Regional Community Development News – November 29 , 2010 [regions_work]


Top Regional Community stories … 1. – 9.

U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State – news articles10.01 - .19

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .15

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .08

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .07

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .02

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

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


Top Regional Community stories

1. Reconnecting America Releases Analysis of Federal Sustainable Communities Grants - Reconnecting America – Washington, D.C., USA

In October, HUD and DOT announced the finalists of the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning (SCRPG), Community Challenge, and TIGER II planning awards. Reconnecting America staff has been busy reviewing successful and unsuccessful applications for innovative ideas, common themes and unique concepts. We have also compiled a list of finalists of all the awards with descriptions of the proposed activities.

Our primary focus was on collecting applications for the SCRPG grants since we have been involved in many regional efforts to implement equitable transit-oriented development. Prior to the announcement of grant recipients we were able to obtain 47 SCRPG applications from across the country through web research and outreach to our contacts at various metropolitan planning organizations. Seventeen (17) of these regions received awards. There was an overwhelming focus on transit corridors and equitable housing development in many of these applications, especially among applications from regions with an existing plan and looking to implement that plan or fill gaps. The following paragraphs summarize our key findings of this analysis, starting with our overall findings, followed by a review of overlapping award regions, and finally a look at common themes and concepts among successful applicants.

Overall Findings

HUD and DOT issued approximately 107 grants for planning-related activities through both Sustainable Communities and TIGER II grants. Forty-five regions and 61 individual communities received planning grants. DOT also issued another 42 TIGER II grants for capital projects with this round of funding, in addition to its previous award of 51 TIGER I grants back in February 2010. Approximately 199 awards have been given to 132 regions through each of these programs. Public transportation and transit-oriented development are key concepts in an estimated 72 of the 199 awards (36.1%). This is broken down as follows:

  • 26 Regional Planning grants (11 Category 1, 15 Category 2)
  • 17 Community Challenge grants
  • 10 Joint HUD/DOT Challenge/TIGER II grants
  • 15 TIGER II grants (11 planning, 4 capital) 4 TIGER I grants

Regional Analysis

Approximately 59 of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) received some type of award. Of the 50 largest MSAs, 40 received an award. The largest regions to receive no awards were Phoenix, Baltimore, and San Antonio. The regions receiving the most awards were the New York City tri-state region (7), Dallas/Fort Worth (5), Detroit (5), and the San Francisco Bay Area (5). In terms of money, the New York City tri-state ($121.5 million), Chicago ($109.4 million), and San Francisco Bay Area ($89.3 million) regions received the most funding from all Sustainable Communities and TIGER grant programs.

The following table displays the top 10 regions receiving the largest sums of money.


Total Amount

# Awards

New York Tri-State

$121.5 million



$109.4 million


San Francisco

$89.3 million


Dallas/Fort Worth

$79.9 million



$72.1 million



$69.0 million



$63.0 million


Washington, DC

$62.6 million


Kansas City

$54.3 million


Providence/New Bedford

$53.7 million


Note that regions awarded capital grants under TIGER I and/or TIGER II received more money than regions awarded planning grants, so some regions that did not receive any planning grants still rank highly on this list.

Common Themes & Interesting Concepts

From our review of the 47 SCRPG applications before the award announcement, several common themes and interesting concepts emerged. ... Overall, we identified nine themes: equity/affordable housing, corridor planning, station area planning, comprehensive planning, connectivity, economic development, zoning/land use reform, healthy eating, and data sharing & modeling.


The first round of Sustainable Communities and TIGER awards went to a wide variety of communities and regions to fund a diverse array of planning activities. There was no “one-size-fits-all” approach to preparing a successful application, as communities and regions large and small received awards. While common themes such as equity and corridor planning predominated, there were many unique concepts as well that only one or two regions proposed.

2. Ohio Participates in National Pilot Program to Build Rural Economies - - USA

Ohio is participating in a national pilot program to strengthen rural areas in the hopes of improving economic development and creating new jobs.

Ohio State University Extension is just one of several organizations in Ohio partnering on “Stronger Economies Together ( SET ),” a new initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Regional Rural Development Centers to encourage rural communities to work across county borders to strengthen their regional economies.

Twenty hours of training and technical assistance will guide each of the 22 multi-state regions through the process of developing a practical regional economic development strategy.

The training … is for economic development directors, elected officials, and community and economic development representatives. The training session targets counties in the Buckeye Hills Hocking Valley Regional Development District [] and the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission [].

“The first training will provide a snapshot of what the program is, how it works and how counties can benefit from it, and what the major trends are in economic development,” said Becky Nesbitt, an OSU Extension specialist at OSU South Centers at Piketon. “The purpose of the initiative is to encourage those in rural communities to think more broadly, and to work within economic regions rather than within traditional political boundaries.”

Nesbitt said that economic development is moving to a more regional infrastructure so encouraging government officials, economic leaders and community organizers to think in those terms is becoming more important.

