A compilation of news links about and for regional communities pursuing local and regional development.
Published on line since November 11, 2003.
Top Regional Community stories … 1. – 9.
Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet … 11.01 - .22
Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .11
Announcements and Regional Links … 13.01 - .06
Financial Crisis …14.05
Note: Next issues will be April 22 and May 13 to accommodate early April travel to the Regional Studies International Conference in Leuven, Belgium and to the American Planning Association National Conference in Minneapolis, MN, late April. Ed.
An innovative education initiative that swept
Eighteen of this region's 31 school districts will guarantee community college tuition to all high school graduates, beginning with the graduating class of 2009. The funding will come from a combination of local government money and private grants.
The cost of the program is relatively modest, since the guaranteed funds kick in only after all other forms of scholarship aid and governmental financial assistance have been exhausted. In
It's a given that dropping out of high school - which is far too common in Mississippi - is a sure ticket to a dead-end job or no job at all. But increasingly, post-secondary education of some kind is becoming essential in today's economy. The severe economic downturn has only magnified the importance of higher educational attainment for individual lives and the economy as a whole.
Taking the community college tuition guarantee statewide speaks to a need that extends well beyond the counties that have already embraced the concept.
Rep. Jerry Turner, R-Baldwyn, introduced a bill in the current session of the Mississippi Legislature that would expand the program to the entire state, but it wasn't successful.
Testifying before a House Appropriations subcommittee, Robert Puentes examined the linkages between housing and transportation, calling for increased awareness of these connections and a federal policy that simultaneously promotes the economic vitality and environmental quality of metropolitan areas:
Good morning Chairman Olver, Ranking Member Latham and members of the Committee. I am pleased to appear before you this morning and very much appreciate the invitation.
The purpose of my testimony today is to discuss the connections between housing and transportation and the need for integrated planning as a way to drive decisions that lead to productive, sustainable, and inclusive growth. In so doing, I would also like to share some thoughts on how federal policy can strongly influence those decisions.
II. POLICY PROBLEMS
Unfortunately, at the precise time when the nation desperately needs to prioritize its limited investments and resources, given the economic downturn, federal policy is only slowly coming into focus. There are several problems:
First, the federal government is absent where it should be present on such critical matters as stimulating metropolitan problem solving or integrated decision making.
One of the fundamental issues frustrating efforts to address the global problems of the 21st century is that the scale of our issues—housing, transportation, global warming, economic vitality, environmental quality—is a mismatch with our political boundaries and institutions. And while there was at one time a federally-funded regional planning network, the funding, authority, and vigor of that institutional framework has waned. Little federal funding is dependent on approaches for achieving regional outcomes and where it is dependent the outcomes and their deadlines do not typically require many changes from current practice to achieve them.
With the exception of the strengthening of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), the federal government has mostly withdrawn from its past efforts in the 1960s and 1970s to actively promote regional planning.14 Few conditions on the award of transportation, housing, environmental, or other categorical or block grants provide incentives for the development of more effective regional planning and governance. And little effort has gone into linking city and suburban leaders into a national learning network or catalyzing local testing of improved regional governance models.
Unfortunately, most metropolitan area leaders do not have the ability to master change and determine outcomes by themselves. Metropolitan leaders simply lack the jurisdictional reach to master the vastness of the economic, social, and environmental currents enveloping them, whether they be the cross-boundary nature of housing networks or the drift of transportation problems across city, state, and even national lines.
The weak standing of metropolitan actors combined with the fragmentation of most
Next, federal policies addressing housing and transportation are compartmentalized and ultimately fail to make the necessary connections with land use
In the real world, families know that issues like transportation and housing and education are inextricably linked. It is in the specialized, stove-piped universe of federal bureaucracy where these issues are broken apart and kept separate. ...
14 Jim Wolf, Robert Puentes, Thomas W. Sanchez, and Tara Bryan, "Metropolitan Transportation Planning in the Post-ISTEA Era: What Happened and What Do We Do Now?"
Metropolitan Regional Planning Networks and Non-Metro networks: National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) and National Association of Development Organisations (NADO)
Map of Regional Councils in the
The Metro Atlanta Chamber keeps hoping for a transportation funding bill to come out of this year’s General Assembly.
At its board meeting Thursday, chamber leaders heard from Tommie Williams (R-Lyons), president pro tem of the Georgia Senate, who said governance must come before new funding.
That has been the position of Gov. Sonny Perdue since he unveiled his plan to change the governance structure of the state’s transportation agencies.
Under Perdue’s plan, the Georgia Department of Transportation would become more of a maintenance agency and a new State Transportation Authority would hold the power and the purse strings.
Metro Atlanta Chamber President Sam Williams said the president pro tem explained the business community should do all it can to try to get the two different funding proposals -- a regional approach in the Senate and a statewide approach in the House -- to conference committee.
