Regional Community Development News – January 28, 2009 [regions_work]

Regional Community Development News – January 28, 2009 [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 articles10.01 - .37

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .28

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .15

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .06

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

Top Regional Community stories

1. Billions of dollars blown in regional development subsidies -

Since 1990, the St. Louis region's crazy quilt of taxing authorities has dedicated more than $2 billion in public money to subsidize private "economic development" projects. And there's almost nothing to show for it.

At best, the subsidies have created a handful of jobs, few of them long-term or high-paying. The subsidies have created no increase in retail sales nor have they sparked any other economic activity.

The primary beneficiaries of the public investment have been national retail chains, real estate developers, lobbyists and public finance lawyers.

These are some of the findings of the first comprehensive study on the impact of local development incentives in the St. Louis region, completed last week by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. [ ]

The findings will be presented to the agency's board this week. The report covers more than $2 billion in public incentives consisting mainly of tax increment financing deals and special taxing districts. It does not include the value of state tax incentives and many kinds of local tax abatements. These will be covered in later reports, the agency says. State and local subsidies for the new Busch stadium also are not part of this report.

In the programs that were studied, public information about revenues and expenditures was found to be "remarkably weak." Few records are kept to reflect how much an incentive costs. No one keeps track of what benefit the public has received in return — including whether the developer has lived up to his promises. In many cases, there is no reporting requirement — either by law or as a condition of the subsidy.

"If this was a county or city budget with so little transparency, people would be going to jail," Les Sterman, executive director of East-West Gateway, told Post-Dispatch editors and reporters last week.

2. Lawmakers Urge Regional Solutions - CT News Junkie

Democratic lawmakers unveiled a package Monday that they said would change the way “we do government here in Connecticut.”

The proposal, which includes 11 separate pieces of legislation, takes aim at getting cities and towns to work together on a regional basis.

“We inherently have an inefficient system in Connecticut of local government where we duplicate services and programs on a town-by-town basis, 169 times over,” Rep. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, said. Secondly “the overall cost of government is too high and what we need to be doing, particularly in this day and age, is to try to find ways of shrinking that pie.”

As an incentive to get cities and towns to cooperate on a regional basis, lawmakers said they would share one-sixth of the state’s 6 percent sales tax with participating municipalities.

The sharing of sales tax revenue, however, will not be immediate since revenue from the tax is currently declining and is at least $50 million below projections for 2009.

In an effort to get municipalities to cooperate lawmakers said they would postpone some of the unfunded state mandates, such as in-school suspension.

… legislation which is expected to be raised by the Planning and Development Committee Monday afternoon will be able to stop the sprawl in the state.

The 11 pieces of legislation include:

An Act Concerning Regionalism

An Act Concerning Regional Planning Agencies and Regional Planning Organizations

An Act Concerning Smart Growth and Plans of Conservation and Development

An Act Concerning Smart Growth and State Planning

An Act Concerning Training for Local Land Use Commissions

An Act Concerning Land Use Appeals

An Act Concerning Projects of Regional Significance

An Act Concerning Coordinated Preservation and Redevelopment

An Act Concerning Brownfield Redevelopment

An Act Concerning Smart Growth Zoning Regulations

An Act Concerning Smart Growth and Transportation Planning

3. League forum sheds light on regionalization - Wicked Local Eastham - Orleans, MA, USA

After Robin Wilkins had reached the podium to address the crowd gathered at the community center he realized he forgot his elephant.

Eastham’s Town Administrator Shelia Vanderhoef, who was on the panel with the selectman, obligingly passed it down and the stuffed animal stood quietly making its point.

“That’s the elephant,” Wilkins said, gesturing to his right. “And it’s on the table.”

The stuffed toy exemplified regionalization, the topic of Saturday’s forum sponsored by the Cape Cod League of Women Voters and held at Harwich Community Center. The event drew about 100 people.

One would think that after 50 years, or more, discussing regionalization people would grow more comfortable with the term, but that’s not always the case, said Paul Niedzwiecki, executive director of the Cape Cod Commission. [ ]

Some find it “threatening” Niedzwiecki, the third member of the panel, said. One group he works with even calls it “resource sharing,” believing regionalization is too loaded a word. For his part, he said, he’ll stick with regionalization.

But times are changing, he said. Evidence of that shift was the outpouring of support audience members gave to Wilkins’ idea of a regional czar, based at the commission, to focus on a strategy to make regionalization more than a buzzword.

“Consensus? Hell, it’s unanimous,” said Bill Doherty, a county commissioner, who have been reaching out to town officials about regionalization ideas.

Niedzwiecki said that based on discussions already happening at the regional agency a facilitator was likely.

The current economic climate and other factors are coalescing to make the concept of regionalization more attractive than ever. Many people at the forum said this was the moment, and if Cape towns didn’t come together now and hammer out efficiencies, cost savings and improved services, it would never happen.

There are still …

4. The Economy Needs Corporate Governance Reform - Wall Street Journal – USA

In his inaugural address this week, President Barack Obama said "our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some," and due in part to "our collective failure to make hard choices."

He's offered few policy specifics other than saying we need to undertake massive new infrastructure and education programs. But he is right, there are a lot of hard choices we need to make. And one of them is the decision to fix the way public companies are managed.

Private enterprise forms the basis for our economy. It provides most of the jobs we enjoy and creates the wealth that raises living standards. New government spending can only do so much to repair the economy. Reshaping corporate management can do much more.

The problem with doing nothing is obvious. Faltering companies are now soaking up hundreds of billions of tax dollars, and they are not substantially changing their management structures as a price for taking this money.

How does it serve the economy when we subsidize managements that got their companies into trouble? Where is the accountability? More importantly, where are the results?

First, Congress needs to pass legislation giving shareholders enhanced rights to elect new boards, submit resolutions for stockholder votes, and have far more input on executive compensation and other issues. As companion to these reforms, Congress needs to pass legislation that prevents managers from making it more difficult for shareholders to exercise their ownership rights.

Managers often come up with creative ways to perpetuate their reigns of error. ... Nothing will do more to improve our economy than corporate governance changes. …

5. REGION: SANDAG hoping to rescue I-15 - North County Times - Escondido, CA, USA

California's budget crisis threatens to halt the 20-mile, $1.3 billion expansion of Interstate 15, leading regional officials Friday to propose shifting funds set aside for a North County portion of the project to a San Diego section funded by state bond money.

