The Confederate battle flag is permanently removed from the South Carolina statehouse grounds.
Jason Miczek/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Weighty symbols: Two years ago yesterday, in the aftermath of the Charleston church massacre, activists succeeded in getting the Confederate flag removed from the South Carolina courthouse. Ever since, U.S. cities in the South and beyond have struggled with how to treat their Confederate memorials, NPR reports:

Whatever cities do with their Confederate symbols, there will still be deeper racial issues for the nation to confront. Brandy Faulkner, a political science professor at Virginia Tech who studies race and public policy, also points to President Obama's election as a turning point that sparked racial resentment among some white Americans.

"We like to think that we've made so much progress in this area, when in fact we haven't made very much at all. And what happens is the level of resentment grows depending on the visibility of progress," Faulkner said.

  • See also: On the anniversary of the flag’s takedown, a rally organized by the S.C. Secessionist Party temporarily hoisted the Confederate flag at the statehouse once again. (The State)

Taxing the rich: Seattle’s city council has passed a pioneering income tax on the city’s highest earners—a 2.25 percent rate for individuals and married couples making over $250,000 and $500,000 respectively—in a move widely expected to draw a quick legal challenge. (Reuters)

In the shadows: As Boston rides the crest of the biggest building boom of its history, the new construction is threatening sunlight, open space, and state “shadow laws” at cherished historic sites like the Common. (New York Times)

How to retire a coal plant: With the shutdown of the Huntley Generating Station, a Buffalo suburb lost its largest taxpayer. Then a local alliance stepped in to get help from New York lawmakers—the first instance of a state financially cushioning a community once reliant on coal plant. (Grist)

Denver on the move: Mayor Michael Hancock is calling for $2 billion mobility plan to expand Denver’s bus service, protected bike lanes, and sidewalks over the next dozen years, in an effort to reduce single-car trips. (Denver Post)

The urban lens

8.7.17

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