Regional Community Development News – August 26, 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 - .30

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .22

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .10

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .05

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .05

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


Top Regional Community stories

1. Beyond Burnham: Area residents weigh in on transit plans for 2040; many favor denser communities - Chicago Tribune Cityscapes - Chicago, IL, USA

Schaumburg resident Mike Williams never realized road construction costs would decrease if more people moved into condominium buildings.

At a recent workshop on planning for the future, he learned such a change also would reduce commute times, energy use -- even government and individual household costs.

"I remember there were some surprising things that came out of that," he said. "It just made me think we can't leave things the way they are. If we leave things the way they are, it won't be a good future."

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) [ ] for about two more weeks is giving northeast Illinois residents a chance to weigh in on every aspect of plans to guide development and transportation in the region through 2040.

So far, feedback from more than 4,000 residents throughout the Chicago area has been remarkably similar, CMAP officials said.

"For me, that's one of the more interesting things we've found," said Bob Dean, principal regional planner. "We are hearing very consistent results. It's good for a regional plan like this."

The majority of people want denser communities and greater protection of the environment and investment in transit, he said.

The support for denser communities is a surprise, said CMAP Executive Director Randy Blankenhorn. Density would mean residents live closer together in taller buildings, where people used to prefer homes on large lots in exurban areas, he said.

… he understands that it's difficult for people to think 30 years ahead, especially when they're worried about their children's education next year or having a job tomorrow.

But he pointed to the transit system as a reason to plan ahead.

The current system works for people traveling to Chicago. But there is no public transportation available to take people from one suburb to another. …

Comments: … A plan based on feedback from 4,000, out of a total regional population of what? A plan based on 160 people attending some workshops in the far northwest suburbs????? Yeah, they're building a real REGIONAL mandate. …

2. Teeple helping more light bulbs turn on in thinking regionally - Jacksonville Daily Record - FL, USA

Brian Teeple has been promoting the idea of regionalism for Northeast Florida for more than 20 years.

“I’ve been selling the idea for most of my career,” he said. “Up until recently, it was like trying to sell ice cream to Eskimos.”

It’s only been the past several years he’s truly seen a slight paradigm shift from the “me first” attitude toward a more regional thinking approach.

Teeple is the longtime chief executive director of the Northeast Florida Regional Council, [ ] an agency formed in 1977 via an interlocal agreement by and between Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties.

It’s one of 11 such regional councils in Florida and 547 across the country, and is governed locally by a 35-member board of directors composed by elected officials and gubernatorial appointees as well as four ex-officio nonvoting members.


The Council also heads the review of all Developments of Regional Impact — any development that due to its magnitude, character or location would have a substantial effect on the health, safety or welfare of citizens of more than one county — and approves them. …

In regards to such projects and planning the region as a whole, the looming issue of Hometown Democracy seems problematic to Teeple. With a “not in my backyard” and overall antigrowth mentality by some voters, it can often defy the benefits of regional thinking.

“It’s hard to build a community when the fabric of the community has holes in it,” he said, regarding potential future planned projects getting shot down.

More light bulbs are going off and the tide has slowly begun to turn in the way of thinking, acting and working together — something that has made his job enjoyable for more than 20 years.

“I have the best job in Northeast Florida,” he said, smiling.

3. ASEAN's imagined community at 42 - Jakarta Post - Indonesia

Imagine this community: Half a billion people spread across 4.4 million square kilometers, so diverse that it encompasses every major ethnicity, sect, cult and disposition possible. Sundry political systems - from a full-blown republic to a military junta, absolute monarchy to parliamentary democracy - and economic distinctions from a per capita GDP of more than US$48,000 to less than $500.

Belying skeptics, immersed in celebratory gimmicks, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its 10 member state - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - marches toward its fifth decade today.

Proudly retaining hope despite the inured hisses of ASEAN's agnostics and disgruntled scholars noshed on ASEAN's embellished alphabet soup - AEC, AFTA, AMM, ARF, ASEAN+3, CLMV, GMS, PMC, SEANWFZ, TAC and ZOPFAN, to name a few.

When the founders conjured the ASEAN dream in 1967, they did so to dispel the nightmare of conflict. A realization on the linkages between security and economics.

Inter-state conflicts hence avoided, tensions abated, albeit not resolved.

Stability and harmony in the name of economic prosperity. Crusted proof to the ASEAN pudding.

No wonder Indonesia ingrained the now 10-member grouping as a cornerstone of Indonesian foreign policy.

It was the milieu that allowed this nation to achieve its most advanced rate of economic development.

The great scholar Benedict Anderson once defined "imagined communities" as those where "members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion".

The region is inching its way toward such feats. … Nevertheless, after … dozens of protocols and countless statements, why does ASEAN still fail to be a creature of constituency appeal to the citizenry that matters most?

4. Hall may switch regional alliance - Gainesville Times - Gainesville, GA, USA

When things aren’t working out, sometimes it is best to try something different. At least that’s Hall County’s view.

The county’s Board of Commissioners is looking into leaving the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission [ ] over a disputed additional charge of $5,000.

A regional commission offers counties individual support as well as regional planning. State law requires counties to belong to one of Georgia’s 12 commissions, but does not mandate which one they must belong to.

The GMRC requested $142,936 from Hall County for 2009 and $147,617 for 2010, citing population growth as the need for additional funding.

The county has made major cuts in all departments for its 2010 budget and is not willing even to match the money it gave the agency last year.

The county instead tried to offer the regional commission $1 per capita, or $134,197, which is $13,000 less than requested for 2010.

It did not go over well.

GMRC Executive Director Danny Lewis said it wasn’t an option for the county to choose what to pay. The other 12 counties in the regional commission pay $1.10 per capita.

“We’re contiguous to the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission,” Bell said. “We have two options technically.”

“For 20 years, we were known as regional development centers until this year, of course; effective July 1, we became known as regional commissions,” Dove said. “There were 16 regional development centers. There was legislation passed in the 2008 session of the General Assembly that left eight of the boundaries the same, but eight were merged into four around the state.”

All 12 regional commissions in the state now include a population of at least 300,000 and at least one metro area.

5. Selectmen: Take low bids with grain of salt - Fall River Herald News - Fall River, MA, USA

Highway Surveyor Charles J. Macomber thinks regionalization is overrated.

Macomber made this statement after Freetown was able to solicit lower bids for rock salt this coming winter than the regionalized bulk purchase bids solicited by Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District. [ ]

Selectmen warned however that Macomber’s statement couldn’t be further from the truth, and that transportation factors could have influenced the SRPEDD bids.

At the last selectmen’s meeting, selectmen, Highway Department employee Michael McCue and Macomber opened 18 sealed bids for roadway materials.

The lowest bidders for road salt offered it to the town for $50 to $60 per ton, Macomber and McCue pointed out. This was much lower than the approximate $85 per ton solicited by SRPEDD’s Regional Cooperative Purchasing Program.

Macomber, an opponent of regionalization, said after Monday’s meeting that these figures serve as evidence regionalization is “good on paper” but not always effective in practice.


“The specialized materials and services for which Chuck (Macomber) went out to bid are subject, in large part, to supply and demand and the costs associated with transportation. …,” Selectmen Chairwoman Jean C. Fox wrote in an e-mail.

She also said regionalization is not just about the numbers.

Regionalization is not just about price, it is also about efficiency. If certain purchases or services can be more efficient, serve more people, and get things done better, then there is a benefit,” Fox added. “In addition, if it can be determined that combining efforts reduces overhead, then there is a benefit. These benefits will not always be realized in every situation, but each regionalized commodity, service, and/or function should be examined for potential cost savings.”

