TABLE of CONTENTS April 2012

Cover Story

Are Cities' Pledges to End Homelessness Working?

BY Jonathan Walters

Though the number of homeless has increased since numerous pledges were made in the early 2000s to end it, some progress has been made on the nation's understanding of the phenomenon.


The 5 Biggest U.S. Infrastructure Projects, Plus 5 at Risk

From Washington, D.C., to California, read about the five biggest projects in the country right now -- and the five biggest ones in jeopardy. BY Ryan Holeywell

State Broadband Initiatives Accelerate to Bridge Digital Divide

States have recently accelerated efforts to boost Internet connection speeds and expand access to unserved regions of the country. BY Mike Maciag

State Broadband Projects and Initiatives

A summary of various initiatives states are pursuing to expand broadband access. BY Mike Maciag

Results-Only Work Environment Goes Public Sector

The Results-Only Work Environment, which allows work to be done at nearly anytime and anywhere, has the potential to cut workforce costs and boost morale. BY Heather Kerrigan

Cities of the Future May Soon Look Like Those of the Past

Urbanist Alan Ehrenhalt explains how America’s cities are changing, why and what this means for urban life in the future. BY Alan Ehrenhalt



Wisconsin Recall Elections Draw Lots of Attention -- and Cash

The recalls of Gov. Scott Walker, his lieutenant and four state senators could top $100 million, but that's just a prelude to the fall when the parties will fight for control of the state House. BY Caroline Cournoyer

GIS Mapping Helps Frogtown, Minnesota Track Neighborhood Data

Residents use geographic info systems to learn more about where they live. BY Caroline Cournoyer

Grease Disposal Laws Target Thieves

California and Virginia have passed statutes to regulate the disposal of cooking grease -- a hot commodity because of the demand for biofuel -- to keep people from stealing it from restaurants. BY Caroline Cournoyer

Tuition? UC Riverside Students Say Bill Me Later

A student group called “Fix UC” suggests colleges take a share of each student’s salary for the first 20 years after they graduate. BY Caroline Cournoyer
By the Numbers

Prison Counts Decline As States Enact Reforms

The nation's prison population recently declined for the first time in nearly 40 years. View a map and detailed data for your state. BY Mike Maciag

Sunday Alcohol Sales Making a Comeback

In the last decade, 15 states have repealed so-called blue laws that banned Sunday sales of beer, wine and liquor. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Public Safety & Justice

Ex-Police Chief William Bratton Discusses Government Collaboration in New Book

In Collaborate or Perish!, William Bratton and Harvard Kennedy School senior researcher Zachary Tumin tell governments how they can work together more often and more effectively. BY Caroline Cournoyer

Recession Recovery: Local Governments Must Guide the Way

People are finally starting to bounce back from the recession, and they’re looking to local governments -- not the feds or the states -- to guide them into a better future. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Potomac Chronicle

Insourcing Jobs Can Only Happen with States’ Help

Much of President Barack Obama's federal effort to bring jobs back home depends on states' ability to educate and train workers. BY Caroline Cournoyer

Can America Fix Its Infrastructure by Ending Its Wars?

President Obama says it can, but analysts say that's an oversimplification. BY Ryan Holeywell

If Anti-Smoking Programs Save Millions, Why Are States Cutting Them?

States are slashing or eliminating programs that could save them money. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Energy & Environment

Cities Tout Municipal Tap Water as Better Than Bottled

Municipal drinking water is safer, more cost effective and better for the environment -- three facts cities want their residents to know. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Economic Engines

Encouraging Biking, Walking in Large U.S. Metro Areas

When home, work, school and shopping are in closer proximity, travel is easier. What can cities do to help get people out of their cars and onto their feet? BY Caroline Cournoyer
Urban Notebook

Railroad Park Unites Birmingham, Alabama

The park, which is part of a trend of turning urban, industrial spaces into green space, pairs a functional railroad with an amphitheater, walking trails, grassy lawns and more. BY Caroline Cournoyer


Public Safety & Justice

Meth Lab Cleanup Program Contains Costs for Tenn.

Meth labs are on the rise again and federal funding can’t keep up. Now states have to pick up the mess -- and the bill. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Smart Management

Government Fleets’ Costs Driven Down with Technology Tools

The technology is there, but many state and local agencies still aren’t using it. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Idea Center

Maryland Considering Incentives for Work in ‘Health Enterprise Zones’

The idea of offering financial incentives to boost services in select areas is common for economic development -- but rarely used to improve health care. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Idea Center

Transferring 911 Mental-Health Calls Could Reduce Harm

An Oregon county will begin transferring 911 calls from people having mental-health crises to qualified professionals who can keep callers out of jail and danger. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Tech Talk

Colorado Government Takes a Play from ‘Moneyball’

The hit movie details how the Oakland Athletics baseball team analyzed patterns and huge sets of data to improve their record. Colorado is doing the same to improve public policy. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Public Money

OPEB Made Easier

A new set of best practices for 'other post-employment benefits' BY Zach Patton
Public Safety & Justice

Occupy Salt Lake City Ends Peacefully

Police Chief Chris Burbank’s diplomatic ways helped the city avoid the violent clashes that plagued other places. BY Caroline Cournoyer