Regional Community Development News – April 26 , 2010 [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 - .18

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .16

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .07

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .05

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .03

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

Bold Italic highlights search terms and/or phrases of interest.


Top Regional Community stories

1. Landmark transportation bill has miles to go - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Atlanta, GA, USA

Georgia’s Legislature has just passed the biggest boost to transportation funding in the state’s history — a bill that has the power to transform the Atlanta region’s landscape and the movement of its people.

But before it changes anything, the Transportation Investment Act of 2010 has a long journey ahead of it:

● Officials from rival camps must agree on a project list.

Business groups and transportation advocates spent four years trying to convince the Legislature that there was a problem and then persuading lawmakers to fix it. Their victory came Wednesday evening with overwhelming votes in both chambers.


The bill would divide the state into 12 transportation districts. In each, a “roundtable” of mayors and county commissioners would work with an appointee of the governor to draw up a list of projects in the region. In 2012 the projects would go before the region’s voters, who would approve the list and the 1 percent sales tax to pay for them — or not.

The region with Fulton, DeKalb, Cherokee, Cobb, Gwinnett, Douglas, Fayette, Clayton, Henry and Rockdale counties could raise $750 million to $790 million a year, according to estimates.

Although it is still not enough to meet all needs, that would be the biggest infusion of new cash into transportation in the region’s history.

But to get there, advocates will have to keep navigating the political minefields that dragged out the legislation to begin with, as they draw up a project list.

... At the Atlanta Regional Commission, the region’s official planning agency, the board’s composition is remarkably similar to the roundtable described in the bill. Tom Weyandt, comprehensive planning chief there, has spent years negotiating project lists with his board and is fully aware of the roadblocks ahead. But they can be navigated, he said.

RCs: Regional Development Centers

2. No more Lone Rangers: Regional economic model revived - Arizona Daily Sun - Flagstaff, AZ, USA

Flagstaff City Manager Kevin Burke spent countless hours last year in various meeting rooms as part of his self-described economic "listening tour."

The departure of Community Investment Director Michael Kerski gave Burke the opportunity to create a new economic development model for the city and the region.

The tour affirmed what the business community already knew: Economic development in northern Arizona was a disjointed effort scattered among various agencies with their own constituencies.

But with the founding of the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona later this year, Burke and several other community leaders hope to reinvent economic development with a regional view in mind. Burke said he draws on his experience from working at the city of Littleton, Colo., for a number of years.

"The city of Littleton probably has the premier economic gardening program in the country, quite frankly, and that is without an incubator," Burke said earlier this week. "They had some bad experiences with incentives in luring businesses in that the businesses either leave or go belly up."

Burke said the city abandoned the use of incentives in favor of nurturing established business already in the community. He thinks the idea can work in Flagstaff.


The ECoNA model will split various activities among the agencies that have signed on.


Coconino County Supervisor Carl Taylor is optimistic ECoNA will be more effective in the realm of economic development under a renewed spirit of cooperation.

"Some bruised feelings have gone away and people are willing to go to work," Taylor said. "This is the first time we've had city businesses and nonprofits pulling together and thinking more regionally. I believe that will lead to a more effective use of resources -- we don't have many, so we've got to pull together."

RC: Northern Arizona Council Of Governments

3. Regionalism depends on team effort -The Natchez Democrat - Natchez, MS, USA

Not quite a year ago a dozen or so community and business leaders met to talk about things we’d learned in kindergarten, but had somehow forgotten.

The first meeting of the Miss-Lou Regionalism Steering committee was interesting.

The premise was simple: Our community can accomplish more by working together than working separately.

That’s easier said than done, though, especially when the “habit” hasn’t been to seek mutual understanding and common interests.

Yet the group decided to throw a few elected officials in the room with some media members and get everyone to agree that we had to leave our feelings and egos at the door.

What was going to be said?

Are they going to blame me?

What’s their agenda?

Who’s going to attack me?

Such questions weren’t verbalized, but they could certainly be felt, …

Everyone at the table was probably a little nervous since most of us had rarely ever sat down across the table from one another informally, let alone to talk about the real issues facing our community.

But what’s happened over the months that followed that first meeting is pretty interesting, …

But regionalism isn’t about the people who are part of the steering committee. The reality is that a group of a dozen people is somewhat limited in what it can accomplish.

But if the lessons that group has learned about one another can be applied to the next step in the process, nothing can stop the improvements in our community.

So what is the next step?

We need more people involved in the effort.

The success of the regionalism effort will depend on the committees getting off the ground well and starting to address issues, hand-in-hand, walking together toward a common goal.

4. Milwaukee reminds new Waukesha mayor of water deal's terms - JSOnline - Milwaukee, WI, USA


Before Scrima took office, Waukesha officials had identified Milwaukee as their preferred supplier of lake water. The primary reason was that it would cost more to bring the water a longer distance from Oak Creek or Racine.

In an opinion published March 2 in the Waukesha Freeman, Scrima said Waukesha leaders should ask the Milwaukee Common Council to revoke the resolution requiring the payment and non-compete clause in water sales contracts.

His insistence on such an agreement only including the cost of water appears to be a deal breaker for a majority of Milwaukee aldermen.

"It doesn't make sense to play musical chairs with the companies in our region," Milwaukee Ald. Michael Murphy said in explaining the reason for a non-compete clause in a water deal. "Milwaukee could not entice a company in Waukesha, and Waukesha could not entice a company in Milwaukee."

Each of the seven southeastern Wisconsin counties participating in the Milwaukee 7 cooperative economic development strategy, including Waukesha and Milwaukee, already has approved a similar non-compete strategy, Murphy said.

A 2008 report from the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission [ ] recommended that Waukesha stop using wells drawing radium-contaminated water from a deep sandstone aquifer and switch to lake water, not shallow wells.

In campaign statements and interviews with the Journal Sentinel, Scrima accused then Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson and the regional planning commission of conspiring to select a costly solution for Waukesha's water problems that would hand Milwaukee millions of dollars to alleviate its budget problems and give Milwaukee the ability to control Waukesha's growth.

The Milwaukee aldermen, in their letter, also take issue with Scrima's campaign characterization of Milwaukee as a "sinking ship" that is "rampant with financial and behavior problems."

"Such comments do nothing to promote trust or regional cooperation," the letter says.

