Other stories by Jenni Spinner

  • Pungent pest control

    One Chicago suburb is fortifying its relentless mosquito-abatement efforts with a weapon you'd be more likely to find in an Italian kitchen than inside an insecticide sprayer.

  • Getting along

    Elected officials can drive you crazy. They all want to get their two cents in on how your public works department should operate. However, there are ways to work together in harmony and ensure your operation continues to run smoothly.

  • A woman's place is in the field

    Ethyl Ann Hansen joined the California DOT (Caltrans) in the 1960s, at a time when the position most commonly held by women at the agency was secretary. Hansen, on the other hand, was an engineer. She spent her career improving transportation in the San Francisco Bay area. Forty years later, the...

  • Storm aftermath

    In most towns, solid waste personnel have collection down to a science. Unfortunately, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. Hurricanes, blizzards, heavy rains, and other severe weather events can gum up an otherwise smooth collection operation and make a mess of things. In addition to regular...

  • Public works leaders should take a hike

    PUBLIC WORKS Associate Editor Jenni Spinner asks: How often How often do you get out to see your town? Have you ever left the comfort of your office or truck cab to get out to take a good look at the town you serve? If you haven't, you're not getting the big-picture view—the one your constituents...

  • PUBLIC WORKS Briefs April 2006

    Pervious concrete forum; Drinking water poster available; Tools for small water systems; a correction.

  • Fine Windy City dining from a trash man's perspective

    Want to know the best places to enjoy a great lunch in Chicago? Don't reach for the city's Zagat Survey, or flip to the

  • Seeing the big picture

    Serving the public can be an arduous, thankless job. The work is challenging, and even if your performance is stellar, the number of complaints you draw often outweighs the kudos. Of course you want to do a good job, but sometimes, when you find yourself in the middle of a grueling workday—which...

  • PUBLIC WORKS News Briefs - June 2005

  • Little water warriors

    After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, water department managers became keenly aware of their facilities' vulnerability. Since then, they have put in place a range of measures, from physical features protecting buildings to tests that detect the presence of toxins in their water supply. Now, in large...