Regional Community Development News – March 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 - .40

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .26

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .23

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .06

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


Top Regional Community stories

  1.  The Urban/Rural Conundrum - by Bill Dodge, Regional Excellence

The polarized politics of the past half century have often undermined our best  efforts to address the nation’s toughest challenges.

Nowhere has this been more evident then in our attempts to create partnerships among central cities (often politically blue), surrounding suburbs (variations of purple), and fringe rural areas (often red).  Negotiating strategies to take advantage of common economic opportunities or thwart common environmental threats is trying.  Reaching agreements to deliver cost-effective road, transit, sewer, water, and other infrastructure, and services, is difficult.  Addressing social challenges, such as fiscal inequities between rich and poor jurisdictions, is almost impossible.

And that’s just in more urban regions.  Pursuing partnerships between more urban regions (often blue) and more rural regions (often red) is usually deemed politically suicidal.

As President Obama strives to build bridges across the red/blue divide, a key pillar of that strategy needs to be regional cooperation.

A decade ago, I became the Executive Director of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) and inherited a large/small, but mostly urban/rural, divide among members.  My members were the regional councils of governments that guide transportation, air/water quality, and land use planning and deliver common services at the multi-jurisdictional level.  Some of the approximately 500 regional councils across the country are predominately urban or rural, but many are an urban/rural mix.

NARC sponsored activities to bring the two factions together, but with little success.  In fact, many of the smaller, more rural regional councils had already left NARC and joined the National Association of Development Organizations.

What NARC could not achieve internally has begun to happen, as regions respond to the challenges of the new century.  More urban regions became interested in preserving their rural fringes, to slow profligate sprawl growth and promote infill development that utilizes existing infrastructure and services.

Simultaneously, more rural regions started encountering the same economic, environmental, and social challenges as the more urban ones, such as absorbing new immigrants from other regions and overseas.  Local leaders and citizens in both sets of regions realized that they could not address their own challenges, especially tough ones like affordable housing, if they could not engage all parts of their regions  --  red, blue, and purple  --  in resolving them.

Moreover, more rural and more urban regions began to realize that they needed each other. …

  2. St Helens signs up to controversial Liverpool 'city region' club - St Helens Today - St Helens, UK

It's the talking point that just refuses to go away - is St Helens on the verge of becoming an annexe of Liverpool?

Less than two months after two high-profile local politicians blasted proposals to merge St Helens into a new Greater Liverpool area, the Government has devolved extra powers to St Helens Council - because the borough falls within the 'Liverpool city-region'.

A new Multi-Area Agreement signed by the Prime Minister and council leaders at Downing Street last week gave authorities across Merseyside more say in where money should be invested. The funding would then be handed over jointly to the five Merseyside councils, which form the newly created Liverpool city region.

It is hoped the new cross-council strategy will help safeguard jobs and support people coming off benefits to create 'a thriving international city region by 2020'.

Campaigners fear the move is the first step towards creating a Greater Liverpool but council leader Brian Spencer insisted the town would always retain its identity, describing the agreement as 'common sense'.

Chris Dawson, chairman of the Friends of Real Lancashire pressure group, reckons this latest move could be the first step towards the creation of a new 'Greater Liverpool' region.

He said: "On the surface, it would seem this is just a means of co-ordinating services that are already shared by the constituent local authorities. Only time will tell, but there may be a more sinister agenda."

  3. County moves to update comprehensive plan - News-Sun - Sebring, FL, USA

The Highlands County Commission voted 5-0 to approve a contract with the Central Florida Regional Planning Council  to update the countywide comprehensive plan.

Opponents to the contract claimed that the county did not need to expend the extra $250,000 for the contract, and that the action was directed at moving forward a couple of large development projects around the Lake Placid area.

"Our track record with DCA is not very good. That is one of the reasons why I asked CFRPC to come in and assist us with our comprehensive plan," said County Administrator Michael Wright.

"Another reason is that we are required by statute to update our comprehensive plan, and we have less than a year to do that. Currently, we can not go forward with any of our amendments until we update our plan, so we are for all effects stopped for any future development," Wright said.

But some citizens at the meeting voiced their disagreement.

"It's a joke. It's a scam. That it got this far is evidence of misconduct. There is no reason what so ever to pay the regional council $75,000 on April 1. They have done nothing yet. Don't you pay for what you get? The scope of work is an absolute mess. This is going to require that you put on more people anyhow and this kind of spending without proper planning is ridiculous," said Preston H. Colby.

An additional item arose about the vote surrounding this contract by Councilman Jeff Carlson, who is the president of the Central Florida Planning Council (CFPC), the controlling board for the Regional Planning Council.

"Some of these records that the taxpayers are paying for will not be public record, is that correct?" Colby asked in his extra time allotted …

  4. Coweta returns to idea of countywide chairman - The Citizen Online - Fayetteville, GA, USA

Coweta County Commissioners last week took up the issue of having a countywide chairman to handle the growing need of regional representation in metro affairs that will increasingly impact Coweta. The idea of having a countywide chairman began more than a year ago. Though no decision was reached Feb. 26, it seemed clear that the board, in general, looked favorably on the idea.

“I think it’s vital to be able to attend (out-of-county) meetings and be the voice of the community,” said District 3 Commissioner Randolph Collins. “I thought at first it could be part-time, but I think now it could be full-time. The chairman has growing responsibilities.”

District 2 Commissioner Tim Lassetter recommended that a list of pro’s and con’s on a full-time chairman be devised to help identify and clarify issues.

“It would be hard to justify paying a full-time chairman in these economic times, though that would likely be needed,” Lassetter said. “So we would need to spend some time discussing it before making a decision. We should also look at how other counties with full-time chairmen do it.”

Also during the discussion, Collins suggested that a position of countywide chairman should include term limits and that the board should establish an accompanying job description.

“A full-time position could draw good, needed attention to Coweta,” Collins said. “It’s time for Coweta to grow positively and impact the region. I think Coweta will be the next Gwinnett or Cobb.”

Chairman Paul Poole said he did not personally want to see a change in the current structure, noting that regional leaders will still run organizations such as Atlanta Regional Commission.  [] But it should be put on the ballot for the citizens to decide, Poole said.

  5. DOT Chief Pushing Light Rail As Connecticut's Best Way To Go -Hartford Courant - United States

Throughout the winter, new strategies for improving Connecticut's transportation system have been surfacing at the Capitol: Extend commuter train service to Rhode Island and Massachusetts; build light rail in Stamford; reconstruct aging freight rail lines.

… The chief appeal is the lure of economic recovery, with transit advocates suggesting that better rail systems would spur commercial development and position Connecticut to grow — and sustain its relatively high quality of living — when the deep recession lifts.

In appearances around the state, Transportation Commissioner Joseph Marie is citing successes of other states as a powerful reason to beef up Connecticut's rail transit system.

"Eighteen cities opened light rail systems since 1985, and all but one have doubled or tripled in size. In Dallas a study showed real estate values improved 25 percent faster along the LRT than the rest of the region," Marie said recently at the Gallivan Conference, an annual public policy forum at the University of Connecticut's law school.

If light rail and commuter rail systems are designed well and located strategically, they draw clusters of high-quality commercial, housing and retail development around their stops, he said.

Creating better rail links within the state is vital to keeping young workers, attracting upscale employers and reviving languishing cities such as Hartford, Waterbury, New Britain and Meriden, said Norman Garrick, director of UConn's Center for Transportation and Urban Planning.

