Regional Community Development News – July 22, 2009 [regions_work]


A compilation of news links about and for regional communities pursuing local and regional development.

Published on line since November 11, 2003.



Top Regional Community stories … 1. – 9.

U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State – news articles10.01 - .37

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .29

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .08

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .07

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .02

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


Top Regional Community stories

1. Regionalism at work - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - St. Louis, MO, USA

The last Dodge Ram pickup rolled off the assembly line at the Fenton North Plant on Thursday. The South Plant, which assembled minivans, shut down in October. The two plants, which once employed as many as 7,500 workers, soon will be mothballed.

“It’s almost as though there’s been a death in the family,” said Fenton Mayor Dennis J. Hancock of losing an iconic employer and the enterprise that put the city on the map 50 years ago. …

But don’t feel too sorry for the city of Fenton. Mr. Hancock argues that his city of 3,400 people will carry on. Indeed, in terms of its ability to provide essential services, he’s confident Fenton can absorb the loss in stride.

Fenton’s experience offers lessons for local governments throughout the St. Louis region, and the most important lesson is this: Necessity is the mother of invention. For cash-strapped municipalities, necessity should give birth to real regional cooperation. It’s the only way out.

Fenton had hoped for the best, but the mayor said the city has been planning for a Chrysler Plant closing for nearly a decade. Chrysler directly contributed about $500,000 year in tax revenue to Fenton, so the city had to prepare for the worst.

Perhaps the smartest move Fenton made came in 1995: It abolished its police department and contracted with the St. Louis County Police Department for patrol and other public safety services. That move gave the city a little financial breathing room.

Mr. Hancock estimates that move has saved the city $1 million per year — about twice the revenue lost from the Chrysler closing. The city also contracts with the county for building inspections, saving another $75,000 per year.

How many municipalities in this region can afford to ignore such savings, even in better times?

2. EDITORIAL: Aging Population - - Frederick, MD, USA


The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments analyzed vehicle registration data collected after the economy began its downward skid. As mandated by federal law, the data is to be used to make local air quality forecasts.

The Clean Air Act requires that metropolitan areas account for their current and projected emissions, including those resulting from future road and transportation projects, to show that the area can and will remain within established pollution limits.

This is where the economy figures in, with a bit of a twist. Transportation planning assumptions have traditionally been that an economic downturn, and the accompanying higher unemployment, compels people to drive less, therefore reducing tailpipe emissions and significantly precluding their introduction into our breathing air.

Not so.

Not when, as the COG study finds, people drive less, but do so in older vehicles.

This makes a lot of difference.

Published reports on the outcome of the COG study explained that vehicles on Washington-area roads are, on average, six months older than they were in 2005. The increase is from about 7.9 to 8.4 years, enough to push the area to within the violation range of its federally mandated limits for traffic-related pollutants.

Despite the fact that we're expected to cut our driving by about 2.5 percent, the aging vehicle pool on which we continue to rely will likely increase our emission pollutant totals. …

The D.C. area is on a very short leash vis-a-vis Clean Air Act requirements, having failed to meet federal ozone standards for decades and with money for regional transportation projects hanging in the balance.

The problem is not localized. A spokesman for the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations thinks it "will be a national issue." …

3. Thrive uses collaborative approach to help build a strong regional economy

WTN News – Press Release - Verona, WI, USA

In our current national economic climate, it is critical we use every tool at our disposal, every advantage we have. Our actions today lay the foundation for the economic climate of our region in years to come.

Our region is unique—and fortunate—that visionary leadership from around the region came together proactively during stronger economic times a few years ago to discuss the future of the region. What is our shared regional vision? What are our assets—man made and natural? How can we collaborate to reach a strong, shared and sustainable future for the region?

Now is the time that we reap the benefit of the leadership and vision of stronger times. Now is the time that we need to come together as a region. We can no longer afford to think of competition on a small scale, as we once did, city against city or county versus county—our competition is now national and international, for resources like workforce, capital and innovation. Last December the State of the Madison Region report issued by Thrive [ ], the economic development enterprise for the eight-county region, provided a glimpse at how we stack up against some peer regions. It was no surprise that we were in the top tier for employment growth, income, and many quality of life measures. The numbers are not as good this year, of course, but as a region we are still doing better than much of the nation and many of our peer regions. Regional collaboration is and will continue to be our strongest competitive edge in today's global economy.

While it may be a natural human response in trying times to "circle the wagons", to pull your resources closer—now is the time for every county, every community and every business in our region to pull together and share our strengths.


Now more than ever, we must all collaborate as a region to thrive.

4. Local Leaders Discuss Regional Mass Transportation System - - Nashville, TN, USA

Middle Tennessee has a number of growing cities, but no mass transit system to connect them together. City leaders met with the hopes of changing that.

Metro Mayor Karl Dean has wanted a new and improved public transportation system here in Nashville and throughout the whole region.

He invited city and county mayors from across the mid-state to discuss the issue as part of a ‘mayor's caucus.'

The state legislature recently passed a law allowing regions to dedicate funding specifically for mass transit. Local governments must decide where that money will come from and what it would be used for.

Dean said all options are still on the table including a light rail system similar to one in Austin, Texas that would connect Nashville to other mid-state cities.

The mayor believes that if cities and counties pitch in financially the region could then be eligible for Federal funding that could help make a revamped regional transit system a reality.

"If we're going to be the type of region where people want to live and settle and have a high quality of life where businesses want to be, we're going to need to have a mass transit response to the congestion on the interstate," said Dean.

The mid-state Mayor's caucus has looked to Denver, Austin, Texas, and Charlotte as models for creating a new mass transit system.

5. New Lake Tahoe regional plan closes in on next steps - North Lake Tahoe Bonanza - Incline Village, NV, USA

Summarize, analyze, repeat.

Those are the steps the bi-state federal agency in charge of protecting Lake Tahoe has followed to develop its 20-year plan for the region.

Now, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency's Regional Plan Update's options are available for review by citizens, partner agencies and other organizations before they are finalized and sent to an environmental consultant for analysis.

“The more time we spend laying ground work for the environmental document, the better chance we'll have of getting to a regional plan that everyone can sign off on and support,” said TRPA Spokesman Jeff Cowen.

TRPA staff is in the process of reviewing and editing final project descriptions. The new Regional Plan, which will be discussed at the July 22 TRPA Governing Board meeting at North Tahoe Conference Center in Kings Beach, is supposed to update TRPA's standing plan adopted in 1987, and basin residents are encouraged to review the new plan offer feedback before then.

The plan's updated proposal is broken down into four alternatives, including one no action alternative which offers no changes to the 1987 plan.

• Alternative 2: …

• Alternative 3:

• Alternative 4:

Autonomy and community planning is an area of concern for the League to Save Lake Tahoe.

“In the current regional plan, TRPA establishes a framework and community planning teams are assembled to make choices for their communities that are consistent with the overall framework which is designed to protect the basin environment,” said Rochelle Nason, executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe. “Under this approach it appears that many decisions for communities will be made directly by the TRPA and that is a matter of some concern.”

6. Richmond City Council member blasts police car deal - Richmond Times Dispatch - Richmond, VA, USA

Richmond City Councilman Charles R. Samuels today blasted the city for failing to give vendors a chance to compete for the purchase of police cars.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported this morning that city officials violated procurement rules when they bought 40 police cars for nearly $1 million in 2007 without allowing vendors to compete for the business.

The procurement services department wrongly treated the purchase as though only one vendor could provide the Crown Victoria vehicles when numerous Ford dealers across the city and nation could have, City Auditor Umesh Dalal wrote in a report Tuesday to Mayor Dwight C. Jones and other officials.

