high enough temperature, it can be "flashed" into steam and then used to drive the electric turbine. This is called a "flash steam" system.
  3. If the hot water is not hot enough to be flashed directly into steam, it can be used to flash another liquid with a lower boiling point—such as ammonia—and the resulting steam is then captured in turbines. This is called a "binary" system.

Advancements in binary systems have opened new opportunities to access "moderate temperature" geothermal resources, which are far more common than high temperature resources.

The Chena Hot Springs power plant near Fairbanks, Alaska, is the lowest temperature geothermal resource to be used for commercial power production in the world.

Thanks to breakthroughs at Chena, the cost of power production from these moderate temperature resources has been reduced from 30¢ to less than 7¢ per kWh. That low price opens up the option of using waste heat resources, like the water that comes up at oil wells, as free fuel.

Researchers are also studying ways to capture heat in dry areas, know as "hot dry rock." This involves drilling deep into the earth's surface using technologies developed by the oil industry, then injecting water down to the hot rocks and bringing the hot water back to the surface to drive turbines and generate energy.

Several projects using this technology—called enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) or heat mining—are under development in France, Australia, Japan, Switzerland and the U.S. The race is on to establish the world's first commercial hot dry rock power plant.

Many geologists are concerned about possible seismic consequences connected to drilling through the earth's surface to access hot dry rock resources. In 2007, a geothermal power plant in Switzerland triggered an earthquake that registered 3.4 on the Richter scale.

Another major barrier is the cost involved in finding viable geothermal resources. The only current way to test for geothermal properties is to drill deep holes. This is expensive and increases investment risk.

The Future

There are several areas of research that could soon make geothermal energy a more widely available and efficient resource.

Researchers are working to:

  • Make testing a potential geothermal location more economical, reducing the risk of investing money in "dry holes."
  • Make the current binary geothermal systems more efficient to tap cooler hot springs where direct and flash steam plants are not possible. Breakthroughs at the Chena Hot Springs location offer tremendous promise in this area.
  • Make the energy grid more efficient and develop transmission capacity to open up remote, and currently "stranded", geothermal resources.

Some analysts believe the big breakthrough in geothermal energy could come when enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) become economically competitive, allowing "heat mining" close to centers of demand, like big cities.

A 2006 study by MIT researchers found that "none of the known technical and economic barriers limiting widespread development of EGS as a domestic energy source are considered to be insurmountable."

The study concluded that EGS could generate 100 gigawatts or more in the U.S. by 2050. And it calculated the world's total EGS resources to be sufficient to provide all the world's energy needs for thousands of years.

As with all renewable energy resources, setting a cap on global warming pollution and pricing carbon emissions into the market is the key to creating economic incentives to finance and mainstream geothermal energy production.

As the Green Party Candidate for State representative for the 60th District, my goal is to go to Columbus and work with private industry and state leaders to let them know that geothermal energy will be a cost competitive within their planning horizons and that poor, working, and middle class want to get serious about planning for large scale geothermal deployment now.


Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Solar Power is Growing Fast
June 23, 2008
The use of solar power is growing fast, averaging 40 percent growth per year since 2000, with nearly 3000 MW of power (the equivalent of three conventional power plants) installed globally in the last five years alone.   

The even better news is that solar shows no sign of slowing down, and it's entirely realistic to expect that solar power will represent 10 percent of total US electricity generation by 2025!  And with the growing scale of solar, it is becoming increasingly affordable – cost competitive with other forms of electricity generation in some areas of the country today.  It will be cost competitive in most areas of the country no later than 2015.

That's the major conclusion of a new report produced by Co-op America in partnership with Clean Edge, a leading clean-tech research firm.  The new report, the Utility Solar Assessment (USA) Study, shows how clean, green solar power will be the boon electric utilities will need in the coming years, as they face nationwide carbon caps, state-level regulation, and the increased expenses of working with conventional fossil fuels and nuclear power.

 When the Solar Electric Industries Association trade group issued its Solar PV Roadmap in 2004, it projected solar producing 7 percent of total electricity by 2030.  And in a January 2008 Scientific American article, authors Ken Zweibel, James Mason, and Vasilis Fthenakis outlined how the US could get a whopping 69 percent of its electricity from solar by 2050.

As the Green Party Candidate for State representative for the 60th District, my goal is to go to Columbus and work with private industry and state leaders to let them know that solar will be a cost competitive within their planning horizons and that you want to get serious about planning for large scale solar deployment now.

The single most important thing you can do is get serious about energy efficiency.  With lower energy bills, you can save up for solar – and then, as solar prices come down, you can go solar sooner. 

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://Votespisak.tripod.com

Ride The WRTA With A Friend Day

Join Us This Tuesday, June 24

Bring Someone To Town On The WRTA Bus System
Arrive At The Bus Station By 11:30 a.m.
Eat Lunch At A Downtown Restaurant

Support The Green Jobs Act and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant

June 20, 2008

With gas prices climbing every day, there's no shortage of people here and in Washington talking about renewable sources of energy. 

Right now, Members of Congress are about to decide whether to fund job-training programs that would prepare American workers to build and maintain clean, new sources of energy for our country.

We need Congress to support full funding for two vital initiatives -- the Green Jobs Act and the Green Block Grant Program:

Together, these programs would invest over $1.1 billion to provide critical training for green-collar jobs, help lift people out of poverty, and build cleaner, more sustainable communities around the country.

Today marks the beginning of a critical time in the house and senate as appropriations sub-committees decide the fate of two key green-collar jobs programs. We chalked up a major victory last fall when the Green Jobs Act and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program were approved as part of the energy bill. However, that achievement will mean very little if the programs do not receive funding in the 2009 Appropriations Bill.
 
Last year, with your support, the community program Green For All helped ensure that the 2007 Energy Bill included two critical provisions: the Green Jobs Act and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program. Once they are fully funded, these two provisions will dramatically boost the prospects for green-collar job development in the United States.
 
The Energy Bill authorized funding levels for both of these provisions. Now Congress needs to appropriate the money for them. As soon as two weeks from now, Appropriations committees in Congress will vote whether or not to fund these two vital programs.
 
A fully funded Green Jobs Act will distribute $125 million per year to identify needed skills, develop training programs, and train workers for jobs in a range of green industries. That's enough money to train 30,000 people in green trades - every year. It targets a broad range of populations for eligibility, but it has a special focus on creating "green pathways out of poverty." In other words, this Act can connect the people who MOST need work - to the work that MOST needs to get done.
 
A fully funded Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program will distribute $2 billion per year to cities and local governments for energy conservation, energy audits, fuel conservation programs, and the use of renewable energy. These "Green" block grants could create tens of thousands of green-collar jobs - accessible to low-income city residents who most need opportunities and careers.
 
We must work hard to make sure that Congress understands the importance of funding these green-collar jobs programs. The budget submitted to Congress by the Bush Administration eliminates and under-funds a broad range of worthy programs. Therefore, Congress must wrestle with many competing priorities as its members attempt to make up for this shortfall and pass an Appropriations Bill for 2009.
 
The Green Jobs Act and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program are essential investments in green-collar job creation and job training. These programs will be fundamental to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th district, I support this bill and I ask that you write to your member of Congress to see that this bill is passed to help bring renewable energy jobs and programs to the poor, working, and middle class of Ohio and America.

Dennis Spisak- Campaign Site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Please check our links page for renewable energy programs.

If the Mahoning Valley Won’t Support Mass Transit, Would they Support Van Transit?

June 19, 2008

The Mahoning Valley Green Party and other environmental groups are promoting a Ride the WRTA With A Friend Day next Tuesday, June 24, 2008. The objective is to bring someone downtown on the WRTA Bus System. We would like those participating to arrive downtown by around 11:30am and have lunch at a downtown restaurant.

As we have been promoting this idea, we have receive some negative response that the greater Mahoning Valley will never support mass transit even if gas reaches six or seven dollars a gallon.

So my next question is, would the Mahoning Valley support a Van Transit system that is currently in place in Fort Worth, Texas?

The vanpooling group -- car-pooling in a van -- was formed two years ago under a program administered by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority.

In Tarrant County, 166 vans are now on the roads, an increase from 144 last April, with a waiting list of additional riders needing vans. Dallas Area Rapid Transit is maxed out at 145 vans with a waiting list of more than 20 would-be vanpools.

Local transportation agencies typically provide the van, insurance and gas to a group of riders who live and work near each other. The group provides a primary vanpool manager and drivers.

Collectively, each group estimates it saves more than $25,000 a year on gas, parking and insurance by taking the van to work. That's in addition to the air quality benefits, shorter commute times and, of course, camaraderie.

Of course, there are inconveniences: waking up earlier than usual, rigid time schedules that don't allow for staying late at work, and getting left behind if you're not punctual.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I believe we should invest in mass transit, or look at alternatives as Van Transit. We can no longer support higher and higher gas prices for the poor, working, and middle class.

Dennis Spisak- Campaign site:  Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Number of Underinsured American Adults Rising

June 17, 2008

The number of underinsured U.S. adults—that is, people who have health coverage that does not adequately protect them from high medical expenses—has risen dramatically, a Commonwealth Fund study finds. As of 2007, there were an estimated 25 million underinsured adults in the United States, up 60 percent from 2003.
Much of this growth comes from the ranks of the middle class. While low-income people remain vulnerable, middle-income families have been hit hardest. For adults with incomes above 200 percent of the federal poverty level (about $40,000 per year for a family), the underinsured rates nearly tripled since 2003.

Middle-Income Uninsured Rate Rising

Insurance erosion has spread up the income distribution well in to the middle-income range. For those with annual incomes of $40,000 to $59,000, the underinsured percentage rate reached double digits in 2007. Barely half of those with incomes of 200 percent to 299 percent of the poverty level were insured all year with adequate coverage.

Underinsured Go Without Needed Care

In terms of access problems and financial stress, underinsured people—even though they have coverage all year—report experiences similar to the uninsured. More than half of the underinsured (53%) and two-thirds of the uninsured (68%) went without needed care—including not seeing a doctor when sick, not filling prescriptions, and not following up on recommended tests or treatment. Only 31 percent of insured adults went without such care.

About half of the underinsured (45%) and uninsured (51%) reported difficulty paying bills, being contacted by collection agencies for unpaid bills, or changing their way of life to pay medical bills. Many reported that they took on a loan, a mortgage against their home, or credit card debt to pay their bills, suggesting, "that these financial difficulties had the potential to linger into the future." In contrast, only 21 percent of insured adults reported financial stress related to medical bills.

Benefit Design Matters

The sharp increase in the number of underinsured adults is partly due to design changes in insurance benefits that leave individuals financially vulnerable. Underinsured adults were more likely than those with adequate insurance to report benefit limits—for example, restrictions on the total amount a plan would pay for medical care or on the number of physicians' visits allowed. They were also far more likely to report high deductibles: one-quarter had annual per-person deductibles of $1,000 or more. Despite benefit limits and higher deductibles, underinsured adults often reported high annual premium costs, in line with those reported by more adequately insured people.

"Benefit design matters," the researchers conclude. Having a policy with substantial cost sharing relative to income can undermine access to care and erode family finances. While improving insurance coverage is a worthy goal, it is important for policymakers to consider cost-sharing provisions, scope of benefits, and income when exploring coverage mandates, they say. Single-Payer Health Coverage such as the Health Care for All Ohioans Act would help.

The goal is high-quality care and improved outcomes—not just coverage, There is growing recognition of the need for coherent strategies that combine coverage with payment and other policies to change directions and move toward a more inclusive and higher-performing, high-value health system.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a professor from Case Western Reserve University who shared the following information:

“In my view, there are a few other absolutely critical facts that are not mentioned by Mr. Spisak and generally overlooked by most healthcare activists. 

1.  The insured do not know what their insurance covers until they get an expensive disease.  Most voters are insured, and they do not understand how bad their situation may become when they develop widespread cancer.  Their premiums may be increased because they are sick (everyone buys insurance so as to be insured while they are healthy, don't they?).  The insurance company may find ways not to pay for some needed diagnostic tests and/or treatments.

2.  Physicians sometimes change what is done for expensive diseases based on what insurance companies cover.

3. Insurance companies can and do change what they are willing to pay for without the knowledge of their insured.

4. Some physicians, hospitals, etc. collaborate with insurance companies to make these companies more profitable.

In my opinion, we shall not solve our problem until (a) the insured become very concerned and (b) there is universal monitoring of (1) quality of care and (2) who got paid for what.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I believe we nee to pass the Health Care for All Ohioans Act. Current State Rep Bob Hagan said on WKBN radio on December 31, 2007 the biggest crisis facing Ohioans today was health care, and the problem to fixing health care was insurance companies. What Bob Hagan forget to tell the radio listeners he has taken political donations from insurance companies like Medical Mutual within the past year. So who do you represent in Columbus, Bob? People who need insurance or the insurance companies?

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Rep-60th District

Campaign Site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

See our links page to the Health Care Reforms

Why We Don't Have Universal Access To Health Care

June 16,2008

I read an article last week by Michael L. Millenson , a health care consultant and the author of "Demanding Medical Excellence: Doctors and Accountability in the Information Age."

Here's a cold truth: Despite much media hand-wringing on the subject, most of us give about as much thought to those who lack health coverage as we do to soybean subsidies. The major obstacle to change? Those of us with insurance simply don't care very much about those without it. It's only when health care costs spike sharply, the economy totters or private employers begin to cut back on benefits that the lack of universal health care comes into focus. Noticing the steadily growing ranks of the uninsured, the broad American public -- "us" -- begins to worry that we'll soon be joining the ranks of "them."

The reality, however, is that only a minority of the uninsured are either the typical Redbook reader or that nice shopkeeper down the street. Two-thirds of those without health insurance are poor or near poor, and there are clear disparities in how different racial and ethnic groups are affected. Only 13 percent of non-Hispanic white Americans are uninsured, compared with 36 percent of Hispanics, 33 percent of Native Americans, 22 percent of blacks and 17 percent of Asians/Pacific Islanders.

Politicians understand what this means in practical terms. If a lack of health insurance were truly a white middle-class crisis, then conservatives and liberals would long ago have joined together, carved out a compromise and done something. Instead, we're served a constantly recycled set of excuses for legislative stalemate.

The unofficial Republican attitude toward universal health care can be boiled down to the three "nots": not our voters, not our kind of solution and not our priority. None of the Republican presidential candidates even pretended to present a serious plan for universal coverage, nor did Republican primary voters demand one.

Meanwhile, Democrats play their own "us vs. them" games. Although high-profile party leaders are loudly calling for universal coverage -- recall the Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton slugfest over their respective plans -- they reassure the middle class that the cost of compassion will be covered by repealing tax cuts for the wealthy. This "free lunch" approach may tax credulity, but it does avoid the need for discussing other taxes.

There are glimmers of hope. A growing number of insured families are struggling with higher co-payments and deductibles and skimpier coverage. These uneasy "underinsured" may yet join forces with the uninsured to demand protection from a situation that places them, "One paycheck from poverty/One illness or injury from misery."

A survey last year by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that more than two thirds of Americans were willing to pay 1 percent more in federal income taxes to make sure that everyone had health insurance. This counts as progress, as does the bipartisan Healthy Americans Act, a significant step toward universal coverage proposed by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)and Bob Bennett (R-Utah).

Over the years, our society has gradually provided a medical safety net for the elderly and disabled (Medicare), the poor (Medicaid) and veterans. At one time, these commitments were controversial, and there's no doubt that they're expensive. Yet Americans from all walks of life understand that the true value of these programs must be weighed on a moral scale as well as a financial one. It's our willingness to be our brothers' keepers that in part defines who we are as Americans.

It has been nearly a century since Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican running unsuccessfully on the Bull Moose Party ticket, boldly became the first presidential candidate to promise universal health coverage. That was in 1912. Nearly a century later, we're still waiting for a leader with the courage and skill to break through our fears and successfully lead the charge up that particular hill.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District, I believe it is time for Ohio to have a single-payer Health Care for All Ohioans Act. I am ready to fight and climb that mountain.

Dennis Spisak- Campaign Web site: Http://Votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links to Single-Payer and Universal Health Care

Take Back the Bulbs
Sometimes, recycling isn't just a good idea... it's the law.

Seven states - California, Maine, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio and Indiana - now prohibit disposing of the corkscrew-shaped compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFL) with regular household waste. Those twirly little energy-savers contain a tiny amount of mercury, and while it poses little danger in the home even if the bulb breaks, it still doesn?t belong in the landfill.

One place to take your dead bulbs is home décor giant IKEA, whose U.S. locations all accept discarded CFLs for recycling and have done so since 2001. Find a store near you at www.ikea.com.

More information about CFL recycling is available  http://earth911.org, which can help you find a recycling center near you; and www.lightbulbrecycling.com/regulations.html, which provides state-by-state links to recycling regulations and centers near you.


Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

campaign site: http://votespisak.tripod.com

Let’s Build the Canal! Could Kirwin’s Folly save the Mahoning Valley in the 21st Century?

June 14, 2008


I was reading according to the Syracuse Post-Standard:

Rising fuel prices are pushing shippers to take a new look at an old way to deliver their goods - the Erie Canal. "Our inquiries are definitely up," said Capt. Rob Goldman, of New York State Marine Highway Transportation Co., the largest shipper on the state's 524-mile canal system.

There is a good reason: " According to the federal transportation department, shipping by water is far more energy-efficient. In a tractor-trailer, one gallon of fuel is needed to transport one ton of freight 59 miles. On a barge, the same load will go 514 miles on a gallon of fuel."

The tide may be turning for the canal’s commercial use, said Carmella Mantello, director of the state’s Canal Corp.

“The canal is slower, but it’s fuel-efficient and it’s greener,” Mantello said. “One barge can carry the equivalent of 60 tractor-trailers.”

The Standard concluded: The point many times before: in a world without oil, the place to be is near the water and near the customers. "Its time to get back to planting those cabbages in upper New York State and to get HJ Heinz back processing tomatoes and use that railway and Erie Canal to bring local food to that enormous Northeast Market.... That is where the future is."

That got me to thinking today where would the Mahoning Valley be today if former Congressman Michael Kirwin’s Lake Erie and Ohio River Canal was actually built? What would it mean today for the valley with diesel at over $4 dollars a gallon today?

According to the 1948 Pennsylvania Railroad Board of Directors Inspection Trip of Physical Property, the canal would have flowed from the mouth of the Beaver River at Rochester, Pa. to a point near Ashtabula, Ohio on Lake Erie.

The canalization of a part of this route from Rochester, Pa. via the Beaver and Mahoning Rivers to Struthers, Ohio, six miles south of the center of Youngstown, Ohio, has also been considered and vigorously supported by Youngstown interests. This is known as the stub or dead end canal, and efforts to have its construction approved by the U. S. Senate failed in December 1944. The annual prospective tonnage for the canal is estimated at 36,714,000 tons, consisting chiefly of coal, coke, iron ore and stone, with average annual savings to shippers of $24,455,000.
 

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th district, I see the challenge now is to do what the New Deal did-create institutions that will support and sustain a decent society. Let’s finally build that canal, save transportation fossil fuel, and vindicate Kirwin’s Folly.

Dennis Spisak- Campaign Site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

School Funding Petition Drive Fails, State House Leaders Must Try to Fix School Funding…Again

June 13, 2008

After more than fifteen months of an all-volunteer effort to collect petition signatures and qualify a comprehensive school funding constitutional amendment for the statewide ballot, the Getting It Right Consortium is suspending its signature gathering campaign. In so doing, the Consortium points out that its volunteers collected approximately 200,000 signatures, significantly more than any other all-volunteer petition campaign in recent Ohio history.

Once again students, teachers, parents, and citizens must look to the state house leaders to try and find a formula to fix state school funding.

We all know what State Representative Bob Hagan told the Youngstown Vindicator’s
2006 Voter’s Guide about his duties to fix school funding:

VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE 2006
Join the League in Supporting Positive Campaigning!
Ohio House
of Representatives
Question: What role does the
legislature play in protecting the
access of every child in Ohio to
a quality public education?

60th District
Robert F. Hagan (D)
562 Madera Ave.
Youngstown, OH 44504
Age: 57
Education: Ursuline High School
Occupation: Locomotive Engineer/State
Senator
Qualifications for Office: Served in the
Legislature for 20 years/Raising 5 kids
Answer: The Ohio Constitution is clear
on what responsibility the legislature has
to provide a fair and equitable education
for all the 1.3 million children. I signed a
friend of the court document on supporting
the 550 school districts that sued the state
of Ohio for its failure to provide the fair
and accessible education for this state.

What has Bob Hagan done since then? Nothing.

Having been a teacher and principal in Ohio for the past 20 years and having served on the Struthers City School Board of Education the past three years I know Bob Hagan and company have done nothing to fix the school funding issue in Ohio. As a school board member, I have to put a band-aid on every state-funding cut we receive each year from Bob Hagan and the Ohio Legislature.

Can we afford to send Bob Hagan back to Columbus to try and fix Education AGAIN?

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative- 60th District

Campaign Web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Green Careers Can Reinvent the Mahoning Valley

June 12, 2008

This week I read an article by Marilyn Gardner from the Christian Science Monitor that reported Americans were putting themselves on the path to green careers and job openings grow in a variety of eco-friendly fields. After reading this article it did become clearer to me that Green careers can help reinvent the Mahoning Valley.

"It’s an exploding field,” says Matthew Wheeland, managing director of GreenBiz.com. “It can be anything from a very technical job of manufacturing solar panels to the sustainability officer of a Fortune 500 company.”

Yet defining just what constitutes a green job remains a challenge.

“A lot of groups around the country are thinking about green jobs, but there's no clear consensus about what they are,” says Julian Alssid, executive director of the Workforce Strategy Center in New York.

Some eco-friendly jobs are newly created. Others require new skills for existing jobs. “I kind of chuckle when people talk about green jobs,” says Richard Stuebi, a fellow at The Cleveland Foundation in Ohio. “In many ways they look like traditional jobs, just repositioned to sustainable products and services.”

As one example, he points to the burgeoning demand for machinists, fabricators, and welders associated with wind turbines. “That’s now being called a green job,” Mr. Stuebi says. “But the job itself doesn’t look a whole lot different from those in the auto industry 20 years ago. Solar-panel installers are doing a lot of the same things electricians and roofers have done – running wire, drilling holes in roofs. And people who can operate cranes and do onsite pouring of concrete can erect and install wind turbines.”

Some eco-friendly positions deal with energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings and in transportation. Others involve energy generation, such as wind turbines and solar power. Industries offering green careers range from utilities and construction to manufacturing.

Energy auditors and air-quality auditors represent key emerging occupations. Energy auditors identify cost-effective investments that owners and tenants can make to reduce heating and air-conditioning bills.

Legal services offer other green opportunities. These range from helping companies create voluntary carbon programs to assisting with contracts for green real estate developments, says Larry Ostema, an attorney with Horack Talley in Charlotte, N.C.

“In the last 12 months, there has been an explosion of firms advertising the abilities of their lawyers to assist clients with issues associated with climate change,” says Mr. Ostema, who heads his firm’s Green Initiatives group.

Universities, business schools, law schools, and technical institutes offer degrees with green components. “Our goal is to develop graduates who can bring creative solutions to environmental problems,” says Robert Krueger, director of environmental studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for state representative for the 60th district, I see the future in making renewable energy manufacturing jobs and green careers the solutions to mega-problems. We are already seeing growth in this industry, there is no end to this. It's going to affect everything. It's the work of our time and the future.

That's why we need to send a new state representative to Columbus this November to bring green careers back to the 60th district. We can not afford to send Bob Hagan back to Columbus with his dinosaur economic and work plan that has failed to produce any jobs in the last 20 years.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links to progressive job programs

Ohio Now Lags Behind Pennsylvania in Wind Energy Use

 

June 11, 2008

 

While members of the Ohio House and Senate spend more time out of session than in session, more and more states are working towards bringing renewable energy and manufacturing jobs to their people. Pennsylvania is the latest example.


While Ted Strickland is out campaigning for Clinton and now Obama, The Rendell administration has made alternative energy sources a priority, including industrial wind turbines. Pennsylvania has made the following tangible progress toward wind energy.

Some examples:

--In 2006, Gov. Ed Rendell's Energy Development Authority awarded a $193,000 grant to Arizona-based Southwest Windpower to place 15 small wind turbines in highly visible locations across the state to get people thinking about alternative energy sources for their homes and businesses.

--By 2007, school districts in Monroe and Pike counties were using 35-foot wind turbines and generating 1.8 kilowatts of electricity. Estimates are that the school buildings' energy bills were cut by 5 percent to 10 percent.

