Louisville Zoo Teens Win International Polar Bear Contest
Louisville Zoo teen volunteers Emily Goldstein, an 18-year-old Atherton High School senior, and Brandie Farkas, a 17-year-old Ballard High School senior, were recently named the winners of Project Polar Bear, an international contest hosted by Polar Bears International. The contest challenged teens to find ways to reduce carbon emissions in their home communities.
The teens were one of four finalist teams to travel to San Diego on an all-expense paid trip and VIP tour of the San Diego Zoo and Sea World
for the announcement of the winner. The other finalist teams were from Portland, Ore.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Winnipeg, Canada. Polar Bears International received more than 30 contest entries.
“The finalists who competed in Project Polar Bear are the inspiration and the fuel that will drive the solution to the problem facing polar bears,” said Robert Buchanan, president of Polar Bears International. “This is not an irreversible problem. We can take steps to reduce carbon emissions, keep the ice from melting and save the polar bear.”
Goldstein and Farkas’ contest entry was a “Project Polar Bear” Web site – at www.louisvillezoo.org/projectpolarbear – designed to educate and convince individuals to make necessary changes in their life to help solve the world-wide climate crisis.
“With this Web site, we want to share with everyone that it is up to us all to halt global climate change, and every single person can make a difference,” Goldstein says. “If everyone would make even small changes in their lifestyles, it would add up to make the big changes necessary to save not only the polar bears, but the whole planet.”
The teens’ site contains information and resources on polar bears and climate change in the form of quizzes, a photo gallery and journal. It also offers tips for conserving energy and a commitment pledge to reduce one’s carbon footprint by making simple changes. For example, one can pledge to replace five of his/her most used 75-watt incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs, which saves 500 pounds of carbon emissions per year.
The teens have been tracking the pledges, and so far more than 800 people (in 30 states and oversees) and 15 businesses and organizations have committed to saving nearly 16 million pounds of carbon a year.
Says Farkas, “This project means a lot to me, and seeing how many people signed on and responded to our pledge brings me hope for polar bears and other creatures in the future.”
Goldstein and Farkas continue to ask local businesses, organizations and individuals to take the pledge.
“I can’t imagine a world without polar bears,” Goldstein said. “These magnificent animals exemplify the awesome beauty of the Arctic. Yet polar bears and their ecosystem are on the brink of destruction and extinction, threatened by our abuse and neglect. The mighty, magnificent polar bear has become a symbol of hope for a change in our global policies, in our need to fix the damage the human race has caused.”
Goldstein and Farkas received their award at the San Diego Zoo in April. The grand prize: a 6-day, 5-night trip in October to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada – the polar bear capital of the world – to see polar bears in the wild, go dog sledding and gaze at the Northern Lights.
Louisville Collegiate Kindergarten Derby
Students riding Derby horses “Nowhere to Hide,” “I Want Revenge” and “Regal Ransom” came in the win, place and show positions, respectively, in Louisville Collegiate’s 48th Annual Kindergarten Derby on April 30.
Wills Meyer was crowned the 2009 winner of the race that involves the school’s 5- and 6-year-old “jockeys” competing with their self-decorated hobbyhorses, clad in matching silks. Second place went to Will Zanchi, and Bella Wooden came in third.
Children raced around a makeshift track in hopes of winning the “blanket of roses” created by students. Grades first through fifth participated in their own Pegasus Parade.
Senior boys escorted the Derby Festival Queen and her court to the event, which featured the 2009 Kindergarten Derby winner and a bugler playing “Call to the Post.”
Daughters of the British Empire Announces New Louisville Chapter
The Daughters of the British Empire in the USA is a charitable organization that recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary. Officially organized on March 15, 1909, it is a national, nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian, voluntary American society of women of British or British Commonwealth birth or ancestry.
Until March 2009, the only chapter in Kentucky was based in Lexington. Known as “All The Queen’s Horses,” a few members sought to begin another chapter in Louisville to replace the former “Churchill Downs” chapter that was organized in 1974 but disbanded in 1977. The new chapter, “Derbyshire,” was accepted in mid-March and has begun meeting on the third Wednesday of each month in the Highlands, at the ReMax Metro office, 2200 Dundee Road at Douglas Loop.
The horse-related names of the two Kentucky chapters are not coincidental. According to the by-laws of the national society, each chapter bears the name of a person, place or event having significance in British or British Commonwealth history or culture. The tradition of horse racing in Kentucky is in keeping with this stipulation.
The new Derbyshire chapter will work to fulfill the purpose of one of the oldest service organizations in the country. In addition to community service and fund-raising for local charities, Derbyshire will also participate in activities that help support the maintenance and endowment of a nursing facility for the elderly, the British Home in Brookfield, Illinois, one of four such homes in the U.S. Another primary goal is to provide fellowship and friendship to new British or British Commonwealth immigrants in our community, all in order to live up to the society’s motto, “Not ourselves, but the Cause.”
Membership is extended by invitation to women residing in the U.S. who are of British or British Commonwealth heritage by birth, naturalization or proven ancestry. Women whose husbands – or whose husbands’ parent(s) or grandparent(s) – are of British or Commonwealth birth are also eligible. The Derbyshire chapter currently has seven members: three Brits, an Australian and a New Zealander, plus one member from Zimbabwe and an American whose maternal grandparents were born in England.
RegenEn Solar Offers 15 percent Rebate
RegenEn Solar, a Louisville based solar panel dealer/installer, announces a 15 percent discount off the retail price of a solar panel installation to make up for the lack of a significant tax credit by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Many states around the country, including California, Colorado and Florida, offer a 20 percent tax credit for solar panel installations, but Kentucky only offers a $500 credit.
The 15 percent rebate offered by RegenEn Solar is in addition to the 30 percent tax credit currently offered by the federal government, resulting in almost half off the cost of a solar panel system. This not only significantly reduces the cost, but also the amount of time it takes for the system to pay for itself.
RegenEn Solar LLC, located at 812 E. Washington Street in Butchertown, is a dealer/installer of photo voltaic (solar panel) systems in the Louisville Metro area and is a registered Limited Liability Company with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The company’s president, Dan Hofmann, grew up on Shady Lane in the Highlands. To learn more about RegenEn Solar, visit www.regenensolar.com or call Hofmann at (502) 298-8160.
Volunteer Docents Needed at Farmington
Farmington Historic Plantation, located at 3033 Bardstown Road, is currently seeking volunteers to assist as docents, leading guided tours of the house for visitors. Days and hours needed are Tuesday mornings, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Wednesday afternoons, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday mornings, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.