Writing in the Wall Street Journal last week, native Kansan Thomas Frank isn't too complimentary on the state of affairs:
...you will find that small-town America, this legendary place of honesty and sincerity and dignity, is not doing very well. If you drive west from Kansas City, Mo., you will find towns where Main Street is largely boarded up. You will see closed schools and hospitals. You will hear about depleted groundwater and massive depopulation. read more »
Dark, narrow and usually neglected, the alleyway is not one of the more beloved landscapes of the American city. Out of sight and mind, the "dark alley" is the unseemly home to noir nightmares and urban misdeeds in the popular imagination - the sort of place where Batman surprises his criminal victims. read more »
The Milken Institute just released its report about the country's top-performing cities. The list is heavy with the names of small and mid-size cities and also has a good deal in common with Inc.'s Best Cities list which came out a few months prior. The list of the top ten with last year's ranking is below:
1. Provo-Orem, Utah (8)
2. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina (10)
3. Salt Lake City, Utah (18) read more »
Here's an article from the Indianapolis Business Journal that discusses how the city attracts young, educated married couples but not singles.
Never known for edgy culture, "Cities such as San Francisco, Seattle and Denver trounce Indianapolis on attracting young singles." However, it's the shorter commutes and housing affordability that separate Indiana's metropolis from the crowd. “I’ve got a house and a yard and a 10-minute commute. Try that in Chicago. You can’t,” says one recent Indy transplant. read more »
There's a very pretty slide show in this recent article in the New York Times showing different backyards throughout the city's boroughs. No matter how small the area, there resides an amazing level of appreciation for having one's own area of greenery.
Though many planners call for increased density, many neighborhoods are in favor of "down-zoning." You flip through this slide show and it's easy to see why.
With 84 homicides, Los Angeles just recorded its lowest number of summer homicides since 1967. Overall, numbers are down this year compared to last year - which saw the fewest homicides in the city in 40 years. Made infamous by Rodney King just over 15 years ago, the LAPD is rising to the task of stemming violent crime. read more »
Looks like there is a cost to all those cheap industrial goods made in China after all. This article from McClatchy discusses the problem of pollution from Asia hitting the West Coast:
"By some estimates more than 10 billion pounds of airborne pollutants from Asia — ranging from soot to mercury to carbon dioxide to ozone — reach the U.S. annually."
That's a hard number to visualize. It does, however, bring home the global problem of pollution.
Do you know who is funding your local candidate? Most of them are probably not from your district, as Lee Drutman at Miller-McCune points out after looking at the results of new report by two University of Maryland professors. Lee writes: read more »
It may be home to Google, Cisco, Oracle and the other gleaming companies of the New Economy, but times are tough for the Silicon Valley's working class.
"Working people in Silicon Valley are walking an economic tightrope, and any unexpected medical bill or even a car breakdown can push them over the edge."
What happens to a community like this when the working class can no longer afford to live there?