AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Michael Grass

Executive Editor Michael Grass, who joined the Government Executive Media Group 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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A Big Obstacle in Making the Future NFL Stadium Work in Las Vegas

3:32 PM ET While the NFL’s decision to relocate the Oakland Raiders from the Bay Area to a yet-to-be-built taxpayer subsidized $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas is a done deal, there are still plenty of sore feelings about the upcoming move. Take for instance, actor and Oakland fan Tom Hanks, who this...

The Alaska Town That Sank and (Mostly) Disappeared

April 21, 2017 This is the fifth in a series of Route Fifty dispatches from Alaska. PORTAGE, Alaska — Driving along the Seward Highway south from Anchorage, there’s a lot of stunningly beautiful scenery to look at going by out the window. Snowcapped mountains flank Turnagain Arm, a narrow waterway that separates most...

Measuring Puny Rhode Island Against a Small Part of the Nation’s Largest State

April 20, 2017 FLYING OVER MALASPINA GLACIER, ALASKA — The clear, sunny conditions that many parts of the 49th State have been enjoying this week made having a window seat flying from Juneau to Anchorage a special treat. The snowy and mountainous scenery going by 30,000 feet below was especially amazing. The Alaska...

‘We Can’t Fix Alaska on Cuts Alone’

April 19, 2017 This is the third in a series of Route Fifty dispatches from Alaska. JUNEAU, Alaska — Among the 50 states, Alaska is the only one that lacks both an income tax and a sales tax. That unique situation is due in part to the Last Frontier’s bounty of revenue-generating energy...

How Some Alaska Cities Try to Outsmart Bears

April 18, 2017 This is the second in a series of Route Fifty dispatches from Alaska. JUNEAU, Alaska — Coexisting with bears in urban environments is a challenge that’s not unique to the 49th State. From the foothills of the Denver area—where sheriff’s deputies were called to free a bear that somehow locked...

Trekking Up the ‘First Road’ in the Last Frontier

April 16, 2017 This is the first in a series of Route Fifty dispatches from Alaska. JUNEAU, Alaska — The Last Frontier’s seat of government is a fun one for those who enjoy state capital trivia. For starters, the City and Borough of Juneau is the nation’s second-largest municipality by land area, and...

Setting a High Renewable Energy Goal, Can Chicago Catch Up With Las Vegas?

April 11, 2017 Back in December, Las Vegas City Hall officials announced that 100 percent of the municipality’s 140 public facilities, streetlights and other civic infrastructure was now being powered by renewable energy thanks to the nearby Boulder Solar 1 array coming into service. About 1,300 miles to the east, the nation’s third-largest...

A Tough 4-Year Journey for the World’s Largest Tunnel Boring Machine

April 10, 2017 SEATTLE — It wasn’t supposed to take this long, but “Bertha,” which launched as the world’s largest tunnel-boring machine in July 2013, finally emerged last week in a concrete pit a few blocks from the Space Needle after its two-mile journey under the center of the Pacific Northwest’s largest city....

N.Y. Budget Deal Includes ‘Federal Financial Response Mechanism’ for Cuomo

April 9, 2017 State leaders in New York announced a long-awaited fiscal 2018 budget agreement on Friday, that among other things, funds Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s priority to provide free tuition for middle-class families to attend public universities in the state. But there’s an interesting feature of the budget deal: It includes a “federal...

The Local Government Preemption Debate in Texas Isn’t Just About Cities

April 5, 2017 The framers of the U.S. Constitution gave the states an incredible amount of latitude to organize local levels of government and define the boundaries of jurisdictional authority under their control. And while debates over the powers of local governments are nothing new, they’ve become especially pronounced in recent years in...

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