Year 20 • Issue 19 27 January 2014 1. “Meet Me Downtown”: Case Studies in Small Town Economic Development-Webinar (2/5/2014) 2. Law Enforcement Agencies Using Drones List, Map 3. Apply Now for the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship 4. Restore Oregon Calls for a Rehabilitation Tax Credit to Create Jobs and Revitalize Oregon’s Main Streets 5. Oregon's Economic Rebound Reaches More People in 2013, Building Momentum Into 2014 6. What Jobs Will the Robots Take? 7. A Map Of The Carbon Footprint Of All 31,000 ZIP Codes In The U.S. 8. Hazards Related New Web Resources 9. Technology Is Not Driving Us Apart After All 10. Utah is Ending Homelessness by Giving People Homes 11. Funding Opportunities 1.
Quote of the Week: "The next time your mind wanders, follow it around for a while." ~Jessica Masterson
Oregon Fast Fact: There are nine lighthouses standing along the coastline. Five are still being used; the others are designated historic monuments.
“Meet Me Downtown”: Case Studies in Small Town Economic Development-Webinar (2/5/2014)
Across the country, small towns are rediscovering and reclaiming their main streets and downtowns by pursuing innovative community and economic development projects. Once abandoned sidewalks, storefronts, and plazas are now bustling with activity as residents find their way back downtown, once again making these spaces the social, civic, and economic centers of their communities.
Join the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation on Wednesday, February 5 from 2-3:15 ET for a free webinar highlighting three small towns (Greenville, KY; Claremont, NH; and Millen, GA) that are investing in their downtowns through streetscape improvements, historic preservation, brownfields remediation, and tourism initiatives. Learn how strong local and regional leadership, dedicated volunteers, and a mix of local, state, and federal funding can come together to transform downtowns and main streets, improving both quality-of-life and economic opportunities for residents. Presenters: • • •
Jason Vincent, Executive Director, Pennyrile Area Development District Nancy Merrill, Director, Planning and Development, City of Claremont, NH Linda Grijalva, Director of Community Development, Central Savannah River Area Regional Commission
Brett Schwartz, Program Manager, NADO Research Foundation Page 1 of 8
Click here to read NADO’s “Vibrant Rural Communities” case studies series, which highlights nine small town and rural communities that have embraced a variety of innovative economic development strategies. To register for this webinar, click here. 2.
Law Enforcement Agencies Using Drones List, Map
Drones are being deployed in a small, but growing number of state and local law enforcement operations.
It was recently revealed that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has flown hundreds of domestic drone missions on behalf of other agencies, including several state and local public safety agencies. The following map shows state and local law enforcement agencies that either applied for the Federal Aviation Administration's drone authorization program or are known to have borrowed Customs and Border Protection drones for missions. Click an icon for details. Information was compiled from records obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and is current as of 2013. To access the full story, click here. 3.
Apply Now for the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship
The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship Committee is now accepting applications. Recipients will receive financial support allowing them to attend the 2014 Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop in Broomfield, Colorado, June 22-25. Recipients may also stay through June 26 to attend either the International Research Committee on Disasters or the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association add-on events for researchers and practitioners, respectively. Scholarships can cover part or all of transportation, meals, and registration costs. The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship is awarded annually to at least one potential Workshop participant. Recipients are recognized at the Workshop and may be asked to serve as panelists, where they can highlight their research or practical experiences with hazards and disasters. As the longtime co-director of the Natural Hazards Center, Myers recognized that many of the people and organizations that could benefit from and contribute to the Workshop—including local practitioners, students, and international professionals—were among those least likely to afford it. The scholarship was established in 2003 to fulfill Myers’ request that qualified and talented individuals receive support to attend. Hazards practitioners, students, and researchers with a strong commitment to disaster management and mitigation and who reside in North America or the Caribbean are eligible to enter. Eligibility is based on current place of residence, not citizenship. Applicants from outside North America and the Caribbean will be eligible for the scholarship in 2015. Previous attendees of the Natural Hazards Workshop are not eligible for the 2014 Mary Fran Myers Scholarship. Preference is given to those who can demonstrate financial need. For more information on past scholarship winners and how to apply, visit the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship page at the Natural Hazards Center Web site. Applications must be received by March 28.
