Connecting state and local government leaders

Zika Threat Prompts New Mosquito Spraying Effort in Miami

A Miami-Dade County mosquito control worker sprays around a school in the Wynwood area of Miami on Monday, Aug. 1, 2016.

A Miami-Dade County mosquito control worker sprays around a school in the Wynwood area of Miami on Monday, Aug. 1, 2016. Alan Diaz / AP File Photo

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: New York City's "Summer of Hell" starts with a sigh of relief; a serious water shortage on Hawaii’s Big Island; and Texas legislative leaders prep for special session.

PUBLIC HEALTH | In Wynwood, a neighborhood north of downtown Miami that was at the heart of last summer’s Zika virus outbreak, Miami-Dade County officials will begin mosquito spraying this week as a preventative measure. Businesses in the neighborhood experienced a 40 percent drop in business from last year's public health crisis, according to a new Florida International University study. [WFOR-TV / CBS Miami]

INFRASTRUCTURE | For commuters who normally head into New York City via Amtrak, Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit via Penn Station, the first day of the dreaded “Summer of Hell” began Monday and to the surprise of many, it wasn’t as bad as anticipated. "Customers had some questions but I think it went very smoothly," a Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker at Jamaica Station in Queens said. "The crowds seemed normal." Over in New Jersey: "I didn't want to go through Hoboken. It's always a madhouse," said one New Jersey Transit commuter who usually travels into Manhattan via Penn Station. "It was not as bad as I anticipated." Track restrictions for urgently needed repair work at North America’s busiest rail station, will constrain capacity in the coming weeks, and that has forced many New Jersey Transit and Long Island Railroad commuters to rethink their commutes as some service is cut back or diverted. Fingers crossed for the rest of the summer ... [New York Daily News; NorthJersey.com]

The opening of San Francisco’s Central Subway project may be delayed nearly a year if contractor Tutor Perini can’t catch up on construction delays, according to a recent report. “If we don’t change anything of what we’ve done so far, we will be 10 months late in revenue service,” Central Subway Program Director John Funghi said. The nearly $1.6 billion light-rail tunneling project will connect San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood with the Bay Area Rapid Transit system and the Muni light-rail network via Union Square. Construction began in 2012, and trains were scheduled to start operating in December 2018. [San Francisco Examiner]

The Central Subway project in San Francisco. (via SFMTA)

STATE LEGISLATURES | Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has officially called for a special legislative session that will begin July 18. Included on the agenda, as anticipated: Legislation that would restricting transgender access. [Texas Tribune]  

New Jersey state legislative leaders are looking to give recently furloughed state workers back pay, though the versions in the Assembly and Senate differ in how the state would do that. Gov. Chris Christie’s administration has advised impacted employees by the July 1-3 government shutdown that they should file for unemployment insurance benefits, something Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said was “neither a fair nor practical way to compensate state government workers who were not responsible for the shutdown and were, as always, more than willing to work that day.” [NJ.com]

IMMIGRATION | Bloomington, Illinois won’t vote on a resolution stating the city’s commitment to inclusivity and preserving current law enforcement policies until after Gov. Bruce Rauner acts on related immigration legislation. The Illinois Trust Act would bar police from enforcing federal immigration law without a warrant and make places like schools safe havens from enforcement. City officials would want to make sure their statement was in line with state law at that point, possibly as soon as August 1. [The Pantagraph]

WILDFIRES | Wildfires in California have destroyed homes and forced nearly 8,000 people to flee from areas threatened by flames. Blazes are burning in Butte, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Yolo counties. "It was terrifying," said one resident who spent the night with her cats in the parking lot of a shelter set up at a high school in Santa Barbara. "The sky was orange and black. You could see flames up on the ridge. When I got home it was smokey with ash." [Los Angeles Times]

ELSEWHERE …

Kona, Hawaii (Shutterstock)
  • North Kona, Hawaii: There’s a “serious and lingering water shortage" on the west side of the Big Island of Hawaii’s main population center amid questions from local residents about when there will be a fix. The shortage was prompted by the failure of a fifth well operated by Hawaii County, which is no stranger to “long, nightmarish repairs” with its wells. [Honolulu Civil Beat]
     
  • Columbia, South Carolina: The Confederate flag returned to the grounds of the State Capitol two years after state lawmakers voted to remove it. [The State]
     
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Great Lakes State's second-largest city is the latest place where artists and others who work in creative businesses are feeling squeezed by rising rents downtown and in other centrally-located neighborhoods and are looking instead at the suburbs. [MiBiz]
     
  • Sacramento, California: Since 2015, homelessness has surged by 30 percent and nearly all of those who are unsheltered are living outdoors. [The Sacramento Bee]
  • Racine, Wisconsin: July 16 will be the last day in office for Mayor John Dickert, who previously announced his resignation to become the CEO of the CEO of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. [WITI-TV / Fox6]
  • Center Junction, Iowa: In the Iowa Department of Transportation’s newly printed paper map, around 200 changes were made since the previous edition, including reflecting that this small community in Jones County, along with Mount Union, which have officially unincorporated. [Radio Iowa]