Regional Community Development News – July 23, 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 - .29

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet … 11.01 - .24

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .14

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .03

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

Top Regional Community stories

1. Data revealing Northeast Ohio government's cost should drive regionalism – editorial - The Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH, USA

Does Northeast Ohio really need 650 local government divisions? Should every Northeast Ohio resident really have to pay $3, 750 a year to keep them humming along?

The numbers, presented by the development group, the Fund for Our Economic Future, actually undercount the total cost because some agencies didn't report, and the latest numbers are more than 5 years old.

No government official alive could make a decent case for a bureaucratic landscape so rife with duplication and waste. But of course, no one has to make such a case. The system just is.

Until the people decide they've had enough -- and paid enough -- and change it.

If the economy and population were growing, the numbers might be easier to swallow.

For instance, the Minneapolis-St. Paul region spends more, per person, on government. However, that region's economy and population are growing. And government spending isn't rising as fast. So that yields a better return on public-sector spending.

By contrast, population growth has been flat here, while public-sector spending has surged 70 percent. And this region wastes money building new sidewalks, sewers and roads because our stagnant population sprawls.

This region's 169 municipal districts, 164 townships, 99 special districts and 208 independent school districts might have made sense when people got around by horse and buggy, but not now.

Northeast Ohio's redundant and wasteful government structures don't just cost taxpayers money, they erode the very competitiveness of our economy. And that's particularly troubling considering the wobbly state of the region's economy. Ohio's employment levels still haven't recovered from the last recession. …

The Fund for Our Economic Future has done a great service to the region by providing this springboard for change and regionalism. Now it's our job -- citizens and political, civic and business leaders -- to act.

2. Cuyahoga County reform: Two voices - The Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH, USA

Voice of experience says county charter makes government more efficient, not less costly

McCarthy, who retired last year as Summit County executive, spent 30 years as a county officer holder, including the jobs of the county's clerk of courts and auditor.

In the early years of Summit County's charter, the only one in Ohio, McCarthy was a critic. Today he is bullish today on charter government -- but with reservations. …

Oblander: Has it reduced taxes for the people in the community?

McCarthy: No. No. If the reason to sell a charter is that it's going to lower the cost of government, it's a false sale. It's a lie.

It doesn't necessarily cost more, but it's not going to cost less, because you still have to perform the functions. Somebody still has to do the job.

Now, what I'm talking about is the efficiency of operation. What you do is you try to . . . reduce your ongoing future costs. So your cost of doing business doesn't rise as fast.

So it's cost avoidance rather than saving.

Take regional dispatching. It doesn't cost less today, but it saves you money down the line when you have to get new equipment. That's the real selling point on regional cooperation.

Oblander: Regarding county government reform, what would you do differently than was done in Summit County?


. . . If I was going to draw up a government for Cuyahoga County, I would draw a government that would be more toward the ability to create a regional government.

. . . Everybody likes to talk about regionalism, but they're not willing to bite the bullet to give up their own autonomy or their own little police force or their own little planning department or their own little whatever. So they make up some other excuse or pull some other bag out of a hat.

... I'm not so sure that the elected officials would be the hardest sell. I think the hardest sell is farther down in the bureaucracy of the government -- those who are going to give you this passive resistance. It's almost like you can't see it but you know it's there.

3. State office urges towns to link up on development
Waterbury Republican American - Waterbury, CT, USA

When Joan McDonald was appointed to lead the state in May 2007, one of the first things she heard was how difficult it is to get Connecticut's cities and towns to work together.

"People said to me, 'You're never going to change the 169 towns, '" McDonald said recently. "This is a 'home-rule' state, so don't even try, it's not worth the effort. I heard that from all four corners of the state, from all types of businesses and municipalities. It was a universal sentiment."

McDonald, though, is not one to back down from a challenge. She heard the advice, but didn't listen, in part because the inability of the communities to think and work regionally was adversely affecting economic development statewide.

So McDonald has taken steps to change the "169 town" mind-set and promote regional development planning, including reorganizing her agency.

"I rolled it out in March, basically lining up in three key areas — responsible development, strategy and policy, and economic development, " she said. "I just realigned where the existing positions were."

Developing regional development strategies is one way to qualify for EDA money, according to Stephen P. Grady, the agency's economic development representative for New England. Grady had said in February, however, that Connecticut "has been a little slow to understand the regional planning aspect."

RCs: Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs) in Connecticut - Office of Policy & Management

Connecticut Economic Development Regions / Towns - Department of Economic and Community Development

4. Region must work as one - The Democrat - Senatobia, MS, USA

Richard T. "Flip" Phillips, a Batesville attorney, told members of the Senatobia Rotary Club last week that there was a "New Regionalism" at work in our state.

In the past, he said, there were two main population centers in Mississippi: the Jackson area, and the Gulf Coast. In the middle of the last century, Tupelo became a major manufacturing and commerce center.

