Author Archive

Tracy Mayor

Citizens Lobby for More Open Government

When stories of corruption and back-room deals came to light a few years ago in Miami-Dade County, Fla., civic organizations took action.

Pathways Connects Atlanta's Homeless, Poor to Services

Bill Matson has thought about homeless people for a long time, first as an operations manager for the Salvation Army and now as executive director of Pathways Community Network Inc., an Atlanta social services umbrella organization. Threeandahalf years ago Matson decided there should be a way to

...and Internet Access for All

In the Midwest, a large urban police department has set up an online hot line for people to report drug activity. But what if residents in the target neighborhoods don't own PCs? Well, they can go to the library. One Southern California city allows residents to apply for lowincome housing over th

Breaking Down the Language Barrier

By default, the city's World Wide Web site comes up in the predominant language of the region, but with a click of an easytolocate button, viewers can switch to a version of the site in another language.

L.A. lawmaker wants city site to be multilingual

Los Angeles councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski filed a motion Friday directing the city's Information Technology Agency (ITA) to find ways to make Los Angeles World Wide Web site more accessible to the area's nonEnglishspeaking population.

Hard Time Meets High Tech

To the inexperienced, prison operations may seem a lot like some grainy, gritty movie from the 1960s, with a fixed set of stock players. The warden is the guy with a belt loop full of jangling keys, the guards are the people silhouetted against a watchtower in profile with rifles, and the prisoners

Live Video Is Coming to a Local Government Site Near You

When the CSPAN cable TV channel debuted in the 1980s, supporters declared there was nothing as politically intimate as bringing governmentinthemaking into your living room. In 1999, live, local government is getting intimate enough to fit comfortably in your lapor laptop, at least. Pluggedin

Digital Budget Wars

Should Santa Monica, Calif., build a new skateboard park? Or should money be spent on better policing for Main Street and the Ocean Park neighborhood? Rick, Jim and Marilyn think the skateboarders should get the nod. Michael wishes the city would just clean up the neighborhood. And Derek thinks San

Toddling Toward the Wired Schoolhouse

When Alice disappears down the rabbit hole, she finds a mushroom that can instantly make her grow bigger. In elementary education, there's a similar wish that dropping a networked PC into a classroom will produce equally rapid growth. But as any schoolchild can tell you, Alice in Wonderland is fict

Georgia Network Caters to Kids

When schools close for the summer, hungry children are in particular danger of slipping through the public safety net. Communities often must redouble their efforts to find and feed children who receive free or reducedprice meals through the public school system but have no guarantees during the s

Hartford Arms Citizens With Crime-Fighting Tools

Don Noel has owned a home in Hartford, Conn.'s Blue Hills neighborhood for nearly 34 years, but don't mistake him for a man who lives in the past. Noel is well aware of the modernday crimes that have permeated the neighborhood, including robbery, larceny, assault, auto theft and drug dealing. He a

Link to Learn

Last spring, Lucretia Hoffman became a certified Novell administrator. Now she'll either push on for her Novell engineer certification or switch over and study 'those cool geographic maps,' she said, referring to geographic information systems. Not bad for a young woman who's 17 years old and still

Minnesota's ISEEK Combines Job Bank, Career Planning

Every month, the Minnesota Department of Economic Security (MDES) puts out reams of information on unemployment, jobs and industries in the state.

Workforce

Georgia Cops Book 'Em Electronically

Like their colleagues in many other parts of the country, police officers in Gwinnett County, Ga., used to wonder if they actually spent more time deterring crime or delivering documents.

Office Suite Success

The manufacturers of the three major suites of office applications have extended their ongoing battle to new fronts in their scramble to give users products that encompass Internet and voice applications. But federal users have been less concerned with these breakthroughs than simply adhering to ag

City Adds Telecom to Basic Service Menu

A booming number of Americans regards telecommunications as more of a necessity than a luxury, but is your Internet connection truly as essential as clean water? Is cable TV as valued as sewer services?

Chicago Police Cast a Wide Web

The Chicago Police Department is wellknown as an early and ardent adopter of community policing, so it's no surprise the department's presence on the World Wide Web stresses community as well.

Maine Video System Eyes Small-Business Development

All over the country, small businesses struggle to compete with larger, better-funded competitors, but in parts of northern and eastern Maine, the challenges can seem as long and insurmountable as the winters.

The Mass. appeal of digital certificates

In the eyes of many public information technology officials, electronic commerce still falls into the category of 'any day now' technology.

Missouri Fast-Tracks Rural Networks

There has been much discussion in the past two years over who can and cannot afford access to the wonders of the World Wide Web but officials in Missouri are focusing on 'havenots' of a different breed: