TABLE of CONTENTS August 2009

Cover Story

In Memphis, a Plea for Regionalism

BY Alan Greenblatt

The mayor of Shelby County, Tennessee, is one of the relatively few local officials in America who regularly conducts business across state lines. As mayor...

FEATURES

How Bureaucracy and Bickering Brought Down Niagara Falls

Down an overgrown path along the bluffs above the Niagara River gorge, a couple of miles downstream from the breathtaking cataract that gives Niagara Falls,... BY Rob Gurwitt

Did Bill Bratton Succeed in Changing LAPD's Culture?

Dragnet. 77 Sunset Strip. As a boy growing up in Boston, Bill Bratton lapped up the exploits of the Los Angeles Police Department through his television.... BY John Buntin

Methane from Landfills

Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases: It's 20 to 25 times more powerful in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Although there... BY Brendan Schlauch

Primary Care Looks to States for a Booster Shot

Rhode Island doesn't have any retail health clinics. One major reason: toilets. Retail clinics are the facilities in drug stores or big-box stores where patients... BY Josh Goodman

DEPARTMENTS

Hidden Section

Paul Weyrich's Soft Spot for Public Transit

The late conservative leader debunks the free-market case against transit. BY Alan Ehrenhalt

POLITICS + POLICY

Management & Labor

Scandals at Home Weaken New Mexico's Governor

When federal officials let it be known that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson would not be indicted in the pay-to-play scandal that cost him a... BY Alan Greenblatt
Education

New Jersey's 'Non-Operating' School Districts

New Jersey has just 21 counties, but it has more than 600 school districts. Although merging small districts is a problem everywhere, New Jersey's system is so... BY Alan Greenblatt
Finance

Abdicating the Budget Role to the Governor

Legislators in many states this year, faced with huge budget shortfalls and difficult choices, must have been tempted to just sign off on any plan... BY Alan Greenblatt
Health & Human Services

Gay Marriage at a Crossroads

Other than the presidential election, no vote last November drew more attention than Proposition 8, California's ballot measure on gay marriage. The result, a 52 percent verdict... BY Josh Goodman
Politics

The Governors' Big-State Blues

When Arnold Schwarzenegger's approval rating hit a new low of 28 percent in one poll this summer, it must have been only a small consolation that... BY Josh Goodman
Health & Human Services

'Death Panels' Rationed Care 50 Years Ago

Amidst the recent furor over so-called "death panels" and whether or not they are in national health care reform proposals, there's a side story that's... BY John Buntin
Potomac Chronicle

Tying Federal Funding to Regional Cooperation

For the White House, the new mantra is 'metro regions.' BY Peter Harkness
Management & Labor

The Fight to Commercialize Rest Areas

Along I-95 in Maryland, rest stops come with fast-food restaurants and gas stations. Along I-95 in Virginia, they have orange barrels that block anyone from... BY Josh Goodman
Energy & Environment

Challenging Office Buildings to Go Green

Chicago's central business district, the Loop, is the city's economic engine. But all those skyscrapers are a climate-change engine, too: Commercial buildings account for 39 percent... BY Brendan Schlauch
Economic Engines

Economic Planning: More than One Agency Can Handle

There is a good lesson in the travails of a mammoth New York agency. BY William Fulton
Urban Notebook

A Competition to Re-Think the Suburbs

A little bit of absurdity may not be such a bad thing. BY Christopher Swope

PROBLEM SOLVER

Management & Labor

Still for Sale: Highways and Bridges

In April, when Chicago tried--but failed--to lease Midway Airport to private investors, the obituaries for public-private partnerships--PPPs--began appearing. Weak economic conditions and the bankruptcy of... BY Brendan Schlauch
Tech Talk

Catching a Bus with a BlackBerry

Mobile apps and social media are being tweaked to serve transportation needs. BY Ellen Perlman
Smart Management

Few Payoffs for Overtime Pay

It can be a drag on pensions and the bottom line. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Public Money

California: Paying the Price for Indulging Citizens

The Golden State's voters opted for more schools, roads and research, but then refused to pay for them. BY John E. Petersen
Management & Labor

For California's New Pension Chief, a Huge Burden

When he headed up the Washington State Investment Board, Joe Dear oversaw a $67 billion portfolio. Now that he's the new honcho at CalPERS, the California... BY Penelope Lemov