More than nine years in the making, the independent film ”Begging For Billionaires: The Attack on Property Rights in America” was selected as a “Best of Fest” feature by the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival and won “Best Documentary” at the Texandance International Film Festival. In 2005, a divided U.S. Supreme Court gave city governments the authority to take private homes and businesses by eminent domain and transfer ownership to private developers for the purpose of building things like shopping centers, corporate office towers, luxury condominiums and professional sports arenas.
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In 2008, the Berkeley City Council approved an amendment to the Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) and created the Special Tax Financing Law. The Special Tax Financing Law is the implementing legislation that allows for the creation of the Sustainable Energy Financing District, by which the City would help property owners finance solar installations and energy efficiency improvements by creating a special tax that is paid through their individual property tax bills. Continue reading
Chattanooga’s Electric Power Board, a public power agency, has been building a fiber-to-the-home network to greatly increase community access to fast broadband. They have just announced the network will be completed sooner than originally expected, connecting everyone in the community.
EPB officials announced today their plans to expedite the deployment of their 100% fiber optics network.
ILSR, a member of the Rural Internet and Broadband Policy Group, submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission on the matter of a national broadband policy. Our comments highlight the importance of long term investments that will prioritize local ownership and control as well as open access networks. The absentee-ownership model has proved detrimental to many rural communities.
by Neil Seldman in BioCycle Deconstructing, as opposed to demolishing, abandoned buildings will revitalize our cities by reducing waste, creating green jobs, providing high-quality recycled materials for new construction, and more. Read the full BioCycle article Continue reading
Most environmental leaders and Democratic Party officials argue that we should support the Waxman-Markey carbon cap and trade bill (American Clean Energy Security Act) no matter how imperfect because it represents an important small step forward. In this commentary by David Morris, he concludes that the bill would be acceptable if it was stripped of its cap and trade provisions. Retaining the cap and trade provisions and he sees it as a giant step backwards that may well hobble further progress in federal efforts to combat climate change for years to come.
The St. Regis Mohawk tribe again proves that it is cheaper to build your own power plant than to buy electricity from utilities. Continue reading
We have added a new sector to the Information Policy Area – Open Source / Open Standards. The first rule in this new sector is a recent resolution from Vancouver that will increase local government use of open standards, open source, and open/accessible data.
Open standards, open data, and open source are all important ingredients for locally self-reliant communities in the modern era. Continue reading
ILSR announces a new site focusing on publicly owned broadband networks and the benefits they offer to the community. MuniNetworks.org explains the many advantages of community ownership and documents the impressive speeds available from some of the top-performing networks. Community broadband networks offer some of the fastest speeds at the most affordable prices in the United States. Continue reading
Lafayette, Louisiana is one community among hundreds that are building publicly owned, broadband networks to ensure their community with thrive in the 21st century. They fought years of legal battles and are now deploying one of the fastest networks in the country — and keeping prices affordable.
Their Chamber of Commerce supported them throughout and is now finding ways that they will be able to leverage the network. Being accountable to the community, that owns it, the network is open for innovative ideas. The network is not yet finished, but the Chamber is starting meetings to spur innovation. Continue reading