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American Journal of Public Health;
A new 20-year study shows a link between children's social skills in kindergarten and their well-being in early adulthood.
Researchers from Pennsylvania State and Duke Universities analyzed what happened to nearly 800 kindergarteners from four locations after their teachers measured their social competency skills in 1991. The children were evaluated on a range of social behaviors, such as whether they resolve peer problems, listen to others, share materials, cooperate, and are helpful. Each student then received a composite score representing his or her overall level of positive social skills/behavior, on a scale from ("not at all") to 4 ("very well"). The research team monitored these students and the positive and negative milestones each obtained until they turned 25.
Using a variety of data sources, including official records; reports from parents; and self-reporting by the participants, researchers recorded whether the students obtained high school diplomas, college degrees, and full-time jobs. They also kept track of whether students developed a criminal record or substance abuse problems, among other negative outcomes.
This report investigated whether large banks provide accurate and full information on overdraft products and services ("overdraft"); whether the information varied based on a person's race, ethnicity, or gender, or based on neighborhood; and whether the information was provided without undue pressure or steering to costly products.
National League of Cities;
Mobile food vending generates approximately $650 million in revenue annually. The industry is projected to account for approximately $2.7 billion in food revenue over the next five years, but unfortunately, most cities are legally ill-equipped to harness this expansion. Many city ordinances were written decades ago, with a different type of mobile food supplier in mind, like ice cream trucks, hot dog carts, sidewalk peddlers, and similar operators. Modern mobile vending is a substantial departure from the vending typically assumed in outdated local regulations. Vendors utilize large vehicles packed with high-tech cooking equipment and sanitation devices to provide sophisticated, safe food usually prepared to order.
Increasingly, city leaders are recognizing that food trucks are here to stay. They also recognize that there is no "one size fits all" prescription for how to most effectively incorporate food trucks into the fabric of a community. With the intent of helping city leaders with this task, this guide examines the following questions: What policy options do local governments have to regulate food trucks? What is the best way to incorporate food trucks into the fabric of a city, taking into account the preferences of all stakeholders?
Thirteen cities of varying size and geographic location were analyzed for this study. Information on vending regulations within each of these cities was collected and analyzed, and supplemented with semi-structured interviews with city staff and food truck vendors.
As developing new supply capacity has become increasingly expensive and difficult to permit (i.e., regulatory approval), utilities have become more reliant on temporary demand management programs, such as outdoor water use restrictions, for ensuring reliability during drought. However, a significant fraction of water utility income is often derived from the volumetric sale of water, and such restrictions can lead to substantial revenue losses. Given that many utilities set prices at levels commensurate with recovering costs, these revenue losses can leave them financially vulnerable to budgetary shortfalls. This work explores approaches for mitigating drought-related revenue losses through the use of third-party financial insurance contracts based on streamflow indices. Two different types of contracts are developed, and their efficacy is compared against two more traditional forms of financial hedging used by water utilities: Drought surcharges and contingency funds (i.e., self-insurance). Strategies involving each of these approaches, as well as their use in combination, are applied under conditions facing the water utility serving Durham, North Carolina. A multireservoir model provides information on the scale and timing of droughts, and the financial effects of these events are simulated using detailed data derived from utility billing records. Results suggest that third-party index insurance contracts, either independently or in combination with more traditional hedging tools, can provide an effective means of reducing a utility's financial vulnerability to drought.
Durham Public Education Network (DPEN);
In March 2003, the Durham Public Education Network (DPEN) convened hundreds of public leaders in the community for a high-profile signing ceremony. They were gathered to sign a one-page community covenant would that allow the community to hold district and community leaders accountable for supporting school improvement.