Regional Community Development News – July 9, 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 - .25

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet … 11.01 - .18

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .26

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .04

Subscription access news stories … 14.01

Custom search: region, regions, regional communities … 15.

Top Regional Community stories

1. With Gas Over $4, Cities Explore Whether It's Smart to Be Dense - Sacramento's 'Blueprint' for Growth Draws National Attention – Wall Street Journal - USA

Gasoline was less than $2 a gallon when Mike McKeever brought his gospel of bikes, light rail and tightly packed neighborhoods to this state synonymous with cars, freeways and suburban sprawl.

"The development industry was very concerned," says Mr. McKeever, head of Sacramento's regional planning agency. "The environmental community was openly negative," concerned that it was "just more talk, talk."

Seven years later, with gasoline hurtling past $4 a gallon, Sacramento has become one of the nation's most-watched experiments in whether urban planning can help solve everything from high fuel prices to the housing bust to global warming.

"They're really the model," … …

Sacramento -- yoked to the car and mired in one of the lousiest housing markets in the country -- offers an intriguing laboratory for that idea. Four years ago, just as oil was gaining momentum in its torrid climb to $140 a barrel and beyond, the six-county region adopted a plan for growth through 2050 that roped off some areas from development while concentrating growth more densely in others, emphasizing keeping jobs near homes.

The local governments in the area aren't compelled to follow the so-called Blueprint, but the plan -- backed by a strange-bedfellows coalition of ordinary citizens, politicians, developers and environmentalists -- shows signs of working, nonetheless.

"To me, the simplest way to test whether local governments are mainstreaming Blueprint growth principles is to look at...what is getting built," says Mr. McKeever. "The evidence there is pretty clear."

Between 2004 and 2007, the number of projects with apartments, condominiums and town houses for sale in the region increased by 533%, while the number of subdivisions with homes on lots bigger than 5,500 square feet fell by 21%, according to housing-research firm Hanley Wood Market Intelligence.

2. EDITORIAL: Cities talking to one another is a good thing - San Jose Mercury News

Many elected officials in different cities will say that their least favorite agenda items are disputes between neighbors. There are no win-win solutions when a disagreement gets that far in the public process. Emotions are high, fears are inflamed and long-lasting bitter feelings are embedded in the relationship.

Cities are neighbors, too. On the other side of each city border lies another community that deserves the same consideration and respect city officials ask their residents to demonstrate when making plans for their property that will have an impact on those who live next door.

That's why the "regional summit" recently attended by mayors, council members, city managers and planners from Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Clara and Mountain View, was an excellent idea.

"It's been very reactionary, and now we're on the proactive side," said Cupertino Mayor Dolly Sandoval, of the inter-city, cross-border talks.

City boundaries are artificial lines in the sand. Most people move among cities every day as they go to work, shop, visit friends, go to the movies, etc. Very few could tell you as they travel on major thoroughfares that travel through different jurisdictions where one city ends and another begins. Unless you live in Alameda, the only city in California that is an island, or in a truly rural community surrounded by miles open space, city boundaries are mostly invisible to residents.

This is not true, of course, for city governments. They have responsibility for public safety, street repairs, traffic control, code enforcement, and so on. They know exactly which streets and residences are within their boundaries. And they also know when what they are considering will have a real, or perceived, impact on the folks who live and work on the other side of the city line.

Of course, a city's first loyalty must be …

3. High and dry - Boston Globe - United States

There's a wall of water between the communities along Interstate 495 and their economic future.

The region is expected to continue attracting more companies, workers, and residents in the coming years. But that growth is also projected to slam up against water-related limits unless supplies are conserved or increased, said officials. The problem is already in sight, some say.

"We have all this residential construction, but we haven't received any additional water," said Shrewsbury Town Manager Dan Morgado. "I've had discussions with companies and the first question I need to ask them, particularly if they are in biotech, is, 'How much water do you need?' "

In the region stretching along I-495 from Littleton to Wrentham, demand on public water systems is expected to rise from 51 million gallons a day in 2005, the latest numbers available, to 62 million in 2030, according to a recent study published by the 495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Steady growth for the I-495 region is driving demand, the study said.

Between 1990 and 2000, the area's population swelled by 12 percent to 512,067, according to the MAPC, and about 100,000 more people are expected to arrive by 2020. An additional 40,500 employees from outside the region are also expected to work in I-495 businesses by 2030, boosting the total workforce to 322,300.

Municipal water systems won't be able to keep up if they don't evolve, according to Paul Matthews, executive director of the 495/MetroWest business group. "Those towns over 20 years ago were either rural or much smaller," he said. "Now a lot of them are bumping up against their infrastructure."

Of the 32 towns in the study, nine experienced median water-usage increases of 10 percent over the past decade.

4. In Fireman’s Boots, Bookseller Finds Tears - Martha's Vineyard Gazette - Edgartown,MA,USA

She stood outside and watched, numb with disbelief.

And Ann Nelson — whose name is still synonymous with the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore even though she turned ownership of the store over to her son Jon three years ago (she stills owns the building) — wanted to go inside.