“We’ve barely scratched the surface. No doubt that there will be a number of kinks to work out, the biggest being the human factor. …

6. OUR OPINION: Regionalization effort deserves support - The Patriot Ledger - Qunicy, MA, USA

If there’s a silver lining to sharp local-aid cuts, it’s that it may give communities the resolve to push through obstacles that have kept them from sharing services where it makes most sense.

Discussion of towns regionalizing municipal services has had starts and stops over the years, waylaid often by union intransigence and political feudalism.

“Services are the hardest things to regionalize,” Abington Selectman Jerry Corcoran said last week. “It’s a parochial (attitude). ‘This is my town.’ We’re still fighting the 1919 football game.”

Yet there are signs that proponents have moved into scoring position. After more than a year of informal meetings, selectmen representing five towns formally met last week in Abington to discuss regionalization of emergency dispatch services and are now planning a formal structure and group charter.

Officials in 15 towns, including Abington, Carver, Halifax, Hanover, Kingston, Middleboro, Pembroke and Whitman, have expressed interest in such a plan.

The goal is not only to save money, but hopefully to also improve upon local services.

Proponents, however, know there’s a political minefield between them and their goal.

“You can find as many negatives as you want,” ...

State officials have been pushing local communities to consolidate all sorts of services – from health inspections to street sweepers – but Smith said regionalization proponents know they’ve got to take it in small steps.

“It’s a mindset you have here,” he said. “It’s going to take time. It’s finding that one positive and working on it.”

President Obama recently said the push for an overhaul of health care has come down to a clash between hope for improvement and fear of what might be lost.

It’s the same for regionalization.

Let’s hope fear fails to keep us from achieving what in the long run is in our best interests.

7. Area officials gather to discuss regionalism - Mt. Vernon Register-News

The push for regionalism got a boost Thursday, when Mayor Mary Jane Chesley and leaders from area communities came together at the 2009 Chicagoland Retail Connection sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

“I had the opportunity to sit and talk with Becky Ault and Jeanne Gustafson at Centralia and Tracey McDaneld of Salem,” Chesley said. “We were able to lay some groundwork and present basic ideas for regionalism in the near future.”

In addition, six people will begin meeting on a regular basis — the mayors with Chesley representing Mt. Vernon, Ault representing Centralia and Leonard Ferguson representing Salem — and the economic development directors, Mary Ellen Bechtel with the Jefferson County Development Corporation, Gustafson with Centralia and McDaneld of Salem.

“During the meetings we are going to start going over ideas,” Chesley said. “We will share concerns and develop areas we can go in. We really need regionalism. It will add strength to us in attracting business.”

The annual meeting of the International Council of Shopping Centers has been attended by representatives of the city and JCDC for the last two years, and this year Chesley went solo.

“We want to continue to maintain contact with retail developers,” Chesley said. “I touched base with those we have contacted in the past, and updated the organization on what has progressed in the city.”


The ICSA is a global trade association with 70,000 members in more than 80 countries and includes shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, lenders, retailers and other professionals as well as academic and public officials, according to information from the organization. The City of Mt. Vernon is one of the public entities which is a member of the ICSA.

8. Ports gives regionalism opportunity - Natchez Democrat - Natchez, MS, USA

The Mississippi River cuts through the heart of our community, but it’s only as big of a barrier as we make it in our minds.

Reaching out across the river and across other less tangible political boundaries that divide us could reap huge benefits.

But regionalism will only work if our community can get over the fear of change and the worry that by working together we could lose more than we might gain.

Getting over our history of selfishness and the safety in the status quo is critical.

Late last week a unique first opportunity for regionalism became increasingly apparent.

The Vidalia Port project received another bit of good news, as another $1.5 million in federal funds seems to be secured for the project. If ultimately approved, the new funding legislation would bring the total federal dollars set aside for the Vidalia Port to $2.5 million.

But regionalism will only work if our community can get over the fear of change and the worry that by working together we could lose more than we might gain ...

Regional Location - Miss-Lou:,-91.405563&sspn=0.114512,0.222988&ie=UTF8&ll=31.575172,-91.405563&spn=0.118168,0.222988&z=13

Natchez, Adams County, MS - RC: Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District

Vidalia, Concordia Parish, LA – RC: KISATCHIE-DELTA Regional Planning & Development District, Inc -

9. Education can go regional as well - Natchez Democrat - Natchez, MS, USA

An amazing thing happened Monday morning at the Natchez Convention Center — Adams County’s entire educational system came together to kick off the new school year.

It’s almost silly to think that the first countywide meeting of educators from public, private and parochial schools happened in 2009.

It sure does seem like such a meeting should have happened decades ago, but dwelling on the past isn’t the point of Monday’s Partnership in Education breakfast and convocation.

Bringing our schools’ teachers and administrators together — even if only once a year — is a great start.

Our community has much to gain by finding ways to bring groups together and focus on how we can collectively improve our community.

We applaud the Natchez-Adams County’s Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee for seeing the need and making the event happen. It’s one of several such good project the committee seems to be working these days, including working to bring all of the schools together under one common school calendar.

With all of the recent talk about regionalism in the air, perhaps next year, the kick-off can include some of the Concordia Parish Schools personnel, too, if we can fit all of those people into one big educational summit.


Posted by EnKiKur (Marty Ellerbe) on August 6, 2009 at 4 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I wonder if lack of comment here is due to the total lack of public comprehension about what regionalism is, not helped by the lack of any explanation on the part of the Democrat beyond platitudes and faulty, undeveloped arguments in support of the nebulous idea "regionalism" the Democrat has been printing in its role as spokespaper for the Chamber of Commerce.

In two weeks we've gone from an idea of regionalism as co-operation of local businesses in promoting the area as a region, to the idea of the ports as some sort of basis for regional effort, to the idea of regionalism in education.

We had reports of meetings led by community developers (I wonder if there are ties to ACORN between these last two speakers and their regional efforts?) speaking of developing a "common vision", newspeak political activist talk for social change in economy, education, and environment along socialist lines. This common vision is not a spontaneous development among residents of an area, but a vision brought in from the outside, a pre-fab vision promoting some outsider's agenda, presented to locals via outside facilitators- hence the guest speakers. …

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 Village Green: How to Fix Local Transit & Road Planning

The Huffington Post - USA

… "MPOs are ideally suited to the regional realities of today's metropolitan areas and to the task of shaping future growth in multi-jurisdictional communities." But, with some exceptions that Bill cites, there's a hitch:

They largely lack power to implement the transportation improvement plans (TIPs) they recommend. That's why we can think of them as "sleeping giants." They can propose, but not dispose. They can veto federally funded projects allocated under state plans, but not rewrite them. So they have few if any teeth.

With a rewrite of federal transportation law just around the corner, we have an opportunity to do some constructive dental work. Here are Bill's six ideas for strengthening MPOs and giving them a mission better-suited for 21st century problems: …

.02 Official: G-20 expected to make $35 million economic impact on Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - PA, USA

Planners of the Group of 20 economic summit want about 3,000 delegates and 3,000 media representatives to leave the city next month with three keys to Pittsburgh's transformation.

"We built on the best of our past. We built on advanced manufacturing," said Bill Flanagan, executive vice president of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which is the fiscal agent for the group coordinating the Sept. 24-25 summit. The city expects 19 nations and the European Union to discuss the world financial crisis. The second key is leveraging the region's 36 colleges and universities to innovate an industry in health care and life sciences, he told about 200 people who attended Tuesday's "Behind the Scenes" look at the summit.