“The practical view is that we’ve been at this for the third year in a row with a bill ready to present, and it just hasn’t been done,” Linginfelter said. …
Part of the political tension is that Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is behind the Senate version, which calls for regions being able to vote a penny sales tax to address their transportation needs; and that House Speaker Glenn Richardson is pushing the statewide penny sales tax.
The Metro Atlanta Chamber has just come out this week with a definite preference for the regional approach.
“We certainly like the idea of the regional T-SPLOST (Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax),” Linginfelter said. “We know there are alternative ideas, and we know there will be compromises along the way. But in the end, local accountability and matching local dollars with local projects is what has passed across the country. …
4. Homeless count up 20% from 2008 - AZ Central.com - AZ,
More single adults, families and youths are living on the streets in metro
A Maricopa Association of Governments [http://www.mag.maricopa.gov/display.cms] survey counted 2,918 homeless people throughout the county this year, a 20 percent increase from the 2,426 counted in 2008.
The Homeless Street Count found 230 families living on the streets, up 370 percent from last year's count of 49 families. The number of youths living on their own rose to 139, more than triple last year's count.
Each January, hundreds of agency workers, police officers, city employees and volunteers hit the streets to count the homeless. Their findings are used to request federal funding for homeless services and to improve and expand services for non-profits.
This year's increase in the homeless population comes after a 15 percent decline a year ago, said Brande Mead, a human-services planner with the Maricopa Association of Governments.
The count does not include the number of people living in shelters, which numbered nearly 5,000 last year, she said.
The state Department of Economic Security is conducting this year's shelter survey; the results could be available early next week, Mead said.
The bad economy is to blame for the increase in the homeless population, experts said.
"We're seeing more elderly, more disabled (homeless)," said Mark Holleran, CEO of Central Arizona Shelter Services, or CASS, in downtown
5. Energy efficiency - Bluefield Daily Telegraph -
A new report by the Appalachian Regional Commission is calling for a bold strategy of energy efficiency by the Appalachian region.
Specifically, the report concludes that the 13 Appalachian states could create thousands of jobs and save billions of dollars in energy costs by aggressively pursuing a regional strategy of energy efficiency by 2030.
The 233-page report released Wednesday is titled “Energy Efficiency in
Meeting the unprecedented energy demand will require 40 new coal-fired electric power plants and 182 million barrels of oil, according to the report prepared by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance for the Appalachian Regional Commission.
The report also suggests a number of energy saving proposals for the 13-state region, including more stringent building codes and incentives to retrofit old heating and cooling systems that could reduce energy consumption by 24 percent in 2030
The report also predicts that the path to energy efficiency could lead to new jobs — lots of new jobs. It specifically estimates 16,231 jobs by 2010. That estimate increases to 77,378 new jobs by 2030. This includes architects, engineers, construction workers and other related jobs that will play a role in achieving energy efficiency.
It is important to note that West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin and Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine are already taking steps to meet many of the recommendations included in the Appalachian Regional Commission study to achieve energy efficiency in the
6. JACK SPILLANE: The 'R' word will take some 'splainin' around here –SouthCoastToday.com -
You know that
You know how it goes: "I'm from Marion, not Mattapoisett."
Or, "We need a police station in the
But this 2009 economy is no joke.
So elected officials from local cities and towns are engaging in serious discussions about that previously dreaded word, "regionalization."
The Southcoast Regional Summit held its second meeting Thursday night at
They've gotten religion this winter since watching their state local aid budgets disappear into thin air for the second time in 10 years.
"You think it's a no-brainer but in reality, when you sit down and are dividing it up, it's a whole different thing," Dartmouth Selectman Joe Michaud said.
Everyone thinks sharing services is going to be a good thing when they're under the impression that their own community is still going to make the decisions, he explained. It's different when they realize they're going to have to cede power to another community or communities.
But the selectmen, city councilors and state reps who gathered in
They agreed to fill out forms listing the areas in which they'd like to consolidate. And they asked the legislators to start thinking of ways the state could help them regionalize, even being assertive about it.
It can only get better from here.
But it's going to be a long road back.
RC: Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District http://www.srpedd.org/
7. County proposes regional office to study townwide efforts -
More money might soon be available to pay professionals to study the regionalization of services between
If approved by the Assembly of Delegates in May, the county match would raise available funds to more than $300,000, enough to hire professional researchers to delve into services or tasks that the towns believe may be ripe for regionalization.
The county is quick to point out the initiative will not create a new level of bureaucracy.
“It will be a coordinated effort involving the appropriate county departments. There won’t be any single point person – we aren’t hiring anyone or creating any new department, and the office itself could turn out to be ad hoc. It may only exist until we get initiatives in place,” said Sheila Lyons, chairwoman of the board of commissioners.
