Invitation to Join Colia Clark at SOLAR HOME of Jerome Johnson – SUNDAY BRUNCH

Home of Jerome Jackson
436 E 53rd Street
Flatbush, Brooklyn
RSVP: 646-657-7207

Message from Colia Clark:

From: Colia Clark
Date: Sat, Jul 28, 2012 at 4:01 PM
Subject: Invitation to Join Colia Clark Senate Campaign this Sunday July 29th

Join me at 436 E 53rd Street in Flatbush, Brooklyn at solar home of Jerome Johnson from 10:00 AM-1:00PM Sunday, July 29. We need to mount a campaign to save the first solar house in New York. Mr. Johnson, an inventor will share his story with us.

Please bring media, your cameras so that you can join in capturing the Jerome Johnson story.

****** Note: There is no official brunch planned due to costs. Please bring food if you like.

Please open attachment for more details.

Love and Solidarity,

From: Colia Clark
Date: Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 3:12 AM
Subject: FW: Jerome Johnson
To:, Ann Link

This Letter is addressed to members of the Green Party, Friends of the Eco-system, Safe Wholesome Food, Frack Free Nation, Lovers of Animal Life and Nature and All Else who Believe in Racial, Ethnic and Economic Justice and Human Rights:

An Invitation to join with Colia Clark Green Party Candidate for US Senate to help Save a First Solar Home in New York.

The meeting is urgent!!!!! We cannot waste a single moment: Please let me know by tomorrow if you can meet on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of this week at a time after 5:30 PM for a two hour discussion of this crisis. I will locate a venue in Brooklyn.

We need a meeting this week on the issue of Jerome Johnson, a New York inventor who has been unjustly targeted by the Housing Jackals with the City of New York leading the pack. Please open and read the articles on Mr. Johnson.

Just a brief introduction. In the 1980’s, Mr. Johnson was invited to come to Albany to discuss solar energy by then Commissioner, James L. Laroca of the New York State Energy and Development Authority.

Following the meeting with Commissioner Laroca, Mr. Johnson returned to New York City to be sworn in as an Advisor for Industry for the State of New York. His mission was to ” Influence corporate businesses to visit the Solar House and look at projects.” ,Explains, Mr. Johnson. The Solar House referenced is Mr. Johnson’s home now target to be grabbed by the City for back taxes and unpaid water bill between 1991 and 2000.

Presently, Mr. Johnson who is 82 years of age lives on a monthly income of $650. He admits to owing the back taxes and has tried as best he could to make an arrangement to pay the City more $30,000 that he has been billed for.

Mr. Johnson says he never had a water meter and no City water runs into his house or on his premises. The City has billed him, states Mr. Johnson, for $27,000 in back taxes for service from 1991 to 2000- approximately $3000 annually. “I don’t know how they have come to this amount? I do not have a water meter. The City agent admits I don’t have a water meter.” Explains, Mr Johnson his voice filled with anger and disgust.

The ‘Solar House’ is located in Brooklyn in an impoverished neighborhood occupied by mostly Black, Brown and other folk of Color. Mr. Johnson, who identifies himself as white, has lived here for 50 years. In 1979, the house was solar refitted. In 1977 New York agency is said to have referred to the house as a museum. For Mr. Johnson it is a place of business.

Mr. Johnson has even trained young folk in his home. He desperately wants to open these young minds to the power of their creative side. “They can have great jobs as inventors and builders of Eco projects in solar, wind, water, plants and much more. They are our minds for the future. We don’t have to waste them.” States Mr. Johnson with passion flowing on every word.

Jerome Johnson wants to give his home to a school. He loves the idea of continuing with the education of the most needy youth in the neighborhood. He tried to sell this idea of his house as a living laboratory to Pratt University with an offer to house 4 graduate students in residence. Students interested in Eco-systems and solar energy to would reside in the house making use of a massive Eco-solar lab with thousands of metal and other resources at their immediate disposal. Pratt rejected it.

