Regional Community Development News – July 12, 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 - .18

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .07

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .02

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .02

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

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


Top Regional Community stories

1. Make Way for Cooperation - The Virginian-Pilot - Norfolk, VA, USA

When state officials talk about reforming local government, they usually mean cutting financial support while shoving more responsibilities onto cities and counties. As state budgets have gotten smaller, the complaint line at City Hall has gotten longer. That's not reform; it's abdication.

In assembling his government-reform commission, Gov. Bob McDonnell wisely created a panel to look at the relationship between state and local governments and find ways to help them work together more effectively. Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim was chosen to lead this important group.

Many of the recommendations will focus on internal administrative tasks such as eliminating duplicate functions and improving customer service. Those goals are low-hanging fruit that can be accomplished in the short time McDonnell has provided in order to hold a special session this fall.

But the governor has also promised to pursue longer-range reforms that demand more careful thought. He should make sure the panel on regional issues has more time and support to flesh out meaningful improvements.

The group was dubbed the "intergovernmental relations committee," not the regionalism committee. "Regionalism" has long been a bad word in Virginia. But regionalism is the key to the state's future. Norfolk is no longer competing in a vacuum against individual cities around the country for jobs, federal grants or the most talented science teachers. Fewer and fewer people live and work in the same municipality, especially in the largest urban areas.

Virginia has experimented with reform with varying degrees of success. A commission established by former Gov. Mills Godwin created today's system of regional planning districts. … McDonnell needs to give local governments tools that will allow them to share revenues, pool purchasing power, jointly develop industrial sites and mental health facilities, and cooperate on land use and strategic planning. …

2. Connecticut River groups think they would fit well if state imposes regionalization - - CT, USA

If the state decides to consolidate regional planning groups, two of the agencies centrally located along the Connecticut River are hoping they'll get to join forces.

The Connecticut River Valley Council of Elected Officials, made up of leaders of the 17 towns that make up the two agencies - Connecticut River Estuary Regional Planning Agency [ ] and the Midstate Regional Planning Agency [ ] - sent the state Office of Policy and Management a letter on June 1 affirming an interest in merging.

"We believe that our towns share a common character which creates a distinctive regional identity," the letter states. "The natural beauty and cultural history of the valley is highly valued and is a source of attraction for residents and visitors alike. It is the goal of the CRVCEO to maintain and enhance their distinct identity, rather than to evolve in a suburban sprawl pattern outward from existing larger urban areas."

OPM has been tasked with reassessing the boundaries of the state's 15 regional planning groups by 2012. Many believe the end result will be a mandated consolidation of the groups, similar to the consolidation of the state's 117 probate courts …

The two agencies would prefer to remain separate but understand that the state is pushing for more regionalization of services, said Linda Krause, CRERPA's executive director.

"The argument is that the bigger you are, the more efficient you are," Krause said. "I think in lots of places, that's not necessarily the case. Sometimes you're just bigger."

Connecticut has five regional planning agencies, three councils of elected officials and seven councils of governments, according to the Connecticut Association of Regional Planning Organizations' May 13 report, "The Geographic Scope of Connecticut's Regional Planning."

The report was issued to, in part, suggest criteria for evaluation of the planning groups' boundaries, Krause said.

3. Rural Renaissance: B.C.'s Small-Town Economy - BCBusiness Online - Burnaby, BC, CA

Changes in the global economy, and how we approach that economy, mean that rural and small-town B.C. is poised for community and economic renewal.

Before we can truly mobilize that renewal, however, we have to understand two fundamentals about B.C.’s economy. The first is that rural and small-town places make money; they generate the bulk of B.C.’s export wealth, which is key to the province’s past, present and future success. The second is that B.C.’s metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions function within a single integrated economy, where the success of one supports and reinforces the success of the other.

Creating vibrant rural and small-town communities in the new economy depends on approaching development in three integrated ways. The first centres on the economic shift from comparative to competitive advantage. Whether in resource commodities or in other sectors, increased production from low-cost regions means that we need to focus on investments and policies that help us compete locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. We can no longer simply rely on the bounty of our natural resources.

The second way we should approach rural development involves recognizing that in a fast-paced and changing global economy, our rural and small-town places must be similarly adaptable. We need to invest more in our community services, infrastructure and human and community capacity. Only then will communities be able to respond quickly to economic challenges and opportunities.

Finally, effective rural development demands a change in focus to “place-based” economies. In a global world, where business and industry can locate anywhere and still stay connected, the question is, Why would they invest in your place? The answer lies in the unique mix of local and regional assets and aspirations your place offers.

Rural and small-town B.C. have the types of assets now so in demand …

4. Cities scramble to provide incentives

The Fort Worth Business Press - Forth Worth, TX, USA

It’s no secret that businesses are typically given compensation via incentives for moving or expanding in a new city, but what’s becoming more obvious is that competition is heating up between the economic development organizations in cities – both near and far from home.

A handful of local incentive packages have made headlines in recent months, including $2 million in incentives granted by the city of Grapevine

And perhaps more telling is the increasing flood of incentive package that requests fielded monthly by cities’ economic development corporations, economic development offices or chambers of commerce.

Local experts like Bruce C. Payne, interim economic development manager for the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, say the competiveness of cities trying to recruit companies is not a new game, but it certainly has increased in this down economy.

“This is something the Dallas Chamber and the Fort Worth Chamber has been trying to get our heads around,” he said. “We are surrounded by cities that can incent a deal much more aggressively than the cities of Dallas or Fort Worth can. They have the same labor pool, the same commute patterns and can access the same educational facilities and have all that in their marketing materials and by in large their taxes are less so we’re surrounded by worthy opponents and we’re all preaching regionalism, but we’re all competing.”

“The bottom line is we all benefit,” Berzina said of a company relocating to the Metroplex. “The regionalism concept has significant merit, but I would submit that Dallas-Fort Worth has one of the more competitive and compelling markets … Here you’ve got over 100 municipalities and I would submit that 30 are able to compete with anyone in the country and all of them have a formidable tool chest of incentives and are extremely aggressive.”

5. Regional development quangos are to be scrapped. Why not replace them with regional assemblies? - - UK

… put simply, the RDAs are quangos established to promote economic development around the country, via six different government departments and with a £2 billion budget. They also distribute EU largess, which is why across the country one sees little EU flags on building sites suggesting that Brussels is subsidising England. …

But are they being abolished purely for financial reasons? Left-Foot Forward suggests otherwise: “Philosophically, the Conservatives see RDAs as a Trojan horse for wider regionalism, which they abhor in their marrow,” the leading pro-Labour blog stated last week. “Despite themselves setting up Government Offices in the regions in 1994, their instincts remain resolutely centralist.”

