Regional Community Development News – August 8, 2007 [regions_work]

A weekly compilation of news links about and for regional communities pursuing local and regional development.

Published on line since November 11, 2003.

1. Lasee's idea: State needs just 18 counties - Green Bay Press Gazette, Wisconsin

A Brown County lawmaker thinks Wisconsin has too many units of governments and suggests counties are a good place to start slicing.

State Rep. Frank Lasee, R-Bellevue, is co-author of a proposal to study trimming the number of counties from 72 to 18.

"Wisconsin counties were laid out in the 1800s when you had to use a horse and buggy to get to the county seat, " Lasee said Thursday. "Now you get in your car and go."

He's been thinking about whittling local governments, Lasee said, since the Kettl Commission pointed out in 2001 that Wisconsin has more than 1, 900 units of local government and more police agencies than California.

Town governments, Lasee said, are fairly lean, and he doesn't think merging cities and villages would eliminate enough duplication of services.

But counties, he said, which run big-ticket operations like jails, courts, landfills and highway departments, offer more consolidation opportunities.

"Economies of scale work better for counties than other governments, " Lasee said.

"Brown County has 260, 000 people. Kewaunee County has 20, 000 people, and they still have to support their own courtrooms, jail, etc."

Besides, Lasee said, he doesn't think residents have the same sense of affiliation with county government they do with their town or city government.

Clearly, Outagamie County Supervisor Chuck Schmidt said, Assembly Bill 438's authors don't understand democratic government.

"Do we need 50 states? This gets into the theory and practice of American government, " he said. "The reason we have smaller governmental entities is they're closer to the people, there's more accountability and it's more efficient."

Mark O'Connell, executive director of the Wisconsin Counties Association, says he's not opposed to looking at the number of counties, but Lasee's proposal seems a little simplistic. The bill would create a nine-member task force.

RCs: Regional Planning Commissions

2. The rich will get richer; the poor will move away - Sydney Morning Herald - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

SYDNEY'S housing boom was so big the consequences were always going to linger. But the seriousness of the affordability problem created by the unprecedented increase in prices is still coming to light.

It is four years since prices peaked, but Professor Julian Disney, an expert in housing affordability from the University of NSW, thinks the repercussions from the great boom will last for another 20 years.

"We are paying a price for

the scale of the boom and, unfortunately, we will be paying it for a long time yet, " he said.

"But when I say 'we' it's really young people, renters and those on low-incomes that will pay the most, not those who caused it."

A housing economist at Sydney University, Professor Judy Yates, warns that the current crop of would-be home buyers are in for difficult adjustment as a result of the boom.

"I think this generation could be the first for about 100 years that will be less-well housed than their parents, " she said. "And that's hard to come to terms with."

Yesterday's report on housing affordability by the Urban Development Institute of Australia showed the problem is not limited to big cities; it has spilled over into many regional centres.

A Macquarie Bank economist, Rory Robertson, says the great Australian dream has been downsized because wages have been hopelessly outpaced by home prices.

He estimates the average Australian home has risen nearly 75 per cent faster over the past two decades than the price of labour, with four-fifths of that relative strength coming over the past decade.


Prices have not fallen anywhere near enough to make buying a home affordable for many new buyers. ... at the same time, investors have stayed away from housing because they fear capital gains will be modest for many years to come.


3. greenway aims to boost ecotourism - Palm Beach Post, Florida

Could Florida's ever-expanding system of off-road trails become as popular a tourist draw as its beaches, golf courses and fishing? The East Coast Greenway Alliance and its supporters think so.

Representatives of the Wakefield, R.I.-based group recently spent three days with local officials touring South Florida and the Treasure Coast, helping design a 200-mile greenway that will run through the five-county area from St. Lucie to Miami-Dade. The South Florida Greenway - a network of trails, bike lanes and pathways - will be part of the larger 3, 000-mile Calais, Maine, to Key West greenway along the nation's East Coast.

What are these?

"We think if we build it, we know they will come, " said Karen Votava, the alliance's executive director. "It will be a destination in itself." Often thought of as the urban sister of the Appalachian Trail, the East Coast Greenway is a series of park trails, canal pathways, abandoned railroad corridors and waterfront esplanades that run through 398 cities and 90 counties in 15 states and Washington, D.C.