--Also that year, Prince Gallitzin State Park near Patton in Cambria County received a 120-foot tall turbine, funded through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The system has been generating electricity for the park office, and has been used for educational programs to spur interest in wind energy.

--Under a state grant, St. Francis University's Renewable Energy Center in Loretto is using an anemometer to take wind measurements, factoring in that wind blows stronger the higher the tower and other considerations.

--Small wind turbine systems also were built at Yellow Creek State Park in Indiana County, and at Promised Land, Pymatuning, Presque Isle and Tuscarora state parks.

In that sense Pennsylvania is in the forefront of alternative energy with wind farms and solar farms.

 As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I pledge to work day and night in helping bring renewable energy manufacturing jobs and companies to the poor, working, and middle class of the 60th district. While the Democrats and Republicans take days off for tanning and campaigning, I will stay in the office and work to bringing a manufacturing base back to this valley.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links to Progressive Works Programs.

GAS PRICES FUEL INCREASE IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
 
June 10,2008
 
 
As gas prices hit record high amounts and continue to rise, US citizens are finally turning to public transportation for daily commutes and vacations. Multiple sources are reporting a surge in the use of public transportation. As scores of people jump on the “bus” public transit officials nationwide are continuously determining how to accommodate their new riders.

The American Public Transportation Authority reports 35% more travelers will use public transportation this summer. Needless to say in a country where each household owns an average of 2.28 vehicles, this surge in use of public transportation is coming with growing pains. The increase in gas prices is effecting public transportation providers, which will be reflected in the expected increase in fares. Many companies are finding it necessary to increase their fleets and routes. The cost of expanding their operations coupled with the high fuel prices are a concern. Some companies that provide public transportation are making cut backs while others are pressing forward. Overall, it seems those involved in the public transit industry are looking at this increased need for their services as positive.

One of the benefits of living in a free capitalist society is the ability to choose where we spend our money. As Americans we know, money talks! Bus, train, subway or bike….as a society we are joining together and saying no to the rising cost of fuel.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I will work hand in hand with local officials and WRTA to see that we can provide funding for a more user friendly mass transit system in the Mahoning Valley.

 

Dennis Spisak  Campaign site Http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

 

Landfill Gas to Energy: A Growing Alternative Energy Resource

June 9, 2008

Many Americans are increasingly turning to alternative forms of energy, and one exciting source that has seen recent resurgence in use is landfill gas. This rise in the use of landfill gas can be attributed to a variety of factors. Higher energy prices make landfill gas cost-competitive, especially compared to other sources of renewable energy. Second, utilities are looking for new sources of renewable energy to meet renewable portfolio standards, and landfill gas is especially valuable to them because it provides base load power. There’s also a real demand from consumers for greener energy and many of them are taking part in voluntary programs and are willing to pay more for power derived from renewable sources.

What exactly is landfill gas? Landfill gas is produced when microorganisms break down organic material in the landfill, and is comprised of approximately 50-60 percent methane and 40-50 percent carbon dioxide. At most landfills in the United States, these greenhouse gases are simply burned off, or “flared.”

However, Waste Management (WM) has over 100 sites that have landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) facilities – and they plan to build another 60 plants by 2012 - that collect methane and use it to fuel onsite engines or turbines, generating electricity to power surrounding homes and neighborhoods. By building LFGTE facilities, WM further reduces greenhouse gases by offsetting the use of fossil fuel at the utility power plants.

According to EPA data, there are currently 425 landfills with LFGTE projects in the U.S. that power more than 1 million homes. They estimate that there are about 570 landfills that have the potential to develop LFGTE projects in the future, more than doubling the current amount of energy produced from 1,180 megawatts to more than 2,500 megawatts. Hence, there is a large supply of renewable energy across the country, literally at our doorstep.

For the landfills that Waste Management operates, they expect viable gas streams to run for up to 20 years. With evolving technology and increasing extraction efficiencies, we may be able to extend the lives of our facilities beyond that. The EPA requires landfill operators to collect the methane produced on site, so where it is not being used for energy production it is, and will be, flared to prevent the release of greenhouse gas. WM is currently exploring alternative ways of using landfill gas at sites where it is not practical or the best use to install an LFGTE plant, including a new project to convert landfill gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Waste Management along with Linde, a leading global gases and engineering company, are building a landfill gas to LNG facility, which will covert landfill gas into clean vehicle fuel. This will be the largest plant of its kind in the world and we hope to break new ground by producing commercial quantities. The facility will purify and liquefy the landfill gas Waste Management collects from the natural decomposition of organic waste in the landfill. When the facility begins operating in 2009 it is expected to produce up to 13,000 gallons a day of LNG and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30,000 tons per year. The project offers a unique opportunity to “close the loop” by fueling hundreds of collection trucks with clean fuel produced from garbage.

This project has the potential to allow WM to tap into a valuable source of clean energy while greatly reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
As the Independent Green Party Candidate for the 60th

district, I will work everyday to bring renewable energy manufacturing back to the valley to help our poor, working, and middle class.

Dennis Spisak- Independent Green Party Candidate- web site Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links to Progressive Job Programs

Green Renewable Energy Jobs Will Save the Mahoning Valley

June 7, 2008

Job Opportunities for the Green Economy: A State-by-State Picture of Occupations that Gain from Green Investments is a new report from the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Since I have started my campaign as the Independent Green Party Candidate for the 60th district, I have stated my number one mission when elected to Columbus will be to bring renewable energy manufacturing jobs to the 60th district to help our poor, working, and middle class of the valley.

How can renewable energy jobs help our valley?  Train operators who currently deliver furniture may one day deliver wind turbine component parts, meaning that their work will be contributing to building a green economy, and that a green economy is creating new employment in rail transportation.

By examining the number of people who are employed in each of the occupations that will be affected by these six green economy strategies, and the average wages in each state for each of these job types, it becomes clear that millions of U.S. workers, across a wide range of occupations, states, and income levels, will all benefit from defeating global warming and transforming the United States into a green economy.

A push to dramatically increase America's clean-energy supply will mean increased demand for these workers, and rising demand could also lead to rising wages.

Solving global warming will require all kinds of workers with a wide range of skills. Tens of thousands of Ohioans have good-paying job skills2 that are representative of a broad range of skills needed to build clean energy solutions:

 Carpenters will be needed to make buildings more energy efficient. There are nearly 30,000 carpenters in Ohio, paid an average of over $17 per hour.

 Electricians are essential to expanding mass transit solutions. There are nearly 26,000 electricians in Ohio, paid an average of over $22 per hour.

 Operations managers are needed to manufacture of energy-efficient automobiles. There are over 47,000 operations managers in Ohio, paid an average of over $41 per hour.

 Machinists craft essential components for wind power. There are nearly 30,000 machinists in Ohio, paid an average of over $16 per hour.

 Welders are vital to solar power manufacturing. There are nearly 16,000 welders in Ohio, paid an average of over $15 per hour.

 Industrial truck drivers transport supplies and fuels for the cellulosic biofuels sector. There are nearly 31,000 industrial truck drivers in Ohio, paid an average of nearly $14 per hour.

While current State Representative Bob Hagan is trying to pass bills to stop puppy mills in Ohio, we need a new state representative who will spend time bringing renewable energy jobs to the valley and Ohio.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District
Campaign web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Check out our links page on Progressive Works Programs.

NEW REPORT:  JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE GREEN ECONOMY IN OHIO

June 6, 2008

Job Opportunities for the Green Economy: A State-by-State Picture of Occupations that Gain from Green Investments is a new report from the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The report examines 12 states and the people employed in occupations affected by six green economic strategies: building retrofitting, mass transit, energy-efficient automobiles, wind power, solar power and cellulosic biofuels. It also looks at what the average wages are in each state for these jobs.  Job Opportunities for the Green Economy makes clear that millions of U.S. workers—across a wide range of occupations, states, and income and skill levels—will benefit from a movement to defeat global warming and transform the United States into a green economy.

Job Opportunities in a Green Economy: Ohio Can Gain from Fighting Global Warming:

Curbing global warming is the work of a generation; specifically, the work of
millions of people, performing the jobs needed to build the green economy.
Clean energy investments will create opportunities for welders, sheet metal
workers, machinists, truck drivers, and others. In Ohio, there are more
than 551,000 jobs in a representative group of job areas that could see job
growth or wage increases by putting global warming solutions to work. And
the benefits of those new jobs would spread to a much wider swath of the
economy.

Clean-Energy Strategies Can Generate Job Growth

A new study by economists at the Political Economy Research Institute of the University
of Massachusetts at Amherst examines the types of jobs that are needed to create a clean-energy economy and pinpoints six specific energy strategies that reduce pollution and can lead to job growth:
Building retrofitting
Mass transit
Energy-efficient automobiles
Wind power
Solar power
Cellulosic biofuels

New jobs will certainly be needed for building a green economy, but the vast majority of jobs associated with these six green strategies are in the same areas of employment that people already work in today, in every region and state of the country. For example, constructing wind farms creates jobs for sheet metal workers, machinists, and truck drivers, among many others. Increasing the energy efficiency of buildings through retrofitting relies, among others, on roofers, insulators, and building inspectors. Expanding mass transit systems employs civil engineers, electricians, and dispatchers. What makes these entirely familiar occupations “green jobs” is that the people working in them are contributing their everyday labors toward building a green economy.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative of Ohio, I will work to bring these types of jobs back to the valley to help our poor, working, and middle class.

Dennis Spisak- Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative- 60th
District 

Campaign Site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links to progressive job programs

Support the SINGLE-PAYER solution -- Vote Green! How to solve the US health crisis by enacting a Single-Payer National Health Plan


June 5, 2008

Dennis Spisak, Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District  (campaign site Http://votespisak.tripod.com and the U.S. and Ohio Green Party a single-payer health plan.

A Single-Payer National Health Plan (also called Medicare For All-In Ohio, the state plan is Health Care for All Ohioans Act)) will provide guaranteed quality health care to all Americans, regardless of employment status, income, residence, ability to pay, age, or prior medical condition.  Single-Payer will also allow full choice of medical provider.    

Single-Payer payer will be less expensive for working Americans and for business, because we won't have to pay for HMO-insurance company profits, big CEO salaries and bonuses, and administrative waste.    

Single-Payer makes it easier for your doctor to get paid, and it doesn't require your boss to provide health coverage.   

Single Payer is an investment in preventive medicine -- it creates an incentive for keeping Americans healthy!

The GREEN PARTY is the only national US party that supports Single-Payer. The Green Party and Green candidates don't take contributions from HMOs, insurance companies, or any other corporations. If you want Single-Payer, help elect Greens to Congress and to your state legislature! Support Green presidential candidates! When Democrats and Republicans have to compete with Greens in elections and work with Greens in public office, they'll be more likely to support Single-Payer. Millions of Americans have seen 'Sicko'.

Nearly everyone has a horror story about trying to get health care, or knows someone with a horror story: denial of treatment, lack of coverage, HMO and insurance bureaucracy and paperwork, huge fees, loss of life savings because of illness or injury. As 'Sicko' shows, corporate HMOs and insurance companies make their profits by denying and restricting health care to people who already have coverage, and by refusing to cover people who need health care the most. We're paying for health care, but we're not getting it!

80 cents of every health care dollar pays for private health insurance profits, paperwork, and bureaucracy. (Cost of Medicare administration: 3%. Cost of private insurance administration: 30%) That's why more and more physicians and employers are endorsing Single-Payer.

Don't believe the lies! HMO and insurance lobbies are in a panic over 'Sicko' and are trying to discredit Single-Payer. They're dumping millions into ads and campaign contributions to make sure that the media don't discuss Single-Payer and politicians don't support it. That's why nearly all Democratic and Republican candidates for President favor plans that leave corporate HMOs and insurance firms in charge of our health care! (Hillary Clinton is one of the top recipients of HMO-insurance lobby money.)

Real reform means eliminating the health insurance racket, not expanding it as the Democratic candidates propose. Beware of phony 'universal health care' plans! The US has some of the best health care technology... and some of the worst access to health care in the world.  Every other western nation has a national health care system. Why can't the US?

 Accept the only real solution to the health care crisis -- Single-Payer / Medicare For All! 

What would happen if our Fire Departments were privatized and run like our Health Care system?   If your house catches fire, you wouldn't call 911 for the nearest neighborhood Fire Department. You'd call whatever Fire Department is in your insurance plan -- even if it's across town or miles away. You might have to call your 'Fire Insurance Company' or 'Fire Management Organization' for approval.    
Depending on your coverage, the Fire Department might tell you they can only fight the fire in your living room and bedroom, but not the kitchen or the garage... unless you pay an additional out-of-pocket fee.

Your insurance company might tell you that, even though your house is on fire, they won't pay for the Fire Department to put it out, because your house had a 'prior condition.'     

If you don't have coverage, the Fire Department will only come if you pay an expensive fee. Many uninsured people would try to put out the fire themselves, or just let their house burn. Fires would then spread to other houses in the neighborhood.   

Democratic and Republican politicians would tell you that we can't have Fire Departments that are publicly owned and paid for with our tax dollars, even though it would be cheaper and would save lives and property... because that would be 'socialism'! Insurance companies would spend millions of dollars on ads and political contributions to make sure that Fire Departments remain under the control of insurance companies.  Insurance company profits would be more important than the lives and property lost because of fires. Americans would never tolerate Fire Departments that were under the control of insurance corporations! Why do we tolerate our current corporate-controlled health care system? Demand Single-Payer / Medicare For All!

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Rep-60th district

http://votespisak.tripod.com

see our links to Better Health Care!

Indiana Jumps on Wind Energy Bandwagon, Why Not Ohio?

June 4, 2008

Indiana is learning from its fellow “I” state to the west — Illinois — that there are big money and green jobs in wind energy. The Windiana 2008 conference will be held in Indianapolis June 17th and 18th. Said Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, in an article in Inside Indiana Business:

“Indiana is on the verge of explosive growth in wind energy…. There is not one single energy issue or technology that has fostered more interest and discussion among Hoosiers. As these turbines begin sprouting on Indiana farmland there is a huge appetite for information about them, which is why we're bringing all these people together.”

The conference has been put together partly by the Indiana Wind Working Group, among other entities. Along with the Indiana Renewable Energy Association, they are advocating what has worked to build renewables in other states: a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). RPS’s assure investment in renewable technologies by requiring that a state have a certain portion of its energy generated by renewable sources. Given the need for jobs in Indiana and the potential for wind in the state, we can expect more support for a state RPS going forward.

Here we see another state moving ahead of Ohio in developing wind energy that will  not only  produce energy but will add blue and white collar jobs to the Hoosier state.

According to an analysis by the Renewable Energy Policy Project, Mahoning County could expect to bring in $93 million dollars in investments and over 593 jobs.

Why Not Mahoning County, If not now, when?

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Check our links to renewable energy programs
 

Bob Hagan: On Education Funding: No Action, No Solutions, But Only Adds To The Problem

June 3, 2008

In the Youngstown Vindicator's Voters Guide from November 2006, Bob Hagan was asked the following question regarding education:

VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE 2006
Join the League in Supporting Positive Campaigning!
Ohio House
of Representatives
Question: What role does the
legislature play in protecting the
access of every child in Ohio to
a quality public education?

60th District
Robert F. Hagan (D)
562 Madera Ave.
Youngstown, OH 44504
Age: 57
Education: Ursuline High School
Occupation: Locomotive Engineer/State
Senator
Qualifications for Office: Served in the
Legislature for 20 years/Raising 5 kids
Answer: The Ohio Constitution is clear
on what responsibility the legislature has
to provide a fair and equitable education
for all the 1.3 million children. I signed a
friend of the court document on supporting
the 550 school districts that sued the state
of Ohio for its failure to provide the fair
and accessible education for this state.

What has Bob Hagan done since then? Nothing.  Bob's Democratic Governor Ted Strickland in 2007 recognized a number of problems with the current system of funding primary and secondary education, including:
• The rules of property taxation, the way state funding mechanisms work, and the assumptions made about growth in local resources do not provide much stability or assurances about inflationary cost growth;

• The complexity of property tax laws and the difficulties in passing levies suggest that greater reliance on sales or income taxes to support schools is preferable but might lead to a greater erosion of local control;

• There is no Right state/local mix of revenues that characterizes good school funding systems; however, by increasing the state share, there would be greater resource equalization, since state distribution mechanisms are designed to give more money to the poorest districts;

• State taxes must be raised by more than the amount required to offset property tax reductions in order to result in an actual increase in available funding for schools;

• It is easy, but not correct, to conclude that, by simply adding additional financial resources, better student results will be achieved; how money is used must also be addressed; bad instruction, regardless of how much is spent on it, does not lead to improved results;

• The rules of property taxation in Ohio, and its complexities, is a major contributor to the school funding problem;

• Budgeting for education has resulted in a patchwork quilt of restrictive and prescriptive grant programs that force districts to operate in certain ways simply in order to meet grant criteria; and

• How effectively dollars are spent in the interest of student achievement is difficult to measure.

Little was done with the report by the governor or the legislature.

What can we expect from Bob Hagan and the Democrats if they are reelected?

What is clear from all past efforts at education reform,” is that the state will be asked to make an additional commitment of resources. This time, it is likely that school accountability will be required as the cost of increased state support, whatever form it takes.

From a purely budgetary standpoint, the big question is the source of any additional funding. The state's current budget is still out of whack.” The next budget promises to be even more difficult and the state has already made commitments for the use of new money that it will not have absent a significant tax increase. And tax increases seem to be the name of the game when it comes to educational reform.” As suggested in the April issue of State Budgeting Matters, a substantial state tax increase would be a very likely source of funding for all these new initiatives.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I will work to see that funding for education is fair and equal. I would:

support Senator Scouring's Education Funding Proposal that would Establish an independent budget and dedicated revenues to fund it to ensure that there is structural integrity in school funding and give the people of Ohio the confidence of knowing that their education tax dollars are indeed being spent on nothing else but education. It also will provide a steady and reliable source of revenue to fund education. Between 1986 and 2006 Ohio's income tax collections have grown by over 200% and sales tax collections have grown by over 300%. Future collections will increase the state share of funding and reduce the share from local school districts. Therefore, it will also reduce the reliance on local property taxes and the constant need to go to the ballot.
That concept paper has the support of the following organizations: the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA), the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO), the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), and the Ohio Education Association (OEA).

Always Remember, Bob Hagan has been all talk and no action in the state legislature for the past 20 years.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Check out our links page to school funding

Why we need the Health Care For All Ohioans Act

 June 2, 2008

In the state of Ohio alone, more than 1.4 million people were uninsured in 2005.i Some seem to believe that the uninsured are lazy and would rather not work. Others believe that people are uninsured because they would rather use their money to pay for other items. According to a June 2004 report from Families USA, four out of five persons without health insurance are employed or belong to a family in which at least one adult is working. In fact there are many reasons that people go without health insurance. Often, these reasons are not the fault of the individual. For instance, people are not always able to afford coverage that is offered by an employer or their employer cannot afford to offer health coverage to their employees. Also, some people have lost their jobs or earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private insurance. We Are the Uninsured aims to bust the negative myths that are associated with being uninsured, and advocate that Health Care is a right, not a privilege.

Uninsured people rarely receive health care when they need it and approximately half of all uninsured adults with chronic conditions (such as diabetes or asthma) go without the medical care or medication they need because they cannot afford the cost. Uninsured adults are also 3 to 4 times more likely to go without health care services like breast cancer or high blood pressure screening. Each year in the United States the deaths of 18,000 people can be linked to the fact that they did not have health insurance.

When a person's health becomes so bad that they can no longer delay seeing a doctor, who pays for their care? The person pays what they can out of their own pocket. The hospital or clinic also pays by absorbing the cost that a patient cannot pay. This can be done by offering patients care at a reduced cost, or by writing off the payments that are not collected. The state government also has some monies to pay for the health care of the uninsured, yet this is a very small amount compared to the cost of care. These state monies are partially funded by taxpayers. Society pays in other ways as well. Preventative care would allow an individual the chance to maintain a healthy lifestyle, avoiding lengthy hospital stays or worse.

Uninsured adults are four times more likely to use emergency rooms as their regular source of care - the most expensive setting. Part of the cost for this care is shifted to those with insurance, in the form of higher insurance premiums. The rest is absorbed by the clinic or hospital - limiting health care services for everyone.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District, I support passage of the Health Care for All Ohioans Act.  When elected to the State House, I will work with Green Party State Senator Tim Kettler to pass The Health Care for All Ohioans Act that covers every Ohioan for any necessary procedure their doctor orders without exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our link to the Health Care for All Ohioans Act!

Youngstown Citywide Cleanup
Saturday, May 31

8:30 a.m. - Meet at the Chevrolet Center, 229 East Front Street.
Trash bags and gloves will be distributed.

9:00 a.m. - Citizens will go to neighborhoods to clean along the
roadways.
The Mahoning Valley Green Party will be participating!

Green Jobs Can Provide Careers and Education to Mahoning County's Most Disadvantaged Communities

May 29, 2008

All across the nation, progressive liberal candidates are calling on state legislatures to invest in bills and programs that would create jobs in clean energy industries and provide pathways for green career and education for the most disadvantaged communities in many states.

Progressive State Representatives all across America are saying it's time NOW to create green-collar jobs that fight both poverty and pollution. 

Progressive State Representatives all across America all calling for states to create a Green-Collar Jobs Council and invests in green job training programs for at-risk youth and adults with barriers to employment.

Progressive State Representatives all across America are calling for “Green Jobs Not Jails.”


In California, the 'Green Jobs/Career Tech Education Bond' will create a 2.25 billion dollar fund to provide grants and loans to state, regional, and local partnerships for career technical education and job training; to support green business growth and job creation; to create meaningful employment and green pathways out of poverty; and to promote high school completion. The fund has the capacity to stimulate the state and regional economies, creating clean, green jobs for Californians who live in low-income and polluted communities.

SB 1672 will create many benefits for California's communities, environment, and economy by:

: Fighting global warming and pollution by growing the green, clean economy;

: Stimulating the green economy and create jobs;

: Helping people lift themselves out of poverty through green-collar career opportunities;

: Promoting high school graduation.

SB 1672 is a powerful statement about the values of the people of California, and a critically needed investment in our future that protects our environment and empowers low-income Californians with the education to training they'll need to succeed in the growing green economy.

As the Progressive State Representative Independent Candidate of the Green Party for the 60th District seat, I will work everyday in Columbus to see that we can bring such jobs and programs to the Machining Valley.

While current State Rep Bob Hagan collects over 100 donations from lobbyists, corporate PACS, a $10,000 Donation from “Corrupt” Marc Dann, and $2,500 from John Carfaro, I will spend my time working to bring green manufacturing jobs to the poor, working, and middle class citizens of the 60th district.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Check out our links page on progressive renewable job programs for the 60th district

U.S. & Ohio Missing Opportunity to Recycle Vast Amounts of Energy

May 28, 2008

Last Wednesday an event on Green Technology sponsored by the Midwest Council of the American Electronics Association, Vincent Albanese, SVP of Air Pollution Control at Fuel Tech, a company that produces air pollution control devices for large power generators and heavy industry, shared some startling information and insight:
              ·   Congress is missing opportunities to save energy because of its narrow focus on achieving carbon-emission goals thirty years in the future.
              ·   Older manufacturing companies have no incentive to clean up their plants because the EPA’s New Source Review rule requires that with any physical changes made, companies have to add all new technology.

New source review sounds good to us environmentalists, but in practice it makes rust belt companies avoid upgrades in their current operations that would save vast amounts of energy, because of the expense involved in completely revamping their entire operations.

The next day NPR aired a story on waste heat capture. ArcolorMittal, a European-based steel company with a plant in East Chicago, Indiana, has placed boilers above its coke ovens to capture the intense heat generated by them — heat which used to be entirely lost. The heat is used to generate steam which turns turbines that create electricity. Further, the NPR story quotes Tom Riley, ArcelorMittal’s manager of utilities:

“‘We can produce almost a hundred megawatts of electrical generation out of the steam that’s produced off the waste heat that we’re capturing here today.’ That's enough electricity to power more than 60,000 homes, according to Department of Energy Statistics. Recent EPA and DOE studies suggest U.S. industries waste enough heat to generate an estimated 200,000 megawatts of power — nearly 20 percent of what this nation uses. That's enough electricity to replace up to 400 coalfield power plants.”

