Regional Community Development News – September 24, 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 - .32

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet 11.01 - .27

Blogging about Regional Communities 12.01 - .23

Announcements and Regional Links 13.01 - .04

Custom search: region, regions, regional communities 14.

Top Regional Community stories

1. The Shift to Global Identity Economies - Huffington Post, NY

As the global economy flattens and the United States adjusts to a new role within it, American cities and states will increasingly need to associate themselves with what could be called "global identity economies." These are economies that are built around a worldwide recognition of excellence that fuels regional growth no matter what the nation's international standing may be. To do so, cities and states will need to band together regionally to maximize their economic potential. And that will be a major challenge -- based on my experience developing promotional initiatives for numerous cities and states -- because they are used to competing with each other rather than collaborating.

The best example of a global identity economy is Silicon Valley, which has a worldwide reputation for preeminence in high technology that ensures its stature and economic growth, regardless of the United States' international posture. This is not to say that American cities and states need to protect themselves from a declining U.S. stature, but rather that they can no longer depend on the nation's super-power standing to fuel their growth.

A number of American cities already benefit from global identity economies: New York, in finance, media, and culture; Los Angeles, in entertainment and Asian business; Chicago, in commodities; Houston, in oil; Miami, in Latin American business, among others. And yet global identity economies are not necessarily focused on major cities. Silicon Valley -- and Napa Valley, for wine -- are both compelling examples.

Similar economies are, of course, evident throughout the world -- from major cities with expertise much like our own to regional centers like India's Bollywood and Scotland's Silicon Glen.

But the greatest potential for American cities and states will come if various combinations of them band together and define themselves anew in global terms, building …

2. Citistates Report: What Gaston, Charlotte region, needs to succeed - Gaston Gazette - Gastonia, NC, USA

Massive economic, climate and cultural challenges face America's great "citistate" regions in this century. Will the 14-county Charlotte region, including Gaston County, be one of the handful of citistates that lead the way? Or will the region hesitate and let its glory days fade?

Just check the landscape.

Charlotte banks seem nationally dominant, but they're operating in dangerous waters of acquisition fever and international economics.

Real estate has boomed across the region. But the sprawling development pattern could be a ticket for failure in resource-restrained times, with prospects of water shortages and gasoline at $5 to $10 a gallon or more.

A radically increased share of the region's growth needs to go "in" toward city and town centers, and less of it spread "out" across undeveloped lands.

Compactness isn't necessary only for economy and efficiency. With higher per-capita carbon emission rates than three-fourths of other U.S. regions, Charlotte faces a critical environmental challenge in a century and a world imperiled by global warming.

The region also confronts a deep human challenge: how it welcomes and integrates newcomers. Charlotte is proving itself a 21st-century magnet for aspiring young professionals, for high-end bond traders with European experience and Mexicans with a sixth-grade education who are building the city's new skyscrapers. It is now one of the United States' top immigrant "gateway" cities. But there's a heavy measure of anti-immigrant sentiment in the region. Will diversity remain a strength, helping the region become more entrepreneurial and resilient?

13 years' difference: Textiles, tobacco, furniture take deep dive

In 1995, we outside writers were first asked to take a look at Charlotte-Mecklenburg and its neighboring Carolinas counties.

We could see plenty of movement and change. …

But returning in 2008 for a follow-up report, we were stunned. …

RC: Centralina Council of Governments

3. Chattanooga: Drive to think, plan regionally – Chattanooga Times Free Press – TN, USA

Brad Wyche has two straightforward recommendations for Chattanooga in the wake of the city’s landing Volkswagen’s new $1 billion assembly plant.

Have a regional conversation about land-use planning and then implement it, he said.

“It’s a good problem to have when you’ve got a company like VW coming to an area, ” said Mr. Wyche, who heads a nonprofit organization that promotes sensible growth in the Greenville-Spartanburg area. “But the problem you’ve got to address is that it could cause severe harm to quality of life.”

The Greenville-Spartanburg area is home to automaker BMW’s only assembly plant in the United States. Since its start-up in 1994, the plant has grown to employ 5, 400 employees and contractors. Suppliers and other companies are estimated to provide more than 17, 500 other jobs.

The size and population of Greer, S.C., the town that literally surrounds the BMW plant, has grown nearly 2 1/2 times since the 1990 census to 10, 000 people, in large measure because of BMW, officials said.

Mayor Rick Danner said the growth has created challenges

Regional Growth

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson County area at over 1 million people. That’s up from more than 830, 000 in 1990, or more than 20 percent.

Ben Haskew, the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said BMW’s arrival helped propel the economic success of the region.

“This is another level, ” he said, noting BMW has driven more knowledge-based business development and boosted per capita income.

But, he said, added business and growth generally in the region have prompted people to take a look at urban sprawl and air-quality issues.

Mr. Wyche said his group, called Upstate Forever, was founded 10 years ago when few were talking about issues of growth and urban sprawl and how to deal with them.

RCs: Southeast Tennessee Development District

S.C. Appalachian Council of Government

Upper Savannah Council of Government

Catawba Regional Council of Governments

4. The region can keep buses rolling, just as 'a rising tide lifts all boats' - Orlando Sentinel - Orlando, FL, USA

Do we really mean it when we say we want to solve our problems regionally? There has been a lot of discussion about the importance of regionalism, much of it led by my friend Jacob Stuart, president of Central Florida Partnership. But are we ready to put our money where our mouths are?

