October 10, 2011 By Wayne Hanson from News Reports
What Happened to MagLev High-Speed Trains?
Maglev is short for magnetic levitation -- a technology whereby trains are propelled by motors on a monorail, and permanent magnets levitate the train cars an inch above the rail. No rubber or steel friction means less wear and tear, easier braking and less energy use. But grand schemes for super-speedy trains connecting cities have been put on hold so long that some have given up. Fox News
LA County Expands No-Cost Healthcare
In one of the largest expansions of health coverage to the uninsured, Los Angeles County is enrolling hundreds of thousands of residents in a publicly funded treatment program and setting the stage for the national healthcare overhaul. Los Angeles Times
Unfunded Mandate Requires Cities to Plan for Unincorporated Communities
Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 244 (Wolk), which requires cities to update their general plan by the next revision of their housing element to plan for disadvantaged unincorporated communities, including communities outside a city’s boundaries if it is in the city’s sphere of influence. League of California Cities
How Americans Learn About Their Communities
Contrary to much of the conventional understanding of how people learn about their communities, Americans turn to a wide range of platforms to get local news and information, and where they turn varies considerably depending on the subject matter and their age. Pew Research
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.