Regional Community Development News – June 10, 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 - .41

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .25

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .11

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .05

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .02

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


Top Regional Community stories

1. Coosa Valley Regional Development Center is “best-kept secret,” director says - Rome News Tribune - Rome, Georgia

Calling the Coosa Valley Regional Development Center “the best-kept secret around,” its executive director, William Steiner, explained the organization to members of the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday.

The RDC has three broad purposes: providing planning services for the region, workforce development and services for the aging, Steiner said.

It has paid for retraining for laid-off employees and summer youth jobs programs, using federal, state and local funds. Steiner said for every dollar the RDC receives from local governments, it receives $48 from the state and federal governments.

He illustrated job training with the sport of hockey. “You don’t want to be where the puck is, you want to be where it’s going. We try to drive (job-seekers) to where jobs are going to be.”

Two primary fields for the future are health care and the auto industry. Volkswagen’s construction of a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga increases opportunities for Northwest Georgia. Steiner said the construction of a BMW plant in South Carolina a few years ago created a ring of 39 tier-one suppliers.

The 10-county Coosa Valley RDC [ ] and the five-county North Georgia RDC [] are scheduled to merge in July. With a combined population of 823,770, the merged organization’s area will be the second largest in the state, behind only the metro Atlanta planning commission, whose 10 counties will have a combined population of 4.1 million.

2. Wired65 promotes regional focus in Southern Indiana - Evening News and Tribune - Jeffersonville, IN, USA

Southern Indiana and the Louisville metropolitan area are again making a collaborative effort to rebuild and develop a strong and sustainable economy.

Wired65 [] an initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor, presented findings from a Talent Innovation and Place report along with the HIRE education forum, to build a sustainable economic region that includes seven Indiana counties and 19 in Kentucky. The report is designed to put the region on track to succeed economically. The “65” portion of the title references Interstate 65 and the communities stretched along the north-south freeway.

The areas that need to be addressed, according to the report, are the pipeline — referring to the area’s early-educational system through college; preparing for 21st century jobs by transitioning from a manufacturing to a service based economy; and creating a talent magnet to draw and keep skilled people in the region.

“While Wired 65’s approach is not necessarily unique,” Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said, “it is enthusiastically tackling a complicated issue that will greatly affect the future of not just all of [Kentucky’s] counties, but the counties across the river.

“It’s going to affect the future of two states,” he said.

Beshear and other area leaders spoke about the initiative at a press conference at the Brown Williamson Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Tuesday.

“Part of the answer,” Beshear said of the region’s economic future, “is ... ignore government-designated boundaries and work together on mutual interests.”

“If my friend Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana, were here, he would probably call this metro Jeffersonville or metro Clarksville,” Beshear said, again supporting the idea of economic regionalism.

A tuition reciprocity agreement between the metro Louisville area in Kentucky and Southeast Indiana was cited by Sandra Patterson-Randles, chancellor of Indiana University Southeast, as an important start to regionalism.

Wired65 Region Map:

RCs Kentucky

Lincoln Trail Area Development District (All)

Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency(All)

Northern Kentucky Area Development District (Carroll)

Lake Cumberland Area Development District (Adair, Green, Taylor)

RCs Indiana

River Hills Economic Development District (All)

Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission (Crawford)

Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (Jefferson)

3. Kaine Joins Ocean Conservation Partnership - WHSV-TV - Harrisonburg, VA

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced Thursday his participation in the Mid-Atlantic Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Conservation, a partnership among the Governors of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia to protect the ocean waters of the Mid-Atlantic.

The new regional partnership will protect and improve the health of ocean and coastal resources through improved coordination and minimized jurisdictional barriers, ensuring the resources contribute to our economic vitality and high quality of life well into the future.

“Our coastal waters are a vital part of our history and economy in Virginia,” says Kaine. “I am very pleased to be coordinating efforts and resources with our regional neighbors to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our conservation efforts.”

By participating in the Agreement on Ocean Conservation, the governors agree to establish mechanisms for greater coordination on regional ocean issues and to develop and implement shared actions to advance the partnership’s four stated priorities:

- Collaborate on a regional approach to support the sustainable development of renewable energy in offshore areas.

- Prepare the region’s coastal communities for the impacts of climate change on ocean and coastal resources.

- Promote improvements in the region’s coastal water quality as a necessary focal point for regional action.

- Coordinate protection of important habitats and sensitive and unique offshore areas on a regional scale.

The primary mechanism of coordination will be the newly formed Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, composed of the governors of the five participating states. Each governor will also designate a representative to serve on an Executive Committee that will report back to their respective Governors on implementation of regional plans and progress towards the partnership’s goals.


4. Editorial: A long time coming - Greensboro News Record - Greensboro, NC, USA

The FedEx hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport has been a long time coming.

"I am very excited about the hub opening," Don Kirkman, president of the Piedmont Triad Partnership [ ], reflected. …

It was the biggest economic development dream of its era. PTIA won a fierce competition among several airports vying to host FedEx's mid-Atlantic air-cargo hub. The Memphis-based company promised to invest $300 million in the facility and eventually employ as many as 1,500 workers.

More importantly, boosters said, it would drive a transformation of the Triad area's economy.

John D. Kasarda, a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler School of Business and an aviation industry expert, outlined this vision based on his concept of an "aerotropolis." In effect, it's an industrial-commercial zone built around the airport and composed of businesses whose commerce and products depend on rapid transportation and precision logistics. The FedEx hub would be a key engine powering this development.

With FedEx, a network of interstate highways and other assets, "We're now going to officially declare ourselves an aerotropolis," said Dan Lynch, president of the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance. "We can make that claim."

The regulatory and legal delays were "disappointing and frustrating," Kirkman said, "particularly as we saw the economy decline."

The Triad's unemployment rate was less than 3 percent in 1998. Now it's more than 10 percent.

… FedEx is a critical addition to the Triad's "supporting infrastructure," Lynch said. It can play a role in facilitating the development of several industry clusters: logistics and transportation, aviation, advanced manufacturing and life sciences.

"Success won't be measured in months but in years and even decades," Kirkman said.

But, after 11 years already, it's a welcome sign of success to come.


Piedmont Triad Council of Governments

Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments

5. Cities think globally, act locally on public transit - OKC.Biz - Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Evolution to a sprawling metropolitan area comes with its headaches, not the least of which is public transit. And while many metro areas choose to address the issue of getting people from point A to point B only when it has become a problem, Oklahoma City and the surrounding municipalities are looking to get a handle on it long before then.

That was the thinking behind the formation of a steering committee that will advocate, guide and direct a regional transit dialogue to examine alternative modes of surface transportation systems for the Central Oklahoma region.

The questions the committee will be asked to answer are numerous: How much will it cost? Where will the money come from? How should the system be laid out? What modes of transportation should be implemented?

The answers to these questions will likely be decided by a regional transit authority, yet to be established.

While Edmond, Oklahoma City, Moore and Norman have all conducted their own traffic-pattern studies in the past, the committee – launched by the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments [] – is expected to lead to the formation of this new authority that will ultimately decide what the real answers will be.

One thing Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett has always pointed out is that the city was built around the automobile. He says it’s time that line of thinking yields to greener, more cost-efficient alternatives.

