Regional Community Development News – August 27, 2008 [regions_work]

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.

U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State – news articles … 10.01 - .30

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet … 11.01 - .25

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .24

Announcements and Regional Links13.04

Custom search: region, regions, regional communities … 14.

Top Regional Community stories

1. Nutter courts suburban leaders to form a regional caucus - Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia, PA, USA

What concerns could West Philadelphia and West Chester possibly have in common? Plenty, it turns out.

At least that seems to be the emerging view of both suburban leaders and Mayor Nutter, who are contemplating a new regional caucus of elected leaders that would grapple with problems that transcend municipal borders, including everything from air quality to economic development.

It is likely to be another six months before a caucus is created, and no details are available yet on what form such an organization might take. But Nutter has been actively courting suburban leaders, making visits to the county seats in Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Chester Counties, and later hosting many of them at a Phillies game. The southern New Jersey counties are not likely to join initially, though they may well be invited in the future.

Nutter hopes that a regional caucus would eventually lead to a coordinated approach to traffic, tourism, homeland security, waterfront development and a long list of other challenges. One intriguing possibility: expanding the city's still-in-development 311 non-emergency call service to the suburbs. "When we organize ourselves as a region and we promote ourselves as a region, we're much more powerful, " Nutter said in an interview last week.

So far, his suburban overtures have been warmly received.

"Previous mayors have paid lip service to the notion of regionalism, but it's just never happened, " said Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph M. Hoeffel. "The fact that Mayor Nutter made this an early priority and physically came out to the suburbs really spoke volumes."

Whether Nutter's charm initiative, not to mention his popularity among suburban residents, will be enough to overcome decades of city-suburban rancor remains to be seen.

"There are a lot of structural reasons for that animosity, " said … "The city and suburbs have competed for jobs, …

RC: DVRPC (Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission)

2. Regionalism plan moves forward into second phase - Stow Sentry - Stow, Ohio, USA

The Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association May 16 voted to continue a regional economic revenue study and are applying for an $80, 000 grant from the Local Government Services and Regional Collaboration Grant Program for a feasibility study for a regional process for land use planning.

Hudson Mayor William Currin said Hudson and the Village of Richfield each will apply for separate grants, since regions cannot apply but municipalities can. The Village of Richfield will apply for a grant to further study regional new growth revenue sharing, and Hudson will apply for a grant to study smart use land planning.

The Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association agreed to continue to explore the initial results of the Regional Economic Revenue Study and pursue four strategic directions in phase II of the study.

The RERS was funded by Our Economic Future, a collaboration of more than 85 foundations and other philanthropic organizations in Northeast Ohio, and contributing members of NEOMCMA and examined existing regional revenue sharing and land use planning models and how to apply them to Northeast Ohio.

"We have identified the challenges we face as a region, and we are focused on overcoming those challenges, " said Village of Richfield Mayor Michael K. Lyons.

The fiscal sponsor for phase 1 and proposed for phase II of the study is Team NEO, the regional economic development organization for Northeast Ohio. The fiscal sponsor manages fundraising and accounting of the project funds.

… partners include Akron, Ashland, Ashland County, Ashtabula, Bath Township, Bay Village, Brunswick, Carroll County, Cleveland, Columbiana County, Cuyahoga, Eastgate Regional Council of Govt., Elyria, Garfield Heights City Schools, Kent, Lorain, Lorain County, Medina County, Mentor, North Ridgeville, Portage County, Richland County, Stow, South Russell, Tallmadge, University Heights, Warren, Wayne County, Westlake, Willoughby and Youngstown.

3. Commissions team up to boost culture, heritage - Today's Sunbeam - - Salem, NJ, USA

The Cumberland County and Salem County Cultural and Heritage Commissions agreed Tuesday to a future of working together, but not as one consolidated organization.

Consultant Nancy Moses had done a feasibility and advisability survey, funded by a $20, 000 grant from the state Department of Community Affairs and released Tuesday at a joint meeting of the two commissions …

The joint endeavor was considered because the two neighboring counties had much in common, and there was the possibility that by pooling their resources and creating a commission serving a larger area with more people, better services could be provided at less cost.

Both have low population densities and are rural in character but have significant museums, historic sites and established and emerging arts and cultural organizations. Both also share low income populations.

The structure of the commissions also is similar, with the same goals in their mission statements, size, a freeholder liaison and office support provided by the county.

And both have extremely competent coordinators - Dr. James Turk in Salem and Matthew Pisarski in Cumberland.

It was the feeling of commissioners that the two men could provide far more working together to benefit culture and heritage in both counties.

Moses said the study was totally groundbreaking.

"According to the manager of Regionalization and Special Services who oversees the SHARE (Sharing Available Resources Efficiently) Program, this is the first Shared Service Feasibility Study undertaken by two county governments. It is also the first Shared Services Feasibility Study undertaken by any cultural and heritage commission, " she said.

On the plus side, shared services could reduce costs. The state would provide up to $200, 000 to cover the cost of changing Web sites, newsletter design, compatible software and hardware, a new logo and other expenses.

4. Regionalization not all bad — if done right - Vauxhall Advance - Vauxhall, NP, Canada

The word of the day here in Alberta seems to be regionalization.