He even sent a major proposal to Oprah Winfrey on the need for solar round homes for folk in New Orleans and of course no reply. Jerome Johnson was asked to help the women of Darfur East Africa during this horrific genocide on the African continent. He offered to these women techniques for building the Umbrella Oven, one of his early inventions. It saved thousands of lives of women and children. He in turn was invited to the UN to talk on his inventions. ” There was at least 90 African diplomats and UN workers lined up to speak with me following my remarks.” He says, eyes lit with excitement.

There is an urgent need for folk with quality computer literacy skills to help Mr. Johnson get a composite work of hundreds of thousands items on to the Internet. “I don’t know how to do this. I have organized everything. Please, I need someone to place this on to Website before the City takes my home.” explains Mr. Johnson.

If there is a computer Jock who has time, please call Mr. Johnson. He is willing to work with computer literate students and youth. His need is urgent. The Jackals and Buzzard may land as early as August 4. This is day that a judge is due to make a decision on his case. Mr. Johnson’s telephone number is 347-451-0829. Please try and call by 7:00 PM. Mr. Johnson is in great shape for a man over 80, nonetheless, it is wise to respect the elderly by not imposing at late hours.

Mr. Johnson has been unsuccessful in retaining a lawyer. His income is meager.

We, Greens and Progressive of New York City and State can make this our big project for the summer. Mr. Johnson is inviting us to visit his home for the next five weeks. His invite is for Sunday all day.

Please join me for a Green brunch with vegetarian food only from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM at 436 53rd Street in Flatbush beginning Sunday, July 29 through Sunday, September 2, 2012. Call me immediately day or night at 646-657-7207. If I do not respond immediately please leave message with your name and telephone number. You can text your message to me at this number, please leave your name and number. I can be reached by e-mail at

Mr. Johnson tried to get his local US Senator to visit his home/museum but the Senator has refused. You know this senator. Let the Wall Street Jackals and Buzzard Banks beware that we have had all we intend to take not a drop more. SAVE THE FIRST SOLAR HOUSE IN NEW YORK CITY located at 435 E 53RD STREET IN FLATBUSH area of Brooklyn.

Presently. Mr. Johnson is willing to help with the construction of a Green House right in the home. Ralph Poynter and Betty Davis of Brooklyn are anxious to work with this idea as an adjunct to the farm they have Upstate. A Greenhouse in Brooklyn would bring an round the clock garden to this impoverished Flatbush- Brooklyn neighborhood.

We are the change makers for New York. Give coins to the New York politicians and power brokers. We must have real human change.

In Lasting Solidarity,
Colia Clark
New York Green Party
Candidate for US Senate
P.O.Box 7631
New York, NY 10150

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Colia Clark
Date: Sun, Jul 22, 2012 at 4:42 PM
Subject: FW: Jerome Johnson
To: Colia Clark

Below is the pages about Jerome Johnson. Any thing else I can do let me know.


Jerome Johnson 05 04 09 Air date



CITY ROOM; Facing the Loss of a Home, and a Quirky Experiment


5 Photos

Jerome Johnson at his home in Flatbush, Brooklyn, which he bought 50 years ago.

These days, there is no shortage of compelling tales of New Yorkers facing foreclosure and battling bureaucracy in a struggle to pay their bills.

Still, the story of Jerome Johnson of Flatbush, Brooklyn, stands out.

Because he owes tens of thousands in overdue property taxes and water bills, Mr. Johnson, 81, may lose his rather unusual home, which he has owned for 50 years. From the outside it looks like some sort of houseboat, and inside it resembles something out of “The Swiss Family Robinson.’’

Before there were “green buildings,” there was Mr. Johnson’s house, which he called one of the city’s earliest solar-conscious homes. In 1979, he opened it as a research center, naming it the Johnson Energy Clinic and Cooperative.

