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Focus Archive - February 2006

Please note that Focus section links were valid at the time of their original posting. However, since Web sites and addresses change frequently, we cannot guarantee that all links will remain operative.

Downtown Makeover (February 28)
With the labor market shifting from the baby boomers to post-Generation Xers, cities are now refocusing economic and community development to attract the 25- to 34-year-old demographic. More from Government Technology.

Parking Q&A with Donald Shoup (February 28)
Donald Shoup, author of the American Planning Association's (APA) January 2006 Zoning Practice article "The Practice of Parking Requirements" answers parking questions on APA's Web site. More from APA.

Quarantines - the Law Enforcement Role (February 28)
Law enforcement agencies worldwide face the stark possibility of implementing and enforcing a public health quarantine of large portions of the population in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak. More from The Police Chief.

Pandemic Flu Planning (February 28)
Rising concerns about a widespread influenza pandemic have prompted state and local leaders to begin expanding existing emergency response plans. More from American City & County.

Smart City - Neo-Bohemia and Global Cities (February 28)
Find out how cities are promoting Bohemian districts as a lifestyle amenity in this week's Smart City radio show.

New Farmland Preservation Grant Program (February 28)
Washington counties and cities are eligible to receive new farmland preservation grants for preserving economically viable farmlands in Washington State and enhancing ecological functions on those lands. More from the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation.

The Decline of the Underclass (February 28)
The number of poor people living in troubled neighborhoods often described by journalists as the "underclass"are actually fewer now than in the 1980s. More from the Brookings Institution.

New Report Helps Water Managers to Look 'Beyond Privatization' (February 28)
The Pacific Institute’s report, Beyond Privatization: Restructuring Water Systems to Improve Performance, finds that public versus private is not the bright line that separates success from failure. More from the Pacific Institute.

Many Pathways from Land Use to Health (February 28)
Growing evidence documents the adverse health impacts of common land use patterns in the U.S. More from the Journal of the American Planning Association (Adobe Acrobat Document117kb).

Economic Development - Count Your Assets (February 28)
The vibrant past history and current woes of Lockport, New York, are a wake-up call for struggling post-industrial regions. More from Governing.

The Improving Outlook for Affordable Housing (February 22)
If ever there was a lost cause for cities, you'd think it would be affordable housing. So it may come as a surprise to learn that some advocates are optimistic these days. More from Civic Strategies.

Mad About State Mandates (February 22)
Minnesota's Mandate Reform Proposals Web site gives local government officials a place to vent their frustrations about state mandates they believe are in need of reform or repeal.

One-Fifth of the Nation: America's First Suburbs (February 22)
Neither fully urban nor completely suburban, America's older, inner-ring, "first" suburbs have a unique set of challenges. More from the Brookings Institution.

Smart City - How Artists in Residence Affect Space and Place (February 22)
Seattle's Department of Transportation Artist-in-Residence talks about re-defining the parameters for creativity and public art in the city's pedestrian environment in this week's Smart City radio show.

Is there a Housing Bubble? (February 22)
Nine experts analyze today’s real estate market for the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. More from My View.

Wi-Fi Signals Wireless Internet Revolution (February 22)
Wireless Internet is on the move in urban, rural and suburban counties across the nation, and nowhere more literally than in King County, Washington, where 29 Metro transit buses have been equipped with wi-fi access. More from NACo's County News.

Bringing Community to the City (February 22)
New urbanism takes hold in townships sprouting up across the U.S., changing the landscape and American lifestyle. More from Business Week.

Infrastructure - Paying the Price (February 22)
In many communities across the United States, failing or overburdened water and wastewater systems are forcing residents and city officials to reevaluate their commitment to funding capital improvement projects for water and wastewater. More from American City & County.

Economic Development - Do Only Big Cities Innovate? (February 22)
A recent study shows that while more populous regions tend to dominate in relatively new technological fields, where innovations are more original, less populous regions can compete in relatively mature technological fields where innovations are more incremental. Economic Review (Adobe Acrobat Document517kb).

Homeland Security Outlook (February 22)
The respondents to American City & County’s fourth annual homeland security survey say that lack of money remains their biggest problem. More from American City & County.

Citizen Planners Resource Kit (February 14)
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy offers a free Citizen Planners Resource Kit for local planning boards and commissions that includes publications on smart growth, regionalism, and conservation easements, a copy of the Institute’s quarterly newsletter, and free access to online courses.