The greenway connects state capitals, college campuses and state and national parks along the eastern seaboard. Some of the more well-known segments are the National Mall, Boston's Charles River Bikeway, the American Tobacco Trail in Durham, N.C., and the Overseas Heritage Trail in the Keys. Locally, the Flagler Drive Trail in downtown West Palm Beach is part of the greenway.

Few bicyclists or walkers would ever actually make the entire 3, 000-mile trek. The real value of the project is how individual segments would further ecotourism and provide an economic boost to smaller communities along the way.


Creating new trails and greenways is not just about tourism. Public spaces where people can exercise, socialize and simply enjoy life are key to livable communities, said Dan Burden, ... founder of Walkable Communities ...

4. Economic leaders: Educated workforce key to development - Madison Courier, Indiana

Area civic and business leaders listened to speakers and discussed ideas for economic development Wednesday as the Indiana Humanities Council held its Southeast Regional Forum at Hanover College.

One of 15 forums being held throughout the state, the event included Jefferson, Jennings, Decatur, Ripley, Franklin, Dearborn, Switzerland and Ohio counties.


David Lips, director of policy for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, gave the keynote presentation, focusing on bringing business to Indiana and helping companies grow though regional collaboration.

"Indiana doesn't have a single economy, " Lips said. "It has a bunch of regional economies. We encourage regions to act in concert."


Scott Sanders, chief financial officer for the Department of Workforce Development, gave a presentation on what individuals need to be successful in the workforce.

"Your economy is stronger than some parts of the state, " he said, citing education and health services as areas of local growth. "There is a strong local leadership presence from this region in terms of economic development."

Critical thinking skills in science, math and reading comprehension need to be improved throughout the state, he said.

"It's important that we continue to educate the workforce, " Sanders said.

Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel discussed the success of his city's "regional mindset."

Working with surrounding counties and a push toward public and private sector collaboration has allowed southwestern Indiana to become a driving force economically, he said.

"We can now sell southwestern Indiana as a region rather than just one city, " Weinzapfel said. "Timing is everything and its the people you have involved."


RC: Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (SIRPC)

5. MU can drop Columbia name, but problems run deeper -, MO

We would have loved to see the look on Chancellor Brady Deaton's face when the top administrator at the University of Missouri-Columbia uttered the following phrase:

"At a time when regionalism has been so prevalent in the state of Missouri, it is important that the state realizes our university, our campus, is not a regional institution. To have any designation that tends to localize it or suggest that it's not the statewide institution is, in a sense, demeaning to the most significant statewide university in the state."

Surely, Deaton was smirking.

Surely, the chancellor remembers that administrators and alumni at his school — the state's flagship university — did their damnedest for far too many years to stop Missouri State University from achieving its successful name change when folks in Springfield made that nearly identical argument about regionalism.

For Deaton to now adopt the same argument and apply it to the state's land-grant institution isn't just ironic.

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

The University of Missouri-Columbia, or MU, or Mizzou, or the Missouri Tigers, or whatever you want to call it, has rightfully earned a national reputation as a wonderful statewide institution. To argue the university's hometown somehow detracts from its name ignores history. The university says some key donors back the change. The question is this: Are those key donors unaware of the university's academic and athletic reputation MU has built up over decades? The regional argument implies, we suppose, that UCLA, or the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill or the University of Texas at Austin somehow are seen as regionalized universities.

Anybody buying that argument?

We aren't either.

That's not to say we oppose the university's name change. If the University of Missouri Board of Curators wants to take Columbia out of the university's name, let them make that argument to city leaders in that mid-Missouri city. ...

6. Paramedics To The Response - EMS Magazine - College Park, MD, USA


Local, Regional and Federal Response

Calgary EMS can serve at the regional and federal levels in a major emergency as an Emergency Medical Assistance Task Force (EMAT) through Public Safety Canada, the Canadian counterpart to FEMA. ...