“This place is a museum,” he said, walking through the house on Monday. “It was the city’s first three-dimensional research facility — not a bunch of talk — for conservation and retrofitting a house to harness solar energy.”

The place is a testament to Mr. Johnson’s innovative spirit and do-it-yourself approach. There are skylights made from plastic lids taken from stereo turntables. Reflective wallpaper on the ceiling refracts heat from electric lights, he said. There is no running water, and rainwater is collected from rooftop basins.

But for all of Mr. Johnson’s talent at tapping into the power of natural energy, he has fallen out of harmony with the powers that be.

He owes nearly $21,000 in unpaid property taxes and about $31,000 in water bills. Faced with losing the property, he said on Tuesday that he hoped to pay off the tax bill.

But Mr. Johnson, who lives on $650 a month in Social Security, challenged the water bill, arguing that his house has not drawn a drop of water from the city’s supply in nearly 30 years and does not have a water meter.

Mr. Johnson and his wife, Jacqueline — they divorced around 1970 — bought the two-story house in 1961 for $8,000. After the divorce, Mrs. Johnson stayed in the house, but in 1978 she moved out with their three children as crime became more prevalent in the neighborhood.

It was the following year that Mr. Johnson, inspired by the energy crisis, set up the research center. High school and college students and government officials were invited to discuss conservation. The water was shut off in 1982, Mr. Johnson said, and the lack of running water was central to using the house as a model of energy conservation.

Mr. Johnson installed wall-sized windows, using seat-of-the-pants engineering and architectural techniques, but he received citations from the Department of Buildings for not having the proper permits.

Starting in the 1950s, Mr. Johnson designed, manufactured and sold photography lighting equipment from a shop that he ran for years in Times Square. His innovations included products like the Reflectal, an umbrellalike device that diffuses light. In the 1970s his inventions turned toward energy conservation and contraptions that harnessed solar power.

“I’m basically an inventor, but if you tell people that, you’re crazy,” he said, sitting in his front yard, which is filled with plants and a shopping cart stuffed with compost.

He tweaked his Reflectal design and devised the umbrella food cooker, whose silver cover reflects heat onto a central grill.

“That’s my Para-Broiler,” he said, pointing to a umbrella with a wire grill where the handle would be. “You put that in the sun right now and you could cook a hamburger or hot dog with it in 45 minutes.”

“We only made a sample run of them — sold about 10,” he said.

He stepped onto his glassed-in front porch, which can be heated by a small wood-burning stove made from an old propane tank — another Jerry Johnson prototype. There were many more examples of his work inside.

There was a battery-powered skateboard made for his grandson; a solar-powered oven, complete with water-purification system, made but never marketed for use in poor countries; and a series of models on how to build a geodesic home. There were also countless binders filled with handwritten treatises on conservation methods.

Skylights in the roof of the house help heat the air, which is blown by a fan to other rooms. Rainwater collected from the roof drips through pipes to 100-gallon tubs in the basement.

Mr. Johnson, a vegetarian, does his limited cooking on a hot plate. He uses no gas or oil. He does not have a water heater, but if he needs to take a sponge bath, he can warm up his water by running it through a rooftop convection system made of hundreds of old tuna cans that are
heated by the sun.

Mr. Johnson has water bills showing that the city has been billing him for almost 250 gallons of water a day. An official at the city’s Department of Environmental Protection said that since Mr. Johnson rejected the city’s attempts to install a water meter, he was billed at a rate based upon previous usage and the size of his home.

He has been charged a minimum annual fee for using the city’s sewage system and being connected to the water supply, and he has accumulated many years of interest and fines for nonpayment.

Mr. Johnson said that the city bungled his application for a Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption, which could reduce his annual tax bill and quite likely prevent foreclosure. He said he still hoped to pay his taxes.

“You can see I don’t give up,” he said.


