04.07.13: Your Morning Buzz

Posted on April 7, 2013


Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

The High Five

Laws against driving and cellphone use aren’t working, study finds – A Transportation Dept. survey finds that despite legal bans in 39 states, 660,000 drivers nationwide are preoccupied with their cellphones at any time.

A Building Not Just Green, but Practically Self-Sustaining – When an office building here that bills itself as the world’s greenest officially opens later this month, it will present itself as a “living building zoo,” with docents leading tours and smartphone-wielding tourists able to scan bar codes to learn about the artfully exposed mechanical and electrical systems.

In New Pubs, Good Cheer and Good Works – PORTLAND, Ore. — Ask a bartender exactly how much profit was collected from that pint of beer you just drank, and the answer is likely to be as murky as a barrel-aged bourbon stout. The economics of alcohol, like the calorie count, are usually about the last things purveyors want their customers focused on.

DOES THE POST OFFICE DELIVER IN TODAY’S URBAN CULTURE? The postal service has been ravaged by enormous deficits and massive layoffs. It will inevitably see the closing of thousands of buildings. Planners have taken notice. Countless journalists have lamented the loss of post-office buildings, praised their often remarkable architecture and called for pressure to save them.

Urbanist Toolkit Bracket Challenge: Championship Round – The Pedestrian Street easily trumped the Waterfront Promenade, 69-31, to advance to the finals. On the left side of the bracket, Bike Lanes sent congestion pricing back to the theoretical realm, 60-40, in a match-up that many people found particularly aggravating, for reasons that commenter Quinn Raymond elucidated at the very start of the bracket challenge: “The final question is basically, ‘Would you rather stab yourself in the face or the chest?'”

4-1-1 on E-L-G-L

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Newest ELGL Member:  Zach Henkin, Oregon City, Planning Commissioner

Upcoming ELGL Forums: April 11: Greg Baker, Damascus City Manager and April 17: K.L. Wombacher, Hillsboro Hops General Manager

Weekly Reader – Top 5 Blog Posts of the Week

  1. 04.05.13: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs (Farmers Market Remix)
  2. Updated (4/2): Who’s Who’s in the Resume Book
  3. Takeaways with Steve Bryant, Former Albany City Manager
  4. An MPA From My Apt: Short and Sour
  5. New Sensation with Eric Battles, University of Southern California

I’m Just a Bill

Oregon Legislature revives controversial toll road project connecting I-5 to McMinnville – The Oregon Legislature has revived a controversial project that calls for the construction of a private toll road connecting Interstate 5 to the west end of McMinnville.

PERS bill is a false fix, critics say – As far as Oregon’s legislative leaders are concerned, debate over reforms to Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System is done. For the moment.

Gay marriage opponents lose first round of fight over ballot title for Oregon initiative – The Oregon attorney general’s office isn’t buying an attempt by gay marriage opponents to radically rewrite the ballot title for a proposed initiative that would allow same-sex marriages in Oregon.

Fiscal Cliff

City mulls user fee – Faced with a tight budget outlook, the City of La Grande may begin charging a user fee to help fund its parks and recreation system.

Tom Walsh: For Michigan to succeed, Detroit and Grand Rapids must work together – If ever a place was the embodiment of Rudyard Kipling’s poetic assertion that “East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet,” it was Michigan for many a decade, right?

Late pay raises are one way to fatten workers’ state pensions – By the end of 2009, three veteran managers at Lakewood Fire District 2 earned salaries that topped $175,000 annually — more than Seattle’s fire chief, who was overseeing a department roughly 10 times as large.

Inside Portlandia

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

The Incomplete Charlie Hales – It’s been (almost) 100 days since the mayor took office. And what does Portland think? So far, so good… but so far, not so much.

Safety Dance – Old Town’s new “entertainment zone” is safer than before—but eerier.

Wait, Never Mind – The corner of SE 37th and Division is ground zero for the city’s zoning drama.

After Beaverton, Drake keeps focus on service – Don’t try to tell Rob Drake that serving as city manager of Cornelius is a “step down” from being mayor of Beaverton.

Outside Portlandia

Council to interview candidates for manager position – The Sisters City Council will interview three potential candidates for a “Limited Duration City Manager” position on Monday, April 8, starting at 9 a.m. at City Hall.

Simi Valley city manager finalist set to make $200k a year – If the Simi Valley City Council hires Eric Levitt as the new city manager Monday night, he stands to make $200,000 in annual base salary, $60,000 a year more than what he earns as the chief executive of Janesville, Wis.

Madore shakes things up, as promised  – Freshman Clark County Commissioner David Madore says his first three months in office have produced exactly the works he promised to voters.

Christian group sues Lane County – Teen Challenge International claims discrimination in the denial of a permit for its faith-based addiction center.

Union Views Loom Large as Los Angeles Picks a Mayor – They are both Democrats with years of experience at City Hall, who have both chided and courted labor unions over the years. Now, in a race with little separating them ideologically, the two candidates for mayor face the challenge of simultaneously fighting over this powerful force in Los Angeles politics while trying to convince weary voters that they will be independent enough to force unions to accept cutbacks needed to solve the city’s looming budget problems.

County to reboot economic development grants – After a two-year hiatus, Lane County government is again offering local businesses a chance to win a chunk of $200,000 in grant money.

Career Center

Resume Book Deadline Extended to April 8, 2013 – To facilitate the networking and connections from “Link In Live,” ELGL has extended the deadline for the ELGL resume book until Monday, April 8, 2013 at noon.  The Link In Live participants are encouraged to submit their resumes to [email protected] to ensure their continued outreach and networking.

The Young are the Restless – The surge of generational change continues in this country, altering the cultural landscape with a speed and intensity that has rarely — if ever — been seen before.

On Creative Intelligence: How Creativity Increases Happiness – The best part about tapping into your artistic side isn’t necessarily the novel, sketch or upcycled, Etsy-ready unicorn-head shoehorn that you’ll produce.

Social Network

If these countries don’t own their Twitter handles, who does?  The Twitter gold rush is long over. The short, snappy, memorable handles were snapped up eons ago, and you’ll be lucky to find a good name that doesn’t require adding a number to it.

Zuckerberg’s Old Angelfire Page Reveals His Social Networking Ambitions – You’re seeing this correctly. Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook and most famous web innovator since Al Gore, once had an Angelfire. Just like you and your sister and all of your little teenage friends.

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I’m the co-founder and executive director of ELGL. I love my job. Other things I love: local government, my family, my dog Michael Jordan, sandwiches, naps, books, and skee-ball.

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