Government Technology

"Greatest Railway Project of All Time" Would Link Asia, Alaska

Photo: Detroit sidewalk by David Kidd

Sustainable Communities

August 23, 2011 By

Squatter Problem Balloons in Detroit

In a city with more than 100,000 vacant properties, city officials and residents say they're increasingly seeing people take over empty houses and call them their own. Once they're in, it's tough to get rid of them: Michigan law places the burden of proof on rightful owners, and the eviction process can take months. Detroit Press

More Cash Incentives Offered to Live in Detroit

Property owners in select areas of Detroit now have a financial incentive to give their homes a face-lift -- up to $10,000 in cash each as part of a project to help spruce up targeted neighborhoods. Detroit Free Press

Prostitutes Flood City After Police Force Cut

Prostitution became a growth industry in Vallejo as the San Francisco Bay city slashed its payroll, cutting police by a third, to 90 from 134. The largest municipal bankruptcy in California since Orange County in 1994 has forced law enforcement to focus on violent crime at the cost of so-called “quality-of-life” issues, residents and officials said. Bloomberg


Police Staffing Down, Overtime Up

School Buses Snap Photos of Drivers Who Don't Stop

A pilot program underway in Medford, Quincy, and Seekonk. Mass., has outfitted school buses with cameras to record scofflaws in real time as they breeze past buses when children are getting on or off. Boston Globe

Under Scrutiny: Criminalizing School Misbehavior

But an array of get-tough policies in U.S. schools in the past two decades has brought many students into contact with police and courts -- part of a trend some experts call the criminalization of student discipline. Now, such practices are under scrutiny nationally. Federal officials want to limit punishments that push students from the classroom to courtroom, and a growing number of state and local leaders are raising similar concerns. Washington Post

Five Cities With Congestion Pricing

Unlike traditional mechanisms to deal with more cars such as, well, building new roads, congestion pricing has had a profound effect on the cities it has come to. Pricing schemes operate on the same general platform – charge a car if it passes into a certain zone of a city – but each country has generated an architecture that is influenced as much by culture as it is by need. Below is a list of cities (and in one case, a city-state) that have designed and deployed congestion pricing systems: Sustainable Cities Collective

Teachers Sue Over Social Media Law

A lawsuit filed Friday aims to halt a new Missouri law that restricts how teachers communicate with students on social media websites. The suit, filed in Cole County Circuit Court by a lawyer representing the Missouri State Teachers Association, says the law is overly broad and violates First Amendment rights. Kansas City Star

"Greatest Railway Project of All Time" Would Link Asia, Alaska

A train could someday make a journey from New York City to London if a plan to build a 65-mile tunnel between North America and Asia comes to pass. The Times newspaper in the U.K. said that idea to construct a $60 billion tunnel under the Bering Strait was this week backed by some of President Dmitry Medvedev’s top officials. The paper described the idea as "the greatest railway project of all time." MSNBC


For and Against High-Speed Rail, California Cost-Overrun Edition

Bill Would Require Warrant for Cell Phone Search

The California Assembly unanimously approved a bill Monday that would force law enforcement officers to secure a warrant before they can search the contents of a cell phone. San Francisco Chronicle

Bangladesh Mandates GPS in Vehicles

The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority has made the installation of Global Positioning System (GPS) mandatory for all motor vehicles as part of the government’s efforts to ensure road safety and to prevent carjacking incidents. FutureGov

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