Eric R. Mens, who authorized the purchase of the vehicles, gave notice June 30 that he would resign effective Aug. 30 from his post as Richmond's director of procurement services.

Samuels, who represents the 2nd District, said Richmond's city government "is not there for cronyism, nepotism or doing political favors for your friends. It angers me that that kind of behavior went on."

Samuels, speaking to a breakfast meeting of the Greater Richmond Chamber, said the purchasing deal will damage the city's credibility as well as its attempts to foster regionalism.

"Until the city can earn the respect and trust of the surrounding counties . . . it's going to be difficult to do so," he said.

7. OUR VIEW: Share regional agreements - - New Bedford, MA, USA

In a report last fall, limited-government advocates at the Pioneer Institute urged the state to advance the cause of regionalized local services by, among other things, creating models for regional agreements. The idea was to give cities and towns paths they could follow. Now, in the absence of state action, Pioneer's new clearinghouse of real-life regional agreements gets the ball rolling on a smart idea.

Far from returning to bigger county government, regionalism relies on what Pioneer's Jim Stergios calls "organic" growth. Communities with common interests, size and geography gravitate toward one another naturally, rather than by mandate. The clearest SouthCoast examples of organic regionalization may be our regional schools, which share resources at the middle- and high-school levels between two sets of towns: Freetown and Lakeville in one district, Mattapoisett, Marion and Rochester in the other.

The new database gives communities access to agreements on animal control, building inspection, sewage and water, plus sample documents executed by municipalities that have joined the Group Insurance Commission. Joining the GIC, which provides health insurance to state employees, became an option for cities and towns in 2007. In general, the GIC costs less, its prices have risen more slowly, and it offers more diverse options than typical municipal plans.

Since regionalization saves money, one might think cities and towns would be clamoring, especially in a recession, to get on board. But cooperation can be difficult.


The savings promised by regionalization can help SouthCoast cities and towns slow the escalating cost of government while providing the services residents have come to expect. Municipalities would be wise to review useful agreements developed by others and share their own. Nothing will happen without cooperation.

To view the clearinghouse, visit

8. Region developing a Niagara Culture Plan - Welland Tribune - Welland, ON, CA

The region is advancing its goal of developing a Niagara Culture Plan.

A forum held Tuesday at the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel and Conference Centre, entitled “Discovering Opportunities,” was designed to build on a solid foundation that had been in the developing stages since first being identified as a strategic objective of regional council.

The goal of the forum was to “brainstorm” ideas to help stimulate the local economy through the development of cultural assets in Niagara.

The full-day workshop brought together key stakeholders, including local businesses, the community and cultural partners.

Patrick Robson, commissioner of integrated community services for Niagara Region [ ], said more than 140 people attended the event.

Robson said arts, heritage and other expressions of Niagara’s diverse cultural landscape account for about 9% of the region’s overall employment.

He said Niagara’s distinct culture is a resource that does not have to be invented or imported.

Robson said many individual groups and communities are already doing a great job at marketing their cultural resources.

The challenge, said Robson, is to frame all the various cultural components in the context of economic development, while ensuring none of the players get left on the sidelines.

In an effort to bring as many sectors of the community together as possible, the team working on the culture plan has even create a presence on Facebook.

Robson said social networking Internet sites like Facebook is the best way to engage the youth, who he said also have a stake in the plan.

Theatre is just one example of a much broader application of the term “culture.”

“We want to celebrate the whole package, but first we have to determine how big the package is,” Robson said.

9. Region's economy at stake - HeraldNet - Everett, WA, USA

Local pessimists will see the Boeing Co.'s purchase of a 787 parts plant in South Carolina as a sure sign the company plans to start moving its airplane production out of Puget Sound.

The rest of us must see it for what it really is: a wake-up call -- and perhaps the last, best opportunity -- to mobilize government, labor and business in a focused, unprecedented effort to make Puget Sound the long-term aerospace capital of the world, led by a thriving Boeing Co.

Some leaders have already been working at it. Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson, for example, has been shuttling between union and company officials in an effort to forge greater trust that will lead to labor peace and make Boeing more reliable to its customers.

At the heart of Stephanson's effort is a no-strike agreement between Boeing and its Machinists and engineers, with contract impasses going to binding arbitration. Many public employee unions, including police and firefighters, have done very well under such arrangements.

For their own self-interest, it's time for Boeing's local union members, and the company, to turn the page from past animosity to a new era of cooperation.

"Unless things change," Washington Roundtable Chair John Stanton said in a statement Tuesday, "Boeing's future will be outside the Northwest and that will be devastating to the Washington economy."

Indeed, the stakes couldn't be higher. Every Puget Sound aerospace job accounts for about four more local jobs. A new 787 production line in South Carolina would open the possibility of future generations of the 737 and 777 being built elsewhere. And with them would go the main underpinning of our region's economy.

Washington is in a national competition to keep its aerospace industry, and Boeing's expanded presence in South Carolina is a reminder that …

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 Tulare County Association of Governments hires Fresno public relations firm

Visalia Times-Delta - Visalia, CA, USA

The Tulare County Association of Governments has hired the Fresno-based public relations firm Jeffrey Scott Advertising to perform outreach services for it. The agency will split publicity duties with Visalia's Lockwood Agency, which will continue to handle public relations for Measure R. ... The association of governments is made up of elected city and county officials and is charged with planning for the county's transportation needs and overseeing the spending of money from Measure R, the county's half-cent sales tax on transportation. ...

.02 Regionalism - The insanity of state government

CW Unbound –Massachusetts

When the Washington Post's Neil Peirce wonders if state government is "obsolete," he's not echoing Carla Howell. Instead, he worries that gubernatorial "theatrics" (think Palin, Sanford, Blagojevich, etc.) and legislative straitjackets (for example, the requirement that tax increases pass with two-thirds of the vote in California) are making it impossible for states to solve fiscal calamities. To make matters worse, says Peirce, state governments aren't equipped to deal with regional economies, as most metropolitan regions cross state lines or face hostile legislative majorities ... Regional planning (or the lack thereof) has long been an issue in Massachusetts; Pierce's column is a good reminder that regionalism is, in fact, a national issue.

.03 Their Words: Ward 5 Council Candidates

The Ann Arbor Chronicle - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Scott Rosencrans: As I mentioned in my opening remarks, regionalism is one of the primary tenets of my campaign. When we’re talking about buying police cars, why can’t we get together? ... The same thing could be done with expensive software programs, and some ground is being broken in that area, as we speak. The consolidation of our dispatch centers through Huron Valley Ambulance is a positive step in the right correction in terms of regionalism. Reorganizing our fire fighting districts so that they are cooperating in new ways so that the closest fire station to your burning house is the one that responds. There’s no question that regionalism and cooperation between all of the public entities can be a great success, not only in saving money, but in experiencing greater cooperation across the board with better communication. ...

.04 3-year countdown begins for Atlanta's water future

The Associated Press

Georgia faces the dire prospect of losing metropolitan Atlanta's main water source if political leaders can't broker a solution with Alabama and Florida over rights to a major reservoir within three years. That doomsday scenario would cut off water for more than three million residents, driving a stake through the heart of Atlanta's decades of rampant growth and threatening one of the Southeast's main economic engines amid a sour economy. Experts say they doubt a recent federal court ruling will shut the taps off, but it does put Georgia in a weak position and could finally push the three states back to the negotiating table after nearly two decades of stalemate. After all, said Atlanta Regional Commission Chairman Sam Olens, "FEMA isn't going to provide enough trucks to have drinking water for 4.5 million residents" in the Atlanta region. ...