That was certainly true once, but the problem with this theory is that the RDAs largely exist because voters in English regions rejected proposals for regional assemblies, and so, rather than just scraping the idea, those powers were transferred to unelected bodies.

And one can see how undemocratic and unaccountable these bodies are merely by the names they chose for themselves and the language they used. The Yorkshire region was not just the Yorkshire Regional Agency but “Yorkshire Forward” …

But are the Tories opposed to regionalisation? I don’t see why. Personally I think a federal United Kingdom is a great idea, but it has to be authentically democratic, not a collection of talking shops comprising local councillors and quangocrats, which is what Labour’s original plans entailed.

There’s no reason why Britain can’t become fully federal with 11 regions (or “states” if the Scots and Welsh prefer it) all with elected first ministers and assemblies, and with full or dominant control of police, education, welfare and tax. It would help to take away power from London, which has far too much economic and cultural power, and rejuvenate regional capitals; …

6. Eric Pickles's local pursuit could miss the bigger regional picture

Joe Public Blog -

In the brave new world of the communities and local government secretary, Eric Pickles, "local" is the new mantra. The adjective seems to transcend all policy. Missives, castigating anything reeking of "regionalism" – with the exception of Greater London – fly out daily from his department's headquarters.

The bullish minister sees the concept of regions as a defining ideological divide between the coalition and the previous government. Regional housing targets, strategic planning, and regional development agencies are all heading for the bin.


But single-minded cabinet ministers sometimes have a habit of missing the bigger picture. Almost two months into a new government, we are entitled to ask if this obsession with localism is in danger of doing some regions a grave disservice.

Pickles underlined a message for sweeping economies in local government today when he opened the Local Government Association annual conference by calling on English councils to share administrative functions as well as chief executives and senior officials. …

Everything is now local. … No more diktats from the centre, he stressed. "Now it's up to councils."

Pickles has a golden opportunity to deliver on this front, moving from rhetoric to reality – in the form of a blueprint on his desk for a new, combined authority embracing the 10 councils in Greater Manchester (Tory, Labour and Lib Dem). They want the government to give legislative weight to this emerging strategic partnership, delivering new powers over transport and the local economy similar to those enjoyed by the Greater London authority.

Equity demands a positive response. London, so far, has been singled out as a special case by the coalition. The capital is keeping its development agency – which has so far experienced none of the cutbacks suffered by the other RDAs, or had housing targets and its regional planning strategy removed.


7. Ground broken for regional jail - South Hill Enterprise - South Hill, VA, USA

Brunswick County Administrator Charlette Woolridge, who serves as Chair of the Meherrin River Regional Jail Authority, welcomed elected and appointed officials and guests. She said the new regional jail facility will be constructed on approximately 126 acres. The jail will serve a total rated capacity of 400 general purpose beds, 340 for males and 60 for females. … Authority members, which consists of representatives from Brunswick, Dinwiddie and Mecklenburg counties joined forces about four years ago to develop a plan for a regional jail to deal with the fact that our current jails are overcrowded and inadequate resulting in our counties having to expend significant funds to send inmates to other facilities for incarceration,” Woolridge said. “The project we are celebrating today is the result of effective leadership, foresight and careful planning. The members of the Authority have had a special role in getting this project to today’s ceremony.”

Sheriff Roberts said he has been working on the project for seven years.

“I am 35 so that is 1/5 of my life I have been working on this project. This is a great example of collaboration. … The new jail will mean we can offer more services. We are limited now. Being able to offer more services will hopefully make society better as a whole,”

“The physical conditions of all of the facilities were the issue. … Money is tight and we were spending money in an inefficient way. This is a great example of regionalism. The Town of Lawrenceville, the three counties and the IDA came together. …

Senator Frank Ruff (R-15th) said it was a wonderful day in Southside Virginia. He called attention to the death of an inmate in the Richmond City Jail that was heat related. Ruff applauded the regional effort exhibited.

8. A Tale of Two Cities and One Region: As the Knowledge Corridor Turns 10, a Progress Report - BusinessWestOnline - Springfield, MA, USA

It’s been almost a decade since Mass. Gov. Paul Cellucci and his counterpart in Connecticut, John Rowland, came together during the Big E to announce a new economic region, something called the Knowledge Corridor, created to market Hartford-Springfield as one entity.

[ ]

John Rhodes has been a site selector for more than 20 years now. He says that, in this business, old perceptions, or “urban legends,” as he calls them — such as the ones contending that New England, and especially Massachusetts, is heavily unionized, and that Hartford is just a home for insurance companies — die hard.

And that’s just one of many reasons why the Knowledge Corridor, the stretch of real estate between Northampton and south of Hartford that is now a decade old, still has a ways to go before it makes any kind of name for itself on the national and international stages, he said.

While there is still some doubt about just what that name says to site selectors and business owners, those who came up with it say they believe it is gaining acceptance from various constituencies.

... Blair believes the region has done well with what it’s had to work with.

“Look at the Research Triangle — it’s been 50 years since they first coined that phrase, and the state has put in a half-million dollars every year; now it’s a household name,” he said. “In one-fifth the time and with really no money, we’ve done a pretty decent job of getting our own region to recognize the brand, and a good job with national site selectors.

Summing up what officials in both Connecticut and Massachusetts have done over the past decade, Johnson said they’ve made real progress in “dissolving the border” and getting people to look not at Hartford and then Springfield, but the two cities together.

9. FEMA Ponders Regionalizing Support for Grants - - USA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is set to regionalize some of its grant-making process to improve customer service to grant recipients, testified the assistant administrator in charge of the Grants Program Directorate (GPD) Tuesday.

FEMA will convene a working group to study the issue in July and hold face-to-face talks on regionalizing grants August 3-5, Elizabeth Harman told a panel of the House Homeland Security Committee. The August discussion will include representatives from FEMA headquarters, its 10 regions, and grants recipients.

But Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.), chair of the Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response, was skeptical that breaking down any grants-making capability by region would be a good idea.

"I remain supportive of giving the Regions greater operational responsibility when responding to disasters. FEMA officials in the field are much-better equipped to respond to situations on the ground than officials parked in Washington," Richardson said of FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate's plans to build up the autonomy of the FEMA regional offices.

"But non-disaster grant management is a uniquely different function than disaster response," she objected. "It is not clear to me how handing control of the grants over to the Regions will improve FEMA's grant management functions."

Ten separate FEMA regions would face difficulties in consistently interpreting and implementing grant policies, Richardson argued. Congress created GPD in the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (PKEMRA) specifically to ensure centralized and consistent grant management.

Harman said that providing some responsibility for grants to the regions as the 10 fingertips of FEMA would improve its responsiveness to its state and local customers.

