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Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on May 18, 2012

Pennsylvania Handsomely Subsidizes School Bus Privatization

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/pennsylvania-handsomely-subsidizes-school-bus-privatization/

Still one more empirical study finds that privatization costs taxpayers dearly.  This time the issue is school bus transportation.  In a new report, Runaway Spending: Private Contractors Increase the Cost of School Student Transportation Services in Pennsylvania the Keystone Research Center concludes, “Contracting out substantially increases state spending on transportation services. We estimate that if… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 17, 2012

Gig.U Delivers its Gigabit to Maine

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/gigu-delivers-its-gigabit-maine

We continue to watch the Gig.U project with interest as some universities are teaming up with providers to deliver gigabit services to selected areas, generally around high tech campuses. One of the first project announcements has come from Orono, Maine. The University of Maine and a private company called GWI are teaming up to bring… Continue reading

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Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on May 17, 2012

We Need Energy From Many Sources

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

Florida Times-Union, May 17, 2012 There are a few key principles to remember about energy: As more of the world moves to the middle class, energy needs will grow enormously. “The absolute numbers are staggering,” writes Daniel Yergin, author of “The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World.” He provides deep background… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 3 Comments | Updated on May 16, 2012

Walmart Heirs Quietly Fund Walmart’s Environmental Allies

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/walmart-heirs-quietly-fund-walmarts-environmental-allies/

The staggeringly rich Waltons, who own half of Walmart and have a net worth equal to the bottom one-third of Americans combined, are using their family foundation to reshape the environmental movement. Now the second largest grant-maker in the country, the Walton Family Foundation, is steering large grants to organizations that work closely with Walmart, helping to build its green image and reinforcing the power of large corporations in our economy. Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 16, 2012

Senator Franken Calls on FCC to Actually Enforce Its Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/senator-franken-calls-fcc-actually-enforce-its-rules

One of the reasons we so strongly support local, community owned broadband networks over European-like regulations on private companies is that large institutions regularly game the rules. We wrote about this last year, when Free Press called on the FCC to stop Verizon from ignoring the rules it agreed to for using certain spectrum. Senator… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 15, 2012

Susan Crawford Keynote at The Next Web Conference

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/susan-crawford-keynote-next-web-conference

Susan Crawford on the importance of government policy. People who are concerned about the future of the Internet need to pay attention or the cable and telephone companies will take over the Internet (or at least access to it). Not because they are evil, but because what is best for them (or what they think… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on May 15, 2012

Paragould Sets An Example for Another Arkansas Town

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/paragould-sets-example-another-arkansas-town

Recently, we let you know about the situation in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, population 15,039. The town is now investigating the possibility of building their own fiber network. They have had several community meetings and a “vote of the people” is set for May 22, 2012. Pamela Hill is investigating the twists and turrns in a… Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 15, 2012

Community Broadband Networks is Back Up

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/community-broadband-networks-back

We apologize for the last week of glitches and errors you have been having in trying to use our site. Our thoroughly incompetent web hosts have been sacked and we have transitioned to a different hosting provider, which should be much better. Some glitches are still being worked out, but we hope the site is… Continue reading

Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on May 14, 2012

Five Reasons Why Privatizing Michigan’s Prisons Is a Bad Idea

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/reasons-privatizing-michigans-prisons-bad-idea/

Both chambers of the Republican-controlled Michigan legislature are pushing to privatize that state’s prisons.  Like a similar bill introduced by Florida Republicans that was narrowly defeated, the Michigan bill would require shifting 1200 inmates to a private prison if 10 percent savings would be gained.   The Detroit Free Press published an Opinion piece by… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on May 14, 2012

Could Securitization Democratize Solar Power?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/securitization-democratize-solar-power/

After Wall Street popularized the term “mortgage-backed securities” in their destruction of the economy in 2008, you could be forgiven for thinking “solar securities” are a pyramid scheme.  But in truth, they may hold the key to democratizing the financing and the ownership of distributed renewable energy. Right now, financing solar typically means looking for… Continue reading