.05 Full text of mayor's State of the City speech

Denver Post - Denver, CO, USA

We are honored to have with us Council President Jeanne Robb and the entire City Council, District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, and Clerk and Recorder Stephanie O'Malley. We are also honored to have Gov. Bill Ritter, state Treasurer Cary Kennedy, as well as former Mayor Wellington Webb, and numerous state senators and represents, regional mayors and county commissioners. ... At the heart of FastTracks will be Union Station. It will be the next transformational project in our City. Once a key portal of decades past, we see this landmark as an emblem of 21st century redevelopment, and of our innovation and regional collaboration. This isn't your father's train station. Denver Union Station will be a new, vibrant hub for our City a transportation center linking the region and a catalyst for all metro Denver. A signature new development that will improve our quality of life and provide even more evidence that our region is on the move. ...

.06 Mid-America Regional Council hires Maltbia to lead Green Impact Zone

Kansas City Business Journal - Kansas City, MO, USA

The Mid-America Regional Council hired Anita Maltbia as director of the Green Impact Zone initiative. ... MARC started the Green Impact Zone initiative in March, Dean Katerndahl, MARC’s government innovations forum director, ... the city allocated $1.5 million for the zone’s operation, Katerndahl said. MARC also has several grants pending, ...

Green Impact Zone on the blog of Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II -;%20Economic%20Stimulus

.07 American Airlines teams up with Dallas-Fort Worth visitors bureaus to increase bookings

Dallas Morning News - Dallas, TX, USA

Officials with four Dallas-Fort Worth area visitors' bureaus and American Airlines Inc. announced a program Thursday designed to put more zip into the slow-moving travel segment. Called DFW Meet Now Promise, the program offers discounts and other incentives to groups that book and hold meetings in North Texas before New Year's Eve. ... Officials called it the largest regional collaboration since the cities came together decades ago to build the airport. ...

.08 The Northwest salmon debate

Amid the drumbeat of litigation that surrounds Columbia River salmon and the ever-present debate over dam-breaching, it's easy to miss one remarkable achievement: We now have a salmon protection strategy that most of the region agrees on. That has never happened before. ... The comprehensive scope is what has earned the approach such broad support and is why it makes sense for fish and for the region. This broad backing is, believe it or not, one positive outcome of the litigation that many of us feared would never end. U.S. District Judge James Redden, unsatisfied with earlier federal fish strategies, directed that only true regional collaboration would yield a true regional solution. Tribes, states and federal agencies that too often have been foes finally found one. It's not dictated by the feds; it's designed by the region and it offers a path out of the courtroom and onto the rivers and streams the fish -- and all of us -- depend on. ...

.09 A show of regional cooperation for high-speed rail

Virginia Business -

High-speed rail between Washington, D.C., and the Richmond and Petersburg region would encourage economic development and benefit the entire region, a regional group said today.

Members of the Capital Region Collaborative, a partnership between the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission and the Greater Richmond Chamber, and local government leaders gathered with Gov. Timothy M. Kaine at Main Street Station to show their support for the state’s recent application of more than $2 billion in federal stimulus funds for high-speed rail. ...

.10 You Are Not Alone, Seattle

Seattle Weekly - Seattle, WA, USA

While some of the direct-to-cities money hasn't been distributed yet (such as the funds that Seattle might get from the Puget Sound Regional Council), the NYT found that the 100 largest metropolitan areas—which hold 2/3 of the population and produce 3/4 of the economy got less than 1/2 of the stimulus money. ...

.11 Three mayoral candidates make it official

Toledo On The Move - Toledo, OH, USA

“Obviously everyone is worried about the economy,” Collins said. “We will need job creation. The best way to reach that goal is to work regionally with other northwest Ohio cities, townships and villages.” ...

.12 Harper continues transit board fight

Gary Post Tribune - Gary, IN, USA

Regionalization will make way for an endless stream of new taxes, said Porter County Commissioner Bob Harper. At the board of commissioners meeting Tuesday evening, Harper continued to denounce the idea of a regional transportation board and the "nightmare" it will bring. He railed against the upcoming referendum affecting four counties and urged the public to soundly defeat the measure. Voters in Porter, Lake, LaPorte and St. Joseph counties will have their say at the polls on Nov. 3 ...,pccomish0708.article

.13 Cooperation key to transit issues

Connecticut Post - Bridgeport, CT, USA

Mass transit solutions are impossible unless we work together. Gov. M. Jodi Rell appears to understand this. Rell and the five other New England governors on Monday declared that the central Connecticut route paralleling Interstate 91 is a key link in wider plans to revitalize the region's passenger rail network. This is part of a nationwide push by the Obama administration to once again make passenger rail a viable alternative to automobiles in our most highly trafficked areas. ...

.14 D.C. Plays "Rich Uncle" in Recession

CBS News - Politico

The rest of the country has a new reason to hate the inside-the-Beltway crowd: Our economy is better than yours. At 6.2 percent, the unemployment rate in the D.C. metro region is lower than in any other major metropolitan area in the country - and far below the 9.5 percent national average. ... To be fair, the D.C. metro area has lost jobs for the last seven consecutive months, with losses still accelerating month to month. But Washington is losing far fewer jobs than any other city, and parts of the local economy are actually growing that aren’t growing anywhere else, said Steven Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. And the jobs that are being created are not federal bureaucrats precisely. Rather, the job growth that’s offsetting some of the job losses is coming only indirectly from the government; federal dollars are flowing to contractors, who can then afford to hire workers and pay vendors who hire more. ...

.15 New Chamber chief thinks big

Buffalo News - NY, United States

David P. Lacki may have spent the past two decades working in Buffalo, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t familiar with the surroundings that are the focus of his new job as president of the Lower Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce. ... He had worked for 23 years in Buffalo and has long appreciated the idea of selling all of Western New York as a travel destination. “Regionalism is the way to go,” he said. “I think this Chamber is one of the few Chambers which understands regionalism, partnerships and working together. I remember when a lot of these attractions started, and I’ve been promoting them for over 20 years.” ...

.16 Our View: Redevelopment requires cooperation

Norwich Bulletin - Norwich, CT, USA

Preston and Norwich have agreed to work cooperatively in the development of the 480-acre site, primarily because of the financial incentives the state is offering to communities that agree to work together on development projects. We believe the leaders of both communities are sincere in their desire to work together on this important project. But in order to achieve real success for both communities, and the region as a whole, that cooperation must be more than just in name only.


.17 Editorial: Sniper dispute ricochet hits regionalism - Roanoke, VA, USA

First, law enforcement officers' safety was compromised. Then, the Roanoke sheriff's leadership came under question after news broke in April that some deputies in her department had participated in training that intentionally put officers downrange of live gunfire. Now, Roanoke County has decided to end joint operation of its training facilities with city law enforcement agencies after threatening to do so over the disputed training. So regionalism takes a hit, too. ...

.18 Museum belonged in Valley Forge

Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia, PA, USA

The American Revolution Center's decision to move to Philadelphia extends a nine-year record of switching rather than fighting. Instead of working to resolve issues with its partners and local officials, the proposed museum has moved twice from the place where it was originally conceived, Valley Forge. ... If all the parties involved think it's wise to move every major regional attraction to Philadelphia because of a perceived critical mass of visitors, I beg to disagree. The strength of this region as a destination is that it's so rich in diverse attractions; visitors can't travel more than a few miles in any direction without tripping over one of them. ... In Valley Forge, the museum would have encouraged visitors to extend stays an extra night (in Philly or the suburbs) to see a meaningful new attraction. The big winners would have been local businesses, regional hoteliers, and commonwealth sales-tax coffers. ....

