The Impact

The Impact

A Sustainable CT podcast. The Impact shares workshops, conversations and interviews covering a wide range of topics that are central to Connecticut communities, including civic engagement, climate resilience, affordable housing, transportation, equity and social justice.

Episodes

February 15, 2024 48 mins

A recent addition to the Sustainable CT Board of Directors, Mike Purcaro has been working with the Town of Vernon in one capacity or another for almost 20 years and as town administrator for the last seven years. Vernon is truly a Sustainable CT "success story" - over-achieving in nearly every action area since their registration in 2018. Join us to discover how they did it and what lies ahead for the Silver certified Tow...

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As a newly-elected First Selectwoman of Chester, Cindy Lignar's plate is pretty full these days, but she's graciously made time to chat with us. Prior to her election, Cindy headed the Chester Sustainability Team, demonstrating achievement in 12 sustainable impact areas ranging from inclusive community building and thriving local economies to vibrant arts and culture and well-stewarded lands. Please join us for a conversa...

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We had the good-good fortune to be joined by Ted Shafer, currently serving as the director of economic development for the towns of Winchester (a recently Bronze certified town) and Barkhamsted. Ted served for 10 years as first selectman of Burlington, from 2011 until 2021, overseeing much of Burlington’s evolution into a climate and sustainability-conscious municipality and guiding the town to Bronze certification in 2019. In addi...

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We gain some important insight about the value of the Sustainable CT Fellowship Program from the people who know it best and have seen it in action.  We're joined by Adrian Huq, a 2023 Fellow with the Capitol Region Council of Governments; Dylan Steer, a 2023 Fellow with the Metropolitan Council of Governments; Michael Towle, deputy director of the Western Connecticut Council of Governments; and Ben Lovejoy, director of region...

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We catch up with Steve Winter, New Haven's Executive Director of Climate & Sustainability, along with his compatriots, climate activist Amelia Fortgang, and Giovanni Zinn, New Haven’s City Engineer, to talk about all that glitters in the Elm City... well, all things sustainable anyway. New Haven is the first municipality in Connecticut to achieve Sustainable CT's Gold level certification. We talk about how they did it...

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It was my great pleasure to have a conversation with Joshua Steele Kelly, Town Manager and CEO of the beautiful Town of Winchester, Connecticut. He’s held that post since April of 2021, and, prior to that, Josh served as the Town Administrator of Bolton, Connecticut and as Conservation Commissioner in Waterford. And Sustainable CT will be having its 2023 Awards Celebration in Winchester – in October – at the site of the American Mu...

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We had an opportunity to sit down with Fionnuala Darby-Hudgens, director of data strategic planning with CT Data Collaborative. "Finn," as we affectionately know her, was joined by our own Lynn Stoddard to discuss some of the greatest challenges facing the non-profit community when it comes to data management.

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It's Old Home Week at the IMPACT, as we've invited three - yes, three! - alumni of the Sustainable CT fellowship program to join us to ask the "Where are they now?" question and find out how their participation in our fellowship program may - or may not - have impacted their career paths.  But we also wanted to get their perspectives on some major issues of the day because they've all done very well since t...

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We have two – yes, two! – delightful guests – Inez Ortiz and Dorothy Piszczek. They’ve both just recently joined Sustainable CT as program assistants, and this was a great opportunity to get to know them a little better, and to discover what their aspirations are at Sustainable CT and in the wider world. We discussed carbon pricing, campus sustainability efforts, the generational differences of perspective when it comes to climate ...

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I had a lively and informative conversation with Richard Johnson, the erstwhile and long-serving Town Manager of Glastonbury. Prior to his formal retirement in March, Richard worked in Glastonbury town government for 42 years – a remarkable achievement. His is a career that spans, not just decades, but enormous change – in technology, communications, environmental action, political upheavals and polarization, and, truthfully, how w...

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This month's show is a little late, but for good reason: we're bringing you a special crossover episode in conjunction with the Sustainable CT Coffee Hour, Earth Day Edition, featuring Eric Fine of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Eric joined us to discuss the YPCCC’s research on climate change public opinion and messaging. Our special Earth Day Coffee Hour covered how you can most effectively communicate...

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I was joined by John Elsesser, Town Manager of Coventry since 1988. Now, 1988 was a long time ago... that's 1988 BC (Before Cellphones)... but John is nothing if not up-to-date and innovative in his approach to municipal governance. In energy, waste management, housing, farm and open space preservation - he's by no means stuck in the past. John has guided Coventry through Bronze certification in 2018, and Silver in 2019 a...

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Sam Gold, Executive Director of the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments, was kind enough to put up with my Covid voice (and brain) for a wide-ranging discussion about Connecticut's demographic challenges, housing, regional planning, energy and some trash talk, too.  Sam's been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planning since 2006; he served as chair of the Connecticut Association of Council...

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January 15, 2023 51 mins

We begin our second season of The IMPACT with three fabulous guests.  Monet Paredes and Lilly Adamo are both attending the University of Connecticut and they, along with a cohort of UConn students, attended the 27th United Nations Conference of Parties (or COP27) that took place in November of last year in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. We were joined as well by Dr. Anji Seth, a professor of Climate, Weather, and Physical Geography at the...

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I had the opportunity to chat with Emily Basham, Senior Manager of Partnership Development at the Connecticut Green Bank.  Emily manages the community campaigns for the Solar for All and the Solar Municipal Assistance programs supporting Connecticut’s towns and cities.  She’s led the Green Bank’s participation in the SolSmart program, offering technical assistance to streamline local solar permitting processes in the state.  Prior ...

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We recorded live at the 2022 Connecticut Power & Energy Society's Fall Conference for a panel discussion entitled “Read All About It: A Journalist’s View of Effective Energy Reporting.”  Joining was a group of some of the most distinguished energy reporters in our region: Sam Mintz with RTO Insider, Jan Ellen Spiegel with the Connecticut Mirror, Ethan Howland of Utility Dive, and Sabrina Shankman of the Boston Globe.  We d...

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Today we have the good fortune to chat with Catherine Diviney, Energy Specialist with the Town of West Hartford and doyen of all things sustainable in municipal government.  Catherine was present at the creation of Sustainable CT – lending her guidance at the inception of our mission – and she’s been a steadfast supporter ever since.  She’s someone to whom we often turn for comment, critique and an important hands-on perspective wh...

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I had the good fortune to have TWO of Connecticut’s best natural resources on the same Zoom call: our executive director, Lynn Stoddard AND Senator Christine Cohen, representing the 12th state senate district and chair of the Environment Committee.

Lynn is the founder of Sustainable CT.  She has over 25 years of experience in developing public policy and managing a broad range of environmental programs. She is a person of boundless ...

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I had the chance to chat with our very own Mary Dickerson, certification program manager extraordinaire AND the manager of the Sustainable CT Fellowship Program.  Mary's a veritable font of practical knowledge and experience, unmatched administrative prowess and truly a delight to work with.  We covered a lot of ground in our conversation - certification, of course, but we also took a deep dive into the topic of affordable hou...

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July 15, 2022 48 mins

It’s all about riparian zones – from the Latin word for river: RIPA or RIPARIUS  (Et tu, Riparius?).  But a riparian zone, at least to those of us west of the Rubicon, is actually the area on the sides of the river – a buffer that, if preserved and managed properly, goes a long way toward keeping the river clean and keeping whatever the river, or stream, flows into clean as well.  Critical stuff, really.  So critical, in fact, that...

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