In this, as in so many areas, we are behind our friends in Europe and Japan. According to NPR, Denmark generates nearly 55 percent of its electricity through heat recovery; in the Netherlands and Finland the figure is nearly 40 percent, and in Germany 35 percent. In the U.S. figure is only 8 percent. according to the Department of Energy. While we are pressuring Congress for laws providing incentives for renewable energy, let's not forget the impact of waste heat recycling, and the legislation that needs to occur to make it more widespread.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative, we have to begin exploring all options to recycle our vast amounts of energy resources. We need state representatives to work on these problems instead of collecting lobbyists and PAC contributions like Bob Hagan did last year and then proceeded to do nothing to help save energy costs for the consumers of the 60th District.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links to Progressive Energy programs

Green-Collar Jobs: the Future of the Mahoning Valley and America

May 27, 2008

When people talk about green-collar jobs, two questions always pop up. What is it? And how many are there? The first is easy to answer. You'd think there'd be an easy answer for the second question, too. But there isn't.” Green, defines the term this way: A job qualifies as green-collar if it provides high enough wages and good benefits to support a family, opportunity to advance and build a career, and reduces waste, pollution, and other environmental risks.

The Apollo Alliance also describes a green-collar job as doing the sort of high wage skilled work that can't be outsourced. Among the green-collar jobs that are gaining in number and popularity are machinists, technicians, service workers, equipment and installation specialists, construction workers, and managers of all kinds.

Do we know how many green-collar jobs there are? Not exactly.

First, everyone calculates these numbers differently. Some people include indirect jobs and induced jobs. Others only include direct jobs. Should jobs that would be created anyway be included or only new jobs?

Second, data isn't systematically collected at any kind of macro-level. The government group that assigns industry codes hasn't gotten around to assigning a code to various clean energy industries such as solar or wind. And some industries such as parts manufacturers make parts that are used in both ‘green’ and ‘non-green’ jobs.

Because the ‘green’ industry is relatively new, most data are either estimates or anecdotal.

What follows is a summary of what we do know by Heidi Pickman, Apollo News Service. The information you’ll find below includes national job numbers, energy jobs broken down by sector, jobs in energy efficiency, construction jobs, and transportation jobs.

Check back with us, too. We are busy conducting research and will periodically update this work.

National Numbers
1.   A $300 billion investment in America’s economic and energy future over 10 years would produce 3.3 million jobs and a $1.43 trillion gain in GDP.
2.   932,000 of the jobs are in energy diversity.
3.   900,000 jobs in industries of the future -- hybrid cars, energy efficient appliances.
4.   827,000 in high performance buildings
5.   679,000 in infrastructure investment
Source: Apollo Alliance, 2004 published report, New Energy for America

Energy efficiency is more labor intensive than energy generation and thus creates more jobs. Example: For every $1 million invested 21.5 jobs are created by pursuing energy efficiency compared to 11.5 jobs for new natural gas generation.
Source: Apollo Alliance, 2004 published report, New Energy for America

Renewable energy creates four times as many jobs per megawatt of installed capacity as natural gas.
Source: Apollo Alliance, 2004 published report, New Energy for America

Renewable energy creates 40% more jobs per dollar invested than coal fired plants.
Source: Apollo Alliance, 2004 published report, New Energy for America

A national Renewable Portfolio Standard of 20% by 2020 would create 185,000 new jobs from renewable energy development.
Source: Union of Concerned Scientists, July 2007

If automakers are required to have a fleet-wide average of 35mpg by 2018, car manufacturers wouldn’t lose jobs, they’d gain 23,900 jobs, and nationwide there’d be an increase of a total of 241,000 jobs by 2020.
Source: Union of Concerned Scientists, June 2007

Wind
70,000 megawatts of wind power will be put online worldwide over the next decade, representing $75 billion worth of investments.
Source: Apollo Alliance, 2004 published report, New Energy for America

Edward Rendell, the Governor of Pennsylvania, announced in March 2008 that the alternative and renewable energy sectors created 3,000 new good-paying, skilled jobs and funded $1 billion in private investment. He also noted that his state’s unemployment rate has been below the national average in each of the last 13 consecutive months.
Source: State of Pennsylvania

Denmark’s wind energy sector created over 20,000 jobs and supplied 20% of their electricity in 2004.
Source: Danish Wind Energy Association, 2004

Spain’s wind industry employs about 35,000 people.
Source: European Wind Energy Association

The U.S. has 18,000 megawatts of installed wind energy capacity. In 2006, the wind industry created 16,000 direct jobs.
Source: American Wind Energy Association, March 2007

The Renewable Energy Policy Project predicts that 50,000 megawatts of added wind capacity across 25 states will generate well over 100,000 jobs in manufacturing generators, rotors, towers and other turbine components.
Source: Renewable Energy Policy Project, 2004

An old freight car plant in Clinton, Illinois shut down in 2002, and was converted to produce wind towers for Trinity Industries, a Texas company. The plant now employs 140 people.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy 2007

The Spanish wind developer Gamesa built its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Ebenburg, Pennsylvania that now has 276 well paid unionized employees.
Source: Apollo Alliance

In Iowa, 1,800 jobs are connected with wind energy, according to the Iowa Department of Economic Development. That number keeps going up. GE Energy announced in November 2007 that a new wind turbine blade factory would employ 5,000 people in Newton, Iowa.
Source: Businesswire

Solar

California’s Million Solar Roof Initiative will create 15,000 new jobs.
Source: Environment California Research and Policy Institute, March 2007

Texas can add 123,000 new high-wage jobs by 2020 if they aggressively move toward solar power.
Source: IC2 Institute at the University of Texas, June 2007

The solar energy industry employed over 20,000 people in 2001. That number is expected to increase 7.5 times -- to 150,000-- by 2026.
Source: United States Photovoltaic Industry, May 2001

Solar Richmond provides low cost and free solar system installation to low-income homeowners and trains low-income residents from the community to do the work. As of December 2007, a total of 32 Richmond residents completed the training program. All of them received interviews with companies within several weeks of graduation and all but five program graduates had been hired by local solar and construction firms.
Source: Apollo Alliance case study

Chicago attracted two solar power manufacturers to the city by committing to purchasing solar panels. As a result, Chicago has over 2 megawatts of solar generating capacity, more than any U.S. city outside of the Southwest. According to Sadhu Johnston, Chief Environmental Officer for the City of Chicago, the implementation of the city's comprehensive climate action plan could add 5,000 to 10,000 jobs annually in construction, weatherization, engineering, auditing, and other areas.
Source: Apollo Alliance case study

Bio-fuels

Three hundred union tradesmen built the Imperium bio-fuel plant in Grays Harbor, Washington. The plant employs 60 well-paid people. The Port of Grays Harbor conducted an economic analysis that found 350 indirect jobs are created as a result of the Imperium plant.
Source: Apollo’s Fire, Apollo Alliance, 2008

Ethanol production created 5,300 jobs in Minnesota, 5,200 jobs in Iowa, and 3,000 jobs in Nebraska.
Source: Renewable Fuels Association, February 2007

Other Sectors

The clean energy sector in Massachusetts provides over 14,000 jobs and will soon be the 10th largest sector in the state.
Source: Renewable Energy Trust, August 2007

California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard goal of 20% by 2017 has been pushed up to 2010. Environment California predicts that by meeting the goal, 119,000 person-years of employment will be created at an average salary of $40,000.
Source: Environment California Research and Policy Institute, July 2003

The Geothermal Energy Association reported 4,600 direct jobs in 2004 with an average salary of $40,000-50,000.
http://www.geo-energy.org/aboutGE/employment.asp

California firms are hiring:
1.   Solarcity of Foster City, CA, which manufactures and installs solar energy systems, plans on adding 200 workers in the next two years.
2.   Borrego Solar doubled revenue in 2007 and grew its staff 70 to 120 people. They expect to double again in 2008.
3.   Bio-diesel manufacturer Blue Sky Bio-Fuels hopes to hire 24 people in the next year.
4.   PG&E expects to need about 1,000 new workers in the next five years as it changes its electricity generation from mainly natural gas and coal-powered plants to include more wind energy, solar, hydroelectric and thermal power.
Source: Oakland Tribune, April 20, 2008

If California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which requires California to reduce carbon emissions 25 percent by the year 2020, were adopted nationally, 241,000 jobs would be created
Source: Daniel Kammen of the Energy and Resources Public Policy Program at the University of California, Berkeley

The agency responsible for efficiency programs in New York, NYSERDA, estimates that for every gigawattt/ hour they save, the agency’s programs create or retain 1.5 jobs.
Source: Center of Wisconsin Strategy

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy predicts 14,000 new jobs by 2023 in Florida jobs if the state implements a proposed policy plan for expansion of energy efficiency.
http://www.aceee.org/pubs/e072.htm

For every $1 million invested in a typical owner-occupied residential efficiency retrofit in Wisconsin, 14 onsite jobs are created in the community, plus an undetermined number of manufacturing jobs that may be in the community or elsewhere. Milwaukee estimates it needs $243 million in residential retrofits that equals 3,400 jobs, 20% of which are skilled or supervisory.
Source: Forthcoming study by Center on Wisconsin Strategy and the University of Florida’s Powell Center for Construction and
Environment

The Milwaukee Energy Efficiency, or ME2 project aims to retrofit as many of the city’s residential, commercial, and institutional buildings as possible. The goal is a significant reduction in overall energy use and corresponding cost savings. ME2 will train and employ Milwaukee residents of underserved communities to do much of the work, estimated at up to 7,000 person-years for efficiency-measure installation.
Source: Center on Wisconsin Strategy

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District, It will be my honor and duty to work with the Ohio Apollo Alliance to bring renewable energy to the Mahoning Valley, and with it, jobs, for the poor, working, and middle class.
It’s important for the next State Representative to worry about where the next renewable manufacturing job is coming to the area, not where the next lobbyist or corporate PAC  donation is coming from like current State Representative Bob Hagan worries about.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District.

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links page to renewable energy programs and jobs for the Mahoning Valley

The Mahoning Valley Green Party will be marching in the Boardman Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 26....

Here are the details:


Parade starts at 10:00 am and goes North on Market Street from the Center Middle School parking lot to 224 and East on 224 into Boardman Park. We have a Memorial Service planned at the Maag Theater starting at the conclusion of the parade. There is no fee to enter te parade. Look forward to seeing you there Monday.

How Ohio Cities Can Help Residents Go Solar

May 24, 2008

According to a recent report from the blog ECO Localizer, Cities can develop their own renewable energy and energy efficiency finance programs suited to their residential and commercial needs. For instance, in November 2007, the Berkeley City Council authorized staff to develop a plan to pay for the installation of solar panels and solar hot water systems for any homeowner or commercial building owner. Property owners retain ownership of the solar systems, paying back the cost over 20 years through an assessment on the annual property tax bill. This program entails little risk on the part of the city or the building owner, and overcomes a common obstacle of a costly up-front investment that may take more years to recoup savings than the owner intends to keep the building.

Once accepted into the program, a property owner would schedule an appointment for a solar installer to determine the appropriate solar system for the property. The city would pay the homeowner for the system and its installation, minus any applicable state and federal rebates, and would add a special tax to the property owner's tax bill to pay for the system.

The building owner would immediately begin saving money on electricity bills without incurring the upfront cost of installing a solar system, and the interest portion of the assessment may be deductible on the owner's federal income tax return. When the building is sold, the solar array and the tax assessment remain with the property, passing on to the new owner.

Berkeley is working out the legal and financial details and expects to start a pilot plan in 2008. The city is working with banks and credit unions to provide low interest rate financing. Since the property tax assessment will act as a lien, financiers would be first in line to collect in the event a property owner defaults. The current plan works best for owner occupied buildings or buildings where the owner pays utilities. It does not work well for buildings with renters – about 57% of Berkeley's population, according to the 2000 Census – who pay their own electricity bill.

Another option is to work with redevelopment districts to help finance solar installations and energy efficiency measures. Redevelopment districts spend local taxes in the same neighborhood where they are collected to meet specific neighborhood goals. One of these goals is keeping the cost of living affordable for existing residents in the neighborhood. For instance, it can be challenging for low-income seniors who own their homes to pay higher property taxes if the value of property in the area increases. Decreasing the cost of utilities through energy efficiency audits, upgrades, and installing solar panels can help keep the cost of living affordable for low-income residents. The Oakland City Council has already granted funds to the nonprofit Grid Alternatives to install solar PV panels on several homes – either owned by low income residents or a non-profit – in the one of the city's redevelopment areas.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative, I would work with local, state, and federal officials, companies, and organizations to help bring renewable energy sources to our citizens. By putting more renewable energy resources into neighborhoods, we could create a market to bring in renewable energy manufacturing companies to create jobs for the poor, working, and middle class. We can rebuild the Mahoning Valley and 60th District again!

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District
Campaign site: http://votespisak.tripod.com

Simple Solar Power for the Mahoning Valley & Ohio

May 24, 2008


Since I have began my campaign for state representative for the 60th district, my ideas for bringing renewable energy plans and ideas have caused other to call me a moron, among other kind words.

Now that gas will hit 4 bucks a gallon, the new natural gas budget plans are going through the roof, and electricity costs will also rise, I know propose the following 'Wacko Green Party Energy Program" for the Mahoning Valley:

There are upwards of 88 million dryers in the U.S. alone, each emitting in excess of one ton of carbon dioxide per year. More than that, dryers consume approximately 6 percent of the total household electricity usage, adding up to nearly $100 in energy costs every year for most of us.

The solution? Hang your laundry out to dry. It's cheaper, easier on your clothes (they last longer when they don't get beat up in the dryer) and much easier on the planet, but it can be harder to do when you don't have lots of room for a big laundry line (or if you live somewhere where your neighbors don't approve).

Hills, an iconic Australian brand that has become synonymous with line drying over the past 50 years, is bringing their pro-line message to the States, with a clever site called LineDryIt.com. They've got products, facts and tips and even some celebrity fans to help spread the word. It's all designed to make line-drying easier, more fun, and more widely accepted in communities around the country. No matter what you need to do to get started, or just get better, LineDryIt can help.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: http://votespisak.tripod.com

Could WRTA Change to a Light Rail Tramway and be Successful?

May 23, 2008


It's Memorial Day weekend, 2008. Gas stands at $3.99. The future is pretty clear, there may be no cap for gas prices in the next 3-5 years. Public Transportation may again become the way many people will begin to commute in the valley. While the WRTA bus levies fail, could the WRTA switch over to a light rail Tramway and be successful?

According to the web site Light Rail Now, The latest new French light rail tramway opened in the relatively small city of Mulhouse (population about 112,000), located in the southern region of Alsace – and the public has welcomed it with overwhelming enthusiasm. On 13 May 2006, the tramway was "previewed" to the Mulhouse public, and on 20 May it was officially opened with a grand ceremony.

The new tramway system –consists initially of two light rail transit (LRT) routes, totaling 12 kilometers (about 7 miles), with 24 station-stops and a fleet of 27 tramcars.

Eventually the system will be extended to 19.7 km (12.2 miles), with 38 station-stops, at a total cost about US $442 million); ridership is forecast to reach 87,000 per day. The cost calculates to about $22 million/km, or about $36 million/mile.

Extension of the system will be achieved in stages. In 2009, the Mulhouse-Kruth Tram-Train will be launched. Then, in 2011, the entire urban system is scheduled for completion.

At the May 13th public "launch" of the tramway, the whole city was engulfed in a splendid festival, with free rides on the trams, and an array of festivities, including music, dances, special entertainment, and loads of fun. Crowds enthusiastically boarded the trains for a free chance to experience the new system.

At the May 20th official opening, after traveling in an inaugural railcar from the Soléa depot (carbarn), French president Jacques Chirac, accompanied by Mulhouse mayor Jean-Marie Bockel and various other dignitaries, hailed the tramway project as "evidence of a dynamic city, a city where respect for enduring development goes together with determination and progress."
The LRT system, locally called the Tram-Train, is designed to serve Mulhouse urban neighborhoods as well as five other towns (Kingersheim, Wittenheim, illzach, Riedisheim, and Lutterbach). According to the latest notice from the agency, the tramway will operate from 05:00 to 23:00 daily, with headways of 6 to 8 minutes.

Could a WRTA Light Rail Tramway help create better mass transit for the Mahoning Valley? Light rail and heavy rail tend to be more cost effective to operate than buses. The investment in a light or heavy rail system is not only economically efficient in the long term; it also has fewer impacts on the environment than highways. Two rail tracks have the same holding capacity as 16 lanes of highway. Rail also uses 35% to 40% less energy than cars.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District, I would work with the state of Ohio increasing funding for mass transit in its urban areas. Ohio residents are deprived of a multitude of transportation options. Increasing state funding for operating and capital costs of mass transit would provide a better opportunity for light rail tramways that could save WRTA and transportation needs for the poor, working, and middle class.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate For State Representative-60th Dsitrict

Campaign web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Improving Mass Transit in Mahoning County and Ohio

May 22, 2008

As far back as 2001, the Sierra Club did a study on An Analysis of Mass Transit Spending in Ohio.

Their conclusions were:

Light rail and heavy rail tend to be more cost effective to operate than buses. The investment in a light or heavy rail system is not only economically efficient in the long term; it also has fewer impacts on the environment than highways. Two rail tracks have the same holding capacity as 16 lanes of highway. Rail also uses 35% to 40% less energy than cars.

The data also shows that systems with higher ridership rates tend to be more cost effective. As more individuals ride mass transit the service begins to recover capital and operating costs. However, the same is not true for most highways. As more and more cars fill up lanes on Interstate 71 in COlumbus it causes a demand for more capacity. Unlike mass transit, those drivers are not directly paying for a portion of that transportation service.

Many other urban transit systems throughout the nation receive higher percentages of their funds from their state government than Ohio urban transit systems. The state of Ohio only provides 5% and 10% of the total operating and capital funds respectively. Several other cities including Pittsburgh, Detroit, Baltimore, and Madison receive significantly more money from their respective states than those cities in Ohio.

Finally, analysis of the data affirms that there is a direct correlation between high-density neighborhoods and high ridership. Neighborhoods with seven units per acre or more enable a transit authority to provide a viable mass transit system. A dense neighborhood fosters high ridership. Typical suburban neighborhoods that have five units per acre or less will not have a successful mass transit system because there will be less riders. In these types of low density, single-use neighborhoods, residents are completely dependent on their automobiles to commute to all locations, near or far.

Their recommendations were:

The state of Ohio should increase funding for mass transit in its urban areas. Ohio residents are deprived of a multitude of transportation options. ODOT continues to build new highways and add more lanes, causing Ohioans to rely almost solely on their automobile.

Increasing state funding for operating and capital costs of mass transit would provide a better opportunity for multi-modalism including light rail, heavy rail, and enhanced bus services.

Cities also need to build neighborhoods that are denser and transit-oriented, to increase ridership. Neighborhoods that are seven units per acre or more enable higher ridership on a mass transit system. Transit-oriented development (TOD) refers to moderate to high-density development along a regional transit system. Most TOD programs are focused around rail transit stations, though the concept can be applied to a bus corridor. Ideally, TOD consists of housing and complementary retail, office, and public service development. TOD can reduce mobile source emissions by increasing transit mode share. Dense neighborhoods, like German Village in Columbus, have some of the highest-priced homes in the region yet continue to offer housing choice for people at varying income levels.

Finally, more cities in Ohio need to explore the merits of building light rail and heavy rail systems. Again, transit authorities in Columbus and Cincinnati are currently studying the feasibility of light rail service in their respective communities. Support for both light and heavy rail service in Ohio cities is necessary from public officials and area residents to make these travel modes a reality.

As the independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th district, I have to ask my Democratic and Republican leaders in Columbus if this report has been around since 2001, why has no action been taken on it?

Why is no action being taken on it now as gas hits $3.85 a gallon?  Do big oil lobbyists have their hands even in the pockets of our state house and senate leaders in Columbus?

Could not a light rail system benefit the Mahoning Valley WRTA? Could we not run a rail system from all 4 directions of the county to Youngstown State University to reduce traffic and pollution on campus?

If Bob Hagan is the Progressive Liberal that he claims to be, why hasn't he pushed this issue while in Columbus since 2001?

It's time we send an Independent Green Party Candidate to Columbus to begin to transform our mass transit system from buses to light rail.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th district

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Feeding the Hungry in the Mahoning Valley

May 21, 2008

The America's Second Harvest Network produced "Hunger in America 2006 ," a comprehensive profile of the incidence and nature of hunger and food insecurity in the U.S.

Our study provides extensive demographic profiles of emergency food clients at charitable feeding agencies and comprehensive information on the nature and efficacy of local agencies in meeting the food security needs of clients.

The study is the largest of its kind. More than 52,000 individuals agreed to share their personal stories with us through face-to-face interviews at charitable emergency hunger-relief agencies like pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.

Nearly 31,000 local emergency hunger-relief agencies completed survey questionnaires about their efforts to serve millions of hungry Americans.

Who did we feed in Youngstown? Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley
   Youngstown, Ohio. Learn more at http://www.mahoningvalleyseondharvest.com)

People Served:
Annual estimated number of clients: 43,800
Weekly estimated number of clients: 7,400
Percentage under 18: 28%
Percentage of elderly: 13%
Poverty Statistics:
Percentage below poverty line in previous month: 68%
Percentage who are homeless: 0%
Percentage who are food insecure: 74%
Percentage who are food insecure with kids: 75%
Percentage who are food insecure with hunger: 34%
Percentage with hunger with kids: 37%
Percentage who receive Food Stamps: 37%
Percentage who received General Assistance, welfare, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in the past two years: 11.1%
Working Poor:
Percentage of households with at least one employed adult: 27%
Median monthly income: $950.00
Choices:
Percentage who made the choice between food and utilities: 44%
Percentage who made the choice between food and housing: 31%
Percentage who made the choice between food and health care: 33%

As the Independent Green Party Candidater for State Representative for the 60th District, it’s time we provide good living wages jobss to help the poor be able to feed themselves.

We need to send a State Representative to Columbus to fight for new jobs for our poor, working and middle class, not our current State Representative Bob Hagan who collected over 100 donations from lobbyists and Corporation PACS in 2007 alone. Guess how many people Bob Hagan could have fed if he donated his campaign contributions for lobbyists and PACS in 2007 to Second Harvest Foodbank in 2007? But Bob works hard for his money, or so he tells us. But we know better.

Dennis Spisak- Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th district

Campaign web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Could the Mahoning Valley Use 8 Billion Dollars?

May 20, 2008


Would the city of Youngstown like to be handed a check for 8 BILLION DOLLARS?

Spanish power company Iberdrola, the world's largest renewable energy operator, said Sunday it plans to invest eight billion dollars (5.1 billion euros) in the United States between 2008 and 2010.

The Bilbao-based firm is aiming to have a 15 percent share of the wind power market in the US by 2010, it added in a statement.
It had a wind power production capacity of 2,400 megawatts in the US at the end of March and it expects to reach 3,600 megawatts by the end of the year, the statement added.

Iberdrola chairman Ignacio Sanchez Galan has said he considers the US as the company's most exciting growth market.

The US, which uses roughly one-quarter of the world's crude oil, is seen as a promising market for renewable energy sources as concerns over climate change and the rising price of oil boost demand for alternatives to fossil fuels.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate, I would work to bring such renewable energy companies into the 60th district to bring investment, blue-collar jobs, high-tech jobs, and people back to the Mahoning Valley.

One only has to pull up to a gas station these days to see the that the US is a very gold mine for renewable energy manufacturing jobs and companies. It's time we had a state representative who has the drive, desire, and motivation to bring such jobs to our poor, working, and middle class.

These jobs are coming to America. Why Not Youngstown? And if not now, when?


Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign web-site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Check out our links to renewable energy and progressive jobs programs

OHIO RANKS 40TH IN SCHOOL FINANCE EQUITY, THANKS TO DO-NOTHING STATE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS!

 

May 19, 2008

 


According to the New America Foundation: Federal Education Budget Project's analysis, Ohio ranks 40th of the 50 states in school finance equity. Ohio has an equity factor of 15.5 percent. That means that in the state of Ohio per pupil expenditures in school districts vary, on average, by 15.5 percent from the state average. The federal government’s equity factor is a measure of how much per-pupil expenditures vary across districts within a given state. The U.S. Department of Education calculates the equity factor for each of the 50 states.

 

Why does Ohio rank 40th out of 50 states? It’s because State Representatives and State Senators like Bob Hagan since 1991 have known that the state funding of education has been found unconstitutional yet they continue to sit and do nothing to fix the problem.

