Help the Community Wireless Network in NEO

02/20/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

While I was away, I got a big surprise from my community wireless network colleagues. I have been asking when we will all get together again for another National Summit. The last one was August 2004.

Well they announced that the 2nd National Summit for Community Wireless Networks will be March 31-April 2. Not much time and TWifi doesn't have the resources. So I'm asking YOU, the loyal followers of my blog to help out.

The goal is to raise $500 to send me to the Summit this year. I was the ONLY one from northeast Ohio at the last one (where was BillC again?)and I brought back a ton of information, both organizationally and technologically. I made a ton of contacts and maintained those relationships for the past 2 years and they are interested in what is going on in Cleveland. It is important that we are represented again!

So I am putting a Paypal donation button at the top of the side bar and created a Dropcash page so we can all see how we are doing.

Please help. Any funds not used for the trip will be placed into the TWifi coffers for equipment. (We have all of about $64 at the moment.)

Contact me if you want to put a button on your site or wish to have your company be a corporate sponsor. My info is on the sidebar.

The contribution is tax deductible thru Tremont West Development Corp tax ID.

Community Wifi Legislation

02/18/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Finally, some government work on community wifi that isn't targeted to squelch grassroot efforts to bring universal connectivity and cater to the greedy corporate providers.

From Sasha Meinrath:

Two bills were introduced on Friday that would radically improve unlicensed wireless access. Both bills would greatly improve the general public’s access to the public airwaves. The first bill, The Wireless Innovation Act of 2006, is a major bi-partisan effort to line up Senators to support Community Wireless. The second, The American Broadband for Communities Act, is lead by Republican Senator Stevens and does much the same.

Click thru to Sascha's post to get links to the bills and CWN movements official responses.

Kudos to Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. He has been a great supporter of the Community Wireless movement, probably because his massive and remote state faces many of the challenges we see in rural areas and underprividged neighborhoods , like Tremont.

Write him and let him know of your support as well as to our own yahoos George V.and Mike D. (See, republicans can do good for the nation.)

Wifi and The Big Picture

02/16/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Yes I'm back and trying to reintegrate with the "real" world. In my quick scan of the blogsphere, I came across this fantastic post on Greater Democracy.

Who is the intended beneficiary of an un-metered wireless communications commons? The people or the corporations? The answer is that robust development benefits both, just as public education, public highways and public safety do.

It has many specifics points including describing an infrastructure much like what I'm trying to create with TWifi, and have been presenting to other Cleveland neighborhoods to start implementing via grassroots.

The cost of connecting all of the aggregated demand from many end users to the main internet, back haul, has to be kept as low as possible. Local loops in communities to keep traffic local, combined with Exchange Points, combined with the economies of scale that reduce the cost per Mbps achieved by connecting to the NLR, combined with municipal buying co-ops, can significantly reduce these “back haul” costs.

Note that our own Valdis Krebs is the first (and only as of this post)commenter.

You may have already noticed....

02/03/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

...but blogging will be sparce as I am in Ann Arbor, not for the Superbowl (Pitts-who?), but for a ten day Vajrayana retreat with Jewel Heart.

I want to remind you all to go to the Lit next Thursday Feb 9 for Poetry night. Featured poet is Alex Malina, a young and very talented poet, and Eric Alleman, a humorous wordsmith and performer.

Wish I could be there, but YOU actually CAN. So Go!

Unappreciative Buddhism?

02/01/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

From Sujatin:

We must work with our fears, frustrations, disappointments,
and irritations, the painful aspects of life. People complain
that Buddhism is an extremely gloomy religion because it
emphasizes suffering and misery. Usually religions speak of
beauty, song, ecstasy, bliss. But according to Buddha, we
must begin by seeing the experience of life as it is. We must
see the truth of suffering, the reality of dissatisfaction. We
cannot ignore it and attempt to examine only the glorious,
pleasurable aspects of life....So all sects and schools of
Buddhism agree that we must begin by facing the reality of
our living situations. We cannot begin by dreaming.

~ Chogyam Trungpa, The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation

I'd be interested in Jack, Tim, or anyone else's take on this.