.19 Richmond Chamber makes cut

Richmond Times Dispatch - Richmond, VA, USA

In an effort to cut costs and not duplicate efforts, the Greater Richmond Chamber has laid off its director of work-force development. One reason for the cut is the creation of the Capital Region Workforce Partnership, formed in October to combine work-force training programs in Richmond and nearby counties, a chamber official said yesterday. ... The Greater Richmond Partnership, a regional economic-development agency, also has switched its focus toward creating ways to help people find jobs and support existing companies. ...

.20 Eastern Kentucky experts have different visions for the coalfield, but agree on need for education

Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues - University of Kentucky - Lexington, KY, USA

University of Kentucky historian Ron Eller, author of the recent Appalachian history Uneven Ground, argues that tourism and other industries could replace coal mining and lead to greater prosperity. But former Gov. Paul Patton of Pikeville, now back in the mining business, says the region cannot support its current population without coal. Recent reports showing less recoverable coal in the region than presumed have only intensified the longstanding debate and made more urgent the answer to the old question, “What do we do when the coal is gone?” ...

.21 Recession in Minnesota: Part 3 of three articles - Logging, mining, manufacturing take big hits; most farmers faring better - Minneapolis, MN, USA

Hard knocks over the years have made Northern Minnesotans as tough as tree bark. ... Still, this recession has the region reeling. The downturn hit later here than in the Twin Cities. And its effects are spotty — devastating the Iron Range while just nicking Duluth, missing most farmers while knocking loggers flat. ... "People who work in forest products around here know that the wood industry is cyclic, but they've never seen it fall so far so fast," said Larry Young, executive director of the Joint Economic Development Commission in Bemidji. This recession is a sober reminder that however remote the region may be, its fortunes are tied to the Twin Cities and the world beyond. When the housing bubble burst in Hennepin County, window makers lost hours in Roseau County. When China cut steel orders, taconite miners lost jobs in Hibbing. ...

.22 Law eliminating school districts criticized

Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia, PA, USA

When Gov. Corzine signed a bill last week that established a process to eliminate 26 small school districts that do not operate schools, it seemed to many people a no-brainer. Legislative sponsors hailed it as a commonsense step toward consolidation that would save public money and still support education. Where there were 616 school districts statewide, there will eventually be 590. But, like most things in life and government, it's not that simple. ... "We feel it would have been a cleaner process to make it part of the regionalization that will go to voters next year," ...

.23 A healthy model

Cape Cod Times - Hyannis, MA, USA

Ten years ago last week, Falmouth and Cape Cod hospitals, along with several small visiting nurse associations, merged into one unified entity and became Cape Cod Healthcare. The merger represents one of the more successful examples of regionalization on Cape Cod in recent history. As town and county leaders across the region look for ways to consolidate services, share resources and realize cost efficiencies, they need to consider the Cape Cod Healthcare model. The seeds of the merger were planted in 1996, ...

.24 REGIONAL: Accomack, Worcester poised to battle for spaceport-related businesses - Salisbury, MD, USA

It appears competition between Accomack County in Virginia and its northern neighbor, Worcester County, Md., is heating up in an effort to attract business associated with Orbital Science’s Taurus II rocket program and other growth at Wallops Island. Despite talk of cooperation between Maryland and Virginia at a groundbreaking for the project last week at Wallops, Accomack County officials Wednesday at a Board of Supervisors meeting appeared ready to fight Worcester for economic development dollars ...

.25 Aubertine urges Gillibrand push for highway - Watertown, NY, USA

State Sen. Darrel Aubertine has thrown his support behind the proposed "rooftop" highway, urging U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to make the project a top priority in upcoming transportation legislation. ... "Not only will this critical link between the Interstate 81 and Interstate 87 corridors promote international trade and tourism traffic, it will also create between 4,000 and 6,000 jobs regionally." ...

.26 Federal Stimulus and the Rooftop Highway

Adirondack Almanack

The signing this week of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act--the federal economic stimulus package--has spurred a stampede of applicants for financial assistance from every state and every sector of the economy. ... This cannot be good news for supporters of the Northern Tier Expressway (aka the Rooftop Highway), the proposed 175-mile four lane divided highway that would link I-81 in Watertown and I-87 in Champlain. ...

.27 Reno pushes for regional collaboration on special events

Reno Gazette Journal - Reno, NV, USA

Having local governments work together in sponsoring special events could make existing events better and open the region to more, members of a Reno City Council subcommittee said ... . Consolidating efforts, or collaborating on event sponsorship, also could help stretch dollars in tough economic times. "Too often, we seem to be competing against each other," Councilman Dave Aiazzi said, referring to Reno, Sparks, Washoe County and the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority. ...

.28 to highlight best of region's outdoor spots - Roanoke, VA, USA

The Roanoke Region’s outdoor attractions are the focus of a new website. The Roanoke Regional Partnership launched a new website called Roanoke Outside. According to a news release, a $25,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Virginia Is For Lovers Marketing Leverage Program is paying for the website. ...

.29 Good news for Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte

Creative Loafing - Charlotte, NC, USA

The National New Play Network announced Monday that Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte was accepted for membership effective August 1, 2009. ... The National New Play Network (NNPN) is an alliance of leading not-for-profit professional theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays for the American theater. NNPN was founded in 1998 by then-Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center Special Programs Director David Goldman with the support and encouragement of Founder and Chairman George C. White. They believed that new-play development in the next generation should be regionalized by linking producing and developmental theaters around the country with their playwriting communities. ... Actor’s Theatre is now one of 26 regional theatre companies in the National New Play Network, and the only member theatre in the Carolinas. ...

.30 Is your city prepared for a home-made nuke?

New Scientist - USA

So what would a city need to do? ... wind could carry deadly levels of fallout several kilometres in just a few minutes - too fast for anyone to outrun it. People attempting to drive out of danger on clogged roads would fare little better, as cars offer scant protection from gamma rays. For many people, the safest option would be to seek shelter in buildings or underground. Just staying inside could slash the immediate death toll from radiation by up to a factor of 100, or even 1000, Mettler says. However, people must be told this in advance. "Without prior education, it would be a horrible issue," he says. ...

.31 More than 100 arrested regionally in national fugitive operation

Richmond-Times Dispatch - Richmond, VA, USA

The local roundup was led by Richmond office of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and the U.S. Marshals Service. The effort began June 1 and lasted through the end of the month. Nineteen federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in central Virginia participated in the regional effort, including police in Richmond, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and the counties of Chesterfield, Henrico and Dinwiddie. ...

.32 Coalition zeroing in on future water - Springfield, MO, USA

Monett -- Three potential reservoirs -- including one on Crane Creek southeast of Aurora -- will receive closer scrutiny by a regional group trying to lock in future water supplies for southwest Missouri. However, members of the Tri-State Water Resource Coalition emphasized Tuesday that building new reservoirs is their lowest priority. They hope, instead, to work with Oklahoma and federal officials to draw more than 124 million gallons a day from existing reservoirs in the future ...

.33 Get onboard train for regional passenger rail service - USA

A coalition has been formed, as part of a grassroots campaign that was announced last week, to advocate for the return of rail service to the Tri-State region, which includes Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. The Northwest Illinois Blackhawk Express rail coalition is seeking help from the region's citizens, elected officials, and community leaders to support Amtrak passenger rail from Dubuque, Ia. to Chicago -- and also serving Galena, Freeport, Rockford and Belvidere. The group was formed to help the region speak in a unified voice as a show of support for the Dubuque-Chicago rail service to legislators and policy makers. The main partners include Belvidere, Freeport, Galena and Rockford Chambers of Commerce, as well as Rockford Area Realtors, and other associations. ...

