TABLE of CONTENTS July 2009

Cover Story

Wage Learners

BY Zach Patton

Gregg Flecha earned pretty good money last year, for a 9-year-old. As a fourth-grader at P.S. 64 in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, Gregg...

FEATURES

Job Freedom

Can the lessons of welfare reform be applied to the prison system? BY John Buntin

Six Routes to a Toll Road

When the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike opened in 1794, it was the first major toll road in the United States. It also was the first thoroughfare... BY Brendan Schlauch

Drained

These days, Bettye Fine Collins doesn't talk like a power politician. "It's not easy being me," she complains. It's not hard to understand why. As... BY Josh Goodman

Bandwidth on the Bayou

Slick Sam Slade showed up in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 2005, fast-talking his way through a mock TV commercial comparing an exotic sports car to a bicycle.... BY Ellen Perlman

DEPARTMENTS

Hidden Section

Get Rich Quick

Gentrification? One Chicago neighborhood didn't stop there. BY Alan Ehrenhalt

POLITICS + POLICY

Politics

A Call to Order

People complained for decades that the New York State Senate was dysfunctional. But that was before it shut down altogether. In April, a special committee... BY Alan Greenblatt
Management & Labor

Taming of a Deficit

San Diego just closed an $83 million hole in its budget and is looking at a shortfall conservatively estimated at $115 million next year. For a place... BY Alan Greenblatt
Management & Labor

Mind Your Meters

Parking has gotten worse in Chicago, and many see Mayor Richard Daley's decision to privatize parking meters as the culprit. Daley has been a privatization... BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

A Succession Question

South Carolina is one of the most Republican states in the country, but picking a successor to Governor Mark Sanford is going to be a... BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Quittin' Time In Colorado

There's an employer in Colorado that is having serious problems retaining its workers: the state legislature. Five legislators have left office this year alone, including... BY Josh Goodman
Finance

Defining Prevention

Prevention is getting a bad rap--a growing number of health economists and providers are casting doubt on the ability of preventive medicine to squeeze costs... BY Penelope Lemov
Health & Human Services

Opening Up Medicaid

There's a little joke that makes the rounds whenever Medicaid directors get together. It goes like this: If you've seen one state Medicaid program, you've... BY Penelope Lemov
Potomac Chronicle

The Poisoned Bill

State budget cuts are undermining national health reform. BY Donald F. Kettl
Finance

Beating the Spread

What happens in Vegas is coming to Delaware. In May, Delaware became the third state, along with Nevada and Montana, to allow betting on sporting... BY Josh Goodman
Energy & Environment

Green at City Scale

Over the past decade, green building has moved out of the fringe and into the mainstream. LEED Gold and Platinum buildings are becoming commonplace in... BY Linda Baker
Economic Engines

Traveling At Good Speed

Transportation policy shouldn't be reduced to average commuting times. BY Alex Marshall
Urban Notebook

Urban Harvest

For urban agriculture to work, however, we'll need to stop talking about it in utopian terms. BY Christopher Swope

PROBLEM SOLVER

Management & Labor

Lean Legacy

The deal seemed too good to pass up or to ever undo: Iowa would create "charter agencies" and give them unprecedented freedom and flexibility to... BY Jonathan Walters
Public Money

Saving the Nest Egg

It's time to restore balance to the funding of pension plans. BY Girard Miller
Management & Labor

Technology for Tough Times

Struggling to deliver more services with fewer resources and to rise to the twin challenges of transparency and accountability, state and local leaders are counting... BY Zach Patton
Tech Talk

Caution: Outsourcing Ahead

Another big statewide IT project hits speed bumps. So does the CIO. BY Ellen Perlman
Smart Management

Bidding Boards Goodbye

Boards and commissions can be expensive--whether or not they meet. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Politics

New Alaska Governor Faces Difficult Year

As Alaska's new governor, Sean Parnell simply needs to diffuse a politically poisonous atmosphere, mend a fractured Republican Party and guide one of the largest... BY Josh Goodman