In 2003, in the wake of the Las Vegas travel scandal, I, along with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, convinced the state Legislature to reorganize the Lynx board of directors to include more elected representation to reflect the regional nature of the Lynx system. However, the funding formula used to support Lynx today does not reflect the fact that the mass-transit system that serves thousands of people who work in the Central Florida economy is a regional asset.

Unfortunately, Lynx is one of a number of agencies coping with declining budgets as a result of the rising cost of fuel and the slumping economy, compounded by legislative and constitutional tax-cutting measures. Despite these challenging times, Orange County remains Lynx's biggest funding partner. Since 2005, we have increased our funding on average by 16.6 percent per year. In fact, Orange County's contribution to Lynx for next year is increasing slightly, while many county departments and outside agencies are being cut.

When I was property appraiser, some people complained they shouldn't have to pay school taxes because they don't have children. Governments function under the concept of "a rising tide lifts all boats, " meaning everyone benefits from a good education system whether they use it or not. Similarly, property owners who live in a low-crime neighborhood pay the same for law enforcement as those who require much more police protection.

That's simply what I'm suggesting when it comes to funding Lynx -- a regional model. If regionalism is to work, we need to put Lynx in the same category as our education system and safe neighborhoods. At the heart of this regional-funding model is a proposal where every taxpayer (business and residential) in the three-county region pays an equal amount based on his or her property value. That would give Lynx a funding boost and a dependable funding source.

I want to make it clear that my proposal would not mean a tax increase for property owners in Orange County. I am merely suggesting setting aside a dedicated funding source for Lynx that would be carved out of our existing property-tax revenue stream.

The current funding formula costs every person in Orange County $40.99, which is more than twice as much as the second-largest contributor. Using a regional-funding formula for all three counties will level the playing field.

Sure, it means that taxpayers in Seminole and Osceola counties would have to contribute more than they do today. But if you believe in regionalism, and you believe that Lynx is vital to our economy which has tourism as a cornerstone, where so many workers in that sector rely on public transit, this funding model is fair and benefits everyone in the region.

RC: East Central Florida Regional Planning Council

5. Officials debate benefits of regionalization - Connecticut Post - Bridgeport, CT, USA

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch called for more regional approaches Thursday to addressing issues such as education and economic development, even as he acknowledged that Connecticut is unlikely to abandon its traditional municipal structure.

"I really don't know how I gain from local control" of education, he said, "except a lot of political squabbling."

The Bridgeport mayor made his remarks during a forum sponsored by the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, which also featured the leaders of Trumbull, Monroe, Fairfield, Easton, Shelton and Stratford.

Finch said the state's 154 school districts and their duplicated expenses wouldn't be tolerated elsewhere. "You'd have 20 or 30 school districts in any normally planned state, " he said.

The "postage stamp"-sized communities, he added later, hinder overall development strategies that would benefit the region as a whole. But "we don't get elected by being broadminded necessarily, " he said.

Other Fairfield County officials expressed varying degrees of agreement for regional approaches -- depending on the subject.

Monroe First Selectman Thomas Buzi said regional cooperation can work, citing as examples a plan by his town to share tax dollars with Trumbull on the proposed Jewish Home for the Elderly, and with Bridgeport on sewage disposal.

But when it comes to examining the results of Connecticut mastery test scores, Buzi said his town needed to focus on analyzing performance internally.

Fairfield First Selectman Kenneth Flatto said school regionalization plans wouldn't necessarily work, noting that most parents like children to attend schools in their own neighborhood. "Regionalization does not solve that problem, " he said.

Trumbull First Selectman Raymond G. Baldwin Jr. … But in the final analysis, it's the involvement of parents that counts, he said, citing the success of cash-conscious parochial schools. "I don't think there's a money fix to this, " he said of the urban-suburban difference.


An organization dedicated to increasing Welland's - and Niagara's - share of the $2.5 billion Canadians spend annually on sports tourism wants the community to adopt a "hospitality mentality."

Stressing that repeat business hinges on a "positive experience" during the initial visit, community economic development officer Sue Morin said empowering such "front-line service providers" as corner store clerks and gas station attendants to become "sports ambassadors" will enhance Welland as a destination for regattas and tournaments.

"Giving the guests a good experience in Welland is what sports tourism is all about, " Morin, who works for Venture Niagara, told last night's monthly meeting of the Welland Sports Tourism Alliance.

"It's all about communications and network, finding the resources and then tapping them, " Fischer said in describing alliances forged in sports tourism as a "win-win situation for the community."

Next month marks the Welland Sports Tourism Alliance's first anniversary and it plans to celebrate "in a big way" by going live on an ambitious and interactive website.

While the organization was created to promote sports tourism locally, it already appreciates that it needs to coordinate efforts with neighbouring municipalities if it wants to bid on such "big events" as the North American Police and Firefighter Games.

"The scope of the bidding makes it necessary to bid regionally, " Morin said

7. FinCom recommends more regionalization at select meeting - Advocate - New Bedford, MA, USA

The Acushnet Board of Selectmen is making a tradition of meeting once a year at the Friends Meeting House on Main Street, to highlight the historic property while promoting Acushnet history along with the Acushnet Historical Commission. The Acushnet Finance Committee hopes the structural deficit spending by Acushnet does not become an annual tradition.

Finance Board Chairman Roger Cabral read excerpts from a letter sent to selectmen this summer expressing growing concerns over controlling annual spending, given annual structural budget shortfalls, and languishing revenue flow into town coffers.