A Manager's Guide to Citizen Engagement (February 14)
A new report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government, "Public Deliberation: A Manager’s Guide to Citizen Engagement," (Adobe Acrobat Document605kb) documents a range of tools and techniques to increase citizens’ involvement in communities and government.

Smart City - A Kinder, Gentler Tourism (February 14)
According to this week's Smart City radio show guests, "civic tourism" may offer a more sustainable approach to tourism and economic development. More from Smart City.

Tax Statistics 2005 Available on DOR Web Site (February 14)
Tax Statistics 2005, a compilation of state tax collections, has been published online by the Department of Revenue (DOR).

Pandemic Influenza Plan: Implications for Local Law Enforcement (February 14)
Post-outbreak action under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Pandemic Influenza Plan will require taking steps that are highly unusual, possibly unprecedented, and almost certainly controversial. More from The Police Chief.

Can Positive Youth Development Improve Juvenile Justice? (February 14)
A recent Urban Institute panel discussed intervention programs built around concepts of positive youth development, a promising new approach to making juvenile justice more effective. More from the Urban Institute.

Key Telecom Issues for 2006 (February 14)
"Local Communities and Communications Networks: Key Issues 2006,"
(Adobe Acrobat Document146kb) by Nicolas P. Miller and Joseph Van Eaton of the D.C. based Miller & Van Eaton law firm, offers a detailed overview of the major telecom issues currently facing local governments.

Land Use, Transportation, Air Quality and Health Study (February 14)
King County recently published the results of a study exploring how travel patterns, health, and overall quality of life are impacted by specific land use and transportation decisions. The report is available on the the county's Office of Regional Transportation Planning Web site.

Strategies for Preventing Homelessness (February 14)
Every day in the U.S., families and single adults who have never been homeless lose their housing. A recent Urban Institute report examines strategies for reducing and preventing homelessness. More from the Urban Institute.

Creative Clusters and the Urban Economy (February 14)
Seattle, Washington; Austin, Texas; Oakland, California and Chattanooga, Tennessee, are leapfrogging other cities by capitalizing on the advantages of "proximity and collaboration." More from Government Technology.

New AGO Issued on Use of Hotel-Motel Tax Revenues (February 08)
The state attorney general's office has issued a formal opinion, AGO 2006 No. 4, that addresses the legality of using hotel-motel tax revenues to fund tourism-related facilities, special events and festivals that are operated by non-governmental entities.

Web Sightings - GIS (February 08)
Geographic information systems (GIS) provide critical information across a growing range of local government agencies and functions. Here are a few of our favorite national and Washington GIS sites:

Expert Exodus (February 08)
As baby boomers retire, governments are trying to keep knowledge and experience from going out the door with them. More from Governing.

Succession Planning: Mentoring Your Replacement (February 08)
As police chiefs face another generational change in the workplace, it is their responsibility to train and prepare replacements. More from The Police Chief.

Smart City - The Latest on Place Branding and Innovation (February 08)
Place branding and the economic impact of innovation are two topics of continuing interest to urban leaders. This week's guests on Smart City talk about the latest developments in both fields.

Flu Summits Target Local, State Leaders (February 08)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with other federal agencies, is holding a series of state pandemic planning summits designed to help local governments prepare for a possible outbreak. More from American City & County.

EPA Releases Four New Smart Growth Publications (February 08)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released four new smart growth publications. Topics include drinking water policies, protection of water resources, stormwater management, and parking.

Integrating Sustainability into Transportation Planning (February 08)
A recent Transportation Research Board (TRB) report takes a look at how sustainability objectives can be introduced into the planning process for surface transportation facilities and operations. More from the TRB.

DOT Grants Available for Improving Air Service to Small Communities (February 08)
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is currently accepting applications for grants under the Small Communities Air Service Development Program. More from Nation's Cities Weekly.

Cities and Counties in the News (February)
Here are the latest news clippings from around the state highlighting current events, trends and other news affecting Washington city and county governments:

New MRSC Web Site Design (February 02)
On Friday February 3, we implemented our new site design! We've changed the color scheme, added photographs from cities, towns and counties statewide, and simplified the site navigation. Please send any additional photographs from your Washington city, town or county to mrsc@mrsc.org. Let us know your thoughts on the new design.

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