Burners Without Borders volunteers have been closely watching the relief efforts on the East Coast following the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. Our hearts go out to those who are suffering in the aftermath of the storm. With millions of people affected by Sandy and with so many people without flood insurance, the recovery effort will be challenging and lengthy.
BWB has deployed an assessment team to New Jersey, led by BWB Co-founder and Director of Operations for Katrina, Richard Scott. During the 8 months BWB was deployed on the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina, Richard’s incredible heavy machinery skills enabled BWB to gift over $1million worth of debris removal to the region. When Hurricane Ike struck three years later, Richard was there to remove destroyed houses, so that those affected could quickly recover and move forward with their lives.
This week, Richard will be meeting with our local contacts in New Jersey to tour affected areas that are not receiving relief assistance. BWB’s mission is to fill in the gaps of the major recovery effort, and we will be looking for the most effective way to accomplish this goal.
Richard is currently in contact with heavy machinery companies who have donated machines to BWB in the past. We are also looking into possibly creating a base of operations in New Jersey for a larger volunteer deployment.
We will be providing updates to this list as they become available.
You can also keep up with updates on the BWB Facebook Page.
How can you help?
1. BWB is currently seeking introductions to equipment rental companies that would like to support our efforts.
2. We are seeking a community center or public space in New Jersey to set up a base of operations for a potential volunteer deployment.
3. Do you have information about communities that are hard hit but receiving little help? We want to know about them.
E-mail sandyrelief here: sandyrelief (at) burnerswithoutborders.org with any information you have that can support the relief effort.
You can donate to the BWB relief effort by clicking clicking here.
[Marnee Benson is the Deputy Director of Black Rock Solar, the solar non-profit spinoff from Black Rock City LLC.]
And then one day in July, under a blazing Nevada sun, the veteran Black Rock Solar crew put the finishing touches on a gorgeous hundred-kilowatt array at the Desert Research Institute in Reno. Not only would the array provide clean, renewable energy to the internationally-recognized research center for decades to come, it also marked the two millionth watt of solar installed since Black Rock Solar dedicated its first free array in the tiny, remote outpost of Gerlach some five years ago. An array built by a ragtag team of DPW volunteers working for breakfast at Bruno’s, packs of cigarettes, and a bunk in the town’s dusty trailer park. Well, that’s the legend anyway…
The 2007 crew on the playa during Burning Man. Photo by Marnee Benson
The Black Rock Solar crew in Gerlach, circa 2007. Photo credit unknown.
100 kW at the Desert Research Institute in Reno. Photo by Paddy McCully
We’ve come a long way, baby
Now it’s 2012 and Black Rock Solar has one of the most experienced construction crews and professional project development teams in the state. In the past two months alone the 501(c)(3) non-profit has commissioned six more systems, bringing the grand total to 53 and the number of individual panels installed by hand to 12,313. Some, like the tiny 2.9 kW off-grid array at Urban Roots Farm, provide a small amount of power where it’s needed most. Others, like the 200 kW array at Western Nevada College, are keystone systems at statewide institutions of higher education, visible to thousands of students and educators every day, helping to make solar power part of the right now rather than the maybe someday. Read more »
Two of our BLM site inspectors, holding what remained of the Man as of 11am this morning. Click to enlarge.
Hip-hip-HURRAH! Three cheers for YOU, Black Rock City. You did it again. You threw a humdinger of a whizbang, and left without a trace. That’s straight from the mouth of the Bureau of Land Management, who just completed their site inspection. They’re still tabulating the precise results, but at a glance they can tell us that YES, we passed, and Burning Man can happen again next year.
Read more »
Hello out there MOOP maniacs! Just a brief post to let you know that, due to a scheduling conflict, the Bureau of Land Management has postponed Burning Man’s site inspection (originally scheduled for today). It has been rescheduled for two weeks from now, on October 17.
The DPW Playa Restoration team has nonetheless finished their job and cleared the playing field, and the Black Rock Desert has been successfully restored to a pristine and featureless (and MOOP-free) state.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more results from how the Restoration season played out, and it will be my honor to share with you the results of the BLM inspection as soon as it happens. Barring any inclement weather or other force majeure, that ought to be two weeks from now.
Thanks for staying tuned! We’ll be serving up more MOOP Map results shortly.
Hello out there, all you MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! After a nail-biting interlude, we are BACK with the results of the next round of MOOP Map Live 2012. Our brave Playa Restoration moopers are nearly done combing Black Rock City, and let me tell you, this year they’re going above and beyond to cover more of the city than has ever been mooped!
