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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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San Francisco’s Public Libraries to Get 10-Gigabit-Per-Second Boost

June 29, 2015 SAN FRANCISCO — The host city for the American Library Association’s annual conference made a big announcement on Monday regarding its public libraries: The San Francisco Public Library will be getting an unprecedented upgrade in its Internet connectivity. Working with the City and County of San Francisco and the Corporation...

Puerto Rico Is ‘Out of Options’ With $72 Billion Debt; Florida Health Info Hack

June 29, 2015 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico: The commonwealth’s $72 billion debt load has been mounting and the governor is “out of options,” one analyst told Bloomberg Business. A report from a group of former International Monetary Fund officials paints a dire situation: “There is no U.S. precedent for anything of this scale...

A Triumphant Victory, 11 Years After San Francisco City Hall’s ‘Winter of Love’

June 29, 2015 SAN FRANCISCO — More than two hours following the start of Sunday’s Pride parade along Market Street, an open-top vintage car with a “Just Married” banner carried two men dressed in white tuxedos. One of the men shouted out to the crowd with a bullhorn: “San Francisco, we won!” The...

California County Blacklists Wall Street Bank Felons; Pennsylvania Gun Law Struck Down

June 25, 2015 Greetings from Santa Cruz, California. Route Fifty is currently traveling in the Bay Area so stay tuned for on-the-ground dispatches. In the meantime, here are some state and local stories from around the nation, but let’s start here in Santa Cruz ... SANTA CRUZ, California: In an op-ed, former U.S....

Village Taxpayers May Regret Major League Soccer Team; 3,000 Calories Per Day to Fight Wildfires

June 23, 2015 Some state and local news from around the country ... BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois: This suburban Chicago village may be regretting its decision to be the home of the Chicago Fire Major League Soccer team’s stadium. As Bloomberg Business reports, Bridgeview “is saddling taxpayers with more debt as the arena it built...

How Much Marijuana Will Be Detected in Municipal Sewage?

June 23, 2015 Earlier this month, Route Fifty featured the work by Seattle Public Utilities to test the levels of pollutants and contaminants that turn up in the debris collected by municipal street sweepers—stuff like PCBs, fecal coliform and phosphorus that can cause algal blooms in local waterways. It’s nasty, but important research....

‘Record Pace’ for Oklahoma Earthquakes; A Long Legislative Summer Ahead in Raleigh?

June 22, 2015 Some state and local news from around the nation ... TULSA, Oklahoma: These days, seismic activity in north-central Oklahoma is not an unusual occurrance. Earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 and higher happen nearly daily and many pin an uptick in quakes on activities related to energy extraction. But that seismic uptick...

Chicago Schools Running Out of Money Quickly; Municipal Recycling’s Economic Quandary

June 21, 2015 Some things you may have missed this weekend … CHICAGO, Illinois: Officials in the nation’s third-largest city don’t have any good choices regarding how to pay all the various bills for the cash-strapped public schools. And the money the Chicago Public Schools has left is running out quickly. A $600...

A ‘Jade Helm’ Weather Assault on Texas?; Jerry Brown’s Papal Praise

June 18, 2015 HOUSTON, Texas: Down in the formerly parched Lone Star State, where rainfall and severe storms have been in abundant supply the past few weeks, there are some conspiracy theories floating around pinning the inundation on the federal government in advance of a supposed U.S. military “Jade Helm” assault on Texas...

Charleston Church Shootings Test ‘Dean of America’s Mayors’ in His Final Year in Office

June 18, 2015 Joe Riley, the mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, has been known as the “Dean of America’s Mayors” for many years. He’s been mayor of South Carolina’s second-largest city for 40 years and advised plenty of other mayors and municipal leaders working with organizations like the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The...