AltWeeklies Wire

Inside Chicago's Shadow Budgetnew

The Daley administration commands an off-the-books kitty of taxpayer money equivalent to a sixth of the official city budget. Now we've got documents that show what they want to do with it.
Chicago Reader  |  Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke  |  11-02-2009  |  Politics

Thinking and Acting Smartly Everywhere but the Rust Beltnew

At a Brookings Institution forum last week, policy wonks and local government officials from places like Sacramento and Salt Lake City discussed how they used regional planning to cope with rapid growth. What can shrinking Rust Belt cities learn from the places that are stealing their populations?
Artvoice  |  Bruce Fisher  |  10-23-2009  |  Policy Issues

Lessons from California's Political and Economic Disasternew

The tax revolts that started here under Gov. Ronald Reagan and continued to sweep the country and the world under President Reagan never abated. But now that California is showing signs of being the country's first failed state, it has become a cautionary tale for that anti-government ideology.
San Francisco Bay Guardian  |  Steven T. Jones and Tim Redmond  |  10-21-2009  |  Politics

Dallas Acts Like it Supports Community Gardens, but That's Not the Real Truthnew

City officials adamantly deny they harbor any anti-organics bias and say they are committed to moving the entire city closer to organic methods of land management. But longtime local garden advocates insist City Hall has never given them anything but the back of the hand, beginning years before the recent spike in interest.
Dallas Observer  |  Jim Schutze  |  10-19-2009  |  Gardening

Ghost Riders: Bicycling in Houston is a Killernew

According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Houston is almost always the most dangerous place in Texas to ride a bike. There is also lots of anecdotal evidence.
Houston Press  |  John Nova Lomax  |  10-13-2009  |  Transportation

How Today's Pot Debate is Like the Fall of Prohibitionnew

Law-enforcement maverick Norm Stamper noted "striking" parallels between Prohibition of a bygone era and today's drug debate. "Major difference? It took us only 13 years to end the former" over "essentially identical" reasons: violence, overdose deaths on bad "bathtub gin," public health and revenue.
San Diego CityBeat  |  John R. Lamb  |  10-07-2009  |  Drugs

New England Plays Catch-Up in the Green Energy Racenew

New England may be used to being the birthplace of revolutions, but in the case of wind power, that ship has sailed. States out West are far outproducing us, and will likely continue to. That said, we still could be a player in the nascent wind industry; we've just got some catching up to do.
Boston Phoenix  |  Mike Miliard  |  08-19-2009  |  Environment

Cash for Clunkers: Ugh!new

While the know-it-alls in Washington try to satisfy the taxpayers by giving them back some of their hard-earned cash, they didn't really think this whole thing through very well.
Artvoice  |  Jim Corbran  |  08-17-2009  |  Transportation

How Federal Restrictions Created Colorado's Medical Marijuana Industrynew

The friction between federal and state law has created a booming industry in Colorado, with enterprising men and women stepping in to provide services physicians can't. The rest of the state may be in a recession, but Colorado's medical marijuana industry is thriving.
Boulder Weekly  |  David Accomazzo  |  08-17-2009  |  Drugs

Pacific Pride Foundation is One of Many California Orgs Reeling from $52M in AIDS Funding Cutsnew

With a stroke of his pen, Governor Schwarzenegger slashed $52 million from critical AIDS services funding through the state's Office of AIDS. That shoves California back to pre-1985 levels of funding, essentially the dark ages of HIV/AIDS awareness and treatment.
Santa Barbara Independent  |  Penny Patterson  |  08-10-2009  |  Politics

Mayor Daley: Mr. Big Spendernew

As the city faced a gaping budget deficit, the Daley administration closed out Chicago's oldest and fattest slush fund by spending every last cent in it -- and then some.
Chicago Reader  |  Ben Joravsky  |  08-10-2009  |  Politics

State Budget Debacle: California Descendingnew

Some experts predict the state budget will quickly become unbalanced again, thanks to a persistently bad economy. But that didn't stop self-congratulations and posturing by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic majority leaders Karen Bass and Darrell Steinberg, and Republican minority leaders Dennis Hollingsworth and Sam Blakeslee, the so-called "big five" who worked out this latest budget.
L.A. Weekly  |  Jill Stewart  |  07-31-2009  |  Politics

About That Maddening Healthcare Debatenew

If the idea of thinking about the ongoing push for health-care reform gives you a headache, you are not alone. Before this thing is over, Washington will set some sort of record for expending the maximum amount of hot air for a minimum sort of result.
Boston Phoenix  |  Staff  |  07-23-2009  |  Commentary

Follow the Bouncing Lotto Ball in Arkansasnew

In all the haste, headlines and hubbub about what has become the biggest political story of the year, something sometimes gets overlooked. What will the lottery really mean for Arkansas' citizens and higher education system? Here, even big backers hedge their bets.
Arkansas Times  |  Gerard Matthews  |  07-23-2009  |  Policy Issues

Proposal to Ban 18+ Shows Could Kill the Minneapolis Music Scenenew

The City Council is exploring restrictions on 18+ events, due to concerns that binge drinking is a problem among minors. If the ordinance passes, it leaves two options: dry shows for the all-ages crowd or 21+ shows where the booze flows freely.
City Pages (Twin Cities)  |  Jen Boyles  |  07-22-2009  |  Music

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