Years ago, one of the first government steps in this direction was the formation of the Natural Resources Conservation Board, which centralized decision making on agricultural-based issue.

The NRCB has met with varying levels of acceptance but however, among those who favour local control, it has been panned as a failure.

Earlier this year, the formation of an Alberta “superboard” to take over duties of regional health boards was announced.

Now, Alberta is looking at a regional land framework, which would create six regions in Alberta, complete with regional plans, Cabinet committees and advisory councils for each region, comprised of both government and non-government representatives. At this point, the huge size of the region Taber would inhabit, and what type of decision-making powers our municipalities would actually have, are the main points of concern.

With that, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development has to make the proposal more clear, and outline for each municipality how each would be impacted and how, specifically, these municipalities would have input in a regional system.

As with anything, it is best for the people closest to the ground to make important decisions. After all, these are the people who will be impacted the most by these decisions. Any move to limit local control, should be viewed with some suspicion. However, if local decisions can still be made, with a little more guidance and feedback from regional representatives, we may be able to have the best of both worlds.

As long as the six regional boards do not become too overbearing, and keep the needs of local municipalities first, the system could indeed be beneficial.

5. The Chatter Class: Bells Bend debate incomplete without asking transit questions - Nashville City Paper - Nashville, TN, USA

With the Bells Bend debate still in full swing, some observers have renewed their fondness for the approach Portland, Ore., has taken with urban planning. That city, with its revived downtown areas, has long been touted as a planning model to mimic.

But lately, the particular focus of some in the Bells Bend debate has been on the city’s use of an “urban growth boundary” to create one of the country’s most walkable, sustainable cities. The growth boundary has guided the Portland area for about a quarter of a century — with a strong helping hand from an exceptional transit system.

Careful what you wish

But when it comes to bringing this model to Middle Tennessee, this could be a case of “Be careful what you wish.”

... if we were to follow Metro Portland’s model closely, most of Davidson County, Bells Bend included, would be within an urban growth boundary — unless, by some phenomenal stroke of regional cooperation, a boundary could be drawn into neighboring counties.

Inside such a boundary, a built-out May Town Center would be a dense development node — a mixed-use city within a city — right in line with the thinking that has made Portland’s development a success.

No backbone

But one vital piece would be missing: commuter or light rail.

Public transportation is a part of what makes Portland’s urban growth boundary effective. It’s the backbone for the region.

... if Portland’s urban growth boundary is going to be invoked as a model for Nashville, then go full bore. Don’t stop with a growth boundary. Build a case for significantly improving public transportation here, as well as much, much more effective regional cooperation in stemming sprawl.


RC: Greater Nashville Regional Council

6. Going nowhere slowly - Aurora Beacon News - Aurora, IL, USA

Traffic congestion can make David Kayser's life flash before his eyes.

It was during a congested mess of expressway construction that Kayser narrowly averted an accident that could have hurt him and his pregnant wife, leaving him angry and scared about his roughly two-hour daily commute between their Aurora home and Rosemont.


He was thinking about that last week when the Metropolitan Planning Council, a regional planning group based in Chicago, released its study, Moving and the Speed of Congestion, which put the cost of lost time, quality of life, business opportunity and environmental concerns at about $7.3 billion.

"The $7.3 billion in fuel and time ... does that include any consideration for lost life?" Kayser says. "Slow down, turn on some music and make the best of your commute. Think of your family or friends and the good times you have when you get home. Do all this, and maybe you will get home."

Everyone's affected

While people often are suspicious of institutional help, when it comes to traffic congestion, government, business and planning groups are just as concerned as drivers. They say everyone in the Chicago region is in this together.

"I think about a region like a house, " says Peter Skosey, Metropolitan Planning Council external relations vice president. "You're not going to fix the wallpaper if the roof is caving in."

"This is a regional issue, " says Bob Dean, of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, or CMAP. "It requires regional solutions and inter-agency cooperation."

Both CMAP and the planning council push for a better connection between housing and jobs in the Chicago region. The council has provided a model for an Employee Assistance Housing Program, in which large companies actually will assist employees who seek to move closer to where they work.

..7. Northern Kentucky Region Finalist for Regional Stewardship Organizational Champion Award - Northern Kentucky Tri-ED – News release - Covington, KY, USA

The Northern Kentucky Region, through the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Northern Kentucky Tri-ED) was named a finalist for the prestigious Alliance for Regional Stewardship (ARS) Organizational Champion Award. Northern Kentucky Tri-ED highlighted its work with Vision 2015, the community driven 10-year strategic plan for growth in the region, in its award submission.

The Organizational Champion Award recognizes regions, regional alliances and regional leaders for excellence and demonstrated progress in at least one of the four principles of regional stewardship: innovative economy, livable communities, social inclusion, and a collaborative style of governance. Award winners and finalists exemplify regional cooperation efforts that have increased regional capacity, achieved tangible results and shown the potential for sustainability.

“Successful regional stewards, ” says ARS Chairman and CEO of the Allegheny Conference, F. Michael Langley, “demonstrate an unswerving devotion to the not-very-glamorous task of keeping a community in working order. We’re proud to shine a spotlight on the Northern Kentucky Region through Tri-ED and Vision 2015 for the important work that they do every day to build strong, vibrant economies.”

