Three of our researchers (Christopher Mitchell, John Farrell, & Brenda Platt) sit down together to discuss how small cities across America are innovating in the ways they are supporting their local economies. Mitchell discusses this innovation in Idaho; Farrell details the discussions in Decorah, Iowa; and Platt portrays many different home composting programs.… Read More
U.S. households use many Internet-connected devices simultaneously, so they need high-speed downloads. People are creators, and they need to be able to upload videos and other content at a reliable rate. Look: Canada has higher standards than we do.… Read More
The report, Yes! In My Backyard: A Home Composting Guide for Local Governments, profiles 11 home composting programs (10 in the United States, 1 in Canada) and is a guide for local governments starting their own programs. It makes the case that home composting should be a central component of every community’s residential food waste reduction strategy. The guide is not intended as a manual on how to compost at home.… Read More
In January, the City Council approved establishing a communications utility, creating a communications fund, and taking the necessary steps to develop a dig once policy in the city’s code. Elected officials had not yet decided if the community would pursue a city-wide network, but wanted to create an environment that would offer future options and encourage private sector partners to invest in Hillsboro.
The city already owns fiber optic resources that it uses for municipal facilities, schools, traffic signals, and other purposes. They plan to use that network as a foundation to expand in order to bring better connectivity throughout the community. With a wider network, Hillsboro hopes to adopt public Wi-Fi, better public safety notifications, and applications for smart-meters for utility services as well as real-time parking and traffic updates.… Read More
The United States Senate is gearing up to vote on a resolution to repeal the roll back of network neutrality protections by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In advance of the vote, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s (ILSR) Community Broadband Networks initiative director Christopher Mitchell is featured in a video from Senator Bernie Sanders (I – Vt.) detailing how the FCC’s actions harm rural America, specifically.… Read More
In celebration of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s birthday, we are giving a little history on Mayday, the celebration of new life that has taken on a “new” prominence as a prominent labor rights’ day celebration.… Read More
Looking at the Community Network Map, anyone can see that Iowa is filled with towns that have chosen to invest in publicly owned Internet infrastructure. On May 1st, the community of Pella took a step at the polls that will bring them a little closer to having a “pin” on our map. Ninety-two percent of those voting in the special election chose to authorize the City Council to establish a telecommunications utility.
Located in south central Iowa, Pella is about 40 miles south of Des Moines in Marion County. Pella Corporation and the Vermeer Manufacturing Company are the largest employers with Century College and the Pella Regional Health Center also retaining many people in the community. All of these large entities need fiber connectivity for different purposes.… Read More
Bokashi is a Japanese term meaning “fermented organic matter.” Bokashi fermentation utilizes a variety of by-products – such as leaves, sawdust, husks, bran, other grains – inoculated with beneficial microbes to ferment kitchen waste. It is an anaerobic (without oxygen) process, akin to pickling. Often mistakenly considered a form of composting, it results in a very different product. However, as a pre-processing step to composting, it has several benefits including ability to handle meat and dairy, repelling rats, speeding up the composting process, and cutting frequency of food scrap collection.
Join this webinar.… Read More