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Tina Trenkner  |  Deputy Editor, GOVERNING.com

Email : ttrenkner@governing.com Twitter : @tinatrenkner

Tina Trenkner (@TinaTrenkner) is GOVERNING.com deputy web editor. She started at GOVERNING in 2009 and has covered stories such as the rise of the coder in local government and the risks of using social media. Previously, she worked for Education Week and Pre-K Now, a completed project from the Pew Center on the States. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and thinks of Evanston often.

 

Columns

Putting Psychology to Work in the Public Sector

Three new books offer public officials insights into how people make judgments — and how institutions can make better decisions.

September 4, 2013
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Baltimore Police Chief Bealefeld to Retire in August

Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld announced Thursday night that he will retire after 31 years with the police force, reports the Baltimore Sun.

May 4, 2012
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Tax Incentives Report: Half of States Not Evaluating Their Efficacy

Half of the states and Washington, D.C. do not have effective methods for evaluating tax incentives for economic development, according to a new report by the Pew Center on the States.

April 12, 2012
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Connecticut Gov. Malloy on His Fixes for Budgets, Benefits, Jobs

Budget holes, public sector benefits and job creation: these are issues everyone governor is grappling with. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has made considerable progress on each of them, explaining his approach during a lunchtime keynote speech Tuesday.

January 31, 2012
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No Second Term for N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue's campaign committee released a statement Thursday afternoon that she will not seek a second term.

January 26, 2012
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Report: American Press Freedom Declines Due to Occupy Arrests

The United States has dropped 27 spots in Reporters Without Borders 10th annual World Press Freedom Index, now ranking at 47th in the world for press freedom.

January 25, 2012
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Gabe Klein Pursues a Pedestrian-Friendly Message in Chicago

After instituting new bike lanes and one of the nation’s largest bikeshare programs in D.C., Klein hopes to have similar success as Chicago’s new transit chief.

November 30, 2011
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Fighting for Union Equality in Wisconsin

Even though Gov. Scott Walker left public safety employees out of his attack on unions, the president of the Madison fire fighters union protested as if it were his own.

September 30, 2011
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Florida’s Unlikely Emergency Management Director

Many are watching to see how former Wal-Mart executive Bryan Koon will adapt his private-sector knowledge to aiding the Sunshine State.

August 31, 2011
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Archive

Director of D.C. Lottery Attempts to Go Online

Washington, D.C., hopes to roll out the nation’s first online intrastate casino. Buddy Roogow is leading the way.

July 29, 2011
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Dealing with Disruptive Change in the Public Workforce

How can employees and managers address and benefit from changes in government? Patrick Ibarra, a former city manager and now workforce consultant, provides insight on how to keep employees focused and engaged.

July 15, 2011
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Employing the Unemployed After A Disaster

U.S. Department of Labor grants help fund efforts like the Missouri Disaster Recovery Jobs Program, which provides temp jobs to those unemployed due to tornadoes and floods.

July 11, 2011
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Archive

Ohio Lt. Governor's Job Is a Balancing Act

Mary Taylor is the only deputy to also serve as the state insurance commissioner, a position she balances along with heading up a regulatory reform commission.

June 30, 2011
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Orange Beach, Ala., Mayor Works to Bring Tourists Back

Mayor Tony Kennon has pushed for bigger beach cleanup efforts, faster settlement of claims and larger marketing budgets to bring visitors back to Alabama's Gulf Coast.

May 31, 2011
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Talking to Local Gov About Transparency

A recent transparency conference provided one Virginia local official the opportunity to explain the challenge governments like his face in embracing transparency initiatives.

May 10, 2011
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Archive

What State is Next for Prize-Linked Savings Programs?

Credit union officials in Rhode Island are having discussions on a potential PLS pilot, while a few states are considering legislation allowing for such programs.

April 19, 2011
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New York State's Medicaid Director Suggests Cuts

Jason Helgerson, formerly Wisconsin's Medicaid director, came to New York to help control costs.

March 31, 2011
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States Considering Prize-Linked Savings Programs

Credit unions want permission to award cash and prizes to customers who save.

March 31, 2011
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NYC Building Permits To Feature Quick Response Codes

Square codes on building permits allows passersby to learn more about construction via their smartphones.

March 7, 2011
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Oakland, Calif. Elects First Female, Asian-American Mayor

Former City Councilmember Jean Quan hopes to make her office more accessible and transparent.

February 28, 2011
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City of Maricopa Profiles Local Businesses for TV and YouTube

Featuring Maricopa business owners through city channels provides credibility and publicity, and encourages citizens to buy local.