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 40 years ago: Regionalization OKed

The - Redding, PA, USA

The following is taken from the July 9, 1970 issue of The Redding Pilot: As an issue of enduring interest here, school regionalization probably came right after budgets and zoning. The issue entered a new phase, one that may see completion of a process begun 15 years ago. On July 7, the Redding Board of Finance became the final board to approve its representative to a new committee which will consider the feasibility of total school regionalization in Redding and Easton. ...

.02 Regional dispatch center

The Boston Globe - Boston, MA, USA

Legislation needed to create a regional dispatch center for Hingham, Hull, Norwell, and Cohasset received final approval at the Statehouse this week. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Garrett J. Bradley (D, Hingham), Robert L. Hedlund (R, Weymouth), and recently deceased Rep. Robert J. Nyman (D, Hanover), allows the four towns to create an independent entity that will run the center, which will be headquartered in Hingham. “I am thankful that we were able to pass this legislation to regionalize our public safety dispatch,” said Bradley in a written statement. The facility is expected to be one of 15 in the state, and more than $3 million of the construction and operating costs will be covered by the state, which has granted $15 million for regionalized dispatch since 2008, officials say. ...

.03 State should add incentives for regional school districts

The Globe - Boston, MA, USA

THE BENEFITS of regional school systems are clear in principle but often difficult to realize in practice. It was hardly surprising recently when the Cohasset School Committee rejected Hull’s entreaty to merge school districts. ... Cohasset schools are in a fairly good position right now. We are one of the few districts that hasn’t been cutting programs or doing layoffs.’’ Nonetheless, the short-lived episode raises long-range questions. If Massachusetts wants to promote regional districts, the state must provide greater incentives to encourage towns to team up even when their demographics differ. ... None of this is to say that Cohasset should definitely merge with Hull. But the time is coming where neighboring towns, regardless of income, should consider lasting partnerships with open minds. It is encouraging to see that Cohasset is willing to discuss with Hull ways their schools might together boost their buying power. That is a sign that Cohasset understands that, as the demands on local budgets multiply, more school regionalization is only a matter of time.

.04 Chagrin Falls Fire Department donates truck to Valley Enforcement Group

Chagrin Solon Sun - Solon, OH, USA

With all the talk of regionalism in this area, some local leaders want residents to know it is already happening here, and has been for quite some time. The Chagrin Falls Fire Department recently donated a heavy rescue vehicle to the Valley Enforcement Group, which covers more than 130 square miles and 15 communities from Warrensville Heights to Russell. “I thought anytime that I can help another safety service I’m going to do it,” Chagrin Falls Fire Chief Frank Zugan said. “It was a great opportunity to help a neighboring community.” The truck, which Chagrin used for car accidents and other heavy rescues, will be used by VEG as a multi-purpose vehicle for hostage negotiations or as a command center for large- or medium-scale incidents, said Orange Village Police Chief Christopher Kostura. VEG was looking to purchase another vehicle when it heard about this opportunity. “We don’t get called out on a lot of negotiations, so we didn’t want to spend an enormous amount of money,” Kostura said. “This is perfect because it’s multi-use.” ...

.05 MWAA: Senate, limit DCA flights

The Washington Post - Washington, DC, USA

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority called on Congress to "honor the compact it has steadfastly kept with the National Capital Region" and preserve the character and ease of service at Reagan National Airport by abandoning a plan to increase long-distance flights out of National--a plan hatched by some Western lawmakers as part of legislation funding the Federal Aviation Administration ... "These changes in flight activity could very well lead to congestion at Reagan National's terminals, parking facilities, and runways. We are very concerned that the significant proposed changes in flight rules will result in aircraft and passenger delays and added strain on security screening." It reminds Congress that the legislative body conceived of the rules in 1987 to balance "the physical limitations to Reagan National with the growth potential of Washington Dulles," and of the "tremendous capital investment" made at Dulles to serve as the region's long-haul powerhouse. ...

.06 Land lease rejected for drilling in Munroe Falls

Stow Sentry - Stow, OH, USA

City Council unanimously rejected an ordinance July 8 that would have awarded Beck Energy Corp. a land lease in Tallmadge, which in turn may have allowed the company to drill a gas and oil well in Munroe Falls. Munroe Falls City Council and the administration have been trying to prevent the company from drilling in the city because of its vicinity near the Cuyahoga River, according to Munroe Falls Mayor Frank Larson. Munroe Falls Council also rejected an ordinance to allow Beck Energy to drill in the city. ... "In the spirit of regionalism, we should honor the wishes of or sister city," Ray said. ...

.07 How San Carlos will save money by outsourcing cops

San Jose Mercury News - San Jose, CA, USA

At first glance, the dollars to justify outsourcing police service for San Carlos don't seem to add up. The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office says it can hire everyone in the San Carlos Police Department, hand out raises and maintain the same of level of service around the clock — all while saving the city $2.1 million. Chalk it up to economies of scale gained when a small city outsources public safety to a much larger organization, say county and city officials. Or, as San Carlos Council Member Andy Klein summed it up at a recent council meeting, "it all has to do with the back bench." The council last week authorized city staff to find out how sheriff's officials plan to offer the same level of police service for $6.8 million a year that San Carlos now pays $8.9 million to receive. The council expects to consider a final contract later this year. The city police department, which has 32 sworn officers, including command brass, and eight non-sworn employees, assigns three officers and a sergeant to each eight-hour shift. That allows them to handle two incidents with a backup at any given time, said City Manager Mark Weiss. To maintain that staffing level 24/7, the city has to keep enough officers on the payroll to ensure they have enough backup when someone is sick, gets hurt on the job, goes on vacation or is unavailable for some other reason, Weiss said. ... "I think that's just a recognition that that's what regionalism means," Weiss said of the shared management. "We're trying to be more efficient."

.08 National Report Forecasts More Congestion, Impending Capacity Crisis

PennDOT Press Office - Harrisburg, PA, USA

Freight volume will double in 40 years, resulting in 50 percent more trucks on highways and straining air, rail and port capacity, according to a new report highlighted by Governor Edward G. Rendell. The national Unlocking Freight report was released today by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or AASHTO. ... AASHTO’s report says that in freight movement alone, including truckers, railroad conductors, warehouse operators and many others, there are more than 10 million workers nationwide. A recent American Road and Transportation Builders Association study says that in Pennsylvania, there are nearly 149,000 transportation-related jobs. "This report is a valuable resource to understand the freight capacity issues facing the nation and what we can do today to meet upcoming challenges," the Governor said. Unlocking Freight is the second in a series of reports generated by AASHTO to identify the need to increase transportation system capacity. For more information and to see state examples of freight capacity needs, go to Along with four other states, Pennsylvania is applying for $115 million for improvements to the Norfolk Southern railway Crescent Corridor that stretches from Alabama to the Pennsylvania.

