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Michael Grass

Senior Editor Michael Grass, who joined GovExec in June 2014, is the founding co-editor of DCist.com and worked as a copy editor at Roll Call, local and online editor at The Washington Post's Express newspaper, deputy managing editor at The New York Observer's Politicker.com, deputy managing editor at Washington City Paper and the D.C., Maryland and Virginia local editor for The Huffington Post. He also managed a non-profit network of state-based policy news sites in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and New Mexico.
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Video: Implementing Smart City Policies Amid Dismal Fiscal Conditions

October 21, 2014 There may be no better city in the nation to examine how innovation can take root under bad fiscal conditions than in Detroit. Despite all the dismal headlines about the city’s finances, Detroit is a good place to study how the philanthropic and corporate community stepped up during difficult times ...

‘Cascadia Playbook’ Is Helping Oregon Prep for Major Subduction Megathrust Quake

October 21, 2014 When the Cascadia Subduction Zone produces its next 9.0-plus magnitude megathrust earthquake, it will unleash a catastrophic seismic force across the entire Pacific Northwest, including destructive tsunami waves that will slam into the coast. While California’s high seismic risks often overshadow the dangers lurking in other parts of the country, ...

Take a Look at the Arkansas Capitol’s 15-Year Makeover

October 21, 2014 Although lawmakers in Arkansas at the end of the 19th century had anticipated that it would take five years to finish the state’s new Capitol building in Little Rock, it ended up taking more than 15 years to complete construction. And it’s taken just as much time to do major ...

Massachusetts Tech Sector’s ‘Political Awakening’; Strong-Mayor System for Sacramento?

October 21, 2014 Here is today’s State & Local news roundup for Tuesday, October 21, 2014 ... BOSTON, Massachusetts: While they aren’t flexing their muscles that much in state politics, “IT workers are experiencing somewhat of a political awakening” in Massachusetts, reports Curt Nickisch of WBUR-FM, who revisits a sensitive episode involving a ...

County Says ‘Third Way’ Transformation Helped It Thrive Despite Great Recession

October 20, 2014 BURLINGTON COUNTY, N.J. — Like other local leaders around the United States during the Great Recession, County Administrator Paul Drayton Jr. and his colleagues in this expansive South Jersey jurisdiction confronted a downturn in property tax revenue that helps fund county services. Between 2009 and 2014, Burlington County, which spans ...

32 U.S. Cities Join Forces for Next Century Cities High-Speed Internet Initiative

October 20, 2014 Mayors and other officials from 32 U.S. cities kicked off a new joint initiative on Monday that aims to improve local high-speed Internet connectivity through next-generation broadband. The Next Century Cities initiative assists innovation-minded municipalities to collaborate and push for gigabit-level Internet speeds as a way to create a more ...

Predictive Modeling vs. Lead Hot Spots; California’s DMV Hiring Spree

October 20, 2014 Here is today’s State & Local news roundup for Monday, October 20, 2014 ... CHICAGO, Illinois: The city government is trying to use predictive modeling to “identify trouble spots before kids are exposed to dangerous lead levels,” Aviva Rutkin writes at New Scientist. "These models are just the beginning of ...

Hawaiian Village In Lava’s Path Awaits Fate Amid New Uncertainty

October 17, 2014 A slowly-moving lava flow that has been creeping toward a village on Hawaii’s Big Island since June has effectively stalled less than a mile from the edge of Pahoa. At least for now. “This still is an active flow,” Mike Poland, a United States Geological Survey research geophysicist at the ...

Former Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle Discusses Making ‘Incredibly Hard Decisions’

October 17, 2014 Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle left the governor’s mansion in Madison back in 2011 after making some incredibly tough budgetary decisions through the dismal depths of the Great Recession. In a recently uploaded Harvard University Institute of Politics video interview, Doyle discussed some important questions about governance and why some states ...

New Yorkers Love 311; N.C. Sheriff’s New Posse

October 17, 2014 Here is today’s State & Local news roundup for October 17, 2014 ... NEW YORK CITY, New York: Residents of the nation’s largest city really like their 311 service, a new user survey released by the city’s customer service call-center operation indicates. According to amNewYork, 84 percent of the 700 ...