 

As the independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative of the 60th district, I would call on the state leaders to links funds to educational goals. Adequacy is the word used to describe WHAT is needed for a good education. It gets used a lot in school funding arguments, because what we’re providing has a lot to do with what education will cost. It links schools’ educational goals to the money or resources needed to actually meet those goals. Adequacy includes the costs for buildings, employees, equipment and other items schools need in order to meet their educational goals.

 

The way the current system runs isn’t based on a real understanding of adequacy. It starts with the money legislators are willing to spend on schools. That money is then divided based on a complicated formula mostly based on local property tax. The current system doesn’t link school spending to the real needs of students.

 

When Ohio’s school funding system was ruled unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court, the justices said that all students in Ohio should have an equal chance at a fair education. Providing adequacy for all students is a fair method of funding schools and guarantees all students an opportunity for success by meeting their needs, no matter where they live or their life circumstances. It goes beyond “equity” by recognizing that some children face different challenges – poverty, limited English, or disabilities – and require extra support to meet educational goals.

 

Adequacy sets spending floors, not ceilings. It sets a funding base, ensures additional funds for students based on their special needs, and allows optional local spending. Adequacy doesn’t mean “mediocre.” It means providing all children an excellent education and an equal chance at successful academic achievement.

 

We cannot continue to expect high standards to be met while providing barely enough money to get by, and no promises of more money in the future. If education is going to remain a priority in Ohio, then adequacy is not a luxury. It’s necessary. Adequacy is an investment in the state’s future, and it’s what Ohio students deserve.

 

Equity is about making sure that everyone has similar opportunities—making sure that every child has a chance. Some people think that equity means we have to take money away from good schools to balance it out. Nobody wants an equal chance for a lousy education. We need equity, but we also need adequacy. Focusing on adequacy means that we look at what ALL children need, and provide that. Equity is important, but it has to be based on what our kids really need.

 

Equity is about fairness. Adequacy is about enough. We need both.

 

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

 

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

 

 

A Renewable Energy Initiative for the 60th District

 

May 16, 2008

 

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I believe it’s time to call for a Renewable Energy initiative for our valley.  Over the past century we have created a world dependent on oil.

 

There are many ways to create energy. True, at this time there is nothing to date that equals the power of oil but there are new advancements in solar, wind, and geothermal technologies that are pushing the envelope on the potential or renewable energy. There will be a solution to the decline of oil only when state legislative leaders like myself and the general public make the decision to be part of the solution.

 

I am proposing that the 60th district organize a renewable energy initiative to encourage energy conservation, energy efficiency practices, and to promote the use of renewable energy in homes businesses, and industry.

 

My initiative would have four goals:

 

  1. Reduce barriers to the use of renewable energy by providing education and assistance to help citizens plan their energy futures.
  2. Reduce the costs of renewable energy and energy efficiency products by negotiating with manufacturers, retailers, and trades people.
  3. Reduce the installation costs of renewable energy by using a neighbor helping neighbor approach and by participating with local trades people.
  4. Help citizens practice energy conservation by forming an energy assessment and action planning process.

 

As an Independent Green Party Candidate, I can work to help to bring renewable energy to the valley because I will not accept lobbyists or corporate PACS from the oil industry like current State Representative Bob Hagan does.

 

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

 

Campaign web-site: Http://Votespisak.tripod.com

 

 

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
 
May 15, 2008
 
In today's Youngstown Vindicator, State Representative Bob Hagan, the LAST Mahoning County State Official to call for Marc Dann's Resignation said quote:

"I think that what happened today is something we Democrats have talked about a long time and that is weeding out the culture of corruption whether it's in the Republican Party or the Democratic Party."

My question still remains is when will Bob Hagan make a public statement that he is returning Marc Dann's
$10,000 campaign contribution to the Friends of Bob Hagan Committee that was received on 11/11/2007?

It's one thing to talk about corruption, it's another thing to keep a $10,000 campaign contribution from a "Corrupt" Democratic Party official.

Actions do speak louder than words, Bob.
It still seems you will keep corrupt money in your war chest. How ethical is that? How ethical are you?

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

campaign site: http://votespisak.tripod.com
 

Does the “Progressive Liberal” of the House Really Support Ohio Healthy Families?

May 14, 2008

Last week after over 287,000 Ohioans signed petitions to get the Ohio Healthy Families Act to the State Legislature, after 120 days the Legislature failed to act upon the bill and it died without action being taken. Now a new petition drive is underway to collect tens of thousands of signatures to get this bill on the November Ballot.

After 120 days of no action in the legislature, you would think, Bob Hagan, The Progressive Liberal, The working man and working families state legislature, would have spoken out on this issue loud and often. But Bob Hagan didn't. Bob Hagan said nothing.
Bob Hagan never raised his voice in protest over the fact that state leaders were letting this bill; signed by over 287,000 Ohio citizens, die without even a discussion being heard on the floor or in committee in Columbus.

So Bob Hagan, the Progressive Liberal for the 60th District, spoke not a word, and this is what Bob Hagan failed to speak up on  and help poor, working, and middle class Ohioans.

The Ohio Healthy Families Act is a proposed new state law that would make our state one of the most family-friendly in the nation. The Act would require businesses with 25 or more workers to allow full-time employees to earn 7 paid sick days per year. Part-time workers could earn a smaller, pro-rated number of paid sick days depending on the number of hours they work.
When you look at the facts, you can see it makes good sense to allow more Ohio workers to earn paid sick days for their families.
But Bob Hagan refused to make any noise to help Ohio Workers!

Today's Key Facts:
FACT: 2.2 million Ohio workers are not able to take a paid sick day when they are ill. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
FACT: Over 670,000 Ohioans with significant interaction with the public do not have paid sick days.
(Source: Policy Matters Ohio)
FACT: Over 330,000 Ohioans who work in Accommodation and Food Service do not have paid sick days.
(Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research)

FACT: 389,000 manufacturing employees in Ohio do not have the ability to take care of themselves when they are sick.
(Source: Policy Matters Ohio)
FACT: 337,000 Ohioans working in Retail Trade cannot take a paid sick day to get better.
(Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research)
FACT: Every Federal and State employee has paid sick days in the state of Ohio. 42 percent of workers in Ohio do not.
(Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research)
FACT: 79 percent of all Ohio employees earning less than $9.23 an hour do not have the ability to take care of their ill family members.
(Source: Policy Matters Ohio)
FACT: 53.7 percent of all workers with paid sick days do not miss a single day of work.
(Source: IWPR’s analysis of the 2004 National Health Interview Survey)
FACT: Over 3.5 million Ohioans do not have the ability to stay home and take care of their ailing child.
(Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research)
FACT: Ohio employers save $1.25 per employee every week when offering paid sick days.
(Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research)
FACT: Pediatricians recommend that babies and children see the pediatrician 6-8 times in the first year, twice in the second year, and once a year thereafter.
(Source: Massachusetts Academy of Pediatric Dentistry)
FACT: Adults need semi-annual dental appointments and annual or biannual physicals for cancer and diabetes screening, cardiovascular fitness assessment, flu shots, and to receive information about nutrition, exercise, alcohol and tobacco use, and other aspects of healthy living.
(Source: Unity Health Care)
FACT: Only 33 percent of workers nationally have a sick days policy that officially covers doctors visits.
(Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research)
FACT: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that patients do not return to work until they are completely recovered from the flu.
(Source: CDC)
FACT: The flu accounts for 10 to 12 percent of illness-related work absences.
(Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research)

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I would have fought to get this bill heard or made enough noise to let the public know the state powers to be who could have acted on this bill  who were being paid to keep quiet by lobbyists and corporation PACS.
I guess Bob Hagan was one of these state leaders who decided to remain silent on the sidelines. And Bob Hagan is the Progressive Liberal of the 60 th District?

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60 th District
Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our site to read more on the Ohio Healthy Families Act

Bob Hagan Supports Marc Dann...(must have something to do with $10,000) 
 
May 14, 2008
 
I guess Bob Hagan voted no on the impeachment of Marc Dann because Marc Dann gave the Hagan political campaign fund $10,000 dollars last November.

Bob Hagan has shown his true colors with this vote. His vote in favor of Marc Dann means Mr. Hagan supports unethical practices in Columbus, cover-ups, sex scandals, etc.

And we want Bob Hagan to continue to represent the 60th district?

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com
 

Why the Valley Lags Behind the Times
Posted by: Dspisak (IP Logged)
Date: May 10, 2008 09:51AM

Why does the Mahoning Valley seem like it lags 50 years behing the rest of the country and state?
I
t's because we continue to re-elect the same old tired politicians to Columbus. Term-limits were to bring new blood into government....instead all we did what allow our old blood politicians to play musicial chairs with legistlative jobs.

Mr. Gerberry got term-limited out....Mr. Carano took a government position, Mr. Gerberry went back to Columbus as state rep to replace Mr. Carano.

Now that Mr. Boccheri looks like he will be the next congressman of Stark County, Mr. Gerberry has already been mentioned as to appointed back to the Ohio Senate. As so it goes.

We don't want to support WRTA because people believe they don't need to use the bus and don't want the poor or possible gang members to use the system to get to our retail centers on 224 or Mahoning Ave.

Now as we see the city of Youngstown shrink and gas prices rise, this communtiy will return to what this area looked like during the great depression. Being 49 years old, my parents told me stories of how they couldn't afford cars because of low wages, and had to use mass trnsportation to get to retail centers in downtown Youngstown. History is beginning to repeat itself in the valley.

We will need mass transit to get to retail centers on 224....we do need living wage jobs in the valley. We need new renewable energy companies and manufacturing jobs brought back to this valley that will require blue collar skills to build the mechanical components for renewable energy equipment.

As far as our fear of gangs and increased violence, when we had manufacturing jobs people could go to work, make a living wage, and did not have to commit crime.

Let's bring back that concept to the valley. Let us have renewable manufacturing jobs available so we can tell our youth, "put down the handgun, pick up a chaulk gun, earn a living wage, and help your family incoprporate renewable energy sources to's your family and neighbor's homes to help them save money on soaring energy costs."

That's what my Independent Green Party run for State Representative for the 60th district is all about. You can tell a lot about a country, a city, and a valley on how they help their poor,working, and middle class.

In Friday's Vindicator Editorial Cartoon we see the Myanmar Junta holding up his hand and in the other hand holding a sign reading " No Foreign Aid." That is actually what our current old-time politicians are saying to the rest of the federal, state, and business world.
We don't need or want your help or aid beacuse we fear will lose control of our power base.

The Local Democratic Party that supported the poor, working, and middle class and in return my father grew up and supported this party in the 1930's and 1940's is not that same party that we have today. Today's local Democrats like Bob Hagan support the over 100 lobbyists and Corportate PACS that place money in Hagan's political war chest each year. Since the local Democrats no longer support the poor working, and middle class of the valley, it is time we elect independents and show the local Democratic machine the door.

We wonder why less and less people become active and engaged in the civic duty of voting. It's because the local party bosses decide for us who to support.

Some people have asked if I were elected to the state house what my one vote could do to change things for the better. Well, my one vote in the house may not be able to change things, but my one voice would be outside the state house each week with a microphone or mega phone leading a march around the state house with the poor, working, and middle class demanding living wages jobs, better health care, better school funding, and making Ohio a better place to live and raise our families.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District
[votespisak.tripod.com]
 
 
 
 
 

Bob Hagan: Still Sitting on the Fence with Marc Dann and Holding Dann's $10,000 Campaign Contribution.
Posted by: Dspisak (IP Logged)
Date: May 06, 2008 09:26PM

Interesting to read Tuesday's Youngstown Vindicator where valley legislators Ryan, Boccieri, Gerberry, Harwood, and Cafaro all asked for Marc Dann's
Resignation.

Every valley legistlator but Bob Hagan. All valley legistlators were at the Chey Centre for a meeting where they made statements. I saw Bob Hagan walk out the the Chevy Centre on tv last night but of course Mr. Hagan who has been unproductive in Columbus the last 20 years couldn't even make a statement regarding Marc Dann.

I guess Mr. Hagan can't let go of that $10,000 campaign donation Marc Dann gave him back in 2007.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

campaign site: [votespisak.tripod.com]

I Made A Mistake
 
May 5, 2008

I Made  A Mistake

May 5, 2008

On this morning's post entitled "Bob Hagan took $180,000 from Ohio GOP" I made a mistake with the information I posted. The GOP has not ever donated to Bob Hagan's campaign.

When I ran the Secretary of State's report I fogot to put in the filter "Democrat" when I typed in Hagan's name. The computer report thus gave me campaign donations for both Bob Hagan and John Hagan, a Republican, at the same time in chronological order.

The GOP donations were to John Hagan.

I admit my mistake and have pulled the posting. I apologize for the mistake.

I apologize to Mr. Hagan for the misinformation in the blog posting. Bob Hagan has never received GOP contributions.

Sincerely,

Dennis Spisak

Marc Dann: A clear example of what is wrong with valley politics

May 4, 2008

One only had to turn to page A4 of Saturday’s Vindicator to see what is wrong with valley politics.

Here we had complete coverage of the Marc Dann Scandal: sexual harassment,
sex scandal, cover-ups, and failing to conduct a proper investigation of the crimes.

And then down the right hand column when local Democrats were asked “Should Dann Resign?, these are the answers our local Democratic leaders gave us:

Harry Meshel, former state senator:  “ I Don’t Know.”

Christ Michelakis, Trumbull County Democratic Chairman: “ He’s got to clean up his act or he won’t get re-elected.”

Lisa Antonini, Mahoning County Democratic Chairman: “He can still do his job effectively.”

Bob Hagan, State Representative: No Comment. In fact, Bob’s only comment to the press in the last 5 months was he loved going to Vegas to watch Kelly fight.

There you have it. A local Democratic Party who only serves and protects the invited members of their own little club. They press the flesh come election time and tell us how they stand for ethical government and no corruption but after they are re-elected they stand up and defend their fellow elected crooked party members until the cows come home.

If we ever want to change politics here in the Mahoning Valley we need to begin electing independent candidates who will work for the poor, working, and middle class and not let their political party connections cloud their judgment when one of their own commits unethical acts.

That is why I am running as an Independent for State Representative for the 60th District.

Dennis Spisak

Campaign site: http://votespisak.tripod.com

Will Bob Hagan Give Back His $10,000 Campaign Donation From Marc Dann?

May 2, 2008

According to the Ohio Secretary of State's Campaign Contribution Reports, Bob Hagan accepted the following donation from Marc Dann:

DANN FOR OHIO COMMITTEE 1179 ACADEMY DR.YOUNGSTOWN
11/11/2007-amount-$10,000.00 to FRIENDS OF BOB HAGAN


Will Bob Hagan Return this campaign donation?


Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: http://votespisak.tripod.com
 
 

Can You Afford To Get Sick?

May 1, 2008

If you were injured in a car accident today, would you still have to go to work tomorrow?

That's the case for millions of Americans who have to go to work no matter how hurt or sick they are - or face financial ruin. 47 million Americans are without health care coverage - and the rest are burdened with skyrocketing medical fees.

Worse yet – Columbus State Representatives and State Senators are doing nothing about it.

That's unacceptable.

No one should have to live in fear of getting sick.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District that is why I support the Health Care for All Ohioans Act.

The single-payer health care system that many of us advocate for Ohio under the Health Care For All Ohioans Act is one in which every resident would have comprehensive medical coverage with the bills paid by a government-administered fund – a sort of Medicare for all. There would be no co-payments, no deductibles and no premiums. There would be no exclusions because of income, job status, pre-existing conditions or any other reason. Delivery of medical services would remain in private hands. Patients would have the right to select their own physicians.

I support the Health Care for All Ohioans Act because I believe our health care should not be bought and sold like a commodity. I believe the vast majority of Americans would say health care should not be left to the marketplace but made available to all as a basic human right. It is the business of civilized society to try to make life fairer, particularly in matters of life and death, and health care is exactly that.

It is no surprise than to see that the Big Three automakers are transferring good paying jobs to Canada because they cannot afford the astronomical costs of health care in this country ($1500 per car and truck, according to GM). And by the way, the Big Three supports the Canadian single-payer system, as do Canadian unions.

The bottom line is until we elect an independent candidate to the state house who will not take campaign donations from lobbyists and PACS, unlike current State Representative Bob Hagan who has taken political contributions from Insurance companies like Medical Mutual the healthcare system cannot be fixed. When Bob Hagan takes over 100 campaign donations from Lobbyists and PACS in 2007, whom does Bon Hagan really listen to and vote for?

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links page on health care, education, and progressive jobs programs

Industrial Leadership for Youngstown

April 27, 2008

As we see more and more renewable energy technology and manufacturing coming to Ohio, I continue to raise the question, why is Youngstown always lagging behind?

For 20 years Bob Hagan has served our valley in Columbus and has no accomplishments to show for bringing jobs back to the poor, working, and middle class of the 60th district.

The bottom line is Bob Hagan does not have the leadership abilities to get the job done.

It's time we elect an independent candidate to the state house who will less time fighting with Republicans and spend more time delivering solutions to industry challenges and jobs for the 60th district.

As the independent candidate for State Representative, I pledge to work with an innovative infrastructure of technology, research and development, transportation infrastructure, and funding, to afford companies a competitive advantage in the evolving marketplace of renewable energy and offer forward thinking companies an innovative and pro-business environment in which to succeed for years to come.

For many companies, the bridge between research and commercialization has proven challenging. I will help accelerate this phase by providing clients direct access to cutting edge research at Ohio universities and other prime research facilities. We need to work with businesses and their research partners each step of the way, providing industry-specific advice, industrial process, and market knowledge.

Every effort must be  made to connect qualified clients with funding opportunities through incentives, matching research grants, low interest loans, and access to potential investors via angel investor networks and venture capitalist organizations. Also, pairing proposed production facilities with end users such as military bases or industrial plants

I will also work in matching clients with other companies, growers, government agencies and suppliers to form commercially successful collaborations. Each situation brings unique a unique set of needs. These variables may include real estate, labor pool, transportation or access to airports, railyards, industrial parks, or other needs.

This is the type of leadership Bob Hagan has failed to deliver to the 60th district.
It's time for a change. If not now, when?

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http:// votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links to renewable energy and progressive works programs

Youngstown: The Incredible Shrinking City Can Re-Grow With New Renewable Energy Bill and New Leadership in Columbus

April 25, 2008

CnnMoney.com has now renamed Youngstown as the “Incredible Shrinking City.” But when Governor Strickland signs into law next week Ohio’s New Energy Bill Youngstown can quickly see re-growth with the creation of a new manufacturing industry in Ohio -- renewable energy. Wind turbine installers have all but promised to rush into the Buckeye state because utilities here will be required to begin generating a portion of their power with wind, solar and other renewable technologies. And by sending new leadership to Columbus and replacing non-productive Bob Hagan in the state house with an Independent Green Party State Representative, the 60th district can be placing “sold” signs in yards instead of paying people to move out of parts of the city.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative, I have made it one of my main campaign issues that renewable energy companies can rebuild our valley. Such companies and manufacturers are already producing job growth across the country and our state, and as the new representative in Columbus I will be able to work with private investors, green corporations, and federal grants to bring blue-collar and high tech green collar jobs to the 60th district.

 As a Green Party Member, we advocated renewable energy as well as the manufacturers of wind turbines and solar equipment who pushed Strickland to live up to his campaign rhetoric that such technologies could create a new industry in job-starved Ohio. What we won was a mandate requiring that 12.5 percent of the power sold in Ohio come from renewable technologies by 2025 and -- thanks to the House -- a year-by-year step-up or benchmark that must be met.

The greens also won a "carve-out" for solar power. The bill requires 0.5 percent of the renewable power to come from solar systems. The House put that number at 1 percent but had to back it down at the request of the Senate.

The House also kept in language creating energy efficiency mandates that will require each utility to show over the next 17 years that it has helped its customers reduce their power consumption by a total of 22 percent -- reducing the need for a costly new power plant.

Youngstown has been given a chance to become the Green Energy Manufacturing Giant for the 21st Century. Now it’s time to put an Independent Green Party State Representative in Columbus to help this program along. It’s time to bring Bob Hagan with all his fossil fuel lobbyist and PAC money home.

 

The Future for Youngstown is Green. If not now, when?

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Check out our links to progressive job programs and renewable energy jobs for the valley.

Ohio Schools Depend More on Local Taxes As State Share Continues to Drop

April 24, 2008

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported earlier this month that Ohio School Districts must continue to rely on more local property taxes to operate on as the state share of funding education continues to drop, even under a Democratic Governor.

In the 2005-06 school year, more than half (50.4 percent) of all education revenue in Ohio came from local sources, chiefly property taxes, according to a U.S. Census report released this week. This is the third time in four years the local burden has increased in Ohio, while the state's share has shrunk four consecutive years, to 42.3 percent, the Cincinnati Enquirer said. Nationally, local revenues make up 44.4 percent of school budgets. States contribute an average of 46.6 percent. The Federal Government funds roughly 9% of school costs.

Jim Betts, a spokesman for the Campaign for Ohio's Future, a coalition that wants to change school funding, said it's proof that Ohio's school funding system, repeatedly ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court, isn't getting better.

"It's significant when it becomes a trend," Betts said.

Critics of Ohio's school funding system blame education's dependence on local taxes for creating vast inequities among districts.

In addition, last month Governor Strickland announced that the Ohio Department of Education had to cut 50 million dollars out of their budget, most cuts concerning state money going to the County Educational Service Centers. As a board member for the Struthers City Schools, Last month I received the ESC bill for 2009 for ESC services for the Struthers City Schools.... last year the bill was $419,000...next year the bill is $553,000. So because state reps and state senators can't work together to fix state funding for schools, something mandated by the Ohio Supreme Court 10 years ago, the bills get pushed down to the local boards of education...which means we must pay the increase, cut costs in other services, or ask the local taxpayers to ante up with more money for local levies. Your school board is receiving the same fee increase this month as well.

That's why we need independent state representatives to speak for the people and quit playing political football regarding state funding of education. The 2 major parties will not fix this program before the November election. Last moth saw the lowest percentage of school levies passed in the state for the last couple of years.

Let's send a state representative to Columbus who will do what's right for the taxpayers and poor and working class in the valley, not the over 100 lobbyists and PACS who contributed to Bob Hagan's political campaign fund last year.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled over 10 years ago that state funding of education in Ohio was unconstitutional. When will State Representatives like Bob Hagan ever get around to fixing the funding formula?

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Why Youngstown gets left behind when it comes to renewable energy
manufacturing and jobs: No State Leadership in the Legislature

April 23, 2008

Bob Hagan is the real reason Youngstown is left behind when it comes to bringing new renewable energy companies and jobs to the 60th district. It's not clouds, but no vision or effort on the part of Bob Hagan to secure the necessary leadership abilities to get the job done.

Bob Hagan has been in Columbus for 20 years and can't get a grant for renewable energy...yet a Toledo senator can:

This in via email from the office of District 2 Ohio Senator Mark Wagoner:

WAGONER ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $1.2 MILLION IN STATE GRANTS TO SUPPORT ADVANCED ENERGY RESEARCH IN OHIO

Wagoner: Employers in Lucas County among companies with potential to make Ohio a leader in fuel cells, solar energy

Columbus – State Senator Mark Wagoner (R-Toledo) today announced that the State Controlling Board has approved the release of more than $1.2 million in state grants to two organizations within the 2nd Senate District. The funds, made possible through the state’s Third Frontier Program, will support these groups in their efforts to develop and produce advanced energy technology in Ohio. The hope, according to Wagoner, is to advance Ohio’s position as leader in the budding fuel cell and solar power industries.


Among the grants approved today, Xunlight 26 Solar, LLC, was awarded $977,924 from the state's Advanced Energy Program to support its work in developing technology to produce next generation solar technology. Xunlight is collaborating with the University of Toledo and Akron Polymer Systems on this project, which incorporates three technologies developed in Ohio directly dealing with solar energy.

The University of Toledo was also awarded $250,000 to advance its collaboration with another company on the development of a cellulosic biomass fermentation process, which is a new method for producing ethanol. The project seeks to incorporate two patented technologies that are currently licensed to SuGanit Systems.

According to Wagoner, the work at Xunlight and the University of Toledo in the area of solar energy and bio-fuels is important to Ohio not only because of their potential as a domestic source of energy, but also because the technology these companies are developing could lead to increased manufacturing and more jobs in Ohio.

“The success companies like Xunlight and education institutions like the University of Toledo have had in developing alternative energy sources is a testament to the ingenuity and know how of the workforce in our region,” Wagoner stated. “The investment we are making today will only further advance these achievements by providing these organizations the capital and support necessary to move forward.”

Bob Hagan has spent 20 unproductive years in Columbus representing Youngstown. It's time to bring him home!