Mrs. Nelson spent the entire day Friday on Main street outside the bookstore that she had built into national recognition over 35 years.

“I watched the fire all day long and they put me in the uniform so I could go inside the building . . . and then I really appreciated what a job they do,” she said, adding:

“They kept coming up to me and speaking to me and I was so appreciative. Every fireman I knew. If I had to say one thing, people talk about regionalization and this was three towns together — Oak Bluffs, Tisbury and Edgartown. You talk about whether you have any doubt about the value of a hook and ladder truck — the hook and ladder truck came to try and save my building.

“I cannot tell you . . . I walked down the street and people would come up to me and stick their hands in my pockets, they didn’t even know me and they were giving me slips of paper with their phone numbers and asking if there was anything they could do. The outpouring . . . I hope John Schilling receives the same outpouring.”

She concluded:

“You talk about regionalization, you talk about the Fourth of July, there were almost no fire engines in the Fourth of July parade. They were at my building. This is regionalization at its finest.

“I know them all, I knew every firefighter that was there. I cannot tell you what that meant to me. I cannot tell you what I felt. It was such a flood of emotions.”

5. Lawmakers pushing for regionalized services - Burlington Union - Concord,MA,USA

Legislators want their cities and towns to save money by considering combining certain local services into regionalized services.

That was why the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regionalization (JCMR) held a hearing ...

Kirwin said that Gov. Patrick’s office was dedicated to finding regional cost-saving measures, but the onus can’t put entirely on the state.

“Not all the answers for sustainable municipal government can come from the state,” Kirwin said. “In some cases, the state needs to get out of the way. Part of it is figuring out what the barriers are to effective regional support and start to chip away at them.”

One such barrier is what Kirwin described as “turf issues.” She pointed to the 200-plus 911 call centers in Massachusetts as an example of possible consolidation that has met resistance in the past. New Hampshire has one call center, and California has three, according to Kirwin.

“If this sensible change is off the table, other more painful changes are impossible,” Kirwin said. “We believe nothing should be off the table.”

The JCMR heard from Phoebe Walker, director of community services for the Franklin Council of Governments (FCG). The council is a regional planning authority that took over several roles from the now-defunct Franklin County government, and enjoys the optional participation from all of Franklin County’s towns. Each town pays a $300,000 assessment each year, and becomes eligible for grants and programs directed by the FCG.

Walker’s group is an example of a working regional planning authority that has had some successes, but has met some serious incentive and financial hurdles in its efforts to facilitate collaboration among its membership.

“Unless (the initiative) is cheaper, or demonstrably better at limiting liability, it doesn’t happen,” Walker said.

She said one of the biggest hurdles for regional planning was ...

6. An Archaic System - Hartford Courant - United States

There are almost 270,000 people in New London County. Fewer than 1,000 made the call on what could be the county's biggest development of the next decade.

On Tuesday, 805 Preston residents voted in favor of a proposal by Northland Investment Corp. to build a $1 billion luxury resort, Preston Green, on the 420-acre site of the former Norwich State Hospital. ...

Our issue is not with Northland, an enthusiastic developer of downtown Hartford, or whether this is the best use of the Preston property, or whether the state should have exercised a stronger hand in the disposal of its property. It is with the process, which was local when it should have been regional.

If the town can work out a development agreement with Northland by the end of the year, the Preston Green project will include two five-star hotels, a golf course, a spa, a marina, 75 homes starting at about $1.5 million each, 1,500 condominiums and 100,000 square feet of retail space.

This will have a serious effect on the region. Preston will get the property tax revenue; the surrounding towns will get traffic, public safety issues, water concerns, strain on local businesses and other problems. Where are the people who will work at the resort going to live? Who pays their children's school costs?

This kind of thing continues to happen in Connecticut. ...

There is some work being done by the state on regional initiatives; there needs to be much more. We're still using a 17th-century model in a 21st-century world. Around the world, metropolitan regions are becoming the dominant economic engines. Here, 1,445 people in Preston make the call.


7. With popularity come problemsHouston Chronicle - United States

The Metropolitan Transit Authority has challenges to meet on three fronts: light rail, bus service and commuter rail.

On light rail, Metro is not just moving, it's about to throw the throttle wide open — if the Federal Transit Administration doesn't slam on the funding brakes first.

It's also rebuilding the bus system.

But although the push for commuter rail becomes stronger with every increase in gasoline prices, Metro's role in providing that service is not so clear.

The 2003 Metro Solutions referendum called for commuter rail, but there already was a fine Park & Ride bus service, so the agency focused on other elements of the plan. Now, with gasoline $4 a gallon, the Park & Rides are bursting at the seams.

One of the speakers at last Thursday's Metro board meeting, Robin Hodges, pleaded for more buses at the Spring Park & Ride lot at the North Freeway and FM 1960. She said the 1,200 spaces routinely fill up, and the 204 Spring bus often is too full to pick up passengers standing at downtown stops for the return trip. Up to 15 riders per bus pay $3 each just to stand in the aisle, she said.


