A roundup of stuff that wouldn’t necessarily make it on the blog, but is worth noting:
• Think your electricity rates have increased substantially over the past decade? You’re right – they have, according to a new study by a coalition of more than 100 Texas cities, including Fort Worth and Arlington. The 82-page study said that 10 years of electricity rate deregulation in Texas have “have increased by a greater percentage than in any other deregulated state with retail competition.” This is not news here, of course. We’ve suspected that prices were surprisingly high for quite a while.
• Wamre wrote about the success of the city’s 311 program last week, and his experience looks even better compared to New York City. In New York City, it takes a year to fix a street light. Or, as the New York Times described the effort: “But the story also illustrates the hair-pulling frustrations ordinary citizens often experience in getting potholes filled or obnoxious noises silenced and even, to a degree, what the mayor faces in trying to improve New York’s quality of life, or light.”
• The 25th annual Ray Bradbury Contest will feature the author’s legendary Fahrenheit 451, his tale of a world where firemen burn books. You can win $100 by writing a two-page essay or creating visual art or a multimedia piece detailing what you think of the book. The contest is sponsored by the public library (see the contest rules) in Waukegan, Ill., where Bradbury grew up. Bradbury, of course, also wrote The Martian Chronicles, another landmark in modern American fiction.