The Larson Report


(Points of Intersection and Introspection)


Index

Browsing  is encouraged. (Each section has its own index.)

 

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To download the 
Cape Cod 
Sustainability Indicators 
Report 2003, click
here.
 

 

 

 

Stare at the picture for about 15 seconds, and you'll see the optical illusion of a giraffe head.  Pretty amazing.

 

 

 

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The Larson Report, copyright © 2008
Allen R. Larson,
Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts.

 

 

 

April 5, 2017     

 

Is it time to establish a capital fund to help finance Cape Cod’s infrastructure needs?

Life as we have known it on Cape Cod is changing. The scale and complexity of the regional problems that now confront us far exceed the financial capacity of our governing institutions to implement solutions.

       Environmentally, this disconnect has long been evident as we’ve wrestled with how best to handle solid waste disposal and the treatment of wastewater. Now, apart from the Cape’s demonstrated commitment to protecting the Cape’s groundwater and air quality, federal and state regulatory agencies are pressing our regional agencies to design and implement affordable remedies without delay.

       Economically, we’ve long valued the importance of our tourist economy as we’ve also looked to incorporate into our economic base some of the opportunities presented by advances in technology. For more than two decades, initiatives like the Silicon Sandbar, Open Cape, the Highlands Center, and the current Cape Cod Blue Economy Project have been stalled by the difficulty of accessing necessary capital.

       Other capital needs add to these financial pressures. We need to fund treatment centers to combat and destigmatize substance abuse. We also need to expand the availability of affordable housing, in part to retain a Cape-based workforce.

       Until now, we’ve often addressed regional concerns by taking collective actions, such as purchasing open tracts of land to combat sprawl or implementing regulations, such as the Title V septic system requirements, that affect the actions of individual property owners. Now these types of limited actions are insufficient. They are dwarfed by the scale of the problems we confront. This disconnect between what we need to do and what we have the financial capacity to do stymies our efforts to act effectively.

       In the past, we’ve put our heads together and come up with creative solutions. In the 1980s, the formation of the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates, the establishment of a regional land bank, and the creation of the Cape Cod Commission were responses to large-scale growth pressures. In the 1990s, the Cape worked well with state and federal governments to protect the 15,000 acre water reserve at Joint Base Cape Cod.

       Now, we need now to build upon this legacy. One idea to consider is to establish a capital trust fund of regional scope. Whether or not such a fund realistically could be a source of financing for regional projects is not clear. To answer that question, we need to define the minimum level of funding that would be necessary. We also need to define from where the revenue to establish such a fund would be derived. While the answers to these questions are yet to be determined, one thing is clear: if we are to improve our ability to sustain Cape Cod, we need to get a handle on how we will come up with the wherewithal to do so.

The op-ed above is a consensus statement from the Cape Cod Business Roundtable, which is chaired by Alan McClennen. Allen Larson was the principal author. It was originally published in the Cape Cod Times on April 5, 2017. 

 

 


 

 

Establishing a Management Support Organization 
to Serve the Nonprofit Sector


by Allen Larson

The article below, "Establishing a Management Support Organization to Serve the Nonprofit Sector," was first published here and in the Cape Cod Times in December 2003.  We are reprinting it now, in October 2008, because the current turmoil in the financial markets has the nonprofit sector heading into a serious financial storm.


Last week, in an article published on September 22 and linked to in the box above, the Boston Globe highlighted that nonprofits will face constrained giving by their usual funding sources. There's no time to dawdle now.  We need to come together and find ways that reduce costs and potentially add new sources of revenue.


One way would be to promote the existence of the Community Directory and its list of individuals interested to be engaged in the Cape community. This is something we had not developed at the time of the first printing of the article below in December of 2003.


Another way would be to become part of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MassNonprofitNet.org), which also did not exist in 2003 and is something that is patterned after discussions that we helped prompt at that time about the need to collaborate.

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MassNonprofitNet.org) is hosting its first conference October 24 at Bentley College, for which Gloria Larson, the president of Bentley, will be giving the keynote address. The conference will be organized similarly to the Volunteer Expos the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability has held in the past.

*     *     *

 


Revised and updated from the first version originally published in December 2003:


Sustaining Cape Cod involves a lot more than attention to the Cape's natural environment. Equally important are the people who live here, the factors that affect their ability to make a living and to use each day to fulfill their interests and ambitions. In this context, one sector of the Cape's economy that tends to be overlooked is the region's active and extensive nonprofit sector.