“I think it reflects the evolving issue of this region and thinking more of a region, as opposed to just thinking of individual municipalities in our own worlds,” Cornett says. “Transit seems to be a good place for us to start the regional concept, especially if we start looking at rail entities and a more regionalized bus system.

6. Look within for regional economic development leaders, panelists say - Crain's Detroit Business - MI, USA

Business, philanthropic and civic leaders on Wednesday sent a united message: Don't rely on elected leadership to lead economic development.

It was an underpinning of the opening session at the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference, where panelists from west Michigan and Southeast Michigan homed in on strategies to build stronger regions, and a stronger state.

But at the same time, there were calls to move urgently in Michigan's economic crisis, with Rip Rapson, president of The Kresge Foundation in Troy, saying that Detroit has “huge opportunity” in the aftermath of auto industry turmoil and restructuring — a period in which the resources of the federal government will be focused on the city and state.

“We have a two-year window where Detroit is going to be the most important place,” Rapson said at the panel moderated by Crain's Detroit Business Publisher Mary Kramer.

He said such efforts as the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, funded by contributions from 10 local and national foundations, represent a major step “to try and help recalibrate the Southeast Michigan economy.”

Still, the state and the region have major problems to resolve. John Rakolta Jr., chairman and CEO of the Detroit-based Walbridge Aldinger Co. construction firm, cited the state's deep budget problems and business tax structure, as well as an entitlement mentality and racial tensions as key obstacles.

“We are the single most segregated community in the United States of America,” Rakolta said. “And people who have large amounts of capital to invest don't want to get in the middle of it.”

… one effort in Kalamazoo, where the organization Southwest Michigan First has catalyzed private-sector support and financing around a vision that has cut across political borders and helped grow the region. “If we can't do that as a state, we're going nowhere,” …


7. Sunshine Coast as one under new Regional Development Australia structure - VIEW - Australia

Sunshine Coast Division 8 Councillor Debbie Blumel has welcomed news that the Coast will be recognised as a region in its own right under the new Regional Development Australia (RDA) structure announced late yesterday.

Cr Blumel represents the Sunshine Coast Council [ ] on the Sunshine Coast Area Consultative Committee—an entity which will translate into the new Sunshine Coast RDA organisation from mid-2009.

Cr Blumel met with the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Northern Australia, Gary Gray, in March this year to advocate for the Sunshine Coast to be recognised as a region in its own right.

“Mr Gray listened very thoughtfully to my arguments and his immediate response was that he thought I had made a good case for the Sunshine Coast to be recognised as a single region, rather than be amalgamated with areas of the Moreton Bay Regional Council as had been proposed,” Cr Blumel said.

“Planning and advocacy will be a lot easier if the Sunshine Coast Regional Council boundaries are the same as the Sunshine Coast RDA boundaries.

“We can develop one integrated set of data, maps, planning process, infrastructure priority list and so on.

“The aim is for the Sunshine Coast RDA committee to give us a stronger voice in Commonwealth Government programs.”

A memorandum of understanding, signed by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments, has signalled the start of both levels of government joining forces to create the new network.

The RDA’s role is to provide advice and to work with all levels of government to address regional issues and promote regional development.

In a media release issued yesterday, Mr Gray said the RDA would operate throughout the country to tap local knowledge and help people living in regional areas learn more about the Commonwealth Government's ongoing funding of local community infrastructure.

8. Political Legitimacy in the Super City - Scoop Independent News - New Zealand

If the media coverage, discussion, demonstrations, marches and various other public protests are anything to go by then a great number of Auckland citizens find the Super City issue a bit of a sore spot, and with good reason. Under the current plan, there will be an immediate perception of disenfranchisement. It’s in their heads, but that perception carries a lot of weight. As a nation, regardless of who wins the election, we still perceive ourselves to be New Zealanders (with a few notable exceptions), and as New Zealanders, according to our sense of community at the national level, we elected a legitimate government. But if that government decided to suddenly make us a 7th state of Australia, our political leadership on national issues would no longer be legitimate. New Zealand decisions about uniquely New Zealand issues would be made in Canberra. So at the local level, on local issues, to suddenly place the unique concerns of West, South, North or Central Auckland in the hands of those who do not necessarily understand those concerns is an entirely illegitimate political arrangement. Persistent political legitimacy is imaginary, but it must be dealt with as vital to sound and stable governance, and as a pillar of democracy.

While the Super City debate (and I use the term debate loosely) intersects a plethora of societies many ideological divides, there is one aspect which, in its consummate importance, is deserving of far more attention than is being granted. That is, political legitimacy and the impact of a far reaching overhaul of Auckland’s local and regional governance.

But first, a word or two about imaginary politics; throughout our lives and through a mixture of willpower and circumstance, we work ourselves into a sense of belonging wherever that may be and whoever that may be with. …

9. REGION: Official warns against wimpy solar goal - North County Times - Californian - Escondido, CA, USA

The way county Supervisor Dianne Jacob sees it, regional leaders were on track to set a wimpy goal for homegrown sun power.

So she objected strongly when the San Diego Association of Governments [ ] board got its first look recently at a rough draft of a blueprint for the county's energy future.

That draft said the region should use energy more efficiently, modernize its electric grid and boost reliance on green power to the point that sun, wind and other clean sources account for half of local electricity by 2030.

But the plan focuses far more on large, remote commercial solar and wind farms than on the small panels people put on their roofs.

"There is no reason why the San Diego County region can't be energy independent," Jacob said Thursday. "We have all the sun that we need. And it's clean, green, safe energy."

SANDAG's draft policy suggested boosting the amount of sun power generated by residential rooftop panels from 50 megawatts today to 210 megawatts by 2020 and 249 megawatts by 2030.

A megawatt is the standard yardstick for measuring large amounts of electricity, and most of the time it is enough to keep the lights on in 650 homes. However, on summer days, the 3.4 million people in San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s service area use up to 5,000 megawatts. And that annual peak use is projected to grow to 6,218 megawatts by 2030.

For the moment, rooftop solar panels are capable of supplying just 1 percent of the region's power on hot days. Under the proposed blueprint, that proportion would grow to a modest 4 percent by 2030.

With interest in rooftop solar panels soaring in one of the nation's sunniest regions, Jacob figures San Diego County can ---- and must ---- do better.

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 Bay Area submits proposal for stimulus funds

San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA

Stem cell research, job training programs, water recycling efforts, high-speed rail and transit-oriented developments should get top priority in the competition for federal stimulus funds, Bay Area officials have agreed. The region is one of 12 in California asked by the state Business, Transportation and Housing Agency to craft proposals for spending the one-time federal money. Combined, the Bay Area is seeking about $7 billion for more than 200 proposals that landed on the regional wish list released Friday by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a think tank. More than 500 projects were submitted by cities, counties, regional agencies, private businesses, nonprofits and civic organizations. ... The full list can be found at

.02 100 years as boundary waters partners

Buffalo News - Buffalo, NY, USA

Crossing the 5,500-mile border between the United States and Canada has gotten more complicated for citizens. But the lakes, rivers, streams and ponds through which much of the international boundary passes still flow without a care, thanks mainly to a 100-year-old treaty ... Boundary Waters Week ... will commemorate the 1909 signing of the Boundary Waters Treaty, widely regarded as the world’s first environmental treaty. The pact set out guidelines still in use for resolving disputes and potential disagreements between the U. S. and Canada over management of shared waters, from the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes to the remote streams of the Plains and the Rocky Mountains. ...

