Regional Community Development News – November 11, 2010 [regions_work]


Top Regional Community stories … 1. – 9.

U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State – news articles10.01 - .17

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .12

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .03

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .03

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

Note: This issue marks year seven of Regional Community Development News. Compilation is being done on the road at the 57th Annual North American meetings of the Regional Science Association International in Denver. I am here to present my paper “Global Region-builder Geo-Code Prototype” which was first presented at the Regional Studies Association International Conference in Pécs, Hungary. It is a response to the need I see to aggregate data on the basis of political geography to match environmental, market and other regional geographies with regional communities that are emerging of necessity. Thanks for being part of this exploration as I head into year eight. The universe of all thing regional continues to widen as Google search works to find use of it and related terms. Due to travel, this edition is relatively light. The issue is scheduled for November 29. Top stories and regional links are added to and key phrases go to!/tomchristoffel/regional-communities-news when found.

Thank you. Tom Christoffel, Editor

1. Pepper Pike mayor says stop "winner take all" mentality with regionalism issue - Sun News - Cleveland, OH, USA

In an economically distressed region, Northeast Ohio communities spend too much time competing against one another in the name of economic development.

“In other words, for far too long we’ve been spending too much time eating each other’s lunch,” Pepper Pike Mayor Bruce Akers said Sunday at First Unitarian Church’s Community Forum. “It’s absurd, it’s counter-productive and self-serving.”

Akers, a member of the Northeast Ohio Regional Prosperity Initiative that is working to band together 16 counties, said the real economic competition is in the southern U.S. and more importantly, China, Korea, India and South America.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel here — it’s critical and important to have the region actively pursue economic development cooperatively,” Akers said. “These fragmented jurisdictions cannot compete in a global economy. We’ve got to lose this ‘winner take all’ mentality.”

Goals would include:

Developing a coordinated land-use plan and comprehensive infrastructure plan, which may work to end “urban sprawl” that has contributed to the loss of 500,000 people in Cuyahoga County from its peak of 1.8 million.

Establishing some form of tax-base sharing on new growth only, so no current local tax revenue or structure would be impaired, but would build on the theme of “a rising tide lifts all boats,” from East Cleveland to Hunting Valley.

Encouraging more cooperation and collaboration between local governments to eliminate duplication and enhance efficiency.

Under the draft plan, for which the ad hoc group is seeking state-enabling legislation to clear existing hurdles, the home community would keep 60 percent of any new C&I tax, while the remaining 40 percent would be put in a pool and shared with other communities in the region.

“We’re not creating another governmental entity — we’re connecting existing systems of collaboration,” Akers said.

2. Finn report? Proceed with caution - Telegraph-Journal - Fredericton, New Brunswick, CA

… The report presents an overview of the challenges faced by municipalities and local service districts (LSDs) and a review of the numerous government reports that proposed solutions to these challenges and of the aborted attempts to reform municipal governance since 1966. At that time, our system of municipal governance was the most innovative in Canada; now, it is its most antiquated.


The report recommends 97 measures to improve local governance in the province. The most important one recommends the establishment of 53 regional municipalities to replace the 101 municipalities, 267 LSDs and three rural communities. This would ensure municipalities are big enough to provide/afford the required local services and provide local democracy to approximately 37 per cent of New Brunswickers living in LSDs. It also recommends the establishment of 12 regional agencies to manage five essential services: land use planning, economic development, solid waste management, policing and emergency measures.

A second look

First, the report is limited by its bias in favour of a technocratic and centralist approach to municipal governance. …

Second, the report altogether misses the philosophical point about municipal governance. It fails because it does not adequately consider that municipalities exist to provide local services to meet local needs and, consequently, to ensure citizen participation in local democracy to identify the needs and select and assess its local council.

What's next?

… First, conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the impact of each of the 97 recommendations, by themselves and in comparison with the status quo and the decentralist perspective (for example, the inter-communality approach in British Columbia and France), on each of the approximately 370 communities that receive local and regional services in New Brunswick. ...

Second, simultaneously, conduct public hearings …

3. Challenge continues for area leaders - The Tahlequah Daily Press - Tahlequah, OK, USA

During the first regional summit in 2009, participants identified eight critical factors for regional growth. They include:

• Entrepreneurship.

• Natural and cultural resources.

• Infrastructure.

• Higher and vocational education.

• Leadership development.

• Skilled, ready workforce.

• Socioeconomic issues.

• Common vision, common voice.

“We have identified the indicators, how we will measure our region and our progress,” Hannah said. “The plan is now replete with a multitude of action steps.”

Now, eight regional action teams will be assembled to take up the work. Hannah said by January, each planning group will start getting together to delineate its intentions and responsibilities. The most difficult challenge will be measuring the groups’ accomplishments, Hannah said.

“We are moving from the ‘no longer’ to the ‘not yet,’” he said, adding that the goal was to form a regional voice of communities and entities working together.

“Our work here, while certainly invigorating, is yet a preamble to what needs to be done,” he said.

It will take passion, boldness and commitment to accomplish these goals, a task not for the faint of heart, Hannah said.

The conclusions of this year’s regional summit …

Regional vision

Northeastern Oklahoma is a unified region of unique, vibrant, and sustainable communities with abundant natural beauty and rich cultural heritage; where our diverse population takes great pride and accepts responsibility for our future; where innovative leadership is cultivated, children are treasured, meaningful high paying jobs are plentiful, and recreational opportunities abound; the region of choice to live, work and play.”

Regional mission

“The Northeastern Oklahoma Regional Collaborative is dedicated to the growth, prosperity, and vitality of northeastern Oklahoma and its communities, by promoting regionalism throughout the area; leveraging regional resources; recognizing common issues and identifying collaborative solutions; expanding regional networks; and communicating our regional story.”

4. PRO: Busway Is Well Down Road To Being Part of The Answer - - Hartford, CT, USA

For decades, the State of Connecticut and specifically, the central region surrounding Hartford, has struggled with transportation challenges that impede opportunities for economic growth.

Enhancements to the status quo including highway expansions, bridge construction, and bus and commuter train fleet additions have reached the limit of present transportation systems to accommodate increased usage.

The proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) project between downtown New Britain and Union Station in Hartford has been in development since 1997. …

A BRT was selected as the preferred alternative of proposed solutions as the speed, flexibility and ease of use offers the highest utility and least expensive cost structure. An exclusive roadway linking cities and bus routes will also accommodate the increased transportation demands of future development within the corridor. Similar projects have been successful in Pittsburgh and Ottawa

As a New Britain City Council member in the late ‘90s, I was not a big busway fan, but as I have become better educated on the research behind the BRT and the details of its construction and operations, I have a much greater appreciation for its potential and its benefits when compared against other alternatives.

Those currently beating the drum to kill the New Britain Hartford Busway, such as the Bristol Chamber of Commerce with their regionally unfriendly media attack, are grossly oversimplifying the issue by making transportation strategy sound like a simple up or down choice between the BRT and light rail. The key question is not one of either or, but of timing, as both the BRT and rail fit into Connecticut’s long-term transportation strategy.

Busses are just one piece of the overall transportation strategy in the state. There needs to be multi-modal solutions to fit the needs of different demographics in impacted communities. …

5. Revenue drop slams regional transit system - - Phoenix, AZ, USA

A bad economy has meant that building a regional bus system in the Valley is no longer a regional endeavor.

A half-cent sales tax was supposed to be the magic bullet that paid for transit and roads. But as tax revenues continue to shrink, cuts to the plan have become inevitable.

Avondale leaders say the toll includes the decimation of future West Valley bus routes and the end of the regionalism that Proposition 400 promised.

Out of 10 major bus routes that have been postponed because of falling tax revenues, eight affect the West Valley. Six of those affect southwest Valley cities.

Regional controversy

Prop. 400, passed by Maricopa County voters in 2004, extended a voter-approved half-cent sales tax by two decades. That money funded the Regional Transportation Plan.

Now, McDonald, a board member of the Regional Public Transportation Authority, said any semblance of regionalism is dead. He said that a vote last spring by the board freed the transit authority to no longer abide by the wishes of the voters.

The words "voter-approved" and "Proposition 400" were removed from the authority's guiding principles, the result of a weighted vote that gives cities with high populations, such as Phoenix, more vote impact than smaller cities, such as those in the southwest Valley. …

Everyone feeling the pain

… capital-programming manager for Valley Metro… every region took a 25 percent cut in transit dollars.

He said the root of the problem is that only a third of the half-cent sales tax goes to transit, and only 57 percent of that third goes to bus service. The rest goes to light rail.

"There's a misconception that the regional tax is going to really build a regional system," Hodgins said. "There's not enough money in there to build a regional system."

6. Nonprofit Winner: Ann Arbor Chamber merger with Ypsilanti group creates regional collaboration model – – Ann Arbor, MI, USA


The Ypsilanti Area Chamber of Commerce ... watching revenue closely and saw some member declines.

As the Ann Arbor chamber looked for a new president to run the operation, leaders met with Ypsilanti chamber leaders to discuss potential collaboration.

That effort to boost collaboration took a giant leap last fall, as leaders of both groups realized they had the ability, the will and the right timing to initiate a merger.

The merger - unprecedented in Washtenaw County and likely to be a model for other groups in the future - earned the 2010 Deals of the Year award for a nonprofit.

"Going forward, we need to be able to support business regionally," Ann Arbor Chamber chairman Karl Couyoumjian said ...

"It's exciting ... for both chambers to move toward regionalism and move away from any kind of dividing line. That's the goal of this."

It’s that dividing line - and the erasure of it - that makes this move notable ...

Washtenaw County grew up as a patchwork of smaller entities. That includes both city and township governments; school districts; and social and service organizations that served a particular area.

But as the county grew, and many of the purposes and services of those groups overlapped, the strict geographic boundaries often stayed rigid.

Many in Washtenaw County have said that it’s time to end duplication of efforts and find more common ground. But making that happen has proven difficult.

When the chambers announced their merger, they set an example for other groups exploring - or ignoring - the opportunities to erase invisible boundaries that many people just don’t see anymore.

It’s not necessarily easy. But the chambers’ move showed strength in many areas. That includes making the announcement even though all details weren’t worked out, because leaders had faith they were moving in the right direction.


7. Luttrell Must Lay Framework for Economic Development - The Memphis News - Memphis, TN, USA

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is wise to heed the comments he heard on the campaign trail last summer.

When potential voters lamented how Shelby County was “not a real business-friendly community,” Luttrell took their concerns and criticisms to heart. And it appears he’s taken them to the mayor’s office, as this week’s cover story highlights.

Luttrell, the former county sheriff, has initiated a “no prisoners” approach to economic development. And it’s evident just eight weeks into his term as the county’s top elected official that Luttrell plans to back up his words with action.

He stocked his transition team with local business leaders. He rescheduled an out-of-town appointment to help convince Pinnacle Airlines Corp. to move Downtown. He has made it a priority to better serve and grow existing businesses while also recruiting new ones to the county.

Luttrell’s early efforts should be applauded, although the true measure of his success won’t come until companies announce they are moving here or expanding.

Still, it is encouraging that his economic development mind-set mirrors that of his city counterpart, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. Both mayors want to hang the proverbial “open for business” sign on their respective borders, sending the message to companies near and far that Memphis and Shelby County can be a place of prosperity and fertile ground for growth.

Of course, these two mayors can’t do it alone. Once the process moves beyond the mayors, the problems become apparent. The current structure for enticing business expansion here is cumbersome at best and repellent at worst.

An economic development front that is united across all of Shelby CountyMemphis and the six suburban municipalities – will go a long way to benefiting the entire metropolitan area.

The six suburban municipalities presently feel left out of the discussion about a more intensified effort. And some of the suburban mayors argue North Mississippi and Eastern Arkansas should be part of a regional strategy.

But is the goal of regionalism to move jobs from one part of the region to another? If not, is it realistic to expect a neighboring community to ignore a business that is clearly looking for something new somewhere else?

The Shelby County Commission’s discussion on governing area Industrial Development Boards is crucial to answering those questions. Oversight of payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) programs awarded by IDBs should remain the focus of whatever economic development entity emerges.

The department has had as its limited task keeping track of PILOTs. Its comprehensive compiling of data covering the last 20 years led to an earlier decision to try to scale back some of the paperwork that was getting in the way of basic economic development.

Government oversight is a necessary part of the checks and balances. But some in local government want to turn that oversight into a bottleneck they control. They are doing it by perpetuating myths about such incentives.