Recommendations were made to consider regionalizing some if not all municipal services, and developing a 5-year budget plan from all departments to "understand the track we are on."

"We recommend that the Town immediately seek opportunities for consolidation and cost savings internally as well as externally through regionalization, " said Cabral, "and we suggest that the Board of Selectmen contact its counterparts in neighboring communities to open a dialogue in this regard."

Selectman David Wojnar agreed with the need to control spending, but warned that a 5-year plan and regionalization may be just "pipe dreams" if the School Committee and the Finance Committee aren't "running on parallel tracks."

RC: Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District

8. My View: Better tools, stable finances needed to make local government more cost-effective - The Salem News - Beverly, MA, USA

This column was adapted from remarks prepared for delivery at the annual "State of the Region" breakfast ….

As mayors and town managers we are well aware that the problems we face don't stop at the city or town line. We have collaborated and will continue to collaborate to effectively and efficiently resolve many of the common problems we face.

To this end we have established the North Shore Mayors Coalition, chaired by Beverly Mayor Bill Scanlon, whose primary mission is to encourage member communities to work closely together to solve regional problems.

For example, we have agreements in place for inter-municipal mutual aid, we purchase goods and services collectively and we are continuing to work together on various projects such as regional dispatch and other ways to provide constituent service more effectively.

But the fact of the matter is when it comes to solving the major problems facing our municipalities, regionalization has its limitations.

Let me be very clear. I support regionalization. However, after almost seven years as mayor of Peabody, I've discovered many of the significant obstacles hampering a mayor's ability to govern effectively can't be solved by regionalization, but rather are the result of the lack of legislative and/or statutory support.

For instance, Mass. General Law 150E limits the ability of mayors and town managers to deal effectively with collective bargaining issues such as drug-testing and health insurance. Then there are the costly prevailing wage requirements.

In order for cities and towns to survive and thrive, we need new tools, new powers and new, more stable revenue sources.

Another example: One of the biggest costs facing municipalities is the cost of health insurance. We could readily control these costs if we were given the same authority to determine employees' premium share and plan design that the state enjoys. …

9. Take a regional approach on flood protection - - Des Moines, IA, USA

Iowans who are rebuilding their homes, neighborhoods and communities after this year's floods have discovered that government bureaucracy is not only slow but also confined by rigid boundaries that too often separate people from solutions.

One branch of government is assigned to rescue people during a flood, another to help them get by once the water recedes and another to help them rebuild. More than one branch is responsible for dams and levees. One works with cities, another homeowners, another businesses and another agriculture. Sometimes the rules of one branch conflict with rules of another. Sometimes the goals of one conflict with those of another.

The goal should be to minimize or erase these boundaries.

The federal government recently took an important step toward that by establishing a task force involving Iowa and four other Midwestern states, led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The problem is that the task force is temporary. Something like it should be made permanent.

Participating are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service, Small Business Administration, DOT and Housing and Urban Development.

Each of these agencies has separate authority over managing natural resources, the environment, public safety and economic development. Each does important work, but they rarely have talked with one another. It's refreshing to see them collaborate.

The goal in creating the Regional Interagency Levee Task Force was to get representatives of those agencies in the same room - literally at the same table - to take a regional view of the post-'08 flood rebuilding, so flood victims don't have to go to a half-dozen agencies to get the answers and the help they need.

One obvious candidate already exists: the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association, created by Iowa and four adjacent states in 1981 to work on common environmental and economic interests on the Mississippi. Perhaps it could take up the charge when the levee task force expires.

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 Some Observations on Where We Stand In the Financial Situation

California Progress Report, CA

“The CSBS is increasingly concerned about the impact the Treasury’s plan will have on the safety and soundness and long-term competitive posture of community and regional banks. Indeed, investment banks and very large retail banks, which have far greater culpability in the mortgage mess, appear to benefit the most. Community and regional banks, which did not generally participate in high risk lending or the securitization of these loans, have been greatly impacted by the resulting slow down in the economy, sustained significant losses relative to their holdings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred stock, and now face the prospect of large bank competitors eliminating their bad assets and investment firms competing directly for funds with federally insured higher yielding money market accounts. In fact, if unaddressed, without offsetting provisions, the Treasury's intervention to address systemic failure will cause collateral damage that could devastate our community banking industry. …

.02 A Regional Crisis

New York Times - United States

It is impossible to determine yet the extent of the damage that the financial hurricane battering Wall Street will have on the economies of New York City and its surrounding region. But it will be significant, and there is no time to waste. Regional governments must immediately prepare for the cascading effects of the financial sector’s implosion, which would devastate tax revenues and increase demands on government to help those who are hit by the economic crisis.

.03 One D Adds SEMCOG/Metropolitan Affairs Coalition to Executive Leadership

MarketWatch – USA

One D, a group of six civic organizations working collaboratively to transform regional Detroit, has announced that SEMCOG/Metropolitan Affairs Coalition has officially accepted the invitation to become part of the leadership team. The addition of Paul Tait and the work of SEMCOG/Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC) in regional planning and development will be significant in reaching the goals of One D particularly in the area of regional transit. "SEMCOG/MAC's inclusion in the collaborative effort to align private, public and non-profit sectors particularly in the area of regional transit will significantly enhance the success of this key priority area, " said Edsel B. Ford II, lead champion of One D....

