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Cypen & Cypen
August 21, 2014

Stephen H. Cypen, Esq., Editor

1. PEDESTRIANS DYING AT DISPROPORTIONATE RATES IN POORER NEIGHBORHOODS: Governing has published a lengthly, well-researched article on how cities rarely focus on pedestrian safety in poorer areas, which have approximately double the fatality rates of wealthier communities. For example, in the middle of a four-lane roadway in one of Miami’s poorest neighborhoods Carl Jones stood over a solid double yellow line, as he waited to cross one morning in 2012. Just before a car traveling west could pass, another vehicle heading in the opposite direction hit Jones, sending the homeless man airborne. Police found him more than a hundred feet away; he died at a hospital shortly thereafter. The driver never stopped. Cars frequently dart down the three eastbound lanes of that stretch of Miami’s NW 79th Street. About half of the neighborhood’s residents live below the poverty line, and many of them must walk to and from work, or to the store. That combination is often deadly. Over a five-year period beginning in 2008, four pedestrians were struck and killed in the same block between N Miami Avenue and NE First Avenue. Miami’s 79th Street is an especially dangerous thruway, but it exemplifies a troubling reality of urban areas across the country: pedestrian deaths are much more common in low-income areas than in better-off parts of a city. Overall, the number of pedestrians killed nationwide has ticked up in recent years, even as vehicular traffic fatalities declined. No published national data assess income or poverty status of those killed in traffic accidents. But according to aGoverning analysis of accident location coordinates for the more than 22,000 pedestrians killed nationwide between 2008 and 2012, poorer neighborhoods have disproportionately higher rates of pedestrian deaths. A range of factors converges to make Miami one of the nation’s most dangerous cities for pedestrians. For one, Miami and other Sun Belt cities, with wide streets designed primarily to move automobiles quickly, have higher pedestrian fatality rates in general. On top of that, Miami’s large immigrant population includes many newer arrivals who may not be accustomed to the norms of walking or driving the streets of a large American city. And addressing pedestrian deaths -- especially when they are mostly confined to lower income areas -- is not always a priority. One Miami city commissioner who has pushed to make the city more walkable, acknowledges there has not been much public dialogue addressing pedestrian safety in the city’s poorer neighborhoods. Miami-Dade county’s low-income census tracts recorded 16.5 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, compared with a rate of 8.9 for the rest of Miami-Dade. That kind of gap persists even in places that are relatively safe for pedestrians. Poverty, of course, does not cause pedestrian deaths. But many aspects of low-income neighborhoods make those streets particularly prone to pedestrian accidents. Most notably, their residents are at greater risk since they are more likely to be out walking. Census data showed greater shares of commuters walk or take public transportation to work in lower income tracts. Poorer communities also develop differently. Historically, many could not fend off construction of highways and major arterial roadways the way wealthier communities did. You do not see highways running through the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Consequently, heavily trafficked arterial roadways with higher speed limits may run right through these poorer neighborhoods. It is along those routes where many pedestrians are hit, with slightly more than half of deaths occurring on arterial streets.

2. COUNTRY ROAD, TAKE ME HOME: has taken a state-by-state look at where each generation lives. Millennials, GenXers and baby boomers' different needs and wants lead them to flock to different places.  From living preferences to workforce needs, each generation of Americans has its own characteristics. By most estimates, Millennials recently surpassed baby boomers as the nation's largest generation. As of 2012, roughly 28% of Americans were Millennials, while boomers accounted for about a quarter of the population. The prevalence of each generation does, however, vary somewhat among states. Here is the scoop:

  • Millennials (born 1981 – 2000). Washington, D.C., has served as a magnet for Millennials, particularly over the past decade. A third of the District's residents fall into this age bracket -- more than any state. Just behind D.C. is Utah, the nation's youngest state in terms of median age, followed by Alaska, North Dakota and Texas. [Florida at 29%, ranked 49 out of 51].
  • Generation X (born 1965 - 1980).  GenXers, those in their mid-to-late 30s and 40s, account for about a fifth of the population in most states. After D.C., census estimates suggest this generation is most common in Georgia. Interestingly, GenXers are least prevalent in North Dakota, which has one of the highest tallies for Millennials. [Florida at 19.9% ranked 33 out of 51].
  • Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964). You will find the greatest concentration of baby boomers in three northeastern states: Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Boomers make up just under 30% of the population in these states, which are also the nation's oldest in terms of overall population. [Florida at 25.6% ranked 20 out of 51].
  • Silent Generation (born 1928 – 1945). With less than 11% of the total population, the Silent Generation is the country's smallest age group. It is no surprise that Florida is home to the largest share of these Americans, born in the late 1920s up through 1945. States where the Silent Generation is most prevalent also include West Virginia, Maine and Montana. [Florida at 14.3% ranked 1 out of 51].