“It’s challenging these community leaders to collaborate and to think about using regional resources to strengthen economic development and ultimately create more job opportunities for residents,” said Nesbitt.


Stronger Economies Together – Curriculum:

Participating States: Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

The Southern Rural Development Center seeks to strengthen the capacity of the region's 29 land-grant institutions to address critical contemporary rural development issues impacting the well-being of people and communities in the rural South.

3. Regional Roadmap foundation of a united Sunshine Coast - - Australia

Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast chair, Cr Debbie Blumel, today unveiled the Sunshine Coast’s first Regional Roadmap providing the foundations for the development of a Regional Accord which will unify the Sunshine Coast around economic development and regional prosperity goals.

Cr Blumel said, “A Regional Accord will be developed over the following year through engagement with industry, business and community stakeholders. It will reflect RDA Sunshine Coast’s vision for an innovative, dynamic, connected and sustainable future for the Sunshine Coast.”

The Regional Roadmap was developed by the Sunshine Coast’s Regional Development Australia committee through a series of workshops over the past six months.

Cr Blumel explained, “Our first Regional Roadmap prioritises six themes – economic development and job creation, innovative environmental solutions, health and community wellbeing, education and training, regional infrastructure and transport, and social inclusion.

“The committee believes that an organised and concentrated effort around these themes will build a more resilient economy and strengthen economic growth and productivity.

“Importantly, this roadmap will see regional stakeholders working together as a team – Sunshine Coast United - to build our regional economy. It will build on some hard won institutional, strategic and organisational foundations that already exist on the Sunshine Coast.”

RDA Sunshine Coast’s Regional Roadmap documents local, state and national strategic initiatives, forming a plan that incorporates the region’s economic, social and environmental investments and future potential to 2031.

“Here at Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast, we are committed to building a strong Sunshine Coast region and to playing our part in building a strong nation.

“This regional roadmap is our pathway to giving the Sunshine Coast a strong voice and to working cooperatively with the federal and state governments’ fresh new commitment to regionalism in whole-of-government decision making.”

The interim Regional Roadmap …

4. Co-operation applies at the local level - Telegraph-Journal - Fredericton, New Brunswick, CA

… Lieutenant Governor Graydon Nicholas urged students to "work hard, help one another and success will come."

It's an important message many parents try to communicate to their children. But how well is it reflected in the ways that we manage our communities?

If municipal councillors and legislators followed this simple advice, greater Saint John could be one big, booming community offering its residents new economic opportunities, better quality of life, and more reliable services. New Brunswick would not be divided into nearly 400 competing municipalities and local service districts. The province might even be less reliant on federal funding.

"Amalgamation" and "regionalization" are just words for working more closely together to achieve common goals. Doing so doesn't require giving up one's own identity. It just requires respect for the values and aspirations of others, accompanied by a willingness to seek out mutually beneficial solutions.

The municipalities that make up greater Saint John have much in common. Their residents work, eat, shop, entertain and play in the same places. They share major facilities, such as the Imperial Theatre and Harbour Station. They rely on a common web of infrastructure, from streets and roads to watersheds. And their environment is defined by two natural forces, the river and the sea.

These municipalities form one economy and one broad cultural community. Their councils have even approved formal agreements to permit mutually beneficial development, from the True Growth strategy to the regional facilities commission. But they haven't supported this regional vision with consistent policy - and there is still a degree of reluctance to take regionalization further.

We teach our children that by working hard, together, they can achieve success more quickly. Shouldn't we take the same approach to local government?

5. What we're thankful for this season - Northern Colorado Business Report - Fort Collins, CO, USA

In January, we discussed the Gross National Happiness Index, and how Northern Colorado could shift its focus from the bad news of the Great Recession to the better news of what's going well.

We've heard throughout the year that the region has been spared the worst - double-digit unemployment, plummeting property values, government implosion - of the lousiest U.S. economy in decades. Things may be tough, but at least we're not (insert Detroit, Las Vegas, California here).

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, we should appreciate more than just our "relative better-off-ness."

Regionalism is alive and well and poised to take off in the new year. Just a couple of examples include Embrace Northern Colorado [ ], profiled in our last issue, which is bringing the region's leaders together to work on the region's problems together; and the off-road trail system that will link our major cities once the connection under Interstate 25 is completed.

Speaking of I-25, improvements to the interchanges at Crossroads Boulevard, U.S. Highway 34 - and eventually Colorado Highway 392 - are benefiting regional transportation now.

Creativity is also alive and well in our region. Not only are the arts and creative industries thriving, but so are entrepreneurs in science and technology. The Rocky Mountain Innovation Initiative has adopted its own regional vision, and will be able to share it with even more startups when it moves into its new building on Vine Drive in Fort Collins.

6. Chamber leader focused on ‘what’s best for the region’ - The Kansas City Star - Kansas City, MO, USA

Greg Graves … begins his year as chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce …

In a wide-ranging interview … Graves returned often to a regional theme.