5. Region begins new drive to curb greenhouse gases - Contra Costa Times - Walnut Creek, CA, USA

Four regional agencies have launched a major drive to rein in greenhouse gas pollution by reducing vehicle use, increasing public transit use and promoting compact development in the Bay Area's nine counties.

Cities and counties will be asked to designate areas for developing compact housing and businesses in established areas with good access to rail lines, buses and ferries.

Leaders around the Bay likened the plan to pioneering environmental initiatives such as saving the Bay from fill in the 1960s and founding the East Bay Regional Park system in the 1930s.

Transit and land-use planners will be asked to determine how they can jointly help the Bay Area meet vehicle travel reduction targets to be set by the California Air Resources Board. The plan is required by 2013 under Senate Bill 375, which California lawmakers passed two years ago in a bid to reduce greenhouse gases.

"Decision-making about land use is about to change," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, also a member of regional transportation and pollution boards. "Change is coming. We need to do it right or there will be a lot of people upset and there will be a backlash."

Yeager, also a California Air Resources Board member, made his remarks Thursday in Oakland before 350 people at a summit to kick off the four-agency planning drive, called the Sustainable Cities Strategy.

The partner agencies include the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Association of Bay Area Governments [], Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

6. OUR VIEW: Thoughts on changing Land of Steady Habits - The New Britain Herald - New Britain, CT, USA

The Land of Steady Habits managed a brash change in the early 1960s — Connecticut banished county government. …

So, no county commissioners to tax us. For 50 blissful years only the state and it’s 169 municipalities can send you a tax bill.

… , of late, with this vast economic abyss we all are living in, some of those alert to new solutions are not proposing a return to county government, but to something close. There is much talk out there of regionalization to find efficiencies. The thinking then proceeds to if we can regionalize certain functions — and we have, i.e., trash collection, water consumption and so forth — can’t we tax ourselves regionally?

It has come to a serious situation where we cannot keep up with paving our roads, teaching our children or compensating our mayors, legislators and school superintendents. Government is of, by and for the people and, if it is not working, the people can decide to change it or change the way it works.

It is beyond time for dabbling. Tough times require bold thinkers. Regional taxation is just a blip, regional planning agencies are little more than, well, planners who never get around to doing anything.

If Connecticut is serious about being broken and repairs are in order, then we should start with the necessity of 169 separate towns. Who needs them all? Rather than adding regional taxation, let’s think about subtracting the number of town bureaucracies. We can start by merging East Hartford, West Hartford and Hartford into one community, and then proceed.

7. NWI's fortune turns on regionalism, strong leadership -Post-Tribune - Merrillville, IN, USA

When the Regional Development Authority was created five years ago, optimism about the economic future of Northwest Indiana was at a fever pitch.

In what was a rare bipartisan move, U.S. Rep. Peter Visclosky, D-Merrillville, teamed with Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels and area legislators, for the creation of the authority. Every NWI legislator voted for the RDA.

The RDA vowed to produce planes, trains, buses and development of the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Five years later, some of the enthusiasm has waned. And although a judge recently ruled the Porter County Council didn't have legal standing to pull out of the RDA, the solidarity that existed five years ago appears forever fractured.

While the RDA may be the most visible issue in this corner of the state, there are other questions about the current and future status of local government.

Also seen as a plus for regional government is the recently created Northwest Indiana Economic Development District -- a public/private partnership to bring federal money to Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.

Dewey Pearman, who chairs the Development District Board, said the federal money will be for infrastructure projects to support private sector development.

While regionalism remains a buzz word for the future of government here, there is little movement toward the consolidation of government -- a move some say is extremely important in this strained economic environment.

Some local officials say they can't survive much longer.

Lake County Councilman Larry Blanchard, R-Crown Point, is concerned about the future.

"The (tax) caps, the (levy) freeze and (low) collections are changing the face of government," Blanchard said.

And, finally, is there a leader out there to guide Northwest Indiana through these difficult times? Or are there too many leaders?,new-overview.article

8. The United Regions of America - - USA

The Obama administration wants to change the way politicians fight for jobs by encouraging regions—instead of individual states and cities—to compete for economic development projects.

… administration believes that economic recovery will be led by a collection of regions around the U.S., not necessarily individual states. America’s regions will battle those in other countries …

Heading the administration’s regional economic development strategy is John Fernandez, assistant secretary of commerce and the former mayor of Bloomington, Indiana. … “We need a different framework that is more sustainable,” he says. “At the core of this framework is innovation.”

The catch-phrase circulating around the development community is “regional innovation clusters.” The term was thought up by Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School, an expert on competitive strategy, and refers to groups of businesses, universities, cities, counties and states joining to create a single job-generating unit. The Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina knots together communications equipment, information technology and education. Metropolitan Wichita, Kansas, clusters aviation, heavy machinery and oil and gas. The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area in Washington State unites aviation, defense, fishing products and analytical instruments.“ They aren’t towns or cities,” says Fernandez. “They’re regions. They work together because they are stronger that way.”

Obama did not invent regionalism, but he is trying to revive it. … national policy to strengthen cities. “Strong cities are the building blocks of strong regions and strong regions are essential for a strong America,” Obama told the nation’s mayors last year.

“We can’t make people collaborate,” Fernandez says. “We can shine a light on it as a framework that works. We can provide incentives. It’s going to be up to the civic leadership at the state and local level. We need help from states to support the idea of regionalism because not everyone does.”

9. Mental health services reach out to neighbors - The Hillsboro Argus - Oregon News, OR, USA

The counties that make up the Portland metropolitan area say they need to establish a more collaborative approach in providing mental health services, but not at the cost of long established local connections with their communities.

This was the conclusion of a the Three-County Leadership Group from Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties who met … to discuss the first steps toward regionalization of mental health services.

Washington County Health Services Director Rod Branyan says a simplified cross-county mental health care delivery system avoids costly duplication of services and ensures availability of essentials.

The regional entity would be responsible for both Medicaid and non-Medicaid services.

With proper management, a regionalized system could provide far-reaching benefits, especially through economies of scale.

This could range from such collaborative efforts as joint purchasing, mutual aid, lead agency designation, fiscal agent designation and joint ventures.

"We have really different demographics in each of the three counties," she said. The populations also differ in their Oregon Health Program enrollment, poverty, homelessness and distribution of ethnicities and language.

Per county, mental health services required by the state cost between $21 million and $52 million. In Washington and Multnomah counties, almost all are subcontracted to nonprofits, while in Clackamas County they are performed by county workers, Burgess said.