Over the past several years, the Center for Sustainability has been working with many of the nonprofit organizations that direct their efforts to serving Cape Cod and its residents. These organizations define their missions in terms of the economy, the environment, health concerns, and social welfare. Many have been struggling recently. Some have even closed. These events compel the effort to determine if there is anything to do.

From these discussions and observations, we've concluded that there is an outline of an idea that merits closer scrutiny by others who have knowledge and expertise. We suggest that there is a void in the nonprofit sector that could be filled and lead to improved administrative and operational efficiency. Doing so would provide economic and operational benefits that could help sustain our nonprofit sector.

     Common organizational tasks provide the context in which technology advances as well as specialized professional services could be used in ways that would save money by realizing efficiencies of scale and by providing access to a deeper reserve of managerial experience and counsel. These savings could be applied to the programmatic purposes for which any particular charity was formed.  (continued)


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographs of
Harry Jr. and his sister Sally

 

June 2017


 

Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts

 

 

 

 

 



The Service Nation Day of Action was on Saturday, September 27, 2008. Some of the participating organizations are listed below. Their needs for volunteers and donations continue on; please contact them if you can help.


ServiceNation: "Uniting Americans in common cause. Tackling our greatest social challenges. Citizens giving back to community and country: We are building a national movement to inspire a new era of citizen service in America. ServiceNation is a campaign by the people, for the people, and of the people. It launches September 11, and we need your help."
 
 
City Year: "Give a Year. Change the World."
 
 
Be the Change: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world. —Gandhi."
 
 
Civic Enterprises, LLC: "Civic Enterprises is a public policy firm that helps corporations, nonprofits, foundations, universities, and governments develop and spearhead innovative public policies to strengthen our communities and country."
 
 
Points of Light
 
 
Volunteers of America


New Profit Inc.: "New Profit helps visionary entrepreneurs and their organizations bring about widespread and transformative impact on critical social problems."


And close to home:


massnonprofit.org: "Inform, share, thrive: We provide information about the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts. Check in frequently to be informed."


Cape Cod Center for Sustainability: Helps nonprofits sustain their activities


And the Larson Report's BarnRaisers section on resources for nonprofits, especially its list of local nonprofits, all of which are always in need of volunteers.



 

 

 


 

September 11, 2001

 


 

      

Sustainability:  Community Indictors: Media Reporting of Community Indicators Reports, a blog that tracks reports in the media on the use of sustainability indicators in local communities

 

 


 

A Day in the Life of
Cape Cod's Nonprofits

 

Opportunity Expo

 


 

 


Ecology Project International (EPI):

EPI involves student groups, individuals, and families in authentic field research that catalyzes conservation, science education, and intercultural exchange. Our programs engage local residents and international students in field research; inspire learning about science, culture, and communication; and empower citizens to engage in the world around them make a difference. EPI operates educational programs in Missoula, Montana (the Yellowstone Ecology Program); on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica; on the Baja California Sur; and the Galapagos Islands (a province of Ecuador). 

 

 


 

 

Interested to make a donation to a local charity?  You might find the information you need to do that from the Larson Report's list of Web sites for local charities: BarnRaisers.

 

 


 

Super Tuesday

The Boston Foundation's

Boston Indicators Project

Ecology Project International

Sustaining Cape Cod

 

 


 

Elizabeth Kilbride's Report from Iraq

 

Paintings Immortalize Fallen Troops

 

The Artist: Kazia the Goat Woman

 

 


 

 

 

New England Energy Alliance (NEEA)

 

Blue H Technologies

 

Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI)

 

The Wind Farm:  A Discussion

 

Video Recording of the Discussion

 

Moderator's Report: Winds of Change

 

Afterword:  The Need for Fresh Air

 

Cape Wind:
Energy for Life

 

Save Our Sound:
  Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound

 

Cape Cod Museum
of Natural History
 

Cape Cod Center
for Sustainability

 

 

 


 

 

 

        TeenAIDS PeerCorps:  "TeenAIDS is devoted to helping teenagers pass the news about HIV and AIDS among their generation to save the lives of family, friends and neighbors. 

        Our PeerCorps is a voluntary program for teens that is not government-run or funded. . . .   Our organization's message is simple:  HIV/AIDS is now infecting youth here in America and worldwide.

        The PeerCorps' mission is life-saving: to empower teens to protect themselves and their best friends from HIV.  We use a combination of personal contact and the Internet to spread our message locally and globally.

        Our program . . . emphasizes medically sound information and peer responsibility."