Regional Community Development News – August 23 & September 6, 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 - .15

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .05

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .04

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .03

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

Bold Italic highlights phrases relating to regional communities.


Top Regional Community stories

1. RITA Could Be Catalyst For Growth - Fort Smith Times Record - Fort Smith, AK, USA

RITA is learning to walk.

Once the Regional Intermodal Transportation Authority masters that, local officials hope it can carry transportation infrastructure improvements that will bring positive change and jobs to the Fort Smith region.

Through his job as intermodal manager at the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District [], Mat Pitsch does much of the administrative work for RITA.

“If you look at both (the Fort Smith and northwest Arkansas) regions together, we have tons to promote,” said Mike Malone, Northwest Arkansas Council [] executive director. “I went with Mat to D.C., and we talked a lot about the combined (Metropolitan Statistical Areas). If it were a combined MSA, we would be the 68th-largest MSA nationwide. Other than the Ozark Mountains, we’re connected by interstate and rail. We have shared interest in (the completion of) I-49. …

Fred Abousleman, National Association of Regional Councils executive director, said regionalism — cooperation between cities, counties and states — is growing. It’s an efficient way to leverage scarce resources in a recession and maximize strengths.

Transportation is a natural fit for regional cooperation because its transportation infrastructure that connects cities, counties and states, he said.

… RITA is the central circle in three concentric circles. Outside the Crawford and Sebastian counties that fill the center circle is another that surrounds Benton, Washington, Crawford and Sebastian counties.

A third encompasses those and parts of eastern Oklahoma.

If transportation improvements and regional cooperation are catalysts for future growth, then those circles one day may define a “megaregion” — a buzz word used to describe clusters of cities with interlocking economies, common natural resources and shared transportation links.

When RITA celebrates its birthday in 2020, a megaregion may be in the process of being born.

2. Metro pushes transit for Surrey, not UBC - The Vancouver Sun - Vancouver, BC, CA

Metro Vancouver is expected to be home to 3.4 million people by 2040 -- a million more than now -- with a third of the new residents expected to live in Surrey and White Rock …

Under the regional growth strategy, Metro is proposing to develop more "urban centres" with office, retail, community and cultural space, and higher density housing to keep people living and working closer to home or along transit corridors.

Metro has been struggling for years to concentrate development in these centres, and to curb sprawl from extending into rural areas.

Surrey Coun. Judy Villeneuve said her city is in desperate need of more transit, especially as it's set to become the second largest metropolitan region in the province. The city is developing its town centres to become more transit-dependent, she said, while also looking at alternatives such as light rail, heritage rail and more community buses.

"Our transit network is very poor," she said, adding that Vancouver already has a better transit system than Surrey. "Vancouver is a place where you don't need a car. Surrey is a place where you have to have a car. [Vancouver] may have to look at waiting [for transit] just like we have."

"That's where the region is changing the most and that's where we need transit," he said, adding: "It shouldn't be put off.... If we put rapid transit in there, it would put a big impact on the development community on where it wants to go."

Carline said it's more difficult to retrofit a community for high-density transit hubs after it has been developed, particularly if a city has decided to turn swaths of cheap land into low-density, sprawling office parks.

The draft regional growth report -- the fifth to be released since the 1960s -- has been in the works since 2002. …

3. Dove: Future bright for development in Northeast Georgia - Online Athens - Athens Banner-Herald - Athens, GA, USA

Despite the economic crunch of the latter part of this decade, the region continues to grow its population base. The 12-county region, Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe and Walton counties, had a population of 438,300 in 2000. U.S. Census Bureau estimates the population at 584,008 in 2009, an increase of 33 percent from the previous census. …

This population surge continues due to several factors. …

The state Department of Labor provides work force statistics utilizing the boundaries of the state's 12 regional commissions. Only two of the state's regions had a lower unemployment rate than ours in June. …

With the emphasis on industrial and commercial recruitment and expansion by industrial development authorities, chambers of commerce and elected officials, jobs continue to be created in our region. …

Work Ready Certificate attainment through July in our 12 counties is as follows: …

Economic development in the region is positively impacted by many of our municipalities relative to downtown redevelopment. Main Street and Better Hometown Programs focus on a community driven and comprehensive strategy to revitalize historic downtown and neighborhood business districts. …

In summary, the Northeast Georgia region will continue to flourish. Local officials are willing to cooperate in efforts related to infrastructure improvement and enhancement. There are considerable efforts to ensure water is available for the foreseeable future.

A meeting recently was held to learn more regarding advantages of participating in a regional transportation sales tax. A 10-county solid waste management plan recently was drafted. And the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission recently began efforts to prepare a regional comprehensive plan that will serve as a blueprint for policymakers through 2035. This region is viewed by state and federal officials as one where cooperation and building partnerships are an everyday occurrence.

• Jim Dove is the executive director of the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center. The Northeast Georgia RDC serves a 12-county region with involvement in local and regional planning. [ ]

4. MERHOFF: Regionalism according to Yoda - Indianapolis Business Journal - Indianapolis, IN, USA

Like most regions throughout the country, central Indiana has been trying for years to plan and act regionally, following the success stories of the Charlottes, Denvers and Louisvilles of the world. It isn’t easy.

For one, there’s our natural bias for what we see as ours, and what’s “ours” is pretty close by. If a neighboring community has a problem that doesn’t directly affect us, then it’s their issue. We tout our own community’s success stories and deride others’. If the amenity isn’t in our city, then it’s foolish, ill-conceived or at least in the wrong place. We draw mental lines between cities when real barriers no longer exist.

Second, we presume a hierarchy exists, when a collaborative leadership network is the goal. Recently, Roland Dorson, president of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, convened a regional group to hear a review of central Indiana’s water supply, and discuss how collectively we might manage its future. The group’s intentions were challenged by several as “just another attempt to force surrounding communities to pay for an Indianapolis issue.” …

Third, like most people everywhere, we tend to work together only when things reach a crisis level. We’ll collaborate on a plan to leave the platform only after it’s already on fire.

In today’s connected world, none of these impediments to regional thinking makes any sense. Ted Abernathy, executive director of the Southern Growth Policies Board, spoke recently at the American Chamber of Commerce Executives convention to a large, national audience of chamber leaders hungry for advice on how to create successful collaboration and regionalism. The fact that areas acting regionally are winning the economic development game is not lost on chamber executives.

5. Salaries surprising in the St. Petersburg-Tampa sibling rivalry - St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, FL, USA

Now here's something interesting when it comes to the simmering sibling rivalry between Tampa and St. Petersburg.

No, I'm not talking about where the Tampa Bay Rays may one day play. I'm not even talking about that regional nickname, "Tampa Bay," which rankles some St. Petersburg folks by failing to actually mention St. Petersburg.

But if it seems like all Tampa all the time, consider this tidbit about our respective mayors:

St. Petersburg's Bill Foster makes more money than Tampa's Pam Iorio.