Earlier in the day, board committees hashed over the issue. Bishop James Dixon suggested calling a regional "transit summit," and Wolff agreed Metro should find out "what people expect and what they are willing to do with us."

George DeMontrond said expanding Metro's role regionally would require new legislation on how to fund it, and much of the surrounding area already pays the statutory maximum sales tax.

Legislation to address these issues has no chance, DeMontrond said, without broad support from public and private stakeholders.

Regional transportation

Meanwhile, Harris County has stepped into some regional transportation gaps. ...

RC: Houston-Galveston Area Council

8. More than ever, all in region need teamwork - Detroit Free Press - United States

I am honored to be elected to chair the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments in this, the 40th anniversary year of the regional organization. SEMCOG has always been about local governments working together, and in these challenging times, that has never been more important.

Southeast Michigan will be stronger and more prosperous in the future because SEMCOG will continue to encourage collaboration. Our challenges and opportunities no longer stop at the boundaries of any one county, city, village, township or education district. We all must work together.

I have been associated with SEMCOG for many years as a member of the Wayne County Regional Education Service Agency (Wayne RESA). It couldn't be a more important time for an education member to chair SEMCOG.

Our research and forecasts show how our economy is transforming from an auto manufacturing base to a knowledge base. That means better K-12 education for our children and better education for adults, whether through college or skills training. I pledge, through SEMCOG, to strengthen the ties among education, our communities and our economy to help meet these challenges this year, in the next 40 years, and beyond.

SEMCOG is at its best bringing governments together to build consensus, recognizing the diverse interests across the region. SEMCOG continually demonstrates that regionalism can work.

The issues SEMCOG will address in the future are core to this region's quality of life and prosperity.

SEMCOG will play an enhanced role in education.

Our region needs to improve its ability to attract and retain younger, educated workers to power the current economic transformation. ...

MARY BLACKMON has been a board member since 1982 of the Wayne County Regional Education Service Agency. She was elected in June to a one-year term as chair of SEMCOG. For more information, visit

9. REGISTER VIEWPOINT: It takes a bullhorn to raise a community - Sandusky Register - OH, USA

School districts face an array of challenges, one among them being the goal of diversification in teaching and administrative staffs.

The importance of the need to consider race in hiring decisions is not taken for granted at Sandusky schools, but some community members say its not given the priority it should have to serve the diverse student population of the district.

The argument is strong: The staff should reflect its student population. Leadership should reflect those who are being led.


But for any school district or company -- even newspapers -- diversity questions and hiring practices overall already are uncomfortable. Larger cities, larger school district and larger companies offer more attractive pay packages. That's a hard and simple truth. Larger cities also, in some instances, offer cultural and living opportunities that cannot be found in this region.

There are great advantages to living in America's great heartland, but local and state political leaders have not done nearly enough to enhance them. Squabbling and turf power wars are the hallmarks of our leadership and take precedence over progress, cooperation and regionalization.

Who wants to move to a city with so many empty and dilapidated houses where government officials are too incompetent to fill out the paperwork to bring in federal rehab grant money to rebuild? Who wants to move to a city with blighted neighborhoods, bumpy streets and empty storefronts?

Those disappointing results from county and city leaders hinder recruitment from outside the region, making it all the more important for the school district -- and the Register -- to recruit from within the community. Employees with family connections to here will always be more apt to stay.

A focus on those future local leaders requires ...

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 Aichele to lead regional planning board
All Around Philly - Philadelphia,PA,USA
Carol Aichele was elected chairwoman of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission ... For the next year, she will head the board that is responsible for encouraging municipalities in the Delaware Valley to cooperate on land use, transportation and environmental policies. …

.02 EDITORIAL: A start
TMCnet - USA
Gov. Ed Rendell last week signed into law a bill that consolidates the number of collectors for earned income tax payments from 560 to 69. Their jurisdictions would generally follow county lines. (Pennsylvania has 67 counties.) … When possible, Pennsylvania needs to move toward the regionalization of government services as it did with earned income tax collection. What's next? How about planning and zoning?

.03 EDITORIAL: Port Should Apply for SEED Grant
Kitsap Sun (Subscription) - WA, United States
Built on a 75-acre site, SEED would be built to environmentally "green" standards — a sustainable office park and support facility designed for clean-energy technology companies…. the Puget Sound Regional Council and the Economic Development Administration both are satisfied that SEED would be an economic driver for this region and is a worthwhile investment.

.04 Regionalism Brings About Trash Savings
Lynchburg News and Advance - Lynchburg,VA,USA
Five localities in the region are already beginning to reap the benefits of a regional landfill. And it has only been operating since the first of the month ... The Region 2000 Services Authority has taken over operation of the Lynchburg landfill … The regional approach to solid waste disposal is the right way to go — as is the approach to a number of other local government services on a regional basis. Region 2000 continues to be on the right track in helping Central Virginia localities plan for the future through the more efficient delivery of regional government services.