.34 New program to aid Hurricane Ike victims - Longview, TX, USA

The Deep East Texas Council of Governments has created the Hurricane Ike Disaster Case Management pilot project with the goal of restoring clients' lives to what they were before the storm hit, according to a council news release. The program, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services Commission, will have case managers ...

.35 Sports Tourism Hasn't Declined

American Chronicle - Beverly Hills, CA, USA

The national economy may be mired in a recession that's now more than 18 months long, but Owensboro's sports tourism industry is still growing. ... "It's a lot more regionalized this year," Bratcher said. "We don't have any teams from the West Coast. Most are from within a 400- to 500-mile radius of Owensboro. The farthest I've heard is from northern Michigan." ... The city's success in hosting tournaments was part of the reason Sports Illustrated named Owensboro "Kentucky's Sportstown USA" in 2004. ...

.36 Effects of panhandling crackdown still being felt


... the weak economy has pushed more people into living on the streets or left them struggling to make ends meet, making it more difficult to meet the growing needs. A Maricopa Association of Governments annual January count found that there were 2,918 people on the streets compared with 2,426 last year. The number of people younger than 18 jumped 280 percent to 220 from 58. Those numbers do not include the thousands of people in Valley shelters. ...

.37 Policing Terrorism in the United States: The Los Angeles Police Department's Convergence Strategy

The Police Chief - USA

Local law enforcement agencies around the world face an increasingly complex set of problems with the emergence of globally coordinated criminal networks and national security threats. Modern-day criminals have proved themselves to be transnational in reach, linked by sophisticated networks and highly adaptive in their thinking. In response, local police agencies such as the Los Angeles, California, Police Department (LAPD) are developing strategies that are equally adaptive and networked. The linchpin of these strategies is and must remain convergence. … As a real-world example, the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain Project ( ) puts anthropologists and other social scientists alongside combat units in Afghanistan and Iraq to help the military better understand local cultures. ... The following list enumerates some of the LAPD’s capabilities that best enable it to work toward its goal of convergence. Information Sharing: Working in concert with regional and federal partners in the seven counties served by the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, the LAPD continues to build its capacity to collect, fuse, analyze, and disseminate both strategic and operational intelligence …

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 “Stewart Brand proclaims 4 environmental ‘heresies”

TED Talks - Video July 13, 2009 Time: 16:42

This talk at the US State Department is a foretaste of Stewart Brand's new book: Whole Earth Discipline. At 6:25 minutes in, a passenger train passes through a congested area of tents. The aftermath is quite amazing. There is a rare valuing of metropolitan/city slums as being places of human creativity.

.02 Building Asia Pacific Regional Architecture: The Challenge of Hybrid Regionalism

Brookings Institution - Washington, DC, USA

The Asia Pacific region has undergone fundamental changes in its regional organization and power structure in the post-Cold War era. The region was long perceived as institutionally underdeveloped. Since the 1990s and especially entering the 21st century, however, a wide range of community building initiatives and projects have transformed the dynamics of regional institution-building and major power relations in the region. Currently, the region is far from short of community building projects, the proliferation of which creates challenges such as divergent and sometimes competing mandates and differing notions of membership and scope in regional community building. ...

.03 Be An Action Community, Thai PM Tells Asean

Bernama - Malaysa

An action-based regional community that is able to act decisively and in a timely manner, replacing extended deliberation should be the type of "Asean Community in 2015", Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Monday. He said a "community of action" must show to the world that the 10-member regional grouping, reported to be having over 700 meetings annually, was ready to meet any challenge and was well-prepared to act decisively to help reinforce Asean centrality. "Asean must be able to act decisively and in a timely manner to address both internal and external threats and challenges to the security and welfare of its member states and peoples. Effective action must replace extended deliberation," ...

.04 Greasing the wheels of partnership the NDDC way

Vanguard News - Nigeria

VANGUARD Newspapers paved the way when it organised the first ever South-South: One Voice summit for the Niger Delta region In Port- Harcourt, Rivers State. ... It was an opportunity for the Niger Delta Development Commission [NDDC] []

to once again put the spotlight on the need for partnership in the arduous task of developing the long-neglected treasure base of Nigeria. ... Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan as a development framework that would provide realistic interventions and sustainable development in the Niger Delta. ...

.05 Increasingly frosty reception for EU enlargement plans

Irish Times - Dublin, Ireland

… backtracking on an EU promise of future membership to the volatile Balkans region is a risky strategy, given the danger of inflaming nationalist sentiment right on the EU border. Lisbon is now assumed to be an absolute necessity to enlargement,” says Hugo Brady, EU affairs analyst with the Centre for European Reform, who notes the symbiotic relationship between “integration and enlargement”. But he believes Iceland could jump the enlargement queue if Lisbon comes into force following the second Irish referendum on the treaty in October. “Iceland is part of the Nordic fraternity and is already well integrated with the EU. It is a member of the Schengen free travel zone and the European Economic Area and could be integrated relatively easily,” he says. Iceland’s ambassador to the EU, Stefan Haukur Johannesson, underlines this point. “We are fully aware of the enlargement fatigue within the EU but I think people recognise that Iceland is deeply integrated with the EU,” ...


.06 Chinese president backs regional co-op between China, Italy

Xinhua - China

... the Chinese government supports the friendly exchange and cooperation between the Veneto region of Italy and China's Jiangsu province including Suzhou City. When meeting with the president of the Veneto region, Giancarlo Galan, Hu said regional exchanges have constituted an important part of bilateral relations as Venice, capital of the Veneto region, and Suzhou, a city in Jiangsu province, forged a sister city relationship in 1980, and the Veneto region and Jiangsu province established their sister province relations in 1998. ...

.07 Caricom must resolve to boost governance, implement decisions – PNCR

Stabroek News - Georgetown, Guyana

The PNCR said Caricom must boost its governance structures and implement decisions taken as it attempts to conquer challenges and move forward. In its message on the 36th anniversary of the regional integration movement, the party said in recent times the integration process has been challenged by a number of issues. It said the impact of the global financial crisis has placed new burdens on the process and important components of the Caricom Single Market and Economy have come under scrutiny. ...

.08 In the Diaspora - What is fun for lil boy is dead for crapaud

Stabroek News - Georgetown, Guyana

I woke up early yesterday to check Caricom’s website for the Communique coming out of the recently concluded 30th Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government in Guyana. ... Franz Fanon warned us about this in The Wretched of the Earth, written nearly half a century ago. Why on earth do we need so many Prime Ministers, Presidents, Premiers, assorted Cabinets, for a region this small and this vulnerable to the global economy? In whose interests is it that the Caribbean is probably, per capita, the most governed space in the entire world at a national level, and so demonstrably reluctant to translate governance into a regional imperative, when it is clear that the only route to meaningful sovereignty (beyond flag independence) and to political, economic and social security and justice for the Caribbean peoples is a regional one? ...

.09 Andres Oppenheimer: Honduran crisis should serve as hemispheric wake-up call - Miami, FL, USA

... a possible negotiated solution, some say, would be allowing Zelaya to return to office -- either alone or as part of a national unity government -- under a regionally supervised deal that would prevent him from violating the constitution by seeking reelection, as he was doing before his ouster, and that would grant an amnesty to all officials on both sides of the conflict. My opinion: I wouldn't be surprised if the political crisis in Honduras is resolved within the next three months. But the Honduran military coup should serve as a wake-up call for all nations in the hemisphere to react more swiftly to the constant violations of the rule of law in countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, and not wait for the situations to blow up, like in Honduras. ...