"We also invested in infrastructure," Flanagan said, citing the city's arts and culture, outdoor recreation and green buildings. "If we didn't have a green convention center," Flanagan said, "we probably wouldn't have the G-20." …

.03 Inaugural John Parr Award Goes to Citistates Founders

... the inaugural John Parr Award is being presented to Neal Peirce and his Citistates Group co-founders Curt Johnson and Farley Peters. Neal, Curt and Farley shared a lifetime of civic collaboration with John Parr–through the Citistates Group, the National Civic League, and the Alliance for Regional Stewardship. ... The John Parr Award will be made annually to recognize individuals who have dedicated their work and personal service, as well as social and political capital, to regional stewardship. The Award named in his honor is the only recognition that the Alliance bestows upon individuals. It was formally presented to Neal, Curt and Farley at the Alliance’s Annual Meeting and Regional Strategies Forum ....

.04 Editorial: Nail those HOV fixes

Dallas Morning News – TX, USA

Dallas Area Rapid Transit must make good on its fresh promise of better HOV enforcement, with emphasis on stretches of North Central Expressway and Interstate 635. ... The North Central Texas Council of Governments gets hundreds of citizen tips a month on a line (817-704-2522) to report exhaust-spewing vehicles. The agency follows up with letters about programs to repair or replace polluting cars. Properly done, extending citizen reporting to HOV lanes could help smooth out commutes for single drivers and carpoolers alike. ... But the days of unlimited open road are over. North Texas will never be able to build the roadway capacity to satisfy demand. The time, money and land do not exist. The alternative is solving the congestion problem in new and innovative ways. HOV lanes should remain part of this picture.

.05 COLUMN: Regional collaboration has power

Wisconsin Rapids Tribune - WI, USA

Now more than ever, it is important for leaders from throughout central Wisconsin to come together in a collaborative alliance to increase the economic prosperity of our region. Recent economic conditions have made it very apparent that the strong regions of our state will be those that work together to develop their work force, businesses and community organizations and build upon their unique strengths and resources. Centergy Inc. is the regional nonprofit economic development corporation serving the central Wisconsin region and working to build the important coalitions and to develop the creative initiatives that will lead to economic growth. ...

.06 'Lessons from Appalachia' trail guide to regional prosperity?

Illinois Valley News - Cave Junction, Oregon

An ambitious and far-reaching regional plan that could result in Southwestern Oregon arts-and-crafts endeavors pulling off an “economic miracle” is being percolated. And helping to handle the brewing process to boost economic development is Jerry Work, who operates The Dovetail Joint with his wife, Sharon, in Kerby. In April the couple traveled to the Appalachian region “to learn how its population so successfully leveraged its regionally produced art-and-craft items into a major new industry there.” ... Among observations by Jerry & Sharon: “During 2008 in just Western North Carolina (an area not that much larger than S.W. Oregon) regionally produced arts and crafts have become a $206 million-per-year industry. ...

.07 Countywide talks seen worthwhile

Laconia Citizen - Laconia, NH, USA

The series of listening sessions that Belknap County officials held in every community in June were productive. ... commissioners heard "strong support for funding outside agencies" and also had some "good discussions about funding." There was a desire, he added, to collaborate and to regionalize services. Forum attendees were asked to envision what Belknap County would be like in 2014, and comments, among others, included that the county be strong economically, that the county government deliver services not provided by the municipalities, that it operate efficiently and that it be ready to deal with the needs of an increasingly older county population. Jack Terrill, president of the Lakes Region United Way, hoped that in five years "we all will have adopted common goals for the county." ...

.08 A process that deserves to continue

Laconia Citizen - Laconia, NH, USA

Belknap County officials have found that the recent listening sessions they held in each of the county’s communities were productive. ... It is very encouraging that there is real openness to exploring the possibilities of regional cooperation. Perhaps this willingness is an outgrowth of the current economic climate and the slowdown in the growth which the Lakes Region had been experiencing. Or perhaps it is the result of a more deep-seated sense that the economies of scale can benefit taxpayers in good times as well as bad. Local officials should be encouraged to explore all possible avenues of cooperation. ...

.09 Keep the patient whole

Detroit Free Press

... the discussion of regionalism as a solution to the city’s ills has been a hot topic in and around Detroit for a number of years now. The thinking among supporters of this philosophy seems to be that by integrating Detroit’s operations into a broader regional entity, Detroit will inevitably benefit by being absorbed into a much larger, and healthier, whole. ... what worries me about the push for regionalism is that I see uncomfortable parallels between what is happening to DPS and what is being proposed as a remedy for Detroit. ... according to a July Free Press report “other than bankruptcy, DPS may also have to expand its number of charter schools, liquidate assets and privatize major departments such as transportation, technology, maintenance, custodial and security services.” In other words, the only way to save DPS may be to pull it apart. Similarly, the day may soon be coming when Detroiters will lose much of Detroit in order to save the region. ... if the plan is to break up Detroit to save the region, then shouldn’t Detroiters have some input?

Comments: … They have had input. The folks responsible for being asleep at the wheel were voted for by Detroiters. I don't see how that is confusing ...

.10 Greater Pittsburgh communities share law-enforcement resources: Regionalism

The Plain Dealer -

... town-county collaboration is one example of how Greater Pittsburgh law enforcement is far ahead of Greater Cleveland in sharing government resources. Allegheny County's 130 municipalities are patrolled by 104 police departments; Cuyahoga County's 60 communities are patrolled by 59 departments. ... Allegheny officials say a willingness to let others do the foot work saves millions of dollars and provides a better quality of law enforcement than some of the smaller communities could otherwise afford. And the chiefs in those communities outside Pittsburgh don't think twice about calling in the county police and county crime lab on any serious crime. ...

.11 Monson, Palmer eye regional police force

The Republican -

Police chiefs in Palmer and Monson are studying the possibility of regionalizing their departments and dispatch centers. ... Regionalizing Palmer and Monson means that the police would be responsible for about 78 square miles between the two towns. Palmer has a population of approximately 13,000; Monson, 8,500. ...

.12 SW Regional out to grow

Monessen Valley Independent – New Stanton, PA, USA

New Stanton Council President Scott Sistek said Tuesday that hiring the Southwest Regional Police Department to provide law enforcement for the borough is a real possibility. "I think the people should make that decision, if it is going to increase their taxes," Sistek said, adding such a proposal should "go on the ballot." Sistek offered his comments after listening to a pitch from Southwest police Chief John Hartman regarding the prospects for New Stanton, Youngwood and Hunker to contract with the department for services. "There's no book, there's no book on how you do this," said Hartman, in regard to regionalizing police departments. "If anyone tells you there's a book on regionalization, they're not telling you the truth." ...

.13 ARC wants help identifying regionally important resources

Gwinnett Daily Post - Lawrenceville, GA, USA

If you ever thought Gwinnett's decommissioned water towers were historical landmarks that needed saving, keep reading. The Atlanta Regional Commission wants your help. The ARC is asking for the cooperation and assistance of the entire metro area as it develops its "Plan 2040." Specifically, it wants residents and local governments to nominate what its calling "regionally important resources" of the 20-county metro Atlanta area. The resources can be land, water, buildings or other landmarks of geographical, environmental or historical significance. Once the resources are nominated and then finally designated regionally important, they'll then be accounted for in future ARC plans as those might apply to land use or transportation. ...

.14 Water coalition to reorganize

Joplin Globe - Joplin, MO, USA

The Tri-State Water Resource Coalition is evolving into a new organization seeking greater authority to find more water for the region. Members of the coalition, during a meeting Wednesday in Joplin, voted to retain legal counsel to create a new public organization with the authority to issue tax-exempt bonds or work with an entity that can do so. It also will seek the power of eminent domain. ... The location of the proposed reservoir sites and related studies may be viewed at ...