The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 created the International Joint Commission (IJC) to prevent and resolve boundary waters disputes between Canada and the United States and generally to deal with transboundary environmental issues, including water as well as air.

.03 Regional Talent Network unveils employment web site

Crain's Cleveland Business - Ohio, USA

There’s a new tool available to help anyone looking for work or workers in Northeast Ohio. The Regional Talent Network today announced the launch of, a site meant to serve as a directory of all the Northeast Ohio resources that could help employers looking for employees, as well as job seekers looking for open positions or training. The site allows any organization offering employment or training services to add information themselves, said David Shute, coordinator of the Regional Talent Network, a collaboration of businesses, organizations and government agencies aiming to improve the quality and accessibility of talent in the region. ...

.04 Internet Use Triples in Decade, Census Bureau Reports

U.S. Census Bureau News - Washington, D.C.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that 62 percent of households reported using Internet access in the home in 2007, an increase from 18 percent in 1997, the first year the bureau collected data on Internet use. Sixty-four percent of individuals 18 and over used the Internet from any location in 2007, while only 22 percent did so in 1997. Among households using the Internet in 2007, 82 percent reported using a high-speed connection, and 17 percent used a dial-up connection. ...

Reports and 2007 Detailed Tables:

.05 Critics Call Delaware a Tax Haven

New York Times - United States

Shirley Sicilian, the general counsel of the Multistate Tax Commission [], an intergovernmental state tax agency, said that “states increasingly want to make sure that income that’s earned in their state is actually taxed in their state, particularly in a bad fiscal situation like now.” At the center of the dispute are legal entities known as Delaware holding companies, which have been around for decades but took off in the 1990s, when accountants began pushing them aggressively. Corporations are allowed to establish these shell companies in Delaware, as well as in Nevada and Wyoming. ...

.06 Critics: Cuomo merger bill misses target

Lower Hudson Journal news - West Harrison, NY, USA

... plan could result in changes "around the edges," but voters won't likely opt to eliminate their own villages, towns or police departments because they identify with them, said Anthony Cupaiuolo, professor emeritus of public administration at Pace University and a retired director of the Edwin G. Michaelian Institute. Cupaiuolo, who worked on Westchester 2000, a think tank that studied consolidation, shared services and other matters affecting government, said sharing services among communities might be more realistic. "If it didn't happen in the Great Depression, you're not going to see it now," he said of consolidating local government, barring severe circumstances. "People are so attached to their villages. ... I don't think it will lead to significant changes. In my experience, people have already rejected that."

.07 New York: Metropolis Born of a Merger

New York Times - United States

In 1898, modern New York City was born when the City of Brooklyn merged with the counties that encompassed Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. The unification helped propel the metropolis originally known as “Greater New York” on its rise to becoming a pre-eminent global center for trade, industry, finance, media and culture. ... Mitchell L. Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University, contends that the merger was a boon to all the boroughs by creating a highly centralized government capable of attracting high-caliber managers who have helped the city adapt. “The story of the last 30 years is that New York government has gotten better and more efficient,” Mr. Moss said, “while government in the suburbs has gotten more expensive and worse.”

.08 Consolidation would cut expenses, raise revenues, committee says

The Daily News Online - Batavia, NY, USA

A three-tiered system, reduced expenses and increased state revenues would be part of one Batavia, Charles Zettek says. The setup for police and fire protection and the school district would remain the same. Zettek, of the Center for Governmental Research, presented a city and town consolidation report Monday evening that included those components. “There are no pie charts or graphs. This is an overview to give you an idea of all the variables it took to create a consolidated community,” ...

.09 Crafting the Next Generation of Smart Growth Policies

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy spent two years looking at smart growth policies in a number of states to see how well they've achieved their goals. Gregory K. Ingram, President of the Institute, explains the results. ... California, with its climate change legislation, is forging a new approach with special attention to regional planning and to marrying land use and transportation policies. The Obama administration has vowed to pay more attention to cities and metropolitan regions, as the reauthorization of federal transportation spending gets underway. A climate bill in the works includes mandates for states to meet emissions reduction targets, in part by way of land use, green building, and transit. With this future in mind, it's an appropriate time to ask the question: how have smart growth policies fared thus far? Have they had an impact? ...

.10 The Fund Makes Plans to Continue Regional Economic Competitiveness Work to 2013 - Ohio

Formed in 2004, the Fund for Our Economic Future is a charitable collaboration of organizations and individuals that uses grantmaking, research and civic engagement to strengthen the 16-county region’s economic competitiveness. In its third phase, the Fund intends to continue working with its partners in the public and private sectors to implement Advance Northeast Ohio, the region’s economic action plan focused on four priorities:

* Business growth and attraction

* Talent development

* Racial and economic inclusion

* Government collaboration and efficiency

.11 Mackinac Policy Conference: What you might have missed - Ann Arbor, MI, USA

The Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference ... chamber invited executives from west Michigan to the conference in an attempt to discard regionalism for the sake of statewide unity. Southwest Michigan First CEO Ron Kitchens told me southeast Michigan should consider philanthropy as an economic development opportunity. ...

.12 Metro leaders extending fists, not helping hands, in hard times

Detroit Free Press - United States

Patterson accuses his Wayne County counterpart, Robert Ficano, of trying to steal jobs from Oakland with tax breaks for an aerotropolis project near Detroit Metro Airport. ...

.13 Co. Exec: 'Aerotropolis' Moving Forward

NPR - Michigan Radio, USA

Wayne County is expected to hire an executive director soon to oversee its plan to develop the area surrounding Detroit Metro Airport. Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano says a big hurdle was cleared when nine municipalities surrounding the airport agreed to create a fast-track for developers. He says zoning and permitting within the so-called "aerotropolis" will be completed within 60 days. "And that's the bar," he said. "We're not competing against Chicago or New York. We're competing against the Dubais. If you go to Dubai today, for example, you say you want to locate by the airport, they give you all your permits, they give you all your zoning, and they even give you a warehouse within 30 days. I mean, that's what we're competing against." ...

.14 Geotourism: Take a bow, Central Cascades

Geotourism has arrived in our region compliments of the National Geographic Society's Center for Sustainable Destinations. While it promotes an emerging travel trend, it is based on an old idea -- simply that the appeal of a travel destination is rooted in its local culture, its natural beauty and its authentic attractions. In a word, it's the area's essence. ... We should all be thankful that the Central Cascades will soon be the National Geographic's 14th geotourism region, and will in that way be promoted as one of the world's special travel destinations. ...

.15 Shedding the Training Wheels: Houston Bikeway Plan Phase Two

OffCite - Design.Architecture.Houston

Peter Wang, a League of American Bicyclists instructor and cycling advocate, points to county-wide problems that extend beyond the Bikeway Plan. “At the Houston-Galveston level, we need a regional bikeway plan that every local government uses,” he said in an interview. He added, “In some parts of the county, we are losing cyclable roads.” He also called for a better intermodal network whereby cyclists could access routes by public transportation. Bicycle racks on buses have proven successful, but METRO has not placed racks on its light rail trains.

