Regional Community Development News – February 11, 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 - .39

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

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .18

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .05

Financial Crisis …14.06

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

Top Regional Community stories

1. Regional Emergency Management Requires Coalition Warfare Approach - Government Technology’s Digital Communities - USA

Developing a functioning emergency management program isn't easy. There's always more work to do than staff and other resources to do it. The turnover in personnel causes a never-ending requirement to build relationships and engage those people in planning, training and exercising.

But it's not enough to have a functioning program based on an individual organization. Building a disaster-resilient community requires teamwork with regional partners.

We all favor unilateral action. We're by nature selfish people who want to have our way. Somewhere in our development cycle, we learn to share toys and to play nice with others. Then we grow up, become emergency responders and emergency managers, and forget everything we learned in kindergarten.

Regional action can't be forced. When it's time to form a regional emergency management partnership for common action - be it planning, training or exercising - it's invitational by nature.

For others to join you in regional action, the other parties will have to see a benefit for them and their organization.

To have regional efforts, you'll need to build regional relationships. No one is going to partner with someone they don't trust. This relationship building effort may take years to accomplish. Some agencies and jurisdictions will immediately join your regional partnership, and others will hang back with a wait-and-see attitude before they join.

Just as in coalition warfare, you start by working with those nations/organizations that you know best, the ones you've established relationships with. They may not immediately leap at the chance to partner with you on a regional activity. They have their own goals and objectives to meet. Regional activities are on top of their normal workload, so it is not an easy sell.

"Shuttle diplomacy" will be needed to get the coalition put together in the first place and continue throughout. …

2. It's Governance, Stupid – Regional Excellence by Bill Dodge

A telling pattern emerged in the comments of speakers at a recent Brookings Institution conversation, entitled "Memo to the President: Invest in Infrastructure for Long-Term Prosperity".

Pennsylvania's Governor Ed Rendell expressed concern about distributing federal economic stimulus infrastructure funding state-by state. He indicated that it would go to worthwhile projects in Pennsylvania, but would not address the state's primary need, moving freight through the state. That need could only be addressed through joint action with neighboring states, and without federal incentives for interstate cooperation, the funds would be distributed to the usual instate suspects. Deb Miller, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, echoed Governor Rendell by indicating that Kansas often receives more benefit from out-of-state infrastructure projects than instate ones.

Newly-elected Congresswoman Donna Edwards expressed concern about distributing funding local government-by-local government. She indicated support for regional approaches and noted that regional planning organizations lack the authority, and clout, to bring local leaders together to identify the full range of critical infrastructure projects -- not just transportation, but water, sewer, energy, etc. -- much less help them select and implement the ones that are critical to economic recovery. …

3. The Plain Dealer sets its goals for Greater Cleveland in 2009: An editorial agenda - The Plain Dealer - - Cleveland, OH, USA

THESE ARE SCARY TIMES for Greater Cleveland.

Every day seems to bring news of job cuts or shrinking profits. The foreclosure tsunami continues to swamp whole neighborhoods and to drag down home prices across the region. High-profile development deals are on hold. A wide-ranging federal investigation of local government corruption has many residents wondering just who our elected officials think they were elected to serve. There are days when leadership, from any sector of the community, seems to be absent.

It's enough to make a Clevelander want to curl up in bed, pull up the covers and never face the dawn -- especially in the dead of a long, hard winter.

But that would be a huge mistake.

The very depth of problems facing this region demands more engagement than ever from individual citizens, government, the corporate community and institutions of every description, including this newspaper. Many of us, including this newspaper, sometimes feel as if we're in a struggle for survival. But that is all the more reason to act with vigor, imagination and shared purpose.

AND SO TODAY, we are laying out a set of goals for this region. …

We intend to call out those who stand in the way of change for reasons of turf, partisanship or pettiness. In a time of scarce resources, collaboration and open minds need to be at the heart of every civic effort. Tired leaders without vision, those who are more afraid of someone else getting credit than of nothing getting done, leaders frankly unworthy of the title, need to step aside.


Of all of the things Northeast Ohio could do better, smarter and more effectively, these should be at the top of the priority list.

Revitalize the core city and rebrand Cleveland: ...

Reform local government: ...

Rebuild human capital: ...

4. Towns question benefits of sharing resources - Connecticut Post - Bridgeport, CT, USA

Democratic legislators in Hartford launched a new push last week to encourage the state's 169 cities and towns to consolidate more services, ideally shrinking local government and reducing local property taxes during the economic crisis.

Several current and former officials in lower Fairfield County argue so-called regionalization is far easier said than done.

"You have a bunch of towns that are hard-wired to oppose consolidation for fear it will lead to consolidation of things they don't want," said Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat. "This fear -- if we start doing anything voluntarily it will lead to something else -- has been enough to stifle cooperative efforts."

Unlike many other states, Connecticut abolished county governments -- structures that typically encourage or require municipal cooperation. Instead, Connecticut has 15 bodies that are councils of governments -- groups of local elected officials who meet regularly -- or regional planning agencies whose members are appointed by elected officials or municipal planning commissions.

In Fairfield County the Southwestern Regional Planning Agency was created in 1962. Much of its work is focused on addressing regional transportation issues, though SWRPA has purchasing pools for plowing sand and salt and for diesel fuels and gasoline.

State lawmakers and other proponents of regionalization want SWRPA and its fellow planning agencies transformed into councils of government to foster better cooperation.

"With no disrespect to the regional planning agencies, their focus is much narrower than a council of governments would be," said James Finley, head of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Councils of government are also considered more accountable to voters because local elected officials play a more direct role, Finley said.

Malloy and former Westport First Selectman Diane Farrell have unsuccessfully encouraged neighboring towns to turn SWRPA into a council of governments.

5. Breidbart: Budget touts regionalism - Yale Daily News - New Haven, CT, USA

... Gov. M. Jodi Rell ...

But for all the attention that is going to her budget cuts and how they may alienate some interest groups, it is the few areas in which she has committed to spending that probably deserve more focus.

Regionalism, the oft-cited approach to urban-suburban governing alliances that seems perfectly designed for a small but densely populated state, is one of those areas. The model is based on efficiency of scale: Spreading resources more effectively uses taxpayer money and limits overlapping operations.

Rell, flexing some progressive muscle, gave significant attention to regionalism in her budget speech Wednesday, calling out Connecticut politicians for their vague use of the catchword.

“It’s time regionalism was more than just something we talk about,” she said. “It’s time for it to be a reality.”

But for this to be a reality, the state’s municipal leaders have to do their part.

Rell is actually vouching for a $50 million budget increase to bring cities and towns together. With the money, she wants to create a $40 million Regional Incentive Grant to help “offset capital infrastructure costs of regionalized services.” This can include anything from tax collection to highway maintenance to police cooperation.

The other $10 million would be used in a Municipal Capital Expenditure Purchase Grant program to assist “municipal cooperate purchases of equipment.”

