TABLE of CONTENTS September 2009

Cover Story

What is the Age of Responsibility?

BY Alan Greenblatt

Justin McNaull grew up in a hurry. By the time he was 23, McNaull had graduated from college, married and gone to work for his local...

FEATURES

In Pennsylvania, Re-Thinking the State Liquor Store

Most Pennsylvanians over the age of 40 can remember when buying wine or liquor in their state meant walking into one of several hundred state-owned stores... BY David Raskin

Hydrofracking for Natural Gas - Worth the Risk?

Learn why hydrofracking is important to Russia and the Middle East for accessing reserves of natural gas a mile-deep. BY Jonathan Walters

My Big Fat Pension Payoff

Just two years ago, Ray Patchett worked for the city of Carlsbad, California, a coastal town in northern San Diego County. Patchett, now 61, had served... BY Zach Patton

Stimulus Results: Difficult to Pin Down

Suppose you're a state budget director and you started this year looking at a huge fiscal shortfall (as virtually all of them did). It seemed... BY Josh Goodman

DEPARTMENTS

Hidden Section

Are Baby-Boom Governors More Prone to Scandal?

Blagojevich, Spitzer, Sanford, McGreevey and Rowland all had one thing in common. BY Alan Ehrenhalt

POLITICS + POLICY

Finance

For Louisiana's Governor, Jolts from Washington

No one really thinks of Bobby Jindal and Barack Obama as personal or even political rivals these days. But it seems like at every turn,... BY Alan Greenblatt
Finance

A Spending Spree in Kentucky

Like governments everywhere, cities and counties in Kentucky seem to realize that the current budget environment requires them to keep a close watch on spending.... BY Alan Greenblatt
Finance

Disappearing Dues in Kansas

Bankers, barbers and doctors in Kansas, who pay a fee to support the state organizations that monitors their professions, might want to take a close... BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Can a White Candidate Be Elected Mayor of Atlanta?

The question in Atlanta's mayoral election this fall isn't just who will win, but what it may reflect about the demographics of the city. City... BY Josh Goodman
Hidden Section

Why State Fiscal Forecasts Are Far Off the Mark

Budget prediction is an inexact non-science. BY Donald F. Kettl
Public Safety & Justice

How Advocates for Fire-Safe Cigarettes Beat Big Tobacco

As a member of Congress 25 years ago, Jim Shannon fought to put a self-extinguishing mechanism in all cigarettes that would make them less likely to... BY Josh Goodman
Health & Human Services

Soda: the New Front in the War on Obesity

Put down that can. The sweet soda in front of you may be frosty and cold and just waiting to quench your thirst, but it... BY Penelope Lemov
Energy & Environment

Compost: the Next Step in City Recycling Programs

Over the past decade, curbside yard debris and leaf collection programs have led to a dramatic increase in the amount of organic matter that is... BY Linda Baker
Economic Engines

The Weaknesses of Sweeping Privatization

The most important question is not whether private investment in roads and other public infrastructure will revive, but the degree to which it should. BY Alex Marshall
Urban Notebook

Cyclists: Traffic Scofflaws

Cities are asking bikers to obey the rules. BY Christopher Swope

PROBLEM SOLVER

Finance

For Unions, Tough Bargaining Times

This summer, St. Petersburg, Florida, Mayor Rick Baker declared a fiscal emergency. He wanted to reopen a union contract and put the brakes on scheduled 2010... BY Jonathan Walters
Smart Management

The Management Challenge of Bad Data

Obstacles to coming up with solid, accurate numbers to measure program performance are all over the place. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Tech Talk

Social Media Sites' Handicap Hurdle

As governments turn to Facebook and its ilk, they aren't paying enough attention to the needs of the visually or hearing-impaired. BY Ellen Perlman
Public Money

For Cash Managers, New Investment Risks

Inflation, rising interest rates and company defaults are among the perils. BY Girard Miller
Economic Development

Statewide Zoning: a Pipe Dream?

Gregory Bialecki wants something for Massachusetts that no other state has: a comprehensive statewide zoning code. He thinks that's needed to break down the longstanding... BY Alan Ehrenhalt