Cover Story

See-Thru Government

BY Ellen Perlman

"A new level of transparency" is what President Obama says he wants as state and local governments spend economic-stimulus dollars. But what does that mean?...


Management & Labor

Risky Business

In 2006, Georgia's information technology systems were a borderline mess. No one was a harsher critic than the man in charge of them. "Our business model... BY
Public Safety & Justice

Long Lens of the Law

It's Friday night, a few minutes past 9 o'clock, and people are pouring into the 13,500-seat Baltimore Arena. They're here to see one of the biggest... BY

Bordeaux vs. Budweiser

There are people in Johnsburg, New York, who still won't set foot in the Tannery Pond Community Center, even though it was built in part... BY
Infrastructure & Environment

Shades of Greywater

Laura Allen is no one's idea of an unrepentant lawbreaker. But under California's state plumbing code, that's exactly what she is. Allen, a soft-spoken elementary... BY


Ready-to-Go Regionalism

It's time to give metropolitan planning organizations real power. BY

Politics + Policy


Slumping Slots

Gambling proponents typically overstate the amount of revenue that lotteries and casinos will generate for state treasuries. But the numbers rarely fall as far short... BY
Public Safety & Justice

A Little Bit of Gun Control

A flurry of gruesome shootings nearly always brings the issue of gun control back into public debate. That's happening again, in the wake of cop... BY
Health & Human Services

Gay Rights: The Not-So-Lethal Issue

Last month, the Iowa Supreme Court threw out a state law banning gay marriages, while the Vermont legislature overrode a gubernatorial veto to allow same-sex... BY
Politics & Elections

Second Chance in San Antonio

For a few months in 2005, people in San Antonio were talking about Julián Castro as the Hispanic Barack Obama. The city councilman, educated at... BY
Politics & Elections

Virginia Firebrand

Jeff Frederick won't give up. Ousted as chairman of the state Republican Party last month, he may seek the post again at the party convention... BY
Health & Human Services

Rx for Reform

I live in Massachusetts, where 97 percent of the population now has health insurance. Yet state leaders are scrambling to cut costs in the face of... BY
Washington Watch

When the Well Runs Dry

The stimulus won't last forever. That's worth remembering. BY

Three Tracks to Vegas

The federal stimulus package provides $8 billion for high-speed rail--and a lot of tough questions. As states fight for this pot of money, they'll have to... BY
Infrastructure & Environment

Great Park Takes Shape

Ask 10 people what a park should be, and you're likely to get 10 different answers. Some think parks are for strolling, hiking, bicycling or rollerblading. Others... BY
Transportation & Infrastructure

Why the Shovels Matter

The time to do strategic thinking is before you need to. BY
Urban Notebook


The cul-de-sac, that symbol of suburban bliss, seems to be going out of favor. BY

Problem Solver


Find Me the Money

Winter Haven, Florida, imposes an accident- response fee-for services rendered when police officers and firefighters ride to the rescue. Wisconsin triples the price of its... BY
Smart Management

No Time for Budget Busting

Stimulus or no stimulus, cost overruns are as dangerous as ever. BY
Tech Talk

Broadband -- at Any Price

Small cities are eyeing stimulus money to bring high-speed Internet to all. BY
Public Money

Buffett's Bad Bet

The financial genius overestimates the risk of default on insured muni bonds. BY


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