Summary of “In Sacramento, trying to stop a killing before it happens”

So Sacramento contracted with Advance Peace, a program in which mentors like McGhee – themselves previously imprisoned – identify vulnerable young men and help them develop a “Life map” of short- and long-term goals while wrapping them in social services.
“Fox News did a story that, in essence, said the city of Sacramento approves a program to ‘bribe’ gangbangers to stop shooting each other. That didn’t go over too good.”
Boggan began to field calls from major philanthropies who wanted to expand the program to other cities.
On the site Infowars, a writer said the program would “Take money from peaceful tax paying citizens and redistribute that money to the gang bangers who are killing them.”
While the Sacramento police chief supported the program, other prominent local law enforcement officials did not.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said in a statement that she had “Serious concerns” about the program, which she described as “Apparently based upon the payment of money to high-risk individuals in exchange for a promise not to engage in” violence.
While some officers questioned how it would be implemented, the city’s police chief backed the program.
At Shepherd’s suggestion, Thibodeaux began working as a mentor for the Richmond program and later applied to run the Sacramento pilot.

The orginal article.

Summary of “With No Laws To Guide It, Here’s How Orlando Is Using Amazon’s Facial Recognition Technology”

It’s one of three IRIS cameras in the Orlando area whose video feeds are processed by a system that could someday flag potential criminal matches – for now, all the “Persons of interest” are volunteers from the Orlando police – and among a growing number of facial recognition systems nationally.
The documents, obtained by BuzzFeed News via a Freedom of Information request, show that Amazon marketed its facial recognition tools to Orlando’s police department, providing tens of thousands of dollars of technology to the city at no cost, and shielding the Rekognition pilot with a mutual nondisclosure agreement that kept its details out of the public eye.
There were miscommunications, including an embarrassing misstep that required an apology from Amazon – to the public and to Orlando PD. To be clear, Orlando has not yet deployed a citywide facial recognition project.
Documents obtained by BuzzFeed News show the initial rollout of Orlando’s Amazon Rekognition pilot was marked by internal miscommunication that led to both the city of Orlando and Amazon Web Services – Amazon’s cloud computing arm that offers its facial recognition tools – presenting confusing and contradictory information about the pilot to the public.
After the contract between the City of Orlando and Amazon was finalized in December 2017, documents show that in mid-February a team from Amazon Web Services spent two days in Orlando connecting the city’s video feeds to AWS Rekognition for a “Proof of concept” project.
While the city began streaming its video feeds to Amazon Web Services back in February, it was only in May, when the ACLU reported that Amazon was pitching its facial recognition tool to law enforcement agencies, including Orlando’s, that the broad public became aware of the Orlando PD’s facial recognition pilot.
A July 6 memo addressed to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and representatives of Orlando Districts 1 through 6, and written by representatives of the Orlando Police Department, stated: “The pilot aligns with the City’s mission to be financially responsible by leveraging existing resources and technology to improve operational efficiencies supporting OPD in keeping our residents, visitors, and officers safe.”
The pace at which the Orlando Police Department is moving on facial recognition technology while demonstrating a limited grasp of how it works is concerning, said Scott Maxwell, an Orlando resident and columnist at the Orlando Sentinel.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The problem with “shop local,” explained by Jeremiah Moss”

In the ’90s, the stretch of Bleecker Street that snakes north through New York City’s Greenwich Village was home to dozens of independently owned bookshops, sex shops, antique stores, and framing galleries.
Throughout New York City’s transition from a place where a middle-class person could maybe make a living opening and running a business to a place where, well, good luck with that, there’s been one person chronicling it all: Jeremiah Moss.
Moss is the author of the blog Vanishing New York, where since 2007 he’s been lamenting the death of mom-and-pop stores all over the city and engaging in activism to try to save them.
Moss has been a staunch critic of this trend, which is certainly not limited to New York City.
I spoke with Moss over the phone about his piece, in which he criticizes the neoliberalism – the free-market, capitalist approach to governance – that permeated in New York in response to the city’s financial crisis in the late ’70s and ultimately spread globally.
Neoliberal ideas around privatization or regulation – running the government like a corporation, austerity for the working classes – those ideas had been floating around, but they didn’t have any success until the fiscal crisis in New York City of the 1970s.
So if running cities like corporations is contributing to the demise of small businesses and turning citizens into consumers, why are these ideas still so popular?
People, particularly younger people and retired people, it seems, want to be in the city.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why New York Has So Many Empty Storefronts”