“Northern Kentucky has a long history of cooperation and our citizens took a strong interest in Vision 2015 and creating a comprehensive long-term plan for the region, ” said Ralph Drees, Judge Executive for Kenton County and Chairman of Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation. “We are pleased to be recognized for this work and cooperation by the Alliance for Regional Stewardship.”

The Alliance for Regional Stewardship Awards were established in 2004 to recognize multi-city and multi-county urban communities that have abandoned rivalries, pooled resources and worked together to ensure their shared prosperity. The annual Organizational Champion Award is the highest honor bestowed by ARS.

The award winners and finalists were honored on July 29, 2008 at the ARS Regional Strategies Forum in Pittsburgh, PA.

8. Little Rock review - Tulsa Today - Tulsa, OK, USA

Edit Note: Tulsans may learn a great deal from other cities that utilize different forms of city government. Tulsa Today begins with this piece, a review of how those regional "brother” cities work. Little Rock features a city manager form of government similar to that of Oklahoma City.

Governmental systems are like coffeehouses: so many choices, so many brands. A look at Arkansas, for instance, is to sample an original brand in many ways. And like coffee beans, distinctive flavors stir within its local government administrations. It’s said one good cup leads to another here.

The heart of Little Rock, the Arkansas state capital, is picturesque and reminiscent of movie scenes from The Da Vinci Code or The Yards. The Arkansas River, which flows into Tulsa, is nestled alongside some of the city’s finest legislative buildings, recently revived riverfront entertainment districts, and newly constructed condos.

For most of the last decade, Mayor Jim Dailey, of Little Rock, has held fast. His official term ran from 1993-2006, when Dailey, known for his regional management skills, chose not to seek re-election.

While in office, Dailey held one phrase especially dear. " 'United we stand, divided we fall.' I espoused that the entire time and remained committed to regional thinking. We accomplished a lot on a regional basis, under that umbrella," he said. "I believe we’re all in this boat together. If it springs a link, we had better all be bailing. That is really what a community is all about."

9. Strategy to Assess the Nation’s Ground-Water Availability

U.S. Geological Survey, Office of Communications – Reston, VA, USA

Declines in ground-water levels have led to concerns about the future availability of ground water, which provides half the country's drinking water and is essential to the vitality of agriculture and industry, as well as to the health of rivers, wetlands, and estuaries throughout the country.

The report, "Ground-Water Availability in the United States" examines what is known about the Nation's ground-water availability and outlines a strategy for future national and regional studies that would provide information to help state and local agencies make informed water-availability decisions. View the report on-line at

The approach outlined in the report is designed to provide useful regional information for State and local agencies who manage ground-water resources, while providing the building blocks for a national assessment. The report places the regional studies by the USGS Ground-Water Resources Program as a long-term effort to understand ground-water availability in major aquifers across the Nation. The report contains information about 30 regional principal aquifers and five case studies to illustrate the diversity of water-availability issues.

Determining ground-water availability is a complex process. Issues affecting ground-water vary from location to location and commonly require analysis in the context of ground-water flow systems to achieve a meaningful perspective. Even if water resources are abundant regionally, heavy water use in centralized areas can create local stresses. As water-related problems evolve in complex ways, an up-to-date and comprehensive evaluation of ground-water resources that builds on the foundation of previous studies is needed to meet society's ever-changing water demands.

This report is an outgrowth of a pilot study, National Assessment of Water Availability and Use, that began in 2005 at the request of Congress. The report also builds on regional ground-water availability studies recently undertaken as part of the USGS Ground-Water Resources Program.

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 Mayors united on village government

WIVB - Buffalo, NY, USA

Regionalism advocate Kevin Gaughan believes too much government in Erie County is costing taxpayers too much money. Kevin Gaughan, Regionalism Advocate said "Each one of the 439 politicians that we have in Erie County. More than 10 times the number in any like size community. They are all responsible."Village mayors fire back saying they, along with the trustees, don't make that much money. They believe village government is a bargain.


.02 Report: Local Government More Efficient
North Country Gazette - Chestertown, NY, USA

Executive Director Jeff Haber noted “The founders of our nation recognized that the backbone of a strong United States was dependent upon the active participation of its citizens in their government. Not only are larger more regional governments more expensive and less efficient, as this report shows, but they make citizen participation more difficult; regionalism will very likely result in less participation and more apathy, thus eroding our local democracy.” The report was prepared for the Association of Towns by Wendell Cox of Demographia, Inc., of St. Louis, Mo. Cox is an expert in demographics, urban policy and land use. Cox researched the reasons why New York has the highest combined per-capita state and local taxes in the nation. He also examined government consolidations that have occurred elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world. The source of New York’s competitiveness problem is not the number and size of local government, but spending, Cox concluded. Virtually all of the difference between New York and the national average of state and local spending can be attributed to …

.03 Investigation under way of EPCOG-managed funds
Clovis News Journal - Clovis, NM, USA

A federal investigation is under way into the embezzlement of funds being managed through the Eastern Plains Council of Governments. EPCOG Deputy Executive Director Nick Brady said concerns surfaced in March over possibly embezzled funds from a federal rental assistance program managed by EPCOG.