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4. Restore Oregon Calls for a Rehabilitation Tax Credit to Create Jobs and Revitalize Oregon’s Main Streets After four years of research and public workshops aimed at addressing the physical and economic deterioration of Oregon’s historic downtowns, Restore Oregon today released a special report on Revitalizing Main Street that calls for a State Rehabilitation Tax Credit to spur economic development and job creation. The organization notes that many of Oregon’s traditional downtowns are at a tipping point. For decades, big box stores, strip malls, and sprawl have drawn customers away, leaving buildings in a downward spiral of disinvestment and demolition-by-neglect. Today historic buildings are being rediscovered as hip and authentic places to live and work. But the cost of restoration, code upgrades, and seismic reinforcement often creates a “development gap,” placing rehabilitation out of reach, especially for small town property owners. Across the country there is a growing movement to turn this around. Thirty-four states are attracting investment in their Main Streets by offering a State Rehabilitation Tax Credit. This has opened up opportunities to re-activate historic downtowns as centers of business incubation, housing, shopping, and heritage tourism. “It’s time Oregon did the same!” according to Restore Oregon Executive Director, Peggy Moretti. “Preservation and reuse has been a State priority since the 1960s, but our current financial toolkit is incomplete, leaving millions of dollars on the table, hundreds of rehab projects undone, and thousands of workers un-hired. In many cases, a State Rehabilitation Tax Credit would make the difference and bring historic buildings back to life.” How does it work? A state income tax credit is provided based on a percentage of rehabilitation costs – 20% to 25% is typical. This has been proven to stimulate private investment and can be taken directly by the property owner or transferred to a financial partner who provides funds for the rehabilitation work. State rehab tax credits (sometimes known as historic tax credits) can be paired with Federal tax credits and local incentives to help cover the cost of refurbishing older buildings, bringing them up to code, and addressing seismic upgrades. The rehab work must retain historic character and make the building economically viable. As proposed by Restore Oregon, approximately 2600 historic commercial buildings in at least 75 communities statewide could benefit, including retail stores, apartment buildings, warehouses, office buildings, and barns. The vast majority are in traditional downtowns. Acknowledging that tax credits have come under scrutiny of late, Restore Oregon notes that state rehabilitation tax credits have received bipartisan support nation-wide because they work, creating a significant ripple effect in local economies. In Ohio, each rehab tax credit dollar leverages $6.25 in investment. In Minnesota, every tax credit dollar creates $8.32 in economic activity. And in North Carolina, every tax credit dollar generates $12.51 in economic benefit. The Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit produces a net gain of over 20% in Federal tax revenues. Early response to this recommendation has been enthusiastic and Restore Oregon is working to advance legislation to enact a Rehab Tax Credit during the 2015 legislative session. Revitalizing Main Street is available online at www.RestoreOregon.org/rehab-tax-credit.
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5. Oregon's Economic Rebound Reaches More People in 2013, Building Momentum Into 2014 Oregon’s economic recovery shifted into second gear in 2013. New data shows the state gained nearly as many jobs last year -- 37,700 -- as in the previous two years combined. Hiring outpaced the national average, and unemployment fell by more than a percentage point, to 7.0 percent, after stalling for much of 2012. The economy has added back jobs in 13 of the past 15 months. What set 2013 apart, said state economist Mark McMullen, is that some of the industries and regions left out of the early recovery are now bouncing back, too. Job gains are spreading beyond the Willamette Valley, and to some of the sectors hardest hit in the recession, such as housing. The widespread growth should carry over into 2014, McMullen said. “Now that we’re getting more of our economy online, we’re starting to see more typical growth rates for recovery.” To access the full story, click here. 6. What Jobs Will the Robots Take? It is an invisible force that goes by many names. Computerization. Automation. Artificial intelligence. Technology. Innovation. And, everyone's favorite, ROBOTS. Whatever name you prefer, some form of it has been stoking progress and killing jobs—from seamstresses to paralegals—for centuries. But this time is different: Nearly half of American jobs today could be automated in "a decade or two," according to a new paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, discussed recently in The Economist. The question is: Which half? Another way of posing the same question is: Where do machines work better than people? Tractors are more powerful than farmers. Robotic arms are stronger and more tireless than assembly-line workers. But in the past 30 years, software and robots have thrived at replacing a particular kind of occupation: the average-wage, middle-skill, routine-heavy worker, especially in manufacturing and office admin. Indeed, Frey and Osborne project that the next wave of computer progress will continue to shred human work where it already has: manufacturing, administrative support, retail, and