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1. Air Pollution Now Linked to 1 out of Every 8 Deaths in the World – According to a new report by the World Health Organization, air pollution is the cause of 7 million deaths a year worldwide, and is the single largest environmental health risk in the world today.
2. Getting downtown back on its feet – How walkability is tied to a city’s success.
3. Standing out from the crowd – To achieve the skills necessary to run effective public works departments, leaders are turning to new training programs.
4. Can Text Messaging Solve Karachi’s Incredible Unpaid Water Bill Problem? – This is a city of more than 20 million people, and most of them don’t pay their water bills.
5. Why China’s Cities Need to Get Denser, Not Bigger – China is in the middle of moving about 100 million rural Chinese to cities as part of an urbanization drive intended to help the economy
Arizona City manager proposes job cuts to help balance budget – City Manager Richard Miranda has proposed eliminating 92 positions and trimming $25 million from the budget as a starting point to rein in Tucson’s finances.
The Woman Leading Salt Lake City’s Transportation Revolution – Here are a few things to know about Robin Hutcheson. She’s a Connecticut native who came to Utah in 1994 for the skiing and she’s been head of the transportation planning division of Salt Lake City.
These SF Billboards Are Now Plastered With Photos of Distracted Drivers – Blown away by how many people use their cell phones on the freeway, San Francisco graphic designer Brian Singer came up with a new way to raise awareness of the risky behavior.
GoVoteColorado – Colorado Secretary of State leads first mobile-optimized voter registration site.
An alternative funding source for infrastructure upgrades – Regardless of what policies are eventually adopted, infrastructure investment requirements will continue to increase, and many different approaches will be needed to generate the necessary funding.
Aloha, Drones: Hawaii Welcomes and Fears Flying Robots – Scientists say island state’s climate is ideal for agricultural and other civilian uses of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Detroit Threatens to Cut Water Service to Delinquent Customers – The city’s water department is looking to recoup tens of millions of dollars by cutting service each week to as many as 3,000 customers who have failed to pay their bills.
Officials seek to tame Venice boardwalk – Officials want to restrict street access to the tourist attraction after a motorist’s deadly rampage last year, while some locals criticize the plan to reduce crime as ‘Fortress Venice.’
Assembly speaker says Cal State could get bigger funding boost – Gov. Brown is offering the universities $142 million more, but John Pérez says the Legislature may be willing to sweeten that offer.
Portland’s 2013 tree hugging record finally confirmed by Guinness World Records – Last July, 936 people simultaneously hugged a tree at Portland’s Washington Park for one minute.
Kenyan delegation visits Portland to learn about progressive urban planning – A delegation of political leaders in Laikipia, Kenya, have come to the City of Roses to learn about progressive urban planning, according to a press release from Portland State University.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales on District Council of Trade Union negotiations – Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said Tuesday he believes city negotiators and representatives with the District Council of Trade Unions will “get to yes” before a potential strike of more than 1,600 city workers.
Multnomah County chair candidates talk East County during Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce forum – Candidates for Multnomah County’s highest office met Tuesday to talk politics on the most talked-about turf in this year’s race: East County.
Water work planned for Powell Butte Reservoir project in SE Portland – Starting Wednesday, a contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will be installing a large water utility vault at Southeast Division Street and 67th Avenue.
Government workers from around the U.S. get brief lesson in Oregon’s checkered past – Portland is hosting the Governing for Racial Equity conference for the first time. Nearly 500 government workers and elected officials from across the nation, including the mayors of Minneapolis and Madison, Wis., are in town to attend the two-day event.
$20 million plan for affordable housing to battle gentrification in North/Northeast Portland extends beyond five years – Mayor Charlie Hales’ pledge to spend $20 million to build more affordable housing in North and Northeast Portland will come on top of the city’s existing commitment of $34.4 million through 2021.
Portland police reforms: Federal judge wants annual status reports – A federal judge Monday said he’s unlikely to approve the negotiated settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the city of Portland on a package of police reforms unless he could maintain oversight and hold at least annual hearings on the progress of police compliance.
Uber, Which Can’t Break into Portland, Sued by Seattle Cabbies – Uber is one of those Silicon Valley “share economy” startups that has amassed a multi-billion valuation on what seems like a simple idea—allowing consumers to summon a for-hire car through a smartphone app.
The State’s Best-Funded Pot Legalization Effort Might Finally Start Collecting Signatures – The clock is ticking on Oregon’s best-funded shot at pot legalization, but supporters have new reason for hope.
Columbia County must pay $802,000 in legal costs over unconstitutional inmate-mail policy – A federal judge has ordered Columbia County to pay more than $800,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs to Prison Legal News, after the publication prevailed in its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the county jail’s inmate mail policies.