February 17, 2011
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Archive

Video: O'Malley, Sebelius and Zandi at Outlook 2011

Maryland Gov. O'Malley, Sec. Sebelius, and economist Mark Zandi shared their fiscal and political forecasts at the 2011 Outlook on the States and Localities conference. Their remarks are now available online.

February 16, 2011
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Archive

AZ Permits for Overweight Trucks Expedite Crossings at Border

An Arizona Department of Transportation pilot allows produce trucks from Mexico to enter the state with more cargo, helping expedite crossings.

February 14, 2011
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Utah Bill Proposes Community Service for Medicaid Pilot

The Utah Legislature is considering a bill that would set up a pilot program requiring unemployed Medicaid recipients to provide community service in order to receive benefits.

February 7, 2011
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Archive

Can Dimmer Highway Lights Save Energy and Still Save Lives?

This is the question the Maryland State Highway Administration hopes to answer with a one-year pilot program.

January 31, 2011
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Big Things Ahead for Nebraska's Speaker

Mike Flood, a lawyer and broadcaster, leads the nation's only unicameral Legislature.

February 1, 2011
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Offering Valet in Downtown Carolina Cities

To entice more people to enjoy downtown restaurants and attractions, Charleston, S.C. is pursuing a year-long valet pilot program. Chapel Hill, N.C., currently operates a similar valet parking program.

January 24, 2011
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Local Coders Help Improve Government Functions

There’s a new breed of software developer helping local government.

January 1, 2011
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Columns

Foursquare and 2010 Political Data

Could Foursquare predict voter sentiment and election results? A few online projects are testing how the location-based social platform can be utilized for election and political coverage.

November 2, 2010
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Scottsdale Librarians Call Ghost Hunters, Attracting Visitors

As part of their adult programming, the Scottsdale Public Library invited local investigators to search for paranormal activity. What librarians found was an increase in interest and visits.

October 28, 2010
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

States' Regulation on the Gadsden Flag

Is flying the "Don't Tread on Me" flag a protected nod to America’s past? Some states’ laws are unclear.

November 1, 2010
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Archive

Foursquare and 2010 Election Data

A couple of online projects are trying Foursquare to test how the location-based social platform can be utilized for election coverage.

October 28, 2010
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A Less Traditional Format for Boulder's Meetings

Would constituents be more likely to attend meetings on upcoming city projects if they knew that pumpkin painting, concerts or pancake breakfasts would be offered? Boulder, Colo., city officials think so.

October 21, 2010
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Los Angeles and Beijing Partner to Battle Congestion

Two cities, notorious for their traffic congestion problems, propose a partnership to share resources and research on how to combat these issues.

September 30, 2010
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Archive

States Take a Closer Look at Interstate Tolling

States stuck with maintaining federal highways are paying more attention to the potential of interstate tolls.

October 1, 2010
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Archive

A Simple Way to Explain Health Care Reform

Does thinking about health care reform make your head hurt? A video by the Kaiser Family Foundation makes things easy.

September 22, 2010
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

New York Illegal Sublet Law Affects Vacation Rentals

A clarification in New York's housing laws targets illegal hotel operators -- and apartment owners.

September 1, 2010
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Archive

Enrolling Childless Adults in Medicaid

A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation can help states prepare to enroll and care for childless adults that will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014.

August 12, 2010
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Finding Public Officials' Salary Info

If citizens wanted to find out how much money their public officials make, just how easy is it for them to find this information?

August 4, 2010
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Archive

Taking a Swipe at Card-Swiping Fees

A growing source of profit for card companies took a hit in Vermont.

July 30, 2010
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Seattle Tackles Broadband

Seattle is considering building its own fiber-to-the-home network. Should the city get involved when its residents are already connected?

July 30, 2010
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Archive

Wireless Takes San Francisco to Court

A new city ordinance requiring retailers to display how much radiation cell phones give off is causing quite a stir with the wireless industry.

July 28, 2010
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Protecting Student Test Scores From Recruiters

A new Maryland law prohibits schools from sending test scores to military recruiters. It might protect student privacy, but prevent career discovery.

June 30, 2010
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Archive

'Race' Deja Vu

If the education news you read over the last 24 hours sounds familiar, it's because of a January and June deadline for Race to the Top.

June 1, 2010
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Growing Green Jobs for Vets

Training veterans in urban forestry provides them with job skills and a potential career. It also helps Denver get a little closer to its goal of planting 1 million trees.