The summary also contains ways by which she would relieve municipalities of any institutional impediments, such as local charters, to making regional negotiations a reality.

6. Budget proposals eliminate state aid to regional planning agencies - Danbury News Times - Danbury, CT, USA

While Gov. M. Jodi Rell's proposed budget offers $50 million to promote regionalization, it also cuts all state funding for the regional planning agencies that could help in the effort.

New Milford Mayor Patricia Murphy, chairman of the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials [ ] said it doesn't make sense.

"Frankly, with all the talk of promoting regionalization, I'm hoping it was an oversight," Murphy said. "If you want to encourage communities to work together on different projects, wouldn't you start with an already assembled regional group?"

Jeff Beckham, a spokesman for the state's Office of Policy and Management, said $1 million in funding for regional planning agencies such as HVCEO was eliminated as part of an overall effort to promote regionalization. []

"The governor's proposal has more money for regionalization than any other budget before," Beckham said. "While she did make modest cuts in the line item for regional planning agencies, they do have other resources available.

Jon Chew, executive director of HVCEO, said it receives about $78,000 annually from the state that is used to pay operational expenses.


"We are the communication mechanism for the towns to address municipal management concerns," he said. "How can the towns get together to study regionalization projects without the regional agencies?"

7. No regional identity: Disconnectedness holding Bluegrass back - - Lexington, KY, USA

Last week, a consultant came to Central Kentucky and delivered the message that this area is a region in name only. We're the Bluegrass, we live close to each other, we know about Cats and horses and rolling hills, but beyond that we don't really connect.

No real surprise there. But perhaps that's all the more reason to pay attention.

The Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors hired consultant Joel Searby to survey people in the 10-county region the association serves. Searby's firm talked to 3,200 people and the results, while not surprising, were discouraging.

Over half, 56 percent, said the Bluegrass is just a geographic area. About a third, 34 percent, saw cooperation among cities and counties in the region.

"There is no grass-root sense that 'I'm part of something bigger than my county," Searby said. "That is a big hurdle to overcome in bringing the region together, when the majority of citizens don't see the Bluegrass as a cooperative, cohesive unit," he added.

That's unfortunate in many ways, but the most immediately damaging is that this lack of regionalism -- perceived or real -- will hold us back even more in an already struggling economy.

Places that thrive, that compete nationally and internationally, are able to work cooperatively across a region to leverage resources effectively.

Early in his term, Mayor Jim Newberry, working with Bluegrass Tomorrow, made a valiant effort to bring mayors and county judges from throughout the region together to find ways to cooperate.

But that effort fizzled after a few meetings and no enduring accomplishments.

Interestingly, elected leaders often say the great impediment is that less populous counties are afraid Lexington/Fayette County will dominate in any regional coalition.

If so, they seem to be out of touch with their constituents, …

RC: Bluegrass Area Development District -

8. Choose action, not complacency - - Erie, PA, USA

Today, in the midst of a global recession, in the throes of a brutal winter, in response to the news that GE Transportation, Erie's largest employer, might permanently reduce its work force, it's time for the Erie region to become a model of efficiency.

This is the seventh year that the Erie Times-News Editorial Board has set forth an annual community agenda. Our recurring theme is that we must embrace regionalism to make Erie a better place to live, to work, to conduct business, to nurture entrepreneurs, to retain talent, to beckon our children back home and to attract newcomers.

In light of the battered economy, it's time to step up the pace. We know what can be achieved when we work together. …

Regional cooperation -- redefine it

Our first recommendation for 2009 is for government and community leaders to redefine regionalism as a framework to make government more efficient to meet the challenges of tight resources.

Take a cue from Barack Obama, who said in his inaugural address: "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works."

We call on government leaders, the business community and you, as residents, to ask the right questions about how to make government more efficient and to test whether it works.

The Centre County Council of Governments, which includes State College, has answers about how to focus on the right questions and then act to reduce costs and serve the public. …

Community college -- Act on it

The group studying Erie's need for a community college, Rethink Erie, is currently surveying individuals and businesses in Erie, Crawford and Warren counties on work force needs to determine if a community college is needed.

9. Gaining revenue for bridges - Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville, KY, USA

The future of Louisville and Southern Indiana -- our ability to keep and attract good jobs and provide a high quality of life -- depends on completing the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Crucial legislation that will jump-start construction and put the project on a fast track to completion is before the Kentucky General Assembly. State lawmakers can create thousands of jobs now and for future generations by supporting this legislation, which would allow creation of a public infrastructure authority to issue bonds and tap new revenue options to help pay for the project.

Without action, increased congestion and safety issues will choke off Louisville and Southern Indiana, and reverse our important standing as a logistics and economic hub. All three of our region's existing bridges will be carrying more traffic than they were designed to handle, safety issues will not be addressed, pollution will increase, and daily congestion will be "extreme," according to a federal study.

Imagine what our region will be like with this project's completion. A new east end bridge will provide a needed link in a cross-river regional network, improving access. The east end bridge will help -- but will not solve -- congestion problems downtown. …

Let's be frank: The existing Louisville/Southern Indiana cross-river transportation system is obsolete and growing unsafe for the 240,000 vehicles that use it daily. Congestion in Louisville is worse than in Cincinnati, Nashville, Kansas City, and at least eight other mid-size cities in America, according to the Texas Transportation Institute. Louisville is the 45th largest city in population, and the 25th worst city in congestion based on a national analysis. The situation will not get better by itself and it will not be free.

In this together - Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville, KY, USA

On today's op-ed page, there's an example of the broad thinking and cross-river cooperation that will be necessary if our region is going to flourish. The fact that the piece was written jointly by Indiana civic leader Kerry Stemler and Louisville civic activist Ed Glasscock should tell you something. It says that those in the business community who have invested the most time and effort in thinking through a better local future have come to the same major conclusions. Mr. Stemler has been a tireless advocate of regionalism, serving as chairman of the group that pushed creation of One Southern Indiana, the Hoosier counterpart of Great Louisville Inc., in which Mr. Glasscock was such an effective advocate. ...

RC: Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency -

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 Texas grapples with how to spend its share of stimulus

Dallas Morning News - Dallas, TX, USA

"The nation is in a weird policy position," said Michael Morris, director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. "We don't know if there is legislation, and we don't know what's going to be in it. But we have to move fast, so we are doing a lot of things in parallel." Some officials say the tight deadlines mean they may have to reduce their ambitions for the money, choosing many smaller projects rather than investments that solve problems, such as traffic congestion. "We'll do more pothole filling and lane striping, and less work on actual construction projects," said Chris Lippincott, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation. "You have to acknowledge this is economic policy, not transportation policy."