3. SEVEN SIGNS YOU ARE TOO SMART FOR YOUR JOB: If you are bored at work, it can really be getting in your way and making it more difficult to be productive. When you have a lot to bring to a job, you want your muscles exercised. You want your brain to be busy. You want to solve hard problems yourself and with other smart people. Human Workplace, a coaching and consulting firm, has created the following list of seven signs you might be too smart for your job:

  • Your projects bore you. The most obvious sign you are too smart for your job is boredom. You lose your concentration when your work is more suited to polite robots than thinking human beings. While every job has its boring moments, if caffeine and sugar are required to get through the day, you are in the wrong spot.
  • You do not see a forward path.  You should always have your eyes set on what is down the road. It is good to be hungry and want to learn more. If there is zero chance to make something happen, you should look elsewhere.
  • People around you do not see a problem.  Your coworkers may be the nicest people on earth, but if they do not understand what you are talking about when you lay out frame-shifting ideas or if they cannot hold a conversation about anything except the way they have always done things, you are in the wrong place. You do not improve your game by playing with people a level -- or two or three -- below you.
  • Your supervisor has no vision for himself, the department or you. You cannot grow your flame working for someone who has no idea what a vision is or where to get one. You have to learn from your boss, so if that is not happening, consider this column a tap on the shoulder.
  • Your employer has not seen the best of you.  You have good ideas. It should be easy to share ideas at work, and for the best ones to find an audience and to be implemented. If that is not happening because you are not in a job that is viewed as an “idea” job, why are you leaving your blameless brain cells to die unused?
  • The choir sings from the tried it/did not work! Hymnal.People fall into ruts. Sometimes they stop experimenting and wondering altogether. If you work in a place where the standard response to innovation is “tried that! Did not work,” you must ask yourself whether your talents are being invested wisely.
  • No one around you looks like a mentor, a role model or a guide. Whom do you spar with? Who stimulates you mentally at work? Who do you look up to, and learn from? If your boss is a plodder or the CEO inherited the company and is dialing it in, start thinking about what you would do if you were not doing the job you have now. Get a journal and write in it. Design your dream job on paper first to get clear about your direction. Then, begin branding yourself for the job you want.

4. TEN COLLEGES THAT PRODUCE THE MOST MILLIONAIRES: says higher education is designed to provide the kind of knowledge it takes to lead a successful life. A college education makes it possible to become anything you want to become within the parameters of your degree. While many people make it through life without a college education, it is more beneficial to go to college. Attending university can help make you a millionaire. If you are unsure which college to attend, perhaps you would like to apply to one of the 10 schools that produce the most millionaires:

  • Harvard University (no surprise here). While this Ivy League school is certainly well-known for its stellar education, difficult entrance requirements and difficult curriculum, there might be a different reason it is the number one millionaire producing school in the world. It is also the school with the most millionaires in attendance. Harvard does boast some of the smartest, most intelligent and most driven students in the world, which is another reason it produces so many millionaires. It is also the school from which most of the world’s billionaires graduated.
  • Stanford University. Only a little over six percent of students who apply to Stanford are accepted into this prestigious school. It is a private, coed college located in California, from which a great deal of the world’s millionaires graduate. It is known for its stellar research programs as well as producing 30 living billionaires, 17 astronauts and founders of many Fortune 500 companies.
  • University of California. With more than 10 campuses and more than a half million students, it is no surprise that the University of California produces so many millionaires. Even though it is a public university, it is one of the best in the world. The many campuses at the University of California are ranked among the top 5 and the top 25 in the world. The school has produced many self-made millionaires from leading industries such as finance, real estate and the arts.
  • Columbia University. It is the oldest college in New York, as well as one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools in the country. In addition to the many unknown millionaires that the school has produced, Columbia features alumni such as 5 of the nation’s founding fathers, 43 Nobel Prize laureates, 20 living billionaires and 9 Supreme Court Justices. It is also produced 28 Academy Award winners.
  • University of Oxford. This United Kingdom school is the leading producer of millionaires in the UK. It is believed to be the oldest college in the English-speaking world, although it is unknown when the university was founded. Some of the most notable students ever to attend Oxford University include 27 Nobel Prize laureates, 26 prime ministers and several foreign heads of state.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This private research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of the leading producers of millionaires in the world. MIT students focus their education on physical sciences and engineering. MIT has an acceptance rate of only 7%, which makes it one of the most difficult schools in which to gain admittance. Graduates of MIT include 81 Nobel laureates, 38 MacArthur Fellows and 45 Rhodes Scholars.
  • New York University. This private university has one of the most prestigious lists of graduates in the world. Hailing from NYU are 30 Academy Award winners, 16 Pulitzer Prize winners and 36 Nobel Prize winners.
  • Cambridge. Cambridge is the world’s third oldest surviving educational facility, and one of the top producers of millionaires in the world. Notable alumni include the likes of Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Francis Bacon. Some of Cambridge’s current millionaires include the likes of Prince Charles, Hugh Laurie and Rachel Weise.
  • University of Pennsylvania. The University of Pennsylvania is one of the nine original Colonial Colleges. This private establishment is well-known for its medical school and its community outreach programs, and it is always among the top five research universities in the country. Nine students and faculty members of the University of Pennsylvania are Nobel Prize winners, three are Supreme Court Justices, and the school’s alumni includes one former president, 12 heads of state and 18 living billionaires among the hundreds of millionaires who graduated here.
  • Cornell University. Located in New York, Cornell is one of the nation’s most notable Ivy League schools. Gaining admittance into Cornell is a difficult process, as only the best of the best high school graduates are accepted into the Cornell family.