.04 Cagle endorses regional approach to transportation funding - Charlotte, NC, USA

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle committed himself Monday to pushing for passage next year of transportation funding legislation that failed in the General Assembly this year. Cagle endorsed a proposal championed by metro Atlanta business leaders to let Georgians vote by region whether to raise sales taxes by 1 percent to pay for needed highway and transit projects. ...

.05 Area mayors form caucus to address regional problems - Charlotte, NC, USA

Mayors on the Missouri side of the metropolitan area met Friday in downtown Kansas City to create a Metropolitan Mayors’ Caucus. The caucus was created to develop and advance a shared agenda for the state and federal legislatures and to develop a strategy for solutions to regional challenges, said Joe Miller, a spokesman for Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser. The 10 area mayors first met to discuss the idea of a caucus in August. At that meeting, members of similar caucuses in Denver and Chicago talked about the success of their groups …

.06 Obama vs. McCain on metro policy

Denver Post - Denver, CO, USA

Instead, Obama's looking for ways to shift and coordinate federal programs to help boost the fortunes of entire metropolitan regions. McCain? ...

.07 Narrowing focus may help towns in regionalization

Worcester Telegram - Worcester, MA, USA

… the focus of surrounding towns is too broad to come up with regional options to streamline and reduce the cost of local government. At a meeting last week in Brookfield, town officials again discussed a multitude of possibilities, but Mr. Long said this tends to complicate matters because there is no consensus. “They should zero in on one or two topics and see if we can make this or that work, ” … “The easiest thing that you could do is regionalize ambulance service, ”

.08 US Regions Display Marked Personality Differences

findingDulcinea - New York, New York, USA

A new study by British researchers confirms what many already know – people display psychological differences according to the state or region of their residence. Cambridge University researchers have surveyed more than 620, 000 Americans over a span of six years to create a "personality map" of the United States.

.09 Eyes and Ears: NY Regional Economy

The New York Times

The Port Authority just released their Regional Economy report this week. In the early 1990’s this publication had a legion of devout readers but because of budget cutbacks, the report was cut. This week, the report was brought back and it provides great perspective on the New York Region.

.10 Regional leaders cheer Cockrel

Detroit Free Press - United States

Soon-to-be Detroit Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. received a warm welcome from regional leaders this morning at the 2008 Tri-County Summit held at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The crowd of about 200 regional government, business, and nonprofit leaders gave Cockrel a warm round of applause as he opened the event and welcomed everyone to the DIA and spoke of the importance of regional cooperation. ...

.11 Regional wastewater talks trickling in Yuba County

Appeal-Democrat - Marysville, CA, USA

"The sun, the moon and the stars all need to align in order for regionalization to make sense, " said Steve Decou, project manager from CH2M Hill, a engineering company that builds wastewater treatment plants. "If one participant can't fund their share, you can't expect other regional partners to fund that share." ... "We have no problem, " with a regional plant, said Larry Patty, OPUD director. "In fact, we welcome it."


New Energy News

In a move that would make T. Boone Pickens tingle, The Midwest Governor’s Association announced The Upper Midwest Transmission Development Initiative (UMTDI). It is a regional transmission planning effort aimed at bringing Pickens’ vision of the Midwest as “the Saudi Arabia of wind” one step closer to reality. …

.13 Charlotte Regional Partnership names VP of investor relations - Charlotte, NC, USA

The Charlotte Regional Partnership has hired Cabarrus Economic Development Corp. recruiter Clay Andrews as vice president of investor relations. … “This is a key role for the partnership, not only because about half our financial support comes from our private investors, but because engaged investors make us a stronger organization and a more competitive region, ”

.14 Manufacturing Prosperity: Region's education, land resources provide support for jobs, salaries

Boston Globe - United States

While the Assabet, Concord, and Sudbury rivers once powered mills that produced clothes and shoes for the entire country, nowadays the region has few natural resources that might generate prosperity. Instead, brainpower fuels local manufacturers, said executives. …

.15 Local mayors gather for economic policy forum

The Daily Item of Lynn - Boston, MA, USA

For others, it was a chance to rail against a variety of issues, from the foibles of regionalization to the news media's appetite for sex over substance to ...

.16 From the Editor Kaisa Holloway Cripps The case for regionalization

Advocate - New Bedford, MA, USA

One of the topics that continually arises in finance committee and selectmen meetings is the subject of regionalization. Despite budget crises and funding ...

.17 REDD in the USA: Are Regional Initiatives Ushering in the Forestry Age?

Ecosystem Marketplace - Washington, DC, USA

Regional and state climate efforts are putting forestry offsets on a fast track toward guiding US regulations aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). With the first regional auction of allowances just days away, the Ecosystem Marketplace examines the role of forestry in two leading initiatives. …

.18 Biofuel options create buzz at Coosa Valley Regional Development Center

Rome News-Tribune - Rome, GA, USA

Pilgrim’s Pride and the Catoosa County school system are also looking into it, according to Bill Steiner, executive director of the Coosa Valley Regional Development Center, which hosted the original conference. ...

.19 Regional Policy Conference: Governance, not auto, to blame for Michigan's economy - MI, USA

Michigan's economy suffers not from a dependance on auto manufacturing but from poor governance, said Robert Genetski, an economist from Chicago. Genetski, Heartland Institute policy adviser, offered research that showed Michigan's decline from being one of the healthiest economies in the nation in the 1960s to the poorest in the nation the past five years. …

.20 Recycling Trailer Arrives in Town

Monticello News - Monticello, GA, USA

“As we face budget cuts from state agencies, regionalization has become even more important to the grant planning process, ” Mr. Harrison said. ...