.15 Figliola: Regionalism is the Answer

Long Island Business News – New York, USA

Long Island is home to many manufacturers already engaged in development or manufacturing of clean energy products. For instance, two years ago Hailo, Inc. a Germany company that makes ladders and elevators for large wind towers opened its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Islip. In Brookhaven the Caithness power plant went on-line, which will be the cleanest burning plant in the Northeast. But in order for the region to capitalize on this emerging industry and gain a market share the local economic development agencies must, as a region, work together to promote its assets. Our elected leaders need to collaborate and continue to develop new policies that will help companies like our friends from Germany move here and prosper. ...

.16 Just What Is A Regional Super? - Greensboro, NC

School Superintendent Mo Green unveiled his five regional superintendents at a press conference ..., but Green seemed uncertain how much they are being paid, and the regional superintendents themselves seemed less than certain what they do for that pay. ...

Green's regionalization plan splits Guilford County Schools into five regions, four of which – the central, northern, southeastern and western regions – are geographic. The fifth, dubbed the Enrichment Region, is non-geographic and contains nine of the school system's poorest-performing schools, in an effort to fix them. ... Note that the regional superintendents don't "make" budgetary or staffing decisions, "create" instructional programs, "assign" resources, "implement" plans or "write" long-range improvement plans. That would require real authority.

.17 Plan B on regionalization

Asbury Park Press -NJ, USA

Three years ago, Belmar Mayor Kenneth Pringle and Police Chief Jack Hill floated the idea of a regionalized police force that would include eight towns... . Today, the plans are far more modest. Five towns — only two of which Pringle originally envisioned as partners in a regional department — will be using a $75,000 state grant to study ways in which police services can be shared. It represents a major setback for the concept of regionalization. And it's another example of why voluntary consolidation will never eliminate the waste inherent in New Jersey's 566 municipalities. ... With today's economy, shared services should be more attractive to towns that have been reluctant to make any concessions to home rule. As Lake Como Mayor Michael Ryan noted, "If we do nothing, the police budget will be more than the current municipal budget" in a decade. It's time for other mayors in the region to take their blinders off.

.18 Bob Solari: It's time to regionalize Vero Beach's sewer and water service

Vero Beach Press-Journal - Vero Beach, FL

There is an alternative to ever-rising city water and sewer charges and that is regionalization. At the present time, the county has the capacity to take the city’s wastewater flow. City customers will have to pay for the county’s capacity but, over time, it will result in lower rates. It will have the added benefit of removing the wastewater treatment facility from the lagoon’s edge. Regionalization makes financial and environmental sense but, for the city leaders to seriously consider regionalization, it will have to break its current model which calls for the utility to serve its general fund and move to a model based on serving its customers.

.19 California county prepares for possible consolidation of services

American City & County

State budget cuts may force the county to regionalize its highway department, as well. County Administrative Officer David Shoemaker said the state is considering borrowing money from local governments, such as revenue generated from the highway users tax. Glenn County's highway users tax funds much of its road maintenance, and without it, the county may have to share regional road services with nearby counties, ...

.20 Seattle voters reject 20-cent grocery bag fee

The Associated Press

Seattle voters have rejected a 20-cent fee for every paper or plastic bag they get from supermarkets, drug stores and convenience stores. ... With about half the ballots counted in the all-mail vote, the bag fee was failing 58 percent to 42 percent in Tuesday's primary. City leaders had passed an ordinance to charge the bag fee, which was to start in January. But the plastics industry bankrolled a referendum to put the question to voters in Tuesday's election. ... Several states from Colorado to Texas to Virginia debated bag bans or fees this year, but no statewide ban or fee has been enacted. Washington, D.C., passed a 5-cent fee on paper or plastic bags, and the Outer Banks region in North Carolina banned plastic bags this year. But New York City dropped a proposed 5-cent bag fee in June, and Philadelphia rejected a plastic bag ban. ...

.21 Wisconsin's New North studies cellulosic ethanol

The New North Inc., an 18-county regional economic development organization in Northeast Wisconsin, has commissioned a two-part study about the economic development opportunities associated with producing cellulosic ethanol in the region. Here are a few facts about the project: * Phase one of the study details the availability of forest products in the region. The results have recently been released and are available for download ...

.22 Stimulus Money Tapped to Spur EHR Growth

AAFP News Now - USA

Nearly $1.2 billion soon will be available to help the nation's hospitals, physicians and other health care professionals purchase and use electronic health records, or EHRs, ... Money from the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health, or HITECH, Act priority grant programs, which are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will start flowing in 2010. ... "Together, the grants will offer much-needed local and regional assistance and technical support to providers while enabling coordination and alignment within and among states, ultimately allowing information to follow patients anywhere within the health care system," ...

.23 Fiddle championship, festival return to Casper

Casper Journal - Casper, WY

Casper will host the 19th Annual Rocky Mountain Regional Fiddle Championships & Music Festival ... The event is presented by the Wyoming Fiddlers’ Association District #4. The weekend’s events will include a competition for fiddlers from around the region, workshops and family entertainment. ...

.24 Elkton, JMU Work On Economic Plan – Harrisonburg, VA

Elkton officials are looking to a local university for help on a kind of "stimulus plan" for the town. Graduate students from James Madison University will create an economic development plan for Elkton this coming semester as part of their curriculum, officials said. Town officials met last month with Nicholas Swartz, an assistant professor of political science, to discuss the venture and how it will work. The JMU crew, made up of students in the school's Master of Public Administration program, will work with town officials to identify Elkton's business atmosphere and ways to improve it. Students in Swartz's urban policy and regionalism course will "focus on identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the town's economy," ... The town worked with JMU on a similar project about five years ago, but the plan was shelved. "It didn't get the interest I thought it should get, and a lot of the stuff wasn't acted on," said Councilman Rick Workman, ...

.25 Land Trusts Along Connecticut River And Shoreline May Go Regional

Hartford Courant - CT, USA

Land trusts in towns along the lower Connecticut River and shoreline are thinking of forming a regional collaboration to strengthen their individual small groups. Towns such as Haddam, Lyme, Chester and Old Saybrook have small volunteer groups whose land preservation efforts could be bolstered by working together, said Margot Burns, environmental planner with the Connecticut River Estuary Regional Planning Agency. The agency and the Connecticut River Gateway Commission are co-hosting a forum in September to discuss the idea of regionalizing the area's land trusts. ...,0,5002775.story

.26 There Go the Servers: Lightning's New Perils

The Wall Street Journal - USA

New research even suggests that lightning's effect on technology can shape the course of regional economies. After analyzing lightning data for the lower 48 states, four economists from the University of Copenhagen found that those states more prone to lightning strikes tended to see worker productivity grow more slowly than in states with very little lightning. This held true when the economists controlled for a range of other factors, including hurricane frequency, urban density and the education, age and racial characteristics of local populations. ...