As a result, an employee was terminated and the New Mexico Mortgage and Finance Authority and the state branch of the Department of Housing and Urban Development were contacted …

.04 CEO: Business groups should merge
Birmingham Business Journal - Birmingham, AL, USA
McCrary said the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, Region 2020 and the Metropolitan Development Board have common goals and overlapping board members. In a contracting economy, pools of public and private funds are evaporating and the trio of pro-business organizations could better position themselves to reach their objectives by merging,

.05 Report: Merger of police departments could save millions
Asbury Park Press - Asbury Park, NJ, USA
The final version of a consultant's Phase I report studying shared services and a future possible merger between the Fair Haven, Little Silver and Rumson police departments forecasts potential annual savings of $1.5 million by 2011 and $2 million by 2017. …The 18-month study … is being funded by a $40, 000 state grant to explore the feasibility of creating a "Two Rivers" regional police department. The final report suggests that the three boroughs could share some police services as a prelude to a merger and said three years of data about call levels and response times should be collected before a full merger could be considered.

.06 Merging police departments may be too expensive

Pittsburgh Tribune Review – PA, USA

A proposed police regionalization plan, which would involve the township, has hit a major stumbling block - money. … The study, which is being funded by the state Department of Community and Economic Development recommends 21 full-time officers. Haven wants to suggest 11 full-time officers and 10 part-timers, lowering costs.

.07 Multi-town pacts eased by new law
Cape Cod Times - Hyannis, MA, USA

Now, boards of selectmen can sign "inter-municipal agreements" without getting town meeting approval. At a time when towns are looking for ways to regionalize in the name of cost savings and efficiency, the new law makes it easier for towns to share resources like dog officers, road graders or even a fire station, …Harwich Selectman Robin Wilkins considers the new legislation a good first step. "To me, it's where regionalism starts, with inter-municipal agreements, " …

.08 Prescott Valley council abandons idea of rental tax for transit
Sun Shopper - Prescott, AZ, USA
"I think there is a need for a more regionalized approach." Davis said the regional plan will require a financing source and approval from the two municipalities and the county. ...

.09 US Logistics Costs Hit Record High

IndustryWeek – USA

The cost of logistics in the United States rose by nearly $100 billion in the past year, to $1.4 trillion, a record high for the fourth-consecutive year and the equivalent of 10.1% of the U.S. gross domestic product. … "The move to more regionalized distribution centers continued in 2007, " she says, "with many more firms announcing plans to relocate or open new centers serving smaller markets. These changes are being made to shorten delivery times and length of haul to save fuel." ...

.10 Regionalism program to hire first staffer - MI, USA

Vision TriCounty is hiring its first program director to sustain momentum for its regional collaboration work. The volunteer group has been managed until now by the chambers of commerce in Midland, Bay and Saginaw counties. But Bob Van Deventer, president of the Saginaw Area Chamber of Commerce, said Vision TriCounty is growing too large to maintain without some extra help. "We've done research on other regional organizations, and each one that continued to be successful had either part-time or full-time staff, " …

.11 The group will take cues from projects it saw in Oklahoma, Texas

The Wichita Eagle - Wichita, KS, USA

Leaders taking part in a three-day visit to Oklahoma City and Fort Worth noticed some similarities between the cities when it comes to economic development. …The group of 50 business, civic and government leaders attending the Visioneering Wichita trip … "I think you create a vision master plan, and out of that comes projects, " said John Schlegel, Metropolitan Area Planning Department director. ...

.12 Create a regional license for taxis

Boston Globe - United States

The AUG. 11 editorial ("Boston's cab conundrum") doesn't mention another remedy that should be considered, which is the regionalization of taxicab licensing. ... As complex as it is - particularly because it requires a new degree of cooperation of government bodies in the different communities - it's time to address this issue. …

.13 Collaborate on arts regionally, panelists say

The Union of Grass Valley - Grass Valley, CA, USA

Area artists and governments must collaborate and take a regional approach to promoting the arts to see growth in the sector, panelists said at a historic meeting in Grass Valley today. Grass Valley and Nevada City’s historic competition should be scrapped to create a regional arts festival, …“We’re five minutes apart. It seems to me we should be working together, ” Baker said. “Collaboration is the key, and we can’t only depend on locals. We need to have a festival of the arts.” …

.14 City-county merger out for now, leaders say

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, USA

Voters are not ready to make the call on merging Pittsburgh and Allegheny County governments, said state lawmakers who met privately in Pittsburgh. "Our constituents just aren't prepared for it, " said state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill, …Legislation to pose the merger question as a referendum won't appear in the remaining nine days of the state House's 2008 legislative session,

.15 Sprawl is Unsustainable

Youngstown Vindicator – OH, USA

The goal of regionalization is to draw population back to the core. Cities, not suburbs, are best equipped to support masses of people.

.16 Tourism board steps up goals - Tacoma, WA, USA

The core values of this new day include regionalism, leadership and accountability – and that accountability demands the execution of “measurable sales and ...