Now, he said, Senatobia is situated in the middle of the region, surrounded by the retirement meccas of Oxford and Tunica, the residential growth giant of DeSoto County, and other areas of growth such as Clarksdale.

He said that economic development must play on the strengths of this region to differentiate itself, at least in the eyes of the rest of the state, from the northeastern corner of the state.

Phillips told the club that it no longer mattered where in the world a person was, they could do business anywhere because of the advances in technology and communications.

He is involved with the M3 Alliance, which promotes Tate, Panola, Tunica, and DeSoto counties as a region, as well as touts the advantages of easy access to the Memphis metro area.

RC: North Delta Planning and Development District

5. Four-Day Work Weeks, MUW Plans, Lower Tax Rates and Sad Repeats - WCBI-com - North Mississippi & West Alabama, USA


What I learned over Banquet Chicken

The Economic Development Luncheon ...

Much of Wednesday's discussion focused on a survey completed last fall by a consultant paid for by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Those results initially were presented to public forums last all. Then, as now, the message was cooperation and regionalism.

But even that is an old refrain. Mississippi Development Authority Director Gray Swoope and others have told Starkville officials -- public and privately -- the same thing many times in recent years.

No one seems to be listening. As Coblentz notes, that's the issue.

Wednesday's conference was a prime example. Despite repeated admonitions to form partnerships and work on internal and external -- regional -- cooperation, Starkville has remained stubbornly insular.

The message last fall was think regional. Officials should have started working on the idea then.

Wednesday would have been a good time to unveil the new way of thinking.

Instead, it was a repeat of the same old thing.


Coblentz wrongly blames Higgins as the roadblock. If so, it's only because Starkville officials are jealous. The evidence -- Higgins or otherwise -- paints a different picture.

For instance, in the last year, Lowndes County has directed new industries to Monroe County in Mississippi and Lamar County in West Alabama after the companies ran into roadblocks to building in Lowndes County. Lowndes development officials helped both the companies and their new hosts put together the deals.

By contrast, when Lowndes County got the region's first megasite, which now is home to SeverCorr, Starkville officials called to suggest a name for it, a name that included Starkville, despite the fact Starkville had done nothing to contribute to the project. Monroe County called to ask "what can we do to help."

The differences are obvious.


RCs: Golden Triangle Planning and Development District - Lowndes Co.

Three Rivers Planning and Development District – Monroe Co.

Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments – Lamar Co.

6. Regionalization Time-consuming For Building Needs Committee - Cape Cod Chronicle - Chatham, MA, USA

The work of the school building needs committee has taken on a different focus over the past year, in many ways shaped by external forces pushing for regionalization.

The committee’s charge, crafted more than a year ago by the board of selectmen, emphasized the need to examine regionalization. But requests from the Dennis Yarmouth School District, the drive by Gov. Deval Patrick to reduce the number of school districts and to use state funding to encourage combined districts, and discussions between Chatham and Harwich relative to shared educational resources have altered the committee’s focus.

“A year ago we rejected the idea of regionalization, ” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carolyn Cragin said in a recent school building needs committee. “Now we see its political influence and advantages.”

Citing meetings with the Massachusetts School Building Authority, Cragin said the state’s policy of increasing the size and reducing the number of school districts is a philosophy for better education.

A free-standing high school the size and population of Harwich’s is something the state is not interested in funding, Cragin said. She said the town could make a decision to fund a new facility on its own. “The MSBA has limited funds and specific goals, ” the superintendent said.

These influences have shaped the evolution of the committee over the past year. Cragin said the state funding agency has offered to provide a facilitator to assist with discussions for regionalization with Chatham.

“We’re making a case for small schools and ultimately a case for a small region, ” Cragin said. “It’s a strength we have.”

In April, members of the boards of selectmen from both towns, together with representatives of respective school committees, met to break the ice on the concept of regionalization. The outcome was …

7. Atlanta region begins looking 50 years out to 2060 - Atlanta Journal Constitution – Atlanta, GA, USA

Over the next two years, the Atlanta Regional Commission will embark on its Fifty Forward planning initiative to help steer the way metro Atlanta will be in 2060.

The kick-off meeting of the Fifty Forward steering committee Monday confirmed that this will be a massive undertaking tackling a host of issues such as sustainability; demographics and diversity; megaregions, globalization and the economy; science, technology and innovation; land use and planning; pubic health and health care; workforce development and education; transportation; and energy.

Individual forums will be held on each topic followed by a series of community meetings that will be convened by the Civic League for Regional Atlanta.

“What we hope we will get in Fifty Forward will be to engage in different kinds of thinking, ” said Tom Weyandt, the ARC’s director of comprehensive planning.