Read: How basic economics could solve Manhattan’s traffic problems.
Second, the pain of soaring rents is exacerbated by the growth of online shopping.
It’s typically simplistic to point at a problem in the U.S. and say, “Well, because Amazon.” But it is no coincidence that New York storefront vacancy is climbing just as warehousing vacancy in the U.S. has officially reached an all-century low: A lot of goods are moving from storefronts to warehouses, where they are placed in little brown boxes rather than big brown bags.
The internet won’t cut my hair, and not even the most homesick midwesterner goes online to order a deep dish to be delivered from Chicago to New York.
Online shopping has digitized a particular kind of business-mostly durable, nonperishable, and tradable goods-that one used to seek out in department stores or similar establishments.
One might expect that new companies would fill the vacuum, particularly given the evidence that e-commerce companies can boost online sales by opening physical locations.
The upshot is a stubborn market imbalance: The fastest-growing online retailers are looking to experiment with short-term leases, but the landlords are holding out for long-term tenants.
New York’s problems today are an omen for the future of cities.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.”

How did transit become such an afterthought in Americans’ transportation habits? I addressed that question in detail in an earlier CityLab piece.
The U.S. did see a resurgence of transit spending on big projects in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. But there was a big difference between America’s approach to big urban metro projects and that of Canadian and European cities: Even when the United States built expensive rail systems, it never took care of the basics.
That’s the fundamental problem that makes transit useless for most people in most American cities.
The key to great transit service is not about getting 100 percent of people to ride transit for 100 percent of trips.
Converting existing rail lines to run real transit service can be shockingly cheap: Ottawa converted a lightly-used freight route to a five-stop rail transit line with trains every 15 minutes for only $16 million.
The U.S. did stop building rail, despite much talk among American planners of “Balanced” transportation plans that included both highway and public transit improvements.
All too often, transit planners-and even advocates-find themselves resigned to fatalism about the prospect of transit in American suburbs.
Improving American transit doesn’t necessarily demand multi-decade, hundred-billion-dollar infrastructure projects: It can be done by better advantage of existing space and existing vehicles, and then deploying them in ways that encourage people to actually use them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why America’s Lead in High-Tech Startups Is Eroding”

According to new data I analyzed with my colleague and collaborator Ian Hathaway, the more troubling reality for the United States is that an even bigger “Rise of the rest” is occurring in cities in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere in the world.
Our report released on Friday compiles the most detailed data yet on global startup cities, tracking venture-capital investment in nations and cities around the world.
Using data from PitchBook, a leading source of information on venture-capital investment, it tracks that investment in more than 100,000 startup companies in 300-plus global cities over the period 2005 to 2017.
The San Francisco Bay Area remains the world’s leading startup city, with roughly 20 percent of global VC investment.
A growing number of global cities are gaining ground, and quickly.
In the third tier, Advanced global startup cities, Toronto, Sydney, Dublin, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong join Raleigh-Durham, Miami, Denver, and D.C. Of America’s rise-of-the-rest cities, only two or three-Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Minneapolis-make the list of the world’s 60 or so established startup cities.
The majority of them, such as Nashville, Detroit, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Cincinnati, are part of a separate group of 40 or so emerging tech hubs, alongside smaller U.S. college towns like Ann Arbor, Madison, and Bozeman, and rapidly growing Asian hubs like Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Calcutta, and Manila.
Ultimately, the global geography of startup cities remains incredibly clustered, concentrated, and spiky.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Suffer From Depression and Have PTSD Symptoms”

Most recently, I thought that if I could come home and work for the city I love so much as its mayor, I could finally solve my problems.
So after 11 years of trying to outrun depression and PTSD symptoms, I have finally concluded that it’s faster than me.
I finally went to the VA in Kansas City yesterday and have started the process to get help there regularly.
To allow me to concentrate on my mental health, I’ve decided that I will not be running for mayor of Kansas City.
I can’t work on myself and run a campaign the way I want to at the same time, so I’m choosing to work on my depression.
We are doing vital work across the country to stop voter suppression and will keep doing so through November and beyond.
Second, I hope it helps veterans and everyone else across the country working through mental health issues realize that you don’t have to try to solve it on your own.
Once I work through my mental health challenges, I fully intend to be working shoulder to shoulder with all of you again.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Feeling Lost with Paul Simon One Last Time”

