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January   5

Congrats to the Compost King!

Portraitgray2Gray Russell, Montclair composting guru and all around nice guy, has just been awarded a prestigious three month long fellowship in England to study energy use.

Gray, Montclair's Environmental Outreach Coordinator, has long been committed to improving our environment, and might be most recognized around town for promoting composting at local events. He's the first United States citizen to win the Chevening Fellowship, a three month program of academic, practical, policy and political study of energy consumption. Gray tells Baristanet: " Energy is a big, sexy issue. We are all going to have to deal with it, now, and in future generations.  Energy conservation is important not only from a cost perspective, but also an environmental one."  Gray went on to say: "I am very excited to be awarded this fellowship. Not only do I hope to bring a lot back to my community, I am looking forward to sharing information about some of the environmental programs in Montclair...The Energy Efficiency Fellowship takes place in the town of Leicester. It's like an immersion course -- we'll be looking at case studies, experiences from other cities, and government programs."

"At some point I'll  be placed in a business, like a utility company or power plant. I hope to pick up new ideas and come home with some additional tools to help me carry out the recommendations of the recent energy audit we conducted in Montclair." Gray promises to update Baristanet on his experiences across the pond. Bon Voyage, Gray!

January 5, 2006 in Major Dudes | Permalink


What is a "political study of energy consumption." ? I'd favor a scientific study myself.

Anyway, I am pretty sure I can guess. But what is it?

And, just curious to whom will the travel expense bill be presented?

Posted by: Right of Center™ (8T) | Jan 5, 2006 3:57:20 PM

This sounds like an interesting opportunity. I am curious, though, what type of car he drives. Not being a wiseass (not this time anyway), just curious.

Posted by: Miss Martta (8T) | Jan 5, 2006 4:25:00 PM

i know gray, i don't know what car he drives and i don't know who pays for his travel, but isn't that usually included in the fellowship award? gray is very smart, warm, kind and is also a talented recording engineer. (apropos of nothing.) i am thrilled that his sincere concern for our community and the environment will take him to this exciting program. i wish him a wonderful trip and hope that english people in leicester appreciate him as much as his friends do!

Posted by: i'm fran, dammit | Jan 5, 2006 5:03:20 PM

Always ready to catch a hypocritical liberal, eh? ROC and MissM. You'll have to snark someone else, Gray's commitment is deep and consistent--above board, positive, constructive. A man who talks the talk and walks the walk. Congratulations on the fellowship!

Posted by: cheaplazymom | Jan 5, 2006 5:14:49 PM

actually cheaplazymom, (despite your cheapshot) I am sure he is a fine guy and I am certainly not opposed to the fellowship, it sounds great. (we conservatives like clean air too!)

But since he is the "Montclair's Environmental Outreach Coordinator" (whatever that is) I think it is a fair question to ask if the township is paying for any part of this.

Still would like to know what "political study of energy consumption. " would entail.

Posted by: Right of Center™ (8T) | Jan 5, 2006 5:21:31 PM

Congratulations to Gray! I always read his column in the Montclair Times. He has practical, easy to implement information on ways to use the town's and the planet's resources more efficiently. I can't wait to hear about his trip.

Posted by: google addict | Jan 5, 2006 5:45:35 PM

Having looked up the Chevening Fellowships, they do seem to be awarded by the UK's Foreign & Commonwealth Office in order, I quote, "to support UK international priorities." They're not specifically for the study of stuff like energy consumption, in other words, but rather for a smorgasbord of topics. Some of them, somewhat ominously, are co-funded by the Soros Foundation (as in George, whose money so often props up the Democratic party).

I did not, however, find any requirement listed that an applicant had to wear such garb(in clashing checks and plaids yet!) as Gray Russell apparently has on in the picture above. But then, perhaps those who agree most with him that energy is a "big, sexy issue" enjoy it best swathed in flannel.

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Jan 5, 2006 6:05:39 PM

He should tell the Brits he's from Canada, and they'll assume he's a lumberjack. Anyway, I did some research and found that the fellowship includes all expenses except air travel, but fear not. A wealthy benefactor has undertaken to pay this expense. His name: Richard O'Colgan.

