Zach Patton -- Executive Editor. Zach joined GOVERNING as a staff writer in 2004. He received the 2011 Jesse H. Neal Award for Outstanding Journalism for his GOVERNING story on economic cutbacks in Colorado Springs. He has served as an editor since 2010, and as Executive Editor since 2012.

September 1, 2019

Goodbye, Governing

A letter from the editor.
August 19, 2019

What Cities Can Learn From Burning Man

The annual gathering is a radical experiment in urban design that rebuilds itself in the desert every year -- with the help of its residents.
August 19, 2019

8 Ways to Make Your City More Like Burning Man

From building public art to creating "sacred spaces," the annual event is inspiring leaders across America.
July 31, 2019

Just How Big Is Burning Man?

Every year, people build a city solely for the event, then take it down a week later.
November 1, 2018

Can Free Money Make Up for Widescale Job Loss?

Faced with the prospect of up to a third of jobs being eliminated by automation in the next decade, governments are taking another look at Universal Basic Income.
May 17, 2018

Data Is Improving Government Services, But at What Cost to Citizens' Privacy?

Data now informs almost everything the public sector does, and it also informs on us.
August 21, 2017

What If Government Just Gave Everyone Cash, No Strings Attached?

The radical idea of a universal basic income is far from new, but it's finally being tested around the world -- even in America.
July 16, 2017

At Governors Meeting, Trudeau Pushes to Preserve NAFTA

As the first leader of a national government to ever address the National Governors Association, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for fewer trade barriers and promised to work directly with state leaders.
July 16, 2017

White House Lobbies Governors on Latest Health Bill, But They're Not Buying It

The Trump administration's attempt this weekend to win their support didn't go as planned.
May 11, 2016

The Miami Method for Zoning: Consistency Over Chaos

After a population explosion and building binge led to haphazard and random growth, Miami became the nation's first big urban area to adopt a citywide code based on looks.
October 1, 2015

Parting Wisdom From 5 Outgoing Mayors

Most of them have been in office for decades. Here's what they've learned about government.
September 15, 2015

The Illusion of Cities' Recovery From the Recession

In many ways, Colorado Springs and other cities have rebounded. But things aren’t as good as they seem.
June 1, 2015

Terry McAuliffe’s Barnstorming of Virginia

The progressive governor has the business acumen to lure companies and jobs to the state, but can he win over an increasingly conservative legislature?
January 1, 2015

A Tale of 'Two Chicagos'

In the city’s upcoming election, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his critics both paint a portrait of the “two Chicagos” but with dueling interpretations.
October 30, 2014

Tom Menino, Long-Time Boston Mayor, Has Died

He left office earlier this year after an unprecedented two decades leading the city.
August 1, 2014

John Hickenlooper: The Man in the Middle

Can the geologist-turned-brewpub owner-turned-governor of Colorado lead as a centrist when there’s no political center?
March 1, 2014

America's Hungry Again

Americans are hungrier now than they've been in generations. Some states are fighting it, but they can only do so much with a Congress committed to cutting budgets.
October 1, 2013

State Treasurers Caught in Politics’ Crosshairs

As finances grow tighter and pension liabilities stay in the spotlight, treasurers in several states have been clashing with their peers about how best to manage the money.
October 1, 2013

Hoopla: It's Like Netflix for Libraries

Library systems in cities across the country are debuting Hoopla, a free and unlimited streaming service for music and movies -- though the selection won’t be quite the same as Netflix or Hulu.
June 28, 2013

Does Puerto Rico Really Want to be the 51st State?

For the first time ever, a majority of the island's voters favor statehood. But while many think it's the answer to the territory's economic woes, others disagree.
June 12, 2013

Nonprofits Draw States' Money, But Not Much Oversight

Ethics experts say questionable ties between nonprofits and politicians are on the rise, but state scrutiny is often ineffective.
March 4, 2013

Where Have All the Governors Gone?

Why don't more governors seek federal office?
June 29, 2012

More Trees Equals Less Crime

In Baltimore, a new study showed that a 10 percent increase in tree cover yielded at least a 12 percent decrease in crime.
June 29, 2012

Chatype: The Nation’s First Municipal Font

Chattanooga, Tennessee raised more than $10,000 to support its efforts to become the first U.S. city with its own font.
June 29, 2012

David Walker’s Plan to Fix America

After stepping down as head of the Government Accountability Office, David Walker started drawing the nation’s roadmap to fiscal sustainability that’s also applicable to states and cities.
May 31, 2012

Parklets: The Next Big Tiny Idea in Urban Planning

Cities from coast to coast are giving up parking spaces (and the revenue that comes from them) to create green public places for people to sit.
April 30, 2012

San Francisco Parking Program Eases Congestion

San Francisco hopes that by raising some prices based on supply and demand, it can ensure there’s always at least one open spot on every block. According to a New York Times analysis, it may be working.
April 30, 2012

50-State Legislation Now Searchable by Smartphone

The new Open States app lets users identify and contact their state reps, scroll through voting records and follow bills through the legislative process.
February 29, 2012

New Orleans’ Latino Population Boom

After Hurricane Katrina, Latinos moved into the city in record numbers and have transformed the disaster-struck town.
February 1, 2012

Promoting Road Safety in New York City via Haiku and Pop Art

New York City streets are getting a little more literary. The city Transportation Department has partnered with an artist, John Morse, to create a series of graphic, pop-art signs encouraging drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to be more careful.
January 1, 2012

Dearborn, Mich. Sells Florida Apartment Building

In what may have been the only arrangement of its kind, the Midwestern city owned waterfront vacation property in Florida. The sale of it added $6 million to this year’s budget.
January 1, 2012

The Boss of Boston: Mayor Thomas Menino

Boston's longest-serving mayor has started to think big. (But he still sweats the small stuff.)
July 27, 2011

A Small Town Hosts the Nation's Largest Concert

Handling the onslaught of traffic, crime and health needs of the 80,000 people who attend Bonnaroo every year is an art form for local officials.
April 29, 2011

Seattle Looks to Cottages for Affordable Housing

Cities are struggling to increase residential density without destroying single-family neighborhoods. That means the return of the backyard cottage.
March 31, 2011

States Attempt to Streamline Education

Proposals in states like Washington and North Dakota aim to streamline education from pre-k to Ph.D.
March 31, 2011

Lottery Revenues Not a Sure Bet

The recent economic crisis suggests that state lotteries and other forms of gambling may not be the predictable cash cows they once were.
February 16, 2011

Reshaping the Federal-State Relationship

How federalism is being redefined, and how states got to this point.
February 1, 2011

Outlook 2011: States Brace for Toughest Year Yet

At GOVERNING's annual Outlook conference, states' looming 2012 budget crisis took center stage, but Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley offered advice for making smart fiscal decisions.
February 1, 2011

Food Safety Regulations and the GOP Mood

Now that Republicans control the U.S. House and state legislatures, more business-friendly food safety measures may be on the table.
February 1, 2011

Making the Case for Regional Taxes

Regions have supplanted cities as the nation's economic centers. Local tax structures don't recognize this shift.
December 23, 2010

8 Issues to Watch in 2011

These topics will capture the attention of state legislators in 2011.
December 1, 2010

Why is Election Day Always a Tuesday?

Does holding elections on a workday contribute to low voter turnout?
December 1, 2010

States Get Tough on Bullies

States and localities across the country are adopting tougher anti-bullying laws.
October 19, 2010

Obama: No Such Thing as 'Shovel-Ready' Projects

The President now says public works don't do a good job of stimulating the short-term economy. That's not news.
October 14, 2010

White House to States: Invest in Infrastructure While It's Cheap

President Obama wants Congress to approve $50 billion in new infrastructure funds, but he wants states to throw in their share, too.
October 5, 2010

New Governors Could Derail Obama's High-Speed Trains

Many of this year's Republican gubernatorial candidates have vowed to delay -- or permanently end -- the administration's high-profile plans for high-speed rail.
October 1, 2010

States Test Algae as a Biofuel

Could algae be the next big thing in biofuels? Some states are finding out.
September 29, 2010

Stimulus Slowdown: States Lag, Jobs Sag

Some states are taking their time spending stimulus highway dollars, and jobs aren't being created as quickly as the feds had hoped.
September 22, 2010

Fiscal Fallout for States if Bush Tax Cuts Expire

Allowing the Bush-era cuts to expire will benefit some states while hurting others.
September 7, 2010

'Secure Communities': Mandate or Not?

The feds say participation in the "Secure Communities" initiative is voluntary, but can cities really opt out?
September 1, 2010

Colorado Springs' Do-It-Yourself Government

The citizens of Colorado Springs must decide how much they want from their government, and how much they're willing to pay for it.
August 31, 2010

States Eager to Spend Federal Education Money Outside Classroom

Some states are looking for ways to spend federal stimulus cash that was intended for schools in completely different ways.
August 25, 2010

Federal Stem Cell Ban: Which States Benefit?

Now that a federal judge has halted government funding for embryonic stem cell research, the field is at a standstill. But one state stands to benefit.
August 24, 2010

Even With Stimulus Cash, Schools Aren't Rehiring

The federal government has sent billions in extra stimulus money to states for the purpose of rehiring educators and school administrators. But states are skittish.
August 19, 2010

GAO: Fiscal Pressures Threaten Intergovernmental Programs

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office says states' financial woes will ultimately make it harder for the federal government to deliver services.
June 30, 2010

Chicago's Transit Chief

Transit Chief Richard Rodriguez combats a monumental fiscal crisis.
June 22, 2010

Bringing Home the Bacon

In a small town in Michigan, the pig on top of the Oink Joint -- made famous in the movie "Whip It" -- gets new life as a charity fund-raiser.
June 16, 2010

It Pays to Assume You're Not Getting Paid

Some states are waiting with bated breath to see if Congress denies a federal boost in Medicaid spending. But few places are resting easy, since they never assumed they'd get the money in the first place.
June 1, 2010

The Value of Movie Tax Incentives

States spend billions on incentives to lure film productions away from Hollywood. Some say it's gone too far.
May 19, 2010

Debt Concerns Could Affect State Aid

Concerns over the mounting national debt could hamper efforts in Congress to provide aid to cash-strapped states.
May 14, 2010

White House Fights Senate Dems on States' Rights

A bipartisan group of Senators is moving to limit states' abilities to regulate financial transactions. The White House is pushing back, states are the best regulators for local markets.
May 11, 2010

Affordable Housing Funds Hit the Ground

A residential complex in Washington, D.C., is set to begin renovations into affordable housing using federal dollars to help fund state and local housing projects that have been stalled by the recession. The project is one of the nation's first to be funded by a new Treasury bond program.
May 7, 2010

Grading Agencies' Open-Government Plans

Federal agencies released their Open Government Plans last month. Some of them were a lot better than others.
May 1, 2010

Poverty Comes to the Suburbs

Poverty is encroaching on suburban enclaves -- even the most affluent of them. Many are ill-equipped to meet the new social-service needs.
April 29, 2010

NASCIO's Midyear Conference: The Consolidating Game

Consolidation. That was the watchword as the nation's top public-sector technologists gathered in Baltimore this week for the midyear conference of the National Association ...
April 1, 2010

Sensors Make Cities Smarter

Call it City 2.0: a metropolis where officials instantly monitor all of the urban environment's constantly changing dynamics--the outside temperature; snow or rainfall; traffic; and perhaps...
March 23, 2010

Suburban Poverty and the Geography Problem

I'm working on a story for an upcoming issue of Governing that takes a look at the increasing rates of poverty in suburbs across ...
February 3, 2010

News of Public-Private Partnerships' Death May be Exaggerated

Yesterday I mentioned the idea -- voiced by Dan Borut at the National League of Cities, but supported by several others -- that the era ...
February 3, 2010

Mark Zandi: State Fiscal Outlook is "Dark"

Mark your calendars, everybody: Feb. 11, 2011. That's the day Moody' economist Mark Zandi says the economy will shift from financial recovery to a &...
February 3, 2010

States Face Huge Deficits, But Also Opportunities to Transform

**From GOVERNING's Outlook in the States and Localities 2010** The fiscal outlook for cities and counties may be bleak, but it's nothing compared to ...
February 2, 2010

Another Nail in the Coffin of the Big Public Sell-Off

**From GOVERNING's Outlook in the States and Localities 2010** If consolidation is the watchword for what cities and counties will do to help manage during ...
February 2, 2010

The Push to Consolidate

**From GOVERNING's Outlook in the States and Localities 2010** "Consolidate, consolidate, consolidate." If there was one overarching theme of the first day of ...
February 1, 2010

Stemming the Tide of Homelessness

Last year, when the city of Raleigh, N.C., partnered with Wake County to announce a new program to help homeless families find housing, officials...
February 1, 2010

Should States Get In On This "Move Your Money" Idea?

If you read the Huffington Post at all, you've no doubt read about this "Move Your Money" notion they've been pushing. ...
January 26, 2010

Is There Really a 'New Face' of Homelessness?

In the February issue of Governing, I have a story about the rise of family homelessness in the United States. Over the past couple years, ...
January 12, 2010

Why Every City Supervisor Should Say the F-word in Public Meetings

San Francisco City Supervisor Chris Daly is getting a lot of attention for his New Year's resolution to drop the F-bomb at every city ...
January 11, 2010

New Species of Cockroach in NYC: The Jokes Write Themselves

New York City has shed its pop-culture image as a dingy, dirty burg where all the streets have rats and all the apartments are full ...
January 5, 2010

Blagojevich and Trump: Can Your TV Handle the Hair?

As you most likely have already read, disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is finally getting his day in the reality-show sun. A federal judge ...
December 30, 2009

Illinois Inmates Getting Too Much Soy?

Prison inmates at the Danville Correctional Center in Illinois are being fed too much soy, according to a new lawsuit from the Weston A. Price ...
December 17, 2009

NYC's Newer, Grosser Obesity Ads

Both my colleague Penelope Lemov and I have both written about New York City's recent ad campaign aimed at curbing obesity. The poster ads, ...
December 16, 2009

Pot Restaurant Testing the Boundaries of Medical Marijuana

Colorado voters approved a medical-marijuana law in 2000. But since then, THC-users have had to make do getting their drugs from medical dispensaries. The facilities were ...
December 15, 2009

Would Online Gay Marriage Be a 'Game-Changer' for States?

What if gay couples could get married in a state without ever setting foot there? Two University of Michigan professors say that should be an ...
December 11, 2009

Phoenix Drivers Confused by Light Rail

The light-rail line in Phoenix has been running for a year now. But automobile drivers are still having trouble getting used to dealing with the ...
December 7, 2009

States Conspiring to Get You Drunker

If you're finding lately that your local tavern's quaffs are packing more of a wallop, it could be because an increasing number of ...
December 4, 2009

Is a Stoplight with a Progress Bar a Good Idea?

This stoplight has won a design award for incorporating a progress bar that shows drivers exactly how long they can expect to wait at an ...
December 3, 2009

What Do Google Searches Say About Your City?

Google has released its annual "zeitgeist" numbers, tallying the top Internet searches for the past year. (Congrats, "michael jackson" and "...
December 1, 2009

Brad Pitt's Katrina Cottages: Energizing or Too Extreme?

The travel section of this Sunday's New York Times had a cool little piece about the houses that Brad Pitt's Make It Right ...
November 30, 2009

Autonomy, Access and Accountability

As a wave of younger employees, including those from Generation Y, enters the workplace, governments are working to position themselves as employers of choice. Aaron...
November 30, 2009

Next-Generation Government and Today's Needs

Today's leaders are wrestling with a big question: How can they shape next-generation government to fit the changing needs of their communities? At Governing's Managing...
November 13, 2009

Colorado State Senator Sets New Bar in Calling-Obama-a-Terrorist Contest

President Obama's critics have accused him of being a Socialist, a Communist, a Fascist and, yes, a terrorist. But in a recent Twitter post, ...
October 31, 2009

Could Roads Be the Next Source of Renewable Power?

There are more than 4 million miles of paved roadways in the United States. Increasingly, renewable energy advocates are looking at all that asphalt and seeing...
October 28, 2009

Does Posting Calories Make a Difference?

You may recall that New York City began requiring fast-food restaurants to post calorie counts alongside all of their menu items. The city's thinking, ...
October 13, 2009

Making it More Fun to Take the Stairs

Cities from New York to Missoula, Montana, are urging residents to "take the stairs" instead of an escalator or elevator. It's a ...
October 7, 2009

Conan to Newark Mayor: I Will 'Crush You'

It's really a shame that David Letterman and his sex-extortion scandal are all anybody can talk about in late-night TV right now, because there'...
October 2, 2009

Keeping Gen Y in Government: The Three A's

Just got out of the panel I co-moderated on Attracting and Keeping Young Leaders in Government. It was great -- one of those terrific sessions ...
September 30, 2009

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...
September 29, 2009

Newark Mayor: Conan O'Brien Better Stick With JFK

Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker knows you think his city is a punchline. But he's out to change that. After Conan O'Brien ...
September 29, 2009

Illinois' Bold Bid to Reshape the Local Food Scene

I've become something of the go-to guy around Governing when it comes to food stories. I've written about street food carts, urban farm ...
September 18, 2009

Urban Farming: A Tough Row to Hoe

In his Urban Notebook column last month, Governing managing editor Chris Swope explored the idea of urban farming -- the concept of utilizing vacant properties ...
September 15, 2009

Rating NYC's New Gross-Out Soda Ads

The New York City health department has a new ad campaign aimed at reducing consumption of sodas and other sugary drinks. The campaign takes an ...
August 31, 2009

Reno Fights to Save the Show that Mocks It

Now that Comedy Central has canceled "Reno: 911!", the Biggest Little City in the World has launched a campaign to save it. Via Facebook, ...
August 27, 2009

Kentucky D.A. Provides Relief From Boring (and Impartial) Web Sites

News flash: Government Web sites can be boring. Even the ones that are attractive and user-friendly (and there are plenty that aren't) can be ...
August 19, 2009

Is This Gigantic Biblically-named Floating Buoy the Key to Saving New Orleans?

Everyone who's been to reconstruct and preserve New Orleans has been going about it all wrong, apparently. While they were foolishly toiling to rebuild ...
August 12, 2009

What's Rod Blagojevich Saying Now?

Ousted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is on the air! Or at least the Internet. Blago will not be silenced! From the Chicago Sun-Times : He'...
July 31, 2009

Wage Learners

Gregg Flecha earned pretty good money last year, for a 9-year-old. As a fourth-grader at P.S. 64 in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, Gregg...
July 31, 2009

Should the Best Teachers Get More Than an Apple?

As some schools experiment with cash incentives for students, others are resurrecting the idea of paying teachers bonuses for good performance. Traditionally, teachers have been...
July 31, 2009

Technology for Tough Times

Struggling to deliver more services with fewer resources and to rise to the twin challenges of transparency and accountability, state and local leaders are counting...
July 31, 2009

The Risk and Reward of Web 2.0

Governments are understandably skittish about utilizing social networking sites and other Web 2.0 tools--Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and open-source wiki documents. But some adventurous officials are...
July 31, 2009

Students Speak About Earning and Learning

Read more about big-city schools and cash incentive programs in "Wage Earners" and in "Should the Best Teachers Get More Than an Apple?" in the...
July 29, 2009

Who is the 'Oatmeal Governor'?

Which current governor is represented by a bowl of oatmeal? Click to find out.
July 28, 2009

Why the Santa Cruz City Council Deserves a Medal

This clip has been popping up all over the Internet this week (which is a little weird, since it's more than a year old). ...
July 21, 2009

How Will States Handle DIY Funerals?

According to the New York Times , there's a hip new thing all the kids are trying these days: home funerals. Apparently, a growing number ...
June 23, 2009

Microjournalism: How Will Cities Respond?

From Grist comes this very interesting story about one reporter's experiment with new media: When Adam Klawonn quit his job at a shrinking major ...
June 12, 2009

To Discourage Water Bottles, a Little "Tap" Dancing

Cities like New York and San Francisco have been aggressively marketing the drinkability of their tap water in recent months. With the skyrocketing number of ...
June 8, 2009

Judges, Elections and the Perception of Bias

The Supreme Court today ruled that judges who are elected must recuse themselves in "extreme" cases -- those in which the contributions to ...
June 4, 2009

You Can Lead a Private-Sector Partner to Water...

Three of the nation's most notable governors -- Pennsylvania's Ed Rendell, New York's David Paterson, and California's Arnold Schwarzenegger -- have ...
May 28, 2009

The Promise -- and Peril -- of Web 2.0

What a difference a year makes!  At last year's Managing Technology conference in Seattle, the attendees spent a lot of time discussing Web 2.0 tools ...
May 28, 2009

The Key to Being an Effective CIO? Don't Act Like One.

Things are humming along at Governing's Managing Technology conference. I just got out of a standing-room only session on IT consolidation.  No surprise that ...
May 28, 2009

Pawlenty on the Tech Learning Curve -- And on Learning's Tech Curve

Improving and reinventing technology isn't a choice for governments -- it's a necessity. That was the message from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who ...
May 27, 2009

The Role of Technology in the Stimulus -- And After It

Government technology is undergoing a shift unlike anything else in the past decade -- or perhaps ever. The federal stimulus plan is completely overhauling how ...
May 26, 2009

Montana Town Wants to Gitmo Jobs, Gitmo Money -- and Maybe Gitmo Problems

President's Obama's pledge to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has created the ultimate NIMBY problem: Where will we put all the ...
May 21, 2009

Fascinating Maps of Subways To Scale

While we're on the subject of maps, I just ran across these terrific maps of subway systems in different world cities, all drawn to ...
May 21, 2009

Where Did Your Favorite Sitcom Take Place?

Love this map from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch site!  It uses Google Maps to plot the location of dozens of treasured (?) sitcoms. According to the ...
May 19, 2009

Patti Blagojevich to Further Strain the Definition of "Celebrity"

So, remember all that fuss about how former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich wanted to appear on the reality competition show "I'm a Celebrity, ...
April 17, 2009

DNA Exoneration: Too Real for Reality TV?

One of Governing's Public Officials of the Year 2008 was Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins. In fact, he was on the cover of our November ...
April 10, 2009

No Tofu in Colorado (Or the F-Word, Either)

Because it's Friday, and because we haven't had a good ol' personalized license plate story in a while, check out this story from ...
March 30, 2009

Wisconsin's New Logo: A $50,000 Mistake?

I'd heard about Wisconsin's newly redesigned logo a little while ago. The new tourism logo, for which the state paid a design firm $50,000, ...
March 27, 2009

Cities Going Dim for 'Earth Hour'

Don't be alarmed tomorrow evening if the lights in your city are suddenly a lot dimmer. More than 2,000 cities across the globe will be ...
March 12, 2009

Hawaiians Irked Over 'SNL' Skit

Last weekend's "Saturday Night Live" included a skit set in a Hawaiian resort. In it, SNL host Dwayne "No Longer Nicknamed '...
March 5, 2009

Cataloging Digital History: A New Role For Libraries?

A frequent topic of conversation in the local-government sphere is the changing nature of libraries. As more and more books and research resources move online, ...
March 4, 2009

The Recession in Purty Colors

The New York Times has put together a fascinating map of the nation that plots joblessness rates on a county-by-county basis. You can filter the ...
February 24, 2009

Plastic Bag Bans: All Talk and No Action?

Several U.S. cities in recent years have been talking about banning the use of flimsy plastic shopping bags -- or imposing fees on them ...
February 11, 2009

Should Obama Apologize to Las Vegas?

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is mad. Earlier this week, when President Obama was in Indiana drumming up support for the stimulus, he emphasized that ...
February 10, 2009

Maryland Tries to Make E-Filing Sexy, Succeeds in Making Us Uncomfortable

Maryland has made a really, really valiant effort with a new ad encouraging residents to e-file their taxes this year. It's a parody of those ...
February 4, 2009

Mark Zandi: Government is the Only Hope for Getting Out of the Recession

Just in case it still wasn't clear just how bad the economic outlook is for cities and states, Moody's economist Mark Zandi laid ...
February 4, 2009

Doomier and Gloomier

As GOVERNING's Outlook conference kicked off its second day this morning, attention turned from the localities to the states. But the message was the ...
February 3, 2009

The $800 Billion Question: What Do Cities Want?

So the situation's bad and the priorities are varied. But for the public officials and industry leaders gathered at GOVERNING's Outlook in the ...
February 3, 2009

Now Arriving at the International Terminal: New City Residents?

In a discussion this afternoon at GOVERNING's Outlook conference, local leaders from around the country dicussed the priorities that are highest on cities' lists ...
February 3, 2009

Cities and Counties: "It's bad and getting worse."

GOVERNING kicked off its Outlook in the States and Localities conference this afternoon with a panel on the economic challenges that cities and ocunties are ...
February 2, 2009

Blogging Outlook 2009

This week, GOVERNING is hosting our annual Outlook in the States and Localities conference here in Washington.  As usual, we'll be taking an in-depth ...
January 21, 2009

No Posh DC Digs for Ted Strickland

Washington, DC, is settling back to normal after the unprecedented crowd that descended on the city over the weekend for the inauguration. Many of the ...
January 15, 2009

Amy Poehler's Coming to Local Government

"Saturday Night Live" alum Amy Poehler has hit federal government (with her hilarious take on Hillary Clinton) and state government (with her instant-classic ...
January 8, 2009

NYC's Swanky New Marriage Bureau

We wrote last year about New York City's plan to spruce up its marriage bureau in an effort to attract more matrimony-minded couples (and ...
December 29, 2008

Will You Be Living in a 'No-Newspaper' City in Less Than Two Years?

