Now that the holiday season is in full effect, today’s buzz brings you decorating GIFs, along w/ a ransomware attack on public transportation, upgrades to a sewer plant in Hawaii and pension troubles in Big-D.

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Right Now w/ Matt Yager

What I’m watching: The One Moment by OK Go

What I’m reading: The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell

What I’m listening to: Nuages by Django Reinhardt

What I’m doing: Decorating for Christmas – which means cleaning the gutters.

What I want to know from you: Have you started decorating for the holidays yet?

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Ransomware creep accidentally hijacks San Francisco Muni, won’t give it back: A ransomware criminal’s self-reproducing malicious software spread through a critical network used by the San Francisco light rail system, AKA the Muni, and shut it down; the anonymous criminal — cryptom27@yandex.com — says they won’t give it back until they get paid.

Self-driving trucks will hit the road in Ohio: A self-driving truck will begin traveling on two Ohio roads next week after state officials announce details of new investments to support innovative transportation technology. A vehicle from self-driving truck maker Otto will travel a 35-mile stretch of U.S. Route 33 on Monday in central Ohio between Dublin and East Liberty, home to the Transportation Research Center, an independent testing facility. It will travel in regular traffic, and a driver in the truck will be positioned to intervene should anything go awry, Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Bruning said Friday, adding that “safety is obviously No. 1.”

18 Things My Dad Was Right About: Fifteen years ago, when I was a freshman in high school, my English teacher gave my class a homework assignment entitled, “Advice for a Younger Generation.”  The concept of the assignment was simple:  Each student had to interview a person who was over the age of 25, gather enough information to write a basic biography of their life and find out what their top tips are for a younger generation.  I chose to interview my dad.  He was 53 at the time and he gave me 18 pieces of advice.

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Trending on ELGL 

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Upcoming ELGL Events

Technology Efficiency Series: CRMs December 1, 2016 10:00am – 11:00am PST

Luncheon: Welcome to Oregon Luncheon for Ann Ober  December 7, 2016 12:00 am – 1:00 pm PST

Meetup: Seahawks, Packers, and ELGL December 10, 2016 5:00 pm

Webinar: Public-Private Partnerships Part II CPBB to co-present with leading public-private local government provider SafeBuilt Tuesday, December 13, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

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50 Nifty

  • Proposed wastewater project is flush with challenges: It’s not the kind of project that inspires a community celebration, but a $100 million-plus upgrade to the Kealakehe sewer plant could help the environment while sending treated wastewater to thirsty North Kona landscapes. The project is one of the most expensive the county has ever undertaken and its first effort to treat wastewater to a level approved by the state Department of Health for irrigation of crops and most pastureland. It’s a project long in the making, and it’s been beset with a multitude of challenges. Getting over the “yuck factor” is one those, said Richard Bennett, president of Applied Life Sciences LLC and vice chairman of the county Environmental Management Commission.

  • City struggles to appease residents who oppose apartments in suburbs: Amid one of the largest apartment building booms in its history, Charleston is seeing a growing pushback to new projects, though the opponents often find themselves with few good weapons to bring to the fight. A prime example played out earlier this month, when more than a dozen Byrnes Downs residents packed City Hall’s council chambers to object to new apartments planned nearby. Most wore stickers on their chests with a red slash over the letters “PUD” and, for a half hour, they laid out their concerns about how a new four-story apartment complex for seniors on Coburg Road would add traffic and change the village-like character of their neighborhood. The six acre property, now home to grand trees and wildlife, sits between the marsh and the West Ashley Greenway.
  • New bookmobile travels well-worn path for Tulsa library patronsWhen the Tulsa City-County Library bookmobile rolled up and opened its doors for business, Mabel Padgett was waiting with a hug ready. She knows the library staff who make the stop once a month at Inhofe Plaza, a low-income housing community for seniors and disabled people. She chit-chats a bit before exchanging her armful of books and movies for an updated batch. It’ll last her until next month’s visit. Padgett looks at each spine, scoffing when I mention how people like electronic downloads into phones and tablets.
  • Lack of Police Training in Use of Drug Field Tests Casts Doubt on Validity of Many U.S. Drug Arrests: Over the first several months of 2014, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested 15 people on drug charges only to have the Florida state crime lab determine the substances thought to have been drugs in fact were not. The arrests had been made by deputies on Florida’s Gulf coast using what are known as chemical field tests — inexpensive kits designed to detect the presence of illegal drugs. A suspected substance is dropped into a pouch of chemicals. The liquid turns a certain color if the substance is, say, methamphetamine or cocaine. Amid the rash of mistakes, Christopher Baumann, a lieutenant who’d worked narcotics and homicide at the agency, decided to conduct an experiment. He placed material listed as methamphetamine into a kit specifically meant to indicate methamphetamine and watched as the liquid in the pouch turned a purple-ish color. He understood that to mean the test was positive for methamphetamine. Then he activated another kit — cracking open ampules of the chemical reagent — but placed nothing inside the pouch. The liquid turned the same color.

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  • Committee unveils Firestone Park project: The full extent of the Firestone Park project was rolled out Thursday evening at an open house hosted by the Restoration and Beautification Committee at the Columbiana Library. The $3.1 million project consists of several major and minor components to be pursued as funding comes available, all aimed at improving the 81-year-old park while retaining and restoring as much of its historical look as possible. “It’s an aging park. It was 80 years old last year. It’s starting to show its age, and we need to bring it up to date,” said committee president Pat Tingle.
  • Desk filled with history at Milwaukee’s City Hall: Milwaukee’s City Hall is filled with history and a recent find has created quite a buzz inside the century-old building. Charles Benson spoke with Milwaukee’s City Clerk about this recent discovery.

  • Sonja Boone breaks barriers in county government: When Sonja Boone was elected Boone County public administrator on Nov. 8, she became the first minority  county official in anyone’s memory outside St. Louis and Jackson counties. Dick Burke is the executive director of the Missouri Association of Counties and said he’s never seen a minority elected county official from outside the state’s major metropolitan areas in his 30 years with the group.

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LocalGov Confidential

City manager, police union president clash latest in tense history: The clash that played out in an exchange of letters this week between Cincinnati’s city manager and police union leader is nothing new. Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black wrote Fraternal Order of Police President Sgt. Dan Hils a letter Monday saying Hils violated the police department’s media request policy when he took FOX19 NOW through District 5 headquarters on Nov. 16, showing the building’s conditions consisting of black mold and cramped working conditions. Black reminded Hils that the policy states: “Media personnel must have approval of a district section/unit commander or the Public Information Officer before entering non-public areas of a police facility.”

Local Governments Face Another Headwind – State, Federal Budget Tightening: There are five primary state sectors that will be materially impacted if the respective federal and state budget begins to dry up, ranging from education and healthcare to public pensions and transportation projects. If insolvency becomes a problem, the federal or state government intervening is not guarantee of success, as there is a mixed level of success, the report noted. Education, K-12 and public universities, face a troubled future if federal and government funding becomes squeezed. But they face different troubles.

Dallas Stares Down a Texas-Size Threat of Bankruptcy: Picture the next major American city to go bankrupt. What springs to mind? Probably not the swagger and sprawl of Dallas. But there was Dallas’s mayor, Michael S. Rawlings, testifying this month to a state oversight board that his city appeared to be “walking into the fan blades” of municipal bankruptcy. “It is horribly ironic,” he said.