"Rail can restore the centrality of cities," Garrick told the conference. "If Connecticut is to be competitive, we have to reactivate those cities and relearn the art of place-making."

Garrick is endorsing Rep. David McCluskey's drive to begin passenger service on the Waterbury-Hartford line, a link that McCluskey envisions as part of a desperately needed regional rail network tying together all of New England and New York. ...,0,4034564.story

  6. Advantage West Midlands has a new boss, but for how long? - Birmingham

The West Midlands is to have a new business czar in the form of Sir Roy McNulty, former chair of the Civil Aviation Authority.

He has been appointed chair of Advantage West Midlands, the government quango with a £300 million budget which is responsible for supporting the region's economy.

But for how long will he be in the job? As the Birmingham Post reported earlier this month, Conservatives have announced that a Tory government would abolish bodies like Advantage West Midlands, which are known as regional development agencies.

The report has prompted some dissent - as did a story I wrote last year, during the Conservative conference, which predicted the announcement - from people who dispute that abolish is the right word.

The Tory proposal has two parts. First, they will remove the powers of regional development agency, except those directly related to economic development. The agencies will no longer play a role in housing or planning, for example.

Clearly, this does not mean they will be abolished.

But the second part of the Tory proposal is to invite councils to take over the remaining responsibility - economic development - and transfer it to new organisations they create themselves, called enterprise partnerships.

These will cover boundaries determined by local authorities, instead of huge regions such as the West Midlands. They will be answerable to local councils, not Ministers in London. And they will spend the money currently spent by regional development agencies.

If you like, you can argue that these are a modified version of regional development agencies rather than something brand new. Either way, everyone involved in economic development in the West Midlands needs to be ready for huge changes to the way the system works.

Here is what the Tory proposal says, in their own words: …

  7. Glut of empty hotel rooms indicates enough is enough - The Patriot-News - - Harrisburg, PA, USA

When is too much just too much?

On the basketball court, you can throw your hands into a "T," make for the bench and take a break. …

How refreshing it was to hear the chairman of the Hershey Regional Visitors Bureau utter the unfashionable when he said recently that we should temporarily stop building hotels in the midstate.

Too many hotels and too few guests are creating a glut of empty rooms. Occupancy and revenue rates are dropping as a result. Now that's a warning that should perk up official ears: Rooms that stay empty lead to buildings that go vacant.

King's solution? Trade those economic Band-Aids for an outright ban on construction. No new hotels until at least 2012.

But wait a minute, you say. Won't the free market's reliance on matching supply with demand ultimately take care of this problem? Go a few months without customers and any business will fail, right? New prospects will be forced to simply reconsider their plans.

Unfortunately, this is where real regional planning breaks down. …

In January, for example, a Swatara Twp. hotel project received a $2.3 million loan that the state Department of Community and Economic Development promised to back if the business fails. While touted as the first midrange hotel to be built in the township in the last 15 years, its 74 rooms might do little more than make the problem worse.

In Harrisburg, too, Mayor Stephen R. Reed is pushing for $22 million in federal funding for two downtown hotels. With a 13-story, 138-room hotel at Second and State streets and a 88-room hotel at Third and State streets in the works, it's no wonder why existing hotel owners are worried.

RC: Tri-County Regional Planning Commission -

  8. Group hears of ways to boost tourism - Canon City Daily Record - Canon City, CO, USA

… Five-County Regional Tourism Steering Committee … Judy Walden, of Walden Mills Group, compared tourism with slices of the day, saying wherever tourists go, they participate in seven slices everyday, which consist of meals, activities and lodging.

She said, geo tourism is combined with eco-tourism, cultural, heritage and civic tourism.

Geo tourism means, not just saving the planet, but saving your place,” Walden said.

In the past, when people went on vacation, they wanted to go, see and do, but the country has changed.

“Americans in the past five years have absolutely worn themselves to a frazzle,” Walden said. “As a culture (and) as a people, we are exhausted,” Walden said. “The new pattern in travel is to go, see, immerse. People don’t want to go, go, go. When they get somewhere, they want to connect.

“Those travelers want to know who you are, what you have to offer, pay a fair price to experience it and play by your rules,” she said. “The first thing you want to ask yourself is ‘what do we want to share with travelers?’”

She advised those attending to use the history to lure tourists into the area.

“One of the biggest draws (of tourism) is culinary,” Walden said. “You have the only wine for miles around so I’m looking at the Abbey and asking why not food and wine pairings.”

“By far, the biggest trend in America is the search for health and well-being,” Walden said. “The second biggest trend is the demand for personalization,” which means creating a space for travelers to make them feel special.

The third trend is traveling on weekends as the norm.

“Data shows that Americans are taking four to five long weekends in a year,” …

  9. Texas regions battle for new public universities - Dallas Morning News - Dallas, TX, USA

The tug of war for new Texas universities has begun.

In back-to-back hearings this week, North Texas lawmakers lobbied for new public law and pharmacy schools in Dallas, affordable educations largely absent in the region.

They face stiff competition from South Texas lawmakers vying for a medical school and their own law school. While the Rio Grande Valley has fewer higher-education options, Dallas' proposed schools have lower price tags – a major selling point in a tight budget year.

"Do we want Dallas, 30 years from now, to be a really large population center where no one can go to a public school and further a degree?" asked Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas. "Our region has the largest demand for legal talent in Texas, and right now, we're filling that demand out of state. We have to look way down the road."

Wednesday's hearing before the House Higher Education Committee, which Branch chairs, was a contest of sorts, as regions competed for the superlative "Most Underserved."

Dallas lawmakers, joined by Mayor Tom Leppert, lobbied for a new University of North Texas law school and pharmacy school, saying the Dallas-Fort Worth region is the biggest in the country without one of each.

The UNT law school, which died in the House on a last-minute technicality in 2007, is Dallas' top legislative priority. The historic Old City Hall building downtown has been set aside for it.

Rep. Helen Giddings, D-Dallas, said the state is already short on pharmacists. Today, North Texas students must leave the region to get certified, she said.

RC: North Central Texas Council of Governments

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  Cobo deal's defeat means saying good-bye to regionalism

Detroit Free Press - United States

Detroit City Council's rejection of the Cobo deal will affect much more than the auto show, thousands of jobs and a piece of downtown real estate. This shortsighted action could hamstring for years to come the regional cooperation needed to move southeast Michigan forward. Trust is critical in getting any region's political players to work together: To get power, governments must sometimes cede power. By turning down a good-faith offer that would clearly benefit Detroiters, a handful of council members have gone back to the divisive politics that has stymied this region, on both sides of 8 Mile, for decades. ...

    .02  COBO VICTORY!

Michigan Citizen - Highland Park, MI, USA

It was a stunning blow to non-Detroit interests including Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. On Feb. 24, Detroit City Council voted 5-3 to reject the sale of Cobo Hall to a regional authority. Grass-roots Detroiters packed council chambers, speaking passionately against the give-away of yet another city asset. “This is about what is best for my constituents,” resolution author Council President Monica Conyers said in a release after the vote. “There is $2 billion coming to Michigan as part of President Obama’s Economic Stimulus Package . . . . We should be able to use our portion of those funds to upgrade Cobo as well as purchase the Illitch’s contract [for Cobo Arena] for an expansion of the facility.” ...