.09 Gubernatorial candidates talk about the economy's weakest link - Burlington, VT, USA

Susan Bartlett-I do not believe that government creates jobs; I believe that our citizens create jobs. ... As governor I would fund the regional economic development groups properly so they could spend their time helping local business. It is these regional organizations that can best assist local business people. It is also these regional groups working locally that can best develop an economic development plan for their region. The Northeast Kingdom has suffered higher unemployment rates than most of the state for sometime. ...

.10 Hospital leaders join forces through committee

Natchez Democrat - Natchez, MS, USA

A new health care organization seeks to find a cure for the public’s perception of feuding between local hospitals. The Miss-Lou Regionalism Health Care Committee aims to foster a spirit of healthier competition for the sake of keeping patients in town. And the big guns from each local hospital seem to be on board. Representatives from Natchez Regional Medical Center, Natchez Community Hospital, Vidalia’s Promise Hospital, Ferriday’s Riverland Medical Center and other health care organizations have been meeting to identify challenges and draft solutions for health care in the Miss-Lou. “Everyone is in agreement that it’s time for a change,” Promise Hospital Director of Physician Relations and Education Sarah Smith said. ...

.11 Groups prefer GPTC as bus 'consolidator'

Gary Post Tribune - Gary, IN, USA

The Gary bus system's pending consolidation with the Northwest Indiana Regional Bus Authority drove conversation at a Tuesday press conference organized by groups concerned about regional transportation. Representatives from the Gary Chapter of the NAACP, Team Hammond, Everybody Counts and ADAPT Indiana agreed they'd like to see the Gary Public Transportation Corp. play the role as "consolidator" for the region's bus systems instead of the RBA. "Class and racial barriers are why we are against the RBA being the consolidator of the system," said Karen Pulliam, president of the Gary Chapter of the NAACP. ... RBA Executive Director Tim Brown, who wasn't asked to attend the press conference, called consolidation a partnership. "If the intent is to have GPTC as the lead agency to provide all transit to all the region, it's a completely different intent to what the RBA is charged with doing and what the RDA has asked us to do." ...,new-rba0707.article

.12 Officials walk to make Wollaston safer for pedestrians

Wicked Local-Patriot Ledger - Quincy, MA, USA

Regional planners and Quincy residents walked the Wollaston business district on Monday in an effort to pinpoint dangerous intersections and come up with ways to make pedestrian improvements. The city’s planning department, the chamber of commerce and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization organized the “walking audit” – a tour of a few main streets in the business district – to highlight the most problematic crosswalks and intersections for pedestrians and cyclists. The planning organization’s representative, Cathy Buckley, had toured the district before the audit and gave a presentation on her findings. She discussed current walking conditions and potential improvements the city could make to ensure traffic and pedestrian safety while increasing foot traffic in the area. ...

.13 New bike racks for downtown Beverly

The Boston Globe - Boston, MA, USA

The city is becoming a more convenient place to bicycle. Beverly is installing 60 new bike racks in the downtown to provide secure places for people to park their bikes. The new racks were purchased through the Metropolitan Area Planning Council's Regional Bike Parking Program. Under that initiative, the planning agency provides full reimbursement to communities for the cost of purchasing bike racks. MAPC provided Beverly with $7,470 to pay for the 60 bike racks. The city's only cost was $335 for shipping. The installation, which was nearing completion last week, is being carried out by employees of the Public Services and Police departments during their regular shifts. ...

.14 County submits projects as MARC receives more funds

Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS, USA

Over the last year, Leavenworth County has gotten some mileage out of its list of its highest-profile transportation projects. First, the list was submitted to the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Leveraging Investments in Kansas, then the Mid-America Regional Council’s long-range Transportation Outlook 2040 that was approved at the end of June. The county’s priorities include two projects that involve collaboration within and beyond the county’s borders and are aimed at improving movement to and from the area. ... now MARC’s Surface Transportation Program committee was determining to which projects to allocate state STP and bridge funds. He said the McIntyre connection and the Centennial Bridge projects were both submitted. … McIntyre expressway connection is also considered a “regionally significant” project, Spickelmier said, and has the support of Wyandotte County. However, he said in order to qualify for this round of funding, the projects would need to have had some preliminary engineering or planning completed already and be on a 2013 or 2014 timeline. So far, neither of the county’s top picks have that, and the legwork is not cheap. “It will be in the millions,” Spickelmier said, for engineering plans on the McIntyre project. ...

.15 Panel visualizes regional bicycle network

The Vindicator - Youngstown, OH, USA

Have bicycle, will travel, whether by trail or by road, throughout Mahoning and Trumbull counties. Eastgate Regional Council of Governments released a Regional Bicycle Plan earlier this month. Eastgate is the metropolitan planning organization for both counties. "Eastgate supports the creation of a regional bicycle and pedestrian network that connects every community, regional transit, major activity centers and central business districts," the plan says. The bicycle piece will be part of a long-range transportation plan expected to be finalized in 2013. ...

.16 Mall and Shopping Center Vacancies Continue Upwards Climb - USA

Real estate research firm Reis Inc.’s preliminary data for the second quarter of 2010 shows continued deterioration in fundamentals at neighborhood and community centers and regional malls. Vacancies at both property types rose and continue to set new records each quarter. For shopping centers, vacancies are at their highest point since 1991 and for regional malls vacancies are at their highest point since Reis began tracking the figure at the end of 1999. At neighborhood and community centers, the vacancy rate rose to 10.9 percent in the second quarter of 2010. The last time the vacancy rate reached 11 percent was in 1991. Asking and effective rents continued to decline, falling by 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent respectively. For regional malls, the vacancy rose to 9.0 percent. Asking rents fell by 0.2 percent—the seventh straight quarter of rent declines. According to the report, “The continuing plight of retail properties across the nation reflects the tepid, uneven pace of economic stabilization and recovery.” ...

.17 Offer feedback at open house

Northwest Herald - Crystal Lake, IL, USA

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning is coming to McHenry County to give residents a chance to comment on its proposed Go to 2040 comprehensive regional plan. ... plan seeks ways to improve community livability, regional mobility, workforce development, and efficient governance in the seven-county area covered by CMAP. It seeks to shape the region’s development while addressing the environment, economy, housing and education. CMAP covers Cook County, its collar counties and Kendall county. The agency predicts that the region will gain 2 million new residents and 1 million new jobs by 2040. The full draft plan and its executive summary can be found online at, where people also can submit comments. CMAP intends to approve the plan by October.

.18 Best Places to Live - 2010

CNN Money - USA

Best places to Live - by State

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Use regional policy to meet local goals

Telegraph-Journal - Saint John, NB, CA

The communities of greater Saint John should be exemplars of good regional planning. They're closely located, and their collective growth has been fuelled by a common economy. Their councils have even made a standing commitment to find new ways of working together.

