Morning Fizz: The Latest Battlefield
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring library funding, hockey, and employment.
1. Where is the latest battlefield between cities and suburbs taking place? Libraries.
Despite complaints from reactionaries about how "social engineering" favors urban hipsters, conventional wisdom and public policy is still biased toward sprawl.The Washington Post reports that federal dollars favor square footage over usage when it comes to funding wi-fi services at libraries around the country—proving that policymakers aren't registering that differences in density should dictate different approaches.
Seattle is one of five urban library systems from around the country that sent a letter to Federal Communications Chair Tom Wheeler about FCC policy to fund wi-fi based on square footage vs. use.
"WiFi costs are not merely a function of the square footage of a room with wireless connectivity," wrote Matthew Poland, chief executive of the public library system in Hartford, Conn. "WiFi performance is a function of users."
“Suburban libraries are capacious and uncrowded, and people who use them have BMWs and use broadband at home," said Hundt. "If you give them $1 per square foot, they're going to get a lot of money that they don't need. Urban libraries are crammed, crowded and critically important because the patrons don't have Internet at home.”
Washington [state] has the highest minimum wage and saw the biggest increase in small business jobs last year.
2. Is the NHL coming to Seattle? According to the Canadian press, hockey great Wayne Gretzky hopes so.
3. "Washington [state] has the highest minimum wage and saw the biggest increase in small business jobs last year. Its job growth has also remained steady and above average in the 15 years since it raised its wage."
That's the word from a new study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research which, overall, found that the 13 states that raised their minimum wages on January 1—thanks to new legislation or annual increases thanks to existing legislation (like in Washington state)—have seen higher employment growth than states that didn't raise the wage.