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    Entries in family (1)


    We Shall Overcome...his work shall go on

    As many of you know, or do not know, the owner and creator of this blog, Jay Fretz, was killed on his bicycle on his commute home from work on May 17th, 2010 at the corner of a Alamada and McClintock in Tempe, Arizona, when a car struck him. At this corner a solemn reminder, a ghostbike, now stands there as a tribute to a great man. He was survived by his wife, Angie; daughter, Anika; brother, Kevin; and his parents John and GayLee; and many more friends and family than Jay knew he had.

    During this process we learned how important Jay was to the community and his message of eco-friendliness and that we, as individuals can make the difference, and spread the word to make this Earth a greener world. It was the small things he focused on, things that everyone could do. He gave up his car for commuting, and decided to bike to work to reduce his carbon footprint. He looked at the little things in his house that he could change, or monitor to reduce energy consumption, water consumption, and waste consumption. Most of those things we could all do, and he told us how. He talked to people, participated  in local focus groups, and started this blog, to get his word out and to have people listen.

    If you talked with Jay for five minutes, you knew what his passion was, and it was almost contagious. No, it was contagious. You would go home immediately and see what changed you could do. This message needs to live on and spread, from house to house, person to person, business to business. That's where we come in.

    My name is Justin J. Stewart. I have known Jay and his family for five years, and in those five years it is the most active in making changes to my lifestyle to help with the environment. To hypermiling my SUV from 16 mpg to 20 mpg in a few short months, to starting and maintaining a recycling program at one store of a Fortune 500 retailer, to organic urban gardening, these were all changes that or activities that I saw important to do, mostly from talking to Jay. I had always been eco-smart, but it wasn't until Jay that I learned to take the next step, and most of those steps were easy ones that every single one of us can do. That is why this blog is going to continue with myself and my wife, Laura Stewart. We want to share with you what you can do at home, or have you share with us what you do at home, so we all can get Jay's message out and be more energy efficient and eco-friendly, and with the events of the past two months, now is the best time to do this.

    Our goal for this blog is to continue talking about "Slaying Energy Vampires" and telling you what home tips you can do, and what tech stuff is out there, and what I am doing at home to conserve energy. We also want to hear from you though, we want to know what you are doing, what you are hearing, what works for you. We want this to grow into an organic community where sharing creates knowledge and helps this world. If you have a piece that you have written, or a photo of something you have done, or a tip we should all know, please share with us, and we will share with the world. With each of you, we will go person by person, door by door, and business by business and keep Jay's dream alive. I hope to hear from you soon. I know I will be talking to you soon. Let's do this, with everyone together, we really can make a difference, Jay did.


      R.I.P Jay Curtice Fretz October 3, 1973- May 17, 2010

    Recent news links about Jay:

    ABC News 15 story about Jay.

    Arizona Republic story about ghostbike installations in Tempe, including Jay's.

    Wonderful piece by Nancy Puffer in the Plugged In blog for The Arizona Republic.

    Jay's Obituary that appeared in The Arizona Republic.

    The Jay Fretz Memorial Page.

    A great blog remembrance from a friend of Jay's, Jon Hajek.


    Like I said, We Shall Overcome, his work shall go on, and we will never forget.


    ---Justin J. Stewart