“We’re never going to have government consolidation in the metro area,” he acknowledged. “And the American psyche is not ready for discussing a regional tax — at least not while I’m in office — but I do intend to encourage us to think like we’re all on the same team.”

An engineer by training, Graves knows that a solid structure is needed to support any vision. But, as his ascent in the corporate and civic ranks indicates, he’s also good at building people relationships.

But that requires a dose of reality: “It’s not so important to me that everyone gets along with every idea. What’s important is getting the big agreement for what’s best for the region … focusing on what makes this a great place to live.”

… it’s not the regional amenities that provide the economic foundation for a livable, attractive city. It’s business.

“The chamber always needs to ask the question, ‘Who are we?’ And the answer is that we’re supposed to represent what’s good for business,” Graves said.

“In that regard, you could say that two states competing with each other could only be a good thing for business. Also, you have to recognize that the Kansas City area has a good deal of excess commercial real estate, and business will take advantage of the best real estate deals.

“We’re certainly going to have another governors’ summit this year,”

In Graves’ opinion, the chamber shouldn’t tell the states to quit being competitive. “Rather, it’s asking them first and foremost to think metrowide,” because to stay a good place to live, “we have to grow commerce.”

7. CVEP Exploring Business Partnerships During International Trade Mission - PR Newswire - USA

The Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP) is taking its messages of renewable energy and clean technology opportunities to Europe. CVEP's Chief Operating Officer Wesley Ahlgren, along with Robert Hargreaves, attorney at Best, Best & Krieger and Counsel for CVEP, are the only California representatives in the U.S. delegation on this major Trade Mission. The U.S. Clean Technology Trade & Investment Mission, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, and Economic Development Administration, is designed to advance economic growth initiatives and generate jobs. This is the first time community leaders, as well as individual businesses, have been included in the international Trade Mission.

... "We are excited to be one of only 20 community delegations from the entire U.S. on this important trip, and look forward to representing the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, California and the Nation," says Ahlgren.

In addition to meeting with dozens of interested companies during the Trade Mission, Ahlgren will also take with him information supplied through the Renewable Energy Roundtable detailing the region's green and renewable energy strengths and opportunities. The Mission supports CVEP's job creation goals by increasing exports and attracting foreign direct investment, with particular emphasis on the clean technology sector.

"We are looking for avenues to make those vital connections and to entice foreign investors to the region," says Ahlgren.

The Mission is in-line with CVEP's Economic Blueprint, which is a forward-thinking and actionable roadmap for achieving future economic success in the Coachella Valley. The Blueprint focuses on four primary goal areas: Regionalism; Economic Diversification; Workforce Excellence; and, Quality of Place. A significant diversification goal in the Blueprint is to build green business and a stronger renewable and clean tech workforce.


8. EDA tells Gallatin's success story through regional alliances – Gallatin News Examiner - Gallatin, TN, USA

… expansion of our industrial center, our work with Nashville’s economic development department to designate our park as a Foreign Trade Zone No. 78 subzone, our Virtual Building Program, … go well above and beyond the typical community’s focus on preparedness.

All that being said, in order to capitalize on this hard work and innovative programs and assets, we have to tell our incredible story, and we have to have someone to tell it to. That is where the often-uttered, seldom-understood concept of regionalism comes into play.

While Gallatin can and does offer business and industry an incredible location option as a “stand-alone” community, we don’t have to nor should we try to market and recruit as such. What we have going for us more than anything else is the same thing we had going for us more than anything else 10 years ago and will have going for us more than anything else 10 years from now – we are part of the Nashville region. The site selection process almost always starts with a geographic region, and ours is an attractive one with a widespread, positive reputation among site location consultants and corporate executives alike.

In recent years, we have worked hard to position Gallatin as a highly visible player in the Nashville market and we are reaping the rewards, both of the short- and long-term variety. Standing alone, we could not build the reputation that we have with consulting firms and throughout our target industry sectors.

It is not enough to simply be in a region; we have to be a meaningful part of the region. We have a great story to tell and, by taking advantage of this region’s cooperative spirit and partners, we are able to tell it to a very broad audience.

9. 911 center is example of regionalization at work - Luzerene County, PA, USA

If we were to use regionalization success stories as Christmas tree ornaments, the tree would have a Charlie Brown-tree look. An ornament here and an ornament there, but it would be a fairly scraggly tree.

The Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority is a success story headed for its 50th anniversary. Mountain Top and the Back Mountain have regional authorities. Luzerne County Community College is spread across several counties, and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is a bi-county asset. There are some small fire and ambulance joint operations, but only one truly regional service, the Butler Township-Conyngham Borough linkup.

Here's a suggestion for the ornament on top of our tree: The Luzerne County 911 center.