It will be a public, private and nonprofit initiative. That make-up is reflected in the leadership of the Fifty Forward steering committee with its three co-chairs. Secretary of State Karen Handel is representing the government sector. Suzanne Sitherwood, president of Atlanta Gas Light, is representing the private sector. And Milton Little, president of the United Way of Metro Atlanta is representing nonprofits.



I think that looking far into the future enables planners to stage infrastructure in an orderly way. I would look further than 50 years, perhaps 50 years, 100 years, 250 years and 500 years. That would enable the region to have plenty of time to mold itself into the place it would like to become. We might also see that there are some limits to growth. But, then “the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray”.

8. First American Human Development Report Introduces New Measurement of Americans' Well-Being - Earthtimes (press release), UK

A new report released today by the American Human Development Project introduces the American Human Development Index, a single measure of well-being for all Americans based on indicators in three key areas: health, education and income. "The Measure of America: American Human Development Report 2008-2009, " published by Columbia University Press and the Social Science Research Council, is the first-ever measure of the status of human development in the United States or any developed nation and provides a snapshot of Americans' well-being by state, congressional district, gender, race and ethnicity.
Using U.S. government statistics on longevity, educational attainment and enrollment, and earnings, the report reveals where America is today and sets a benchmark against which we will be able to assess where we are tomorrow.  Unlike single measurements of health, education or income, the American Human Development Index combines these factors into one measurement that more accurately reflects Americans' well-being.  The report identifies which parts of the country are moving forward and which are stalled or even falling behind.
"This is not a report about one group of Americans or another; it is about all of us, " said Kristen Lewis, co-author of the report.  "By ranking the fifty states, the 436 congressional districts, and the major racial and ethnic groups, the American Human Development Index allows everyone to see where his or her community fits in terms of access to opportunity and standard of living."  
… The analysis is particularly revealing in places like the Gulf Coast region, where we work with 34 regional organizations.  
The report also includes key social, economic, political, environmental, housing, transportation and military data distilled from a vast array of primary sources not found together anywhere else.  Finally, the report describes successful policies in America and other wealthy nations, allowing policy makers to draw practical lessons for policy action locally or nationally.
  9. This Week at Amtrak 2008-05-01 - This entry was posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2008 - United Rail Passenger Alliance

On May 1, 1971, the corporate infant Amtrak, wrapped in swaddling clothes, replaced most of America’s private passenger train service with a soon-to-be-profitable national system. The fathers of Amtrak boldly predicted Amtrak would only need $140 million of free federal monies from the United States Treasury, and trains would once again be beacons of transportation in America. Thirty-seven years and some $30+ billion dollars later, Amtrak is in worse shape today than it was on May 1, 1971. …

The previous edition of TWA of April 18th presented a positive plan for regional rail here in the sprawling state of Florida. Many comments came into the TWA mailbox about the plan, including unrealistic ones from those suggesting all regional rail should serve airports (even where there is no rail anywhere near airports), and such details as making sure bicyclists and their bicycles are welcomed on regional passenger trains.

The most striking comments indicated a “pie in the sky” attitude about regional rail; many readers wanted to load up regional rail like lights on a Christmas tree, with all sorts of expensive ornaments that would marginally improve the system, but would otherwise cost more to implement than generate revenues to benefit the system.

There is a delicate balance between meeting overall demand versus individual constituency demand. Amtrak is currently striving to meet individual constituency demand for rail service, while often wholly ignoring overall demand,

Amtrak strives to create short, expensive to run trains with fare structures for revenues that can’t meet expenses. This is all done allegedly in the name of public good for whatever tree-hugging reasons there may be, or in the name of providing expensive service for relatively few people at the expense of everyone else.

Instead, Amtrak should create a business plan that best serves the majority of the country, and concentrate later on meeting smaller needs.

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 KC moves toward November vote on light-rail starter route
Kansas City Star - MO, USA
Kansas City’s action on Thursday was the introduction of an ordinance to place a 3/8 th-cent sales tax increase for light rail on the Nov. 4 ballot. That tax would begin April 1 and last for 25 years. A related resolution also was introduced, outlining the 12-mile route along with Kansas City’s intention to integrate the light-rail spine with existing bus service and connect the spine with an eventual regional system.

.02 Highlands master plan adopted by Council, NJ, USA

With a strong call for state funding to compensate affected property owners, a divided New Jersey Highlands Council adopted a landmark regional master plan, imposing strict controls on development in order to protect water, sensitive land and wildlife. After 7 1/2 hours, the council voted 9 to 5 to adopt the first regional plan to govern building in portions of Morris County and the region. …

.03 Study Finds Widespread and Serious Air Pollution Impacts on Ecosystems
The Nature Conservancy - Arlington, VA, USA
"Air pollution doesn't recognize regional boundaries — we need a national solution." — Gary Lovett, senior scientist at the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies ... No ecosystem in New Hampshire or anywhere else in the eastern United States is free of the effects of air pollution, …

.04 Gaughan Proposes Merger of Erie County Villages into Neighboring Towns
WBFO - Buffalo, NY, USA
Regionalism advocate Kevin Gaughan wants to merge each of the 16 Erie County villages into their surrounding towns by the year 2012. ... Gaughan, who has spent eight months travelling to each town, village and city in the county, says it's a reasonable goal that will benefit taxpayers. ...

