Year 24 • Issue 31 14 May 2018 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Tourism: Good for Coos County's Economy? You Bet! New Revitalization Toolkit for Smaller Legacy Cities Why Seattle Is America's Bus-Lovingest Town Rent Hikes, Homelessness and Hunger in a Small Western City The New Magnetism of Mid-Size Cities The Geography of Food Stamps This App Delivers Leftover Food to The Hungry, Instead of to The Trash The More We Build, The Poorer We Get Farmers in Many Parts of Oregon Brace for Low Water Year Webinar: How Will Recycling Survive in your Community? May 23rd at 10am PST 11. Planning Assistance and Funding Available - Local Requests for DLCD Assistance
1. Tourism: Good for Coos County's Economy? You Bet! This week is National Travel & Tourism Week, a time to celebrate the importance of travel and tourism to the economy of our country, our state, and our community. The national theme for this week is Travel: Then & Now. I’m often asked if tourism really is that big a deal to a community. After all, the majority of citizens never interact with tourists. And other industries seem to make a much bigger impact because they are so much more visible – especially in the case of logging and commercial fishing here on the southern Oregon coast. To access the full story, click here. Quote of the Week: “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” ~Rumi Oregon Fast Fact: At 8,000 feet deep Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America.
2. New Revitalization Toolkit for Smaller Legacy Cities A recently released toolkit offers guidance for smaller legacy cities looking to revitalize through government, nonprofit, philanthropic, and privatesector action. The new toolkit is based on the "Revitalizing America's Smaller Legacy Cities" report, created in partnership between the Greater Ohio Policy Center and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in 2017. The new toolkit offers online resources to support local leaders in implementing a revitalization vision, including: • • •
Tools, including how-to guides and checklists; Programs, often with examples of replicable initiatives; and Background information, which includes white papers and websites that further explain the strategy, program, or tool.
The toolkit also focuses on case studies from the model communities of South Bend, Indiana and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. To access the full story, click here.
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3. Why Seattle Is America's Bus-Lovingest Town David Ibrahim loved his 2005 Toyota Camry. When he moved to Seattle from Northern California last summer, he would have brought it with him, if his sister hadn’t totaled it. So Ibrahim reluctantly arrived car-free in the booming tech capital. He had no choice: The recent college graduate had accepted a job as an Amazon software engineer. But once he arrived, to Ibrahim’s own surprise, he never felt pressed to buy a new set of wheels. In nearly a year of daily commutes to Amazon’s Bellevue campus, weekly shopping trips, and weekend social calls, he has found that Seattle’s buses serve him well. “I honestly take them everywhere,” he told me on a clear, spring-like Saturday in March. I’d approached him among a group of riders clustered at a bus stop in Seattle’s International District, where he was standing to catch the 14 to watch a game at a friend’s house. A few minutes later, Ibrahim’s ride pulled up, and he was on his way. To access the full story, click here. 4. Rent Hikes, Homelessness and Hunger in a Small Western City Income disparity — a euphemism used to describe a society in which rich people see their wealth grow while the rest of us languish economically — displays itself in many ways. Think of air travel, where first-class passengers are afforded ever more luxury, while travelers in economy are increasingly treated like a herd of cattle trucked from one feedlot to another. The ongoing gentrification of American cities clearly demonstrates the national tendency toward satisfying the rich above all others. But it wasn’t always this way. After my Army discharge in 1962, I went to San Francisco to attend college with little more than an ancient Pontiac, $80 in cash, a wife I’d married while I was stationed in Germany, and our 10-day-old son. To access the full story, click here. 5. The New Magnetism of Mid-Size Cities If, 10 years ago, you had asked 28-year-old Sarah Luckett Bhatia if she’d eventually return to her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, she “would have laughed in your face.” Even just a few years ago, the prospects of coming home to Derby City would have seemed slim. Bhatia moved to Chicago for school, studied at Columbia College, and immediately got a job in corporate planning and strategy. Like many 20-somethings, she steered her life and career trajectory toward big cities and the opportunities they promised. But Bhatia’s plans started changing after meeting Ravi, a video editor at Leo Burnett, and marrying him in 2016. After years of living in Chicago, the couple was getting tired of the urban grind and began prioritizing kids, a home, and a connection to family. To access the full story, click here. 6. The Geography of Food Stamps Rural counties and small metropolitan areas crowd the top of the list of U.S. counties that rely most on help from the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program, the USDA program formerly known as Food Stamps.