.21 Economic development office opens

Galesburg News – IL, USA

The Mercer County Economic Development Partnership is a collaboration between the city of Aledo, Mercer County and the University of Illinois Extension. … The goal of the office is to think regionally....

.22 Small School Districts, Big Administrative Costs

RedOrbit - Dallas, TX, USA

"I know people are concerned about their taxes, " said DeFabiis. "But we're not sure what the savings would be. A town like South Hackensack is a unique situation, " he said. "The school is the center of this town. If the school is regionalized ... I'm afraid we would lose that."

.23 Locals Help National Geographic with Tourism Map

KIDK - Idaho Falls, ID, USA

About 40 different people from Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana are working with the magazine to compile a geotourism map. "Upwards of 50 to 60 thousand people have been involved in this project, "...

.24 Quality of life depends on quality education

Arizona Daily Star - Tucson, AZ, USA

Throughout the duration of the Tucson Regional Town Hall, one theme kept emerging as a common thread through every discussion and recommendation. A strong K-12 education system was viewed as the single most critical component to the success of virtually every other regional priority.

.25 Piedmont Technical College and Lander University Collaborate to Address Regional Teacher Shortage

Greenwood Today - Greenwood, SC, USA

With support from the US Department of Education and the University of South Carolina, Lander and PTC have received $5, 000 in federal funding as part of the Diverse Pathways to Teacher Preparation Seed Grant program … “If you want to make a dent in our regional teacher shortage, it makes sense to grow your teachers from within the technical college system. Technical college students are typically very bound and committed to their communities, and once they have their degrees, they’ll stay in those communities because of their deep connections in the area, …

.26 A Regional Event Center for Eastern Idaho?

Idaho Examiner - Idaho Falls, ID, USA

A regional event center could become a reality for Eastern Idaho, according to a feasibility study conduction by a Los Angeles economic research firm. ...

.27 Private groups offer lesson in regionalism - Erie, PA, USA

Talk about regionalism doesn't always have to refer to government. The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership and the Harborcreek Area Chamber of Commerce are showing how to cooperate in the private sector. ...

.28 DBED to shift focus to biotech, international programs, job creation

Business Gazette - Gaithersburg, MD, USA

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development is revamping its organizational structure to streamline operations and better highlight international and biotechnology programs. … The new Economic Development division is taking small business and regional development, along with financing, workforce creation and entrepreneurship.

.29 Leaders announce regional tack on violent crime

Baltimore Sun - United States

Maryland, Washington and Virginia have begun sharing daily arrest information for violent offenders throughout the region, a new partnership that officials said opens the borders for law enforcement while increasing pressure on repeat criminals. The initiative was announced yesterday at a regional summit where Gov. Martin O'Malley, Washington Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine met to discuss safety and transportation issues, …

.30 Western States, Canadian Provinces Outline Climate Change Plan

Bloomberg – USA

The regional plan is the first trading program that will cap emissions from all major sources of greenhouse-gases, including utilities, manufacturers and makers of transportation fuels....


.31 Urbanite: a City Mag in Disguise

Baltimore City Paper– MD, USA

Dudley says he thinks of Urbanite as a regional publication, and its coverage reflects that. "Regionalism is a controversial but core part of most progressive urban thinking, " he says. "The city and the suburbs are inextricably linked.´…

.32 Regional Satellite Mutual Aid Radio Talkgroups Now Extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Beyond

MarketWatch – USA

… Western Satellite Mutual Aid Radio Talkgroup (W-SMART) operating on the MSV satellite communications network. … "Using W-SMART, the California State Office of Emergency Services will be able to stay in continuous contact with our operating units throughout this vast 12-state region regardless of the condition or congestion on the terrestrial communications systems, " …

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Number of poor rises in developing regions

Financial Times - London, England, UK

... the number of those living in extreme poverty is on the rise in the poorest regions, the United Nations said in a report published on Thursday. ...

.02 Q&A: 'Corruption Nourishes Poverty' Ramesh Jaura interviews HUGUETTE LABELLE, Chair of Transparency International

IPS News

PS: How would you explain that despite the link between corruption and poverty in the eight MDGs (agreed by heads of state and government in 2000), corruption is not mentioned?

HL: Well. It has not been identified in the MDGs. And that's very interesting. If we look back, prior to 1993, people did not even dare talk about corruption -- for a variety of reasons. And it has only been in 1994, 1996, where it finally became part of the discussion, it became an issue nationally and internationally, and has been increasing. So to go back to the MDGs: when they were agreed the corruption issue had not been taken on yet.

.03 Council wants to lead regeneration

The Star - Sheffield, England, UK

SHEFFIELD City Council is calling for the Government to give Sheffield more power to guide its own regeneration. … "We want to get rid of the bureaucracy and ensure that working locally, in the city region, regionally and nationally can be coordinated and interlinked." …

.04 Belgium should hand more powers to regions: advisors

Focus News - Sofia, Bulgaria

Belgium should hand more powers to its feuding Dutch- and French-speaking regions, as part of a root and branch review of the country's institutions, a "wise men" group told the Belgian king ...

.05 The first North American election?