“Does everyone in the assembly support it? No, but many do,” she added.
“It was during that League of Women Voters forum at
While Cape Cod Commission [http://www.capecodcommission.org/ ] would administer grant allocations, the program falls under the authority of the board of commissioners,
8. Property value drop trims
Giraffes and children starred in slick ads warning the Detroit Zoo needed help and voters came to the rescue, overwhelmingly approving a special property tax last August to fund zoo operations.
With $12 million to $13 million expected in tax revenue this year, zoo officials are breathing easier. But plummeting property values across the region mean the zoo won't receive as much money as it had anticipated, forcing officials to trim some ambitions.
... projecting a 10 to 15 percent decline in each of the next two years in revenue from initial expectations.
What's to blame? The
That means lower tax bills for homeowners, but also less revenue for local governments and institutions like the zoo that rely on property taxes, said Brian Parthum, senior planning analyst for SEMCOG. Such declines are being seen nationwide, he said.
At Ohio's Toledo Zoo, which has relied on property-tax levies for decades, an unexpected 2 percent shortfall in tax revenue for operations last year led to cost-cutting measures, including energy conservation and leaving an employee parking lot unplowed during the winter …
… Kagan said the Detroit Zoo's operations are safe for now, an enviable position as many zoos and aquariums across the country are squeezed by the recession and cuts in government funding. Zoos have many "inflexible costs" that are difficult to trim, said Steve Feldman, spokesman for the Silver Spring, Md.-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
"These are living collections. You can't stop buying hay, or food for the polar bears," he said. "Animal care and welfare can't suffer and it's a daily occurrence at the zoo."
RC: Southeast Michigan Council of Governments http://www.semcog.org/
Necessity, as it turns out, is also the mother of re-invention. Faced with reductions in state aid payments, to counties and cities, government officials statewide are examining different ways to make ends meet.
Expecting 2010 local government aid (LGA) of $54 million – less than half what the state’s largest city received in 2003 –
The same day, state Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, announced introduction of legislation to merge Stearns,
Cities also are battling with falling LGA payments, particularly
Revenue-generating ideas presented to Hodges panel included a “cost-recognition” LGA concept for cities that are regional centers and have higher police, fire and infrastructure needs; fees for programs or facilities used primarily by non-residents; the half-cent local option sales tax; and redirecting funding currently generated by the Minneapolis Convention Center to the general fund.
However, most of the above proposals would require obtaining a waiver from the state or legislative approval – raising doubts about how quickly they can be put in place.
What can the city do right now?
“I think the answer is we fight like hell for all the LGA we can get at the Legislature this year,” Hodges said.
Echoing Hodges was Councilwoman Elizabeth Glidden: “It’s hard to think about LGA doing anything except munching around the corner” of city funding needs, she said. “What’s the way we can adequately support all these regional and state facilities? We must have special funding mechanisms to support regional and state-wide facilities.”
10. U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - in news articles.
Bold font words are Google search terms. Bold italic words considered worth noting. In this and section 11, links to websites of organizations are added to the news excerpt when this is the first time an organization has been found. A goal of this newsletter is to find every regional council in the U.S. in a news story as well as recognizing other regional organizations. In most cases, where a full name is present, a Google search will quickly get one to that organization. News reports do not always get the organization name correct. Contents
.01 Top Metros of 2008
Site Selection Magazine
Big Oil has long been the big money maker in
http://www.siteselection.com/portal/ Note: begins at contents page.
.02 Forget Regional Cooperation, City Should Go Global
Hallmark hasn’t quite gotten around to designing the corresponding greeting card, but that hasn’t stopped perennial Richmond überbooster Rick Tatnall from declaring 2009 the Year of Richmond. If it sounds like a gimmick, that’s because it is. Tatnall, best known as executive director of Citizens Against Crime, has managed to track down more than 80 places named
.03 Order Creates Economic Partnership
Gov. Joe Manchin signed an executive order that officially recognizes Berkeley, Hampshire, Jefferson and Morgan counties as the Western Potomac Economic Partnership (West-PEP). “This region has so much to offer
.04 Plan to keep SPSA from sinking would raise tipping fees
The Virginian-Pilot -
The issue of how cities will be represented on the Coosa Valley Regional Development Commission board has been resolved until the Committee becomes a regional commission in August. Each of the 10 counties in the CVRDC was represented during a Thursday, March 19, meeting in which the members voted to return to their original bylaws which allow the largest city in each county to have a representative on the board. The issue came up during the a previous CVRDC meeting after the governor mandated the state's committees be reorganized into commissions, according to Rome Mayor ...