"We have been fortunate that there have not been any major terror events in Calgary, " he says. "But we have had a number of hazardous materials events involving a significant patient volume, including the release of an organophosphate pesticide at a transport company, where 24-30 patients were assessed for signs and symptoms of poisoning by an organophosphate, which is a precursor to a chemical nerve agent. And an industrial site had some mixing that went south on them, creating a major hazmat event. There were more than 20 casualties, including first responders who got a little too close."

Building Resilience

The IRP program is "an important part of building a community that is resilient, " says Bjolverud. "Communities need to be able to deal with issues independent of federal resources. We work from the 'yo-yo-72' principle: 'You're on your own for 72 hours' before additional resources may become available. And it's important to remember that if a major event happens, it may not be isolated to your municipality. Pandemic is a perfect example. Will the federal government be able to parachute resources into a dozen communities or more that are under siege? Higher levels of protection, awareness and training are part of a resilient, all-hazards response capability."


7. U.S. regional communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - in news articles. Highlighted words are Google search terms. In this and the following section, 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. In most cases, where a full name is present a Google search will quickly get one to that organization.

.10 Bradford Remains Baffled Over Regional Plan Appeal Process
Caledonian Record, Vermont

Question: What organization does a town appeal to in order to challenge the actions of a regional planning commission? Answer: Um, nobody really knows. Peter Gregory, executive director of the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission, said, to his knowledge, Two Rivers did everything according to the law when it updated the land use maps for the town of Bradford.

.11 Aging Together honored
Rappahannock News, Virginia
Aging Together is a community partnership of over 100 organizations and individuals in Planning District Nine dedicated to improving quality of life and supports for older adults and their families, and is part of the national Community Partnerships ...

.12 Brown's plans for emissions disputed
San Diego Union Tribune, California
Legal and political tussles are playing out across California over how much and how fast local governments and businesses must control greenhouse-gas emissions, which are linked to global warming. ... city of San Diego and the San Diego Association of Governments were among roughly 15 agencies and companies that also received warning letters from Brown.

.13 Regional development forum discusses Cincinnati-Dayton connection
Bizjournals-com - Charlotte, NC, USA
... as Dayton and Cincinnati are pushed closer together through residential growth and commercial development in Butler and Warren counties, these leaders recognized that controlling the process and planning for the growth must be a joint effort by many stakeholders. ...

.14 2 wastewater plants seek approval
Colorado Springs Gazette - Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Two wastewater treatment plants are planned in Fountain Valley less than two miles apart, but the regional Water Quality Management Plan allows for only one. ... Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments will hold a public meeting on a proposed amendment ...

.15 Brown's BRAC message to local officials: Think regionally
Baltimore Sun – MD, USA
Local leaders at yesterday's meeting said BRAC planning has been regionally focused from the start. Baltimore, Harford and Cecil counties joined last year to form the Chesapeake Science and Security Corridor, an effort to jointly manage the growth and ...

.16 Program launched to help boost tourism revenue in North Carolina’s northeastern counties - dBusinessNews Triangle (press release)

North Carolina’s Northeast Commission announced today the launch of a new long-term marketing initiative targeting the group tour industry. Four cities within the area have been designated as hubs for attracting motor coach operators, travel writers and tourism planners to see and experience the region.

.17 Governors Announce Plans for Interstate Cooperation to Battle Wildfires
Fox 12 Boise - Nampa, ID, USA
The governors are planning to use interstate cooperation -- to help suppress the blazes and prevent a season like this one from ever happening again. ...

.18 ARC transportation plan outlined for commission
Henry Herald – GA, USA
The Atlanta Regional Commission’s Envision6, a $66.5 billion transportation plan which projects a scenario in which more that 6 million people call metro Atlanta home by 2030, focuses on increasing capacity on existing roadways and, in some cases, ...

.19 Lincoln panel fosters job growth
Charlotte Observer – NC, USA
Centralina Council of Governments worked with residents, county staff and a steering committee appointed by the board of commissioners.

.20 Sustainable Long Island keeps roundtables
Newsday, NY, USA
"Having the roundtable is crucial to advancing our work regionally, " Lansdale says. "Without the funding from Bethpage Federal Credit Union we wouldn't be able to provide this valuable resource to the region.

.22 A Sketchy Brucellosis Plan
Flathead Beacon, Montana
Regionalization is a financial and logistical burden upon ranchers within the zone. While some federal and state leases are in the zone, ownership is predominantly private, with many ranchers running hundreds of head of cattle.

