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I. Reading, Writing and Renewal (the Urban Kind) – A new public school that also includes a community center and other public amenities is part of a joint project designed to revitalize a blighted section of East Baltimore.
II. New Orleans’ Winning Strategy in the War on Blight – A city with one of the nation’s worst blight problems is now considered a national leader in reducing vacant and dilapidated properties.
III. Italy Divided Over Rail Line Meant to Unite – A two-decade debate over a high-speed rail line between Italy and France reveals broad cultural and political differences within Italy.
IV. PRIVATIZING OR ELIMINATING GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS – The Department of Education was the most popular candidate for elimination, garnering 48 percent of the vote. One quarter of voters wished to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fourteen percent wanted to eliminate the U.S. Postal Service, while just seven percent wanted to privatize the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Coming in last place, only six percent of voters did not want to eliminate or privatize any of the four options.
V. Can Bad Weather Keep a Good Mayor Down? As we dust off the road salt of a tough winter and step into the long days of spring, here’s a look at how mayors in five snow-struck cities weathered the season’s storms.
Police Horses a Dying Breed? – The ascendancy of stats-based policing has made keeping mounted units harder.
L.A.’s top budget official warns against expanding city services – In a 37-page report, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said a rebounding economy and greater stability in the city’s own finances have created new pressure to add or expand local government. He recommended that council members focus on other initiatives, such as reducing entry-level city salaries and securing new health-care concessions from the workforce.
Plan for Affordable Housing in Philadelphia – The City Council president announced a plan that would increase affordable housing through new construction and the rehabilitation of city-owned properties.
Report: States Neglect Road Repairs – A new report by Smart Growth America charges that states are spending too much on new roads while existing infrastructure deteriorates.
Health law enrollment hits 5 million with two weeks to gopolitico.com – More than 5 million people have signed up for health plans under Obamacare, a quickening pace in the final month of enrollment, the administration said today.
Shocker: Conservative Republicans Hate the Amtrak Writer Residency – Senators Coburn and Flake waste our time calling it wasteful.
Campaign Inquiry in Utah Is Watchdogs’ Nightmare Case – Documents show that a former Utah attorney general sought to transform his office into a defender of payday loan companies that had helped bankroll his election.
The rich strike back – Just a few months ago, it looked like 2014 would be the year of the populist, with Democrats running on economic inequality, tea party Republicans bashing banks and newly minted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pledging to soak the rich with higher taxes.
Is Portland ready for a major earthquake? So how prepared are we? Burns gives the city an overall “B-minus” when it comes to emergency services. That covers how effective police, fire and rescue crews will be in the initial hours after the quake.
Tigard ballot measure: About 120 votes are being challenged in tightly contested election – Approximately 60 votes didn’t have signatures, said Mickie Kawai of the Washington County Elections Division, and another 60 or so signatures could not be validated against voter registration records.
What is the future of Damascus? he lawsuits target comprehensive plans created and submitted by Mayor Steve Spinnett and City Council President Andrew Jackman. The Damascus City Council referred both to the May ballot, where they will be joined by a citizen-referred plan that was approved by the city’s planning commission, but rejected by the council.
Development, public safety money fuel Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas’ campaign against Lake Oswego councilor – Boosts from the real estate industry and public safety political action committees helped Savas, but a few large donations from individuals easily matched Bowerman’s single $5,000 infusion from Stimson Lumber CEO Andrew Miller.
Mukilteo’s mayor behind shakeup at City Hall – When running for office last fall, Mayor Jennifer Gregerson said that her top priority was to reshape City Hall.
High stakes: Colorado blazes a trail Washington will follow – Washington is entering uncharted territory as state government hands out its first licenses to produce and sell a once-forbidden substance. Make that: nearly uncharted.
City Council places cap on rideshare drivers – Abdul Yusuf celebrates with other taxi and for-hire drivers after the Seattle City Council on Monday approved a cap and stronger regulations on rideshare companies like uberX, Lyft and Sidecar. The regulations will limit each company to 150 drivers on the road at the same time.
Aerial Photos of the Chicago River Being Dyed Green Will Hypnotize You – Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Detroit may raise fines for parking violations – For the first time in more than a decade, the city may increase its parking fines and come down harder on repeat offenders who don’t pay up. The recommendations, which would bump the current parking fines of $20, $30 and $100 per ticket to a two-tiered structure of $45 and $150, are among the revenue-generating strategies recommended by Detroit’s restructuring consultants.
GM faces firestorm of public opinion – Daniel Howes: By now it should be unambiguously clear that General Motors Co. is racing to get out whatever bad recall news is lurking inside its vast technical bureaucracy.
Berman: Study reveals hidden tensions between Detroit’s extreme poverty, affluence – One of Detroit’s new restaurants is set to pop up next week on the southwest side. The proprietors are emphasizing the tension
Why Does Chicago Dye the River Green for St. Patrick’s Day? Fifty years ago, before it was just for fun, the dye was part of a brilliant scheme to catch people illegally dumping waste.
Chicago debuts electronic poll book for primary election – Chicago voters today won’t be watching poll workers flipping the pages of a massive book to check their signatures. Instead, the poll worker will be armed with a stylus and an electronic poll book.
South by Southwest
If Texas is Utopia, Dallas is the capital; here are the reasons why – Our journalistic colleagues over at BuzzFeed have come up with a list of what we thought everyone already knew: “50 Sure Signs That Texas Is Actually Utopia.”
15 nations with smaller economies than San Antonio – The Greater San Antonio area, which includes New Braunfels, has a Gross Metro Product of $96.8 billion, according to Forbes Magazine, and a population of 2.2 million. The metro area’s economy is driven by defense, bio-medical, tourism and manufacturing industries.
Regulations Could Harm Texas’ Bid for Tesla Plant – Tesla, a manufacturer of high-end electric cars, has named Texas one of four finalists to house its planned $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory. But the state’s auto dealership laws — among the nation’s strictest — could hurt its chances, company officials say.
How LinkedIn Changed My Life – There’s no denying it: LinkedIn has changed my life for the better. It’s given me the ability to discover opportunities, initiate conversations, and maintain relationships in unprecedented ways.
Six Steps To Becoming Hyper-Efficient – By planning ahead to maximize your time, you can fit more into those “wasted” minutes and hours.
Helping Women Get Back in the Game – Programs to help women return to the work force after leave to care for children or aging parents are increasing in some fields.
The Social Network
WhatsApp promises not to sell your data. Why you may be skeptical – Consumer privacy groups have asked federal regulators to investigate whether Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp could harm consumers. Some users are threatening to leave the service.
10 Big, Recent Changes To Twitter, Facebook, And Linkedin You – In search of a better social media strategy? Listen up: these changes will change the way you share.
Twitter Testing ‘Fave People’ Feature – For those who follow hundreds of accounts on Twitter, you know how easy it is to miss tweets from the ones you care about most. Now, the microblogging site is testing a “Fave People” timeline that groups preferred users in one section.