George Mason in the News

Posted: June 29, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Saturday, June 23, CNN: In the Money

Eco Report Card

Richard Florida, public policy professor at Mason, was interviewed by CNN Correspondent Christine Romans about a system he developed known as a “gay index.” Florida described how it proves that the more gay-friendly a city is, the more economic prosperity that city will enjoy. In response to questions about what qualifies as a gay-friendly city, and how a city can have gay-friendly policies, Florida responded: “It’s not really a set of gay-friendly policies. They’re a group of cities that over time have just become more open minded and open to diversity. It’s like what’s happening in places like Detroit and Pittsburgh. They’re educating a lot of really smart kids, and those kids are migrating to other cities, whether it’s New York or San Francisco. It’s opportunity. On the one hand, there are good jobs and there are vibrant labor markets. But they’re also open-minded communities and the kinds of places these young people want to be. So what happens is they attract all the young talent, and then the companies have to follow.”

Sunday, June 24, Boston Globe

Drawing Artists Away from the City

“Some 40 miles west of Boston, out in the expanses of central Massachusetts, Marlborough is hardly on the art world’s beaten path. A former factory town, its downtown has been emptied by the malls on the outskirts, its once vast apple orchards torn down to create housing subdivisions and office parks. ArtistLink, a clearinghouse for information about affordable artists’ space in Massachusetts, has more than 350 units listed for sale or rent. Many are outside metro Boston, but usually in cities larger than Marlborough. Richard Florida, an economist at George Mason University and author of the best-selling book ‘The Rise of the Creative Class,’ said many artists struggle to afford city rents. That has pushed artists into traditionally suburban areas, where they either commute to the city, or move there and work from home.”

Monday, June 25, Houston Chronicle

Nuclear Power Depends on Waste Disposal

“The failure of the federal government to open a storage site for radioactive waste means any chance to expand nuclear power in California is more than a decade away, according to a draft report prepared for the state Energy Commission. The Department of Energy also needs Congress to approve legislation giving it ownership of Yucca Mountain, although construction of the storage facility could begin before that transfer takes place. Opponents say Yucca Mountain has serious environmental problems. The area around the site, about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is laced with earthquake faults. It also is near at least one potentially active volcano, said Allison Macfarlane, associate professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University.”

Thursday, June 28, Washington Post

Building a Pedestal for the Arts

“Many parties agree that the arts are good for the community. But the shortage of resources may be about to improve. Since early this year, a commission created by the county Board of Supervisors has been working to outline a plan on how government leaders, in cooperation with educators, organizers and the business community, could provide a more stable and considered approach to supporting the arts. ‘There is so much going on in the arts … in Fairfax County that one has to have some sort of document that says, “This is where we are in 2007.” The breadth and depth of activity is such that we need an encyclopedia,’ said Alan Merten, president of George Mason University. Merten is chairman of the Commission on the Future of the Arts in Fairfax County. ‘Right now, Fairfax is a lot of different things,’ Merten said. ‘People talk about Fairfax as a political jurisdiction. They don’t think of it as a single community. Maybe that is because of the lack of a big downtown that everyone goes to. But whatever it is, the arts and culture can play a role.’”

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