5. INDIANA BEST FOR ATTRACTING TOURISTS: August has arrived, the month when millions of Americans turn on out-of-office messages, pile the kids and dog into the car, and speed off to recharge their batteries. But which state is best for vacationing? More Americans visit national parks in California than in any other state -- 35 million in 2010. Overseas visitors favor New York state. Alaska has more parkland than any other state, and Rhode Island attracts the most visitors per acre of park space. (Five acres in the whole state). The Washington Post believes that from a public policy perspective no state does a better job attracting visitors than Indiana: its tourism office gets a better return on its investment than any other state. Last fiscal year, Visit Indiana had $2.3 million to spend marketing the state. That year, Indiana took in more than $8.3 billion in tourism revenue. Thus, every dollar spent on marketing and promotion yielded $3,635 in economic activity. Of course Indiana’s tourism office does not deserve all the credit. Plenty of visitors came for the Indianapolis 500; Indiana Dunes State Park, or (seriously) International Circus Hall of Fame. Alaska, Hawaii, West Virginia, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana and Maine all generated less than one-tenth the return on investment that Indiana received. But even low returns can have a large impact. Tourism spending stokes far more economic activity per dollar than tax incentives. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa and Rhode Island all generated more than $2,000 in tourism activity for every dollar they spent promoting their states. Where are you, Florida?

6. WHO SAYS I HAVE NOT BEEN WORKING?: CareerBuilders compiled the most unusual things employees were caught doing when they should have been working.  Here are some of them:

  • Playing the dating game. A married employee was looking at a dating web site, and then denied it while it was still up on his computer screen. (A real genius.)
  • Blowing bubbles. Employee was blowing bubbles in sub-zero weather to see if the bubbles would freeze and break. (What ever happened to Don Ho?)
  • Pet-sitting. Employee was caring for her pet bird that she smuggled into work. (Polly-tasking.)
  • Nair do-well. Employee was shaving her legs in the women's restroom. (Hey, it could have been the men’s restroom.)
  • This end up. Employee was laying under boxes to scare people. (Maybe it was Boxing Day.)
  • Cage match. Employees were having a wrestling match. (Get a grip.)
  • Sleeping on the job. Employee was sleeping, but claimed he was praying. (Sleeping on the job is unusual?)
  • Oversharing. Employee was taking selfies in the bathroom. (Rub-a-dub-dub.)
  • Ready to wear. Employee was changing clothes in a cubicle. (What other uses would a cubicle have?)
  • Print on demand. Employee was printing a book from the Internet. (Does that make it binding on the employer?)
  • Footloose. Employee was warming her bare feet under the bathroom hand dryer. (Remember, turn nozzle up to dry face.)

7. INTERESTING FACTS: Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals.

8. TODAY IN HISTORY: In 1975, U.S. lightens trade embargo against Cuba.

9. KEEP THOSE CARDS AND LETTERS COMING: Several readers regularly supply us with suggestions or tips for newsletter items. Please feel free to send us or point us to matters you think would be of interest to our readers. Subject to editorial discretion, we may print them. Rest assured that we will not publish any names as referring sources.

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Items in this Newsletter may be excerpts or summaries of original or secondary source material, and may have been reorganized for clarity and brevity. This Newsletter is general in nature and is not intended to provide specific legal or other advice.

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