.27 The New American Dream: Renting

The Wall Street Journal - USA

In 1934, F.D.R. created the Federal Housing Administration, which set standards for home construction, instituted 25- and 30-year mortgages, and cut interest rates. And in 1938, his administration created the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) which created the secondary market in mortgages. In 1944, the federal government extended generous mortgage assistance to returning veterans, most of whom could not have otherwise afforded a house. Together, these innovations had epochal consequences. Easy credit, underwritten by federal housing programs, boosted the rates of home ownership quickly. By 1950, 55% of Americans had a place they could call their own. By 1970, the figure had risen to 63%. It was now cheaper to buy than to rent. Federal intervention also unleashed vast amounts of capital that turned home construction and real estate into critical economic sectors. By the late 1950s, for the first time, the census bureau began collecting data on new housing starts—which became a leading indicator of the nation's economic vitality. It's a story riddled with irony—for at the same time that Uncle Sam brought the dream of home ownership to reality—he kept his role mostly hidden, except to the army banking, real-estate and construction lobbyists who rose to protect their industries' newfound gains. ...

.28 'Fastest Dying Cities' Meet for a Lively Talk

The Wall Street Journal - USA

Here's an idea for saving Rust Belt cities: Tell bloggers and radio stations to stop calling your town a basket case. That was one suggestion from representatives of eight of the 10 cities labeled last year as America's fastest dying. They met at the Dayton Convention Center last weekend to swap ideas about how to halt the long skid that's turned cities like Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo, N.Y., into shorthand for dystopia. The city representatives lunched on $6 sloppy Joes and commiserated through Power Point strategy sessions: Lure back former residents, entice entrepreneurs and artists, convert blighted pockets into parkland. What emerged was a sense of desperation over the difficulty of rebounding from both real problems -- declining populations, dwindling tax bases -- and perceived woes. Valarie McCall expressed frustration at marketing a city that still echoed the image of the polluted Cuyahoga River catching fire. "That was 1969," said Ms. McCall, Cleveland's chief of governmental affairs. "Come on, I wasn't even born then." ...

.29 It Ain't Where Ya From

New York Press

In the past, those regional fingerprints tended to divide hip-hop’s fan base. You either liked East Coast rap or you liked West Coast rap; you either liked Southern hip-hop or thought it was inauthentic. Today, hip-hop is more easily distinguished by subject matter than by regional idiosyncrasies. ... Still, the fall of regionalism and the rise of the Internet aren't all bad. As Talib Kweli, a Brooklyn-born rapper, said at a show last October, ... hip-hop has become more about the image of the artist than his or her music. Still, the fall of regionalism and the rise of the Internet aren’t all bad. As Talib Kweli, a Brooklyn-born rapper, said at a show last October, “Now that it’s based on the Internet, you can be more creative.” ...

.30 To Cite or To Site: Competing Ideologies for Addressing Homelessness

… former executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the agency in charge of coordinating the federal government's funding and activities to address homelessness. He's been working on homelessness issues for almost 30 years. He's seen many approaches fail, and he thinks it's time for cities to radically rethink their homeless problems. "If what we've relied on in the past -- that is if good intentions, well-meaning programs and humanitarian gestures -- if they could end homelessness, it would have been history decades ago," said Mangano. "If punitive interventions could end homelessness, you wouldn't have any homeless people down in Skid Row." These traditional approaches are not without merit, but many say they need an update. ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Govt accused of secret deal over boundary changes

Radio New Zealand

Auckland Regional Council chair Mike Lee is accusing the Government of doing a secret deal which would dramatically change the region's northern boundary. Mr Lee believes the boundary will be moved south to around Waiwera - but the Government is not revealing its plans for the shape of the region just yet. Prime Minister John Key says the Cabinet considered boundary changes about a week ago but he is not saying yet what they are and is warning people not to jump to conclusions. The boundary change would reportedly slice through what is currently Rodney District and could cut 50 beaches and eight regional parks, moving them and residents to the control of more northern local authorities. ...

.02 Province spikes Metro plan to send trash to Washington

Vancouver Sun - BC, CA

The provincial government plans to outlaw the international export of B.C.'s trash, leaving Metro Vancouver stumped over how to deal with a looming garbage crisis in the region. Metro Vancouver had asked the province to amend the region's solid waste management plan so it could temporarily dump 600,000 tonnes of trash annually in a landfill in Washington state after the Cache Creek dump closes next year. But it appears the government has other plans. A section of the throne speech unveiled Tuesday said the government will: "Act to outlaw the international export of British Columbia's garbage and landfill waste."...

.03 Turkey offers ‘limitless’ cooperation with Iraq

Today's Zamin- İstanbul, Turkey

Turkey is ready to engage in limitless cooperation with regional countries in order to once again turn the Mesopotamian region, which was once the cradle of a succession of glorious civilizations, into a prosperous area, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Tuesday during an official visit to Baghdad. ... His bold remarks on Turkey's vision regarding regional cooperation came at a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart ... “We want the Mesopotamian region to once again become one of the most productive and prosperous regions in the world in all fields including water -- but not only water,” Davutoğlu was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency. “Particularly calling on friendly and brotherly countries like Syria and Iraq, we offer limitless cooperation for turning our region once more into the rising star of the world,” Davutoğlu said. Stressing that the region should take the global place it deserves, Davutoğlu said problems should be avoided between Iraq, Syria and Turkey, in order to reach this goal. ...

.04 Japan must shake off US-style globalization

Christian Science Monitor - USA

Another national goal that emerges from the concept of fraternity is the creation of an East Asian community. Off course, the Japan-US security pact will continue to be the cornerstone of Japanese diplomatic policy. Unquestionably, the Japan-US relationship is an important pillar of our diplomacy. However, at the same time, we must not forget our identity as a nation located in Asia. I believe that the East Asian region, which is showing increasing vitality in its economic growth and even closer mutual ties, must be recognized as Japan's basic sphere of being. Therefore, we must continue to make efforts to build frameworks for stable economic cooperation and national security across the region. ... Unlike Europe, the countries of this region differ in their population sizes, development stages and political systems, and therefore economic integration cannot be achieved over the short term. However, we should nonetheless aspire to move toward regional currency integration as a natural extension of the rapid economic growth begun by Japan, followed by South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and then achieved by the ASEAN nations and China. We must therefore spare no effort to build the permanent security frameworks essential to underpinning currency integration. ...

.05 Op-Ed Contributor NATO and World Security

New York Times - NY, USA

... NATO, however, has the experience, the institutions and the means to become the hub of a globe-spanning web of various regional cooperative-security undertakings among states with the growing power to act. In pursuing that strategic mission, NATO would not only be preserving trans-Atlantic political unity; it would also be responding to the 21st century’s increasingly urgent security agenda.

.06 Love thy neighbour

Calcutta Telegraph

A bill to curb militant regionalism has been mooted. Will it be passed, ... Last month Rajya Sabha MP Mahendra Mohan took up cudgels against this militant regionalism by tabling a private members’ bill called “Prevention of Regionalism Bill, 2009” in the upper house of Parliament. Experts say that such a law will not only punish those who indulge in violence against outsiders but also provide relief to the victims. ... Article 19(e) of our Constitution gives the fundamental right to all citizens to reside and settle in any part of India. These attacks are a blatant violation of that right. If they go unpunished, it will have a demoralising effect on millions of migrants,” says Mahendra Mohan. ...

.07 Curse of Korea's Regionalism

The Korea Times

Like many things in society, "regionalism" is a two-edged sword: It gives each region its own unique brand and recognition that can be, and often is, used for its own fame and prosperity. It is the dream of all locals and provincials to be well known for something that can become a landmark and quick reference. ... One of the ironies of the Korean peninsula, and indeed one of the lesser known inner conflicts in Korea that is felt daily, is that the division on the Korean peninsula is not so much that between North Korea and South Korea as that between east and west. Unfortunately divided by a mountain range between the two regions, South Korea has more animosity between the eastern section of Korea and the western section, the Seoul region being evenly split and often becoming the tie-breaker in elections, than between North and South. Consider these facts recently made public about regionalism: ...