A merger could also increase overall administrative costs and defeat the whole purpose, she said.

Washington County Commissioner Andy Duyck said it's clear the entire region is reaching critical mass when it comes to taking care of the mentally ill.

Burgess said it's most important to establish a uniform authority form for returning services. A simple set of rules would give the counties the ability to work on collaborations already in motion, while preserving community services not typically served by large regional entities, she said.

10. U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - in news articles.

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 Cuyahoga County executive candidate Ed FitzGerald proposes regionalism czar

The Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH, USA

Ed FitzGerald announced intentions this morning to create an Office of Regional Collaboration if voters elect him this fall as the first Cuyahoga County executive. The Lakewood mayor -- one of at least three Democrats planning to compete in the September primary -- would appoint a Cabinet-level director to lead the department. Some of the principles FitzGerald outlines in his plan are familiar in the context of regionalism discussions that have sprung up across the county in recent years. (View FitzGerald's plan in pdf form.) FitzGerald said the director would pursue shared-service deals with interested municipalities; take the lead in applying for state, federal and philanthropic funds for key regional initiatives; and seek to end a "destructive bidding war" among Northeast Ohio communities. "My proposal ... reflects my philosophy that the talk of regionalism must be given a real, practical form," FitzGerald said in an e-mailed statement. "The first county executive must set a pattern of helping all the many parts of our region to realize that economic reality requires that we lower the overall cost of government by sharing services in a strategic way." ...

.02 Editorial: Transportation funding bill not worth the wait

Athens Banner-Herald - Athens, GA, USA

... problem with the use of a voter-approved sales tax levy as a transportation funding mechanism with a region stretching across a wide swath of the state is, of course, that residents of one part of the region might not be interested in paying for improvements in another part of the region, particularly if projects elsewhere carry a higher price tag than local projects. While there may be some regions outside the Atlanta area where an acceptable list of projects might be drawn up, it appears that, in effect, state lawmakers have given the metropolitan Atlanta area a handy and workable means of addressing its transportation issues, simply by virtue of the happy accident that the arbitrarily defined area has a commonality of interests. Elsewhere in the state, it probably will make little sense for local governments to bother to pursue regional sales-tax funding. Insofar as the legislation will allow metropolitan Atlanta to start addressing its transportation needs more quickly, it's a good thing for the rest of the state, for which Atlanta serves as an economic engine. But had lawmakers been willing to allow counties outside the metropolitan Atlanta area to assemble themselves into regions with common interests, instead of arbitrarily assigned areas, they would have set the stage for statewide transportation improvements.

.03 Following budget defeats, questions raised about the cost of 28 separate school districts in Hunterdon County

New Jersey News - NJ, USA

... New Jersey School Board Association supports regionalization, according to spokesman Mike Yaple, but only if it’s also supported by voters in the communities and when studies have shown there will be financial and educational benefits. “It sounds like a simplistic solution to save money, but often it can cost more,” Yaple said. One of the reasons consolidation doesn’t always save money, Yaple said, is that state law requires that the teachers’ contract in the largest district be applied to teachers from the smaller districts. So, if teachers in the largest district earn more money, the other teachers would get a pay raise that could wipe out any administrative savings.

.04 Pepper Pike pulls out of regionalism study to address budget woes

The Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH, USA

Last week, Pepper Pike decided to pull out of an EfficientGovNow grant application that, if received, would have been used to implement some recommendations of a Baldwin-Wallace study. The study, commissioned by Pepper Pike, Orange, Moreland Hills and Hunting Valley, recommended those communities combine safety and other services to save a significant amount of money. The recommendations included consolidating police and service departments and all communities moving to one dispatch center. While the recommendations and savings sounded good, in theory, the participating communities all along realized implementing those recommendations would be a challenge. In reality, Pepper Pike is facing a serious budget crunch that will mean a 25 percent pay cut for most city employees and could mean a tax levy on the August ballot. Mayor Bruce Akers said that is what the city needs to focus on right now. “We felt that we had to give priority to our own situation,” he said. “To be working on this (the grant application) and have it coinciding with our levy situation, we thought would cause some confusion.” Akers said he is still interested in pursuing regionalism and collaboration in the future, but the city’s immediate needs must come first.


.05 Regional plan seeks tougher oversight of Metro

The Washington Post - Washington, D.C., USA

The organization that oversees Metro safety will gain more authority and eventually be replaced under a plan disclosed Tuesday by top regional leaders, who say they are concerned about the lack of accountability and recent series of accidents at the transit agency. Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and District Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) agreed during a meeting on a two-phase action plan that would first require more stringent, regular reporting by the Tri-State Oversight Committee, a regional oversight body that has been criticized as weak. In the long term, and with congressional approval, the leaders said the committee would be replaced either with direct federal safety oversight of Metro by the Federal Transit Administration, which would require the implementation of minimum federal safety standards as proposed in House and Senate legislation ... or with a locally and federally funded Metro Safety Commission set up by the jurisdictions. ...

.06 Nine towns, University of Massachusetts explore regionalized emergency dispatch services

Regionalizing emergency dispatch services could save hundreds of thousands of dollars for nine towns and the University of Massachusetts, according to Town Manager Laurence R. Shaffer. But before presenting the results of a consultant’s analysis to interested communities, Shaffer wants the state to verify subsidies so he can provide accurate information about the costs …state’s 911 Department … to provide the numbers … any estimate is complicated because the dispatch center would not open until 2012, and other communities considering a regional approach are also seeking subsidy estimates. Amherst began looking at regionalizing initially with the University of Massachusetts and Hadley in the spring of 2008. Belchertown officials expressed an interest soon after. … once … numbers validated, set up meeting with the other communities and UMass to determine whether “they are willing to enter into a regional agreement. We suspect some towns will want to participate.”

.07 Half of Southeast Michigan residents say they love living in area, survey finds - Crain's Detroit Business - Detroit, MI, USA

Half of the residents surveyed by Intellitrends L.L.C. on behalf of the Detroit Regional News Hub say they love living in Southeast Michigan, but the expansive survey, released today, indicates the metro area has image problems, inside and outside the state. ... The news hub’s goal is to connect journalists with facts about the region. Ninety-one percent of Southeast Michigan residents polled said that the Detroit area was portrayed negatively in national media, while just 62 percent of survey respondents outside Michigan felt that the metro area got a raw deal in the media. ... Respondents from the tri-county metro area emphasized that regional cooperation was necessary. Sixty-two percent of Wayne County residents, 69 percent of Oakland County residents and 56 percent of Macomb County residents said that communities outside the city should be extremely involved in the city’s revitalization, with an average of 30 percent saying that outside communities should be somewhat involved. ...

