Connecting state and local government leaders

Boston’s Redevelopment Rebranding; California’s New Fishing Rules

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: Racism in Delaware government, fire-damaged bridge that nearly collapsed reopens in Pittsburgh; and Butte business owners vs. homeless

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
DEVELOPMENT | What’s in a name? That’s the big question after Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the powerful Boston Redevelopment Authority would be getting a new moniker. The department will now be called the Boston Planning and Development Agency. It’s the result of a 14-week rebranding effort, and an effort to bring a new, more transparent demeanor to the agency that oversees the city’s major construction projects. Those involved hope the shift will go deeper than the renaming—newer initiatives give communities more of a voice in the planning of new development. “We want to signal that we’re the agent of the people of Boston,” said BPDA Director Brian Golden. “Not an authority over them.” [Boston Globe]

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
FISHING | California is rolling out a new effort to protect its coastal waters from overfishing. Law enforcement officers use a statewide ticketing system that penalize poachers and unknowing fishermen who illegally remove creatures from marine protected areas, commonly called MPAs. Getting fisherman to respect these no-go zones has been an uphill battle. “Monitoring and enforcement of marine protected areas around the world is extremely uneven,” said Mike Gravitz, director of policy and legislation for the Marine Conservation Institute. “It’s often the case the acronym MPA stands for marine poaching area.” California’s network of MPAs covers about 16% of the state’s coastal waters. [Los Angeles Times]

DOVER, DELAWARE
RACISM | Gov. Jack Markell’s administration will pay a Rockville, Maryland-based consultant $468,000 to investigate anti-discrimination and diversity policies within state agencies. Ivy Planning Group will interview supervisors, visit offices and anonymously survey employees about workplace problems. Markell’s second end final term ends this year, but he’ll receive a report before he exits office. In June 2015, a coalition of black clergy in the state brought racism allegations in government, and particularly the Department of Labor, to the governor’s attention. “I remain committed to ensuring that we foster a healthy, supportive and responsive work environment," Markell said in a statement. [The News Journal]

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA
INFRASTRUCTURE | Pittsburgh’s Liberty Bridge reopened to traffic Monday. A fire sparked during construction on the bridge earlier this month burned so hot it warped steel and nearly caused the bridge to collapse. The span provides a major artery across the Monongahela River in and out of downtown Pittsburgh. It had been closed for 24 days. A nine-ton weight restriction remains in place on the structure for now, meaning that buses and three-axle trucks are prohibited from using the bridge—before the fire, the weight limit was 30 tons. [TribLive]

BUTTE, MONTANA
HOMELESSNESS | A small group of panhandlers is upsetting local business owners here and spurring a dialogue that involves city leaders. Voicing complaints about drunken behavior, public urination and harassment, the business owners say behavior by some of the city’s homeless is hurting their companies and jeopardizing efforts to revitalize Butte’s Uptown. “It’s a very personal issue. I mean, it involves people and their livelihoods,” said Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive Matt Vincent. [Billings Gazette]