In fact, St. Petersburg's police chief makes more than Tampa's mayor.

Take that, Tampa!

Iorio doesn't worry about pay disparity. "The pay is just not what it's all about," she says.

Foster wasn't aware of it, and has only good things to say about his next-door neighbor.

In fact, when it comes to rivalry, everyone's sounding awfully hands-across-the-bay these days, talking regional rather than parochial.

The Republican National Convention? Foster's glad Tampa got it — those "party animals" will surely make their way to his side of the pond for hotels, museums, restaurants and parks.

And though others in her town might think differently, Iorio expresses no interest in luring the Rays. "I believe in regionalism, and I believe the assets of the region belong to all of us," she has said.

Meanwhile, he's taking her to lunch and to see a recent feather in St. Petersburg's cap, the Chihuly exhibit.

And she's looking forward to it.

"I've always said what's good for Tampa is good for St. Pete," Foster says.

Except, of course, when it comes to where the Rays will ultimately play.

But, hey, that's another sibling rivalry story for another day.

6. Regional and local government - Association of Corporate Counsel - UK

Our comment:

The Coalition has effectively abolished the regional tier of government in England. At one stage, the previous administration had high hopes for transforming the government of the English regions by devolving power to democratically elected assemblies along the lines of that in Wales. But, having failed to carry the policy in a referendum in the north east in 2004, its intentions dissolved. English regionalism was left with nothing but the RDAs, the Government Offices and a few largely insignificant appendages. It had little underpinning in the form of public knowledge or support, and shallow roots that have been easily pulled up.

Nonetheless, there is little doubt that the current changes are politically driven. Regionalism is a concept much loved by the European Commission, and therefore not much loved by many in the Coalition. And the RDAs are being abolished in spite of general support for their work within the regional business communities, and recent research by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggesting that their investments represent good value for money. It is questionable whether the new LEPs, for which the budget will be significantly lower than that which has been available to the RDAs, can hope to have a similar impact.

Ultimately, whether this amounts to a recentralisation of power in Whitehall, or to something more positive, will depend greatly on the role of local authorities. The rhetoric of the Coalition points to a new emphasis on localism in place of regional government. But, is this just convenient cover, or a genuine attempt to devolve powers to the lowest level? And, if the latter, can councils be given the powers, and adapt the capability, to step into the role? The proposed Localism Bill is, in principle, one of the more interesting and important of the many draft pieces of legislation shortly to be introduced into Parliament.

7. Two-state regional plan proposed - Rome News Tribune - Rome, GA, USA

The Floyd County Commission is expected to discuss Tuesday if it will join a 25-county consortium in Northwest Georgia and Southeast Tennessee to create a strategic regional development plan.

The partnership — spurred by the economic ripple effect of Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant and other new industries — is preparing to seek a Sustainable Communities planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The U.S. Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency also are involved in the competitive new program that could provide as much as $5 million to the region.

“The more counties that participate, the more points the grant application will get,” County Manager Kevin Poe said. “I’m not sure right now how we’d directly benefit, but there is speculation that the feds will want regional efforts for future grant awards.”

The trend is apparent in Georgia, where there is a growing focus on funding joint projects within the 12 regional commission districts.

The state legislature also addressed a transportation funding shortage this year by creating a mechanism for each district to come up with a package of projects to be funded through a regional sales tax.

“They’re forcing us to be regional,” Commission Chairman Eddie Lumsden said. “It’s the carrot-and-stick.”

The 15-county Northwest Georgia Regional Commission and the 10-county Southeast Tennessee Development District are spearheading the grant application, along with the Chattanooga Area Regional Council of Governments.

If awarded, the 3-year grant will fund a long-range plan to integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation and infrastructure investments.

The goal is for one jurisdiction to be able to easily leverage another jurisdiction’s resources.

Poe said regional efforts have benefited the county in the past.

8. Area leaders take step toward regionalism - The Natchez Democrat - Natchez, MI, USA

The Miss-Lou got another step closer to achieving a united front against many social and economic problems at the regionalism luncheon Tuesday.

The chairperson for each of the four sub-committees set up by the Miss-Lou Steering Committee spoke at the luncheon, outlining future goals they had for their groups.

Natchez Mayor Jake Middleton opened the luncheon in the Natchez Convention Center by saying he was grateful for the cooperation of everyone in the area.

“It is great to have three chambers of commerce working together to move this area forward,” Middleton said.

The four areas in which the steering committee is working on improvement are health care, education, economic development and community development.

Sarah Smith, chairperson for the subcommittee on health care, said there are many areas of health care in which the Miss-Lou is in need of help.

“Our public needs to be educated on health care options that are available to them,” she said. “We need to work on getting health care information out to the public.”

Smith said encouraging physicians to come to the area and also encouraging patients to stay in the area for treatment are two of the biggest goals for the committee.

“Sixty percent of patients leave the Miss-Lou for health care,” Smith said. “We need our hospitals to work together to convince patients to stay in the area to be treated.”

Smith said her committee is working on ways of getting the public aware of health care options.

“In the spring we are looking at having a regional health care event,” she said. “We are going to have physicians come in and talk to the citizens about health care.”

Ruth Nichols, chairperson for the subcommittee on education, said the subcommittee is working on ways of waiving the out-of-state tuition fees for students in the region.

“We have made some progress on this,” she said. “Alcorn State University did set up a fund to alleviate tuition for 100 students this fall.”

Nichols also said the group was working on educating the parents in the area.

“If the parents are educated we will have more support for the school systems,” Nichols said. “With help from Alcorn, we are going to be doing community surveys to help get a true report of issues and concerns in the region.”

9. County HR explores regionalization - The Daily Journal - Fergus Falls, MN, USA

Otter Tail County’s Human Services Agency, seeing employees doing more with fewer people due to a hiring freeze since December 2008, is taking a close look at sharing responsibilities with Becker, Clay and Wilkin counties. Those counties and others in Region 4 will develop a Service Delivery Authority (SDA) in a manner that will jointly provide human service programs to eligible clients.

“Regionalization with other counties is something we’re exploring,” said Human Services Director John Dinsmore to members of the County Board of Commissioners who held their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Government Services Center in New York Mills. “We’re increasing utilization of contracted services to provide essential programs while reducing our overall expenditure budget.”

… He pointed out three major changes.

The first, said Dinsmore, is the use of technology via scanning/document imaging to enable more efficient work processes. Next is utilization of what he terms as “out-of-class assignment positions.” This would involve rehiring of former employees via a temporary employment agency, and the use of a recently developed phased retirement enabling eligible employees to work up to 20 hours per week as part-time employees.

A third option, said Dinsmore, is exploration of the possibility to hire or reassign other county workers from within county government’s other departments to serve as financial workers.

“We’ve begun to analyze implementation of an alternative caseload management system,” he said, “referred to as the case bank approach. Program areas include health care, cash and food stamp service, family services, adult services and child care.”