.02 The Bay Area as an ecosystem

San Francisco Chronicle - USA

The case for a regional approach to land use has rarely been spelled out so eloquently as in a new report, "Golden Lands, Golden Opportunity," produced by the Greenbelt Alliance and the Bay Area Open Space Council. [] This two-year study, which incorporated input from a wide breadth of more than 100 government and nonprofit entities, carefully cataloged the threats to natural resources in the nine-county region. As the report noted, plants and animals are "losing the places they need to survive." Children are losing outdoor options. "And," it added, "climate change is raising the stakes." …

.03 County approves money for lobbyist

Jackson County Floridan - Marianna, FL, USA

Jackson County Commissioners have tentatively agreed to join a regional lobbying effort to bring federal stimulus money to North Florida. ... Their decision is similar to action taken by commissioners in coastal Gulf County. That body retained Governance Services LLC, and in a letter to Jackson County, wrote that the company’s job is “to assist us in forming a regional coalition, assist in the analysis and packaging of the project list, and to advocate for its behalf on the federal and state levels.” ...

.04 First Coast looks at future

St. Augustine Record - St. Augustine, FL, USA

Prepare to look into the future; say, 50 years. Brian D. Teeple, chief executive officer of Northeast Florida Regional Council in Jacksonville, said last week that his organization has joined with the Urban Land Institute to create Reality Check, a three-dimensional exercise to show seven Northeast Florida counties how the area might look in 2060. "Think of this as a jump-start to regional visioning," Teeple said. "By 2060 there will be 1.6 million people and 650,000 new jobs here. How do we want this area to look?" ...

.05 Stephen C. Rose: Obama Pattern Language Primer -- 1

The Huffington Post

My goal, in a series of posts, will be to link the insights of A Pattern Language to the realities of today. To suggest the continuing relevance to Alexander's thinking in real terms. And, by so doing, to suggest a way forward to the Obama partisans who have not yet thought through the implications of a society that would actually be changed, in a good way, from what we have now. ... Independent regions: This refers to metropolitan areas and advocates that they be small enough to be independent spheres of culture that become units in a world government. Immediately, we see that we need to integrate Alexander's thinking into ...

.06 Valley debates solar power regulation

Pueblo Chieftain - Pueblo, CO, USA

How utility-scale solar production would be regulated in the San Luis Valley has yet to be determined, but local officials started the discussion Thursday. ... "Clearly, to have any kind of meaningful effect, you need a political subdivision," he said. But no one knows whether that subdivision would take the form of a power authority, which is currently the subject of a feasibility study, or a regional council of governments, which is also in the works but would take on more tasks than just energy regulation. ...

.07 Regional leaders gaze beyond the recession

Kansas City Star - USA

Regional leaders in government and business weighed the recession’s mounting toll locally but looked toward the future in a three-hour session during the fourth annual Governors’ Summit at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. ... Despite acknowledged limitations on funding and historic divisions along state, county and city boundaries, the speakers expressed hope that the region can emerge from recession stronger - not simply survive it. ... The most likely way to bring about a strong regional economy is to build an environment that supports new ideas, he said. “Planners miss the profound truth that most successes of the past weren’t planned in the first place,” Schramm said.

.08 The Year of Magical Thinking

Artvoice - Buffalo, NY, USA

Revitalizing Upstate means not burning it down … I don’t know anybody who has done the study, but I would venture that the region’s tipping point came in about 1970, which is about when Upstate New York’s population growth stopped. That’s about when we stopped being primarily a locally owned industrial and commercial center and joined the ranks of regions without any significant corporate headquarters. Ever since then, whatever prosperity the Upstate cities have enjoyed has been built on the twin illusions of rapid suburbanization and the transfer-in of Washington and Albany money via SUNY campuses and make-work projects. Sprawl gave this community the illusion of growth, but sprawl is not growth: ..

.09 Why Obama Wants Control of the Census

Wall Street Journal - NY, NY, USA

Anything that threatens the integrity of the Census has profound implications. Not only is it the basis for congressional redistricting, it provides the raw data by which government spending is allocated on everything from roads to schools. … The larger debate prompted seven former Census directors -- serving every president from Nixon to George W. Bush -- to sign a letter last year supporting a bill to turn the Census Bureau into an independent agency after the 2010 Census. "It is vitally important that the American public have confidence that the census results have been produced by an independent, non-partisan, apolitical, and scientific Census Bureau," it read. ...

.10 Northeast Corridor businesses, APTA call for more transit funding in economic stimulus bill

Progressive Railroading - Milwaukee, WI, USA

... Corridor is the most heavily traveled portion of the United States' passenger-rail system and is an economic engine for the "Northeast Megaregion," which runs between Richmond, Va., and Portland, Maine, the coalition said. The region produces more than 20 percent of the country's total economic output and contains 15 percent of the nation's population on only 2 percent of its land area. ...

.11 Strand: Our roads are ahead of the curve

The Sun News - Myrtle Beach Online, SC, USA

About three years ago, the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments asked its 10 municipalities and DOT to come up with a list of problematic intersections in Horry and Georgetown counties. The groups listed 21 projects, 13 of which received funding for immediate attention. The council also helped create the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study 2030 Long Range Transportation Plan, which details the area's transportation needs. ...

.12 Guest column: Regional cooperation could enhance I-269 - Memphis, TN, USA

For the Mid-South, the impending construction of Interstate 269 is a mega-issue that demands the right thing be done for the advancement of the region. ... Every community in the region has growth aspirations that depend, to some degree, on the route's construction. We know the destructive nature of developmental sprawl, the enormous importance of environmental preservation to community health, and many of the ingredients and methods for developing technology-driven economic activity. ...

.13 Envision Elgin named Brick of Community

Elgin Courier - Elgin, TX, USA

The implementation of the plan was put in place by the Envision Elgin Community Development Team. This team consists of 31 members with five at large positions. In addition, each focus area has a committee that oversees the implementation of the objectives for their area. Focus Areas include Education, Business Development and Retention, Sustainable Growth, Regionalism, Quality of Life, Historic Preservation and Tourism. Envision Elgin brings together a variety of community leaders four times a year and presents an annual report to the community. Projects that might otherwise fall to the wayside come into focus and are pursued, encouraged, developed and implemented.

.14 OTHER VOICES: Let’s grow the urban appeal of Detroit

Crain's Detroit Business - Detroit, MI, USA

We need more practical regionalism, as has been demonstrated and is working for organizations such as the DIA and the Detroit Zoo. The envisioned remodeling of Cobo Center will be a litmus test for our region. Once tackled, it sets the stage for regional cooperation for more arenas. Some private concepts are already underway and welcomed. ...

.15 Spring cleanup: City offering free disposal of tires, other items

Brenham Banner Press - TX, United States

The tire collection Feb. 16-21 was made possible by a grant from the Brazos Valley Council of Governments, said city sanitation director Bobby Branham. There will be a limit of 10 tires per household. ...