.23 Regional Partners In Nationwide Program To Address Nursing Shortage
Illinois State University – IL, USA
The Illinois Prairie Community Foundation (IPCF), Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University and a number of other regional education, health care and economic development organizations have combined forces to strengthen ...

International Falls Daily Journal, MN

8. Other in the news: Highlighted words are Google search terms.

.10 The Globalization Strategy: America and Europe in the Crucible

The August Review

And what is the “global reality”? That America is on the threshold of having to reshape itself, just as it helped re-shape post-war Europe, and is now looked upon as the “midwife” of a new global order. It’s the shift from nationalism to globalization, via the European model of regionalism. ...

.11 The Mapp Report: Auckland Governance New Zealand
The announcement of a Royal Commission on Auckland governance has been welcomed by everyone with an interest in how best to govern Auckland.

.12 SADC: think like a region
Mail & Guardian Online - Johannesburg, South Africa

The research looks at foreign direct investment (FDI) in the mining sector in four countries in Southern Africa. The study identifies key elements that must be in place for the sector to attract FDI that will contribute meaningfully to national economic growth in line with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol on mining, which stipulates that: “Member states shall strive to create a conducive environment for attracting local and foreign investment to the region and to the mining sector in particular.” ...

.13 Bioregionalism - some background on the Slow Suburb Movement
The Westender - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

The Slow Movement is all about connection, about things that matter, about understanding the interconnected nature of all things, and above all it is a moral movement. All these things are linked to bioregionalism....

.14 Council puts light rail back on track
New Zealand Herald - NZ

... The latest light rail proposal has come as a surprise to the Auckland Regional Council, the transport-planning agency which has rejected light rail for the heavy rail loop. ...

.15 Uganda: Addressing the Dimensions of Trans-Boundary Water Use
This he says deters development and regional cooperation. According to Melakou, the 10 NBD member countries have different comparative advantages over developments within their countries, which can be shared by all.

.16 Making a partnership work with EU
Jakarta Post - Indonesia
... Community, ASEAN Security Community and ASEAN Socio-cultural Community. After having realized its policy deficiencies toward ASEAN, the EU adopted the Partnership between the EU and Southeast Asia Communication in 2003 to boost bilateral relations.

.17 Political views divided on Auckland's future

... "Everyone knows Auckland is the powerhouse of our national economy and currently it is being contained. "Improved governance will help unleash the region's potential, " ...


.19 The Big Challenges of Venezuelan Cooperativism Today
Establish and consolidate, at the micro and regional meso levels, associations, networks and/or groups or consortia of cooperatives that maintain their autonomy in certain areas, yet which voluntarily adopt a united direction to achieve specific tasks.

.20 Food safety needs 'global cooperation'
Sydney Morning Herald - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Global cooperation is the only way to improve food safety, Chinese official media said after yet another week of worldwide anxiety about the quality of ...

.21 Interview: Professor Harold Goodwin teaches Responsible Tourism Management ... Leeds Metropolitan University -
... Tourism is essentially different than Ethical Tourism, pro-poor Tourism, or Sustainable Tourism or even less successful terms such as Geotourism? ...

.22 'Regionalism Key To Private Sector Growth'

Pacific Magazine

... supported by the Forum Economic Ministers as well as Forum Leaders, and is identified in the Pacific Plan as a strategic partner in the development of the region’s private sector.

.23 Migration And Development: Lessons From The Mexican Experience - New York, NY, USA

Cooperation for development. In the context of regional economic integration, a form of bilateral cooperation is needed that addresses the root causes of migration — namely, increasing socioeconomic asymmetries — and that replaces security concerns as the central focus of the two countries' political agenda. ...

.24 'How-To' For Directors
Forbes - USA
With the increasingly high public profile accorded to corporate governance issues recently, it is becoming more important for players on all sides to understand the rules of the game in this rapidly changing environment.

.25 Wikis for Hyperlocal Community Content
Readers today demand and expect interaction/collaboration with each other and the publisher. Imagine a commercial wikipedia on any number of topics for each newspaper.