I-15 is a major commuter route that connects the inland bedroom communities of North County and Southwest Riverside County to the San Diego job market. The freeway carries more than 200,000 cars a day in Escondido.

The I-15 project was awarded $350 million from the $20 billion state transportation bond that voters approved in November 2006 for the section between Highways 56 and 163. The bond money was intended to cover 100 percent of the cost of retrofitting those southernmost eight miles of I-15, converting two existing reversible express lanes into four.

However, the state's unprecedented $42 billion budget hole is making it virtually impossible for Sacramento to sell bonds. As a result, bond payments to San Diego County and other regions are grinding to a halt.

"The risk here is that contractors are not going to get paid, and if they are not paid they are not going to be working," said Gary Gallegos, executive director for the San Diego Association of Governments [ ] , at a meeting of his agency's transportation committee. "We may have to shut down some of these projects."

Although the state long ago awarded money for the project, it is being doled out one month at a time as construction workers make progress and bill the California Department of Transportation for the previous month's work.

"The state, for the first time, came close to refusing to pay the contractors last month," Gallegos said, saying those payments finally were made this week.

6. Fully vetted transit plan will get more aboard - Arizona Daily Star - Tucson, AZ, USA

We cautiously applaud the Regional Transportation Authority [ ] for considering consolidating the area's public-transit operations into a seamless, regional system.

It's logical that one operator could do a more efficient job than the 13 entities in the Tucson region running public transportation services.

It may make sense for the RTA to operate a regional public transportation system because it's charged with expanding transit service under the 2006 voter-approved plan.

The RTA staff and board should move forward cautiously in studying regionalization. And the process must be entirely transparent.

Several concerns:

• The public must be assured that operating a regional transit system is consistent with the RTA's mandate, which comes from dual sources: the plan approved by voters in 2006 and the 2004 RTA authorizing legislation.

• The RTA's implementation of the voters' 2006 marching orders must not be slowed, shortchanged or affected in any other negative way.

• Public opinion and the public's transit needs and preferences must be included in studying regionalization, and built into the system. • How the system would be funded, long term, must be confirmed.

In 2006, voters approved $534 million for transit as part of the $2 billion RTA package.


RC: Pima Association of Governments -

7. Opinion: Mass transit options move forward with cooperation - Indianapolis Mayor Greg Balla - Indianapolis Star - United States

Mass transit has been in the headlines a lot lately and rightfully so. As gas prices fluctuate, as our roads and highways become more congested, and as concerns over pollution and environmental regulations grow, many believe the time has finally come for a more ambitious transit system for Indianapolis and Central Indiana.

I look at mass transit from two perspectives. First, as an economic development issue, it can play a critical role in connecting our work force to jobs, sparking new residential and commercial development and helping attract people and business opportunities to the region.

But we also have to look at transit as good stewards of taxpayer dollars, especially in tight budget times. We must measure the return on investment and make sure the benefits of new transit options outweigh their cost.

That's why I've asked our Metropolitan Planning Organization [ ] to craft a comprehensive regional transportation strategy for Greater Indianapolis, including mass transit. I've also directed the MPO to work closely with a new private sector task force sponsored by the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and Central Indiana Community Foundation formed to study the same issues. I believe this public-private process can deliver the transit plan Central Indiana needs, with the cost/benefit analysis taxpayers deserve.

In November, I traveled to Denver as part of a delegation sponsored by the Indianapolis Chamber, one of the supporters of the new transit task force. The Denver region has implemented a world-class, integrated light rail and bus system.

Our Denver hosts stressed one point again and again: To build a cohesive transportation system that works, the public and private sectors must work together.

So I welcome the input of this task force. …

8. Seniors relying on web of care - Denver Post - Denver, CO, USA

Several times a week, Jean Behrens plays her hand at the card table on the 10th floor of the Denver apartment building where, at 99, she still enjoys an independent lifestyle.

But her ace in the hole is her neighbor, 72-year-old Janet Flynn, whose help with grocery shopping and other errands allows her to maintain that freedom.

Independence, an instinct that kicks in early and stays late, looms especially large for many older adults. Although no one's counting the amorphous human networks that often make it possible, experts see more seniors assembling loose-knit webs to fill the gaps in established programs — or step in when family members can't.

Since 2001, some organizations have been trying to organize these informal systems for more effective delivery of services to older Americans. In this context, they even have a name: NORCs, or Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities.

But for the vast majority who tap into these supportive relationships, they're known mostly as friends and neighbors.

In fact, the role of informal assistance networks could increase as baby boomers age faster than various agencies can provide organized services, some experts say.

A report by the Denver Regional Council of Governments' Area Agency on Aging [ ] noted that $8.5 million spent on 15 categories of service in 2004 will need to grow to $21.6 million in 2020 — just to offer the current level of assistance.

"No way are we going to be able to provide the same level of funding for all seniors," says agency director Jayla Sanchez-Warren. "We've got to figure out how to help people live independently in communities. And people are much more apt to ask friends for assistance before they go to a formal route."

9. Citizen Briefing Book – Popular Ideas - RCD News

A Citizen's Briefing Book ran at the Obama Transition website through January 20, 2009. According to the site blog, "Over 125,000 users submitted over 44,000 ideas and cast over 1.4 million votes.” The best rated ideas will be put into a Citizen's Briefing Book for President Obama.

Looking at the top 20 vote getting ideas, those that could be considered to have a regional bent include: "Commit to becoming the 'Greenest' country in the world” second with 70,470 points; "Bullet Trains & Light Rail" fifth with 65,100 points, and "Let's make reduced-scale farming profitable! Less dependence on imported foods!" 15th with 42,070 votes.

Other ideas found , based on a search for the term “planning” were: “Strategic Infrastructure planning and quality communities” - 400 points, “Training in Collaborative Leadership” – 10 points and "Economy, Education, Energy and Environment" - 10 points.

The text for the four E’s: “To get your arms around all these issues; immediately require all cities in all states to pass a minimum 50-year moratorium on annexation. Infill, Infill, Infill, refill: growth through population, not land. Devouring land to promote sprawl creates extreme cost to service utilities, police, schools, retail businesses, and industry. Minimum density requirement: 5000 people per square mile (less than half of Chicago, similar to Portland, same as planned for Mesa del Sol).”