.16 The Power Of Teamwork

Hartford Courant - United States

Hartford-area police teams have been ahead of the new push for regionalism and are helping the rest of the state prepare for what some police commanders say is an inevitable boom in inter-town law enforcement. ...,0,7116051.story

.17 Pa. must force regionalization of police forces

Standard Speaker - Hazleton, PA, USA

Governments at every level in Pennsylvania continue to be strapped while the state Legislature and local governments themselves do little to improve their efficiency. ... The state government should continue to provide incentives for developing regional police forces, but the time has come to make it mandatory rather than optional, in deference to economic reality and in fairness to taxpayers statewide.

.18 Ice storm tests county's preparedness

Dyersburg State Gazette - Dyersburg, TN, USA

Vans from the Northwest Tennessee Development District [] transported Lake County residents to the shelter. Some Dyer County residents also lost electricity for a few days, and they tried to keep warm with alternative heat sources, ...

.19 The regional university plan creates a long peninsula of development; guess what will happen around it

Sacramento Bee - CA, USA

One justification for the university's location is that it is compatible with the area's development Blueprint. Created by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments to limit driving miles and encourage compact growth, the Blueprint's map offers a long-term development scenario for the region. While the Blueprint is undeniably a worthy effort, it has been criticized for providing too large a growth footprint. Regardless, it maps 40 years of growth; it was never intended to give license to local governments to ignore their responsibilities to develop in a logical, orderly manner. ...

.20 Lawsuit filed over Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Boston Globe - United States

A lawsuit has been brought against the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nation’s first mandatory market-based effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from Northeastern power plants. Indeck Energy Services Inc. is challenging New York state's authority to join the 10-state pact, known as RGGI, without legislative approval. ...

.21 Comptroller in Kerrville Friday

Kerrville Daily Times - Kerrville, Texas

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs will make a stop in Kerrville on Friday afternoon during a whirlwind tour through the Hill Country to talk about the Texas economy. ... Combs also is expected to highlight ways that local governments can operate more effectively and efficiently by implementing the best management practices and promoting regional governance. ...

.22 Put Roseburg on the MapGuide - Roseburg, OR, USA

The National Geographic Society and tourism boards in Roseburg, Oregon and Washington want you to help them tell the rest of the world what makes this region great for a storytelling map of the Central Cascades. The bi-state map will be known as MapGuide ... and will be reliant on residents’ input from Mount Rainier to Crater Lake. ... MapGuide’s goal is to have 150 stories associated with locations throughout the Central Cascades ... According to National Geographic, MapGuides have been developed in other areas with successful results by attracting “geotourists” — travelers who visit distinctive regions for a taste of its character — and by also helping protect a region’s intrinsic qualities. ...

.23 Ready for stimulus?

Freeport Journal-Standard - Freeport, IL, USA

President Barack Obama’s effort to re-energize a sluggish economy have prompted a comprehensive list of local, “shovel-ready” projects that would benefit from an anticipated economic stimulus plan. Stephenson County was among six counties that submitted projects to the Blackhawk Hills Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) ... Blackhawk Hills is recognized as an Illinois Development District by the US Economic Development Administration (EDA). ...

.24 Triangle J names executive director

News & Observer - Raleigh, NC, USA

The Triangle J Council of Governments has hired a new executive director to succeed Dee Freeman, who recently was appointed secretary of the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Kirby M. Bowers is retiring as county administrator of Loudoun County, Va., and will start at Triangle J on April 1. The Triangle Board of Governors voted unanimously Wednesday to appoint Bowers, who has worked with Loudoun County since 1977. ...

.25 Standing Rock Sioux member gets key White House post

Indian Country Today - Canastota, NY, USA

The White House announced Feb. 6 that Jodi Archambault Gillette has been named as one of three deputy associate directors of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. It is a historic appointment, as no other American Indian is believed to have ever held the position. ...

.26 Obama picks Bay Area exec as NEC official

San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA

Diana Farrell, who heads up McKinsey & Co.'s economics research arm in San Francisco, has been named deputy director of the National Economic Council. ... As director of the McKinsey Global Institute, Farrell wrote the authoritative biannual "Bay Area Economic Profile," produced in conjunction with the Bay Area Council. ...

.27 Ron Sims to HUD - yes it's true

The Seattle Times - Seattle, WA, USA

About five years ago at a local opinion writers' seminar, a group of us was asked to name one individual in the region who personifies leadership. It was a quick, think-fast kind of moment. Silence, blank for a few seconds, I offered King County Executive Ron Sims. Sims is going to Washington, D.C. intending to take a job as deputy secretary, No. 2, at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ...

.28 America needs new breed of ambassadors for new world

The News Journal - Wilmington, DE, USA

The question: Should America select a very different breed of ambassadors in a new world where what motivates nations is no longer ideology or geopolitics ...

.29 Review: 'The Next 100 Years'

San Antonio Express - San Antonio, TX, USA

George Friedman, the head of Stratfor, a private-intelligence agency based in Austin, has made a very successful career as a prognosticator. … Friedman draws on history and geopolitics, and all indicators point to continued US domination ― mainly because the American heartland is surrounded by two large oceans and its U.S. Navy has supreme control over the world's seas. The game will change to control of space later this century, but the United States will lead that as well, ...

.30 First regional New Baptist Covenant event focuses on reconciliation

Associated Baptist Press - Jacksonville, FL, USA

Former President Jimmy Carter went to a shrine of the Civil Rights Movement Jan. 31 to drive home a point about racial reconciliation among Baptists, stepping up into the pulpit of the Birmingham, Ala., church where four African-American girls died in a 1963 bombing. The first of several planned regional New Baptist Covenant celebrations came, full of symbolism, in the city’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Besides being the site of the bombing, the church is famous for hosting many meetings where black Baptist leaders -- including Martin Luther King Jr. -- rallied thousands to risk their lives in the fight against segregation. ...

.31 Harvard graduate appointed to Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board

Sierra Sun - Truckee, CA, USA

Former California State Senator Byron D. Sher has been appointed to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board by the California Senate Rules Committee. ... Sher said. “I am honored to be called upon to represent the interests of the people of California as a member of the TRPA board.” ...

.32 Monongalia County Commissioners Ask State for a Regional Jail

WBOY-TV - Clarksburg, WV, USA

Commissioners have written a letter to the regional jail authority, requesting that it put a new regional jail in the area. ... Monongalia county commissioners believe the project would also benefit Harrison, Marion, Taylor, Preston Counties. ...

.33 Skaggs hospital renamed to reflect regional service

Springfield Business Journal - Springfield, MO, USA

Skaggs Community Health Center has shed the "community" from its name. The Branson hospital today announced it has changed its name to Skaggs Regional Medical Center. The new moniker "places a greater emphasis on the broad region we already serve," ...

.34 7-county region maps proposed trails

Winston-Salem Journal - Winston-Salem, NC, USA

The High Country Council of Governments has identified and tentatively mapped 389 miles of proposed trails in a seven-county Northwest N.C. mountain region, an ambitious plan that's intended to guide hiking-trail development for decades. …The trail plan has already been approved by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. The Council of Governments is now trying to get official endorsements by the region's seven county governments. ...

