01.03.14 Your Morning Buzz

 Wicked Winter Storm Expected To Blow Itself Out Later Today

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Transaction Wire

TEMECULA: City reaches south for new planning director

South Pasadena Gets New Chief Deputy City Clerk

Worcester, Mass. city manager prepares or final days of tenure

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford files to run again

Clay Aiken may run for Congress

Cover Oregon director resigns

Tina Kotek Draws a Primary Opponent

Tomei to help lead Women in Government group

High 5

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At Work, Mayor Finds Full Plate of Headaches – On his first day as mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio introduced himself to a wary police force and confronted a major winter storm, the city’s first of 2014.

Devastated town rising from the ashes of the Rim fire – The blaze destroyed much of Groveland, a small town dependent on tourists bound for Yosemite, but residents are determined to bring it back to life.

Code-cracking NSA quantum computer is goal – The agency is racing to build a machine that could break nearly every kind of encryption, according to files provided by Edward Snowden.

Campaigns battle citizen journalists – Journalists claims to have standards, but the political operative is hard-pressed to see what those standards might be. The only real standard seems to be to wallow in scandal and controversy.

Should Distracted Cycling Be Banned? By now, most American states have some law in place against distracted driving, but those rules are reserved for a moving motor vehicle. Laws against distracted cycling have failed to break through at the state level. A few individual cities have established rules against riding a bike and using a cell phone (without a hands-free device), but such regulations are far from sweeping.

50 Nifty

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Whistleblower hotline established for county employees, public – San Luis Obispo County has implemented a new whistleblower hotline for county employees and the public to report financial waste, fraud and abuse.

The Dramatic Makeover of New York’s Streets Under Bloomberg – Still looking for a New Year’s resolution for your city? For inspiration, look to this short from Clarence Eckerson at Streetfilms. It shows the remarkable before-and-after transformation of several streets and intersections in New York City over the last several years.

Houston and Its Strip Clubs Call a Truce– After 16 years of litigation, the city reached a settlement with 16 strip clubs that does away with a number of rules, angering religious leaders and advocates for sex-trafficking victims.

Why Getting Rid of Bus Stops Can Improve Bus Service – Fewer stops can reduce travel times and operating costs, researchers say.

Electeds

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How the political battle over Obamacare is like ‘Groundhog Day’ –  Familiar attacks and counter-attacks promise to play out in much the same way time after time in race after race.

On Dec. 31, Congress let 55 tax breaks expire. Here’s a look at some of them –  Tax relief for underwater homeowners and a credit for commuters are gone.

10 must-watch House races – Control likely won’t shift, but plenty is in play.

Social Media

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ELGL:  FacebookGoogle+LinkedInPinterest, and Twitter

Need a Digital Detox? 5 Free Apps to Simplify Your Life in 2014 – Here’s some irony: Thanks to amazing advances in technology, we now have an endless selection of ingenious, time-saving apps and tools.

Posting Best Practices – Social media has its own unwritten rules of composition and content. Here are the best practices that work for me.

Twitter Map Tracks Users Ringing in 2014 Around the Globe – The graphic (embedded below; click to see the animation) moves region by region, highlighting each time zone as the clock struck midnight on January 1.

Career Center

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Job Postings: 01.02.14 Jobs, Jobs, Jobs (Church Sign Remix)

Urbanist Buzzwords to Rethink in 2014 – Writing about urban policy issues, as we do here at The Atlantic Cities each day, can often be an exercise in translating wonky terminology for the everyday reader. The kinds of issues that these terms bring up –– how and where we live, get to work, and enjoy our free time –– are far too relevant to be the victims of off-putting technical jargon and lame buzzwords.

Be Proactive — or Move On – I spoke to a manager recently who was very upset.

Does the length of your press release headline really matter? When a press release, blog post, or article is indexed by Google and shows up in search results, the maximum character count runs between 65 and 80 characters (including spaces) before being cut off. Some rich snippets might show more, some less.

Portlandia

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‘Hillsboro University’ opens again – For the seventh year in a row, the city of Hillsboro will sponsor “Hillsboro University,” a series of classes geared toward honing the skills of the city’s staff and making the city operate more effectively

Fritz Forgives $123,000 Loan to City Hall Campaign – She tells supporters to donate to Jeff Merkley instead.

Shaking Out The Bacon – The world’s most expensive publicly auctioned painting arrived in Portland on Dec. 20. But who owns it?

Portland made it through 2013 with zero bike fatalities – Biking in a city, with big hunks of car and truck zooming by, can be frightening. But it shouldn’t be.

The Voicemails of Charlie Hales – They’re back! We’ve got a new mayor—but the same old bizarre voicemails!

 Cascadia

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Cities refining visions for the new year – Lebanon City Manager Dana Hlavac will start his first full year leading Linn County’s second largest community with a long list of goals for 2014.

Commissioners Ban Tobacco Use On Umatilla County Properties – Smokers were already prohibited from lighting up within 25 feet of a county building’s doors or windows.   The new policy will be phased in over the next 6 months.  It bans not just smoking on county property, but also the use of devices like vaporizers and e-cigarettes.

Machinists wrestle with Boeing’s revamped offer, retirement terms – The outcome of the critical Boeing 777X contract offer vote by the Machinists appeared unpredictable as union members sifted through widely conflicting information about the company offer.

Benton landowners could file claims in railroad case – A high-powered attorney who handles federal property rights cases has approached Benton County landowners along the abandoned Bailey Branch about suing the U.S. government for compensation.

County agrees: No more sales of old wares – Clark County will no longer sell surplus computers — a result of an investigation into employees posting surplus computer equipment on Craigslist and buying it themselves or selling it to other county employees.

Hilltop housing plan – A Eugene couple seeks to build 20 homes on about 12 acres abutting Hendricks Park

Outlook: Albany facing many opportunities in 2014 – The city of Albany will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its incorporation in 2014, according to City Manager Wes Hare, and the community remains a place where residents are “willing to invest both time and money.”

Bertha blockage mania – There’s lots of stuff beneath the Seattle waterfront. Shipwrecks, ancient boulders and bones and lots of water. Any – or none – of it could be getting in Big Bertha’s way.

Midwest ELGL: Twitter

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Why Michigan’s Republican governor supports clean energy — or does he? Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is not what you would call a progressive, on the environment or any other issue.

Snow: Every Budgeters’ Worst Nightmare – The unpredictability of snow doesn’t just drive citizens and public works crews crazy – it makes it nearly impossible for city officials to plan their budgets.

Volunteers maintain Minnesota’s vast network of snowmobile trails – Who’s responsible for Minnesota’s vast network of well-groomed snowmobile trails? An equally vast corps of trail associations and volunteers.

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