May 27, 2010
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Paying for Lost Time

What is the responsibility of states to innocent people wrongly convicted of a crime?

June 1, 2010
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Nashville's ReBuild Clinics

Nashville residents affected by flash floods have a day dedicated for meeting with a team of volunteer advisers on how to create a rebuilding and recovery plan.

May 20, 2010
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Archive

Ethics Codes: Too Long? Too Short?

Does the length of an ethics code affect how much it can help public employees? An assistant city manager in California responds.

May 19, 2010
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Scanning Drivers Licenses at the Polls

Scanning driver's license bar codes to check-in voters could minimize the amount of time waiting at the polls.

May 10, 2010
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Solving Two Problems with One Program

A partnership in Maine could help repair homes and provide disadvantaged workers with career training.

May 6, 2010
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Groceries at the Library

Libraries are evolving to offer a wider variety of services, including grocery ordering and pick up.

April 29, 2010
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Blowing Up Bridges?

If your county needs to demolish a major structure but doesn't have the funds to do so, where can commissioners turn? One Pinellas County, Florida...

April 8, 2010
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Judges and Truancy Teams

Truancy, or unexcused absences from school, can be an early indicator of potential troubling behaviors. In Maryland, truants at select schools may be able to...

April 1, 2010
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Ohio A.G. Protects Small Biz

In Ohio, if a small business had a problem with dishonest vendors or unfair practices, they had few options to make things right. The state's...

March 7, 2010
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Archive

Guns on Campus

After the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy and in the wake of the recent University of Alabama in Huntsville shooting, people who study or work on a...

March 31, 2010
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Archive

Lose the Local Newspaper, Get Re-elected?

Over the weekend, Time magazine highlighted a new study from Princeton that may predict what could happen to a city if one of its daily ...

March 23, 2009
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Archive

Asphalt with a Side of Chicken

Fast-food chain KFC is offering to fix four cities' pothole problems in a public-private partnership designed to help advertise the freshness of the restaurant's ...

March 27, 2009
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Archive

Municipal Government as Must See TV

A few people at Governing are anticipating tonight's premiere of NBC's "Parks and Recreation," a mockumentary about a deputy director of ... ...

April 9, 2009
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Archive

A Tree (and Fruits and Veggies) Grow in Detroit

What exactly is growing in Detroit right now? A little digging finds that urban gardens have and are taking root in the Motor City. The ...

April 22, 2009
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Archive

California's Budget Isn't a Game. Oh Wait. Yeah, It Is.

Nobody envies the position California's lawmakers are in. They have a $21.3 billion hole to fill. But do those of us who aren't state ...

May 22, 2009
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Archive

2009 Webby for Best Government Site: "Making Infrastructure Sexy"

This week, the 13th annual Webbys were awarded to Web sites that exemplify the best on the Internet each year. The distinctive aspect of the ...

June 11, 2009
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Archive

Former Officials: Beware of Comments Amplified via Facebook

Lots of Facebook users share things on their own and on others' profiles, like how much they can't wait for the new Harry Potter ...

July 16, 2009
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Archive

Brad Pitt: Most Eligible ... Mayor?

This morning on the TODAY show, Ann Curry interviewed Brad Pitt, and she asked if he would consider running for mayor of New Orleans. Most ...

August 13, 2009
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Archive

Trekking through Niagara Falls

GOVERNING's design director David Kidd and c orrespondent Rob Gurwitt traveled to the Niagara Falls region for a September story comparing the economic conditions ...

August 25, 2009
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Archive

Niagara Falls, By Way of Boston

In this installment of Story Behind the Story, correspondent Rob Gurwitt learned just how much someone would travel to see both sides of Niagara Falls. ...

August 26, 2009
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Archive

Story Behind the Story On Hiatus This Week

Over the last few days, Governing's office has been buzzing over our Managing Performance conference in Atlanta this week. In lieu of another installment ...

September 29, 2009
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Archive

High on Government

I've been traveling around the country, photographing people and places for GOVERNING, for almost a year now. The obvious location to make pictures of dedicated ...

December 1, 2009
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Archive

'Twas the Night Before Christmas -- B&G Edition

Photo courtesy of alsandro, Wikimedia Commons. In lieu of a Question of the Week that we usually post on Facebook and LinkedIn (requires sign-in and ...

December 10, 2009
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Archive

The Winner of the 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, B&G Edition

Photo courtesy of pugetsoundphotowalks, Creative Commons. Here at Governing, we wanted to have a little fun for the holidays. So we posted a government-themed holiday ...