.35 OAOT Cited in Independent Research Firm's Report on Smaller Regional Infrastructure Providers


Forrester evaluated seven regionally focused IT Infrastructure providers and stated that when compared to major global outsourcers, bigger might not always be better for IT Infrastructure Services. According to the Forrester report, "Thousands of US-based infrastructure management clients already benefit from lower-cost infrastructure outsourcing deals delivered by smaller regionally focused providers." ...

.36 Town Council sets goals for new year

Brunswick Times Record - ME, United States

Another state goal is continued support of staff work in coordinating activities that are of mutual interest to the town and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, the entity charged with implementing the Local Redevelopment Authority's master reuse plan for Brunswick Naval Air Station. ...

.37 State foreclosure rankings show Front Royal 31 out of 900 ZIP codes

Northern Virginia Daily, VA, USA

Town and regional officials are hopeful that a federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program will help communities such as Front Royal, which ranks near the top of the state in residential foreclosures. "There's 900 ZIP codes and based on the available data, Front Royal is number 31 based on how hard it's been hit by foreclosures," Christopher M. Price, executive director of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, ...

38. Boosting R&D for fresh energy breakthroughs

Denver Post - Denver, CO, USA

President Barack Obama is promising us an energy future that's clean, efficient and job-generating. … But will the effort be rooted sufficiently in the metro (and some cases smaller city or multistate) regions in which the country's modern economy is so solidly rooted? Will it oblige highfalutin national research laboratories and major research universities to work with inventive businesses on actual applications and with community colleges in training workers who can learn specialized new skills?

.39 A port in a storm

Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Sarasota, FL, USA

The lesson that Southwest Florida should learn from the economic crisis -- which is exacerbated here by the dependence on construction and tourism -- is that the region must diversify and take advantage of the collective strength of its natural and human resources. ... Economic development officials frequently mention the opportunities that could come with the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2014. ... Now is the time for cooperation and planning, so that, when economic conditions do improve, this region becomes all the more attractive for diverse investment.

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Barnett: 12 steps for Obama's historic moment

ScrippsNews - Knoxville News-Sentinel

The Bush administration dug a deep hole for our new president. In the best tradition of self-help programs, here are 12 steps to get back to where we once belonged.

-- 1. Admit that we Americans are powerless over globalization.

Globalization comes with rules -- not a ruler. We must collectively better manage those rules, not just in their constant extension to new territories and domains, but in their persistent improvement and progressive de-conflicting.

-- 2. ...

.02 Nine Countries Sign Agreements to Combat Africa Piracy

Voice of America - USA

Nine countries in the region affected by piracy - Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, the Maldives, the Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, and Yemen - signed an agreement Thursday to cooperate in preventing ship hijackings and apprehending suspected pirates for arrest and prosecution. The Djibouti Code of Conduct - as the agreement is referred to - allows one signatory country to send armed forces into another signatory country's territorial waters to pursue pirates and, in some cases, to jointly conduct anti-piracy operations. ...

.03 Stay or go policy should be reviewed, MP says

Adelaide Independent Weekly, Australia

The federal MP for one of the regions hit hardest by the Victorian bushfires has questioned the leave early or stay and defend fire advice. ... Since the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, authorities have told residents to decide on days of high fire danger to go early, or to stay and defend their homes if they are well prepared. ... "It may be the wrong message on days like February 7th, when the fire risk according to all experts was off the scale. ... Mr Chester said he would hate to see the bushfire tragedy used to scare people away from living in regional Australia. ...

.04 Commentary: Caricom: from confusion to confidence

Caribbean Net News, Cayman Islands

... If we connect our collective goodwill to our vast regional intelligence, and that wilderness of innovative oxygen that is so uniquely Caribbean, the masses, not merely our leaders, will transform Caricom. It will become a process of superlative success. But, we are so afraid to trust each other. We are in constant search for hidden agendas and under the table schemes. In contrast, we grant others, usually foreign and Europeans, face value integrity. We are fearful even the more that our spiritual, emotional, and psychological energies both respond to anti-regional progress and themselves help to shape and oppose our collective success. ...

.05 The Urgency of Now – Need for a Joint Response to Regional Crisis

Kaieteur News - Georgetown, Guyana

At the World Economic Conference in Davos, Switzerland in the same week that Caribbean heads of government did not meet, the Russians were pointing out that the result of the US government running a US$1 trillion deficit for years will be that the free liquidity in the world will run into US Treasury bills and will not be available to other parts of the world. This includes the Caribbean. These are all issues that require the attention of the Caribbean’s leaders working together and with the benefit of the best technical advice that the region can collectively muster – from the public sector, the private sector, the trade unions and the Universities. ...

.06 Crisis calls for high degree of regional collaboration - St. Kitts, West Indies

Prime Minister Douglas acknowledged that the region’s public finance sector will come under pressure as governments face the challenges of implementing measures to stabilize economic growth and providing crucial systems to the most vulnerable in the region. He cautioned that the test to regional integration, through the instruments of CARICOM and the OECS, would be most severe. ...

.07 CITES Operation Nets More Than 4500 Endangered Species in One Day

Export Industry News - Official Export Guide

An intensive global 1-day Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) operation carried out by 90 customs administrations across the globe on January 15, 2009, resulted in seizures totaling 4,630 endangered live species as well as products and derivatives. ... Approximately 10000 customs officers and the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) 11 Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILO) participated in this exercise at the request of the WCO Secretariat in advance of International Customs Day ...

.08 A single police force, or status quo?

The Province - Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said recent violence underlines the need for a regional police force to co-ordinate action against gangs. "Gangs are running rampant," said Robinson, who believes local forces are limited by their boundaries and jurisdictions. ...

.09 Building a gateway to regional prosperity - Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

... The Atlantic Gateway is an effort to bring more people and goods into Canada through our region’s ports, airports, roadways and rail lines. It’s not just an East Coast project; it has national scope and scale. Studies have demonstrated that the economic impact of our gateway activity is in the billions of dollars and is spread throughout the entire region. In order to capture as much growth as we can, we need to position our transportation links as national and international assets. We need to think and act differently. ... The Southern New Brunswick Gateway Council (SNBGC) and the Halifax Gateway Council (HGC) are working together to ensure our region presents a united front to our country, and to the world. ...

.10 South Asia to expand regional trade to stem global economic woes

The Hindu - India

South Asian countries on Wednesday agreed to expand free trade within the region by 25 per cent in the next one year to make up for declining demand in the west for the merchandise produced in the SAARC economies. ... While the eight countries have operationalised Safta, they maintain barriers on items listed in the sensitive lists, thus blocking the potential for increasing trade in the USD 26-billion intra-SAARC region. ...