.26 It's All About Scale, Scale, Scale
GRIDtoday - San Diego, CA, USA

What drives this need for scale? Throughout our customer base, we’ve seen some recurring themes, including: * Massive increases in data flows, both in volume and number of sources. * Radically decreased expected response times. For example, it is increasingly common for an organization to want to take a monthly analysis and make it real-time. All the time. * Deeper and more meaningful analysis on that data. ... a fundamentally new approach to scale is required ...

9. Blogs: Highlighted words are Google search terms.

.10 Globalization and Two Regions
By Brad Whitehead
opened the newspaper to read of an initiative very similar to Advance Northeast Ohio being launched by philanthropists and corporate benefectors in Singapore. Except where the Fund's ambition is contribute $34 million to ANO over the next three years, a single philahthropist had already committed over $300 million! The message: they are dreaming no small dreams in Asia. Simply add at least one zero and possibly more to anything you might consider in terms of scale. ...

.11 Today's column

By Dan Rodricks
There used to be more talk about regionalism -- but the politicians who pushed that idea, over each jurisidiction remaining in wholly independent orbits, seem to have disappeared. The Baltimore metropolitan area really needs a ...

.12 I, For One, Welcome Our Gentrifying Overlords
By Isaac Smith
There used to be more talk about regionalism -- but the politicians who pushed that idea, over each jurisidiction remaining in wholly independent orbits, seem to have disappeared. The Baltimore metropolitan area really needs a ...

.13 The future of the creative economy
By thenextwavefutures
I spoke in June at the 'Creative Summit' in Bristol - the event was hosted by the South West Regional Development Authority and designed to help develop the creative sector in the region. As well as the presentation, I was asked to ...

.14 Regionalism and nationalism in Canada – Part One

Mark Wegierski

The ongoing mediation between the interests of the different regions is one of the most important tasks of the Prime Minister of Canada. ... Part Two Part Three Part Four

.15 SEWRPC Backs Away From Power Grab

by James Rowen

On Tuesday, SEWRPC sent around a notice that withdrew what is called the "governance" piece of this policy-making approach - - the piece that would have put SEWRPC in charge, even though others want policy-making in the region to be a ...

.16 How Many Governments Do We Need?
By Harold D. Miller
What is even more striking is that nearly half (47%) of southwestern Pennsylvanians live in a municipality with fewer than 10000 residents - that's the highest percentage by far among the top 40 regions. ...

.17 Stimulating Our Regional Economy
By cvarley
For years, an argument has raged within Northeast Ohio’s economic development and investment circles over whether our region’s strengths in healthcare are simply a part of the local economy, or whether they also offer a chance to build out exportable industries. ...

.18 A government of all the regions?
Normal Mouth: Gordon Brown promised us a government of all the talents, but has he also fashioned an administration that represents all the regions and nations of the UK?

.19 Theatre Ideas - Welcome, New Readers
By Scott Walters(Scott Walters)
To all of you who first encountered Theatre Ideas as a result of the protracted debate concerning "geographism, " welcome, ... Connected to number one above, regionally-based theatres should encourage the development of local aesthetics. Regional theatres should not be like malls -- the same no matter where you are in the country. The choice of plays, ...

.20 Yet another call for regionalism
By Bruce Morlan

This specific NGO would be the go-to group for issues relating to transportation planning (they could be called the “Northeast Rice County Regional Transportation Task Force”). ...

.21 Defensive and offensive regional strategies
By Ed Morrison(Ed Morrison)
An opportunity-centered strategy asks questions such as, "How can we better leverage our community and regional strengths?" Or, "What is the auto or glass industries going to need in the future that we can supply? ...

.22 Myrtle Beach Growth Summit Focuses on Continued Stupidity
By The Watchman(The Watchman)

"... This frank, opinionated and humorous blog on all things Myrtle Beach is anti the good old boy, business as usual methodology that permeates area governmental and civic entities, and is NOT for the thin-skinned or faint hearted! ...”

What's more, the Un News touts DuVal as a regional cooperation guru, and cites his stint on the board of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance as his shining credential in that area. The fact is, the HREDA, along with it's ...

