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Blown Away:WInd energy in the southern states

Wind energy production in the United States continues to grow, heralding expanded transmission capacity, lower energy prices and job growth in several sectors. This SLC Special Series exploring the myriad impacts of wind energy expansion in SLC states has examined the benefits of wind energy in the region* and provided case studies from three SLC states.† However, a further understanding of the full impacts of this growing industry also necessitates a discussion of its challenges.

State Branding Programs and Local Food Purchases

Previous research on U.S. consumers details how the products they buy and where they make food purchases are changing. For example, in 1990, 80% of food for at-home consumption was purchased at supermarkets; by 2014, that number dropped to 65% (Ver Ploeg, Larimore and Wilde, 2017). The USDA Economic Research Service has calculated food at home expenditures since 1987, and annual data are available starting in 1929. In their calculation, production value or sales is equal to total expenditures.

The narrative of renewal: If we can't mine coal, what are we going to do?

“EPA = Expanding Poverty in America.”  This statement is written in three-foot-high letters on a banner stretched over a bandstand in a public park in Pikeville, Kentucky. It is June 2012 and I am just starting production of the After Coal documentary. The crowd around me is dressed in the reflective stripes of mining uniforms or in T-shirts reading Friends of Coal and Walker Heavy Machinery.

Opioid overdose rate by county 2012-2016

If you’ve got a couple minutes, Michael Meit has a favor to ask. He’ll try not to take up too much of your time.  “What I want is for people to go to the online tool, click on their county, pull up that 8 ½-by-11 fact sheet, and send it to all their local elected officials, health department staff, medical personnel, and others,” Meit said.  And? “Start a community dialog about drug overdose deaths in their community,” Meit said.

Could TV Whitespace Get Real With Microsoft Initiative

Terrain, demographics, trees, hills, politics, and low population density all conspire to block rural residents from getting easy internet access.  Could that be changing? A year ago Microsoft announced its Airband Initiative, an effort to move TV whitespaces from a good idea to a working technology. The project coordinates smaller Internet service providers, manufacturers, and software vendors around the new technology. Some early signs hint at future successes.

Changing housing market, timber glut limit prices

Housing start fluctuations and an abundance of timber are limiting the ceiling on stumpage prices in Mississippi now, but expect the market to improve when sawmills begin stocking up for winter. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau National, home construction dropped 13 percent from May to June, which is considered a significant decrease.

We'll regret bypassing local shops for sake of a few bucks

We American consumers are a fickle lot.I was reminded of that again last week when a family-owned local grocery chain announced it is calling it quits after decades serving the Chicago market.The few giant national chains, the product of years of cutthroat consolidation, did them in, just as they have done in thousands of mom-and-pop stores across the land, including here in Wisconsin.All for the sake of saving a buck or two, shoppers unwittingly rush to the latest mega-store while the small businesses that have served as the bedrock of American commerce for centuries drop by the wayside.On

What would the loss of 2-4D impact?

2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) was first marketed to control broadleaf weeds in 1945 and since that time has become one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. 2,4-D formulations include esters, acids, and several salts (WHO 1989). The dimethyl-amine salt (DMA) and 2-ethylhexyl ester (EHE) formulations account for approximately 90-95% of its total global use (Charles et al. 2001).The loss of access to 2,4-D would most certainly force applicators to switch to more expensive alternative herbicides and would likely result in decreased crop yields.

Why Oceanside’s Measure Y hurts farmers

It may not seem like it, but San Diego County is a farming community.That phrase, “farming community,” may conjure up images of old-timey black and white photos of tractors tilling up huge fields in what may now be a suburban neighborhood. Yet local agriculture continues to be important today.But our farming community is not without challenges. The most urgent challenge is Oceanside’s Measure Y, a ballot initiative that could spell the end of local farming.


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