Let’s hope these needed changes – and the subsequent creation of a truly business-friendly community – start from the top.

8. Regional task force urges stable source of funding and reforms for Metro Transit -Auburn Reporter -Auburn, WA, USA

A 28-member task force representing a broad coalition of transit stakeholders from throughout the region has unanimously agreed on key recommendations that include working with the Legislature on a more stable source of funding for public transit, and setting priorities that guide how decisions are made on service reductions or service growth.

These and other recommendations mark unprecedented consensus on a new course for King County Metro Transit that emphasizes performance, efficiency and financial stability.

The seven recommendations in the Regional Transit Task Force (RTTF) report, eight months in the making, represent a potential resolution to long-standing differences regarding policies for allocating Metro bus service. Rather than adding or reducing service based on geographic subarea formulas, the plan links service to productivity, connections to job markets, and demand for transit – balanced with a strong consideration for geographic value and social equity.

“The recommendations of the Regional Transit Task Force advance work we started in 2008 to make Metro more efficient and wring as much service as possible out of every dollar,” said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Larry Phillips, chair of the Council’s Environment and Transportation Committee. ….

The work of the RTTF is expected to form the foundation of a unified regional effort to work with the state Legislature to replace the volatility of the sales taxes that now provide the majority of the funding for public transit with a more long-term, sustainable source of revenue. This revenue source will be needed to avoid deep cuts to bus service in future years and to plan for future growth of the bus system – the ninth-largest in the nation – as millions more potential riders move to this region in the coming years.

9. Is bad economy giving impetus to shared services in N.J. towns? - - The Jersey Shore, NJ, USA

The idea of consolidation and shared services among municipalities, counties and school districts is not new to New Jersey. Studies and discussions have been taking place for decades, with little to show for it.

But a struggling economy has made shared services — if not full consolidation — increasingly attractive, particularly with grass-roots support from beleaguered taxpayers.

"You want this movement driven by the people. They need to be at the table. But they can't do it alone," said Gina Genovese, former mayor of Long Hill in Morris County, and executive director of Courage To Connect NJ. Her nonprofit, nonpartisan organization seeks to motivate residents to steer their communities toward more efficient and effective government. "

Courage to Connect was formed for people, but a lot of elected officials have reached out to us, which is a wonderful thing," ...

"Merging governments gets rebuffed because a lot of times people think they're going to lose their identity. But that doesn't have to happen, and once people understand that, they will drive the process," ...


While each county superintendent's office has done studies on school regionalization within the county, as required … detailed feasibility studies to examine individual district mergers, by and large, aren't being done, in part because they are expensive — an ironic victim of the sour economy


There are no state-funded studies of municipal mergers under way, according to the Department of Community Affairs. In 2007, … six-step process for consolidating. It calls for municipalities interested in consolidation to create a commission made up of residents from their towns. It takes from one to two years for the commission to consider merging the participating towns and issue a recommendation. If the recommendation is positive, towns must then approve the merger through voter referendum, a municipal governing body resolution, or both.


NEW! Follow RCD News!/tomchristoffel/regional-communities-news

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 Don't lose sight of good news in Greater Lansing

BusinessLansing,com - Lansing, MI, USA

There is good news happening in Greater Lansing. Shame on you if you're not noticing it. Yes, it can be tempting to focus on the challenges. But just a few of 2010's milestones should provide the proper perspective of positive change. ... Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) initiated the Greater Lansing Next project, which identified seven key strategies to ensure regional prosperity. It's a sound and reasonable plan. But it won't be easy. It will take collaboration, teamwork and sacrifice. It also has the potential to turn Greater Lansing into a world-class community. Here are the strategies: Help businesses grow ... Get the best, brightest ... Love where you live ... Culture counts ... Smile and be nice ... Grow our own ... Tear down the walls - Success in a 21st century economy comes from communities working together for common goals. Governments, businesses, civic groups and schools and colleges must cooperate - and sometimes sacrifice - for the greater good. As a region, we have the talent and resources to attract and retain business and jobs, to win development grants and enhance the quality of life.

.02 Cumberland Mayor Daniel J. McKee is a promoter of initiatives

The Providence Journal - Providence, RI, USA

It is apt: Over the years, McKee’s name has been attached to regional initiatives that he said benefited Cumberland, such as Democracy Prep Blackstone Valley, an elementary and middle charter school overseen by an organization started by McKee. And then, there is his role in helping to form the Coalition of Communities Improving Rhode Island, which runs on the belief that municipal officials are more effective working as a group to push for new state policy and to cut the costs of municipal government for each of their communities through regionalization. McKee said the coalition has secured a less-expensive deal on health insurance, saving Cumberland $800,000, and pushed for a state aid formula for schools. “You find that common area” that can benefit a group of communities, ... networking efforts include people such as Keith Stokes, head of the state Economic Development Corporation, who has toured Democracy Prep Blackstone Valley school and the textile company Hope Global, which was affected by the March floods, and other state and federal officials he has worked with to secure resources. “Developing these relationships” is important, McKee said, “so that the town is in a position to attract the economic development piece.” “The last four years, I’ve understood that this is about creating networks that could bring in resources,” he said.


.03 LETTER: Thanks for regionalization efforts

Swampscott Reporter - Swampscott, MA, USA

I write this letter in order to congratulate the Board of Selectmen and the town administrator for their recent and hopefully continuing work in finding areas in which the town can benefit by taking advantage of opportunities for the regionalization of services. I am particularly pleased to see these efforts being made prior to the time when it is a necessity, or too late to save services rather than being proactive. There has to be a clear understanding by all local government officials, as well as our Town Meeting members and citizens of the town of Swampscott that the way that cities and towns in Massachusetts conduct their business into the future cannot be sustained as presently constituted. In the early 1990s, when I was a selectman, I tried to start the conversation concerning regionalization by addressing these concerns with the town of Marblehead. ... our efforts resulted in little to no progress in this area. I believe one of the biggest stumbling blocks to that effort was the fact that we did not have professional management in either town and in both communities what we were taking on, in addition to the provincialism that exists, were the various fiefdoms that exist in both communities. At the Oct. 19 special Town Meeting it was very clear from the financial forecast presentation given by Andrew Maylor for the town of Swampscott over the next five years that other areas of regionalization are going to have to be explored in order to provide the services in Swampscott which we all have come to expect and which have been negatively affected over the previous two decades and will continue to decline unless many areas of regionalization are explored and developed. ...

.04 New grant offers St. Louis hope for regional progress - St. Louis, MO, USA

Regionalism is one of the few strategies that holds promise for solving common community problems, delivering government services more efficiently and saving taxpayers money. But regional cooperation has not been a hallmark of the local political debate this election season.

Even progressive politicians fear proposing regional solutions. They know that even raising the prospect of communities working together can be used to scare a divided electorate wary of change.

The St. Louis region’s political balkanization is a vestige of historic efforts to divide the community by race, class and geography. These sentiments — and fears — still can be exploited.

This political gridlock shouldn’t be ignored. If anything, it raises the stakes for a promising regional initiative announced earlier this month.

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments won a three-year, $4.6 million regional planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The award was the fourth-largest nationally among 45 regional areas that received funding.

The grant is crafted so that its success does not depend on the assent of politicians or partisan naysayers. The grant’s very purpose is to build new constituencies for regional cooperation by starting small and working from the ground up.

Between 20 and 25 “community planning areas” will be identified throughout the region. They will not be bounded by municipal borders. Instead, they will be plotted according to the promise they hold for sustainable economic development because they include an employment center, a transit corridor, affordable housing and cultural and recreational opportunities.

Well-staffed local efforts to solve long-term community problems could help citizens connect regional dots in ways that St. Louis’ political leaders have ignored or resisted. The grant should instill a fresh outlook for a cooperative and dynamic St. Louis region — one less weighed down by historic divisions and more buoyed by realistic new possibilities.

.05 Trouble list includes North Las Vegas housing agency

Las Vegas Review Journal - Las Vegas, NV, USA

It comes as no surprise that the North Las Vegas Housing Authority has landed on a list of the nation's most troubled public housing agencies. Federal officials long have slammed the nearly defunct agency for its poor management. For years, the agency has struggled with debt stemming from a bad investment and the misuse of federal funds that should have gone to help some of the city's neediest families. ... "What took them so long?" Carl Rowe, former interim director of the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority and longtime critic of the smaller agency, said of its inclusion last week on a list of 146 housing agencies nationwide that the government considered most troubled. "They well deserve to be criticized." ... The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development tagged the North Las Vegas Housing Authority "troubled" in 2005. ... The Las Vegas Housing Authority since has merged with the Clark County Housing Authority to form the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority, one of the country's largest public housing agencies. The North Las Vegas Housing Authority is expected to join the regional agency but must first deal with its remaining debt and properties. ... Rowe said HUD has been lobbying for the regionalization of small housing authorities, such as the North Las Vegas agency, across the country. "There are thousands of such entities," he said. "HUD doesn't have the resources to provide the necessary oversight."

AP IMPACT: Mismanagement rampant in public housing

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

Note: Initial article. Ed.

.06 Bill Haslam briefs media on priorities

Cleveland Daily Banner - Cleveland, TN, USA

Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Haslam was at the Chattanooga Choo Choo two days after winning the Nov. 2 general election to meet with elected leaders in Southeast Tennessee.

The working luncheon was advertised as focusing on economic development but in a 15-minute press conference prior to sitting down with the city and county mayors, the governor-elect spoke more in terms of relationships than budgets. ... Haslam learned as mayor of Knoxville that “local government is the most effective kind of government there is. We can set in Nashville and say, ‘Here’s what we think is best for Southeast Tennessee’ or we can go talk to people who are up to their elbows in it every day trying to work things out.” ...“It’s tight in local government and I keep saying we are going to have a billion dollars less to spend next year than this year and the federal government is having to reckon with their own consequences as well,” he said. ... The Bradley County mayor pointed out Haslam’s experience as Knoxville mayor should be helpful, but there are differences between being mayor of a major city and a county — especially rural county mayors who have closer working relationships with regional agencies and development districts than Haslam did as mayor of Knoxville. ... Rowland said it was a “great, positive meeting” during which officials discussed state revenue and how it could affect cities’ industrial development, and the focus seemed to be on a regional approach. ... Davis said he appreciated the fact that Haslam held a regional meeting and didn’t just meet with Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield and Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey. “That’s what we’ve been trying to promote the last three or four years, is regionalism. We need to be recruiting industry as a region. We do that in Southeast Tennessee but not everybody does across the state.”

.07 Editorial Board: It's great to see Regionalism at work

The Natchez Democrat – Natchez, MS, USA

Something great happened last week in Natchez — a group of diverse individuals rallied together for a common cause. On its face, each party had something to gain out of being at the meeting. But collectively, the good of the community outweighed any of the potential individual gains. Each side shared a little information — some of it confidential business information — for the good of the group. The subject of the day was what could our communities do to ensure that the lone railroad line that connects Natchez, Adams County and Franklin County to the rest of the world stays open. What brought folks together was regionalism at its core — working together toward a common goal. And, just like most true economic development — and most job creation, too — it started in the private sector. Businesses who use the railroad are upset over what they view as ever-increasing fees. … We were excited that the groups were willing to come together and we were excited that regionalism seems to be taking shape. And that’s great news, for the railroad issue and dozens more like it. Together, we’re a powerful force of change and influence, but we’re only as good as our willingness to join hands.

.08 Jaynes, Self look for united front

Plano Courier Star - Plano, TX, USA

... with the new legislative session fast approaching, the NTTA and the CCTRA are trying once again to reach an agreement on primacy. “Whatever the NTTA recommends to the [Regional Transportation Council], the RTC is going to endorse,” Jaynes said. “We need to have something suitable to both parties, and we have a window of opportunity with the NTTA. They are willing to work with us, and we need to take advantage of that and work out an agreement with both parties.” But not everyone sees eye to eye on the issue. County Judge Keith Self was recently quoted as saying he did not believe in regionalism, a term that still does not have a structured definition. This statement caused Jaynes to address Self in a commissioners’ court meeting last week asking that the discussion be brought to all commissioners as soon the language from the NTTA was presented. ... “The RTC is about to send the legislative agenda to Austin, and the only thing that is incomplete is what to do about primacy on the Outer Loop,” Jaynes said. ... “This policy will affect Collin County for 40 to 50 years, has potential to be a source for major transportation funding and it needs to be handled correctly, openly and above board,” ...