.17 Bastrop to receive community planning grant worth $50000

By Enterprise News Services

… Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan is the Louisiana Recovery Authority’s long-term plan for recovery and growth in South Louisiana. It is the result of 18 months of work facilitated by some of the top planners in Louisiana and the country, built upon and validated by the participation of more than 27, 000 Louisiana residents. To learn more about the Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan, visit

.18 Lawmakers from 4 states discuss gangs, law enforcement

The Winchester Star - Winchester, VA, USA

West Virginia Del. John Overington said the Quad-State Legislative Council has tried to be proactive, addressing issues common to each of the four states in the region served by I-81.

.19 RRJ is working on alternative programs

The Free Lance-Star - Fredericksburg, VA, USA

The Rappahannock Regional Jail offers many evidence-based alternatives to costly incarceration through our Community Corrections Division, and is one of the 10 Virginia pilot sites for the implementation of evidence-based practices....

.20 TxDOT evaluating how regional centers could streamline business

Huntsville Item - Huntsville, TX, USA

The regional centers could be located in Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Lubbock. Each center would support the district design, construction and maintenance operations, with districts aligned into the support centers based on regional proximity.

.21 Cities, township could merge planning commissions - Holland, MI, USA

“It depends how you feel about regionalism. If you look at some places that have embraced regionalism, like Atlanta, it seems to work well, ” as opposed to to metro Detroit, where there is no regional authority, Nern said....

.22 Townships are a state asset

Detroit Free Press - United States

Michigan needs a stronger metro ethic. Strong regions, anchored by healthy urban cores, are clearly the model economic engine of prosperity. Among the barriers in encouraging local officials to think and act regionally is the fear of a slippery slope to abolishing the right of communities to have a say in their own destiny. …

.23 State rewards joint projects - Detroit, MI, USA

Allen Park Mayor Gary Burtka said while his city has already been collaborating with neighboring communities, the grants help make regional cooperation more widespread. "It's good that the state government is willing to put money forward to initiate collaboration and allow communities to address their problems together, " Burtka said.


.24 Population decline: Where did we all go?

The Register Mail y – Galesburg, IL, USA

Although he’s all for regional cooperation, he doesn’t see that as a substitute for a town keeping up its own back yard. “We’re concentrating on Abingdon right now, ” Darmer said. “We’re concentrating on the downtown and redevelopment. We’re concentrating on our infrastructure and now we’re making a lot of real good progress so we’re good for another 100 years. ...

.25 Md. to Join Others in Alternative Power Deal

Washington Post - United States

Residential customers in Maryland and the District pay among the highest bills in the mid-Atlantic, owing to the region's congested power grid, ...

.26 Mack's pullout a blow to Valley's psyche

Allentown Morning Call - Allentown, PA, USA

"I would argue it's more a psychological loss than an actual economic loss that's identifiable, " said Robert Wendt, director of research for the regional marketing group Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.

.27 New Lane May Ease Traffic On I-805

NBC - San Diego, CA, USA

The San Diego Association of Governments plans to turn the shoulders in the center median into bus-only lanes during rush hour. The high-tech lane would ...

.28 LAX fees in holding pattern

Daily Breeze - Torrance, CA, USA

The new provision, adopted last month by the U.S. Department of Transportation, could be the key long sought by city and airport officials who support the notion of diverting air traffic from LAX to other less-congested airports in Southern California. "In my mind, this rule change is an acknowledgment that regionalism won't happen on its own, especially under the current economic conditions, " said Los ...

.29 Whom Do You Throw Overboard?

Cape Cod Today - South Dennis, MA, USA

The recent experience of a district meeting by the citizens of Dennis and Yarmouth give cause to think about regionalization and the ramifications of that ...

.30 Things you will never see .. - Adam Zyglis - Cartoon

The Buffalo News – NY, USA

KEYWORDS: regional downsizing, local, politicians, regionalism,

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Six days that broke one country - and reshaped the world order

The Guardian – UK

In less than a week, Putin has invaded another country, effectively partitioned Georgia in a lightning campaign, weakened his arch-enemy, President Mikheil Saakashvili, divided the west, and presented a fait accompli. The impact - locally, regionally, and globally - is huge. "The war in Georgia has put the European order in question, " said Alexander Rahr, ...

.02 The rain's in Spain: but don't forget the drought: As the Spaniards found out this year, lack of water is terrifying But as soon as it rains, we act as though nothing happened

The Guardian – UK

But when water and regionalism and politics mix, everything grows toxic. … We should be clear that whole areas of Europe are becoming fatally dry. We should set about either limiting water use or transporting water in from wetter areas. We should be constructing the infrastructure that can cope with crisis. …

.03 Fitch report on finance in Portugal’s regions

Euro Weekly News - Malaga, Spain

FITCH RATINGS, the leading global rating agency, says in a recently published report, that Portuguese local and regional governments continue to be underpinned by a strong institutional framework, with tight control and supervision by central government bodies, oversight by the National Court of Accounts, and a high overall standard in financial reporting. … The ‘Regions Yes!’ civic movement has instigated a national campaign urging people to sign a petition to be presented at the Parliament, requesting MPs to call a new referendum on regionalization. However, it should be remembered that, in 1998, the population overwhelmingly rejected a referendum calling for the creation of eight regional assemblies. …

.04 ASEAN pursues free trade deals as global trade talks in limbo


ASEAN is set this week to finalise a free trade agreement with India and hold talks with Australia and New Zealand, signalling the importance of regional pacts amid fading hopes for a global trading regime. …

.05 Social networking is spreading worldwide as Facebook and others ...