As of January 20, online communication with the Obama administration shifted to

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 Economic Forecast: Transportation

The Columbian - Vancouver, WA, USA

Is economic stimulus spelled t-r-a-n-s-p-o-r-t-a-t-i-o-n? Or is transportation spelled e-c-o-n-o-m-i-c s-t-i-m-u-l-u-s? Both are correct, as transportation projects are a key component to any economic stimulus package. Transportation projects create jobs. Construction jobs are created as transportation projects are built, and new jobs are created as a result of improved transportation access to business, retail and industrial sites. ... With or without federal economic stimulus funding, there are a number of major regional projects that are ready to go in 2009 and will bring jobs to our economy. ... Businesses feel the impacts to their bottom line. An economic stimulus package, spelled t-r-a-n-s-p-o-r-t-a-t-i-o-n, will help us catch up. However, the real challenge lies in the region’s ability to build the transportation projects needed to meet future opportunities.

.02 The Future Of Metro Mass Transit

Metromode Media - metro detroit, MI, USA

Metro Detroiters have harbored metropolis jealousy for generations. The kind that manifests itself in statements like,"If only Detroit could be more like Chicago..." or Toronto or San Francisco. ... "I think the Aerotropolis idea and the connectivity of that region with all of southeast Michigan is extremely important," Rizik says. "As we found in our work, having Detroit Metropolitan Airport is a huge asset for folks interested in doing business conveniently both in Detroit and where I am sitting in Ann Arbor. Having a vital Aerotropolis and having easier transportation from various parts of southeast Michigan to the airport will enhance that even more. That's a really important point."

.03 Boise Region Grapples With Smog

The New York Times

After years of growth and suburban development, the region that includes Boise and its suburbs, known as the Treasure Valley, is on the brink of violating federal clean air standards, and experts say the only real solution is one that might seem awfully un-Idahoan: persuading people to drive less. ... The relationship between traffic and the region’s struggle to control ozone crystallized last summer, when gas prices were more than $4 a gallon. People suddenly began leaving their cars at home, choosing instead to use the region’s limited bus system and, in the process, shrink the number of so-called vehicle miles traveled by as much as a 9 percent. That, coupled with favorable weather, led to notably lower ozone levels than the summer before. ...

.04 2016 Games bid going regional

Chicago Sun-Times - United States

Mayor Daley once talked about making Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games a "regional" plan from the entire Midwest. He got it Friday. Chicago 2016 announced plans to shift Olympic road cycling and mountain biking events to Madison, Wis. ...,CST-NWS-oly17.stng

.05 2-state Tahoe agency imposes budget-cutting moves

San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA

The two-state agency charged with protecting Lake Tahoe has closed the doors of its north shore office in Tahoe City in a budget-cutting move. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency spokesman Dennis Oliver says the closure took effect Thursday and will last until the economy improves. In another cost-cutting measure, today marks the first of six days in coming months that the TRPA's main office will close and employees will be required to take a day off without pay. ...

.06 Pave the way

Savannah Morning News - Savannah, GA, USA

Georgia lawmakers should let Chatham and other Georgia counties vote on imposing a regional sales tax to build better roads. LAST YEAR'S General Assembly was gaveled to a close in Atlanta before lawmakers passed a bill to allow multiple-county regions to band together to levy a transportation sales tax. This isn't the time for a repeat. ...

.07 Jill Biden Returns to the Classroom

Washington Post - United States

After being wooed by many Washington area community colleges, Jill Biden began teaching today at Northern Virginia Community College. ... As second lady, Biden plans to assume a role as a public advocate for community colleges and may advise the Obama administration on related education policies. ...

.08 Community Is the "New Deal"

The Huffington Post

One of the most inspiring and unexpected possibilities of Barack Obama's election is the reestablishment of a sense of community in our country. … Demonstrating the simplicity and power of community has been absent from our leaders for so long. ... Community IS the "New Deal." Developing authentic relationships with those around us is the stimulus package of our collective soul.

.09 Former COG head gets probation in theft of group’s money

Beaver County Times - Beaver, PA, USA

The former executive director of the Councils of Governments of Beaver and Butler counties will spend three years on probation after pleading no contest Friday to two counts of theft. Sharon Sambol, 46, of 43 Anthony Wayne Terrace, Baden, tearfully said after her court appearance, “I didn’t take the money.” Instead, she said, she had to enter a plea because “I ran out of money to defend myself.” ... Sambol said that after she started working for COG in 1995, she worked countless hours of overtime for which she wasn’t paid. ...

.10 Schweiker’s move launches ‘extensive national search’

Philadelphia Business Journal - Philadelphia, PA, USA

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker’s resignation from the top job at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce brings an end to a six-year reign marked by expansion of the business organization’s role into economic development. ... Schweiker helped promote regionalism by shepherding the creation of an 11-county marketing group called Select Greater Philadelphia. ...^1762427

.11 Patrick's season of reform

Boston Globe - United States

Amid the worst economic news since the Massachusetts miracle melted down in the early 1990s, Governor Patrick sought last night to steel the state for a painful year. ... Making responsible choices means, among other things, fixing the long-term problems afflicting state government. ... But reform also means pushing the state's 351 municipalities to save money through regionalization. ...

.12 Libraries’ lessons for T-Paw: Regional savings won’t work with Wisconsin

Minnesota Independent - Minneapolis, MN, USA

Tim Pawlenty wants to use greater regional cooperation to save Minnesota money, he should look to the state’s half-century of success with regional library systems for a how-to in sharing resources across county lines. ... As for the other government-efficiency idea Pawlenty proposed in last week’s State of the State address – combining or coordinating operations with Wisconsin – the lesson from the state’s latest experiment in combining libraries is less rosy.

.13 Investment board seeks release of funds

Newport News Times - Newport, OR, USA

The Regional Investment Board is comprised of a partnership between Benton, Lincoln, Lane and Linn counties. The Oregon Legislature established the Regional and Rural Investment Programs in 1999, with funding from the Oregon Lottery. ... The three projects under funding consideration are Oregon Cascades West Revolving Loan Fund, Lane Council of Governments Revolving Loan Fund and Regional Industrial Lands/Wetland Mitigation Project. The Regional Investment Board project funding recommendations are being brought to each of the four counties for review and if approved, the money will then be awarded for the projects. Future project funding is in question due to the limits of the current state legislative budget. “As we know, there is no funding for Regional Investment Board in the current budget either, so this very likely is the last hurrah for the Regional Investment Board,” Hall said.