    .03  A regional-collaboration suggestion box for NE Ohio's leaders to fill

The Plain Dealer - - Cleveland, OH, USA

... region's huge number of governments -- Cuyahoga County alone has 59 cities, villages and townships -- guarantees redundancies that drive up the price of doing almost everything. ... Why, you might ask, is an effort to make this region more economically competitive focusing on government efficiency? It's because investors consider every expense when they consider opening or expanding a business, including the cost of government. As long as this region supports so many overpriced governments, it's not as competitive as it must be. That hurts us all. ...

    .04  NC Legislature must make boundary changes again - Raleigh, NC, USA

The Legislature will have to change its district boundaries a fourth time this decade based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday involving racial gerrymandering and a state requirement barring districts from crossing over county boundaries. The nation's highest court upheld a 2007 state Supreme Court decision that found boundaries for a House district in Pender and New Hanover counties were illegal. ... About 25 states have some restrictions or guidelines in their laws relatively similar to North Carolina involving how districts can be drawn. The decision could affect how districts with sizable minority groups are fashioned, said Tim Storey, a redistricting expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures. ...

    .05  Institute for Local Government Releases New Publication

Nation's Cities Weekly - Washington, DC, USA

The Institute for Local Government has published "A Local Official’s Guide to Intergovernmental Conflict Resolution," which aims to help local agencies resolve the problems and challenges that emerge when they find themselves in a dispute with one another. ... This guide contains information on the causes and consequences of inter-agency disputes, discusses different conflict resolution strategies to address these differences and offers guidance on finding and selecting a conflict resolution provider. ... publication is available online without charge at


    .06  Intergovernmental partnership aims to limit risks in stimulus spending - Washington, DC, USA

The Partnership for Intergovernmental Management and Accountability, which comprises high-ranking financial management officials in federal, state and local governments, has published a number of documents and assessment tools []to help agencies monitor funds spent under the economic stimulus package. ...

    .07  Council lauds good community work

Traverse City Record Eagle - Traverse City, MI, USA

Several regional businesses, organizations and people received awards for various development and community projects, courtesy of the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments. The agency gave out nine awards for leadership, planning, collaboration, volunteerism, career development and employment, among other topics. It's a way to honor people and organizations for good community work, said Matt McCauley, the agency's associate director. ...

    .08  Do More With Fewer: Consolidation Of Agencies Could Bring Regional Efficiency

Hartford Courant - United States

... Gov. M. Jodi Rell's proposed $50 million regionalism grant program is a good thing, as far as it goes. But it misses a broader opportunity. ... The threshold problem with the regional planning organizations is that there are too many of them. The state is divided into 15 planning regions, which are organized as regional councils of elected officials, regional councils of government or regional planning agencies. California, a considerably larger state, has 17 planning regions. ... If Mrs. Rell wants to encourage regional cooperation and save money, she ought to consolidate the regional planning organizations, as she has proposed doing with the probate courts. ...,0,2368945.story

    .09  The region’s bureaucracy is unwieldy

I recently suggested that our region could have a city-county form of government. With an open mind and a spirit of collaboration, I welcome a conversation that could result in lessened bureaucracy, a fair allocation of resources, greater efficiency of service and, ultimately, a budget that is easier to balance year to year. ...  According to an 18-year old report by the San Diego Region Citizens’ Commission on Government Efficiency and Restructuring, our region is governed by more than 135 jurisdictions, including more than 50 agencies that fight fire, eight library systems and 10 police forces. There are 43 school districts, more than 25 Mello-Roos districts, more than 80 assessment districts within cities, and 17 governmental units established by state legislation. ...

    .10  We need more cooperation, not a merger

San Francisco was cited by Councilman Hueso as an example of combined local governments. That merger in 1856 made sense. The city and county of San Francisco occupies a compact 47 square miles with fewer than one-third the number of residents of our county. Contrast that with San Diego County, which contains 18 cities plus a large unincorporated area. Our county covers 4,200 square miles and has a population in excess of 3 million. Our governance issues have little in common with San Francisco. ... Cooperation is the key. More regional cooperation would help us deliver the best services at the lowest cost. A merger of the city and the county does not make sense.

    .11  Bumpy ride

San Diego Union Tribune - San Diego, CA, USA

Average daily ridership for the year was 7300, according to the San Diego Association of Governments. That's about 70 percent of the 10166 that SANDAG had most recently projected for the first year of service. ... Gary Gallegos, executive director of the San Diego Association of Governments, the region's transportation and planning agency, said ridership projections based on computer modeling may have been off, but a declining economy affected ridership. Gallegos noted that transit ridership peaked when gasoline prices exceeded $4 a gallon.  “I know people get hung up on the numbers after the first year, but this is a long-term investment,” Gallegos said. “We see this rail link as critical for this whole (transportation) system.” Gallegos said funding for public transit is a problem that needs a solution. “Right at the very moment when we ought to be trying to increase service because of tough economic times (and) high unemployment ... we're having to cut service,” Gallegos said. “It speaks to the fact that the structure we have for paying for operations is literally broken.”

    .12  Suozzi pushes for regional bus service

Newsday - Long Island, NY, USA

Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi laid out his support at a forum Friday for a state commission's report seeking a regional bus service for a dozen downstate counties, including Nassau and Suffolk, only to have strong opposition to some elements of it surface in his own backyard. "Without a regional bus service, our long-term vision of new suburbia can't be realized," Suozzi said ... But to pay for the regional bus service, the Ravitch Commission's proposal calls for more and higher vehicle tolls and a "payroll" tax on all businesses, including governments and not-for-profits in the 12 counties. Suozzi backs the commission's plan and called on those who object to its financing to offer an "alternative plan." ... Suozzi has said that such a regional service would help address the four major problems facing Nassau's future: high property taxes, a lack of affordable housing, congested traffic and pockets of poverty. ...,0,5873689.story

    .13  Cities frown on 'poaching' among businesses

Stow Sentry - Stow, Ohio, USA

-When a community lures a business from another town in Summit County, it hurts the entire county. So say county officials, who are trying to draw up an agreement with communities that would penalize those towns that "poach" companies from another. "That is a means to regionalism," Connie Kraus, director of the county's department of community and economic development, told Stow Council ...

    .14  Discussions continue on dispatch contract

Stow Sentry - Stow, Ohio, USA

Mayor Christopher Grimm planned to meet with Stow Mayor Karen Fritschel March 6 to discuss the former Tallmadge dispatchers, who he says is not receiving seniority at Stow's new emergency dispatch center. Grimm said March 5 that if the five dispatchers don't get their contractually-promised seniority in full, he has thought about ending the current dispatching arrangement with Stow and again consider a Council of Governments. "Worst case scenario, we'll go back and visit that [COG] idea," said Grimm. ...