.05 The profit motive for regionalism
Letters Unlimited from The Plain Dealer – Cleveland, OH, USA
It costs Northeast Ohio a considerable sum to have an educated work force, fire and police protection and amenities such as local parks and libraries. There's a reason we're a vastly different place from southeastern Ohio or, say, Mississippi. … The Plain Dealer's editorial hand favors slamming the public sector, and once again it does so without noting that the only reason "business" wants regionalism and privatization is so it can enhance its own profits. This has never been about the common good of any community.

.06 Deadline nears for this year's Shining Light awards
Detroit Free Press - United States
Nominations are rolling in as the deadline nears for the second annual Shining Light Regional Cooperation Awards, ... Dave Bing Future Leader Award, the Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award and the Neal Shine Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership -- is July 29, said Thomas Linn, chairman of the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition ...

.07 Georgia EPD Accepting Nominations for Water Councils
Lakefront Hartwell - Hartwell, GA, USA

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has announced a call for nominations for members of the regional water planning councils, which is an important step in the statewide water planning process. … Each council will consist of 25 members and three alternates. Each council will be broadly represented to include agriculture, forestry, industry, commerce, local governments, water utilities, regional development centers, tourism, recreation and the environment.

.08 Peninsula ranks high in human development
San Mateo County Times - San Mateo, CA, USA

… life in Silicon Valley and San Mateo County is about as good as it gets in the United States, according to the nonprofit American Human Development Project. In a report that ranks the nation's 436 congressional districts according to residents' overall well-being, Rep. Anna Eshoo's 14th District places third, and Rep. Jackie Speier's 12th District comes in ninth. … But the report, the first to apply international development metrics to regions within an industrialized nation, also comes with a sobering side. … See article 8 above.

.09 Here's a study of Houston that will make planning and implementation easier
Houston Chronicle - United States
... ULI panel recommends that the Houston areas cities and counties should plan together to make government infrastructure and private development work in harmony to enhance the entire region. Governments can no longer afford to invest in piecemeal projects ...

.10 Gas prices could help end sprawl
MetroWest Daily News - Framingham, MA, USA
... traffic, worsening air quality, shrinking open space and tightening water supplies have made clear the region was following an "unsustainable pattern of development" in both housing and business, said Marc Draisen, executive director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. ...

.11 Money a major factor in merger
The Winchester Star - Winchester, VA, USA
Money will play a big role in whether the city and Frederick County decide to merge. After all, the goals of consolidation are to improve services and lower costs. ... In the mid-1990s, a report suggested that consolidation could occur by 2020. … The municipalities already have shown the ability to consolidate services where it makes sense — a regional jail and landfill, the Joint Judicial Center, and the Handley Regional Library. …

The Winchester-Frederick County Virginia Unification Discussion

.12 Group considers strategic-planning goals for region
Daily Comet - Thibodaux, LA, USA

As for TEDA’s own challenges, they included finding a new and larger office, developing a greater state presence, and communication and cooperation with regional groups like the South Louisiana Economic Council. … remarks ignited discussion about whether Terrebonne should continue to seek to collaborate with SLEC and how best to bond as a region to present a united front in seeking state money. …

.13 Southern Maine regional economic development plan resurfaces
Portsmouth Herald News - Portsmouth, NH, USA
This is all being done now based on an expected emphasis on regional economic development and “regional quality of life” strategies outlined in a recent Executive Order signed by Gov. John Baldacci….

.14 Back to the future
Roanoke Times - Roanoke, VA, USA

The Roanoke region needs marketing, Doughty said. "People don't know where Roanoke is. They think we're the 'Lost Colony' [of Roanoke Island, N.C.]. I don't think we have a bad image. "I think we have no image." …

.15 Our view: Another step forward for regional dispatch center
The Salem News - Beverly, MA, USA

Progress in the effort to regionalize emergency dispatch functions comes as welcome news in a region that has traditionally been wary of such initiatives. The Sheriff's Department recently announced the hiring of Thomas Dubas, who oversees the 911 center for Lackawanna County in Pennsylvania, to oversee the creation of a similar service for communities north of Boston. ...

.16 Funding sought to improve Route 109
Boston Globe - United States
Peter Yorkis, Medway's representative on the Southwest Area Planning Committee, a 10-community collaboration aimed at improving regional cooperation on such as transportation, said that the group has named Route 109 as one of its top priorities in the region, ...