It’s time to bring grants,companies, and jobs to the Mahoning Valley. I will see that Youngstown does not continue to be passed by cities like Toledo, Bowling Green, Athens, and even the small rural areas of Ohio.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign Site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our link on renewable energy jobs for the valley and Progressive Works Programs.

Ohio Going Solar…Everywhere but Youngstown

April 22, 2008

Last month, Gov. Ted Strickland stood on the roof of The Toledo Museum of Art to observe the installation of the electricity-generating modules, and to highlight his energy bill that he said would spur alternative and renewable sources of power.

"This is one example of what could be done to make our state more progressive and to make us less dependent on outside supplies for our energy needs," Mr. Strickland said.


The 1,450 solar panels that are taking over a portion of the museum's roof will generate 101 kilowatts of peak power on a sunny day, or about one-fifth of the museum's energy needs, art museum Director Don Bacigalupi said.
 
Mr. Bacigalupi said the total cost of installing the energy panels would be less than $500,000. The museum received a grant of $147,500 from the Ohio Department of Development for the project, according to Carol Bintz, a development officer for the museum.

The panels were made by First Solar Inc. of Perrysburg and are being installed by Advanced Distributed Generation LLC of Toledo. John Witte of ADG said the electricity produced by the panels at peak use would be enough to power about 25 homes.

First Solar panels are also in use at the University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University, and the governor's mansion in Columbus.
Nikki Jaworski, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Development, said the art museum's array is one of the largest in the state. She said the department last June awarded a grant of $438,372 for a 121-kilowatt solar project at the Jeffrey Place condominium project in Columbus.
 
Now, go to the Internet Campaign Home Page of State Representative Bob Hagan and you see a nice picture of Bob sitting next to Governor Strickland.

If Mr. Hagan and the Governor are so close, why are solar panels not installed on the Butler Institute of American Art building in Youngstown? Why are there not solar panel renewable companies and manufacturers in the Mahoning Valley? Why are the areas of Toledo and Bowling Green and Columbus receiving grants to fund renewable energy and not Youngstown?

If the Governor believes Ohio must spur alternative and renewable sources of power, why is no progress-taking place in Youngstown?

You would think after 20 years of being in Columbus Bob Hagan would have the political clout and respect to have Youngstown, Ohio at the forefront of these types of grants? But he doesn't. And that's why Bob Hagan needs to be replaced as State Representative for the 60th District.


Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign wed site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our links page on Alternative Energy Jobs for the Valley

 Bob Hagan Takes Campaign Donations From A Controversial Oil & Gas PAC

April 21, 2008


According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Campaign Committee Contributions List dated April 4, 2008, State Representative Bob Hagan’s Campaign Committee took a $200 donation from the Nisource Inc. PAC, which is embroiled in a controversial gas line and well maintenance program involving clear-cutting of areas in Mohican-Memorial State Forest.

Nisourse’s clear-cutting plan could result in losing up to a twelfth of the 4,700-acre Mohican-Memorial State Forest. The clear-cutting plan could jeopardize the habitat of a number of threatened or endangered species that rely on the large expanse of unbroken forest at Mohican State Forest.

In the past, Nisourse has failed, in some cases, to restore areas, leaving them subject to erosion and growth of invasive species that threaten native wildlife.

I find it hard to believe a self-proclaimed Progressive Liberal like Bob Hagan would take PAC money from an Oil and Gas PAC when he has introduced H. B. 407 to expand the sales tax exemption for sales of natural gas, and to extend exemption to sales of propane.

But this isn’t the first time Bob Hagan has told the public one thing and then taken PAC money from a PAC he is supposed to fighting against. On December 31, 2007 on the WKBN Ron Verb show he stated that fixing health care insurance would be his number one goal in 2009. When asked what the biggest obstacle to fixing health care in Ohio was, Bob Hagan said “Insurance Companies.” Yet, Bob Hagan took money from Medical Mutual Insurance and other insurance related PAC money in 2007.

Who does Bob Hagan really represent? The people of Ohio or the lobbyists and PACS of Ohio?

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for the 60th District, I have pledged to take no lobbyist or PAC money and will only take money from individuals totally no more than 50 dollars a donation. I plan to represent the poor, working, and middle class people of the 60th district, not the lobbyists and PACS that have their hands in Bob Hagan’s back pockets.
 
Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site Http://Votespisak.tripod.com

Employer-Provided Health Insurance Drops
Dramatically Among Full-Time Workers
High-quality jobs not immune to unraveling of employer-based system

April 18, 2008

Why do we need the Health Care For All Ohioans Act? Employer-provided health insurance is eroding!

Tighten your grip, because holding on to health care is getting much harder, even if you have a good job, and a good education, and especially if you are a full-time worker of prime working age.

"No one is immune to the slow unraveling of the employer-based health insurance system," said Heidi Shierholz, EPI economist and co-author of the report A Decade of Decline: The Erosion of Employer-Provided Health Care in the United States and California, 1995-2006, released yesterday by the Economic Policy Institute.

Overall, about 6.4 million fewer workers had employer-provided health insurance in 2006 than in 2000. This trend contrasts with the time period between 1995 and 2000, when the share of workers covered by their employers increased nationally, from 49.6 percent to 51.1 percent.

This dramatic loss of employer provided health insurance since 2000 is not simply driven by the loss of high-quality jobs, such as those in the manufacturing sector. Rather, it is caused by the significant decline in employers providing coverage within existing jobs across the board. The burden of these employer cuts is not carried by part-time or marginal workers. Rather, the most dramatic loss is among workers with the strongest connection to the labor force.

"The kind of declines our research uncovered can't be fixed with a band-aid approach,"said EPI senior economist Jared Bernstein, and the report's co-author. "The solution must involve a broadly shared, national approach where employers, employees, and government all play a part."

Among the main findings of the report are:
· The dramatic drop in employer-provided coverage is caused by employers cutting coverage within existing jobs, rather than the shifting of jobs from high-coverage industries like manufacturing to lower-coverage industries.
· Coverage declined for workers across the entire age and education spectrum.

The national trends were mirrored in developments in California, even though California differs significantly from the national profile in its racial, ethnic and immigration makeup. Despite these differences, virtually all California groups made gains in employer coverage in the late 1990s, gains that were more than wiped out in the 2000s.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, this is the exact reason why I support the Health Care for All Ohioans Act.

Ohio Economy Needs Small Business and Small Business Needs Single-Payer Health Coverage!

Small business and the self-employed are driving Ohio's growing service economy to everyone's advantage, providing jobs for their communities, paying wages to their neighbors, and creating income and tax revenues that stay in the local area. Our economy needs these small businesses to help generate the recovery from the continued disastrous loss of our manufacturing base. The single largest obstacle to the success of small business operators is the prohibitive cost of providing health care coverage for themselves and their employees, and the inability to gauge future costs. Competitive wages, safe and reasonable working conditions and health care coverage are central to mutually beneficial relationships between employers and employees. These relationships were typical of collective bargaining between unions and companies, and are once again possible on a broader scale thanks to the Health Care for All Ohioans Act.

At the root of successful employer/employee cooperation is the elimination of adversarial conditions that pit workers against owners, as is the situation with rising, unaffordable health care costs, currently the main point of contention in every bargaining situation. For the self-employed, who are providing health care coverage for themselves and their families without the benefit of real collectives, The Health Care for All Ohioans Act provides immediate relief by creating access to comprehensive, affordable healthcare with a fixed, fair, progressive gross receipts tax. For businesses that primarily generate their receipts through service labor provided, the savings are dramatic. For many the resulting savings can then be reinvested in the business, increasing revenue and creating jobs with no increase in costs over that of privately provided for-profit coverage. For small businesses with payrolls, in addition to the gross receipts tax, the funding formula of the Health Care for All Ohioans Act provides for an affordable, fixed, progressive employer-paid payroll tax that increases only as payrolls increase. Successful businessmen and women know that increased revenues and increased payrolls can result in increased profits.

We have dug the healthcare hole very deep, the solution will be expensive and no one wants cheap healthcare anyway, only accessible, affordable healthcare coverage. It is time for bold, innovative steps to solve this problem that will affect every one of us eventually. For the first time businesses will have the opportunity to determine their future healthcare costs due to the fixed rates of the funding formula. Ask a business person if they would support a plan that would allow them to project their healthcare costs for the next five years, even taking into account possible increased initial cost. The answer you will get is a resounding, YES! Businesses prefer steady financial forecasts, workers prefer job security and job creation to day-to-day employment, and all parties prefer a mutually beneficial, respectful relationship. Predictable healthcare costs encourage business to grow, workers to thrive and collective bargaining to be successful. The Health Care for All Ohioans Act is a winner for us all.

The Formula to Remember :

Healthcare Savings=Job Creation=Increased Revenues=Increased Wages=Increased Production=Increased Profits=increased tax revenues. Add Them All Together = Increased Wellness….Health Care for All Ohioans!

Bob Hagan takes money from insurance lobbyists and PACS so he will do nothing when your employer health coverage collapses. It's time to elect a state representative who will say no to health care lobbyists and PAC donations and will support the Health Care for all Ohioans Act to safe guard all Ohioans when it come to health care coverage.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th district

Campaign web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our link to health care and progressive job programs.

Solar Panels proposed for 2,000 Northeast Ohio Schools by State Legislator,
and it’s not Bob Hagan

April 17, 2008

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported last week that a state lawmaker wants Ohio to put solar panels on 2,000 school rooftops - about half of the public school buildings in the state - a move he says would create jobs and combat rate spikes.

State Rep Lou Blessing, a Cincinnati Republican, wants to start the program in Northeast Ohio in school districts served by First Energy Corp's Illuminating Co. and Ohio Edison. Ohio Edison provides much of the electrical services to school districts in the 60th district.
 
Blessing figures the project would rescue districts from skyrocketing electric bills if First Energy and Ohio Edison ends discounted school rates next year, as it has told the state it intends to. School districts here are bracing for 40 percent higher utility bills if the discounts end.
 
During the school year, Blessing says, districts could use the solar power generated on their roofs rather than buy it from First Energy and Ohio Edison.

On hot summer days, when school was out, the power would flow into the utility's local distribution grid, just as demand peaks.
 
A First Energy spokeswoman said the Akron-based utility would be interested in buying the power. The utility already takes power from homeowners who have installed solar panels.
 
Blessing wants to use Ohio-made solar panels - and eventually roofing materials with built-in solar modules. The plan, he said, would jump-start solar manufacturing in the Buckeye state.
 
He estimates the project would cost $6 billion dollars.
 
"A project of this size would literally turn Ohio's economy around," Blessing said in an interview. "It's a $6 billion jobs and progress plan. And the state doesn't have to spend anything."
 
Because Ohio would place the largest order in U.S. history, the cost of solar panels would fall, Blessing argues.
"The beauty of this is that panels could become inexpensive enough for homeowners to buy them."
 
The solar-equipped school buildings also could lower overall summer power prices by generating up to a billion watts of extra electricity, about as much as one of First Energy’s nuclear reactors produces. But in this case, there would be no fuel bills.
 
Blessing is a member of the Public Utilities Committee of the Ohio House and has sat through weeks of hearings over Gov. Ted Strickland's comprehensive energy bill aimed at restructuring the state's utility regulations and creating a renewable energy-manufacturing base in Ohio.
 
Blessing said he got the idea after reading a Plain Dealer article airing the complaints of Northeast Ohio school officials at a hearing about First Energy and Ohio Edison rates.
 
The utility has offered all schools a lower rate and included an extra discount for districts that paid three years ahead. But First Energy wants to base its electric rates on wholesale power markets beginning in 2009; a move it says would require it to end all discounts.
 
"I read that story and thought it would be absolutely insane not to do this," Blessing said.
 
Ken Clicking, business manager of the Euclid schools, welcomed the idea.
 
"Anything that will help us save energy in the future sounds like a good thing," he said. "It's a great idea. I would not restrict it just to solar. What about fuel cells or geothermal systems?"
 
Blessing said he submitted an amendment to Strickland's bill last week and also gave the proposal to the governor's office.
 
Mark Shanahan, Strickland's energy adviser, said: "I think it is a really interesting proposition. If his numbers work out to be right, it is a good project."
 
The amendment would require the School Facilities Commission and the Ohio Department of Development to work together to create the solar program, if Congress extends the 30 percent federal tax credits.
 
The state would be required to negotiate with manufacturers for discounted prices for the huge orders of solar equipment needed.
 
Blessing has already talked to one company, the Sunlight Corp., a Toledo-based spin-off from tax-funded research at the University of Toledo.
 
He said he planned to sit down today with representatives of First Solar Inc., an established thin-film solar panel producer in Perrysburg. The 9-year-old company exports most of its current production.
 
Xunlight,(pronounced Sunlight) plans to begin limited production in the next couple of months of thin-film solar modules printed on flexible stainless steel. Commercial production is planned for the fall, with a ramp-up next year.
 
"When you are talking about 100 million square feet of solar modules, as a solar manufacturer we are very interested," said Matthew Longhorn, vice president of development at Sunlight.
 
"One of the advantages that we believe we have is that our product is lightweight and flexible," he said. "We would like to have that module integrated into the roofing membrane and go down on a flat roof. It would be perfect for schools."
Sunlight has contacted Garland Company, a Cleveland-based, century-old roofing manufacturer that just weeks ago won a $1 million Ohio Third Frontier grant to commercialize a process to meld solar modules into roofing membranes.

"We are already putting solar on school building roofs, just not in Ohio," said Brian Lambert, a director at Garland.
 
"We've done it in California. We'd love to do it in Ohio. We'd love to work with Sunlight."

Once again we see Bob Hagan missing the train when it comes to investigating and bringing renewable energy manufacturing jobs to the valley as well as working to reduce energy costs to school districts. If school districts cannot reduce energy costs in the near future, these costs will be passed on to property owners with more school levy requests. Why is a state representative from Southwest Ohio pushing for solar power schools in our part of the state? Why not Bob Hagan? Why are renewable energy companies springing up in Toledo and Cleveland? Why not Youngstown?

As a current Board of Education member for the Struthers City Schools, I have seen our district electric rates rise over $300,000 in three years.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th district, I will work with all politicians, investors, and companies to bring renewable energy companies to the valley as well as lower electric costs to our school districts and property owners. I have made this a major issue in my campaign, while Bob Hagan has remained silent on this issue. Bob Hagan does not have the vision or the ambition to get such programs started in the 60th district.


Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign Web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Imagine Life Under the
Health Care For All Ohioans Act

April 16, 20708


The only 4 Nos you will hear:

You go to your personal physician for a visit.
NO premiums, NO Co-payments, NO Deductibles, NO One Excluded. You
pay nothing. The doctor bills the Ohio Health Care Fund.

You have your prescription filled by the pharmacist.
NO premiums, NO Co-payments, NO Deductibles, NO One Excluded. You
pay nothing. The pharmacist bills the Ohio Health Care Fund.

You need hospitalization.
NO premiums, NO Co-payments, NO Deductibles, NO One Excluded. You
pay nothing. The hospital is paid by the Ohio Health Care Fund.

You go to the emergency room.
You do not wait hours and hours. Since everyone has health care coverage, people can see their own doctors for routine care and don't have to use the emergency room as a doctor's office.

Your care is better.
You choose your own doctor, who knows you personally and understands
your needs. The doctor is part of a system that encourages physicians to practice medicine of the highest quality.

You sleep better.
Your health care is secure. You no longer have to worry about losing your
health care coverage if you lose or change your job. Your employer no
longer has to worry about the ever-increasing costs of health care. You no
longer have to worry about ever-increasing deductibles and co-payments.

This is why I support Ohio SPAN. This is why the health care lobbyists and PACS are pumping big bucks into the campaign funds of Democrats and Republicans in Columbus. The Health Care providers know SPAN will work, and cut them out of overbilling average Americans.

It's time we send a State Representative who will not take money from Medical Mutual and other health care lobbyists like Bob Hagan. It's time we send a representative who will not be bought off by corporations.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

campaign site: [votespisak.tripod.com]

visit our link on health care and progressive job programs

Bob Hagan: Working Hard for the Valley?


April 15, 2008

 

Today is April 15, 2008. Today is Tax Day. The day we submit federal and state income taxes. For many Ohioans this means working five to six days a week, maybe 40, 50, 60, or even 70 hours a week. It seems everyone in the valley has worked hard this year except Bob Hagan, our current state Representative.

 

Today is the 106th day of 2008. Did you know Bob Hagan has only had to attend 12 general assembly sessions of the Ohio House since January 1, 2008? He had to only attend 2 sessions in the month of February. Also, the House only scheduled 19 days so far this year for committee hearings, so in all, maybe Bob Hagan has worked for us a grand total of 33 days this year in Columbus.

 

Now Representative Hagan always likes to blame the Republicans for not being able to get anything done in Columbus. Maybe if Mr. Hagan works more than one-third of the year while at the taxpayer’s expense he might be able to get something done for the

60th District.

 

Bob Hagan likes to portray himself as the workingman’s friend. Only problem is, he never has to work while in Columbus. How can Bob fight for better health care, better public education funding, eliminating the sales tax on natural gas, and bringing new manufacturing jobs to the valley if he is not working two-thirds of the time he is in Columbus?

 

Bob Hagan like to call himself a progressive liberal. Well, he is very progressive when it comes to not working in Columbus. Now the real question is should we send Bob Hagan back to Columbus for another two years to work maybe eight days a month?

 

That is why I am running as the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District. We need to send a representative to Columbus to work everyday on solving the kitchen table issues that define the lives of tax paying working citizens of the 60th district.

 

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

 

 

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

DYING FOR COVERAGE IN OHIO

April 14, 2008

The number of uninsured Americans reached 47 million in 2006, and it continues to rise. For many of the uninsured, the lack of health insurance has dire consequences. The uninsured face medical debt, often go without necessary care, and even die prematurely. In 2002, the Institute of Medicine released a groundbreaking report, Care without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late, which estimated that, nationwide, 18,000 adults between the ages of 25 and 64 died in 2000 because they did not have health insurance. Subsequently, The Urban Institute estimated that at least 22,000 adults in the same age group died in 2006 because they did not have health insurance.

To find out what this means for people across the nation, Families USA has generated the first-ever state-level estimates of the number of deaths due to lack of health insurance. The estimates are based on both the Institute of Medicine
and The Urban Institute methodologies applied to state-level data. In 2006, there were more than 6,054,000 people between the ages of 25 and 64 living in Ohio. Of those, 12.7 percent were uninsured.

Uninsured Ohioans are sicker and die sooner than their insured counterparts.

Families USA estimates that two working-age Ohioans die each day due to lack of health insurance (approximately 750 people in 2006).

Between 2000 and 2006, the estimated number of adults between the ages of 25
and 64 in Ohio who died because they did not have health insurance was more
than 5,100.

Across the United States, in 2006, twice as many people died from lack of health
insurance as died from homicide.

Uninsured adults are more likely to be diagnosed with a disease in an advanced stage. For example, uninsured women are substantially more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer than women with private insurance.

The uninsured are less likely to have a usual source of care outside of the
emergency room. Uninsured Americans are up to four times less likely to have a regular source of care than the insured.

The uninsured often go without screenings and preventive care.

Uninsured adults are more than 30 percent less likely than insured adults to
have had a checkup in the past year.

Uninsured adults are more likely to be diagnosed with a disease in an advanced
stage. For example, uninsured women are substantially more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer than women with private insurance.

The uninsured often delay or forgo needed medical care.

Uninsured Americans are up to three times more likely to report having problems
getting needed medical care.

Uninsured adults are more than three times as likely as insured adults to delay
seeking medical care (47 percent versus 15 percent).

Uninsured Americans are sicker and die earlier than those who have insurance.

Uninsured adults are 25 percent more likely to die prematurely than adults
with private health insurance.

Uninsured Americans between 55 and 64 years of age are at much greater risk
of premature death than their insured counterparts. This makes un-insurance
the third leading cause of death for the near-elderly, following heart disease and
cancer.

The uninsured pay more for medical care.

Uninsured patients are unable to negotiate the discounts on hospital and doctor
charges that insurance companies do. As a result, uninsured patients are often
charged more than 2.5 times what insured patients are charged for hospital
services.

Three out of five uninsured adults (60 percent) under the age of 65 reported
having problems with medical bills.

As the independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District that is why I support the Ohio-Span Health Care for All Ohioans Act.

It’s time we send a representative to Columbus from the valley who has compassion for those in need instead of the needs of insurance and health care lobbyists and PACS like current state representative Bob Hagan. It’s time we send a State Representative who holds a belief that change is possible.

My policy work in Columbus will focus on affordable health care for all Ohioans and the kitchen-table issues that define people's lives.

Sincerely,

Dennis Spisak

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our link health care and progressive jobs programs to learn more about the Health Care for All Ohioans Act.

Investing to Re-Energize Ohio

 

April 11, 2008

 

According to a report from the groups Policy Matters Ohio and the Apollo Alliance,

 

Ohio uses a large amount of energy, most of it from fuel produced elsewhere. We rank fourth among states for industrial energy use and sixth for total energy consumption. We import two-thirds of our coal, 89 percent of our natural gas, and 98 percent of our oil and petroleum products. At current energy prices, Ohioans send $20 billion a year out of our state economy. To make our economy more energy independent—by becoming more efficient, self-sustaining, and renewable—Ohio should expand its clean energy fund. Instead of sending so much of Ohio’s money out of the state and out of the country, we should create more of our own energy, use more renewable energy sources, become more energy efficient, and employ Ohio workers in the process.

 

Eighteen states use clean energy funds to encourage consumers and suppliers to invest in clean energy products and services: by reducing equipment costs through use of consumer rebates, grants, and low-interest loans; by conducting statewide public-awareness campaigns; by providing incentives for industrial recruitment, retention, and production; and, by training workers for the green economy. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) reported that for every public dollar spent, public benefits funds for clean energy leverage an additional $3 in related business and consumer investment.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AN EXPANDED ADVANCED ENERGY FUND

• Implement a statewide outreach campaign to educate the public on energy efficiency and renewable energy (both consumers and suppliers). Use Advanced Energy Funds to offer free energy audits to Ohioans.

• Market consumer incentives such as simple customer rebates for green products.

• Collect Advanced Energy Funds from all utility customers, not just investor-owned.

• Provide low-income residents with solar thermal water-heating systems.

• Provide more financial incentives for suppliers and potential suppliers of green energy products and service to expand Ohio’s green supply chain.

• Promote economic development by providing “green incentives” with Advanced Energy Funds. Instead of offering dollars to lure companies, offer wind turbines or rooftop solar panels to reduce their energy costs and consumption.

Create a Green Jobs Corps program that provides green employment services and also weaves together vocational skills training programs, union apprenticeship programs, and recognized pre-apprenticeship programs for job seekers.

 

Instead of sending so much of Ohio’s money out of the state and out of the country, we should create more of our own energy, use more renewable energy sources, become more energy efficient, and employ Ohio workers in the process.

 

Ohio’s economy is struggling due to rising energy costs. We are sending billions of dollars out of state and out of the country each year to support our energy use. Ohio should diversify its energy portfolio, reduce our energy use, create renewable energy here in Ohio, and put Ohioans to work in the process. If we reduced the amount we spend on imported energy, more money could be kept local, supporting Ohio’s economy. To stimulate the green economy, and get it off the ground, we should expand Ohio’s Advanced Energy Fund and use it to provide incentives to both suppliers and consumers of green energy products and services, educate Ohioans on their green energy options, and train Ohio’s future “greenforce.”

 

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I will support the recommendations for an expanded advanced energy fund. Since I will not accept lobbyists or PACS contributions who represent out of state energy resources such as coal, oil and gas companies, I will not allow big money to influence my votes in Columbus like the current Democrats and Republicans have.

 

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

 

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

Please check out our links page to health care and progressive works programs.

While South Carolina Turns Greener, Ohio Stays Grey

April 10, 2008

The South Carolina legislature will be enacting bills offer more tax breaks for residents to save and produce alternative energy.

The bills offering bigger tax breaks for South Carolina residents to buy energy efficient homes and appliances are expected to come before lawmakers this week.

One bill eliminates sales taxes on a variety of home products that meet or exceed federal Energy Star rating requirements including refrigerators, water heaters, dishwashers, clothes washers, air conditioners, fluorescent light bulbs, programmable thermostats and doors and windows. But the items must be bought this October or April 2009 and the break is limited to $2,500 in merchandise.

A second bill would give a sales tax break to companies buying machinery, tools or parts to produce electricity from alternative sources, including solar, wind, tides and biomass.