.23 "Replacing Oil With Electricity And Biofuels In Transportation"
By mattr(mattr)
Steve Marshall, a senior fellow at our Cascadia Center For Regional Development, has authored a new white paper on renewable energy and transportation in the Pacific Northwest, entitled, "Replacing Oil with Electricity and ...

.24 Taiwan and Spain: a language comparison
By Johan(Johan)
We might want to pay closer attention to European regions applying mother tongue immersion education. Research conducted in Galicia (see map) has shown that bilingually-instructed children (in the Galician "dialect" as well as in the ...

.25 3 German regions ban smoking
By IanPP
Lower Saxony and Baden-Wuerttemberg in the west and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the east were the first to ban smoking in public places, while the other 13 regions have pledged to introduce bans by next year.

.26 163 - Europe Wipes Britain off the Map!
By strangemaps
For the real extent of these intranational regions' powers is buried between two scare-mongering paragraphs: "The new regions have been drawn up for a project called Interreg, which wants to foster cross-border co-operation on issues ...

.27 Greensboro gang intervention and eradication
By Joe Wilson
I am working to organize a regionalized Gang Intervention and Eradication Task Force consisting of all local law enforcement agencies from City, County, State and Federal resources for eradication. We are working to develop a map of each ...

10. Announcements and Regional Links

.10 Virginia’s 2007 Rural Summit - September 9-11 - Charlottesville, VA

Keynote Address: 'The Big Picture of Rural Job Creation' - Anita Brown-Graham, Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI), a think-and-do tank at North Carolina State University Rural Summit Schedule of Events

.11 Development Symposium: Entrepreneurship - U. S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration - September 26, Kansas City, MO

Dr. Mark Drabenstott, Director of the Center for Regional Competitiveness, University of Missouri-Columbia, will facilitate the day-long event. Dr. Drabenstott is nationally and internationally recognized for his economic analysis and policy insights, with a focus on the changing structure and performance of the rural economy and the entrepreneurial opportunities in rural America. This symposium for the EDA Denver and Chicago Regions will be held at the Kansas City Convention Center and is being sponsored in partnership with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC). Attendance to the symposia is complimentary, but requires registration.

11. Subscription

.10 Study urges area cities to avoid sprawl - Dayton Daily News (subscription)

Western Montgomery County will stop shrinking in population but will probably only grow by about 4 percent through 2030, according to a land use and transportation study adopted by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission last week.

And because the area isn't growing rapidly, there's no need for a beltway similar to Interstate 675 that passes through southeast Montgomery County and western Greene County, the study found.

The study also concluded that the municipalities in western Montgomery County have set aside about 13 times as much land for development than is likely to be needed. The study recommends that governments in the area adjust their zoning and land use plans to avoid sprawl and preserve agricultural land and green space.

MVRPC staff planner Ami Parikh said the regional commission began studying land use and transportation needs in western Montgomery in 2005 in conjunction with planning for a new intersection between I-75 and Austin Pike slated for construction next year.

Parikh said at one time, local officials considered building the "892 corridor, " a beltway through western Montgomery County to connect I-75 to I-70. She said that idea was dropped from the area's proposed list of highway projects in 2003, and the current study found no need to reinstate it.

The western Montgomery County study area includes 245 square miles, about half the land in the county. Much of the area is rural, though, and it contains only about 18 percent of the county's population.

Western Montgomery County lost population between 1990 and 2000, and the study projected that the most urbanized sections of the area will continue to shrink.

The study concluded, however, that the area's small towns such as Brookville and Germantown have potential to grow by attracting workers from nearby employment centers ...

.11 Parched Texas looks to Oklahoma for water - Dallas Morning News (subscription)

As North Texas seeks more water to quench the area's endless thirst, Oklahoma looks mighty tempting.

Our neighbor to the north is practically soaking in water, and has plenty to spare, North Texas water officials say.

But, for the moment, Oklahoma is saying "no deal." The state has issued a moratorium blocking out-of-state water sales.

That's not deterring North Texas. The Tarrant Regional Water District, which serves Fort Worth and Arlington, applied for Oklahoma water earlier this year. So did the Upper Trinity Regional Water District, which serves Denton County.