    .15  Bay Area authorities team up for stimulus money

East Bay Business Times - Pleasanton, CA, USA

Bay Area authorities are rushing to put together a regional effort to maximize the amount of federal stimulus cash that flows to the area. ... to make their best case for that money, several groups will work with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, which has been tapped by the state to draw up a regional plan that shows where the Bay Area could best spend the money and what impact the cash would have. ... The economic institute said it will work with groups like the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the East Bay’s Economic Development Alliance for Business to devise its plan. The full contingent of agencies was still being compiled this week, said Sean Randolph, the institute’s CEO. Other groups that might be tapped to help author the regional strategy are the Association of Bay Area Governments, local mayors, academics from Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley and local corporate executives, all of whom are on the economic institute’s board. …^1786217

    .16  Tucson Latest Testbed for Nissan's Electric Cars

Wired News - USA

Add Tucson, Arizona to the list of places Nissan is helping gear up for the electric cars it promises to have on the road next year. ... Nissan and Ecotality, an Arizona firm that offers "quick-charge" battery charging technology for fleet use, have joined the Pima County Association of Governments to develop a plan for rolling out a charging network and launching an education campaign to foster the adoption of EVs. ... "The Tucson region will be an attractive launch market not just for Nissan's electric vehicles, but all grid-connected vehicles," said Colleen Crowninshield, head of the clean cities program at the Pima Association of Governments …

    .17  Rail connection plans for D/FW re-evaluated

Dallas Morning News - Dallas, TX, USA

The transportation council sets transportation policy for the council of governments. Its findings will be considered by the Dallas Area Rapid Transit board, which has the final say on the Orange Line's route. ... Changes on the Orange Line's final segment could increase the price by as much as $150 million, DART officials estimate. ...

    .18  SCDOT seeking comment on stimulus bill projects

WMBF News - Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

The South Carolina Department of Transportation is seeking comment from the public regarding Economic Stimulus Bill projects for Resurfacing, Interstate Maintenance, Safety/Pavement Markings, Bridge Replacement, and Rural Mass Transit. ... available for public review ... at the following locations: Appalachian Council of Governments ... Lower Savannah Council of Governments ... Upper Savannah Council of Governments ...

    .19  Atlanta Housing Forums Merge

Atlanta Progressive News - GA, USA

... the Atlanta Housing Forum was a somewhat independent forum that has operated for 20 years, offering meetings at the Atlanta Community Food Bank. AHF has worked closely with the separate Atlanta Regional Housing Forum by the Atlanta Regional Commission, ...

    .20  Henry gets grant from Atlanta Regional Commission

Henry Daily Herald - McDonough, GA, USA

The Atlanta Regional Commission has awarded Henry County a $100,000 Livable Centers Initiative grant to help plan future development around a Hudson Bridge-Jonesboro Road Connector Activity Center. Henry County Commission Chairwoman Elizabeth "B.J." Mathis said the grant will help the county plan for specific types of future construction to avoid urban sprawl in the area. ...

    .21  The Central Nebraska Economic Development Inc. received grants this week

Sand Hills Express - Broken Bow, NE, USA

This week, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development awarded a $600,000 HOME fund grant and a $300,000 Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund grant to Central Nebraska Economic Development Inc. The CNED will use the $600,000 to rehabilitate twenty single family homes for families who earn at or below 80% of the area median income in Blaine, Brown, Garfield, Loup and Wheeler Counties. ... H

    .22  State, region make technology grade

Cape Cod Times - Hyannis, MA, USA

A new report finds Massachusetts held its own or excelled when compared with other states with innovation-driven economies ... Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy, a report released today by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's John Adams Innovation Institute, ... On the Cape, the technology sector is well positioned for growth, experts said. "It's in transition right now," said Robert Curtis, CEO of the Regional Technology Development Corp. of Cape Cod, an organization that helps scientists turn their research into viable commercial enterprises. ...

    .23  Kansas City-area coalition aims at innovation

American City Business Journals - Charlotte, NC, USA

A 15-member coalition of Kansas City-area business, education and nonprofit interests on Thursday kicked off what it’s calling the Year of Innovation, which will highlight the region’s entrepreneurial assets to spur economic development. “The only sure way to move the economy forward is through innovation,” said Bob Marcusse, president and CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council. [] ...

    .24  Commission chairman releases assessment

Daily Journal - Seneca, SC, USA

Emergency Services Commission Chairman Jay Hetherington has sent Oconee County Council ... initial assessment ... Concurrent and long-term priorities include establishing county-to-county daily automatic cross-jurisdictional response and mutual aid agreements with Pickens and Anderson counties as well as those in Georgia and North Carolina. ...

    .25  Those that pay Metro’s bills — city, county — might get more say

Las Vegas Sun - Las Vegas, NV, USA

... growing doubts among state and local politicians about the need for another quarter-cent sales tax increase sought by Metro Police to pay for more officers. The issue pulled back the curtain on an effort under way in Carson City to give elected officials a stronger role in overseeing Metro. Who funds and oversees Metro now? Clark County pays 62 percent of Metro’s general budget; Las Vegas pays about 38 percent. The elected sheriff, Doug Gillespie, runs Metro, but Metro’s Fiscal Affairs Committee oversees some of the department’s budget matters. The committee includes ...

    .26  Brian Anderson: Welcoming Volkswagen: Lesson 3

The Daily Citizen - Dalton, GA, USA

Last October, the leadership team visiting South Carolina from the Chattanooga region heard a variety of stories about cannibalization of employees. Some of the South Carolina hosts felt cannibalization was minimal while others felt that many gravitated to BMW. ...

    .27  Ouachita Council Of Governments expects more funding

Monroe News Star - Monroe, LA, USA

Members of the Ouachita Council of Governments have confirmed that the three member governments with voting power on the council will receive an additional $433,000 to pay for local transportation projects. Those voting members include the cities of Monroe and West Monroe and the Ouachita Parish Police Jury. ...

    .28  Denver area stimulus projects selected

North Denver News - Colorado

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) Board of Directors approved 13 projects in the Denver region to receive approximately $60. million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding. ... About 45 percent of the funds awarded are expected to be underway in as soon as 120 days. ...

    .29  County opposes Upper's merger with Corbin City

Cape May County objects to a proposal for Corbin City to become part of neighboring Upper Township. ... County Counsel John Porto is researching the county's authority to deny the proposed merger, O'Connor said. Atlantic County, too, expressed reservations about the merger. Atlantic County would lose Corbin City's tax revenue, ...

    .30  Oregon Experiments with Mixed Credits

Ecosystem Marketplace - Washington, DC, USA

Building a market in ecosystem services was an early priority. In January of 2006, Harvard Business School strategy guru Michael Porter evaluated Oregon's business plan and suggested that if the state could establish a regulatory environment that was both pro-business and pro-sustainability it would be "epic" for regional economic development. ... "Oregon is uniquely positioned to create the infrastructure that makes an ecosystem services marketplace possible, in part because a number of Oregon businesses, agencies, and non-profits have already made considerable market development investments."...

    .31  CAJUNDOME LOOKS FOR AID: Arena's solvency may depend on city-parish help

The Daily Advertiser - Lafayette, LA, USA

... Cajundome is owned by the state through UL, but the state contributes nothing toward operating the facility. ... Through an intergovernmental agreement signed in 1988, Lafayette Consolidated Government must contribute up to $500,000 a year toward the Cajundome's operations, including paying for normal wear and tear, ... The Cajundome has operated in the black only five years in its history. ...

    .32  EDITORIAL: Ike Money: Lufkin, Angelina County deserve every penny of federal reimbursement

Lufkin Daily News - Lufkin, TX, USA

Lufkin and Angelina County may still get some funds from the stimulus; we just don't know yet. In the meantime, both entities will soon be in the unique position of deciding how to spend millions of federal Hurricane Ike relief dollars. Of the $3.2 million being passed from the Deep East Texas Council of Governments to Angelina County, Lufkin is getting $1.3 million, Diboll $229000, Hudson $170,000, Huntington $83,000, Zavalla $26,000, Burke $12,000 and the county itself $1.4 million.... Lufkin is in a position to pursue its dream of constructing a new convention center, likely on the south side of town, starting with an extra $5 million in Ike money that was secured by DETCOG specifically for that purpose. ...