We've all been hearing an awful lot lately about newspapers facing bankruptcy and cutting the size of their staffs. (As Jon Stewart put it ...
December 22, 2008

A Revolutionary Idea from Revolving Doors

  From the Of-Course!-Why-Haven't-We-Thought-About-This-Before? Department: A company in the Netherlands has installed what it calls the world's first device that uses the motion ...
December 18, 2008

Stocking the Melting Pot

Here's an interesting -- and beautiful -- way to look at immigration patterns. Using data from the Department of Homeland Security, a grad student ...
December 4, 2008

Can Gay Marriage Save the Economy?

Moral issues aside (which of course is a pretty tall order), people seem to agree on one thing about legalizing gay marriages: it's good for the economy.
December 3, 2008

"Stealing" the Empire State Building Easier Than You'd Think

In an effort to expose problems in the New York City register's office -- namely the fact that city clerks aren't required to ...
December 3, 2008

Texas to Dentists: Stop Horsing Around

You may not give much thought to traveling horse dentists, but in Texas, they're causing quit a stir: Here's the deal: These equine ...
November 25, 2008

Scientific Proof for the "Broken Windows" Theory

Since the late 1980s, cities have bought heavily into the "broken windows" theory: the notion that an unkempt, disorderly environment breeds crime. Leaders ...
November 18, 2008

The Unhealthiest Town in America

According to the CDC, Huntington, W.Va., is the unhealthiest town in the nation: Nearly half the adults in Huntington's five-county metropolitan area are ...
November 14, 2008

Georgia's Looking for Some Frog-Speakers. (That's not a French joke.)

If your frog-calling skills are a little rusty, better brush up!  The state of Georgia is looking for some help: Wildlife biologists need volunteers for ...
November 13, 2008

City Skylines and the 'End of Night'

New York City's gilttering night skyline is an iconic symbol of the city. But it's also becoming a thing of the past, as ...
November 11, 2008

Getting to Know America's First Transgender Mayor

posted by Zach Patton Last week, the people of Silverton, Oregon (pop. 9,588) elected Stu Rasmussen as mayor -- the first openly transgender person to serve as mayor in U.S. history.
November 11, 2008

The End of the Bake Sale

posted by Zach Patton When I was growing up, bake sales were a fact of life for school, sports teams, academic clubs, whatever.   There was ...
November 5, 2008

TMI From the TSA in Birmingham

Think the annual financial report from an airport sounds like a boring read? Then you should check out Birmingham International Airport's "Report & Accounts 2007-2008."
November 3, 2008

Election Coverage on Ballot Box

Be sure to read Governing's Ballot Box blog this week for all your state and local elections news. Governing staff writers Josh Goodman and ...
October 29, 2008

When Everyone's an Outlaw

Thousands of residents in Houston -- including the mayor! -- are in flagrant violation of a city law. So....the city's doing away with ...
October 28, 2008

For Want of a Pyramid Scheme

The Memphis Pyramid is quite possibly the biggest municipal white elephant in the U.S. today. Built in 1991 for $68 million, the huge arena was never ...
October 23, 2008

Scranton's Last Laugh?

Scranton, Pennsylvania, is one of those much-maligned towns that's attained almost a mythical status as a rough, hardscrabble, blue-collar place nobody wants to live. It's ...
October 16, 2008

Forget Joe the Plumber -- Let's Talk About Michelle Rhee

In this year's presidential and VP debates, there hasn't been all that much talk about local policy. But last night's debate between Barack Obama and ...
October 10, 2008

The Town That Was Saved by Food (?)

Earlier this year, I wrote about how the local-food movement is being viewed in some places as an economic development opportunity. I profiled Woodbury County, ...
October 7, 2008

Wait'll the Jogging Lobby Hears About This

Hey, you!  How did you get to your desk this morning?  Your own two feet?  Well, congratulations! You just participated in the ...
October 3, 2008

Bill Bratton's Reading List

Here in Austin for the Managing Performance conference, LAPD chief Bill Bratton made some amazing points about his efforts to apply a data-driven mindset to ...
October 3, 2008

Bratton's Brass Tacks

I mentioned LAPD chief Bill Bratton's successes at reducing crime in New York City in the 1990s and Los Angeles today. His success in New ...
October 3, 2008

Bratton: "Measure What Matters"

Being at a state and local government convention in the midst of a huge federal election season is kind of funny. For one thing, as ...
October 2, 2008

Preparing for the Worst

The theme of this year's Managing Performance conference is "Performance Under Pressure." There's probably no city government more equipped to talk about that topic right now than Minneapolis.
October 2, 2008

Rybak: Partner-Citizens and the "Seventh Generation"

As I mentioned earlier, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak spoke this morning at Governing's Managing Performance conference in Austin. He had a lot of very ...
October 2, 2008

'Minneapolis Responds'

We just heard from a panel of Minneapolis public officials, including Mayor R.T. Rybak, about that city's incredibly well orchestrated response to last summer's ...
October 1, 2008

A Texas-Sized Welcome

The 2008 Managing Performance conference kicked off in Austin this evening with a welcome from Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. She gave the conferees her take on ...
September 30, 2008

Follow Governing's Managing Performance Conference

Like Congress fleeing a bailout, we're getting the heck out of D.C. We'll be attending Governing's Managing Performance conference in Austin, Texas. We'll be ...
September 30, 2008

States and Localities: 'Hey, Remember Us?'

The leaders of the "Big 7" state and local government groups released a statement calling on the next president to pay more attention to states and localities in drafting policy.
September 26, 2008

Carey Torrice Allows "Sexy" and "County Commissioner" to be Used in Same Sentence

Carey Torrice is a commissioner for Macomb County, Michigan. Carey Torrice is also, according to her official bio, an actress. And a private investigator (!). And ...
September 23, 2008

Invasion of the Pod, People?

If certain advocates have their way, Ithaca, N.Y., could someday be home to a "pod car" system. Based on this New York ...
September 19, 2008

Water is the New Carbon

Now that we've all figured out our carbon footprints, it's time for a new guilt-inducing eco-buzz question: What's your "water footprint"? Your water ...
September 18, 2008

O-K-L-A-H-O-M-Hey, Where Are the Sidewalks?

Governing Contributing Editor Anne Jordan is in Oklahoma for a conference.  She sent in this dispatch from the road: Last evening, sitting in a ...
September 18, 2008

Rush Hour in Real Terms

You often see rankings that compare cities in terms of their average commute times. But here's a chart that puts the whole thing into better ...
September 17, 2008

But If You Put a Price On It, Will It Still Be Special?

As an American circa 2008, I've been known to eat in a restaurant from time to time. And there's probably nothing that irks me more than ...
September 12, 2008

Pop Goes the Soda

That dark fizzy drink -- what do you call it? Soda? Pop? Cola? Coke? It all depends on where you're from.  Check out this ...
September 4, 2008

But Then Again You Probably Already Knew This

Clairvoyants of St. Johnsbury, Vermont: Rejoice! You can once again practice your sooth-saying gifts without fear of recrimination: Soothsaying might still be banned in some ...
September 2, 2008

Wholesome Lunches in Charm City

What do the following have in common: a peach straight from the orchard, a fresh tomato salad with basil and mozzarella, raw cauliflower with a ...
August 20, 2008

You Can't Walk All Over Miss America Anymore

Hope you're not interested in visiting Atlantic City to drive along the street known as Miss America Way: Atlantic City has decided to change the ...
August 18, 2008

Street Food Graduates from the Hot Dog

Details has a roundup and a slideshow of some of the tastiest street food in the nation -- everything from tamales to "sparerib tips ...
August 14, 2008

Chicago Will Also Take It to the Streets

New York City is right in the middle of its Summer Streets program (there's a video above) -- in which the city is closing main ...
August 13, 2008

Watch Out, Corzine!

The next governor of New Jersey could come from the checkout line at the local supermarket -- at least on the TV. From Variety : Lifetime ...
August 8, 2008

And Starring, As the End of the World, Pittsburgh!

So you're filming a movie about a post-apocalyptic future, and you need to find a location that can stand in for a bleak, post-disaster wasteland. ...
August 7, 2008

And the Spammiest State Is...

A new report from MessageLabs, a spam-filter provider, lists the states that received the most spam emails in the first six months of 2008.  Here's ...
August 5, 2008

Why DC's Bike-Sharing Program Won't Work

Washington, DC, has become the first major U.S. city to launch a bike-sharing program. Residents who sign up for a SmartBike DC membership -- ...
August 4, 2008

Holy Economic Development, Batman!

Spoiler Alert! Don't read ahead if you're one of the 13 people in North America who have not yet seen The Dark Knight. So there's a scene toward the end of the new Batman movie (I think it's at about the 4-hour mark) that totally had me geeking out, GOVERNING-style.
July 31, 2008

omg u guyz: Illinois' Proposed Walking/Texting Ban Still Has Legs

Texting-while-walking could become a crime in Illinois: Several officials, including the Illinois secretary of state, have voiced approval for a bill that would outlaw the ...
July 30, 2008

Mississippi's Still the Nation's Fattest State

For the third year a row, Mississippi has been ranked the fattest state in the nation, with 32.6 % of that state's population coming in overweight or ...
July 29, 2008

Bloomberg's "Last Breakfast" Would Make Elvis Blush

Not quite sure how the topic of "last meals" came up, but the NY Post recently asked NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg about what ...
July 24, 2008

Manhole Covers are the New Copper Wire

Cities battling theft of copper wire? Old news. The big story now is about disappearing manhole covers. Take Philadelphia, as reported in the New York ...
July 16, 2008

Sure It's Detroit, But Where's YOUR City's Epic Poem?

Plenty of city's have inspired songs or stories or, more recently, blogs. But where's the romance? Where's the epic poetry? Apparently, Detroit. In "The ...
July 14, 2008

Lifting Saggy Pants Miraculously Solves All of Flint's Problems

You know Flint, Michigan? The place so decimated by job losses that it's sort of become synonymous with Rust Belt poverty? Well, fear not!  ...
July 10, 2008

Potayto, Potahto?

Outside magazine just came out with its 2008 list of the "Best Towns" to live in. (Side Note:  I've been fortunate enough to ...
July 9, 2008

Five Reasons to Love Birmingham's New City Center

The Pentagon is heading for Birmingham!  Okay, not the Pentagon. But the Alabama city might be getting a shiny new five-sided building all its ...
July 2, 2008

Gruesome Hospital Vids Lead to Changes

By now you've probably heard about the disturbing security video from New York's Kings County hospital. It shows a patient -- who's already been waiting ...
June 25, 2008

Vermont's Looking For A Boring Cow Name

So the Vermont Agency of Agriculture wants you to help name the state's new dairy mascot: a Holstein cow wearing overalls. Which is fine, of ...
June 24, 2008

WTF?? More License Plate Drama in North Carolina

OMG! What if your license plate had a swear word on it (or at least the slang-y approximation of one)?  It's an issue in ...
June 20, 2008

VA Legislators Save Brew Pops, Summer

Thanks to a couple of Virginia state legislators, residents of the Old Dominion state can once again enjoy a fanstatical summer treat -- frozen beer ...
June 19, 2008

CA Nuptials Break Record

The LA Times has an interesting interactive map about the record-breaking number of marriages that have happened since same-sex unions were legalized on Monday night. ...
June 16, 2008

South Carolina Will Be First State to Get "I Believe" Plates

South Carolinians will soon have the option to express their Christian faith via that most sacred of religious media: a vanity license plate: South Carolina's ...
June 12, 2008

At Least They Were Smart Enough to Change the Name of the State

State mental health care can be bad enough as it is. You don't need your state's mental health commission filing a report that, well, belongs ...
June 9, 2008

The City That Said No to Google

You can find anything on Google Maps (okay, not anything ). But you might not be able to find the town of North Oaks, Minnesota. The ...
June 4, 2008

Eliot Spitzer's New Day Job

You can rest easy: Eliot Spitzer has found a day job. He's apparently working in his father's real estate empire. By all accounts, Eliot Spitzer ...
June 2, 2008

Shave and a Haircut: $150,000

The city of Houston has had a ban on beards and goatees for its cops since 1993. Now, though, four officers are suing the city to ...
June 1, 2008

The Public-Records Question

from Governing's Managing Technology Conference in Seattle: At the final conference session on Friday, public sector leaders talked about how Web 2.0 is already changing government, bringing drastic changes in the coming years.
May 29, 2008

Debunking Conventional Lessons Learned

One of the mantras you keep hearing at this conference is how managing technology isn't really about about good technology, it's about good management. Or, as our publisher Peter Harkness likes to say, when it comes to IT, the focus used to be mostly on the "T." Now it's mostly on the "I."
May 28, 2008

Gov. Christine Gregoire: The Importance of the "Why"

After an extremely interesting pre-conference session on city 311 systems, Governing's Managing Technology conference officially kicked off this evening with an address from Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire.
May 27, 2008

The 13th Floor -- Live from Seattle!

It's time for Governing's Managing Technology conference, so we're trading the unseasonably cool and rainy D.C. for the seasonably cool and rainy environs of ...
May 26, 2008

Rhode Island Might Get a Lot Less Artsy

Like most states, Rhode Island is in a budget crunch. One partial solution, proposed by legislators last week, is a cap on art for public ...
May 23, 2008

The Smart Car on Steroids

Smart cars are here (even if they're not exactly setting the world on fire). So maybe they're not as fuel-efficient as people expect, and maybe ...
May 22, 2008

Rooty Tooty Fresh and Torn Down

More news today from Seattle:  Remember that Denny's that had been declared a historic landmark, preventing the owner, the Benaroya Companies, from tearing down ...
May 21, 2008

The New York Times Discovers Kentucky

The New York Times special "T Magazine" issue on summer travel came out this Sunday, and it includes a feature on the Artists ...
May 20, 2008

Next Crime-Fighting Innovation: Plaid Knickers and a Tam O'Shanter

Police in the town of Pine Lawn, Missouri, are getting a new vehicle: Pine Lawn aldermen voted 5-0 Monday night to support Chief Rickey Collins' ...
May 15, 2008

More Cameras = More Famous People!

Cities contemplating increasing the number of surveillance cameras may want to consider London's recent experience as a cautionary tale -- the city's huge camera system ...
May 9, 2008

Is This America's Stupidest Bike Lane?

Slate has posted this great video of some of the "stupidest" bicycle lanes in America. Earning the top prize? A 20-foot stretch of ...
May 8, 2008

Alaska's Sarah Palin: Hottest Lego Governor?

A student at the University of Alaksa Fairbanks has created a "massive Lego replica" of a new campus building. Here, he shows Alaska ...
May 7, 2008

Heads Up: 5.7.08

Maybe Rudy will have more luck with an election in Kiev? WSJ LA Mayor Villaraigosa to answer Rush Limbuagh's "shoeshine guy" comment. Mixed ...
May 7, 2008

I Now Pronounce You Pot and Kettle

Pennsylvania state Sen. Vincent Fumo has introduced a bill that would make divorce illegal in his state: "There's no greater threat to families and ...
May 6, 2008

Heads Up: 5.6.08

Bill Richardson hits the Kentucky Derby but leaves his Lt. Gov. out of the loop. AP New St. Louis arena suffers different kind of "...
May 5, 2008

NV Gov. Gibbons Files for Divorce

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and his wife have filed for divorce. I guess he'll be able to reclaim his status as a resident of the ...
May 5, 2008

Jon Corzine is WAY Cooler Than You

From the Newark Star-Ledger : Just over a year after he was nearly killed in a car crash, Gov. Jon Corzine notched a personal milestone yesterday ...
May 1, 2008

NV's Gibbons Decides Marital Separation Just Not Painful Enough

So Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and his wife are having some marital difficulties.  Which is awful and sad and, frankly, kinda not any of ...
April 29, 2008

Bum Bot: Future of Crime-Fighting?

Atlanta bar owner Rufus Terrill has come up with a new way to discourage people from loitering around his Irish pub -- the Bum Bot.&...
April 28, 2008

Heads Up: 4.28.08

KY Supreme Court chief's surprise decision to quit. Lex Herald Leader Drumbeat grows for impeachment of IL Gov. Blagojevich. Chicago Sun-Times MN's "Hannah Montana ...
April 25, 2008

Let's All Move to Tulsa Metro!

Speaking of maps, here's a really interesting one I found on, a cool blog about now-dated visions of the future. The map is ...
April 24, 2008

Strange Maps Maybe, But Cool Ones

If you're a regular reader of the 13th Floor, you probably have an affinity for states and localities. And there's probably a good chance you ...
April 21, 2008

Transit Overcrowding Could Always Be Worse

I wrote a couple weeks ago about overcrowing on U.S. cities' transit systems. But let's all take a moment to give thanks that our ...
April 18, 2008


The state of California this week launched its own YouTube channel. It brings together videos from several different state agencies -- including, as this San ...
April 17, 2008


The Houston Chornicle has a nifty little profile on Darmeisha Bell, the Texas state employee in charge of making sure drivers' personalized license plates aren't ...
April 15, 2008

Heads Up: 4.15.08

Mike Huckabee's vision of Utopia: "Hucktown." Albany Times-Union NC Personnel Office accidentally tolerant of gays; fixes "mistake." Citizen Times Workers can't ...
April 15, 2008

An Infrastructure Top 10

The May issue of Popular Mechanics includes a special report on "Rebuilding America," what it's going to take to get our country's infrastructure ...
April 14, 2008

Takin' it Easy?

North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley looooves his three-day weekends: Easley's schedules for 2007 show only 10 Fridays over the course of the year with even a single ...
April 11, 2008

Heads Up: 4.11.08

OR Gov. Ted Kulongoski might get the measles. Oregonian Chicago: "City of Children"? Sun-Times AZ gov's office not amused by April Fools prank. ...
April 11, 2008

NYPD, Blue?

Judging by the success of the Seattle Police Department's unconventional campaign to recruit officers from New York City, the cops in New York are itchin' ...
April 10, 2008

The Woonerf, The Swale and Urban Acupuncture

Think city streets are must be either driving lanes or pedestrian malls?  Think again, grandpa. The New York Times has this round-up of some ...
April 10, 2008

The Mortgage Meltown -- So Pretty!!

I've been meaning to post about this all week, but I'm just now getting a chance. The New York Times on Sunday had the most ...
April 10, 2008

Heads Up: 4.10.08

ID's are totally required to board a plane. Except when they're not. Kansas City Star Wash, DC, metro pulls ads with Pope bobblehead doll. WaPo ...
April 9, 2008

Heads Up: 4.9.08

Louisiana senate nixes state cocktail. NYT Blind people, take heart! Congress takes up bill on silent hybrid cars. Examiner NV Gov. forced to surrender his ...
April 8, 2008


When Skybus Airlines, the nation's first ultra-low-cost carrier, announced this week that it was filing for bankruptcy and immediately terminating its service, some surprised passengers were left stranded without notice.
April 8, 2008

Heads Up: 4.8.07

DC Mayor Fenty using city ads to hawk his family's business? DCist CA bill would tax iTunes to ease budget shortfall. San Jose Mercury News ...
April 7, 2008

Heads Up: 4.4.08

Telemarketers lose access to TX crash victims' phone numbers. Dallas Morning News Cricket comes to NYC schools. NYT Fossilized poop shows evidence of earliest Americans. ...
April 4, 2008

A Murderer in the Manse

A convicted killer serving time "for one of the most heinous murders in Nebraska history" is working in the state governor's mansion, "...
April 4, 2008


Think you can avoid cellphone bans by walking instead of driving?  Maybe not for long. Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit ...
April 2, 2008

Bringing "Gotham" to Gotham?

New York City has a lot of nicknames, but no official one. But one elected official is trying to change that. Queens Councilman Hiram Monserrate ...
April 2, 2008

Heads Up: 4.2.08

Supreme Court to hear Ten Commandments vs. 'Seven Aphorisms.' LA Times Two-time forest fire victims rebuilding house underground. San Diego Union Tribune LA city ...
April 1, 2008

Heads Up: 4.1.08

Pittsburgh transit station has museum-worthy Sol LeWitt mural. Tribune-Review Maple syrup producers worry its rising prices will sap demand. Boston Globe Got a Heads Up ...
April 1, 2008

Mass Transit Faces Mass Headaches

As this U.S. News story says, "The good news, ridership is up; the bad news, ridership is up." Mass transit systems all ...
March 31, 2008

Root, Root, Root for the Environment

The Washington Nationals opened their season in their brand spankin' new stadium yesterday. (It's a new era in baseball! The greatest stadium for the bestest ...
March 31, 2008

Heads Up: 3.31.08

Toddlers take Manhattan -- and other cities. WaPo Chicago cops told to cut the deep-dish and hot dogs. NYT L.A., in search of density. ...
March 31, 2008

Orlando's "Nipplegate"

If it seems like there's something odd about this WrestleMania billboard in Orlando, that's because there is:  The guys don't have nipples. Yep, in ...
March 28, 2008

Heads Up: 3.28.08

How is Eliot Spitzer like Henry VIII? NY Magazine Foreclosed homeowners trash their homes on the way out. WSJ MA gov skipped casino debate to ...
March 27, 2008

What Recession?? Alabama Wants You To Buy a $35 Movie Ticket

Do you enjoy going to the movies but think they're just too darn affordable?  The state of Alabama hopes so. The Retirement Systems of ...
March 27, 2008

Heated Sidewalks! Just in Time For Spring!

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has signed legislation allowing heated sidewalks, stairs, entryways and pedestrian walkways. Wisconsin had the nation's only prohibition against such devices, passed ...
March 27, 2008

Heads Up: 3.27.08

Silk-pajamas-wearing agency official cleared of harrassment charges. Chicago Sun-Times TX officials want state pension funds to invest in new toll roads. San Antonio Express News ...
March 26, 2008

Seattle May Flush its Public Toilets

Seattle's $6.6 million experiment with automated, self-cleaning public toilets may be coming to an end: Citing drug use and prostitution in the silver pods, Seattle Public ...
March 25, 2008

Heads Up: 3.25.08

Florida state employees rank last in pay. AP Fed court throws out NY's Airline Passenger Bill of Rights. NYT Got a Heads Up for us? ...
March 25, 2008

Is It Food or Punishment?

If you're a prisoner in the Vermont corrections system and you  misbehave, you're likely to find something unappetizing at the next mealtime -- "...
March 21, 2008

Should You Be Allowed to Sell Your Organs For Money?

There's a national shortage of kidneys, and thousands of people die each year waiting for donors. One possible (though, to some, unpalatable) option would be ...
March 20, 2008

Heads Up: 3.20.08

The hotel that made "Kristin" famous. NYT Two state senators make the case for national prison reform. WaPo College gossip site targeted by ...
March 20, 2008

Tent Cities in L.A.

The BBC has filed this grim report on the tent cities that have sprung up outside Los Angeles, as more and more people have lost ...
March 19, 2008

Good News! Your Office Pool Might Not Land You in Jail

In a lot of offices, betting on the March Madness brackets is an entrenched celebration of Spring. It's as much a part of office life ...
March 18, 2008

Heads Up: 3.18.08

"SUPERDELL" makes "totally awesome" bid for Utah gov. Deseret Morning News Sisters in VA selling Illinois-shaped cornflake online. Virginian-Pilot How mechanization ...
March 17, 2008

Heads Up: 3.17.08

Dina Matos McGreevey denies sex claims from former driver. ABC News Spitzer's "Kristin" linked to Charlie Sheen. Daily Record No Big Dig copycats: ...
March 17, 2008

Bloomberg to Rock '30 Rock'

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will appear in an upcoming episode of the NBC show "30 Rock" (which, if I may eschew journalistic objectivity ...
March 17, 2008

McGreevey Aide Says He Had Threeway Trysts with First Couple

You would think there's nothing left to reveal in the long-running break-up of Jim "Gay American" McGreevey and his wife, Dina Matos McGreevey ...
March 14, 2008

Heads Up: 3.14.08

NV Gov's aide gets cozy with "The Hills." Las Vegas Review-Journal Hey, Seattle-ites! City wants you to help redesign Seattle Center. Times Got ...
March 14, 2008

Do Red-Light Cameras Cause More Accidents?

First, we find out that daylight-saving time might actually waste energy. Now comes word of another study that upends conventional wisdom: Red-light cameras may actually ...
March 13, 2008

Help Solve the Mystery of Poor Transit Service

The Chicago Transit Authority is launching a mystery-shopper program: It's looking for riders on bus and L trains willing to report back on transit troubles ...
March 13, 2008

You Like Us! You Really Like Us!

This could be considered tooting my own horn, except I had nothing to do with this. Governing's textbook, Governing States and Localities, has won a 2008 ...
March 12, 2008

Heads Up: 3.12.08

North Carolina OKs use of "gray water." News & Observer U.S. Bowling Congress leaves Milwaukee area for Arlington, TX. Journal Sentinel Got ...
March 12, 2008

Hey, GOP, Better Drink Fast!