.05 Lowry Range development underway
Denver Post - Denver,CO,USA
When the Denver Regional Council of Governments expanded the metro area's Urban Growth Boundaries in 2007, the decision was highly controversial, pitting cities against counties and those wanting to stop the spread of development into new areas against those who see growth as inevitable. ..

.06 They have a cure for 60-mile commutes
The Free Lance-Star - Fredericksburg,VA,USA
Traffic, limited time with family, and prices are squeezing workers financially and emotionally, said Peter Garcia, telework facility manager for the George Washington Regional Commission. ...

.07 Michigan Gov. Granholm Announces New Round of Grants for Centers for Regional Excellence

Government Technology – USA

... new round of grants for Centers for Regional Excellence (CRE), a program that encourages local governments to work collaboratively to make their communities better places to live, work and play while streamlining government and saving taxpayer dollars.

.08 I-75 roadwork is 'biggest road project in the state'
Dayton Daily News - Dayton,OH,USA
A long-range plan approved by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission calls for a lot more highway construction even after the flock of projects under way are completed." If you look at all of Interstate 75, the reconstruction work there is the biggest road project in the state," said Donald Spang, executive director of the planning commission. ...

.09 Hamilton mayor pitches county water takeover
Lebanon Western Star - Lebanon,OH,USA
… urging, "regionalization ... not regionalization by hitching Butler County's wagon to Cincinnati's star, but regionalization of and within our own county. ...

.10 The Tri-Cities hope to go the distance in economic pool
The Saginaw News - - Saginaw,MI,USA
Allen said chambers in Bay, Saginaw and Midland have been backing the concept of building a "Tri-City area" in an effort to spur regional growth and development. ...

.11 Newspapers launch regional Web site on Tri-Cities' happenings

The Saginaw News - - Saginaw,MI,USA

The new regional Web site, showcasing the activities and offerings of the Tri-Cities, is a joint offering of The Saginaw News and The Bay City Times. ...

.12 Gettysburg mulls regionalization of development
The Evening Sun - Hanover,PA,USA

Gettysburg Borough officials are "interested" in the idea of a comprehensive plan that would regionalize development in the borough and surrounding townships. … a more urban area could cover the commercial and industrial requirements, while a neighboring rural municipality could remain agricultural, Merkel said. "You can share, instead of each municipality having to provide for every use," …

.13 Residents rally to revive Michigan grocery
In-Forum - Fargo,ND,USA

"It's considered such an important, vital community asset," said Julius Wangler, executive director of the Red River Regional Council. "The importance of this project can't be underestimated. It gets to be pretty stressful if you have to drive a considerable distance for groceries." …

.14 Insightful Texans Stall the NAFTA Superhighway
Natural - Phoenix,AZ,USA
This first substantial legal attack on the TTC is spearheaded by the Eastern Central Texas Sub-Regional Planning Commission (ECTSRPC), ...

.15 SAD 9 directors revisit values of regionalization
Central Maine Morning Sentinel - Augusta,ME,USA

... several members vented against what they saw as negative aspects of the months-long merger talks with SAD 58, a district that includes Kingfield, Avon, Phillips, Strong and Eustis. ''The whole process has really upset me. I saw a pattern of appeasement and mistrust,'' Pullo said, launching the discussion. Pullo, who along with several other directors serves on the regional planning committee hammering out consolidation details, said the atmosphere was ''poisoned quite early'' in the process.

.16 Hayes visits top board
Wicked Local Boxborough - Concord,MA,USA

Another change that makes sense to Hayes is the regionalization of the towns of the 37th district. “In other places, the county is more involved,” he said. He plans to increase the suburban voice in the state legislature, a goal that inter-town unity would further. ...

.17 Area chambers talk about teaming up - One director says past attempts at regionalism have not panned out
Richmond Times Dispatch - Richmond,VA,USA
Four area chambers of commerce are exploring ways to strengthen regional cooperation, even merging, to better serve area businesses and have a stronger voice on issues that affect the community. ...

.18 Charleston Mayor Open to Merging County-City Govt.
WSAZ-TV - Huntington,WV,USA
The mayor of West Virginia's largest city says he open to the idea of consolidating services with the state's largest county. Charleston Mayor Danny Jones says the city and Kanawha County officials should consider a merger before the federal 2010 census to ensure federal funds based on population are not lost.

.19 City-county merger panel shows little focus

The Journal Gazette – Ft. Wayne, IN, USA

Allen County and Fort Wayne officials have debated the merits of government consolidation for decades with little real progress. … about six months into its work, results from the Local Government Efficiency Study Committee have been mixed. …

.20 Westconnaug lives!
The Phoenix - Boston,MA,USA
The cause of regionalization hasn't moved forward much in Rhode Island, or so it seems. … State House- Representative Nicholas Gorham (R-Dist. 40 Foster, Glocester, Coventry), in continuing his plan to study the creation of a new “Town of Westconnaug” …

.21 Focus on elk as disease persists near Yellowstone
The Associated Press -
Since late 2006, federal officials and the governors of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana have been trying to negotiate a regional brucellosis plan that would deal with different species. But prospects for an agreement remain uncertain given the states' divergent approaches to wildlife. ...