.17 Road Map of Transportation Priorities
Washington Post - United States
The Calvert Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to send a list of several billion dollars' worth of transportation and safety projects to the Tri-County Council. The council is updating the region's priorities before the Maryland secretary of transportation's annual road tour this fall. Southern Maryland gets "a lot of kudos at the state level" for its legislators' working together to get capital funding, board President Wilson H. Parran (D-Huntingtown) said....

.18 Praise flows for chairman’s Volkswagen recruiting efforts
News Courier - Athens, AL, USA
“It was an excellent opportunity to show our regionalism, ” said Commission Chairman David Seibert. He said the $60 million pledged by Athens, Limestone and Huntsville set a record in the state for local government incentives....

.19 Planning for the inevitable: More traffic along 495
MetroWest Daily News - Framingham, MA, USA
Officials from the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission and the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission took notes as local officials and residents suggested more park and ride locations and a car pool lane on I-495 as ways to possibly ease traffic congestion....

.20 European-style fast bus coming to Utah
Salt Lake Tribune - United States
Bus rapid transit, a series of buses that act more like light rail with their own dedicated lanes, is popular in Europe and South America, and fast gaining ground in North America. The Utah Transit Authority's first line travels mostly along 3500 South Street … the regional planning authority, the Wasatch Front Regional Council, is banking heavily on the concept in its 30-year transportation plan. ...

.21 Thinking Regionally
Government Technology - Folsom, CA, USA

Harris County Texas is the third largest county in the U.S., covering 1788 square miles and includes Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S. Harris County currently has an impressive regional communications network with 133 channels and 17 tower sites serving Harris County and parts of eight other counties. …

.22 Region Blueway/Greenway plan calls for more open lands and water trails
Chesterton Tribune – Chesterton, IN, USA
Imagine boarding a canoe -- maybe in downtown Chesterton or near a bridge in Hammond or at park in Gary -- and paddling past miles of woods, wetlands and wildlife. Such a vision is outlined in a new plan called the “Greenways and Blueways Northwest Indiana Regional Plan, ” which was publicly released on Thursday by the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. …

.23 NASDA Backs Amendment Banning Argentine Meat Imports
Wisconsin Ag Connection - Marshfield, WI, USA
"While regionalization is a concept that NASDA supports in some instances for some diseases, NASDA believes importation from a sub-region where the disease
has been prevalent and still exists in surrounding areas is unwise at this time, " ...

.24 Growing Camelina Could Bring $80 Million to Colorado's Economy
MarketWatch - USA
Blue Sun is actively breeding spring and winter camelina, through traditional breeding practices, to develop superior regionally adapted camelina cultivars ... Colorado's dryland farming regions have the potential (in rotation with winter wheat) to add nearly 30 million gallons of capacity-or about $80 million in rural economic activity.

.25 Micro-grids for power could stave off telco outages in disasters

Regional loss of phone services like that following Hurricane Katrina could be a thing of the past if telcos follow a proposed architecture of tiny grids dedicated to powering local phone networks, a University of Texas professor says. Trimming down the size of power grids serving telco networks could make them more resilient to widespread outages during disasters, …

.26 Varnum names new managing partner
Michigan Business Review - - Ann Arbor, MI, USA
"Competition has increased not only from traditional competitors but from regional and national competitors as well, " Murphy said."As with all other aspects of business, the practice of law has expanded beyond natural (regional) boundaries."...

.27 Macy's seeks Florida feel
Florida Today - Melbourne, FL, USA

"They're giving more responsibility to their regional people, they're hoping they know the markets better, " Otte said. " My view is the centralized view works better. Wal-Mart, for instance is a centralized operation and it took them years to figure out how to do that."

.28 Opinion: New Yorkers need transit innovations now
Newsday – New York, NY, USA
Public transit has always allowed residents to save money and keep the region cleaner and healthier. But now that it's needed most, the system lacks the resources to meet demand.

.29 Live: Sub Pop's SP20
Los Angeles Times - CA, USA
REGIONALISM IS dead: That's one of many extreme ideas floating around pop music circles during these tumultuous times. The theory goes that, as the Internet turns music thoroughly ethereal and links in people from Athens, Ga., to Australia, the need to form community with one's neighbors -- or to share an artistic vision with them -- will wither. Yet this weekend at Marymoor Park, in the same Seattle suburb where Microsoft is headquartered, a new idea of cultural regionalism asserted itself ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Africa needs to beef up its capacity to avoid risks of global food price hikes
Xinhua - China
He indicated that ACBF is a regional institution which finances initiatives to build capacity in policy making in government and outside government, ... "My opinion is that, if African countries have enough capacity, they would be able to develop alternative visions on how to do things. The way the Chinese and some other countries have gone and have not fallen in the perpetual loan trap is a lesson to learn, " …

.02 China's Role In African Politics Appalling
Zimbabwe Independent - Harare, Zimbabwe
China’s cold war geopolitical manoeuvres in Africa would certainly not only explain why, for example, Mugabe pursued a one-party state policy immediately fter independence, but also why China itself continues to ignore pertinent issues of human rights, good governance and accountability which it fallaciously believes to be a property of the West –– a logic that unwittingly condescends on the struggles for independence and justice by Africans in general and Zimbabweans in particular. ...

