Stress is no joke, and humor is a cure | Ore. city fined over construction sediment | New Zealand city voices concern over isolation hotels
July 28, 2020
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Leadership and Management
Stress is no joke, and humor is a cure
British soldiers in World War I used a parody newspaper and live events to alleviate their stress and boredom during wartime, writes John Baldoni, which is just one example of humor's healing potential. "When we laugh, we remind ourselves that we are not defeated, we have agency and choice," says Dr. David Fessell, a professor of radiology at the University of Michigan.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (7/24) 
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Budgeting and Finance
Rainier, Ore., failed to follow its sediment control plan for the A Street construction project and now must pay a $35,000 fine, the state Department of Environmental Quality has ruled. The city plans to appeal the decision, which the DEQ bases on a finding that "significant amounts of sediment" from the site ended up on the banks of Fox Creek.
Full Story: The Daily News (Longview, Wash.) (7/24) 
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Emergency Management and Public Safety
Mayor Paula Southgate of Hamilton, New Zealand, is voicing concerns over three hotels being used to quarantine arrivals to New Zealand and asking the federal government not to add more, noting the city needs hotel rooms to host conferences and other events. Deputy Mayor Geoff Taylor says the federal government has not adequately secured isolation hotels to protect city residents.
Full Story: Stuff (New Zealand) (7/27) 
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Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability
Officials in Duluth, Minn., say the city has now completed four of the five steps in the state's Greenstep Cities Program and is slated to complete the final step this year. Since 2015, the city has diversified tree species in local parks, invested in solar energy, expanded the number of local green spaces and replaced many of the city's high-pressure sodium lights with more efficient LED bulbs.
Full Story: WDIO-TV (Duluth, Minn.) (7/24) 
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Legislation, Policy and Grants
Members of the Philadelphia Historical Commission voted 10-2 last week to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus from Marconi Plaza after most respondents to a survey associated it with racism and genocide. The next step is for the Philadelphia Art Commission to vote on the matter next month.
Full Story: The Associated Press (7/26) 
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Public Works and Infrastructure
Madison, Wis., is joining the Vision Zero initiative, with Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway hoping to put an end to fatal traffic injuries and other serious accidents by 2030. The city's 2020 budget includes funding for the first installment of Vision Zero projects, including crosswalk upgrades and speed limit reductions.
Full Story: WMTV-TV (Madison, Wis.) (7/23) 
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Human Resources and Development
Municipal department heads in LaPorte, Ind., will have mandatory diversity training and elected officials will be offered the training after Councilman Roger Galloway drew criticism for disparaging remarks about LGBTQ people made during a meeting. The city also has created an ethics position to address complaints about the comment.
Full Story: The Times of Northwest Indiana (Munster) (7/26) 
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Recognitions and Transitions
Boulder, Colo., City Manager Jane Brautigam plans to retire effective Oct. 30, after serving for 12 years. "While I am sad to see Jane retire, I am grateful for the vibrant city organization she leaves as her legacy," Mayor Sam Weaver says. Brautigam is president of the International City/County Management Association.
Full Story: Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) (7/27) 
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Several months into the pandemic, Americans are still divided on wearing masks. Despite research findings supporting the effectiveness of masks and the CDC's recommendations that everyone wear a face mask in public, the lack of clear federal guidance leaves state and local government leaders with the challenge of setting their own policies. As a result, they are also challenged with their residents' conflicting opinions on the matter. In its latest blog post, Zencity analyzed public online interactions from over 150 cities and counties across the United States to understand what Americans are actually saying about face masks and what type of messaging works best. See what the data say.
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One must take what comes, with laughter.
Olivia de Havilland,
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