While Saint John and its suburbs have co-operated in a few key areas, from regional facilities to a joint SWAT team, they could save a lot more if they partnered on major infrastructure projects. So far, that hasn't happened. After consultations toward a regional recreation plan, communities haven't been willing to set aside local ambitions in pursuit of a common goal. As a result, Quispamsis is bankrolling the creation of the Q-Plex; Rothesay's council has set priorities, but not yet budgeted for construction; and Saint Johners are still looking for an affordable way to create new playing surfaces. Each community's residents may wind up paying more and waiting longer for better recreation facilities, for want of a regional consensus. … Mayors and councillors need to stop and consider whose interests they're fighting for. Regionalization isn't about changing local identity; it's just a more cost-effective means to achieve community priorities.

.02 Dancing education to death

Vancouver Sun - Vancouver, BC, CA

The dance to the death between Vancouver school board chairwoman Patti Bacchus and Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid will not just end when the music stops. This high profile danse macabre can only end with one or the other of the partners, or maybe both, and some of the spectators as well, being led to the political grave. For that reason alone, somebody, or everybody, involved, should turn the music to smooth jazz and sit the dancers down. In the case of the spectators, mainly the other 59 Boards of Education, the thing could end with the demise of the VSB and the eventual elimination, call it amalgamation if you will, of a number of other school boards. That is not unlikely because the provincial bear, now well and truly in attack mode, can hardly be expected to back down at this stage of the dance. And that could lead to some bad decisions with negative long-term consequences for public education in B.C. One such bad outcome could be the much rumoured regionalization of education governance. A cost-saving measure? Hard to say but try getting a meeting with your regional health authority to discuss what's going on at your local clinic. ...

.03 Time for Africa to examine the inherited nation state

The New Vision - Uganda

THE current financial crisis of the Greek government demonstrates the changing nature of the nation state as we have known it and reminds us that the world is moving into the age of the post-sovereign. An independent sovereign state within the comity of nations, Greece, like African countries almost a generation ago has had to succumb to conditions set by other states and transnational agencies as to how to manage its economy in return for financial assistance. Forty years ago such a development would have been heretical. Based on the right of every state to manage its affairs without interference from others, the concept of nation state has dominated political structures for the last 500 years although its development over the years has been characterised at the same time by attempts to transcend its boundaries and replace them either with colonial empires or a European superstate. ... For example, whereas the modern state is based on equality of the individual before the law, in the traditional state judicial process is concerned with reconciliation of contenders in the interests of the community. The African traditional state is based on the concepts of community, participation and brotherhood all of which do not sit well with the Western idea of social organisation. This duality in peoples’ perceptions has led to conflict between the community and the state. The answer does not lie in assailing each side of the divide. What is needed is to reconcile the interests of both states. In line with what is happening elsewhere in the world it is time for us in Africa to start examining the nature of the nation state we inherited at independence within the context of its modern challenges both internal and external. In all this we have to keep in sight the reality that regionalism and transnationalism are the order of the day as the Greek experience has demonstrated.

.04 Moscow Plans to Solve Problems of North Caucasus by Economic Growth Alone

Georgiandaily - New York, NY, USA

Moscow’s new plan for the North Caucasus, one developed by Presidential Plenipotentiary Aleksandr Khloponin and now backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, focuses almost exclusively on promoting economic development rather than on directly combating problems there like corruption, violence, and an increasingly separate way of life. On January 23rd, “Russky Newsweek” reports today, Putin directed Khloponin and the regional development ministry to develop a new Caucasus strategy, and their experts produced a draft by the middle of May. A copy of the final version of the text became available to the Russian magazine this week ... introduction of the new plan. Aleksandr Konev, a political scientist, points out that “solving only the economic problems in the Caucasus solves nothing.” New political institutions are needed, and the rapid urbanization the plan calls for “will only create more problems,” given “the complex ethnic picture” there. And the plan itself contains a potentially even more explosive aspect. According to Gaaze, Khloponin wants to get around the current corrupt governments there by “creating in the Caucasus a parallel system of administration,” something current elites would certainly fight and that thus might do little besides making the region even more ungovernable.

.05 Endgame for Western Development board?

Mayo News - Mayo, Ireland

AN AGENCY set up to help save western counties will have no exchequer monies in the coffers of its Investment Fund next year, The Mayo News can reveal. This is yet another blow to the future of The Western Development Commission (WDC) [ ] whose abolition has been recommended by the controversial Bord Snip Nua report, by Dr Colm McCarthy. ... Questioned on the future of the agency – that grew out of a movement led by a group of western bishops – Mr Keyes said: “Colm McCarthy made a whole suite of recommendations and among them was our abolition. We made a formal response and we have strong support from Minister Carey and the western ministers.” He confirmed that to date the WDC Investment Fund had contributed € 9 million to 19 County Mayo enterprises, 16 of which are still operating. Earlier, his colleague, Joanne Grehan, a Regional Development Executive, gave a detailed presentation to councillors and executives, attending the monthly meeting. She outlined the many changes in the county’s economic profile – particularly the diversification of agriculture – since the establishment of the commission in 1998. Citing the fact that 71 per cent of Mayo’s population lived in rural areas, Mr Grehan noted that one of the key aims of the commission is to develop strategic and sustainable regional projects for this rural economy. She also revealed that: “There are 4,500 people who have signed up to our skills and enterprise register on the website. If the right opportunity represented itself they would like to relocate to this region.” Two key areas for development that have been identified are renewable energy and the creative economy, she said. ...

.06 China's top legislator meets French regional lawmaking chief on bilateral ties

Xinhua - China

China's top legislator on Sunday met the chief lawmaker of the French Rhone-Alpes regional parliament to discuss inter-regional relations and cooperation. Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC), told Jean-Jack Queyranne, president of the Rhone-Alpes Regional Council, that the region's ties with China dated back long ago. [ ] Some Chinese revolutionaries of the old generation, such as Deng Xiaoping, came here to study. The Rhone-Alpes region has also contributed to the development of China-France relations through fruitful exchanges and cooperation with many Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Suzhou, he said. "The purpose of my visit is to further inter-regional development, enhance the people-to-people friendship and broaden the social and civil basis for state-to-state relations." The NPC chief added that the Rhone-Alpes region has the expertise in ecological administration, environmental protection, energy conservation and emission reduction. ...

.07 Regional wars on reality TV

Deccan Chronicle - India

Indian Idol, a very popular TV show is being accused of stoking regionalism to up TRP’s. It’s a difficult one to deny when presenters introduce contestants by prefixing their geographical origins to their names, “Dakshin ka anna” or “Rajasthan ka shaan” while contestants themselves try and drum up votes for themselves by asking fans to help uphold the “image of their race”. ... “Since this is a national level contest with participants from across the country, regional feelings are bound to be there. Earlier, singers from South have lost because of lesser SMSes from other parts of the country. As a music composer I don’t like this system of judging through votes. But it is a TRP gimmick to evoke regional feeling,” says Koti, popular music director who has judged several TV music shows. ... Now in its fifth season, Indian Idol this year seems to have artificially balanced regional representation to maximize TRPs across the country: one representative each from South India, Gujarat, Bengal, Mumbai and Delhi. There have even been instances where state governments have made icons of participants, dubbing them ‘brand ambassadors’ for the state while the contest is on. Local film and theatre personalities, politicians and other industrialists have been known to raise campaigns and hoardings supporting the contestant from their region. ...