Globe and Mail – Canada

Each country seems to be dismantling its traditional electoral structure — in the US, one built around race, and in Canada, organized around regionalism. In both countries, the major parties are now fighting their election campaigns primarily along the same urban-rural battle line....

.06 Venezuela Activates Defense Regions

Prensa Latina - Havana, Cuba

... five Strategic Regions for Integral Defense are activated amid a tense situation after an assassination plot was disclosed …Each of them groups several states, namely the Central Region (Vargas, Gran Caracas, Miranda, Aragua, Carabobo, and Yaracuy), the Western Region (Falcon, Lara, Trujillo, Merida, Tachira, and Zulia), the Region of the Plains (Barinas, Apure, Portuguesa, Guarico), Guayana (Bolivar and Amazonas), and the Eastern Region (Delta Amacuro, Monagas, Sucre Nueva Esparta).

.07 Bolivia's president denounces 'fascist, racist coup'

Radio Netherlands – Netherlands

Bolivian President Evo Morales has ordered the arrest of Leopoldo Fernandez, governor of the Pando region. … The Bolivian government introduced a state of martial law in Pando on Saturday morning. Governor Fernandez, who opposes the measure, has received the support of four other rebellious regions. The mostly European inhabitants of the wealthy low-lying regions in the east, where there are enormous gas reserves, oppose the president's efforts to redistribute the country's wealth. They are fighting for far-reaching autonomy and are threatening to secede from the rest of Bolivia. …

.08 The challenge of renewal

Jamaica Gleaner - Kingston, Jamaica

This global crisis has created a great strain on regionalism. How will the party's leadership mend the broken fences of CARICOM, so badly breached ... Different members are going their separate ways on the EPA, political unity, and food security.

.09 Regional Council Bans Bottled Water

Imprint – Waterloo, Ontario, CA

After a 13-0 vote (with four absent members), this region’s council chose to start strongly endorseing tap water in the region by restricting the sale of bottled water at regional facilities including cafeterias, vending machines, council meetings, training sessions, and — when reasonably possible — regional events. ...

.10 Assembly of European Wine Growing Regions (AREV) Conference to be held in Prahova County

Financiarul - Bucharest, Romania

Members of County Council of Pravhova (southern Romania) okayed, late last week, the organization of the Conference of the Assembly of European Wine Growing Regions (AREV), in Ploiesti (60 km north of Bucharest), in October. …

.11 Mining royalties fund plan put to Rann

ABC Online, Australia

The National Party is proposing that one quarter of all mining royalties in South Australia be put in a fund to support regional infrastructure. …

.12 Royalties-for-regions policy reignites

The Australian - Sydney, Australia

While welcoming the state Nationals' decision to form government with the Liberals in Western Australia, their royalties-for-regions policy to redirect the ...

.13 RAMSI-Outstanding Example of Cooperative Regionalism: Dr.Korovavala

Solomon Times Online – Solomon Islands

"The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands commonly known as RAMSI was invited by the Solomon Islands Government as an independent state and deployed as a mission under the Biketawa declaration to restore peace and stability in the country after the tensions of the late 1990s and the early 2000s, "

.14 Russia denies new law is aimed at Arctic land grab


Russia has lodged a claim to expand the territory it controls in the Arctic, irritating other states with Arctic coastlines, including the United States, which are also keen to tap the region's resources. …

.15 Recognise Georgian regions says Ukraine's Crimea
Kyiv Post - Kyiv, Ukraine

Crimea, a Ukrainian region with a degree of self-government, is populated mainly by ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers and local leaders have often ...

.16 QSAE to start accuracy test on measuring scales in two regions

Walta Information Center - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The introduction of proper measurement system in the regions will enhance development endeavors, he said. The Authority starts the service with equipment ...

.17 Regions stand to gain from bank shake-out

Financial Times - London, England, UK

Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, is considering opening a large office in Manchester or Leeds in a sign that the UK regions could benefit from big banks cutting costs as world financial turmoil intensifies. ...

.18 Tory cuts to non-profits snub Quebec's regions: Duceppe

The Gazette (Montreal) - Quebec, Canada

The Conservative government is slamming the door in the face of Quebec's regions by cutting subsidies to non-profit local development groups, Bloc Québécois ...

.19 ‘India is central to Oz regional plans’

The Statesman - Kolkata, India

This is the first of the airmen-to-airmen talks between the Indian Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. What we are doing is developing our bilateral relationships and it is a very important first step to allow us to develop our personal and professional linkages with the Indian Air Force. India is a very important power for us in the region for security purposes ...

.20 Emerging markets boost travel industry

Ready2invest - Brighton, England, UK

According to the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC), the tourism industry has been growing at a considerable rate for the last few years. … "The Middle East is becoming a place where people travel a lot both regionally and internationally ...

.21 White roofs, streets could curb global warming

The idea of painting our roofs and roads white to offset global warming is not new, but a recent study has calculated just how significantly white surfaces could impact greenhouse gas emissions. Last week, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley presented their study at California's annual Climate Change Research Conference in Sacramento.

.22 Philippines Govt Wants to Fast-Track Super Regions Projects

Yahoo - Bangkok, Thailand

President Gloria Macagapal Arroyo said Super Regions help to sustain growth that has been weighing heavily on two of the economy's key drivers -- exports and remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). President Arroyo has asked the Budget department to coordinate with the implementing agencies for the prompt release of funds for the super regions projects. ...

