(jdong)

Can Yelp Track Foodborne Illness Outbreaks In Restaurants?

People tend to under-report food poisoning: generally, we don’t visit the doctor for a small digestive disturbance or report our illness to the local health department unless it happens to be part of a widely-publicized outbreak. What if there were another way to learn about these outbreaks, though? What if health departments could use Yelp? [More]

Portland Will No Longer Invest In Walmart

Portland Will No Longer Invest In Walmart

In its continuing quest to become a caricature of outsiders’ clichés , the city of Portland, Oregon has decided to stop investing in Walmart. Wait, Portland invests in Walmart? Yes, just under 3% of the city’s portfolio consists of Walmart bonds, the last of which will mature in 2016. The city’s total Walmart holdings were $36 million. [More]

Airbnb To Start Collecting Taxes In Portland, San Francisco, Maybe New York City

Airbnb To Start Collecting Taxes In Portland, San Francisco, Maybe New York City

Airbnb is a site that lets people rent rooms or entire apartments or houses, directly from the homeowner or renter. It has proven popular with travelers, but less popular with landlords, the hotel industry, and local governments. Why do local governments care? Airbnb rentals aren’t subject to sales and hotel changes. In some cities, that’s about to change. [More]

(tjean314)

Mall Puts Up Its Own Parking Meters Of ‘Questionable Legality’, Issues Tickets

A shopping center in Yonkers, N.Y. (yep, Consumerist’s global headquarters) didn’t think that it was doing anything wrong when it set up its own parking meters along the private streets on its property. Customers fed them. You park next to a meter, you feed it, right? Park Ridge has collected money and even issued its own parking tickets since the spring of 2011. The problem, of course, is that the city of Yonkers is the only entity with the authority to issue parking tickets and run meters. According to city officials, the shopping center’s developer kept collecting meter money and ticketing non-payers even after the City Council asked them to stop. [More]

Washington, DC Safeway Store Introduces Receipt Checks

Washington, DC Safeway Store Introduces Receipt Checks

Know what American retail needs? More receipt checks. DCist reports that a Washington, D.C. Safeway store has traded uniformed security guards posted at the door for plainclothes Walmart-style greeters who politely block shoppers from exiting until their receipts are checked. There’s an almost literal escape hatch, though: for now, tipsters say that there are no receipt checkers posted at the exit to the parking garage. [More]

Twenty Cities That Are Doing Better Than The Rest Of The Country

Twenty Cities That Are Doing Better Than The Rest Of The Country

The Daily Beast has come up with a list slideshow of 20 “recession-proof” cities across the U.S. The 20 that made the list each showed growth since 2007 in three categories: overall employment, per capita personal income, and metropolitan area gross domestic product (GDP). [More]

Homegrown Currencies Are Popular Right Now, But Do They Work?

Homegrown Currencies Are Popular Right Now, But Do They Work?

Remember the Downtown Dollars that Ardmore, PA sold to its citizens this year? Sara Lepro at American Banker looked at that and other “homegrown currency” experiments happening across the country, which are intended to stimulate the local economy and take advantage of “a growing ‘localism’ movement.” [More]

Cities Are So Broke They're Outsourcing The Police

Cities Are So Broke They're Outsourcing The Police

The new trend in government cost-cutting involves disbanding the police department, says the WSJ. The paper has an article about Maywood, a tiny city southeast of Los Angeles. The city lost its insurance after its carrier decided to cancel its policy “because of the $21 million in legal expenses and judgments against the city stemming from the conduct of its police department.” This means that Maywood can’t employ anyone. [More]

Looking For Jobs, Innovation And Culture? Try These 10 Cities

Looking For Jobs, Innovation And Culture? Try These 10 Cities

Kiplinger has put together a list of 10 cities that it says are primed to be great places to build a career and enjoy your life at the same time. Even better: the magazine didn’t put the list in a slideshow format, so you can read the entire thing on one page! Austin and Seattle take top spots, but there are some less predictable choices on there as well; how about Burlington, VT or Topeka, KS? [More]

Sandlin's "The Road to Nowhere" Essay Now Available

Sandlin's "The Road to Nowhere" Essay Now Available

The awesome narrative non-fiction writer Lee Sandlin has posted online for the first time ever his 54-page 1984 essay “The Road To Nowhere – On Suburbia, the Interstates, and the National Defense: A Confession.” It’s full of little gems like how interstates plowing through poor neighborhoods were justified in part because their increased light would reduce crime and their concrete barriers would serve as excellent firebreaks in the event of nuclear war.

The Road to Nowhere [Lee Sandlin]

Walmart Prepares For New Push Into Major Urban Areas

Walmart Prepares For New Push Into Major Urban Areas

If you live in Chicago, New York City, or Philadelphia, expect to start hearing some noise about Walmart in the coming months. The retailer has announced that it’s going to “step up efforts to mobilize local political support” so that it can finally open stores in those cities, reports the Financial Times.

Start A Career And Settle Down In The Top Cities For Young People

Start A Career And Settle Down In The Top Cities For Young People

An earlier article listed the best cities for retirees and sundry old folks to flock to, but young people want to self-segregate, too. Thankfully, the Wall Street Journal, widely read by American youths, presents The Next Hot Youth-Magnet Cities.

Want To Learn How To Make It Yourself? Visit Homegrown Evolution

Want To Learn How To Make It Yourself? Visit Homegrown Evolution

HomegrownEvolution.com is sort of a simplified Instructables for people interested in “mead making, beer brewing, bread baking, urban poultry raising, container planting, pirate gardening, foraging, pickling,” and more, according to Cool Tools. We have a feeling “pirate gardening” isn’t as fun as it sounds.

Top 10 Most And Least Affordable Cities

Top 10 Most And Least Affordable Cities

The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo have put together an index of the most and least affordable metro areas. The index was created by calculating what percentage of a city’s residents making the median income can afford a house in that city.

The Best Cities To Live In During A Recession

The Best Cities To Live In During A Recession

BusinessWeek asks, assuming that we keep sliding down into an official recession, where are the best places to live? They’ve pulled data from PolicyMap.com and the U.S. Census to make some educated guesses about local economies that will be least damaged by a large-scale downturn. They reason that no matter how the national economy fares, there will always be government jobs and a need for health care; higher education institutes provide a cushion for local economies, too.

America's 15 Hardest Drinking Cities

America's 15 Hardest Drinking Cities

Ah, Consumer Behavior. Forbes took a look at the CDC’s 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (BRFSS) and ranked 33 cities based on their resident’s answers to three survey questions:

The 20 Best And Worst Cities For Unemployment Benefits

The 20 Best And Worst Cities For Unemployment Benefits

Losing a job is bad enough, but your unemployment benefits can vary wildly depending on where you live. The L.A. Times compared unemployment benefits to the cost of living and picked the twenty best and worst cities to be unemployed.

http://consumerist.com/2008/06/09/costa-mesa-may-follow-las/

Costa Mesa may follow L.A.’s lead and sue Time Warner Cable for shoddy service, too. [Broadcast Newsroom]