.06 Census: D-FW adds more residents than any other
Online: Metropolitan population estimates
.07 Official: Morris 'not an island' when disaster strikes
... since 2001 Morris County has been part of a planning group that formulates emergency responses for a seven-county New Jersey area that includes Essex and Hudson counties, and a still-larger group whose plans concern New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. "
.08 Linda Koop: Our growing population can't wait for new transit options
Linda Koop is a member of the Dallas City Council and chair of
.09 Favorable reception to bus service at city-county meeting
After a presentation by Piedmont Area Regional Transit Director Brent McKinney outlining demand and usage among the bus service's 10-county region, commissioners and council members seemed to agree that a basic park-and-ride service is necessary. Alamance and Rockingham counties are the only ones in the area that do not pay for or receive direct park-and-ride service. Federal and state grants would cover 90 percent of the startup costs. The county would have to provide the rest - about $100,000 to start with.
.10 SEPTA is our key to a green future
THE OBAMA administration plan for
.11 Official will appeal Metro money ruling
The head of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments said Thursday he plans to appeal a federal agency denial of the council's 11th-hour attempt to restore Metro bus service cuts. ... The council had tried to avert the service reduction by asking the Federal Transit Administration to "flex" $12 million away from a pool of money originally earmarked for the relief of highway traffic congestion. ... But the federal transit agency rejected the request, contending that the proposed new bus routes do not comprise new transit service, as required under federal rules. ...
.12 Hinds fighting for road funds
Jackson Clarion Ledger -
During the 2007
Under Act 812 of 23007, the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District, Inc. (SEAEDD) was appropriated $250000 of General Improvement Funds. In order that the funds be distributed as equitably as possible across SEAEDD's service area, the SEAEDD board voted to allocate the grant money by house district. ...
.14 Despite Distance,
Political and business leaders from
Metromode Media - metro
.16 Buddy up, schools
The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com -
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson again broached the topic of regionalism and education in a recent Cleveland City Club speech. Good for him. Greater Clevelanders have a deep attachment and loyalty to their local school systems and neighborhoods. But the business model of
.17 Q&A with Tom Sparkman, chairman of the
Q: A lot of your members chuckled at a recent meeting when discussing Gov. Rell’s offer to help towns that practice regionalization. Why?
A: I think the governor may be encouraging what we’re already doing. We help each other. I know when we used to do our own spring cleanup, we would have trucks come in from places like Sprague and
.18 Recession hurting
Puget Sound Business Journal -
A new survey of the
.19 Local development groups trumpet region's 'wins'
Remember when the rest of the country laughed at
.20 Stokes envisions economic benefit in extension of scenic byway
"The main point is to get more people to come to the area," said Marc Allred, a rural planner for the Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments. The expansion would create a 12-mile loop that would go through
.21 Schwarzenegger backs
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed a
.22 Crapo Will Have to Corral Congress One More Time on Owyhees
New West -
“We have to move away from clash and battle and into collaboration.” When Crapo discovered the books and theories of Dan Kemmis, a
.23 NH's Shaheen urges funding for Northern Border Regional Commission
The Northern Border Regional Commission would help parts of
.24 Gilbert must be regional player, candidates agree
Question: How important is it that an elected Town official work to make Gilbert a "regional player" in
.25 High-Powered and Low-Key
Jarrett, 52, serves as senior adviser to the president, and she oversees the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs. She is the principal contact for groups wanting to reach the White House, a stated focus of an administration that prides itself on transparency and outreach to an unprecedented array of grass-roots organizations. ...
.26 NIRPC approves region list for federal stimulus funds
Chesterton Tribune -
.27 UDOT ahead of schedule on use of nearly $150 million in federal stimulus funds
... UDOT is getting $149.5 million of the $213 million in stimulus money being spent on transportation projects in
.28 Jobless rate in KC area hits 8.2%
... dismal numbers and outlook delivered in separate reports Thursday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Frank Lenk, chief economist of the Mid-America Regional Council. Lenk, in his midyear forecast to members of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, said the jobs outlook was much worse than his forecast in October. ...
"Our initial joint purchasing agreement was extremely successful, resulting in $6.2 million in savings for taxpayers," Mr. Onorato said in a news release, adding that joint purchasing is first sign of the benefits of consolidation in city-county operations. ...
.30 Metro police dispels Wal-Mart threat rumors
.31 Commission approves look at Clean Air Campaign
Clean Air Campaign services are available to commuters and employers, Williams said. Clean Air Campaign commute specialists work with Atlanta Regional Commission and 9 other transportation management associations in providing programs such as telework assistance, carpool partnering and the Guaranteed Ride Home service. ... For more information, individuals and companies can visit http://www.cleanaircampaign.org
.32 Budget Woes Hit Mass Transit as
Wall Street Journal -
Just as mass-transit ridership has reached a historic high, tax revenues that fund rail and bus service have dropped, leaving transit agencies nationwide with huge budget deficits and the prospect of boosting fares. In the
.33 State water plan called critical
Fort Worth Star Telegram -
.34 Wind energy partnership follows region's economic strategy
MLive.com - MI,
.35 Regionalism Activist Unveils Downsizing Government Website
Regionalism activist Kevin Gaughan has launched a new website called: http://www.letpeopledecide.org/ The new site includes information on Gaughan's study regarding duplicated services in local town governments and a place for volunteers and supporters to get information. ...