Since its launch in 1998, 911 has overcome growing pains and bumps in the road to become the most vital cog in the emergency response system, serving 315,000 county residents and travelers and others on our highways and byways.

From its base in the Hanover Industrial Park, 911 handles 1,200 calls per day and it is fair to say that lives have been saved because 911 is in place. The alternative would be the patchwork of small-town emergency call phone numbers, most often in police stations where the lone cop on duty might be on the road. Some towns don't have police and many small communities would be hard-pressed to pay for someone 24/7 to answer that phone.


Twitter - news as found:!/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 Survival of Gary, region vital to state, experts say

Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana - Gary, IN, USA

Representatives from federal, state, local and collaborative bodies may have somewhat different ideas about how Northwest Indiana is going to proceed toward the future, but they all agree on one thing: Gary cannot be allowed to fail. Strengthening all of the region's communities is important to its residents, a panel of experts agreed Friday during a discussion of Northwest Indiana's future at Indiana University Northwest. Equally important, however, is revitalizing its urban core. That means bringing jobs back to its cities -- particularly Gary, Hammond, East Chicago, Michigan City and Lake Station -- as well as bringing amenities all around to make the region vibrant, said John Swanson, director for the Northern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. ... One of the things that doesn't need to happen, according to Swanson, is giving carte blanche to municipalities for their own development. In looking at the plans of the 41 municipalities under NIRPC's watch, most called for more growth than the region could maintain. ... Northwest Indiana must move beyond the victim role in state government, because anything that benefits the region will benefit the state. "The idea that Washington is going to bail us out is misguided," Visclosky said. ...,nwifuture1113.article

.02 Embrace Metro governance reforms

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

As the Washington region begins an important effort to fix Metro's outdated, unwieldy governing apparatus, here's a way to appreciate the scale of the challenge: The task requires eight separate governmental bodies representing 12 distinct political jurisdictions to agree to rearrange how they oversee a ninth body, the transit system itself. What's more, many of the changes recently proposed by a high-powered area task force would affect spending, taxes and political patronage, which are all of critical interest to the various politicians and bureaucrats making the decisions. If that's not daunting enough, consider that the biggest changes would require four entities - Maryland, Virginia, the District and Congress - to agree unanimously on identical wording to change the 44-year-old regional compact that created Metro. ...

.03 One Council Already At Work On Regional Issues

Hartford Courant - Hartford, CT, USA

... formally connect the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University and the state Office of Policy and Management with the Capitol Region Council of Governments. CRCOG deserves and needs funding and is currently working to address public policy challenges that should be dealt with on a regional basis. The other benefit of working with CRCOG is that it derives its governance and decision-making authority through the chief elected officials from the 30 communities that make up the region, which offers some of the political capital that would be essential to addressing the difficult political questions that would arise if we took a real look at expanding regional cooperation. The steady habits of almost 350 years are becoming stressed by permanent changes in our public finance system and our state economy. Regionalism may not be a panacea for how we deal with that, but it's worth seriously considering. Jason Rojas, state representative, D-East Hartford,0,6569596.story

.04 DSO could benefit from plan similar to DIA, zoo plan

Detroit Free Press - Detroit, MI, USA

A Farmington Hills lawmaker says the Detroit Symphony Orchestra -- embroiled in a seven-week musicians strike -- could benefit from the same plan poised in the Legislature to give metro Detroit voters the chance to fund the Detroit Institute of Arts. Democrat Rep. Vicki Barnett said she hopes to muster support to add the DSO to a bill that would allow voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to vote for a tax of up to 0.2 mills to help pay for the Detroit Institute of Arts. That bill is before the House for final approval next week. Another bill would allow the tri-county voters to double the 0.1-mill tax for the Detroit Zoo they approved in 2008. Barnett said the DSO is an endangered cultural gem that adds to the region's quality of life and can help attract new businesses. She said she was asked by DSO musicians who live in her district to consider a public tax to keep the orchestra viable and competitive with other major U.S. symphony orchestras. ...

.05 Regional approach key to recovery

Herald-Tribune - Sarasota, FL, USA

THE DEAL COULD MEAN A corporate headquarters location and 90 jobs or more in just a few years. ... You might think the two counties would be tugging on the client's arms, clamoring, "Choose me! Choose me!" Instead, the economic development professionals for the two communities collaborate, often sitting at the same table with the executive, to make sure the jobs come to the region first, a particular political jurisdiction second."Regionalism" is a growing trend in economic development, and it's a strategy that works. Veethree Electronics and Mustang Vacuum Systems are just two examples of employers who came to or stayed in the region because the Manatee and Sarasota communities worked together to keep jobs local. "Sometimes the ideal facility for a company is on the other side of a political boundary, but the work force is regional. Everyone benefits from the job growth," said Kathy Baylis, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County. ...