Dinsmore told commissioners that the traditional caseload management model has become increasingly less viable. He said that program growth and corresponding caseload sizes have steadily and significantly increased in the past three years. At the same time, the agency’s workforce has been reduced by 12 full-time equivalent staff positions.

RC: West Central Initiative - Region 4

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 Interstate 81 session may mull transportation, bring 6 states together in Roanoke

The Roanoke Times - Roanoke, VA, USA

Representatives of all six states along the nearly 900-mile Interstate 81 corridor would gather in the Roanoke Valley this fall to discuss common issues around the interstate's traffic and outlook under a proposal from the state's transportation chief. Secretary Sean Connaughton said Wednesday that he is inviting the transportation leaders of Tennessee, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York to continue work begun two years ago on a plan to improve the I-81 corridor. … Connaughton is now calling for another meeting of the I-81 Regional Commerce Corridor States. ... Everyone seems to be talking about I-81. The state highway leader group that Connaughton hopes to bring back together bears a name similar to the I-81 Corridor Coalition, which is making a parallel effort from the ground up by involving police, emergency medical services and economic development agencies, as well as state and federal officials. The I-81 Corridor Coalition said it will meet separately on Nov. 15 and 16 at a place to be announced near Hagerstown, Md., or Martinsburg, W.Va. "These efforts are both worthwhile. Both have many of the same objectives," said Rick Rovegno, a county commissioner in Pennsylvania and I-81 Corridor Coalition leader. If the coalition is invited to the October Roanoke meeting, its members will be interested in attending, said Rovegno, who sees a basis for exploring the merger of the two groups.

.02 The Smart-Growth Set - Washington, D.C., USA

Most fights among D.C. residents somehow involve parking. So you could argue that David Alpert’s introduction to local political warfare was only typical. Alpert’s position in the fracas, though, was somewhat unique. Where most Washingtonians tend to kvetch about how difficult it is to snag a street spot, Alpert wanted less parking, not more. Back in 2008, as the District’s Zoning Commission started work on a comprehensive rewrite, Alpert embraced the idea of decreasing the number of parking spots required for new developments. “That was my first exposure to the antis,” Alpert says, employing his general label for people who oppose change on principle. “Because I went to these meetings, and there were these people, like Barbara Zartman from the Committee of 100. She was there to fight hard for keeping the zoning the way it was, basically, against the efforts of the Office of Planning to upset the apple cart of these prohibitions on lots of things.” Alpert took to the blog he had started earlier that year, Greater Greater Washington [ ], to launch his counterintuitive counteroffensive. For 10 days, he posted one reason per day why parking minimums were bad: They make housing more expensive and render good commercial development projects unfeasible, he argued. They increase traffic. They’re a reason, in other words, that locals pay so much in rent, have so few places to shop, and spend so much time in traffic. ... “David has given us the best in the nation in terms of blogging communication,” says Stewart Schwartz, president of the 13-year-old coalition. “It taps into some very smart people in the Washington, D.C., region. I may not be using the term correctly, but it is a form of crowdsourcing.” ...

.03 New tool helps consumers see how location impacts transportation costs

Initiative for Sustainable Communities and States – Washington, DD, USA

Land located on the fringe of an urban region is often less expensive than land located closer to downtown. Many planners and sustainability leaders know, however, that those land prices can hide higher costs of transportation. The cost of driving long distances to reach work, school, or the grocery store can add up fast. An updated tool from CNT provides a straightforward way for local governments to market downtown housing and help consumers make their housing choices with as much information as possible. With Abogo, simply enter an address [ ] and see the estimated monthly household transportation costs. Compare different locations within your region to get a clear picture of how much money can be saved with an efficiently located home.

.04 Local leaders discuss regional sustainability

Sacramento Press - Sacramento, CA, USA

Local leaders in the fields of politics, business and environmentalism gathered in Sacramento on Friday to brainstorm how the region could advance its efforts to become more economically and environmentally sustainable. The Sacramento Metro Chamber’s “State of the Region” event focused on sustainability in the area’s communities. Chamber spokesman Hal Silliman said more than 300 people attended the event, which was held at the Hyatt hotel downtown and included a panel of local leaders and a presentation from an Environmental Protection Agency analyst. Elected officials from around the region — including Davis, Sacramento, Folsom and Citrus Heights — listened to the panel. Matthew Dalbey, a senior policy analyst with the EPA, told the audience the Sacramento area is renowned for its “Blueprint,” which serves as a guide on sustainable regional planning. The “blueprint” was approved in 2004 by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. “You all know that the ‘blueprint’ is looked on as a model for communities across the country,” Dalbey said. Still, Dalbey urged regional leaders to ramp up their efforts. ...

.05 A Win for Regional Innovation

... pioneering Energy Regional Innovation Cluster program represents a whole new level of interagency coordination rarely before seen from the federal government—a triumph for the Obama administration and the Recovery Act. The Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Small Business Administration, the Department of Labor, the Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation will all coordinate new and existing programs to deliver grants, services, and programmatic support to the researchers, builders, and entrepreneurs of the new innovation cluster. The hope is that by bringing together diverse public and private sector actors to solve a problem collaboratively, the sum of the whole will exceed the sum of the individual parts. The diverse group of organizations in the winning consortium, which goes by the name Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster or, GPIC, includes 11 academic institutions, two DOE laboratories, five high-profile industry partners, and federal and regional economic development agencies. Not all members of the consortium are local. Some are multinational corporations such as IBM Corp., or are located as far away as Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California. While final details of the funding for GPIC are yet to be finalized, the initial Funding Opportunity Announcement for the E-RIC program issued by the government indicated that the approximately $129 million in grant funding and programmatic support ...

.06 Mapping Troubled Housing Markets

Creative Class Exchange

... While the U.S. housing market saw a sharp drop in July and millions of homeowners remain underwater, housing market troubles vary significantly by metro region. ... The first map ... shows the percentages of mortgages that are underwater across U.S. metros. ... The second map shows the performance of U.S. metros on the overall Housing-Mortgage Stress Index. The most troubled metros are located primarily in California, Florida, and Nevada. ... Among large metros — those with more than 1 million people — Tampa, Detroit, Atlanta, San Diego, Jacksonville, Washington, D.C., Virginia Beach, Chicago, and L.A. show high levels of housing-mortgage stress, along with the five noted above — Riverside, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento, and Miami. There is still a great deal of localized stress in the U.S. housing market, and recovery is likely to take a lot longer than most people anticipate.