.36 Poll: Most believe recovery plans unfair to expensive regions
Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal - CA,
Federal recovery plans that set limits on income are unfair to residents of regions with high cost of living such as much of
.37 6th annual Mayors' Roundtable Breakfast
The Metro North Chamber of Commerce is honored to host the 6th Annual Mayors' Roundtable Development Council Breakfast ... Regionalism at its best, the event will cover city specific issues along with region opportunities. If you live, work or have a business in the Metro North region this is a must attend event. The following Mayors will be participating: ... Note: 13 Mayors listed
.38 Bigger Is Always… Bigger
Cape Cod Chronicle -
But the justification for regionalization now seems to be that this will help stem the tide of young adults leaving
.39 New Data Track Evolution of a Landscape
New York Times -
THE marriage of satellite imagery and digital mapping has produced a 21st-century bird’s-eye view of how
.40 Bulldozer reported stolen decade ago found buried at Weatherford golf course
Criminal charges are pending against the owners of a Weatherford golf course after authorities found a bulldozer that was reported stolen more than 10 years ago buried under a fairway. ... face felony charges of insurance fraud, said Tyler Farrell, a detective with the Tarrant Regional Auto Crimes Task Force. ... the Mickles used the bulldozer and a tractor to build the golf course, which they began in 1996. Both pieces of equipment were later reported to their insurance company as stolen. ...
11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents
Central American states are "caught in the crossfire" of the drug war affecting Mexico and the United States, the top U.N. crimefighter said on Wednesday and he called for regional moves to halt the violence. Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), praised
.02 British thinktank warns of "global pandemic of unrest"
Monsters and Critics.com -
A leading British thinktank Friday warned of the 'grave threat' of social unrest in response to the global recession over the next two years. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in a paper published Friday, rated the risk of upheaval that could 'disrupt economies and topple governments' as 'high or very high' in 95 countries. 'Popular anger around the world is growing as a result of rising unemployment, pay cuts and freezes, bail-outs for banks, and falls in house prices and the value of savings and pension funds,' said the EIU paper, entitled Manning the Barricades. http://viewswire.eiu.com/site_info.asp?info_name=manning_the_barricades&page=noads&rf=0
.03 North Korean Satellite Would Threaten Regional Peace, Ban Says
.04 Are the police spread too thin?
Globe and Mail -
As gang violence rages, so too does the debate about the need for a regional police force that, supporters say, would offer a more co-ordinated approach in a province with 11 municipal forces and 126 RCMP detachments - more than a dozen police forces in Metro Vancouver alone. But critics are also taking aim at the large web of players who deal specifically with gangs, suggesting, in essence, that the good guys are spread too thin among too many teams against an army of gang members linked to 33 shootings - 15 of them fatal - across the region since the beginning of the year. ...
.05 Tertiary bodies thinking regionally will lead globally
.06 Microbial societies do not like oligarchy
Bacteria and humans tend to live in highly diverse and complex communities. Most interestingly, bacteria and humans appear to prefer to live in a democracy. ... Biodiversity is a complex term that includes taxonomic, functional, spatial and temporal aspects of organismic diversity, with species richness (the number of species) and evenness (the relative abundance of species) considered among the most important measures. Using experimental microcosms with bacterial communities, this paper shows that initial community evenness is a key factor in preserving the functional stability of an ecosystem. ...
.08 Findings on land use in Upper East Region presented
Research findings on land use plan in the Upper East Region revealed that most of the lands institutions in the region only operated with development plans without land use procedures. The Advocacy Officer of Trade Aid
Liverpool Daily Post -
THE stark impact of the world economic crisis on families in the Liverpool city region was exposed with the release of the latest unemployment statistics ... The monthly increase for the region’s six authorities – Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Halton, Knowsley and St Helens – is the largest since July, 1991, and follows a recent trend of sharp increases. ...
.10 Learning the Skills of Being a Regional Power
Many people believe that the crisis will cause a regionalization of the global community. In other words, it could lead to a strengthening of separate centers of power. For example,
.11 Networked cars driving transportation vision
... according to Saito, the real potential of the fully networked car is just about to reveal itself. He believes that around 2010, global telecommunication infrastructure will begin to change, including the switch from analogue to digital TV, the expanded internet addressing scheme called IPv6, and the migration of traditional networks to internet protocol. He also argued this is a crucial time to think about putting telecommunications in vehicles. If cars are going to be so smart, they may as well talk to each other and to things around them like the highway. ...