.22 Attack of the Locavores
Summit Daily News - Frisco,CO,USA
... while buying food locally does a lot to reduce our ecological footprint and conserve non-renewable resources, there are many other reasons why buying locally or regionally is a great option. Local-food production helps strengthen regional economies and protects local jobs, small farms and independent business owners.

.23 Local school districts eye cyber program
The Citizen's Voice - PA,USA
The cyber program essentially works by combining forces regionally to provide online courses and teachers. Initially, the courses will be pre-designed by ...

.24 Knox County administrator settles into new role
VillageSoup Belfast - ME, USA
The county is attempting to provide more regional services, such as purchasing, and there has been some talk of regionalized animal control. ...

.25 Western govs plan joint wildlife strategy
United Press International – USA

… Western Governors' Association, featuring governors from 19 states and three territories, resulted in a Sunday vote to create the Western Wildlife Council, which will create a "decision support system" within each state that will work on habitat issues across political and regional boundaries, …

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 ABSURDITIES - Balancing political and economic rights
Jamaica Gleaner - Kingston,Jamaica

"The effect of 'national treatment' is to deprive Caribbean governments of a means of fostering the development of national firms and of cross-border production integration by regionally owned firms; by providing them preferentially with import protection, government purchases, tax incentives, … "These are the kinds of measures that most European countries have in the past used to foster the development of their own businesses."

.02 To succeed, put one person in charge
New Straits Times - Persekutuan,Malaysia
The biggest killer in rural development in the past has been duplication. There are too many ministries and agencies involved -- agriculture, health, public works, education, entrepreneur development, youth, tourism and EPU. Everyone is doing his own stuff while jealously protecting his turf. Working together is more an exception than a rule. To change this, it is time to appoint and empower one person. He coordinates, while the others give their full support in a genuine team effort. Let that captain be the new rural and regional development minister ...

.03 Planning in the dark:
Retail Bulletin - Croydon,UK

The latest White Paper from the spring meeting of the KPMG/SPSL Retail Think Tank (RTT) addresses the surprising lack of information on the composition of the retail sector in the public domain. ...

• Many private sector bodies collect data, but this is neither publicly held nor used in public policy or regional and national planning decision-making. ...

MaximsNews Network - New York,NY,USA
Club of Madrid (CoM) … The Madrid regional Government noted the positive influence that FRIDE and the CoM have for the region and for the citizens of Madrid. The agreement signed today represents a further step in the close collaboration between the Madrid regional Government and both institutions, which began in 2001 with the Conference on Democratic Transition and Consolidation, hosted by FRIDE and as a result of which the CoM was formed,

.05 Turkey and the Mediterranean Union
One of the main virtues of the Mediterranean Union is that Turkey will be its most important and leading member. … the argument is that because one recognizes that Turkey has made considerable progress toward becoming a democratic society, it should assume its responsibility to lead the Middle East in the same direction. Moreover, promoting regionalism beyond the EU would fit well into the emerging multi-regional global design. ...

.06 Cooperation better than abolishing states: analyst
ABC Online - Australia
A political analyst has dismissed suggestions Australia's states be abolished, saying greater cooperation and more regional governance is a better solution. ...

.07 Idea from Colombo approved
Sunday - Columbo,Sri Lanka
Possibly the first international organization to promote economic development among countries was the Colombo Plan – so named because the idea was approved at a meeting held in Colombo in 1950. The Plan was set up a year later in July 1951, 57 years ago. … At the start there were just seven member countries – Australia, Britain, Canada, Ceylon, India, New Zealand and Pakistan. All belonged to the Commonwealth. Today there are 25. … The Colombo Plan … is a regional inter-governmental organisation to enhance economic and social development of the countries of the region. ..

.08 City in need of ambition
New Zealand Herald - New Zealand
We are doing our best but are constrained by regional governance." The council is buying strategic stakes of land so it can "have some skin in the game" in ...

.09 Lebanon ranks 150th worldwide and 13th in the MENA region in in Government Effectiveness
iloubnan-info - Beirut,Lebanon
Globally, it came ahead of Cuba and Pakistan and ranked behind Ukraine and Kenya, while regionally it came ahead of Iran and behind Algeria. ...

.10 Multi-Party Democracy; My Foot;
Awareness Times - Freetown,Sierra Leone
if the Africans are forced to practice democracy (away from our cultural context) without modification or until the democratic pre–requisites are available, it can easily FAN the flames of tribalism, Regionalism and other unwholesome factionalisms …

.11 If united, Dalits and Muslims will rule India: Ram Vilas Paswan
Indian Muslims - San Diego,CA,USA
There are four types of discriminations found in the Indian society: sexual exploitation, casteism, religious hatred and regionalism. ...