.07 We say ... Let’s be regional friends

Bluffton Today - Bluffton, SC, USA

Noteworthy overtures for Jasper County, Beaufort County and their municipalities to work in a cooperative, regional spirit surfaced last week on both sides of the county line. In ajoint meeting, leaders of Jasper County, Hardeeville and Ridgeland took steps to offer an “olive branch” to Beaufort County. ... they made a major focus on future development and how other counties, especially Beaufort County, can be recruited to work with them in a regional effort to draw new businesses and jobs. They talked about arranging cross-county meetings to become allies. Ridgeland Mayor Gary Hodges said, “We need them. They need us. But they don’t realize it yet.” In Bluffton on Wednesday, Planning Commission Chairman Andrew Colvin raised the regionalism flag ... passed a motion ... recommending a staff review “to reenergize and expand regional cooperation with respect to corridor review and related transportation issues.” Let’s hope the parties can keep thinking about how were all in this together and start working cooperatively for the region’s good.

.08 Massachusetts Invests $450,000 For Schools To Explore Regionalization


Building on the Patrick-Murray Administration’s efforts to strengthen partnerships with cities and towns across the Commonwealth, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray announced a total of $450,000 in regionalization planning and implementation grants that will be distributed to eight school districts statewide. The grants will help school districts explore efficiencies in budgeting through expanded partnerships and increased capacity to improve teaching and learning in schools. The Patrick-Murray Administration has focused on school district regionalization as a way to help school districts discover new opportunities for shared budgeting to purchase goods and services, build teaching capacity and share best practices and educational approaches to help all students access a 21st century education. ...

.09 Cumru agrees to study of regional firefighting

Reading Eagle - Reading, PA, USA

A proposal to study a regional fire department for the Gov. Mifflin area got a boost Tuesday from Cumru Township. Five months after they voted down a similar proposal, the township commissioners voted 5-0 to commit up to $10,000 to explore a regional department. Kenhorst and Mohnton are expected to follow Cumru's lead. Shillington borough approved the proposal last week. The study also will look at how to improve each of the area's existing fire departments if the regional plan fizzles again. Cumru Fire Chief Scott Brady said the individual reports are essential because it would take years to form a regional force and because the study could help the departments better use their resources now. ...

.10 Coloring Detroit

Next American City - Philadelphia, PA, USA

... Heidelberg Project, which is on Heidelberg Street on Detroit’s eastside, was started by Detroit native Tyree Guyton in 1986. ... Guyton’s goal to clean up the street started with sweeping, picking up trash and clearing the sidewalk. Working with his wife and father, Guyton added a paintbrush and some neighborhood kids to the mix. Eventually, they started painting abandoned houses, using their brushes as artists, not painters. Now Heidelberg Street is a color wheel explosion. The houses are large-scale mosaics, the streets and sidewalks look like something from a children’s board game and the statues and installations are as much a part of the neighborhood as the people. Even the trees have pizazz. “It’s the energy of art that’s bringing people together,” says Jenenne Whitfield, executive director of the Heidelberg Project. “It transcends so many boundaries, race, class, all of that. The city is so horribly segregated but this has been really successful in bringing in people from all over the region.” ...

.11 Fort Vancouver Regional Library director sees muted victory in levy - Portland, OR, USA

When Executive Director Bruce Ziegman left a watch party the night of a vote to raise the Fort Vancouver Regional Library levy, the measure was trailing. As election officials counted more ballots last month, the levy took a slight lead and hung on, passing by just over one-quarter of a percent. But it failed to carry Clark County, the library district's population core, and was buoyed by strong showings in Klickitat and Skamania counties. Ziegman told The Oregonian that the slim margins tempered the win and that he blames the close vote mostly on the economy. ... in more rural areas, they place a very high value on libraries. The library is, I believe, the nicest public space in town. Not that people in Clark County don't care about libraries, but it's very special in the smaller communities. ...

.12 Scientists search for invasive marine species

Bangor Daily News - Bangor, ME, USA

A team of 25 scientists surveying piers, docks and coves on the region’s coast for invasive pests is documenting the growing problem of sea squirts as well as a newcomer, red alga, that has been spreading in southern New England. ... This is the fourth time since 2000 that scientists have surveyed the New England coastline to collect information on ocean invaders. The survey is coordinated by the MIT Sea Grant program, the Massachusetts Bays Program and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, with assistance from estuary programs in different states. There are at least 64 plants and animals, ranging from sea anemones to barnacles and crabs, that are not native to the region and now can be found in New England waters, Smith said. ...,150195

.13 Get Out the Shovel: Metro Wants Regional Connector Underground

LA Curbed - Los Angeles, CA, USA

Metro kept to their deadlines and released both environmental impact reports for the Regional Connector project and the Westside subway extension by putting them out before the end of summer (just under the wire). More on the subway soon. The Regional Connector is a two-mile link which "would include several new stations downtown and would allow continuous train operations between Long Beach and Azusa and from East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley to Santa Monica without the need to transfer," according to the EIR. Metro looked at four options--building nothing, connecting trains with at-grade stations downtown, connecting trains with a mostly underground route downtown, and finally, doing the whole darn thing underground (image is of a typical underground station). They chose the last option, supported by downtown locals, as their recommendation. Metro is planning to use a mix of local, state, and federal funds to pay for the $1.24 billion project, with the bulk of the funding from Measure R. ...

.14 Audit of regional centers finds nepotism, fear of retaliation

California Watch – CA, USA

A nonprofit executive awarded state funds to her sister even though the service was available at a lower cost. A chief executive breached a confidential police tipline. And workers spent $900,000 on transportation - purposely spiking the budget to ensure more money the next year. Those were some of the findings in a Bureau of State Audits report about state oversight of regional centers, nonprofit organizations that spend about $3.4 billion annually to serve 240,000 Californians with developmental disabilities. The state’s Department of Developmental Services oversees the 21 regional centers throughout the state, which contract with other nonprofits that render direct services to clients such as in-home care and transportation. ... audit found that the regional centers did little to justify or create an objective base for setting rates for services, a responsibility that state DDS overseers say is not in their purview. ... Department of Developmental Services deputy director Rita Walker said in an interview that the agency has sent directives to the regional centers reminding them to shore up policies and procedures related to contracting, service purchasing and conflict of interest. However, DDS took exception with an audit recommendation that it do more to oversee vendor selection and cost-benefit analyses among competing vendors. The state said such a role is best filled by the regional centers. ...

.15 SHINING LIGHT AWARD WINNERS: 4 work tirelessly as region boosters - Detroit, MI, USA

Four metro Detroiters who spend their lives forging partnerships that have improved the region are this year's winners of the Shining Light Regional Cooperation Awards. They've improved health care, helped protect one of the region's most popular waterways, created a Detroit welcome center and eased tensions between community groups. Each will be honored at a public breakfast Oct. 14 by the Free Press and the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition. This year's winners are: ...