transportation. Most remaining factory jobs are "likely to diminish over the next decades," they write. Cashiers, counter clerks, and telemarketers are similarly endangered. On the far right side of this graph, you can see the industry breakdown of the 47 percent of jobs they consider at "high risk." To access the full story, click here. 7. A Map Of The Carbon Footprint Of All 31,000 ZIP Codes In The U.S. Which households contribute most to climate change? To find out, take a look at this interactive map created by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. It provides estimates for all 31,000 ZIP codes, based on everything people consume in a single year, including energy, travel, goods, and services. A major finding of the research: suburbs account for more greenhouse gas emissions than other areas. In total, suburbs produce about 50% of household emissions, despite housing only 143 million Page 4 of 8
people in total from a U.S. population of 313 million. Inner city residents tend to have lower carbon footprints, because they live in smaller homes and use more public transit. Some urban households produce 50% of the national average, while some suburban households emit double the national average. To access the full story, click here. 8. Hazards Related New Web Resources A few resources for those involved or interested in hazards related work… USGS Science Pop Quiz: Natural Hazards Edition Think you know your hazards? Take this quick quiz from the U.S. Geological Survey and prepared to get served. With questions on everything from sinkholes to magnetic storms, you’ll have to dig deep to get a respectable score—but you’ll also walk away wiser and wow your friends. Influenza Forecasts Tis the season for getting the flu, and those who like to keep track of where the virus lurks will love this interactive site put together by Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. Visitors can view outbreaks by city, compare forecast methods, and even look at flu incidences by location and season. Also check out the school’s predictions for the 2013-2014 flu season (spoiler alert: January is the month to look out for!) Risk Barometer When it comes to risky business, natural hazards and their cascading effects are what keep CEOs up at night. The Allianz Risk Barometer surveyed 400 corporate insurance officers and learned that business disruption, threats to the supply chain, natural catastrophe, and fire are high on the list of what companies will be watching for in 2014. The report also highlights hidden risks, risks by region, and a number of trends and growing areas of concern. Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report While businesses worry about disaster risks ahead, Aon Benfield has been busy counting the impacts of those that struck last year. The company released its annual report last week, finding that the worldwide economic losses are actually below the ten-year average and the lowest they’ve been since 2009—at $192 paid out for 296 events (mostly floods). Check out the report for information on insured losses, fatalities, and expected future events. Responder Self-Care App It’s no shock that first responders often neglect caring for themselves when they’re caring for others, but this app from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health won’t stand for it. The app contains checklists, reminders, and tips to make sure responders pack what they need, maintain their health and relationships, and take a moment to reflect when their mission is over. Available on iPhone and Android platforms. 9. Technology Is Not Driving Us Apart After All In September 2008, two graduate students working for Keith Hampton, a professor at Rutgers, raised a camera atop a 16-foot tripod to film down into Bryant Park, the sprawling green space behind the main branch of the New York Public Library. They hit record, then milled about nearby pretending they had nothing to do with the rig, as it semi-surreptitiously filmed the comings and goings of hundreds of New Yorkers. The charade didn’t last. After an hour, Lauren Sessions Goulet, the more senior of the pair, found herself talking to the park’s private security force, which sent her to see their bosses, the Bryant Park Corporation. She was nervous. Page 5 of 8
Across the street and up 11 floors, in the corporation’s Fifth Avenue office near the park, Goulet explained what Hampton had sent her there to do. “Look, we were just trying to refilm Whyte,” she said, pleading with them. To her relief, the corporation offered to help. To access the full story, click here. 10. Utah is Ending Homelessness by Giving People Homes Earlier this month, Hawaii State representative Tom Bower (D) began walking the streets of his Waikiki district with a sledgehammer, and smashing shopping carts used by homeless people. “Disgusted” by the city’s chronic homelessness problem, Bower decided to take matters into his own hands — literally. He also took to rousing homeless people if he saw them sleeping at bus stops during the day. Bower’s tactics were over the top, and so unpopular that he quickly declared “Mission accomplished,” and retired his sledgehammer. But Bower’s frustration with his city’s homelessness problem is just an extreme example of the frustration that has led cities to pass measures that effective deal with the homeless by criminalizing homelessness. To access the full story, click here. 11. Funding Opportunities Community Facility Loans Loans to help create and improve essential community facilities in the rural West. Geographic Coverage: Available in 13 western states. See program website for details. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: Rural Community Assistance Corporation (Western RCAC) Environmental Infrastructure Loans Loans to finance water and waste facility projects in the rural West. Geographic Coverage: Available in 13 western states. See program website for details. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: Rural Community Assistance Corporation (Western RCAC) Ford Family Foundation Grants Offers grants to small, rural communities for community development; technical assistance; critical needs; and programs that offer increased access to health or dental services, youth development, or child abuse prevention. Geographic Coverage: Oregon and Siskiyou County, California Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: Ford Family Foundation Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants Supports local organizations with funding priority given to programs that focus on education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problemsolving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment. Geographic Coverage: Limited to certain areas of 35 states and U.S. territories, see sponsor's website for more details. Application Deadline: Feb 15, 2014 Sponsor: Gannett Foundation
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Georgia-Pacific Foundation Grants Grants for organizations projects that focus on education, the environment, community enhancement, affordable housing, arts and culture, and entrepreneurship. Geographic Coverage: Offered in 28 states in areas where Georgia-Pacific does business. Application Deadline: Oct 31, 2014 Sponsor: Georgia Pacific Foundation Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation Offers grants to projects that support community and social services, youth, health, seniors, education and civic and culture. Geographic Coverage: Colorado, Idaho, and Oregon Application Deadline: Mar 1, 2014 National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Northwest Region Funding Provides funding for National Network of Libraries members located in the Pacific Northwest region to assist them in conducting outreach and technology projects. Geographic Coverage: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region Northwest Health Foundation Event Sponsorships Provides sponsorship for events that promote health or contribute to the determinants of health in Oregon or southwest Washington. Geographic Coverage: Oregon and southwest Washington. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: Northwest Health Foundation Oregon Apple A Day Rural Volunteer EMS Training Grants Offers grants to rural Emergency Medical Responders or Emergency Medical Technicians to pay for training. Geographic Coverage: Oregon Application Deadline: Feb 7, 2014 Sponsor: Oregon Office of Rural Health Oregon J-1 Visa Waiver Program Offers a J-1 Visa to foreign physicians who commit to serving for three years in an underserved area of Oregon, allowing them to remain in the United States. Geographic Coverage: Oregon Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: Oregon Primary Care Association Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program Offers matching funds for loan repayment for primary care providers who serve in Health Professional Shortage Areas of Oregon. Geographic Coverage: Oregon Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: Oregon Office of Rural Health Oregon Rural Practitioner Tax Credit Program Offers personal income tax credits to dentists, physicians, podiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse anesthetists, and optometrists who practice in eligible rural areas of Oregon. Page 7 of 8
Geographic Coverage: Oregon Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: Oregon Office of Rural Health Oregon Rural Volunteer EMS Tax Credit Offers a personal income tax credit to emergency medical services providers who volunteer their services to rural Oregon communities. Geographic Coverage: Oregon Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: Oregon Office of Rural Health Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program Supports health care organizations in implementing cancer screening programs; developing education programs; disseminating information on radiogenic diseases;screening eligible individuals for cancer and other radiogenic diseases; providing appropriate referrals; and facilitating documentation of Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) claims. Geographic Coverage: Available in 12 states Application Deadline: Feb 14, 2014 Sponsor: Office of Rural Health Policy Rural Community Assistance Corporation Housing Loans Offers loans to create, improve, or expand the supply of affordable housing for communities in the rural West. Geographic Coverage: Available in 13 western states. See program website for details. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: Rural Community Assistance Corporation (Western RCAC) Sunderland Foundation Grants Supports capital improvement projects in the areas of higher education, churches, youth serving agencies, health facilities, community buildings, museums, civic projects, and housing projects. Geographic Coverage: Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Montana. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: Sunderland Foundation Wells Fargo Corporate Giving Programs Funding for nonprofit organizations in the areas of community development, education, human services, arts and culture, civic responsibility, and environmental consciousness. Geographic Coverage: Available in 40 States. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis Sponsor: Wells Fargo
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