TABLE of CONTENTS April 2006

Cover Story

Heavyweights on TV

BY Christopher Swope

Cable and telecom companies are slugging it out over franchises. Some localities may get hurt.

Features

Crypto Crackdown

New federal rules are forcing utilities to significantly upgrade how they treat drinking water supplies. BY Tom Arrandale

Building Bridges in China

Local recycling programs are close to turning a profit on scrap metal shipped to Asia. BY Heather Kerrigan

Tracking Team

When citizens take to the streets, they learn more than just where problems are; they learn whose job it is to fix them. BY Jonathan Walters

Plight of the Benefits

Retiree costs are moving from the easy promise of a nest egg to the harshness of a political hot potato. BY Alan Greenblatt

Toil and Trouble

Illegal immigrants working as day laborers present one of the toughest, most divisive issues to land on local government's doorstep in recent years. BY Jonathan Walters

Coal Converts

When it comes to lining up new energy sources, a number of states see plain old coal as the cleanup hitter. BY Christopher Swope

Up Front

Potomac Chronicle

It's Broke--Fix It

The problem in New Orleans isn't FEMA but federalism. BY Donald F. Kettl
Politics

Ageless Young Turk

S. David Freeman has been shaking up public agencies for half a century. He doesn't see any reason to stop. BY Rob Gurwitt
Economic Development

Suburban Gushers

In Ohio, you can drill wells in unlikely places. BY Zach Patton
Infrastructure & Environment

Skysores

Keeping pedestrians indoors no longer seems like a smart way to bring downtowns back to life. BY Zach Patton
Politics

Gasoline and Gambling

Crude oil at $60 per barrel has some bizarre fiscal side effects. BY Zach Patton
Economic Development

Dangerous Work

Reducing disability costs is a winner for state budgets. But there are losers, and they aren't happy. BY Zach Patton
Public Workforce

Big Dippers

If you want to retire from a public job with a sweet pension, New Mexico may be the place to apply. BY Zach Patton
Public Workforce

Big Dippers

If you want to retire from a public job with a sweet pension, New Mexico may be the place to apply. BY Zach Patton

The Business of Government

Economic Engines

A Case of Voter Overkill

The death of Seattle's monorail plan is a telling tale of the failure to capitalize on grassroots energy and gumption. BY Alex Marshall
Tech Talk

Online Via Power Line

Small towns and cities are finding high-speed Internet access is as close as their electric grid. BY Ellen Perlman
Management & Labor

Helping the Overwhelmed Family

States are accentuating the positive to protect children. BY Ellen Perlman
Management & Labor

FedEx Delivers: Tennessee Gets Tips on its DMV

Half the people in Tennessee's motor vehicle offices don't need to be there. They could be getting their services online. Tennessee learned this by getting research assistance from its native logistics expert: Federal Express. BY Ellen Perlman
Health & Human Services

Medicaid Modifiers

Breakthrough waivers for Vermont and Arkansas BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Health & Human Services

Medicaid Modifiers

Breakthrough waivers for Vermont and Arkansas BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Politics

Wiki Skirmishes

Online profiles of politicians have become battlegrounds for both spin doctors and mischief makers. BY Christopher Swope
Finance

The Hidden Cost of Construction

Tempe will lighten the load for businesses on a light-rail line. BY Ellen Perlman
Energy & Environment

Tigers no More

State EPAs are suffering from federal budget cuts, but that may not be their worst problem. BY Tom Arrandale
Energy & Environment

Tigers no More

State EPAs are suffering from federal budget cuts, but that may not be their worst problem. BY Tom Arrandale
Economic Engines

Nerdistan or Not

The latest wave of research parks have a different connection to the global economy and the small tech companies they serve. BY William Fulton