Republicans traveling to Minneapolis [Ed. note: and St. Paul!] for the GOP national convention this summer will face the same last call everybody else does. ...
March 11, 2008

Silda's Last Softball

Wondering what New York First Lady Silda Spitzer was up to, uh, you know, before yesterday? In a bit of good timing, Domino magazine interviewed ...
March 11, 2008

Spitzer Watch

Josh Goodman and Alan Greenblatt are double-teaming the Spitzer story over at Ballot Box. Check it out for updates. We'll post anything Earth-shattering here, too. ...
March 10, 2008

Is Spitzer Right?

Hey, heard anything about Eliot Spitzer this afternoon? Well he just finished the world's shortest press conference, in which he issued what was, in the ...
March 10, 2008

OK Lawmaker: Gays More Dangerous Than Terrorists

An anti-gay speech made by Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern has hit YouTube, and the lawmaker is getting a lot of flak for it. Kern ...
March 10, 2008

Our 2000th Post!

Today marks a significant milestone for the 13th Floor -- it's our 2,000th post! Obviously, a blog without readers is like a tree falling in ...
March 10, 2008

AP: "Also, Have You Guys Heard About This Whole Iraq War Thing?"

Everyone's in a tizzy over this breathless AP story about all the drugs in your drinking water: A vast array of pharmaceuticals -- including antibiotics, ...
March 10, 2008

Diet and Exercise are Soooo 2005

Who's got the time to lose weight the old-fashioned way? Not New Hampshire State Sen. Bob Clegg. He had weight-loss surgery last September, and now ...
March 7, 2008

Grand Flood

Check out this video of the Grand Canyon being flooded in an experiment designed to mimic natural floods and recharge the ecosystem. The amount of ...
March 7, 2008

States Want in on the Stimulus Fun

That fat check you're about to receive from the federal government might not be the only cash coming your way. Some states are considering offering ...
March 7, 2008

Heads Up: 3.7.08

French mayor: "Don't die in my town." Agence France Presse Schwarzenegger's daily jet commute draws ire. LA Times Network apologizes for mocking town's ...
March 7, 2008

Does Daylight-Saving Time Use MORE Energy?

Conventional wisdom is that daylight-saving time saves energy. It stays lighter an extra hour in the evenings, so you don't need as much electricity to ...
March 5, 2008

Heads Up: 3.5.08

"Shockwave" traffic jam recreated for first time. New Scientist IL bill would allow 14-year-olds to drive. St Louis Post-Dispatch Former Pittsburgh councilwoman sent ...
March 5, 2008

SC Gets 'Nailed' For Upcoming Flick

The South Carolina State House will stand in for the Capitol in D.C. in an upcoming movie, "Nailed", starring Jake Gyllenhaal and ...
March 5, 2008

Political Savvy

According to the Tennesseean , "troubled" Tennessee state Rep. Rob Briley, "who was captured on videotape screaming for police officers to shoot him ...
March 4, 2008

Heads Up: 3.4.07

IL Gov. Blagojevich gives $1 mil -- to the wrong church. Sun-Times Pay soars for some CA state workers. Sacramento Bee Philly mayor hosting party for &...
March 4, 2008

Sending Teachers to the Rubber Room

All right, first off: It's not really a padded cell. But last week's This American Life on NPR includes a story about New York City's &...
March 4, 2008

But They DO Still Want Hello Kitty iPhone Earbuds

If you're a young Japanese hipster -- and really, who isn't? -- chances are, you're not all that interested in having a car. According to ...
March 3, 2008

What Would Your State's Ice Cream Flavor Be?

I'm not about to run through all our previous posts about official state products. Suffice it to say, if there's anything out there you can ...
March 2, 2008

BREAKING! L.A. Council Member Did NOT Kill That Kitten

You know what's hilarious?  Killing kittens.  At least, that's what a couple Associated Press editors thought last week, when they changed a word ...
February 29, 2008

Heads Up: 2.29.08

Los Angeles tap water wins national taste test. LA Times Minnesota's got its first poet laureate. Minneapolis Star-Tribune King County (WA) Fair shrinks to 3 days, ...
February 29, 2008

Best Idea EVER for Keeping Kids in School!

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants his tank back. Apparently, he bought an M47 tank from the Austrian army and then lent it to an Ohio ...
February 29, 2008


Happy Bissextile Day , everyone!
February 27, 2008

Evidence of 'Bodies'

You've likely heard of shows like BODIES: The Exhibition or Body Worlds -- traveling exhibits that present actual human bodies preserved through plastination. Maybe you've ...
February 27, 2008

Heads Up: 2.27.08

Most state fleets not rushing to switch to ethanol. Stateline Arkansas Gov. Beebe: Rural states won't support toll roads. AP CA mayor found passed out ...
February 27, 2008

Eating Your Way to Civic Involvement

When Rob Gurwitt isn't writing for Governing , he's trying to get more people involved in local government. Rob lives in Norwich, Vermont, a little burg ...
February 27, 2008

Tennessee and Georgia Put Up Their Dukes

Georgia's quirky plan to move its border with Tennessee seems to be getting, well, less quirky. The House and Senate in the state have each ...
February 26, 2008

Heads Up: 2.26.08

A marijuana trade school opens in CA. [Insert "higher education" joke]. AP Fewer youths jumping behind the wheel at 16. NYT Is there no ...
February 26, 2008

Airport Security: Useful or Just Theater?

You get in the airport security line, throw away your bottle of water, unpack everything in your carry-on, pull off your shoes, your jacket, your ...
February 26, 2008

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT THING??

If you find yourself traveling to the San Francisco Bay area, here's a way to save some money. Who needs to spend 15 bucks a person ...
February 26, 2008

Kansas Pol: Drop "Don't Drop the Soap"

Remember that board game that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' son made? The one set in prison with not-too-subtle jokes about inmate rape? Well, Kansas state ...
February 25, 2008

Deval Patrick Doesn't Deliver on His Promises!

The Super Bowl ended more than 520 hours ago, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has STILL not made good on his bet with New York Gov. ...
February 25, 2008

Rick Perry on Bush, Obama and the Boy Scouts

The New York Times Sunday magazine had an interview with Perry this week. (Wonder if Perry did the interview before the Times' hit piece on ...
February 25, 2008

Heads Up: 2.25.08

Pedestrians killed in DC are disproportionately minorities. Examiner What will the cab of the future look like? Wired's Autopia blog Deloitte racks up half a ...
February 22, 2008

Heads Up: 2.22.08

Rocky start for universal healthcare in Mass. NPR In defense of urban skywalks. NY Sun MN bridge chief rebuts critics. St. Paul Pioneer Press Study: ...
February 22, 2008

By The Power Vested in Me By

If you've got 30 seconds and an Internet connection, you can become an ordained minister online. It doesn't even cost money. For that reason, a county ...
February 21, 2008

Heads Up: 2.21.08

GA moves forward in border dispute with TN over water rights. AJC States compete for $30 mil in passenger railroad upgrades. Chicago Trib Grand Slam for ...
February 21, 2008

At Least The Money's Better, Right?

Remember Jason West, the young mayor of New Paltz, NY, who made waves in 2004 for performing same-sex marriages (which later were determined to be illegal)? ...
February 20, 2008

Heads Up: 2.20.08

It's still OK to say "gay" in TN schools. Knoxville News The $14 million personalized license plate. NYT Wheels blog Balloons: The secret to ...
February 20, 2008

Gay: Blasé?

Is it buzzworthy anymore if a state legislator comes out of the closet? Connecticut Rep. Jason Bartlett has announced that he's gay, but the Hartford ...
February 15, 2008

Kidney Donation Knows No Price

Remember Richard Foster, that Alaska legislator who couldn't receive a kidney donation because it violated the state's new get-tough ethics law? Well, he's gonna get ...
February 14, 2008

Pittsburgh: Romantic, Yes. But Zombie-Proof, Too

Sure, the City of Steel is romantic (almost as romantic as Paris!), but did you know it's also equipped to ward off the living dead? ...
February 14, 2008

Michael Bloomberg Wants You to Get Lucky

In honor of Valentine's Day, public health officials have redesigned the New York City-brand condom, and they're promoting the prophylactic's new look with an ad ...
February 14, 2008

A Bridge, Unabridged

Not sure this is new, but I just heard about it. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has compiled all of its coverage from last summer's 35W bridge ...
February 13, 2008

Heads Up: 2.13.08

MA Gov. Deval Patrick loves his newly shaven head. AP Does that voice on the airport PA system sound familiar? USA Today Copper thieves' new ...
February 12, 2008

The Onion's Take on the Power of Greenspace

Just how transformative can greenspace be in revitalizing a blighted urban area? The Onion offers its take: Notorious for its abandoned buildings, industrial warehouses, and ...
February 12, 2008

States Don't Find Stimulus Package So Stimulating

Excited about that federal stimulus package putting $600 in your pocket? State governments aren't so thrilled. Turns out the package includes a couple of nasty surprises ...
February 12, 2008

Heads Up: 2.12.08

Do you live in the nation's "Disaster Belt"? USA Today VA delegate's obit: In lieu of flowers, give to Obama. AP Yeah, somehow ...
February 12, 2008

New Jersey: Land of Lincoln

Happy Abraham Lincoln's Birthday, everybody! If you're a state employee in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Illinois or Missouri, today's a state holiday for you! ...
February 12, 2008

Would Single-Gender Transit Be a Good Idea in the U.S.?

Mexico City has launched a new experiment aimed at reducing physical harrassment of women on its crowded transit system: women-only buses and trains. Single-gender transit ...
February 11, 2008

DC's 311 Could Use A Little TLC

Walking home during yesterday afternoon's fierce 30-mph winds, I had a moment of excitement. I had my first opportunity to use DC's newly revamped 311 system!
February 11, 2008

Heads Up: 2.11.08

Rudy Giuliani still hasn't posed for his mayoral portrait. NYDN Boston T chief says system is "broke," despite recent fare hikes. Globe TX ...
February 8, 2008

Heads Up: 2.8.08

Building the 30-mpg city bus. Seattle P-I blog Milwaukee Co., Wisc.: Bike racks on buses cancel out asbestos. Journal-Sentinel Got a Heads Up for us? ...
February 8, 2008

Water Wars Get Real (?)

The war over water in the Southeast is reaching new levels of absurdity time-wasting hostility. Two Georgia lawmakers have introduced a bill to move their ...
February 8, 2008

Bipolar Bicycle Bylaws

Streetsblog has an interesting comparison of recent developments in bike laws in Chicago and L.A. In Chicago, an extremely bike-friendly city (which we've written ...
February 7, 2008

Paris on the Allegheny

When you think of charming sidewalk cafes and bistros, adorable patisseries and streets lined with colorful awnings and pots overflowing with flowers, you're thinking of ...
February 7, 2008

Heads Up: 2.7.08

Colorado lawmaker: Shame on "sluts." Rocky Mountain News Nevada state senator's son held for attempted murder. LVRJ "Euros Accepted" signs start ...
February 7, 2008

Homeowners: "Keep Our Buildings Short And Our Tenants Rich"

Like a lot of cities, Los Angeles saw a housing boom over the past few years. And like a lot of cities, the boom didn't ...
February 6, 2008

Introducing Ballot Box

Josh Goodman and Alan Greenblatt have been writing great 13th Floor posts about politics and elections for a long time. Now, they're getting their very ...
February 6, 2008

Lent Goes Green?

By definition, a blog about state and local government really has no place talking about religion. And a blog about state and local government in ...
February 5, 2008

Heads Up: 2.5.08

MD bill: If gays can't get married, ain't nobody getting married. WaPo Midwestern farms are killing the Gulf. Indy Star Texans get to vote on ...
February 5, 2008

Does Miss America Know About This??

OMG, does Miss USA (Rachel Smith, duh) get to vote twice ? "...I'll be voting, you can be sure of that. As a citizen of ...
February 4, 2008

Heads Up: 2.4.08

GA billboards will broadcast Super Tuesday results. Atlanta Journal Constitution TN bill would ban teachers from even mentioning homosexuality. Memphis Flyer Mass transit advocates try ...
February 1, 2008

Heads Up: 2.1.08

Strom Thurmond (Jr.) is on the ballot in South Carolina. Augusta Chronicle Same song, verse 943: Bloomberg denies running for prez. AP Strippers get legit in ...
January 31, 2008

Heads Up: 1.31.08

Marijuana vending machines introduced in LA. ABC News Duke Energy to build its (last?) coal plant in NC. Charlotte Observer Is global warming an infrastructure ...
January 30, 2008

"Thanks, Folks! I'll Be Here All Term!"

Didja ever hear the one about the state legislator who was a stand-up comedian? Meet Vermont state Rep. Jason Lorber, who "does standup gigs, ...
January 29, 2008

Heads Up: 1.29.08

Who knew? Bail bondsmen are illegal almost everywhere except U.S. NYT Ohio judge sentences man to spend a night homeless. AP At airport, West ...
January 28, 2008

Heads Up: 1.28.08

FINALLY! "Surf City USA" gets official OK. Santa Cruz Sentinel Rethinking the meat-guzzler. NYT Got a Heads Up for us? Email 13thfloor@governing....
January 28, 2008

KS Gov's Son: "Don't Drop the Soap"

The son of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is selling a board game that's a little less Kansas and a little more "Oz." John ...
January 25, 2008

Heads Up: 1.25.08

Nation's 1st green homeless shelter opens in Oakland. Oakland Tribune Which prez candidates will speak to metropolitan issues? Chicago Sun-Times Got a Heads Up for ...
January 25, 2008

A Kidney's Worth WHAT?

Alaska state Rep. Richard Foster is sick. The lawmaker had a stroke last week, and he's in need of a new kidney. Fortunately, several people ...
January 24, 2008

Lose Weight the Hrbacek Way!

Are you a public official who's concerned that your not-so-svelte figure might be an obstacle to your campaign for a higher office? Don't want to ...
January 23, 2008

Heads Up: 1.23.08

BREAKING!  Mike Bloomberg does laundry. NY Observer After 4 years, Utah's capitol building is back -- and earthquake-ready. SL Tribune Got a Heads Up for ...
January 22, 2008

Heads Up: 1.22.08

Bill Richardson grows a beard to "decompress." AP Drivers take on DMVs over vanity plates. USA Today Got a Heads Up for us? ...
January 18, 2008

Heads Up: 1.18.08

TX state employees can no longer hide their ages. Dallas Morning News Burying the long-dead Seattle monorail. Seattle Times It's Nuh-VAD-uh, not Nuh-VAH-duh. Las Vegas ...
January 17, 2008

Heads Up: 1.17.08

Rhode Island falls in love with Richard Gere. Pawtucket Times Border fence: Mother of all eminent-domain disputes. Chicago Tribune Online chat with Gov. Tim Kaine. ...
January 16, 2008

Heads Up: 1.16.08

Is "displaying replicas of human genitalia on vehicles" really that much of a problem? AP Dems pick KS Gov. Sebelius to give State ...
January 15, 2008

Heads Up: 1.15.08

Wanna pay for public transit with your cell phone? SF Biz Times New CO Rep. Douglas Bruce off to a rocky start, thanks to kicking ...
January 14, 2008

Heads Up: 1.14.08

A guide to NYC's free public restrooms. NYT New ideas to stop car-deer crashes. CBS News Vegas monorail taps into cash reserves for 1st time. ...
January 11, 2008

Canadians Must Have Stronger Stomachs

When I was a little kid, I had this children's book that, depending on how you look at it, either scarred me for life or ...
January 11, 2008

Heads Up: 1.11.08

Missouri town might ban swearing, drinking contests and table-dancing in bars. AP NYC's first public pay toilet makes a splash. NYT Virginia might mandate yellow ...
January 10, 2008

Heads Up: 1.10.08

Is wearing an ascot considered contempt of court?? AP No news here: New report ranks D.C. school system 51st in nation. WaPo CA's "...
January 10, 2008

Baggin' on the Environment

The country of China isn't exactly known for being environmentally progressive.  (I know, who are we to talk?  But still.) So I was ...
January 9, 2008

Heads Up: 1.9.08

Psst! Wanna buy a new $2,500 car? NYT GR8IDEA? South Dakota bill would dump vanity plates. AP The Onion's take on cities' drinking water problems. ...
January 8, 2008

Heads Up: 1.8.08

Paper names "the illegal immigrant" as "Texan of the Year." Sparks fly. AP Katrina claims add up to quadrillions. Times-Picayune Another ...
January 2, 2008

Would You Drive a Smart Car?

2008 is here! Among other things, this year marks the first time Smart Cars are available in the United States. You know Smart Cars, right? Those ...
December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Wasn't it already 2008?  All this presidential election coverage is confusing us.
December 28, 2007

Walking in a Winter No-one-derland

It's officially winter, and it's officially after Christmas. For many cities, that means entering into a period of slumber, when residents stay off the city ...
December 26, 2007

Driving Motor City

Driving around a city can be a good way to get to know it. Detroit Free Press columnist Bill McGraw has taken that idea to ...
December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from the 13th Floor!  If you need us, we'll be in an egg nog coma for the next several days. We're not ...
December 21, 2007

Heads Up: 12.21.07

CA House Speaker's Xmas gifts to lawmakers? "Anti-coal." Sac Bee Jamie Lynn Spears is totes preggers! And states' statutory rape laws are totes ...
December 21, 2007

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Solstice

We can't leave for the holidays without a good old-fashioned "War on Christmas" story. So... T'was the week before Christmas, and a couple ...
December 20, 2007

Heads Up: 12.20.07

Score! IL Gov. Blago gets free Hannah Montana tix!!! Sun Times 2,500 OR residents: Stop giving our money to schoolkids! Oregonian Atlantic City to hire a &...
December 19, 2007

Heads Up: 12.19.07

Congrats, Alabama, on no longer being a "judicial hellhole"! AP What's up with this floating bench in NYC? PAPERMAG Hot dog vendor stands ...
December 19, 2007

I Vant to Suck Your Energy!

There's a vampire living in your house! Actually, probably several vampires. Okay, maybe they're not sucking your blood, but they are draining your energy -- ...
December 18, 2007

Heads Up: 12.18.07

Fed shrugged as subprime mortgage spread. NYT SLC loooves watching movies. SL Tribune Is the new solar tech capital...Toledo?? WSJ 13 states face total shortfall ...
December 18, 2007

Bringing Back the Bluegrass Blog Ban?

For public employees, is reading a blog a First Amendment right or a waste of taxpayers' money?  Should state governments be able to block ...
December 17, 2007

Heads Up: 12.17.07

D.C.'s voting-rights tea party. DCist How much does it cost to remove 2,400 Indian head logos from an arena? Bismarck Tribune Mortgage-relief plan divides ...
December 14, 2007

Heads Up: 12.14.07

Alaska Gov. Palin strikes a pose for Vogue. AP Another day, another presidential denial from Mike Bloomberg. NYDN MO Gov. Blunt fails to put his &...
December 13, 2007

A Whole Lotta Huckabees...

This picture's been making the rounds on the Internets. Everybody knows that former Arkansas Governor -- and, you know, presidential candidate -- Mike Huckabee used ...
December 12, 2007

Heads Up: 12.12.07

TX Gov. Perry's Huckabeean slip. Dallas Morning News Rest easy, Ohio state lawmakers! No criminal background checks for you! Toledo Blade Got a Heads Up ...
December 11, 2007

Heads Up: 12.11.07

Arnold distances himself from "Conan" video game. Oakland Tribune CRISIS SOLVED!!!! Atlanta public schools ban saggy pants. AJC Los Angeles' water savings just ...
December 11, 2007

Praise for Indy's New Library

Indianapolis' new library addition has been a long time coming, with years of delays and millions of dollars in cost overruns. (I mentioned it briefly ...
December 10, 2007

Heads Up: 12.10.07

America's drunkest cities. Men's Health Looking for legislative action in CA next year? Don't hold your breath. Sac Bee Corrupt official used Louisiana's film incentive ...
December 7, 2007

Heads Up: 12.7.07

Some CA lawmakers "no" to pay hike. Sacramento Bee How would you run a subway? NYT Wyoming Gov. Freudenthal doesn't like any of ...
December 7, 2007

Banging the Gavel

Wasn't it just the other day that you were thinking, "Man, I wish I could find a blog that covered issues of fairness and ...
December 6, 2007

Gay Bars and Urban Planning

What do gay bars have to do with urban planning? Maybe a lot. In a very interesting Boston Globe op-ed, writer Robert David Sullivan discusses ...
December 5, 2007

Heads Up: 12.5.07

Is Chicago's top cop worth $310,000? Sun Times Ex-gov.: Politicians run better on booze. Sacramento Bee Even submerged under water, Seattle can't get support for flood ...
December 1, 2007

Boarding Calls

Airports are catering to busy travelers and their animals with kennels fit for Fideaux.
November 30, 2007

Heads Up: 11.30.07

Which high schools send the most grads to elite colleges? WSJ Art panel: Plans for statue of former Balto Mayor William Donald Schaeffer too boring ...
November 30, 2007

Racism: Not Just For White People Anymore!

The city of Denver has shelved an employee diversity training video because of complaints that the video itself is racist -- against white people. The ...
November 29, 2007

Extreme Makeover: MA Speaker's Office Edition

If you're a public official, how do you renovate your office when you've made hay of someone else doing the same thing? If you're Massachusetts ...
November 29, 2007

Heads Up: 11.29.30

IL gov sneaks out of special session for a hockey game. Sun-Times MA's "anti-spanking" bill stirs debate but has little chance of passing. ...
November 28, 2007

Heads Up: 11.28.07

Wash State risks losing out on Vancouver Olympics $$$. Seattle Times Sucks to be AL State. Rep. Alvin Holmes. Montgomery Advertiser NAACP objects to Chinese artist (...
November 28, 2007

Drivers Ignoring Cell-Phone Bans?

New stats in Washington, D.C., suggest that drivers are largely ignoring the District's three-year-old ban on using hand-held phones while driving: "Obviously the ...
November 27, 2007

Heads Up: 11.27.07

Philly Mayor Street presides over same-sex commitment ceremony. NBC10 "FORNO 1" sounds kinda pervy to me. Houston Chronicle Ray Nagin is "disgusted" ...
November 27, 2007

How Green Was My Alley?

Chicago's out to redefine the way you think about alleys. The city is embarking on a hugely ambitious effort to make its alleyways -- which ...
November 26, 2007

Hey, They're Privatizing Everything Else!

Should states get out of the marriage business? Stephanie Coontz thinks so. She's a history professor and the author of "Marriage, a History: How ...
November 26, 2007

Heads Up: 11.26.07

In AZ, "Sec of State" might become "Lt. Gov." AZ Daily Star In Portland, "Fourth Avenue" won't become "...
November 26, 2007

States See Big Bucks in Homemade Hooch

I grew up just a few miles from the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, so I can tell you a thing or two about ...
November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Over the river and through the woods, away from the office we go. Have a happy Thanksgiving! We'll be back to posting on Monday. Photo ...
November 20, 2007

Heads Up: 11.20.07

NY DMV renegs on "GETOSAMA" vanity plate. Newsday Kansas City's urban renewal project headed for the silver screen. LA Times Philly to give ...
November 16, 2007

Govs Push the Feds on Climate Change

Governors have been ahead of the federal government on certain policy changes for years. But one of the most prevalent issues where the states are ...
November 16, 2007

Heads Up: 11.16.07

Charlie Crist ?'s Wal-Mart. Palm Beach Post blog Eliot Spitzer vows to push for gay marriage next year. NY Post Richard Daley walks out of ...
November 16, 2007

You Can't Spell 'Masseuse' Without 'Sue.' Oh wait, yes you can.

I once got a massage at this spa that was, while itself a totally reputable and completely legit place, in a kind of borderline seedy ...
November 16, 2007

Remembering Harold Washington

Last week's episode of NPR's This American Life was completely devoted to the story of Harold Washington, Chicago's first (and so far only) black mayor, ...
November 15, 2007

Heads Up: 11.15.07

School buses go green. USA Today KY gov-elect to throw "Kentucky themed" inaugural. Bold. AP Got a Heads Up for us? Email 13thfloor@...
November 15, 2007

God Sorta Changes Mind, Kinda Answers Sonny Perdue's Prayers

In the ongoing saga of Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue's prayers for rain to end his state's epic drought, it seems the Lord has had something ...
November 15, 2007

A Winner in the Water Wars

A few years ago, when I was in college in Chattanooga, TN, I remember community leaders talking about how Chattanooga was always competing with Atlanta to attract business. But it seems the gods are smiling on Chattanooga. Well, at least the water gods.
November 14, 2007

And Bruce for Lt. Gov.!!!