Monday, August 8th, 2011

Man May Lose Energy-Independent House

Jerome Johnson may lose his house due to overdue property taxes and water bills–despite the fact that he hasn’t taken any water from the city’s supply in almost 30 years. He doesn’t even have a water meter! City Room takes a look inside his solar-conscious “research center,” which he’s named the Johnson Energy Clinic and Cooperative.

The place is a testament to Mr. Johnson’s innovative spirit and do-it-yourself approach. There are skylights made from plastic lids taken from stereo turntables. Reflective wallpaper on the ceiling refracts heat from electric lights, he said. There is no running water, and rainwater is collected from rooftop basins.

Because Johnson refused to let the city install a water meter, they have been billing him based on previous usage and the size of the house–an estimate that equals 250 gallons of water a day, for a total ff almost $31,000. He has no plans to pay that, though he is willing to pay the roughly $21,000 he owes for property taxes.

As you can imagine, it’s a fascinating home–be sure to take a look at the photos.



The New York Times steps inside the Flatbush, Brooklyn abode of Jerome Johnson, a “Swiss Family Robin”-esque home described as one of New York City’s first “solar-conscious” residences. Owned by Johnson — who owes the city thousands upon thousands of dollars for unpaid property taxes and water bills — for over 50 years, the home is “is a testament to Mr. Johnson’s innovative spirit and do-it-yourself approach. There are skylights made from plastic lids taken from stereo turntables. Reflective wallpaper on the ceiling refracts heat from electric
lights, he said. There is no running water, and rainwater is collected
from rooftop basins.”


Energy Library Needs New Home

May 18 1997, 3:00 am

I published the following in this week’s edition of my weekly listserv/Webpage “A List of Environmental and Telecommunications Events and Issues” or “A List…” for short at

Thanks for your kind attention and please help if you can.

The Energy Idea House Library

Over the last couple of months, I have had a few phone calls from Jerome Johnson. Mr Johnson used to work in the movies lighting sets and developing tools for lighting, one of which he transformed into a reflective umbrella for solar cooking. He started collecting information about solar energy and appropriate technology at the time of the first oil embargo in 1973 and eventually transferred his library to the Energy Idea House, a renewable energy test-bed, when that project started in 1979 in Brooklyn.

Now he finds that he can no longer financially support either the Energy Idea House or the library, which presently resides on 160 feet of shelving there. The library primarily consists of magazine articles and government publications and is organized by subject matter. There is history here. How can we preserve it?

If you have any ideas about what Jerome Johnson can do to save his library and revitalize the Energy Idea House, you can contact him at:

Jerome Johnson
436 E 53rd Street
Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY 11203


Hydrokinetics: Quest For Renewable Energy Turns Back To Water

By ALAN SAYRE 07/18/11 04:56 PM ET AP

Green Energy , Energy , Renewable Energy , Water Power , Free Flow
Power , Hydrokinetic-Generator , Hydrokinetics , Water Energy , Green

NEW ORLEANS — The powerful flow of the Mississippi River, which brought destruction to scores living near its flooded banks this spring, is viewed by a new generation of energy entrepreneurs as a reliable alternative way to generate electricity.

These developers aren’t planning giant concrete dams like the ones that brought electric lights to many Americans for the first time. Instead, their idea is to put turbines on the bottoms of rivers or mount them on barges to spin generators.

It’s all part of the emerging technology of hydrokinetics – using flowing water to generate power without dams.

“If we’re going to control the cost of converting to new forms of energy, hydro has to be part of that equation,” said Jon Guidroz, project development director for Boston-based Free Flow Power, which wants to generate energy from the Mississippi River.

Hydrokinetic generation isn’t a new idea – but only in recent years has technology made it feasible.

“Water speeds vary and, years ago, generators weren’t built and developed for variable speed,” said Brent Ballard, chief executive of Olney, Texas-based Gulfstream Technologies. “In the last few years, they make very efficient generators that can operate in a wide range of speeds.”