.23 Pashtun Regions of Pakistan And Afghanistan Say They Are Caught In Someone Else’s War

Net News Publisher

Nader Khan Katawazai, a member of the Afghan parliament in Kabul, says that international efforts against terrorism in Afghanistan are narrowly focused on fighting the insurgents and have failed to address critical political, social, and economic issues responsible for the growth of extremism in the Pashtun regions. “The lack, or low educational levels in Pashtun regions is a primary factor in sustaining the instability. Pashtun youth can easily be recruited by anyone because of the lack of education, ” …

.24 Ajax mayor looking for review of Regional Council's make-up - Ontario, Canada

On Oct. 29, I will be asking Regional Council to initiate a formal council composition review. The last time the Region undertook such a review was in 1996 - more than 12 years ago

.25 Council applies for merger compo

ABC Online - Queensland, AU

The Mackay Regional Council in north Queensland says its amalgamation costs are projected to reach about $5 million in the next three years. … council applied to the Queensland Treasury Corporation yesterday afternoon for compensation for the forced merger between the Mackay, Mirani and Sarina councils in March.

.26 The 'satellite navigation' in our brains


.. study showed that a region of the hippocampus was enlarged in London taxi drivers compared to the general population. Even bus drivers do not have the same enlarged area, and general skill at navigating is not related to hippocampus size, suggesting that the difference is linked to 'The Knowledge' of the city's 250, 000 streets built up by taxi drivers over many years. … Inside the hippocampus and neighbouring brain areas scientists have identified three types of cells which, says Dr Spiers, make up the sat nav. These are called place cells, head direction cells and grid cells. …

.27 Neuroscience Sheds New Light on Creativity

Fast Company

Most corporate off-sites, for example, are ineffective idea generators, because they're scheduled rather than organic; the brain has time to predict the future, which means the potential novelty will be diminished. Transplanting the same mix of people to a different location, even an exotic one, then dropping them into a conference room much like the one back home doesn't create an environment that leads to new insights. No, new insights come from new people and new environments -- any circumstance in which the brain has a hard time predicting what will happen next. Fortunately, the networks that govern both perception and imagination can be reprogrammed. …

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Rural impact of the credit crisis: Time for a look

The Rural Blog

The credit crisis has dominated the headlines over the past week, but very little of the focus in national media has been on what it means for rural America. However, many regional and specialized news sources are trying to address this worrisome question. …

.02 Revisiting Portland, Thinking of Detroit Regionalism

Model D

If we agree that Detroit's destiny and the region's destiny are one and the same, we must certainly also agree that we all have common issues with common solutions. In Portland, the dialogue began in earnest in the years following World War II, when Portland and its surrounding communities started a dialogue around coordination of common regional issues – transportation, land use and open space planning, water supply, human services, regional parks, cultural and sports facilities, correctional facilities, and libraries were some of the things considered. It culminated in 1979 as Metro Government, the country's only directly elected regional government. …

.03 PUMP Conversation on City County Merger

Campaign for Regional Progress

Having difficulty wading through the Merger/Consolidation/Regionalism discussion? Come to this informative discussion sponsored by the Civic Engagement Committee and featuring Brian Jensen, Senior Vice President, Government Structure ...

.04 Regional Transit Two Step - a new $20 Million Tax Dance

By neilswilliamson

Understandably, there is some confusion regarding the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) legislation The City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County are seeking from the upcoming session of the General Assembly. ...

.05 Hold On

The Haps

Regionalism. So what happens? One of our largest companies decides to leave the CBD for a corporate campus. What would most politicians do - fight, sue, and drag out the process. His thought process? Let's try to woo them (a huge tax package) but sees that this is still good for the region - the jobs stay in Northeast Ohio and Cleveland will not be made or broken by their decision....

.06 Rural Areas, Mega- and Mini-Regions

By Richard Florida

The spiky world and the rise of the mega-region make place more important then ever before. But what if your place is not part of a mega-region or a spiky center? Two places our team has thought a great deal about are Australia - where ...

.07 EDA Helps Bring Broadband to Rural Maryland

Rural Works Blog

The Maryland Broadband Cooperative, Inc. is a public/private partnership, formed by the five Maryland Regional and Tri-County Councils. ...

.08 Consultation on 'Regional Competitiveness & State of the Regions'

east of england observatory

BERR is asking for views on the National Statistics publication 'Regional Competitiveness & State of the Regions'. This Consultation has been launched to determine i. how useful the publication is to its readers and ii. to obtain feedback and suggestions on how it can be improved. ...

.09 Exploring Resilient Communities with John Robb (2): the infrastructure

P2P Foundation

Resilience comes in two main parts: food production and industry, supported by two underlying infrastructural elements: smart local information networks and local money systems. … 3. Smart Local Information NetworksThey simply route data from local customers to regionally clustered corporate server farms and then outwards/back. This means that any disconnection (physical or logical fault) between local customers and these remote systems will result in a complete cessation of service.”...

.10 Tallinn : 2nd best economic potential city

By Shaan

This list is the result of a questionnaire on inward investment and plans for economic development that fDi sent to over 1000 European cities and regions during the summer of 2007. The evaluation criteria were divided into 7 key ...

.11 A Lesson from Americans

By Indra

The regionalism gets manifested when I talk with Indians working in US too. In the era of a bigger world where Indian business leader and CEO of Arcelor Mittal or Pepsico are setting role, Indians must shake off those regionalism at ...