.08 Stephenson: Forces must not be parochial with serious organised crime - UK

Giving the John Harris Memorial Lecture tonight, Sir Paul Stephenson said the specialist resources devoted by the police service to addressing organised crime are unco-ordinated and, in effect, inadequate and have been for many years. There are approximately 6,000 organised crime groups active in the UK with an estimated 38,000 individuals operating within them. Mapping indicates that there are nearly 500 organised crime groups with known assets of over £1m and 68 groups with assets of £10m or more - £2billion worth of assets shared between known organised criminal. Sir Paul revealed that the police service is actively targeting just 11% of these groups in an operationally meaningful way. ... Sir Paul called on chief constables to put aside their local interests and provide a mandate to a national coordinator for serious organised crime who would work in a similar way to the current National Co-ordinator of Terrorist Investigations (NCTI) in co-ordinating the regional hubs alongside the Security Service and with the full agreement of Chief Constables. Sir Paul said such a model might link the local responsibilities of a chief constable with a regional capability under a national strategy and co-ordinator; someone with the authority to maintain strategic oversight of operations and operational deployments, deliver a command and control capability when needed, including the ability to move assets to the problem, and engage with other law enforcement agencies across the spectrum of organised criminality. A national co-ordinator post currently exists within ACPO, but without a clearly defined mandate or national traction. “I wonder if now is the time for police chiefs to put aside parochialism and for us to agree that a national co-ordinator could be empowered to have direction in certain defined circumstances and oversight of the current and future regional structures.”

.09 University of the West Indies (UWI) gets support from St. Kitts and Nevis PM

South Florida Caribbean News - Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

The University of the West Indies is getting support from St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas. “If our University of the West Indies is to be the instrument of regional development that we expect it to be, then our students must be acculturated into Caribbean Regionalism and the University must strengthen the instruments for so doing. These must involve internal governance as well as curriculum development among others,” said Dr. Douglas in a statement issued at the 31st CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Jamaica. ... “Geographical separation or programme development at the various campuses must not be a block to regionalism in UWI; and there is also no need to promote the impossibility of a single residential institution. Hence there is need to find new modalities to enhance regionalism that would also involve increased cooperation between and among institutions of higher education in the Region,” ... these modalities of regionalism at the higher educational levels could also act as a catalyst for deepening the regional integration movement.

.10 T&T committed to regional unity — Suruj

The Trinidad Guardian - Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago is committed to regionalism, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan said on Friday, on the eve of the meeting of Caricom heads of governments. Rambachan said the T&T delegation was going to the summit, in Jamaica, with a will to promote regional unity and to address crucial issues affecting Caricom. One primary concern is security of the region, which, he maintains, is a priority matter. In the midst of globalisation, bilateral relations were important, said Rambachan, and he cited improved ties with Canada as one example. He said Canada continued to support small states. ... He added that food security would also be on the agenda. ...

.11 President attends closing session of training course for general staff

Yemen News Agency (SABA) - Yemen

President Ali Abdullah Saleh attended on Wednesday a closing session for the training course for leaderships of general staff of the armed and security forces. In the session, president Saleh delivered a speech in which he affirmed importance of holding such training courses for the armed and security commanders, highlighting achievements taken place in the Yemeni armed forces. He called on the military and security leaderships to get further knowledge about regional and international developments. ... We have to reject culture of abhorrence, regionalism and tribalism, he said. ...

.12 Richmond BC hopes to expand its community gardens program

Presently, Vancouver has about 67 “official” community gardens with approximately 3000 individual garden plots. The City of Vancouver, under the leadership of Mayor Gregor Robertson, lead an aggressive and successful campaign last year to add 2010 more garden plots as part of an Olympic city goal. Even lawns at Vancouver city hall were converted into community gardens. In 2006, Vancouver City Councilors challenged the Greater Vancouver Regional community to create more food-producing gardens by asking them to establish 2010 new garden plots in the city by January 2010, as an Olympic legacy. Garden enthusiasts can only hope that the change in Richmond’s community garden administration will help speed up the process to add more community plots to the total.

.13 CAREC Business Development Forum aims to FDI and PPP - Azerbaijan

The Business Development Forum (BDF) of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) is to be held on 29-30 July in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of People’s Republic of China. The CAREC reports that BDF aims to support private sector participation in regional initiatives, encourage foreign direct investment in priority infrastructure projects, and promote collaboration among private and public sector organizations in CAREC countries. There will be plenary sessions on business opportunities and public-private partnerships in regional development, country presentations on trade and investment opportunities, and how the Asian Development Bank (ADB) supports private sector investment. ...

.14 Korea-Japan Sign MOU on Transborder Regional Development

Arirang News - South Korea

Two regional economies in Korea and Japan have agreed to boost cooperation in information and people-to-people exchanges in the hopes of establishing an international economic bloc. At the Presidential Committee on Regional Development Conference held on Korea's southernmost island of Jeju Korea's Dongnam Regional Development Committee and Japan's Kyushu Economic Research Center inked a Memorandum of Understanding signifying improved transborder regional development. ...

.15 Research begins on Coast's first ever Community Plan - Australia

The Coast’s first ever Community Plan took a major step forward this weekend, as council began to survey residents on what they thought were the biggest issues facing the Region. Corporate Planning and Performance Portfolio Councillor Tim Dwyer said that the Community Plan will identify the long term vision, aspirations and priorities for this community into 2030. “Over the past few years, council has gathered extensive feedback about what residents want, think and feel on certain issues,” Cr Dwyer said. “The purpose of this survey is to ensure the accuracy of our information, fill a few gaps in our knowledge, and importantly do it before we develop the Community Plan. … “Council is required to develop a community plan under the new Local Government Act but ultimately the Community Plan is the people’s plan and a roadmap to our future. …,17812

.16 "Geography is destiny"

Annual growth in trade between Central American countries from 1960 to the close of 2008 averaged 11.7%, increasing from $30 million to $6.3 billion. "Geography is destiny,” Napoleon would often say, and Central America is a clearly a case in point. As far as trade is concerned, the region’s countries are one, and in terms of business it is essential to take this into account. In an article on his blog, Desde Guate (From Guatemala), Oscar E. Mendizábal summarizes 50 years of Central American integration, “a process that, in its origins, was almost parallel to the evolution of the European Union since 1957”.