.08 Hill City region ranks high in Forbes business index

Lynchburg News Advance - Lynchburg, VA, USA

The Lynchburg region again has a high seat in a Forbes magazine ranking system that measures the business environment in cities across the country. ... Bryan David, executive director of Region 2000’s Economic Development Council, said the ranking is good for promoting the region even though it changes. “We certainly want to accentuate it if we move up,” he said. “I think our consistent showing in the top 100 … just shows that we have some consistently very competitive things here.” Forbes ranked Lynchburg as 28th among the nation’s 200 largest metropolitan areas on its “Best Places for Business and Careers” feature released Wednesday. The Hill City had the highest ranking of Virginia’s larger metro areas. ...

.09 No unigov supporters at candidates' session

The Blade - Toledo, OH, USA

The six Democrats vying to be a Lucas County commissioner are willing to go to the altar on the subject of regional cooperation, but not speak the vow. To a person last night, they extolled the value of collaboration among the county's cities, villages, and townships, but nobody favored "unigov," the combining of all municipal and county services under one authority, as has been done elsewhere. ...

.10 New Franklin purhases truck

The Suburbanite - Akron, OH, USA

Council has taken more time to consider participation in the Summit County intergovernmental memorandum of understanding for job creation and retention and tax revenue sharing. If the city participates, according to councilman Joseph Parsons, if a business moves from New Franklin to another city in Summit County, New Franklin could be entitled to shared city tax revenue. “It’s about regionalism,” said law director Tom Musarra. “We can accomplish more together.” ...

.11 Restarting the economy

Wicked Local Plymouth - Plymouth, MA, USA

Business owners and other ratepayers connecting to town sewer could conceivably not be required to pay the hookup fee, as part of an overall strategy for economic development in town. Waiving or reducing the sewer connection fee was one of the possibilities the Plymouth Economic Regional Development Foundation suggested that town officials consider. Executive Director Denis Hanks delivered the Foundation’s annual report to selectmen last week. Selectmen Chairman Dicky Quintal said waiving the sewer connection fee should be explored. He also mentioned waiving the off-street parking fee downtown for businesses that propose a change in use. He said both could be waived on a case-by-case basis. “We have to be a little bit more creative than our neighbor next door if we’re serious about economic development,” he said. ...

.12 Lake of the Ozarks Ready to Clean Up

KOMU - Columbia, MI, USA

The Lake's Watershed Association discusses future waste management plans that include low-impact landscaping and wastewater treatment systems. With thousands of septic tanks aging below the ground, the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Association, LOWA, is developing solutions. "We're going to at least pursue the preliminary beginning of regionalizing wastewater around the lake." said Donna Swall, LOWA executive director. ...

.13 ePlus Technology Selected by City of Melrose for "Muni-Cloud" Data Center Solution


ePlus Technology inc., has been selected by the City of Melrose in Massachusetts to design and implement a next-generation dynamic data center. The multi-tenancy solution — based on Cisco, NetApp, and VMware technology — will keep end-to-end network traffic, virtualized servers and storage environments secure and segmented from one another, allowing the City of Melrose to offer regionalized data center services to surrounding municipalities and school districts. ...

.14 Beyond 50: American States That Might Have Been

NPR - National Public Radio - USA

... book Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It. Thomas Jefferson had many ideas for Midwest state names that never materialized. ... Back when Dakota was still a territory, everyone understood that the enormous parcel needed to be sliced up into states. First Montana was carved out, then Idaho, then Wyoming. When all the chopping was done, there remained a tiny piece left over — at the point where Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming meet. Officially, this little tidbit still belonged to the Dakota Territory, even though the nearest piece of the trimmed-down Dakota was hundreds of miles away. ... in the 1860s there probably wasn't anyone living in Lost Dakota. It was only about one-third the size of Manhattan and was extremely remote. During that era, all U.S. territories expected to become states at some point, although no one proposed such a thing for this desolate patch of forest. Even today, the land remains inaccessible. ... In 1873, the patch was attached to Montana and became part of Gallatin County. ...

.15 Business recruiters head to Washington

The Sun News - Myrtle Beach, SC

A delegation of Charleston's top business recruiters flew to Washington state Monday for a weeklong visit that includes a tour of Boeing Co.'s main manufacturing hub and meetings with the aerospace giant's key suppliers. The entourage is being led by David Ginn, chief executive officer of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, which markets the three counties to employers that are looking to expand. The visit has raised some eyebrows in the Seattle area, where business boosters who are highly protective of their region's high-paying aerospace jobs still feel the sting of Boeing's decision to build its new 787 assembly plant in North Charleston. Still, officials in the Evergreen State are taking the trip in stride and don't feel threatened. "They're going to do a big sell. I know they are, but I feel good about what we have here too," said Deborah Knutson, who heads Snohomish County's Economic Development Council. ...

.16 Airports authority says cost of developing rail car could bust deal with Metro

The Washington Post - Washington, D.C., USA

Officials building a subway line to Dulles International Airport say Metro is overcharging them for new rail cars, a budget-busting cost that they predict could delay the opening of the extension and force higher fees for Dulles Toll Road commuters. Unless Metro agrees to eliminate a $75 million increase on 64 rail cars it is preparing to buy for the new Silver Line, the regional airports authority won't agree to the deal, the officials said. At issue is Metro's plan to have the Dulles rail project pay the entire cost of developing the new cars. Authority officials say that is unfair when the investment will benefit the entire Metrorail system. ...

.17 The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Speak Out

Newport News Politics - Newport News, VA, USA

The regional community (Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, and York County) should have a voice in deciding what is best for their anesthesia care since RRMC is a community-supported hospital. The anesthesia providers brought in by the Texas group are not permanent, but will rotate through the “revolving door” every three months. The regional community and surgeons deserve to know who is at the head of the operating table administering their anesthesia. ...