.11 Vision is not enough for councils

Local Government Chronicle - Market Harborough, England, UK

As a report by human resources consultant the Hay Group puts it: "Councillors can no longer discharge their duties simply by casting their votes, they are now a channel for ongoing engagement, an organiser and alliance builder, mobilising across boundaries for delivery." Hay carried out research into effective leadership by studying 41 councillors in 13 local authorities covering unitary, metropolitan, county and district councils. It found that the most effective leaders combined a 'participative' approach with a 'visionary' leadership style. ... The report Charisma and Collaboration is available from the Hay Group.

.12 Regional council to freeze fares - New Zealand

A Greater Wellington regional council staff report to its transport and access committee recommends no price increases during the coming year to help keep fares affordable. Public transport usage in Wellington was lagging behind Auckland for the 2007-2008 year, there was a 1.8 per cent increase in the capital, compared with a 4.4 per cent rise in Auckland.

.13 David Thornton: Super city must have two-tier system

The New Zealand Herald - NZ

Speculation has been rife that the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance will recommend a 'London' style of regional governance, with a directly elected (lord?) mayor for the Auckland region. The suggestion of a super city council does not, however, imply that there will be just a single elected body for the whole region. Even the most energetic supporters of a super city concept acknowledge that there must also be, at least, a second tier of governance closer to the community. ...

.14 Mt Gambier leads way on taxi regulations

The Border Watch - Mount Gambier, South Australia

“It is good for local people to realise Mount Gambier City Council supports the taxi industry and makes sure we have a 24-hour service available,” she said. “But in the bigger picture it is disappointing the State Government does not acknowledge it is important to have public transport in regional areas.” Mr Muller said Mount Gambier was the only regional council that had maintained a day-to-day management role with taxis and control over licence numbers after other councils walked away from regulation. ...

.15 Green group threatens legal action over Snowy flows

ABC Online - Australia

Snowy River Alliance spokesman John Gallard says the first report of the Snowy Scientific Committee shows that environmental flows into the river are only half of what they are supposed to be. An eight-year-old intergovernmental agreement dictates the levels of water flow back into the river. But the committee's report, which was finalised four months ago, shows that environmental flows have been scaled back so far that the river's health has been compromised. ...

.16 Sunshine Coast's 30-year growth spurt

The Sunshine Coast Daily - Queensland, Australia

The Sunshine Coast has been the second fastest growing region in Australia for the past 30 years – behind only Mandurah in Western Australia, new figures show. ... Comment This issue of population growth and how it will be managed is a key issue for the Sunshine Coast Regional Council. All residents should be concerned to protect their lifestyle and we need to be asking our regional and state governments how they intend to manage growth. ...

.17 A New Era for Science

Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (Pressemitteilung) - Bayreuth, NRW, Germany

Chairman of ScanBalt, Prof. Hans Robert Metelmann, Greifswald University, says: "President Obama's agenda for science and technology as a tool to fight economic crisis and meet the challenges of tomorrow is likely to be a global agenda. And ScanBalt BioRegion representing life sciences in the Baltic Sea Region is well placed to draw benefits from it. ...

.18 People Of Central Region Urged To Bury Political Differences

Peace fm Online - Ghana

The Central Regional Minister designate, Mrs Ama Benyiwa-Doe has urged people of the region to bury their political differences and rally behind the new government for accelerated development. “With the elections over, what we have now is a united Ghana, not NDC or NPP Ghana”, she said and added that “it is this united Ghana which all of us must be committed to develop”. …

.19 USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development Signs Pact With World Bank

Imperial Valley News - Holtville, CA, USA

The USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development and the World Bank signed a memorandum of understanding on February 4 designed to merge scholarly research and specific program initiatives to address the challenge of sustainable development in the East Asia and Pacific Region. At a ceremony at World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., university officials and World Bank representatives also convened the first cooperative venture under the new agreement: a day-long conference on the challenges facing megacities in the developing world. ...

.20 NATO chief fears Arctic division, Canada

Russia's dramatic assertions of its Arctic interests -- including increased northern military activity, a series of bold statements about its polar territorial claims and the high-profile planting of a Russian flag on the North Pole sea floor in 2007 -- have been the primary source of concern about possible conflicts with other countries in the Arctic region. But despite repeated pledges by NATO's four Arctic coastal nations to the peaceful, science-based resolution of disagreements over polar territory and resources, Canada, the U.S., Denmark and Norway have clashed at times over various issues and are likely to file competing claims for undersea territory in the coming years. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Keeping score of Hampton Roads

Think Regionally-Live Regionally-Act Regionally

... gathering of regional public officials and community leaders for the official launch of Hampton Roads Performs, a joint effort by the Hampton Roads Partnership and the Council on Virginia’s Future. The event was capped by a demonstration of, a new Web site intended to provide easy access to a broad spectrum of data about the region via more than 35 indicators in key areas including the economy, government and citizens, education, health and family, public safety, transportation and natural resources.

.02 Atlanta Region PLAN 2040

Land Matters

PLAN 2040 is an Atlanta Regional Commission initiative to better link and integrate state, region and local government actions into a cohesive framework to guide our region’s growth. Taking actions and investments that are not connected to other agencies or organizations will not work in our current or future environment. ...

.03 Mossback bites, and other revelations


A couple of interesting new pieces about Pugetopolis are worth noting. Joel Connelly, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's legendary political columnist, takes some whacks at Mossback for being a critical of the region's growth patterns in an economic downturn, a time when we need to do something, anything, to get the region moving again. "The Pugetopolis lately seems like a Gulliver tied down by strings of naysayers," he intones. The strings, Connelly alleges, are our dysfunctional political process.

In my book, I explain some of the origins of this process, and as a citizen of the region I have by turns been frustrated and relieved that we are as dysfunctional as we are. ...

.04 Houston 3.0 The Opportunity for a Connected Future

Houston Have Your Say

For reasons of energy efficiency, it’s clear that trains and ships will play an increased role in moving people and goods around. Our growing port positions us as the major Texas gateway to and from the rest of the world. Now the emergence of the Texas Triangle Megaregion (Houston-Dallas-Fort Worth-Austin-San Antonio), suggests Houston needs new high-speed rail connections to those cities. ...

.05 Great Lakes Economic Development: Transforming the region

Place Marketing Group

The development of the Detroit regional aerotropolis is nearing reality. By the end of this year, we should see a development corporation formed by the nine units of local government within the aerotropolis area to market the property, ...

.06 RPA On The Cascading Benefits Of Improving the Northeast Corridor

Brooklyn Streets, Carroll Gardens

... Second, making the Northeast corridor lines faster and more reliable would induce more people to choose rail over air for travel within the megaregion. This in turn would free up valuable space in our overcrowded Northeast airports, making landing slots available for more economically valuable, longer-haul flights. ...

.07 Benefits of Collaboration Are Vast

Advance Northeast Ohio

If you are wondering what benefits can come of government collaboration, I encourage you to read a series of articles in the Wooster Daily Record that examines the benefits of the partnership developing between the separate school districts serving Orrville and Rittman in Wayne County. ...

