We recently spotted an absolutely brilliant piece of guerilla marketing for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s new exhibit on rocker/legend David Bowie. This flyer was spotted on a street near the museum building. Those brave enough (or foolish enough!) to dial the number got connected to … the museum. Well played, MCA! Bowie would be proud.
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Upcoming ELGL Events
- Webinar: Code for America Innovation Series – October 8
- ELGL14 Conference – October 17
- Webinar: Everyblock Innovation Series – October 22
- Midwest Lunch & Learn: Data & How to Use it – October 28
- Webinar: San Francisco’s Public Wifi Innovation Series – October 29
- The same sex marriage fight is over – By deciding not to take up any of the cases up for review, the Supreme Court firmly propped the door open to allow same-sex marriage rulings to become the law of the land.
- This algorithm predicts a neighborhood’s crime rate using Google Street View – A deep learning project by researchers at MIT fed 8 million images from Google Street View into an algorithm. The result is a computer that can accurately predict the distance to the nearest McDonald’s in the fewest steps possible, and the crime rate of an area, by looking at an image.
- Japan’s bullet train celebrates 50th birthday – Half a century ago, new high-speed lines connected two massive economic hubs, Tokyo and Osaka, cutting the travel time between them from about seven hours to four.
- What this innocuous piece of plastic says about our suburban future – The Starbucks locations on Main Streets and in neighborhoods reflect the chain’s flagship location and play the role of community living room. The suburban locations … not so much.
- Crunching the numbers on Amtrak’s $689 million damage bill from Superstorm Sandy – Seawater infiltrated ventilation shafts during the 2012 storm, flooding train tunnels beneath the Hudson and East rivers that date back to 1910. At some point soon, each of the four damaged tracks (two beneath each river) will have to be shut down to undergo serious long-term repairs. The new engineering report estimates the total cost at $689 million.
- When harassment of cyclists and pedestrians is a crime – In many parts of the country, it seems, if you go out in public without the protective shell of an automobile around you, you’re fair game for all kinds of threats and abuse—verbal and physical.
- Even Arkansas coroner gets military-grade equipment – The public official says the Humvee helps him navigate the rugged terrain of the Ozarks foothills, but he struggled to explain why he needs the surplus military weapons he acquired more than two years ago.
- Southern California’s cancer risk from air pollution drops sharply – A study released by the South Coast Air Quality Management District on Oct. 2 measured the levels of cancer-causing air contaminants across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It found that exposure to 37 toxic pollutants had gone way down.
- Portland City Council will consider responses to climate change – According to the resolution accompanying the plans, “the scientific evidence is increasingly clear that human activities are largely responsible for accelerating changes in the global climate” and “the impacts of climate change are already evident in the Pacific Northwest region.”
- Jean Godden will seek a fourth term on Seattle City Council – The former Seattle Times and Seattle Post Intelligencer columnist will celebrate her 83rd birthday this week.
- Oregon’s gay marriage ruling is further insulated by recent SCOTUS decision – Experts say the Supreme Court action allows the wave of pro-gay marriage rulings by lower-court judges to continue.
- Great Chicago Fire Festival fizzles, drawing boos from crowds and pols – An additional $1.5 million or so came from private backers. At the end of the nearly $2 million festival festival, faux floating homes were to be lit on fire to reveal images of the city’s flag, firefighters’ ladders and a skyscraper. But it took multiple attempts to ignite the houses, and they never fully burned, leaving many of 30,000 spectators disappointed.
- Milwaukee development wins tax credits for apartment conversion – The project will be a big boost to downtown’s west side, where adding more housing is a big part of the strategy to revive the area.
- Divvy membership offered to Chicago-area college students – Students at some Chicago colleges will be able to get cheaper annual memberships to the city’s bike rental program under a plan being launched this week.
- Atlanta schools superintendent to recommend reorganizing as ‘charter system’ – Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen’s administration plans to recommend the district pursue “charter system” status, an organizational structure that gives the district more freedom from some state laws — and potentially a little more money — in exchange for greater state accountability.
- Durham mulls site for new police HQ – If the City Council goes along with the city staff’s advice, Durham’s new police headquarters will be on East Main Street, at the former Carpenter Chevrolet location.The 600 block of East Main was favored over two other sites under consideration.
- County looking to borrow more money for sewer repairs – After applying for a $1.2 million state loan in March, county commissioners this month approved another application – this time for $1.3 million – for additional upgrades.
- Georgia loses deputy EDC commissioner – Kathe Falls, the agency’s deputy commissioner of international trade since May of last year, has accepted a similar position in Louisiana.
- 13-year-old is star of Dallas City Council meetings – Remember the 13-year-old from Oak Cliff who makes a habit of attending Dallas City Council meetings and voicing his opinion on everything from school safety to domestic violence? He’s back!
- Scottsdale school district to hold public forums ahead of election – The district is asking voters to combine and renew two overrides this fall. The property tax would generate $18.8 million per year, of which $11 million would be additional revenue. The district will spend the money to restore cuts made to the classroom during the past two years.
- Analysis: Austin homes most overvalued in the U.S. – Trulia’s most recent research, which tabulates fundamental values based on supply, demand and realistic expectations about the future, indicates that Austin is the most overvalued residential real estate market in the country — nearly 20 percent more than what it should be.
- Phoenix elected officials debate property tax break for high-rise – As part of the deal, Phoenix would give the developer a controversial tax-abatement incentive for the tower portion of the project. The agreement allows developers to avoid paying certain taxes through deals that title their land or buildings to a government entity with an exclusive right to lease the property back.
Technology & Social Media
- Hundreds of tracking devices to be removed from NYC payphones – Titan, a company that controls the ad space on 5,000 phone booths around New York City, quietly installed bluetooth beacons capable of automatically tracking and serving ads to nearby smartphones on hundreds of its Manhattan booths.
- Kickstarter dude: I spent all of your money, now can I have some more? – Just one in a series of cautionary tales about using the popular crowdfunding site.
- Next-gen fuel cells to power … trains? – Alstom Transport uses technology similar to that of hydrogen fuel cell automobiles, and German rail authorities hope to develop Zero Emission Trains by purchasing fuel cell trainsets.
Politics, politics, politics
- Will Chicago re-elect a mayor who is as unpopular as the Green Bay Packers? – According to the poll, voters were asked for their “impressions of some people and institutions in public life.” And the results showed that about 52 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Mayor Emanuel and roughly 44 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of him.
- Virginia begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses hours after Supreme Court decision – Same-sex couples and other gay marriage advocates gathered in front of the Arlington courthouse and in Richmond and declared themselves pleased and stunned.
- Amid negative ads, only one Senate candidate has gotten more favorable – Kansas independent Senate candidate Greg Orman is the sole candidate who’s actually risen in the estimate of his state’s voters in recent weeks, according to an analysis. And that’s happened despite new negative advertising targeted at him.