.09 Dedham Officials Look for Ways to Regionalize Animal Control - Dedham, MA, USA

With the new Solutions Task Force now two meetings in, board members are looking for ways to improve services and yet cut down on their costs with several informal suggestions involving regionalization. The task force will evaluate the possibility of regionalizing animal control services with other towns, and Bill Keegan, Dedham's town administrator, suggested a complex similar to one he toured on a recent trip to California. He said that building pooled funding from several towns to build a $2.5 million complex and invested more that $3 million more to meet the needs of a modern animal housing facility. ... The facility was open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. They did their own neutering and had facilities for residents to drop off errant animals if no one at the animal control facility could be reached. ... "Are you looking to save money or create more services?" said task force member Richard Durkin. Keegan answered that the town should be open to both, if what the town offers doesn't make the grade. ... Animal control in Dedham is a growing cost as state aid drops, MacDonald said. Regionalization could benefit the town, if its able to pool money with towns like Norwood, Westwood and Canton, which has its own facility, Keegan said. While the task force focused on animal control at its meeting last week, the board is taking suggestions from community members on what needs to be fixed ...

.10 Survey: Porter County residents support regional efforts - Munster, IN, USA

A plurality of Porter County residents taking part in a poll support the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, and a majority support the goal of regional cooperation. However, the majority are not comfortable putting their tax dollars behind regional efforts, saying they fear a loss of control over local issues and leaders charged with spending their tax dollars. The findings were contained in a survey of county residents conducted by Valparaiso University on behalf of The Times. Seventy-five percent of respondents agreed, "It is a good idea to cooperate with other cities and counties in Northwest Indiana to address issues and possibly save tax dollars." About 15 percent disagreed with that statement while 10 percent answered, "Don't know." ... Hanna said the county is already ahead and will have received $34 million by the end of 2012 as compared to its $24.5 million contribution. Porter County Council President Dan Whitten, who has backed legal efforts to withdraw the county from the RDA, disputes Hanna's claims, arguing the county lost $15 million in Toll Road lease money when it was included by state lawmakers in the regional group. That loss, Whitten said, is never figured into the equation. "Regionalism is a big word for your money going somewhere else," he said. ...

.11 Thompson Valley EMS purchases land near I-25 from Water Valley Land

Windsor Beacon - Windsor, CO, USA

Water Valley Land Co. officials announced today the sale of 1.7 acres of land at its Eagle Crossing/Loveland development to Thompson Valley Emergency Medical Services of Loveland. ... Thompson Valley EMS (TVEMS) is a Colorado Special Taxing District operated by Thompson Valley Health Services District. It provides first responder emergency medical services for approximately 100,000 citizens in the Loveland and Berthoud areas. Currently TVEMS has 55 employees, including 32 staff paramedics and EMTs, and operates nine advanced life support ambulances. It responds to nearly 10,000 calls per year and is currently based at 380 North Wilson Avenue in Loveland. President of Water Valley Land Co. President Martin Lind says he is looking forward to having TVEMS relocate to the Eagle Crossing location. “It is very obvious that Eagle Crossing and the I-25/Crossroads area are fast becoming the ‘downtown’ of Northern Colorado and the foresight of the Thompson Valley EMS board and staff to choose this site as their regional HQ will pay efficiency dividends for generations to come,” Lind said in a prepared statement. “Regionalization of Northern Colorado is inevitable and having emergency services ahead of the curve is just flat out great planning.” ...

.12 Putting Community First: Three fire agencies forge closer ties to serve us better

The Modesto Bee - Modesto, CA, USA

... Three local fire agencies are on the verge of a milestone partnership that should reduce administrative costs and help ensure that well-trained firefighters and the right kind of equipment arrive when and where they're needed. The city of Modesto, the Salida Fire Protection District and the Stanislaus County Fire Warden's Office are forming a joint powers agency to serve Modesto and Salida. The three respective governing bodies — the City Council, the Salida fire district board and the county Board of Supervisors — will be considering the proposed joint powers agreement within the next month or so. They will be the charter members of the Modesto metropolitan fire agency — the name isn't official, but it sounds fine to us — in a partnership that we hope will grow to include some of the other 16 fire departments and districts throughout Stanislaus County. ...

.13 Shaheen touts regionalism at Saginaw's Temple Theatre announcement

The Saginaw News - Saginaw, MI, USA

Philanthropist Dr. Samuel Shaheen this morning told a crowd of more than 100 that he plans to turn over ownership of downtown's historic Temple Theatre to a foundation to manage the venue. ... "The Temple will represent the spirit of the future." Shaheen said the nine-person Temple Foundation represents communities from across the region. "Regionalism is a theme that I have embraced and energized in order to raise the standard of living for the bay region," he said. "This is a region to be proud of. It's difficult for me to put into words my feeling of excitement." Garber said the foundation has begun a $5 million fundraising campaign for an endowment fund. Already, they've collected $3.5 million from foundations and businesses across the region.

.14 Franklin County to Capitalize on STAR Bonds

WSIL-TV - Harrisburg, IL, USA

Franklin County is keeping an eye on its neighbors to the south. Williamson County is expecting economic growth thanks to plans for a destination development made possible by state tax incentives. Leaders in Franklin County say they are developing a plan to cash in on that. You can call it regionalism, or you can call it being competitive-- either way economic directors in Franklin County say they are trying to find ways to benefit from Marion's star bonds project. "As their companies commit to the development, maybe their rivals would like to be in a similar neighborhood not too many miles up the interstate," says Allan Patton with Franklin County's Economic Development group {FREDCO}. ...

.15 Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers Sign Multi-Year Contract with Skyview Networks

NHL.COM Network - USA

The National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks and National Hockey League’s Atlanta Thrashers announced today a new multi-year partnership with Skyview Networks to serve as Official Radio Network Provider. ... “The Hawks and Thrashers are not only regional brands, but national and international brands as well, and Skyview’s extensive radio distribution capabilities will enable us to continue to build both teams’ followings.” In September 2010, Skyview began deploying next generation smart receivers across the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers Radio Networks. With this distribution technology, the two teams will have full disclosure of broadcast quality across their networks and have the ability to offer ad-regionalization (ability to air multiple versions of the same spot simultaneously across the network) to advertising clients. ...

