10.05.13 Your Morning Buzz

THANK YOU to #ELGL13 Planning Committee!

ELGL Notes

ELGL Membership: Join ELGL

RSVP: The Employment Lowdown with Jessica Williams, Editor of Mac’s List. Note: Limited space remains.

Webinars (Members Only): Midwest ELGL Tripleheader: Bruce Katz, John Nalbandian, and Bridget Doyle (Former Chicago Tribune Reporter)

Operation Government Shutdown

Shutdown’s Pinch Leaves Governors With Tough Calls – Governors across the United States are contemplating the use of state funds to keep closed parks and programs operating until the deadlock in Washington is broken.

In Rural Iowa, Spending, Not the Shutdown, Raises Worry – While Representative Steve King’s constituents are beginning to question his tactics and his focus on the health law, they support his core commitment to cutting the size of government.

Gulf Coast Storm Pulls Federal Workers Off Furlough – Tropical Storm Karen, though weakening on Friday, was still powerful enough to prompt evacuations and warnings of storm surges and heavy rainfall along the Gulf Coast.

Markets Shrug at Shutdown – Despite a week of budget wrangling, Wall Street investors shrugged off the government shutdown, presuming that lawmakers will find a solution before the U.S. loses its borrowing ability.

Shutdown will put many home loans on hold – Lenders will be unable or unwilling to offer mortgages because the IRS, Social Security and other agencies do not have workers to verify income and other data.

How shutdown is resolved may set political precedent – There is no end in sight to the stalemate as the parties dig in, with an eye to the strategic implications for the future.

Crisis revives #shutdownpickuplines – “Where have you been sequestered all of my life?” and other ways to woo federal government workers.

Weather Service office begs ‘please pay us’ in secret message – In a public forecast discussion, the Anchorage National Weather Service office encoded this secret message: “Please pay us.“

High 5

Flawed Thinking About Auditors, the Truth Behind Conferences, and the Value of Field Trips – All the public-sector management news you need to know.

Shutdown Din Obscures Flaws in Health Exchanges – Members of both parties say the federal shutdown has given the Obama administration time to work out the kinks in the insurance exchanges under its health care law.

What Makes London’s Underground Logo So Special? Few public transit logos are as instantly recognizable as the bar and disc used by Transport for London.

Proof the Voting Rights Act Has Helped Boost Black Political Representation – When the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in June, it eliminated a long-standing distinction that certain states and communities – due to their deep histories of discrimination – warranted extra scrutiny under the law. Those places, identified in Section 4, were required to “pre-clear” any changes to voting laws or procedures with the federal government (a requirement outlined in Section 5). Now that is no longer the case.

40 Percent of Americans Say Their Neighborhoods Are Unwalkable – Seventy-nine percent of Americans believe they should walk more, but forty percent say they do not do so because their neighborhoods do not have nearby services, shops, schools and work, according to a national survey released this week.

Celebrity Love Letters to Their Favorite Parks – City parks are a balm. They are places for reflection, respite, and rest; they are accessible to all. They are places for us urban folk to be alone, together. In the new book City Parks: Public Places, Private Thoughts, Catie Marron collects intimate essays on 21 great parks in cities around the world, all accompanied by generous, gorgeous portraits of those parks by the photographer Oberto Gili.

A Cartoonist’s Vision of a Car-Free Future – St. Paul-based cartoonist Andy Singer has never owned a car, even though he’s lived, over the last 47 years, in places as diverse as New York City, Ithaca, Oakland, Boston, and now the Twin Cities. He’s clearly a minority among Americans, but he’s made a career out of using art to convince others to rethink their romance with the automobile.

50 Nifty

What We Can Learn from New Hampshire Politics – The Granite State has a unique governmental structure that ultimately gives residents more power than state representatives.

Are Retiree Health Care Benefits Empty Promises? Retiree health benefits, commonly treated by governments as malleable when times are tough, may be harder to slash if a recent California court ruling holds.

Can a Ridiculously Simple Sign Prevent Car Accidents? Arlington County, Va., police went back to the basics and to everyone’s surprise, a sign that says “Don’t Hit the Car in Front of You” seems to be reducing accidents.