.08 MountainKeepers: Affordable Housing

By Mountain Blogger

Mountain Blogger: Boone, North Carolina, United States: For the past decade, the MountainKeepers organization has been an independent voice for the safekeeping of the special character of our communities and region, the preservation of our ... The intent of this alliance is to stimulate and enable collaboration, coordination, and communication across the numerous already existing efforts, programs, and activities committed to these ideals, and also to identify, champion, and support new endeavors that promote the resilience and sustainability of the High County. ...


By Nancy Levant

Those in the defense of freedom and the right to self-determination are indeed bold, beautiful and brave. Political scammers, social engineers, and other public manipulators — including public and private schools, research-funded academia, and appointed regional councils with their local political partners — are grant-based liars and traitorous sellouts. ... new and improved agendas will certainly continue to march us down “governance” road, … I invite you to join Darren Weeks and myself every Saturday morning on the Republic Broadcasting Network talk radio program, Govern America. ...

.10 Obama: The Days of “Building Sprawl Forever” Are Over

Streetsblog San Francisco - San Francisco, CA, USA

I would like for us to invest in mass transit because potentially that's energy efficient. And I think people are a lot more open now to thinking regionally…The days where we're just building sprawl forever, those days are over. I think that Republicans, Democrats, everybody… recognizes that’s not a smart way to design communities. So we should be using this money to help spur this sort of innovative thinking when it comes to transportation. ...

.11 Silicon Valley Green Economic Development

California Studies BLOG

BELOW, you will find our preliminary organizing principles and research questions into the project on the Silicon Valley green economy. ... –migration patterns international and domestic-regional ...

.12 Proposals for a new ‘Bradford Observatory’ to Inform Local Planning and Provision in Health and Well Being

third sector health By HealthNet

A network of 9 Regional Observatories and 12 Regional Public Health Observatories currently provide a similar though higher-level function across the UK (, ) and there are also local examples (e.g. Brighton - Bradford Observatory will supplement national and regional intelligence by consolidating and sharing data at much smaller sub-District localities or neighbourhoods. ...

.13 Is a Regional name important?


Daryl's region which includes Herts, Essex, Cambridge Greater and London North is gaining momentum and really needs a Regional name as 'Herts, Cambs, Essex & Gtr London (North)' doesn't really work! Any ideas?

.14 NewVerMaine

Ted Landphair's America

I’m at it again with another made-up regional name. Just as there is no such place as MassConnIsland to encompass the three southernmost states in the New England region, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine to the north don’t really come together as NewVerMaine. But they have enough in common to set them apart from the states below them. ...

.15 State Sovereignty Resolutions Introduced

The Ohio Republic

Legislators in at least nine States have had it with Federal meddling! They have therefore introduced resolutions asserting the sovereignty of their States in the current session, which began last month. Those States are Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, California, and Georgia. ...

.16 Embedded religion in Asia

The Immanent Frame

To create national unity, maintain social control, and mobilize large and diverse populations, modernizing governments needed (or thought they needed) to get control over religious practices that fostered particularism, regionalism, and ethnic distinction. There were two main strategies. One was to suppress religious practice—destroy temples, ban public religious rituals, eliminate religious leaders (by forcing them to change their professions, by imprisoning them, and sometimes by executing them)—and to replace this with a quasi-religious cult of the state and its leader. This was the strategy of -

.17 A Tale of Two Cities

Global Dashboard - Notes from the Future

In Europe, the heat wave of 2003 killed 35,000 people, most of them old and living in urban apartments. Families had abandoned the city centres for the beach, while hospitals were short staffed. No-one realised that the region’s worst peacetime disaster was underway. By 2030, the world can expect to see a doubling of heat related deaths. But the threat from climate will be at its most acute in the chaotic, sprawling, endless cities of the developing world. ...

.18 The US - India knowledge relationship: the sleeping giant stirs!


How will President Obama’s ambitious plans for a new diplomacy translate into practical international relations and how will this impact on the education sector? ... Anna-Lee Saxenian’s book The New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in a Global Economy) have pointed out the seminal role of talented Indian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and elsewhere and research links with the US are strong and growing. ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Federal Economic Development Forum - International Economic Development Council - March 15 -17, 2009 - Alexandria, Virginia

The 2009 IEDC Federal Economic Development Forum will bring together economic developers from across the nation to discuss federal policy, programs, and issues with their peers and engage with Federal leaders. The current state of the economy and the nation’s energy policy pose significant challenges while also creating substantial opportunities for economic developers. …


Regional & State Association Partners:

.02 A "New Regionalism" Take on Economic Development: What Matters Most to Businesses - What Works Best For Communities - Northeastern Economic Developers Association - March 19, 2009 - Manchester, NH

.03 Observations - West Midlands Regional Observatory - UK

Welcome to Observations. Our contributors are from the West Midlands Regional Observatory.

This site aims to be informative but the opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the West Midlands Regional Observatory. We aim to ensure that the information is correct. However, mistakes may occur and readers should verify the information before using it.

The West Midlands Regional Observatory have been a key source of regional intelligence since 2002. …

.04 Regional Seminars: The Changing Landscape of Learning - The Third Sector National Learning Alliance (TSNLA) - UK

The last ten years has seen huge changes in the learning and skills sector and the Third Sector has played an important role in linking this to the importance of social inclusion. But the pace of change has intensified and since Leitch and 'World Class Skills', changes to informal adult learning and the current economic situation Third Sector Learning providers are more aware than ever that they need to understand the impact these changes will have, and they need to have a voice to influence the policy driving and responding to these changes.

"Change always comes bearing gifts." Price Pritchett

The TSNLA is hosting a series of regional seminars to highlight some of these changes and to listen to the concerns and hopes of Third Sector learning providers regarding these changes.

.05 Future Secretary General of the CPMR - Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe

The CPMR, founded in 1973, was one of Europe’s first regional lobbies. Its task is to represent the interests of the peripheral and maritime regions of the European Union and to defend these interests with the European institutions by influencing EU policies and funding. It has also worked to promote interregional cooperation both within the Union and with third countries, particularly the neighbouring states. ...


The role of the Secretary General is to ensure that the common interests of the organisation’s members are effectively represented within the different European Institutions. ... The application, in Word or PDF format, must reach the CPMR Secretariat in Rennes by 22 March 2009 at the latest, and be sent under the heading “Application for the post of Secretary General” to the following email address:

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 What Cooked the World's Economy? - It wasn't your overdue mortgage - The Village Voice – New York, NY, USA

The basic story line so far is that we are all to blame, including homeowners who bit off more than they could chew, lenders who wrote absurd adjustable-rate mortgages, and greedy investment bankers.

Credit derivatives also figure heavily in the plot. Apologists say that these became so complicated that even Wall Street couldn't understand them and that they created "an unacceptable level of risk." Then these blowhards tell us that the bailout will pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the credit arteries and save the patient, which is the world's financial system. It will take time—maybe a year or so—but if everyone hangs in there, we'll be all right. No structural damage has been done, and all's well that ends well.