Jon Bon Jovi might not be the most qualified person to run for the governor of New Jersey, but you can't deny that he'd be ...
November 13, 2007

Heads Up: 11.13.07

The fish are back in New Orleans' aquarium, but FEMA wants off the hook for payments. Times-Picayune Meanwhile, N.O.'s historic streetcars are back ...
November 12, 2007

Heads Up: 11.12.07

FL Rep. Bob Allen found guilty of soliciting prostitution from male police officer. Orlando Sentinel VA LUVS VNTY PL8TS. AP Key facts about NYC's ...
November 11, 2007

Flight Patterns Beautiful, Kinda Terrifying

You're probably aware of the kerfluffle over NASA's records indicating there have been a lot more near mid-air crashes than previously thought. As an illustration ...
November 9, 2007

Phantom Tollbooths

Tollbooths are becoming much more common sites along American roadways, and as more states look for ways to fund transportation infrastructure investment, toll plazas will ...
November 9, 2007

Heads Up: 11.8.07

MN First Lady Mary Pawlenty "got her wish" -- "her head carved in butter." Star-Tribune Jury in FL Rep. Bob Allen's ...
November 8, 2007

Come On And Take a Free Ride (Free Ride!)

Commuters in San Diego yesterday didn't have to pay for public transit. That's because Washington Mutual bank paid for all riders' fares: A bank spokesman ...
November 8, 2007

Are Local Politics Post-Gay?

On Tuesday, voters in Ferndale, Michigan, a 22,000-person suburb of Detroit, elected Craig Covey their new mayor. Covey, who is gay, is the first openly ...
November 8, 2007

Heads Up: 11.8.07

Blagojevich repeating George Ryan's mistakes? AP Christian patrols seek to curb Dallas crime. Morning News PA Gov. Ed Rendell "makes a freakish animatronic cameo&...
November 7, 2007

Heads Up: 11.7.07

Is Mike Bloomberg getting coy about a prez run? AP Gay-marriage advocates in NJ go on the air. Blue Jersey State & local election roundup. ...
November 7, 2007

If I Can't Make It There...

Now that New York City has started chasing after marriage moolah, will the city stoop to trying to profit from another type of tourism? New ...
November 6, 2007

Heads Up: 11.6.07

Are DC's traffic cameras too effective for their own good? Examiner All these forclosures are hurting cities, too. Star Tribune Battle of the beer towns: ...
November 5, 2007

Heads Up: 11.5.07

Arnold on Jacuzzis and political aspirations. AP Ozzy Osbourne's ticked over police sting operation staged in his name. AP Former Governing staffer lays out case ...
November 2, 2007

Heads Up: 11.2.07

TN town runs out of water. AP Health care for bridges: A search for diagnostic tools. NYT Seattle and Dallas have the same traffic issues? ...
November 1, 2007

Heads Up: 11.1.07

Chicago's Daley says Trib's wrong on Blago recall push. Sun Times ...Meanwhile, Blago's lawyers stall on answering subpoena. Sun Times Seattle mayor tries to live &...
November 1, 2007

No Wide Stance, But This One's Got Cross-Dressing

Another day, another gay Republican legislator sex scandal. Washington State Rep. Richard Curtis has resigned his seat amid revelations of a sexual encounter he had ...
November 1, 2007

Gangs of YouTube

YouTube isn't just for cute kitten contests, crazed Britney fans, and wise Ninja advisers. It's also for gangs, who, according to the Boston Globe, have ...
October 31, 2007

It's No Holiday for Sex Offenders

It's Halloween, and that means it's time for another round-up of "cracking-down-on-sex-offenders" stories: Washington Post: Md. Pays a Holiday Checkup on Child Sex ...
October 31, 2007


Halloween in Iowa might be a little scarier than other places this year. Why? Because there's a new pumpkin tax (oooooo! scary!) in the state. ...
October 31, 2007

Heads Up: 10.31.07

NV DEM party launches program to teach rural kids how to caucus. CNN Zipcar and Flexcar agree to merge. WaPo Those new gunshot sensors actually ...
October 31, 2007

Illegals in Jersey with Plates from PA

Are you an illegal immigrant? Do you live in a state with a complicated drivers license process, making it harder for you to get a ...
October 30, 2007

Heads Up: 10.30.07

State report: Texas has too many reports. Dallas Morning News Are cities' gay neighborhoods becoming passé? NYT Gridlock over how to end airlines' gridlock. CS ...
October 30, 2007

Recall Blago? Reader Responses

Today's Chicago Tribune has posted several readers' reponses to yesterday's opinion piece calling for a recall of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The comments are really thoughtful ...
October 30, 2007

Smart at the State Level, But Not at the National One

Schoolkids in Tennessee are about to get a lot less proficient at reading. (No, not because of video games or television.) It's because the state ...
October 29, 2007

Heads Up: 10.29.07

Former IL Gov. Ryan is reporting to jail. AP A city-county merger for Pittsburgh? Business Journal An ethics quiz for AK legislators. Anchorage Daily News ...
October 29, 2007

There's Silence "In the Air Tonight"

In Boston, an experiment with bringing music to subway platforms has been dropped after only two weeks. The culprit, among others, was Phil Collins: Some ...
October 26, 2007

In Dallas? Better Pull Up Yer Britches

As we know, there is no issue more threatening to cities today than men's pants that are worn far too. Why else would the city ...
October 26, 2007

Heads Up: 10.26.07

You won't win too many friends by banning the circus. Weekly Dig Bush takes a shot at Blanco while touring wildfires. Times-Picayune More from that ...
October 25, 2007

Heads Up: 10.25.07

Sucks to be a deer in WV. Argus Leader In 3-way, Stephen Colbert gets more youth support than Giuliani. Rasmussen Got a Heads Up for ...
October 24, 2007

Heads Up: 10.24.07

The nasty side of the Vegas wedding chapel industry. Review-Journal Richmond's Douglas Wilder: Strong mayor? Ask the judge. Post-Dispatch OR could get hydrogen fuel stations. ...
October 24, 2007

I Take It the Nintendo Wii Isn't Considered a Sport?

Quick! What's America's fastest-growing high school sport? Any guesses? Lacrosse? Skateboarding? Nope. Apparently, it's bowling. Yep, bowling has taken the lead (from ice hockey) as ...
October 23, 2007

Bredesen Bunkers Down

Good politicians don't always make good neighbors. Just ask the residents of the tony Oak Hill neighborhood in Nashville, the location of the Tennessee governor's ...
October 22, 2007

Heads Up: 10.22.07

KY gov. candidates can at least agree on Skywalker and Sean Connery. Herald Leader Uh...Happy Veterans Day, Delaware state Wilmington city employees! Wilmington News ...
October 22, 2007

When Air Travel Really SUX

With delays, quart-size Ziplocs, sock-footed security lines, lost luggage and gold-plated ticket prices, air travel these days is no fun. But at Sioux City, Iowa's ...
October 19, 2007

Heads Up: 10.19.07

Sea-Tac Airport vows to avoid "war" on Christmas this year. Seattle Times Does Philadelphia have the ugliest citizens in the country? Philly Daily ...
October 18, 2007

Heads Up: 10.18.07

Customer-service vigilante takes a hammer to Comcast. WaPo Chicago City Council's growing a spine. Sun Times University president, 54, takes down her Facebook profile. WaPo Got ...
October 17, 2007

Heads Up: 10.17.07

DC's cabs come out of the Dark Ages. WaPo Houston debates zoning. Again. WSJ Dismantling Pittsburgh: Death of an airline hub. USA Today Are giant ...
October 17, 2007

Look, We Get It! Portland is Bike-Friendly, OK?

Portland, Oregon, has long been lauded as one of the nation's friendliest cities to bikers. Miles and miles of bike lanes, dedicated bicycle stations, even ...
October 16, 2007

Heads Up: 10.16.07

Isn't 414 people, like, half the population of Rhode Island? Projo New Orleans airport back to 80% of pre-Katrina capacity. Airport Biz Panama Canal expansion might boost ...
October 16, 2007

Mayoral Politicking is a Drag

Politicians on the campaign trial make a lot of lofty promises. But here's one that I think would actually be kept: Donnie Corker, aka Dirtwoman, ...
October 12, 2007

Blogging the Management Conference: The One-Page Wonder

I had a really interesting conversation here with the guy in charge of Indiana's state government Web site. We were chatting before a conference session, ...
October 11, 2007

Blogging the Management Conference: NYC's 311

This is totally old news -- from June 20th, to be precise.  But I missed it.  New York City's 311 call center -- a ...
October 11, 2007

Blogging the Management Conference: Tap, Tap, Tap

Overheard at a dinner in New York City last night: Waiter: Would you like sparkling or still water? Diner: Tap is fine.  New York ...
October 11, 2007

Blogging the Management Conference: Only Seven?!

Hey, municipalities! Interested in improving your city? New York City deputy mayor Daniel Doctoroff has you covered. Doctoroff addressed the conference this morning, and he ...
October 11, 2007

Blogging the Management Conference: Teaching a New Dog Old Tricks

At these management conferences -- and even more so at Governing's Managing Technology conferences -- you always hear a lot about management systems like enterprise ...
October 11, 2007

LiveBlogging the Management Conference

We're in New York City for Governing's annual Managing Performance conference -- two days full of more management talk than you ever thought possible. Check ...
October 10, 2007

Classroom Outlaws!

Let's say you want to set up a charter school, but your state doesn't allow them. What should you do?  Start it anyway! That's ...
October 9, 2007

Heads Up: 10.9.07

SEIU says it won't endorse a presidential candidate, just state ones. Wash Wire How to dispose of a washed-up whale. LAT Brazilian mayor gets LA ...
October 9, 2007

Back in the Classroom

It kinda seems like a no-brainer:  Retiring Boomers are looking for a good second career. Schools are strapped for volunteers and teachers.  States ...
October 8, 2007

Lie Away!

Hey, politicians in Washington State!  Wanna make up something crazy and totally untrue about your opponent?  Go ahead! Not that they need encouragement, ...
October 5, 2007

Heads Up: 10.5.07

Bill Gates on what's wrong with health care. WSJ Why are doctors fleeing to Texas? NYT Does San Diego have two mayors? Union-Tribune Competing hammer ...
October 5, 2007

Quirky Kentucky Donors

The Louisville Courier-Journal took a look this week at the records of who donated money in the most recent gubernatorial campaign, and the paper found ...
October 4, 2007

Heads Up: 10.4.07

Housing slump slows Baltimore's recovery. NYT "Bike-riding mob" owns the streets of Minneapolis. Star-Tribune OH lawmaker shows nude photo to students. AP Got ...
October 4, 2007


Who says marriage is on the decline? New York City is banking on it to draw scores of new tourists -- and their cash. NYC ...
October 3, 2007

Heads Up: 10.3.07

Calling all Newarks of the world: Time to celebrate your "Newarkness." AP NYC Mayor Bloomberg's identity (and $400k!) was stolen. NYT Two men ...
October 2, 2007

Heads Up: 10.2.07

TV Reporter who had affair with LA mayor leaves Telemundo. AP NV might adopt MT's scary anti-meth ads. LVRJ How's MD doing at curbing sprawl? ...
October 1, 2007

Complex Rx

Biologic meds are the wonder drugs of our time. Can we afford them?
October 1, 2007

Heads Up: 10.1.07

Is Florida over? WSJ Infrared scans may regulate HOT lanes. WaPo IL county to redo "boring" official seal. Chicago Tribune LA city council ...

Soaring in San Fran

San Francisco's about to get a lot taller. The city recently approved a final design for a new skyscraper connected to a revamped transit center. ...
September 28, 2007

Heads Up: 9.28.07

Gulf Coast cities trying to shut down FEMA trailer parks. USA Today DOTs say new lingo is needed for "structurally deficient." AP Introducing ...
September 28, 2007

Separate. Equal?

Six months ago, gay-rights advocates cheered as a same-sex civil union law took effect in New Jersey. But now, many of those people say civil ...
September 27, 2007

Heads Up: 9.27.07

What's Larry Craig got to do with childhood obesity? YouTube Dallas teachers in hot water over gold-plated trip to Canada. Morning News Terror plot on ...
September 27, 2007

A Streetcar Named Divisive

What's public transit for? Is it a way to provide government-subsidized transportation with the goal of moving the most people possible? Or is it part of a larger strategy to encourage walkable, livable cities with neighborhoods clustered around transit stations?
September 27, 2007

Heads Up: Brad Pitt Edition

Brad (with Bill Clinton) unveils Florida's plans for first large-scale solar power plant. St. Petersburg Times Brad announces plans (and donates $5 million) for 150 storm-safe, eco-friendly ...
September 26, 2007

Heads Up: 9.26.07

If you're a married female driver in Georgia, you may be in trouble. AJC A not-so-brief history of the City of Los Angeles. LA Times ...
September 26, 2007

Always Good for a Ride

Seattle's atwitter over a streetcar line being built in the city's South Lake Union neighborhood. Not because the residents just get giddy for public transit (...
September 25, 2007

Heads Up: 9.25.07

Political appointees make for bad bureaucrats. Journal of Politics Response to ad plans for Golden Gate is lukewarm. Contra Costa Times A mini-horse in Arden ...
September 24, 2007

Heads Up: 9.24.07

CA Mega Millions players get shortchanged. San Mateo County Times Mayor in WY plays criminal. Casper Star-Tribune NYC experiments with a new kind of bike ...
September 21, 2007

Heads Up: 9.21.07

NYC's subways are getting cell service. NYT 10-yr-old girl to city council: I WANT A PONY! Minneapolis Star-Tribune Survey: Giving to the homeless can really ...
September 21, 2007


Chicago this week unveiled the new logo for its bid to host the 2016 Olympic games. The city had been required to drop its old logo, ...
September 20, 2007

Heads Up: 9.20.07

New report: La. didn't get its fair share of fed Katrina $$. Times-Picayune IL abortion clinic held up by local permitting process. AP KY airport workers ...
September 19, 2007

Heads Up: 9.19.07

Mike Bloomberg creates a "street fair tsar." NY Sun The world's languages are disappearing. NYT Colorado turns poison into profit. Denver Post Blowing ...
September 18, 2007

Heads Up: 9.18.07

Protesting frivolous lawsuits, Nebraska senator sues God. USA Today Chi Town's got the cleanest hands in all the land. Sun-Times Louisville tries a welcoming approach ...
September 18, 2007

City of the Future from the Past

posted by Zach Patton The New York Times has a really interesting story about Arcosanti, an experimental Arizona "town" that was begun in 1970 ...
September 17, 2007

Heads Up: 9.17.07

Bill Richardson: "Arrest me" for medical marijuana support. MPP Tax protesters pay Indy's Bart Peterson a house call. Indy Star Wichita considers a ...
September 14, 2007

Heads Up: 9.14.07

Fashion police: FBI says that hat you're wearing is CRIMINAL. Seattle Times Iowa schools denied grants because req's weren't double-spaced. Sioux City Journal via Stateline ...
September 14, 2007

I Am In the WRONG Business.

I know I praised the a city-branding effort last week. But seriously, sometimes the whole hiring-a-consultant-to-come-up-with-a-new-slogan thing seems kiiiiinda pointless. Like in Burlington, Vermont. That ...
September 13, 2007

Klein on Colbert

This is why I love late night on Comedy Central. What other late shows would have New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein on as ...
September 13, 2007

Heads Up: 9.13.07

Married couples are the new minority in California. Mercury News Impeachment for Iowa judge who blocked gay-marriage ban? DM Register NC legislature tries to use ...
September 11, 2007

Heads Up: 9.11.07

Homeland Insecurity: Ports in a Storm. Mother Jones For a day, the A train is the most historic way to get to Harlem. NYT The ...
September 11, 2007

Public Transi(en)t

New York City's Michael Bloomberg might be the self-proclaimed (but maybe not-all-that-accurate) "subway mayor," but Washington, D.C.'s Adrian Fenty has joined ...
September 10, 2007

Heads Up: 9.10.07

Portland mayor: Beard or no beard? You decide! Oregonian Why the GOP's losing the Hispanic vote. Houston Chronicle More than you ever wanted to know ...
September 10, 2007

Canning the Cans

When it comes to recycling empty bottles and cans, Michigan is the place to be. It's the only state in the nation where each empty ...
September 7, 2007

Whr ll th lghts r brght

Miami might be about to become a little short on vowels: As part of its branding campaign for a new, up-and-coming urban core, Miami's Downtown ...
September 4, 2007

Heads Up: 9.4.07

Bill Richardson: God wants Iowa's primary to be first. DM Register Ex-NJ Gov. McGreevey heads to seminary. Newsday Beware! Your new pooch may have come ...
August 31, 2007

Because You're Working So Hard...

Not too much to say about Statetris.  It's a game just like Tetris, except you have to flip states so they're right-side up and ...
August 28, 2007

The F is for Funny

This is juvenile and base politicking -- and just a little bit funny. Wisconsin state Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican, is upset at a political ...
August 28, 2007

Heads Up: 8.28.07

Denver mayor, 4 council members smoked pot. [Insert Mile High joke here] Denver Post OH Gov. Ted Strickland can not help you find that in your ...
August 28, 2007

noun. 1: energy, pep

"Official" state items are a perennial favorite topic on the 13th Floor -- Kentucky's clogging, Hawaii's humuhumunukunukuapua, Georgia's clay, New Hampshire's pumpkins. I've ...
August 27, 2007

Heads Up: 8.28.07

Love boosts Denver judge's income. Denver Post Receiver tackles CA prison health care. NYT Cities to bikers: Muffle up. AP LA's like NYC, but totally, ...
August 15, 2007

Horse Meat: Not Just For People Anymore!

Uh, not to beat a dead horse here, but there's an interesting bit of news from the world of horsemeat regulation: Animal-rights activists campaigning to ...
August 14, 2007

Heads Up: 8.14.07

Different tacks when it comes to big box stores. Stateline Chicago gets few takers on citywide parking permits. Sun-Times It takes a village to age ...
August 13, 2007

Heads Up: 8.13.07

Vegas judge loses his position over MySpace comments. LVRJ TX Gov. Perry's program: Business initiative or slush fund? Dallas News CA lawmaker holds out on ...
August 10, 2007

Heads Up: 8.10.07

States start offering new help to Iraq War vets. Stateline Stop Internet hunting -- before it starts! WSJ (subs req'd) Judge orders Oakland bakery/murder ...
August 9, 2007

Heads Up: 8.9.07

Didn't want Kinky for Governor? How 'bout a Kinky Cigar? Dallas Morning News Should U.S. police get disciplined with a Hello Kitty armband? NYT ...
August 8, 2007

Heads Up: 8.8.07

Well, that's one way for a town to get on the map. Portland Press-Herald NYC's Bloomberg showed up for jury duty, but he wasn't chosen. ...
August 7, 2007

Heads Up: 8.7.07

Chestnut tree poised for a comeback. Christian Science Monitor America's fastest growing 'burbs. Forbes New WA State law lets kids sue to get their parents ...
August 6, 2007

Crist: All Mighty

The Orlando Sentinel did a Q&A with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, and -- seriously -- it's got all the answers to questions you didn't even know you wanted to ask.
August 6, 2007

Heads Up: 8.6.07

LA mayor's girlfriend suspended from her job. LA Times In Illinois, Pepsi is it. AP NM's wood-burning energy plan hits a snag. Santa Fe New ...
August 2, 2007

Heads Up: 8.2.07

Vegas city manager gets a raise he didn't want. LVRJ Free Krispy Kreme donuts for Nashville voters today. Tennessean blog LA city council votes to ...
August 2, 2007

Nope, They're Still Gonna Smell the Same

If you've ever visited Washington, DC, you may know we have an awfully quirky taxi system.  Your fare isn't based on how long you're ...
August 1, 2007

Heads Up: 8.1.07

NYC's Bloomberg not quite the straphanger he claims. NYT Foie gras ban workaround: faux gras. WSJ (subs req'd) TX to list gas stations that are ...
July 31, 2007

Heads Up: 7.31.07

TX officials spend campaign $$ long after elections. Houston Chronicle Despite fire threat, Missoula, MT's Testicle Festival still a go. AP Earth too warm? States could ...
July 30, 2007

Heads Up: 7.30.07

The Detroit riots, 40 years later. Washington Post Cities are suing gangs -- and winning. Chicago Sun-Times Is Louisiana's budget a ticking time bomb? Times Picayune ...
July 24, 2007

Heads Up: 7.24.07

NY AG says Spitzer improperly leaked info about political rival. AP Invasion of the jumbo squid in CA's Monterey Bay. Mercury News In CA, "...
July 23, 2007

The Many Laws of Dobie Gillis

There's a bill in California that, if it becomes law, would offer greater protection of the images of celebrities who are deceased. The state adopted ...
July 23, 2007

Heads Up: 7.23.07

AL gov's Alabama-shaped pool is no longer leaking. Mobile Press-Register Philly Mayor Street and aides help out at fire scene. Daily News Chaos and disorganization ...
July 20, 2007

Heads Up: 7.20.07

VT town bands public nudity (for 30 days). Reuters AZ gov't test drives its upcoming worker ID law. AZ Republic VA pols: Don't like those crazy ...
July 20, 2007

Whatcha Got There, Guv'nor?

Stateline has an interesting look at the governors -- and which ones have to tell how much about their personal finances: Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (...
July 19, 2007

Heads Up: 7.19.07

Legislative lubrication: Wine helps soften CA budget impasse. Sac Bee Airline passengers' bill of rights takes shape. Politico MO tests a new kind of highway ...
July 19, 2007

It Takes Green to go Green

The Florida governor's mansion just got a little bit greener. Gov. Charlie Crist has installed several new features that are more eco-friendly, including solar panels ...
July 18, 2007

Heads Up: 7.18.07

Mitch Daniels' new conference table was made in prison. Courier-Journal " 130-year-old Ventura toilets yield odd collection of artifacts." Mercury News MySpace turns over ...
July 18, 2007

This Land is My Land, This Land is My Land

The anti-immigration fight has been moving beyond the borders. Increasingly, it's a debate that's happening in the American heartland. From the Wall Street Journal (free ...
July 17, 2007

Heads Up: 7.17.07

Bill O'Reilly backpeddles on "lesbian gangs" story. CQ Politics AK group wants permission to save orphaned moose calves. KTUU TX Gov. Perry: raising ...
July 16, 2007

Heads Up: 7.16.07

IL Gov. Blagojevich spends $600 on a makeup artist. AP Iowa DOT: Watch out for tall corn. QC Times Public officials' cars run the gamut. New ...
July 13, 2007

Heads Up: 7.13.07

White firefighters sue over promotions. Sun-Times Vegas monorail plunges to "junk" bond status. Vegas Sun LA County offers "inland port" plan. ...
July 12, 2007

Heads Up: 7.12.07

States find no easy fix for aggressive driving. Stateline Out with the old: Seattle's selling its old street signs. Seattle Times PA's Rendell likens political ...
July 12, 2007

Public Shame

I went to public schools from kindergarten all the way through college. I actually take a lot of pride in that. But Pittsburgh thinks there's ...
July 11, 2007

'Badonkadonk' Must Be Devastated

The Merriam-Webster dictionary folks have come out with their list of new additions for the year. Topping the list? "Ginormous" and "crunk.&...
July 11, 2007

Heads Up: 7.11.07

Lean Star State? TX will be first to test its kids' fitness. Morning News OR town's residents upset that the traffic posts look ...
July 11, 2007

It's Official: Springfield IS Springfield

Sorry, Illinois, Massachusetts, Tennessee and 31 other states. Springfield, Vermont, has won the coveted title of "Springfield." You know, from "The Simpsons." ...
July 10, 2007

Heads Up: 7.10.07

Governors are fair-weather Facebook friends. Stateline Shaq for sheriff, and Charles Barkley for AL gov? Birmingham News No more roadside parking in Arkansas. Today's THV ...
July 10, 2007

Love In an Elevator

Okay, this is easily the single greatest song ever written about a state commissioner of labor. Yep, the smiling face of North Carolina Labor Commissioner ...
July 9, 2007

What's Good Enough For Scooter...

Hey, don't know if you heard, but President Bush commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence. Depending on your perspective, it was either a slap in the ...
July 9, 2007

Heads Up: 7.9.07

Why CA's "green" fleet is actually worse for the environment. Mercury News FL's Crist says he's not Romney's VP. AP NJ's Corzine walks ...
July 6, 2007

Bratton Gets Down to Brass Tacks

Los Angeles is 50 percent bigger in area than New York City, but LA has only half the cops. That means they spend most of their ...
July 6, 2007

Heads Up: 7.6.07

Fliers' bill of rights advances. AZ Republic High-speed rail may link Midwest.  Indy Star The new way to measure student achievement. NYT Independent Bloomberg ...
July 6, 2007

Nude Sculpture Update: Still Nude!

From a 13th Floor operative in Colorado comes this interesting update of LovelandSexualSculptureGate '06, in which some residents of Loveland, CO, were upset that a ...
July 5, 2007

Heads Up: 7.5.07

Speech snub? Seattle mayor delivers "State of the City" to Rotary Club, not city council. Seattle Times Applications for U.S. citizenship surging. ...
July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Independence Day! The 13th Floor will be back on Thursday.
July 3, 2007

Heads Up: 7.3.07

LA's Villaraigosa acknowledges "relationship" with Telemundo reporter. ABC7 NCSL prez gets some props. Houston Chronicle GA approves nation's first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant. ...
July 2, 2007

Independence Day -- Not Just For Bad Highway Traffic Anymore!

