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NewsNet 06-04-14

SUMMER DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A BREAK FROM HEALTHY MEALS FOR KIDS - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared this week (June 2-8) “Summer Meals Awareness Week.” This is an effort to get the word out and increase participation by children in need of free nutritious summer meal programs. Free meals offered by the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) seek to fill that void for children 18 and under so they won’t go hungry during the summer. Check out the SFSP website (link below) to learn more about how to become a summer meal site or sponsor, or to learn about where summer meal sites are located. Visit the Summer Food Service Program website and view the map of Summer Meals sites in metro Tucson.

CITY OF SEATTLE RAISES MINIMUM WAGE TO $15/HOUR - The Seattle City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Monday that would give the city the highest minimum wage in the nation and more than double the federal level. Seattle activists celebrated a successful campaign to gradually increase the city’s minimum wage to $15.00/hour by calling for a national movement to close the income and opportunity gaps between rich and poor. Council Member Tom Rasmussen said, “Seattle wants to stop the race to the bottom in wages” and address the “widening gap between the rich and the poor.” The International Franchise Association, a Washington, D.C.-based business group that represents franchise owners, said it plans to sue to stop the ordinance. “The City Council’s action today is unfair, discriminatory and a deliberate attempt to achieve a political agenda at the expense of small franchise business owners,” the group said in a statement. The minimum wage in Arizona in 2014 is $7.90.
Read more from the Washington Post and from the Wall Street Journal.

2013 POPULATION ESTIMATES FOR U.S. CITIES NOW AVAILABLE; TUCSON CONTINUES STEADY GAINS - The U.S. Census Bureau has released 2013 population estimates for cities over 50,000. The City of Tucson 2013 population estimate is 526,116. See a map of the U.S. and click on each city to see their population numbers at the link below.
Read more from Governing Magazine.

OVER 60 NEW STATE LAWS WILL AFFECT ARIZONA CITIES - The League of Arizona Cities and Towns has released their 2014 New Laws Report. The Report is designed to serve as a guide to those enactments of the second regular session of the 51st Arizona Legislature that have direct impacts on municipalities. During the past session, 1,205 bills and 103 memorials/resolutions were introduced in the Arizona House and Senate. Of these, 303 passed the Legislature and were sent to the Governor, and 278 were signed into law. More than one-fourth of these enactments affect cities and towns and are summarized in the Report.
Read the 2014 New Laws Report.

CAN TECHNOLOGY BRING MORE EFFICIENCY, MARKET FORCES TO CITY PARKING? - Los Angeles and San Francisco are among U.S. cities looking to new technologies to better manage demand, improve customer service, and make it easier to find a parking space. LA Express Park, for example, a pilot program that covers a 4.5 square-mile area of downtown, uses technology to match on-street parking prices with demand. Its goal is to ensure that between 10 and 30 percent of the parking spaces on each block are open throughout the day. "Smart meters" and sensors compile occupancy and payment data. Based on that information, a pricing algorithm recommends parking rates for various times of day that are designed to ensure that meters are used but that no area is overly congested.
Read more from Governing Magazine.