.17 Hans Rosling on global population growth

TedTalks - YouTube

The world's population will grow to 9 billion over the next 50 years -- and only by raising the living standards of the poorest can we check population growth. This is the paradoxical answer that Hans Rosling unveils at TED@Cannes using colorful new data display technology (you'll see).

.18 Finally there: Spain reaches title game for the first time

The Boston Globe - Boston, MA, USA

What’s most remarkable about Spain’s national team, other than its reputation for unfashionably early exits from the global stage, is how little its countrymen care about it. For most of them it’s club first, country second. Trying to get a Castilian to care passionately about a squad that has a bunch of Catalans is like getting him to drink Australian wine. Most of that comes from age-old Spanish regionalism overlaid with politics. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Teamwork Makes Sense In Community Development

New FoundNation

A regional approach to community development makes sense. I would like to give you an example of a region that’s doing things correctly. Is your community going it alone? Or are you taking a regional approach to community development? The booming region of Northwest Arkansas provides a great example of regional cooperation. It also provides us with an example of a group of business and civic leaders who aren’t satisfied despite their past successes. ... If a region as successful as Northwest Arkansas is bringing its cities together and looking to the future, shouldn’t your region be doing the same? Have you identified your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges as a region? As part of the stakeholder input section of the plan, consultants spent three days in Northwest Arkansas conducting interviews and focus groups. Meanwhile, an online survey resulted in almost 2,000 responses that further highlighted local issues, concerns and opportunities. A competitive assessment can identify the strengths to be leveraged, the opportunities to be realized and the challenges to be overcome. The assessment document points out that community and economic development is “a process, not an event. In today’s increasingly competitive climate for talent and jobs, this process requires that regional leadership is proactive, not reactive.” It’s good advice for us all.

.02 A Better Tomorrow

The Urbanophile

It’s no secret the economy has been in a terrible state. How and when will it turn around? ... four typologies: Global City, Regional Business Center, Industry Cluster, and Rust Belt. ... Regional business centers are diverse, but often predominantly feature tradeable industries. Atlanta is a good example here. These may be thriving places to do business in many respects – and there are many of them in America. But in some ways it seems their ability to generate economic value and wealth is eroding. Between 2001 and 2008 (the maximum range available), Atlanta’s GDP per capita actually declined by 6%. Its per capita personal income over that period declined from 109% of the US average to 95%, a stunning 14 percentage point drop that was the worst in the country among metros greater than one million in population. This is just more confirmation of what I said before, that Atlanta is a troubled region. But beyond Atlanta, it calls into question the entire Regional Business Center model. Over that 2001-2008 period, 12 or 13 of the top 15 declining large metros on a PCI vs. US average method are ones I’d classify as Regional Business Center. Most of them have added jobs. Some of them even added a lot of jobs, like #2 Raleigh-Cary. But it seems they have increasingly lower end economies from a wage perspective and potentially a value one. ...

.03 Saving the Great Lakes from Sprawl: Balanced Growth Ohio

Someone I trust recently told me that the way to approach regionalism is through the lens of water quality. He said economic and tax sharing appeals were failing. It’s good to see the state of Ohio is cognizant of these issues. Here’s more on the program from Green City Blue Lake.

.04 The Real Causes Of Our 'Jobless Recovery'


In retrospect, the artificially contrived growth environment of the 1990s was unsustainable due to a lack of sound dynamics. The nonsensical growth was based on easy money, real estate inflation, home equity extraction, the securitization of unaffordable mortgages, uncontrolled immigration by low-skill workers, and other dubious inputs. Burgeoning job growth in the financial sector served to camouflage the amount of damage wreaked upon the U.S. job market by the Bush and Clinton administrations. Government leaders said it was all hunky-dory as they sent U.S. capital and jobs overseas. As Jim Jubak observes, the second Bush administration was a disaster for the U.S. in terms of jobs. In 8 years just 3 million net jobs were added at a time when the country needed to create around 13 million jobs to keep up with a population increase of 22 million persons. Thus, America was already short on jobs when the financial crisis hit in 2008. ... America was not shopping for lasting quality or craftsmanship but for instant gratification. In short, we purchased the types of things that did not create good jobs at home. ... A national betterment ethos would have to develop where people relinquished individual foolhardiness in exchange for a stake in a better society. While such a turn is unlikely, it is useful to consider what it would take, theoretically, to get the engine of national good back on the tracks. If the national will cannot be directed wisely — if intellectual, political and religious leadership is inadequate — Americans will have to share the painful consequences.

.05 Regional Innovation Goes Rural

New Republic (Blog) - USA

One of the more gratifying aspects of the growing embrace not just by the Obama administration but Congress of regional innovation strategies (including those supporting regional industry clusters) has been the increased recognition among rural thinkers and actors that such strategies are in no way exclusively “urban” or cosmopolitan or high-tech. … Sec. Tom Vilsack’s creative Rural Innovation Initiative (see page 14 of the of the USDA Budget Summary)--a plan to increase the economic viability of rural communities by promoting a regional outlook in the planning and coordination of rural development programs at USDA. (See Chairman Rosa De Lauro’s statement on the markup). Intended to make available a pool of money to support regional planning and coordinate USDA assistance in rural communities, … the agency plans to set-aside and pool about five percent of the funding from approximately 20 existing programs for a total of $135 million and allocate these funds competitively among regional pilot projects tailored to local needs and opportunities. …

.06 Car Sharing Gets Personal, With Private Vehicles for Hire


California is close to revolutionizing the popular “car sharing” concept by empowering you, me and the neighbors to lend out our cars — for pay. It has the potential to dramatically expand the whole concept, because every private car (at least in California) will be sharable. The basic idea is that private car owners will make their cars (which, after all, sit idle on average more than 90 percent of the time) available to friends, neighbors or the wider public (their choice). They’re reimbursed from $5 to $8 an hour for the time someone else is behind the wheel. Social networking, GPS and cell communications will hook people up with cars. I think it’s a fantastic idea, if all the liability and safety questions are settled. That’s a significantly sized “if,” of course. ...

