08.14.13 Your Morning Buzz

The 18 Worst Things For Left-Handed People

Ink all over the side of your hand.

High 5

Hackers Called Into Civic Duty – Chicago, Other Cities Work With Programmers to Leverage Data Troves for Public Purpose

NW Urban: Will the Eastside get a Pearl District? With its new Spring District, Bellevue looks to create an authentic urban neighborhood from scratch in the Bel-Red corridor.

Stopped and tsked – THE New York Police Department got an earful from Shira Scheindlin, a federal judge, on the morning of August 12th. In the case of Floyd v City of New York, America’s largest police force was chastised for its “stop and frisk” policy whereby, over the past nine years, 4.4m people were spontaneously stopped and searched on the suspicion “that criminal activity ‘may be afoot’”.

Officers Are Wistful as Crown Vic, Long a Fleet Staple, Nears Retirement – The Ford Crown Victoria, the greatest muscle car used by law enforcement, is racing toward retirement, with Trooper Randy Elkins assigned to drive the last one purchased by the Washington State Patrol.

(Still) Searching for the sustainable city formula – I’m obsessed with trying to find just the right set of goals to define urban sustainability.  Professionally, the world of smart growth has been my professional base for two decades – since before we even called it smart growth – and, for a long time, the classic “ten principles” of smart growth framed by an EPA-led consortium seemed a great answer.  But that list, which stressed many important values such as walkability, housing opportunities, mixed uses, preserved natural areas, and transportation choices, grew stale in its implementation.


These desks.

Sen. Murray: Let’s get moving on infrastructure – U.S. Sen. Patty Murray signaled support Tuesday for the latest push to revive the Columbia River Crossing, saying the effort to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge should remain a priority.

B.G. weighs next step as Walters prepares to depart – Battle Ground Mayor Lisa Walters’ announcement Monday that she planned to resign from city council came as a surprise to colleagues, who are now tasked with figuring out what happens next to fill positions.

North Carolinians Fear the End of a Middle Way – With Republicans controlling all branches of the state government for the first time in more than a century, the legislature pushed through a range of conservative change.

GOP uses Virginia governor’s race as test ground for Hillary Clinton attacks – The GOP feels it has the perfect stand-in for Clinton this year in Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton confidante running to become governor of Virginia.

Republicans may push for PERS inaction – State Republican leaders think their party could take back the House of Representatives in 2014, especially if the Oregon Legislature doesn’t pass further cuts to the Public Employees Retirement System.

Fund Balance

Spiral notebooks.

Detroit bankruptcy consultant fees draw outrage from unions – City Hall’s estimated $1.4 million-a-month restructuring tab includes a consulting company billing $275 an hour for a 22-year-old financial analyst who graduated from college last year, according to records obtained by The Detroit News.

Oregon public, private employers contrast in jobs recovery – Call it the tale of two sectors. Private employers hired on thousands more than expected, while public agencies cut well beyond their seasonal norm.

Why Detroit and Its Neighbors Need Each Other – Regime change is coming to Detroit. The next mayor will have an opportunity to heal the long dysfunctional marriage between the city and its suburbs.


Cord on the credit card machine pen is never long enough.

Oregon-led Columbia River Crossing ups risks for state taxpayers, still includes light rail – An Oregon-only plan to snatch the Columbia River Crossing from the jaws of defeat will boost risks for state taxpayers, on the hook for any cost overruns or funding shortfalls. And opponents won’t like it any more than the first proposal.

Rise Records defends taxes it saved moving from Portland to Beaverton – Local alternative rock record label Rise Records recently moved its office from downtown Portland to Beaverton. As stated in Monday’s article, Craig Ericson, the company’s owner, founder and president, said the move would save the label hundreds of thousands of dollars in city and county business taxes each year.

Nick Fish to Charlie Hales: “Are We Still Committed to Solving Homelessness? Or Just to Displacing It?” Portland’s former housing commissioner, Nick Fish, has largely stayed silent over the past several months as turf he so fiercely protected was taken away by Mayor Charlie Hales and carved up in curious ways in the wake of the city’s budget process.

Panel has three options for allocating C-Tran power – The committee weighing a possible shake-up of the C-Tran Board of Directors has narrowed its options to three proposals — two of which would shift more power to the county’s smaller cities.

Beaverton affordable-housing tax exemption passes 5-0 – Five taxing jurisdictions that overlap with Beaverton — Washington County, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Portland Community College, Metro and the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District — have all voted in support of the exemption, which is enough to allow the exemption to take effect. Beaverton School District is scheduled to vote on a resolution Aug. 26, according to a staff report.