    .33  Blaming the system

San Francisco Bay Guardian

The Grand Sheraton Hotel in downtown Sacramento was buzzing Feb. 24 as some 400 conference-goers representing myriad geographies and political perspectives gathered in one room to tackle an enormous question: should California's constitution get an overhaul? Hosted by the Bay Area Council, a San Francisco-based business group, the summit introduced the idea of staging a statewide constitutional convention that would grant Californians the opportunity to make major revisions to the state constitution and streamline the government reform process. The council hopes to place a measure on the ballot as early as November 2010 to ask voters if a convention should be called. ...

    .34  Three Detroit-area communities join aerotropolis project

Crain's Detroit Business - Detroit, MI, USA

Three communities near Detroit Metropolitan Airport agreed recently to become part of the “aerotropolis” economic development project aimed at attracting aviation-reliant businesses, through incentives, to land around the airport. ... The aerotropolis is a key element in the $80 million “Road to Renaissance” initiative, the economic revitalization contribution by Detroit Renaissance Inc., the regional CEO council, to the wider “One D” economic plan being championed by Edsel Ford II.

    .35  Culture of entrepreneurship vital to city’s future

Galesburg Register-Mail - Galesburg, IL, USA

Of the 11 strategies listed by the city as its Strategic Initiatives-2009, an entire section is set aside for entrepreneurial development. Included are ongoing programs: entrepreneurial development grant, entrepreneurship center, business incubator, Center for Manufacturing Excellence, Inventors Club, Business and Technology Center and the new Entrepreneurial Opportunity Fund. Some of the programs are Carl Sandburg College and Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association initiatives. ...

    .36  Tax-cut bills gain approval of panel

Arkansas Democrat Gazette - AR, USA

House Bill 1471 by Rep. Robert Moore, D-Arkansas City, to allow a geotourism tax credit to be transferred to other tourism projects and to allow such a tax credit to carry forward. Moore said the bill would allow a bait shop in Lake Village to transfer the credit to a developer on Greers Ferry. The bill would reduce state revenue by $25,000 a year in the current fiscal year and fiscal 2010 and $50,000 in fiscal 2011, according to the department. ...

    .37  Parks may merge with county

Topeka Capital Journal - Topeka, KS, USA

A few Topeka City Council members believe it is time to raise the idea again of consolidating the city and county parks and recreation departments. ...  even though a more comprehensive consolidation of city and county governments was rejected by rural voters, she believes there is support for the parks and recreation merger.

    .38  Urban areas see revival in housing construction

USA Today

In more than half of the 50 most populous metropolitan areas, communities at the urban core have captured a significantly larger share of their region's new residential building permits since 2002 than in the first half of the 1990s, according to an analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency. ... The study highlighted 2007 results to capture the effect of the start of the housing collapse. "There's a clear trend going on, but it's not universal," ...

    .39  The Impact of Regionalization on Reentry Service Outcomes for Individuals With Severe Mental Illness

Psychiatric Services (subscription) - USA

OBJECTIVE: The belief that public mental health services should be regionalized has guided their delivery for the past four decades. But there have been few opportunities to observe and evaluate a service entity's shift from a centralized to a regionalized delivery system. This brief report focuses on the regionalization of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health's forensic transition team, ... CONCLUSIONS: Overall, regionalizing reentry services increased the forensic transition team's capability and expertise in managing reentry for persons with mental illness. However, follow-up of individuals exiting county houses of correction remains a challenge.

    .40  Cost of locking up Americans too high: Pew study


One in every 31 U.S. adults is in the corrections system, which includes jail, prison, probation and supervision, more than double the rate of a quarter century ago, according to a report released on Monday by the Pew Center on the States. The study, which said the current rate compares to one in 77 in 1982, concluded that with declining resources, more emphasis should be put on community supervision, not jail or prison. ... states consider cutting corrections spending during the recession. The research group said that by changing sentencing laws and probation programs states can lower incarceration rates and save money. ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet   Contents

    .01  EU Finance Ministers Resist Further Aid for Region’s Economies

Bloomberg - USA

European governments have pumped billions into their economies in an effort to revive growth, swelling budget deficits across the region. The European Union, which forecasts that the 27-nation bloc’s overall budget shortfall will more than double this year to 4.4 percent of GDP, warned national leaders last month to bring their deficits back in line as soon as possible. ...

    .02  Financial Crisis Sends Quake Through Divided EU - New Zealand

Many of the eastern countries, Bulgaria, Romania among them joined the EU believing in a better future through regionalized co-operation, open markets, and a shared pact with a mission to lift the living standards of the entire Euro-block. That dream is proving elusive. The eastern nations want help and are calling on the more wealthy nations of the EU to compensate them as their economies fail. ...

    .03  The Financial Crisis and the Six Pillars of Russian Strength

Geopolitical Intelligence Report - Stratfor, Austin, TX

The Reality of Russian Power So while Russia might be losing its financial security and capabilities, which in the West tend to boil down to economic wealth, the global recession has not affected the reality of Russian power much at all. Russia has not, currently or historically, worked off of anyone else’s cash or used economic stability as a foundation for political might or social stability. Instead, Russia relies on many other tools in its kit. Some of the following six pillars of Russian power are more powerful and appropriate than ever: 1. Geography: Unlike its main geopolitical rival, the United States, Russia borders most of the regions it wishes to project power into, and few geographic barriers separate it from its targets.

    .04  The View from Europe - The world is changing and so should the Caribbean

Stabroek News - Georgetown, Guyana

The global order is changing. Driven by the economic crisis, the gradual drift of economic power away from the developed world is accelerating as quite literally the wealth of nations changes, alters global relationships and the exercise of power.  This will have within a decade, significant long-term implications for Latin America and the Caribbean. ... developments that the Caribbean is largely unprepared for.  They suggest that within a decade the region, or more probably individual nations or sub-Cariforum groupings, will require a very different order of priority in their external relationships. It also indicates the region will receive significantly less in the way of development assistance from traditional partners and will have to find new ways to position itself in the Americas and in the world that sets aside history. ...

    .05  Regional approach to Rohingya boat people - New York, NY, USA

Southeast Asian leaders have agreed to use the regional mechanism, known as the "Bali process", to try to solve the problem of the minority Muslim Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) made the decision at its annual meeting in Thailand ... The Bali process, established in 2002, involves more than 50 countries committed to practical measures to help combat people-smuggling and trafficking, and related transnational crimes in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. ...

    .06  Jenny Kwan: Why does the best place on Earth have a homelessness crisis?

Georgia Straight - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

... on the eve of the 2010 Olympic Games, the Campbell government is desperate to sweep the poor and the homeless under the carpet, and as a result we have seen a rash of announcements and photo ops. All of a sudden, there is funding for temporary shelters and ad hoc initiatives. ... It is important to note that the Downtown Eastside should not be placed in a position to absorb the entire region’s social problems. Services should be distributed around the region. But it is also incorrect to blame the organizations based in the Downtown Eastside for four decades of municipal NIMBYism in the region. ...

    .07  The Success Of The Roads Policing Team

Police News - UK

The Regional Roads Policing Team was launched last autumn to deny criminals the use of roads in Yorkshire and the Humber and stop offenders who cross force boundaries to commit crimes. Using sophisticated technology and information from the Regional Intelligence Unit at Wakefield, its officers also track down those who use roads to carry out serious and organised crime. And early results have been hailed by bosses as impressive. ...