.18 SPP Proposes New Cost-Sharing Method For Expanding The Regional Electric Transmission Grid - USA

Recently the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) Board of Directors and Regional State Committee, comprising regulatory commissioners from seven states, filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a new "Highway/Byway" method of sharing costs for electric transmission in the SPP region, which includes all or parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. … "Highways" are high-voltage transmission projects above 300 kV; costs will be assigned to electric utilities across the entire SPP footprint based on their historic use of the region’s transmission system. "Byways" are lower-voltage transmission projects; a formula will be used to assign costs more directly to the utility in whose service territory (zone) the project is located. …

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 No crane, no gain: Experts warn cash-saving cuts in regional funding could imperil economic recovery

Crain's Manchester Business - Manchester, UK

Plans to scrap the Northwest Regional Development Agency could create a vacuum leading to any recovery in the region's construction and property sectors being scuppered, according to a panel of regional property experts. Speaking at a recent property roundtable event, Nik Puttnam, a senior development manager with Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company, argues that “it will become extremely difficult to secure funding” from the Northwest Regional Development Agency, which is likely to have its budget cut irrespective of which party gets into power. ... Simon Millington, a director of Radcliffe-based interior design firm Space Invaders, said that any large-scale withdrawal of government support for the region's property market would be a “catastrophe”. …

.02 Should I Stay or Should I Go, Now: The Effects of Community Satisfaction on the Decision to Stay or Move

Martin Prosperity Institute Research

Abstract: Why do some people stay in locations while others move? While most research has examined the factors which encourage people to move to new locations, we focus our research on the effects of satisfaction with individuals’ current location on the decision to stay or to move. To do so, we examine the relative effects of three kinds of factors: (1) satisfaction with community or place-based factors such as aesthetic appeal, outdoor space and recreational amenities, artistic and cultural amenities, the ability to meet people and make friends; (2) community economic conditions; and (3) individual-level demographic factors such as income, human capital, and age. Our findings indicate that place-based factors, in particular the beauty and physical appeal of the current location and the ability to meet people and make friends, explain more of the desire to stay than does community economic conditions or individual demographic characteristics.

.03 Regional rationale: Co-operation and joint agreements may be solution for small towns

The Packet - Clarenville, NL, Canada

It used to be a dirty word, but it appears some people are more willing to speak openly of 'regionalization', or at least co-operation among towns within particular regions. ... The towns of Clarenville and Shoal Harbour were among the many that were merged into one municipal government. Other marriages were proposed, but the public mindset at the time prevented some unions from taking place. ... And, it seemed, the collective consensus is that regionalization not only makes sense; it is the way of the future. Craig Pollett, executive director of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, noted regionalization is already a partial reality. There are regional waste disposal sites, regional fire departments and regional economic plans. One of the catalysists for regionalization, says Pollett, is the fact that smaller towns, with dwindling populations and a small tax base, lack the resources to do the things they'd like to do. By pooling their resources, he suggests, they could do more. ...

.04 FOCUS: ASEAN remains unclear on regional community details

Kyodo News - Tokyo, Japan

Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations remain undecided on setting a clear framework for an envisaged regional community that might also include Russia and the United States. Even after several rounds of discussion, including at the current gathering of foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Nations in Hanoi, ASEAN has yet to decide when a regional community may be formed, what countries might join it, or even if such a new group is needed at all. ...

.05 Focus needs to shift from Mumbai to MMR

DNA - India

We need to shift focus from Mumbai to its extended city region — the MMR, which is crying for attention. It seems planners are content with keeping Mumbai alive and letting satellite cities suckle at its breast. If the MMR is expected to reach the levels projected, it would fall short everywhere — infrastructure, governance and pace of progress. Currently, investment in Mumbai’s backlogs is the priority while investing in the future of MMR is the need. If Mumbai’s 60% population lives in slums, the MMR’s proportion is 38%. No lessons have been learnt from the mother city to arrest slum proliferation even in locations distant from Mumbai, which drags down human development indices. The city region can meet challenges listed in the McKinsey report only by reinventing itself to acquire speed in decision-making, implementation and also quality, which is now missing. For a start, I would like to see a council of mayors of all cities in the region, corporations and councils, to be a formal planning body and not just the MMRDA. Also, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will have to go for a tectonic shift and share its revenues to stimulate the economies of smaller towns around the city. ...


Radio Srbija - Belgrade, Republic of Serbia

All the Balkan countries should become full-fledged members of the EU and it is necessary to eliminate current obstacles in that process, the Serbian, Spanish and Turkish foreign ministers, Vuk Jeremić, Miguel Angel Moratinos and Ahmet Davutoglu said after a trilateral meeting in Belgrade. Serbia has initiative in that respect and is trying to boost the development of relations between countries in the region. More from Ivana Subašić. The relations of West Balkan states are burdened with numerous open-ended issues from the recent past. A professor of the Faculty of Political Sciences and a former Serbian ambassador to France, Predrag Simić, tells our radio that a long course in terms of full normalization of relations is ahead of us, but that the first step in that direction has been taken in the latest months by means of diplomatic activities. The resolution on Srebrenica was politically delicate. Many in Serbia looked negatively upon the document, but in the foreign policy domain, thanks to the mediation of Turkish diplomacy, it has produced effects, says Simić, assessing relations between Belgrade and Sarajevo as closer to normalization now than before. On the other hand, he says, the intensive diplomatic meetings between the Serbian and Croatian presidents reflect a new spirit in relations between Belgrade and Zagreb. Brussels welcomes the frequent exchange of visits among Serbian, Croatian and BIH officials, assessing them as a major requirement for reconciliation, security, stability and prosperity in the region. The EU message is clear – Balkan countries must realize that mutual cooperation is beneficial. The unresolved Kosovo issue is a problem burdening regional relations.

.07 Unemployment down 3% across Liverpool city region

UNEMPLOYMENT fell to its lowest level for 11 months in Liverpool city region as the labour market continues to hint at an improving economy. The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) in March was 55,575, a drop of 1,816. The improved position was seen by all six authorities in the region, as Halton led the way with a 5.3% drop. Liverpool, which saw the smallest percentage fall, still dropped 2.7%. The 3.2% fall across Liverpool city region was in line with the North West figures and ahead of the UK fall of 2.6%.