.08 [Editorial] Kim DJ's Funeral Should Promote Nat'l Unity

The Dong-A Ilbo -

... Korean politicians should consider Kim’s state funeral as a chance to reflect on their old-fashioned practice of region-based politics and united the people’s energy to advance the nation. In his congratulatory speech on Liberation Day, President Lee suggested revamping voting and administrative districts nationwide, and this is possible only when regionalism is overcome. Eradicating regional disputes is a prerequisite for Korea’s further growth. Kim’s state funeral is hoped to encourage Koreans to lean toward reconciliation and integration and make an all-out effort for harmony.

.09 MP hits out at region being 'political football'

Rochdale Online - Rochdale, England

Phil Woolas MP, making his first official speaking engagement as the newly appointed Minister for the North West, told the 'Northwest Conversation' that the region could lead the UK out of recession. ... if the region were a state, it would be the 12th largest in the EU with an economy worth £120bn in 2008. The region's import/export balance was strong and the educational attainment of the North West was the highest outside of London. He added that there was much to be proud of with the region's strong international brand driven by its outstanding contribution to sport and culture. ...

.10 WE SAY: Voice of the Pacific heard with reverence

Island Business - Suva, Fiji

The progress of regionalism in the sprawling Pacific Islands environment could be best described as patchy. Despite their collective vulnerabilities and the many attributes they share including shared histories, cultures and ways of life that is so inextricably linked with the all encompassing ocean, it has been hard to find all the young and developing Pacific Islands nations to be on the same page on a number of issues. ... And this is despite an over-arching mechanism being in place to address the collective interests of the nations of the Pacific Islands in the form of the Pacific Islands Forum. Nevertheless, there have been some excellent instances where regionalism has worked exceedingly well bringing the fruit of collectivism by putting regional interests above individual national interests to protect and leverage the collective natural wealth of the people of this geographically vast region. The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) [ ], which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, is undoubtedly one such example of an organisation that clearly shows how regionalism can successfully work to guard the interests of the region as a whole and also show the world the power of collective bargaining power. ... One of the testaments to its success is the proliferation of Pacific Islands-owned and locally and regionally-based fishing fleets that have been commercial successes in recent years. ...

.11 APEC Meeting brings together business and policy leaders.

ThomasNet Industrial News Room (press release)

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2009 meeting gathered for a week of meetings, panels, and presentations last week in Singapore, bringing together business leaders and policy makers from all twenty-one APEC member economies. The theme for Singapore's chairmanship of the summit was "Sustaining Growth, Connecting the Region," reflecting the continuing efforts of APEC to facilitate trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. In today's challenging global economic environment, these efforts have become even more important for the success of international business. ...

.12 Board raises its voice over cuts

Chilliwack Times - Chilliwack, BC, CA

The Fraser Valley Regional District is speaking up on the issue of provincial funding cuts to libraries. ... There are 24 branches in the regional library system, which stretches from Delta to the Fraser Canyon. The system raises most--approximately 90 per cent--of its revenue regionally but gets a portion from the province to support initiatives such as literacy programs, ones that now face questions because of a lack of funds. Libraries across B.C. have not received their 2009 grants. For the Fraser Valley system, this amounts to approximately $1.7 million of the budget. "It's still a big cut for the Fraser Valley Regional Library system," ...

.13 New expressway a “major step”

The proposal to build a four-lane expressway between MacKays Crossing and Otaki is a major step toward bringing the region's transport infrastructure into the 21st century according to the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce. ... “It is essential for the future of the regional economy that access into and out of Wellington is as good as it can be. Today’s announcement represents a major step toward that goal and demonstrates the government’s commitment to correcting the regional infrastructure deficit. ...

.14 ČR closes 6 of 13 regional Eurocentres

Prague Daily Monitor - Prague 3, Czech Republic

To save money, the Czech government will shut nearly a half of its regional Eurocentres that provide information to the public about study and work opportunities in the EU 27 as well as subsidies from EU funds, Marie Faturová, from the EU Minister's press department, said on Tuesday. She said the government is now looking for ways to make the supply of information on EU themes to the public more effective. ...

.15 Sugar price increases put food makers on alert

Los Angeles Times - CA, USA

The price of sugar on world markets has soared this year, prompting a coalition of the nation's largest food manufacturers to warn of a pending shortage and to ask the Agriculture Department to ease quotas on imports. … Weather problems in the sugar-producing regions of India, the diversion of Brazilian sugar cane to produce ethanol, and a growing global sweet tooth are behind the increase, according to analysts. In a recent letter to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack, the group warned of "unprecedented shortages." Without higher quotas on sugar imports, "consumers will pay higher prices, food manufacturing jobs will be at risk and trading patterns will be distorted," the food companies said. ...,0,4601168.story

.16 'Eka3':Creating regionally, acting locally

The Daily Star - Lebanon

Hassan runs the Lebanon branch of eka3, which has a foot planted in three regional cities: Amman, Cairo and Beirut. Founded by the Palestinian musician Tamer Abu Ghazaleh in June 2007, the aim was to have an artist-led label that promoted the musicians over the albums they produce. ... “We are a regional label that functions locally. We are trying to make the region smaller.” ... For more information on eka3, visit

.17 Stratford joins groundbreaking regional alliance

The Beacon Herald - Stratford, Ontario

10 YEARS AGO - 1999 ... Stratford joined forces with St. Thomas and Woodstock to form the Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance [ ], a groundbreaking regional alliance aimed at marketing and promoting the area to the manufacturing industry. ...

.18 Think-what we gave to Pakistan

Pakistan Observer

The Nazriya Pakistan Council (Ideology of Pakistan Council) as part of Independence Day celebrations this year has selected a challenging theme for all and sundry to brood over what every one of us gave to Pakistan. ... We resolve to augment the ideological legacy of the Quaid. We shall face every aspect of history with equanimity. Our focus is on a grand future. United we stand today to defeat ugliness of negativism, greed, parochialism and regionalism”, resolved the youth. Our focus is on a grand future. United we stand today to defeat ugliness of negativism, greed, parochialism and regionalism”, resolved the youth.

.19 Top 10 Kidnap Rated Countries with Ransom Stats

Castle Rock Global Insurance - News

According to Insurance Carrier AIG's Crisis Management Division in Philadelphia, "there are over 20,000 reported kidnap for Ransom incidents annually, with 48 percent of them occurring in Latin America." ... Additionally, the term "reported" is deceiving due largely to the fact that statistically speaking, less than 20% of kidnap cases go reported and that actual numbers estimated by experts indicate that the actual kidnap numbers range between 5 to 6 times the reported number of kidnap cases. ... Lately Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's), Corporate Representatives and Organizations have been more proactive in training their members as well as initiating Kidnap Insurance policies to protect themselves. ...

.20 Cooperation Programmes and Regional Policy: a Dynamic Mechanism.

INTERACT Programme - EU

After the INTERACT National Contact Persons meeting held in Paris last April, which showed the complexity of transferring ETC results into regional policy and the width of regional cooperation, INTERACT would like to deepen further into this field. During a dedicated event in Naples on 14 and 15 October 2009, INTERACT will give an overview of if and how European regions are developing or have developed a methodology in transferring ETC results into their regional policy. ...

.21 Maori seats working well for regional council

Environment Bay of Plenty Chairman John Cronin said the regional council’s three separate Maori constituency seats have worked well and he doesn’t see any changes in the near future.

“Our Maori constituency councillors have participated across the whole of the council, not just on Maori issues. They do a good job both as councillors and presenting Maori issues, and carry out the same duties as any of the other councillors,” Chairman Cronin said. Environment Bay of Plenty has had separate Maori seats since 2001 and is the only council in the country with separate Maori representation. ...