.06 Regional Transportation Authority finds abuse in senior free-ride program

Chicago Business - Chicago, IL, USA

A soon-to-be released audit by the Regional Transportation Authority has found fraud and abuse in a program providing free rides to Illinois senior citizens. The audit has found many cases of free passes meant for senior citizens used after the registered cardholder had died, according to a report from WFLD-TV in Chicago and the Better Government Association. ... The agency reviewed about 400,000 senior free-ride cards and found 3,000 users had died, Palmer said. Of those 3,000, the RTA audit found about 160 were still in use anywhere from a few times to 1,400 times. Palmer said the misuse takes advantage of the free rides for senior citizens at a time when the transit systems "is in dire straits." In 2008, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich insisted on the free-rides in exchange for signing a sales tax increase to bail out transit agencies. ... The RTA estimates more than 400,000 seniors currently qualify for free rides. Transit agencies have said the free rides add to financial troubles. ... The Regional Transportation Authority that oversees the nation's second largest transit system says ending the free-rides program could generate millions of dollars for Chicago agencies, which include Metra trains, and Chicago Transit Authority buses and El trains. The CTA has said the number of free rides are exceeding expectations. ...

.07 Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District leaders divided, spar over rate increases, EPA settlement - Cleveland, OH, USA

Northeast Ohio is but two weeks out from a historic vote by regional sewer board members that could triple sewer rates in Cleveland and surrounding suburbs over the next 25 years. Meanwhile, two of the top officials in the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District on Tuesday sparred testily in an interview with The Plain Dealer, demonstrating that the district is deeply divided over the proposed settlement of a decades-old water quality dispute with the EPA. Middleburg Heights Mayor Gary Starr -- who was president of the sewer board in 2005 when it first sent a $1.7 billion, 30-year construction and rate increase plan to the EPA -- said he will vote Dec. 2 against the new proposal. That new deal is a $3 billion, 25-year plan negotiated plan between the district, the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice. Downloadable details of the plan, called "Project Clean Lake," are available on its website. "Absolutely, it's too much money for one million the people in this region and they haven't been given enough time to figure out how to respond to it," Starr said following a meeting Tuesday afternoon with editors at the newspaper. ... The district's executive director Julius Ciaccia, however, said the imminent rate increase is an unfortunate necessity. He said Starr has known about the proposal for five years and is now grandstanding at the last minute. ...

Ad link on story page, for those who might want to get away from the issue?

Pittsburgh and Its Countryside -

.08 N.J. environmental groups condemn Gov. Christie's nominations for Highlands Council

The Star-Ledger - Newark, NJ, USA

Gov. Chris Christie nominated seven people to the New Jersey Highlands Council today, igniting opposition from environmental groups who say some of the candidates have been vocal critics of the law that created the council, which oversees development restrictions in the water-rich Highlands region of North Jersey. The nominees, who need approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee, would fill vacancies on the 15-member board. The council’s work has been hampered by both vacancies and members who have been serving as hold-overs in expired terms. The council was first convened in 2005 to begin reviewing development within the 850,000-acres protected by the 2004 Highlands Water Protection and Planning of 2004. Environmental groups were united in criticizing all but one of the nominees. Citing public records, the group said some of the nominees have publicly criticized land-use provisions included in the law. "It’s very frustrating. I think their goal will be to dismantle the Highlands Act and prevent the Highlands Council from achieving the resource protection goals established under the Highlands Act," stated Julia Somers, executive director of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition. ...

.09 Senate action against Asian carp lauded as vital for fight

The Toldeo Blade - Toledo, OH, USA

Tons of poisons, organized trapping efforts, the mighty current of the Mississippi River, and one of North America's largest electrical barriers haven't kept the highly destructive Asian carp from encroaching upon the Great Lakes region's $7 billion fishery, which is anchored in western Lake Erie between Monroe and Sandusky. ... The U.S. Senate's unanimous passage last week of the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act is being hailed by area lawmakers as yet another important part of the region's arsenal as it tries to protect native walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and other sportfish from a deadly onslaught. The House is expected to take up the legislation soon. It would make the bighead species of Asian carp as much of an illegal alien as its silver carp kinfolk under a 110-year-old federal law known as the Lacey Act. U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R., Ill.) has a companion bill pending in the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on crime, terrorism, and homeland security. ... The Lacey Act is rarely invoked because the government, in effect, is being asked to blacklist something by declaring it too destructive to be brought into the United States, officials have said. ...

.10 Northwest Kansas Regional Energy Collaborative is the first organization to choose Economic Gateway, an innovative Web site system

eNewsChannels - Torrance, CA, USA

The Northwest Kansas Regional Energy Collaborative (NWKREC) is the first organization to choose Economic Gateway, an innovative Web site system featuring a site selector map, as its new online tool for retaining and attracting business and industry to its area. The first of its kind in the industry, Economic Gateway is a joint venture between Minnesota-based Web development firm Golden Shovel Agency and Applied Data Consultants, Inc. (ADC), an Eau Claire, Wis. geographic information systems (GIS) company. The NWKREC is a regional economic development group with a focus on promoting wind and other renewable energy as a means of increasing economic development in its region. ... Economic Gateway is ideally suited for rural groups due to the cost savings, but is scalable for more urban areas as well. It unites the region with its member organizations and allows them to share resources while maintaining individuality. ...

