Thursday, March 25, 2010

Finding / Acessing Services available from your City

311 Service 311 Telephone Services
311 Service
Non-Emergency Government 311 Services
311 Service has been approved by the US Government as a 3-digit dedicated phone number to reach important government services from any location and at any time. Simply dial 311 from any telephone and you will reach various non-emergency services thru out the nation.

Call 311 -- 311 is a simple, easy-to-remember telephone number which connects citizens with specially-trained city customer service representatives. They are ready to help you with your City service requests ... so next time you need a service from your City . . . CALL 311!

How does 311 work? When you dial 311, a Customer Service Representative will answer your call. You will be asked for detailed information regarding your request. This information is immediately sent to the appropriate City department for action. 311 Customer Service Representatives understand the importance of providing quality customer service the first time you call.

The mission of 311 phone service is to provide access to City services and City information with the highest possible levels of customer service. The "3-1-1" initiative strives to help City agencies provide efficient service delivery by allowing them to focus on their core missions, manage workloads efficiently, provide insight into the needs of residents, and measure how well services are delivered.

Since 311 is a relatively new service not all localities offer 311 service at this time, especially lesser populated areas. However, its use is rapidly gaining momentum as more and more local agencies are offering it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cohousing, a movement that started in Denmark

Cohousing building momentum in Mass. - The Boston Globe
Cohousing, a movement that started in Denmark in the 1980s, has been steadily spreading from Western Massachusetts into urban areas, and catching on with a new generation of frugal, environmentally conscious folks.

Carbon footprints and tight household budgets weigh on a lot of city dwellers’ minds, its champions point out. Security, safety, and building a sense of community do, too. Cohousing addresses all of these concerns, they maintain. For young adults and parents of growing families, it means a more neighborly way of living than an apartment complex normally offers. For seniors, it often allows “aging in place’’ with members of multiple generations.

Cheaper. Cleaner. More democratic. More congenial. More stimulating. What’s not to like?

“Massachusetts has become one of the hotbeds of cohousing,’’ said Craig Ragland, executive director of the Cohousing Association of the United States. By Ragland’s count, there are 120 established cohousing communities across the country, including preexisting neighborhood complexes retrofitted to the cohousing model.