.22 Paul Romer's radical idea: Charter cities

TEDTalks – video

How can a struggling country break out of poverty if it's trapped in a system of bad rules? Economist Paul Romer unveils a bold idea: "charter cities," city-scale administrative zones governed by a coalition of nations. (Could Guantánamo Bay become the next Hong Kong?)

Note: Real problem, unreal solution. Ed.

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Hampton Roads Informs

SmartRegion, a free online discussion forum for professionals and nonprofessionals interested in topics that affect community change, has launched a new Hampton Roads section as the result of a collaborative effort with Hampton Roads Informs. The goal of Hampton Roads Informs is to provide a 21st Century social media experience to provide more regionally focused discussion of issues important to the residents of Hampton Roads. ...

.021 Study: Infrastructure management best viewed from regional perspective

EfficientGovNow Blog

In July 2009, Kent State University’s Center for Public Administration and Public Policy and its Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative released a study that assesses alternative approaches for managing vital infrastructure in cities that are losing population. The report makes it clear that infrastructure management is best viewed from a regional perspective, and it includes recommendations about potential areas for management improvements. “We identified a series of long-term steps that can help improve the management of our water, energy, and transportation infrastructure in cities that are losing population,” said Dr. John Hoornbeek, one of the study’s co-authors. Some of the long term recommendations included in the report are: ...

.022 EfficientGovNow Award Recipients Named

After 31 days of voting and strong “get-out-the-vote” campaigns by the nine finalists, the residents of Northeast Ohio have made their choice and determined the three EfficientGovNow collaboration projects that will receive grants from the Fund for Our Economic Future. A total of 13,483 qualified votes were cast during July. Individuals could vote for up to three projects, with point values assigned for each first, second and third place vote. The final results are: ...

.03 Regional approach still on table


Discussions of regional governance in the Okanagan are still circulating. Bill Bennett, minister of community and rural development, met with the mayors of Penticton, West Kelowna, Kelowna and Vernon on Monday to discuss hot topics in the municipalities. A few key issues were regional governance and regional transit. “We discussed issues around a Valley-wide governance. There is an interest certainly illustrated by the four municipalities to work together on transit issues and air-quality issues,” Bennett said in Kelowna. He said the meetings were a learning experience for him, figuring out what is important to the municipalities in the Okanagan. ... [ ]

.04 Online Tourism Marketing using Video and Mapping

Online Travel Video Channel has been working on an interesting online tourism marketing campaign, which encompasses the use of both short video vignettes and a location map marking out regional attractions. Grampians Tourism wanted to highlight visitor activities within their region, by populating a map with 30 second teaser videos. ...

.05 Nation states, regionalism and the EU

Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In the comments to my National identity vs European identity post, where I’ve been arguing that it’s perfectly possibly to have a sense of belonging to multiple different groups, and thus to have multiple different identities, commenter WG notes: I don’t see the point in this multi-ID thing. One other point. The break up of Britain may well be a result of belonging to the EU. Wales, Scotland, and yes, even places such as Cornwall, may well decide that they will be better off under the EU and free of England. Whether this was intentional or no people such as myself have resigned ourselves to the ‘regionalization’ of England and expect other regions to break away. There is a growing sense that we are returning to the Essex/Mercia/ Northumberland scenario. As a Devonian, a Dumonii, I am afraid that I and many friends will never submit to EU rule. You see what a can of worms we have opened here. We are back to fighting Imperial Rome. I’d agree that the EU makes such things possible (regional development funds and the like being able to fill the cash gap previously provided by nation state apparatus), I don’t necessarily see this as entirely down to the EU. …

.06 Why the end is nigh for regionalism in Europe

The Lobby

This apparently contradictory trend of both centralisation towards Brussels and devolution towards the regions looked to be the way forward – until along comes the biggest financial meltdown since the 1930s. Now it’s all about strength in numbers. Catalonia is relying on handouts from the Spanish government in Madrid, Bretons are happy to stick the Gwenn-ha-du flag on their car and leave it at that, and the once proudly independent Iceland, though a country in its own right since breaking with Denmark in 1944, has come running to the EU searching for economic sanctuary. So has regionalism within Europe had its day? Possibly, and though no doubt ETA and some patriotic kilt-wearing Scots may think differently, what the recent crisis has shown us is the pretty straightforward maxim that, when times are tough, larger countries fare better than smaller countries. ...

.07 "East vs. West" is not the best -- NHL Re-Alignment

Raw Charge

... , for the sake of growing the game, growing the league, and growing the sport - it'd be wiser to integrate a different alignment all together with all 30 teams effected. The true optimal alignment wouldn't be the ultra-regionalism that you see at current (where the Eastern Conference is the eastern seaboard teams and the west is everything else) but two divisions that take up all three regions of the continent - east, central and west - much like in Major League Baseball and the National Football League. ...

.08 What do you think of council slogans?

ConservativeHome | Local Government

Do they serve any purpose? What are the worst ones? The best ones? 'Where everybody matters' is the one adopted by my own local council. ...

.09 The Ruling Class-Sponsored Race War and the Balkanization of America Part Five: Secession Fever

Project World Awareness

As adherents to social myths, both modern secessionists and historical Marxists constitute schismatic elements that can weaken and fracture the sovereign state. Marxist revolutionaries cannot pinpoint the indeterminate juncture in history where the state will wither. Likewise, neo-Confederates and secessionists cannot pinpoint the indeterminate juncture in history where secession will end. Thus, the neo-Confederates and secessionists set into motion a perpetual series of secessions, guaranteeing continual disunity and the ongoing fragmentation of states. Eventually, the states implode, allowing for their easy assimilation by whatever supranational entities or foreign alliances hold sway. The globalist elite understand this fact more than anyone. Secession contributes to regionalism, which is one of many strategies employed to build a new world order. The regionalism strategy was explained in an article for Foreign Affairs, the flagship publication of the elitist CFR. In the article, entitled “Regionalism and Nationalism,” author N.S.B. Gras wrote:

The direct effect of regionalism may be to make the state weaker politically but stronger economically and socially. Or the region, looking to regional convenience, may make new alignments leading to the creation of new states, or to international states (European, American, and so on), or ultimately to a world state. (466)

In his book Geo-Economic Regionalism and World Federalism, Maurice Parmelee was even more blunt in pointing out how regionalism erodes national sovereignty. Parmelee stated:

There can be no permanent peace so long as each nation retains its sovereignty. There can be no effective world organization to solve the economic and social problems of mankind so long as the nation is the unit of organization. The region, limiting national sovereignty and furnishing a suitable unit of organization for a world federation, is a practicable solution. (V)

Both the Western elite and Panarin’s masters among the Russian elite seem to understand that secession can be used as a tool of regionalization on the way to world government. These two oligarchical cliques now seem to be racing to exploit the rising secession fever that has appeared on the American political landscape.

.10 Part 3 of “Global Power and Global Government”


The theoretical justifications for integration and regionalism arrived in the 1960s with what is known as “interdependence theory.” One of its primary proponents was a man named Richard N. Cooper. … Cooper wrote that, during the 1960s “there has been a strong trend toward economic interdependence among the industrial countries. This growing interdependence makes the successful pursuit of national economic objectives much more difficult.” He also identified that “the objective of greater economic integration involves international agreements which reduce the number of policy instruments available to national authorities for pursuit of their economic objectives.”[12] Further, “Cooper argues that new policies are needed to address the unprecedented conditions of international interdependence.”[13] …

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 [ ] - Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency

NFIA, a Dutch government agency, can be of tremendous assistance in establishing or expanding your pan-European operation. For an overview of our free and confidential services, click About NFIA. We'll help you discover how investing in setting up your business in the Netherlands pays you dividends all across Europe.