.16 Stimulus Dollars At Home: Regional Officials Roll Out Huge Wish List

Yankton Daily Press - Yankton, SD, USA

The calendar said January, but Greg Henderson and Lynne Keller Forbes thought it was Christmastime. The two executive directors — Henderson of Planning and Development District III in Yankton, Forbes of the Southeastern Council of Governments (SECOG) in Sioux Falls — asked their members for a “wish list” of projects for the proposed federal stimulus program. Neither director was prepared for the response. ...

.17 Livestock yard gets plenty of financial help

The Mountaineer - Waynesville, NC, USA

A regional livestock yard designed to serve producers from a 19-county area is one step closer to reality. ... Western North Carolina Communities, is spearheading the project on behalf of livestock producers and family farmers in the region, much as it helped formed the N.C. Arboretum and WNC Agriculture Center in years past. ... Beverly Perdue recommending $200000 for the project through the Appalachian Regional Commission is the latest good news. ...

.18 Place matters most, especially to young professionals

Fort Worth Star Telegram - Fort Worth, TX, USA

The larger mega-region, which includes Austin, San Antonio and Houston, is one of 40 powerhouses in the world. Florida says these 40 have 18 percent of the world’s population, yet generate two-thirds of global economic output and nearly 9 in 10 new patented innovations. It’s good to be included in that group, but North Texas doesn’t have any of Florida’s best cities for any category. Boston, San Francisco and New York dominate the U.S. list, so maybe Florida’s visit will spark a conversation about how to improve Fort Worth’s prospects.

.19 Surprise council OKs land deal for commuter facility

Arizona Republic - Phoenix, AZ, USA

Surprise is one important step ahead in its plan to bring commuter-rail service to the city. The City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to purchase a plot of land near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway ... to build a park-and-ride lot. Though the lot will initially serve express-bus riders going to downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale, it will eventually serve future commuter-rail users, city officials said. ... Surprise was promised $4.5 million to cover the cost after entering an intergovernmental agreement with RPTA. ...

.20 Vanpooling service coming to region

The Business Review – Albany, NY, USA

The Capital District Transportation Authority is currently recruiting businesses that might have employees coming from the same region who would be interested in participating in the program. ... The company providing the wheels is VPSI Inc. out of Bordentown, N.J. VPSI had $62 million in revenue in 2008. VPSI was formed in 1977 and started for Chrysler employees. Today, the company has 5,000 vans in operation in more than 45 states and 50,000 passengers. ...

.21 Mid-America region shows economic growth

The Wichita Eagle - Wichita, KS, USA

The May overall index for the Mid-America region, a leading economic indicator from a survey of supply managers for a nine-state area, expanded for a fifth straight month but remained below normal neutral growth, according to a report released today by Creighton University. ...

.22 County calls work session to discuss 911 fees - GA, USA

The dispute centers around the fact that Covington and Newton County, who run the 911 Communications Center, want Porterdale to sign a five-year intergovernmental agreement to pay for part of the center's budget, but Porterdale has refused to do that until it gets answers to questions about the 911 center’s budget, which Porterdale officials think might have inefficiencies that are inflating the proposed cost to Porterdale’s. ...

.23 Idea Storm

Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot - Oyster Bay, NY, USA

To press the issue with local governments there, a private coalition in Great Britain established This is an integrated citizen-driven system that allows people to report, view and discuss any kind of local problems, which are automatically forwarded to appropriate local governments. ... Now Cisco, the networking and communications technology giant, is heavily promoting its work on here in the United States: … Cisco has made the computer code “open source,” which means it’s free and any Long Island government can start setting up a system like it within minutes of reading this. … It is also true that some people might suspect that a lot of functions can be centralized or regionalized while actually increasing the “local control” that was so important to previous generations. ...

.24 Animal control officer left in dark over plan

The Daily News of Newburyport - Newburyport, MA, USA

"They told me they were absolutely not regionalizing," Cashman said. The proposed regional plan that will be presented to the Newburyport City Council tonight calls for Salisbury Animal Control officer Harold Congdon to handle those services for all three towns. Reading about the regionalization in the newspaper last Wednesday, Cashman said she was confused. She e-mailed the mayor and Amaral Thursday looking for a statement from them. "I just haven't been informed yet," she said. "If this is so, it would have been more respectful to have been told that they were truly regionalizing so that I could start to move forward myself and get my recommendations in order."...

.25 Report: Bay Area has ample room to grow

San Jose Mercury News – CA, USA

The Bay Area has ample room within its existing communities to house and employ the 2 million new residents projected to call the region home by 2035, according to a report unveiled Wednesday. Titled "Grow Smart Bay Area," the Greenbelt Alliance's new study makes the case that the Bay Area can say no to suburban sprawl and still accommodate new residents and jobs. Alliance researchers consulted with planning experts and analyzed the development potential of some 40,000 vacant or underutilized sites located near existing transit and other public services. ...

.26 Tolls for HOV lanes on I-85 in Gwinnett approved - Augusta, GA

The Atlanta Regional Commission has approved a project to put tolls on I-85 HOV lanes in Gwinnett County. The approval came on Wednesday, but still must pass environmental reviews. The state hopes the electronic tolls ...

.27 Higher prices, reduced service planned for MARTA

Atlanta Journal Constitution - GA, USA

Two-dollar MARTA fares, less frequent service, higher parking fees and staff cutbacks are all close to reality at the transit agency. ... Even worse cuts were on the table until the Atlanta Regional Commission on Wednesday voted to give MARTA $25 million in federal stimulus funds meant for transportation projects in the Atlanta region. MARTA plans to pay the ARC back with transit-related projects worth about the same amount of money, like sidewalks. ...


The San Francisco Sentinel - CA, USA

If enacted as drafted, the bill–called The Federal Lands and Resources Energy Development Act of 2009–would consolidate federal energy and mineral leasing programs within one bureau at the Interior Department and establish regional councils intended to provide federal-state discussions about the development of regional energy plans. ...

.29 State of Insanity


It turns out that letting me vote on stuff is a bad idea, for much the same reason that giving me a credit card was a bad idea: I love stuff and hate paying for it. And it turns out there are a lot of people just like me. On May 19, California voters knocked down all five of the budget-cutting and tax-raising propositions designed to save the state budget from being $21 billion short. We already had the worst credit rating of any state. Which means that if states were people, California would be Ed McMahon. ... To fix the initiative mess, the Bay Area Council, a 64-year-old San Francisco--area business lobby, has proposed a new California constitutional convention, an idea backed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2010 gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman, Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown and, polls suggest, two-thirds of voters. ...,9171,1901486,00.html

.30 Area Leaders Encouraged To Think Regionally

WTRF - Wheeling, WV, USA

The Regional Visioning Project is a group formed for every day people to offer input and ideas on how to grow the 30 county, four-state region in the future. Allen Kukovich heads the project and today listened to leaders from Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania to hear first hand how the area can tie together and create economic opportunity. ...