    .08  RCMP, border services possible partners with NRP

The Standard - St. Catharines, ON, CA

Regional police are discussing possible building partnerships with both the RCMP and Canada’s border agency, the police board revealed Thursday. ... Police have also asked for a provincial appeals hearing over the Region’s refusal to approve $72 million for new facilities. Top regional and police officials are trying to negotiate an agreement this week to avoid the expensive hearing. ...

    .09  Mayor reiterates stand against regional police

Delta-Optimist - Delta, BC, Canada

On the topic of regionalized policing, which was brought up during the question and answer session, Jackson once again voiced her opposition to the idea. She said Delta has consistently had the lowest crime rate in the province and there's already some regionalization for "big crime" including gang activity and homicides. ...

    .10  Mayor: Supersize force no cure

Richmond News - BC, Canada

After 12 shootings in 16 days, Surrey's mayor, Dianne Watts, invited mayors and police chiefs from seven cities, including Richmond, to hash out solutions to tackle the violence. ... Although crime knows no borders, Brodie doesn't support the idea of a regionalized police force. "The prospect of a regionalized police force is being talked about as some kind of cure-all. But I believe there's good co-operation already between the different cities and police forces and there are specialized units at a regionalized level. These groups work very well together." Brodie added that he believes Richmond would "lose a lot" if the city trod the path of a regionalized police force. "We can always do a better job, but I really doubt there would be any measurable improvement with a regionalized police force," he said....

    .11  Group eyes starling control funds

Penticton Western - Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

The B.C. Grape Growers Association offered to take over the administration and the Agriculture Environment Partnership Initiative, a federal/provincial program, agreed to put in funding to match whatever the commodity groups put in. ... Another goal was to make the goal regionalized. In order to be successful, it had to be from the North Okanagan right through the Similkameen. ...


    .12  A pragmatic strategy to protect the oil sands industry

Financial Post - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The slowdown of the oil sands industry was not an unforeseen event. Former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed has been warning about the dangers of uncontrolled growth of the oil sands industry for years. On the eve of the oil price crash, Geopolitics Central warned about substantially lower world oil demand and crude oil prices due to the global financial crisis and its potential impact on the industry. ...   

    .13  Taiwan turns to global expertise for aerotropolis project

Taipei Times - Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan is inviting international experts to take part in planning a proposed Taoyuan aerotropolis to ensure that it meets world-class standards, ... the government should not conjure it up “out of pure imagination,” but should instead heed the opinions of domestic and foreign experts. ...

    .14  Gdansk Strengthens Baltic Sea Collaboration

Cordis News - Brussels, Belgium

Prof. Krzysztof Bielawski, CEO of BioBaltica says: “With the establishment of BioBaltica and the ScanBalt Liaison office we intent to enhance the awareness of the Life science competencies to be found in Gdansk and the Pomorskie region – and to strengthen the international collaborations. ... This is best done in collaboration with our neighbours around the Baltic Sea and our region has a lot to offer”.  ...

    .16  First International Cluster Conference in Belgrade

EMportal - Belgrade, Serbia

The Conference aimed to motivate companies and other institutions (research and educational centers, supporting institutions, etc.) to interconnect in clusters, present examples of good practice from Republic of Serbia and experiences from other countries in the region and the EU on the establishment and development of clusters, and create a network of participants in the cluster initiatives in the region in order to enable exchange of experiences and ideas. ...

    .17  5th Regional Cooperation Meeting on Missing Persons' Issue held in Sarajevo (press release)

A 5th meeting on regional cooperation between governments concerning the issue of persons missing from the armed conflicts of the 1990's was hosted by The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Sarajevo. The meeting included representatives from the Missing Persons Institute of BiH (MPI), the Ministry of Family, Veteran's Affairs and Inter-generational Solidarity from the Republic of Croatia, the Commission on Missing Persons of the Government of Republic of Serbia, and the BiH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees. The aim of the meeting was to discuss issues relevant to missing persons from the armed conflicts that occurred between 1991 and 1995, including the process of locating, recovering and identifying missing persons and planning future regional activities. ...

    .18  Intergovernmental preparatory meeting on Commission on Sustainable Development wraps up thematic consideration with debates on desertification, Africa

ReliefWeb - Geneva, Switzerland

... Regional Director of the ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability Africa Secretariat, pointed out that the continent faced many interlinked humanitarian, environmental and social crises that had contributed to overall ecosystem degradation and loss. Yet many African communities were much more ready to embrace change than people often thought. Africa had many successful programmes that addressed land degradation, ...

    .19  Regional Disparities, Smaller States and Statehood for Telangana

Mainstream - New Delhi, New Delhi, India

... this is the unmistakable impression one gets in the post-reform period in India, especially at the state level. In general, the impact seems to be in the direction of increasing inequalities between different regions and income groups, as is borne out by the official statistics on changes in private consumer expenditure and growth rates in GSDP. This is basically because official patronage in bigger States tends to favour the regions and income groups already endowed with adequate resources, skills, power and influence. This clearly shows that backward regions run the risk of losing the race to bigger States in the post-liberalisation era. At the same time, it shows that certain back-ward regions, which can be constituted as viable States, may use this enormous potential offered by state power effectively for their development. ...

    .20  GSI proposal gets buried in sands of time

Times of India - New Delhi, India

Geo-tourism', a unique tourism concept suggested by GSI, has been gathering dust at the state tourism department. Gujarat, on the other hand, cashing in on the concept, has developed the "geo-sites" that are today listed among the world heritage sites. ...

    .21  A Necessary Revolution: The Recipe for Our "Doom and Gloom?"

National Post - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Peter Senge, MIT systems expert has waded into these questions and more in his book, The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together To Create A Sustainable World ... Senge illustrates how ordinary people and prominent leaders at every level are transforming their businesses and communities. How? By working collaboratively across boundaries, by exploring and putting into place unprecedented solutions that move beyond our current anguishing about our rotten state of affairs, ...

    .22  The future is grey

Waterloo Record - Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

... if you think that things couldn't get any worse, wait till the 2020s. The economic and geopolitical climate could become even more threatening by then -- and this time the reason will be demographics. ... All told, population trends point inexorably toward a more dominant U.S. role in a world that will need the Americans more, not less. For the past several years, the UN has published a table ranking the world's 12 most populous countries over time. ...

    .23  The Axis of Upheaval

Foreign Policy - Washington, D.C.

The bad news for Bush’s successor, Barack Obama, is that he now faces a much larger and potentially more troubling axis—an axis of upheaval. This axis has at least nine members, and quite possibly more. What unites them is not so much their wicked intentions as their instability, which the global financial crisis only makes worse every day.  ... Economic volatility, plus ethnic disintegration, plus an empire in decline: That combination is about the most lethal in geopolitics. We now have all three. The age of upheaval starts now.

    .24  Protection stepped up for whaler sharks

Power Boat - World - Australia

New laws in Western Australia now prohibit recreational fishers from taking whaler sharks, with an interdorsal fin length exceeding 70cm, in the State’s West Coast and South Coast bioregions. The West Coast Bioregion extends from the Zuytdorp Cliffs, north of Kalbarri, to Black Point, east of Augusta. The South Coast Bioregion stretches from there to the WA border. ...

    .25  Seafood industry lobbies against park boundaries

ABC Online - Australia

Members of the seafood industry will today launch a campaign against the South Australian Government's proposed marine park boundaries. The campaign is being headed by the Marine Parks Task Force and will highlight the industry's view that the boundaries are unnecessary. ... the Wilderness Society says the new marine parks will help South Australia reach its tourism goals over the next five years. ...