.16 Blueprint for NJ Dems - New Jersey, USA


Public safety in New Jersey is threatened because 11% of cops have been laid off this year. This is primarily because police compensation here is 40% above the national average, and thus unaffordable. Some cops have all-in compensation that exceeds $200,000 per year, and that is often for 1600 hours a year rather than the standard 2000 hours. Given the reduction in manpower, we need to explore the regionalization of police services. Should we really have cops in suburbs spending endless hours doing speed traps when kids are endangered by violence in our cities? Democrats should take the initiative on assuring and improving public safety, and in regionalizing public safety services where appropriate. ...

.17 Regional Jets vs. Props: How Passenger Psychology Wastes Fuel

... many routes are served by smaller planes, often on what are known as regional jets. These 40-100 seat jets are suitable for flying frequently between smaller cities at relatively short distances and have come to almost universally replace propeller powered planes in smaller markets in the US. They’re typically quite cramped with minimal service and are significantly less fuel efficient than the similar sized prop planes they’ve replaced. So why have they become so popular among airlines? The answer lies almost purely in psychology. ... In the cheap fuel era of the 1990s, airlines scrambled to replace prop planes to account for both legitimate and superstitious demands by passengers. According to experts on, despite added fuel costs, some airlines replaced props solely to respond to the fact that their competition was doing so, and began marketing their new regional jets as safer (whether they actually were or not). ... modern turboprops such as the ATR 600 and Bombardier’s Q400 have emerged that are actually quieter and just as stable as comparable regional jets. Horizon Airlines (Alaska Airlines’ regional wing) happens to be a recent convert. ... Will they be an emerging leader in a leaner, more affordable, and indeed greener airline? Or will passenger paranoia about props actually impact their success? ... Other airlines (with the exception of Continental) have all but eliminated props and have no plans to re-adopt them. If Horizon can make enough of a splash and get some good press for their efforts, look for other airlines to start mimicking them. Then again, be on the watch for advertising claiming the added safety of jets coming from airlines saddled with an all-jet fleet and nowhere to go…

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Economic growth: Spread it around

The Guardian - London, UK

When it comes to fostering the economies of the UK's regions, this government's plans too often resemble one long afterthought. The challenge for Vince Cable is to show that he has got a serious blueprint for the regions – but the odds do not look good. What every British politician from David Cameron to Ed Miliband agrees on is that the UK economy must be made less reliant on London and the south-east. Indeed, Mr Cameron and his team have spoken about this subject more than their Labour opposite numbers. The trouble is that the policies the coalition has followed to encourage local economic growth have been a jumble of warm words, confused thinking and inadequate resources. More thoughtful members of the government will admit this, in private. And their disagreements were made public yesterday in a leaked letter from the junior business minister Mark Prisk to his superior Mr Cable. It warns of "the strong concerns" and "considerable friction from the business community" about the government's plans; ... However unloved the regional development agencies were, it was, frankly, daft for the government to scrap them so quickly and without a clear idea of what would replace them. Mr Cable's big idea of local economic partnerships (LEPs) is not a bad one – it promises a more local, targeted approach – but their initial establishment was messy, and it is true that many have not made enough of an effort to engage with business. Then there is the paltry £1.4bn size of the regional growth fund that LEPs will have to approach for cash – and the fact that it will have to serve many different goals. Then of course there is the backdrop of sharp spending cuts, which will hit infrastructure projects especially hard. It is as well to give this government's local growth strategy a chance, but none of this augurs well

.02 Regional councilor calls for action to reduce demand for fossil fuels

Wellington Scoop - Press Release - New Zealand

Greater Wellington ‘s most important task in the first year of the new triennium is to prioritize actions that will help make Wellington region more resilient to fossil fuel shortages, Green Party Regional Councillor Paul Bruce said today. The latest World Energy Outlook (WEO) report released today says governments need to act now to reduce demand for fossil fuels.

Regional Councillor Paul Bruce said: “This latest world energy outlook indicates the urgency for a spatial analysis to be completed in conduction with the Transport Network Review and feasibility study for modern tram-train. ... a spatial analysis of the city and region must lead to recommendations for:

- Public transport and active mode routes (Network revue) to optimize routes and travel modes to place of work and key destinations

- Assessment of public transport requirement over next decade and central Government funds

- Urban islands of key services (food supplies, medical centers, ambulances and emergency services, schools, entertainment)

- Vulnerability to floods, tsunami, earthquake, land slides, access to employment, recreation etc.

.03 Eric Pickles: 'advice on regional strategies abolition still stands' - UK

Defiant Communities and Local Government Secretary (CLG) Eric Pickles has stood by his intention to abolish regional housing targets, despite the revocation being ruled unlawful by the High Court today. Mr Pickles said that while respecting the court's decision, the "ruling changes very little". On 6 July 2010, the Coalition Government revoked all regional strategies under section 79(6) of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009. This action was challenged in the High Court by developer Cala Homes, and the decision today concluded that Section 79 powers "could not be used" to revoke all Regional Strategies in their entirety. Eric Pickles said: "While respecting the court's decision this ruling changes very little. Later this month, the Coalition Government will be introducing the Localism Bill to Parliament, which will sweep away the last Government's controversial regional strategies. ... David Orr chief executive of the National Housing Federation said: "Today’s judgement reinforces our view that the abrupt decision to scrap regional housing targets by the Communities Secretary was a hasty and damaging move, which has already seen plans for over 180,000 homes scrapped. ... Research commissioned by the Federation, carried out by Tetlow King Planning, shows that the Government’s decision in May to allow councils to ignore the regional targets has resulted directly or indirectly in plans for around 182,000 homes being dropped. That figure is expected to rise to at least 300,000 over the next 12 months.

.04 Govt unveils plans to foster regional development

Reuters - UK

Business Secretary Vince Cable said the government intended to scrap regional development agencies -- set up by the previous Labour government -- and replace them with smaller local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) bringing together local councils and businesses. He said there had been 62 proposals for such partnerships and they had given the go-ahead for 24 of these to progress. "Together, these 24 partnerships represent more than 60 percent of the economy of England outside London -- and most of our major cities," he told parliament.