.11 An SVSU Name Change?

The Saginaw Valley Journal - MI, USA

“What’s in a name?” queried Shakespeare’s Juliet. It’s a question of significance for leaders in our region’s business community. That which has been known as the ‘Tri-Cities’, or the ‘Saginaw Valley’ should now be called ‘Great Lakes Bay Region’. Juliet answered: “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Just what does regionalism entail and how does it affect SVSU? Does the rose that is our larger community smell the same? Does it make a difference what name by which we are known? Should the university change its name to Great Lakes Bay State University to reflect a stronger identification with the local area’s regional cooperation efforts? VSU President Eric R. Gilbertson has taken a visible role, having spoken to such groups as the Great Lakes Bay Regional Leadership Institute concerning his views on regionalism—especially in relation to higher education in the area. “Regionalism isn’t really a new idea for our area,” said Mr. Gilbertson. “In many ways this region has functioned over time as a single community in economic matters.” He cites that employers have drawn from a labor pool consisting of not just the three core cities and counties—but from adjacent areas too. “Financial institutions, employers and organizations have paid little heed to political boundaries,” he added. Examples of regional efforts historically include ...

.12 Our view: Pennsylvania GOP will have to deliver on budget

Erie Times-News - Erie, PA, USA

What will smaller government look like in Pennsylvania? We'll find out when Tom Corbett becomes Pennsylvania's new governor. Facing a budget deficit that could be as high as $5 billion, Corbett has promised to slash spending without raising taxes. ... We rely on state money for public schools, early childhood education, Presque Isle State Park, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, the Erie Maritime Museum and the U.S. Brig Niagara, two state prisons in our region, two universities and for a host of social service needs. Cuts will force tough choices. ... lawmakers from our region have all promised to work with the governor. ...

We urge Earll and the Erie delegation in the Legislature to set a list of budget priorities now, for the tough calls that will have to be made early next year. Such an agenda should determine what's important for our region, emphasize regionalism and find ways to avoid gridlock.

.13 To cut costs, Gov. Christie's toolbox just a start - New Jersey, USA

• First, we should get the balance of the proposed “tool box” reforms passed. Granted, Gov. Chris Christie’s reforms borrow from measures introduced by legislators on both sides of the aisle over the past decade. ... • Second, let’s agree on a commission with the teeth to mandate local mergers, as the Senate president recently endorsed. In 2008, a commission was formed that was given the power to help spur local mergers. This commission was getting under way, but now, apparently, has not been a major priority of the current administration and needs more power. A commission that can mandate regionalization and local mergers, where gross inefficiencies exist, is what we need. •Third, ...

.14 Chatham selectmen narrowly approve regionalization

Wicked Local- Eastham - Eastham, MA, USA

Chatham selectmen voted 3-2 on Tuesday to support merging its school district with Harwich. The vote took place after more than three hours of comment from the public. Saying his board had been "obsessed" with the question for months, Selectman Chairman Len Sussman said they were all voting their conscience. Sussman voted with the board members Florence Seldin and David Whitcomb who believe that regionalizing the schools would provide better educational opportunities in the face of declining enrollments. ...

.15 The Invisible Mayor

Pacific Northwest Inlander - Spokane, WA, USA

... as Verner looks toward her re-election campaign ... "She and I have a lot of discussion on regionalism and collaboration,” Mielke says. “She and I have been able to have some really frank, honest discussions. We’ve been able to talk without being defensive.” But Mielke’s equally eager to say that Verner has her priorities backwards. Before promoting collaboration, he says, she needs to define her goals and objectives. At heart, Mielke says, Verner appears to lack one of the most basic political abilities: the capacity to articulate a vision and push through a principled idea, no matter the opposition. “It’s the issue of decisive leadership,” he says. “Who owns that? I don’t see anybody driving the [city’s] policy.” When it’s suggested that running a campaign based on her ability to compromise may be hard, Verner says, “What’s hard for me is taking credit for things. But if you want me to take credit for things, I can take credit for things.” ...

.16 Database gauges Savannah, Chatham County progress

Savannah Morning News - Savannah, GA, USA

Otis Johnson used four words to summarize the importance of a new online yardstick for measuring community progress. "What gets measured counts," the Savannah mayor said Tuesday at a news conference he and others used to introduce a new database.

The Savannah Chatham Community Indicators Database is intended to gauge how well the area is doing in key categories. ... The database is intended to measure progress - or setbacks - in education and youth development, health and wellness, economic independence, and regionalism. The last category includes the local economy, solid waste recycling, air quality and transportation.