    .26  OCLC Members Council approves Global Council bylaws, Membership and Governance Protocols resolution

OCLC News Release - Dublin, OH, USA

OCLC Members Council conducted its first-ever virtual meeting February 9–11 to discuss opportunities and challenges confronting the global information community, to learn more about collaborative services, and to continue the transition to a Global Council and Regional Councils. ... Some of the meetings in the new governance structure are planned as virtual meetings. ...

OCLC, a worldwide library services organization, maintains WorldCat - Window to the world’s libraries -


12. Blogging about Regional Communities   Contents

    .01  The challenge of regional planning: Next verse, same as the first?

Bull City Rising

... Urban Land Institute's Triangle-area Reality Check exercise ... divided us up into groups seated at one of thirty 30 tables, each table containing Lego blocks we were to place on a regional map to signify where we wanted new units of housing and new jobs to be placed. The housing and employment units at each table together represented 1.2 million new residents and 700,000 new jobs -- the amounts by which the Triangle is projected to grow between now and 2030. ... A discussion from the Triangle J Council of Governments' John Hodges-Copple and from a faculty member in UNC's planning department featured prominently in the orientation sessions; ... our group's final master vision -- a vision of urbanity, these strings of pearls; each individually dense but located in disparate, disconncted geographies. With lots of growth in the centers of Durham and Raleigh, as well as jobs and many residents in RTP, but with distinct concentrated centers of of growth throughout the region, too. ... So what's the lesson learned here? Well, the first lesson learned is that regionalism is difficult, damn difficult, damn near impossible -- unless one is mindful from the get-go to the need for compromise. We were all asked to "put our regional hats on" by the organizers, ...

    .02  Reality Check - The Results

Springleaf Adventures

The takeaways from the day: 1. transportation is an integral part to smart growth, no matter how the growth is planned (80% of the tables listed transportation as a guiding principle for how they planned out the growth in their simulation), 2. 90% of people in the room voted to raise taxes to pay for alternate forms of transportation (yes, I said 90%!!), and 3. the biggest road blocks to growth are regional governance (read: leadership) and lack of infrastructure funding.  ...

    .03  Reform? The Cuomo Challenge

The Fisher Variations

Who is this community, exactly, and what does it want? The signals are quite mixed. ... The Erie County Legislature never voted on the proposed city-county merger legislation. The bill never got sent to the state legislature as a Home Rule message. ... So we in Erie County don’t really know, either as represented by our elected officials or as voters in a referendum, if we want to merge the government of the City of Buffalo with that of the County of Erie. ... The Cuomo proposal is to empower communities to come up with their own plans for change. ...

    .04  City-county consolidation in a likely future of continual financial exigency

Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

City-county consolidation in a likely future of continual financial exigency. Is a difficult issue, and continues to happen at a slow pace. Indianapolis in Indiana, and Louisville, and Lexington in Kentucky are examples. But more than a decade ago, "Metropolitan" Toronto deconsolidated. Myron Orfield has written about this kind of effort, in Metropolitics. ...

    .05  Better Transportation Needs Better Cities

A new design competition is seeking solutions to L.A.'s transportation problems. But the real solution may not have anything to do with transportation at all. … "There's always that point at the end of planning discussions, especially in L.A., when the audience's questions drift towards how planners or architects or designers or politicians can make it easier to get around. I guess this makes sense: transportation issues are what people typically experience most often in this city, making it probably the most approachable planning topic for non-planner types. And the conversation is almost always the same," writes Nate Berg.  "They all want to know how to get from point A to point B faster, more efficiently, and with less traffic. The likely solution, it seems, is to reduce congestion and increase transit; achieving these two fronts will make the city better.  Or at least that's the assumption."

    .06  Why Regionalism

Civic Analytics

Great column in the Des Moines Register yesterday about the Iowa Innovation Gateway. … This is a fantastic example of how to address the challenge of sustainability in regional collaboration. … co-chairs of the regional strategy in Central Iowa, hit the mark: "We just don't have the people and resources within our individual jurisdictions to compete. No single community or county in Iowa does."

    .07  KERI Comes to GRADD

GRADD Baby Boomer Blog

... Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative (KERI) ... KERI’s goal is to foster awareness, to promote dialogue on future challenges and opportunities, and to stimulate local and statewide initiatives necessitated by the aging of the Baby Boom population. ... These issues are certainly significant within the Green River region, where the number of persons age 60 and older is projected increase more than 70 percent ...

    .08  Tennessean Reports on Sumner County Bike/Ped Meeting Tonight

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

A focus of the plan will be to examine how to expand bike lanes, greenways and sidewalks, connecting them together and with mass transit stops, according to a Planning Organization news release. The overall effort will be folded into the 2035 regional transportation plan, which estimates funding for projects and determines priorities. ...

    .09  Cuyahoga County Port’s Relocation Proposal Has Serious Flaws

Real Neo

... Michael Wagar, the out going chairman of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, championed a vision of a new, 200-acre port he claims would be the catalyst for some 50000 jobs, signaling an economic rebirth for the region. In a city struggling to attain a renaissance on so many levels, the message held out much needed hope. I believe, however, Wagar’s projections should be taken with a dash of reality, for the plan may be more of a mirage than a manifestation of economic prosperity. ...’s-relocation-proposal-has-serious-flaws

    .10  Encouraging Communities to Go Green

Green to the Scene

... Atlanta Regional Commission ... new program the Commission has rolled out to certify local governments that are going green.  There is a points system and a certain number must be reached.  Once this level is reached there are two more levels that cities/counties can aspire to. ... One of the cool things they were talking about that is yet to be completed in our area was Complete Streets,

    .11  The Key NTC Intergovernmental Agreement

Jessup Jottings [ Susquehanna County, PA ]

The key NTC agreement is the "Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement For Multi-Municipal Planning and Implementation". The synopsis is here: Part 1 : NTC Intergovernmental Zoning Agreement- Summary Excerpts. ... This agreement was signed by all 12 participating Municipalities and was essential, under the state Municipal Planning Code, to the legality of the NTC Comprehensive Plan which all 12 towns did adopt and sign. ...

    .12  All you need to know…Regional Select Committees

REMark by Warren Pearce

An important piece of the regional governance jigsaw went through Parliament on Tuesday - not uncontroversially -with the confirmation of the Regional Select Committee membership for the East Midlands: ...  The Standing Orders agreed by the House of Commons on 12 November 2008 stated that the regional select committees shall be appointed “to examine regional strategies and the work of regional bodies” for the eight English regions, excluding London. ...

    .13  UN Minimum Standards are Key to Global Governance Processes

Atlantic Community: Open Think Tank

...  pure bargaining processes that are non-institutionally driven cannot solve the major problems of our world. In trying to achieve efficient coordination most actors in governance processes will try to act for their own benefit. They will thus not be interested in discussing problems just for the sake of public welfare. This will intensify the already existing structural power imbalances in international relations. ...

Comment: ... even if the state does lose significant amounts of power in the future, will regional organisations not be in a convenient position replace (or complement) the state? The EU stands as a prominent example of the attractiveness of regional governance, and other parts of the world have been gradually moving in the same direction (just look at the African Union, the growing importance of ASEAN or NAFTA). ...

