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Image: 2014 Independent Business Survey Cover
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2014

Independent Business Owners Report Growing Public Support, Call for Policies to Level the Playing Field

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/2014-survey/

A survey of 2,602 independent business owners across the U.S. has found that the Buy Local message is boosting customer traffic and improving the outlook on Main Street. But entrepreneurs also say policymakers need to do more to create a level playing field and ensure that small local businesses have an equal opportunity to compete. Continue reading

MOSEIA presentation kansas city JFF ILSR
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Feb 4, 2014

Show Me Solar: Parity, Value, and Opportunity for Solar Power

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

What can solar power do for a single state? How about 21% of its energy, $14 billion in economic activity, and over 150,000 jobs. At a discount to existing electricity costs. Without subsidies. ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy, John Farrell, shared this message with the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association on Feb. 1, 2014 in… Continue reading

Radio Microphone
Featured Article, Resource filed under The Public Good | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2014

Self-Reliance Podcast Episode 1: Local Self-Reliance in the Modern Economy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/self_reliance_podcast_episode_1/

What is the role of local self-reliance in the modern economy? As world travel, global commerce, and communications across the oceans bring us closer together, the role of localism changes. In our inaugural podcast episode, we bring together three ILSR veterans to look at the issue. Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Telecommunications as Commons initiative… Continue reading

northfield climate summit 2014-01 web
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 27, 2014

Local Climate Solutions

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

What can an individual city or town do to fight climate change? A lot! View these slides from a presentation by ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell to the Northfield Climate Summit on January 18, 2014, to see what one small Minnesota town has done, what other steps it can take as part of… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jan 21, 2014

Building Community Broadband Access Policy Brief

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/building-community-broadband-access-policy-brief/

ILSR and the Center for Popular Democracy now offer the Building Community Access Policy Brief. We teamed up with CPD to bring you a fact sheet that succinctly describes our country’s problem with unequal access to broadband. The fact sheet also offers basic solutions that can facilitate development of publicly owned networks. In addition to… Continue reading

Santa Fe
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 16, 2014

A David and Goliath Fight to Tap World Class Solar – Episode 14 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/david-goliath-fight-tap-world-class-solar-episode-14-local-energy-rules/

“It’s the most inspirational work that I’m doing…this is an inspirational and aspirational effort…at the heart of it is love of place and energy democracy.” Citizens of Santa Fe, NM, are exploring the economic and environmental benefits of more local and locally-controlled energy production.  Is their city ready to take the lead? Find out in… Continue reading

Brenda at DC PS hearing 1-8-14
Featured Article, Resource filed under Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Jan 15, 2014

Ten Ways to Strengthen DC’s Proposed Ban on Polystyrene

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/ten-ways-strengthen-dcs-proposed-ban-polystyrene-2/

Last week the DC City Council held a public hearing on Mayor Vincent Gray’s Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2013 (Bill 20-573), which aims to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for District residents.  Brenda Platt, director of ILSR’s Sustainable Plastics and Composting Makes $en$e projects, testified in support of the bill’s ban… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 14, 2014

Public Access Media and Community Owned Networks – Community Broadband Bits Podcast #81

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/public-access-media-and-community-owned-networks-community-broadband-bits-podcast-81/

After a listener suggested we do a show on the modern role of public access media, we decided to reach out to Mike Wassenaar, now a senior development officer at Free Press and formerly the Executive Director of Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, a great example of the promise of public access. Mike and I talk… Continue reading

justifying-a-network-with-indirect-cost-savings-community-broadband-bits-episode-80
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 7, 2014

Justifying a Network with Indirect Cost Savings – Community Broadband Bits Episode 80

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/justifying-a-network-with-indirect-cost-savings-community-broadband-bits-episode-80/

Today, Lisa and I are joined by Eric Lampland for a discussion of how a community could justify building a community owned network from the indirect benefits that it would create, including the savings that each household realizes from competition driving down prices. Eric Lampland is the CEO and principal consultant of Lookout Point Communications,… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Dec 31, 2013

Don Means on Libraries and White Spaces – Community Broadband Bits Episode 79

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/don-means-on-libraries-and-white-spaces-community-broadband-bits-episode-79/

This week, Don Means joins us to talk about public libraries, their role in the modern era, and an interesting pilot project involving several libraries and white spaces wireless technology. Don is the coordinator of the Gigabit Libraries Network and has a passion for both libraries and expanding Internet access to all. We offer some… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Dec 24, 2013

Bob Frankston Encore Interview – Community Broadband Bits Episode #78

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/bob-frankston-encore-interview-community-broadband-bits-episode-78/

For those looking for our weekly podcast over the holiday break, we decided to recut one of our early interviews with Bob Frankston, a favorite of Lisa’s, and put it back in the feed. We ran the original interview for episode 14 of our Community Broadband Bits podcast and again now for episode 78. Frankston… Continue reading

michael-deering-web
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 19, 2013

How Solar Saves on Grid Costs – Episode 13 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/solar-saves-grid-costs-episode-13-local-energy-rules/

“We can avoid that $100 million investment in transmission lines, distribution lines, in capital infrastructure…” How can a utility like Long Island Power Authority avoid all that new capital expenditure?  Find out in this interview with Vice President of Environmental Affairs Michael Deering, recorded via Skype on November 25, 2013. Customer-Powered Utility The first question… Continue reading

in-indiana-auburn-built-fiber-network-incrementally-community-broadband-bits-episode-77
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Dec 17, 2013

In Indiana, Auburn Built Fiber Network Incrementally – Community Broadband Bits Episode 77

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/in-indiana-auburn-built-fiber-network-incrementally-community-broadband-bits-episode-77/

When a major employer in Auburn, a town of 13,000 in northeast Indiana, told the local government that it would have to move jobs to a different location unless it had improved Internet access, the local government first encouraged it to work with the telephone company. But when that telephone company, headquartered far from Auburn,… Continue reading

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Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 16, 2013

On WCCO, ILSR Director of Democratic Energy Discusses Xcel Energy Rate Hike

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/wcco-ilsr-director-democratic-energy-discusses-xcel-energy-rate-hike/

“They need some more support from the Legislature in having a critical eye,” said John Farrell, of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “I think the laws that they operate under don’t give them a lot of flexibility to question…the base assumptions that Xcel is bringing to the table.” Check out the 2-minute video clip   Continue reading

solar-powered-wireless-on-the-reservation-community-broadband-bits-episode-76
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Dec 10, 2013

Solar Powered Wireless on the Reservation – Community Broadband Bits Episode #76

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/solar-powered-wireless-on-the-reservation-community-broadband-bits-episode-76/

When it comes to building a community owned wireless network, few have more experience than Matthew Rantanen, our guest for the Community Broadband Bits podcast this week. Rantanen has an impressive list of titles, two of which are Director of Technology for the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA) and Director of the Tribal Digital… Continue reading