Of course road traffic is going to be horrendous this Fourth of July -- record-breaking, in fact, according to AAA. But it's not just cars ...
July 2, 2007

Heads Up: 7.2.07

The home of the $3,000 traffic ticket. USA Today Rough road ahead for state-owned "Arizona Highways" mag. AZ Republic KY's First Dog is getting ...
July 2, 2007

iCan't Wait

OMG it's July 2nd and you don't have an iPhone yet??? Philly Mayor John Street and DC Mayor Adrian Fenty both do. Street camped out ...
July 1, 2007

Staying Afloat: Kansas Learns a Lesson About Motor Pools

In 2003, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius Eliminated The State's Motor Vehicle Pool. Cars Were Sold Off. Agencies Were Directed To Rent The Vehicles They Need. Sibelius Predicted Major Savings.
July 1, 2007

Too Big for The Road

Massive trucks are tearing up fragile state highways. And more of them are out there every year.
July 1, 2007

In Utah, It's Gracias but no Gracias

State takes a hard line on English only.
June 29, 2007

Heads Up: 6.29.07

AL Gov issues proclamation calling for week of prayer for rain. Court says"driving under the influence" includes hangovers. ...
June 29, 2007

Sort-of Art Imitates Hypothetical Life

Okay, I promise I'm not promoting a film or anything. But I saw the trailer for "I Am Legend," coming out this winter, ...
June 28, 2007

Heads Up: 6.28.07

MD legislative leaders try scare tactics with "Doomsday budget." Balto Sun New rules would force many CA pot clubs to close. SF Bay ...
June 28, 2007

Reckoning With a New Force

NPR says there's a group that's having a newfound impact on state-level politics: the gays. Specifically, the rich gays: A new force is emerging in ...
June 27, 2007

Heads Up: 6.27.07

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper talks up "brewpub regionalism." CP&DR Is the SF Board of Supes a "clown show"? SF ...
June 27, 2007

Bottled Water Strikes Back!

Yesterday, we wrote about cities' touting the drinkability -- nay, deliciousness! -- of their tap water. Unsurprisingly, the International Bottled Water Association isn't took keen on the whole idea of the tap.
June 27, 2007

Vote For Virtue Soup!

In one race, it could be Oh Bus Horse vs. Sticky Rice or Virtue Soup. In another match-up, people will likely put their money on ...
June 26, 2007

Heads Up: 6.26.07

Because we, as a news Web site, are legally obligated to cover Paris Hilton's release from jail. Everywhere No cannonball for DC Mayor Fenty. WaPo ...
June 26, 2007

Tap Dances

The mayors of New York and San Francisco are pushing a radical, bold new idea: It's okay to drink the tap water. NYC Mayor Mike ...
June 25, 2007

Heads Up: 6.25.07

Woo-hoo! "Michigan not worst in taxes or spending." Detroit Free Press Will Wal-Mart ruin this Hasidic Jewish town? NYT Lost your monkey? Here's ...
June 22, 2007

Heads Up: 6.22.07

Where's your best bet for retaining the value of your home? Biz Times SF might get a tourist zeppelin in 2008. CNET Paris Hilton case sheds ...
June 21, 2007

"Look, Ma! I'm homeless"

posted by Zach Patton Remember a couple months ago when those members of Congress took the "Food Stamp Challenge," trying to eat on ...
June 21, 2007

Heads Up: 6.21.07

Bad math forces Schwarzenegger to redo schools plan. Union-Tribune NYC poor to get cash for good behavior. ABC News NV House: No more "Yucca ...
June 21, 2007

Reeeeally Deferred Maintenance

Sure, sewers and street-cleaning and road maintenance are all really important.  But have you ever really stopped to think about how important those sorts ...
June 20, 2007

Landmark or Eyesore?

The New York Times has an interesting profile of the 29-story Cleveland Trust Tower, located in, uh, Cleveland. Built in 1971, it's the only skyscraper ever ...
June 19, 2007

Heads Up: 6.19.07

Critters aren't using the $25K tunnel NH built for them. Boston Globe TIME's (puff) piece on Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger. TIME States looking at alternatives to ...
June 19, 2007

Another Day, Another Cause

I know, I know, it's tough to keep up. You're probably still reeling from National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. And you're just now getting over ...
June 18, 2007

Heads Up: 6.18.07

John Rowland's life after prison. Washington Post Funds for NYC's congestion pricing plan might not exist. WCBS Kansas City violates federal Clean Air Act. KC ...
June 18, 2007

Can You Imagine Tax Men at Woodstock?

The Bonnaroo music festival was held this weekend in Manchester, TN. (Which, incidentally, is only a few miles from where I was born and raised.&...
June 15, 2007

Heads Up: 6.15.07

S.L. City releases new video of mayor's skirmish with developer. SL Tribune Steroid tests move to high schools. Stateline Bill Richardson wants a Water ...
June 14, 2007

Heads Up: 6.14.07

Wait, what's Flag Day mean again, Gov. Kulongoski? Portland Oregonian Uhhhh... "McGreevey blasts wife's taste in clothes." USA Today KC Mayor Funkhouser in ...
June 13, 2007

Heads Up: 6.13.07

A rocky week for Rocky (the L.A. city attorney). LA Times A rocky week for Rocky (the SLC mayor). Tribune America's worst traffic traps. ...
June 13, 2007

But We Still Can't Properly Fund Education?

This is an absolutely fascinating map. It renames each U.S. state with the country that has a simlar GDP. It's kind of stunning. You ...
June 12, 2007

Heads Up: 6.12.07

Effort launched to recall sheriff who let Paris Hilton out of jail. LA Times Playground prank + potato gun = arrested and tried as an adult. Denver ...
June 11, 2007

Heads Up: 6.11.07

LA's Villaraigosa and his wife are splitting. LA Times New life for commuter rail in NH. Union Leader Hosting All-Star Game with cost SF $700k. ...
June 8, 2007

Give Us Your Aquafinas, Your Deer Parks, Your Fijis

Water bottles in Oregon are about to get a little more valuable. Gov. Ted Kulongoski has signed into law a measure that will require Oregon ...
June 8, 2007

Loose Lips Sink Public Employees

So I'm at the dentist's office this morning, waiting for my name to be called. And I'm kind of mindlessly  flipping through the latest ...
June 8, 2007

Heads Up: 6.8.07

How Paris Hilton's new ankel jewelry works. LA Times Phoenix lobbyist rescues Mexican fisherman. AZ Republic Giuliani would use a version of Compstat if he's ...
June 8, 2007

Kids Love Curvilinear Deconstructionist Post-Modernism!

Frank Gehry, the architect known for his swooping, organic forms of shiny metal, is going to design his first playground. The one-acre playspace will be ...
June 7, 2007

Heads Up: 6.7.07

Homeowner insurance crisis puts huge risks on states' shoulders. WSJ Last putt for GA's Golf Hall of Fame. AJC Does blogging improve high schoolers' writing ...
June 7, 2007

That Ain't Jesus -- That's My Mayor!

Some residents of Rosemont, Il., are claiming that a tree in the middle of town has revealed the Second Coming. No, not that Second Coming. ...
June 7, 2007

What's So Great About Government?

So I'm working on a story for an upcoming issue of Governing. I'm looking at what Gen X and Gen Y want out of a ...
June 6, 2007

"Get a Life"?

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is getting a lot of attention over comments he made to WCBS-TV this week, in regards to the (barely nascent) ...
June 6, 2007

Heads Up: 6.6.07

In MN, using turkey waste to generate electricity. NYT AK's leg. session: Meeting in Anchorage costs way more than Juneau. ADN CA regs may halt ...
June 6, 2007

The Less and Less Friendly Skies

Sure, the U.S. as a whole emits more harmful gases that any other country. But when you look at the latest data on a ...
June 5, 2007

Heads Up: 6.5.07

Bikes and trails -- the solution to the nation's problems? Des Moines Register LIRR tunnels, old and new. Newsday, via APA Transit makes for better ...
June 5, 2007

Segway? Or Seg-no-way?

There's an interesting conversation going on over at DCist about cops on segways, and whether they, well, look ridiculous. Many of the comments seem to ...
June 4, 2007

Heads Up: 6.4.07

A taste of Napa Valley on the South Dakota plains. Bismarck Tribune Killing gators in FL might get easier. Sun Sentinel Michael Nutter, Philly's reluctant ...
May 31, 2007

Back on Track

Tracy Finch would prefer to show visitors around the south side of Charlotte by train. But the city's first light-rail line won't open until this...
May 29, 2007

Heads Up: 5.29.07

FL's property tax mess. WSJ (subs req'd) TN propane tax would hit backyard cookouts. Tennessean What Atlantans learned on a trip to Vancouver. AJC TX ...
May 25, 2007

Happy Memorial Day!

The 13th Floor is taking off for a long weekend.  Please enjoy this video of Cincinnati residents breaking the Mentos-Diet Coke record: See you ...
May 25, 2007

Heads Up: 5.25.07

Bees swarm Phoenix city hall. AZ Republic If Trafalgar Square can go green, why not Times Square? Streetsblog Miami gets its first-ever citywide parks plan. ...
May 25, 2007

BREAKING: Blagojevich is Anti-Jobs!!!

IL Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into law yesterday that eliminates dozens of jobs in his state. It's the latest -- and probably the ...
May 25, 2007

Buckle Up. No, Seriously.

Public service announcements don't always make the most interesting television. But NJ Gov. Jon Corzine -- who, of course, survived a horrific traffic accident last ...
May 24, 2007

Heads Up: 5.24.07

Mayors' climate change pact hits 500-city mark. Sierra Club blog Bill Fulton's retailing adventures in Las Vegas. Bill Fulton's blog San Jose's clean-tech economic strategy. ...
May 23, 2007

Heads Up: 5.23.07

From the Big House to a luxe hotel: Buddy Cianci's new start. NYT AK lawmakers: 90-day session is not enough! ADN SF's Human Svcs. Dept. ...
May 23, 2007

Here a Bike, There a Bike

I was in Lexington, Ky., this past weekend -- a town I've written about before for becoming more bike-friendly -- and I noticed all these ...
May 22, 2007

Heads Up: 5.22.07

Lower gas tax revenues mean more potholes and tolls. AP "Czar": What's in a name? NYT 867-5309: What's in a number? AP Hey, ...
May 18, 2007

Heads Up: 5.18.07

GA DOT proposal: No new freeway lanes in Atlanta -- EVER. AJC Did you bike to work today? Atlanta city workers protest proposed budget. AJC ...
May 18, 2007

Nano Metros

Hey there, U.S. metropolitan area! Are you tired of chasing after the same tired old biotechnology firms, day in and day out? Well, wake ...
May 17, 2007

Heads Up: 5.17.07

From "I Do" to "He Does." Proxy marriages booming in MT. Bismarck Trib Going solar in the rainy Northwest. The Olympian ...
May 16, 2007

Heads Up: 5.16.07

Houston switches plans from light rail to bus rapid-transit. KPRC Local 2 Mayors unveil carbon footprint calculator. NYT New Anchorage logo replaces blog. Daily News Planning ...
May 16, 2007

Live Governors and Dead Presidents

Stateline has a pretty interesting look at governors' annual salaries, which range from over $200,000 at the top end all the way down to a dollar ...
May 15, 2007

Heads Up: 5.15.07

AZ moves to outlaw anti-war t-shirts with fallen soldiers' names. Daily Star Just 3 years old, but troubles on Pittsburgh's light-rail line. Centre Daily Talk of ...
May 15, 2007

Horsemeat's Not Dead! (Well, the Issue, I Mean)

I know, I know. You read all these different posts on the 13th Floor about the legal status of horsemeat in the U.S., and ...
May 14, 2007

Heads Up: 5.14.07

Worst. Idea. Ever. Teachers stage fake gun attack on class. CNN When you're on the train...and you gotta go. Chicago Tribune CT squares off ...
May 11, 2007

Heads Up: 5.11.07

A "Terminator" without the Governator?? Variety NASA tech inventors help roads and air travel, too. Houston Chronicle States crack down on dangerous highway ...
May 11, 2007

Man, They Shore Do Things Weird out in Kalyfornya!

It is sooo tempting to make fun of a story that starts of this way: The Los Angeles Housing Department has paid thousands of dollars ...
May 10, 2007

Heads Up: 5.10.07

UT DOT planting oil-producing crops along highways. Deseret News MA hasn't collected a cent from businesses for expanded healthcare. Globe "Like, wow." Vegas ...
May 9, 2007

Heads Up: 5.9.07

SLC's Rocky fights a downtown sky bridge, loses. SL Trib Video of Berkeley's bike-parking station. Streetsblog Making it tougher for sex offenders to change their ...
May 8, 2007

Heads Up: 5.8.07

How Philly & Detroit handled highway collapses. San Jose Mercury News Are ports ready for the next decade's surge in cargo? CalTrade Report Paris Hilton ...
May 4, 2007

Heads Up: 5.4.07

People are walking 10% faster than they did a decade ago. ITV News Seatbelts for dogs? Boston Herald QE2 was introduced to the VA House yesterday ...
May 3, 2007

Heads Up: 5.3.07

If McGreevey becomes a priest, can we stop talking about him? Jersey Journal If forwarding email illegal? A law prof says yes. AP CA DHS ...
May 3, 2007

Slaughterhouse-Five (Government-Zero)

Attention, all you fans of viande chevaline : Despite a Congressional ban, the last remaining horse slaughterhouse in the U.S. is staying open -- for ...
May 2, 2007

Heads Up: 5.2.07

In OR House, refuse to vote on the floor and risk a $5,000 fine. Oregonian NC county gives hefty tax breaks to snag NASCAR wind tunnel. ...
May 2, 2007

Fantasy Baseball Is Soooo 2006

Los Angeles' traffic congestion, of course, is well documented. You might even say "legendary." So maybe it's no surprise that some LA residents ...
May 1, 2007

Heads Up: 5.1.07

NJ's Corzine wants a ticket for not wearing his seatbelt. Philly Inquirer WA gets an official state frog. Seattle Post-Intelligencer AZ toys with 24-lane freeways. ...
April 30, 2007

Bad Bugs

Usually, it's just a mild skin infection, an irritating outbreak of pimples. But it can get much worse: The pimples can become painful lesions or...
April 30, 2007

Heads Up: 4.30.07

Berkeley City Council opposes use of cages. East Bay Biz Times In NY State, big tax breaks for just a handful of employees. AP The ...
April 27, 2007

Heads Up: 4.27.07

Exclusive pics of Mike Bloomberg multitasking! Gothamist London's mayor on Bloomberg's proposed congestion charge. Guardian NJ poll: 91% want Corzine ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt. ...
April 26, 2007

Heads Up: 4.26.07

MT House Maj. Ldr. to Gov: "Go to hell" -- and more. Billings Gazette + video Breaking the jinx of Chicago's Lot 37. NYT Turns ...
April 25, 2007

Heads Up: 4.25.07

RI library subscribes to Netflix. Shifted Librarian blog ND cops wrestle with a boa constrictor. Bismarck Tribune Is Boston's ugly city hall a landmark? Globe &...
April 24, 2007

Heads Up: 4.24.07

KY Lt. Gov. candidate says he's not qualified to be governor. Herald-Leader The "Frankenstein," the "Vanna White," and other quirky vetoes. ...
April 23, 2007

Heads Up: 4.23.07

Small animals get CA legislature's attention. San Diego Union-Tribune NY Gov. Spitzer's idol. Washington Post Heads up -- literally! Great Falls Tribune Real blood spilled ...
April 19, 2007

No Need to Worry About New Mexico's Self-Esteem

New Mexico's new tourism campaign -- "The Best Place in the Universe" -- shows that the state has a pretty healthy ego (unlike ...
April 19, 2007

Part of the Problem (?)

I recently wrote a story for Governing on the rise of drug-resistant diseases, which will be published in the May issue. It's starting to be ...
April 18, 2007

Heads Up: 4.18.07

Colleges everywhere are examining new security measures and ways to alert students of danger. Here's a sampling of some stories. Times-Picayune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, San ...
April 17, 2007

Heads Up: 4.17.07

After VA Tech massacre, TX House postpones debate on closing records for concealed handgun licenses. Texas Politics ATVs replacing horses on the range. LA Times ...
April 16, 2007

Heads Up: 4.16.07

How farmers can stop global warming. Bismarck Tribune Adaptable coyotes thriving in cities & suburbs. WaPo New team clashes at beleaguered Texas Youth Commission. Dallas ...
April 13, 2007

Heads Up: 4.13.07

China gets a town where the women make all the rules. Ananova Wireless sensors to watch pollution, traffic, weather. MIT Tech Review Boise's so clean, ...
April 12, 2007

Heads Up: 4.12.07

The fast, high-rolling -- and illegal -- life of a state auditor. Times-Union -- Google Maps for germaphobes. Gridskipper Vilsack joins Mondale's law ...
April 11, 2007

Heads Up: 4.11.07

"Party fund" stripped from agency's budget. Bismarck Tribune Office rents up, occupancy down, in downtown NOLA. Times-Picayune Do bank robbers think twice if ...
April 10, 2007

Heads Up: 4.10.07

Pimp my Governator! San Jose Mercury News Gibbons: Dems paid Wall Street Journal to publish stories about me. Review-Journal Edited-movie market rebounds despite court ban. ...
April 9, 2007

You Say You Want a Revolution?

Like geodesic domes or glass-encased elevator shafts, revolving restaurants are architectural innovations that recall -- for me, anyway -- a bygone era of Space Age ...
April 9, 2007

Heads Up: 4.9.07

Wyomingites "disappointed" by amatuerish Easter egg. AP OR Gov and his wife will spend a week on food stamps. Oregonian DNA proof of ...
April 6, 2007

Heads Up: 4.6.07

The real O.C.? Not so exciting. LA Times What happens when reporters become state reps? Cleveland Plain Dealer blog Lawmaker wants to require ID ...
April 5, 2007

Heads Up: 4.5.07

MO House skirts usual rules to honor Secret Santa. KC Star New Orleans councilwoman clocked at over 100 mph. Times-Picayune East Hartford police bust pot-stuffed Easter ...
April 4, 2007

Except the Real One Doesn't Have A Safety Harness

This video has been making the rounds online, and it's really interesting. It's from, a blog that originally tracked the dotcom boom but ...
April 4, 2007

Heads Up: 4.4.07

OR Senate approves bikes without brakes. Oregonian Filling potholes is for chumps: Mayors need some bling! KC Star Does TN's fiscal future include a porn ...
April 3, 2007

Heads Up: 4.3.07

TX lawmakers might legalize Texas Hold 'Em. Houston Chronicle In TN, a tax break for the elderly, but how? AP FL gov. wants to restore ...
April 3, 2007

I Bet the Partridge Family is Kicking Themselves

Hybrid cars are hot right now, but the idea of a true plug-in hybrid -- one whose owner would literally plug it into an electrical ...
April 2, 2007

Heads Up: 4.2.07

MA Gov: Put out-of-state gay marriages on the books. Boston Globe "Commerce City" on the ballot in CO. Denver Post No booze on ...
April 2, 2007

'A Special Place in Hell'

In this day and age, it's kind of amazing how quickly a public figure can fall from grace -- and how it's so often caused ...
March 30, 2007

Heads Up: 3.30.07

Boise man declares mayor candidacy on MySpace. Idaho Statesman On Google maps of NOLA, everything's back to normal after Katrina. AP NV gov. has ties ...
March 29, 2007

Heads Up: 3.29.07

Sans earring and credit card debt, Detroit's mayor grows into his job. News Kansas City: a new mayor, a new slogan? You decide. KC Star ...
March 28, 2007

Heads Up: 3.28.07

NOLA's Nagin wants commish ousted for "bitch" comment. Times-Picayune Seattle's library 3 years later: Not holding up. Post-Intelligencer Menino's city hall vision: "technology ...
March 28, 2007

Um, Maybe It's All Those Murders That're Hurting Business

Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker is up in arms over some billboards currently scattered throughout his city's downtown. He says that six signs, paid for ...
March 27, 2007

Heads Up: 3.27.07

NJ mayor's political foe goes a little "Single White Female." Newark Star-Ledger States put a dimmer on teen tanning. Stateline How to spend $43 ...
March 27, 2007

Your Retirement is NOT Funding Terror

Here's an interesting story in the Christian Science Montitor about the politics of state employee pension funds -- and where they're being invested. This first ...
March 26, 2007

Heads Up: 3.26.07

MD school backs peppermint for students' alertness. NPR DE fights to save its only regular airline service. Wilmington News Journal At the Big Dig, what's ...
March 26, 2007

Pick a Reason, Any Reason

When it comes to the federal Real ID Act -- which calls for national standards for identification cards such as drivers licenses -- there are ...
March 23, 2007

Heads Up: 3.23.07

Retirees are lovin' the Wii. Reuters A lobbyist, at age 8. Boston Globe Ethanol backlash brewing in Midwest. WSJ (subs req'd) Tinseltown backlash: Idaho dumps new ...
March 22, 2007

Heads Up: 3.22.07

KC mayor jumps into tax-breaks fray. KC Star Buying spray paint in Minneapolis? Let's see your ID. Star-Tribune CA Transportation Dept. hid $13 mil of contracts ...
March 21, 2007

Heads Up: 3.21.07

Chicago hosts an egg hunt -- designed to kill!!! Tribune Hickenlooper meets opponent, gets a lapful of beer. Rocky Mountain News Missing word sends a ...
March 20, 2007

Heads Up: 3.20.07

Hawaii state style guide: Don't call that thing a "tiki"!! Honolulu Advertiser OR House members introduce package of Gen X legislation. Oregonian NJ ...
March 19, 2007

Heads Up: 3.19.07

Take that, science! NM lawmakers say Pluto's still a planet. AP Ray Nagin: Change in NOLA's racial makeup is "a plot." Times-Picayune Global ...
March 16, 2007

Heads Up: 3.16.07

Cocoa Beach's "emergency measure": No sofas on the beach! FL Today Death penalty stays on the books in MD. Balto Sun NH bill ...
March 15, 2007

Heads Up: 3.15.07

More states offer preschool. AP Are libraries necessary? WSJ (free link) Cool tag cloud for OH State of the State. Cincy Enquirer's Footnotes blog Is ...
March 14, 2007

Heads Up: 3.14.07

CO's new state song: Not that kind of "high." NYT The bolo tie is now the official tie of NM. Santa Fe New ...
March 13, 2007

Heads Up: 3.13.07

Nobody blows up a building like Vegas. Review-Journal video Related: Vegas casino implosions through the years. Ex-NJ Gov. McGreevey wants full custody of ...
March 12, 2007

Heads Up: 3.12.07

How much for a brain? SC weighs early release for organ-donor felons. LA Times Suit urges MA to overhaul prisons. Boston Globe Thanks for that ...
March 9, 2007

Heads Up: 3.09.07

Springfields vie for "Simpsons" movie premiere. WaPo More states dropping motorcycle helmet laws. NPR CDC report: AIDS hits black men the hardest. Reuters ...
March 8, 2007

Heads Up: 3.08.07

Ritter vs. Ritter: The contradictions of CO's governor. Denver Post Special green license plates for OH sex offenders? NYT "Super Mario vs. the Pieman.&...
March 7, 2007

Heads Up: 3.7.07

Counties criminally liable for posting Soc. Sec. numbers? ComputerWorld SLC's policy protecting gays and minorities is now law. SL Tribune A Big Dig for Philly? ...
March 6, 2007

Heads Up: 3.6.07

MA guv made a call on behalf of his former company. Boston Globe Polar bears endangered? Alaska's not so sure. AP "Rocky Mountain High&...
March 5, 2007

Heads Up: 3.5.07

CA highway patrol's suicide rate is 7.5 times the U.S. average. Sac Bee Using MySpace to fight gang violence. San Diego Union-Tribune Will NH bingo ...
March 2, 2007

Heads Up: 3.2.07

Sex scandal cover-up in Missouri? KC Star Great idea! Postal service fixes long waits by removing clocks. AP Toll transponder inaccuracy is widespread. theNewspaper States ...
March 2, 2007

There Once Was A Bill In The Statehouse...