Audit, city needs to focus parks maintenance spending – A new audit of city parks maintenance says that Portland Parks & Recreation doesn’t have an adequate understanding of whether its maintenance practices are efficient and effective.

Main Street OC names interim director – Downtown revitalization program Main Street Oregon City hired John Southgate as interim director to lead the nonprofit during its search for a full-time director to replace founding director Lloyd Purdy.



Willamina City Recorder offers to resign over audit issue – Council backs Hollis, tells her to “keep plugging away”

NW Urban: Changing cities on the Sound – The transformation of three Puget Sound cities heralds a bold new era in urban living.

Creswell votes to add deputy to patrol after recent crimes – The city is also considering other options to expand law enforcement presence in the area

Eugene erects drug warning signs – Pot smokers downtown could face tougher penalties because of nearby school

Gearhart leaders welcome new blog as way to stay in touch with residents – Finding out what is going on in the city of Gearhart got a little easier with a new blog being managed by city administrators.

Warrenton leaders OK Walmart site revisions; Hellberg blasts opponents – Commissioner says process ‘has gone on too long’

Think your mobile phone bill’s too high? Don’t blame Oregon’s lowest-in-the-nation tax – Lawmakers tried to change the way the state taxes cell phones this year to recoup some of the prepaid customers they’re missing, but a disagreement over who should pay the tax — retailers who sell prepaid phones or wireless carriers — derailed the bill.

Other 48 States

Writing in a three-ring binder.

3 Cities That Used Disaster to Revitalize Their Future – Hit by tornadoes and earthquakes, Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Greensburg, Kan.; and San Francisco all learned how to turn local tragedy into a new and vibrant vision. Their lessons are a playbook for local officials dealing with disasters.

Denver Blocks New Marijuana Businesses Until 2016 – Only existing medical-marijuana dispensaries will be able to open recreational pot shops in Denver until 2016, under a plan that received initial approval by the Denver City Council on Monday.

California’s Bullet Train Builders to Elon Musk and His Hyperloop: Best of Luck! “L.A. to S.F. in 30 minutes?” the front page of the Los Angeles Times asked this morning, reporting on the promise of Hyperloop, the conceptual superfast, solar-powered, tubular transit system that Elon Musk unveiled yesterday.


Career Counselor

Ballpoint pens don't work as well because you're pushing, not pulling the ball.

How Race and Inequality Influence the Size of Urban Police Forces – Findings from the police staffing levels of 64 U.S. cities.

‘Jobs’ Film Director Reveals Steve’s Early Struggle To Communicate Simply – Steve Jobs, known for his charismatic public speaking ability and his slick keynote presentations, wasn’t always the polished communicator most people associate with the visionary Apple co-founder. I’ve often said that Jobs grew into his role as communicator-in-chief and refined his messages and his style over time.

A Close Look at What CEOs Really Think About Employee Engagement – The study found CEOs had a pretty good idea of what employee engagement is and what it could do for their organizations. They view engagement as a strategic narrative (and ongoing dialogue) within their organizations that creates emotional connections and purpose for employees. Their view of the end result is a culture where people choose to give the very best of themselves at work.

Secrets of Effective Office Humor – Making colleagues laugh takes timing, self-confidence—and the ability to rebound from a blooper.


Social Network

Driver's cup holder is for the right hand.

ELGL Social Network: FacebookGoogle+LinkedInPinterest, and Twitter

This Means War! How to Choose Between Vine and Instagram Video – If not, here’s the quick and dirty: Vine, a video service owned by Twitter, boasts 13 million users and launched in late January 2013. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook and boasts 130 million users, unveiled an exciting update to its photo sharing app earlier this summer… you guessed it—video!

The App That Turns Tourists Into Locals – Urban Buddy helps travelers draw wisdom from veteran city residents in real-time.

More Than 40% of Americans Use Facebook Every Day – Facebook unveiled new U.S. user metrics on Tuesday, announcing that more than 128 million users log into the web version of the site every day. That’s more than 40% of all Americans.

The women of Wikipedia: Closing the site’s giant gender gap – Twelve years later, one critical worldview is still missing from the site. Despite accounting for half the world’s population, women comprise just 9 percent of all Wikipedia editors.

How To Successfully Ruin Al-Qaeda’s Day On Twitter – J.M. Berger, an analyst and consultant on al-Qaeda and extremist groups as well as the author of the book Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam successfully launched an effort to troll jihadists who were using a hashtag to solicit media tips on Twitter.

For which someone invented THESE