Some cities cut energy expenses; others bare the brunt of rising electricity costs.
Loma Linda does both.
Through a 250-kilowatt, 1,600-panel solar panel system on top of Loma Linda's city hall, library, senior center and parking ports, the city is making $6,000 a month by selling electricity back to Southern California Edison.
"It offsets our cost," said Konrad Bolowich, information systems director for the city. "We use electricity, put some back on the grid, and Edison figures out what the break-back is."
Even more solar panels will face the sun on top of Loma Linda's library in the coming months. The building just went through a major expansion.
That means more roof space - lots more.
"If it's flat and will carry the weight of a solar panel, we'll put it on," Bolowich said.
The solar panel project was one of the largest in the country when it was installed in 2007. In environment-speak, it amounts to the equivalent of powering 70 homes and taking 3,300 cars off the road.
It's only the beginning.
"We're working with builders in the city and encouraging them to put solar panels on commercial buildings," Bolowich said. "We've tested the idea out so they can do the rest." [snip] Today about half the population are Adventist.
Loma Linda's post office on Anderson Street reflects this. Because of Adventist beliefs, it's one of only a few post offices in the United States that's not open Saturdays. Its postal workers work Sundays to make up for it.
Even more interesting: Loma Linda has never had a council member that wasn't part of the Adventist church. [snip] On the VA hospital: The Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center not only celebrated its 30th birthday in 2007, it saw more than 57,000 patients from San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Leaders of the 1977-founded institution - named after a local congressman - spent the past few years expanding mental health services at its five satellite branches in Upland, Corona, Sun City, Victorville and Palm Desert.
"We've had 3,985 new combat veterans coming from recent conflict; 1,184 of them have combat injuries," said Annie Tuttle, spokeswoman for the medical center. [snip] Loma Linda wouldn't be on the national radar if it wasn't for Loma Linda University Medical Center, a renowned hospital on the cutting-edge of technology.
The university has administered more than 350,000 cancer treatments while venturing into proton therapy for brain, lung and prostate cancers. In fact, the first hospital-based proton treatment center in the United States was built here in 1990. Proton therapy is only available at four other major academic centers across the country. [snip] Through the city's Connected Community Program, and because of a city ordinance, every new building and home must be connected to fiber-optic cable for high-speed Internet access.
Loma Linda instituted this in 2003.
"We're switching to a 100-megabyte hardware, which is one of the fastest in North America," said Konrad Bolowich, information systems director for the city. "We were recognized in 2007 as one of the top-10 connected cities in the world by Last Mile magazine under their Smart Community Awards program."
Add that to a 2006 article in Network World magazine about the city's 10G optical core Internet grid and you realize Loma Linda is making a name for itself in the roundtable discussions of municipal technology.
"We require connections in every habitable space, which is every room except the bathroom in the house, and every work space in a commercial development," Bolowich added. "Health care requires massive amounts of data. Residents here in town are a fairly-affluent educated group within health care. We literally have radiologists reading x-rays and MRIs in their homes."
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/595