.16 Praise for 'Poly, City' article

Baltimore Sun - Baltimore, MD, USA

The Baltimore Sun continues to make a unique contribution to the regional community by highlighting important stories that would not appear elsewhere. The story "Poly and City under scrutiny" (Aug. 22) is an excellent example. Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and Baltimore City College are storied examples of just how good urban education can be. …,0,281528.story

.17 Registry adds value to regional data exchange

Healthcare IT News - Maine, USA

CareSpark, a nonprofit regional health information organization (RHIO) serving Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, is proving the value of health information exchanges through several projects that rely on its provider registry. As a participant in the Social Security Administration (SSA) pilot project, CareSpark receives patient authorization requests from SSA and forwards the necessary provider records to SSA through secure messaging. This electronic process reduces the turnaround time for disability determination from weeks to hours, according to Pat Pope, provider relations coordinator for CareSpark. As a result, both patients and healthcare providers get paid more quickly. "We're taking the doctor's office out of the process," Pope said....

.18 Sixth Annual Regional Infrastructure Conference Set

Central Fort Bend Chamber Alliance - Rosenberg, TX, USA

The Central Fort Bend Chamber Alliance (CFBCA) and the organization’s Infrastructure Department, chaired by Justin Ring of Edminster Hinshaw Russ & Assoc., have just released the schedule of speakers for their Sixth Annual Fort Bend Regional Infrastructure Conference. ... Now known as one of the leading resources for updates, forecasts, technical information and project leads on area roads, highways, rail, ports, natural resources and environmental issues, and attracting some of the state’s foremost authorities on those subjects, the conference relocated to a larger venue this year in order to accommodate the high attendance demands. ... Three keynote speakers will anchor the event with information focused on varying aspects of infrastructure in Fort Bend and Harris counties. ...

RC: Houston-Galveston Area Council -

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 China's monster traffic jam gone – for now

World Blog MSNBC News – Beijing, China

... The mega-backup on National Expressway 110 (or G110) had begun on August 14. ("Expressway" is a rather exalted name for what at times, far away from the capital, was no more than a two-lane dirt path.) Even under the best circumstances, the G110 is susceptible to gridlock. Every day, thousands of trucks, carrying eight tons or more, bear down on the expressway. The G110 also attracts commercial vehicles because it's free – unlike the main highway which charges by vehicle weight and distance travelled. All this traffic has, ahem, taken its toll on the road, and earlier this month authorities decided to undertake repairs on a section close to Beijing. Closing off parts of the thruway ground everything down to a snail's pace. Some sections reported speeds of no more than a third of a mile a day, if at all. ... Congestion has spiked in the past year despite efforts to manage the flow, prompting most of us in the NBC News Beijing bureau to become hardcore cyclists. A recent study by IBM revealed that workers in the Chinese capital suffer the worst "commuter pain" – more than those in Mexico City, Johannesburg, or New Delhi....

.02 The Inconvenient Truth About Traffic Math: Progress Is Slow

The Wall Street Journal - New York, NY, USA

This month's 60-mile traffic jam in China has demonstrated a frustrating truth about traffic: It is far easier to measure than mitigate. Mathematicians, engineers and planners are making steady advances in assessing traffic congestion and explaining it. Radar and GPS devices help pinpoint cars and relay traffic data in real time. And sophisticated models can explain maddening phenomena such as phantom jams, when cars slow even without congestion. But traffic math's strides in reducing congestion are modest, simply because the number of cars often exceeds roadway capacity. If population and the economy keep growing, "there is absolutely no way congestion can stop increasing," says Alex Bayen, an associate professor of systems engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. ... David Schrank, co-author of the institute's Urban Mobility Study, says things would be even worse without creative, data-driven measures to manage traffic, such as ramp metering, which controls the flow of vehicles onto highways. But these tools don't make a huge difference: They shaved an average of about three minutes of travel time for each rush-hour commuter, each week. This still might be a better track record than the alternative approach of adding roads, which traffic engineers say often have only a fleeting impact on easing congestion. Instead, new roads lead to more travel, because of an effect that Martin Wachs, director of RAND Corp.'s transportation, space, and technology program, describes as triple convergence. Many drivers who had shifted their trips to off-peak hours, or to different roads, or to public transit, resume their previous pattern and converge onto the new highway. Rather than plan new roads, most traffic engineers are working to spread traffic out more evenly. The first step is to measure demand more accurately. In the 1930s, traffic engineers stood on the side of the road, clipboard and stopwatch in hand. Today, they have tools such as radar, lidar, detectors embedded in roads, and video ...

.03 China’s prospects for diminishing regional disparities

East Asia Forum

In the three decades since Deng Xiaoping declared that China’s economic development would necessarily involve some people becoming rich before others, inequalities have risen steadily across (and within) China’s provinces and regions. To some extent, this outcome has been the natural consequence of market forces in a large developing economy; the historical and geographical advantages of the east ensured industrialisation would occur there first. Deng’s Open Door Policy and Coastal Development Strategy compounded these advantages with a range of preferential policies explicitly promoting the development of the eastern region. Yet Deng insisted that there would be no polarisation of rich and poor in the longer term, and that people elsewhere simply needed a little patience, referring to the ‘two great situations’ in which coastal provinces would be given advantages during the early reform years but would subsequently be expected to subordinate their interests to interior areas. ...

.04 Fire services 'wasted millions on new look control centres' - London, UK

Nine regional “super control centres” built to replace smaller units have been empty for up to three years partly because of problems with IT systems. Taxpayers have been left footing a rent bill of more than a £1 million a month. The nine control centres were constructed as part of a government project, known as FiReControl, to revamp and regionalise the fire service and reduce the number of centres that handled emergency calls. Scheduled to cost around £340million, costs have since swollen to £423 million. The centres were established after concerns were raised about the lack of capabilities for authorities to react to major disasters. However, some problems with computer systems, installed by European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) mean certain new centres may not be in operation until 2013. ...

.05 Pacific Women Call for Stronger Regional Processes to Accelerate Equality

Solomon Times Online - Honiara, Solomon Islands

The 11th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women held at SPC headquarters in Noumea from 16-20 August 2010 called for stronger regional multi-sectoral processes and mechanisms to accelerate the achievement of equality between women and men in the Pacific Island region. The call came in response to a regional report and presentation by SPC showing that while there are good examples of progress, overall implementation of commitments to gender equality has been slow in many areas over the past 15 years, and that national and regional institutions for gender equality continue to face significant challenges in their work. Among the challenges are low staffing levels, limited resources and insufficient space and opportunity to contribute to and influence policy across the wide range of multi-sectoral development work going on in the region. "An increasing number of regional sectoral meetings are developing frameworks and making decisions on issues that impact on women's lives and human rights in unique ways," said presenter Treva Braun, SPC's Gender Equality Adviser. "These discussions and the resulting frameworks are usually not benefitting from the participation of national and regional gender equality specialists and as a result women's issues continue to be neglected. Better development results could be seen in these areas if we improve the way we do things."

Regional agencies also continue to operate without sufficient gender expertise in their staffing structures to ensure that women's needs and perspectives are front and centre in all development dialogues. ...