Some of you diehard fans out there have noticed that there’s a significant delay between when each round wraps up, and when we post the score here. That’s because mooping is an art and a science! Read on to find out more.
Each morning, D.A. and the Playa Restoration team review the current map and lay out a plan for the day. Photo by Vertumnus; click for full size.
Read more »
September 22nd, 2012 | Filed under News
Black Rock City is a community of thousands of well-meaning people. But like any metropolitan area, there will always be a handful of individuals with criminal intent.
Each year there are a few reports of sexual assault on the playa, and this year is no different. In light of the community’s concern regarding public safety, we would like to share our procedure for addressing these situations and outline plans to increase education and prevention efforts for the future.
Specifically, we’ve recently received a few inquiries as to why Burning Man does not conduct sexual assault forensic exams (commonly referred to as “rape kits”) on site. Organizers have examined this several times, each time facing the reality that this type of exam requires specialized training and equipment not designed to operate in desert conditions, and which could produce legally questionable results if not performed in an appropriate facility. There are only three designated facilities in the entire state of Nevada that regularly perform these exams. The closest to Burning Man is the Northern Nevada Medical Center in Reno. Read more »
August 31st, 2012 | Filed under News
15-Year old Nikki Peress reunited with parents 24 hours after being reported missing.
Black Rock City, Nev. — Burning Man organizers, in conjunction with local law enforcement, successfully located Nicole “Nikki” Peress, a 15-year-old girl who had been reported missing at the event Thursday afternoon. Following an investigation by the Pershing County Sheriff’s Department, Peress’s disappearance was classified as a runaway child.
When Peress was reported missing, Burning Man initiated its missing child protocol, including an Amber Alert and citywide shutdown operations, whereby all outbound traffic and airport departures are halted. Burning Man’s Black Rock Rangers posted flyers throughout Black Rock City and distributed public service announcements via Burning Man Information Radio.
“The system worked,” said Marian Goodell, Director of Communications for Burning Man. “We have a system set up to reunite minors who have become involuntarily separated from their parents, and it’s also effective for voluntarily-separated ones. This is a very tight-knit community, and it’s gratifying that our participants really step up to help in situations like this. We’re very happy that Nikki has been returned to her parents.”
Peress was found Friday afternoon when a participant recognized her, and brought her to a Burning Man medical station, whereupon she was reconnected with her parents.
About Burning Man:
For 22 years, the Black Rock Desert outside Reno, Nev., has been home to the increasingly popular and influential Burning Man arts event. Started on a beach in San Francisco in 1986, the event now attracts more than 60,000 participants annually, from every U.S. state and 22 countries. For media inquiries, please call 415-906-2441.
August 26th, 2012 | Filed under News
Pershing County Courthouse, Lovelock, NV, Photo by Nathan Aaron Heller
Last week, Burning Man filed a lawsuit against Pershing County, Nev., to stop the county’s attempt to impose drastic fee increases on our event.
Many of you have been very vocal about your support for the legal actions we’ve taken in response to Pershing County’s unreasonable fee hikes and attempts at regulating our event. Others have generated lots of ideas and suggestions, which we appreciate and will continue to read and listen to.
We are tremendously grateful for your support and our intention is to work through the legal system to reach a satisfactory outcome for our event and our community. As we do, we’d like to remind our fellow Burners that while the actions taken by Pershing County officials might ignite passionate responses, and we’re grateful for your engagement in the community, it’s important to remain civil and respectful as this process plays out – this goes for online communications as well as participants right here at Burning Man.
Importantly, the Pershing County deputies patrolling the event are not party to this lawsuit, and are also completely independent and different from the BLM officers onsite. These are the same deputies who worked the event last year, and Black Rock City staff members are very pleased with the service and professionalism of the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office. We ask that you please treat these officers with the respect and kindness they’ve earned. Pershing County deputies are a trusted and valuable component of our community – they contribute daily to the safety and well-being of all citzens of Black Rock City!
Just as your actions reflect on our entire community as you make your way through nearby towns en route to and from Black Rock City, your response to this situation reflects on Burning Man as well. Let’s keep to the high road as this lawsuit works its way through the judicial system. Please set the vitriol aside and help us demonstrate that Burning Man is home to a community of givers and doers, with the best of intentions and a lot to offer our neighbors in Pershing, Washoe and Humboldt Counties.
For more information about the Pershing lawsuit, please visit: http://www.brcvpc.com.
Thanks all, and if you’re en route to BRC, we’ll see you very soon!