The coalition government says the nine existing regional development agencies duplicate work done elsewhere and are too expensive. But the agencies say every pound they spend produces as much 6.40 pounds of long-term benefits for the local economy. ... Private groups and public-private partnerships that apply for funds will have to show that their proposal will bring in private investment and lead to sustainable increases in private-sector jobs and growth in their area, officials said.

.05 'Fire sale' fears over assets of Yorkshire Forward

Yorkshire Post - Yorkshire, UK

A BATTLE is under way to stop the Government launching a "fire sale" of Yorkshire Forward's £60m of assets to fill Treasury coffers rather than benefiting the region. Fears were raised yesterday that the Government would try to sell off some assets and keep the proceeds in Whitehall when it warned there would be no "automatic presumption" they would be handed over to councils or new economic partnerships when Yorkshire Forward is abolished – and identified "deficit reduction" as a factor in any decisions. Talks began some time ago between the development agency and councils over what to do with its portfolio of assets when it is closed in 2012 but the Government has now taken control of the process, sparking concern from MPs and council leaders that the region could lose out. ... Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves said: "Instead of a fire sale of these assets they should be kept in our region for local people to determine how they can best be used to support growth." ... Concerns over the future of the assets – which also include a host of South Yorkshire's former coalfields – came after the launch of the coalition's White Paper on Local Growth, in which Ministers set out their plans to boost economies outside London and the south east. ...

.06 The banality of fascism

Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review - Istanbul, Turkey

... what exactly made me such a “traitor”? Well, the fact that I was daring to criticize the official ideology was probably enough. But there was also a particular piece of mine which seemed to further enrage the traitor-hunters. This was an article I wrote a few months ago in Turkish titled, “That place is not ‘England’.” I had explained that we Turks keep calling the United Kingdom “İngiltere” (England), wrongfully dismissing Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Then I inferred that the existence of self-governing regions in a country doesn’t necessarily “divide” it. I also I added that I am not in favor of replicating such federal regionalism in Turkey; I just wanted to remind fellow Turks that “our concept of a monolithic nation is not the only way.” Apparently, that reminder did not go well with the HEPAR folks. Two days before the conference, a likeminded local website ran a comment which presumed that I wanted to “divide” Turkey with my article on the U.K. After some vulgar insults, the commentator also argued that I was an agent of “the imperialist Great Britain.” ...

.07 The inevitable reality of living with terror in India

The Times of India - Mumbai, India

... Our country has experienced many ... brutal acts of terror. ... It appears that the citizens in this country are not safe at all. A citizen's security is the prime duty of the government. But the occurrence of terror attacks in India at regular intervals only proves that our Central and state governments have completely failed in their duty to provide security. ... Our diverse cultures, languages, traditions and customs also contribute towards encouraging terrorism. Although such diversity is an asset, friction often arises. Each culture has its own ideology and this aspect strengthens the feelings of regionalism. It is for these reasons that we observe conflicts and bloodshed in practically all states of the country from North to South, East to West. The consequence of these conflicts is increasing terrorist activities and militancy in the country. Religion plays a major role in contributing to the rise of terrorism. The day Babri Masjid was demolished, religious fundamentalism in the country raised its ugly head. Religious terrorism today is our country's major concern. ... The terrorist attacks in Mumbai proved that the 'Marathi manoos' could not protect Maharashtrians alone. The government had to send for the National Security Guard and other security forces from across the country to face the attacks. The political leadership in the country will therefore have to think and act nationally and not locally. Political leaders who thrive on people's regional and religious emotions will have no future in this country, because such leaders too contribute to terrorism directly or indirectly. As terror is going to be a part of our day-to-day life, the most urgent and important duty of the government is to provide security forces with ...

.08 Sohn opposes constitutional revision

The Korea Herald - New York, NY, USA

Opposition Democratic Party leader Sohn Hak-kyu on Sunday dismissed politicians’ demands for constitutional amendment, saying the general public had no interest in the issue. ... “The people are not interested in a constitutional amendment and it’s not like it will improve the economy.” The ruling bloc has sought to amend the constitution, last revised in 1987, as early as this year to largely split the power concentrated on the president. ... Sohn also downplayed the ruling bloc’s move to shift from the current single-member constituency system to having multiple elected officials represent a larger electorate as part of efforts to tackle deep-rooted regionalism. The southeastern Gyeongsang provinces are often dominated by the conservative GNP and the southwestern Jeolla provinces by the liberal DP. “I don’t think it would solve everything,” he said. ...

.09 Layoffs Reach Cuba’s Health Sector

Latin American Herald Tribune - Caracas, Venezuela

Layoffs scheduled by the government of Raul Castro in the state payroll will affect the health sector, one of the pillars of the Cuban Revolution, but officials say physicians have nothing to worry about. ... 10th Congress of the Health Workers Union in Havana. ... The 350 delegates from all over the country who are attending the congress have been discussing “the essential transformations” that are being made in the sector, including the “reorganization, regionalization and compression of the health services.” The agenda for the meeting includes the analysis of the “labor reordering” as a way to avoid “waste of human resources,” as well as how to best ensure economic efficiency and service quality, Granma said. In addition, a more rational use of resources and greater application of the clinical method was proposed. According to official figures, the health care union currently has more than 500,000 members, and some 37,000 workers are providing medical services in 69 countries.

.10 Peru: Regional Organization Of Indigenous Peoples Of The East Rejects Oil Concession Awards

The Regional Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the East (ORPIO) issued a statement challenging the award of 14 lots of oil for not having respected his right to be consulted. - Statement - The Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the East - ORPIO, complaint, how once again the APRA government disrespects our institutions and our laws by ignoring the Constitutional Court Judgement No. 0022-2009-PI/TC and the Decision No. 05427 - 2009-PC/TC, which indicates that the Ministry of Energy and Mines within the framework of its competence to issue a regulation on the right to consultation, in accordance with the principles set out in ILO Convention 169. ...

