Thursday, April 26, 2012

Berkeley Association of REALTORS® Contributes $30,200 To 20 Area Community Groups

Berkeley, CA – April 25, 2012 – During a presentation today, the Berkeley Association of REALTORS® (BAR) awarded grants totaling $30,200 to twenty (20) area community groups.  BAR has administered a Grant Program for their Youth Arts & Education Fund and the Workforce Housing & Homeless Fund since 2006.  The dollars are generated through various programs including direct contributions by REALTOR® Members and Affiliates as well as numerous BAR fund-raising events. 

BAR President Heidi Abramson noted that, “We award grants to under-funded and developing programs that support youth in the communities served by our REALTOR® Members and related real estate professionals.  Our Grant Program also supports organizations that provide direct assistance to the homeless and their advocates as well as organizations that provide affordable housing within our communities.  As REALTORS® and real estate professionals it is important that we reinvest in the diverse communities that we serve.” 

Grants from the Workforce Housing & Homeless Fund were awarded to:

            Rebuilding Together
            Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center
YEAH! Youth Engagement Assistance & Housing
            Berkeley Food & Housing Project
            BOSS  Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency
Camp Winnarainbow
YES!-Youth Enrichment Strategies

Grants from the Youth Arts & Education Fund were awarded to:

                Berkeley Symphony
                St. Mary’s College High School
                Aurora Theatre
                Pegasus Project
                Berkeley High School Newspaper “The Jacket”
                Youth Spirit Artworks
                Berkeley Ballet Theatre
                Berkeley Boosters Association
                Community Alliance for Learning
                Friends of the Oakland Public Schools Library
                Martin Luther King Middle School
    Young Musicians Program
     Rosa Parks Elementary School

Also recognized during the presentation were the Pacific Union International, Berkeley Hills Realty and Thornwall Properties who are charter members of the 100% Club.  The three real estate offices make a total commitment to the BAR Community Funds, boasting 100% Agent Participation in a program that generates contributions at the close of each escrow. 

The Youth Arts & Education Fund and the Workforce Housing & Homeless Fund are 501C3 organizations administered by the Berkeley Association of REALTORS®.  Since 2006 BAR has contributed a total of $143,700 in grants to organizations who make the communities they serve a better place.  

The Berkeley Association of REALTORS® (BAR) is a trade organization offering educational services, professional support and political advocacy for its 700 REALTOR® and Affiliate Members since 1902.

Photo ID
1.       Recognized by 2012 BAR President Heidi Abramson (far Right) for their 100% Participation in the contributions through escrow program are REALTORS® from Pacific Union International, Berkeley Hills Realty (Nancy Mueller, Terese Ashman and Barbara Conheim) and Thornwall Properties.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Bosco Verticale: A solution to urban sprawl?

About a month ago I was talking to my gal pal who is a frequent flyer of all airplanes. She was telling me how much she enjoyed reading Hemispheres Magazine published by United Airlines. You know the one that shares a space in the back seat pocket next to Sky Mall. I always find some sort of entertainment from Sky Mall with all their whacky knick-knacks and miracle cures but Hemispheres has always bored me and I often thumb through it faster than the flight attendants finish their safety demonstration. However, on my last trip to Houston based on my trusted friend's recommendation, I decided to give a whirl. And to my surprise, I found many articles of interest including one titled Plan G - cutting edge fixes for the world's trickiest environmental problems.

Here is my favorite of the fixes: Bosco Verticale, a two story building apartment complex that will double as the world's first vertical forest. Built in Milan, every unit will have a concrete balcony planted with humidity-creating and CO2-filtering trees, shrubs and flowers that will get their nourishment from recycled gray water. The buildings themselves will rely on the sun for much of their power. And guess what, this solution comes cheap! Apparently, construction costs will only increase by 5%! Way to go Milan.

written by Gina Odom, Realtor