Newsbriefs April 23

April 23, 2012
by Laura Turner

Greensboro, N.C., Teens Address Dating Violence


Greensboro, N.C., wrapped up a series of events addressing youth dating violence on February 28 with skits and a panel discussion at the International Civil Rights Museum.

The evening began with three skits written by Western Guilford High School creative writing students and performed by Southwest Guilford High School drama students. Each skit focused on a different aspect of unhealthy relationships: control, jealousy and physical abuse.

The skits were designed to spur conversation and were followed by a panel discussion co-moderated by a 16-year-old Weaver High School student.

Parents and most other adults were sent to another room for a discussion, so that the youth could feel free to express their thoughts about dating and relationships openly.

The panel was co-facilitated by a retired juvenile court judge; several adult experts were available to answer questions about law and available services.

Counselors specializing in treating young people exposed to violence, abuse and trauma were available in private rooms to assist anyone needing their services.

The event brought together a number of youth-oriented agencies, each of which had a display table of available resources.
"We have an all-star cast of youth agencies and service providers who are committed to raising awareness about teen dating violence and giving our teens every chance to choose healthy relationships," said Police Chief Ken Miller.

Named "No Hatin n Datin" by city youth, the campaign is part the annual national Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

Dating violence was the topic on February 25 at The Jukebox, a middle school dance party series put on by the parks and recreation department that brings awareness to different topics.

Details:
 Susan Danielsen, public information officer, police department, at (336) 574-4002 or susan.danielsen@greensboro-nc.gov.

Miami-Dade, Fla. Celebrates Dr. Seuss' Birthday

Participants at the Miami-Dade, Fla. Community Action and Human Services Department's Head Start/Early Start centers commemorated the 108th birthday of children's author Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, by dressing up like characters from his famed books.

Children at the Carrie Meek Center read the books in their classrooms and paraded around the parking lot to the celebratory drum beat of their teachers.

"Dr. Seuss is my favorite children's book author, so each year I look forward to celebrating his birthday," said Meek Center director Janeth Trujillo. "This year the staff and I dressed up as Dr. Seuss characters and we created top hats for the children."

Geisel, born March 2, 1904, wrote and illustrated 48 children's books, including "The Cat in the Hat," "Green Eggs and Ham," "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

Details: Terri Page at (786) 469-4662 or tpage@miamidade.gov.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Releases Energy Star Building List


For the fourth consecutive year, the Los Angeles metropolitan area has topped the list of communities with the most Energy Star-certified buildings, according to a report released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 11.

By the end of 2011, nearly 16,500 Energy Star certified buildings across the nation have helped save nearly $2.3 billion in annual utility bills and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual energy use of more than 1.5 million homes, said EPA.

"Energy Star certified buildings in cities across America are helping to strengthen local economies and protect the planet for decades to come," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

First released in 2008, the list of cities with the most Energy Star certified buildings continues to show how cities are embracing energy efficiency as a simple way to save money and prevent pollution. With 659 structures, Los Angeles has remained the top city. Washington, D.C. holds second place for the third year in a row.

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. Commercial buildings that earn EPA's Energy Star must perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide and must be independently verified by a licensed professional engineer or registered architect.

Energy Star certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings. Fifteen types of commercial buildings can earn the Energy Star, including office buildings, schools and retail stores.

Launched in 1992, Energy Star is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Over the past 20 years, American families and businesses have prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of carbon pollution.

Details: Molly Hooven at hooven.molly@epa.gov or (202) 564-2313.