Efforts to Preserve Aretha Franklin's Childhood Memphis Home Has Been Ongoing Saga. Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Transforming Tulsa, Starting with a Park. New York Times.
On a recent sultry morning, Mr. Kaiser, 76, was walking the park in a hard hat and a shirt with a plastic pocket protector for leaky pens, spouting statistics on dew points, quoting Monty Python and angsting about whether spending millions on a park best furthered equal opportunity for young children (“I feel guilt about everything I do,” he allowed). “We got more and more divided over time by geography, race and class,” he said of this city of 400,000. “So getting people together is step number one.”
There have been a number of policy shifts since the Trump administration took office, with varying coverage. It can be hard to keep up but fortunately, the Brookings Institution has been doing just that. "While you may have heard of some, such as proposals to roll back the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, others have received relatively little attention despite having big impacts on regulation and the federal government’s role," writes Adam Looney, director of the institution's Center on Regulation and Markets and a senior fellow, in a recent post. "These changes have been both lauded and criticized by relevant constituencies."
Each change, though, comes with a comment period and to make sure your voice is heard and that it is effective, Looney offers a how-to guide. "By executive order, regulators are required to consider evidence of the likely effectiveness of proposed regulations, including analysis of the rule’s costs and benefits," the guide explains. Agencies have to review all the comments and, according to the guide, they are even "required to respond to all comments in the preamble of their final regulation whether they accept the suggestion or not. Agencies have to explain the rationale for not incorporating a comment."
So how can people comment? In addition to walking readers through the logistics of commenting, the guide answers questions about structuring your comment and the elements it should include, beyond just your stance on the proposal.
And now you have your weekend plans.
And while you're at it, send some to the Texas Department of Transportation, which is accepting comments on its Unified Transportation Plan (UTP) through Aug. 20. Jay Crossley, of Austin's Farm&City think tank, writes in the Houston Chronicle, that now is the time to weigh in on much-needed safety interventions for the state's roadways. "About 10 people die every day in the Texas transportation system — more than in any other state," Crossley writes. "Unlike congestion, which imposes a small, annoying daily cost on a lot of people, crashes tragically alter the lives of about 60 Texas families every day." The state's latest document guiding spending and priorities, argues Crossley, again puts the emphasis in the wrong place: "The proposed UTP places inordinate emphasis on addressing congestion: at least $35 billion in funding focused on congestion over 10 years. Category 8 funding (for safety) is expected to be only $3.3 billion."
Only 23 people commented on last year's plan, according to Crossley.
We have a very effective way to get people to Dodger Stadium. IT IS A BUS that picks people up at TRANSIT STATIONS and runs on DEDICATED BUS LANES. Thousands of people take it to every game! pic.twitter.com/ztlnSQ4Aha— Alissa Walker (@awalkerinLA) August 16, 2018