.03 Asian Economic Integration the New Rage
Embassy - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
"Canadians know that Asia has achieved remarkable economic growth, but they think of Asia in terms of individual economies, not as a region, " ... "Asia as a whole, we're doing a lot of co-operation." ... One of the messages delivered in the report that Mr. Lee said he hopes will resonate in Canada is that regional, national and global priorities should be thought of not in isolation, but as a collective. ... Mr. Lee noted Canada's success in integrating with the United States, its much larger neighbour, is looked upon as a learning lesson for many other countries,

.04 Time right for Asia to eye integration, says ADB
Macau Daily Times - Macau
The time is right for Asian nations to look at financial integration, the Asian Development Bank said in a new study, stressing the benefits for promoting growth and reducing poverty. … While cooperation has increased markedly since the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the Manila-based bank said it was an "immediate priority" to bolster supervision and surveillance of markets in the region. …

.05 Insights into the World / 'New Fukuda doctrine' key to Asia's integration

The Daily Yomiuri - Osaka, Japan

In short, Japan will take the initiative in accelerating regional cooperation and partnership in East Asia with a "Japan-in-Asia" approach. For instance, the progress of integration of ASEAN as the hub of East Asian regional cooperation is the key to accelerating East Asian economic partnership. …

.06 SAARC: The poor relation in regionalism
Sunday - Columbo, Sri Lanka

If SAARC is to prove itself as a positive regional grouping then it must go beyond internal trade agreements and even where they exist there need to be even-handedness and no bureaucratic barriers.. SAARC cannot achieve its potential in a region with many resources if it remains a closed organisation not reaching out to other countries and other regional groupings, giving them an opportunity to invest money and resources as ASEAN has done by greater interaction politically and economically. …

.07 CSME crucial to Barbados
The Nation Newspaper - Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados
The CSME and CARICOM generally are crucial to Barbados from several perspectives. Let us stay the course and demonstrate to the world that we are a people serious about regionalism and about making decisions for our own development.

.08 EDITORIAL - UWI marking 60 years of regional relevance
Jamaica Gleaner - Kingston, Jamaica

University of the West Indies (UWI) … That the UWI, accountable to 15 countries, has managed to survive these 60 years is not due to any magic, but to the wisdom of regional leaders, who have understood these necessities. By formalising their commitment to preserving and supporting it in their Grand Anse Declaration of 1989, while also looking to the development of their own national universities and tertiary institutions to help fill their own needs, they seek to strike a balance between the exigency of regionalism and the demands of the nation state. …

.09 Behold the New Africa
The Good News - South Africa
"This New Africa is being built every day by the African people who reach out across boundaries real and imagined. It is embedded within the honest and seeking minds of the young, the professionals, the activists, the believers in our continent."...

.10 10th report on rural life shows more families making exodus to the South West countryside

PR Bristol - UK
annual State of the Countryside report. It says that despite above-average regional house prices, unequal earnings, and often declining access to services, rural and coastal parts of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, are among the most popular ...

.11 Local gov’t consultations begin towards regional policy
Stabroek News - Georgetown, Guyana
... Technical Working Group established to formulate a regional policy and cooperation framework for local governance and local government in the Caribbean, ...

.12 Q & A with Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF managing director
New York Times Blogs - New York, NY, USA

A. ... Countries in regional arrangements do not turn their backs on the rest of the world. In fact, their international trade and financial ties will increase as they take advantage of today’s increasingly integrated global economy. And because they have a stake in the global economy they retain a strong interest in being a member of a cooperative global financial institution such as the IMF. ...

.13 Speakers underscore importance of 'real aid' for countries afflicted by arms smuggling

ReliefWeb (press release) - Geneva, Switzerland

Countries awash with weapons -- especially in poorer regions where arms-smuggling was rampant -- needed ‘real assistance’ from technical experts and civil society organizations to curb illegal commerce in small arms and light weapons, …

.14 Super-jails have always been a bad idea;
Northumberland Today - Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Prisons have been regionalized to encourage visitors to keep in touch with inmates through visits. Correctional Services has realized that keeping inmates in touch with family and friends in the community is a major incentive to successful reintegration...

.15 Ajax needs a farmers' market
Northumberland News - Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Please add me to the list of Durham citizens who want access to regionally (Ontario) grown produce. … The Town council spends a great deal of energy keeping farmers in the greenbelt to farm. Hosting a central farmers' market that a good number of Ajax citizens can actually walk to with a reusable shopping bag is an excellent way to demonstrate this commitment.