.12 ‘SAARC co-operation key to eliminating regional terrorism’
Daily Times - Lahore,Pakistan
… significant progress by SAARC in a number of areas like poverty alleviation, but said there still was need of strengthening this regional forum, especially in the fields of regional co-operation, environment, agriculture and food, water and energy security....

.13 Southern Regional Government Council Approves Infinity Energy Resources Offshore Nicaraguan Exploration and Development Contracts

Denver Post - Denver,CO,USA
Infinity Energy Resources, Inc… an independent oil and gas exploration and development company, today announced that the regional government council of the Autonomous Region of the Southern Atlantic ("RAAS") voted to approve the Company's offshore Nicaraguan exploration and development contracts ...

.14 Diplomat appeals for regional partnership
DailyNewsOnline - Dar es Salaam,United Republic of Tanzania
MEMBERS of the business community in East Africa were yesterday urged to foster closer co-operation for their mutual benefit. "Global business partnership should start internally and then at regional level," said Mr David Maina, a commercial attache with the Kenyan High Commission in Tanzania....

.15 Health superboard to tackle governance
Calgary Herald - AB, Canada
Potential changes to health region administration follow Liepert's decision in mid-May to axe the boards of Alberta's nine regional health authorities. ...

.16 World community congratulates Astana on its 10th Anniversary.
Kazinform - Astana,Kazakhstan
"Astana is a powerful catalyst and a locomotive of the country’s socio-economic development. Gross Regional Product for the past 10 years increased 17 times, the volume of investments grew more that 20 times. 10% of the country’s GDP falls on the capital. In the nearest future Astana will turn into the largest industrial centre of Kazakhstan,"...

.17 Tough Economy Accelerating Sustainable Food Trends
MediaPost Publications - New York,USA
... Haitian and other highly regionalized cuisines within ethnic communities in the US The wider recognition and appreciation of regionalized ethnic foods ...

.18 Global terrorism: braced for financial fallout
Accountancy Age - London,UK
Exposure to geopolitical risks and terrorism are growing concerns for many organisations whether large or small. In many regions of the world, established local security threats show little sign of abating and are often extending their geographic reach. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Interview with Dan Imhoff: Part 2 (author of Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to the Farm Bill)
Slow Food Nation

Are we starting to build the infrastructure for a regional food system we are going to desperately need when oil tops off at $500 per barrel? …I hope that regions all across the country are starting to have meetings to say that this is the kind of food system that we want, so in three years time, they can go to their elected representatives. Because that was really a big part of what was absent in the discussions this time, long term planning, region by region. I think extremely quickly we are going to have to have a far more regionally based production capacity. …

.02 Theory Talk #10:Timothy Shaw
By Peer Schouten

The New Regionalisms Approach (NRA) parts from the observation that regions other than Europe, can and should be studied in a different way in order to be able to say anything about their meaningful ‘region-ness’. ... Europe can learn something from Africa, and vice versa. If you want to define what crosses borders in Europe, you take the Eurovision Song festival, Ryanair and the likes; in Africa, its rivers, language patterns, and religion who travel. In order to understand the regional integration of Europe, you have to find its roots, and they lie beyond the formal. What subsequently interests me in Africa, are its regional brands, logos, logistics, banks, and cell phones: it is the non-state actors that define it as a region. ...

.03 Asset Mapping Provides Baseline for Regional Transformation
Quad-States Regional Transformation
Competing in the global economy requires the creation of regional innovation ecosystems that drive growth and prosperity. The challenge is to optimize the assets of human, capital (institutional and intangible) around innovation for the future of the region. Many U.S. regions have yet to fully understand the competitive value of their asset base and few have implemented a systematic process to identify their innovation assets or develop strategies to ensure that these assets are sufficiently linked and leveraged. Using the Council on Competitiveness approach, asset mapping is the premiere resource to help regional business and community leaders support innovation-based growth....

.04 Quantifying Regionalism
Civic Analytics
Regionalism is a lot like irony. We know what it is when we see it, but precisely defining it can be challenging. Quantifying it can be downright herculean. However, for anybody in the regionalism business who has faced down questions ...

.05 Retro Blog 3 - Sean Rugless on Regionalism and Community Building: Where will we stand?

Soapbox Cincinnati
What do new housing developments and regionalism have in common? They both are designed to bring people together with a common interest; but can any of them foster a sense of community? The answer is yes..... but you must have a plan for the connective tissue....

.06 Snohomish pols won’t back transit plan
By Will
This is why “regionalism” will always fail. King County voters want transit and are willing to tax themselves to get more of it. The nature of Sound Transit’s governance structure makes it necessary to seek Reardon and Dawson’s approval ...

.07 When did we become the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA?
Missy Blankenship
Thomas, Harrol Brauer was "the king of Hampton Roads regionalism." Brauer helped spearhead the 1984 merger of the Peninsula and five south side cities into one Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area ...

.08 Baetje Farm Cheese Products Explained
Gumbo: The Forum for Soulard
"Baetje Farm throws the spotlight on some of the issues surrounding the concept of regionally produced foods. One important element is the requirement that regional food producers must be able to make a living from their efforts and from the products they produce. It is important that we are able to communicate this need to the consumers....