Fixing the City

01/31/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

I was pleasantly surprised to see cafe and discussion buddy Frank Mills at an I-OPEN Midtown Wednesday and then again at the Tremont West Development Corp Annual Meeting. He has been studying and pondering our NEO predicament and sent me this announcement for a great chance to make a difference. Unfortunately, I will be in Michigan, but that doesn't mean you can go.

We had hoped to have our kick-off meeting today, but obviously that isn’t going to happen. My fault, I lost track of the time. Nevertheless, the project is still a go.

The first meeting will be next Tuesday, February 7 @ 5:30. We will announce the location via email by Thursday, February 2.

Urban Repair Project continues “Vision Downtown” in a region-wide forum. Urban Repair Project is envisioned as unfolding along three congruent lines:

  1. Idea Networking: Each monthly URP Tuesday begins with a networking happy hour at a local venue with the purpose of sharing ideas, and hopefully create traction among those present, to get the idea up and running. Developers, “Angels,”
    politicians, ideators, innovators, and entrepreneurs are all invited. The plan: Throw
    everyone in an open-conversation mix and see what brews.
  2. Urban Neighborhood Visioning: How would you regenerate the region’s urban neighborhoods? Have an idea for a neighborhood? As a group we will select a neighborhood and see what sort of vision and design will flow from our collective creativity as we interact and listen to neighborhood residents.
  3. Urban Repair Project: The reason for our existence! In our region talk is plentiful, action lacking. To remedy the situation, we as a group will select hands-on neighborhood projects that can be reasonably accomplished through our efforts and
    take them on. The model for URP is Portland, Oregon’s “City Repair Project”.

We invite you to be involved where you as, as you can. Feel free to invite everyone to join with us. Lastly, Urban Repair has a blog at

Be sure to get on his email list so that you can find out where the meeting is. Damn, I wish I could be there!

Where Are the Friends

01/29/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

I got a little haranged about not being involved enough with Meet The Bloggers this week, and I have been thinking about how little I see the old buds these days. I find myself reminiscing about hanging out at coffee shops, talking about topical issues, and figuring out how best to improve our community.

I found this quote in this little book called Coffee Talk by Ellyn Sanna, from one of my favorite authors C.S. Lewis.

True friends don't spend time gazing into each other's eyes. They may show great tenderness toward each other, but they face in the same direction--- toward common projects, interests, goals...
--CS Lewis

It gave me some perspective. I don't see the boys that much cause they are working on the stuff we talked about, but I DO see their results.


01/27/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Yesterday, I got it from several sides that it was difficult to find my email or to get in touch with me online. This from fellow Tremonters where a good shout out the window would probably do the trick. And to one of the early adoptors of Skype and Plazes in northeast Ohio. Now I have somewhere in the vicinity of 8 or 9 email addresses, so I wonder how anybody that knows me CAN'T find an email for me.

So I added a contact section to the sidebar. Email, skype, various IM (though I haven't been launching Trillian lately), and Plazes locale are all there. So quitcherbitchin and connect up!


01/26/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Last night after the I-OPEN Midtown Wednesday forum at Meyers University, we had a mini blogger meetup at Town Fryer. There, Daniella in her imitable Kerouacian French-Canadien way, blurted out what was on her mind. She said to me, "You're alot smarter than you look!"

If you click to look at this photo of me (, you'll realize that that isn't very hard.

Give Whatever You Can

01/24/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Buddhist thought defines generosity as giving to relieve suffering with a good heart and without any regret. The various levels of giving are; fulfulling the material needs of others- lowest, providing protection from fear- middle, and giving of Dharma by example or teaching- the highest.

So money or material is low on the list, and this actually opens up space to be creative. Case in point: Erin Kray, young gallery owner and artist who has the Inside-Outside Gallery in Tremont. She doesn't have much to give $$$$ wise, barely keeping the gallery open. However, she advertised in the Homeless Grapevine calling for art from the homeless for a show.

Sure it cost something for the ad, but the HGV directly benefits the homeless both in guidance, training, and dignity. The valuable gift, though, is giving a venue for the usually surpressed expression of the overlooked underpriviledged. This should make for an excellent show that will help in getting the message out to the public and help the homeless find beautiful expression of their experiences.

Hey RA-RA-RAH Washington, this is a great opportunity for a poetry nite by the homeless as well. (It's is one of the reasons I buy a Homeless Grapevine, to read this street poetry in its rawest form.)

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