.17 Federal government may shift high-speed rail money

Charlotte Observer - Charlotte, NC, USA

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today the federal government could reallocate money for high-speed rail projects originally slated to go to Wisconsin and Ohio. ... Wisconsin and Ohio were in line to receive about $1.2 billion in high-speed rail aid. But the governors-elect in those states say they may not use the money. North Carolina previously was awarded $545 million in federal High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grant. LaHood praised N.C. leaders for their work. "You all are going to be in the high-speed rail business," LaHood told a crowd of transportation and other regional leaders today in Charlotte.

.18 Top 10 Urban Planning Books of the Year for 2011

Planetizen - Los Angeles, CA, USA

Planetizen is pleased to release its ninth annual list of the ten best books in urban planning, design and development published in 2010. This year's selection includes some big names, some big ideas -- and a book called "Toilet."

.19 Game and Fish to be regional agency for fisheries study

Arkansas News Bureau - Little Rock, AR, USA

The state Game and Fish Commission agreed today to become the lead agency for a multi-state study of problems with the nation’s aging man-made lakes. The Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership involves 38 states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Under the agreement approved by state Game and Fish commissioners Thursday, the Arkansas agency will administer a grant of $296,000 to get the program up and running and will contract for a coordinator to administer it. The program will be housed in facilities of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. ... Seven objects of the partnership include: ... —Establishing the Friends of Reservoirs Foundation to sustain the partnership in the future. ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development: Human Development Report 2010 —20th Anniversary Edition

United Nations - New York, NY, USA

Most developing countries have made dramatic progress in health, education, and basic living standards in recent decades, with many of the poorest countries posting the greatest gains, according to the 2010 Human Development Report released November 4. Yet patterns of achievement vary greatly, with some countries losing ground since 1970, the 2010 Human Development Report shows. Introducing three new indices, the 20th anniversary edition of the Report documents wide inequalities within and among countries, deep disparities between women and men on a wide range of indicators, and the prevalence of extreme multidimensional poverty in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. … To encourage continuing innovation for the 20th anniversary of the Report, the Human Development Report Office has re-launched its Website with extensive new resources, revised statistical country profiles for all UN member states and interactive tools, including a “build your own index” option for visitors.

.02 India holds talks with African regional economic communities

IndiaTalkies - New Delhi, India

New Delhi, Nov 19 – India’s ‘active’ engagement with some of Africa’s regional economic communities (RECs) had resulted in the signing of several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with these groups, ... ‘There has been active engagement with some of the RECs and MOUs have also been signed but on this occasion, an initiative was taken to engage all of them together so that the implementation of the India-Africa action plan for the framework of cooperation could be discussed in detail and implementation procedures worked out,’ ... meeting ... was attended by the secretary generals of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC); the president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); the deputy executive secretary of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC); the adviser in-charge of political affairs of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CENSAD); the director of political affairs of the Union of the Arab Maghreb (UMA/AMU) and senior officials from their organisations. ... India’s multi-layered cooperation with Africa worked through the traditional bilateral engagement, with the rapidly evolving engagement at the continental level through the African Union and also at the regional level through the RECs. ...

.03 “We Must Be United”

Sierra Express Media - Freetown, Sierra Leone

... path President Koroma has chosen for us to follow – development; unity; not ethnicity; not crude partisan politics – we are heartened, and we snuff a bit of our trepidation as we trudge towards ‘2012’. In this Column, I have made it one of my mantras to be warning about what I term as the “Civil War Mentality”. ... What contributes to this ‘Civil War Mentality’? There is the highly visible and symbolic senior government positions – i.e. cabinet ministers; heads of parastatals; ambassadors; head of the military and police, etc. How many citizens holding these top positions are from each of the two major regions (North/West and South/East) or ‘umbrella ethnic groups’ (Mende and Temne)? ... Those bureaucrats who the minister/director would meet in the MDA and who are not part of his ethnic/regional grouping are likely to be treated as if they are ‘enemies’ – frustrated; or, marginalized; or, treated with cold hostility. ... Promotions, study leaves and foreign trips are almost never granted to the ‘enemy’ – but, to the ethnic/regional members of the minister/director. So, Mr. President, the seeds of ethnic bitterness is being fertilized in the public sector even as you try to forge unity among the 6 million people you lead. ... There is ‘positive ethnicity/regionalism’, of course – and this should be encouraged. In fact, human beings cannot avoid ethnicity or ‘tribalism’. ... With limited number of Sierra Leonean engineers, doctors, agriculturists, computer experts, etc. in the country, we can hardly afford to live as a disunited people – or, we will be subjugated again by outsiders. The best option for President Koroma’s developmental surge to have meaning is when all our citizenry, regardless of ethnic background, are energized to work as one people.

