TABLE of CONTENTS May 2017

(Shutterstock)
Cover Story

In the Elusive Search for Affordable Housing, Clues Emerge

BY John Buntin

Economists, sociologists and political scientists have recently identified single-family zoning as a major obstacle to building more of it. Could that change soon?

FEATURES

U.S. Universities Fear Losing International Students

Students from abroad have become a rich revenue source for many state colleges and their towns. What happens if the Trump administration's anti-immigration sentiment and policies drive them away? BY Alan Greenblatt

The City Managers on a Constant Quest for New Places to Fix

Their discontent with the status quo and attraction to a big challenge has led to some unexpected moves from city to city. BY Liz Farmer

New P3s May Finally Bridge the Digital Divide

Many municipalities are forming public-private partnerships to bring high-speed Internet to long-neglected places. Their approaches, however, vary widely. BY Daniel C. Vock

Why Texas Is the Most Dangerous U.S. State to Have a Baby

Maternal mortality rates have been increasing throughout the nation. But if Texas was a country, it would have the highest in the developed world. BY Mattie Quinn

OBSERVER

Politics

How the Rapper Pitbull Has Divided Florida's Top Politicians

The recent feud between the governor and the state's House speaker began over a tourism ad. But it goes much deeper than that. BY Alan Greenblatt
Infrastructure & Environment

Is Jail a Fair Punishment for Skipping Bus Fare?

In Portland, Ore., people were being locked up for the offense often -- African-Americans disproportionately so. BY Alan Greenblatt
Finance

No Help From Noah: The County That Banked on a Religious Theme Park to Solve Its Money Problems

Facing bankruptcy, Grant County, Ky., invested in the park hoping for a new revenue source. But cash has yet to start flooding in. BY Alan Greenblatt
Education

In Indiana, Governors Push for More Control Over Education

Mike Pence tried first. Now Gov. Eric Holcomb is attempting to make the superintendent a gubernatorial appointment, leaving voters with little say over schools. BY Alan Greenblatt

POLITICS + POLICY

Assessments

Is Syracuse Necessary?

Some want to save the fiscally challenged city in New York by effectively abolishing it. BY Alan Ehrenhalt
Potomac Chronicle

Trump-Watching From City Hall

His policy choices will challenge places from Manhattan to Mobile, Ala. BY Peter A. Harkness
Elections

A New Way to Spot Partisan Gerrymandering

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on racial gerrymandering Monday, but judges still can't agree on what partisan gerrymandering looks like. Social scientists may be able to help. BY Alan Greenblatt
Health & Human Services

On Rx Drug Monitoring, States Take Doctors' Recommendations

Every state but one has a tracking system to combat the opioid epidemic. They have long been criticized as difficult to use, but upgrades are on their way. BY Mattie Quinn
Infrastructure & Environment

The Key to San Jose's Speedy Disaster Recovery: Garbage

After a natural disaster hits the California city, the environmental department is among the first on the ground. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Economic Engines

The Downside of Pragmatism

It served our ‘maker’ cities well for a long time. Now it holds them back. BY Aaron M. Renn
Urban Notebook

'What About Traffic?'

Debates about how to address housing shortages in already dense cities raise important points about managing chaos. BY Scott Beyer

PROBLEM SOLVER

Education

Fewer People Are Getting Degrees in Public Service

It's hard to say, though, whether this is a temporary adjustment or a long-term trend. BY Mike Maciag
Smart Management

10 Ways Public Officials Lie, Kind of

They fool some of the people most of the time. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Better Government

Managing the Evil That Institutions Do

Guarding against evil poses a dilemma for government managers, but it can be done. BY Mark Funkhouser
Tech Talk

Are State Ethics Rules Keeping Up With Social Media?

One state legislator's legal battle showcases how outdated laws can hamper citizen engagement -- and get officials in trouble. BY Tod Newcombe
Public Money

Where a Shopping Mall Used to Be, an Opportunity Arises

The decline of malls in America can mean lost jobs and lower tax revenues for states and municipalities -- but not always. BY Frank Shafroth
Infrastructure & Environment

In Houston's New Park, Art Goes Green

Smither Park celebrates folk art -- but only if it's recycled or reused. BY David Kidd