Paul Simon recorded “The Obvious Child” in 1990, for his eighth solo album, “The Rhythm of the Saints.” He was forty-nine years old at the time of its release.
Earlier this year, Simon announced that his present tour, in support of his fourteenth album, “In the Blue Light,” would be his last.
Before Simon came onstage, Mayor Bill de Blasio strode out and introduced him as “One of the greatest New York City artists of all time,” which felt like a fair assessment of Simon’s deep and enduring legacy.
“Me and Julio” felt particularly poignant, containing, as it does, both the line “Goodbye to Rosie, the Queen of Corona”-the crowd went completely nuts-and a stunning summation of retirement: “I’m on my way / I don’t know where I’m going / I’m taking my time, but I don’t know where.” Simon grinned like a maniac the whole time.
Simon opened the show, as he has every date this tour, with “America,” a Simon and Garfunkel song about being young and mixed up in a way that feels irreparable, eternal: “Cathy, I’m lost, I said, though I knew she was sleeping / And I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why.” He revisited several of Simon and Garfunkel’s bigger hits, though he introduced “Bridge Over Troubled Water” as his “Lost child,” and never mentioned his old partner by name.
“It’s strange times, huh? Don’t give up,” Simon said, before strumming the opening chords of “American Tune,” from 1973.
The song’s melody is adapted from the Latin crucifixion hymn “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded,” which was first translated into English in 1752; Simon wrote the lyrics shortly after Richard Nixon was reĆ«lected, in 1972.
In interviews, Simon has always said he eschews overt political statements in his songs, or tries to.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What 61,000 hidden structures reveal about Maya civilization”

Earlier this year, a team of archaeologists announced the discovery of more than 61,000 long-lost Maya roads, fortresses, drainage canals, and buildings hidden beneath the dense green canopy of northern Guatemala’s tropical forest.
The findings were the result of an airborne laser, or lidar, survey of 2,144 square kilometers of the Maya Biosphere Reserve.
Now, archaeologists are starting to piece together what all the data actually says about Maya civilization.
Garrison, with archaeologists Marcello Canuto and Francisco Estrada-Belli of Tulane University and colleagues, used the lidar survey data to estimate that a Mayan population of between 7 million and 11 million people lived in the central Maya Lowlands in the bustling Late Classic Period between 650 and 800 CE. With 29 structures per square kilometer in the survey area, and evidence from earlier excavations to suggest how many of those structures might have been houses, the team calculated an average of 80 to 120 people per square kilometer.
There’s evidence of formal links between cities during earlier periods in Maya history in the form of elevated roads called causeways.
Defensive systems of bridges, ditches, ramparts, and stone walls lie hidden beneath the foliage in greater numbers and at greater scale than Canuto and his colleagues expected, even though texts and archaeological evidence both portray the Maya as a militaristic, conflict-prone people.
The broad view of the Maya landscape still leaves plenty of questions unanswered; there’s lots of detail to fill in on the big picture, and that detail may shape how archaeologists eventually interpret what they see in the lidar images.
More large-scale views of the ancient landscape may be forthcoming, since the 2016 survey covered only portions of the Maya Biosphere Reserve.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google’s Tool to Help Cities Fight Climate Change”

The company has only released estimates for five cities, including Pittsburgh, Buenos Aires, and Mountain View, California.
As part of this initiative, Google says it will also release its proprietary estimates of a city’s annual driving, biking, and transit ridership, generated from information collected by its popular mapping apps, Google Maps and Waze.
Google made the announcement earlier this month as part of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.
The summit, organized in part by California Governor Jerry Brown, was meant to encourage states and cities that have advanced climate policy since President Donald Trump took office.
These local programs do much, but they have not replaced climate policies revoked by Trump: A recent report from Yale and a number of European think tanks found that these “Subnational” programs could make up about half of the United States’ pledged carbon cuts under the Paris Agreement.
Google has framed the new project, called the Environmental Insights Explorer, as a way for leaders to focus and improve local climate programs.
The explorer remains a better tool for getting a glancing sense of a city’s carbon emissions than it is for making meticulous policy.
Google is also hampered by the age and quality of some data: To estimate how much carbon is emitted to power a given city, it must use a six-year-old data set from the EPA. But it can still provide useful information.

The orginal article.