Other bills being considered address existing incentives for people installing solar water heaters or panels to generate electricity.
The tax break makes the cost of putting in solar panels more reasonable while shortening the time it takes for the systems to pay for themselves with reduced energy bills. A solar hot water system that costs $6,000 comes with a $1,800 federal tax credit and $1,500 from the state. That means the system will be paying for itself in less than six years, Producing renewable energy could help the state's economy too. One recent report showed the state could expect to create more than 22,300 jobs in wind, solar, geothermal and biomass production.

Once again we see another state thinking with helping create tax savings for homeowners to turn to adding renewable energy sources to their homes as well as creating new jobs and economic growth for their state.

It’s time we send a state representative like myself who will again work to see that Ohio foes not continue to lag behind other states in embracing renewable energy tax breaks for our citizens and creating new renewable energy manufacturing jobs for our poor, working, and middle class citizens of the Mahoning Valley.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th district.

 Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com  Please visit our link on health care and progressive job programs for our valley.

Ohio Legislators fail to help Ohio workers, and Bob Hagan says nothing

April 9, 2008


Over 2 million workers in Ohio cannot earn a single paid sick day and more than 3.5 million working Ohioans cannot take a paid sick day to care for a sick child. Moreover, 670,000 food and public accommodation workers are denied even one single paid sick day. This means that workers are often forced to work sick, or to lose pay--or even to lose their jobs.

Right now the Ohio legislature is considering a bill, The Ohio Healthy Families Act, which will allow employees in businesses with 25 or more employees to earn paid sick days. The legislature received the bill after over 270,000 Ohioans petitioned for the proposed law's consideration. Today the legislature is exactly one month away from their 4-month deadline to consider the bill. At present, they have done nothing even though they themselves have paid sick days at taxpayers' expense. Now is the time to send your legislators a message!

While Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted has promised a hearing and fair consideration, the bill has been stalled. Our current “progressive liberal” State Representative Bob Hagan who claims he stands and fights for working families has remained silent on this issue. Why hasn’t Bob Hagan spoke out about this bill being stalled in the house? Is it because one or more of Bob Hagan’s 100 lobbyists or PACS who have contributed to his campaign have asked him to remain silent on this bill?

The lack of paid sick days is a liability for public health, for people, and for businesses. That's because when workers are forced to come to work sick, they risk spreading contagions to colleagues and consumers--and have slower recovery time themselves. It shouldn't be that way.

Millions of Ohio workers today are forced to choose between working sick, or losing pay--and even possibly losing their jobs when they get sick. Ohio has family values and we need laws that value families!

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th district, I believe we need to send real progressive representatives to Columbus who will vote to ensure that when you work hard in Ohio you will earn the right to take care of yourself and your family when you are sick.

To learn more about the Ohio Healthy Families Act, visit my campaign site at [votespisak.tripod.com] .

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th district

Ohio's Health Care System is Broken

April 7, 2008
 
Our health care system is broken. Here's what wrong today:
 
1.5 million Ohioans have no health insurance and millions more have inadequate coverage.

People who do not have insurance are only one illness or job change away from losing it.

Thousands of Americans die each year because they can't afford health care.

46% of personal bankrupcies are related to medical expenses.

The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. health care system 37th in quality compared to other countries.

Americans spend nearly twice as much per person on health care as any other country and get less for it.

Spending on drugs has increased by 500% since 1990.

$11.6 billion dollars is wasted annually in Ohio by complex and inefficient private health insurance system with 20% to 30% administrative overhead.
So why do our current state representatives and state senators still continue to support this broken system?

That is why I support SPAN Ohio.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th district.

campaign site: [votespisak.tripod.com]

Ohio Green Party Calls for State Health Care Insurance, Bob Hagan Doesn’t.

 

April 6, 2008

 

The Ohio Green Party Supports the Health Care for All Ohioans Act means health insurance coverage for every Ohioan regardless of income, residence, age, or prior medical condition.

 

The Health Care for All Ohioans Act will pool the money we are already spending health care into one state fund that pay’s everyone’s medical bills including hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescription drugs, vision, dental, and home care.

 

It will make care affordable for all with no premiums, no co-pays, and no deductibles.

 

It will permit Ohio to negotiate on a state level with drug companies to get Canada-like prices.

 

It will eliminate administrative waste and limit administrative costs to 5% or less and will pay for preventive medicine to reduce illness and costs associated with chronic and debilitating diseases.

 

Unfortunately, most Democrats and Republicans like current state Representative Bob Hagan who took campaign contributions from insurance corporations like Medical Mutual Inc. prefer to keep health care under the control of insurance companies and HMO’s, whose demand for profit has left 1.5 million Ohioans with no health insurance and millions more who have inadequate coverage.

 

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th district, I will demand the Health Care for All Ohioans Act be passed and refuse to take money from insurance and health care corporations.

 

Our Health Care System is broken. It’s time to fix it. If not now, when?

 

Dennis Spisak

Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th district

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our healthcare and progressive work programs links page.

Mahoning County Democratic Party Leaders Turning Green? With Envy?
 
April 2, 2008
 
It was intersting to read today's Youngstown Vindicator's  news article on the local reaction of area democratic politicians on the proposed Green Energy Waste Renewal Plant in Western Mahoning County.

Not one Democratic politican mentioned lowering utility bills with green energy programs during the primary. Not one Democrat spoke on Green Energy or bringing renewable energy plants to the valley during the primary. Now County Commissioner Trafacanti is going to make it his new campaign theme. Commissioner Dave Ludt was next in line to sing praises. No doubt Democratic State Rep Bob Hagan will sing his praises once the choo-choo train stops.

Once again we see how slow our local politicians are to thinking outside the box and trying to bring jobs to the valley.

Once again we see the Democratic Party claiming positive Green Party values and ideas as their own.

I have talked about renewable energy manufactuing coming to the valley since January when we announced our campaign.

Voters should remember that come election time on November 4th.


Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th district

campaign site   http://votespisak.tripod.com

Ohio Needs SPAN

There are now well over 45 million American citizens with no health insurance. The majority of these are employed adults—many at several part time jobs. With Ohio spending $70 billion a year on health care, which includes $11 billion on administrative costs, there is a way to cost-shift and cover everyone in Ohio with no co-pays and no-deductibles. This means that payment would be received for every person medically served. A single-payer plan that maintains our private doctors, hospitals, and health care providers is a solution to our current health care crisis.

This is a fundamental test of our democracy: government should be accountable on the leading issue of our time (right up there with the export of jobs). The Health Care For All Ohioans Act, which would bring universal/single-payer health care to Ohio would be funded in a way that would cost most people less what they’re paying now, would cost good companies with benefits less than what they pay now, make the Wal-Marts pay their fair share, and would protect displaced insurance and provider personnel. Find out more at: www.SPANOhio.org (SPAN – Single-Payer Action Network). Sign the petition, legislators, and help put Ohio on the cutting edge of health care reform. Help save America!

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th district, I support passage of the Health Care Act for All Ohioans Act.

Sincerely,

Dennis Spisak

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

Visit our healthcare and progressive works programs link

New Community College/Green Jobs Can Pull People out of Poverty
 
March 31, 2008

The news today that a new Community College could be coming to Youngstown by 2010 could be another important resource in bringing green collar jobs to the valley as well as green collar technical training to youth who cannot afford to attend YSU. This new community college could help raise students and adults out of poverty.

A recent New York Times Article from March 26, 2008 may be able to illustrate how Green Collar jobs can help pull people out of poverty and crime.

Steven Greenhouse’s article reports on how such green collar jobs could save inner cities like Youngstown and the 60th district. Greenhouse writes:

“Mr. Jones, the head of Green for All, joined the green economy after graduating from Yale Law School. He became executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, using that position to start a program that trains low-income workers in how to weatherize homes and install solar panels.

Mr. Jones calls such jobs green pathways out of poverty. “The green economy needs Ph.D.’s and Ph.-do’s,” he said. “We need people who are highly educated at the theoretical level, and we need people who are highly educated at the level of skilled labor.”
He sees green jobs as providing a career ladder. Some workers might start at $10 an hour inspecting homes for energy-efficient light bulbs. Then they might become $18-an-hour workers installing solar panels and eventually $25-an-hour solar-team managers. Eventually they might become $40-an-hour electricians or carpenters who do energy-minded renovations.

“Right now we don’t have the infrastructure to train a sufficient number of green-collar workers,” Mr. Jones said.
By beginning to invest in green Collar Jobs, could we not prepare students from middle school onto high school and then onto a new community college and tell them that a green collar job with living wages awaits them so them have the chance to climb an economical ladder of success and not turn to crime as a last resort?

As the independent candidate for state representative for the 60th district, I would work with all organizations to bring Green jobs and factories back to the valley. Would you rather have jobs, wages, and paychecks back in the valley and less crime or continue to have no new hope for our low-income workers who turn to crime?

Sincerely,

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for state representative-60th district

Campaign website Http://votespisak.tripod.com Please read our healthcare and progressive job programs link.

How a Green-Energy Collar Jobs Program Would Benefit the Valley

I have been asked many times how a Green-Collar Energy Jobs Program could benefit the 60th district. Having studied various similar projects from across the country over the past year here is how a program could help rebuild Youngstown and the valley.

A Mahoning Valley Green Jobs Corps would provide job training to prepare young adults in the valley for green-collar careers. The program will have a special focus on providing "green pathways out of poverty" by recruiting and training people with barriers to employment to become gainfully employed.

The Mahoning Valley Green Jobs Corps would address two critical issues with one comprehensive approach. The global warming crisis requires that everyone work towards improving energy efficiency and generating energy through renewable, alternative sources. The program will engage young adults who otherwise may not have an opportunity to acquire the skills needed to earn a real living wage through the emerging Green Energy sector.

The intent of the Green Jobs Corps will be to prepare young adults to install energy efficiency features and renewable energy systems, as well as to do other work related to increasing energy efficiency in the Mahoning Valley. Helping to create a qualified, trained workforce in the valley could support the growth and success of local green businesses and contractors.
 
The Mahoning Valley Jobs Corps will focus on providing pathways out of poverty for young adults in the valley who may not otherwise have opportunities for jobs and careers in the green economy. The goals of the pilot project are summarized as follows:
 
   • TO REDUCE POVERTY AND PROMOTE SOCIAL EQUITY: Enable young adults in the valley to have green-collar careers, and thus provide pathways out of poverty for people with barriers to employment.

   • TO RESTORE THE ENVIRONMENT: Supply a trained workforce that can make the valley more energy efficient, more environmentally sustainable and cleaner, healthier city in which to live.

   • TO SUPPORT GREEN BUSINESS: Support the growth of green businesses in the valley, with a focus on those businesses that provide high-quality, stable jobs.

   • TO ADVANCE The Valley’s GREEN ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP: Promote the valley’s position as a leading region in green economic development.

Research shows that green businesses in the valley could provide high-quality jobs with good pay, good benefits, and good working conditions and that these firms have many dignified manual labor jobs that are ideally suited for entry-level job-seekers.However, there is very little infrastructure for job training to support these businesses as they grow. Like cities across the nation, Youngstown faces a shortage of programs providing "green-collar" workforce development. This shortage will worsen as the green economy grows. Youngstown must develop with YSU or a community college excellent job training programs that should linked to green employers. These programs need the right incentives and infrastructure in order to retool for green-collar job training. The Mahoning Valley Jobs Corps will create partnerships between job training programs and green employers. It will also provide key links to educational institutions, labor unions, and community-based organizations.

These are the programs the 60th district needs for the future. These are the programs Bob Hagan has failed to bring or even thought up to bring to our valley. That is why a change in leadership is needed in the Ohio House this November.

Sincerely,

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign wedsite: http://votespisak.tripod.com Please visit our Healthcare and Progressive Jobs Programs Link.

Ohio’s Lazy Lawmakers in Columbus

Press Release- March 29, 2008

Times are tough: every day we hear more bad news about the economy.  Foreclosures, evictions and job loss are hitting our most vulnerable families and neighborhoods. Sounds like Ohio? It's California. But one sector of the economy is bucking the trend. Green technology business (like solar and wind energy) grew an astounding 40 percent to over $77 billion last year in California.

We need to push for a new green economy with opportunity for everyone, especially those getting pushed out of the pollution-based economy that is now so deeply troubled.

I was excited to learn that green-collar jobs have become the topic in Sacramento. Last month, the California Legislature introduced no fewer than NINE bills about green career education and workforce development. The legislature's most powerful leaders are deeply engaged - including Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and incoming Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg'

Over the past two years, the Golden State has set a "green standard" for other states to follow with the "Global Warming Solutions Act" and the "Million Solar Roofs" initiative. This year, California's eco-leadership will continue with powerful green-collar jobs solutions. California state leaders are working hard to help shape these bills and ensure they include "green pathways out of poverty" for the people of California.


And what are Ohio Lawmakers doing? They are having trouble passing one energy bill through the legislature. We can pass  'don't touch the strippers ' bill but we can't form an energy policy or even introduce bills about green career education and workforce development.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, I will make it my number one priority to make sure Green Career Education and workforce development projects are passed in Columbus to use blue-collar skills in a new green-collar manufacturing base here in the valley.

I don't believe Current Representative Bob Hagan has even proposed nine workforce development bills in his last 20 years in Columbus.

To learn more about my campaign please visit our web site at www.votespisak.tripod.com. Visit the link Health Care and progressive job programs.

Ohio Could Receive $2.7 Billion Dollars from Renewable Energy

Press Release-March 25, 2008

The Dayton Daily News Reported on Monday, March 24, 2008 that Ohio could see $2.7 billion in wind projects if the state passes an energy bill that includes renewable energy "benchmarks" for utilities to hit in the near term, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Three developers sent letters to Gov. Ted Strickland urging him to put benchmarks into the energy bill — basically state-mandated targets for utilities to reach between now and 2025 for use of power generated from renewable resources such as wind or solar.

The bill proposed by Strickland and passed by the Ohio Senate nearly six months ago does not include benchmarks but legislation pending in the House does. The benchmarks would give solar and wind energy companies reason to set up shop in Ohio. The House is expected to take up the energy bill again in April.

As the Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, here again is another proposal that I would work on in order to bring jobs and manufacturing to the Mahoning Valley. While Bob Hagan wants to concentrate on lower payday check cashing interest rates, I propose concentrating and working with groups like the American Wind Energy Association to bring jobs to the poor, blue-collar, and working class people of Ohio.

This election in November comes down to this, do we want to send an Independent Candidate to Columbus who is willing to invest his time and energy in bringing 21st century hobs to the valley or continue to re-elect a state representative to Columbus like Bob Hagan who has no new ideas or plans for this valley? Bob Hagan has been in Columbus for 20 years. What progress or vision has he brought to this valley?

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative-60th District

Campaign site: http://votespisak.tripod.com

Ohio Falls Behind Again
 
Press release-March 24, 2008
 
Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for State Representative of the 60th District Dennis Spisak reported today that
Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont last Wednesday signed into law a bill aimed at promoting renewable energy like solar and wind power, as well as new efficiency measures devoted to reducing Vermonters' use of oil and other heating fuels.

The bill, dubbed the "energy efficiency and affordability act," will help Vermonters better manage their heating resources, protect our environment and save money.

The bill calls for the Department of Public Service to hold a series of "stakeholder workshops" beginning this spring to come up with a request for proposals, basically a work order for a contractor or contractors who would administer the new efficiency programs.

By next year, those programs should be up and running, providing Vermonters with grants and other financing to add new insulation, tighter windows and the like to their homes -- measures the bill's supporters say could cut heating bills by 20 to 40 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions tied to global warming.

In addition, the bill allows for new tax credits designed to promote renewable energy, which advocates said would be timely given the uncertainty over whether federal tax credits designed to promote installations of solar power will be renewed this year.

And among a broad range of other measures, it allows an expansion of "net metering," in which people who make their own power can ship any extra onto their utility grid, lowering their electric bills in the process.

"Once again we see another state moving ahead with an energy plan while the Ohio Democrats and Republicans in the Ohio Statehouse play political football with our state energy plan." said Spisak.

"It's time to elect independent candidates for state representative who will vote for legislation that will aid all Ohio citizens and businesses, bring renewable energy jobs and companies to Ohio, and lower utility costs, instead of listening to what their political bosses tell them to do." said Spisak.

Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District

Campaign site: http://votespisak.tripod.com

 '“Democracy Growing in your Community "

2007 Ohio Lobbying Expenses Up 52%-Bob Hagan takes his cut

March 22,2008

Ohio's legion of registered lobbyists saw the expense of their activities increase by 52% last year, boosting total expenditures to $533,150, according to a new report issued by the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee.

The large majority of the increase came in the realm of legislative lobbying, with spending increasing from $336,686 to $525,977 from 2006 to 2007, the committee reported.

Much of the spending comes from legislative receptions and other events that all lawmakers are invited to attend, and also includes meals, awards and other items that might be provided to lawmakers under the state's lobbying laws.

The top-spending groups, according to JLEC, were the Wholesale Beer & Wine Association, which spent $31,270 on its legislative reception; the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, which spent $26,946 on three events; and Equality Ohio, which spent $20,845 on a legislative reception.

This report does not contain direct contributions groups made to individual members in the Ohio State Legislature.

According to campaign finance reports from the Ohio Secretary of State's Office, State Representative Bob Hagan really enjoys doing business with the Wholesale Beer and Wine Association. Bob Hagan accepted $950 in campaign donations from them since 2006 as illustrated in the report below.

WHOLESALE BEER AND WINE ASSOCIATION OF OHIO   CP 127   37 WEST BROAD ST. STE. 710   COLUMBUS   OH   43215   2007   100   01/31/2007       $250.00       FRIENDS OF BOB HAGAN

WHOLESALE BEER AND WINE ASSOCIATION OF OHIO   CP 127   37 WEST BROAD ST. STE. 710   COLUMBUS   OH   43215   2007   200   03/28/2007       $200.00       FRIENDS OF BOB HAGAN

WHOLESALE BEER AND WINE ASSOCIATION OF OHIO   CP 127   37 WEST BROAD ST. STE. 710   COLUMBUS   OH   43215   2007   400   10/30/2007       $250.00       FRIENDS OF BOB HAGAN

WHOLESALE BEER AND WINE ASSOCIATION OF OHIO   CP-127   37 WEST BROAD ST. STE.710   COLUMBUS   OH   43215   2006   100   03/06/2006   02/28/2006   $250.00       FRIENDS OF BOB HAGAN

While Bob Hagan portrays himself as a progressive liberal, the plain truth is he is just another inside politician who is bought and controlled by lobbyists.
 
 As an Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative, I have pledged to take no money from Lobbyists or PACS. It's true I don't get things done for big corporate interests and lobbyists like Bob Hagan.
They don't need my help. I'm on the side of the rest of the citizens of the 60th district.
 
Dennis Spisak-Independent Candidate for State Representative-60th District
Campaign web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

While the Democrats and Republicans refuse to act on school funding, your school district and taxpayers will end up paying the costs
 
Press Release-March 21 2008

Last month Governor Strickland announced that the Ohio Department of Education had to cut 50 million dollars out of their budget.....most cuts concerning state money going to the County Educational Service Centers. Today I received the ESC bill for 2009 for ESC services for the Struthers City Schools....last year the bill was $419,000.....next year the bill is $553,000. So because state reps and state senators can't work together to fix state funding for schools, something mandated by the Ohio Supreme Court 10 years ago, the bills get pushed down to the local boards of education...which means we must pay the increase, cut costs in other services, or ask the local taxpayers to ante up with more money for local levies. Your school board is receiving the same fee increase this month as well.

That's why we need independent state representatives to speak for the people and quit playing political football regarding state funding of education. The 2 major parties will not fix this program before the November election. Last week saw the lowest percentage of school levies passed in the state for the last couple of years.

Let's send a state representative to Columbus who will do what's right for the taxpayers and poor and working class in the valley, not the over 100 lobbyists and PACS who contributed to Bob Hagan's political campaign fund last year.

Sincerely,

Dennis Spisak- State Rep Candidate Green Party- 60th district

Renewable Energy Making Strides in Ohio, Except Youngstown

 

Press Release-March 19, 2008

 

In the latest edition of the GEO News, the renewable energy resource guide published by the non-profit organization Green Energy Ohio, various sections of the Buckeye State are beginning to invest in renewable energy, except the Youngstown area.

 

American-Municipal Ohio has built 4 utility scale wind turbines on a landfill out side of Bowling Green, Ohio, which is producing enough energy to supply 1,850 homes with electricity. AMP-Ohio is currently working with JW Wind Great Lake Winds to build additional turbines in Wood County as well as the city of Clyde, Ohio.

 

At the University of Toledo, their Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator is working towards leading the nation in researching new forms of energy by giving alternative energy companies a place to be nurtured and grow. Already two companies have been able to develop new technology to manufacture low-cost solar cells and have companies opening in the Toledo area.

 

In Columbus, the Columbus Housing Partnership is refitting an inner-city east side home with two renewable energy systems on the home’s roof which will mean onsite generation of all necessary electricity by using the sun.

 

Hocking Technical College in Southeast Ohio is constructing the Hocking College energy Institute which will open in 2009 to provide learning labs for students training in alternative energy areas of fuel cells, bio-fuels, wind and solar power, and hybrid vehicles. Working with Governor Strickland, a Logan-Hocking Industrial Park will be built near the College as an area designed to support advanced energy and high tech-businesses. The location will allow interaction between students and advanced energy companies and will play a crucial role in training students to be employees of companies expected to locate there.

 

And in Colerain Township, Ohio, the Rumpke Sanitary Landfill is the largest landfill in Ohio by volume, and boosts the largest landfill to gas direct pipeline facility in the world.

It is equivalent to preventing the usage of about 2.9 million barrels of fuel, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Landfill gas can be used for on-site use, grid use, or electricity or natural gas production, The EPA estimates as many as 500 landfills can recover methane as an energy source producing enough energy to power more than 78,000 homes and/or heat nearly 518,000 homes.

 

My question to the voters of the 60th district, why are none of these ideas and projects taking place in Youngstown?  We see rural areas, inner-city areas, universities and technical colleges jumping on the next generation of renewable energy and jobs and yet Youngstown and its leaders sit idle.

 

That is why I am running as an Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th district. We need to send a representative to Columbus who will work actively with the Governor, various agencies, and investors to bring renewable energy technology to the valley. Does Bob Hagan have a plan to get Youngstown on this bandwagon? Has Bob Hagan had any plans over the last 20 years to bring new technology or jobs to the region?

 

That is why I am asking for your support this November in the race for state representative. I will be active in making sure Youngstown will not be left in the dark when the rest of the state gobbles up all the new renewable energy jobs in the future.

 

Dennis Spisak- candidate for State Representative- 60th District

 

Campaign site: Http:// votespisak.tripod.com

Ohio’s Loss is PA’s Gain

 

Press Release-March 16, 2008

 

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

 

Hailing it as a historic day for Clearfield County and the state, Gov. Edward Rendell of PA. celebrated the groundbreaking of construction of the first ethanol plant in the state yesterday at the Clearfield County Economic Development Corp. building in Clearfield.

The $270 million ethanol plant will be one of the largest ethanol plants east of the Mississippi River and one of the 10 largest ethanol plants in the nation.

The company probably would have constructed the plant in Ohio because of the lower cost of transporting corn and the higher cost of doing business in Pennsylvania, but the governor's package tipped the balance in favor of Pennsylvania.

Dennis Spisak, Green Party candidate for State Representative for the 60th district, says What happened in Ohio is typical party politics and high paying lobbyists and PACS getting in the way of Ohio making any progress in renewable energy programs.

First, Coal is still a big player in Southern Ohio, and coal companies have enough politicians in their pockets to try and keep coal as a somewhat king in fossil fuel.

Second, Lobbyists like Exxon-Mobil have poured big money into opposing current Senate Bill 221 which would mandate more renewable energy sources, factories,and companies in Ohio.

Third, PA. State Representatives were very aggressive in pursuing the alternative energy plant to be built there along with cooperation with state and local officials. When is the last time you heard Bob Hagan fight for an alternative energy plant or company locating in the 60th district? The only two pieces of legistlation he has posted on his political web-site within the last year was trying to get the fast check companies to lower interest rates and his proposal to stop puppy breeding mills in Ohio.

Bob Hagan claims to be a progressive liberal but is really a paper tiger. He is just an insider politician who takes huge donations from lobbyists and PACS for his campaign war chest. He shows up for a few photo opps when an inflatable rat is put up at a picket line.

As a Green Party Candidate for the 60th district, I would go to Columbus to bring alternative energy jobs back to the valley. Right now the 60th district and Ohio is lacking the forward vision of what benefits renewable energy can bring to this state. Folks in PA. government understand the question. In fact, today in Pittsburgh they wrapped up a 2-day "Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference."

