12.09.13 Your Morning Buzz

The Office Holiday Party

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2014 Membership Drive – Join by December 31

$25 individuals, $225 organizations (includes 10 memberships), and $0.00 students

Transaction Wire

 High 5

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5 Of The Most Impactful Public Service Campaigns In The World – These ads from around the world aren’t selling anything. They’re just promoting messages for good.

The Growth Of Cities, Predicted By The Laws Of Physics – Physics can help us model everything from cell growth to the movement of planets. Apparently, it also understands how cities live and die.

Spies’ Dragnet Reaches a Playing Field of Elves and Trolls – American and British spies have infiltrated online fantasy games, fearing that militants could use them to communicate, move money or plot attacks, documents show

Amid Rows of Tin Shacks, a Luxury Hotel Rises – In the Kliptown section of Soweto, $180-a-night hotel rooms featuring photographs from the anti-apartheid struggle sit just 30 yards from tin shacks.

In Okla., satanists at Statehouse? The erection of a Ten Commandments statue has opened the door for equal-access claims.

50 Nifty

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Mystery company buys tax liens in D.C., Md. and Ohio ‘like a machine’ – The tax-lien purchaser Aeon, which lists no owners, has threatened families with foreclosure.

How Salt Lake City Solved Chronic Veteran Homelessness – Officials in Salt Lake City say that by the end of this month, they will have zero chronically homeless veterans.

Train noise deafening residents, economic development – Many other Front Range communities face a similar problem blamed on a 2005 Federal Railroad Administration rule change. It requires locomotive engineers to begin sounding train horns at least 15 seconds — and no more than 20 seconds — in advance of all at-grade rail crossings with public streets and roads.

Electeds

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The Takeout Item Left on Bloomberg’s Plate – In his last days in office, one of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s final showdowns is with makers of plastic-foam food containers.

Three Senators Try to Hold Off G.O.P. in South – Three Democrats facing tough re-election fights are essentially all that stand between Republicans and complete control of the old Confederacy’s Senate delegation.

Juan Williams: Sen. Jeff Merkley is the man of the year in Congress – The junior senator from the Beaver State showed a lot of political bite, in the form of persistence, and has become a left-wing hero as a result.

Social Media

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ELGL:  FacebookGoogle+LinkedInPinterest, and Twitter

Internet firms unite in call for limits on federal online spying – Eight of the nation’s largest technology companies, including Microsoft, called on Washington on Monday to impose strict new curbs on government surveillance.

The 7 Best Uses for Tumblr – There is, of course, no one way to use Tumblr. Because the platform is open to different kinds of posts and interactions, the opportunities and flexibility are endless. Here are seven of the many ways people use Tumblr on a daily basis.

Magazine Assistants Add Social Media to Scheduling and Coffee Runs – The modern assistant has an understanding of social media that time-stretched (and old school) magazine executives lack, and increasingly they are assuming responsibility for spreading the magazine’s message.

Career Center

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State, local governments take action on minimum wage – With Washington tied up on other issues, states and municipalities are handling minimum-wage increases on their own.

The Case for a Midlife ‘Gap’ Year – More baby boomers—burned out or trying to plan their futures—are taking a career break to reflect, re-energize and restart their engines.

Hughes: Do public or private employees have better pay, benefits, lives? Public employees are grossly overpaid compared with their private-sector counterparts. No, public employees are the ones who are underpaid. But wait, no, uh … The real answer: Who knows?

What employees really think of office holiday parties – I think these kind of events were always difficult to deal with, but they have become even more so in the age of social media—when everything seems to end up on Facebook-and in an era of heightened sensitivities and rampant lawsuits.

Portlandia

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Portland considers controversial planning grant – On Wednesday the council will consider whether to offer $50,000 to match a $250,000 Metro Construction Excise Tax Planning grant. If approved, the money will be used to contract with DKS Associates for development of the South Portal Partnership Project to improve transportation options into South Waterfront from the south.

It’s time for Damascus to step up – Creating a new city is challenging work. In a region known worldwide for its livability and thoughtful approach to planning for future growth, our cities have a fundamental responsibility to develop and adopt a comprehensive land use plan.

Cascadia

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Needed: Permanent fix for Tacoma’s budget gap – Eight years later, a task force of very smart people has just delivered another blunt message: Tacoma is still facing a widening crevasse between income and spending. Its projected spending growth in coming years is at least double its projected revenues.

Chambers Bay on track for best year since 2008 – The county-owned Chambers Bay golf course in University Place made money during the first nine months of this year, is on pace to have its best year since 2008 and may be close to escaping a cycle of borrowing to pay off debt.

Oregon Secretary of State investigating petition against Rainier Councilwoman Taylor – The recall petition, filed by Senior Center Board President Bill Dias, states Taylor threatened some senior center members and “displays conduct not becoming a public servant.” Taylor called the petition’s allegations “unsubstantiated” and “without merit” in a complaint letter to the secretary of state filed Nov. 26.

Model of dedication: Volunteers keep former governor’s vision on track – Wintertime visitors admiring the 30-foot noble fir in the Capitol Rotunda probably don’t take much notice of the detailed wooden buildings that serve as a backdrop for the model trains chugging around the tree’s base.

 

Midwest ELGL – Twitter

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Microbrewing on tap beyond Twin Cities’ urban core – As Minnesota’s microbrewery boom ripples outward from the core cities, suburbs are responding with mixed degrees of enthusiasm — eager for a piece of the urban vibe but navigating around issues such as odor, noise and competition with their own municipal liquor stores.

In Shepherding Detroit Bankruptcy, Lawyer Tackles a Job He Didn’t Ask For – Kevyn D. Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, has faced criticism from those who dislike his proposals for mending the city’s finances, including possibly cutting pensions.

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