.31 Regional Leaders Gasp at Proposed Med School's Price Tag - Bristol, TN, USA

Regional leaders praise the potential of a proposed King College medical school, but gasp at the idea of signing the $100 million check needed to make the vision a reality. The private school’s plans call for a two-campus model with teaching centers near Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport and Bristol Regional Medical Center. Startup costs are estimated at $150 million, with $100 million in tax dollars to build the facilities and the balance to fund operations for its first five years. ...

.32 Why a commission on homelessness is needed in the KC region

Midwest Voices -

The conference on homelessness announced in a previous post has the goal of establishing a commission on homelessness for the Kansas City region. The following is a discussion of the rationale for a commission on homelessness. ... Though a commission may initially be a city or county entity, a regional commission may ultimately be helpful in identifying ways to combine programs across county lines or state line to create efficiencies of scale not possible in the ...

.33 25 area nonprofits get surprise grants of $25000

Detroit Free Press - United States

"These anniversary grants presented today are representative of the impact the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has made in our first 25 years," said foundation president Mariam C. Noland. "The Community Foundation has worked with nonprofits, communities and the people of southeast Michigan to improve the quality of life for all in this region. As we reflect on our accomplishments, we look forward to having an even greater impact in the future." ...$25+000

.34 Slumping economy helping Glenwood find ways to pay for projects

Glenwood Springs Post Independent - Glenwood Springs, CO, USA

... city was awarded two Transportation Enhancement grants in 2005 and 2008, totaling $300,000. In 2009, the city received another $300,000 Transportation Enhancement grant and $50,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Colorado Department of Transportation. City council approved an intergovernmental agreement combining all the grants into one agreement at its May 21 meeting. All of the funds are going to pay for the Devereux Road Pedestrian Bridge, ...

.35 EODD to buy former OG&E building on Court Street

Muskogee Daily Phoenix - Muskogee, OK, USA

Eastern Oklahoma Development District has contracted to buy the former OG&E office building in downtown Muskogee for $210000. ... EODD officials said. The OG&E building was appraised earlier at $500,000. ...

.36 Big Sandy Adventure Tourism Conference and Expo continues


"We hope that by doing this on an annual basis it will continue to draw in people from outside our area into the Big Sandy region and be able to show them just exactly what we have here, " said Sandy Runyon with the Big Sandy Area Development District. ...

.37 Clearing a Path for Development at the US-Mexico Border

New York Times - New York, NY, USA

In the last year, economic development officials and local elected leaders in San Diego County, Baja cities in Mexico and the sprawling Imperial Valley about 90 miles to the east have used a grant of $220,000 of government and private seed money for an initiative aimed at turning this area into a global powerhouse for commercial growth. The idea is that a concerted effort will produce more manufacturing in Mexico, more research and development in San Diego and more alternative energy in Imperial County. The area is formally known as the Cali Baja Bi-National Mega-Region, covering roughly 27,000 square miles. ...

.38 Fed says economy weak, but sees signs the slide easing

The Washington Post - D.C., USA

The economy continues to slog its way through the recession, held back by tight credit conditions and weak demand, according to the Federal Reserve's "beige book" survey. The beige book revealed an economy that, while improving in some areas, was still beset on many fronts. Manufacturing activity declined or remained low across most of the Fed's districts. Demand for nonfinancial services contracted. Retail spending remained soft. New car purchases were still depressed. Travel and tourism activity also declined. …

.39 Leaders Commend University of Houston for Its Role in Creation of Houston Ship Channel Security District

News Blaze -

"It is critical for government, academia, industry and the general public to work together on matters of national and regional security," said Joseph Tedesco, dean of UH's Cullen College of Engineering, which houses SWTC. "As an academic, nonprofit institution dedicated to public service, UH can assume the unique role of being the neutral nexus that brings together the different missions and interests to forge a regional consensus and vision. The college's Southwest Public Safety Technology Center was instrumental in facilitating this effort, further demonstrating the critical role of UH in the community."

.40 Fed drug report: Double trouble for metro Chicago

... the report, produced at the request of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, cites 32 regions in the U.S. as havens for illicit drug distribution. Metro Chicago is the only area with two of the drug trafficking zones. ... The Chicago drug region is composed of Cook, Grundy, Kendall and Will counties and comprises more than 6.1 million residents nearly half of the population ... The 32 DMAs listed below are available on line with complete details at:

.41 Business cluster sought with new grant

ENC Today - Jacksonville, NC, USA

An idea to grow a cluster of aviation-related businesses in Eastern North Carolina can be developed by Eastern Carolina Council of Governments with a grant it received this week. The $64,300 grant comes from the federal Economic Development Administration. Larry Moolenaar, council of governments director, said the grant will be used for building strategic plans for luring businesses associated with Spirit AeroSystems, other business and military aviation installations in the region. ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Open questions on state rescaling

Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society

Abstract: Recent work on state rescaling has opened up productive lines of theorization and research. However, this literature contains many open theoretical, interpretive, methodological and empirical questions. By drawing attention to several of these, this article aims to promote reflection and debate on possible future lines of research within this field. I argue, in particular, for greater attention to questions of method—specifically, to the mediations linking abstract concepts to concrete, contextually specific investigations. The article concludes by outlining three research frontiers that could be productively explored within future work on state rescaling—logics of explanation, comparative analyses and questions of periodization.

.02 Metro plan threatens property rights, landowners say

Angry landowners surrounding Calgary are protesting a draft regional land-development plan that they say infringes on their property rights. The Calgary Metropolitan Plan outlines land and water use over the next 70 years and encompasses Calgary, the T'suu Tina First Nation and several outlying communities including Okotoks, Cochrane, Priddis, Bearspaw and Balzac. ... Rick Butler, the executive director of the Calgary Regional Partnership behind the plan, said the goal is to manage long-term growth. The population of the region is expected to grow by 1.6 million over the next 70 years and something has to change, he said. "The status quo, or the trend scenario, could not continue. It wasn't affordable. The regional landscape could not handle it and the environment would be ruined, and all that we are here in the region for would be gone," he said. ...

.03 Feds cancel Quebec-centred Canada Day fund - Ontario, Canada

Heritage Minister James Moore said the government has made dramatic changes to management of the Celebrate Canada fund to ensure that it will be fair for all regions in the country, and he also plans to replace it with a different program for 2010. " There was a regional inequity in the past and we're correcting it," ...

.04 Regional funding rules 'should' be eased

The European Commission announced yesterday that it wants to accelerate spending from its regional policy funds in order to counter the economic crisis. It believes the EU should spend more than planned in 2009-10, but, in exchange, reduce its spending in 2011-13. It said the short-term increase was needed to boost the EU's flagging economy and support employment. ...

.05 Brazil & Neighbors May Be Rich, But They Are Economic Lightweights

Latin America has some of the world's largest countries, in terms of land area, but the continent has no large global economy: and only two medium-sized economies, Brazil and Mexico. The region also lacks a local hard currency as a basis for international, and especially intra-regional, trade. Many of the commodities that South American countries export are not traded in the currency of the originating country. So, if Chile imports oil from Argentina or Argentina copper from Chile, they pay in U.S. dollars. A regional currency facilitates trade and the creation of financial service hubs. ...

