Ah, ok. I didn't know you were the person in charge. (side note - might it be a good idea if people with specific titles/jobs could get a little tag by their name?). So, yes and yes. Wouldn't have even brought up the points if I'd known that.
As to the third point, I understand that it's a good idea to try and make sure the storms aren't limited to a bunch of people who live in the host city being able to register because their travel cost is zero. That would be unfair, as would having a bunch of hometown heroes ready to steal the stage. Makes sense.
I'm not sure about the idea that there is a regional sound, though. It's entirely possible that this is because I'm in an area where slams are no closer to each other than about 3 hours, but it seems like while cities within a region may have sounds, the region itself tends to be diversified by the process of people who want to be a part of a particular sound moving to the city with that sound, and people in that city with a different idea of what the sound should be moving to nearby cities and creating variety. I again freely admit that this may just be a symptom of the scene I'm most familiar with being pretty sparse, and welcome hearing that other regions work otherwise.