.08 Regional Integration & Development: Relevance of Functional Cooperation - CARICOM Asst. Sec. Gen at OAS/UNESCO Conference on Higher Education


“Regional Integration and Development”. Given the expert presentations listed in your conference programme, I assumed that you require me to put in context the issues that relate to trends in higher education, quality assurance, science and technology, academic cooperation and the development of an agenda for higher education in the Caribbean. Consequently, I will:

• Identify the salient features of regional integration

• Highlight the challenges of the regional integration movement with special reference to the implementation of the CSME

• Point to regional achievements, in particular the role of functional cooperation as a critical lever of regional integration

• Gaze toward an uncertain future with possibilities of strengthening the ties between Latin America and the Caribbean

• Wonder about what this future means for higher education in the Region

.09 SADC aims at reducing poverty through co-operation in water projects

The Southern Times - Africa

The Southern African Development Community has made tremendous strides in the implementation of River Basin Organisations to accelerate trans-boundary management and equal sharing of water and other resources to substantially alleviate poverty in the region. Speaking during workshop in Gaborone on April 20 at which guidelines for strengthening River Basin Organisations were launched, SADC Deputy Executive Director-Regional Integration Joao Samuel Caholo noted that since 2006 to date tremendous progress has been made by various stakeholders in ensuring that RBOs were a reality among the people in the 14-member states. Caholo said several RBOs have been implemented at various levels in several member states with support from co-operating partners despite numerous challenges faced by stakeholders in making the 'benefit sharing of the resource' a reality for the people. The launch of the RBOs guidelines was a good start and that it would enhance regional integration. He urged players not to relent despite the many challenges including lack of capacity and technology. 'We have made tremendous strides in this benefit sharing of water resources but we need to support each other despite the many challenges that lie ahead of us,' he said. Caholo commended donors, Germany, United Kingdome, United States and the European Union, among others, for supporting RBOs intended to champion poverty alleviation through benefit sharing. While noting that few of the 15 RBOs have been succesfully implemented, urged all players to join hands in building capacity of all basins to succeed and ensure the benefit of sharing resources including water was achieved. …

.10 U.S. Secretary of State Announces New Energy Initiatives

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Ministerial (Transcript)

"... the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas is different and fills a critical niche. As one of my staff put it, it’s a little like Facebook; anyone can start an initiative and invite others to join, and countries can be part of as many initiatives as they choose. Or as one diplomat from the region said each of us is like a ship at sea, and though we may follow slightly different courses, we’re all making similar voyages and we can help each other on our journeys.

"So the goal of this partnership is not to impose requirements or regulations but to create a forum and framework to share best practices, cultivate new collaborations, promote indigenous solutions, deepen regional ties, and foster local and national leadership. This is a mission not only for governments but for the private sector and civil society as well. And I’m so pleased that this gathering includes representatives from each." ...

.11 Koreans Swayed by Herd Mentality

The Korea Times -Seoul, Korea

After news reports hit the nation last week that a species of mosquito transmitting viral diseases causing brain inflammation had been found, Koreans started snapping up any products associated with bugs. The mosquitoes were only found on Jeju Island, the country's southernmost province, but the buying spree spread across the country. ... "Koreans are susceptible to herd mentality. When their neighbors do or believe something, many of them just follow suit. I regard Internet witch-hunting, real estate speculation or regional dominance of a certain party to stem from such a perspective." ... country's financial regulator warned-herd behavior - generating asset price bubbles, wreaking havoc on economy ... Another downside is that the mindset may call for mere conformity while intruding upon innovative thinking as amply demonstrated by partisan regionalism. In other words, herd mentality may choke innovation. The nation's partisan regionalism, basically the long-lasting conflicts between Gyeongsang and Jeolla provinces, has been improving over the past few decades. However, such antagonism has still sprouted up during national elections. Under the country's regionalism, it does not matter whether or not a candidate's policies are innovative and constructive ― the only factor that counts is which party supports the candidate.

.12 Indonesian Political Hopefuls to Face Stiffer Poll Rules

The Jakarta Globe - Jakarta, Indonesia


In what is already shaping up to be a highly controversial initiative, the Ministry of Home Affairs wants to further tighten eligibility criteria for political candidates in a move seen as aimed at preventing celebrities from running for office. Under the 2004 Regional Governance Law, a candidate must meet 16 requirements to stand for election, including having a high school diploma, never having been to prison for a crime punishable by more than five years in jail and being at least 30 years old. Now, with a number of racy celebrities — throwing their hats into the ring for this year’s 224 regional and municipal elections while admitting to having little political experience, the government is taking further steps. “We’re going to add another requirement for candidates to have enough experience in government or in civil organizations,” Gamawan said. “This is to prevent people who know nothing about how to lead a region suddenly becoming district head just because of popularity.

.13 Lawmakers Slam Morality Test for Poll Candidates

Jakarta Globe - Jakarta, Indonesia

Plans by the Ministry of Home Affairs to reinstate morality clauses to weed out aspiring candidates running for top regional posts were likely to be rejected, lawmakers said on Monday. Golkar Party lawmaker Nurul Arifin, from House of Representatives Commission II, which oversees home affairs, told the Jakarta Globe that most members of the commission disagreed with the proposal. “There is already a requirement for a candidate to be devoted to God. What else do we need?” ... A revision in 2008 to the Regional Governance Law dropped moral requirements for candidates, following the argument that morality should be judged by the voters. The proposal to reinstate the morality clauses is expected to be submitted to the House in June. ...

.14 Shepparton campus keeps regional promise

Latrobe University News - Australia

La Trobe University will continue to consult widely across regional Victoria to ensure obstacles facing regional students wishing to access higher education continue to be removed. That’s the promise made by La Trobe’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Johnson, upon the release of the University’s first annual Regional Community Report which outlines progress towards goals set out in the Regional Strategic Plan 2009 - 2012. The report shows that the University is exceeding expectations just twelve months into a four-year strategy. ‘We set out to improve our engagement with communities, substantially increase participation in higher education in regional Victoria, and boost our regional research capacity,’ Professor Johnson said. Key accomplishments over the past 12 months include securing funding for major infrastructure and research, a significant economic contribution to gross regional product and a 30% increase in student enrollments. ...

.15 Council hears from NSFC

Ontario News North - Ontario, Canada

The Northeast Superior Forest Community (NSFC) describes the regional community served by the Northeastern Superior Mayors’ Group, a voluntary association of the mayors of six communities in the Northeastern superior region, Chapleau, Hornepayne, Dubreuilville, White River, Wawa and Manitouwadge. for more information visit their website at

.16 Budgets aim to strike a balance: Mayor

Morden Times - Manitoba, CA

Regional development: pursue a regional multiplex; work towards development of a regional water supply; negotiate tax sharing; promote development of the Morden and Winkler highway corridor; pursue annexation for future growth.