December 17, 2009
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'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Finalist #3

For our final entry in the 'Twas the Night Before Christmas government-poem contest, an entry from Colorado: 'Twas the ...

December 18, 2009
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Archive

Move over Highway Gothic, Make Way for Clearview

You may not really notice it, but the fonts used on the signs you read have a huge role in how you receive information. If ...

December 31, 2009
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Archive

Public Records in a Box

On Facebook, both seasoned users and newbies may struggle with what to put in the little box below the profile picture that says "Write ...

January 5, 2010
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Archive

Open Government: One Year Later

One year ago, President Obama released his Open Goverment memo, encouraging more transparency. How much progress has been made one year later? Chris Quigley, founder ...

January 21, 2010
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Archive

A British Take on 'The Next Age of Government'

Last month, when I spoke to e-communications firm Delib founder Chris Quigley (who filmed a short documentary about President Obama's Open Government memo one ...

February 16, 2010
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Online Metrics for Government Sites

Governments have performance data to judge the efficiency of the programs they put in place. Naturally, online sites have metrics too. How soon will that ...

February 23, 2010
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Archive

Race to the Top's First Round Winners

The U.S. Department of Education announced the first winners of Race to the Top, the $4.35 billion grant program encouraging states to make big reforms ...

March 30, 2010
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Archive

Millennials, Internships and Government

Last week, Governing's Public Workforce newsletter writer, Heather Kerrigan, and I were throwing around some potential story ideas to cover this summer. One topic ...

April 6, 2010
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Archive

Cancer-Causing Phones?

Andrea Boland is worried about cell phone safety, but unlike a lot of state legislators, her focus is not talking or texting while driving. Instead,...

February 1, 2010
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Archive

Rushing to Pay for Education Reform

The week before Jan. 19, 2010, was a busy one for Tim Webb, Tennessee's commissioner of education. Webb and his aides were in meetings and briefings in...

February 1, 2010
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Archive

Is Social Media a Friend or Foe of Government?

Jeffrey Horne wasn't new to social media. He liked using Facebook and Twitter to keep up with friends and had dabbled some in blogging. Early...

December 31, 2009
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Georgia Clears a Path for Legal Adoption of Embryos

A new law in Georgia makes it the first state to clear a legal path for adopting human embryos in much the same way as...

October 31, 2009
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Rules for Engagement

As more and more state and local agencies use social media as a tool to share news and updates, many Web managers suggest having a...

February 8, 2010
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Faith in Disaster Prep

If a disaster strikes your community, who or what would you consult in order to save your family? If you live in San Mateo County,...

January 25, 2010
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Trial by YouTube?

The federal trial in which California's Proposition 8 will be challenged is controversial for two reasons: the legal issue and the broadcasting issue at stake. A...

January 11, 2010
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Mix Sugar Beet Molasses and Salt Brine, Sprinkle Over Roads.

Many roadway authorities are looking for ways to cut down on the costs to prepare and clear lanes during winter storms. Last week's Idea Center...

November 23, 2009
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Gifts that Give Back to the State

Washington State is looking to narrow its budget gap and one way the state is trying to do so can be seen at malls this...

November 16, 2009
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Tracking Ballots via E-mails and Texts

This year, the city and county of Denver sent out 344,000 ballots for a mail-only election on school board representatives and an auto impound ordinance. To...

November 2, 2009
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Checking Newborns for Health Care

A recent New Jersey mandate requires all children to have health insurance. Hospitals statewide are encouraged to enroll uninsured newborns in the state's free or...

November 9, 2009
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Cutting Consumption at the Citywide Yard Sale

Photo courtesy of C-Ali, under a Creative Commons license. This past June, Palo Alto, California, hosted its first citywide yard sale, designating a day when...

October 26, 2009
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Mayors on Playgrounds

St. Petersburg, Florida Mayor Rick Baker was one of the mayors that nonprofit KaBOOM! recognized for creating and updating city playgrounds. Photo courtesy of KaBOOM!...

October 22, 2009
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One Town's Goal: Add More Years to Lives

There are a few places that are recognized as "blue zones" for having a large number of centenarians -- among them Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma...

October 18, 2009
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Tweet Advisory

Need real-time road updates? Unsure if you should boil water -- just to be safe? Check the news, but you may want to check Twitter...

October 15, 2009
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Green Certification for Tourism

The next time you visit Montauk, New York City or the Finger Lakes, it may be easier to dine or sleep greener. Within the last...