.10 Dhaka to develop two ports as regional trade hubs

SINDH TODAY - Sindh, Pakistan

Bangladesh will offer Chittagong and Mongla ports for use to its South Asian neighbours, developing them as regional trade hubs, ... Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its Islamist ally Jamaat-e-Islami have opposed any move that allows India’s north-eastern region easy success to the sea. “Trade should not be used as a political weapon. Doing business with India or Pakistan is not tantamount to sacrificing sovereignty,” Khan told a seminar on regional cooperation. ... “We were regionally connected among ourselves even during and before the Mughal period,” New Age newspaper quoted Khan as saying Wednesday. ...

.11 Trade Cannot Be Relied Upon to Reduce Poverty

Inter Press Service - Rome, Italy

Trade is positively linked to economic growth but trade policies alone cannot be relied upon to meet a country’s poverty reduction objectives, admits a review of aid for trade that was compiled for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). ... Infrastructure is particularly an issue in Africa. ‘‘Uganda highlights the challenge of achieving harmonised standards and building shared infrastructure with its regional partners. Cameroon focuses on the need for regional transport corridors and stronger enforcement of rules of origin," states the report. ...

.12 West African church leaders caution against Economic Partnership Agreements

Ghana Business News

Leaders of churches in West Africa, have cautioned the political authorities in the sub-region against the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) by African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in its present form. The leaders noted that the EPA is not beneficial and will not give member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) enough political and economic leeway to improve production of staple foods. This was contained in a communiqué issued by the churches and organisations of the Christian faith under the canopy of Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa (FECCIWA), after a recent meeting in Monrovia, Liberia. ... The church leaders called for the harmonisation of regional customs among ECOWAS members in order to ease the flow of regional trade. ...

.13 Turkey's Gul to be first president to attend NAM summit

World Bulletin - Istanbul, Turkey

Gul said that Non-Aligned Movement was founded by several countries, which wanted to act independently from the western and eastern blocs of the world, nearly half century ago. Gul added that after two-bloc system ended, the movement set new targets and undertook new roles. Gul said that NAM had nearly 120 members from every region of the world, and had a voice in international politics. … Turkey had exerted sincere and effective efforts in recent years for solution of international and regional problems, and Turkey contributed to settlement of peace, stability and cooperation both in its own region and a wider geography, Gul said. ...

.14 Toyota's U.K. vehicle production base to build hybrid Auris

Reliable Plant - USA

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced July 17 that it will produce from mid-2010 a hybrid version of the "Auris" hatchback at Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. (TMUK). The hybrid Auris, using engines produced at TMUK's Deeside Plant in the United Kingdom, will be produced at TMUK's Burnaston Plant. The decision to build the hybrid Auris at TMUK represents the first materialization of TMC's plan to further its business operations in Europe and distinguish itself in that market through the strengths of its hybrid technology. It also reflects TMC's having positioned "product-focused management" and "management that places priority on meeting the needs of regional markets" as pivotal management themes to address the extreme hardships the global automobile industry has been facing in the current economic environment. ...

.15 SpeakOut: Do We Need Foreigners For Indian Top Jobs? - India

Bob Houghton has been in India for the last three years or so, and yet one can safely state that the Englishman cannot be counted amongst those who have an accurate understanding of the size of the country. This is not a critique on the former coach of China but just a point made to prove the above. The I-League is being played in about four to six states. Houghton stated that Santosh Trophy is an “amateur and nonsensical” tournament and not a professional one. If you take into account that India has 28 states, automatically, one realises that for the rest of the regions Santosh Trophy acts as the only professional tournament of the year. By his comments, the coach belittled the importance of the competition, which is so important for most of the Indians. Now, the Indian national team coach maybe right in his assessment but, it’s imperative to put your message across in a way that the receptor understands the point, which is the most important part of communication. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and hence, he faced criticism from all quarters, including the acting Indian FA president Praful Patel who advised him to be more discretory in his media addresses. ...

.16 Supercity border war breaks out

A turf war between Waikato and Auckland is brewing ahead of next week's phase of hearings into the shape of Auckland's "super-city". According to Environment Waikato, the proposed southern boundary of Auckland along the northern banks of the Waikato River creeps too far south. At yesterday's Environment Waikato policy and strategy committee meeting the finishing touches were put on the council's submission to the Government's plan to set up an Auckland "super-city" run by one council. Evaluation and advocacy programme manager Urlwyn Trebilco said the proposed southern Auckland regional boundary encroached too far. ...

.17 Indian Ocean cooperation: dormant but full of possibility

Daily Star - Lebanon

What international association brings together 18 countries straddling three continents thousands of miles apart, united solely by their sharing of a common body of water? That is a quiz question likely to stump the most devoted aficionado of global politics. It’s the Indian Ocean Rim Countries’ Association for Regional Cooperation, blessed with the unwieldy acronym IOR-ARC, perhaps the most extraordinary international grouping you’ve never heard of. The association manages to unite Australia and Iran, Singapore and India, Madagascar and the United Arab Emirates, and a dozen other states large and small – unlikely partners brought together by the fact that the Indian Ocean washes up upon their shores. ...

.18 Trade minister to boost regional response to protectionism

Dynamic Export - North Sydney, NSW, AU

Minister for Trade Simon Crean will visit Singapore and Vietnam this week for a series of high-level meetings that will address regional issues and Australia’s trade and economic interests. In Singapore, Mr Crean will attend the APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade, which he says will boost political energy going into the next Doha round of international trade negotiations. “Concluding Doha as quickly as possible would boost global economic confidence and be a key element in the international response to the global financial crisis,” said Crean. “APEC can also contribute to the global economic recovery by enhancing the flow of trade and investment in our region." ...

.19 Researchers commemorate values of Roh's administration

The Hankyoreh - South Korea

Professor Jeong Hae-gu of SungKongHoe University said we need to continue and realize Roh's value of overcoming regionalism. He said the democratic forces in the Gyeongsang provinces need to form independent alliances to overcome provincial regionalism from within Gyeongsang. ...

.20 Putin discussed border issues in Karelia

Russian news-agency Itar-Tass quoted Putin saying; -As for border cooperation, economic cooperation, humanitarian and cultural ties, Russia is open for a close and interested partnership with the neighbours. The news agency writes Putin emphasized that work in that direction must proceed in close cooperation with regional authorities as they know better the situation in their regions. Karelia is the southernmost member region of the Barents Cooperation. ...

.21 Ian: One China, Many Markets

JLM Pacific Epoch - Shanghai, China

... we are also witnessing a fundamental shift in how Chinese consumers view themselves. Historically, a global brand would attempt to localize on at the country level, but future success in China will come from taking this another step and having a regionally specific campaign. ... one of the most recent changes consumer behavior is the increase in regional confidence. People have pride in the region in which they live, frequently respond to their local celebrities more than the national pop-stars, and are starting to have fun laughing at themselves and the idiosyncrasies of their home region. This is not an argument for regionalism over nationalism, but just an observation that major brands need to consider regional marketing campaigns in their national strategies.

.22 Iran commander seeks cooperation on regional security

WashingtonTV - Washington, DC, USA

Major-General Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC], said on Wednesday that Iran was prepared to work with its neighbors in achieving a lasting regional security. “The Persian Gulf is a shared border region of Iran and Qatar and the strategic position of this region creates the necessity for cooperation between the two countries,” Jafari said, according to the official IRNA news agency. ...

.23 The region's power connection

Kippreport - Dubai Media City

The power grids of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain will be linked later this month, the body overseeing interconnection said Tuesday. Gulf Arab countries hope the $1.4 billion power connection project will help them meet rapidly rising power demand and avoid power outages. The United Arab Emirates would hook up to the grid in 2011, the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) said in a statement. … The economies of the world’s top oil-producing region have boomed on record oil revenues, leaving them struggling to supply the power needed for expansion. ...