.06 Local Labour: New policy ideas for communities

NLGN - New Local Government Network - UK

Writing on the future of regional governance, Leader of Barnsley Council, Cllr Stephen Houghton suggests that Labour should learn the lessons for the 'no' referendum for an elected regional assembly in the North East. He argues that the party needs to ensure that the narrative for regional governance “is not about extra cost, politics and bureaucracy but is about leadership, economic prosperity, efficiency and accountability.” ...

.07 Public outraged over borrowing bylaw

Lac du Bonnet Leader - Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, Canada

Many ratepayers have argued the Lac du Bonnet plant should be regionalized to supply water to the whole region. Even though Water Services Board technologist Fred Binne stated at a Municipal Board hearing in 2001 that it was hoped the Lac du Bonnet plant would be regionalized, Menon said Lac du Bonnet’s plant does not have the capacity to service another community, ... Menon also said it would cost the RM of Alexander a whopping $9.3 million to access water from Lac du Bonnet. ...

.08 Regional Governance Group looks at Energy Strategy

Powershop Pioneers - NZ

New energy initiatives and opportunities, in addition to water and geothermal resources, are being looked at in the Bay of Plenty as part of a regional energy strategy. The Regional Governance Group, made up of representatives from business, the economic development agencies and Environment Bay of Plenty, is developing the strategy as part of its economic development work for the region. ...

.09 KAMRUL IDRIS: Old relationship that broke new ground

New Straits Times - Persekutuan, Malaysia

IN the annals of Malaysia's foreign policy, nothing comes close to Tun Abdul Razak Hussein's visit to China at the end of May in 1974. ... The second prime minister did not need hyperbole to hint at the shape-shifting his lavish encounters with Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and other Chinese leaders would do to the nation and the region. ... With the signing of the joint communique between Razak and Zhou on May 31, the 35th anniversary ..., China and Malaysia became fast friends. The axis moved Asean to the centre, and to regional centre-stage as a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (Zopfan) independent of and "equidistant" from the major powers. ... "While some in the West continue to view China as a threat, Malaysia and Asean see it as an economic opportunity." ...

.10 Russia likely 'winner' in Arctic resource dispute: Study - Ontario, Canada

"Since any oil and gas developed in the region would be transported to the North American market under the terms of NAFTA, it is not an issue of either side wanting the resources for itself." Adding that "multinational corporations developing these resources are already working on both sides of the border," Huebert concludes: "If Canada and the United States agreed to disagree about the formal border of the region, but also agreed to the establishment of a joint venture to develop oil and gas in the disputed zone, a potential political crisis could be averted." ...

.11 Helping Vulnerable Communities Adapt to Climate Change

Digital Communities -

As one of the first regions to experience climate change, the international community's response to the Arctic communities' crisis will set an important global precedent, especially as Inuit communities share many characteristics with developing nations around the world, many of which are also at risk, such as limited access to health services, high unemployment and concerns regarding basic services like the quality of drinking water. …

.12 What are the riskiest outsourcing destinations? - Stockholm, Sweden

A new study by The Black Book shows the 25 riskiest locations for outsourcing. Criteria assessed include Corruption, Geopolitical Issues, unstable currency, Infrastructure or Legal System Immaturity. Here are the Top10 of the riskiest outsourcing destinations: ...

.13 Fighting organised crime

News Release - The Scottish Government

The Scottish Intelligence and Coordination Unit - headed by a Detective Chief Superintendent - will become the recognised single point for the coordination and sharing of intelligence and information on serious organised crime groups across Scotland, linking in with the Regional Intelligence Units in England and Wales and with Europol. The Unit is expected to have around 30 staff and will effectively remove geographical boundaries, preparing the ground for the Olympic and Commonwealth games while enhancing Information sharing protocols with our colleagues across Europe. ...

.14 Why small and tacky is, in fact, beautiful

Times Online - UK

Few places so monstrously and precisely define China's commercial ambition as Yiwu, a city 120 miles south of Shanghai. Ms Liang, along with the other 30,000-or-so wholesalers peddling alongside her in the sprawling enormity of the International Small Commodities Market, ... Placed in its rightful global context, the Yiwu market, Ben Simpfendorfer, RBS's chief China economist, argues, stands at the eastern end of a New Silk Road, a nexus of trade links between China and the Middle East that may soon assume colossal geopolitical and economic importance. ...

.15 Conservation concerns over new mining project

ABC Online - Australia

The state and federal governments have been warned a new mining project in Queensland's central-west will destroy a major conservation park in the region. ... "It's got large long term research projects on the place which are looking at fire and grazing, it's really relevant to the whole bio-region, those research projects." ...

.16 Macao To Widen Regional Collaboration

HULIQ News - Hickory, NC, USA

The National Development and Reform Commission announced the Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta (2008-2010) that included Macao. Mr Ho said the Outline was an important guideline for the future development of Macao. “The Outline stated that Macao’s role could be developed as a world-class tourism-leisure position to promote regional collaboration. Due to limited resources, Macao’s tourism should integrate with that of the PPRD region.” Mr Ho said that the Macao Government would continue to perfect legislation, to step up training, and to optimise market. Moreover, the 2009 Macao International Environmental Co-operation Forum and Exhibition had successfully established a platform for the PPRD region and European countries to exchange green views. …

.17 Malawians have broken regionalism, RB

Zambian Watchdog - Lusaka, Zambia

President Rupiah Banda says the re-election of Malawi’s President, Bingu wa Mutharika in the country’s just ended presidential elections was an indication that Malawians were satisfied with his performance in the previous term of office. President Banda said it was gratifying that the people of Malawi have broken the regional political strongholds which previously existed in the country by overwhelmingly voting for a particular candidate in all regions of the country. ... He noted that the fading away of regionalism in the way people voted in the past was commendable. …

.18 Newly declassified documents reveal More than $97 million from USAID to separatist projects in Bolivia


Recently declassified documents obtained by investigators Jeremy Bigwood and Eva Golinger reveal that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested more than $97 million in ‘decentralization’ and ‘regional autonomy’ projects and opposition political parties in Bolivia since 2002. The documents, requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), evidence that USAID in Bolivia was the ‘first donor to support departmental governments’ and ‘decentralization programs’ in the country, proving that the US agency has been one of the principal funders and fomenters of the separatist projects promoted by regional governments in Eastern Bolivia. ...

.19 Russia wants CSTO to be as strong as NATO

RIA Novosti -

Russia is planning to build a strong military contingent in Central Asia within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) comparable to NATO forces in Europe, ... The CSTO, a post-Soviet regional security bloc comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, has already agreed to create a joint rapid-reaction force, but Russia is preparing a new, larger-scale project. ...

.20 Global Collaborative Research Fund projects selected

Princeton University - USA

The first recipients of grants from the Princeton Global Collaborative Research Fund have been selected ... Five-University Research Collaboration on East Asia Security Cooperation ... This network will support a sustained discussion concerning East Asian security cooperation and regional governance, with institutional partners in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and Singapore. ...,featured

.21 Geotourism: The Future of Travel

Good Times - Santa Cruz, CA, USA

Now the idea of geotourism is spreading across the globe faster than the many travelers who practice it—including 55 million Americans, according to a recent Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) report. The May 25 deadline for Ashoka’s Changemakers Geotourism Challenge 2009 “Power of Place” competition, in its second year, was extended a week to accommodate the rapidly expanding number of entries competing for recognition from around the world. It garnered 382 entries from 71 countries, on top of 1,032 nominations from 112 countries— ...

