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Focus Archive - August 2011

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.

Suburbs, Cities, and Aging in Place (August 31)
While aging in place is nothing new—it is, after all, a pattern that goes back thousands of years—its impact today is dramatic because of the rapid growth of seniors in the United States. More from Urban Land.

Overcoming the Fear of Facebook (August 31)
Governments must interact using both traditional websites and social media. More from Governing.

Puget Sound Watershed Protection & Restoration Grants (August 31)
The Washington State Departments of Ecology and Commerce are managing funds received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to coordinate a six-year implementation strategy to protect and restore watersheds that drain into Puget Sound. More from the Department of Commerce.

4 Tips on How to Hire (August 31)
There are still many ways to bring great talent into state and local government. You’ll just have to use something different than the traditional “good benefits and stability” pitch. More from Government Technology.

Jobs Aren’t Enough (August 31)
Economic development’s key measure of success is not the only approach to turning lagging economies into prosperous communities. More from Governing.

The End of the Road for Motormania (August 31)
Something unexpected is happening to our car-crazy culture. What are the forces driving us out of motoring? More from New Scientist.

Survey: Counties Providing Innovative Digital Services (August 31)
Palm Beach County, Fla.; Washoe County, Nev.; Pueblo County, Colo.; and Nevada County, Calif. Were first place winners in the 2011 Digital Counties Survey, which recognizes leading examples of counties using information and communications technology. More from NACo's County News.

More Cities Push for Building Energy Transparency (August 31)
Since buildings account for roughly 70 percent of U.S. electricity usage and nearly 40 percent of total carbon emissions, reducing the amount of energy used by buildings is crucial to the hope of making cities more sustainable. More from Nation's Cities Weekly.

Department of Energy Launches New Tools to Accelerate Adoption of Electric Vehicles (August 31)
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced the launch of two online tools designed to help communities better prepare for widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (Evs). More from the U.S. Departmetn of Energy.

Bird Harassment, Repellent, and Deterrent Techniques for Use on and Near Airports (August 31)
The Transportation Research Board's new publication, "Bird Harassment, Repellent, and Deterrent Techniques for Use on and Near Airports," reviews techniques for reducing bird collisions with aircraft and the relative effectiveness of the various techniques.

A New Model for Management (August 24)
Today’s most effective leaders are very different from the public administrators of the past. The challenges have changed, and the old rules no longer apply. More from Governing.

The Importance of On-Street Parking (August 24)
On-street parking is important to good urbanism on many counts. More from New Urban Network.

WAPRO Fall Conference – October 20 (August 24)
The Washington Association of Public Records Officers (WAPRO) announces its second annual Fall Conference and Business Meeting to be held in Lakewood, Washington.

Leadership Responsibilities Not POSDCORB (August 24)
Luther Gulick’s classic listing of the seven elements of a chief executive's role, Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Reporting, and Budgeting (POSDCORB), completely misses the chief executive’s responsibility to exercise leadership. More from Bob Behn's Performance Leadership Report.

Seattle and Suburbs Find Innovative Compromise to Save Transit (August 24)
Recognizing the importance of a stable and healthy King County Metro, a coalition of business, environmental, and transit advocates in Washington state helps save the transit system from drastic cuts. More from Urban Land.

Water Infrastructure: The Bottom Line for Local Officials (August 24)
The US EPA has just launched a new website to provide information, resources, and materials, specifically designed to meet the unique needs of local officials committed to leaving a legacy of sustainable water infrastructure.

Urban Areas Defy Crime Trends (August 24)
Despite the recession, which usually spurs a rise in law-breaking, violent and property crimes have dropped for the fourth year in a row. How can this be? More from Governing.

Tech and the City (August 24)
Cities across the U.S. are increasingly looking to technology to improve the public participation process and increase the ways citizens can engage with the government. More from Design Mind.

Cities Are Doin’ It For Themselves (August 24)
As the federal government continues to spin its wheels and state governments keep struggling with lean budgets, cities are starting to experiment with ideas about how to create local, self-sustaining economies. More from Citiwire.

TechAmerica’s 6 IT Policy Recommendations for State and Local Government (August 24)
A prominent advocacy group for the IT industry is hoping state and local governments will turn to increased public-private collaboration, more competitive contracting and other reforms in order to solve budget woes. More from Government Technology.