Landslide danger: Geologists say Oregon is vulnerable – The mile-wide mudslide along State Route 530 north of Seattle, in which scores are feared dead, could also happen in Oregon.
Keeping groundwater at bay crucial in Bertha’s repair plan – The repair pit for tunnel-boring machine Bertha requires watertight walls, to keep groundwater surges from thwarting the work, or causing the ground to settle.
Study: $15 wage floor would lift pay for 24% of Seattle workers – About 102,000 workers citywide earn below $15 an hour. They, as well as the next tier of workers, could see an increase if the minimum is raised to $15, says a UW study prepared for the city.
Palatine Rural Fire District may put ads on firetruck, ambulance – Voters last week rejected a tax hike that would have raised $200,000 annually for the cash-strapped Palatine Rural Fire Protection District, but officials have an unusual Plan B: They want to sell advertising on the side of the district’s ambulance and fire engine.
Ex-Champaign city manager gives his advice – The former city manager for the city of Champaign for 28 years told members of the Rantoul Rotary Club March 18 that the “real issue is that people don’t understand city government.”
Portsmouth, OH City Manager addresses Oakland Blvd. road issue – The extremely dangerous and continually eroding stretch of roadway located on Oakland Boulevard in Sciotoville, will again have to wait for any possible repairs.
Court Extends Freeze on Michigan Gay Marriages – A federal appeals court Tuesday put an indefinite halt to same-sex marriage in Michigan while it takes a longer look at a judge’s decision to overturn a 2004 ban.
Court Says Kansas Can Strip Planned Parenthood Funding – Advocates say the ruling violates free-speech rights for associating with abortion providers.
Frozen fields delay spring sports – On a recent Saturday in Oak Park, a 10-year-old boy engaged in some unusual behavior outside his family’s home: He voluntarily shoveled snow-so he could kick a soccer ball around.
Quinn budget makes tax hike permanent – Gov. Pat Quinn has prepared an election-year spending proposal that would make permanent the 67 percent income tax increase set to expire in 2015.
South by Southwest
Williamson County trying to make septic tank installation a little easier – Installing a septic tank should be a quick-and-dirty process.
Cost of taking Austin’s urban rail across the river: $75 million to $475 million – Building a bridge or tunnel at Lady Bird Lake for Austin’s proposed urban rail line would cost $75 million to $475 million, the project’s director told the Capital Metro board Monday.
Texas improves school funding but still trails most states – Texas has moved up slightly in per-pupil spending among the states, after the Legislature added funding last year. But it still ranks in the bottom five states, a new report shows.
Dallas County commissioners criticize minority certification agency, consider changes – The lone agency that certifies minority businesses for Dallas County came under fire Tuesday from county commissioners, who questioned its management and oversight while considering whether to allow other entities to provide such certification.
DART will roll into D/FW Airport this summer – Dallas Area Rapid Transit will begin running light-rail trains to its new station at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Aug. 18, officials announced Tuesday.
Dallas council member Rick Callahan wants to bury the Trinity River toll road in a tunnel – Count Dallas city council member Rick Callahan among those who believe Dallas needs a toll road along the Trinity River’s east levee, as recommended by the Federal Highway Administration in the environmental impact statement released last week.
Dunwoody, GA’s First City Manager Leaving to Lead City of Johns Creek – Dunwoody City Manager Warren Hutmacher is leaving after a tenure of five years to serve as the new city manager for Johns Creek.
Haines, FL City Manager Jonathan Evans Shares His Passion for Community Service – Evans set up an eight-hour tour of City departments for a newly graduated student interested in local government.
Meanwhile, In Georgia, Guns are Coming to Bars – The governor of Georgia is about to sign a “pro-gun” law that’s so extreme even a majority of Georgians oppose it.
Wake County to give schools autonomy on grading policies – Wake County school board members and school administrators are talking about how they want to give schools autonomy in the details of implementing the new grading policy that could go into effect this fall.
Durham Bulls to dress as R2-D2 from ‘Star Wars’ – The Durham Bulls will be dressed their beep-boop best for a ballgame on May 4, when their jerseys will be illustrated with all the details of R2-D2.
Research group calls for improving NC roads – A national research group funded by road builders reckons that Triangle motorists are losing $1,005 apiece every year, simply because North Carolina doesn’t spend enough money to keep our travels safe, smooth and free of congestion.
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane pushes transit, design in State of the City speech – To keep growth and top-10 rankings coming to Raleigh, the city needs increased transit options and careful planning, Mayor Nancy McFarlane said in her annual State of the City address Monday.