Today’s Morning Buzz is brought to you by our favorite day of the year: Election Day. We’re avowed newshounds here at ELGL, and we’ve spent the last few months watching the election spectacle unfold in countless races across the country. Now it’s your turn. Put down the Morning Buzz (it’ll be here all day) and get out there and vote!
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Upcoming ELGL Events
- Webinar: GovFresh and Government Websites – November 4
- Webinar: Bringing the Sharing Economy to Government – November 12
- Webinar: Philadelphia and Procurement Reform – November 18
- Webinar: The HUD Resource Locator – Dec. 3
- Streaming wireless deep inside Yellowstone? – The controversial proposal would doubtless make it much easier to take bear selfies.
- In minimum wage vote, even critics sound like supporters – Such measures are so overwhelmingly popular in some states, notably Alaska and Arkansas, that the opposition has hardly put up a fight.
- First-time homebuyers at lowest level in 27 years – Historically, the annual survey showed that four in 10 homebuyers were purchasing for the first time. Now the percentage has dropped to 33 percent.
- Three fears for voters: Ebola, ISIS and jobs – During the recovery in the early 1990s, the top 1 percent claimed 45 percent of all additional wealth. After the crash of 2000, that figure rose sharply to 65 percent. Now it stands at a dizzying 93 percent.
- As boomers age, walkable cities become more desirable – Millennials and older Americans agree on city accessibility, and the lobbying powerhouse of the AARP is emerging as a key advocate.
- Former site of Eminem’s childhood home in Detroit still sits empty – Nearly a year after Eminem’s childhood home on the city’s east side was torn down by the State of Michigan due to safety concerns, the future of the vacant lot it sat on in a blighted neighborhood remains unclear.
- Women and minorities underrepresented in government – Come on, tell us something we don’t know! At the state level, representation in New Hampshire most accurately reflected the state’s population, while Georgia’s representation was most skewed.
- A simple handwave to dispel tension between cyclists and motorists? – Everyone has to just get along better. To that end, a new shared streets campaign in Austin, Texas, has a simple solution: waving.
- The national case for a per-mile driving fee – A 10-cent increase to the current gas tax, which has been at 18.4 cents a gallon since 1993, would yield $13.21 billion in 2014 and $78.12 billion by 2020—just about covering the $80 billion deficit in the national highway fund.
- Half of all public school students in Illinois now considered low-income – Numbers released by the Illinois State Board of Education in its annual school report card show that—for the first time ever—low-income children now outnumber middle-class students in the state’s public schools. It’s a trend that could affect everything from the state’s economic competitiveness to college-going rates to concerns over upward economic mobility in a time of increasing income inequality.
- Ecology seeks input on $12.6 million Bellingham waterway cleanup plan – The state could tell the Port of Bellingham to start work on a $12.6 million cleanup of the I & J Waterway site as soon as 2016, according to an environmental report by Department of Ecology.
- Teardowns transforming Bellevue neighborhoods – The trend of tearing down modest, midcentury houses and replacing them with larger, more expensive ones has accelerated over the past two years, as the economy has rebounded and increasingly affluent professionals seek neighborhoods close to city centers with good schools and shorter commutes.
- Downtown building owners urged to fight crime through design – Lights, paint, cameras and fences are considered key tools for discouraging crime — and changing perceptions — in downtown Olympia.
- Historic committee split on recommendations – A committee of residents and city commissioners formed to study whether East Grand Rapids should establish a historic district has come up with a split recommendation.
- Fair housing task force ready to deliver report – The citizen commission in Oak Park, Illinois, is ready with a package of recommendations to ensure fair access to housing for everyone who wants to live in the village.
- Veteran and newcomer mull race to become Flint’s next council president – The nine-member council could decide Nov. 10 between Josh Freeman from the 4th Ward and Eric Mays from the 1st Ward.
- Proposed ‘hospitality district’ on the table in Raleigh – In response to the increasing volume of noise complaints in downtown Raleigh, the Raleigh city council on Nov. 5 will hold a public hearing to discuss a pilot program that would enforce the noise ordinance and mediate complaints about nightclubs and bars.
- Local group tries to stop development of forest – Residents in nine northeast DeKalb County neighborhoods have formed a group to preserve 21 acres of wooded property.
- Who is earning the least amount of money in North Carolina? – A recent analysis of newly released U.S. Census data shows North Carolina has the sixth largest wage gap for Latina women in the country.
- Explaining South Carolina’s freak, record-breaking snowstorm – The models differed greatly on which area would see winter weather — one model showed the heaviest snow falling from Syracuse (in the middle of New York) northeast through Maine, while another showed it falling closer to Albany and Westchester County.
- Local leaders hail reopened South Alamo Street – Officials said the two-year, $7.2 million project, whose completion was delayed by few months for utility upgrades, is typical of the kind of work needed to update old infrastructure.
- Disney pumps money into Anaheim city council race – Disney Corp. has contributed $518,204 to political action committees that back two candidates for Anaheim City Council who support a proposed streetcar line that would take people to two Disney theme parks.
- Dallas community survey: Streets, schools are ‘poor,’ but shopping is great – People like living in Dallas, they like working in Dallas, they like raising their kids in Dallas, they just don’t like driving in Dallas or sending their kids to schools in Dallas.
Technology & Social Media
- What does your brain require to process new info? – A new study suggests that taking a break and reflecting on what you’ve learned in the past can actually help you learn something new in the future.
- Spotify in trouble as Taylor Swift pulls her music – That faint sobbing sound you can hear is ELGL found Kent Wyatt whimpering over this lost catalogue. Hopefully Spotify and T. Swift will be back on terms soon enough.
- This bike seat transforms into a sturdy lock – It’s not uncommon to see a cyclist walking down city streets with an expensive bike seat tucked awkwardly under an arm, trying to avoid yet another form of bike theft. Why not turn the seat itself into a lock that could protect the entire bicycle?
- Republicans on the cusp – It’s looking more and more like Tuesday is going to be a big Republican night. With most late polls breaking the GOP’s way, Democrats would need multiple surprising victories in red states to keep control of the Senate for the final two years of the Obama presidency.
- It’s cheaper to buy a judge than a state senator – Spending on state judicial elections—which increased tenfold between 2002 and 2012—might be affecting verdicts in criminal cases.
- Latino voters’ wrenching choice – Abandoned by Democrats and shunned by Republicans (many of whom have exploited anti-immigrant sentiment as an election-year wedge), should they stay home to punish the politicians who disregarded them? Or should they show up and vote for Democrats anyway, rewarding the undeserving in order to demonstrate their electoral clout?
- Can Obama reboot? – And does he want to? The administration might be facing that reality depending on how the polls shake out on Tuesday.