NEWS: April 22, 2010
Technology | The Nation
Two-Thirds of VA's IT Programs on Hold
Two-thirds of the Department of Veterans Affairs' 280 information-technology programs have been suspended from spending, and most are either being reevaluated or have been canceled under the VA's Program Management Accountability System.
White House Contributes Open-Source Code
Six months after announcing it would employ the open-source software Drupal to manage and publish its content, the White House website has contributed some custom code to the project.
Public Workforce | New Jersey
Governor Vows to Cut School Labor Costs
Gov. Chris Christie said voters who rejected more than 58 percent of school budgets statewide were “crystal clear” in their desire to stem growing school costs and that he will move aggressively to roll back teacher pensions, cap labor costs and aid school boards at the bargaining table.
The Record of Hackensack
Schwarzenegger, L.A. Mayor
Back Public-Pension Overhaul
Saying public-employee retirement benefits are escalating out of control, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said they support plans to rein those costs in.
Los Angeles Times
Public Services | Seattle
Garbage Haulers Go on Strike
Waste Management's unionized garbage haulers left trash uncollected in some Seattle neighborhoods Wednesday and said they would strike as long as needed to win a better contract. As regional leaders urged a quick resolution to the dispute, the company called in replacement workers.
Contracting | The Atlanta Region
Transit Agency Kept Deals Off Books
Until last year, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority was keeping massive lease-back deals off its accounting books, including $18 million in net assets for the fiscal year ending June 2008, according to an independent audit.
Currency | The Nation
$100 Bill Goes High-Tech
The folks who print America's money have designed a high-tech makeover of the $100 bill. It's part of an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters as technology becomes more sophisticated and more dollars flow overseas.
Los Angeles Times
Emergency Response | Houston
Feds: Firefighters Worsened Fatal Blaze
Firefighters who punched ventilation holes in the roof of a burning residence worsened a wind-driven blaze last spring that killed two of their colleagues during a “fast attack” response criticized by federal safety officials for lacking coordination, communication and basic knowledge of fire dynamics.
Mine Safety | The Nation
Inspection Blitz Follows Mine Disaster
Spurred by the April 5 explosion that killed 29 West Virginia miners, federal inspectors fanned out across the coalfields as part of a U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration blitz aimed at underground coal operations with a history of violations. Teams of MSHA inspectors targeted 57 mines in 10 states.
11 Workers Missing from Burning Gulf Oil Rig
The Coast Guard searched for 11 missing workers from an oil rig that exploded and caught fire off the Louisiana coast as firefighters battled a raging blaze fueled by crude oil gushing from the rig.
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Wildlife Management | California
Panel: No Expansion of Bear Hunting
The state Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously not to expand bear hunting grounds or eliminate the cap on the number of bears that can be killed. The Department of Fish and Game, which initially urged the changes, reversed its position because it had been deluged with public comments.
Los Angeles Times
Law Enforcement | Wisconsin
DNA-Test Backlog Eliminated, A.G. Says
With more analyists and new technology, the State Crime Laboratory has eliminated a backlog of DNA cases that slowed criminal cases statewide, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
More news, analysis, resources and events: GovManagement.com
Former Navy submariner John A. Mason, who says he has nothing against female sailors but opposes the Navy's plans to allow women to serve on submarines and plans to submit to Congress comments criticizing the plan he has collected from 380 people
“Hormones do not shut down just because you go out to sea and submerge for many months at a time.”
Washington Post | More quotes
Number of states, along with the District of Columbia, that have raised cigarette taxes in 2009 and 2010, with the increases ranging from 10 cents a pack in North Carolina to $1 in Connecticut, Florida and Rhode Island
Stateline.org | More data
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY
Finance | Steve Goldsmith
To Fix Government,
Fix the Economy
A vibrant, booming economy could make it far easier to close budget gaps and reduce the national debt. But what can government really do to boost private enterprise? Start with low taxes, reasonable regulation and efficient delivery of critical public infrastructure--including schools.
Ash Institute, Harvard
National Public Employer Labor Relations Association
Annual Training Conference
April 25-28 | New Orleans
Federal Managers Association
Business of Government Summit
April 26-28 | Washington, D.C.
American Society for Public Administration
Webinar on Performance Measurement and Accountability
April 27, 1 p.m. ET
National Association of State Chief Information Officers
April 28-30 | Baltimore
International City/County Management Association
Web conference on Achieving Performance Goals in Tough
April 29, 1-2:30 p.m. ET
American Productivity and
Knowledge Management Conference
April 29-30 | Houston
Full events listings