.22 To woo investors, govt to revive district-level units

Indian Express - New Delhi, India

To facilitate investors, the Mayawati government is now reviving its district-level Udyog Bandhu units and aims to effectively execute the old scheme of “Single Table System” — both of which were non-functional. Under the system, the investors had the opportunity to obtain their sanctions from a single window — the Udyog Bandhu units at the district level. ...

.23 Taiwan aims to build air hub

Straits Times - Singapore

The enclave and the airport have been labelled the 'egg yolk' at the heart of a 'fried-egg theory' proposed by the transport ministry as the government aims to build the area into an 'aerotropolis' - that is, a centre for all things associated with aviation - as well as a regional hub. The idea of transforming Taiwan into a regional transportation hub dates back to the mid-1990s ...

.24 Work on airport city to start in 2010

Hindu - Chennai, India

Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) will begin work on the proposed airport city (aerotropolis) in the first half of 2010. ... BIAL’s decision to develop an airport city is in line with the increasing attention being paid to aerotropolises the world over. ...

.25 Studying the Social Science of Terrorists

HSToday - Germantown, MD, USA

A new RAND National Defense Research Institute report, Social Science for Counterterrorism: Putting the Pieces Together, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, states that while “social science has much to say that should inform strategies for counterterrorism and counterinsurgency … unfortunately, the relevant literature has been quite fragmented and seemingly inconsistent across sources.” ... It also meant representing the knowledge analytically in a new way that enhances communication across boundaries of discipline and organization. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 I Want to Go to There (But Where is There?)

Politics and Place

I agree that marketing is probably the single biggest issue that the region as a whole faces. The problem is first and foremost that "the region" is ambiguous and difficult to define. ... An additional, difficulty is the fact that the "Rust Belt" is probably the only inter-state region to be defined by a product instead of a geographical feature (things like "grain belt" or "corn belt" notwithstanding). ... How then to describe our subregion of Western Pennsylvania, and the Rust Belt as a whole? I actually think that is one of the genuine problems that the Regional Visioning Project [ ] is going to face right off the bat with this naming contest. I'm genuinely having trouble finding a way to accurately describe the 30 county region, because the interstate nature of the project prohibits simple definitions. ...

Regional Visioning Project Name Contest:

.02 Hampton Roads Blog,, selected for local-national collaboration with PBS NewsHour

The Hampton Roads Partnership, in association with WHRO, is joining PBS NewsHour and the Christian Science Monitor’s Patchwork Nation project []

to provide coverage of local economic impact, building a local-national collaboration model that incorporates “citizen journalists,” i.e. bloggers. The question has been asked: who speaks for Hampton Roads? The answer: We all do. You do. I do. We all speak for Hampton Roads. The blog, started in Fall 2008 by the Hampton Roads Partnership, has been selected to represent Hampton Roads to a global audience as one of only 12 “community types” on PBS NewsHour’s website, namely as a “Military Bastion.” ...

.03 Regionalization #4

Dewey Decimated Director's Blog

In FVRL, regionalization is primarily about consolidating “back room” operations and providing opportunities for local identity. The “back room” consists almost exclusively of support services. These services include marketing and printing, acquisitions, cataloging, and processing, information technology, accounting, personnel management, and library administration. All of these services are housed together in a headquarters building that is the only property owned by FVRL. The “back room” is a cost shared by all 15 communities based on a formula that can be described as the full employment act for accountants. Basically cost is apportioned based on population, circulation, and library square footage and is far less than any community operating independently would invest. The benefits of this arrangement to library users are more than financial. First and foremost policies are consistent throughout the region. ...

.04 New Sound Transit Regional Map

Seattle Transit Blog

Below the fold is Sound Transit's new regional map, inspired in part by Oran's amazing map from last year. ...

.05 Project for Public Spaces and New Jersey Transit

Rolling Rains Report - Inclusive Tourism

The Route 31 study was the catalyst for a organization-wide change that led to the institutionalization of these new concepts in a program called New Jersey FIT: Future in Transportation. NJFIT embraces the idea that the ultimate goal of all planning, development, and community design should be to make places, communities and regions more prosperous, civilized and attractive for all people. …

.06 Facebook Removes Regional Network Privacy and Visibility Settings

All Facebook

Yesterday afternoon Facebook posted about how the site is growing beyond regional networks and how networks will no longer be part of the privacy settings. The rationale is that the company has grown beyond it’s previous boundaries and as such, “these networks too often represent large geographical areas—sometimes entire countries—that no longer accurately reflect people’s real-world connections”. While I personally understand the challenges of managing geographic data, it seems strange that Facebook would eliminate regional networks. Yes, managing the countless regional networks that exist in the world is not easy, but ultimately this was one of Facebook’s greatest values. As I’ve described on countless occasions, one of Facbeook’s greatest opportunities is through leveraging regional data to optimize search results. Eliminating these regions doesn’t really make much sense. ...

.07 The Realm of Humbria


Northumbria was essentially a state composed of several nations that each kept their identity too much to adopt the Bernician name. They sought a new name, Northumbria, that is different than any other Anglo-Saxon kingdom — geographic, north, and regional, Humbria. In taking the name Humbria they adopted a regional name that clearly enclosed two (or more) nations, two ethnicities. ...

.08 The role of the state in the food system

Rural Sociology Group

In Europe, there are more and more examples of different levels of government, – state, region or city governments – taking initiative to integrate sustainability concerns in new ways of food provisioning. They realize that they are a very large buyer of food, for public canteens, in hospitals, elderly homes, schools and other public places. Their purchase behavior can make a huge difference in shifting our agriculture production and food consumption towards more sustainable practices. ...

.09 For Want of Better Things to Do, I Talk about a Northeast Asia Security Forum (Not)

GlobalTalk 21

Intergovernmental forums lacking legislative, executive, or judicial functions show a distressing tendency to devolve into talk fests that produce ineffectual announcements and thick reports that only lead to more announcements, studies and, if they are particularly productive, more intergovernmental forums. Their subjects range far and wide, but the one common feature of such a venue is its staying power. Lacking true governmental functions, it is rapidly mined out of any value that it ever possessed. But once established, it is hard to kill off, ...

.10 A Social Web Without Boundaries

Living Social Media

Joe Ito and Larry Lessig both feel that the next innovation explosion will come from a new Hybrid Economy. … Micah Sifry has pondered whether the Internet is fracturing or uniting us. His conclusion is that with recent tools that facilitate collaboration across boundaries, we have changed the world. Until recently, only the elites talked to the elites. Now the world is opening up and there is transparency and ongoing discussion between the elites and new voices. ...