The Canadian Press – MONTREAL

Social networking sites become regionalized with their own cultural differences, Moore-Crispin said, adding he has friends overseas who approach Facebook ...

.06 An Existential Matter

MorungExpress – Dimapur, India

The future of pan-regionalism is through a strengthening of the sub-national regions. Unfortunately, the discourse of Southasia has been locked not only within the seven-and-now-eight countries, but also, almost exclusively, within the English-speaking ...

.07 Ladies who say and do!

Bangkok Post - Thailand

"We succeeded in our campaign [to eliminate land-mines] because thousands of people around the world shared a common goal and worked together collectively - internationally, nationally and regionally. We pushed our own governments. We pushed the UN. We pushed regional bodies. The best campaigners were government officials who looked at their humanity - individuals who cared and worked with their governments to bring about change, " Williams said.

.08 France's L'Académie Française upset by rule to recognise regional tongues - United Kingdom

A parliamentary vote has led to more than 20 regional languages now being officially recognised by France's constitution for the first time in history, ...

.09 Joined-up government no joke in Wales

Public Servant Online - Staffordshire, UK

Partnerships have to be chosen with care, however. "Too many partnerships can become talking shops, " she says. "We need to use partnership for those wicked issues that cross organisational boundaries and that can only be solved by putting people in a room to think differently and think across boundaries. The assembly government has a key role in helping identify what those issues are but also in helping to set the standards and the expectations that enable people to come together and enable them to deliver in a transparent way." …

.10 County Council welcomes East Devon businesses' support for Unitary ...

Exmouth Journal – UK

"Only a single Unitary Council would have the size and capacity to provide strong leadership to tackle the big social and economic challenges facing Devon. "A new united Devon needs to keep the economic powerhouse of Exeter at its heart, rather than artificially divide the county. Together it will give Devon a stronger voice regionally and nationally.

.11 Leaders from Latin America, Caribbean vow to boost sports development

Xinhua, China

Leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean have vowed to provide favorable conditions for sports development so that athletes of the region can make better achievements at the London Olympics scheduled for 2012. …

.12 Take the initiative

Daily News & Analysis - Mumbai, India

The central question is what can India do to promote regional cooperation and make this process less vulnerable to political and other shocks? ...

.13 Geopolitical Chess: Background to a Mini-war in the Caucasus

Monthly Review - Herndon, VA, USA

Geopolitics is a gigantic series of two-player chess games, in which the players seek positional advantage. In these games, it is crucial to know the ...

.14 A modern Congress Centre to be built in Cracow

Polish Market - Warsaw, Poland

The marshal of the Małopolska voivodship emphasised also that the centre ranks among the three most vital projects in the regional development strategy of the voivodship....

.15 An Interview with Susana Villarán

Inca Kola News

Susana: 'Fuerza Social' is a centre left, or "democratic left" party. It has a modern, decentralized, regionalist viewpoint and has as one of its foundations the desire for a deep reform of the State for its citizenry. The party is made up of a national body and seven regional groups that are already governing in three regions in Perú, more than twenty provinces and around one hundred districts

.16 Residents demand end to council merger

ABC Online – Queensland, AU

Speakers denounced the recently formed Cairns Regional Council, which they believe has caused higher rates, water charges and other fees. Councillor Julia Leu, who represents the old Douglas Shire shire, which is now known as Division 10, organised the meeting.

.17 Working relationship a feature of first amalgamation council

Tamworth Northern Daily Leader - AU

Regional Council met last night for the final full meeting of the first four-year term of the amalgamation of five local government areas.

.18 National Horticulture Mission for holistic growth

Commodity Online - Kochi, Kerala, India

The Mission's objectives include steps to promote holistic growth of the horticulture sector through area based regionally differentiated strategies; ...

.19 Free the fourth arm

Sydney Morning Herald – Australia

Europe wants more of it. India, Canada, Mexico and Brazil all revel in it. The US can't get enough of it. But in Australia, we hate it. Federation, the political philosophy we had to have. … It has one recommendation in respect to Federation, that the Government introduce the requirement for intergovernmental agreements to be automatically referred to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny and report to the parliament.

.20 Road Infrastructure and Economic Development

Libre Magazine

Theoretically speaking, an improved connection between the core and periphery regions, driven by investment in physical infrastructure should make it easier for the periphery producers to supply the goods to the large market (core + periphery). …

.21 Leaders need to get rid of regional tags

Business Daily Africa - Nairobi, Kenya

While perhaps useful for regional bonding, regional political groups are today inappropriate platforms for presidential runs. Remember it took our current current president to shed his DP coat, ...

.22 Fans back Grand Slam success of regional rugby

WalesOnline - United Kingdom

Welsh rugby has come a long way since regionalism. And with a fifth region back on the horizon, it’s promising that fans are embracing the situation. ...

