Towns May Grow Millions More Trees with $1.5B for Urban Forestry

BY: - August 25, 2022

SEATTLE — Last year, legislators in Washington state passed a law to bolster the urban forestry work of the Department of Natural Resources. The agency’s urban and community forestry program, which had just two staffers in 2020, will grow to nine positions once the department finalizes new hires. Those new staffers, along with a new […]

Public Health Agencies Lack Money to Combat Climate Threats

BY: - August 12, 2022

Medical experts say climate change will affect nearly every aspect of public health. Many of those impacts already are being felt. Heat deaths in the United States are severely undercounted, researchers say, with some studies putting the actual total at thousands each year. Scientists are working to understand the health effects of wildfire smoke, which […]

Feds Boost Funding for Public Transit Accessibility

BY: - July 26, 2022

The Federal Transit Administration has announced that it will provide $1.75 billion in grants to transit agencies to improve accessibility for riders. The money, which comes from the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law, will make it easier for people to get on board the nation’s oldest public rail systems, officials said. Transit agencies can use […]

Western ‘Zoom Towns’ Take Aim at Short-Term Rentals

BY: - December 23, 2021

Editor’s note: This story was updated Jan. 6, 2022, to clarify the number of short-term rental units in Summit County, Colorado.  DEPOE BAY, Ore. — Postcards with big promises began showing up in mailboxes in Oregon coastal communities in 2019: “Rent your home short term, use it when you want to, guaranteed $5,000 more monthly […]

Drought-Stricken Western Towns Say No to Developers

BY: - October 12, 2021

In the small city of Oakley, Utah, the drought conditions parching much of the West have depleted the natural springs that supply water to the community. During each of the past several summers, local leaders worried that quenching any major fire might empty the city’s water tanks. The city issued water-use restrictions this past April […]

Climate Change in a Coastal County: Think Global, Act Hyperlocal

BY: - July 26, 2019

NAGS HEAD, N.C. — Of all the communities across the United States wrestling with climate change, few face its effects day to day like the strand of coastal islands that make up Dare County. The county, strung mostly along a chain of narrow barrier islands jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, sits in the path of […]

Public Authorities: Essential to Services Though Some States Question Oversight

BY: and - April 4, 2017

  The George Washington Bridge spanning the Hudson River. The bridge is maintained by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. © Getty Images The iconic George Washington Bridge across the Hudson River is one of the longest, busiest structures in the world. It is part of a network of tunnels and bridges […]

Governors Decry Federal Inaction

BY: - January 15, 2014

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, stand outside the White House after meeting with President Barack Obama earlier this week. Speaking Wednesday at the National Press Club, Fallin and Hickenlooper said partisan warfare in Washington is hurting states. (AP) Colorado’s Democratic governor and Oklahoma’s Republican governor agree: The […]

Cash-Strapped States Turn to Public-Private Partnerships

BY: - November 14, 2013

A construction crew poses with one of the massive boring units for the Port of Miami tunnel project, which is being constructed under a public-private partnership between Florida and private firms. Florida and many states are relying more frequently on such partnerships to build, operate and maintain prisons, water facilities, tunnels and even hospitals and […]

Tolls Fill Gas Tax Gap

BY: - November 11, 2013

Automobiles enter the Indiana Toll Road in Hammond, Ind. In the face of sagging gas tax revenues, many states are turning to tolls to pay for road construction and maintenance. (AP) Cash-strapped states are scouting for ways to pay for critical road work, and increasingly, the result for motorists is the same: You’re going to […]

Wildfire Epidemic Leaves States Searching for Answers

BY: - December 11, 2012

Destroyed homes sit beside a house left untouched in a neighborhood hit by the Waldo Canyon wildfire this past June in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Getty) SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — To some people living in the drought-scorched American West, it may seem like the fires will never stop raging. Months after forests and grasslands in much of […]

Ohio Awaits Turnpike Study

BY: - December 10, 2012

Many Ohioans are eagerly awaiting the results of a yearlong study on the future of the Ohio Turnpike, but almost everybody, it seems, assumes that the study will call for privatization of the 241-mile-long toll road. The study, which cost the state $3.4 million, is due by the end of the month. Governor John Kasich, […]