.12 New center aims to boost ties between
JoonAng Daily -
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Korea Centre, an intergovernmental body designed to cement ties between Korea and Southeast Asia, was officially launched ... The Asean member nations are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ...
.13 International water pact necessary
Improving transboundary co-operation - Water has always been both – a blessing and a source of conflict. On an international scale, countries where water systems are shared will tend to try and gain the most control over the water as rivers play an important role generally in the agriculture and economic development of these states. … Transboundary cooperation in this instance will strengthen regional economic development and cultural preservation. Countries need to cooperate in sustainable water management to reach for new heights of economic development. ...
.14 Fiscal Cuts or Common Sense? Fiscal Decentralization in
All intergovernmental fiscal systems involve a trade off between the opportunities and risks of fiscal autonomy, on the one hand, and the constraints and protections of fiscal dependence on the other. In this respect, the
.15 Regional Voices in Global Governance: A Natural Progression (Part I)
The Globalist -
The "geometry" of global summitry is in flux. A new global governance forum will eventually emerge from the existing G-8 and G-20. As Lex Rieffel explains, several factors point toward the emergence of a G-15 consisting of five "old powers," five "new powers" and representatives of five otherwise under-represented regions. ...
Christian Science Monitor
.17 “Internet monitored and controlled, even in democracies”
Reporters Sans Frontiers –
Reporters Without Borders today issued a report entitled “Enemies of the Internet” in which it examines Internet censorship and other threats to online free expression in 22 countries. “The 12 ‘Enemies of the Internet’ - Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam - have all transformed their Internet into an Intranet in order to prevent their population from accessing ‘undesirable’ online information,” Reporters Without Borders said. ...
Solomon Times Online -
... members of government, non-governmental organisations (NGO's) and marine turtle specialists to meet and update on implementation of the regional Marine Turtle Action Plan (MTAP) 2008 - 2012. Bringing everyone together to discuss this, also allowed for opportunities with donor organisations to understand and learn more about the different turtle conservation developments on the ground. ...
.19 New tactics for the camel plague
A key emphasis of the conference was on management to reduce impacts rather than attempts at eradication. This recognises that camels are in
.20 Where is
The Asia-Pacific Journal:
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991-92 precipitated a new burst of interest in Central and Inner Asia on the part both of
.21 In global economy : What must Sri Lankan organizations do?
Little is accomplished in the new global economy without collaboration across national boundaries. In hiring leaders and managers to effectively compete in this new economy, companies must look for individuals who thrive on team work and global collaboration. ...
Transport Intelligence -
Systemic structural problems combine with the vast geography of the country; mountainous and desert regions as well as an inhospitable climate to make the challenges facing the transport industry unique. However despite these problems, the Russian market continues to offer some of the best long term prospects in
12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents
.01 City Council weighs swapping dumpsters for better recycling, plus new water conservation rules
While some press articles in the fall mentioned here-and-there restrictions on the way for various cities in the Triangle, I can't recall seeing much that emphasized the regional nature of these changes. In the wake of the drought, water managers from the various systems in the Triangle (including
.02 Four messages from
3. Regional planning to ensure regional transit systems and associated TODS.
Transit Oriented Developments have begun to work well in
.03 Mega-Region Reshaping - Seize the Initiative
... what does
“The rise of the mega-region” - Richard Florida, Tim Gulden and Charlotta Mellander
.04 Transforming the Metropolis
Megaregions are networks of metropolitan centers and their surrounding areas, connected by existing environmental, economic and infrastructure relationships that will contain two-thirds of the nation’s population by the middle of the 21st century (Amekudzi, Thomas-Mobley, Ross, 2007). By the year 2050, approximately 10 such megaregions will exist in the
Mobilizing the Region
Today, Tri-State joined a coalition of civic, environmental, and transportation groups that called on elected officials to implement congestion pricing on
.06 Metro's options for balancing the budget
Greater Greater Washington -
... Some explanation of WMATA bus service and union/non union issues is necessary: The way bus service works (by agreement between the jurisdictions) is that there are "regional" routes run by WMATA. There is a set of criteria that define "regional" routes but basicly they either cross jurisdictional lines or travel on major arteries and service major activity centers other than Metrorail stations. The cost of these routes are shared by all jurisdictions by a formula that is somewhat like Metrorail. This formulation was developed to insure that riders in each jurisdiction had access to major employment/activity centers in other jurisdictions. ...
Similarly, as this spring arrives, it is a daunting time to be attempting the most ambitious mixed-use redevelopment to date south of downtown – Aerotropolis on the site of the former Ford plant in Hapeville. But the most remarkable and significant parallels between then and now are not the challenges we confront but, rather, the opportunities at hand. While economic, political and social cycles come and go, significant long-term trends persist: ...
