TABLE of CONTENTS May 2010

Cover Story

High-Speed Rail: Transit Solution or Financial Disaster?

BY Josh Goodman

California is racing to build an ambitious high-speed rail system. Some cities think it should slow down.

FEATURES

Poverty Comes to the Suburbs

Poverty is encroaching on suburban enclaves -- even the most affluent of them. Many are ill-equipped to meet the new social-service needs. BY Zach Patton

Preventing Government PR Disasters

Agencies caught in the eye of a scandal need a pre-plan for defusing the storm of media attention. BY Jonathan Walters

Growing America: Demographics and Destiny

With America expected to grow by 100 million people in the next 40 years, how will states and localities run a bigger, more diverse country? BY Joel Kotkin

Protecting and Preserving the Tenderloin

Can police Chief George Gascón clean up this San Francisco district without pushing the poor out? BY John Buntin

DEPARTMENTS

Dispatch

Pothole Principles

Preventing small problems from growing bigger takes on significance in today's economy. BY Paul W. Taylor

POLITICS+ POLICY

Public Workforce

Dues and Don'ts

As states engage in yet another round of budget cutting, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has zeroed in on an unlikely target: the money his state... BY Josh Goodman
Economic Development

Small Bag Tax, Big Impact

The tax on disposable bags in the nation's capital has had a noteworthy impact. BY Josh Goodman
Education

Counting Down the School Days

Could shortening school years be a pain-free way for school districts to save money? BY Josh Goodman
Politics

Nevada's Comeback Kid?

Almost from the day he stepped into office, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons has been widely unpopular. But somehow, he still has a chance to win... BY Josh Goodman
Potomac Chronicle

Education Reform is the New Game in Town

What's not to like about the Race to the Top? Plenty, it seems. BY Peter Harkness
Politics

Nullifying the Feds

Even before President Barack Obama signed health-care reform into law, two states had already taken steps to invalidate it. In Utah, lawmakers proposed a measure... BY Heather Kerrigan
Economic Development

The Miami-Dade Diet

Health care won't cost less until people get healthy. (Photo: Tony Alter/Flickr CC). BY Jessica B. Mulholland
Energy & Environment

Parks and Re-Cessation

Closing state parks may be a politically palatable option, but is it the smart financial choice? BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Economic Engines

Lending a Small Hand

A revived Small Business Administration is good news for local government. BY William Fulton
Urban Notebook

Muni Threat: Cities Weigh Chapter 9

The economic slump is forcing debt-laden municipalities nationwide to consider filing for bankruptcy. BY Tod Newcombe

PROBLEM SOLVER

Economic Development

Taxing Away Exemptions

Pittsburgh's proposed tax would have been a first: a 1 percent levy on all tuition paid by the city's 100,000 college students. If it had passed, it... BY Penelope Lemov
Smart Management

When Public Officials Play Hide and Seek

The low-tech telephone plays a key role in keeping government connected to citizens. Too bad, officials never pick up. (Photo: Chris Campbell/Flickr CC) BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Tech Talk

Government "Apps" Move from Cool to Useful

Recently created government "apps" contests are popular, but are they worth doing? BY Steve Towns
Public Money

Sinking Ships of State

Deep cuts in state and local spending may exert an undertow on the nation's recovery. BY John E. Petersen
Health & Human Services

Mile-High Health Reform

Dr. Patricia Gabow molds Denver's public health system into a national model. BY John Buntin