.09 Fraser Institute: Toronto in Decline; Me: Laughs
By Laurence
This will help balance the region, and in turn, attract more jobs into the central city. Note that this is completely separate from the fact that in today’s ‘creative class’ economy, more companies are choosing to locate within the central city to attract young professionals, ...

.10 Monthly Gleanings
Oxford Etymologist
I cannot say anything new on the word regionalism. It appears to have been coined some time around the eighties of the 19th century by journalists, for the earliest citations are from newspapers. At that time regionalism meant only “localism” in politics. It gained popularity after World War I. As a linguistic term (“a local word or feature”) it does not antedate the fifties. Today regionalism is used widely, but the numerous spheres of application have not changed its original meaning. ...

.11 LA's Freeway Addiction Needs an Intervention
By Amelia Timbers
They have the density for ridership, the regionalism for effective stops, smoggy environmental motivation obscuring skylines, and gas prices kissing $5.00/gallon. LA is primetime mass transit territory, if only the government would start working on buying the right of ways and launching the scoping meetings....

.12 Holland looks back on 20 years (part II)
By paul

The other thing: I think the town and this area has to look at ways to regionalize services. Fire, police, schools. All sorts of other services. Ask ‘Are there ways to collaborate with other towns to provide the services we need in the most cost effective way? Now I’ve talked to some people about that and they think that it wouldn’t bring any economies. But, certainly, ...

.13 Inter-community bike trails update
By Michael
The Technical Advisory Committee of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission has thrown up a detour to the forward-looking plan, which maps out a strategy to connect local neighborhoods to the recreational trails system and promote ...

.14 Try regionalization at the beach
Mind of Len
… let's try something easy. It takes no time, costs nothing. Let's let people with resident beach stickers from East Haven, New Haven and West Haven park free at beaches in any of those communities. For example, if you have a New Haven sticker on our car, you can park free at West Haven or East Haven beaches. Get it? Regionalization. ...

.15 Toward an Online Interactive Broadband Atlas for Ontarians
A comprehensive online Broadband Atlas in Ontario – a first in Canada - could inspire other provinces and territories toward creating regionally managed, but nationally integrated, broadband atlas initiatives. ...

.16 Competitive Super City sucks
By Joseph(Joseph)
Auckland as a "truly internationally competitive city" is anathema to us. Our interest as ordinary people is in co-operation, locally, regionally and globally. Not competition. Any government's wishes on the matter are not ours. Why would ordinary working people here or anywhere want to compete, to drive down even more our already unliveably low wages? Or to further worsen our working and social conditions?

.17 The Coming North American Confederation of Anarchies, Mini-Republics, Micro-Nations and Intentional Communities
By keith
... he showed how Americans have been sorting themselves over the past three decades into homogeneous communities — not at the regional level, or the red-state/blue-state level, but at the micro level of city and neighborhood. ...

.18 Some thoughts
The Haps
The economy should also be altered by higher gas prices - and not in a recession or depression way, but more of a rethinking. Just like what is written about in "Deep Economy" (terrific book, highly recommended), this could mean more localization, more regionalization, which I certainly prefer. Buying products from around the corner and supporting your local options. The hopeful re-establishment of neighborhood commercial districts because of proximity. …

.19 "US farm bill "too little, too late" for developing world"
For the first time, the legislation freed some of the money to be used in cash for food purchases locally or regionally in recipient countries instead of in-kind produce shipped from the US, the world's largest food aid donor. … the amount - US$60 million over four years - was a fraction of the $300 million President George Bush had sought for one fiscal year …

.20 International Educational Perspectives_2
Wide Open Spaces
The regionalization and adapting the educational/cultural content to each region may be a good model for the Brazilian education so as to cope with the enormous differences in needs and development. ...

.21 The Carter Centre Peace Program
Debojyoti Sen
4)The Americas Program: improving regional cooperation and the deepening of democracy within the Western Hemisphere, thwarting corruption, increasing transparency, and decreasing social inequities to ensure that free and fair elections ...

.22 Two cultures
On the Mountain

Frank Sartor, Minister for Planning, has just released the latest Central Coast Regional Strategy. It is planned that by 2031 there will be an additional 100,000 people, 56,000 new dwellings, and 45,000 new jobs.

.23 What is an SDI (Spatial Data Infrastructure)?
Ron Lake’s Blog
This implies that information must be sourced in real time from a wide variety of locations, at a wide variety of scales, from citizens as well as professionals, and integrated on as needs basis. Again this cries out for common data models that are shareable across regions, provinces/states and nations. ...

.24 North America Doesn't Exist – The New Geography of Trade
Saigon Charlie: The Real World
Even the most regionally integrated industries, like the auto industries, measure their success not in terms of integration but by how successfully they can break down the production process into ever-cheaper components. ...