October 7, 2009
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Economic Competitiveness Teams in Louisiana

In 2008, Louisiana was ranked #22 in Site Selection magazine's Top State Business Climate Rankings, a huge jump from being unranked in 2007. To help strengthen municipalities' ability...

October 5, 2009
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Green Economies State-by-State

Many economists say that there could be a jobless recovery in the next few years, but development of green economies in the states could create...

October 1, 2009
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Mediating Ike

One year ago, Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast, damaging homes and pushing homeowners to file claims with insurance companies. But filing claims also comes...

September 14, 2009
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A Teacher's Idea Puts Administrators in the Classroom

Broward County Public Schools started school this week, and some surprising figures are expected to take their turn at the chalkboard. This year, administrators that...

August 23, 2009
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More Envelopes for Unused Meds

GOVERNING recognized Maine's Safe Medicine Disposal for ME Program as a way for the state to prevent unused medications from entering the water supply or...

August 17, 2009
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Hide that GPS, Please

The next time you see a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, walking through a parking lot, don't automatically assume he or she is ready...

August 3, 2009
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Checks for Crab Licenses

Photo illustration by fishfoot, available under a Creative Commons license. This year has been the first year since 1994 that Maryland's blue crab population has been...

July 13, 2009
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Designing Healthier Neighborhoods for Kids

Photo by richardmasoner, available under a Creative Commons license. Nearly a third of all children are overweight, often caused by factors such as poor nutrition...

June 29, 2009
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Ballot Measures in Citizen-Speak

This video from the 2008 press conference after Oregon's first Citizens' Initiative Review highlights representatives from the panel explaining why they support or oppose Ballot Measure 58....

June 22, 2009
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An Oasis in the Food Desert

Food deserts, areas with many fast-food outlets and few shops to buy healthier foods like fruits and vegetables, often contribute to higher obesity and diabetes...

June 15, 2009
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Click for Property Tax Info

Up until 1996, the federal government provided local property tax information from across the country, but publishing that information stopped due to budget cuts. Today, the...

June 8, 2009
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Talk Show Helps Deadbeat Dads

This interview from FOX 2 News in Detroit features Wayne County Circuit Judge Wade McCree explaining how he decided to impose a new punishment for delinquent...

June 1, 2009
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Parks and Rec Online

Nothing can ruin a trip to the local park like broken equipment, graffiti or loose dogs. An online program in use in San Francisco and...

May 18, 2009
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Phoning Fares In

Fifty-one percent of Americans have said that they could not give up their cell phones -- and why would they? Mobile phones have gone beyond...

May 11, 2009
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Zigzag for Pedestrians

Courtesy of Virginia Department of Transportation In the U.S., motorists are used to obeying straight painted lines along roads to guide them in driving...

May 7, 2009
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Bringing Down the Noise

Photo by Solo, with others, available under a Creative Commons By Attribution license. There are many benefits to living in a college town: employment opportunities,...

May 4, 2009
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A Home in the Twin Cities

To reduce vacancy rates and promote city living, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, partnering with home-ownership and community advocates, created an online home...

April 27, 2009
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Revitalizing Neighborhoods by the 'Book'

Neighborhood revitalization and preservation is one of Virginia Beach's priorities. Through its PREmier Homes and Neighborhoods program, the city hopes to cultivate community ownership of...

April 22, 2009
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Chicago at Your Fingertips

O'Hare's Terminal 2 is now home to two technology lounges where visitors can explore the city's skyline, Millennium Park and other popular views with the touch...

April 19, 2009
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Home Sweet Job

Southwest Virginia wants its natives to consider staying home--and coming home--for job opportunities. Return to Roots, a three-year-old Web site funded by a grant from...

April 15, 2009
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Blight Riders

Across the country, counties and towns are receiving funds from the Neighborhood Stablization Program that is part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act Congress...

April 12, 2009
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Sharing States

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin (left) and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota (right) think their neighboring states can work together to improve efficiency...

April 1, 2009
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Government on Two Wheels

Paris and Washington, D.C. are two cities, among others, known for their bike-sharing programs. Austin, Texas, has implemented a similar program--but this one is...

April 8, 2009
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Bucks in the Backyard

With Florida losing jobs and tax revenue, an alliance including the Florida League of Mayors, the Florida Press Association, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and...

March 25, 2009
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Windows on Transparency

In addition to complying with President Obama's mandate that governments receiving economic stimulus funds must document how the money is spent, some states are creating...

March 29, 2009
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