.07 CIA, ISI: Cooperation Comes at a Price

In Homeland Security Blog

Yesterday the AP ran a story that discussed the ongoing battle between the CIA and the Pakistani ISI. In the context of the War on Terror the US has been forced into a shotgun wedding of sorts with the Pakistanis. Both nations are hesitant to work with each other, but in the wake of the 9/11 attacks the renewed relationship was inevitable. When two nations are forced to work with one another their respective intelligence agencies will ultimately follow suit. But we shouldn't confuse diplomatic cooperation with intelligence cooperation. Diplomats are paid to make nice while intelligence agencies will cooperate with one another when forced, but will also target each other out of necessity. The article in question describes how the CIA was forced to review their list of informants because of suspicion that some were double agents working with the ISI (this turned out to be accurate). For those that are familiar with intelligence this sort of thing in nothing new. The US is operating in Pakistan which means that it is collecting intelligence in areas that would normally be inaccessible without the cooperation of the powers in Islamabad. In this type of environment it is understandable that individuals who have been recruited by the CIA may well work for the ISI. After all it is these assets that possess the intelligence that the CIA needs. We know that intelligence agencies are inherently secretive - they have to be. Intelligence agencies may cooperate and share some information, but any good spy agency is going to want to know as much as possible. This is why intelligence agencies run double agents against friendly countries and adversaries alike. ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Call for Papers - Virtualisation of space through inter-regional networks - October 4- 5, 2010 - Florence/Firenze, Italy

This research network is established with the aim of analyzing and discussing interregional networks involving regional actors belonging to different countries and their implications for theory and policy. In particular the hypothesis of a "virtualization" of the space for collaborative policies should be put to test.


* Nicola Bellini, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Ulrich Hilpert, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Italy

* Ulrich Hilpert, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Germany

Call for papers deadline: 25th August 2010

.02 Transportation Communications Newsletter

A free daily e-mail publication which provides news and information related to all aspects of communications in the transportation field. This includes a wide variety of topics such as: public and community relations, ITS (intelligent transportation systems), traveler information, outreach, and transportation operations. All modes of transport are included.

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 In praise of default -


The housing bubble was a massive, historic misallocation of capital. Wanting borrowers to keep paying over the odds for an asset, housing, which should be allowed to fall in price is to want to keep misallocating that capital. Rather than keeping house prices high and mortgage portfolios sound, the money that might go to repayments and interests would instead go to either consumption or investment in some other more rewarding area.

There are good reasons for the stigma against default; societies in which people can be counted on to honor their contracts generally produce better, fairer outcomes and are vastly more efficient. ... Let the bad lenders take their losses and, if need be, fail.

Jeffrey Gundlach … six ways to dig oneself out of a debt hole.

The first, growth, does not seem to be happening, at least in part because of the dead weight of debt and the lousy way it was allocated.

We are at the limits of the second, lower interest rates, so not much to hope for there.

A transfer payment from outside, the third, might work for Greece if Germany obliges, but is not a scalable solution.

Increasing taxes or cutting spending, Gundlach’s fourth option, are both politically difficult and could cause a downward spiral.

We’ve already printed money, the fifth option, and in my opinion may well print a whole lot more.

Option six is default, and Gundlach predicated some form of “polite default” from the United States either on entitlements or debts.

That I am not sure about, but what is clear is that the United States, because it did not want to sort out its banks properly, took on what may prove to be an unsustainable debt load in order to keep the collateral underlying the system afloat.

.02 Principles on Cross Border Supervisory Cooperation

International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)

The report and sample Memorandum of Understanding, set out how securities regulators can better build and maintain cross-border cooperative relationships that will allow them to more effectively oversee financial services providers such as investment advisers, asset managers, hedge funds, credit rating agencies, exchanges and clearing houses, that operate in multiple jurisdictions.

General Principles Relating to Cooperation

1. Authorities should, on the basis of mutual trust, consult, cooperate and be willing to share information to assist each other in fulfilling their respective supervisory and oversight responsibilities for regulated entities operating across borders, such as intermediaries, collective investment schemes, hedge funds, credit rating agencies, clearing organizations, trade warehouses and markets.

2. Where obstacles to supervisory information-sharing exist, authorities should undertake to address such obstacles.

3. Authorities should consult with each other and share risk analysis assessments and information to support the identification, assessment and mitigation of risks to markets and investors.

4. Authorities should consult, cooperate and, to the extent possible, share information regarding entities of systemic significance or whose activities could have a systemic impact on markets.

5. Authorities should cooperate in the day-to-day and routine oversight of internationally-active regulated entities.

6. Authorities should provide advance notification and consult, where possible and otherwise as soon as practicable, regarding issues that may materially affect the respective regulatory or supervisory interests of another authority.

Principles Relating to the Mechanisms for Cooperation

7. Mechanisms for supervisory cooperation should be designed to provide information both for routine supervisory purposes and during periods of crisis.

8. Authorities should undertake ongoing and ad hoc staff communications regarding globally-active regulated entities as well as more formal periodic meetings, particularly as new or complex regulatory issues arise.

9. As appropriate, authorities should enter into memoranda of understanding to share relevant supervisory information in their possession.

10. In the event of significant cross-border linkages, affiliations, combinations or mergers among regulated entities such as exchanges, intermediaries, credit rating agencies and clearing organizations, authorities should commit to and establish colleges for working together in the oversight of the combined entities.

11. IOSCO should use the Standing Committee networks for consultation in identifying, assessing, and where appropriate, addressing emerging regulatory issues and risks that may have material cross-border implications in areas such as, for example, issuer disclosure and governance, market transparency, conflicts of interest among market intermediaries and risks that may be arising on the perimeters of current regulation.

Principles Relating to the Mechanics, Process, Terms and Conditions of Cooperation

12. Requests for information should make clear the supervisory reasons underlying the requesting authority’s interest so that the requested authority is better able to understand the nature, scope and purpose of the request, whether it has a related interest in the matter, and whether it may have additional unsolicited information that may be of assistance to the requesting authority.

13. Where requested information is in the possession of unsupervised third parties, an authority should use its best efforts to gather the information or, where permitted by law, obtain that information on behalf of the requesting authority or assist the requesting authority in obtaining the information directly from the third party.

14. In connection with regulated entities that operate across borders, authorities should establish procedures for cooperation, including, where applicable, for discussion of relevant examination reports, for assistance in analyzing documents or obtaining information from a regulated entity and its directors or senior management, and for collaboration regarding the timing, scope and role of authorities with respect to any cross-border on-site visits of a regulated entity.

15. Supervisory information obtained from another authority should be used only for purposes agreed upon by the authorities.

16. Supervisory cooperation arrangements should describe the processes the parties should use if an authority subsequently determines that it needs to use requested supervisory information for law enforcement or disciplinary purposes, such as obtaining the consent of the requested authority and handling such information in accordance with the terms of existing MOUs for enforcement cooperation.

17. Authorities must establish and maintain appropriate confidential safeguards to protect all non-public supervisory information obtained from another authority.

18. Supervisory cooperation arrangements should describe the degree to which an authority may onward-share to a third party any non-public supervisory information received from another authority, and the processes for doing so (such as, for example, obtaining the consent of the requested party before onward-sharing any non-public supervisory information received). Where appropriate, authorities should consider whether abbreviated mechanisms for onward-sharing could be developed in appropriate circumstances, for example for third authorities (foreign or domestic) with a direct regulatory interest in the regulated entity.


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. This newsletter is research seeking confirmation of this thesis.

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.

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