.14 Rio Rancho mayor calls for regional cooperation

New Mexico Business Weekly - USA

Swisstack made a plea to political leaders and others to understand that what is good for Rio Rancho is good for the west side and will benefit the state as well. The current population on the west side of the Rio Grande in the Albuquerque metropolitan area is about 190,000, he said, and that is projected to grow to 228,000 by 2013. About 79 percent of those who have moved to Rio Rancho over the last four years have come from other New Mexico cities and they are seeking employment and educational opportunities, he said. “They’re not in the witness protection program,” he joked, referring to the legends of Rio Rancho’s early population growth. Swisstack urged that regional partnerships on infrastructure and cost-sharing be seriously considered and not relegated to just discussions. ...

.15 Partnership seeks to lure youth back to area

News Virginian - Waynesboro, VA, USA

For three years, a nonprofit organization has worked to recruit youthful Southwest Virginia natives back to that remote region of the of the commonwealth as part of a program called Return to Roots. The program ... has attracted the attention of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, ...

.16 SWRPA looks ahead

Westport-News - Westport, CT, USA

Trimming of unfunded mandates, improved regionalization, promotion of urban revitalization and improving the state of affordable housing were just some of the topics on the floor last Thursday morning as elected officials from towns and cities of the South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA) [ ] met at Norwalk City Hall with state legislators to discuss legislative priorities going forward. One of 15 regional planning agencies in Connecticut, SWRPA provides ...

.17 Great Lakes states hopeful Obama won't forget home

Bay City Times - Saginaw Bay, MI, USA

"We have a president that's from the Great Lakes region," Cherry said of the incoming administration. "He understands first-hand the challenges facing the Great Lakes, the need for investment and the degree to which the economy and the Great Lakes are intertwined." ...

"2009 and beyond are the year of the Great Lakes," said Skelding, whose coalition is made up of more than 100 groups in the region, including Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action. ...

.18 Area could be hub for China to ship goods

Metro-east News -

... China's ambassador to the United States joined Missouri business and political leaders to announce the creation of a partnership to make the St. Louis region a hub for Chinese goods ... Called the Midwest/China Hub Commission, the consortium of government and business agencies would tether Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to MidAmerica, forming an air cargo port able to compete with ports on North America's east and west coasts. ...

.19 Supervisor to head regional planning and funding council

Sacramento Bee - CA, USA

Yolo County Supervisor Helen Thomson is the new chairwoman of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, a regional planning and funding body. Thomson was inducted recently as chairwoman for the 31-member board that represents six counties and 22 cities. ...

.20 Tri-Valley mayors brave DC chill to make pleas for regional needs

Tri Valley Herald - Walnut Creek, CA, USA

... leaders of the five Tri-Valley cities — San Ramon Mayor H. Abram Wilson, Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, Livermore Vice Mayor John Marchand, Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman and Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich — braved lower-than-20-degree temperatures to lobby for projects of regional import. The trip has become a tradition for the city chiefs, who make the trek to Washington, D.C., each year to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors. ...

.21 5/3 merging Cincinnati, Dayton operations - Cincinnati, OH, USA

Fifth Third Bancorp has consolidated its Cincinnati and Dayton regional operations. ... The Cincinnati and Dayton regions were combined because the two areas "are beginning to move and grow more as a region," Stevenson said. She cited the recent merger of the two cities' public broadcasters as an example of this growing regionalism. ...

.22 Money holds up regional cop plan

Danville News - Danville, PA, USA

After months of progress, the Union County regional police initiative has stalled as officials continue to crunch numbers in search of the best financial balance between East Buffalo Township and Lewisburg to fund the department. ... All of the players remain. How much of the annual operation cost the two main municipalities are willing to take on has become the sticking point, particularly after the first year. ...

.23 New officers

Odessa American - Odessa, TX, USA

The Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission has announced the 2009 board of directors. The board consists of: chairman, Joe Shuster, Pecos County judge; vice-chairman, Leo Smith, Terrell County judge; and secretary/treasurer, Ovidio Martinez, the mayor of Seagraves. The Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission [ ] is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1971 under the authority of the Texas Legislature. ...

.24 Two years after scandal broke, ‘colossal failure’ in housing authorities is confirmed

The New Mexico Independent - Albuquerque, NM, USA

The state auditor’s report on massive abuses in the state’s low-income housing projects ... weak internal controls, a lack of adequate oversight and poor management as primary causes of a scandal that toppled most of the state’s affordable housing system when the Albuquerque-based Region III authority defaulted on $5 million in bonds it owed the state in 2006. Five of seven regional authorities collapsed under the weight of that scandal, though the other two have continued operating without problems. ...

.25 New Web site makes Cumberland Plateau more accessible

Knoxville News Sentinel - Knoxville, TN, USA

Nothing cures the winter blahs like a visit to the Cumberland Plateau, a land of waterfalls, river gorges, and the largest concentration of caves in Tennessee. Planning a vacation to this gorgeous region just got a lot easier thanks to a new web site - - that showcases what the plateau has to offer in terms of natural resources and historical sites. The site features a sound track from local musicians, and videos that describe some of the historic aspects of the region. The web site was launched by the Alliance for the Cumberlands, …

.26 Gary Mertz Directs Gateway Grant - Covington, KY, USA

Gary J. Mertz, SPHR, has joined Gateway Community and Technical College as the project director for a regional workforce development grant administered by the college’s Workforce Solutions Division. In this capacity, Mertz is responsible for assisting in the further strategic alignment of three regional Workforce Investment Boards serving Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. ... GCTC was awarded the grant by the Northern Kentucky Area Development District to develop a workforce innovation project. ...

.27 Pete Eshelman '96 Joins Roanoke Regional Partnership

Depauw University

... as director of outdoor branding. Eshelman will be responsible for building awareness of the Roanoke region's many outdoor recreation amenities and leveraging those assets to grow the regional economy. "The Roanoke Regional Partnership is finding innovative ways to develop the region's assets and generate investment in our regional economy," said Beth Doughty, the Partnership's executive director. "Building a strong reputation as a region rich in natural beauty and opportunities to experience the outdoors will help attract people, jobs and capital."...