But the Tarrant water district has gone one step further by suing Oklahoma's water board, alleging that the state's actions, including the moratorium, are invalid and unconstitutional. A hearing is scheduled for September in Oklahoma.

While North Texas has long been interested in Oklahoma's water, observers say the lawsuit marks a more forceful attempt to try to push the issue.

The water war is emotional for many Oklahomans, who fear they could be flushing away their future growth by selling to fast-growing Dallas-Fort Worth. But North Texas officials say both states would benefit from a water sale.

"From an economic standpoint, this is good for Oklahoma and the metroplex, " said Jim Oliver, the Tarrant district's general manager. "If the metroplex doesn't grow, then southern Oklahoma is not going to grow."

Jerry Ellis, a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives who sponsored an extension of the moratorium until 2009, said his state needs to conduct a long-range study of its water supply "before we do anything."

Oklahoma needs to be careful, he said, because when selling water rights, "you're selling the future of your children and grandchildren."


.12 Plano Mayor Pat Evans: Citizens Deserve Praise for Conserving Water - Dallas Morning News (subscription) - TX, USA

This summer has been a wonderful change from last year. No sooner does the temperature rise above 94 degrees and my periwinkles even consider drooping, than the afternoon clouds darken and boil up and shower us all with cool fresh water. Amazing!

It's almost hard to remember what became such a nightmare last year as the hot dry days stretched on: our Plano City Council shortening the watering periods as we watched the lakes recede and worried about fires; the bitterness of pulling out dead trees and shrubs, watching a lawn die; hand-watering a treasured plant after sundown or before dawn on the designated day – hoping it would survive. And watching the weather radar as the storms all around us once again passed to the north or south.

So I don't think we took the time, when the misery ended, to celebrate the sacrifice and strength and "right stuff" exhibited by our people, who buckled down and played by the rules and did the right thing to get us safely through these hard and dangerous months in our city. Here are the amazing numbers: More than 3 billion gallons from our expected water consumption was cut by Plano citizens, businesses and city departments in the last six months of 2006, and by this April, Plano had cut another 2 billion. These deep cuts of more than 9 percent of our normal usage made Plano a regional leader during that challenging time.

The painful realities of the last two years of drought have taught us all some valuable lessons and, hopefully, some caring and savvy habits that will now become part of the way we live our future North Texas lives. As we shift from crisis to fragile normality, we believe that our citizens want to use water responsibly. ...

12. Google News for “Regional Community”

Other menu sections available from this link include: Regional Development; Regional Council; Regional Commission; Regional America; Regional Asia; Regional Europe; Regional Competition; Regionalism; Intergovernmental and other search terms. They can be sorted by date or relevance. These are among the 50 search terms I use to produce this newsletter.

My name is Tom Christoffel. I've worked in the field of intergovernmental cooperation since 1973. As a consequence, "I see regions work." Regional Community Development News is published weekly based on news reports as of Wednesday.

Making visible analysis and actions at multi-jurisdictional regional scales is its purpose. "Think globally, act locally" was innovative in its time. Today the local scale is often too small to address today's needs and opportunities. "Think local planet, act regionally, " is my candidate paradigm. (No one said we're only allowed one paradigm.)

We can see that “regional communities” are organized locally and now act both to avoid tragedy in the commons and gain benefits. An effective multi-jurisdictional regional community has DNA: it is geographically Defined; has a common Name and its Alignment is inclusive of smaller communities and participatory in larger communities. So, by scanning this compilation, reading articles and checking organizations - you too will be able to see the regional communities that already exist.

News references are found using the Google News search service. Media article links are “fair use” to transform globally scattered reports to make regional approaches visible. Links go to the publisher and do not compete with it. Such publishers are likely to have related stories and thus be seen by new customers. “Regional” is an emerging news category. There is no charge for this service and no profit is made from its use, though any user can become more aware of the topic itself.

To read and search previous issues go to:

The term “Development” was added to the name in January, 2006.

For a free subscription use this email link – no additional information required:

For the Google Groups version go to:

Editions since April 11, 2007 can also be found at:

Questions, comments or items to feature in Regional Community Development News?

Please e-mail the editor: or

Thomas J. (Tom) Christoffel, AICP Making regions visible for Leaders and Problem-solvers. or