scenic picture from Washington state
MRSC In Focus › Focus Archive

Note: Some of the information on this archival Web page may no longer be current.

Focus Archive - April 2008

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.

How has Advice or Information from MRSC Helped Your Community? (April 25)
While MRSC tracks the number of telephone and e-mail inquiries we receive as well as the number of users of our website, we do not often know the impact of our services on your agencies or on your communities. Please take a moment to share a story about how our advice or information has helped your community. Thank-you!

2008 PAW Annual Spring Conference (April 25)
The Planning Association of Washington (PAW) Annual Spring Conference, "The Power of Place", will be held at Campbell's Resort on the shores of Lake Chelan from April 30 to May 1, 2008.

Free Water Quality and Smart Growth Toolkit (April 23)
The "Balancing Water Quality and Smart Growth Goals Toolkit" CD-ROM from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) is a compilation of valuable resources and ideas, including a new webcast on "Protecting Water Quality While Meeting Smart Growth Goals." More form ICMA.

Conservation Through the Ballot Box (April 23)
Between 1998 and 2006, some 1,550 referenda for the conservation of open space appeared on state, county, and municipal ballots across the United States, and their success rate was very high: nearly 80 percent of these measures passed, many by a wide margin. More from Land Lines.

Report on State Wetland Programs (April 23)
A new report out from the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), State Wetland Protection: Status, Trends & Model Approaches, examines the core elements of all 50 state wetland programs and highlights best practices. More from ELI.

Homeward Bound (April 23)
Foreclosure affects more than individual families; it also can diminish the quality of life for entire neighborhoods, disrupt the local market for ownership and rental properties, and destabilize the municipal finance system. More from American City & County.

Two Faces of Foreclosure (April 23)
Mortgage meltdown is a problem everywhere. In some places, it’s a disaster. More from Governing.

Virtual Traffic (April 23)
How will the rise of the virtual work place, where workers operate in small-office settings with PCs and communication technology as key back up tools, affect traffic patterns? More from Forbes.

New Urbanists Point the Way Forward (April 23)
The New Urbanists have changed the conversation, but they haven’t changed the world. At least, not yet. More from City Journal.

The Potholes of Performance Management Technology (April 23)
Performance management technology can greatly improve access to the vast amounts of operational data available to local governments. It is necessary, however, to anticipate and avoid a number of potential problems. More from Government Finance Review.

Creating "Cooler" Communities - Papers Available (April 21)
The program papers from the Association of Washington Cities' "Creating "Cooler' Communities - Municipal Responses to Climate Change" workshop held on April 16, 2008, in Tacoma are now available.

Local Communities Celebrate Earth Day (April 21)
Communities across Washington are honoring Earth Day this week in many creative ways, including Whatcom Transit Authority’s free bus service on April 22, Olympia’s 14th annual procession of the species, and the Mid-Columbia Earth Month Pledge.

A New Era in Television - What Your Residents Need to Know (April 17)
The Federal Communications Commission and service providers say these are five key things your residents should know about the conversion to all-digital broadcasting. More from ICMA.

311/CRM Technologies Help Citizens Connect with Their Local Governments (April 17)
A new podcast from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) features a discussion how local governments are using 311 call centers and other related customer service technology systems. More from ICMA.

Helping Residents Help Themselves (April 17)
Recognizing that work does not just get done between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. anymore, many customer-service-oriented cities have created Web-based service request systems to make local government accessible any time of the day or night. More from American City & County.

Legislative Gem - Limited Liability Companies for Interlocal Agreements (April 17)
Every once in awhile a little gem appears from deep within new legislation enacted in Olympia. A recent amendment to the state Interlocal Cooperation Act will now allow local governments to form limited liability companies as the legal framework for any type of cooperative project among public agencies. More from Hugh Spitzer, Attorney, Foster Pepper PLLC

Add to Wish List (April 17)
Measuring quality of life and government performance at the same time can be tricky. But it’s possible. More from Governing.

2008 Washington Economic Development Association Conference (April 17)
The Washington Economic Development Association will be holding their Spring Conference at the Lynnwood Convention Center on April 29 through May 1, 2008.

Riding on the Future (April 17)
Faced with a projected population increase of 130 million people over the next 20 years and poor planning that has put its cities behind those of the rest of the world in developing mass transit infrastructure, the United States is trying to catch up. More from Urban Land.

Is In-Vehicle Wi-Fi a Boon For Commuters? (April 17)
By deploying a wireless infrastructure, public transportation companies, like King Metro, are offering free Wi-Fi access for riders—an amenity that could help boost ridership. More from Wi-Fi Planet.

Open Government Forum (April 17)
The William O. Douglas Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Washington State University Tri-Cities and Tri-City Herald will be hosting a forum on Washington’s open meetings and open records laws on Thursday, April 24 in Richland.

EPA Launches Environmental Indicators Gateway (April 17)
The U.S. Environmental Protectin Agency (EPA) recently launched the Environmental Indicators Gateway Web site to provide enhanced public access to environmental and health information generated by EPA.

Muni Machinations (April 09)
The feds would like more control over the state and local bond market. The bond issuers don’t want them to have it. More from Governing.

Building Cities in the Virtual World (April 09)
The standard methods of outreach and collaboration that rely on traditional media, public meetings, mailings, neighborhood canvassing, and charrettes are not expected to give way anytime soon, but Web 2.0 offers creative ways to engage stakeholders who otherwise might be overlooked. More from Planning.

Green Building Course: LEED for Homes Program Review (April 09)
The LEED for Homes Program Review course being offered by the U.S. Green Building Council offers the knowledge needed for successful participation in the LEED for Homes initiative. The one-day workshop will be held in Kirkland on May 5, 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Police Study: A Look at the 12-Hour Shift (April 09)
The pros and cons of 12-hour shifts for police departments are often a matter of speculation for law enforcement executives looking for different ways to deploy scarce resources. More from The Police Chief.

Does Your Community Have a Redevelopment Vision? (April 09)
Using a set of best practices and technical assistance, the Michigan Suburbs Alliance Redevelopment Ready Communities® (RRC) program helps localities build deliberate, fair, and consistent development processes from the inside out—and to effectively communicate them. More from Public Management.

Reduction in New Housing Starts Adversely Affects Local Governments (April 09)
More than a loss of property tax revenue due to foreclosures, an ICMA survey shows that reductions in new housing starts are adversely affecting local governments. More from ICMA.

On the Front Lines of Positive Change (April 09)
Since 2005, hundreds of mayors across all 50 states have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, thereby initiating important first steps in their own communities and playing a major role in shaping the national discussion. More from Urban Land Green.

Survey on Local Government Promotion of Healthy Eating and Active Living (April 09)
ICMA's Active Living Approaches by Local Government, 2007 reveals the tools and strategies that local governments consider to be the most helpful in addressing active living goals and combating obesity--and the barriers that impede their efforts. More from ICMA.

Building Green for Today’s Consumers (April 09)
Recycled materials, low-flow faucets, and upgraded mechanical systems are just some of the sustainable strategies being incorporated into green multifamily housing today. More from Multfamily Trends.

Understanding How Individuals Make Travel and Location Decisions (April 09)
A new report from the Transportation Research Board (TRB), Understanding How Individuals Make Travel and Location Decisions: Implications for Public Transportation, explores a broader social context for individual decision making related to residential location and travel behavior. More from the TRB.

Need more information?

Feel free to Ask MRSC. Washington cities, counties, and our contract partners can call or email MRSC for more information and advice - free of charge.