From 13th Floor reader William comes this groan-inducing bit of legislation introduced in the Minnesota House in January. It establishes a poet laureate for the ...
March 1, 2007

Great Forensic Expectations

Do TV shows about crime investigation influence real-life jurors?
March 1, 2007

Heads Up: 3.1.07

National Law Enforcement Museum to be built in DC. DCist TN bill would require drug tests for welfare recipients. AP Drunk-driving that kills: Is it &...
February 28, 2007

Robe Warriors

Justice Martin Johnstone's first campaign for the Kentucky Supreme Court was a big deal. It was 1996, and state judicial elections had always been small-time affairs....
February 28, 2007

The Bench and the Ballot Box

PARTISAN ELECTIONS Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Michigan, Ohio NON-PARTISAN ELECTIONS Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota,...
February 28, 2007

Heads Up: 2.28.07

Oakland mayor wants to give convicts jobs. Oakland Tribune Mall of America wants $234 million subsidy package. Star-Tribune Arkansas' or Arkansas's? There oughta be a law! ...
February 28, 2007

Pre-Op City Manager Ousted

Turns out that Steve Stanton, the city manager for Largo, FL, will NOT be one of the first public officials anywhere to undergo gender-reassignment surgery ...
February 27, 2007

Heads Up: 2.27.07

Govs press Bush on Iraq, get not much in return. Billings Gazette NY state employee fired over a tip to the local news? News10 Albany ...
February 26, 2007

Heads Up: 2.26.07

Chicago aldermen want to avoid a JetBlue fiaso at O'Hare. Sun-Times Holy #$*%! Anti-porn czar tackles obscenity. SL Tribune Estonia to vote for president on the ...
February 23, 2007

Heads Up: 2.23.07

Arrows to spike strips: NM lawmakers tackle wrong-way drivers. ABQ Trib No more soda volcanos! Science fairs lose luster. Orlando Sentinel MA Guv's property tax ...
February 22, 2007

Heads Up: 2.22.07

Classroom candy: Undoing AR Gov. Huckabee's health reforms. AR News Hennepin Co. says acronyms will be DOA. Minneapolis Star-Tribune The gov't is DEFINITELY spying on ...
February 21, 2007

More Women in Government

I hesitate to post this on the 13th Floor because, honestly, I don't think it's really worth reporting.  I feel like this is akin ...
February 21, 2007

Heads Up: 2.21.07

MD Gov. O'Malley's anti-death penalty op-ed. WaPo Crime, violence and traffic: Worth $91 million for Vegas? Review-Journal Cost of a pack of cigarettes in a CA ...
February 21, 2007

Hi, Ohio! Welcome to 1999.

posted by Zach Patton The Ohio General Assembly has taken a bold step into the late-20th century, and has now begun listing lawmakers' votes ...
February 20, 2007

Cabs in the City by the Bay

San Francisco's taxi system is somewhat famously clunky. The city keeps tight control on the number of cabs through a strict medallion-issuing system. So cabs ...
February 20, 2007

Heads Up: 2.20.07

MN might tax plastic surgery. Star-Tribune Librarians in an uproar over "scrotum." NYT Chicago's idea to lease out airports is catching on. Philly ...
February 16, 2007

Heads Up: 2.16.07

FL Gov. Crist got set up on a date with a "hottest mom." Palm Beach Post   TN might scrap its 4-month-old Ethics ...
February 16, 2007

Revenues up in Smoke

A drop in smoking is good for states, right? Healthier residents, lower strain on health care systems, etc. But there's at least one way it ...
February 15, 2007

Heads Up: 2.15.07

Looming elections in Chicago = speedy snow plows. Tribune Pittsburgh mayor launches major downtown housing push. Business Times Here's where all the automakers' plant closings are ...
February 14, 2007

Heads Up: 2.14.07

"I Love New York" turns 30 and is up for grabs. Buffalo Business First Does AL love steel enough to change its constitution? Times-Picayune ...
February 14, 2007

Oregon Buying Itself a Gift Card?

You know that giftcard you got for Christmas that's still sitting in your wallet?  And there's, like, $4.38 on it, and you don't want to ...
February 13, 2007

Heads Up: 2.13.07

Hybrid cars too quiet for blind pedestrians. WSJ (free link) To announce, Romney heads to his dad's political stomping ground. Globe Pricey jet fuel: Air ...
February 13, 2007

Unintended Consequences

As cause-and-effect scenarios go, this one should have been easy to predict: Pass a smoking ban, and more people will smoke outside. If more people ...
February 12, 2007

Heads Up: 2.12.07

Wi-fi helps criminals hide. WaPo Can Cory Booker revive Newark? Economist VA's unique political method for choosing judges has pros and cons. Virginian-Pilot Cheer up, ...
February 9, 2007

Heads Up: 2.9.07

What kind of state legislator was Obama? WaPo Jesus, Crist! Superstar! Sun-Sentinel Do bigger government buildings = better government? NYT Sustainable Rocky: An interview with SLC's ...
February 8, 2007

Heads Up: 2.8.07

Bush Admin pushes "congestion pricing" for cities. CS Monitor Cook County, IL takes a shot at 10-cent-a-bullet tax. Sun-Times TX's Perry is sent ...
February 8, 2007

Josh, He's a Good Man

Governing staff writer -- and consummate 13th Floor blogger -- Josh Goodman has been nominated as a Rising Star journalist on FishbowlDC, medibistro's Washington journo ...
February 7, 2007

Heads Up: 2.7.07

Ark. bill will mandate cleaner grocery store carts. NYT Kansas City mayoral candidate wants to build a 50-story wheel. KC Star's Buzz Blog Apartment smoking ...
February 7, 2007


This is from a 13th Floor field operative (okay, "reader"), Chris: I have no idea if this rises to the level of outside ...
February 6, 2007

Heads Up: 2.6.07 [Links corrected]

OR GOPers grumble over gov's "private" media event. Oregonian MIA delegate in WV might lose his seat. Charlston Gazette Frosh NV delegate's "...
February 6, 2007

Alcoholics Unanimous

Pop Quiz: You're a public figure who's just had a very public fall from grace. You're flailing. Your PR people are scrambling to manage the ...
February 5, 2007

Heads Up: 2.5.07

Mixed report cards for Chicago school reforms. Tribune 12-hour days for D.C. schoolkids? Washington Post States: Call 911 on drunken drivers. AP For Vegas visitors, ...
February 2, 2007

Guerillas in the Midst

Here are a couple videos that might interest you. First, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Lite Brite guerilla marketing campaign that shut ...
February 2, 2007

Heads Up: 2.2.07

Damage from Exxon Valdez endures. USA Today Sorry, OH kids! Law bans light-up shoes and blinking balls. Dayton Daily News Macon, GA, mayor converts to ...
February 1, 2007

Heads Up: 2.1.07

Texas Observer remembers Molly Ivins. Observer In an OR city, the cops are riding school buses to spot traffic violations. AP Nailing metal thieves in ...
January 31, 2007

Tracy Welsh

Tracy Welsh is the executive director of the HIV Law Project, a New York City group founded in 1989 to provide legal and advocacy services to...
January 31, 2007

So This Councilman Walks Into A Bar...

Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Dane Cook.  Sure those guys are funny, but can they run a city? Joey Novick can. Novick is a professional ...
January 31, 2007

Socked for Sockpuppets?

From SFist comes this interesting tidbit about the commenting habits of San Franciso Mayor Gavin Newsom's communications director, Peter Ragone. Apparently, SFist found some indications ...
January 30, 2007

Heads Up: 1.30.07

Chicago's privatize-happy mayor hits a wall on Midway plans. Crain's Los Angeles transit authority might create its own court. LA Times Britain ponders giving local ...
January 29, 2007

Heads Up: 1.29.07

"Grills Bill" would outlaw renegade tooth-bejewelers. Memphis Commercial Appeal 48% of jobless pay in error? Sort of. Wichita Eagle MN lawmakers wonder, do biz ...
January 29, 2007


I've been to Underground Atlanta, the "premier retail entertainment center" that occupies six subterranean blocks of downtown Atlanta, twice in my life. The ...
January 26, 2007

No Second Political Life for Newsom?

Joining the ranks of former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has taken part in an interview in Second Life, the 3D ...
January 26, 2007

Heads Up: 1.26.07

Study: Kids who live near freeways plagued with lung problems. LA Times Dueling economists agree: Corporate kicker does almost zilch for OR. Oregonian The Guvernator's ...
January 25, 2007

Heads Up: 1.25.07

States take up bills to oppose REAL ID Act. Billings Gazette "Secret" UT legislation shows up on unofficial website. SL Tribune In TN, ...
January 25, 2007

Something in the Aer

This is either a testament to UNC business professor John Kasarda's awesome PR machine, the staying power of a good urban-planning concept, the laziness flattery ...
January 24, 2007

Heads Up: 1.24.07

Sorry Vegas: Macao is now the world's biggest gambling center. NYT MN town bans ultimate fighting. Red Wind Republican Eagle MS Gov. Barbour's insider status ...
January 24, 2007

Embrace Your Inner Thirteen!

posted by Zach Patton We here on the 13th Floor embrace the fact that our offices are located thirteen stories above the ground. We love ...
January 23, 2007

Heads Up: 1.23.07

Is MA-style health care reform illegal? WSJ (subs req'd) WA gov wants two more toll projects. Tacoma News Tribune NJ/NY port execs say threat ...
January 22, 2007

Heads Up: 1.22.07

What to use for currency in a post-tobacco prison? Tennessean FL's parking spaces for disabled can't meet demand. Orlando Sentinel What's wrong with the Chicago ...
January 22, 2007

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Legislation

A California lawmaker made headlines last week when she announced plans to introduce a bill banning spanking of children younger than four: "It would ...
January 19, 2007

Heads Up: 1.19.07

Drug tests for elected officials? Portland Oregonian Can Scientologists reform NM's prisoners? WSJ (subs req'd) Can you make ethanol from trash? MIT Tech Review McGreevey's ...
January 19, 2007

Here's Me, Getting Mugged

Crime-fighting in New York City just got a whole lot tech-ier: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who built his fortune on innovations in information technology, announced ...
January 18, 2007

Heads Up: 1.18.07

In Hawaii's Senate, the ladies are in charge. Honolulu Advertiser SF bans booze ads from bus shelters. Chocolate-chip cookie odors still OK. Chronicle Will Wall ...
January 17, 2007

Heads Up: 1.17.07 -- PART II

It's a newsy day! Here are a few more headlines, served up fresh. Nashville cops trade bikes for motorscooters. Tennessean No eating behind the wheel? ...
January 17, 2007

Heads Up: 1.17.07

MD's O'Malley: From impatience to prudence. WaPo A history of smoking bans, from Pope Urban VIII to Adolf Hitler. The Atlantic Why does NV have ...
January 17, 2007

Gaffe of the Day

Virginia House Del. Frank Hargrove is certainly efficient with his insults.  He was able to offend blacks and Jews in pretty much the same ...
January 16, 2007

Heads Up: 1.16.07

The newest front in the War on Smoking? Apartment buildings. Seattle Times MD's new delegates get ettiquette lessons from House's Miss Manners. WaPo NM's Richardson ...
January 12, 2007


The 13th Floor is taking off for the long weekend.  See you on Tuesday!
January 12, 2007

Heads Up: 1.12.06

New MD Gov. O'Malley kicked a field goal. Balto Sun blog New IA Gov. Culver kissed his wife. Cedar Rapids Gazette ID Gov. Otter wants ...
January 12, 2007

Huckabee STOPS by The Daily Show

To promote his new book, From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 STOPs to Restoring America's Greatness, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee went on The Daily Show ...
January 12, 2007

Wholely Crist

You've probably seen the headlines about Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's website typo, in which his staff accidentally labeled the governor's leadership group as "The ...
January 11, 2007

Heads Up: 1.11.07

NFL offers local officials Super Bowl tix. Miami Herald New gov? Go after ethics reform! AP Fewer eats in NOLA, but still enough for Zagat's. ...
January 10, 2007

Heads Up: 1.10.07

Obama's got nothing on the vote for TX House Speaker. In the Pink blog Plate tectonics are really gonna cut down on the SF-LA commute. ...
January 9, 2007

Armed Teachers and Kevlar Book Covers

From the Daily Show, here's an extremely funny clip about Wisconsin Rep. Frank Lasee's proposal to ensure school safety by providing teachers with firearms. The ...
January 9, 2007

Heads Up: 1.9.07

Phew! What's that smell?  NYC blames Jersey. Newsday In IL, pick which town your house is in. Chicago Trib What do the GEICO gecko ...
January 8, 2007

Heads Up: 1.8.07

Why won't Arnold talk about his skiing accident? LA Times NYC unveils city-brand condoms with a subway-line theme. NY Post Wanna know how to live &...
January 8, 2007

The Top 2 List of Top 10 Lists

Ah, January. When a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of legislative agendas. Yes, it's a new year full of new legislative sessions in ...
January 8, 2007

Hope for the Ninth Ward?

New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward is ready for recovery, according to a new report released this weekend. The structures in the flood-damaged neighborhood are structurally ...
January 5, 2007

Heads Up: 1.5.07

SF's urban success story. SF Chronicle At the Sundance Film Fest, without a hired escort. Salt Lake Trib FL prisons chief's new fitness goals have ...
January 4, 2007

Heads Up: 1.4.07

Romney's housewarming gift to Patrick: A slew of GOP appointees. Globe Non-Hispanic governor is named to top Latino list. Texas Politics blog New FL Gov. ...
January 4, 2007

Give Us Back Our Po Biddy Crossroads!

Last year, the Georgia DOT cleaned up its map of the state by deleting nearly 500 tiny communities from the map. The cities, predictably, were up ...
January 3, 2007

Heads Up: 1.3.07

Flu Crisis 2007: Too much vaccine. Austin American-Statesman Why transportation planners need Uncle Ben's. Seattle Times Texans: Pay up for tolls, even if they're just pennies. ...
January 2, 2007

McGreevey Gets Painted, Too

Speaking of gubernatorial portraits, New Jersey finally got around to hanging a portrait of former Gov. James McGreevey, who in 2004 resigned in disgrace after admitting ...
January 2, 2007

By the Book (and BlackBerry)

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush handed the reins over to Charlie Crist at noon today. But there's one piece of Bushiana we didn't want to leave ...
January 2, 2007

Heads Up: 1.2.07

Arizona: America's Marijuana (And Meth) Gateway. AZ Republic Coup might topple TX House Speaker. Texas Politics blog More Speakership drama, in PA. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette LA ...
January 1, 2007

Value-Added Taxi

Sometimes transit operators' and cab drivers' personal beliefs conflict with their jobs and passengers.
December 31, 2006

Issues to Watch 2007

Much of the Democrats' success in state elections last year was due to dissatisfaction with the way things were going in Washington, D.C. Voters...
December 29, 2006

Happy New Year!

  Hope you have a great weekend and a very happy New Year's Eve! See you in 2007!
December 29, 2006

Whither Po Biddy?

Wooster and Sharp Top and Dewy Rose and Hemp. Santa's forgotten reindeer? Lip gloss flavors? Nope, they're towns in Georgia that were unceremoniously wiped off ...
December 28, 2006

Besides the Hordes of Adoring Fans, I Mean

What do Angelina Jolie, Madonna and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman have in common? Transcontinental love.
December 27, 2006

To All a Good Blog

Even in the realm of state and local government, there's a blog for everyone and every subject. (Like this one on court performance measures, which ...
December 26, 2006

Foie La La La La!

Do you live in the Windy City, but long for some velvety-smooth duck-liver pâté? You may think that the city's ban on foie gras ...
December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!  (Yeah, we said it.) Hope you have a great holiday!  We'll be back later next week.
December 22, 2006

VA DMV Gets Punk'd

So these two guys walk into a Virginia DMV office... Seriously, have you seen this?  These two guys painted their faces in disguise and ...
December 19, 2006

An Enigmatic Christmas

The Christmas card sent out this year by TN Gov. Phil Bredesen is befuddling some people in the Volunteer State. The cover of the card ...
December 18, 2006

Heads Up: 12.18.06

L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa's 18-month report card. LA Times Katrina inspires pet-evacuation laws. AP Why is crime going up again? Time Mike Bloomberg, a "...
December 15, 2006

Gay Marriage as Revenue

When it comes to gay marriage, most people tend to view the issue in starkly moral terms. Same-sex marriage is usually either seen as an ...
December 14, 2006

Heads Up: 12.14.06

U.S. urban dwellers are getting richer, but the racial gap's growing too. Baltimore Sun 1,000 dead ducks in Idaho. (Could it be bird flu??) Chicago ...
December 13, 2006

Heads Up: 12.13.06

Is Palm Springs a "hate-free city"? Desert Sun Does wi-fi cause health problems? Wired AK gov's jet to be sold on eBay. Anchorage ...
December 12, 2006

Heads Up: 12.12.06

Whatever a "rolling mortuary" is, AL's the only state that's got one. Birmingham News Will Bill Frist run for TN gov??? Tennessean TX ...
December 11, 2006

Heads Up: 12.11.06

TSA might let non-passengers go to airport gates again. USA Today AZ creates an honor roll for charter schools. AZ Republic CA gets its first ...
December 8, 2006

Heads Up: 12.8.06

Getting white-collar workers to ride the bus. NPR Want naming rights for AR Gov. Huckabee's after-party? Got $15k? AR Times blog KY's U.S. Senators ...
December 5, 2006

Heads Up: 12.5.06

Nation's healthiest state? MN (again).  AP But IL's the most improved. AP Are there some drunken sailors in Massachusetts? Boston Globe Just how much ...
December 5, 2006

All I Want for Christmas is Beer

Here's a fun little game for us -- a holiday Mad Libs! Write a blog entry by filling in these blanks with one of the ...
December 4, 2006

Heads Up: 12.4.06

Texas' "top 10 percent" law is under fire. Dallas Morning News Florida could ban stem cell research -- and require it! St. Pete Times ...
December 1, 2006

Persuasive Performance

The practice of performance management links elected officials with the front lines of government.
December 1, 2006

Premium Pressure: The Cost of Coverage Eases

Premiums for health insurance coverage continue to rise--but the pace has slowed.
December 1, 2006

Heads Up: 12.1.06

ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" costs UT town thousands of taxpayer dollars. SL Tribune Lobbying over NYC's proposed trans-fat ban gets fierce. WSJ (...
November 29, 2006

Heads Up: 11.29.06

The IA Legislature is a lot younger than it used to be. Des Moines Register Gettysburg: Pickett's charge and slot machines? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Dog food ...
November 29, 2006

XL Exurbs

Which U.S. city has the most exurban areas around it? You know exburbs, those fast-growing but still semi-rural counties that lie near metropolitan areas ...
November 28, 2006

Heads Up: 11.28.06

Congressman calls Miami "third world." Herald New pitch for mag-lev trains: clean air. LA Times NJ's Ex-Gov. Codey is governor again -- for ...
November 28, 2006

WebCam Canned

Back in January, we mentioned the Jail WebCam in Anderson County, TN, which showed a live video feed from the county jail there. What a ...
November 28, 2006

Sprawl Is Killing Christmas

Okay, that's an overstatement. But the Washington Post has an interesting story about the booming 'burbs and their effect on Christmas tree farms. Here's the ...
November 27, 2006

Heads Up: 11.27.06

Software predicts who might kill. Philly Inquirer SEC goes light on San Diego. WSJ (subs. req'd) 90210 wants the subway to the sea. LA Times Cities ...
November 27, 2006

A Good Start

There's been renewed talk lately of something that's been a perennial topic of discussion on the 13th Floor for years: a vote in Congress for ...
November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!

The 13th Floor is taking off for Thanksgiving.  See you Monday!
November 22, 2006

We're So YouTube!

!!Blatant Cross-Promotion Alert!! Governing recognizes several public officials each year, with an award we oh-so-creatively call Public Officials of the Year. In addition to writing ...
November 22, 2006

Heads Up: 11.22.06

Now you, too, can smell like an Ohio town! AP Sex offender law snare hospice patient and a man with Alzheimer's. WaPo Suburban hospital boom ...
November 21, 2006

Heads Up: 11.21.06

You may already be too drunk to drive! USA Today London mayor wants $50 SUV charge. Streetsblog Is hunting by airplane ethical? Anchorage Daily News Is ...
November 20, 2006

Heads Up: 11.20.06

CO legislators who want to be lobbyists are getting out while they can. Denver Post No more piggybacking! New parking meters cause a stir. Boston ...
November 15, 2006

Heads Up: 11.15.06

Gary Hart to mayors: Link the war and global warming. Salt Lake Tribune If you only resign for seven weeks, isn't that called a "...
November 15, 2006

Roe v. Wade v. Immigrants

Well, here's one I bet you haven't heard before. A Missouri House committee has issued a report linking present-day illegal immigration rates with liberal social ...
November 14, 2006

Sign of the Times?

From the Washington Post's Off/beat blog, we learn that a town in Spain is going to fight sexism by replacing half of the males ...
November 14, 2006

Love It or Leavitt

We on the the 13th Floor have long admired Mike Leavitt.  As governor of Utah and the fedeal Secretary of Health and Human Services, ...
November 14, 2006

Heads Up: 11.14.06

Ru-dee!  Ru-dee!  Ru-dee! NY Daily News A Utah health care panel takes 2 years and $300k to do absolutely nothing. Salt Lake Trib CA ...
November 14, 2006

Big Names in the Big Easy

While many New Orleans residents are still concerned with rebuilding their homes, their neighborhoods and their lives, the city is also embarking on an effort ...
November 13, 2006

Alan Greenblatt on NPR

The 13th Floor's Alan Greenblatt was interviewed on NPR this weekend, dicussing the impact of last week's gubernatorial elections on domestic policy. You can hear ...
November 13, 2006

Heads Up: 11.13.06

For VA state police, "10-4" gets 86'ed. Washington Post Jerry Brown: California's once and future governor?? Oakland Tribune How cities compete in the ...
November 10, 2006

Heads Up: 11.10.06 -- PART 2

Our news cup runneth over, so here's a second Heads Up for today. You're welcome. No experience? No problem! You, too, can be a Boston ...
November 10, 2006

Heads Up: 11.10.06

Surge in Hollywood divorces is tough on LA city clerks. LA Times OH county officials: Election tally can wait until after football. Columbus Dispatch Judge ...
November 9, 2006

Election '06: Bad For Gay Marriage, Good For Gay Candidates

In one obvious way, Tuesday wasn't good for gays: Seven states passed constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Arizona was the exception, where voters rejected a ...
November 8, 2006

Election Night Highlights

Josh and Alan were here all night, burning the midnight blogging oil. They stared into the gaping maw of state and local politics -- here's ...
November 7, 2006

LiveBlogging the Election

Our live election coverage starts tonight around 6:00. Check here for the latest news on the 36 governors, the 30 attorneys general, the 300 mayors and each of the 7,200 ...
November 7, 2006

Sanford, Sans Card

To see video of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford being turned away from voting because he didn't have his voter ID card, click here.
November 7, 2006

Heads Up: 11.7.06

There's some sort of election thingy today. Google Cities get warning to start saving now for retirees. San Jose Mercury News Wait, Kinky Friedman rejected ...
November 6, 2006

On Public Health and Hookers

You gotta love Nevada. Residents of the state will vote tomorrow on whether to ban smoking in public areas in the state. They have a ...
November 3, 2006

Heads Up: 11.3.06

Oops! AL GOP flier accidently endorses a Dem. Decatur Daily TX state senate candidate thrown in jail before election (again). Austin American-Statesman A world without ...
November 2, 2006

Heads Up: 11.2.06

Finally! A congressional page scandal at the state level. Sioux Falls Argus Leader FL police chief ousted for antagonizing dept's "jelly bellies." CNN ...
November 2, 2006

When All News is Good News

Political candidates control a lot:  their appearances, their message, their ads. If only they could control the news stories about themselves. Well, there's a ...
November 1, 2006

Pedal Pushers

Fair- and foul-weather cities alike are gearing up to make it safer and easier for commuters to bicycle to work.
November 1, 2006

Everyman's Executive

Restoring public confidence in the wake of a scandal.
November 1, 2006

Heads Up: 11.1.06

Baltimore sells its methane to the Coast Guard. Sun SF mayor may mandate foot patrols. SF Chronicle Got a Heads Up for us? Email 13thfloor@...
October 31, 2006

Heads Up: 10.31.06

Buuurn! Miss Idaho refuses to be photographed with Gov. Jim Rische. Idaho Statesman What Dems would do with an IN House majority. Indy Star Can't ...
October 30, 2006

Heads Up: 10.30.06

Vote early in OR and get a pass on the last-minute ad blitz. Oregonian How faith influences the White House. NYT Public money supporting KY ...
October 27, 2006

Heads Up: 10.27.06

IL Supreme Court chief sues columnist to restore his name. Chicago Sun-Times For a picture of an Indianapolis a Bloomington, IN, city councilman dressed as ...
October 26, 2006

Heads Up: 10.26.06

Alcohol in your bag? No taxi for you! Washington Post In Dodge City, KS, street gangs are replacing Old West gunfights. Topeka Capital-Journal First sprawl ...
October 26, 2006

Walking Down the Aisle and Into the Voting Booth

Here on the 13th Floor, it's pretty hard not to think of things in political terms. We're in D.C., we cover state and local ...
October 25, 2006

Heads Up: 10.25.06

Hospitals, stuck with "frequent flyers," give free basic care a whirl. NYT How Europe won the war against hospital infections. Slate Someone on ...
October 24, 2006

Heads Up: 10.24.06

A nationwide bee shortage, and the Beehive State is on the front lines. Salt Lake Tribune Atlanta's getting a civil rights museum. Thanks, Coca-Cola! Atlanta ...
October 23, 2006


As you've probably read, California just announced that, for the first time, the state will send inmates to be housed in private prisons in other ...
October 23, 2006

Heads Up: 10.23.06

In Chicago, recess may be making a comeback. Tribune Black mayors becoming more common in Mississippi. Memphis Commercial Appeal Urban renewal's final implosion. Washington Post ...
October 23, 2006

Español --> Spanglish --> English

Have you heard?  The English language is under attack!  Immigrants are moving here and bringing their own languages. States are printing voting instructions ...
October 20, 2006

Heads Up: 10.20.06

IL city wants to force residents to put a sticker with a cross on it on their cars. Chicago Tribune NJ bill would ban aluminum ...
October 19, 2006

Heads Up: 10.19.06

Arizona ranked dumbest in the U.S. AZ Republic Newark Mayor Cory Booker's first 100 days. NYT In KS, some GOPers are turning into Dems. WaPo ...
October 18, 2006

Heads Up: 10.18.06

Huh?  FL anti-smoking program worked the state got rid of it. Tampa Tribune Houston getting on board smoking ban wagon. Chronicle Cook ...
October 17, 2006

Not Really Disavowing that 'Hot-Blooded' Comment

Remember California Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia?  She of the hot Latina blood? Well now she's under fire for making her own political gaffe. She's apologizing ...
October 17, 2006

Heads Up: 10.17.06

Joel Kotkin looks to Population: 400 Million. WSJ (subs req'd) Arnold & Bloomberg buddy up. NYT Freak dancing: Obscene or just the new tango? LA Times ...
October 12, 2006

Heads Up: 10.12.06

How green are my governors? A round-up on candidates and the environment. Grist PA legislator: Air fill-ups at gas stations should be free. Daily Review ...
October 11, 2006

Heads Up: 10.11.06

Feds investigate African-American suppression of MS white vote. NYT What if you spent millions to develop a website, and no one came?  San Diego ...
October 4, 2006

And We Should Decapitate People in the Express Lane with 16 Items!