.28 Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Should Explore Other Funding Sources, Right-Size Programs

RAND Corporation - News Release

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh needs to explore new ways to secure adequate and stable funding, engage patrons and other stakeholders, and evaluate what services it offers, according to a study issued today by the RAND Corporation. … Currently, about 70 percent of the library's operating funds come from local sales tax revenues administered by the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD), for which numerous organizations compete. ... For every dollar provided by the City of Pittsburgh and the Regional Asset District, the library provides more than $6 worth of direct and indirect benefits to the communities served. ... the study outlines nine opportunities for the library and regional leaders, foundations and elected officials to pursue that may help the library increase operating revenue, decrease expenses and improve efficiency:

.29 Tree Deaths Have Doubled Across The Western US

Terra Daily

Tree death rates have more than doubled over the last few decades in old-growth forests of the western United States, and the most probable cause of the worrisome trend is regional warming, according to a U.S. Geological Survey-led (USGS) study ... The result is that forests have begun to lose trees faster than they're gaining them ... "Is the trend we're seeing a prelude to bigger, more abrupt changes to our forests?"

.30 Dartmouth proposes regional summit to control costs

South Coast Today - New Bedford, MA, USA

Dartmouth wants to convene a SouthCoast summit with officials from New Bedford and neighboring communities to discuss regionalizing their common services as a way to cut expenses. ... Mr. Michaud said he had been waiting for Bristol County government to reach out to cities and towns to convene a regional meeting, but he said there is no reason Dartmouth cannot take the initiative. ...

.31 Estuaries project expands, changes name

On January 1, 2009, the name of the New Hampshire Estuaries Project was changed to the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP). The name change is in response to a recent expansion of the organization’s focus area that now includes the entire watersheds of the Hampton-Seabrook Estuary and the Great Bay Estuary. Since 24% of the Great Bay Estuary watershed is located in Maine, a regional name for the organization was required. Furthermore, the new name reflects the collaborative approach taken by the organization to protect, restore, and monitor the health of the Hampton-Seabrook Estuary and the Great Bay Estuary. PREP now works in 42 New Hampshire communities and 10 Maine communities.

.32 Green Staycations: Central Cascades EcoTourism Map Guide - USA

… National Geographic Society's Center for Sustainable Destinations. The Center has joined organizations in Washington and Oregon to launch a GeoTourism project that will publicize the world-class natural and cultural attractions of the Central Cascades. The pilot project seeks to contribute to the economic health of communities by promoting geotourism: tourism that sustains and enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents. ...

.33 Mr. Redlegs headed to NYC to promote Cincinnati tourism - Charlotte, NC, USA

The Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network is taking Cincinnati on the road to New York City Jan. 26 through Jan. 28 to promote tourism here in partnership with the Cincinnati Reds and the state of Ohio Travel and Tourism Department. ... New York City is one of the 10 markets that most often requests tourism information from the Tri-state region, according to the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network. ...

.34 For Oklahoma City faithful, Thunder claps are sweet sound

USA Today - USA

... "When you say the words 'Oklahoma City,' the next word out of your mouth is probably 'bombing,' " says Mayor Mick Cornett, referring to the 1995 domestic terrorist attack on the Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people. "Having a major sports team helps identify our city with something positive." ... "Having a team in Oklahoma City fills a big regional void," Cheryl says. The NBA also likes having the only professional sports team in a market of 1.2 million, where it has less competition for sponsorship, advertising and sports entertainment dollars. ...

.35 Regional Airports Struggling

Chicago Public Radio - Chicago, IL, USA

But small, regional airports appear to have taken a hit as well. ... mainstream, more smaller and mid-sized commercial airports are really the ones that have been taking the hits over the last year. And their focus is just maintaining access to the system. ...

.36 Regional freight rises in 2008

Pocono Record - Stroudsburg, PA, USA

Railroad freight carloads bucked a negative national trend in northeastern Pennsylvania in 2008. Freight carloadings for Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority's contract rail operator, the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad ... 7,831 carloads handled in 2008 is near the all-time record on the regional rail system of 7,875 in 2005 and is a far cry from the 562 carloads handled in 1985, the authority's first year.

.37 City of Newark First in Nation Using Cars to Power Grid

Digital Communities -

This month, the City of Newark, Delaware became the first electric utility in the US to use a car to store and provide power for the local electric grid. The vehicle, which runs on electricity alone, is specifically designed to store energy and improve grid reliability. ... Cities including San Francisco and Austin, TX have seriously considered the idea, but Newark (population: 30,000) is the first to officially put it into action. ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 More regionalism, more Europe!

Gruene Jugend - Berlin, Germany

We, young activists from FYEG and EFAY, have gathered in Tolmin (Slovenia) in November 2008, in order to discuss the role of regionalism while shaping the future of Europe. …

Regionalism and progressive nationalism are about looking to the future, not only preserving the past. Conserving the culture, language and heritage of them is actually important. Nevertheless, we think that the region is also the best tool between the citizens and Europe; for defending human rights, applying green policies and giving a human feel Europe. …

Finally, regionalism should go hand in hand with the globalization process: the alter globalization. We also should view Europe as a region in the world and take in to account its relations across the globe when reinventing itself. A Europe more conscious about its diversity is a Europe more responsible towards the world. Given this shared vision we, members of FYEG and EFAY, commit ourselves to defend the following:

* The need for inclusive regionalism, as opposed to a narrow minded and offensive approach. Regionalist and progressive nationalist movements look resolutely to the future, while being conscious of its past and experiences.

* Clear support for ...

.02 Long Droughts, Rising Seas Predicted Despite Future CO2 Curbs

The Washington Post - USA

The new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, projects that if carbon dioxide concentrations peak at 600 ppm, several regions of the world -- including southwestern North America, the Mediterranean and southern Africa -- will face major droughts as bad or worse than the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. ... The scientists noted that the world's oceans are already absorbing an enormous amount of carbon, but over time this will reach a limit and they will no longer absorb as much. As this happens, the atmospheric temperature will remain nearly constant.