Sorry, but that's drivel. In fact, what we are living through is the worst financial scandal in history. It dwarfs 1929, Ponzi's scheme, Teapot Dome, the South Sea Bubble, tulip bulbs, you name it. Bernie Madoff? He's peanuts.

Credit derivatives—those securities that few have ever seen—are one reason why this crisis is so different from 1929.

Derivatives weren't initially evil. They began as insurance policies on large loans. …

Credit derivatives are breaking and will continue to break the world's financial system and cause an unending crisis of liquidity and gummed-up credit. Warren Buffett branded derivatives the "financial weapons of mass destruction." Felix Rohatyn, the investment banker who organized the bailout of New York a generation ago, called them "financial hydrogen bombs."

Both are right. At almost $600 trillion, over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives dwarf the value of publicly traded equities on world exchanges, which totaled $62.5 trillion in the fall of 2007 and fell to $36.6 trillion a year later.

So what do we do now? …

.02 Go government, boo business in Davos - The Associated Press


In years past, Davos was the place to see and be seen. Tycoons and captains of industry were the stars, and governments were told to stick to politics.

But, mindful of what News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch called the "$50 trillion of personal wealth" that has vanished since September, the focus has shifted.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mexican President Felipe Calderon are just some of the more than 40 heads of state in Davos this year.

They bring experience and — in some cases — political clout. Increasingly, they are also coming in charge of large parts of their national economies.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the large numbers of political leaders "is a good thing ... for finding solutions to the economic crisis and for fostering ambitious climate policies."

His country will host a major U.N. climate meeting in December and he is using Davos to try "to convince people that there's no competition between ambitious climate policies and the resolution of the financial crisis."

However, Ohler said the traditional boundaries of governments have become blurred.

"There are certain areas where governments need to take action and there are certain areas where it's clearly the financial markets that should take care of things," he said. "Governments are not the answer. We all need to do our homework and take care of ourselves."

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said government action was crucial, but in cooperation with industry, too.

"It's not just giving away money and taking a risk on the taxpayers and giving all the good things that come out of that to the owners or to the ones in the highest position of the bank and financial sector," he said. …



The Cato ad features a list of 200 academic economists who apparently agree with a statement in the ad, the bottom line of which is:

“Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.”

There are several levels of deception in this one sentence:

Boosting “growth” is not a rational strategy to achieve economic prosperity, social stability and environmental sustainability in a Global context of finite resources. It is also NOT the way to preserve democracies with market economies. ...

The Wealth Gap is so large that relying on Trickle Down to provide shelter (Affordable and Accessible Housing) has become a sick joke. Even with a less obscene Wealth Gap, for Trickle Down to operate, the value / value of dwellings must go down not up. With a dwelling being many Households largest “investment” growth in cost is essential.

Even more important, the dwelling units must be the right size and in the right location.

Mortgage packaging, securitizing and leveraging by Fannie and Freddie exacerbated the shortcoming of municipal land use controls yielding grossly dysfunctional and unsustainable Regional settlement patterns.

To overcome the long term impact of decades of Trickle Down in Affordable and Accessible Housing (and in Mobility and Access because of reliance on Large, Private Vehicles) there are two choices:

• Massive, forced redistribution of wealth between layers / levels of the Ziggurat which almost no one thinks is a feasible much less ‘good’ idea, or

• A fundamentally different mix of dwelling types and settlement patterns.

Citizens and their leaders have failed to evolve a Regional governance. States and the feds “let them eat cake” by turning the use and management of land over to self-serving municipal governments.

.04 President Obama: Nationalize the Fed and Create Our Own Money - Dissident Voice - Santa Rosa, CA, USA

We are all full of anxiety these days. How bad will the depression be? Will the bailout work? How will we (and our children and grandchildren) be able to pay for the massive bailout of the Banks and our massive public debt?

The new book, The Web of Debt, by Ellen Hodgson Brown, Stephen J. Zerlanga’s proposed American Monetary Act, and Paul Grignon’s 47 minute video Money and Debt present a persuasive case for the United States to exercise its sovereignty by creating its own currency, and for the nationalization of the Federal Reserve System. The fact that Wall Street banks are “too big to fail,” is a compelling reason, among many others, why they should be nationalized. These authors present interesting solutions for our current anxiety. They propose a way to abolish our Ponzi-like private banking system and to curb banker fraud.

Here are some shocking little-known facts from the sources here reviewed:

* The Federal Reserve Bank is a private institution owned and controlled by private banks. It is a private bank that enriches its private owners.

* The US Mint does not create our money. It creates about 3% of it in the form of dollar bills and coins. The rest is generated through computerized bookkeeping entries by the private banks.

* Banks do not make loans only from money they have on deposit… Through what is called “fractional reserve banking,” They loan well over ten times the amount they have on deposit. This is how our money is created. It is created out of thin air.

* All debt of the US, all corporate debt, and all individual debt are owed to private banks.

* All money is debt.

* ...

.05 The Future of the Global Financial System 2009 - MyDD Blog

The above [YouTube Video] is a presentation from the Davos World Economic Forum summarizing four possible scenarios through 2020 for the global financial system. The four scenarios are Financial Regionalism, Re-engineered Western Centrism, Fragmented Protectionism, and Rebalanced Multilateralism. More on these below the fold.

1) Financial Regionalism. Under this scenario, the world by 2020 is divided into three major trading blocs: the European Union, the "Democratic Trade Alliance" led by the United States and its free trade partners supposedly in the Western Hemisphere, and the "fast-expanding Eastern International Economic Community. This scenario foresees a world where goods and services flow freely within each region but barriers between are high.

2) Re-engineered Western Centrism. ...

3) Fragmented Protectionism. ...

4) Rebalanced Multilateralism. ...

.06 Markopolos: SEC's regional turf tiffs hampered case

Boston Globe - United States

Harry Markopolos, the man who tried to tip off federal regulators about the Bernard L. Madoff scandal for nine years, yesterday told lawmakers that turf battles between the Boston and New York offices of the Securities and Exchange Commission were at the heart of the agency's bungling of the case. Speaking before the House Financial Services subcommittee, Markopolos recalled that one SEC staffer in Boston who had listened to him warned him "that relations between the New York and Boston regional offices were about as warm and friendly as the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry." ...

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

To search on topics like those in Regional Community Development News use this custom search engine which 1,187 utilizes regional related sites as of February 11, 2009. Entering the term emergency management returned 373 items; emergency response returned 418 items.

Search engine link:

My name is Tom Christoffel. I've worked in the field of intergovernmental and regional cooperation since 1973. As a consequence, "I see regions work.” Regional Community Development News is published bi-monthly based on news reports as of Wednesday of the publication week

Making visible such cross-boundary planning, collaboration and cooperative action at multi-jurisdictional networked regional scales, public, private and NGO is my 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.

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