.02 2009 Executive Directors' Conference - October 4-6, 2009 -National Association of Regional Councils

Join the Maricopa Association of Governments, the Arizona COG/MPO Directors Association and NARC for your 2009 Executive Directors' Conference in Phoenix, AZ. This conference will include sessions on building and maintaining strong regional organizations, discussion on entrepreneurial opportunities in shared services, program delivery, and joint purchasing, discussion on emerging policy issues, and targeted management training relevant to Executive Directors and their Senior Staff through a new offering by the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) as well as other timely and relevant sessions. ICMA is offering Executive Directors advanced training on specific management issues - from managing the current financial crisis to managing staff capital.

Web: [use “Skip to content” link on page]

.03 56th North American Regional Science Association International (RSAI) Conference - San Francisco, November 18 - 21, 2009

The Conference is sponsored by the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC) and the Western Regional Science Association (WRSA). For information about the conference:

.04 "Global Recession: Regional Impacts on Housing, Jobs, Health and Wellbeing" - Regional Studies Association Winter Conference 2009 - November 27, 2009 - London

Plenary Presentations:

• Professor Danny Dorling, University of Sheffield Spatial Patterns of Health, Housing and Jobs

• Dr. Michelle Mahdon, The Work Foundation Work and Wellbeing

• Dr. Emma Baker, Flinders University, Australia Housing & Health, particularly Mental Health

• Christer Larsson, Malmö City Planning Office, Sweden

• Dr Dimitris Ballas, University of Sheffield The Geography of Subjective Happiness and Wellbeing

• Professor Andy Pike, Newcastle University Placing the Run on Northern Rock

Info & registration:

.05 Beyond the Global Credit Crunch: Prospects and Policies for Mature Industrial Regions - Regional Studies Association Policy Conference 2009 - December 3 - Coventry University


• Will Hutton, The Work Foundation Manufacturing, the Knowledge Economy and the need for and Industrial Policy

• Professor David Bailey, Coventry University The Impact of the Recession and Credit Crunch on the Auto Industry and Policy Responses

• Professor Keith Cowling, Warwick University Industrial Policy to Rebuild the Economy

• Dr. Lisa De Propris, Birmingham Business School Diversifying Mature Industrial Regions

• Professor Mark Hart, Aston University Entrepreneurship and Innovation as Strategies for Business Survival and Growth

• Norman Price, Science City Planning for Future Technologies

• Mark Prisk MP, Shadow Business Secretary

Info & registration:

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Vermont Mortgage Laws Shut the Door on Bust -- and Boom

The Wall Street Journal - USA

Compare Vermont to other states on four measures of boom and bust. Vermont's strict mortgage-lending laws largely prevented the state's residents from ...

.02 Pablo Triana: Why Nassim Taleb is the True Predictor of this Crisis

The Huffington Post - USA

... This is what Nassim Taleb said more than a decade ago that qualifies him, in my eyes, as the true and only visionary:

I believe that Value at Risk is the alibi bankers will give shareholders and the bailing-out taxpayer to show documented due diligence, and will express that their blow-up came from truly unforeseeable circumstances and events with low probability, not from taking large risks they did not understand. ... I maintain that the due diligence VaR tool encouraged untrained people to take misdirected risk with shareholders' and ultimately the taxpayers', money.

In the midst of the credit nightmare, such pearls could not appear any more prescient. For VaR, the mathematical model used as risk radar by banks and chosen by regulators as the tool that sets capital charges for trading activities (what essentially dictates the amount of leverage that banks can engage in), did ultimately cause the crisis and the Taleb-predicted bail-out, precisely by providing reckless bankers with a seemingly scientific alibi to monstrously leverage their balance sheets with the most toxic and illiquid of financial wares. By being unrealistically low, VaR allowed banks to cheaply devour as much toxic stuff as they wanted. Since those gigantic toxic positions are what truly sank Wall Street, and since the sinkage of the latter is what truly unleashed what is known as the credit crisis, it follows that without VaR the pain would have been much more diluted.

This crisis was not really a "housing crisis," but a "trading crisis." Mortgage defaults on their own would have never created this kind of tremors. The melting into oblivion of complex securities based on those mortgages is what did unleash hell. ...

.03 The Great American Bank Robbery


William K. Black, the former litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board who investigated the Savings and Loan disaster of the 1980s, discusses the latest scandal in which a single bank, IndyMac, lost more money than was lost during the entire Savings and Loan crisis. He discusses the political failure behind the current economic disaster and answers questions from the audience. Black teaches economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and is the author of “The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One.” See it at Google books:“The+Best+Way+to+Rob+a+Bank+Is+to+Own+One.”&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=9EWTSuLiFMPhlAeR4fyYDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result#v=twopage&q=&f=false

.04 The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class

UC Television Video

Elizabeth Warren presents her comparison of family expenses 1970-71 to 2005-06 and talks about the continuing rise in bankruptcy among the middle-class in a 2007 lecture. The data show how changes in costs affect spending patters so that the current two-income family of four is in worse shape than their single income parents 35 years before. The research work led to her concerns about the credit problems in the U.S. and vulnerability of families to economic setbacks. Ms. Warren is currently Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP funds.


Background Interview:

.05 Weak consumer spending will last for years

Naked Capitalism

It has been my thesis for some time that we are seeing a secular change in consumption patterns in the United States. This will have grave implications for a world economy used to seeing the American consumer as an economic growth engine and consumer of first choice. Retail sales in the United States have fallen 10% since peaking in November 2007. Much of this decline represents a permanent fall in consumption by overly indebted American consumers.

Having finally had a chance to dissect the retail sales data from last week, I wanted to show you a few graphs which indicate how much consumption has fallen in the present downturn and what the implication is for the future global economy. But, first, I want to start with a broader discussion as to why the fall in US consumption is a longer-term change and not a cyclical one.

The Balance Sheet Recession

Numerous economies seem on there way to recovery: Germany and France, Singapore, and Hong Kong, to name a few, have all posted positive economic growth. China looks likely to hit its 2009 growth target of 8%. But, the U.S., generally assumed to be a leader in recovery, is looking like a laggard. Mind you, there are other laggards like Spain and Ireland too. Why are these countries lagging? The Balance Sheet Recession.

Nomura’s Chief Economist Richard Koo wrote a book last year called “The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics” which introduced the concept of a balance sheet recession, which explains economic behaviour in the United States during the Great Depression and Japan during its Lost Decade. He explains the factor connecting those two episodes was a consistent desire of economic agents (in this case, businesses) to reduce debt even in the face of massive monetary accommodation.

When debt levels are enormous, as they are right now in the United States, an economic downturn becomes existential for a great many forcing people to reduce debt. Recession lowers asset prices (think houses and shares) while the debt used to buy those assets remains. Because the debt levels are so high, suddenly everyone is over-indebted. Many are technically insolvent, their assets now worth less than their debts. And the three D’s come into play: a downturn leads to debt deflation, deleveraging, and ultimately depression. The D-Process is what truly separates depression from recession and why I have said we are living through a depression with a small ‘d’ right now.

Secular inflation will be non-existent

Therefore, the problem is a lack of demand for loans not a lack of supply. The Federal Reserve can print all the money it wants. But, if there is little demand for more indebtedness, it is not going to have the desired effect of permanently reflating the economy – although it can create bubbles.


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