.03 The Greenhouse Effect and the Bathtub Effect

The New York Times - USA

Basically, the atmosphere is like a bathtub with a partially opened drain. Carbon dioxide from burning fuels and forests is flowing in twice as fast as it is being absorbed by plants and the ocean, and some of those “sinks” are in fact getting saturated, it appears, meaning that the “drain” is clogging ... a vital task for President Obama and his climate-energy team (and for scientists and the media), even as they weigh legislation and a treaty and technology, is to educate the public on the bathtub effect. Without greater understanding of the nature of the problem, he says, it will be hard to convince the public of the need for big, prompt, costly changes to the energy system, even when the worst impacts are projected to come later in the century. … [ lecture video link in article]

.04 Halton to become part of Liverpool city region

Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News - Runcorn and Widnes, Cheshire, UK

GORDON BROWN has signed an agreement making Halton part of the Liverpool City Region. ... Halton borough, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral and St Helens councils will now pool resources on specific issues in order to create a “thriving international city region” by 2020. The regional cabinet comprises the six council leaders and the head of The Mersey Partnership, who represents the private sector. ...

.05 St Helens signs up to controversial Liverpool 'city region' club

St Helens Today - St Helens, UK

It's the talking point that just refuses to go away - is St Helens on the verge of becoming an annexe of Liverpool? Less than two months after two high-profile local politicians blasted proposals to merge St Helens into a new Greater Liverpool area, the Government has devolved extra powers to St Helens Council - because the borough falls within the 'Liverpool city-region'. ... Campaigners fear the move is the first step towards creating a Greater Liverpool but council leader Brian Spencer insisted the town would always retain its identity, describing the agreement as 'common sense'. ...

.06 York Regional Police monitoring events in Middle East, Sri Lanka

Liberal - Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

Anxiety over the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas appears to be hitting home in York Region. In one incident last weekend, police laid an assault charge following a disagreement between acquaintances about the Middle East conflict, said York Regional Police Chief ... York police monitor situations around the world closely, the Chief said, adding along with developments in the Israel-Gaza Strip region, police have also been watching events unfolding in Sri Lanka. ...

.07 Accent on scaremongering

Hamilton Spectator - Hamilton, ON, Canada

Last month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, himself a proponent of western regionalism, a forerunner to separation, drove a wedge between Quebec and the rest of Canada in his desperate attempt to thwart an alliance between the Liberals and NDP, which included the support of the Bloc Quebecois. The prime minister, while fear-mongering about Quebec separation, hoped that English Canadians would forget that he had helped develop an Alberta manifesto that included measures modelled on Quebec's status, with the aim of building a "firewall" around that province. ...

.08 2009 World Report: Obama Should Emphasize Human Rights

Human Rights Watch

Governments seeking to play a negative role on human rights do so to forestall international scrutiny of their own or their allies' violations, Roth said. While saying they support human rights in principle, these nations cite sovereignty to avoid scrutiny of their records. Roth noted: "These governments make claims of regional solidarity or solidarity within the global South, but the solidarity that they have in mind is with abusive leaders, not their victims."

.09 Multi-Cultural Regionalism Emerges as New Player in Russian Politics

Georgiandaily - New York, NY, USA

Regional organizations in some parts of the Russian Federation are becoming multi-cultural, a development that strengthens both the communities and the regions of which they are a part but one that undercuts Moscow's long-held view that there is a sharp distinction between non-Russian republics and predominantly ethnic Russian regions. ...

.10 Unipolarity's Days Are Numbered

Some may praise new regional institutions as a positive step in cooperation. However, the world should equally be cautious of the changing norms. Regional institutions may encourage cooperation among members, but they may concurrently increase competition across institutions or regions. The SCO's denial of the US's request to join as an observer is an example of regional separation instead of global cooperation. Many of the bilateral trade agreements act in the same way. Taken to an extreme, these regional institutions undermine wider global institutions. ....

.11 Regionalization versus globalization

Jakarta Post - Jakarta, Indonesia

The growth of regional economies has proved that a diversified, self-sufficient regional economy with the highest possible local content and distribution is more resistant to external shocks than large, mono-structured units, which produce mainly for export. ... The foundation for a successful approach in vitalizing regional economies is sound regional management. Important to note is that this process needs to be institutionalized through the creation of regional planning offices that can conduct program management for tasks that are to big for local government units, such as the construction of sewerage plants and water works. ...

.12 Ottawa pumps cash into high-tech research

National Post - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Communitech is an industry collective of almost 500 different technology companies in the Waterloo Region, including Research in Motion (RIM). The cash injection by Ottawa will benefit two digital media hubs — the Stratford Institute and Waterloo Region’s Digital Media Convergence Centre. The ultimate aim will be to link all of Canada’s digital media research sites into a giant collaborative project. ...

.13 Directing innovation in the East of England – the UK’s ‘ideas region’

Cambridge Network - Cambridge, UK

The East of England attracts more research and development-based investment than any other region in the UK, but the ratio of converting ‘idea to product’ is relatively low. EEDA recently launched a pilot project which offers ‘innovation vouchers’ to small businesses across the region. The vouchers will entitle those companies to £3,000 worth of one-to-one collaboration with academics from the region’s top universities, helping them to develop ideas. ...

.14 Uganda rebellion turns into regional plague


"The LRA is becoming a group with no clear identity, a nefarious force which will be very difficult to flush out, engaged in activities more akin to banditry, like mercenaries who risk being hired by other armed groups or regional political players," ...

.15 West African nations need collaboration in meeting challenges

Walta Information Center - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The 15-nation West African region needs a well-coordinated approach to overcome food uncertainty and the effects of the global financial downturn, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said. … fostering closer collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Mano River Union, the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU). ...

.16 UN asks Thailand for access to Rohingya boat people

The Rohingyas, numbering about 750,000 in Arakan, are stateless people, having been denied citizenship in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Lewa called for Thailand to find a regional solution to the new wave of boat people. ...

.17 Fisherfolk want more say in policy matters - Belleville, Barbados

The Caribbean's Regional Fisherfolk Organisation (RFO) has sent an urgent call to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers responsible for Fisheries to support it in implementing its region-wide strategy and action plan for fisheries. And the group has urged authorities to consult them more in policy matters directly affecting their livelihoods. ...

