TABLE of CONTENTS December 2009

Cover Story

How Much Reform Can Providence Handle?

BY Rob Gurwitt

The Wu Tang Scram of tofu, bok choy, Napa cabbage and cashews served at Julian's, a restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island, might not seem like...

FEATURES

Should Cities Be in the Mega-Hotel Business?

The campaigns of Tom Leppert and Anne Raymond spent millions of dollars this spring wooing Dallas voters. Leppert and Raymond debated on radio and television.... BY Josh Goodman

Immigrants and the Suburban Influx

This fall, Parkview High School, in Lilburn, Georgia, was unable to field a ninth-grade football team. That is no tragedy; many schools have never even... BY Alan Ehrenhalt

Health-Care Reform and Grandpa's Care

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan saw a chance to realign the relationship between Washington and the states. He offered to switch government responsibilities: The states would... BY John Buntin

The Standardizing of Classroom Standards

How well can Johnny add? Right now, states try to answer that question in troublingly disparate ways. According to one recent federal study, a fourth-grade... BY Alan Greenblatt

DEPARTMENTS

Infrastructure & Environment

The Return of the Two-Way Street

Why the double-yellow stripe is making a comeback in downtowns. BY Alan Ehrenhalt

POLITICS + POLICY

Health & Human Services

Bending the Law on Slots

Gambling interests seeking permission to move into a state like to tell voters that neighboring states are already profiting from casinos and lotteries, so they... BY Alan Greenblatt
Infrastructure & Environment

California Voters and the Water Spigot

California has just enacted a huge and enormously complicated package of bills meant to put an end to the state's longstanding water wars. But the... BY Alan Greenblatt
Finance

Local Government and Recall Fever

The printed agenda for meetings of the county board in Monroe County, Wisconsin, always reminds elected supervisors to wear name tags, because "it helps visitors."... BY Alan Greenblatt
Lawmaking

A Democratic Governor's GOP Employment Program

Steve Beshear, the Democratic governor of Kentucky, is appointing Republicans to key offices--and other Republicans don't like it. Beshear's display of bipartisanship, GOP leaders say,... BY Josh Goodman
Potomac Chronicle

Washington's New Stinginess

There's no more cash for state and local governments in the latest round of federal spending to prop up the economy. BY Donald F. Kettl
Energy & Environment

Why States Are Saying No to Nuclear Plants

As climate-change legislation began winding its way through the U.S. Senate this fall, the outlines of a possible bipartisan deal came into focus. Republicans... BY Josh Goodman
Finance

Unhealthy Economy, Sick People

Employers--and that includes states and localities--have been focusing on wellness and prevention as a means of keeping their employees healthy and thereby less costly to... BY Penelope Lemov
Energy & Environment

Turning Golf Courses into Parks

Ellen DiIorio, a resident of Union County, New Jersey, had always dreamed of building a first-class archery range. But while the county Parks Department was... BY John Buntin
Economic Engines

Transportation Decisions: Part Calculation, Part Imagination

When it comes to roads, practicality and economics are important. But so is emotion. BY Alex Marshall
Urban Notebook

The Fascinating History of Parking

It's the untold chapter of America's love affair with its cars. BY Christopher Swope

PROBLEM SOLVER

Management & Labor

Collaborating for Technology

The Gaines County, Texas, Web site is not going to win design prizes anytime soon. The home page features a grainy photo of the county... BY Ellen Perlman
Smart Management

Government and the Stress Mess

Layoffs and furloughs are taking a toll on those who are still on the job. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Tech Talk

New Hires and the Facebook Effect

The texting generation needs help adjusting to a government's online ethos. BY Ellen Perlman
Public Money

The New Normal Economic Environment

Even in a post-recession economy, leaders must learn to say no. BY Girard Miller
Management & Labor

Next-Generation Government and Today's Needs

Today's leaders are wrestling with a big question: How can they shape next-generation government to fit the changing needs of their communities? At Governing's Managing... BY Zach Patton
Energy & Environment

Mike McGinn

In picking Mike McGinn as their next mayor, Seattle voters selected a little-known environmental activist over the incumbent and then over a wealthy and well-connected... BY Josh Goodman