.12 What five Secretaries of State have to say: think regions, energy and economics

By Joshua Weissburg

Albright came back again and again to the idea that we must tackle problems--particularly Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine--regionally and cooperatively.

.13 Knowing the Land

By Elisheva

Where does it come from? 18. Where is there “wilderness” in your bioregion? 19. What are the primary sources of pollution? 20. What are the major “natural” sounds you are aware of in any particular (name it) month or season?

.14 Developments in Africa

By Steve DeAngelis

Regionalization is emerging within globalization. That means that the best hope for sustainable African development involves a strategy that develops a stronger regional economy in Africa that is better able to connect to the larger global economy. ...

.15 Political violence in a fledgling democracy

By jihonvbere

In fact, the struggle to sort out the contradictions in compartmentalized (as against holistic) forms relies heavily on the ethnicization or regionalization of issues. The use of religion and other primordial proclivities is equally ...

.16 CESSA Policy brief on EU Energy Security of Supply: 10 conclusions

By Jean-Michel Glachant

Furthermore, explicit methodology and assumptions, scenario discussions, regionalization and collegialization of the forecasting studies, and an agreement on the data to be collected and made available (eg storage capacity, import capacity, reserve margins, investment plans, etc.) are vital mechanisms for long-term security of supply....

.17 Economist sees yuan as regional currency

By leimanxiongdinan

China is much keener on promoting the use of the yuan in Asia than in supporting the development of a regional currency, according to a prominent economist. “Just like the dollar replaced gold, the yuan can replace the dollar in the region, ”. ...

.18 Diaspora and Development Cooperation

By Jan Speed

A workshop on Diaspora and Development Cooperation was held in Oslo today to highlight the challenges facing diaspora organizations in Norway in developing and carrying out projects in their home countries.

.19 Street Marketing 101

By tuffbreak

How to get to the hipsters. Thats the question being asked at every major ad agency in the world. …The process of regionalization first emerged in the early days of record promotion. Artists and their managers would get into their cars and drive to a stick. An Antennae. Any antennae that they could find. … Here is a quick list of some tips to get into the in-crowd. ...

.20 War Rooms or Regional Collaboration Centres?

By Stu Downes

We have 3 key working styles here:

  • co-located
  • regionally based with very rich collaboration tools
  • remotely located with less rich tools

.21 Women as Producers and Consumers of Tourism in Developing Regions

By Allen

In some developing regions, such as the Caribbean or the South Pacific, tourism is the primary sector in which significant economic growth takes place. In other regions, including areas of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, ...

.22 Articles at SSRN

Practicalacademic Abstract: When criticism is made of the operation of the federal system in Australia, the answer often proposed is 'regionalism'. Sometimes what is meant is the

.23 Article on Regional Financial Institutions in Latin America

By Sergio Stone

The Americas Program Web site posted a useful article on development banks and financial institutions in Latin America. …. An Introduction to Regional Financial Institutions in Latin America. By Eduardo Gudynas. introduction of a fourth tier of regional governments, but more often what is proposed is the abolition of State and local governments and the creation instead of a two-tiered system of national and regional governments....

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Tenth Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans - Guayaquil, Ecuador, 25-27 November 2008

The objectives of the meeting include discussing key global challenges related to climate change and its relationship with the on-going and future work of the Regional Seas Programmes. In this context, participants will address: climate change and oceans; large marine ecosystems and climate change; and climate change vulnerability and adaptation - adapting to the impacts of climate change on the marine and coastal environment, including sea-level rise.

.02 American Fisheries Society Imperiled Freshwater and Diadromous Fishes of North America - U.S. Geological Survey - American Fisheries Society

This website provides access to the list of imperiled freshwater and diadromous fishes of North America as determined by the 2008 American Fisheries Society (AFS) Endangered Species Committee (ESC) on Fishes. At this website, one can view lists of imperiled fishes by freshwater ecoregion, by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of imperiled fishes by ecoregion or political boundaries. …

.03 Flinn-Engdahl Regions - U.S. Geological Survey

The globe is broken down into regions based on geographic and politcal boundaries. Each region is assigned a unique number.

The Flinn-Engdahl (F-E) seismic and geographical regionalization scheme was proposed in 1965, defined in 1974 and revised in 1995. The boundaries of these regions are defined at one-degree intervals and therefore differ from irregular political boundaries. For example, F-E region 545 (Northern Italy) also includes small parts of France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia and F-E region 493 (Chesapeake Bay Region) includes all of the State of Delaware, plus parts of the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Beginning with January 2000, the 1995 revision to the F-E code has been used in the QED and PDE listings. …

.04 Urban Economics – New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg - Georgetown University, Public Policy Institute, Washington, District of Columbia – 9/17/2008 – CSPAN Video

Mayor Michael Bloomberg talked about what big cities like New York have done and can do to keep themselves strong during the current economic downturn, and he responded to questions submitted by audience members. He also talked about his experience in the past week in the wake of the decision by the Federal Reserve to lend up to $85 billion to American International Group to avert its collapse, Lehman Brothers' move to declare bankruptcy, the Bank of America's purchase of Merrill Lynch for $50 billion, and other recent financial troubles.

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

To search on topics like those in Regional Community Development News use this custom search engine which utilizes regional-related sites. Entering the term financing returned 436 items; risk returned 215 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 and the Group was renamed Regional Community Networkers & RCDNews as of March 10, 2008.

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Thomas J. (Tom) Christoffel, AICP -