.06 Global financial crisis may hamper African health development

Afrique en ligne

The WHO regional Director for Africa, Dr. Luis Sambo, has warned there is a real danger that funding for health development in the African Region might be adversely affected by the ongoing global financial crisis, thereby compromising any ongoing national and international efforts in many countries to realize the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In a report to the ongoing 60th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa taking place in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Dr. Sambo indicated that between 200 8 and 2009, Africa's real average GDP growth rate declined from about 5% in 200 8 to 2.8% in 2009, with the total GDP of countries in the African Region shrinking by US$94.48 billion over the same period. The Regional Director said the key challenges that countries now needed to address included a decrease in per capita health spending by government, households and donors; reductions in expenditures on maintenance, medicines and other recurrent inputs; a surge in utilization of public health services as utilization of private sector health services decreases; disproportionate decrea se in the consumption of health services and food by the poor; inefficiencies in the use of resources allocated to health facilities; lack of institutionalizatio n of National Health Accounts; and lack of evidence of the impact of past economic crises in the African Region. ...

.07 Time running out for regional food security

Stabrock News - Georgetown, Guyana

Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud ... time is running out in the Caribbean for stakeholders to seriously tackle the issue of food security, which he said has implications for regional dependence. He underscored the jump in the Caribbean’s food import bill at the opening of a regional workshop aimed at formulating a policy, noting that current figures speak to a growing food insecurity situation in the region. Persaud questioned how serious collective efforts in the Caribbean have been over the years, and he asked of the gathering, “What have we been able to achieve?” ... Persaud referred to global initiatives which he said are being implemented to tackle food security, but according to him there are no visible preparations in the region to tap into the resources that are being made available. He emphasized that the global agencies recognize the urgency in the issue, and he questioned how quickly the region can move from formulation to implementation. “Are we fully committed to that task, in terms of quick delivery, and early and effective implementation?” the minister queried. ...

.08 Leaders of the West must plan region’s economic growth

Peace FM Online - Ghana

Members of Parliament, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) from the Western Region have been urged to work together to strategize and plan the region’s development towards accelerated economic growth. Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, who made the call, expressed worry that though the region produces the bulk of the nation’s resources it is among the least developed. He, therefore, impressed upon its political leaders to consider it expedient to jointly identify, examine and map out strategies to deal the with the problems militating against the region’s development. The Minister made the call at the opening of a three-day retreat, organized by the Western Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) for the MPs, MMDCEs and heads of departments to deliberate on the unfortunate situation and find solutions to them. Traditional rulers also attended the retreat. ...

.09 Iran reinvigorates a strategy for regional dominance

As the endgame in Afghanistan begins to take shape, Iran has undertaken a series of political manoeuvrings to promote its interests in the war-ravaged country. By increasing its influence, the Iranian regime hopes to strengthen its domestic security as well as showing its teeth. On 5 August Teheran was hosting the fourth trilateral summit of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The three countries reached an agreement on the expansion of economic and cultural ties. During this summit, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposed the use of a single currency by the three countries and the launching of a joint TV station. ... The manipulation of the Persian language is one of the devices of this policy. The recent summit was given the deceptive title of ‘three Persian speaking countries’. ... Calling for a regional alliance in opposition to Nato, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said in his meeting with the presidents of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Iran that foreign military forces, “are today targeting and killing Afghan civilians, and their presence in Afghanistan has brought the Afghan people nothing but trouble, sedition, decay and corruption”. The regional alliance is a call for the resumption of the old alliance between Iran, India and Russia in order to protect their interests in Afghanistan once US troops leave the country. Iran is trying to restore the ancient Silk Road with a new project. This project will link Iran to the railroads of Tajikistan via Afghanistan and China with the Tajik railroads via Kazakhstan. ...


.10 Arms Race on the Caspian?

The Caspian Sea, an oil-rich body of water on the border of Iran and the former Soviet Union, has seen an unprecedented amount of naval activity this year: Iran has launched its largest ship yet into the Caspian, Kazakhstan has declared plans to start construction of six new ships by the end of the year and Turkmenistan announced the creation of its first navy. This military build-up, though so far still modest in scope, has observers wondering if the stage is being set for an arms race on this heretofore quiet sea. The stakes in the Caspian Sea are high: According to the US Department of Energy, the Caspian region contains about ten percent of the world's potential oil reserves, as well as still precisely unknown—but vast—natural gas deposits. The newly-independent countries that surround the sea have staked their futures on petroleum riches, and they're trying to use the first revenues to protect that future. A Russian defence magazine recently described the emerging situation as ‘a keg of gunpowder in a sea of black gold.’ Government and military leaders of the five countries surrounding the Caspian—Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan—often use rhetoric about ‘demilitarizing’ of the sea. ...

.11 Regional Committee a milestone for Canterbury's water management

Canterbury’s water management has reached a significant milestone with the appointment of seven community representatives to the Regional Committee of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. “The establishment of the Regional Committee is a major achievement in building a community-driven approach to water management,” said David Caygill, Environment Canterbury Commissioner. “Environment Canterbury is working with communities around Canterbury to develop enduring solutions to protect our fresh water rivers, streams and lakes for generations to come. … “Establishment of the Regional Committee marks the culmination of more than six years of work by the Mayoral Forum, Environment Canterbury and many other organisations and individuals to develop a comprehensive and integrated strategy for water management.” ...

.12 Councils pull out of regional body

The Chronicle - Toowoomba QLD, Australia

TOOWOOMBA’S grand plan for the region is in tatters this week after it was rejected by all but one of south-west Queensland’s councils. Toowoomba Regional Council’s economic development board had sought to form a regional body to promote investment and lobby for funding across five council areas. Late last week, the Western Downs, Southern Downs and Maranoa regional councils pulled their support. Mayor Peter Taylor said that with only the backing of Goondiwindi Regional Council, the plan was all but dead in the water. ... “It just all got too complicated,” Cr Smith said. Deputy Mayor Paul Antonio admitted he was disappointed the plan had failed. He claimed the group would have provided much needed unity and focus across the region. “The danger we face now is that, if you’ve got a number of different organisations, you’re not going to get a consistent message across,” he said. …

.13 Work begins on five regional museums: SCTA

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities has begun building regional museums in Dammam, Abha, Hail, Tabuk and Baha, Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the SCTA, said on Sunday. “We have also completed studies on renovating six museums in Domat Al-Jundal, Taima, Al-Ula, Hufouf, Sabya and Najran,” he said, stressing SCTA’s efforts to make museums part of Saudi culture. Prince Sultan commended Mohammed Jameel, president of Abdul Latif Jameel Group, for donating SR10 million to develop the Fed Heritage City in Hail. ... Another accord has been signed to promote cooperation and coordination between the Higher Commission for Hail Development and the SCTA. ...