Putting Greenways First (August 10)
Creating healthy and connected communities by blending urban and conservation design. More from Planning.

Are Millennials the Solution to the Nation’s Housing Crisis? (August 10)
The Millennial Generation (born 1982-2003) represents not just the largest generation in American history but the largest potential market for both existing and new housing in the United States. More from New Geography.

Conducting Preemployment Evaluations of Law Enforcement Candidates (August 10)
Assessing the psychological suitability of candidates for law enforcement positions is one of the essential functions of police psychology. More from The Police Chief.

The Bridge Reverses the Paradigm of Homeless Shelters in America (August 10)
By transitioning people experiencing homelessness from streets or institutions into shelter and housing, The Bridge Homeless Assistance Center has produced truly outstanding outcomes. More from Next American City.

EPA Releases Upgrade to Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox (August 10)
The U.S. EPA has released a significant upgrade to its Nonpoint Source (NPS) Outreach Toolbox. The NPS toolbox is intended for use by state and local agencies and other organizations interested in educating the public on nonpoint source pollution or stormwater runoff.

Housing Authorities Go Green (August 10)
In the current era of rising energy costs and shrinking budgets, the nation’s public housing agencies have a big incentive to lower utility bills. More from Urban Land.

HUD Announces Upcoming Round of Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants (August 10)
The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced that they will be investing an additional $67 million towards creating stronger, more sustainable communities that connect housing to jobs through its Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program. More from HUD.

Cities Rush Into High Speed Internet (August 10)
Cities around the country have come to view high-speed access to the Internet as infrastructure that's as critical to their future as interstate highways were in the past. More from Time.

US and Canada Green City Index (August 10)
A recent survey released by Siemens Corporation ranks San Francisco as the greenest of North America's large cities. Seattle is the fourth greenest among the 27 U.S. and Canadian cities in the survey.

Proposed Guidelines for Accessible Public Rights-of-Way (August 04)
The US Access Board recently released proposed guidelines for accessible public rights-of-way. The guidelines, once finalized and implemented as standards, will apply to newly constructed or altered portions of public rights-of-way covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). More from the US Access Board.

Creating Community (August 03)
No longer the land of sprawl, the ’burbs are embracing slightly higher density and giving rise to a new generation of urban villages and mini cities. More from Builder Magazine.

Web Sightings - Sustainable Development (August 03)
This month we’ve selected some of our favorite site on sustainability and sustainable development. The MRSC Webpage on Smart Growth and Sustainable Development is a good starting point on this topic.

General Resources on Sustainability

  • Sustainable Communities Online - Comprehensive site for information exchange about sustainability; includes case studies from Washington State
  • Sustainable Washington 2009 - Planning for Climate Change, Washington Chapter, American Planning Association - Award-winning resource document for planners involved in sustainability and climate change issues
  • SustainLane Government - Online sustainability best practices knowledge base for state and local government
  • Innovative Land Use Planning Techniques - A Handbook For Sustainable Development, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Washington City and County Sustainability Programs

Cities in Other States

Spending Time Signals Priorities (August 03)
If you want to learn the key priorities of any public executive, don’t read the memos or listen to the speeches. Just watch how the executive spends his or her most valuable resource: Time. More from Bob Behn's Performance Leadership Report.

Why America’s Young and Restless Will Abandon Cities for Suburbs (August 03)
In the past 10 years, 25- to 34-year-olds presence grew 12% in suburban areas while dropping 22.7% in the core cities. More from New Geography.

The Debate about Residential Fire Sprinklers (August 03)
As the decision whether to require residential fire sprinklers reaches state and local governments, passionate arguments are being made by proponents and opponents alike. More from Public Management.

Measuring the Efficiency of Courts (August 03)
Municipalities in more than a dozen states are using tools to gauge their courts’ speed, accessibility and reliability in administering justice. More from Governing.

New App Connects Social Media Users with Municipal Services (August 03)
A new Facebook application is making it easier for citizens to report problems and request services from local governments. More from Government Technology.

A Small Town Hosts the Nation's Largest Concert (August 03)
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. More from Governing.

Top 10 Metro Areas with Fastest-Growing Senior/Presenior Populations (August 03)
The baby boomers are leading a wave of senior population growth that is spreading well beyond the traditional retirement magnet states of Florida and Arizona. More from Urban Land.

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