The Pulse: Citizens League Issues Scan

"The Pulse", the Citizens League issue scan looks at topics of interest to members of the Citizens League (

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Friday, April 25, 2003
Transportation. U.S. Highways deadliest in 12 years. A recent report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that the 2002 accident deathtoll across the nation was the highest in 12 years. An estimated 42,850 people were killed in auto accidents last year, an increase of 734 from 2001. More than half of the increase is attributed to rollover crashes involving SUVs and pickup trucks. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for individuals ages 1 to 65. Two problem swere leading casues of the fatalities: 59 percent of deaths are attributed to lack of seatbelt use, while 42 percent were alcohol related.

Motorcycle deaths are also on the climb with 3,276 in 2002, a 3 percent increase. The number of motorcycle deaths for those age 50 and older rose 24 percent. Many critics attribute the increase in motorcycle deaths to the increase in riders not using helmets as a result of many states abolishing mandatory helmet laws. Sue Ferguson of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says, "Helmet use drops by 50 percent when the laws go." (344)

Thursday, April 24, 2003
Public Services: e-Government -- Budget crisis is not a time to abaondon IT projects. That was the message sent out from a recent conference held by Public Technology Inc. At the conference, Philadelphia Chief Information Officer Dianah Neff commented, "Crisis motivates change. I'm going to take advantage of that opportunity for change that will be lasting and hold us in steda in good times." Philadelphia is facing a crisis that is forcing a reducation in the city workforce of 25,000 by 25 percent. New technology projects aree citied as one way the city can continue offering the services the citizens want and expect. a full article is available at (343)

Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Energy and Environment. Minnesota ranks well for per capita wind capacity According to the American Wind Energy Association, Minnesota has the third highest wind capacity per capita in the U.S. The only states that rank higher are Wyoming and Iowa. Oregon, California, Texas, Kansas and Washington round out the leaders. Internationally, both Denmark and Germany have more wind capacity per capita than Minnesota. (356)