Officials in Cumberland County, N.J., say the 3.5-cent tax increase included in the $157 million county budget is primarily due to state bail reform laws that took effect this year. Increased operating expenses and the loss of tax ratables account for the remainder of the increase, officials say.
County Council members in St. Joseph County, Ind., are mulling a new ordinance that would end a four-pet limit and would loosen restrictions on owning chickens or livestock. The ordinance aims to bring the county more in line with rules in the cities of South Bend and Mishawaka.
The police department in West Valley, Utah, has launched a new public safety alert system that uses texts, emails and voicemails to inform residents of emergency situations. The CodeRed system will cost $40,000 for three years and is funded by a grant from the federal Justice Department.
The Dutch city of Utrecht has launched a system designed to reduce the number of times cyclists are forced to stop at traffic lights. The system uses sensors to determine cyclists' speed and then directs them to slow down, speed up, or maintain their pace to hit a green light at the next intersection.
Honolulu has named Joshua Stanbro its first chief resilience officer. Stanbro's mandate is to help the city deal with climate change, natural disasters and other stresses.
San Diego is redeveloping a portion of Mission Bay Park, and up for debate is how much acreage should become marshland as a buffer against future losses. "Some of whatever we restore today and what already exists today will be lost to sea level rise," said Rebecca Schwartz Lesberg of the Audubon Society's San Diego chapter.
Climate change is causing plant and animal species to move to other environments, and that's having an effect on people, according to a study. "Where the change will end up isn’t easy to predict; as the species within an ecosystem shift in space and time, they're not all shifting at the same pace, and they're not all responding to the same signals," Craig Welch writes.
Residents of Northern Liberties, Pa., have come together to transform a historically certified cart way into a public green space. Residents expressed concern about overdevelopment and noted that the area is already home to many animals.
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