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Websites virtually protest for Net Neutrality

People visiting many of the Internet’s most popular sites Wednesday encountered a symbolic slowdown aimed at blocking a government effort to create “fast lanes” and “slow lanes” for websites. The protest was aimed at encouraging people to take a stand on Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality generally means that web content is not prioritized. You as a user can go where you want on the Internet without the interference of your broadband provider.

The FCC is currently considering how to enact new rules to change Net Neutrality.

If you went to websites like Reddit, Netflix, Kickstarter, Foursquare or Vimeo, Wednesday, you may have seen an image that some call ‘the spinning wheel of death’. That little animation that tells you your content is loading.

Timothy Karr is the senior director of Free Press.

He said this week’s protest may have been symbolic – but it reflects serious public concerns about the need to keep a free and open Internet. “An organization called the Sunlight Foundation looked at public comments to the FCC – and there’ve been more than a million already,” he said. “They found that 99 percent of those comments were in support of net neutrality. So, this is an issue where the public is strongly unified.”

September 15 is the last day the FCC plans to take comments on Net Neutrality.

FCC Net Neutrality Comment page:

The 10th Anniversary of the Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference Has Begun

The annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference began in Grand Rapids on September 9th and will continue through the 11th. The DeVos Place Convention Center is abuzz with environmentalists from across the state to participate in panels, workshops, and presentations that will be hosted by over 300 Great Lakes advocates.

Todd Ambs is the director of Healing Our Waters, one of the Great Lakes advocacy groups in attendance. He says that the event is important to show what the government is capable of.

“What I like to say about this Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is in an age where we justifiably are often concerned about what the government will do to us, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is really a shining example of what the government can do with, and for us.”

Ambs went on to say that the problems the conference is currently facing, are ones everyone can agree on.

“There’s a federal program called the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which we did a lot to get in place, which has broad bipartisan support in Congress. One of the few things left in Congress that has broad bipartisan support. And thats brought 1.6 billion dollars back to the Great Lakes and its already producing tremendous results for us. But again, because of those successes we know we have the wherewithal to move forward and work on those remaining challenges.”

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the conference.

SVSU announces fall speaker series

Saginaw Valley State University will be hosting a series of lectures this fall that aim to bring global issues to a local level.

The seven lecture series will feature topics like water shortages, urban renewal, education and immigration.

Carlos Ramet is the Executive Director to the President at SVSU, “Ideally people who attend all seven lectures will have the same kind of growth that someone would have from taking a class,” he said. “I think the cumulative effect of the seven lectures is that we go away learning a great deal about global challenges that can be brought down to the local level.”

SVSU lecture schedule: