04.02.14 Your Morning Buzz

Five things Stephen Colbert got right in his response to #CancelColbert

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TONIGHT:

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#Trending on ELGL

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Transaction Wire

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High 5

  1. Yes, Congress is getting older – but so are the rest of us In recent years commentators have increasingly weighed in on the greying of Congress. In 2010 The Hill noted that “the oldest Congress ever is getting hip to new technology.” NBC boldly declared that on Capitol Hill, “old is in.” Most observers attributed this to the power of incumbency, and to legislators deciding to stay in office longer. As Slate’s Explainer explained, “Dips and surges in the age of our legislators probably have less to do with our attitudes toward the elderly than with views about incumbents.”
  2. Bar Brawl Breaks Out Over Kelo v. City of New London A brawl began after a disagreement over the nuances of the Supreme Court case that protected the power of the government to use eminent domain to transfer ownership of private property for the purposes of economic development.
  3. Community planning must include input from younger people I’ve been attending public meetings about community planning and development for more than 35 years I’ve sat through more than 300 public hearings about rezonings community plans and development projects in municipalities throughout the Lower Mainland.
  4. As college selection season continues, some sobering statistics on student debtAs parents across America prepare to send their sons and daughters to college, most of them face a financial squeeze. To get the best educations they can afford, families increasingly put themselves into debt.
  5. Google Fiber faces ‘issues’ as it seeks public rights of way Google Fiber promises lightning-fast Internet service, quicker downloads and an array of new digital conveniences enabled by fiber-optic connections that run right into your home.

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50 Nifty

San Diego’s Municipal Pension Debt: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid  There is a term used by pension actuaries every San Diego City taxpayer should learn: “present value of future benefits.” Pension experts refer to the term with just four letters, PVFB, or PV of FB. The present value of future benefits is the amount of money needed today to fully pay off all pension benefits to city of San Diego employees, both earned and to be earned in the future under the old rules.

Chicago Mayor Seeks Alterations to Repair Badly Underfunded Pension Plan Contending with one of the most poorly funded pension systems among the nation’s major cities, MayorRahm Emanuel’s administration has begun an urgent push to require some city workers to pay more for their retirement benefits and to raise property taxes for Chicagoans.

2013 Metro Area Population Estimates Released The 2013 annual metropolitan area population estimates by the US Census Bureau indicate a continuing and persistent dominance of population growth and domestic migration by the South.

Who’s Making Innovation Official? Chief innovation officers popping up in state and local government have scopes as different as the jurisdictions they serve.

How Long Has it Been Since Your State Raised Its Gas Tax? Many states’ transportation budgets are in disarray, in part because they are trying to cover the rising cost of asphalt, machinery, and other construction materials with a gasoline tax rate that is rarely increased.1 A growing number of states have recognized the problem with this approach and have switched to a “variable-rate” gas tax under which the tax rate tends to rise over time alongside either inflation or gas prices. A majority of Americans live in a state where the gas tax is automatically adjusted in this way.2

Metro explores new green energy options: placing a wind turbine in a subway tunnel You’re standing on a subway station platform, waiting for the train. Suddenly, the wind picks up. You know this means the train is coming. Many of you may also know why there’s wind: it’s displaced air being pushed through the tunnel by the fast moving train. And some of you — including Tom Kefalas, Metro Environmental Compliance and Services Manager — may have wondered if there was a way all that generated wind could be utilized as a renewable energy source.

Manhattan’s Crazy Real-Estate Numbers Don’t Tell the Whole Story Manhattan brokerage firms released their first quarter reports today, and yes, the numbers are once again migraine-inducing (especially for buyers). According to a Douglas Elliman survey, the median price for an apartment in the borough is now $972,428 — an 18.5 percent increase from the same period last year. The average sales price jumped an outsized-even-for-New York 30.9 percent, to $1,773,523.

How Access to Cars Could Help the Poor America may be rethinking its love affair with cars. We’re driving less. Adjusted for population growth, the number of vehicle miles driven per year has dropped 8.9 percent since peaking in 2005. We’re also buying fewer cars. While driving will accelerate as the economy improves, many Americans would rather not have to drive so much.

Cars are just so 2004. Get with the times For several years now, Americans have been driving less, a trend that started before the financial crisis and has continued even as the economy recovered. After decades in which distance traveled by car per capita in the United States increased reliably year after year, the decline is good news. Click here to continue reading on Know More.

Why DC’s bikeshare is flourishing while New York’s is financially struggling New York City’s 10-month-old bikeshare system – first heckled by skeptical New Yorkers, then embraced by tens of thousands of them; variously the subject of lawsuitsand aesthetic critiques and conspiracy theories – recently entered a new chapter in its high-drama first year: Citi Bike, media and city officials have concluded, is in a financial tailspin.

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Portlandia

Same-sex marriage advocates will scrap ballot initiative if federal judges overturns ban Same-sex marriage proponents will drop a November ballot initiative aimed at overturning Oregon’s constitutional ban if a federal court judge rules it unconstitutional by May 23.

Rooster ordinance spurs discussion on birds’ happiness, fails on split vote An ordinance to ban roosters and other loud male fowl in Washington County’s urban unincorporated areas spurred a lively conversation but failed on a split vote Tuesday, April 1.

Wal-Mart bails on plan for Oregon City store, 13-acre site is for sale Wal-Mart has abandoned its plan to build a store in Oregon City and put its 13-acre site on the market.

Clackamas County commissioners move to separate North Clackamas parks district governance could raise rates The Clackamas County commissioners want to turn the North Clackamas Parks & Recreation district into an entity with its own governance. That could mean raising the rate for residents in the district, which encompasses Happy Valley, Milwaukie and much of the unincorporated county north of Oregon City.

Medical marijuana in Oregon: State backs off ban on pot-infused sweets The Oregon Health Authority on Monday issued revised rules for marijuana-infused products, allowing the sale of baked goods and other sweets but banning marijuana-laced sweets “attractive to minors.”

West Linn City Council nixes grant to help expand White Oak Savanna The West Linn City Council on Monday shot down a grant application aimed at expanding the White Oak Savanna, riling a chamber packed with the park’s supporters.

Tualatin police to conduct extra traffic enforcement Tualatin police will be conducting extra traffic enforcement Wednesday morning. The additional focus on traffic laws will span from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., said Jennifer Massey, a Tualatin police spokeswoman. Officers will be located at multiple spots in the city.

22 cool things about Hillsboro, according to Movoto A real estate website known for both its listings and listicles shared “22 things you need to know about Hillsboro before you move there” this week.

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Cascadia

Polk County takes a hard look at its finances Polk County could cut four sheriff deputies, reduce policing on the Willamette River, eliminate federal forest patrols and replace the dog catcher with a contractor to balance its budget for fiscal year 2014-2015.

How should light rail get to Everett? Light rail has long been envisioned to reach Everett. As it slowly, steadily makes its way north from Seattle, the discussion is now beginning on how it should get there.

AirBNB says it will pay taxes in San Francisco Last week, the company also agreed to collect hotel taxes in Portland.

Commentary: Yolo County is Not in Bay Area, CalPERS Suggests OtherwiseVirtually every agency in the state considers Yolo County to be a part of the Sacramento region. Yolo County is a part of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. Yolo County residents find Sacramento affiliates on their televisions and Sacramento stations on their radios. CALTRANS, the National Weather Service and even the new Covered California program all consider Yolo County to be a part of the Sacramento region. Maps agree, too: The three major population centers of Yolo County are all within 30 minutes of Sacramento County.

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Pure Midwest

Walking Tours in the Windy City Never underestimate where volunteer work can lead. Chicago native Terry Sullivan was a public high-school teacher in the city for 33 years. After retiring in 2000, he spent the next few years doing volunteer work, first as a tutor for inner-city youth.

See melting from space as spring takes hold in southern Great Lakes; Lake Superior still frozen Warmer temperatures have visited Lower Michigan for a few days now. Those temperatures have taken away a lot of ice on Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. Lake Superior ice isn’t going away much at all.

South by Southwest

McConaughey run likely April Fools’ joke “Alright, alright, alright?” More like, “womp, womp, womp.” A Texas Monthly piece published Tuesday morning positing that Academy Award-winning actorMatthew McConaughey is weighing a write-in candidacy for agriculture commissioner is most likely an April Fools’ joke.

Rally at downtown hotel protests property tax system About 30 people attended a Tuesday afternoon rally for commercial property tax reform at a hotel downtown whose owners are among about 600 property owners who sued the Bexar Appraisal District to protest their tax valuations.

Keller, Texas, Police Post Radar Locations Online  Say “speed trap,” and people instantly know you’re talking about a spot where police officers sit with radar guns, hoping to catch speeders, write tickets and generate revenue for their city.

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Politics, Politics

D.C. Mayor Is Defeated in Upset at Primary Muriel Bowser Defeats Mayor Vincent Gray in Washington Primary

Rand Paul: GOP must get ‘beyond deportation’ Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday argued that the Republican Party needs to get “beyond deportation” in order to break through to Hispanic voters.

Obamacare Sign-Ups: 7,041,000 How many people have signed up for private coverage under Obamacare? 7,041,000, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced Tuesday afternoon.

Lessons from Munich for America’s Youth Employment Crisis In 2011, only 21 percent of American teens worked, down from 44 percent in 2000. Young adults (aged 20 to 24) also fared poorly, with their employment rate dropping from 72 percent to 61 percent during that same time, according to recent Brookings research. In the wake of the Great Recession, weak labor demand, older workers staying in the labor force longer, and insufficient skills among certain segments of young people add up to a real economic and social crisis.

The Secret Life of a Food Stamp Last night, as the clock struck midnight to end the month, some lines of computer code triggered a series of financial transactions that have a profound effect on the American economy. In that instant, hundreds of millions of dollars—taxpayer dollars—were automatically downloaded onto debit cards tucked into wallets and purses of people across America.

Both Quality Parenting and Schooling Matter for Social Mobility Yesterday, parents in DC were told whether or not their children won the lottery. That is, whether or not they could attend a school of their choice. Competition over high quality schools was fierce. Just 71 percent of parents got one of their 12 choices and 60 percent got one of their top three choices. Clearly, parents do not want to send their kids to failing schools.

Can a font change save the government $234 million? A teenager from Pittsburgh made news this weekend with a simple plan to save the federal government hundreds of millions.

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Toby Flenderson Advice

Young Talent: What to Expect From the Post-Millennial Workforce  What managers need to know about the next next generation.

Manage Employee Performance Through Conversation The success of managers in government organizations is defined by their ability to achieve results and drive change.  Results and change come about through conversation and it’s not always easy to initiate the conversations that are required.  In fact, many managers would prefer to avoid the tough conversations altogether. Still, managing the performance of employees in a public agency doesn’t have to be difficult. The next time you see an issue that you believe needs to change, prepare for the

5 Secrets to Better Employee Engagement Bring together your people and your brand and make meaningful progress toward better employee engagement.

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