.14 NATO: 60 Year of Regional Politics

Grandonk Dot Com

May 2009, is a remarkable year in history of Regional politics. The most successful military alliance in world politics completed its 60 years. Since 1945, one of the remarkable development took places in the International Politics is the proliferation of supranational and regional organizations. In the Cold War period, there is a remarkable flowering of regional arrangement. As a concept of Politics, regionalism means, organizing states and dependent areas on a regional basis or association of states, which are bound by ties of common interests as well as of geography. To quote Stoessinger, “it is a grouping of three or more states whose goal is the formation of a distinct political entity”. The existence of regionalism in world politics is seen form the Greek period, with the establishment of Athenian League as early as Fifth Century BC. In modern context it got its impetus in the wake of Napoleonic Wars. But it was few and less organized. It was only after the World War II, that regionalism evolved as a striking force. Significantly, the United Nations Charter permits such organizations on regional basis. Article 52 of the UN charter allows regional arrangement for collective self defense. ...

.15 Niehaus Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Regional Political Economy, USA

Fellowship program in the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Job Description: This fellows program is targeted at developing a new generation of scholars able to analyze and make policy recommendations about the regional political economy in the Middle East, East, South, or Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Center invites candidates with a background in economics, political science, contemporary history, sociology, law, business, and other disciplines bearing on the study of markets, politics, and economic development, focusing on the regions of the Middle East, East, South, or Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America to apply. Scholarly work should explore the ways in which the politics within and between a set of countries intersect with natural resource endowments, market conditions, technological and physical infrastructure, and cultural biases to explain existing patterns of economic development and to promote higher levels of development more effectively. Selected candidates will be required to be in residence for the duration of the fellowship (September 1, 2011-July 1, 2012 Applicants are required to hold a PhD in one of the above mentioned disciplines. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Great Recession Geography: Unemployed Migration

Burgh Diaspora

I figure most people underestimate the dear costs of geographic immobility. Hence the obsession with impeding outmigration. Perhaps some data will change a few minds: According to the 2010 Corporate Relocation Survey conducted by Evansville, Ind.-based Atlas World Group, 56 percent of companies saw employees decline an opportunity to relocate in the past year, with a third of companies saying the number of employees who declined a transfer increased over the previous year. Of those who declined transfers, most cited housing or mortgage concerns as their primary reason, the first time any reason besides “family ties” was cited since Atlas began asking the question in 1983. ... Penn said the mobility crunch is “more of a problem now than it was in the last couple of recessions,” thanks to the national emphasis on homeownership. ... You can find the Federal Reserve Bank study here. Reading through it reminds me of the costs of geographic mobility, namely the erosion of social capital. Usually, the press and politicians lament the loss of human capital. That's more or less a bogus consideration, a red herring. Excess skilled labor is not necessarily a desirable outcome. Few regions (if any) in the United States are struggling under an acute talent shortage. As for Rust Belt cities, most suffer from too much social capital.

.02 The future of regional policy

The Endless Track

The debate about the future of regional policy (or cohesion policy) in the 2014 to 2020 budget period is beginning to heat up. EUobserver reports that Polish diplomats are being told to vigorously defend the Cohesion Fund, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF), a significant proportion of which are currently directed to Eastern Europe. Meanwhile Euractiv indicates that the ESF – which invests in education and employment – will come under most scrutiny, as some member states look to re-nationalise resources in light of high unemployment rates as a result of the recession. In response, the Open Europe blog has set out its own position: ...

.03 UNESCAP: New Regional Decade on Disability Starting from 2013

Rolling Rains Report

A United Nations meeting held in Bangkok August 20 has encouraged businesses to embrace the rights and concerns of persons with disabilities, highlighting the untapped consumer power represented by an estimated 400 million people in the Asia-Pacific region. ... meeting on South-to-South Cooperation on Disability, including Government officials and representatives of businesses and disabled persons' organizations, explored ways in which business development plans and employment practices could become more inclusive. ... adopted a statement urging leadership development of persons with disabilities and the promotion of socially inclusive business development as priorities for the next regional decade on disability. ...

.04 Regional Funding Differences And The Distribution of Great Art(s)

Real Clear Arts

When it comes to viewing great art, Americans face a disparity of opportunity -- a fact that has always troubled me. It may be politically incorrect, but it shouldn't be controversial to say that most of the best visual art in the United States lies east of the Mississippi, largely because the East's museums had a head start. They were richer, and more conscious of catching up with sophisticated Europe, first. What is more troubling is the perpetuation of this pattern, partly because of money and partly because some areas are better than others at developing and/or maintaining a tradition of funding the arts. Or so the story has always gone. Now the Foundation Center has provided some analysis -- emphasis on "some" -- to back up the thesis, and it has displayed its results in a fascinating "Focus on Arts Funding" interactive map that illustrates regional differences. ...

.05 Australia’s Regional Reach


Although it has a booming economy and holds a strategic position in the Asia-Pacific, Australia is often overlooked as a regional powerhouse. As geopolitical power shifts East, Australia’s foreign policy posture will become more prominent and the pressures to get policy right will grow. This week the ISN takes a closer look at Australia. The Special Report contains the following content:

* An Analysis by Fergus Hanson that examines the strategically important but still weak Australia-Indonesia relationship.

* A Podcast with Andrew Shearer of the Lowy Institute in Sydney on the challenges and opportunities that Australia faces as China and India rise.

* Security Watch stories on the recent elections in Australia, as well as the US-Indonesia-Australia triangle and Obama’s postponed visit.

* Publications, housed in our Digital Library, including a Lowy Institute paper on Australian investment in China and a paper on US-Australian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation by the Congressional Research Service.

* …

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Sustainable Regions: States and Localities Working Regionally in the Mid-Atlantic - 7th Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Roundtable - September 30- October 1 – Wilmington, DE

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Roundtable fosters communication and coordination between regions on transportation issues. “This conference not only provides an important opportunity to discuss how we want our region to grow and develop, it offers the opportunity for coordination among the many stakeholders and citizens of the Mid-Atlantic region,” said Tigist Zegeye, Executive Director of WILMAPCO the host agency. Paul Schmid, Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator, Thomas Carper will present the keynote speech.

On September 30, a Riverfront Walking Tour will showcase Wilmington as a Mid-Atlantic regional hub. The tour will showcase recent developments along the Christina River, while also providing background on the industrial operations that were located in the area during the early 20th century.

The October 1 program includes a variety of sessions for transportation planners, elected and appointed officials, and private sector professionals, to dialogue about critical gaps and opportunities for regional coordination of transportation and related planning issues. The focus will be on sustainable regional planning and strategies needed to align states and regions with future federal transportation legislation, which will have a greater emphasis on sustainability and clean transportation. This important forum will also showcase sustainable transportation oriented development and high-speed rail.

