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Category Archives: Government Documents

Residential electricity prices are rising

EIA: “U.S. retail residential electricity prices for the first half of 2014 averaged 12.3 cents per kilowatthour, an increase of 3.2% from the same period last year. This is the highest year-over-year growth in residential prices for the first half of the year since 2009. Average prices rose in all areas of the country except for the Pacific Census Division (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Electricity customers in New England experienced the largest price increases, averaging 11.8%. Beyond taxes, fees, and other charges, there are two main components of electricity bills: the generation component, which reflects the costs of generating the electricity, and the delivery portion, which reflects the costs of transmitting and distributing that electricity. All New England states, with the exception of Vermont, have restructured the industry so that residential customers have the option of choosing an alternative retail electricity supplier for the generation (energy) component of their electricity bill. More than one-quarter of all residential customers in New England pay a retail supplier other than the regulated utility for the generation of their electricity. Customers of both full-service utilities and restructured retail suppliers have experienced similar rate increases of just under 12% so far this year.”

Additional 2013 Characteristics of New Housing

“The U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, which is jointly funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has released new annual characteristics tables. This release includes never before published data on age-restricted developments, presence of homeowners association, sewer and water systems, framing material and laundry. The report provides estimates of new privately ownedContinue Reading

Digital Transformations: Wiring the Responsive City

Via Harvard Kennedy School – “This is the fifth in an article series based on Stephen Goldsmith’s paper “Digital Transformations: Wiring the Responsive City.” Click here to read the report in full. “For decades, criminal-justice officials, advised by the results of good research, used data to drive performance. As a district attorney 30 years ago in Indiana, I usedContinue Reading

Minimum Wage Legislation Database – NCSL

National Conference of State Legislatures: “Minimum wage bills from the current legislative session are available in a searchable database. You can search by state, bill number, author, status or keyword, or track all minimum wage-related bills by leaving the search boxes blank. You also can track specific issues, by selecting a topic, including proposed increases to theContinue Reading

DARPA Open Catalog

“Welcome to the DARPA Open Catalog, which contains a curated list of DARPA-sponsored software and peer-reviewed publications. DARPA sponsors fundamental and applied research in a variety of areas including data science, cyber, anomaly detection, etc., that may lead to experimental results and reusable technology designed to benefit multiple government domains. The DARPA Open Catalog organizes publiclyContinue Reading

CDC Updated Resource Guide on Ebola

2014 West Africa Outbreak: “The 2014 Ebola outbreak is one of the largest Ebola outbreaks in history and the first in West Africa. It is affecting four countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, but does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public.” Latest CDC Outbreak Information See also Joint WHO/ILOContinue Reading

Trends in Smokeless Tobacco Use and Initiation: 2002 to 2012

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (July 24, 2014). The NSDUH Report: Trends in Smokeless Tobacco Use and Initiation: 2002 to 2012. Rockville, MD. “In 2012, 3.5 percent of persons aged 12 or older (an estimated 9.0 million persons) used smokeless tobacco in the past month. Rates of pastContinue Reading

Draft of UN’s New Report on Global Warming Delivers Bleak Assessment

Justin Gillis, New York Times: “Runaway growth on the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report. Global warming is already cutting grain production by several percentageContinue Reading

City72 open-source emergency preparedness platform

“An effective preparedness platform customizable to your city. City72 is an open-source emergency preparedness platform that promotes community resilience and connection. This Toolkit is designed specifically for emergency preparedness organizations and provides the information and resources to create a customized City72 site for any city or region. It includes: how to create localized content, access to the code toContinue Reading

US Worker Displacement: 2011-2013

BLS: “From January 2011 through December 2013, 4.3 million workers were displaced from jobs they had held for at least 3 years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsreported today. This was down from 6.1 million workers for the prior survey period covering January 2009 to December 2011. In January 2014, 61 percent of workers displaced from 2011 toContinue Reading

Study: Government Blocks Specific Journalists From Accessing Information

David Sorota: “As states move to hide details of government deals with Wall Street and as politicians come up with new arguments to defend secrecy, it was revealed this week that many government information officers block specific journalists they don’t like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing “seriousContinue Reading

Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment – July 2014

BLS news release: “Unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 348 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 16 areas, and unchanged in 8 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Fifteen areas had jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent and 68 areas had rates of less thanContinue Reading