.11 Regional financial cooperation - Pakistan

... The dynamism of the Asian-Pacific economies requires that the region devise comprehensive regional financial cooperation arrangements. The recent crisis highlighted the lack of financial tools at the regional level, over and above those in the hands of national governments. While some countries have built up sufficient reserves to protect themselves, others have experienced challenges as they had no recourse to regional resources for assistance. A regional financial architecture, performing the role of lender of first recourse, is the need of the hour. The region now has a window of opportunity to press forward with a truly effective regional financial institution to foster monetary and financial cooperation. Let this institution be known as the Asian Monetary Fund (AMF). The Asian Development Bank is working side by side with the World Bank and supplementing its effort as a development partner. The AMF can work side by side with the IMF in promoting regional and global financial stability. Additional food for thought arises from the region’s excessive dependence on the dollar as reserve currency. Many countries in the region witnessed loss in the value of the dollar because of its depreciation against the major currencies. Within the ambit of the Asian financial cooperation, a regional currency arrangement could serve as a building block for an additional global reserve currency.


.12 G20 guest post: let’s try regional cooperation - UK

The chances of reaching a quick and conclusive agreement on changing international monetary policies look slim, but the G20 meeting in Seoul may mark an important point in the history of modern international financial affairs. ... So, while it is likely the Seoul G20 communiqué will stress cooperation in promoting currency stability, the orderly rebalancing of currencies actually stands to devolve from the global multilateral process led by the US on to a multi-regional basis, with different regions banding together to advance their common interests. ... The recent global economic crisis shows the acute need for emerging economies to capture the gains from increased trade flows between and within EM regions made over the last decade. By accelerating the enactment of regional free trade pacts, emerging economies can prevent the rebalancing process from descending into a beggar-thy-neighbor currency-cum-trade war. A pivotal international moment is at hand. For emerging economies, financial strength is created by banding together to ensure that the global imbalance adjustment process is undertaken on acceptable terms. East Asia is at the fore of developing a regional framework by concluding currency swap and repurchase agreement facilities, including member government debt within their reserve assets, while at the same time creating an alternative trade settlement currency to the US dollar through the Chinese renminbi. This institution-building provides confidence that emerging market leadership can see through a global adjustment process and serve as a model for other kinds of regional cooperation efforts - such as the Gulf Cooperation Council and Mercosur.

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 In Memoriam: Walter Isard 1919-2010

North American Regional Science Council

The founder of the field of Regional Science and its most prominent early scholar in industrial location theory, methods of regional analysis and general theory, Walter Isard established an interdisciplinary movement on regional and urban research in North America, Europe and Asia. Isard died on November 6, 2010, at Drexel Hill, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of natural causes. Through his determined leadership, Isard encouraged economists, geographers, sociologists and urban and regional planners to cross disciplinary boundaries, construct theories of urban and regional phenomena and apply methods of analysis to the emerging urban, regional and environmental policy issues of the mid and late 20th Century.


.02 The Well-Being Map

Creative Class

... new map of well-being for America’s 350-plus metro areas. It’s based on surveys with more than one million Americans from data from the Gallup-Heathways Well-Being Index. Well-being follows the same basic bicoastal pattern as income, human capital, and the creative class, being higher on the coasts than in the Midwest and Sunbelt.

.03 The Visual Du Jour – Regional Variations Edition

The Global Sociology Blog

The variations in income distribution across the country is a hot topic these days, and the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal huge differences by state. The median U.S. household makes over $50,000 annually, but from there the median income rates vary dramatically from state to state. Trends emerge within geographic regions--some of the lowest rates can be found in southern states. The median household in Mississippi makes less than $37,000 a year; in Texas the figure is over $48,000. New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts boast some of the highest median incomes....

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Regionscape - Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review - Istanbul, Turkey

Regionscape, an innovation of the Daily News, seeks to place the day's events in a new context that is also ancient. These river basins gave rise to the trade routes, farming systems, political cultures and the civilization we have inherited today.

It is an effort to re-conceptualize the region in which we live and work in a way that moves beyond familiar labels that obscure as much as they illuminate. The "Middle East," the "Balkans," "Southeast Europe" or "Eurasia" do not reflect the fast-changing realities of our region. The newest geographic jargon, "Af-Pak," was invented to describe a border region delineated only a generation ago.

We hope thinking about our region in terms of its natural contours, the ancient river basins, aids our understanding of the many transcendent challenges that define our age.

.02 STAR Sustainability Goals and Guiding Principles - ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

The STAR Community Index Sustainability Goals and Guiding Principles represents a milestone in the national movement to create more sustainable, livable communities. The Goals set a new national standard, and serve as an invaluable resource for local governments.

81 sustainability goals and 10 guiding principles collectively define community-scale sustainability, and present a vision of how communities can become more healthy, inclusive, and prosperous across eight specific categories.

The Goals provide a much-needed vocabulary that local governments and their communities can use to more effectively strategize and define their sustainability planning efforts.

The Goals and Guiding Principles also form the foundation of the forthcoming STAR Community Index, a national framework and performance-management system that will finally allow local governments to measure and rate their sustainability performance.

.03 REGIONALiDENTITY - Greater El Paso! - West Texas, Southern New Mexico and Northern Mexico

About the Ri

The Regional Identity (Ri) is a biweekly online magazine published by the Regional Economic Development Association. [ ] The magazine explores academic, business, and government issues in the Paso del Norte region.

The Regional Identity’s goal is to create a more active student body that engages in the issues that affect the Paso del Norte region. The magazine provides an outlet for students to voice their opinions and enables students to apply the knowledge and skills that they acquire in the classroom to the real world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who funds the magazine?

Our generous sponsors and donors play a vital role in funding the magazine. If you are interested in pledging your support to our cause, please visit the Sponsorships page.


El Paso Regional Economic Development Corporation -

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Of TwoMinds Blog – Charles Hugh Smith

Recommended for its wide-ranging commentary about the financial crisis and its impact now and in the future.

.02 Triple Crisis Blog - Global Perspectives on Finance, Development and Environment

The world is experiencing three simultaneous crises in finance, development, and the environment. A number of economists are questioning the mainstream narratives and analyses of these crises. Some of us have joined to create the Triple Crisis Blog to contribute to a more open and global dialogue around these three crises. ...

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. It has been published on line since November 11, 2003.

For the Blog and RSS feed go to:

News as found via Twitter:!/tomchristoffel/regional-communities-news

For the Blog and RSS feed go to:

Phrases/stories of note as found via Twitter:!/tomchristoffel/regional-communities-news

Delicious Bookmarks:

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

Please email the Editor:

To search previous issues since 2003 go to:

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

For the Google Groups version go to:

Tom (Thomas J.) Christoffel, AICP -