TABLE of CONTENTS September 2007

Cover Story

Visual Effects

BY Jonathan Walters

Using graphics to present performance data can help make the case for policy or budget changes.

Features

The Wi-Fi That Wasn't

Citywide wireless networks aren't dead. It's just that the terms of the deals are changing--radically. BY Christopher Swope

Complex Rx

Biologic meds are the wonder drugs of our time. Can we afford them? BY Zach Patton

Radio Activity

Two years ago, a report came in of a plane crash on a grassy hillside near Anchorage's airport, in the middle of a park where... BY Ellen Perlman

A Shot in the Dark

It won't be like Hurricane Katrina: a cataclysmic event that kills, injures or traumatizes everyone within its force and destroys homes, highways and businesses within... BY Gary Enos

The $3 Trillion Challenge

Texas pensions have a problem. Four-fifths of the nearly 100 public retirement plans are underfunded -- not by a thousand dollars here and a million there.... BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene

Bare-Knuckle Gentility

Every summer, but especially in off-year election seasons like this one, the Mississippi state capitol moves to a dusty fairground in Neshoba County. The unofficial... BY Mark Stencel

Out of the Blue

To say it's been a remarkable year for Michael Nutter is to understate the case. As the campaign for mayor of Philadelphia began last winter,... BY Josh Goodman

Getting the Public's Attention

When it comes to public-sector performance measures, collecting and verifying data are hard enough. Then comes the challenge of trying to actually get the attention... BY Jonathan Walters

Up Front

BY Jonathan Walters
Politics

Mighty Malcontent

For nearly 40 years, Ernie Chambers has made his colleagues mad--and made them listen. BY Alan Greenblatt
Economic Development

Tired of Cutting

After a tough year of spending reductions, Maryland ponders a new approach. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Eliot's Shaky Summer

New York's tough-talking governor tries easing up a bit. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

City Hall Solution

Can mayors really help schools by running them? Perhaps. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

How Clean Is Clean?

Campaign reform laws yield modest but tangible results. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Bart's Gamble

For even the most popular officeholder, raising taxes is risky. BY Alan Greenblatt
Hidden Section

Two Decades of Debate

Federalism is clearly cyclical. BY Alan Ehrenhalt
Tech Talk

The Power Switch

The emerging topic for state CIOs is how to reconfigure desktops and computing practices to save energy. BY Ellen Perlman
Potomac Chronicle

Build, Crumble and Build More

Why don't we fix old roads and bridges? Because it's more fun to make new ones. BY Donald F. Kettl
Economic Engines

A La Mode

We need to look at economic and life-style questions when we decide on our next investments in infrastructure. BY Alex Marshall

The Business of Government

BY Alex Marshall
Tech Talk

The Power Switch

The emerging topic for state CIOs is how to reconfigure desktops and computing practices to save energy. BY Ellen Perlman
Tech Talk

Text Talk: Boston Keys in for Crime Tips

Picking up and dialing from a pay phone is the best way to give an anonymous crime tip to police. Or is it? BY Ellen Perlman
Management & Labor

Wellness--Or Else!

The latest buzzword in managing health care costs is "wellness"-- programs that emphasize prevention and personal accountability. BY Girard Miller
Management & Labor

A Better Deal: New York States Helps Those Who Help It

Nonprofits have always been subject to high performance benchmarks to ensure they provide quality services. Now, New York State is making sure that the state agencies that contract with nonprofits are doing a better job. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Health & Human Services

Diagnosis for a Disorder

States step in to provide services for children with autism. BY Alan Greenblatt
Health & Human Services

Menu Mandate: King County Wants You to Know What You're Eating

Policy makers in King County, Washington, are hungry for restaurant regulation. BY Josh Goodman
Economic Development

Sweat, No Equity

Some states offer the chance to live in a run-down historic house for free in exchange for fixing it up. BY Christopher Swope
Economic Development

Sweat, No Equity

Some states offer the chance to live in a run-down historic house for free in exchange for fixing it up. BY Christopher Swope
Finance

Friday Night Lights: Small City Seeks Radio Revenue

With health costs, retiree benefits and other local government expenses increasing every year, localities are asking their agencies to get creative in finding new revenue. The Department of Parks and Recreation in Jefferson, Georgia, did just that this past August when it launched a community radio station. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Energy & Environment

Invasion of the Aliens

Sixty years ago, anglers on upstate New York lakes began landing some gruesome catches. The prized lake trout they'd haul into their boats carried raw... BY Tom Arrandale
Economic Engines

Hyping the Hip

Cities need to attract both the "creative class" and blue-collar manufacturing to survive in the 21st century. BY William Fulton