By now, you may have heard of Charleston, SC, city councilman Larry Shirley. He recently advocated sterilization for parents who can't take care of their ...
October 3, 2006

Maximum Wage?

Whether you agree with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's opinion on a 'big box' minimum wage, you can see his point: If your city requires chain-store ...
October 2, 2006

Heads Up: 10.2.06

Pittsburgh's boy mayor, et al: Does maturity matter? Post-Gazette Govs as White House hopefuls: Romney vs. Warner. Politics NH TN Teacher wants Bible as only ...
October 1, 2006

Judging the Judges

Performance measures are coming to the tradition-bound world of state courts.
October 1, 2006

Low Grade: Wis. Audits Its Job Growth Programs

Wisconsin lawmakers plan to restructure the state's economic development efforts, after a sweeping state audit found substantial mismanagement among those programs.
September 29, 2006

Heads Up: 9.29.06

In Miami, a move against the strong-mayor plan. Miami Herald Bringing A/C to the Arctic Circle. Chicago Tribune Natural irony: Wildlife waste pollutes waterways. ...
September 28, 2006

Heads Up: 9.28.06

TX legislators poised to break 28-year-old spending cap. Austin American-Statesman Albuquerque does what New Mexico couldn't/didn't. Free New Mexican When it comes to education, ...
September 27, 2006

Heads Up: 9.27.06

Wait -- Carole Keeton Strayhorn wants baseball players to handle counterterrorism?! Austin American-Statesman SHOCKING! CA lawmakers are anti-global warming, yet they drive gas guzzlers. SF ...
September 27, 2006

Big Box? No, Big Excitement!

It's a good time for large chain retailers in Chicago. First came Mayor Daley's veto two weeks ago of a city ordinance that would have ...
September 26, 2006

Heads Up: 9.26.06

At NM's much ballyhooed spaceport, the inaugural launch ends in a crash. Private prison stocks soaring. WSJ (subs req'd) Dallas considers oil rigs ...
September 26, 2006

C'mon, Best Two Out of Three?

For the first time in Alaska state history, the outcome of a legislative race has been determined by a coin toss. Bryce Edgmon and incumbent ...
September 26, 2006

Hanging Up on Politicians

Attention, everyone who gets annoyed by politicians' calls to your house: Maybe you should consider a move to Indiana. The state's attorney general is suing ...
September 26, 2006


Seattle's monorail has had its fair share of problems: In 2004, a fire from a mechanical failure sent eight people to the hospital because of smoke ...
September 25, 2006

Heads Up: 9.25.06

Picking a major in 8th grade?  In SC, t's the law. Greenville News Pay phones: Once a lifeline, now a fun street game. CNET ...
September 21, 2006

Heads Up: 9.21.06

Henry Cisneros' life as a homebuilder. WSJ (subs req'd) The best day of the year to be the governor of Alaska. Anchorage Daily News The ...
September 20, 2006

Heads Up: 9.20.06

WA tries all-mail-in voting; turnout dips to lowest point in years. Olympian NYC is the safest big city -- again. NYDN A green community grows ...
September 20, 2006

Moving Back to Ground Zero

A couple days ago, the federal government and the New York State government announced they would occupy a large chunk (1 million sq ft out of ...
September 19, 2006

Heads Up: 9.19.06

Jewish leaders: God positively abhors foie gras. Can't stand the stuff. Chicago Sun-Times Is Buffalo's losing streak over? NYT Ex-Gov. Jim McGreevey's affair turns into &...
September 18, 2006

Heads Up: 9.18.06

Who knew? S. Dakota nation's 4th largest banking center. Argus Leader Next DC mayor plots takeover of schools. WaPo Katrina evacuees wearing out their welcome ...
September 15, 2006

Heads Up: 9.15.06

Poll: Midwesterners concerned about money in government, but they're REALLY concerned with gas prices. AP "You've Got Sex Offenders." Cook County considers sex-offender ...
September 14, 2006

Heads Up: 9.14.06

Ladies Drink Full Price! Tampa wants to ban drink specials. St. Pete Times NV okays Wiccan symbol for soldier's plaque. AP Is a rolling pin ...
September 14, 2006

Mitch Understanding

posted by Zach Patton Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels stopped by 13th Floor HQ the other day to discuss what's going on in Hoosier Country. Daniels ...
September 13, 2006

Heads Up: 9.13.06

Hedging bets: In NE, Dems want their candidate listed on the ballot twice. Lincoln Journal Star The problems with MD's electronic voting system aren't electronic ...
September 12, 2006

Heads Up: 8.12.06

Is there a glut of condotels in FL? South Florida Sun-Sentinel IL plans to raise special-ed class sizes. Chicago Sun-Times New Orleans schools chief hits ...
September 11, 2006

Heads Up: 9.11.06

Regulations in Houston make it hard to be pedestrian-friendly. Houston Chronicle OR community opts off the grid. Seattle Times CA's CO2 limit: All hot air. ...
September 8, 2006

Heads Up: 9.8.06

Arnold Schwarzenegger thinks Cubans and Puerto Ricans are "hot" and fiesty because of their mix of "Black blood" and "Latino ...
September 7, 2006

Heads Up: 9.7.06

A greenbelt grows in Atlanta. NYT Google tests a transit wayfinder. Google On affordable higher ed, most states fail. AP, study In Portland, OR, a ...
September 5, 2006

Heads Up: 9.5.06

It didn't work in Virginia, but Dallas is thinking about banning baggy pants. Dallas Morning News MI voters not sold on the push to end ...
September 1, 2006

Heads Up: 9.1.06

A blockbuster real estate deal complicates Bloomberg's affordable housing goals. NYT The biotech world is flat. Back in black: Ft. Worth police cars ...
September 1, 2006

Would Winning A Second-Life Election Count?

Apparently, former VA Gov. Mark Warner has entered his Second Life.  Nah, he's not dead.  He's just joined the online alternate universe called ...
September 1, 2006

Dropping Out of College

posted by Zach Patton Here's something you might not know:  A lot of people live in California.  Yeah, I know! Who would have ...
August 31, 2006

Heads Up: 8.31.06

How the Army Corps lost New Orleans. Grist Illinois' "Taj Mahal" on the auction block? Daily Southtown Automated calls from politicians? Not in ...
August 31, 2006

Rudy Awakening

Probably everyone reading this (actually, probably everyone in the country) remembers where they were on September 11, 2001. You probably even remember specifically how you spent that ...
August 30, 2006

Heads Up: 8.30.06

Can a Mid-American mom survive a month without a car? Grist A shallower Lake Erie means deep troubles. Buffalo News Can microchips end traffic congestion? ...
August 29, 2006

Heads Up: 8.29.06

Is industrial space necessary in the gentrified city? Washington Post DNA evidence is so "hot" right now that states are neglecting other forms ...
August 28, 2006

Heads Up: 8.28.06

The controversy is over: AL Dems remove their opposition to lesbian state house nominee Patricia Todd. Birmingham News The housing crisis goes suburban. Washington Post ...
August 25, 2006

Heads Up: 8.25.06

America's drunkest (and therefore not angry?) cities. Forbes America's angriest (and therefore not drunk?) cities. Men's Health SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson has an illegal yard. ...
August 25, 2006

MRE: "Man, really enjoyable!"

A couple weeks ago, Ellen wrote about the HeaterMeal® she picked up at the National Association of Counties meeting in Chicago. They're pre-cooked, self-heating meals ...
August 24, 2006

Heads Up: 8.24.06

One year after Katrina, a skyscraper, and other things, grow in Mobile. WSC (subsc req'd) If terror strikes DC, West Virginia disaster planners want to ...
August 23, 2006

Heads Up: 8.23.06

New AZ law speeds up school construction to keep place with population boom. Arizona Daily Star Here's IN Gov. Mitch Daniels singing a Hank Williams ...
August 22, 2006

Foie Gras Free-For-All

For Chicagoans, the days of dining on fatty duck and goose livers are drawing to a close. The city council ban on selling foie gras ...
August 22, 2006

Heads Up: 8.22.06

Pensions: The state sweetens, the city pays. NYT MA Lt. Gov. candidate is touring the state by kayak. Boston Globe blog New NY law will ...
August 22, 2006

Mattress II Society

To you, a mattress may be just a comfy place to pass out at the end of the day. But to city council members in ...
August 21, 2006

Heads Up: 8.21.06

Portrait of a party-switcher. Houston Chronicle Why California redistricting is a "con job." Sacramento Bee MA Gov Romney: Polygamist skeletons in the closet. ...
August 21, 2006


posted by Zach Patton The chance to win a million bucks? Public embarrassment if you don't make the grade? What is this, a game show? ...
August 18, 2006

Heads Up: 8.18.06

Chicago Mayor Daley slams visiting officials from Sante Fe and San Francisco: "You manage your city." Chicago Tribune Wyoming has a drinking problem. ...
August 18, 2006

That's Govertainment!

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is going to have to start reserving stars for some state governors. (No, not that one.  Or that one.) ...
August 17, 2006

Heads Up: 8.17.06

One urban planner's search for soundbites: "If it looks like the Louvre, you must approve." Planetizen Are state fairs in trouble? You bet ...
August 16, 2006

Heads Up: 8.16.06

SLC mayor will protest Bush's visit to city. Salt Lake Tribune   Another day, another "electronic voting machines aren't very accurate" study. Columbus ...
August 16, 2006

Also: She's a Woman!

As an out lesbian, Patricia Todd knew she'd have a tough time running for a seat in the Alabama legislature. What she didn't expect, though, ...
August 16, 2006

Obeying the Law Too Well

Q. What happens if you implement an anti-tailgating measure, and motorists obey it perfectly? A. Traffic jams. Last weekend, Washington State transportation officials enacted their 2 ...
August 15, 2006

Heads Up: 8.15.06

Utah Senator wants to be able to fire judges. Salt Lake Tribune When lobbying for school vouchers doesn't work, get the poor to lobby for ...
August 15, 2006

Power of Place

Needless to say, there are a lot of factors that influence you when you go to the polls -- your personal background, your community, your ...
August 14, 2006

Living Wage Lives and Lets Live

Santa Fe has had a living wage since 2004. It's actually the highest minimum-wage requirement of its kind in the country. The law raised the city's ...
August 10, 2006

The Dog Ate My Education Policy!

So last year all the governors got together and agreed on a uniform way to measure their dropout rates. But now, two states have taken ...
August 8, 2006

Political Discourse SMACKDOWN!

The level of political debate in Tampa was ratcheted up (or down?) a few levels over the weekend. In a debate on the local cable ...
August 7, 2006

Let's Get Ready to Interoperably Rumble!

We talk a lot about interoperability among first responders. It can be tough for police and fire departments to get on the same page. Their ...
August 4, 2006

Loveland, CO: Discovering New Sex Acts Since 1877

There's a statue in Loveland, Colorado, that's causing quite a stir. "Triangle" is a statue of three figures, and it was recently placed ...
August 4, 2006

Throwing Down the Paddle

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has agreed to a challenge from a potential campaign donor. The donor, an 80-year-old Sacramento man, said he would donate to ...
August 4, 2006

Livin' It Up In Lower Town

I wrote a story for the current issue of Governing about Lower Town, a neighborhood in Paducah, Kentucky. City planners in Paducah are reviving the ...
August 3, 2006

Giving Lip Service to Judicial Independence

When it comes to big spending in judicial elections, Alabama is pretty much the biggest. It's at or near the top of the list in ...
August 1, 2006

86ed Over TP

When I was in college, I knew this girl who took great pride in the fact that, in four years of school -- three spent ...
July 31, 2006

Cleveland Regains Superiority Over Fiji

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about Cleveland's objections to an ad campaign for Fiji bottled water, which said "The label says Fiji because ...
July 26, 2006

Weapons of Undead Destruction

These kids today! With their weird clothes and crazy hair.  And their weapons of mass destruction. Well, not so much. See, when police in ...
July 25, 2006

Taggers in Stocks

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is on a roll. After solving that whole pesky homeless problem, he has announced his idea to reduce graffiti:  ...
July 24, 2006

A Week on the Gulf

Last week, Chris Swope was blogging from the Gulf Coast. He sent posts and photos as he made his way from New Orleans to Mississippi. ...
July 24, 2006

Feeding the Homeless is for the Birds

Hey, what's the difference between a pigeon and a homeless person?  According to a couple laws passed last week, nothing. The city of Redmond, ...
July 21, 2006

At the Copa, Copacab-Ican'tstandya

This is from Australia, but it's too good not to post. Rockdale, a suburb of Sydney, was having a problem with loiterers in a local ...
July 20, 2006

Cleveland Rocks. And Contains No Arsenic.

Fiji water, the schmancy bottled water that sells for like $9, is getting heat from Cleveland. A recent ad campaign for the bottled water says: "&...
July 19, 2006

Child Molester Sails on "Wings of Hope"

Ohio officials are getting flak for a state-produced CD of children's music, made by inmates in Ohio prisons. The disc, entitled "Wings of Hope,&...
July 19, 2006

Richardson <3's the Bloggers

The Albuquerque Journal has a story (subs. required) about how New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is courting blogs with as much fervor as he courts ...
July 18, 2006

The "Everybody Else Did It" Defense

Kentucky Gov. Ernie Flethcer's patronage hiring scandal is well documented. But his lawyers are trying an innovative defense of his alleged improprieties: Everybody else was ...
July 17, 2006

Capitol Living

My apartment isn't very far from the 13th Floor. I love it. It's close enough for me to walk to work, and if there's something ...
July 13, 2006

A Candidate By Any Other Name

So in New Orleans, Ron Mazier can't be "I.Q." And in Texas, Richard can be "Kinky" but Carole can't be &...
July 13, 2006

Bans Bring Boffo Bucks for Biz

Alan Greenblatt wrote recently about how business revenues in Montgomery County, Maryland, shot up after the county instituted a smoking ban. It looks like restaurants ...
July 12, 2006

Ehrliching the Competition

Giving Sonny Perdue a run for his money, Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich has gone Hollywood. The Guv has a small role as a Statehouse security ...
July 12, 2006

She May Not Know Disaster Preparedness, But Ask Her About A Rhyming Couplet

Lousisana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has vetoed a bill that would have designated an official state poem for the Pelican State. She said the poem "...
July 11, 2006

Name that Street, Governor!

Now that Google has officially become a verb, it's only a matter of time before we bestow similar recognition on the phrase "Googling yourself.&...
July 7, 2006

Nonactivist Judges

I have to say, I was a little surprised at yesterday's New York court ruling rejecting an effort by gays and lesbians seeking the right ...
July 5, 2006

States With Some Teeth -- Or Not

I was born and raised in the South, so I was dismayed -- but not really surprised -- to run across this ranking of which ...
June 30, 2006

Happy Fourth of July!

It's the Fourth of July weekend, and we here on the 13th Floor are going to be, well, not on the 13th Floor. Hope your ...
June 26, 2006

Driving Mr. Fletcher

posted by Zach Patton Kentucky Gov. Ernie Flecther doesn't need any more public relations debacles. But he's getting flak right now for not walking to ...
June 21, 2006

Best Inauguration Ever?

When incoming Newark, NJ, Mayor Cory Booker gets sworn in on July 1, it's not going to be some small-time affair. He's getting Queen Latifah, Wyclef ...
June 21, 2006

Utah's Español Site is Back -- Kinda

Utah has sort of reinstated the Spanish-language site that was taken down after only a week and a half, following outcry that it violated the ...
June 20, 2006

An Issue That's Actually Not Just Fluff

This might be the best headline of the day: State Senator Wants To Limit Fluffernutters But it's actually a really outrageous story. This legislator in ...
June 19, 2006


If blogs were the big shiny new campaign tool in 2004, this year's election techno-gimmick may be social networking sites like Friendster, MySpace or Facebook. Those ...
June 19, 2006

The Southern Border

They sneak across the border illegally. They leave their country and their families, hoping the journey north will provide a better life. They're willing to ...
June 15, 2006

Sonny on the Silver Screen

Okay, so he's no Schwarzenegger.  Or even Ventura. But Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has landed a role in a major film production. The governor ...
June 15, 2006

¿Como se dice 'overreact'?

Two weeks ago, the state of Utah launched, a Spanish-lanaguage site with info on taxes, health services, driver licences, etc. It ...
June 14, 2006

Interview with Matt Dunne

Vermont Senator Matt Dunne stopped by the 13th Floor yesterday to chat about what's going on in the Green Mountain State, including healthcare issues, technology ...
June 2, 2006

The New New York

The current issue of New York magazine takes a really interesting look at the changes in urban planning and design that they city will undergo ...
June 1, 2006

Chasing the Shadow

"527" groups are a mysterious but increasingly powerful force in American elections. One state has cracked down on them; others are trying.
June 1, 2006

Masters of Subtlety at the New York Post

Oh, New York Post. When I read this morning's news about the federal government cutting homeland security money for New York City and D.C., ...
June 1, 2006

For Whom the Swell Tolls

When you think of mayoral hiring scandals, you think of, say, a cushy administration job for a political donor. Or maybe a sweet building contract ...
May 31, 2006

Minnesota Refuses to Buy Into the Whole "Gas Prices Are Crazy" Thing

It's Summer 2006. Gas prices are soaring (!). People are complaining (!). The media is collapsing under the weight of the overused phrase "prices at the pump&...
May 30, 2006

Survivor: Columbus, OH

Civil servants, you wouldn't lie to your boss for a million dollars, would you?  Well, okay, yes, probably you would. We all would. But ...
May 26, 2006

Happy Memorial Day

Break out your white pants---it's Memorial Day. The 13th Floor is taking a little break. We'll be back on Tuesday. Hopefully you'll get a chance ...
May 25, 2006

Why Not Court the Asian Vote With P.F. Changs Coupons?

Idaho gubernatorial candidate Dan Adamson -- who lost this week's GOP primary election to incumbent C.L. "Butch" Otter -- has an interesting ...
May 22, 2006

Houston, We Have a Dog Problem

Are Houston dog-owners not feeding their pets enough? Houston tops the list of cities with the most mail carriers bitten by dogs. Houston was at ...
May 22, 2006

From the Makers of "Little Kegs"

Sometimes it seems as if, for every piece of legislation, there is an equal and opposite loophole to render that legislation ineffective. Today's loophole comes ...
May 18, 2006

The City That Reads (Maps)

Google Maps are great. Love 'em. Super simple to use, and they make it easy to get around. (And hey, Yahoo Maps and MapQuest are ...
May 17, 2006

Turns Out "Healthy Glow" Is an Oxymoron

Slate takes a look at the arguments for and against governments' regulating tanning beds. It's a fairly conservative take on the issue. The author, William ...
May 15, 2006

Welcome to the Jungle, NCSL

There are lots of state-specific blogs out there (as evidenced by our long and growing blogroll down on the left). But blogs that cover state-level ...
May 12, 2006

Assessing Gubernatorial Candidates

Check out the 13th Floor the first part of next week, when resident political oddsmaker and horserace prognosticator Josh Goodman is going to update his ...
May 12, 2006

Product Placement

We've written lots about state legislatures wasting time by designating official dances, fish, dirt and other inane bits of culture.  But I'd like to ...
May 9, 2006

Do They Register at Claires?

Kansas is putting an end to child brides -- kinda. The state passed a minimum age requirement for marriage. Previously, Kansas didn't have a minimum ...
May 8, 2006

New Jersey -- [insert slogan here]!

As previously stated, once you start writing about state slogans and tourism, you just can't stop. It's a story begging for a story teller, a ...
May 8, 2006

Tats From Sea to Shining Sea

Rejoice, college freshman co-eds! Rejoice, skaters and goth kids! Rejoice, bemuscled gym-goers! It looks like tatoos will finally, officially be legal throughout these United States. (...
May 8, 2006

Why, We're On Our Way to South Dakota Right Now!

Just how popular is South Dakota's "Twenty Bucks for the Road" program, in which residents of neighboring states are enticed to enter the ...
May 5, 2006

Illinois Increases Its Dependence on Foreign Sources of Tourists

Maybe we post too much about tourism on the 13th Floor, but it's just too darn interesting to ignore. Illinois has introduced its first slogan ...
May 4, 2006

Upping The Tourism Ante: Fairfax Buries a Car (!)

Proving that Iowa and South Dakota don't have a lock on gimmicky tourism ploys, Fairfax County, VA, is announcing plans to bury a car. According ...
May 3, 2006

UPDATE: A Referendum on Day Laborers?

Voters in Herndon, VA, ousted the mayor and two town council members who supported the construction of a city-financed center for day laborers. I don't ...
May 3, 2006

All Together Now: "Always Pay the Strippers in Cash."

New Lenox, IL, Mayor Mike Smith recently racked up a $1,500 charge in one visit to a Chicago strip club. It's deplorable, it's disgusting, blah blah ...
May 3, 2006

It's New Jersey. Don't Get Out of the Car.

Well, that was fast! New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine has given up his week-old quest for self-serve gas. It was too controversial, he said. "...
May 3, 2006

If You Like Mount Rushmore, You Should See Our Gas Stations!

Tourism officials in South Dakota and Iowa may have struck a goldmine: Free gasoline. South Dakota announced its "Twenty Bucks for the Road" ...
May 2, 2006

A Referendum on Day Laborers?

Voters in Northern Virginia are heading to the polls today for town and city council races. In the town of Herndon, the mayoral race could ...
May 1, 2006

Womb Service

Surrogacy is becoming more common, and lawmakers must confront a host of tough questions.
May 1, 2006

The Wendy's City?

So, you're a really rich corporation just dying to put your name on something in Chicago, but renaming the Skyway isn't your thing. Don't worry! ...
April 28, 2006

mo·nop·o·ly. n. pl. mo·nop·o·lies

Here's some fun end-of-the-week irony. Civic leaders in Atlantic City, NJ, are organizing a petition drive to make sure their city's landmarks remain on the ...
April 27, 2006

The Wiki Files: Resignation Edition

Yesterday's Wikipedia-tampering story is today's campaign-manager-resignation story. After being accused of tampering with an opponent's Wikipedia bio, the campaign manager for Georgia Secretary of State ...
April 26, 2006

The Wiki Files: DUI Edition

Here's a story you're definitely going to see repeated throughout the upcoming election season. So, as a helpful feature for the media, here's a stock ...
April 26, 2006

This Traffic Jam Brought to You by Cisco

If you have a few million dollars lying around, and if you've always wanted your name attached to an unsightly, congested roadway, has Chicago got ...
April 21, 2006

Actually, It Might Be a Vegetable

Rounding out this week's stories on Official State Fish and Official State Dances That Sound Like Coronary Problems, the New Hampshire Senate has voted to ...
April 19, 2006

Kimberly Williams Butler: The End of a Fantasy

UPDATE: Kimberly Williamson Butler has taken down the Disneyland photo from her website.  Disney: 1, Butler: 0. Oh, also:  Photoshop: 1.
April 19, 2006

Photoshop Your Way to a Better New Orleans

Wonkette has been chronicling the bizarre -- and hilarious! -- story of the header photo on the campaign website for New Orleans mayoral candidate Kimberly ...
April 19, 2006

Making It O-fish-al

Yesterday, we wrote (actually, a couple times) about Kentucky lawmakers' unflinching resolve in the face of the War on Clogging. Now comes news that the ...
April 18, 2006


One floor of the newly renovated West Virginia governor's mansion "will have something of a sports-bar atmosphere, with a wet bar, game room area, ...
April 18, 2006

A Little Drano Ought to Take Care of That

posted by Zach Patton Clogging isn't a problem in Kentucky. In fact, Bluegrass lawmakers are celebrating clogging by making it the official state dance of ...
April 18, 2006

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables

Lobbying gift bans: Good for clean elections, bad for the local economy? That's what restaurants in Tallahassee are reporting. Bars and eateries in the state ...
April 17, 2006

Why, Oh Why, Oh Why, Oh?