.08 Want to get in the Van Gogh mood?
Put A Lid On It project
This is an ongoing community collaboration in the works for the Quad-State region of
will county watcher
(2) Cooperation between private developers, local officials, and community residents is needed to solve complex issues. One sector on its own does not have all the answers. The experiences of communities throughout the
.10 One Solution
Marketplace of Ideas Blog
Not surprisingly, reports
.11 JUSTICE FOR THE
WAMI -- Women Against Misogynist Imperialism
... other countries came in not because they believed in repelling aggression, but because they wanted a piece of the Congolese cake. The country was ravaged by "armies of business", commanded by men who "carefully planned the redrawing of the regional map to redistribute wealth," the UN declared. The UN experts knew this because the Rwandan troops did not head for the areas where the génocidaires were hiding out. They headed straight for the mines like this one in Kalehe, and they swiftly enslaved the populations to dig for them. ...
.12 The Geopolitics of Food
... even though the food crisis has abated for the moment due to temporary trends, the future of food, agriculture and food security is very closely tied in with global warming. Things are only going to get worse unless a global collaborative solution is found. ... The food crisis led to new kinds of trade agreements being signed, as food-importing countries sought to buy or lease large blocks of land to farm in other countries.
13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents
Global warming is already threatening developing countries with increasingly severe weather events, droughts, disruption of water and food supplies, and negative impacts on health. The poorest communities in both the developing world and in the
We are at a moment of critical opportunity. Please join leading experts, practitioners, and advocates as we address:
* What are the challenges and opportunities for vulnerable communities to build climate resilience?
* What solutions are working at the local, state, national and global level to address the devastating impacts of climate change? What still needs to be done?
* How can the
Sponsors: ActionAid, American Public Health Association, CARE USA, Center for American Progress, Friends of the Earth, the Global Gender and Climate Alliance, Heinrich Böll Foundation, InterAction, Jubilee USA, League of Women Voters, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, National Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Oil Change International, Oxfam America, US Climate Action Network, William Velasquez Institute, and the Women's Environment and Development Organization
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org while space is available.
.02 Call For Papers: International Conference - Going
In an age of intensifying globalization and interdependencies, being
In spite of this exciting and celebratory view of the Caribbean as the paradigm of creolisation, critics still lack a deeper understanding of the intra-Caribbean reality, for a simple reason: in approaching the
Deadline for submission of papers: May 31, 2009.
.03 Regional Studies Association Winter Conference 2009 on: Health, Housing and Wellbeing - Friday 27th November 2009,
Call for Papers. Contributions are welcomed on the following themes:
• Health and welfare at the local and regional scale
• Happiness and wellbeing: definitions and indicators
• Poverty, exclusion and wellbeing
• Social impacts of housing
• The personal, social and financial costs of housing
• Funding public health, housing and care
• Social justice, quality of life and standards of living
• Healthy lifestyles and healthy living
Please submit offers of papers in the form of 400 word abstracts through the Regional Studies Association on-line conference portal by Tuesday 30th June 2009.
.04 Crown of the Continent
The Crown of the Continent Ecosystem covers approximately 44,000 square kilometers (16,000 square miles) and includes treasured places like
The Crown of the Continent is one of the premier mountain ecoregions of the world and an integral part of the much larger mountainous landscape Yellowstone to
The Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council is a regional network of communities, tourism bureaus, conservation and business groups, educators, First Nations, government agencies, and others working together in the region that includes and surrounds
.05 Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE)
The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is a reference tool unlike any other. Its aim is not to prescribe how Americans should speak, or even to describe the language we use generally, the "standard" language. Instead, it seeks to document the varieties of English that are not found everywhere in the
.06 Regionalism (movement) – MoMA –
About this term ... Although many artistic ‘regions’ simply reflect the geographical or spatial distance of artistic production from the presumed location (or locations) of its emergence and primary development, regional styles or ‘regionalisms’ specifically tend to appear because artists at all locations of production—either ‘centres’ or ‘peripheries’, and even within ‘centres’ themselves—must work in some ways with locally available resources and under some of the constraints of the local economy and culture.
14. Financial Crisis. Contents
Special from the recent past - Published: Friday, November 5, 1999
.01 Congress Passes Wide-Ranging Bill Easing Bank Laws
The New York Times – NY,
"Congress approved landmark legislation today that opens the door for a new era on Wall Street in which commercial banks, securities houses and insurers will find it easier and cheaper to enter one another's businesses.
''The world changes, and we have to change with it,'' said Senator Phil Gramm of
The opponents of the measure gloomily predicted that by unshackling banks and enabling them to move more freely into new kinds of financial activities, the new law could lead to an economic crisis down the road when the marketplace is no longer growing briskly.
