Connecting state and local government leaders
Also: Hazardous air quality in Spokane and a police officer’s ‘less welfare, food stamp people’ comments.
Here’s some of what we’ve been reading this weekend …
DALLAS, Texas: In an awfully depressing story, The Dallas Morning News follows dog rescuer Marina Tarashevska, who “works on the gag-inducing front line of a problem plaguing many of the city’s poorest neighborhoods: loose and abandoned dogs.” According to the newspaper:
On this day, Tarashevska is searching for one to save, but she spends most of her time picking through a boneyard of decomposing carcasses. Many are double-bagged and rotting in the August sun when she tears through the plastic — looking for tags, a microchip, anything she can give to police to help build an animal cruelty case against the dog’s former owner.
“I know just because I’m out here doesn’t mean it’s going to stop,” she said. “But once you know this exists, you have a responsibility to do something about it.”
Animal welfare advocates say the city government isn’t doing enough to help deal with the problem. [The Dallas Morning News]
LOS ANGELES, California: Here’s a novel way to encourage water consumers in drought-ravaged Southern California take shorter showers: Create a playlist with appropriately-timed tunes. That’s what the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has done. As Southern California Public Radio reports:
They say you should be looking to have five-minute showers, but the station includes songs that are significantly shorter, like Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle," which means you'll be speeding through that shower in under 3 minutes. They also note that Prince's "Purple Rain" is on the list (due to rain theming), but hopefully they're rocking the 4-minute radio edit, not the 8 minute and 41 second album version.
SPOKANE, Washington: As the wildfire situation in the Pacific Northwest continues to worsen, so does regional air quality. In the Spokane area, in eastern Washington, the smoke conditions have reached a “hazardous” level. “I haven’t seen levels like that since I’ve worked there,” said Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency’s Spokane Valley spokeswoman Lisa Woodard, who has worked at the agency for about 20 years, said, according to The Spokesman-Review. “We don’t even have an icon designed for our website.” [The Spokesman Review]
WILMINGTON, Delaware: The First State, like many others, is dealing with “an explosion of Hepatitis C cases,” jumping 151 percent from 2010 to 2013, The News Journal reports. Making matters more difficult in Delaware is that the state hasn’t consistently reported numbers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 2009. There are an estimated 1,200 chronic cases per year in Delaware but “but state officials acknowledge that number is under-reported.” [The News-Journal]
FLINT, Michigan: A friendly reminder to public servants, especially police officers. What you post on Facebook can come back to haunt you, especially this comment by a Flint police officer made after responding to a fatal double shooting: "Keep purging society of these maggots. Two less welfare, food stamp people. Keep it up." [Flint Journal / MLive.com]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty.