06.20.2016

06.20.2016

Today’s buzz cracks a smile for all those Cleveland sports fans that finally got to celebrate a championship and no long have to worry about a second ESPN 30 for 30 film about their franchises.  There’s also a look at why sports metaphors shouldn’t be in your office toolbox, a look at how much bail reform will cost one county in New Jersey and an explanation of how many buildings in one Massachusetts town meet all of its current zoning requirements. Read on! 

Right Now w/ Matt Yager

What I’m Reading: LeBron James fulfills promise to bring a title to Cleveland by 

What I’m Watching: Richard Jefferson Retirement Announcement

What I’m Listening to: We Are the Champions performed by Corn Mo

What I’m Doing: Enjoying the Cavaliers win/ Warriors loss.

Buzzing

ARCHAEOLOGY OF STREET NAMES: What if roads could lead us not only to destinations, but also back in time? We’ve been hearing how street names are a ‘ping of the glass’. Here, we listen a little more closely to their murmurs. It’s an itinerary that leads down terraces named after dictators, along avenues named after IKEA and through the nameless streets of Japan.

Against Sports Analogies at Work: Sports, for better or worse, have always been a conversational standby at the office. From March Madness pools and Super Bowl parties to corporate luxury boxes, it’s difficult to imagine American work culture without sports seasons cycling on in the background. But one less-observed infiltration of sports into the office has to do with language. It’s a number of mundane metaphors and analogies: Call an audible. Swing for the fences. Don’t drop the ball. This knowing talk of sports isn’t just something that alienates the athletically agnostic. According to some management scholars, the winners-and-losers dichotomy at the heart of sports metaphors isn’t actually that helpful and can even be detrimental to a business.

7 Infrastructure Myths Espoused by Donald Trump: Buried underneath a slew of contentious policy proposals—including deporting all undocumented immigrants and banning Muslims from entering the U.S.—is a remarkably sound plank of Donald Trump’s campaign: infrastructure reform. In his latest book, the sloppily written and problematically titled Crippled America, Trump argues that “fixing the country’s infrastructure would be a major priority project” during his potential presidency. “When you talk about building,” he writes, “you had better talk about Trump.” Let’s grant him this wish and consider the two together. What exactly are Trump’s views on building better cities and improving infrastructure in the U.S.? And how do they stack up against commonly held best practices in urban planning?

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50 Nifty

  • Public Works Should Fix Deadly Intersections, Not Tell People to Avoid Them: Doctors said Jonathan Beltran was lucky. After all, he could have died when a driver hit him while he crossed West Colfax on his bicycle, he told 9News. Beltran suffered serious injuries that required surgery. He also got slapped with a ticket from the Denver PD because, on this street, the law compels bicyclists and pedestrians to cower before cars. A sign near the intersection of West Colfax and the Auraria Parkway ramp tells them to yield to motor vehicles, even at the crosswalk. On that day, graffiti obscured the sign, and Beltran had the gall to assume he had the right of way at the crosswalk, where the driver struck and nearly killed him. Beltran hired a lawyer and beat the ticket. A small victory, but Beltran isn’t stopping there. He also wants Denver Public Works to fix the dangerous intersection. The agency disagrees, Public Works spokesperson Nancy Kuhn told 9News. Beltran shouldn’t have even been there, she said, because it’s not an official bike route, just a sidewalk — even though the sign indicates otherwise.
  • Few Utah Police Report Drone Use, Cite Tough FAA Regulations: Law enforcement agencies have touted drones as a powerful new tool for searches and investigations, but police in Utah report they’ve stopped using the devices after getting bogged down by federal regulations. Some agencies say they were flying their aircraft in recent years without realizing they needed approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. Other police departments said they’ve spent about a year trying to get a special waiver from the FAA, which requires a trained pilot to fly the aircraft. The FAA says it grants emergency waivers for less than 24 hours of use if a drone is needed for natural disaster relief or search and rescue operations, and it’s streamlining the approval process for general drone use by state and local governments.
  • Clay commissioners spar over potential anti-blight ordinance: A Clay County commissioner’s initiative seeking a potential ordinance cracking down on dilapidated houses, burned-out buildings and other blighted eyesore structures in unincorporated areas countywide created a kerfuffle involving his fellow elected officials.
  • Indiana must increase its public health funding: I grew up in Lawrence County, which recently declared a public health emergency. I returned to Indiana after two years abroad working in global health in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia to learn that Southern Indiana had declared a public health emergency regarding the rapid rise in people testing positive for HIV. After speaking with Lawrence County government and business leaders, I was convinced that they either felt helpless on how to combat public health issues or they felt that it was not their responsibility.