''I think we will look back in 10 years' time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930's is true in 2010,'' said Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota. ''I wasn't around during the 1930's or the debate over Glass-Steagall. But I was here in the early 1980's when it was decided to allow the expansion of savings and loans. We have now decided in the name of modernization to forget the lessons of the past, of safety and of soundness.''
Supporters of the legislation rejected those arguments. They responded that historians and economists have concluded that the Glass-Steagall Act was not the correct response to the banking crisis because it was the failure of the Federal Reserve in carrying out monetary policy, not speculation in the stock market, that caused the collapse of 11,000 banks. If anything, the supporters said, the new law will give financial companies the ability to diversify and therefore reduce their risks. The new law, they said, will also give regulators new tools to supervise shaky institutions.
.02 Local Economies Seek Own Revival – The Wall Street Journal -
Cities, counties and states across the nation are launching home-grown economic-stimulus plans aimed at spurring local spending and keeping small businesses afloat during the recession. ... Economists dispute the effectiveness of small-business loans and subsidies for start-ups. Such incentives may help a particular town poach businesses from its neighbors, but that doesn't lift the regional economy. Another weakness: Many start-ups will fail long before the public can recoup its investment. Research shows that most job creation comes from midsize, "teenage" companies, which tend to be left out of most local stimulus plans, according to
.03 The Rise of the Underground – The Wall Street Journal -
Economists have long thought the underground economy -- the vast, unregulated market encompassing everything from street vendors to unlicensed cab drivers -- was bad news for the world economy. Now it's taking on a new role as one of the last safe havens in a darkening financial climate, forcing analysts to rethink their views. …
Economists have stressed the negative aspects of informal trade for decades. Informal businesses often don't pay taxes, and they routinely lack the capital and expertise to be as productive as big enterprises, leading to less innovation and lower standards of living. …
To alter that equation, the Indian economy would have to maintain stellar growth rates for years, says Jeemol Unni, an economist at
As a result, much of
... Mr. Gautam believes the underground economy is essential to Ahmedabad's future. … In cities like Ahmedabad with lots of informal jobs, "per capita income is less, and growth is slow, but you get your bread and butter," he says. The existence of a big underground economy is "why we are going to survive" the downturn. He says the city is now shifting to try to create more informal jobs, including setting aside new space for public markets at bus stops.
.04 Toxic Assets Were Hidden Assets: We can't afford to allow shadow economies to grow this big. - The Wall Street Journal -
The Obama administration has finally come up with a plan to deal with the real cause of the credit crunch: the infamous "toxic assets" on bank balance sheets that have scared off investors and borrowers, clogging credit markets around the world. But if Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner hopes to prevent a repeat of this global economic crisis, his rescue plan must recognize that the real problem is not the bad loans, but the debasement of the paper they are printed on.
Today's global crisis -- a loss on paper of more than $50 trillion in stocks, real estate, commodities and operational earnings within 15 months -- cannot be explained only by the default on a meager 7% of subprime mortgages (worth probably no more than $1 trillion) that triggered it. …
These derivatives are the root of the credit crunch. Why? Unlike all other property paper, derivatives are not required by law to be recorded, continually tracked and tied to the assets they represent. …
Ever since humans started trading, lending and investing beyond the confines of the family and the tribe, we have depended on legally authenticated written statements to get the facts about things of value. Over the past 200 years, that legal authority has matured into a global consensus on the procedures, standards and principles required to document facts in a way that everyone can easily understand and trust.
The result is a formidable property system with rules and recording mechanisms that fix on paper the facts that allow us to hold, transfer, transform and use everything we own, from stocks to screenplays. The only paper representing an asset that is not centrally recorded, standardized and easily tracked are derivatives.
… To bring derivatives under the rule of law, governments should ensure that they conform to six longstanding procedures …
.05 Frank Partnoy: Derivative Dangers – Fresh Air audio from WHYY – Terry Gross
Years before the current economic crisis, law professor and former Wall Street trader Frank Partnoy was warning about the dangers of risky financial practices.
In his 1997 book FIASCO: Blood in the Water on Wall Street, Partnoy detailed how derivatives — financial instruments whose value is determined by another security — were being used and abused by big financial firms. Partnoy used his experiences as a derivatives trader at Morgan Stanley to give the book an insider's perspective. In the preface to FIASCO, Partnoy wrote about the growing influence of derivatives:
"Derivatives have become the largest market in the world. The size of the derivatives market, estimated at $55 trillion in 1996, is double the value of all
Partnoy is a professor at the
Partnoy joins Fresh Air to explain derivatives, credit default swaps and how they led to the current financial crisis. Note: After listening to program, check listener comments.
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