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 A Public Meeting Chester must Attend

The C-City Blogger

It is well established that Chester is facing significant challenges that must be remedied to revitalize and regain our competitiveness. ... Chester faces diminishing economic investment, declining infrastructure, struggling schools, and social services lagging behind the needs of their residents. Left to solve these problems on a municipal basis, we will continue to decline, reducing the quality of life for the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania as a whole. ... The Southeastern Pennsylvania First Suburbs Project is a regional coalition of community leaders from developed suburbs that have joined together to harness their communities' power by directly engaging citizens to affect policies and practices that will lead to the stabilization and revitalization of their communities. ...

.02 Weasel Words? Engagement, Collaboration, Partnerships…

pigs will fly | the can do community blog

… I would like to share six basic points that emerged during my ten year community/small business/volunteer experience in regional tourism.

Elements of Successful Community-Based Collaboration

“1. A broad community recognition of the high inter-dependence in planning and managing a tourism destination or community-based project/partnership and the subsequent inability of one sector to effectively operate alone.

2. An indication of the individual and/or mutual benefits to flow from the collaborative process, such as, improving the destination’s competitive advantage, reduced uncertainty for private enterprise, more effective public sector management and greater resident satisfaction.

3. A perception that the collaborative process has the legitimacy and power to influence decisions affecting tourism/community development, with the power coming from the inclusion of key people, from clearly stated objectives and from evidence of adequate resources to implement projects.

4. The early inclusion of key people/groups: local government plus other public organisations that have a direct say in resource allocation:

* Chambers of Commerce, Visitor Information Centres, regional and local tourism groups, resident organisations

* Social agencies such as Community House networks, School Boards

* Special interest groups

5. A facilitator who is seen to possess legitimacy, expertise, resources and authority. He or she may be drawn from a government agency, a firm, a tourism organisation, Chamber of Commerce, Progress Association or Economic Development Group.

6. A statement expressing the community’s desired development and growth, which will be regulated through a collaborative reference organisation that helps with ongoing adjustment of strategies through monitoring and review processes.

.03 Welcome to Our New Partners!

Fractured Atlas Blog

SOFA Network in Cincinnati, OH, is an organization that represents the filmmaking community of the tri-state area of southern Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeastern Indiana. The mission of the Southern Ohio Filmmakers Association (SOFA) is to serve and develop the greater Cincinnati regional filmmaking community. The vision of SOFA is to offer an open exchange of ideas, resources, knowledge, and professional opportunities to its members. Through this empowerment and the members’ combined resources, they continue to expand the artistic and economic opportunities for locally-produced media and the filmmakers who create it. SOFA helps film professionals, students, and freelance crew build and grow through educational workshops, demonstrations, and speakers. The Network provides members a venue to screen their work through a film festival called Underneath Cincinnati. SOFA helps filmmakers build their network, advance their skills, and introduce them to opportunities to make a living in the field they love. ...

.04 Think globally; Act locally: Looking for a regional book community

Philadelphia Stories Blog

... regional focus for book people might seem to run against the tide, since most authors are looking for customers without borders, hoping to capture attention from some of the hundreds of millions of people who cruise the internet. But I’ve begun to wonder if we have become so global we have forgotten the “acres of diamonds in our own back yard,” an expression made famous by the founder of Philadelphia’s Temple University. With so many writers and readers gathered in this area, perhaps we’re missing opportunities to help each other grow. According to marketing guru Chris Anderson, the internet could play a crucial role in such a regional niche. ... What do you think? What have you done or seen that brings regional writers together with readers? Please leave your own comments about how a regional focus has or could work for you. ...

.05 Post your local community / regional site

Drupal showcase

As someone building a local community site, I'm always curious to see what other people do. I've found some here and there, mostly by accident, but was thinking that it would be nice to make a thread to gather them all. I'll start us off with mine but keep in mind that it's not even close to being finished and this isn't meant to be a showcase about my site. :) Coulee Region Online [ ] covers the area of SW Wisconsin, SE Minnesota, and a bit of NE Iowa and NW Illinois.

.06 “Council’s biodiversity strategy is really, really important”

Noosa Community Radio Blog

“The Sunshine Coast is known as a biodiversity hot spot and unfortunately that status is being very heavily threatened, and so to have this tangible strategy which will actually identify and the protect these areas and also enhance others is really, really important.”

Praise for the Sunshine Coast Council’s biodiversity strategy adopted on 9 April 10 led the 20 April edition of What’s Going On?

We also talked about

* the state government freezing public transport plans for the south of our region

* the Kin Kin quarry …

.07 The Town that Food Saved

Good Food, Happy Planet

... when a friend recommended Hewitt’s book, The Town that Food Saved, of course I had to read it to see what all the fuss was about. More and more people have a hunch that there’s something magical about community and local and regional “systems,” or at least as opposed to the centralized, industrialized system that we’ve created over the past 100 or so years and this book starts to articulate and demystify some of this magic, not through theory or metrics, but through a story. ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Jane’s Walk - May 1 & 2 2010 - In cities and towns everywhere

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” — Jane Jacobs, ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’


Jane’s Walk is a series of free neighbourhood walking tours that helps put people in touch with their environment and with each other, by bridging social and geographic gaps and creating a space for cities to discover themselves. Since its inception in 2007, Jane’s Walk has happened in cities across North America, and is quickly expanding internationally. … The main Jane’s Walk event takes place annually on the first weekend of May, to coincide with Jane Jacobs’ birthday. Jane’s Walks can be organized and offered any other time of the year by enthusiastic local people or organizations, although the first weekend in May is where we focus our organizational energies and resources. …

Jane Jacobs Primers: Shape of the City; Social Life of Cities; Public Space; Moving Around Cities; Economies of Cities at

.02 Hampton Roads Vision - Regional Day - May 6, 2010 - Chesapeake, Virginia

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell speaks at first “Vision Hampton Roads” Regional Day. This inaugural event brings business and civic leaders, government and citizens together to learn more about the region, build relationships, share ideas and celebrate “living regionally” and the comprehensive “Vision” for our region’s economic future. Regional Day is a time to share information, provoke ideas and collaborate among the region’s citizens, elected officials, municipal and public agency representatives and anyone else who has an interest in the future of Hampton Roads and wants to be involved in shaping that future.