Remember when you used to check in at the airport, and the airline employee would ask you if anyone had asked you to carry anything ...
April 14, 2006

Drink in the Heart of Texas

Well, you can drink with impunity in Texas again. Okay, maybe not impunity, but you don't have to worry about getting arrested in a sting ...
April 12, 2006

Marylanders: Take Your Wine With You to Your Darkened Home

posted by Zach Patton Let's put the just-finished Maryland legislative session into perspective: What Lawmakers Did Not Do: Reach any agreement to limit utility rate ...
April 11, 2006

At Least You Saved on Moving Costs

Hey, congratulations on your move to a new city! Hope you enjoy the new digs. Oh, didn't you realize you'd changed locales? Well, according to ...
April 10, 2006

Get Your Scandal Priorities Right

Ohio Secretary of State---and '06 GOP gubernatorial hopeful---Kenneth Blackwell has been getting some flak lately for owning stocks in companies with which the state does ...
April 7, 2006

I Guess It's Like a Country Where You Can't Get Drunk

If you're reading this post on a bar's wi-fi connection in Austin, you might want to put down that beer. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission ...
April 1, 2006

Gasoline and Gambling

Crude oil at $60 per barrel has some bizarre fiscal side effects.
April 1, 2006


Keeping pedestrians indoors no longer seems like a smart way to bring downtowns back to life.
March 30, 2006

The "IQ" Test

Whatever happened to running for an office you actually wanted?  Last week, we mentioned a candidate for Rhode Island lieutenant governor who's running on ...
March 28, 2006

Better Homes and Gardens?

You know those 90,000 FEMA trailers that the President of the United States seems, somehow, powerless to get moved off the lot in Arkansas? Maybe it's ...
March 21, 2006

"Hey, Thanks for Not Blowing Stuff Up!"

If only homeland security were this simple: Conducter on a DC metro train:  "Passengers, please refrain from taking pictures of the train due ...
March 21, 2006

The Question of Good Taste is Another Matter Entirely

Smoking marijuana: not okay. Spray-painting huge marijuana leaves on the outside of your house: fine, apparently. That's the verdict in Winsted, Connecticut, where town officials (...
March 20, 2006

Running for State Office: A Primer

Rule No. 1:  Know Where Your State Is Jeanine Pirro, the ex-Westchester County DA and ex-opponent to Sen. Hilllary Clinton (in a race where Pirro ...
March 20, 2006

Governing Rhode Island Never Looked So Good

Last week, Robert J. Healey Jr., announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor of Rhode Island. But Healey wasn't exactly in the state at the time. ...
March 13, 2006

Getting the Last Laugh in Jersey

Ahh, New Jersey. Good for an easy punchline or for stereotypes about bad hair, turnpikes, The Sopranos or gold jewelry. Not to mention a fun ...
March 6, 2006

It's St. Patrick's Day. Put Away the Santa Claus.

In a victory for anyone who gets annoyed seeing rotting jack-o-lanterns on Christmas Eve or wilting Easter bunnies at Memorial Day, Aurora, Il., has passed ...
March 3, 2006

Lots Plot for Slots Spot

What do a former Pennsylvania lieutenant governor, a former county executive, a former city councilman and a former Steelers player have in common?  (Other ...
March 1, 2006

No Time to Rest

Whenever Doug Brown tries to retire, New Mexico comes up with another job for him to do.
February 28, 2006

So Much Better Than Muzak

posted by Zach Patton When you call your city government and get put on hold, you usually brace yourself for an onslaught of Olivia Newton ...
February 28, 2006

Making "Hooker" Seem Quaint

Remember those folks who live on Hooker Lane in Greenwich, Connecticut, who were petitioning the town last fall to change the name of their street? ...
February 24, 2006

The Joke's on Blago

Earlier this month, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich appeared on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show", defending his position that the state can require pharmacists ...
February 24, 2006

It Had To Be UAE

The Philadelphia City Council unanimously approved a resolution yesterday opposing the deal to sell shipping operations at six major U.S.ports to a company ...
February 23, 2006

Maybe Chicago Should Use Zeppelins!

Ray Bradbury wants to bu ild a monorail in Los Angeles. In New York, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is entertaining an idea for a huge gondola ...
February 23, 2006

Livin' on the Edge

For cities and states, a great slogan can be a terrific way to market yourself. (Just ask New York.) But you have to be careful; ...
February 21, 2006

Gold Rush

In an effort to boost ridership on the city's flagging two-year-old Gold Line, Los Angeles transportation officials tried a new tack: an express train. Sounds ...
February 17, 2006

Banning Rufus

You may have seen the news this week that Rufus, a bull terrier, won Best in Show at this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show. ...
February 17, 2006

It's the Media, Stupid

You know when lawmakers accept gifts from lobbyists? And they don't disclose the gifts, even when they're considering legislation that could benefit those lobbyists' clients? ...
February 17, 2006

Spears: Bad for Marriage, Good for Metaphors!

Britney Spears is something of a poster child for bad marriages. She married two different guys in 2004. Her infamous first marriage, a quickie Vegas wedding ...
February 16, 2006

No Bloomy; Maybe Rudy?

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been pretty clear about the fact that he doesn't want to run for higher office. Yesterday, his answer was ...
February 15, 2006

A Shot at Greatness

Hey, remember that time the Vice President shot a guy? No, not that one. The other one. From 1804. When VP Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton ...
February 14, 2006

Breaking News: Rowland Out!!

Sad news for Connecticut voters who like government corruption: former Governor John Rowland, who served prison time for accepting gifts from state contractors in exchange ...
February 13, 2006

More Buck for Your Ban

Chicago is seeing an unexpected economic boon from its ban on using handheld cell phones while driving, which went into effect 8 months ago. While the ...
February 13, 2006

A Little to the Left, A Liiiitle More to the Left

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hasn't ever been a very convincing Republican. He only joined the GOP a few months before running for office ...
February 9, 2006

In Paradise, Waiting for the Dough

Fort Myers, Florida, seemingly did everything right to redevelop its historic downtown -- tax incentives, preservation tax credits. The city even hired a New Urbanist ...
February 9, 2006

Blogging from Six Feet Under

Okay, this isn't a blog written from beyond the grave. But it's pretty close. The county coroner for Lake County, Illinois, has started a blog (!). ...
February 3, 2006

Mayur Rezines

The mayor of Hagerstown, Maryland, abruptly resigned this week with no explanation and after only nine months in office. Okay, fine. Resign if you need ...
February 3, 2006

Bedfellows Make for Strange Politics

Two of the candidates in May's Republican primary for a West Virginia House of Delegates seat share more than just a love of tax reform. ...
February 2, 2006


posted by Zach Patton Punxsutawney, Penn., has done a pretty good job of capitalizing on its most famous resident, Punxsutawney Phil. The town has positioned ...
February 1, 2006

Count Your Assets

The vibrant past history and current woes of Lockport, New York, are a wake-up call for struggling post-industrial regions.
February 1, 2006

Hurricane Bonanza

Katrina and Rita shower revenue on two Gulf States.
February 1, 2006

Urban Bright: A Land Bank Helps Save Inner-City Homes

An innovative program in Flint, Michigan--the Genesee County Land Bank--is helping to salvage vacant and abandoned properties and transfer them to new owners for redevelopment.
February 1, 2006

Side Effects

Inconsistencies in how patients' bodies are marked for surgery can have serious consequences.
February 1, 2006

It's Elementary: New Jersey Demands Chemical Plant Security

New Jersey has put its chemical processing plants--all 140 of them--on notice. Under a state order signed last fall, those facilities will have to outline their security weaknesses and report them to state officials. That makes the state, which is among a handful of states with the most potentially dangerous chemical sites, the first to change from a voluntary to mandatory reporting system.
January 26, 2006

Dance Dance Obesity Revolution!

posted by Zach Patton Students in West Virginia, which has one of the nation's worst obesity problems, are getting a whole new way to shed ...
January 23, 2006

To The Loser Go The Spoils?

Don't try to accuse newly-inaugurated Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine of patronage hiring. He announced (second item) last week that he was hiring Mary Kilgore -- ...
January 20, 2006

You Can't Spell NASCAR Without NASA

New Mexico's planned spac ep ort is already attracting some new people to the Land of Enchantment. The New York-based Rocket Racing League has announced ...
January 20, 2006

Check Yourself

Memo to gubernatorial hopefuls: When filing to run for office, don't bounce the check.
January 19, 2006

If It Looks Like a Bar...

For every smoking ban that passes in a city or state, there seem to be some eyebrow-raising loopholes. Those exemptions can be questionable, and even ...
January 17, 2006

Not So Dynamite

posted by Zach Patton "Vote for Pedro." Ligers. Tina the Llama. Nunchuck skills. If these words don't make any sense to you, you ...
January 17, 2006

Takes One to Know One

The talk in the Kentucky statehouse right now is about busts.  Pamela Anderson, a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wants ...
January 13, 2006

The Mean Streets

It's tough to be homeless anywhere. But some cities are tougher on homeless people than others. The National Coalition for the Homeless this week published ...
January 13, 2006

Lingle's Jingle: Scrap the Cap

Less than five months into Hawaii's experiment with a gas cap, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle wants to repeal the price-setting measure. The cap was put ...
January 12, 2006

McGreevy's Back

Yesterday's Hotline Blogometer cites what it says is ex-NJ Gov. Jim McGreevey's first public writing since resigning office in August 2004. McGreevey collaborates on a Huffington ...
January 11, 2006

Once You Go Crack...

According to today's Washington Post, Washington, DC, city council member (and former mayor) Marion Barry tested positive for cocaine in a court-ordered drug test last ...
January 9, 2006

French Kissing

Okay. Not that kind of French kiss. Or that one. The real kind, the kind where you greet someone with a peck on both cheeks. ...
January 5, 2006

Dressed to Quail

Because there's never a wrong time to show a photo* of a governor in embarrassing hunting gear. "Mitt Under Fire for Hunt" [Boston ...
January 5, 2006

Go Directly to Virtual Jail

EarthCam, which bills itself as the "recognized authority on the Internet camera industry" (um, okay!), just came out with its seventh annual list ...
January 1, 2006

The Bell Tolls: Revenue Relief for a Traffic Slump

Transportation officials in Orange County, California, have agreed to bail out the financially beleaguered San Joaquin Hills tollway. The deal will keep the toll road from defaulting on nearly $2 billion in bonds.
December 25, 2005

The "D" Is For "Desperado"

Of all the Christmas gifts my mom received, surely one that I gave her stood out as unique. It wasn't a sweater or a book ...
December 21, 2005

Too Good a View?

Yesterday's New York Times has a story about Google Earth, a relatively new satellite image program that allows anyone with a computer to access--free of ...
December 20, 2005

You Can't Go Home Again

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to be severing some ties with his hometown of Graz, Austria. Officials in Graz have been threatening to rename Arnold ...
December 20, 2005

Greeting Cards in the "War on Christmas"

Perhaps inspired by the 13th Floor's earlier roundup of governor's holiday wishes on their websites, Stateline takes a look at the guvs' seasonal greeting cards.
December 16, 2005

The One-Hour Ethics Solution

Stories on patronage hiring at Chicago's City Hall, payola in city contracting decisions, and corruption in the city's Hired Truck program have made news headlines ...
December 15, 2005

Think Pink!

If you get thrown in the drunk tank in the Jackson County, Iowa, jail, relax! You're not hallucinating---the room really is pink.  And the ...
December 14, 2005

Shelling Out for the Spaceport

Remember that spaceport in New Mexico? It won't come cheap. Governor Bill Richardson has proposed [ABQ Journal, subs. required] spending $100 million in state dollars to ...
December 8, 2005

From the Annals of Awkwardness

Have you ever seen a more uncomfortable photo than this one? "Hey, remember when I overthrew your administration?  Good times."
December 7, 2005

Land of Space Enchantment

New Mexico state officials are going to announce next week a deal that could have tourists zooming into space in just a couple years, according ...
December 5, 2005

America's Finest Slogan (Updated)

San Diego's fall from grace has been well documented on the 13th Floor and in a November Governing story. So the news today that San ...
December 2, 2005


If you just can't wait for the next episode of your favorite TV show, the Louisville, Ky., Metro Police Department may be able to help ...
December 1, 2005

Mixed Smoke Signals

The patchwork of local laws on lighting up can be confusing.
December 1, 2005

Speed Dating for Lobbyists

The lights are low. You smile across the table at your date. This is going well, you think. You take a sip of your drink ...
November 18, 2005

If You Offer Money, They Will Come

The town of Clark, TX, was wiped off the map earlier this week. Don't worry--the town didn't get washed away in a flood or flattened ...
November 11, 2005

"The Buck Stopped Before I Got Here!"

The governors of Kentucky and Illinois must be playing from the same political handbook. Both Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (a Republican) and Illinois Gov. Rod ...
November 9, 2005

They Have Surfing in Minneapolis?

Via Hotline's Last Call! (subs. required): And the most enthusiastic winner of Election 2005 goes to this man.
November 9, 2005

The Sprawl Vote

Concerns over the rate of growth and development could be a key factor in next year's elections in Maryland. A Baltimore Sun  study found ...
November 4, 2005

A Horse is a Course, Of Course, Of Course

If you want to enjoy some delicious, American-grown horsemeat, you'd better do it fast. The federal government is likely putting an end to the practice ...
November 4, 2005

Blog of the Living Dead

DC Mayor Anthony Williams' blog, which earlier this week was presumed dead, may be returning from the grave. A city spokesperson is now saying that ...
November 2, 2005

Requiem for a Blog

On Nov. 1, 2005, officials announced that Anthony Williams' blog had passed away. At less than two months old, the online journal was quite young. It had ...
November 2, 2005

Woe the Bio Teacher?

Evolution has long been under attack in Kansas. The state school board voted in 1999 to ban the teaching of Darwinian theory. That board was soon ...
November 1, 2005

Border Guard

After a quarter-century of crusading against illegal immigration, Russell Pearce has become a major player on the issue.
November 1, 2005

Strong And Strategic Leadership

This has been a year of partisan polarization and institutional paralysis in Washington. The inability of Congress to provide leadership and generate consensus on major issues has been obvious not only to the nation but also to the world--from the rancorous debate over Terri Schiavo to the squabbling over filibusters and the ethics investigations that have embroiled the leadership.
November 1, 2005

Paula Dockery

On the Water Front.
October 31, 2005

On Halloween, It's Lights Out for Sex Offenders

This year, New Jersey is forbidding sex offenders from participating in Halloween. The state parole board is instituting a 7 p.m. curfew for sex offenders ...
October 27, 2005

Downsizing Supersized Homes

Officials in Arlington County, Virginia, will take up a hot-button topic next month: whether or not to limit the size of new houses in the ...
October 27, 2005

Foie Gras Fatwa

The city of Chicago is one step closer to becoming foie gras-free. A city council committee on Tuesday approved a ban on the food, made ...
October 26, 2005

Putting Wedlock Asunder?

On November 8, citizens in Texas who vote for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage could inadvertently be voting to ban the institution altogether. Some ...
October 25, 2005

Arnold Unplugged

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has had his fair share of political blunders in his relatively short political career. And most of the time when he interacts ...
October 21, 2005

You Live Where?!

Some Greenwich, CT, residents are petitioning the city to change the name of their street. Why? Well, they live on Hooker Lane. They're tired of ...
October 21, 2005

A Stormy Season

Just as we have run the gamut of names for hurricanes this season, I can't help wondering if any superlatives will be left unused. Right ...
October 21, 2005

A Model Campaign

In Lexington, KY, last Fourth of July, a handful of attractive teenage girls drummed up support for mayoral candidate Bill Farmer, Jr. The good-looking high ...
October 20, 2005

Gas Pumponomics

There's an interesting economics experiment going on in Hawaii. A first-in-the-nation state cap on gas prices went into effect last month, and residents have already ...
October 19, 2005

Scandal Probe Find: Mayor Tips Well

The Salt Lake Tribune obtained the credit card records for Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. The result? Rocky's a good tipper. The mayor is ...
October 19, 2005

Welcome to GulfCoastWorld!

After some initial grumblings, it now seems there's no question that New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast hit by Hurricane Katrina will ...
October 18, 2005

Be Careful What You Blog: Bluegrass Edition

Just yesterday, we on the 13th floor were talking about how public employees should watch what they write in a blog. It could cost you ...
October 14, 2005

(Artificial) Turf Wars Reach Truce

Complaining about artificial turf is easy: It's expensive. It's not as environmenta lly sound as real grass. It's uncomfortable to walk and run on. But ...
October 11, 2005

Speed Dialing for Safety

Law enforcement officers and medical first responders in many parts of the country have begun pushing ICE -- a program to encourage citizens to enter ...
October 9, 2005

Robbing Peter to Pay Katrina

Hurricane Katrina killed over 1,000 people along the Gulf Coast, but one of the first legislative casualties may hit another shoreline, 1,000 miles to the north. The ...
October 6, 2005

Bans (Temporarily?) Up in Smoke

Ten states have adopted smoking bans in the past decade, including California, New York and Massachusetts, as well as several hundred individual cities and counties. ...
September 27, 2005

Special Fx?

Tourism officials in Fairfax County, Virginia yesterday announced a new marketing logo for the county: they're calling it "fxva." The new brand name ...
September 26, 2005

A Spitzer Rebellion

Everybody knows Eliot Spitzer. The New York attorney general has garnered national attention in the past few years for taking on everyone from power plants ...
September 23, 2005

A Merited Change?

Things just keep getting worse better for Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who may be found guilty of a crime punishable by up to 6 months in ...
September 22, 2005

NYC's W.C.'s

You can do anything in New York City: Have baby food delivered at 4:30 am. Take the subway to a primeval forest. Gawk at an island ...
September 15, 2005


The New York Police Department has joined the growing ranks of bloggers across the country who want to make their voices heard. They've started a ...
September 9, 2005

Sorry, the Bean is Closed

Some Chicago tourists were miffed yesterday, when they showed up at the city's famous Millennium Park, only to be turned away. Toyota had rented the ...
September 8, 2005

A Gay Marriage Civics Lesson

When it happened in San Francisco, the problem was that a city official was trying to usurp state law through local action. Civics lesson learned? ...
September 8, 2005

Best State Fair Ever?

It's rare that a state fair can be described as freakin ' sweet. But the Utah State Fair, which kicks off today, tapped a popular ...
September 5, 2005

Whither the Activist Judges?

The California Senate last week approved legislation that would legalize marriage between two consenting adults, regardless of gender. In passing the measure, the Senate became ...
September 4, 2005

Can a State Gas Cap Work?

It's impossible to read a paper or watch a news broadcast right now without hearing about soaring prices at the nation's gas pumps. Prices that ...
September 2, 2005

What's the Point of Even Going to Austria Anymore?

It's a sad day for the American gubernatorial populace, the country of Austria, and iron-pumping aficionados worldwide: The Arnold Schwarzenegger museum is no more. Officials ...
September 1, 2005

A Tenncare Tune-Up

Putting medical records online
August 31, 2005

Nothing Says Punk Like Bloomberg

CBGB, the legendary punk-rock venue in New York City, could face eviction as early as tomorrow. The 32-year-old music landmark is in danger of losing ...
August 29, 2005

The Verdict: Plainer English

Serving jury duty has always been a "banausic, Tartarean nisus in reconditeness." Now, in California, it may just plain "suck." The ...
August 29, 2005

Double-Scoop of Huckabee, Please

These days, lots of people are noticing that there's, well, less to notice about Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Since June 2003, the Guv has lost more ...
August 26, 2005

Dr. Evil: Zoning Kingpin

Most city council members don't ask for too much: a hand in city planning, maybe a role in deciding which direction a city's heading. But ...
August 25, 2005

Mile-High City, Indeed

Denver, CO, residents could soon be allowed to smoke marijuana legally, if voters approve a ballot measure in November. The City Council there this week ...
August 25, 2005

Why Are You Hurting This Woman???

You just had to have 400-count sheets and an extra pillow, didn't you? Hotel customers are apparently looking for nicer amenities these days, and hotel ...
August 24, 2005

Setting the Stage for Google, IL?

What's in a name? Well, for a town willing to call itself "Dish," maybe some electronics equipment and a few HBO stations. EchoStar ...
August 9, 2005

By The Power Not Vested in Him

As the Newark Star Ledger reports this morning, acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey just can't get enough titles. In addition to serving in one ...
August 5, 2005

Running on Wireless

Andrew Rasiej is an obscure candidate running for an arcane office: He's campaigning to be the Democratic nominee in the race for New York City's ...
August 1, 2005

Stolen Identities

States are leaping on the identity theft issue, hoping to reassure consumers. The data industry wants them to take it easy.
August 1, 2005

It's Not Easy Being Green

Those newly approved hybrid-electric New York City cabs I exalted last week may not be all that great after all. In a story unrelated to ...
July 29, 2005

States of Confusion

The town of Easthampton, MA, recently put up road signs directing drivers to Routes 10 and 141.  The signs sho wed the road numbers against a ...
July 27, 2005

What's Yellow and Checkered and Green All Over?

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved a plan that will add six new hybrid electric models to the city's streets.  ...
July 25, 2005

"I Love You, Joshua Wilson"

That's what Florida State Senator Gary Siplin told a local television reporter--48 TIMES!---when he was asked about alleged undocumented campaign spending. The Democrat from ...
July 22, 2005

Segways on Subways

  The DC Metro has announced it will allow riders to bring their Segways on subway trains (b ut not on buses).  Although the ...
July 14, 2005

Luged, Not Stirred

When the nation's governors convene in Des Moines this weekend for the annual meeting of the National Governors Association, ideas about good governance won't be ...
July 1, 2005

The Set-Aside Syndrome

Minority-contracting programs can be undone by a city's inability to distinguish between a real and a fake minority firm.
June 22, 2005

T Time for Perry

Texas Governor Rick Perry is being quoted all over the Internet and mainstream media today, for what he said to a reporter offhand after an ...
June 22, 2005


A couple centuries ago, the system of punishment for crimes was frequently predicated on the notion of embarrasment:  Get caught breaking the law, and ...
June 21, 2005

Critics Continue to Lei Into County Officials' Trip

As we said last week, some county officials are feeling tropical-level heat for attending the National Association of Counties' annual meeting in Hawaii next month. ...
June 21, 2005

WH Connections Deep in the Heart of Texas GOP Primary

With TX Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson out of the race for governor of the Lone Star State, it looks like we're going to see a ...
June 15, 2005

How much does a segway?

In Chicago this past weekend, I noticed several police officers and other city security workers riding segways, those two-wheeled gyroscopic single-person modes of transportation introduced ...
June 14, 2005

The Other Side of Paradise

The National Association of Counties is meeting next month in Honolulu, and county leaders across the country are getting a lot of flak from constituents ...
June 12, 2005

Googlin' on up!

At the US Conference of Mayors meeting this weekend in Chicago, I attended a session on how cities can make themselves more competetive in drawing ...
June 11, 2005

Sweeping scandals under the red carpet

As the US Conference of Mayors convenes in Chicago this weekend, the city has never looked better. The sun is glistening off the new Millennium ...
June 1, 2005

Price Shopper: Vermont Mandates Details on Drug Prices

In an effort to check the increase in prescription drug prices, Vermont in March became the first state in the nation to require pharmaceutical companies to disclose to doctors the average wholesale price of a given drug.
June 1, 2005

Dock Shock

The competition for federal grants pits the security concerns of small ports against big ones and leaves all of them short of what they say they need.
April 1, 2005

Helping the Homeless

San Diego tackles a drinking problem.
April 1, 2005

Contract Lens

As states continue to outsource corrections services, they are struggling to find the right level of private-prison scrutiny.
January 1, 2005

Finite Funding: Vermont Accepts A Medicaid Cap

Facing ever-increasing costs for health care, officials in Vermont have brokered a landmark deal with the federal government. The state will get more flexibility in managing and distributing Medicaid funds. In exchange, it will accept a limit on the amount of federal Medicaid money it receives over the next five years.
August 1, 2004

Pill Politics: Legalizing a Prescription for Leftovers

Nursing homes in Oklahoma will soon be able to donate unused prescription drugs to state residents who can't afford them.
August 1, 2004

Feeling the Sting of a Cut

Oregon pares back its health plan to keep it alive
November 1, 2000

Fly Locally, Think Globally

Communities like the sound of the words `international airport.' And they don't mind stretching the truth to use them.
October 1, 2000

A Jolt to the System

Caffeine has created quite a quandary in the land of Starbucks. The drug has become so prevalent in the Seattle-area water supply that officials have had to change the way they track pollution.
September 1, 2000

The Platt Tit for Tat

The future looks dark for the George C. Platt Memorial Bridge in Philadelphia, as city and state officials continue an eight-year stalemate over who's responsible for the structure's lighting.
August 1, 2000

Florida Will Revisit A Rebuilt Code

After four years of infighting, and with the nightmare of Hurricane Andrew's $16 billion devastation in mind, Florida's legislature adopted a new statewide Unified Building Code this May.