.18 Warren Buffett Is Close to Buying Regional Airport in Frankfurt

Bloomberg - USA

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is close to buying the Egelsbach airport in Frankfurt, Germany, through his business-jet venture NetJets Inc. The airport’s owners, including the cities of Offenbach and Langen as well as municipal utilities, ... The sale of the airport, which is Germany’s largest for private and business flights, is driven in part by the need for investment in its infrastructure. ...

.19 Australian sales at 15-year low - London, UK

In the Barossa, Peter Lehmann said in a press release that he saw the downturn as 'another pendulum swing' and is confident the Barossa will survive the crisis. '[It] is still the one regional name which is recognised worldwide. We still make the world's most unique Shiraz and the best Rieslings ...

.20 ITV fined £220000 by Ofcom over lack of regional spending

ITV has been fined £220,000 by Ofcom for failing to meet its programme spending quota outside London ... £20,000 over 11 of ITV Broadcasting Ltd's regional licences ... A condition of the licences is that "at least 50% of expenditure on originated network programmes in each calendar year shall be allocated to the production of programmes produced outside the M25 area". ...

.21 Spain - Regionalism & the Economy

Pulse Niagara - St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

In political terms, Spaniards are freer now that at any point in the past 60 years, but regionalism poses a serious problem. In economic terms, Spain has over preformed compared to other European Union members, but has been hit hard by the recent recession. Socially the standard of living is greater, but petty regional differences could inflame a relative peace....

.22 CUBA: Women Farmers Bring Innovation to the Mountains

IPS News

... Aroche presented a project on soil conservation, because the soil in Topes de Collantes "is highly degraded." The initiative won a micro-loan, which provided her with a minimal level of financing that allowed her to draw other people into her project, to carry out efforts against erosion on farms in the region. ... "We thought farming was just for men, but that’s a myth," said PIAL director Humberto Ríos. "Women are the ones who are most interested in innovation; it would be unfair not to give them a leading role," ...

.23 Pacific unanimous on tough line on Fiji military, says New Zealand

Leaders of Pacific island countries who will meet next week to decide whether to suspend Fiji’s military rulers from their 16-member regional forum are unanimous in their desire to see democracy restored there, ...

.24 Choke Points and Bedfellows

The Moscow Times - Russia

The computer may have freed communication from space and time, but geopolitics still rule the world. The Russian-Ukrainian gas crisis has raised a cry for alternate "reliable" energy sources, but they are very limited. Apart from Russia, there are only two countries on the Caspian Sea's western shore through which gas and oil can flow to Europe. ... Paradoxically, as Washington advocates energy diversity for itself, the United States and NATO are almost entirely dependent on Russia for fuel supplies to fight the war in Afghanistan. …

.25 Putin urges reserve currency move

BBC News

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has told the Davos economic forum it is dangerous for the world to over-rely on the dollar as its reserve currency. He called for a range of reserve currencies and said he envisaged the emergence of several strong regional currencies in the future. He advised against isolationism and state economic control as ways out of a "perfect storm" in the world economy.

And he warned against military spending as a way to boost economic growth. ...

.26 CMAI Completes 2009 World Benzene Analysis

PR Newswire (press release) - New York, NY, USA

The global market will continue to become more regionally self-sufficient, and inter-regional trade will decline. In the last twenty years, the volume of benzene traded across international boundaries has grown five-fold and more than doubled as a proportion of the total market. This trend is slowing, however, and within the next half-decade, CMAI predicts volumes moving between countries will stagnate, and inter-regional trade will fall in real terms. The share of global commerce accounted for by trade will also fall pretty significantly as the market becomes more regionally-focused, rather than dependent on inter-regional trade. This will have ramifications for security of supply, supply chain management and pricing, especially in those countries that have become accustomed to large import positions.

.27 Future success: co-operation and collaboration is imperative

European Process Engineer Magazine

Mohammed S Madi, Regional Vice President Saudi Petroleum Limited-Beijing, argues that for ongoing success, the petrochemical industry needs to develop and enhance its critical relationships with all stakeholders, regardless of their size and location. ... global and regional political conditions have a greater potential to significantly impact the overall petroleum business than ever before, and can exert a powerful influence over supply-demand patterns and trends. ...

.28 The Mathematics of Bureaucracy


Three physicists and a historian explain how bureaucracies grow and at what point they become inefficient. They define how big a committee can become before destabilizing. In 1947, German sociologist Max Weber published The Theory of Social and Economic Organisation, … They found that groups with fewer than 20 members tend to reach an agreement whereas those with more than 20 splintered into groups that agreed within themselves but remained deadlocked as a whole. Additionally, the computer simulations found one number of members that ended with a high probability of deadlock: eight. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 What's a Metro Nation without Strong Cities?

CEOs For Cities

When regionalism asserts the centrality of the anchor city and the need to build its vibrancy through renewal, then regionalism makes sense. But too often, the execution of regionalism means the central city gives and gives (and pays and pays), while the suburbs live off the jobs, amenities and identity provided in cities (or, for that matter, another suburb) without paying a dime. ...

.02 Voting for Change? Emphasizes Regional Politics


All politics is social: that's the claim of online startup, a new people-powered politics site set to launch as Barack Obama takes the oath of office tomorrow. Call it a politics-saturated Digg or a crowd-sourced Memeorandum but here's a big difference (I've been playing with the beta version over the last week or so) - PopRule puts a big emphasis on local stories, with baked-in regional differentiation in 56 categories. ...

.03 Bicycle and Pedestrian Survey

Regional Forum for Addressing Walking & Biking Needs in the Greater Nashville Region

This forum is to allow for an interactive exchange of ideas, news, information, and general thoughts about walking and biking in the greater Nashville region.

The Nashville Area MPO is conducting a survey to obtain a better understanding of the walking and bicycling needs in the greater Nashville Region. The survey asks questions about current walking and bicycling habits as well as improvements that could be made to make these modes more appealing, safe and enjoyable. ...

.04 Share The Pain, Reap The Gain

Regional Plan Association

The MTA, which carries eight million riders a day on our regional subway, bus, and commuter rail networks, is in grave danger of sliding back into the abyss of a generation ago. This would be economically and environmentally catastrophic to New York City and the surrounding suburbs - and thus to the state as a whole. ... We cannot allow the New York Region's transit to disintegrate before our eyes after 25 years of reinvestment, renewal, revival, and economic growth. We have only one choice. But it requires sacrifice, ...