There is no registration fee due to sponsorship. For the detailed agenda and to register, please visit:

.02 4th Global Entrepreneurship Research Conference - 30 September - 2 October - Imperial College Business School - London, UK

Sponsors: UK~Innovation Research Centre (UK~IRC), QinetiQ-EPSRC Chair in Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship, George Mason University and Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

We particularly invite policy and business practitioners to attend the conference and debate the implications of latest research data for the design and implementation of policies to support economic dynamism. The conference debates research papers on themes related to entrepreneurship, economic development and public policy, with submissions on the following topics:

* Entrepreneurship dynamics in stages of economic development

* Culture and entrepreneurship

* Economic institutions and entrepreneurship

* Networking and entrepreneurship

* Gender and entrepreneurship

* Entrepreneurship and innovation

* Finance and entrepreneurship

* Global entrepreneurship and development indicators

For more information and to register online:

Professor Erkko Autio

QinetiQ-EPSRC Chair in Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship

Imperial College Business School

Tanaka Building

South Kensington Campus

London SW7 2AZ

E: (for queries regarding registration)

.03 The Journal of Regional Analysis & Policy, Vol. 40, Number 1 - Mid-Continent Regional Science Association

Regular Articles:

A Spatial Econometric Approach to Measuring Pollution Externalities: An Application to Ozone Smog C.-Y. Cynthia Lin

Evaluating U.S. Rural Entrepreneurship Policy Stephan J. Goetz, Mark Partridge, Steven C. Deller, and David A. Fleming

An Examination of Domestic Migration from California Counties Ronald J. Gunderson and David J. Sorenson

Costs of Defending Against Rising Sea Levels and Flooding in Mid-Atlantic Metropolitan Coastal Areas: The Basic Issues James V. Koch

The Impacts of Local Innovation and Innovative Spillovers on Employment and Population Growth in the U.S. Midwest Daniel C. Monchuk and John A. Miranowski

States’ Nonagricultural Employment at the 3-Digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Level Edward Nissan and George Carter

The Income Distribution Effect of Natural Disasters: An Analysis of Hurricane Katrina. Timothy M. Shaughnessy, Mary L. White, and Michael D. Brendler

JRAP is an open access scholarly journal sponsored by the Mid-Continent Regional Science Association. One can access the newest issue and the entire JRAP catalog here:

.04 About the UN Regional Commissions -

The Regional Commissions are the regional outposts of the United Nations in their respective regions. They are also an integral part of their regional institutional landscape. Stationed in five regions of the world, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) share key objectives aiming to foster economic integration at the subregional and regional levels, to promote the regional implementation of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to support regional sustainable development by contributing to bridging economic, social and environmental gaps among their member countries and subregions. To achieve these objectives, the five Regional Commissions promote multilateral dialogue, knowledge sharing and networking at the regional level, and work together to promote intra- regional and inter-regional cooperation, both among themselves and through collaboration with other regional organisations.

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Is the Economy as Broke as Lehman Was? - - USA


Sidestepping the Fraud Issue: Bailing out fraudsters instead of saving America’s economic base

Recent federal bankruptcy proceedings have exposed Lehman’s deceptive off-balance-sheet accounting gimmicks such as Repo 105 to conceal its true position. No fraud charges have yet been levied, but this is the invisible elephant in the Washington committee rooms. “Everyone was doing it,” so that makes it legal – or what is the same thing these days, non-prosecutable in practice. To prosecute would be to disrupt the financial system – and it is Fed doctrine that the economy cannot survive without a financial system enabled to “earn its way out of debt” by raking off the needed wealth from the rest of the economy?

So the Fed, the Treasury and the Justice Department have merely taken the timid baby step of pointing out that Lehman suffered from such bad management that no firm was willing to buy it out. Barclay’s was interested, but Mr. Fuld was so greedy that he found its offer not rich enough for his taste. So he ended up with nothing. It is a classic morality tale. But evidently not fraud.

The fraud issue lies as far outside the scope of the financial committee meetings as does the question of how the economy should cope with its unpayably high mortgage, state and local debts in the face of its inadequately funded pension obligations. Fed Chairman Bernanke testified on Thursday, Sept. 2, that “the market” itself breeds what most people would call fraud. Widening the market for home ownership necessarily involves lowering loan standards, he explained. But as the Lehman failure illustrates, where should we draw the line between “illiquidity” and insolvency on the one hand, and higher risk and outright fraud?


More Michael Hudson:

.02 Bill Black Says Treasury Is Lying About Kabul Bank Bailout - The Daily Bail

The New York Times, in a story entitled “Afghanistan Tries to Help Nation’s Biggest Bank” issued the following correction:

Correction: September 4, 2010

An earlier version of this article, citing American and Afghan officials, erroneously stated that the United States would contribute money to help the Kabul Bank. American officials say the United States is providing technical assistance but no funds for the bank.

The problem is that the “earlier version” was correct – the correction is incorrect. Kabul Bank has been revealed to be a “control fraud.” Control frauds occur when those that control a seemingly legitimate entity use it as a “weapon” to defraud. Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime – combined. Control frauds can also cause immense damage to a nation because they are run by financial elites that curry favor from political elites. The result is that they are often able to loot “their” banks for years with impunity. They also degrade the integrity of the entire system.

Kabul Bank is a typical example of a crude variant of control fraud at a major bank. Systems of crony capitalism, such as Afghanistan, inherently create an intensely “criminogenic” environment that produces epidemics of control fraud in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Kabul Bank, like the (originally Pakistani) Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) – better known to regulators as the “Bank of Crooks and Criminals International” is reported to have helped everyone – corrupt Afghani government officials, corrupt business leaders, and the Taliban laundering its drug profits to, in part, buy weapons. Like BCCI, Kabul Bank’s managers’ reported frauds and self-dealing blew up the bank by causing massive losses. (If you believe that Kabul Bank is the only bank like this in Afghanistan you are consuming too much of Afghanistan’s leading export.)

.03 What Really Happens After TSHTF - When Giants Fall

No small number of people have images in their heads of a post-crash America that look like scenes from The Road (a movie which I enjoyed, as it happens) -- you know, cannibals, Mad Max cars, vast wastelands. However, a blogger who has been living in a country where economic conditions have deteriorated markedly maintains that such a perspective is off the mark. In "What Kills You After an Economic Collapse," "FerFAL," publisher of the Surviving in Argentina blog, discusses the real threats people face when the chips are down:

Even though by definition the ultimate objective is living, when we talk about urban survival we aspire to a minimum amount of freedom and dignity in our lives. Living as a prisoner [or] slave, or in a cardboard box under a bridge and cleaning windshields for a living, is still living, but alas, its certainly not the life quality we want. Its about maintaining the minimum standard of living we need so as to not go nuts. Nonetheless, I thought it would be interesting to [note] what actually gets you killed after an economic collapse. I think it’s an interesting exercise and it also helps [us to] reevaluate our priorities from a more realistic perspective. For this I used some statistics [from] after the 2001 Argentine crisis. It's not an exact science, but it does put together an interesting picture.

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.

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 researched news reports as of the publication date.

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Tom (Thomas J.) Christoffel, AICP -