  • Pinellas County Animal Services waives adoption fees on Father’s Day: Pinellas County Animal Services is waiving adoption fees on Sunday for all fathers who adopt a pet. The shelter at 12450 Ulmerton Road in Largo will be open for the special event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and every pet will go home with a bag of food or a treat, according to a news release. Adoptable cats and dogs come with a medical checkup, sterilization, vaccinations, parasite control, heartworm tests, feline leukemia testing and microchipping.
  • New Market Volunteer Fire Department fights to stay up and running: The New Market Volunteer Fire Department is fighting a budget battle. Monday, New Market town leaders voted to defund the volunteer department’s entire budget. This week, the firefighters are hosting their annual Summerfest fundraiser, but instead of helping to cover a few gaps, the money raised could be a necessity to keep their operation up and running. “They never gave us a reason why, they just said they didn’t have the money to fund us,” said Adam Pittman, a firefighter.
  • UVa grad students help Boones Mill sort plans for 73-acre town property: Five years after purchasing the former North American Housing Corp. complex, Boones Mill sought the help of University of Virginia students to determine how to make the property an asset for the town. The town purchased the property in 2011 after it sat vacant for several years. It was a somewhat controversial decision for Boones Mill , given that the debt the county took on – $347,000 – was more than a typical budget for the small town. At this point, the town has about $120,000 to pay off, said Town Manager Matt Lawless .
  • Littleton city manager fired during tense council meeting: Littleton’s city manager, Michael Penny, was terminated Tuesday evening during a tense council meeting that revealed sharp divisions among the city’s elected leaders. The four council members who voted to fire Penny, who has been Littleton’s city manager since October 2011, said they had lost faith and trust in the man. The two council members who voted against Penny’s dismissal, Debbie Brinkman and Bill Hopping, were vociferous in their condemnation of the rest of the council for putting termination on the table. “I think this is a drastic mistake,” Brinkman said, visibly angry.
  • Bail reform costs Ocean County an extra $2M: A state constitutional amendment on bail reform is expected to cost Ocean County taxpayers a minimum of $2 million next year, according to an estimate from the Board of Freeholders. Freeholder Gerry P. Little said that the amendment — which was approved by voters in 2014 and becomes effective in 2017 — never explained how the state of New Jersey would fund the new law, which effectively requires counties to provide extra court hours.

Local Gov Confidential

Bloated, Broke, and Bullied: Mired in debt and strong-armed by its unions, the Port Authority  of New York and New Jersey lavishes outlandish pay and benefits on its workforce.

The illegal city of Somerville: Zoning is complicated. It’s complicated on its own, with even small towns having dozens of pages of regulations and acronyms and often-inscrutable diagrams; and it’s complicated as a policy issue, with economists and lawyers and researchers bandying about regression lines and all sorts of claims about the micro and macro effects of growth rates and whatever. The question is: Should zoning rule out virtually all of the kinds of buildings that already exist in your city or neighborhood? In other words, imagine taking a walk around the block where your home is. All those buildings you see: Are they so terrible that you’d like to pass a law making it illegal to build them again?

Bipartisanship alive in local government: In an era when governments large or small across the nation seems to be in a state of “permanent crisis,” it’s good to know you aren’t alone. That’s one of the things Walla Walla County Commission chairman Jim Johnson said he brought back from the Annual County Leadership Institute last week in Washington, D.C. Johnson was one of 24 county government leaders from across the United States chosen to take part in the institute, described as “a rigorous program developed by the National Association of Counties and Cambridge Leadership Associates.”