08.09.13 Your Morning Buzz

This Is The New Walmart Ballpit Meme

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High 5

  1. Why Cities Give Republicans the Brush-Off – Republicans tend to see big cities as corrupt and incompetent and, judging by recent election results, the feeling seems to be mutual.  Groaning as they are under the weight of one-party (mis)rule, there’s no doubt that cities could benefit from new ideas and competitive elections. But the Republican Party’s deep-seated indifference towards quality of life issues and improving government is destined to make the GOP even less relevant to urban voters in the future

  2. Should Reckless People Pay to Get Rescued? At least three states already allow and more are considering allowing localities to charge citizens for what can be dangerous and expensive rescues that occur when recklessness (like kayaking during a declared flood emergency) is 

  3. This city’s plan to expropriate mortgages aims to make Wall St pay for the housing bubble – Enter the small city of Richmond, California, which is spearheading a plan (paywall) to expropriate mortgages from the banks and trusts that hold them, so they cannot force any more foreclosures. Although it could expand the scope of this already controversial public policy, known as “eminent domain,” some think expropriating mortgages may be the best way to make the US financial-services industry accountable for causing a housing bubble and financial crisis.

  4. Let’s All Stop Obsessing About the ‘Next Great Thing’ in Urban Transport  – Instead of coveting some trendy system, let’s spend a little more time fixing the ones we’ve got.

  5. In China, a New City Attracts Few – China plans to move tens of millions to cities in a drive to boost domestic incomes and consumption, but some new cities are luring few employers or residents.

The Electeds

HOW SOUTH BEND, INDIANA SAVED $100 MILLION BY TRACKING ITS SEWERS -BACK WHEN THE BIG THREE WAS THE BIG FOUR, SOUTH BEND, INDIANA, WAS A THRIVING INDUSTRIAL CITY. UNTIL IT WASN’T. NOT WANTING TO GO THE WAY OF DETROIT, CITIZENS TURNED TO PETER BUTTIGIEG, A 31-YEAR-OLD MCKINSEYIAN, TO SHAKE THINGS UP. IS THERE REALLY ANY SURPRISE THAT HE’S ROCKING IT

Spitzer and Weiner Find a More Forgiving Crowd – Black voters are far more likely than white voters to view Eliot Spitzer and Anthony D. Weiner favorably, according to surveys.

Departure of GOP operatives could imperil debt-limit talks – With top Republican aides leaving government, their party loses key negotiators as deadlines approach.

Cut Emissions? Congress Itself Keeps Burning a Dirtier Fuel – The Capitol Power Plant, the largest single source of carbon emissions in Washington, offers a concrete example of the government’s inability to green its own turf.

Struggling to Match Booker’s Star Power – In New Jersey’s election for the Senate, candidates have complained of being overshadowed by the Newark mayor.

Fund Balance

From boom to bust: Detroit 150 years after Henry Ford’s birth – Henry Ford would have turned 150 years old this past week. He lies in a manicured plot on Detroit’s west side under an iron gate as the city he built crumbles around him.

Woes of Detroit Hurt Borrowing by Its Neighbors – Two weeks after Detroit declared bankruptcy, cities, counties and other local governments in Michigan are getting a cold shoulder in the municipal bond market.

Feds give millions in contracts to firms owned by fictitious people – A Maryland woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges related to setting up at least 15 false businesses in six states that received government contracts despite often being registered to people who did not exist.

Russia’s Unusual Stimulus Plan: Open the Gulag Gates – With tens of thousands of business owners in the gulag system, and with a depressed economy, President Vladimir V. Putin has an unusual plan to turn things around.

 Portlandia

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Is Portland the next Detroit? “That’s a cause for concern,” said David Draine, a senior researcher for the Pew Charitable Trusts. He said Portland “capped the well but now they need to clean up the mess” of the police-fire-disability-retirement pension system.

iTree Calculates the Economic Worth of Urban Canopies Down to the Dollar – With so many states and localities pruning money from parks and tree-planting programs to balance budgets, the free application from the U.S. Forest Service helps public officials put a monetary value on the benefits of growing them.

Bikini baristas, tablet technology to come before Forest Grove City Council – The Forest Grove City Council will tackle a packed agenda Monday evening, likely with an equally packed auditorium as community members voice their opinions on the new Dream Girl Espresso stand.