That is why I am asking the voters of the 60th district to support me in my campaign for state representative for the 60th district.

What type of jobs have Bob Hagan brought back in 20 years of being in Columbus? If Bob Hagan did not have the word Democrat next to his name on the November ballot, could you really support him for re-election this year?

Sincerely,

Dennis Spisak

Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative=60th district.

Please read about the Good Jobs-Green Jobs program on our campaign web-site under the link Health care and Progressive Job Programs.

[votespisak.tripod.com]

Jobs and Workforce Development in a Clean Energy Economy
 
Press Release: March 13, 2008
 
Today at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in Pittsburgh, The Apollo Alliance along with the Center on Wisconsin Strategy released a new green jobs report,
Greener Pathways, Jobs and Workforce Development in the Clean Energy Economy.

The report includes and action plan for state lawmakers, highlighting policy, program and stystem reform opportunities to build a greener and more equitable new green energy program for urban areas.

The report explores the kind and quality of jobs in the clean energy economy, the skills needed to fill those jobs, and how urban centers like Youngstown can move to the center of a greener economy through energy efficiency, wind power, and biofuels.

As the Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District, these are the types of reports and projects that all American urban centers believe can turn around their "rust-belt" economies. We need to send a state representative to Columbus who will work with the Appollo Alliance to help the 60th district build a greener American economy that can and will create jobs. We must send state representatives to Columbus who will seize the opportunities in clean energy industries that will bring real progress on economic and workforce development in the Mahoning Valley. I am that candidate.

Solar Companies coming to Toledo and Cleveland. Why not Youngstown?

 

Press Release- March 10, 2008

 

Campaign Site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District Dennis Spisak again criticized current State Representative Bob Hagan for not being in the forefront to bringing renewable energy companies and manufacturers to the Youngstown area.

 

Spisak cited a news release from Green Energy Ohio, a statewide not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting renewable energy in Ohio.

 

“Green Energy Ohio has reported that based largely on it’s world-class glass manufacturing capabilities, Ohio now has a proven core competency in the development and manufacturing of photovoltaic technology. Ohio is the birthplace of First Solar, which produces more solar panels than any of the 31solar manufacturing plants in the United States in 2006.”said Spisak.

 

Other solar companies are starting up in Northwest Ohio and the German based IBC Solar recently named Cleveland it’s North American Headquarters. Governor Strickland has also indicated the state is discussing Ohio investment by the largest Spanish Solar firm, Isofoton.

 

“Once again we see the rest of the state of Ohio beginning to benefit from solar and alternative energy manufacturing and Youngstown is left way behind because we have a current State Representative in Bob Hagan who will not invest the time or energy to bring such companies to the 60th district.” said Spisak. “We have the land to build such factories, the work force to man such factories, a university that could help the valley become an alternative energy manufacturing giant just like the steel mills in the 40’s through 70’s, but we have a current state representative who is missing the train when it comes to bringing 21st century jobs to the Valley.”

 

Spisak concluded, “ Bob Hagan has had no plan for economic recovery for the past 20 years and continues to have no current plan. While the rest of Ohio is moving into the 21st century, Bob Hagan remains clueless about job development in the valley. It’s time we elect a state representative like myself who will go to Columbus to help bring alternative energy jobs back to the valley.”

 

Press Release-March 9, 2008

 

Got Bad Milk? Lobbyists want you to have a glass

 

Campaign Site: http://Votespisak.tripod.com

 

 

Independent Green Party Candidate For State Representative for the 60th District Dennis Spisak called on the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Governor Ted Strickland to not allow the Ohio Department of Agriculture to allow Monsanto to push state laws through to silence farmers who want to label their milk as coming from cows not treated by Monsanto’s rBGH growth hormone, a possible carcinogen. Monsanto’s latest efforts in Ohio are to get the Ohio Department of Agriculture to consider new rules that would make it very difficult for farmers who want to label their milk as rBGH-free.

 

“Consumers overwhelmingly support the right of dairy farmers who don’t inject their cows with artificial growth hormones to publicize that fact on their milk labels.” said Spisak. “But once again we see big business and lobbyists trying to buy Ohio lawmakers with political donations to allow cows to be injected with growth hormones that is known to cause health problems for cows and has been demonstrated to contain elevated levels of insulin-like growth factor-a possible carcinogen.”

 

Spisak added,  “ Consumers have a right to know what’s in their food and how it’s produced. Dairies and farmers have a right to tell them.”

 

Spisak concluded “Again when we have Democrats and Republicans elected to the government we see on a daily basis how these politicians are bought by lobbyists from companies like Monsanto. As an Independent Green Party Candidate, I have pledged to take no lobbyist or PAC money and take no political contributions over 50 dollars. Current State Representative Bob Hagan took money for over 17 lobbyists and over 90 PACS in 2007. Who does Bob Hagan really listen too? The lobbyists like Monsanto or the people of the 60th district?”

Press Release Friday, March 7, 2008 

 

Lobbyists Killing Clean Energy

 

Campaign site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

 

Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District Dennis Spisak again asked Governor Strickland and the Ohio House and Senate not to be swayed by lobbyists and PACS to derail the Clean Energy Bill now in committee in Columbus.

 

“We must begin investing in clean energy and a green economy for Ohio’s Future” said Spisak.

.

“ A strong and enforceable renewable energy standard combined with energy efficiency measures will make Ohio more energy independent, stabilize electricity rates and create thousands of new jobs.”

 

Spisak pointed out that high paid lobbyists are again in Columbus trying to have this bill defeated before it gets out of committee.

“Once again we see what happens when you elect Democrats and Republicans to the Ohio House and Senate who are bought by Lobbyists and PACS political contributions. As an Independent Green Party Candidate, I have pledged to take to no political contributions from lobbyists, PACS, and will take no donation larger than 50 dollars from any individuals.”


Spisak concluded “Current State Representative Bob Hagan took money from over 17 lobbyists and 90 PACS in 2007 alone. Who does Bob Hagan really represent? His lobbyists or the voters of the 60th district?”

Ohio Legislators Again Playing Politics with Working Family Issues

 

Press Release-March 5, 2008


Campaign site: http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District Dennis Spisak today called for the current Ohio Legislators in Columbus to get to work on legislation to help Ohio working families.

 

“Once again we see Ohio Democrats and Republicans dragging their feet and refusing to act on legislation that would help Ohio’s poor and working class." said Spisak. “Neither party wants the other party to look good heading into the November elections so both major parties are refusing to pass any legislation before the November election that could help Ohio families.”

 

Spisak cited Ohio Healthy Families Act Bill. “Over 270,000 petition signers sent this act to the Ohio General Assembly in early January. This bill would provide fair paid sick days for working Ohioans. On March 11th, 2008, the Legislature will have less than half of the 120 days granted by law to pass the Healthy Families Act.”

 

Spisak said “ that is why it is important for Ohio citizens to finally elect independent candidates to the Ohio House and Senate who will not play politics with legislation that is important to Ohio citizens. Democrats and Republican legislators listen to their party bosses, independent candidates will listen to the will of the people.”


Spisak concluded, “ All Ohio Legislators have paid sick days courtesy of our tax dollars. Shouldn’t all hard-working Ohioans have the right to earn them too?”

 

Dennis Spisak files petitons to face Bob Hagan for the 60th Ohio House Seat
 
Press Release-March 4th, 2008
 

Published:Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Other independent

candidates filed for Mahoning prosecutor and an Ohio House seat.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN — Others in Mahoning County filing petitions to run as independents in November are:

 Dennis S. Spisak of Struthers, a Struthers school board member and principal of Brookfield Middle School in Trumbull County, for the Ohio House 60th District seat. He’ll face state Rep. Robert F. Hagan, a Youngstown Democrat who is unopposed today, in November.

Last Chance for Democracy for the 60th District

 

Press Release-Monday, March 3, 2008

 

Today (Monday, March 3, 2008) please stop by the Mahoning County Board of Elections between 10am-2pm and help sign Dennis Spisak’s petition to run as an Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District of Youngstown, Struthers, Campbell, Lowellville, and Coitsville Township. Registered Democrats and Republicans can sign the petition and still cast votes in your party’s primary.

 

If not, Bob Hagan wins Re-election to the 60th District on Tuesday without taking a stance on any of the important issues facing the valley and Ohio.

 

Dennis Spisak’s priorities for the November election are the following:

Zero Tolerance for Corruption - Unlike the Democrats and Republicans, as a member of the Green Party, Dennis does not accept contributions from corporate interest groups and he doesn’t take orders from a party boss. Dennis will work to cleanse Ohio of the flood of big business money that is corrupting Ohio politics.

Developing a Dynamic Economy - The fossil fuel industry has had a stranglehold on our energy policy for too long. Our economy is hemorrhaging billions of dollars a year in an immoral war to control these ever-dwindling resources. Dennis will nurture a new energy industry in our state that develops renewable and sustainable energy sources. This new economic engine can only emerge if the needs of the people of Ohio and the valley are put ahead of the vested interests that are buying our lawmakers.

Putting People First: Health Care - The insurance industry currently takes up to 50 cents of every dollar spent on health care and uses it to pay for stock dividends, exorbitant CEO salaries, maintaining an army of lobbyists, political campaigns, lawyers and litigation, advertising, marketing, and sales. Kicking insurance companies out of Ohio's health care system and going to a single payer, state administered plan will result in $11 billion in savings that can be used to provide universal health care for all Ohioans and bring health care costs under control. Dennis Spisak supports the SPANOhio Ballot Initiative for Health Care for All Ohioans Act.

Putting People First: Education – As a member of the Struthers City Board of Education, Dennis will make sure that there is adequate and equitable funding for all of Ohio's students.

Putting People First: The Environment - Our environment is under attack from the toxins that that the Democratic and Republican policy makers have allowed to be spread throughout our state. Not only are industrial polluters getting away with ruining air, land, and water, but also Ohio is accepting millions of tons of waste from other states and allowing toxin-laden urban sludge to be dumped on our cropland. We are becoming the nation's sewer. Dennis Spisak will not turn a blind eye to those who poison our state's resources.

Putting People First: Voting Rights – Dennis Spisak will see that all candidates have an equal chance of ballot access. Why should Democrats and Republican candidates need only 50 valid signatures to get on the ballot while Independent candidates need up to 953 signatures.

Campaign site: Http://Votespisak.tripod.com

Securing a Clean Energy Future

 

Press release            February 28, 2008

 

Campaign Web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

Independent Green Party candidate for State Representative of the 60th District Dennis Spisak called on Ohio House and Senate members to adopt the goals from the National Governors Association plan called “Securing a Clean Energy Future.”

 

“It’s time for Ohio to wake up and realize that energy use in the United States could skyrocket over the next 25 years, increasing by over 30 percent.” said Spisak.

 

Spisak cites that if Ohio institutes the guidelines set for in the NGA proposal Ohio citizens could see the following results:

 

Advanced Electricy Generation

 

Electricity generation from renewable energy sources is expected to increase through 2030, but its overall contribution to total electricity generation is expected to remain relatively small, approximately 4 percent. Yet some experts believe the U.S. could meet 25 percent of its electricity needs in 2025 by better utilizing wind, biomass, geothermal and solar energy. States can be a driving force behind helping utilities improve their efficiency and increase the amount of electricity produced through renewable sources.

 

Improved Efficiency

 

Studies funded by the U.S. Department of Energy show that 80 percent of the projected growth in electricity demand could be offset by energy efficiency improvements alone, helping reduce overall energy consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases. Increased efficiency standards for new homes, buildings and appliances can play a key role in meeting this target, and states have a tremendous opportunity to set an example by creating their own efficiency goals for state facilities and vehicle fleets.

 

Accelerated Research and Development

 

Over the past 30 years, funding for energy research and development has significantly declined in the U.S. However, any long-term strategy aimed at greater use of cleaner alternatives requires significant investments in research, development and testing of new technologies. Recognizing this, states can expand opportunities to fund energy R&D through universities and support private

sector demonstration and pilot programs.

 

Spisak concluded “It’s time we sent state representative to Columbus who want to take an active part in providing Ohio citizens with cleaner and cheaper energy. As an independent candidate I will not be bought by big power and utility lobbyists and PACS like our current State Representative is.”

Press Release-February 26, 2008

 

Feed-In Tariffs Could Lower Utility Costs and boost Renewable Energy

 

Campaign Site: HTTP://Votespisak.tripod.com

 

Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District Dennis Spisak called on the Ohio House and Senate to begin looking into Feed-In Tariffs that would help boost the development of electricity from renewable sources.

 

“The Illinois Renewable Energy Sources Act has just been introduced calling for the same type of program that is currently in use in Germany to develop renewable energy sources,” said Spisak.

Feed-in tariffs have proven remarkably successful throughout Europe, and especially in Germany, where some 55% of the world’s solar power capacity resides. A feed-in tariff offers a long-term guaranteed price contract (usually about 15-20 years) to any entity that contributes electricity to the grid via renewable sources like solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, small hydro, geothermal and methane. Whereas existing policy mechanisms like the production tax credit favor large corporations with sizable tax liability, and investment tax credits favor those folks who can afford a large upfront cost that comes with a 20-30 year payoff, this policy tool encourages the distributed generation of renewable energy and it levels the playing field by providing long-term investment security for small businesses, homeowners, churches, schools and others, so they are more willing to make the financial commitment that is necessary for installing renewable energy themselves.

“The Feed-In Tariffs are now in place in 47 countries and provinces around the world,” said Spisak. “A major benefit is that such programs allow many more players into the energy production market such as homeowners, small businesses, cooperatives, farmers, businesses and schools.”

Spisak added, “ Feed-In Tariffs are often popular among the masses, but less so with utilities and corporations that stand to lose out on the revenue. Power interests and lobbyists have all but stopped Tariffs from being introduced in America. It’s time to elect an independent state representative who will help the people with saving energy instead of supporting lobbyist bought politicians like Bob Hagan who vote with companies that line his political war chest with contributions.”

Press Release: February 24, 2008

 

Where is Bob Hagan on Renewable Energy and Jobs?

 

Campaign Site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

Independent Green Candidate for State Representative Dennis Spisak questions why current State Representative Bob Hagan has no stance, position, or remarks on two recent state government plans to promote renewable energy programs and create Ohio jobs.

“Within the past three weeks bi-partisan announcements have been made in Columbus regarding the promotion of renewable energy programs and Bob Hagan has failed to make public comment on where he stands regarding such projects,” said Spisak.

“Again we are seeing Ohio elected leaders taking the lead on renewable energy programs and jobs for Ohio.” said Spisak. “Where is Bob Hagan’s voice? Since he has no opposition next week, Bob Hagan will remain silent on these and other issues. If he has no opposition in the fall, Bob Hagan will remain silent forever. That is why we need an independent candidate on the ballot in November so Bob Hagan will have to speak.” said Spisak.

On February 9th, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher announce the Ohio Wind Production and Manufacturing Incentive, making $5 million in grants available to help spur the production of wind energy in Ohio. The Ohio Wind Production and Manufacturing Incentive will grant money to help individuals or businesses that are working to install renewable wind energy projects in Ohio. The Wind Incentive is made possible through the recent changes in the Advanced Energy Fund led by Representative Joseph Uecker (R- House District 66) in H.B. 251.  

“This is a great opportunity for promoting and improving wind energy resources here in Ohio.,” said Spisak. “This program can attract new renewable energy programs and jobs to the 60th district.”

The second major renewable energy announcement came last week when Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted (R) announced new and improved standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency, including strong enforcement and benchmarks to ensure success. Key improvements include the development of the Ohio Renewable Energy Authority which will identify and expand job opportunities in renewable energy businesses located in Ohio and direct the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to annually track and enforce the renewable energy and efficiency standards.

“I believe it’s time we elect an independent candidate to the state house who believes in renewable energy programs and jobs for the 60th district.” said Spisak.

Canvass for Spisak for State Rep- Green Party- Saturday, February
23, 2008

Dress Warm!. .. Have Fun!


If you truely believe we should have a candidate on the ballot In November to oppose Bob Hagan  Please join us!

Tim Kettler, Secretary of the Ohio Green party and other state wide
committee members will in Y-town this weekend to help us gather
signatures at various locations. All local Green members are invited
to attend and help out for a few hours.

We will be holding a petition-gathering canvass in the 60th District
in the Youngstown, Ohio area this Saturday from 11am-3pm depending
on the weather conditions.

We will meet up at the McDonalds Restaurant across from the
Youngstown State University football stadium at around 10:15am to
get some coffee and assign folks to different locations.

As of right now, petition sites include:
Main Youngstown Library
Campbell Library
Struthers Library
Lincoln Knolls Plaza
Struthers Plaza
IGA in Struthers
Brownlee Woods Libray



You can call us tomorrow at 330-503-1407 for exact locations to sign petitions

The directions to Stambaugh Stadium (YSU) are as follows:

Directions:
FROM THE SOUTH (East Liverpool, Ohio River) Take Ohio Route 11 North
to I-680. Take Exit 4A marked Youngstown State University. Follow
the expressway and take the exit ramp marked Fifth Avenue. Turn
right on Fifth Ave…McDonalds is across the street from the stadium
on the right hand side.

FROM THE NORTH (Cleveland & Toledo) From Cleveland Airport take I-71
South to Ohio Turnpike I-80 East. Continue on the Ohio Turnpike to
Exit 15. After exiting continue to follow the signs for I-80 East.
Follow I-80 East to I-680. Take Exit 4A marked Youngstown State
University. Follow the expressway and take the exit ramp marked
Fifth Avenue. Turn right on Fifth Ave…McDonalds is across the street
from the stadium on the right hand side.

FROM THE EAST (New York City) Take I-80 West to Ohio Route 193
Belmont Avenue Exit. Turn left (South) at the end of the exit ramp
onto Belmont Avenue. Turn left (East) onto Gypsy Lane. Turn right
(South) on Fifth Avenue to campus. McDonalds is across the street
from the stadium on the right hand side.

FROM THE WEST (Akron and Columbus) Take I-71 or I-77 to I-76 East
(Youngstown). Follow Youngstown signs as I-76 turns into I-80.
Follow I-80 to I-680. Take Exit 4A marked Youngstown State
University. Follow the expressway and take the exit ramp marked
Fifth Avenue. Turn right on Fifth Ave…McDonalds is across the street
from the stadium on the right hand side.

If you have any questions, please call me at (330) 755-0729 (home)
(330) 448-3003
(work)
(330) 503-1407
(cell)

Thanks!

Sincerely,

Dennis Spisak
Mahoning Valley Greens

Press Release Feb 21, 2008

 

Solar Power Can Boost Valley’s Economy


Campaign web site: Http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District Dennis Spisak again vowed to help boost the valley’s economy by bringing alternative energy companies and factories to the 60th District.

 

“All over America government leaders are learning that clean energy is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.” said Spisak.

 

Spisak cited the Mayor of Los Angeles who announced a plan this week to unveil a green energy initiative that will create as many as 400 union jobs over the next three years to install and maintain solar panels on city buildings and other structures around Los Angeles.

 

On another job front, the Los Angeles mayor announced progress towards a goal of providing 100,000 residents with living wages jobs.

 

“Their job proposal could easily work here in the Mahoning Valley”, said Spisak. “The concept is to work with school systems, community colleges, and universities to provide alternative energy job training and placement. Something that is definitely lacking here in the 60th district.”

 

Spisak added “To get such a program in place here in the valley, we need a state representative who will go to Columbus to expand our portfolio of alternative energies. We need a state representative to work with state leaders and help issue rebates to companies that will employ solar panels and a state representative that will strike partnerships with public and private entities to use the technology.”

 

“Right now we have a state representative in Bob Hagan who has no plan to bring such ideas and jobs to the valley. That’s why we need a change in Columbus beginning in 2009”, concluded Spisak.

Next Spisak for State Rep Petition Gathering Event
The Seventh Ward Citizens' Coalition
presents a
Candidates' Forum

Thursday, February 21, 7:00 p.m.

Location:
Word Of Grace Church
(former Buckeye School Bldg.)
2734 Mt. Vernon
Youngstown, Ohio

Growing Green Jobs
 
Press Release- February 13, 2008
 
Independent Green Party candidate for State Representative of the 60th District Dennis Spisak today called on current State Representative Bob Hagan to spend less time endorsing Democratic Presidential Candidates and more time bringing Green Collar Jobs to the Mahoning Valley.
 
"Our local politicians endorse and court presidential candidates every four years, and all we receive back from them are empty promises that are nevered delivered. It's time we elect a state representative who will spend more time trying to bring Green Collar jobs to the 60th District instead of standing on stage for an hour with
Presidential wannabes", said Spisak.
 
Spisak cited the recent Growing Green Collar Jobs, a series of reports that explore how sustainability can be an economic engine for New York City. Green-collar jobs are jobs in an environmental sector that provides family-sustaining wages, workplace safety and health, and chances for advancement.

Prepared for the New York City Apollo Alliance, each report in the series is based on secondary research and interviews with business, labor, civic, community and environmental leaders. The explore the opportunities for creating new green-collar jobs, the importance of retooling existing jobs to incorporate environmental practices, and the barriers to green-collar job creation.

The first report in the series, Growing Green-Collar Jobs: Energy Efficiency, focuses on jobs in one of the fastest growing and most promising areas of the green economy, improving energy efficiency in existing buildings. Released in December 2007, it will be followed by reports covering:

  • Clean Energy: Renewable energy systems (Solar Photovoltaic, Solar Thermal, Geothermal, Small Wind, Landfill Gas, Anaerobic Digesters and Tidal Power), Biofuel production and Cogeneration,
  • Recycling and Deconstruction, recycling of building construction waste and reuse of building materials,
  • Landscaping and Green Roofs
  • Automotive Retrofits, and
  • Brownfield Remediation

"These are the ideas and innovations that will bring jobs to the 60th district." said Spisak.  "Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama will promise us the world over the next 2 days here in Youngstown, but until we elect a state representative who will go out and bring Green Collar jobs to the valley, we will continue to rely on false promises from presidential candidates every 4 years. I will be that State Represenative that will bring jobs to the valley, not just politicians."

2010 Plan needs Green Jobs

Press Release- February 10,2008

Campaign Site: HTTP://Votespisak.tripod.com

Independent Green Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District Dennis Spisak announced today that the Youngstown 2010 plan couldn’t succeed without the creation Green-Collar Jobs for the valley.

“The 2010 plan is already out of date because it fails to mention of Green Collar jobs for the 60th District.” Said Spisak. “Organizations such as the Apollo Alliance, Ella Baker Center, Workforce Alliance, Center for American Progress, Sustainable South Bronx, Center on Wisconsin Strategy, 1Sky, Energy Action Coalition, Green For All, and many more organizations across the country have come to the conclusion that green collar jobs are vital for offering the working class and middle class a better future.

Spisak says Green Collar jobs can help the Youngstown 2010 plan by providing the following benefits to the 60th District:

Green-Collar Jobs will rebuild a Strong Middle Class:

Green-collar jobs are good jobs. Like blue-collar jobs, green-collar jobs pay family wages and provide opportunities for advancement along a career track of increasing skills and wages.

Green-Collar Jobs Provide a Pathway out of Poverty:

Most green-collar jobs are middle-skill jobs requiring more education than high school, but less than a four-year degree -- and are well within reach for lower-skilled and low-income workers as long as they have access to effective training programs and appropriate supports. We must ensure that all green-collar jobs strategies provide opportunities for low-income people to take the first step on a pathway from poverty to economic self-sufficiency. Adding a community college to the area to provide training could provide these courses.

 

 

Green-Collar Jobs Require Some New Skills:

The green economy demands workers with new skill sets. Some green collar jobs -- say renewable energy technicians -- are brand new. But even more are existing jobs that are being transformed as industries transition to a clean energy economy: computer control operators who can cut steel for wind towers as well as for submarines; or mechanics who can fix an electric engine as well as an internal combustion engine. We need identify the specific skills the green economy demands. Then we need to invest in creating new training programs and retooling existing training programs to meet the demand.

Green-Collar jobs tend to be Local Jobs:

Much of the work we have to do to green our economy involves transforming the places that we live and work and the way we get around. These jobs are difficult or impossible to offshore. For instance, you can't pick up a house, send it to China to have solar panels installed, and have it shipped back. In addition, one of the major sources of manufacturing jobs -- a sector that has been extensively off-shored -- are components parts for wind towers and turbines. Because of their size and related high transportation costs, they are most cost-effectively produced as near as possible to wind-farm sites. Cities and communities should begin thinking now about ways their green strategies can also create local jobs.

