Mason in the News

Posted: February 13, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Sunday, Feb. 8, Boston Globe

Breakthrough on ‘Broken Windows’ in Lowell Experiment, Crime Linked to Conditions

“In 2005, researchers, working with police, identified 34 crime hot spots. In half of them, authorities set to work ? clearing trash from the sidewalks, fixing street lights, and sending loiterers scurrying. Abandoned buildings were secured, businesses forced to meet code, and more arrests made for misdemeanors. Mental health services and homeless aid referrals expanded. In the remaining hot spots, normal policing and services continued. Then researchers from Harvard and Suffolk University sat back and watched, meticulously recording criminal incidents in each of the hot spots. Such evidence-based policing is essential, argues David Weisburd, a professor of administration of justice at George Mason University. ‘We demand it in fields like medicine,’ Weisburd said. ‘It seems to me with all the money we spend on policing, we better be able to see whether the programs have the effects we intend them to have.’ And this particular study, he said, is ‘elegant’ in how clearly it demonstrated crime prevention benefits.”

Sunday, Feb. 8, New York Post

Pros: For Stimulus, Cut Taxes

“Congressional leaders need to cut the amount of spending in the current stimulus bills they passed as the start to confer this week ? or risk pushing the country deeper into recession and possibly into a depression, numerous economists and scholars told The Post. Because the government had less authority and will to act, no stimulus measures could be quickly put in place. Yet the economy naturally recovered within a year after millions lost their jobs in 1920, according to Professor Peter Boettke, who teaches economics at George Mason University. ‘My studies of depressions show that those economies that bit the bullet and allowed liquidations were the fastest to turn around,’ says Boettke.”

Sunday, Feb. 8, St. Louis-Post Dispatch

Black History: Why Just a Month?

“Should Black History Month itself fade into history? Many have long argued that African-American history should be incorporated into year-round education. Now, claims that Black History Month is outdated are gaining a new potency, as schools diversify their curricula and President Barack Obama’s election opens a new chapter in the nation’s racial journey. ‘I don’t see it going away,’ said Spencer Crew, a history professor at George Mason University, adding that a diverse year-round history curriculum can still be augmented in depth during Black History Month. ‘There’s a Women’s History Month,’ Crew said. ‘No one would argue that we don’t need to be reminded of women who have done things that are important.’”

Sunday, Feb. 8, Toronto Star

The Missing Pieces

“People are programmed to want results right away ? clear, immediate indications that what they’re doing matters. Unfortunately, we will never see ecological ‘results’ from our carbon-cutting efforts. The best-case scenario is that we manage to ward off the apocalypse ? someday. This is exactly why we have to change how we think and talk about climate change, says Ed Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University in Virginia. ‘If I want you to change your behavior, I probably should spend a lot less time scaring you about the enormity of the global problem. I should spend more time helping you think about what you as an individual can do to reduce your own personal footprint.’”

Monday, Feb. 9, Washington Post

If Spending Is Swift, Oversight May Suffer

“The stimulus plan presents a stark choice: The government can spend unprecedented amounts of money quickly in an effort to jump-start the economy or it can move more deliberately to thwart the cost overruns common to federal contracts in recent years. ‘You can’t have both,’ said Eileen Norcross, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center who studied crisis spending in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. ‘There is no way to get around having to make a choice.’”

Tuesday, Feb. 10, USA Today

Alexandria, Va.: Low Unemployment and High Salaries Make the Market Stronger Than Most

“Alexandria, Va., a historic city close to the nation’s capital, always has been a desirable place to live. It may be even more attractive now. Throw in that the metro area has the lowest unemployment rate among the country’s top 15 metropolitan areas, and it’s no wonder prices (down 5 percent) have not dipped as much as elsewhere, says John McClain, senior fellow at the Center for Regional Analysis, George Mason University.”

Tuesday, Feb. 10, Washington Post

Va. House Approves Ban on Smoking

“The Virginia House of Delegates approved a plan for a ban on smoking covering most of the state’s restaurants and many of its bars Monday, marking a significant political and cultural shift for a state whose history has been intertwined with tobacco for centuries. Mark Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University, attributes the change among Republicans to the state’s recent political and demographic shifts. ‘Many Republicans think it’s too risky for them not to vote for it,’ Rozell said. ‘They don’t want to be seen as the dinosaurs of Virginia politics anymore.’”

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