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The Thursday List: News and Views for the Week of May 21, 2012

I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but came up with all kinds of excuses. No more. Even if this is just a public way for me to clear my thoughts on a few articles that have come past my inbox, news feed and stream, then here it is.

However, before I launch in to everyone else’s news, here are my two shameless plugs for my latest post on when it’s ok to quit a city and my e-book on how to make things better. Thank you for supporting both endeavors. For those of you still scratching your heads on what all this means, subsequent editions of the book will introduce more concise definitions and straightforward action steps for your community. I’m not going to put a timeline, but do expect a bigger edition sometime before the end of this calendar year.

Now on to the news:

It’s really sad that going to school on a bike is grounds for suspension and in some cases jail. Many of us saw the Grist article, but it’s this Bicycling.com article that really drives the point home that something needs to be done. It also exposes how little people in the government sector want to collaborate. Holding a master of public administration, I know that in theory this is not the way things should be, but it’s the way we have chosen in recent years to get things done. Yet, I commend anyone who seeks to take public action who’s just a private citizen trying to do the right thing.

The Huffington Post yesterday highlighted just that. Aurash Khawarzad, who I had the pleasure of meeting at CNU 19 in Madison, is the focus of a wonderful article on Do Tank, the tactical urbanism organization and a new organization called Change Administration, which seeks to deal with gentrification by hipsters dead on. Like it or not, even some of the tactical projects can be disruptive to already existing community norms and rituals. However, that doesn’t have to happen. Khawarzad cites his neighborhood and surrounding areas in Brooklyn as examples of how diverse many of our communities are, but how we also have an obligation as privileged people to do what we can to help save communities. I hope to lend my support to this effort and similar ones across the country that are dealing with distressed areas.

Lastly, my home state continues to exhibit examples of my 12 Legit reasons to leave. Case in point, a man who after peacefully demonstrating his desire to not have a Confederate statue replaced in his town, this man’s tires on his business vehicle were destroyed and his car and business were also vandalized, with obscenities related to the president sprayed on them. The man is still pushing on, showing that sometimes, even when it’s past time to leave, you have to keep soldiering on.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and my soon to be revived Tumblr to explore the environment in my own eyes.

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