.24 Tech highway for a megaregion

SCANSiteca - Ontario, CA

Ontario’s high tech regions are building an economic highway to link themselves tighter as the ecosystem idea of economic growth gains traction (SCAN issues passim, search ‘ecosystem’ here on the SCANsite). Funded primarily by Queen’s Park and nicknamed Ottorloo, the freeway has various official names and guises. First is the Ontario Technology Corridor (OTC), now a couple of years old but little publicized until recently (the website was launched just last month). OTC links Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo as the heart of high tech in the province, which in turn is the heart of one of 10 tech mega-regions in North America. ...

.25 Economic Zones World, Dubai World Central to create "The Dubai Logistics Corridor"

WAM - Emirates News Agency - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Economic Zones World, through its flagship entity Jafza, and Dubai Aviation City Corporation (responsible for the Dubai World Central "aerotropolis" development) are entering into a collaboration that could result in the doubling of Dubai's top notch industrial and logistics infrastructure. The agreement sets out to create "The Dubai Logistics Corridor" a transport and logistics corridor, linking sea, land and air, bringing together for the first time in the Middle East all of the components needed to create multi-modal logistics platform. ...

.26 Aerotropolis PLANS CLOUDY

View Magazine - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

It's now been four years since a city council decision to convert 3.000 acres of farmland to an aerotropolis. The June 29 2005 move was opposed by the provincial government and by a new citizens group called Hamiltonians for Progressive Development, and together they convinced the Ontario Municipal Board to require more study before any expansion of the urban boundary. ... There’s been no subsequent report to councillors, and no land budget numbers appear in the official plan approved by council on June 29, which also contains no boundary expansions. ...

.27 Mary and David's goat the goods for Sydney's Regional Food Fair

Canowindra News - New South Wales, Australia

The Regional Food Fair at the NSW Farmers' Association Annual Conference showcases superior regionally-grown produce to media, restaurateurs and guests. ... The event has grown in popularity since its inception and according to NSW Farmers’ Association President Jock Laurie the opportunity for farmers to meet directly with consumers and the restaurant industry is invaluable. ...

.28 Planners Needed As Building Rebounds in Australia

Planning work in local and state agencies is also continuing to be strong, as government agencies pull off the shelf projects that were postponed for a lack of staff resources. Now that staff are to a degree less burdened by application processing, there is more scope to enhance strategic planning and to undertake legislative and policy review. ... As it has done for other professions, Australia still looks overseas to help fill the gap. Planning continues as a "priority profession" on the immigration scorecard. Some planners have come from countries as diverse as China, Malaysia and India. Many of these planners, however, find the cultural context of Australia rather different. Planners who come from the US have many of the attributes and skills which translate well to the Australian environment, as despite differences, there are many strong similarities with urban systems and the issues being faced. ...

.29 Kurdistan Region of Iraq Builds Governance and Transparency

PR Newswire (press release) - Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq

... Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (KRG), Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani announced on July 12 a good governance and transparency strategy, developed in coordination with global consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Compliant with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, this move puts the KRG ahead of every regional government in the world and even several major democracies. "The benefits of this strategy are clear and vital for our future. It will help to ensure that public funds are used properly, and make government more efficient and more effective. It will improve the delivery of services to the people of the Kurdistan Region. And it will help improve international and domestic confidence and increase investment and job development, while helping to raise the living standards of our Region," ...

The strategy announced today is based on four principles:

1. Adherence to the Rule of Law is Critical: To ensure that no one in government, regardless of position, is above the law.

2. Every KRG Official is Accountable: Officials must recognize that they have a legal duty and are accountable to act in the interests of the Kurdistan Region and its citizens, and will promote those interests above their own, their family or political party.

3. Transparent Government Promotes Kurdistan: To provide citizens with access to information on the operations of government, which is indispensable to ensuring that KRG officials remain accountable to the voters.

4. Public Funds Must Always Be Used for Their Intended Purpose: The fundamental principle of economy and efficiency in government requires that public funds should only be used for the purposes for which they are appropriately and lawfully allocated.

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 What makes us live in Dayton?

[D] Esrati

Why do we live where we do? If you are a City of Dayton employee, you lived in the city because you had to. That accounts for 2,100 or so of the 160,000 who are left in a city that once had around 250,000 residents. The rest of us live here by choice. It’s not just a choice between living in Dayton or Oakwood, it’s Dayton or Memphis or Boston or Osh Kosh. That’s the beauty of America, you can live in any of fifty states and still be an American. However, around here- it’s not all Dayton, until you leave town. ... City Commission candidate David Esrati called the residency rule a major stumbling block toward moving Dayton to a regional government that would have to be abolished before talks of UniGov could move forward. “The real issue is that people should want to live in Dayton because of the things we do right, not because we want to limit the rights of our employees,” Esrati said. ...

.02 Business Outreach Protocol

Agenda 360: A Regional Action Plan

The Cincinnati region is blessed with a variety of unique places. We are locally and nationally known as a region that loves our neighborhoods, and indeed within our 15 counties there are over 230 municipalities and additional neighborhoods within them. While this produces many benefits, including a close connection between citizens and local government, a drawback can occur when places in one region compete against each to attract businesses. The Business Outreach Protocol aims to prevent this zero-sum game. ...

.03 Atlanta a Great Place to Retire

Empowering Independence

The Atlanta Regional Commission has a Division on Aging that serves as Atlanta's Area Agency on Aging (AAA). No matter where you live in the 50 states, you should be covered by a AAA that is responsible for implementing the services mandated by the Older Americans Act. We are fortunate that Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has a fantastic staff that is constantly reaching out to work with local nonprofit organizations like SCS to serve the needs of seniors better. ARC completed a fascinating study of older adults in 2006 to supplement basic US Census information that is only collected every ten years. A few of the key findings include: ...

.04 America's White Underclass - When seeing ain't believing, somebody's blind

Deer Hunting with Jesus

"White underclass" is a term I've used often in my writing, and most American readers seem to know what I mean. They've got eyes and live in the same nation I do. But in a sudden burst of journalistic responsibility, I decided that if I am going to throw around the word underclass, then I should offer some clearer, perhaps more scientific definition. So I started writing this with a pile of published research papers before me. Now they are in the trash can by my side. Looking down on them, I can see the gobbledygook titles, the stuff of which government policy and political platforms are made. They run together in slurry of the language of our society's commissars: Concerning-Prevalence-Growth-and-Dynamics-Concentrated Urban Poverty Areas- block-level vs. tract-level segregation-800-tract-tables-urban abstracts-Defining-and-Measuring-the-Underclass-from-The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management-statistical-summary-of … What I find is that nobody in social science seems to agree on the term, or, being firmly placed in the true white middle class themselves, even agree if such a thing as a white underclass exists. You can't smell the rabble from the putting green. ...

.05 Have you got what it takes to attract cycle tourists?

Toowoomba Region Bicycle Users Group

... Areas studied included infrastructure requirements; transport systems to, from and within the destination; and services and facilities necessary to cater for cycle tourists’ needs. Previous research has found that cycle tourists can generate significant economic benefits for host communities, particularly in regional areas. This is because cycle tourists generally work in professional fields, are relatively high income earners, and tend to have a longer length of stay than many other tourists. However, destination planners and managers need to be aware of these tourists’ specialised needs if cycle tourism is to be developed in their area. Significant implications for the planning and management of cycle tourism initiatives ...