.23 Perdido spar arrives in deep waters of US Gulf

EnergyCurrent - Houston, TX, USA

HOUSTON: The Shell-operated Perdido Regional Development Spar has arrived in the deep waters of Alaminos Canyon Block 857 in the Gulf of Mexico, ... Video -1 Videos Pori, Finland – manufacturing site

.24 Colleges confront shootings with survival training

The Associated Press

"Look at your environment through the lens of survival, " said Domenick Brouillette, who administered the course at Metropolitan Community College, which serves more than 20000 students. "Survivors prepare themselves both mentally and emotionally to do what it takes. It might involve life-threatening risk. You may do something you never thought you were capable of doing."...

.25 Police hunt teenage girl after burglary

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press - Norwich, England, UK

The male offender is described as white with a heavy accent (no regionalism specified), 5'6”, large build, blue tracksuit top and shorts. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Thank you Commissioner Stepniak

Free New York Blog

We are opposed to top-down, top-heavy approaches including forced regionalization. We favor municipal governments not because they are sacrosanct or without defects. In fact, they share some of the same defects as all governments. They are bureaucratic and coercive and vulnerable to special interest manipulation and exploitation. Yet, they also have certain virtues that other levels of government lack....

.02 Re: Regionalism? Centerville & Washington Township can't even work it out!

the Dayton identity topic has more to do with emotional regionalism than actual infrastructural regionalism (ie shared resources & services, centralized government, etc.). But you can't get to actual if you don't first get the emotional. I started this topic as an example of how unaccepting of change many in this region seem to be. I understand the appeal in being able to choose one area over another because of the services that are offered (and subsequent taxes that would pay for those services), but I also believe this region to have WAY too many disparate government structures that could certainly be streamlined so that the residents of this region could get more bang for their tax dollar instead of paying for a bunch of unnecessary salaries. …

.03 Regionalism in Cincinnati


In the current climate where regional cooperation or shared services can elicit a knee jerk reaction, opportunities like retirements, new local leadership, or financial stress still are the primary catalysts for change. But that’s not all! There are some other major catalysts for “common sense” mergers....

.04 Regional Equity Forum

Youngstown Renaissance

all spoke about the importance and challenges of regional cooperation. Most enlightening were the case studies from other cities and communities and the highlights of the benefits they've achieved. …some successful models:

Twin Cities Fiscal Disparity Program: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Most comprehensive, in operation since 1971 …

.05 Speaking of Regionalism...

Young Philly Politics

To me, the biggest prize out there for regionalization is transit, and transit funding. Yes, I know we have SEPTA- but until we have our city leaders pushing together, it is hard for me to see Philly getting the federal funds it needs for real transit expansion, like a new light rail line. I saw the effects of regional cohesion up close in Minnesota, where the Twin Cities' Metro Council helped successfully push for new transit....

.06 The Piedmont Triad could become an aerotropolis, finally an identity for the region


Charlotte is known for Banking and Finance. Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill is known for Education, government and research industries. The Triad could be known as an aerotropolis. The Triad may finally have an identity. Having an identity is important because it allows cities to set goals and execute them. ...

.07 Economic Forces Threaten To Ground Economic Development

Smart City Memphis

In the aerotropolis sweepstakes, Detroit is the first city to take flight. … Mr. Kasarda, he’s suggested that the cities with the greatest opportunities for aerotropolisdom are Detroit, Memphis, Dallas/Fort Worth and possibly Kansas city and Phoenix. He’s also cited the presence of FedEx and Honda Aircraft at the Piedmont Triad International Airport as giving Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point, North Carolina a chance for aerotropolis status.

.08 The End Of Aviation

By usxp(usxp)

… book Transport Revolutions, envision a world in which rising oil prices have reduced domestic flying in the United States roughly 40 percent by 2025--even assuming that airlines improve fuel efficiency by about 50 percent. In such a scenario, the United States could go from having nearly 400 primary airports down to 50 or so; But airport-driven development is increasingly common in the United States, as well: John Kasarda, a University of North Carolina business professor, has coined the term "aerotropolis" to describe the mini-cities ...


Cleveland Indy Media - Cleveland, OH, USA

Where is the regionalism in paying off these massive projects? The area's major projects - Gateway, Browns Stadium, and now the medical mart and new convention center – are all financed on the backs or out of the pockets of Cuyahoga County and Cleveland taxpayers. The rest of the region pays nothing....

.10 Essay: Regionalism - 8/15/2008

Jack Lessenberry

If I had the power to make every policy maker in America read one book, my choice would be a slim, 148-page volume by David Rusk, called Cities Without Suburbs. … Rusk, a former mayor of Albuquerque, has a simple mantra: Elastic cities grow and prosper; inelastic cities decline. …

.11 New England Groups Look to Secede, by Jim Kozubek, New Hampshire ...

Novacadia Alliance

The logic is based on the idea that individuals, cities and regions have diverse economic and political interests; once a population becomes too large, resources and taxes are not fairly dispensed and a government fails to provide adequate representation, he said. "The founding fathers could not have imagined 300 million people, " …

.12 Protecting Regional American Food Brands

The Sour Dough

I’m sure there are many, many other cases of regional food losses that I am not even aware of but whose loss is deeply felt in the regional food fabric of their areas. Which brings me to the point of this little rant. I think it is time for some protections to be afforded regional specialities and brands in the United States, not unlike those afforded Bordeaux wine and Stilton cheese. …

.13 National Capital Region Selects Homeland Security Projects to Fund

Be Ready DC

The National Capital Region invests in disaster preparations in an efficient, regionally coordinated manner, and focuses the region’s homeland security spending on the greatest risks and needs. ..

