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Outjo, Namibia—Growing up in Namibia in the 1980s, Willem Bezuidenhout was alone with his cowboy dream. He wallpapered his father’s house in the capital of Windhoek with posters of Hopalong Cassidy and shunned play dates to watch The War Wagon again and again in his darkened bedroom, pausing the tape to trace John Wayne’s image onto pieces of translucent paper that he pressed up to the screen. His playmates—the sons of Namibia’s white farmers, doctors, or lawyers, like his father—made fun of him. But that was before the white communities of southern Africa went crazy for country.

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What major metropolitan area hosts the greatest concentration of “clean” or “green” jobs in the country? Is it Boston? San Francisco? Denver? Nope. It’s Albany, N.Y. This is one of the many sometimes surprising but rich and fun findings that emerges from the Metro Program’s new report, “Sizing the Clean Economy,” which endeavors to count the number of jobs in the clean economy establishment by establishment and metro area by metro area. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.

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Ad Absurdum

The scene is rugged Western desert; the music is corny countrylite. A lone motorcyclist rides across the frame. Text flashes on screen: “IN 6 DAYS.” Followed by: “Did not become famous with his band ‘Wizard.’” What does any of this have to do with Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign? Well, that’s kind of unclear. In the days leading up to the announcement of his candidacy in mid-June, Huntsman released three Web videos, featuring the same lone rider, the same cheesy music, and a random fact about the former Utah governor.

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There’s a time warp along the stretch of Highway 101 that runs between San Jose and Marin County in Northern California. To many there, it looks like 1999 all over again. While the rest of the country is landscaped with foreclosed homes and empty big-box stores, San Francisco and Silicon Valley have a shortage of office space. Established tech companies like Google are offering seven-figure bonuses to retain talented engineers, while the Sand Hill Road offices of venture capitalists are full of optimistic twentysomethings looking for funding—and many of them are getting more than they need.

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with Carey Anne Nadeau With the Bruins’ defeat of riot-prone Canucks (who’d have thought?) Wednesday night in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Boston area has now laid claim to a championship in each major American sports league (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB) within the last seven years. The New England Patriots won their last Super Bowl in 2005; the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2007; and the Boston Celtics won the NBA title in 2008.  Our analysis confirms that, indeed, Boston is the first metro area to achieve the distinction of having held all four major sports titles within such a sho

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Some of the most interesting developments in health care policy these days aren’t taking place in Washington. They’re taking place in Sacramento and the rest of California, where public officials, private sector leaders, and activists are working to implement the Affordable Care Act. Remember, under the terms of the law, states must must do everything from setting up new insurance exchanges to slapping regulations on insurers.

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As the heat and humidity settle into Washington for the season and the hope that Congress might one day take action to prevent a warming climate melts away, readers can find some relief in a recent spate of reports emanating from across metro America.   Metros, where 84 percent of the nation’s population live and work, will be on the frontlines of adaptation to climate change. Unsurprisingly then, a network of pragmatic metro leaders are taking the adaptation imperative seriously. They’re acting—on data and empirical evidence, no less!—to prepare for a future that will disrupt human geography

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The 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival starts today in Indio, California.  Over 75,000 tragically hip festival goers have arrived at the Date Capital of the World for what has become, just over a decade since its first installment, one of the most popular music festivals in the country.

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What are states good for? The 19th century answer was that states are a critical counterweight to federal power. The 20th century answer was that states are laboratories of democracy--tinkering with the beta versions of laws and policies before other states or the federal government adopted them on a large scale. The 21st century answer is that states are the enablers and supporters of metropolitan economies. One problem: States don’t really think this way. According to law, all the component elements of metros--cities, counties, townships, villages, etc.--are creatures of the state.

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Yesterday, we noted the extreme concentration in just a few metropolitan areas of the leading-edge U.S. cleantech firms honored in the Global Cleantech 100 list of the most promising start-ups. We noted that a whopping 39 of the 58 U.S. firms included in the list are hyper-clustered in just four metropolitan areas—San Francisco, San Jose, Boston, and Los Angeles, in that order.

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