3 States Must Help Fund Amtrak or Lose Service – California, Illinois and Indiana are quickly approaching a federal deadline that will require them to help fund Amtrak operations or lose service in their states.

Former city manager pleads no contest to Bell corruption – A disgraced former city manager accused of masterminding a brazen municipal corruption scandal pleaded no contest Thursday to 69 counts of fraud, misappropriation of public funds and other charges.


Next on Oregon agenda: Columbia River bridge – Oregon lawmakers have barely gotten home from Salem after a legislative session on pensions and taxes, but they may be returning soon.

Boehner Urges G.O.P. Solidarity in ‘Epic Battle’ – Speaker John A. Boehner offered no clue on Friday as to how he expected Congress to get out of its dead end, with the government shut for a fourth day.

Obama Absence Gives China Opening – U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to skip a series of Asia and Pacific summits could give China an edge in the tussle for influence in the fastest-growing corner of the global economy.

Rise of the New Confederacy – The goal? Bring down the federal government.

State Treasurers Caught in Politics’ Crosshairs – As finances grow tighter and pension liabilities stay in the spotlight, treasurers in several states have been clashing with their peers about how best to manage the money.

Hillary will start thinking about 2016 next year – “I want to think seriously about it; I probably won’t begin thinking about it until sometime next year,” Clinton told Newsday.

Social Network

ELGLFacebookGoogle+LinkedInPinterest, and Twitter

Ads coming to Instagram could boost Facebook’s fortunes – Decision by photo-sharing site with more than 150 million users creates an important source of revenue.

Twitter’s Challenge: Selling Ads in 140 Characters – In documents filed on Thursday, Twitter noted that it has been greatly expanding its inventory of advertising slots.

 Career Center

Are millenials a drag on the Portland economy? They say no – An Oregon business exec’s perspective on millennials has touched a nerve with area tech and development leaders and sparked a flurry of online tweets and comments.

America’s Most Productive Metros – I’ve written repeatedly about how spiky America’s economic geography is. In the years since the economic crisis, this has only become more true, as powerhouse metros like San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C., continue to grow in importance. In 2012, the top ten largest metropolitan economies produced more than a third of the country’s total economic output.


Cornelius political action committee advocates for new library project (Q&A) – Yes for Cornelius Library, a political action committee that formed this summer, recently began ramping up efforts to garner support for a project that could bring a new library to the city.

Burnside Bridgehead sites, long publicly owned, all headed for redevelopment – After a decade in the hands of the Portland Development Commission, the four blocks that make up the Burnside Bridgehead all appear to be headed for redevelopment.

Mystery Man Revealed – A legendary and controversial timber executive is funding the attack on the Portland Water Bureau.

No Thaw In Jail’s Chill – The Multnomah County’s Sheriff new policy to hold fewer undocumented immigrants is having little effect.

City of Bridges – The Willamette divides us. Look closer at the spans that connect us.

Can Portland government be innovative? Mayor Charlie Hales has $1 million banking on it: Portland City Hall Roundup – Government should operate more like a business, the saying goes.


Neighbors want to buy speed camera for city – South Eugene residents offer to pitch in $40,000 to help nab lead-footed motorists near Edison Elementary

Battle Ground councilors didn’t violate public meetings act, city manager says – Battle Ground City Manager John Williams said an internal investigation did not reveal any evidence that any members of the city council violated the Open Public Meetings Act.

City managers present annual assessment of hurdles, achievements – After the hard years that followed the official end of the Great Recession, “great things” are happening in Longview, and Kelso finally has “pulled out of the depths,” city managers said Thursday.

Midwest ELGL – Twitter Feed

IDOT to Sioux City: Show us proof traffic cameras work – City officials would have to justify using traffic safety cameras to the state under a proposal the Iowa Department of Transportation introduced Wednesday.

The Challenge of Finding Actual People to Photograph in Car-Dependent Omaha – Rob Walters first moved to Omaha with his parents in the summer of 1985. Though he moved away after high school, he stayed close to his childhood friends and returned for good in 2004.

“Pilot Projects”: Ready for the scrap heap of now meaningless buzzspeak? Throughout my professional career, whenever a new or innovative approach is taken on a development project, its title automatically defaults to that of ‘Pilot Project.’