.14 Agglomeration and the Green Energy Sector in the Front Range

A View of the Rockies: A Regional Economic Development Blog for Denver

"The decision to establish manufacturing in Brighton follows a thorough placement analysis conducted in cooperation with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Metro Denver and Upstate Colorado. ...

.15 COMPOST and re-localizing democracy

By Greg(Greg)

In the case of the Cumberland Greens Bioregional Council, we have undertaken hosting a Continental Congress of bioregional groups in order to create the forum to discuss the next steps in creating sustainable, healthy places to live. …

.16 Globalism & Regionalism

Jonathon Porritt

… this particular model of globalisation (US-led, neo-liberal, deregulated globalisation) is dead in the water. What’s more, the need for a completely different kind of globalisation (based on dramatic decarbonisation and the accelerated achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, underpinned by local and regional economic development) has never been more urgent. ...

.17 Knowing Your Bioregion: A First Step to Stewardship

Green Blog

Getting to know your bioregion can lead to a feeling of ownership and then to good stewardship. A worthy quest, indeed. So here’sa list of questions and suggestions and actions to get you going on this quest: ...

.18 Urban and Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning is concerned with the development of policies and plans for the use of land and resources. It involves making recommendations on the social, cultural, economic and environmental needs of the community. ...

.19 Regionalization

The Student Doctor Network

I was wondering if people would share their thoughts about regionalization in adult critical care. It is a topic that interests me. There have been studies that have shown that mechanically ventilated patients have better outcomes at high volume centers than low volume centers....

.20 Twin Cities Workshop Sept 27

By Don(Don)

Twin Cities Regional Community Workshop Saturday, September 27, 2008. Registration at 8:00 am, workshop from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Heart and Vascular Center, Conference Rooms A & B Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, St Louis Park, MN ...

.21 State of the debate: education

By Miguel(Taylor Kirk)

To me, what is perhaps most noteworthy of the current debates on education is that the regional debates seem to have taken a marked shift from rebukes and lamentation to action-oriented discussion on progress. ...

.22 EU To Become Union Of European Regions *


Regionalism and subsidiarity are inherently interdependent. However, in our understanding of subsidiarity we go far beyond what is stated in article five of the Treaty of Amsterdam. We define subsidiarity as “actively supporting a ...

.23 People Finder, a new tool for networking

By rezcurra

The International Centre of Excellence for local eDemocracy, ICELE, a top international institution in the field of eDemocracy, has recently launched People Finder, a new tool to ‘help network all the digital democracy, participation and empowerment practitioners from across the world’. Practitioners who are interested in adding their profiles to the database are invited to do so.

.24 Invitation of Membership to join the Community of Expert Evaluators (CoE) in South Asia


In view of this situation, ASK is spearheading an effort to create a regionally active platform of exchange and interaction among evaluation experts for knowledge building in the South Asian region. As part of this project, ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 How the States Got Their Shapes – C-SPAN Video

Mark Stein talked about his book How States Got Their Shapes (Smithsonian Books/Collins), which explains how American states' borders were drawn and why they have their current shapes. Topics included the influence of the Erie Canal on the shapes of Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and the sizes of Texas and California. …60 minutes

.02 The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart - C-SPAN Video

Bill Bishop contends that Americans have segregated themselves into like-minded communities that include everything from their neighborhoods to social organizations and argues this homogeny has produced a polarized political and social culture. … 41 minutes

Book Website: The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart

Chapter 12: To Marry Your Enemies

But the Big Sort has not been simply a difference of political opinion. The communities of interest — and the growing economic disparities among regions — won't disappear with a change in Congress or a new president. …

.03 Shenandoah Valley Radio podcast for Aug 22 - Aug 29, 2008

Regional Community Radio from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Tom Christoffel, your editor, is interviewed by Hank Zimmerman, Publisher of a regional community website about the Northern Shenandoah Valley’s intentional community creativity.

04. 3-day state conference set on Heritage Routes - Leelanau Enterprise - Leland, MI, USA

The Northwest Michigan Council of Governments and the Michigan Department of Transportation will hold a first-ever statewide conference on Michigan Heritage Routes … Sept. 23-25 … Breakout sessions will cover several topics, including the issues of regional corridor management across boundaries; telling a story through interpretation; ...

14. Custom search: region, regions, regional communities Contents

To search on topics like those in Regional Community Development News use this custom search engine which utilizes regional related sites. Entering the term regional media returned 190 items; news media returned 303 items. Please recommend links for inclusion.

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 bi-monthly, as of May 7, 2008, based on news reports as of Wednesday of the publication week. It was published weekly through April 23, 2008. At the start, it was twice-weekly.

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 search previous issues since 2003 go to:

The term “Development” was added to the name in January, 2006 and the Group was renamed Regional Community Networkers & RCDNews as of March 10, 2008.

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Thomas J. (Tom) Christoffel, AICP -

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