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Of the top 100 counties ranked by the share of population that participates in SNAP, 85 are rural, according to 2015 Census data. And the few metropolitan counties that did make the top-100 list are predominately in smaller metro areas. The list of counties that are most reliant on SNAP encompasses regions with well documented and chronic poverty. The top three counties are in Indian Country — South Dakota and Alaska. The next county on the list, with 48% of its population participating, is in West Virginia’s coalfields. Next is a Mississippi county in the Delta. And rounding out the top six is a county on the Cumberland Plateau of Eastern Kentucky. To access the full story, click here. 7. This App Delivers Leftover Food to The Hungry, Instead of to The Trash Washington State is Jasmine Crowe had been hosting formal pop-up dinners for the homeless in Atlanta for about two and a half years when a video about her efforts went viral in January 2016. The most common question among viewers surprised her. “Which restaurants donated the food?” she says they asked. “And the reality was that no restaurants donated the food. I literally was just taking volunteer donations and spending sometimes my last money to make these things happen.” Crowe decided to change that: In January 2017 she launched Goodr, a food-waste management company that redirects surplus food from businesses to nonprofits that can share it with those who are food insecure To access the full story, click here. 8. The More We Build, The Poorer We Get We recently came across a headline from the Illinois News Network that might shock you but didn't surprise us at all. It read, "Report: Illinois needs $21 billion annually to repair infrastructure." A local reporter asked us for comment on the situation. What follows is my response. $21 billion annually to repair Illinois' infrastructure might sound like a massive figure, but in all likelihood, it's actually an underestimate. It's also not unique to Illinois. The backward way that governments nationwide account for their assets and liabilities means that these ticking time bombs are hidden away, visible nowhere, even on public balance sheets. The numbers we see in reports like this are merely the urgent items — the ones that are in, or nearing, a critical state. That’s a small portion of all the infrastructure we have built and have nominally obligated the public to pay to maintain. To access the full story, click here. 9. Farmers in Many Parts of Oregon Brace for Low Water Year Despite a mercifully wet April, water shortages remain likely for farmers and ranchers across much of Oregon, especially in southern and eastern portions of the state that are dealing with the onset of drought. Gov. Kate Brown has already declared a drought emergency for Klamath and Grant counties, while a request from Harney County is pending, according to a spokeswoman for the Oregon Water Resources Department. To access the full story, click here.
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10. Webinar: How Will Recycling Survive in your Community? May 23rd at 10am PST In this live webinar, learn the practices that China has implemented leading to an improvement in the efficiency of recycling. The North American recycling industry has long relied on export markets, such as China, to purchase commodities from processing facilities. Recently, China changed its acceptance criteria for imported recyclable commodities. The net effect of these changes, known as “China Sword” is a significant reduction in acceptable contamination levels (from 3%+ to 0.5%) in any recovered paper and plastic grades intended for sale in China. Additionally, China has banned all mixed paper from import, regardless of contamination levels. As a result, certain areas of the United States have experienced new levels of volatility due to broader industry reliance on China and other export markets as their largest end-market buyers of recyclable commodities. This webinar will take a look at the China Sword changes, what recycling companies are doing to manage the changes, and offer suggestions on how cities can structure more successful partnerships to address these realities and keep recycling sustainable in your community. You and your staff will learn: • What is China Sword, and how does it impact my Municipality? • What are the short term and longer-term impacts of these changes on the recycling industry? • What is the importance of public education on helping manage and mitigate impacts from China Sword? How can we better structure long term contracts going forward to ensure recycling remains executable in our communities? To register for this webinar, click here. 11. Planning Assistance and Funding Available - Local Requests for DLCD Assistance DLCD is excited to announce two new funding opportunities for technical assistance. First, the 2018 legislature allocated $1.73 million to the Department of Land Conservation and Development to assist local governments in meeting their housing needs. Now, the department is making that funding available to local governments. Ultimately, our goal is to increase the supply and affordability of housing. For cities, and for counties who act as a convener for local governments, DLCD has a Funding Opportunity for Housing Planning. This funding opportunity requires that interested cities and counties complete a one-page form and return it to DLCD by June 15, 2018. (Download document here.) Second, for communities in eastern Oregon specifically, DLCD was allocated $300,000 to help those that have not fully recovered from the recession. This work will help identify business types and economic trends that will facilitate employment growth. This work is captured in a Funding Opportunity for Economic Opportunities Analyses for counties. This funding opportunity requires that interested cities and counties complete a one-page form and return it to DLCD by May 31, 2018. (Download document here.) Please take advantage of this opportunity! We look forward to answering any questions, and to assisting cities and counties throughout Oregon. If you have questions, please contact DLCD’s new Senior Urban Planner, Kevin Young. firstname.lastname@example.org
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