.11 Germany Q&A - Regionalism

Jürgen Hubert's LiveJournal

Historically, Germany wasn't really a nation, but an argument. At one point there were more than 200 individual and largely independent fiefdoms in what could be considered Germany at the time. ... in theory everyone answered to the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. But in practice, one's immediate liege lord commanded far more power - and the Emperor was often weaker than the regional lords. Thus, these fiefs had plenty of time to establish their individual power base - and character. And this has effects that have lasted until the present day. ... to the larger regions of Germany. What are the stereotypes about them? Here are some I know about: ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Open Government Dialogue - The National Academy of Public Administration

How can we strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness by making government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative? This project is being run for the White House by the Academy. It has nearly 4000 ideas. You can access the main site below; consider ideas and vote on those you find. The idea I submitted for FIPS geo-codes is linked below. For the Wired65 story, number 2 above, I was able to take their map and list of counties and match it to the Regional Councils in Indiana and Kentucky that are included. The detail took 90 minutes or more. It is these type of multi-region and multi-state economic regions for which data could more easily be compiled with my proposed system. The same sort of compilation is needed for the Regional Visioning Project, article 10.30 and blog item 12.01 Comments and votes welcome.

Main page:

Region Builder Database to Compile Census FIPS Code Alphabetical Data Geographically - Open Government Dialogue

Census FIPS codes are alphabetic and do not allow regional aggregation to match the sub-state districts of councils of government, regional councils, regional commissions, economic development districts, etc. organized in the 1960s-1970s. Metropolitan Statistical Area data is a market measure which changes based on commuting patterns. These have extended over the past 30 years and do not match local government relationships built in the same time period. Exurban counties which come into the commutershed are not peers of the MSA central communities - expanding COGs isn't practical, but networking between regions is. ...

.02 Call for nominations - Regional Studies Association Awards 2009

The Association administers Awards recognizing achievements in the following categories:

* Best Book

* Taught Master

* Early Career

* Best contribution to the field

* Best Referees: Each year the journal editors award a number of Awards to referees based on both qualitative and quantitative performance criteria including the speed of response (with allowance made for non-UK referees); extensiveness and detail of comments. The prize of the Award is a one year honorary membership of the Regional Studies Association.

The deadline for nominations for the above Awards is 31st July 2009. The winners will be announced during the Association's President's Lunch on the 5th October 2009 at the House of Lords.

* Best Undergraduate Award - The deadline for this award is 30th June of each year.

.03 New OECD eXplorer - Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The OECD is proud to launch a completely updated version of OECD eXplorer – the interactive graphical tool to analyze OECD regional statistics. OECD eXplorer is a leading edge tool for exploring and analysing regional statistics, using a very interactive interface that combines maps with other visual presentations for selecting the groups of regions of interest to the user.

.04 Intergovernmental Monitor - Maryland Department of Planning

The Intergovernmental Monitor (Monitor) is a weekly publication prepared by the Maryland State Clearinghouse for Intergovernmental Assistance, at the Maryland Department of Planning. The Monitor announces projects received for intergovernmental review, which is a process for determining compliance with known State and local government laws, policies and guidelines.

.05 77th Annual Meeting and Exhibition: The Transformation of Transportation - September 13-16, Chicago - International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA)

IBTTA’s 77th Annual Meeting & Exhibition, September 13-16, 2009, in Chicago, Illinois is the most significant gathering of toll industry professionals and business partners in the world. Delegates from 25 countries on six continents will meet in Chicago to examine best practices and critical innovations in toll industry finance, marketing, technology and innovation, customer service, sustainability, operations, and related issues.

Registration link and industry information at:

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Guest Post: Review of Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation – Bear Market Investments

Karl Polanyi’s, The Great Transformation is a truly original and important work published in 1944. Polanyi doesn’t fit well in our standard left/right economic dichotomy and for the refined economic tastes of the past several decades, he includes far too much history and politics. …

Polanyi is not anti-market. He believes they are indeed beneficial, but they are not self-regulating, and more importantly the ethos of the market should not be the ruling or even dominant ethic of society. The idea of self-regulating markets is utopian, and like all utopias extremely brutal if tried to be realized.

Secondly, Polanyi astutely points out the necessity of locality. This insight deserves a great deal of thought. It is an important component of our current banking problems. It provides an important principle for the necessary political reform that must accompany any real reform of our banking sector. Polanyi writes:

“In contrast to the nomadic peoples, the cultivator commits himself to improvements fixed in a particular place. Without such improvements human life must remain elementary, and little removed from that of animals. And how large a role have these fixtures played in human history! It is they, the cleared and cultivated lands, the other buildings, the means of communication, the multifarious plant necessary for production, including industry and mining, all permanent and immovable improvements that tie a human community to the locality where it is. They cannot be improvised, but must be built up gradually by generations of patient effort,and the community cannot afford to sacrifice them and start afresh elsewhere. Hence that territorial character of sovereignty, which permeates our political conceptions – for a century these obvious truths were ridiculed.”

Once again, over the last several decades, these obvious truths were ridiculed. In short, power must in some ways remain tied to locality. It cannot all be centralized and globalized. Centralization is both the enemy of locality and democracy. Yet, over the last several decades, the centralizing of the American economy under the utopianism of free-market fundamentalism has been staggering. …

The Financial Times writes,“The four biggest US commercial banks - JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo - possess 64 per cent of the assets of US commercial banks.”

When power becomes so concentrated it devolves certain traits. One of the most important of these traits in recent years has been the growing use of mathematical models, no more so rampant than in the banking sector. Yves Smith has touched on the issue as it relates to the mortgage fiasco stating quite accurately,

“The problem is that there isn’t a good substitute for knowledge of the borrower and his community. Does he understand what he is getting into? How stable is his employer? What are the prospects for the local economy? Those are important considerations, and they require judgment. That may still in the end be used as an input to a more structured decision process. but overly automating borrower assessment has resulted in information loss. It’s hardly a surprise that the quality of decisions deteriorated.”

Of course, modeling is not exclusive to the banking sectors. It has become essential in many of our large corporations and just as importantly in our centralized government bureaucracies.’s-the-great-transformation

.02 Peer-to-Peer Finance: A Flight to Simplicity - Policy Innovations

Credit and investment may be achieved without the intermediation of banks. Since bank capital will be further depleted as the credit crunch spreads into the productive economy, peer-to-peer finance offers a solution from an entirely unexpected direction.

Direct Credit

Trade sellers have extended credit to trade buyers for thousands of years. As trade has developed nationally, regionally, and globally, one of the key enabling factors has been credit intermediation by banks. This intermediation protects sellers by taking on the credit risk of buyers and enables trade to flow by providing liquidity to sellers.

It is possible to dispense with a credit intermediary and provide such a framework of trust through the use of an agreement—a guarantee society—whereby sellers and buyers collectively provide a mutual guarantee. This mutual guarantee may then be supported by provisions made by both seller and buyer into a default fund in the hands of a neutral custodian.

A service provider could then set guarantee limits, operate the accounting system, and deal with defaults in return for a fee. The crucial advantage for banks of such a guarantee-society credit-enterprise model is that they would no longer have to put capital at risk by creating credit based upon it.

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 utilizes 2,104 regional related sites as of June 10, 2009. Entering the term “climate change” returned 571 items; "climate change" regional returned 514 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 -