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 5, 2006 6:42:35 PM

Hey, I remember this guy from the WC. (I cross myself every time I invoke that much-feared institution.) All these whiners were hyperventilating about how awful it was to have to bag their leaves and how we should sue the town and take to the streets and demonstrate etc etc. Gray Russell very calmly and rationally told people to, in essence, chill. This dude I like. Count on me to pay for the peanuts on his outbound flight.

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 5, 2006 6:48:36 PM

I have been ratted out. You see the thing is that the, uh, conference thing, is, um only 3 weeks. The remaining weeks are consumed by the travel arrangements.

Posted by: Right of Center™ (8T) | Jan 5, 2006 6:52:07 PM

I didn't understand the leaf thing either. It turned out to be easier to blow the leaves in to my neighbor's than it ever was to make a neat pile in the street.

Posted by: Right of Center™ (8T) | Jan 5, 2006 6:53:07 PM

Imagine what that snowy December would have been like with leaves in the streets. Gray for Mayor!

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 5, 2006 7:14:56 PM

Looks to me like this entire site has essentially devolved into the same 5 people posting back and forth all day between themselves, beating to death the same tired political rants time and again, regardless of the alleged subject matter being discussed. (Call it 6 degrees of separation from the same tired political harangues.) Yawn. Perhaps time to sign off for good.

Posted by: montclair_is_crazy_farewell | Jan 5, 2006 7:38:55 PM

i agree it's getting stale...we need more and varied input...godspeed MIC

Posted by: The Iceman (8T) | Jan 5, 2006 7:43:14 PM

For the record, I didn't mean any disrespect to Mr. Russell. If he's working to improve the environment, that's admirable and the trip is money well spent.

I was just thinking out loud, in response to a recent Star-Ledger article on Mr. Hartnett, which indicated he drove an SUV.

Posted by: Miss Martta (8T) | Jan 5, 2006 8:12:49 PM

Don't go, m-i-c! we need people like you! Isn't Baristanet supposed to be a 3 towns info/gossip/news/fun blog. I come here for restaurant reviews, real estate news, info on local doings (like Gray's fellowship!) I'm hoping it will get back to that, and that every topic won't get hijacked by the same boring old rants.

BTW, I'm NOT implying that the T8 posters are boring or old (haven't met them, and from Miss Marta's troll photo it's hard to say how old they are). But, sheesh, some of them do rant!

Posted by: google addict | Jan 5, 2006 8:29:14 PM

Farewell, montclair_is_crazy. Nothing becomes your presence so well on this site as your leaving it. Ta'.

We are "old," google addict. Old and wizened. But we never (well, I can't speak for walleroo, he may) ever wear clashing plaids and checks. Especially a "shirt jac" that seems to come with a pad against which to rest one's shotgun, even if that does seem to suggest the ultimate way to enforce Montclair's new leaf policy. I'm sure they'll love that in the pubs of Leicester.

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Jan 5, 2006 8:55:34 PM

"We are 'old,' google addict."

Speak for yourself, Cathar. I am not ready to "wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled" quite yet.


Posted by: Miss Martta (8T) | Jan 5, 2006 9:00:53 PM

Funny, I was rejoicing at how interesting Baristanet had gotten lately. So unlike the Watercooler (sign of the cross). We're all just here hanging out, MIC. You're welcome to hang, too. If you want to start a conversation with other people of like mind, please. Regardless of whether you stay or go, though, don't be a sourpuss. What's the point of lifting your cheek in a crowded room and letting a noisy one fly?

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 5, 2006 9:01:06 PM

Miss Martta
Miss Martta
Miss Martta
Miss Martta
Miss Martta
Miss Martta

ad infinitum, ad nauseum

Posted by: Greg Spinelli | Jan 5, 2006 9:16:59 PM

That's okay. I don't like you either.

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 5, 2006 9:25:20 PM

Eight & a half minutes for the first fish to rise to the bait.

Posted by: Greg Spinelli | Jan 5, 2006 9:29:44 PM

Don't you have a restaurant to run? I think there are some people at table no. 12 who need their water glasses refilled.

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 5, 2006 9:32:45 PM

It's Richard O'Colgan - he carries his own water.

Posted by: Greg Spinelli | Jan 5, 2006 9:35:55 PM

All right, I'll admit that was pretty funny. But I'm still upset that you broke our rhythm. It was Miss Martta's turn, and now everything is all fuckyknuckles.

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 5, 2006 9:38:30 PM

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