During the event, mayors and other elected officials will sign an official “Declaration of Interdependence,” a regional compact for our municipalities addressing such issues as legislative unity, education, transportation, public safety and public communication. Breakfast will be served. This event is open to the public. Contact: Missy Schmidt

.03 Association of American Geographers - AAG

The Association of American Geographers (AAG) is a nonprofit scientific and educational society founded in 1904. For 100 years the AAG has contributed to the advancement of geography. Its members from more than 60 countries share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, which they cultivate through the AAG's Annual Meeting, two scholarly journals (Annals of the Association of American Geographers and The Professional Geographer), and the monthly AAG Newsletter. The AAG promotes discussion among its members and with scholars in related fields, in part through the activities of its affinity groups and 53 specialty groups. The meetings and activities of our regional divisions provide the opportunity to network with colleagues near you.

.04 Southern Regional Science Association (SRSA)

We welcome you to the web site of the Southern Regional Science Association (SRSA). It is an association for the advancement of regional analysis and related spatial and areal studies. It operates as an objective, scientific organization without political, social, financial, or nationalistic bias. Its main objectives are to foster the exchange of ideas and to promote studies focusing on regional topics and issues and utilizing tools, methods, and theoretical frameworks specifically designed for regional analysis as well as concepts, procedures, and analytical techniques of the various social and other sciences. The Association supports these objectives by promoting acquaintance and discussions among its members and with scholars in related fields, by stimulating research, by encouraging the publication of scholarly studies, and by performing services to aid the advancement of its members and the field of regional science.

.05 Walter Isard - principal founder of the discipline of Regional Science, as well as one of the main founders of the discipline of Peace Science. - Wikipedia

... 1953 Isard moved to MIT, taking a position in the Department of City and Regional Planning. It was while he was at MIT that the name regional science solidified as the name for his new field. In 1954 the Regional Science Association was created, with Isard as its first president and then honorary chairman. In 1956 Isard left MIT for the University of Pennsylvania, attracted by the opportunity to head up a new PhD-awarding academic department, the department of Regional Science. ... In 1963 Isard assembled a group of scholars in Malmö, Sweden, for the purpose of establishing the Peace Research Society. In 1973, this group became the Peace Science Society.

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Financial regionalism and the rebalancing of global economy - The Jakarta Post - Jakarta, Indonesia

The integration of markets on a regional and global basis seems to have motivated the evolution of regional economic arrangements designed to maximize the benefits, as well as to reduce the risk of a globalizing economy.

Following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the US in September 2008, a crisis of confidence and a decline in risk appetite spread all over the world. … a notable feature at the beginning of the global financial crisis was the ability of the US to temporarily drain foreign capital from all over the world as its banking sector began with the de-leveraging process. As a consequence, a range of emerging economy sovereigns and corporates in Asia for a few months’ period lost most of its access to international funding from outside the region.

Although the global financial crisis has now been under control, the experience of financial meltdown toward the end of 2008 was a stark reminder to most countries in East Asia on the need for regional collaboration to reduce the country’s vulnerability to financial contagion, and to enhance their capacity to keep a regime of stable exchange rate.

Indeed, in emerging Asia, the official sector is a net exporter of capital which it directs primarily toward safe, liquid assets, obviously with low yields, whereas the private sector is a net importer of risk capital from outside the region, obviously at premium rates.

Insofar as financial markets in Asian countries are relatively underdeveloped, the corporate sector will continue to depend upon loans and capital from outside the region, and the official sector will continue to seek for safe, liquid assets outside the region.

Maintaining status quo of a fragile financial system with strong dependence on global financial centers is not a sustainable policy option for Asia.

.02 Computerized Front-Running: How a Computer Program Designed to Save the Free Market Turned Into a Monster -

Market commentators are fond of talking about “free market capitalism,” but according to Wall Street commentator Max Keiser, it is no more. It has morphed into what his TV co-host Stacy Herbert calls “rigged market capitalism”: all markets today are subject to manipulation for private gain.

Keiser isn’t just speculating about this. He claims to have invented one of the most widely used programs for doing the rigging. Not that that’s what he meant to invent. His patented program was designed to take the manipulation out of markets. It would do this by matching buyers with sellers automatically, eliminating “front running” – brokers buying or selling ahead of large orders coming in from their clients. The computer program was intended to remove the conflict of interest that exists when brokers who match buyers with sellers are also selling from their own accounts. But the program fell into the wrong hands and became the prototype for automated trading programs that actually facilitate front running.

Also called High Frequency Trading (HFT) or “black box trading,” automated program trading uses high-speed computers governed by complex algorithms (instructions to the computer) to analyze data and transact orders in massive quantities at very high speeds. Like the poker player peeking in a mirror to see his opponent’s cards, HFT allows the program trader to peek at major incoming orders and jump in front of them to skim profits off the top. And these large institutional orders are our money -- our pension funds, mutual funds, and 401Ks.

When “market making” (matching buyers with sellers) was done strictly by human brokers on the floor of the stock exchange, manipulations and front running were considered an acceptable (if morally dubious) price to pay for continuously “liquid” markets. But front running by computer … is an entirely different species of fraud. …

.03 The Age of Balance Sheet Recessions - INETeconomics

Speaking at the Inaugural Conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking [ ], Richard Koo, Chief Economist, Nomura Research Institute talks about deficits and what the US, Europe and China post-2008 can learn from Japan 1990-2005. A major problem is the lack of demand for loans from the private sector even at low interest rates.

Presentation slides: The Age of Balance Sheet Recessions: What Post-2008 U.S., Europe and China Can Learn from Japan 1990-2005

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 over 1,200 regional related sites.

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.” It is my thesis that "regional communities” are emerging where multi-jurisdictional regional council organizations exist.

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 Google Search services. 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. Regional Community Development News is published bi-monthly based on news reports as of the publication date.

For the Blog and RSS feed go to:

Phrases/stories of note as found via Twitter:

Delicious Bookmarks:

Questions, comments or items to feature in Regional Community Development News?

Please email the Editor:

To search previous issues since 2003 go to:

To join Regional Community Networkers and get a free subscription use this email link – no additional information required:

For the Google Groups version go to:

Tom (Thomas J.) Christoffel, AICP -