NEWS: Dec. 10, 2010
Transportation | The Nation
14 States to Divvy Up Rejected Rail Funds
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood rescinded nearly $1.2 billion in stimulus funds for passenger-rail projects allocated to Ohio and Wisconsin, whose governors-elect pledged to stop their states' projects. The funds will be redirected to train projects in 14 other states. California and Florida will receive the largest portions.
Wall Street Journal
FAA Missing Key Data on Thousands of Planes
Its records in disarry, the Federal Aviation Administration is missing key information on who owns one-third of the 357,000 private and commercial aircraft in the United States--a gap the agency fears could be exploited by terrorists and drug traffickers.
Virginia Governor: Borrow Billions for Roads
Largely through accelerated borrowing, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is proposing to funnel $4 billion to road projects by the end of his administration in an effort to jump-start projects at a time when construction and borrowing costs are low,
Technology | The Nation
Federal CIO Pushes Ambitious IT Reform Plan
Cloud computing, data-center consolidation and modular project management are pillars of a government-wide information-technology reform plan unveiled by federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. Among the plan's 25 goals: rectifying or canceling one-third of troubled federal IT projects.
I.G.: NASA Sold Computers Holding Sensitive Data
Selling off excess hardware related to the retirement of the shuttle program, NASA released to the public 10 computers that had not had their memories wiped, nine of which might have contained highly sensitive data, an inspector general's audit found.
Government Computer News
New Law Boosts Federal Telework
President Obama signed into law a bill that aims to significantly boost teleworking by federal employees. The Telework Enhancement Act requires agencies to determine within six months which employees are eligible, notify them and set a policy for them to telework.
Public Workforce | New York State
Business Backs Governor-Elect
in Coming Union Fight
Business and real estate executives intend to raise $10 million in support of Gov.-elect Andrew M. Cuomo's looming showdown with government employees' unions over wages and pensions. The business leaders have found a surprising ally: one of the state's most powerful union officials.
New York Times
N.C. Governor: Merge Agencies, Freeze Hiring
North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue proposed a sweeping state-government reorganization that includes merging state agencies, a state-employee hiring freeze and other measures aimed at cost savings as the state faces a $3.7 billion projected budget shortfall.
Raleigh News & Observer
Education | The Nation
Schools Ousting Principals, Staff to Get Federal Aid
Education officials across the country have replaced the principals and at least half of the staff in about 150 struggling schools to obtain a share of federal aid from the Obama administration's $3.5 billion campaign to rejuvenate the lowest-performing schools.
Los Angeles Mayor Takes on Teachers' Union
With a hard-hitting speech to state leaders that branded Los Angeles' teachers union as an unyielding obstruction to education reforms, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa set the stage for a new battle over control of the city's troubled school district, the nation's second-largest.
Los Angeles Times
Virginia Tech Faulted on Massacre Warnings
Virginia Tech violated federal law by not issuing a timely warning to students at the start of the April 16, 2007, massacre that left 32 people dead on campus, the U.S. Department of Education said in a ruling that could result in financial penalties against the university.
Public Lands | Wyoming
The Grand Tetons
State Moves to Sell
Tetons Land to Feds
Culminating a decades-long effort, state officials set in motion the sale of 1,400 acres of scenic state land within Grand Teton National Park to the federal government for $107 million, with the proceeds to be deposited into a fund for the benefit of the state's K-12 public schools.
Law Enforcement | Pontiac, Mich.
County Police Takeover Plan Falters
Some called it victory, others just a temporary roadblock. A plan for Oakland County sheriff's deputies to take over police patrols in fiscally stressed Pontiac was derailed when its supporters balked at a series of last-minute amendments aimed at including more citizen input.
Military Personnel | The Nation
GOP Blocks 'Don't Ask' Repeal
Senate Republicans blocked repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," dimming prospects that the ban on gays serving openly in the military will be lifted during this lame-duck session of Congress. Unless the Senate acts this month, it is likely the courts will order a repeal, an outcome Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has said would lead to chaos.
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Caught in the act: A security camera shows the MBTA manager foiling a fare evader.
“I don't think he knew
who I was.”
Richard A. Davey, general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, who says he "yelled at" a would-be subway fare evader, stopping him from climbing over a fare gate at a Boston station, then had a discussion with the man and even offered to pay his fare
Number of people who have entered this year's U.S. green-card lottery, 25 percent more than last year, for the program that offers a quick path to legal, permanent U.S. residence for 50,000 people each year
Wall Street Journal
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY
Education | Camille Esch
To Get Better Teachers,
Train Better Teachers
It seems everyone is down on bad teachers these days. But simply removing the bad apples won't fix our education problems. Our best hope is to strengthen the programs that develop and prepare the vast majority of the nation's teachers. Unfortunately, many of those systems are in sorry shape.
Los Angeles Times
Webinar on Improving Government Workforce Performance
Dec. 15, 1 p.m. ET
Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education
Online Program on Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of Nonprofit Boards
Jan. 3-Feb. 25
U.S. Conference of Mayors
Jan. 19-21 | Washington, D.C.
National Association of State Energy Officials
Energy Policy and Technology Outlook Conference
Jan. 28-Feb. 3 | Washington, D.C.
Outlook in the States & Localities Conference
Feb. 1-2 | Washington, D.C.
American Society for Training and Development
Feb. 2-4 | San Jose, Calif.
>> Full events listings