The Oberlin Review

Off The Cuff: John Elder and Steve Hammond

Off The Cuff: John Elder and Steve Hammond

April 6, 2018

John Elder and Steve Hammond are co-founders of the group Citizens for Safe and Sustainable Energy, an environmental group that has been working to fight the NEXUS pipeline and advocate for Oberlin’s Community Bill of Rights. Hammond is also the Pastor for Oberlin’s Peace Community Church. The group has been fighting the NEXUS pipeline since 2013, pursuing lawsuits, engaging community members, and advocating with City Council. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. How did y...

Voters Can Correct City Council’s Mistakes

Steve Hammond and John Elder

September 22, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Two issues related to the use of Oberlin’s renewable energy credits (RECs) will be on the ballot this November. Why? Because voters need the opportunity to correct two Oberlin City Council actions. In 2004 Oberlin College began seeking renewable energy, and in 2007 the City Council established by ordinance, with the College’s encouragement, a Sustainable Reserve Program “for the sole purpose” of depositing the revenue from the sale of what are now known as RECs for a Sustainable Reserve Fund “to provide funding opportunities for community-based, utility-related, environmentally-friendly initiatives demonstrating energy efficiency, energy conservation, greenhouse gas reductions and/or dev...

Local Petitions Challenge REC Choice Fund Options

Jenna Gyimesi

March 31, 2017

Filed under Community News, NEWS, Recent Stories

Local community members are pushing to overturn a recent initiative that would give city residents the option of donating revenue from renewable energy back to the city. A committee of city residents created two petitions that, if passed, would put the city’s Community Choice Fund back on next year’s ballot. The fund allows residents to donate their share of the city’s Renewable Energy Credits back to the City to invest in further sustainable energy projects. Last year, City Council decided that Oberlin would return 85 percent of the proceeds from the sale of RECs to city residents and give 15 percent of the proceeds to sustainability projects, which comes out to around $100 per year for each resident. Renewable...

Petititions Circulate to Preserve REC Fund

John Elder, OC '53

March 10, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: In May 2007, the Oberlin City Council voted unanimously to establish a Sustainable Reserve Program funded by the revenue from selling renewable energy credits. This week, former Oberlin City Councilors, business owners and other respected Oberlinians are starting to circulate a pair of petitions that, together, will enable the voters to preserve funding for that program. I urge students, staff and faculty who vote in Oberlin to sign these two petitions. Why do this now? The Ohio legislature has been cutting income for the city’s general fund. The Trump administration is slashing the EPA budget. We can’t expect any federal or state support for local sustainability efforts, but thanks to 2007’s...

City Resolution Counters ‘Guns Everywhere’ Bill

Eliza Guinn

April 15, 2016

Filed under Community News, NEWS

Oberlin City Council fired a warning shot past the Ohio House of Representatives April 4 when they released a resolution opposing House Bill 48. The resolution cited Oberlin’s Bill of Rights and the powers it grants the council to exercise home-rule and self-governance. “The prohibition of the ability of municipalities to determine where a person may carry a concealed handgun within those municipalities has undermined a sense of safety within those communities and has contributed to the accidental injuries to and deaths of innocent persons,” the resolution states. The “Guns Everywhere” Bill, sponsored by Representative Ron Maag, would expand the areas where permit holders could carry concealed guns to...

Fairchild Chapel to Become Multifaith Prayer Space

Eliza Guinn

April 8, 2016

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Oberlin has been working since the fall of 2015 to recreate Fairchild Chapel as a multifaith prayer space for Oberlin’s campus. College senior Rand Zalzala, the student coordinator for this project, said that the ORSL’s current focus is to make the space as available and welcoming as possible to members of any and all religious affiliations. Resources like meditation cushions, prayer rugs, prayer beads and religious texts have been made available for students, College employees and community members to use at any time. “I think that many people want to practice on campus,” Zalzala said. “But they don’t have the space to do it.” The ORSL is trying to...

‘Guns Everywhere’ Bill to Allow Arms on Campuses

‘Guns Everywhere’ Bill to Allow Arms on Campuses

March 4, 2016

The national debate over gun control has grown increasingly local since House Bill 48 passed through the Ohio House of Representatives last November. The city of Oberlin will demonstrate its opposition to the bill by presenting a resolution to City Council on Monday. “The city of Oberlin believes that the laws expanding the possession of guns in areas within our community undermine public confidence in the assumption of safety and security in the community and impede law enforcement agencies...

Students, Communities Protest Proposed Pipeline

Eliza Guinn

November 13, 2015

Filed under Campus News, Community News, NEWS

The fight to stop the NEXUS pipeline continues, as Communities for Safe and Sustainable Energy and Students for Energy Justice join forces with landowners along the route of the proposed pipeline to prevent its construction. According to John Elder, a member of Communities for Safe and Sustainable Energy, the pipeline must be operational by this time next year for the company to meet its contracts. “They’re under a lot of pressure to get this done,” Elder said. The proposed pipeline will pass very close to Reserve Avenue, but according to Elder, that road doesn’t actually appear on the provided map at all. “People looking at it don’t realize there’s a street with houses all along it,” he ...

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