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October 29, 2021

 

 
 
CyberMonth  
 

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) designated October as a time for the public and private sectors to work together to raise awareness of cybersecurity and equip the public with the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. “Cybersecurity is ultimately about protecting lives and keeping people secure,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “It’s important that everyone take a moment to implement common-sense steps like multi-factor authentication to keep themselves secure online. So much of our daily routines exist on digital platforms, and we need everyone to do their part to combat the growing threats our nation faces in cyberspace.” CISA recommends doing four easy things on your devices: Implement multi-factor authentication on your accounts and make it 99% less likely you’ll get hacked; update your software, and turn on automatic updates; think before you click (over 90% of successful cyber-attacks start with a phishing email); and use strong passwords, and ideally a password manager to generate and store unique passwords. More on the Four Things You Can Do to Keep Yourself Cyber Safe is available on CISA.gov.

 

 
 
  Ameren
 

Businesses can save on installation and energy costs with the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program. A small family owned coffee shop and restaurant in Wyoming, Illinois asked the Ameren Illinois Small Business Direct Install Initiative (SBDI) Energy Advisor about better lighting for their kitchen and office. Working with a local Ameren Illinois Program Ally Contractor, they installed 44 new LED 4-foot lamps in their restaurant. The total project cost was nearly $800, but with the incentives from the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program, the coffee shop paid $190, and the projected annual savings could be up to $400. To learn more about the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program and the incentives available through the Small Business Direct Install Initiative, call 1.866.800.0747 or visit AmerenIllinoisSavings.com/SmallBusiness.

 

 
 
Naturalist News  
 

Fall color in the Upper Midwest is so striking some years, it can be seen from NASA's MODIS space satellite. In spring, when trees awaken from dormancy, they put on abundant, lush green growth and the pigment chlorophyll. Through chlorophyll and photosynthesis, leaves become food factories, eating carbon dioxide and water and cooking with sunshine to produce their own food-sugars. That energy from sugar rockets out new shoots and fresh growth and storage of food in their trunks and roots. But as daylight shortens, trees prepare for their fasting period in winter. Low temperatures and bright sunshine destroy chlorophyll. As it leaves the leaves (pun intended), other pigments are revealed. According to Nancy Kuhajda, Will County Extension Program Coordinator, weather plays a big role in how bold and big nature's palette and paintbrush are each year. The most brilliant fall foliage colors occur after summers with adequate moisture followed by autumns with dry, sunny days and cool, dry nights. This year, much of Illinois was expecting a bold color show until the long dry summer dragged on into an extremely warm late October, followed by some heavy rains. As with all things in nature, the fall colors don't always follow the playbook, and sometimes we will have outstanding fall color even without ideal conditions.  

 

 
 
  LGE Webinar Series
 

The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) will play a large role in the state’s efforts to scale up the use of renewable energy, address climate change, and create equitable access to the new clean energy economy. This webinar will provide an overview of CEJAs many provisions, including decarbonization, just transition, renewable energy, equitable workforce development, utility accountability, and consumer protection. Speakers will discuss how the new law and programs will impact consumers, communities, and the marketplace. Illinois Extension partners, Prairie Rivers Network and Just Transition Fund will provide remarks, feature a panel with participants from Citizens Utility Board and Faith in Place, and moderate a live Q and A. Register here.

 

 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

November 5 - Illinois Office of Broadband: Application Processes, Planning, and Preparation (Pt 1)

November 9 - Energy Transitions: Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA)

November 9 - Geothermal Illinois Resiliency Series: Federal Sustainability Models

November 12 - Illinois Office of Broadband: Application Processes, Planning, and Preparation (Pt 2)

November 16 - Illinois Connected Communities Series: Broadband Access (Pt 1)

November 19 - Illinois Office of Broadband: Application Processes, Planning, and Preparation (Pt 3)

 
 
 
 
 

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