Still, developers are faced with many challenges, such as the current low prices for electricity that have bedeviled other alternative energy forms and a technology that is still in its infancy. Widespread application is years away, and no one is yet willing to predict how much power could eventually be generated nationwide by hydrokinetics.

“I’d say hydrokinetic generators are at the stage where the wind generators were 15 years ago,” said Jerome Johnson, research professor at the Institute of Northern Engineering with the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

FFP is focusing on obtaining federal permits for 25 hydrokinetic projects along the lower Mississippi River between Kentucky and Louisiana. Sites were chosen based on flow volume, flow velocity and the proximity to transmission facilities and potential customers. At each site, hundreds of turbines on pylons at the bottom of the river would spin like propellers and transmit energy to the riverbank.

Each turbine would produce about 40 kw of power, comparable to gasoline and diesel-powered home generators. By comparison, small wind turbines used to power homes and small businesses typically have capacities of 100 kilowatts or less.

Guidroz said FFP’s long-term goal is to operate turbines for utilities and for chemical industries along the river. The company began testing one in June at a Dow Chemical Co. plant in Plaquemine, La. The company said that in addition to private funding, it received a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Energy Department.

The cost of a turbine, for now, is an FFP trade secret.

Ballard said turbines also could be strung below some existing dams to produce additional power.

“Your infrastructure is already there,” he said. “It’s not like a wind farm where you might to build 200 miles of infrastructure.”

And flowing water can be had away from rivers. Gulfstream Technologies began a pilot hydrokinetic project in December 2009 at a power plant on a lake in Texas. The turbine uses the flow of water that comes from the plant following cooling cycles.

Guidroz said he wasn’t deterred about the flood of 2011, saying that underwater turbines could easily be designed to handle the raging river.

“If anything, it proves the awesome power of the river and the potential for hydrokinetics,” he said.

Some hydrokinetic testing is also taking place in Alaska, where powering isolated villages is a challenge.

Alaska Power & Telephone Co., which provides electricity to 33 communities with populations of 60 to 3,000, hopes the technology can reduce the use of room-sized diesel generators that still account for 30 percent of the power it provides.

Using a $1.8 million federal grant, the company built an aluminum barge mounted with a power turbine that dipped into the Yukon River. Last year, the generator provided part of the power for Eagle Village – population 50. The barge was later pulled back because of drifting wood, and the Institute of Northern Engineering is working on a device to divert debris, Johnson said. Another trial could take place next year.

AP&T believes the technology can be developed for widespread and bigger generation, said Mark McCready, the company’s marketing director.

Developers are trying to deal with environmental concerns.

In a study that will be sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FFP is assessing whether its turbines would affect shipping or fishing on the Mississippi. The commission will have to approve any large-scale uses of river turbines.

Both FFP and Gulfstream Technologies say their turbines are environmentally friendly. FFP’s turbines use no chemical lubricants, Guidroz said. The company also put larger gaps between the turbine blades so large species can pass through safely, at the expense of some generating efficiency. Gulfstream Technologies has opted for a biodegradable lubricant, Ballard said.

But the cost has killed the plans of other developers.

Marine services company McGinnis Inc. thought its proximity to the Ohio River was a natural reason to get into hydrokinetic generation. However, the South Point, Ohio-based company found small-scale generation wasn’t economically feasible and a larger operation required development costs that were too high, said its legal counsel Doug Ruschman.

The company tried to get federal help, but was turned aside.

Douglas Meffert, executive director of Tulane University’s RiverSphere, a planned hydrokinetic testing facility along the Mississippi River in New Orleans, said the technology will need federal support for commercial development.

“Every renewable energy source that has moved into commercial use, such as solar and wind, has always had to depend upon that initial subsidy,” he said.

A small amount of federal money in tight budget times is now available, but that support depends upon matching funds from other sources, including private investors, Meffert said.

“This economy is slowing down the development of an industry that shows so much promise,” he said.


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