    .14  Disability Lib Alliance research into particpation of disabled young people

Spaghetti Gazetti

Welcome to Spaghetti Gazetti - the Blog of the magazine about heritage, history, arts, community, social enterprise and culture across the West Midlands region. News on events, projects and people from Birmingham, ...  I am also Project Manager of the Regional Disability Network, I am carrying out oral history research into the history of Birmingham Disability Resource Centre and ...

    .15  'Regions' re-jigged

The Breton Connection

Good news for Breton autonomists contained within the recent proposals from the Balladure comity on redrawing the French regional map. However Brittany does comes out a winner, reunified as it will be with Nantes. ...

    .16  Swedish in the Nordic region

The Finnish Gambit

Swedish was chosen over English ages ago to be the language of Nordic cooperation. The status of Swedish in Finland has always been a shakey one, however, and the most recent poll released shows just how extreme this may be. ...

    .17  Will the economic crisis affect governance and conflicts in Africa?

Africa Can... End Poverty


Given the severity of the current crisis, it may have unprecedented regional governance and political consequences, and may eventually fuel governance reform reversals. Because poor governance and conflicts are likely to hold back growth recovery and vulnerable groups are exposed the most to them, these issues cannot be overlooked by any agenda seeking to protect Africa from the adverse impacts of the economic crisis.

    .18  Bioregionalism, the "9 Nations", and Becoming Native to Your Bioregion

The Once and Future Druid

One of the most famous takes on bioregionalism is Joel Garreau's "The Nine Nations of North America." You can, and should, read the full article by Jason Godesky called Nine Nations: Bioregionalism in North America. Godesky's essay is one of the best, if not THE best, on bioregionalism to be found on the Internet ...

    .19  Legislation and Government: Advocating for Nurses and Patients on Beacon Hill

MNA Region One

* What is a Regional Community Organizer? Who is mine, and how do I reach them?

* How can my Regional Community Organizer help my bargaining unit?

    .20  A regional name for Southeast Walworth and Western Kenosha


I was wondering if someone has come up with an idea for a regional name for southeast Walworth and western Kenosha counties.  ... One name I think would be great is to call the regional area "Crossroads Lakes" because of the central location to Madison, Milwaukee, Rockford and Chicago. Any other creative names for the region? ... I dont have a name other than one that is used by some businesses. "Westosha", for West Kenosha. ... Geneva Lakes sounds cool!

    .21  Trends to a New World Order: Part 1

Old-Thinker News

The dissemination and injection of globalist ideology into the collective vocabulary and consciousness of society has been a leading goal of such transnational elites. Regional governance in conjunction with regional economic systems inside a world government has also been a long term goal of globalist organizations. In order for these regional systems to operate smoothly and to be generally accepted, think tanks have undertaken projects of social engineering on a massive scale to rid the population of "outdated" ideas of national sovereignty.



Out of Control

In fact, a review of the academic research on city county consolidation conducted for the Indiana General Assembly's Marion County Consolidation Study Commission by the Indiana Policy Review found that lower spending (and taxes) was not a sure thing. The survey found that "In general, it is uncommon (although not impossible) for operating costs to decrease--due primarly to the 'leveling up' of salaries and benefits." ...

    .23  lastwords – Out of Control

eightyone Staunton Harrisonburg Waynesboro

In February 1972, Richard Nixon issued Executive Order 11647, which divided the United States into 10 Federal Regions and Regional Councils. Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania comprise Federal 3, which dictates public policy and largely directs our affairs (grants, health, education, law enforcement, transportation, welfare matters, etc.)  It is a distinct, but distant, political entity.  Its appointed bureaucrats care little about Virginians on fixed incomes, or struggling families.  They are not accountable to us.  We cannot reach out and touch them.  Neither can the supervisors.  You have the vote. The supervisors have the titles.  It really doesn’t matter.

In September 1969, enabled by the Area Development Act of 1968 (which anticipated Federal regionalization), the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC) was created: one of 22 governmental subdivisions in what had been 95 counties and 39 independent cities in Virginia.  CSPDC now holds statutory sway over regional and sub-regional planning in its 10 “District 6″ members:  Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge and Rockingham counties, and the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro. Two Augusta supervisors sit on its Board of Commissioners, much as feudal knights once sat amongst the barons. CSPDC is largely unelected officials, beholden to no Valley constituency.  ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links.   Contents

    .01  Current Research Networks – Regional Studies Association (RSA)

The Regional Studies Association (RSA) has 15 Research Networks formed by Association members. Networks organize a series of events to examine an issue of collective interest. RSA can offer start-up grants to members wishing to establish a Research Network. The link below leads to information on the current networks.  

    .02  Metropolitan Recovery and Spending Priorities - Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program Update - Washington, D.C.

On the heels of signing into law a $787 billion economic stimulus and recovery package, President Obama has delivered a 10-year budget plan that could fundamentally reshape the nation's priorities. Brookings experts suggest how the budget plan and recovery package might affect the metropolitan drivers of national prosperity, including innovation, human capital, infrastructure and sustainable places.

Research and Commentary

* Sustainability and Quality Places

* Commercial Innovation Gets Nod in Obama’s Budget

* Human Capital and Support for Low-Income Workers

* New Budget Marks Shift in Transportation Policy

* Delivering Metropolitan Stimulus

* Foreclosures and Stimulus: What’s At Stake for America’s Neighborhoods

* Stimulus for America’s Community Colleges

    .03  SPECIAL REPORT: America’s Ever Changing Demography - New Geography

It’s common to read about rapidly growing places, but what about those that are losing? Perhaps it’s fitting in this time of economic decline first to tell the story of areas of loss of population, of out-migration and of natural decrease, more deaths than births. Such areas are not of course necessarily “losers.” They may be prosperous, with a high quality of life; they are just not “growing.” The map below shows the 40 percent of counties which lost population, 2000-2007. ...  In much of America the balance between in and out migration is close, but for many regions, “net” migration is the most important component of change. ...’s-ever-changing-demography

    .04  National Association of Planning Councils

The National Association of Planning Councils (NAPC) is a membership organization of citizen-led, community-based non-profit social service planning agencies which serve small and large communities throughout the United States.  Some councils are newly developing while others have served their communities for many decades.  Planning councils all across the country share a common mission: to marshal human and financial resources to improve the quality of life for people in their communities.

    .05  European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund (CF) Expenditures

The European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund had altogether a budget of EUR 160 billion for the years 2000-2006. This study has established a database on ERDF and CF commitment data at NUTS 3 level (1,205 regions) for the 2 digit expenditure categories (20 categories). The aim of the database is to provide an overview of spending during the 2000-2006 programming period, i.e. where it was focussed geographically and on what it has been spent? The programmes covered are the Cohesion Fund, ERDF Objective 1, ERDF Objective 2, URBAN and INTERREG IIIA. The total amount mapped in the database equals 98% of the 2000-2006 budget. …

Data spreadsheets (.xls) for regional levels are at the Regional Studies Association:

    .06  Publication on Regional Trade Agreements

The World Trade Organization recently published a collection of papers based on a conference, "Multilateralizing Regionalism," held from September 10-12, 2007. The papers were later revised in consultation with trade scholars and analysts and members of various WTO national delegations. According to the WTO, nearly all of its members are party to at least one regional trade agreement (RTA).

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

To search on topics like those in Regional Community Development News use this custom search engine which utilizes 2,077 regional related sites as of March 11, 2009. Entering the term “local share”  returned  163,000  items;  searching regional  within those results returned  13,000  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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Thomas J. (Tom) Christoffel, AICP -