.06 CBO Explains Intergovernmental Mandates in Federal Legislation

Special Libaries Association - Government Information Division

A new Economic and Budget Issue Brief from the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) explains the federal Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) as it relates to state, local, and tribal governments. The brief, Intergovernmental Mandates in Federal Legislation [PDF], describes UMRA, the types of federally imposed costs that are and are not intergovernmental mandates, and the eleven bills passed from 1996-2008 that meet the conditions for being defined as intergovernmental mandates.

.07 Reflecting the Rise of the Ideation Platform

Shaping Network Society

One of the “Web 2.0-type” concepts for a (semi-)structured citizen e-participation are ideation platforms. The aim of these platforms is to tap into the wisdom of crowds to discover and develop ideas. ... The public sector also implemented e-participation platforms including elements of ideation, like Baltimore’s Citistat, the e-Petition system UK’s number10, or Peer-to-Patent, the US patent offices pilot program for distributed patent review. In May of 2009, the Obama administration introduced the Open Government Initiative, the biggest governmental ideation experiment yet. So in less than a year, ideation platforms have become fairly main stream projects of governments on all levels. ...

.08 Google's Microsoft Moment (fun cartoon)

Anil Dash

I'm not sure Google's new Chrome OS announcement is that big a deal, or that the eventual product that gets released will actually have that much impact, but it's a useful milestone in marking Google's evolution towards becoming an older company with a distinctly different culture than they used to have. This is, for lack of a better term, Google's "Microsoft Moment". This is the point when the difference between their internal conception of the company starts to diverge just a bit too far from the public perception of the company, and even starts to diverge from reality. At this inflection point, the reasons for doing new things at Google start to change. ... Designing for corporate synergy, not for users ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Reshaping the City: New Visions for Urban Infrastructure – July 29, 5:30-8 pm - The Academy of Natural Sciences - 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

Join Next American City and our local partners — Penn Institute for Urban Research, PennPraxis and The Academy of Natural Sciences — as we present a conversation on the necessity of investment in infrastructure. Hear from local and national thinkers and implementers in such areas as transit, urban design and green infrastructure as they present models and give their thoughts on how the Greater Philadelphia region should think about its long-term infrastructure investment strategy.

.02 6th Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Roundtable – September 30 – October 1, 2009 – Frederick, MD - APA Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division

The theme of this Roundtable centers around the potential impacts of the long-term growth of Metropolitan Washington and Metropolitan Baltimore on outlying areas in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. These particular types of impacts are particularly important given the very substantial immediate past and anticipated future growth of Metropolitan Washington. There will be plenary panels on Thursday, October 1. On Wednesday Afternoon, September 30, there will be Tour of Downtown Frederick and Evening Dinner downtown. Frederick City has successfully combined historic preservation, Smart Growth and New Urbanism. Contact Lee Schoenecker:

Prior Roundtable info:

.03 Climate Change and Europe - Radboud University - Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 8 October 2009

At this conference, Dr. Ronan Uhel from the European Environment Agency and Prof. Maarten Hajer from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency will critically discuss the spatial-environmental challenges from climate change and appropriate policy responses for mitigation and adaptation at EU level and within the Netherlands. The conference will mark the start of the new academic year 2009/10, the launch of the international Masters programme “European Spatial and Environmental Planning (ESEP)," and a related seminar series with international guest professors, including Prof. Gordon Dabinett (University of Sheffield) and Prof. Andrew Jordan (University of East Anglia). Participation in the conference is free of charge, but places are limited, so please register before 23 September 2009.

.04 Small Worlds and Regional Innovation - Social Science Research Network

Abstract: Small world networks have attracted much theoretical attention and are widely thought to enhance creativity. Yet empirical studies of their evolution and evidence of their benefits remain scarce. Using patent co-authorship data, we explore regional small-world structures and investigate the emergence and disappearance of giant components in patent collaboration networks. We test the idea that small world structure (cohesive clusters connected by occasional non-local ties) and shorter path lengths improve innovative productivity within geographic regions. We find at best qualified evidence to support the popular consensus that small worlds enhance innovation. We then discuss the implications of our findings for small world research and regional innovation policies.

Keywords: small-world networks, innovation, regional advantage

Social Science Research Network Home page:

.05 mega region Papers – Go Get Papers (

We do not host any of the papers listed below, we only redirect to relevant pages.

.06 What is the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms? - PAAR

The initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms, involves regional alliances such as Hemispheric Social Alliance (Latin America), Southern African People’s Solidarity Network- SAPSN (Southern Africa), Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy – SAPA (South East Asia), People’s SAARC (South Asia) as well as organisations and networks in Europe, including Transnational Institute (TNI), that struggle for “Another Europe”. These networks and the organisations part of them, share a strong commitment on the need to RECLAIM the regions, RECREATE the processes of regional integration and ADVANCE people-centered regional alternatives.

The People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms is an effort to promote cross-fertilisation of experiences on regional alternatives among social movements and civil society organisations from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe and contribute to the understanding of alternative regional integration as a key strategy to struggle against neoliberal globalisation to broaden the base among key social actors for political debate and action around regional integration.


.07 Regional Priority Credits - U.S. Green Building Council

Through USGBC’s regional councils, chapters and affiliates, the following regionally priority credits were selected. Earning up to four of the six credits in a project's location will earn a project one bonus point toward LEED certification under the LEED 2009 rating systems. The credits are specific to a project's ZIP code in the following lists, downloadable by state.

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Recovery Plan Making Huge Difference for Economy and Working Families

Progressive States Network - New York, NY, USA

Opponents of the federal recovery bill are now already rushing to declare the plan a failure, despite most economists believing that any stimulus was always expected to take time to reverse an economic crisis driven by years of unregulated financial excess and of misguided D.C. fiscal policies. As a Wall Street Journal report detailed, a survey of 51 economists found that that "53% of respondents said [the recovery plan] has provided somewhat of a boost but that the larger effect is still to come."

Debunking Attacks on Stimulus: But what is clear is that the recovery plan has already helped the economy avoid an even larger catastrophic tailspin by helping states avoid mass layoffs and allowing them to plan for job creation programs that will bear fruit over the next year. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) outlines in Correcting Five Myths About the Stimulus Bill why the critics of the stimulus are ignoring reality and just trying to score political points:

* Economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s has estimated that without the stimulus plan "real GDP would have declined nearly 6% in the second quarter" rather than the 3% decline that is now estimated happened. Paul Krugman goes further and argues that without the stimulus plan, "we would have had a full Great Depression experience...Deficits, in other words, saved the world."

* ...

.02 Regional banks weak link in US financial system - AFP - Google

Several large US regional banks recently have reported disappointing quarterly earnings, as a lack of market activities widens their exposure to bad loans and the housing slump.

The troubles of these banks, essential gears in getting the recession-mired economy back on track, contrasts with the spectacular multibillion-dollar profits posted by their much larger rivals, such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase or Wells Fargo.

But these megastars "were getting benefits from the trading" in markets, which have put in strong gains since March, said Marc Pado, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald.

"The small community banks just don't have this ability, so in terms of the loans, it's not that they had worse loans, they lack the diversity, the advantage of where things are better in the economy," Pado said.

"The mortgage industry, the home loans, they haven't really turned around," he added.

The big banks have attributed their resurgent profitability largely to an equity market rally from early March. Their smaller siblings have underlined their pain from rising loan defaults.


"The regional banks have good old-fashioned loans that experience losses over a longer period and come later," said Tanya Azarchs of ratings agency Standard & Poor's, explaining why these banks, which were relatively spared last year amid the global financial crisis, are suffering now while their bigger rivals thrive.

The current period of loan losses at elevated levels was expected "to last at least a couple of years," she told AFP.


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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.

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