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archaic utility rules barriers infographic ILSR
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 13 Comments | Updated on Aug 8, 2012

How Archaic Utility Rules Stall Local Solar [Infographic]

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/archiac-utility-rules-stall-local-solar-infographic/

Many people expect that solar power will dramatically expand once it bursts through the cost barrier and becomes less expensive than grid electricity.  But archaic utility rules can effectively cap local solar development at just 15% of peak demand.  Fortunately, pioneering states like Hawaii and California are exploring ways to lift the cap and bring… Continue reading

wall-street-lack-of-competition-allows-comcast-to-raise-prices-whenever-it-wants
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Aug 8, 2012

Wall Street: Lack of Competition Allows Comcast to Raise Prices Whenever It Wants

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/wall-street-lack-competition-allows-comcast-raise-prices-whenever-it-wants

A major difference between Main Street and Wall Street is that we view Comcast’s lack of competition as a major problem. The prospect of Comcast increasing our rates year after year makes us want to scream. Prepare to scream. Or throw things. The Lafayette Pro-Fiber Blog alerted us to a piercingly honest analysis from Wall… Continue reading

community-broadband-bits-7-mary-beth-henry-of-portland-oregon
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Aug 7, 2012

Community Broadband Bits 7 – Mary Beth Henry of Portland, Oregon

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/community-broadband-bits-7-mary-beth-henry-portland-oregon

For the 7th Community Broadband Bits podcast, we talk with Mary Beth Henry from Portland, Oregon. Mary Beth is the Director of the Portland Office for Community Technology and Mt Hood Cable Regulatory Commission, as well as a past president of NATOA. Our discussion covers the long struggle to ensure local businesses and residents had… Continue reading

public-service-commissioner-calls-mississippi-gov-coin-operated
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Aug 7, 2012

Public Service Commissioner Calls Mississippi Gov "Coin-Operated"

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/public-service-commissioner-calls-mississippi-gov-coin-operated

We have watched in growing horror as AT&T and other telco lobbyists have gone from state to state gutting telecommunications oversight. In several states, you no longer have an absolute right to a telephone – the companies can refuse to serve you if they so choose. We tip our hat to Phil Dampier at Stop… Continue reading

CMREC farm composting
Featured Article, Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Aug 6, 2012

Supportive Rules For Small-Scale Composting

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/supportive-rules-small-scale-composting/

Composting is inherently local; it supports local green jobs, farmers and other businesses. Indeed, farmers have a vital role to play in producing and utilizing compost to restore depleted soils. They also have land, a necessary factor for developing the capacity to compost. State permitting rules can facilitate on-farm and other small-scale operators, thus helping… Continue reading

why-who-invented-the-internet-matters
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Aug 6, 2012

Why "Who Invented the Internet" Matters

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/why-who-invented-internet-matters

For those who missed it, a Wall Street Journal op-ed ignited a geektroversy by claiming the federal government did not invent the Internet. First, some history. Then an explanation of why we should care. A guy named Crovitz kicked off the fight with his Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | 2 Comments | Updated on Aug 5, 2012

Charter Schools and Kudzu

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/charter-schools-kudzu-2/

On this, the 20th anniversary of the opening of the first charter school, kudzu comes to mind. In the 1930s the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) paid farmers $8 per acre to plant this Japanese vine whose deep root structure helps reduce erosion and enrich a depleted soil.  Farmers planted more than 1.2 million acres. Twenty… Continue reading

television-ad-revenue-for-small-networks
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Aug 4, 2012

Television Ad Revenue for Small Networks

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/television-ad-revenue-small-networks

When communities are trying to figure out how to pay for networks, they sometimes fail to explore some logical places. A recent article on Telecompetitor gives us an estimate for revenues from inserting ads in cable television programming. Before the economic downturn, a typical small video service provider could expect between $1.25 and $2.00 a… Continue reading

drinking water
Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Aug 3, 2012

Revolution of the Thirsty

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/revolution-thirsty/

Karen Piper, Professor of English at the University of Missouri in Columbia informs us of a factor behind the spring uprising in Egypt the mass media missed:  the privatization of water. The American media focused mainly on internal corruption and oppression. They did not report on the role of the international superpowers in influencing the… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 3, 2012

Comparing Residential Solar Ownership to a Solar Lease

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/comparing-residential-solar-ownership-solar-lease/

It’s a case study of solar in Ithaca, NY, but it provides a good framework for comparing leasing to ownership in any place in the U.S. Solar Economics in Ithaca, NY Comparing solar ownership to a solar lease can be tricky.  The following analysis examines the value of owning a 5 kW solar PV system… Continue reading