City of Hillsboro opens national search for new top cop – A job posting for chief, which pays between about $102,000 and $138,000, has been listed on the city’s website with an application deadline of Sept. 20. The posting also includes a video, featuring members of the police department and a mock suspect who compliments the agency.

Clackamas County gives Gladstone until January 2014 to build library or will figure out new plan – Six years ago, Clackamas County voters approved a new library district that shifted responsibility for library services from the county to cities. Taxes collected are distributed to cities that operate libraries. Some cities agreed to expand library operations to absorb unincorporated county residents.

Steve Novick Asks Oregonianto Restore Seven Day Home Delivery – Also asks for them to rehire three writers

 

Cascadia Zone

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Bertha tunneling in Seattle bolsters property surge – Seattle’s commercial-property market, one of the hottest in the U.S., is getting a boost from a 7,000- ton tunnel-boring machine nicknamed Bertha.

King County health officials map strategy to reach uninsured – Maps that show where the uninsured live will help target those areas for outreach to boost insurance coverage as required by the federal Affordable Care Act.

City Manager Criticized For Budget Problems – Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz won some high marks during his annual performance evaluation, but councilors also complained about the budget process that created a nearly $6 million deficit and poor relations with the public employee union.

 

The Other 48 States

Triangle counties, Raleigh all have top administrator jobs to fill – Lee Worsley, deputy Durham county manager and president of the City & County Management Association, said the local managers’ current salaries range from about $160,000 to about $240,000 a year, typical for large metropolitan areas around the country, but far less than managers of large corporations with similar numbers of employees might earn.

In Paducah, Artists Create Something From Nothing – Paducah, already home to the National Quilt Museum, is far west on the edge of Kentucky, on the Ohio River. Lowertown, so-named for being downriver from downtown Paducah, was once quite elegant — 25 square blocks. But in time it became a difficult place to admire.

Firefighter’s Widow Fights City for Benefits – The widow of one of the 19 firefighters who succumbed in the Arizona wildfire in June says her husband expected to start getting health insurance and other benefits on the day they all died. She is fighting the city of Prescott to claim them.

Sunnyvale city manager to retire in October – Sunnyvale City Manager Gary Luebbers announced in a news release Wednesday that he is retiring in October, after nearly five years with the city.

Santa Ana hires Phoenix’s city manager for $500,000 – The city of Santa Ana has hired away Phoenix’s city manager and has agreed to a salary and benefits package of more than $500,000, making him one of the highest paid city employees in California.

Didn’t Pay Your New York Taxes? Then You Can’t Drive on New York Roads  – A brilliant plan to hit scofflaws where it really hurts.

 Career Center

 

ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE OFFICE: 10 STORYTELLING TIPS TO HELP YOU BE MORE PERSUASIVE – Funny story, but you get the point. The point is a message was delivered using a story, not a statistic or an analyst quote.

Hip, Urban, Middle-Aged – Baby boomers are moving into trendy urban neighborhoods, but young residents aren’t always thrilled.

 World Wide Web

ELGL: FacebookGoogle+LinkedInPinterest, and Twitter

How $850 million got AOL a failed social network and a lot of obscene art – The new owners of Bebo—the fallen social network that sold to AOL for $850 million in 2008—are planning the site’s comeback. Apparently, they hope to leave the community’s penchant for penis drawings in the past.

HOW YOUR IPHONE WEAKENS YOUR WILL – WANT TO BE ASSERTIVE IN YOUR NEXT MEETING? THEN PUT DOWN YOUR DEVICE, STEP AWAY FROM THE TOUCH SCREEN, AND FIX THAT POSTURE, SAYS HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL RESEARCH.

Instagram is the consumer engagement king, a report finds – The “Intelligence Report: Social Platforms” found that the visual component of Instagram has helped the platform grow to 100 million users while the average luxury brand has 100,000 followers. Other visual platforms such as Vine, Pinterest, and YouTube have grown significantly and continue to be platforms where brands can deeply engage consumers.

‘Like’ This Article Online? Your Friends Will Probably Approve, Too, Scientists Say – A positive nudge can set off a bandwagon of approval, researchers found, but negative reaction does not spur others to “dislike.”