.05 For All of Our Citizens - New River Valley Economic Alliance

Handshake 2.0

These are certainly difficult times that we currently live in. The following examples of “good news” are not intended to overlook the real challenges that face our region, Virginia, and the United States. But, at the same time, I think it is important to recognize some of the good that is taking place in Virginia’s New River Valley as we compare to the rest of the U.S. ...

.06 High Peaks Initiative

High Peaks Alliance

This is win win for all of us. Traditional recreation and forestry will be protected while we also make a down payment on expanding the tourism possibility of our region. Today tourists increasingly seek areas of big scenery and abundant recreation possibilities. There is no reason Maine’s High Peaks region cannot stand tall among other possible choices such as the Smokies, The Adirondacks, and even Yosemite. There is no reason that the towns that border this region cannot be trail towns that share in the wealth that 4 season recreation can bring. ...

.07 Cleveland Magazine Politics: The quiet mayor

By Erick Trickey

This prospect -- the mayor coasting to re-election in November -- will drive some people crazy. What’s he done? they complain. But in his own quiet way, Jackson's been pushing regionalism, making deals with suburbs that include promises not to lure city businesses away. ...

.08 The Government Accountability Office Keeps Census on the “High Risk” List

Data Detectives

The GAO reported this week that a critical risk management exercise planned for 2008 — a "dress rehearsal" of all census operations—was curtailed. GAO expressed concerns that a number of key Census operations and systems, including some that will be used for the first time in a census, have not been tested adequately or under census-like conditions. …

Full report: 2.77MB

.09 Leaked Clean Coal Strategy Memo to Peabody Energy

On "sowing discord" amongst regions: In recent weeks, we have persuaded the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Iniatiative) participants to post the following pieces of CEED research on their web site for consumption by the states:

.10 More on Megaregions: Europe

The Map Scroll

The megaregions of Europe, from The Rise of the Mega Region (PDF), a paper by Richard Florida, Tim Gulden, and Charlotta Mellander. ... They make the interesting observation that though the European megaregions are comparable in size to those in North America, they are anchored by urban cores that actually tend to be smaller (with the exceptions of Paris and London). So the megaregional designation seems especially pertinent to the conurbations of Europe. ...

.11 Yet More on Megaregions: Asia, This Time

The Map Scroll

Here's more from the Florida, et al. paper (PDF) on megaregions. This shows the megaregions of Asia. They are:

1) Tokyo, with 55 million people and $2.5 trillion in economic output: the world's largest megaregion.

2) Osaka-Nagoya, to the south of Greater Tokyo on Japan's largest island of Honshu. It has 36 million people, and contributes another $1.4 trillion to the global economy.

3) ...

.12 5 Questions for Thomas Barnett

Atlantic Council of the United States

But beyond that, you want to re-run Europe's experience of integration in other regions. Not that it's unique (America is the world's oldest and most successful multinational economic and political and security union), but because—as Europe itself proved—it's replicable. For example, the Middle East desperately needs an OSCE-like entity to create an umbrella for regional security dialogue. Where I am pessimistic on NATO is not the model but the current version in Europe. ...

.13 Toward sustainable security

Chris Abbott - Sophie Marsden

As in much of the world, the current security discourse in Asia and Australasia is dominated by what might be called the “control paradigm”, based on the premise that insecurity can be controlled through military force or balance of power politics and containment. The most obvious global example is the so-called “war on terror”, which aims to “keep the lid” on terrorism, without addressing the root causes. Such approaches to national, regional and international security are flawed - ... The central premise of sustainable security is that you cannot control all the consequences of insecurity, but must work to resolve the causes: “fighting the symptoms” will not work, so policies must instead “cure the disease” ...

.14 Russians Gird for Civil War

La Russophobe

Not only have some nominally ethnic Russians experimented with other identities, including regional ones like “Sibiryak,” but many more have resented the way in which Moscow has assumed their loyalty and devoted more resources to non-Russian groups that stood up to the center. ...

.15 Asian regionalism

Director's Blog

The conference was about "Quantifying Cost and Benefits of Regional Economic Integration", organized by Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee. The subtext is that a lot of policy discussion in Asia is about the extent to which the region should follow the EU's lead in integrating more in terms of customs unions and monetary arrangements. ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 The Beige Book – Summary and Federal Reserve District Links

Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and based on information collected on or before January 5, 2009. This document summarizes comments received from business and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve System and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials.

.02 State Home Page and Legislature Links - MultiState Associates, Inc.

URLs for States Main Home Page and Legislatures.

.03 TransitionNetwork/RegionalHubs - Transition Towns WIKI

Resulting from a bottom-up process, there are regional hubs emerging in various locales around the world. This will be a crucial part of the process to:

* enable the practice of self-determination to establish itself at the most appropriate level

* ensure local initiatives are appropriately supported

* give a collective voice to local initiatives at the regional government levels

.04 Transition United States

TRANSITION UNITED STATES is a networking site for those interested in exploring and/or implementing the Transition model in their community. This site is being created through grassroots participation, and is continually evolving. It is a spontaneously arising effort to connect 'transitioners' with each other and to encourage and support the development of local Transition Initiatives. ...

.05 California Constitutional Convention Summit - Sacramento, California - February 24, 2009 – Bay Area Council

We believe California’s system of government is fundamentally broken. Our prisons overflow, our water system teeters on collapse, our once proud schools are criminally poor, our financing system is bankrupt, our democracy produces ideologically-extreme legislators that can pass neither budget nor reforms, and we have no recourse in the system to right these wrongs.

Drastic times call for drastic measures.

We believe it is our duty to declare that our California government is not only broken, it has become destructive to our future. It is time to repair our system of governance. …

.06 World Economic Forum 2009 Videos – Davos

See videos at the playlist link from icRegions. Ratings by others can guide you to content. Additional regionally related playlists are available- “re:” is a pre-tag for content that has a “region, regions, regional” bent

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 1,179 regional related sites as of January 28, 2009. Entering the term subsidy returned 365 items; incentives returned 343 items. Please recommend links for inclusion.

Search engine link:

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

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

To search previous issues since 2003 go to:

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

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Thomas J. (Tom) Christoffel, AICP -

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