I am restricted because I work outside the region during ...

.16 Mozambique: An Overly Civil Society? - Washington, USA
at the International Consultative Conference on Poverty and Development held in Mauritius in April, the Southern Africa Development Community decided to set up a Regional Poverty Observatory. ...

.17 Massive shortfall in unit dwellings expected for SEQ
Queensland Business Review - Spring Hill, Queensland, Australia
South East Queensland Regional Plan (SEQRP) infill targets are not being met, with the original expectation for 160, 000 multi-unit dwellings to be developed by 2026 revised down to 143, 100. …Property Council President Guy Gibson says it is therefore time to move away from "misguided, faith-based planning to evidence-based planning". ...

.18 Asia's main security forum to be strengthened
Monsters and - USA
The 27-member ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meets in Singapore Thursday after the conclusion of talks by foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations. ... In addition to the ASEAN members, the ARF includes Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste and the United States. …

.19 Avoiding the tradeoff - Philippines
It turned out that their biggest impediment was the still common view that development was synonymous with economic growth. One planning official candidly told us of a Cabinet discussion wherein the environment minister's concerns over the adverse impacts on biodiversity of certain development projects were roundly dismissed with the sarcastic admonition that the government was trying to build its economy, not build a zoo. If development is not economic growth, then what is it? …

.20 EMS brings good news to council
Bancroft This Week - Bancroft, ON, Canada
“The Ministry of Health wanted to ensure when EMS fell under the County that it was a seamless system that covered all areas despite regional boundaries, ” ...

.21 WHO Warns Asian Nations About Drug-Resistant TB Growth
dBTechno - Boston, MA, USA
This is not good enough, as the Western Pacific Regions have been hit hardest out of any other spot on Earth. Nations who are at highest risk include Mongolia, the Republic of Korea, China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. ...

.22 Bulgaria to be Divided into 8 Tourism Regions (press release) - Bulgaria
Bulgaria's State Tourism Agency has selected the principle that will be used to zone the country in different tourism regions. The zones will be marketed abroad as separate destinations. Each of the eight regions...

.23 South Asian leaders urged to slash telco tariffs
Regional policy group LIRNEasia said reducing call costs between members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) would encourage trade and improve business links between the countries. ...

.24 Director of Regions
Third Sector (registration) - London, UK
They are a lively, dynamic and forward thinking organisation and are looking for a passionate and energetic Director of Regions. Your role will be to lead and develop the campaign's regional work and relationships in order to influence enterprise activity and culture across the UK....

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Mega-Skepticism
The Urbanophile
There seems to be a lot of talk lately about an expanded concept of regionalism. Perhaps the best known exponent of this view is creative class guru Richard Florida, who published his thesis in a paper called "The Rise of the Mega-Region". ... It is easy to see the surface logic and appeal of this. The Midwest is collectively struggling, so it makes intuitive sense to pool resources and tackle the problems together. Who could be against regional cooperation? What I can't help noticing, however, is how few concrete proposals are out there that would appear to show any material uptick from regional cooperation. Other than holding conferences, what is it that cites and states in the Midwest are actually supposed to do to implement this strategy? What does a mega-regional solution allow a city to do that it couldn't do on its own? ...

.02 Making the Connections, Part 4
Community Connections – Pittsburgh 250
… for the Regional grant distributions, a further step was added: At the Regional decisionmaking forum held in Pittsburgh, in December of 2007, the 24 strongest Regional grant candidates – as chosen by Regional decisionmakers from all counties, out of the expert-reviewed proposals – presented their ideas live before the decisionmakers. After which, discussion ensued, and projects were chosen....

.03 The Noog Uber Alles
Venture Nashville
He also stressed that "regionalism" is the proper context in which to view Chattanooga's win. Indeed, some reports suggest that in addition to the 2000 jobs created in Chattanooga, another 10000 could be spawned in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. The win announced yesterday should also provide fresh impetus -- as though it needed any -- to the Tennessee Valley Corridor initiative, which seeks to improve jobs, skills and quality of life in the zone from Knoxville-Oak Ridge...through Tullhoma, Murfreesboro and Chattanooga, to Huntsville....

.04 Thoughts on the Economic Development Luncheon
Alderman Corey's Blog
His opinion was, given that one of the recurring statements made was our need to embrace regionalism, we didn't have anyone from the region at the event (Clay, Lowndes Counties for example) ... Del Boyette (President - Boyette Levy, Inc.) advised that we keep in mind that Starkville is different from much of the rest of the state largely due to the University and that therefore our opportunities will be different. He went on to say that the state of Mississippi itself loses if MSU/Starkville don't get along because many of the higher tech industries that come to this state will likely want to come here. ...

