Opioid antidote? As President Trump now officially declares the opioid epidemic a national emergency, several U.S. cities are exploring a controversial fix that’s already popular in Europe and Canada: supervised-consumption facilities, which allow addicts to inject their opiates in controlled settings with health and addiction specialists on hand. So far the U.S. doesn’t have a single such facility in operation, but political support is already full-throated in Seattle and Ithaca, The Nation reports:
“I would like to see it within a year, and I don’t think that that is crazy,” says Gwen Wilkinson, a former district attorney and [Ithaca’s] interim drug-policy coordinator. “I am speaking from my point of view, but from the rooms that I have been in, I think it is not outside the realm of plausibility that we could have a [supervised-injection facility] up and running within a year in Ithaca.”
This doesn’t mean it has been an easy sell. Despite the enthusiasm of top local officials, there are still people—from law enforcement groups to the county government to members of the general public—who look askance or outright oppose the idea.
“Feminizing” the Catalan crisis: As the independence debate roils in Spain, Barcelona Mayor Ada Coula—the first woman to hold that office—is calling for “lower testosterone,” by which she means dropping the threats and bullish rhetoric and finding space for measured dialogue. (PRI)
All-access Amazon: The new Amazon Key service—which allows couriers to unlock homeowners’ front doors to drop packages inside—could be heralding a new era for internet shopping and services like dog-walking, accompanied by “smart locks” and security cameras. (New York Times)
- See also: The Houston Chronicle lays out reasons why Amazon Key is a bad idea: “security nightmare,” house alarms, pets, and complications with the cloud. Digital Trends’ take: “I’d rather have porch pirates steal my sponges than let Amazon in my house.”
Serving HUD: A collection of civil rights groups is suing Ben Carson and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for delaying a rule designed to combat segregation among Section 8 renters, which was originally set to take effect in January. (Curbed)
Houston does have a problem: And it’s the phrase “Houston, we have a problem,” which locals are tired of hearing ad nauseam in sports broadcasts and news headlines—over 12,000 times since 1982, by one count, and inevitably popping up now with Houston’s World Series run. (See Twitter: @UghHouston) (Wall Street Journal)
High times ahead: With about two months before recreational weed becomes legal in California, cities across the state are still figuring out how to regulate the estimated $7 billion industry, though state policies on medical marijuana—already legal there for over 20 years—should help guide the way. (Smart Cities Dive)
The urban lens:
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