TABLE of CONTENTS January 2005

Cover Story

Trade Offs

BY Alan Greenblatt

A growing number of states don't want to be part of free-trade pacts that block their purchasing preferences.

Features

Sidewalk Cachet

Cracked concrete and calls for walkability are pushing cities to focus on long-neglected pavement. BY Elizabeth Daigneau

The Washington Offensive

Republicans may be suspicious of federal power, but they're imposing it on states and localities every chance they get. BY Alan Greenblatt

Burned By Success

An ingenious development director worked miracles in a small Georgia town. That didn't make the whole town happy. BY Rob Gurwitt

The Big Band Era

The quest for rapid and robust Internet access has cities grappling with how to bring the best of broadband to their businesses and residents. BY Christopher Swope

The Big Band Era

The quest for rapid and robust Internet access has cities grappling with how to bring the best of broadband to their businesses and residents. BY Christopher Swope

Up Front

Potomac Chronicle

The Pain Principle

When state legislators move up to the U.S. Congress, they seem to forget their roots. BY Jonathan Walters
Politics

Sudden Summons

Dave Heineman has done all sorts of jobs in Nebraska government. With his boss leaving for Washington, he's about to get the big one. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Sudden Summons

Dave Heineman has done all sorts of jobs in Nebraska government. With his boss leaving for Washington, he's about to get the big one. BY Alan Greenblatt

Transit Irony

I don't know how else to explain the odd combination of headlines about public transportation that has been appearing around the country these past few weeks. BY Alan Ehrenhalt

The Business of Government

Infrastructure & Environment

Banner Results

This was a survey that would have made Betsy Ross proud: hundreds of flag experts studied the flags of 150 U.S. cities on the Internet and rated them. And when the results came in last fall, Washington, D.C., could proudly boast that it has the best municipal flag in the land. BY Christopher Swope
Finance

Ready Money

About $2,500 worth of checks was bouncing each semester before the high school in Grossmont, California, adopted a no-check policy. BY Ellen Perlman
Health & Human Services

Big Blues Merger

California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi approved the merger of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies Anthem and WellPoint in November, allowing the creation of the nation's largest health insurer. BY Alan Greenblatt
Health & Human Services

Ferries Lose Their Sparkle

In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, private ferry company NY Waterway proved a lifesaver for 65,000 commuters as highway and rail access between New Jersey and Manhattan was cut off ["Do You Believe in Ferries?" March 2003]. Now, the once successful ferry service is in financial trouble. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Energy & Environment

Extreme Makeover: Clean Energy Peps Up its Image

Electricity deregulation means that customers can choose clean-energy options to power their homes. But the question on the collective minds of five Northeastern states was why so few buyers picked solar, wind or hydro-electric alternatives--power sources that are better for the environment than fossil fuels. BY Christopher Swope
Infrastructure & Environment

Toll Free: Bridging A Revenue Gap in Chicago

Anyone who's ever wanted to buy the Brooklyn Bridge can take heart: Chicago just auctioned off its Skyway toll bridge to the highest bidder. The 99-year, $1.83 billion lease went to the Cintra-Macquarie Consortium. The sale marks the first privatization of an existing tollway in the United States. BY Christopher Swope
Tech Talk

Laptop Lessons

As school districts try to stretch their tech dollars, they are testing ways to bring the Internet and mobile computing to the classroom. BY Ellen Perlman
Technology

Grid Lock: West Virginia Powers Up Its Computing Capacity

West Virginia is buying into a very 21st-century economic development engine. A few weeks ago, it authorized funding to develop the first state-sponsored, public grid computing effort. BY Ellen Perlman
Smart Management

A Little Less Input, Please

Gathering all the public input you can may sound like a good idea, but it's often more of a pain than a panacea. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Health & Human Services

California Dreamin'

Piecemeal reforms show the unwillingness of policy makers to take bold steps to deal with the nation's health care crisis. BY Penelope Lemov
Health & Human Services

California Dreamin'

Piecemeal reforms show the unwillingness of policy makers to take bold steps to deal with the nation's health care crisis. BY Penelope Lemov
Health & Human Services

California Dreamin'

Piecemeal reforms show the unwillingness of policy makers to take bold steps to deal with the nation's health care crisis. BY Penelope Lemov
Public Money

No Help From Higher-Ups

The states can expect to bear the fiscal burden of major changes in federal taxes and domestic spending. BY John E. Petersen
Energy & Environment

Going for the Flow

For folks who don't live in Indiana--and even for many who do--it's tough to stay on top of what time it is there. The majority of the state doesn't observe daylight-savings time, but the intra-state divisions--15 counties make the daylight-savings switch while 77 don't--create a state of confusion.

Numerous attempts have been made to bring Indiana up to speed with its neighbors and unify the time system, but none has yet succeeded. Now the movement has a new champion in recently elected Governor Mitch Daniels.

Daniels argues that it's an economic development issue, that existing businesses are hampered by the time confusion and that new industries would be more interested in coming if the state were in clock lockstep. In particular, he sees opportunities for expansions of airport hubs and of logistics and computer-related industries.

The state's chamber of commerce is in sync with Daniels' call for change, pointing to missed meetings and flights and botched phone calls as problems caused for businesses in the state. "We're out of step with the rest of the country," says Ellen Whitt, a spokesperson for the governor.

Those opposed to the new timing range from residents who don't want to reset a multitude of clocks twice a year to agricultural interests that benefit from the regularity of the current schedule. In the past, every effort to change the state's time system has been turned aside but, with the momentum from Daniels' win and some new faces in the legislature, supporters are looking to this year as their best hope for success.

BY John E. Petersen
Economic Development

It's About Time

Indiana may--finally--buy into daylight savings. BY John E. Petersen