.05 DPI Restructure Press Release - Detail on Restructuring the Department of Public Instruction
A Teacher's Take
Create a new format to address further regionalization (where appropriate) of the education system without impacting any existing districts. We may have too many regional structures already. We must as a state continue to focus on every student by assisting schools at the margins of the education continuum....

.06 Chamber of Regions, Council of Europe
By Claudette Baldacchino

Claudette Abela Baldacchino, Deputy Mayor of Qrendi, Member of the Committee of Regions. Claudette has been a member of the Committee of the Regions (COR) since 2006. … link to “Services of general interest in rural areas, a key factor in territorial cohesion policies

.07 Regional fudge
Little Man in a Toque
... it may at least be useful in providing a template for how a regional committee system might operate in a future English parliament.

.08 Rural Matters!
Regionally Speaking - Newfoundland and Labrador
The conference included education sessions on rural diversification, rural-urban interaction, regional governance, green energy, capacity building and community based development organizations. ...

.09 High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines
The landscape architecture profession definitely needs to push these boundaries of sustainable sites - and definitely communicate and collaborate with consistency - but also don't place all of our eggs in one basket, such as the ASLA sponsored Sustainable Sites Initiative. I like the idea of regionalism, which is more appropriate for sustainability, versus a one-size-fits-all LEEDesque approach. What does a sustainable park look like in NYC, versus Portland, or Tucson?

.10 International Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs)
By Kevin James(Kevin James)
The July 5th issue of The Economist examines the network of Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) established at the end of World War II, and in the sixty years since, to see how effective it is in promoting international peace and prosperity. … it does an excellent job of identifying the most important IGOs and explaining their respective purposes:...

.11 Conservative Support for Renewal of Food Culture
By Ed Harris
Respect for tradition and social and ecological responsibility can work together with technological innovation and capitalist resourcefulness to respect the ridges and valleys of regionalism in an increasingly flattened world. ...

.12 Dangers of Collectivism in Social Networking and Corporatism

Lulu – Gary Gibson’s Blog
Critical mass for profit isn't the sole criterion for clumping together a social network and perpetuating its existence-its utility for the accomplishing of political goals over regional boundaries such that the transcending of individual geographical empowerment in democratic self-determination is brought about ad hoc may be one of several reasons to phenomenally establish and continue a social network site on the Internet. ...

.13 Is the ‘new regionalism’ of importance to East-West Security? Explain.
By Vera Michlin
.... looking at the current conditions in the sub-regions of Eurasia, recent experiences emphasize the weakness of regionalism. Regional security is more advanced in identifying threats than constructing viable mechanisms and institutions to tackle them.

.14 Jane Austen’s Globalism: Three Lenses for the Future
Ethics Newsline
Can we, in other words, identify a basis for a kind of universal thinking that escapes the boundaries of nationalism and regionalism, looks at life from a global perspective, and sees things the way that people from a variety of ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Economic Growth Requires Bold Steps: Mississippi Should Consider Reform Recommendations

Tax Foundation

While it is true that Mississippi's tax system is about middle-of-the-pack regionally, mediocrity is no cause for celebration. States with the courage to undertake comprehensive review of their tax systems do so because they want better economic performance and to become a hub of business and consumer activity. States such as Mississippi should keep in mind regional, national, and international competition for capital, jobs, and entrepreneurs, and adopt a tax system that acts as a welcome mat to all players on a neutral basis. ...

.02 2008 State of the Future

This “Report Card on the Future” distills the collective intelligence of over 2, 500 leading scientists, futurists, scholars, and policy advisors who work for governments, corporations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and international organizations. The 2008 State of the Future comes in two parts: a 100-page print executive summary and an attached CD containing about 6, 000 pages of research behind the print edition and the Millennium Project’s 12 years of cumulative research and methods. Some unique features not available in other global assessments include:

  • 15 Global Challenges – Prospects, Strategies, Insights
  • State of the Future Index for the world and nations
  • Government Future Strategy Units and some potentials for international strategic coordination
  • Global Energy Collective Intelligence – system design options
  • Environmental Security – overview
  • Real-Time Delphi technique
  • 700 Annotated Scenario Sets
  • and much more futures intelligence on technology, environment, governance, and the human condition

It is produced by the Millennium Project, which collects, feeds back, and assesses insights from creative and knowledgeable people on emerging crises, opportunities, strategic priorities, and the feasibility of actions.

.03 MIGA || Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency - Regions - Overview

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency – World Bank Group

Regional Overview

MIGA works in all regions of the world and has provided investment guarantees for projects in 96 developing countries across a broad range of sectors. The regional breakdown of guarantees issued by MIGA can be viewed from two perspectives: the number of number of guarantees issued and the value of the guarantees.

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 currently utilizes 1128 regional-related sites? Entering the term COG returned 431 items; “Council of Governments” returned 474 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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Thomas J. (Tom) Christoffel, AICP, Making regions visible for Leaders and Problem-solvers.