Green-Collar Jobs Strengthens Urban and Rural Communities:

Urban and rural America have both been negatively impacted over the past decades by a failure to invest in their growth -- green-collar jobs provide an opportunity to reclaim these areas for the benefit of local residents. From new transit spending

and energy audits in inner cities to windmills and biomass in our nation's heartland, green jobs mean a reinvestment in the communities hardest hit in recent decades.

Green-Collar Jobs Can Recreate City Neighborhoods:

When steel was king back in the 40’s. 50’s, and 60’s, we had strong neighborhoods in the Mahoning Valley. By creating Alternative energy companies and factories, we can restore working class neighborhoods to the valley.

Green-collar workers are installing solar panels, retrofitting buildings to make them more efficient, constructing transit lines, refining waste oil into biodiesel, erecting wind farms, repairing hybrid cars, building green rooftops, planting trees, and so much more. And they are doing it today. There are already many green-collar jobs in America. But there could be so many more if we focus our economic strategies on growing a green economy.

Spisak concludes by saying “It’s time for the 60th District to begin looking at becoming the Alternative Energy Giant for Alternative Energy Jobs and Factories. Only then can we say we have a future plan in pace to make the 60th District a better place to live in the 21st Century.”

Spisak for State Rep proposes Incentives Plans for Energy Conservation
 
Press-Release-Feruary 7, 2008
 

Dennis Spisak, Independent Green Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District, called today for the state legistlature to introduce a set of proposals designed to help improve energy efficiency through conservation.

"As a Board of Education member, I have seen our school district's electricity costs rise over $200,000 in just three years." said Spisak. "It's time for the state legislature to introduce a legistlative package that would include a series of tax incentives, rebates and other measures to provide assistance to individuals who pursue energy conserving practices.

"We need a bill that would also set up renewable energy procurement goals for state agencies and financial assistance to the poor to help them buy products that reduce their energy consumption." said Spisak. 

Tax deductions, private donations, grants, and settlements from lawsuits would pay for the energy upgrade relief outlined in the plan.

Press Release- February 4, 2008

New Green Jobs Will Bring New Green Benefits

Campaign Web Site: HTTP:// Vote Spisak.tripod.com

Independent Green Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District Dennis Spisak today announced that by bringing new green companies to the Mahoning Valley would also bring new green benefits for valley employees and residents.

In a RenewableEnergyAccess article, Dawn Dzurilla of Gaia Human Capital Consultants wrote that renewable energy companies are adding green benefits to their employment packages to align the company’s stated values with their company culture and to attract talent from traditional industries to the renewable energy industry. Each benefit allows employees to become more sustainable in their personal actions, a benefit that is likely to be quite meaningful to those applying for and landing jobs in the renewable energy sector.

“Green employment benefits tend to fall into five categories: work related, transportation, residential, personal/well being, and financial.” Said Spisak. “Not only will new renewable energy companies bring the 60th district an economic boost, but it will also bring better employee benefits which are currently non-existent with today’s current companies. With no immediate help in employee benefits coming from the state house, such renewable energy green benefits will improve the working and living conditions of our valley residents.” Said Spisak.
Such employment benefits are the following:

Work Related: Changes in the workplace that are aligned with sustainability, such as natural light buildings and space efficient offices can increase employee productivity and satisfaction. At least one company hosts a fairly elaborate Earth Day celebrations that include education, healthy food, and a local hike.
Transportation: These benefits range from mass transit subsidies, to free bicycles, to cash prizes for taking alternative transportation to work. Some companies are even offering a $1000 toward the purchase of a Prius, with the $1000 stipend continuing each year for as long as the employee owns the car!
Residential: Some companies are offering employees stipends toward the purchase of CFLs, energy-efficient windows, solar panels, wood-pellet furnace, or wind turbine.
Personal/Well Being: Personal values of stewardship, sustainability, and personal health are valued by giving employees the opportunity to use time during the day to workout, take time off to participate in marathons, or volunteer for earth-friendly causes.
Financial: An example of this benefit is giving employees access to Socially Responsible Investments in their retirement plan and 401(k) options.
“For 20 years in this valley Democratic leadership has failed to think outside the box and look towards the future. It’s time to elect independent-thinking candidates to the state house to bring the Mahoning Valley into the 21st Century,” concluded Spisak.

Press Release: February 1, 2008

New Greens Jobs Could Bring 93 Million Dollars, 592 Jobs to Valley

Campaign Site: http://votespisak.tripod.com

 

Independent Green Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District Dennis Spisak announced today that a recent Apollo Alliance report stated that by bringing alternative energy companies and factories to the 60th district could bring in a 93 Million Dollars and 592 new jobs to Mahoning County.

"By creating a national and state strategy for investing in renewable energy we could provide significant business benefits and jobs by stimulating demands for manufactured components." said Spisak. "Areas such as Youngtown which has suffered great loss of manufacturing jobs have a significant concentration of manufacturing potential to supply these components."

The Renewable Energy Policy Project's latest report,Component Manufacturing: Ohio's Future in the Renewable Energy Industry, produced for the Apollo Alliance, utilizes industrial codes from census data and a state of the art software program to identify the scope of potential job growth that would occur in Ohio.

"The report states that Mahoning County is one of the top 20 counties in Ohio with the greatest potential for econmic growth by building alternative energy companies and factories." said Spisak. "The report suggests that Mahoning County could gain 93 million dollars to it's economy and provide for 592 jobs in the solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal industries."

Spisak concluded, "If elected to the state house, I would work with such organizations as Green Energy Ohio, the Apollo Alliance, and the Blue- Green Alliance to bring such industries and jobs back to the working and middle class citizens of our district."

 

 

Press Release-January 30, 2008
 
Spisak calls for House Reps to Give Ohio a Better Electric Utility Plan
 
 
Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District Dennis Spisak today called on current Ohio House members to give Ohio residents the best possible electric utility plan this year.
 
The House is currently hearing testimony on Senate Bill 221 which would overhaul the state's regulation of electric utilities.
 
" Ohio House members need to think progressively and make sure that the advancement for renewable energies is included and utilized to it's fullest potential here in the Buckeye State", said Spisak.
 
"Ohio House members must also stand strong and ensure school districts will have access to the best electric rates-whether it be the competitive wholesale market or a stable rate provided by the utility company under an electric security
plan." said Spisak.
 
Spisak added, "As a current Struthers City Board of Education member, I have seen our school district electric bill rise over $200,000 over the last 3 years. That's $200,000 dollars that could have been spent on additional student instruction, curriculum development, or helping students with special needs.
It's time for Ohio House members to begin exploring a possible special electric rate for School districts."
 
 

Press Release-January 28, 2008
 
Old Buildings Turned Green can Save Youngstown Money
 
 
Independent Green Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District Dennis Spisak today announced today that a report by the United States Green Building Council concludes older buildings such as those in Downtown Youngstown present a much bigger opportunity to cut down on energy consumption and carbon emissions that contribute to the warming of the planet.
 
"The Leadership in Energy and Environment Design-LEED has guidelines that address older buildings." said Spisak. " Called L:EED for Existing Buildings, or LEED-EB, the three-year-old program provides a laundry list of steps that building owners and managers can take to operate and manage their properties more efficiently."

The report suggests that as more companies look to reduce waste, along with their carbon imprint, they find that their buildings are one of their most immediate opportunities. For their efforts, they typically get a healthier, cleaner work environment, improved efficiency and lower operating costs, all of which can help attract tenants and employees. A 2006 Green Building Council study found that by retrofitting buildings, owners can save 90 cents a square foot annually, on average, in energy and other costs and earn back their investment in 2 to 2 ½ years.

"As State Representative, I would work with the council, the local chamber, and state and federal resources to see that our older buildings in the 60th district can take on this renovation, save money, and increase tenants and employees for the 21st century." said Spisak. "These are ideas and innovations real progressive candidates want for our valley."

Press Release: January 25, 2008
 
State Rep Candidate Spisak: Green Economic Stimulus Package will jump Start Economy, not Bush's Tax Cuts
 
 
Independent Green Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District, Dennis Spisak, said today that President Bush's tax cut proposal will not stimulate the economy, but a Green Economic Stimulus Package will.
 
"President Bush's call for tax cuts is a false and short-term approach that is economically flawed and will bankrupt America", said Spisak. " It is based on   old ideas rooted in a dirty, fossil fuel based economy."

Spisak called for Congress to pass a green stimulus package that helps those who need it the most. "Rebuilding  America's crumbling infrastructure offers two opportunities that we must seize as a country: transitioning America to a clean energy economy and expanding economic opportunity for all".
Spisak added "  we have the unique opportunity to promote green-collar jobs and 
pathways out of poverty.  Through targeted investments in energy  efficiency, mass transit, and a Clean Energy Corps to provide  Americans with jobs and service opportunities, we can not only avoid  short-term recession, but also put millions of Americans to work, creating a secure economic and environmental future for all Americans."            

" This is the opportunity to act boldly to strengthen U.S. energy 
independence and to invest in the clean and sustainable energy 
sources that will form the foundation of a new era of economic 
prosperity."
 
 'If elected to to the state house, I will work with state and federal elected officials to support a green stimulus package that creates new jobs and a green 
economy strong enough to lift people out of economic depression on 
to a pathway out of poverty", Spisak concluded.

Press Release-January 18, 2008
 
 
Spisak for State Rep: Green Career Jobs can come to Valley
 
Dennis Spisak-Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th district again reported that green labor shortages will create additonal green careers.
 
"A one-day summit entitled Advancing the New Energy Economy was recently held in San Francisco." said Spisak. " The attendees discussed ways to advance long-term investment, job creation, and financial growth within the green technology industry with a focus on engaging low-income communities."
 
One of the critical issues to come out of the summit is the shortage of green laborers who have the skills to retrofit buildings, build new green construction, install solar panels and build wind farms.

"This news has a number of implications for green careers of all kinds," said Spisak. "This is the type of education and economy I would bring to the 60th District to help improve our working and middle class."
 
Suggestions that came out of the San Franciso summit: 
  • If you are a builder or want to learn, now is the time to get the training you need to be a competent installer.
  • Schools with specific education programs will pay a critical role in solving this labor shortage. If you have experience in green building or renewable energy installation and you enjoy teaching, your employment potential just went up. A number of community colleges are launching certification programs now!
  • If you’ve worked in school admissions and want to contribute to the green economy, position yourself to help attract and select people for these education programs.
  • When these students graduate, green companies are likely to scramble to hire as many of the top students as possible. If you have a background in recruitment or human resources, you could have your hands full as these companies staff up.
  • Although the focus is on green collar employees, as companies gear up, they are also going to need managers and team leads to manage the crews as they get to work.
  • Another key component of this puzzle is having a sufficient number of marketing and sales people to line up the projects for the builders and installers.

Spisak says "It's time for the 60th District to begin research into the next new hot industry in America. If we were once the Steel Valley giant, why can't we become the Green Alternative Energy Manufacuring Giant?"

 

Press Release-January 17, 2008
 
Dennis Spisak calls for supports of Ohio Senate Bill 221 and More Green Jobs for our Valley
 
 
Dennis Spisak, Green Party Candidate for State Representative for the 60th District announced he supports Ohio Senate Bill 221which calls for support of
clean energy for Ohio.

"Last week the Ohio House of Representatives heard testimony from Exxon-Mobile funded Heartland Institute to try and sway Ohio Legistlators from a clean energy bill by dismissing global warming and get Ohio to stay the course with dirty sources of power." said Spisak.

"If elected to the Ohio House I will work to bring solar energy companies, wind energy developers and renewable energy manufacturers to Ohio which will have a  huge environmental and economic opportunity for our state." Spisak added.

Dennis Spisak again stressed the need to bring alternative energy companies, manufacturers, and green collar jobs to the Mahoning Valley.

"We need to provide workers training to take advantage of new opportunities and job growth in renewable and clean energy, providing pathways out of poverty for lower income communities. We can generate accelerated investment in clean energy technologies and businesses. As we switch to an economy less dependent on fossil fuels, we will see growth in clean energy economies." 

Press Release-January 11, 2008
 
 
Spisak for State Rep wants new alternative energy factories and companies to build Lake Erie Wind Farm
 
Dennis Spisak, Green Party Candidate for State Representative today continued his pledge to make the Mahoning Valley a new manufacturing base for alternative energy companies.
 
"Lake Erie winds are the strongest recorded anywhere in Ohio, the nonprofit Green Energy Ohio reported Thursday", said Spisak. On Tuesday, Cuyahoga County commissioners approved a $1 million study that will look at the costs and challenges of erecting a small wind farm on Lake Erie. As a demonstration project, the task force has proposed building up to 10 wind turbines in Lake Erie, generating power for up to 6,000 homes."
 
"All across the nation and now in Ohio people are beginning to finally realize that alternative energy manufacturing is the key new way to make America's manufacturing base be restored." said Spisak. "As state representative, I would work with government and private industry to help bring new alternative energy jobs and help recreate a working and middle class to our Mahoning Valley".
 
Spisak cites the findings from the Green-Collar Jobs Campaign:
 

Businesses surveyed report:

86 percent hire workers without previous direct experience or training for green-collar jobs.

94 percent provide on-the-job training for workers in entry level positions.

90 percent pay the full cost of insuring their workers.

73 percent of businesses stated that there was a shortage of qualified green-collar workers for their sector, with the greatest needs in energy, green building, and mechanics.

Workers with barriers to employement want Green collar jobs:

89 percent wanted to learn more about green-collar jobs.

61 percent expressed interest in being contacted in the future so they could receive training to work in a green-collar job.

"The Mahoning Valley needs Green Collar Jobs to help provide a new source of living wage jobs to help battle poverty and unemployment", said Spisak. "As your State Representative, I will see that the 60th District is a leader in the area, and not again be left standing at the station as this new economic train leaves the station." Bob Hagan has done this time after time for 20 years. It's time for a new engineer for this valley." Spisak concluded.

Spisak for State Rep * 548 Poland Ave* Struthers* Ohio * 44471

Dennis Spisak- Progressive Ideas for a Progressive 60th District

January 6, 2008- Press Release
 
 Spisak for State Rep supports need for Community College in Valley
 
Green Candidate for State Representative of the 60th District, Dennis Spisak, supports the Northeast Ohio Universities Collaboration and Innovation Study Commission that reports the Mahoning Valley needs a community college.
 
"Why is 60th District the only district in the Northeast Ohio Region without a community college?" asked Spisak. "We wonder why our valley is behind the rest of the state in developing new trades, careers, and technical jobs, and the lack of a community college is one reason why," he added.
 
"You would think since current State Rep Bob Hagan has been in state office for over 20 years we would have had a community college by now." said Spisak.
 
As a high school principal, Spisak has seen how valuable community colleges can be for improving techinical, jobs, and college education for the poor and middle class.
 
"When I was principal at Southern Local High School for 7 years, I was amazed at how valuable Jefferson Community College was to Steubenville and all students in Jefferson County. Students who graduated from any high school in Jefferson county were provided free tution for two years and only had to pay for books and supply fees. Many students went on to earn Associated Degrees or transferred after 2 years to such universities as YSU, Kent State, and Ohio University." said Spisak.
 
"This community college could focus on trade skills for students and adults in the new field of developing and improving alternative energy sources. We could teach students how to build affordable solar and wind energy systems as well as factories that could produce energy from methane gas given off by the massive landfills in the valley. Such factories are already operating in Toledo and Columbus." said Spisak. " By creating these trades we could encourage new alternative energy manufacuring factories and companies to relocate to this valley and rebuild our working class and middle class society. Let's give the community jobs that pay a living wage so that our citizens will not have to turn to murder and drugs to survive." Spisak added.
 
For more on the Spisak campaign...visit his website at http://votespisak.tripod.com
 
 
 
 

January 4, 2008
 
Green Candidate Spisak excited that the Paid Sick Leave Statute Qualifies for the Ohio General Assembly Consideration.
 
Green Candidate for State Representative-60th District, Dennis Spisak was excited to learn today that Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner announced  that the Ohioans for Healthy Families Coalition has submitted more than enough valid signatures to send the Ohio Healthy Families Act to the Ohio General Assembly! 

The Coalition needed 120,683 valid signatures state-wide, and specific numbers of signatures had to be gathered in at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties.  On December 11th, petitions were submitted to Jennifer Brunner, the state’s chief elections officer, who then sent them to County Boards of Elections for verification.  Today, Brunner certified 154,693 signatures as valid, and said that the requisite number of signatures were obtained in 65 counties, both of which far exceeded the numbers needed to send the proposed legislation to the General Assembly.   

"I am very excited to see this act come before the Ohio General Assembly.", said Spisak. " It is long overdo. If elected to the Ohio House, I will do everything in my effort to see that working Ohioians can receive sick days to help their family members when they become ill."

The Ohio Healthy Families Act is a proposed new state law that would make our state one of the most family-friendly in the nation. The Act would require businesses with 25 or more workers to allow full-time employees to earn 7 paid sick days per year. Part-time workers could earn a smaller, pro-rated number of paid sick days depending on the number of hours they work.

The Healthy Families Act would ensure middle-class workers—the backbone of Ohio's economy—have the opportunity to earn paid sick days. Full-time workers would earn 7 days a year and part-time workers would earn a pro-rated amount, based on the number of hours worked.

For more information, visit the web-site   http://www.sickdaysohio.org/

 

January 2, 2008
 
Green Candidate Spisak for State Rep calls for developing alternative energy manufacturing as oil prices soar to $100 dollars a barrel.
 
As oil prices soared to $100 a barrel Wednesday for the first time ever reaching a milestone, Green Party Candidate For State Representative of the 60th District Dennis Spisak again pledged that if elected to the Ohio House of Representatives he would bring alternative energy companies and jobs to the Mahoning Valley.
 
" With oil hitting $100 dollars a barrel today, it is becoming evident that global demand for oil and petroleum products will continue to outstrip supplies." said Spisak. "We need to invest and bring in alternative energy manufacturers and companies to the valley to slow our demand for oil and help put people back to work in manufacturing jobs."
 
Spisak cited how business is booming for companies like Third Sun Solar and Power out of Athens, Ohio. Third Sun Solar and Wind Power is a seven-year-old business that passed the $1 million revenue mark for the first time in 2007. 

Spisak reported that Third Sun has installed solar panels across Ohio and the surrounding states, on buildings including the Denison University library, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and the carriage house at the Ohio governor's mansion, not to mention numerous private homes across the area.
 
"This is the type of movement we need to begin working on now for the future
rebirth of Youngstown and the 60th District," said Spisak. "It's time for the state
house to begin working with bringing more alternative energy sources to Ohio instead of trying to remained tied to the vaste amounts of fossil fuels we waste each year", he added.

To read more on Third Sun Solar and Wind Power, follow this link.

http://www.coopamerica.org/greenbusiness/interviews/articles/200801.cfm

 

 


Volunteer for the Spisak for State Representative Campaign!
 

Petition volunteers are needed for the Spisak for State Representative Campaign. The 60th House District includes Youngstown, Struthers, Campbell, Lowellville, Coitsville Township, and Austintown Township.

Help us widen our efforts throughout the District by volunteering today.

Send an email with your complete contact information to Spikespisak@aol.com or contact us by mail at: 

Spisak For State Rep- 548 Poland Ave. Struthers, Ohio 44471

Spisak Announces plans to make Ohio Cleaner
 
Press Release-December 26, 2007
 
Green Party Candidate for State Rep of the 60th District Dennis Spisak announced today his plans for making Ohio cleaner in the years to come.
Spisak's goals are the implementation of waste reduction and recycling policies and programs.
 
"My goals are to follow the highly succssful campaign for recycling that is currently being used by the coalition called "Californians Against Waste!".
Their plan of attacking waste reduction has produced tremendous results and can be used here in Ohio to make the Buckeye state a greener place to live and work."
 
As State Representative, Spisak would  introduce the following programs be
moved through the Ohio House and Senate:
 
  • Implementation  of a Nickel and Dime Refund Value on Beverage Containers.
  • Implementation of E-waste Take-back and Recycling Efforts. California continues to lead the nation in addressing this emerging issue.
  • Implementation of Statewide Grocery Bag Reuse and Recycling program. Retailers in California report that they are using tens of thousands of fewer plastic bags thanks to this effort.
  • Passage of groundbreaking legislation to increase energy efficiency and reduce hazardous materials in today's lighting.
  • Success in having recycling and composting recognized as priority greenhouse gas reduction measures in the State’s climate change.

"It's time for Ohio and the Mahoning Valley to be a leader in recycling", said Spisak.

Dennis Spisak praises passage of Green jobs Act of 2007
 
Press Release-December 21, 2007

http://votespisak.tripod.com

Green Party Candidate for State Rep of the 60th District Dennis Spisak announced that on  Wednesday, December 19, President Bush signed the Green Jobs Act of 2007, authorizing $125 million for green job training programs across the country!

The Green Jobs Act is part of the Energy Bill, a bundle of policies that is otherwise a mixed blessing. Conservatives stripped out some of the best parts of the package -- like big boosts for solar and wind energy and an end to tax giveaways for oil companies.

Amidst these shortcomings, however, we have our share of great news. For the first time in history, we have a U.S. law that addresses both the climate crisis and the poverty crisis by investing in green-collar job training. The Green Jobs Act authorizes $125 million annually for greening the nation's workforce, enough for training up to 35,000 people every year. Even more unprecedented, it allocates $25 million for "green pathways out of poverty" programs.

"These are the types of programs we need developed here in the 60th district and across the state of Ohio with the help of the Ohio Apollo Energy Alliance." said. Spisak. "Programs like this can help build a green economy in Youngstown that can lift people out of poverty. By working with national programs such as "Green for All', we can help secure billions of dollars to create green pathways out of poverty for 250,000 people that live in our inner cities like Youngstown."

Spisak added "It's progressive programs like these that the Green Party backs that will help our inner city children and youth find work and jobs and create a green manufacturing base to pull them out of poverty and into a new working and middle class. Programs that both the Democrats and Republicans fail to see as a future alternative to helping the poor."

Spisak urges Governor to Support Single-Payer Health Care Plan
 

On August 1, 2007, Governor Strickland issued a press release announcing that Ohio was one of 14 states selected to participate in the 2007 Coverage Institute sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Coverage Initiatives (SCI) program.

The release explained that “The SCI program assists states which are considering systematic substantial and comprehensive health reform to develop and implement policies that will expand access to health care for the entire uninsured population in a state by expanding public programs and private sector reforms. The program will assist the state in considering a spectrum of health care reforms….. SCI will work with a team of Ohio policy, legislative and stakeholder participants to facilitate discussion of reform options for the state and will assist in modeling and implementing those options.”

Accordingly, Gov. Strickland has assembled a task force comprising a 12-member State Coverage Initiative Team and a 40-member Healthcare Coverage Initiative Advisory Committee. $500,000 tax dollars have been allocated to study health care options — the goal being to cover a third of Ohio’s 1.5 million uninsured. What about the other two-thirds? And what about the additional millions of underinsured?

Incredibly, single-payer — the only plan that would help ALL Ohioans, uninsured and underinsured alike — will NOT be included among the plans to be studied. Only plans that include the private insurance companies are being considered. This is unacceptable. (See letter from U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich to Governor Strickland urging inclusion of single-payer in the study.)

Today Dennis Spisak e-mailed Gov. Strickland the following message:

As an Ohio constituent, I want a single-payer plan (H.B.186 and S.B. 168) to be one of the five models studied by the Governor's task force for healthcare reform in Ohio.

I support Single-payer health care for the following reasons:

· Single-payer is the only plan that will provide guaranteed,

quality, comprehensive medical and dental care to EVERY Ohioan.

· A single-payer system is the most fiscally conservative. Ohio

H.B.186 and its companion bill in the Senate, S.B.168, i.e., the

Health Care For All Ohioans Act, would save more than $11 billion in

health care costs.

· Commissioned studies were done in Colorado and California by the highly regarded Lewin group. Single-payer was included as a model. They concluded that single-payer will, "cover more people, for more services, for less money."

· Plans being considered by the State Coverage Initiative Team of 12

have been tried in other states and have failed miserably, resulting in an increase in the number of uninsured. It is a disservice to the people of Ohio not to include a single-payer model.

· The people of Ohio insist that a single-payer plan be considered in the comparative analysis done by our governor, for Ohioans, with our tax dollars.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dennis S. Spisak

Green Party Candidate

Ohio State Rep-60th District

Spisak for State Rep* 548 Poland Ave* Struthers * Ohio * 44471

Dennis Spisak- Progressive Ideas for a Progressive 60th District