.25 Digital Technologies and Local Journalism
More regionally based news entities are not competition for weeklies but could instead be sought out for mutually beneficial cross-platform relationships for larger news entities, which can provide better regional coverage, ...

.26 Newspaper Stocks and the connection with Wikimetro
Wikimetroblog’s Weblog
Second, newspapers need to produce products that are regional, and that doesn’t work online. For the same reason that Craigslist can’t be segmented and divided into separate regional sites, and wikipedia cant be cut up into sites with different subject matter focus, local newspaper websites can’t work. One site needs to aggregate what is useful, and we hope that will be us.

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 GOS - Geospatial One Stop is a geographic information system (GIS) portal, also known as the Geospatial One-Stop (GOS), that serves as a public gateway for improving access to geospatial information and data under the Geospatial One-Stop E-Government initiative. …

The portal is designed to facilitate communication and sharing of geographic data and resources to enhance government efficiency and improve citizen services by making it easier, faster and less expensive for all levels of government and the public to access geospatial information.

The portal is a catalog of geospatial information containing thousands of metadata records (information about the data) and links to live maps, features, and catalog services, downloadable data sets, images, clearinghouses, map files, and more. The metadata records were submitted to the portal by government agencies, individuals, and companies, or by harvesting the data from geospatial clearinghouses.

.02 Institute for State Effectiveness - Resources

The Institute for State Effectiveness (ISE) uses a citizen-centered perspective to rethink the fundamentals of the relationship between citizens, the state and the market in the context of globalization. Stability and prosperity in our interdependent world demand a new global compact to ensure that the billions of people currently excluded become stakeholders in the emerging political and economic order.

The ISE approach distills conceptual thinking, historical analysis and first-hand field experience with dialogue across networks of individuals and organizations in the realms of civil society, government, business, technology and academia. The Institute has developed critical tools and frameworks that allow us to combine contextualized analysis with comparative perspective to provide actionable policy advice.

BookTV: Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World by Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart of ISE. Watch the presentation from the Asia Society in New York City May 19, 2008 .

.03 Global Transformations – Researching Globalization

Indicators of interconnectedness and the enmeshment of states in regional and global processes

In order to explore the extent and depth of global interconnectedness a number of 'indicators' of interconnectedness can be used. These indicators are based on empirical research in political science, international relations, international political economy, geography, development studies, and sociology. The construction of indicators creates an opportunity for gathering empirical data on global and regional flows, as well as on a state's enmeshment in processes, networks and flows at both the global and regional level. Indicators can be developed in respect of the key areas of state activity and the degree to which individual states are embedded or implicated in global or regional networks of interaction.

.04 Regionalism: Sneaking America Into World Government – Sweet Liberty

Governance - as opposed to Government - means "control by rules, restrictions and regulations". That's a far cry from our elective, representative form of government where laws are to be passed only by elected officials – legislators – and only in pursuance of the Constitution.

Regional Governance is a ‘layer’ – or layers – of government run by nameless, faceless and usually ruthless appointed bureaucrats who are insulated from the election process, and therefore accountable only to those who appoint them. And they will not bite the hand that feeds them. The rules and regulations being promulgated via regional governance are mandates trickled up from self-selected world policy makers at the United Nations to the federal, state and local levels.

14. Subscription access news stories. Contents

.01 Planner journeys to Prague (Archive – July 1, 2008) - The Winchester Star – Winchester, VA, USA

Tom Christoffel, a senior planner with the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, said the combined efforts of Winchester and Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Page, and Shenandoah counties demonstrates that regional projects work.

During an interview Monday at the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission office in Front Royal, Christoffel said the conference offered him a chance to test his theories about communities and common interests.

“Community precedes cooperation,” he said. “When you find a sense of community, it is just built into how to cooperate. When there is a sense of community, cooperation follows naturally.”

Christoffel said successful regional efforts, like those that involve water resources, help the northern Shenandoah Valley.

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission has helped to unite the various communities in its planning district, allowing each to see the benefits of shared efforts to get things accomplished, he said.

Water is a good example of a problem that creates a strong desire for regionalism.

“In 1999, we decided we needed to look at water regionally for the planning district because droughts were regular things ...” Christoffel said. “Every time there was a drought, there were more people here because the [Shenandoah] Valley was growing, so the region began to look at water planning or water-resource planning, but they wanted to do it broadly. Then they started to meet, but decided they couldn’t think about this without inviting the upstream and downstream jurisdictions.

“They had me send a letter to Augusta County and Rockingham [County], and Berkeley and Jefferson [counties in West Virginia]. Some of those localities [had officials who] showed up at the next meeting.”

Christoffel said regional resources constitute a community, with each locality that relies on the resource having a stake in its long-term usage.

The organization that oversees the planning district — in this case, the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission — becomes the forum by which resource use and other issues can be monitored.

“So just in the way the county is a general-purpose entity, the planning district or regional commission like we have can be a general-purpose entity to work on the problems of the day or the issues of the day to look long term,” he said.

15. 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 community returned 617 items; “regional community” returned 543 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.

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

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