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Knope of the Week: Josh Gregor, City of Portland and “30 Days of Badger” Author

Posted on September 12, 2014


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“30 Days of Badger” by Josh Gregor has claimed a special place in the storied 4-year history of ELGL. The series was a comprehensive (without being creepy) look at Emily Badger’s finest work. Emily, a former Atlantic Cities writer and current Washington Post writer, is one of the keynote speakers at #ELGL14.

Josh introduced readers to a wide array of Emily’s work from The Anxiety of the Forever Renter to The Wrongful Death Suit That Could Finally Define Uber. Nothing got in the way of Josh’s writing, including his sister giving birth to her second child. (We hope the child was named Emily.)

If you were delinquent in reading each installment of the “30 Days of Badger”, here are a few of the high points.

What We Learned

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Emily has an eyebrow-raising amount of accolades for excellence in journalism.

Slugging — The People’s Transit – Slugging, also known as casual carpooling, is the practice of forming ad hoc, informal carpools for purposes of commuting, essentially a variation of ride-share commuting and hitchhiking.

The bulk of Badger’s article centers around a talk Desrcohers gave at the libertarian Cato Institute back in 2012. But you can catch Desrocher discussing his book in the Portland area, and this is the speculative date, probably the day after never.

Crime fighting, meth-lab detecting, Wi-Fi hotspot emitting street lamps…The Streetlight of the Future Will Do So Much More Than Light Your Street

Correlation of a mother’s relationship status when she has her first child and the socio-economic ramifications.

Texas has a law in place to prohibit school bus drivers from texting while passengers 17 or younger are aboard (which would logically mean it is perfectly fine if they’re just distracted while operating an empty, 5+ ton vehicle.)

Perhaps the coolest, most satisfying autocomplete experiment was when I did a search for “why is local government…” Here is the result, and notice the lack of negativity:

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Bears Need Highway Overpasses, Too and focuses on the necessity for under and overpasses across the Trans-Canada Highway

Similar to the Skunk, Honey Badgers have a gland at the base of their tail every bit as stinky and powerful as the other black-and-white animal we should strive to avoid.

Green roofs in Chicago: The city has identified 359 vegetated roofs across town, with a total surface area of more than 5 millions square feet.

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The Honey Badger is not really a Badger at all but is more closely related to the Polecat. (The Ferret is the domesticated form of European Polecats.) I guess this means next year Kirsten Wyatt will be bringing a Honey Badger with her to the Steampunk Ferret Carnival in West Linn.

By substituting the calorie count on menu items with the amount of physical exertion necessary to burn the calories, subjects were more inclined to choose a healthier option.

Honey badgers are intelligent animals and are one of a few species known to be capable of using tools.

Ingenious Home Built to Battle Tornadoes: How to design disaster-proof places where people would actually want to live.

Beautifully Mashed-Up Photos Show The Glory And Wreckage Of Detroit: The Detroit Now and Then project that artfully combines vintage photos of the city with images of what’s there now, providing a poignant reminder of what the city was, what it is now and–maybe–what it could be again.

Stories of professional sports teams extracting subsidies from local government are commonplace. They follow a familiar narrative: Team X threatens to leave town if it doesn’t get a new stadium/a better tax break/a bigger pot of public money that it doesn’t plausibly need. No bluff – or vague hint of “economic development” – is too outlandish. Invariably, politicians acquiesce because the only thing worse than making a painful public payment to a profitable sports team is having to watch that sports team walk away.”

 Word on the Street

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Emily Badger, Washington Post

“Josh has probably read more of my writing than anyone other than my own mother — and she doesn’t give such thoughtful feedback. His columns have been creative, quirky and serious-minded all at the same time, and he wields a mean GIF. I suspect he’ll appreciate this story: My coworkers recently discovered 30DaysOfBadger, which they assume to be my online fan club. See the attached image of my desk at work, courtesy of my coworkers. Obviously, they are jealous.”

Kent Wyatt, City of Tigard

“If it wasn’t for “30 Days of Badger” I would have never stumbled upon the most frequent Google search for “Tigard.” It’s clear the cheddar bay biscuits have a cult following in this Portland suburb.

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Josh’s “30 Days of Badger” was informative and funny. It takes incredible dedication to write 30 articles in a short period of time. Josh’s articles were often the highlight of my day, apologies to my 2-year old and 4-year old – no hard feelings? HUGE thanks to Josh for increasing the interest and enthusiasm for #ELGL14.

Patrick Rollens, Village of Oak Park

“As a once and future journalist, I’m familiar with the amount of work and dogged determination required to produce a regular series of articles. Josh has taken this to the next level with his 30-part daily series, and I doff my newsboy cap to him on a job (extremely) well done. If Emily Badger ever needs a personal biographer, she could do no better than Josh Gregor.”

leslieknopecriedoutEmily Leuning, Cities of Sherwood and West Linn

“30 Days of Badger was a wonderful column! Josh found some fabulous articles and provided great commentary on them. I applaud his daily dedication – that was a big commitment! I think Emily Badger would be proud, and I’m excited to hear from her at #ELGL14!”

Ben Kittelson, ELGL Project Manager

“Josh’s column was a great way to highlight the work of Emily Badger, I feel like I read a lot of her stuff but each day Josh had chosen an article I had not read or shared related articles that expanded my learning and understanding. He also had fun with the posts from being outraged at sports stadiums and how they screw local governments to the use of the “honey badger” I loved the lighthearted nature of his posts. Great job Josh!”

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