.04 Networked news: the digital future of regional journalism

The Guardian - City of London, UK

The recession has devastated US local and regional newspapers. Erica Smith, who runs the site Paper Cuts, counted 15,992 lost newspaper jobs in 2008, 14,783 in 2009 and 2,761 in 2010. So far 166 papers have closed their doors. And while there has been no shortage of countervailing attempts to build new local news business models, there have been more failures than successes. TBD, a Washington metro area web and TV news service launched by Robert Albritton's Albritton Communications, is the latest bid to reinvent local news. ... has taken to heart Jeff Jarvis's advice to "Do what you do best and aggregate the rest." Its editorial strategy aims to aggregate existing content while searching for new opportunities in traditional types of news. "We tried to focus on things other people weren't doing," says Steve Buttry, TBD's director of community engagement. For instance, local political coverage is essential, Buttry adds, but "rather than covering the horse race of the day-to-day campaign, Kevin Robillard, our [politics] reporter, is fact-checking". Much has been made of hyperlocal strategies with content delivered at a postcode level but TBD's management see it as a regional site with hyperlocal elements. Buttry has 190 bloggers who provide hyperlocal content, and four community hosts who highlight the best posts from the blog network. TBD has one advantage that most startups only dream of: an ad sales team of 22 who have contacts with major regional advertisers. The site adds location information to all of its content, including network blog posts, so that people can find content related to where they work, live or play. Ultimately, this could open the door to future geo-targeted ads as the site develops.

.05 Wellington Region Governance Review

The Wellington Mayoral Forum has released the PricewaterhouseCoopers report on the review of Wellington regional governance. Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says that though the report does not recommend any particular changes, it looks at six scenarios - from the status quo through to a full-scale amalgamation (super city) of the region's local authorities. The Mayor believes it will be a useful guide for discussions with residents on the future form of local government in Wellington. The Mayoral Forum commissioned the report to start looking at whether the Wellington region has the right structures and processes for the future. The region's councils agreed that Wellington should ideally determine its own future governance arrangements, rather than having changes potentially imposed on it. As part of the review, the Mayoral Forum will be thinking about boundaries and how authorities work together, including how they can support specific areas. Wellington City Council wants to know your views before it forms its position on these matters.

.06 Turkey sees itself reponsible for regional stability, report

Ya Libnan - Lebanon

Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon Inan Ozyild told Al-Mustaqbal Newspaper , on the occasion of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 2 day official visit to Lebanon that Lebanon and Turkey have signed two military cooperation agreements and that the agreements are awaiting approval by the Turkish parliament. The ambassador said that Turkey sees itself responsible for regional stability, and that it advances it through cooperation and good relations with all the countries in the region, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Time for unity On his part , Erdogan expressed his country’s concern over the situation in Lebanon and vowed that Turkey will do everything in its power to prevent civil war in Lebanon. ...

.07 Keep Caribbean wealth in region

Trinidad Express Newspapers - Port of Spain, Trinidad W.I.

If the unwritten rule of patronage between Caribbean countries was observed, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Jack Warner would not have had cause to state the call for regional patronage as plainly as they did. I have no problem with any leader being blunt publicly or privately. I think people are being too thin-skinned. What is wrong with saying that aid money given to affected neighbour countries should be spent on goods and services generated by the Caribbean Community—in this case, member nation Trinidad and Tobago?

Is it that T&T and the rest of the Caribbean should remain Third World so that Europe, Australia, the US and Asia could feed off our combined wealth because some Caribbean neighbours love patronising First World countries? Caribbean territories must stop playing games when it comes to regional development and patronage. The entire Caribbean is in competition with world global markets, which are dominated by First World countries that patronise each other in ways Caribbean countries struggle to rationalise. For this reason the Caribbean Community struggles to command a respectable share of global commerce. ...

.08 Vince Cable: Abolition of development agencies was 'Maoist and chaotic'

The Guardian, City of London, UK

... Cable admitted ... that scrapping the RDAs had been poorly executed, though he said he still supported the transfer of power from Whitehall to the regions that they represented. His comments come as questions are raised about the government's chosen growth agenda. Cable has designed the local economic partnerships (LEPs) – designed to replace RDAs ... LEPs would not be able to access any central government money to help them start up but would instead have to solicit funding from councils. ... Cable said: "We're investing heavily at a local and city level to reverse years of terrible over-centralisation in London that has led to a lack of independence for cities. Getting rid of the RDAs and bringing in LEPs has perhaps been a little Maoist and chaotic, but overall we're giving back to councils and local authorities the powers and incentives they need to see a resurgence in civic pride." He went on to pledge that the coalition would galvanise British industry, making it central to a forthcoming white paper on growth. He said: "This economy has become horribly unbalanced over the past 10 years in particular. We became over-reliant on sectors such as the financial industry while allowing manufacturing to decline." "We mustn't lose sight of the fact that the UK remains the sixth largest manufacturing economy in the world. In the white paper, manufacturing will be top of the list because we need to rediscover the industrial brilliance this country was built upon."

.09 Assets sale of Regional Development Agencies may reap £500m

Financial Mail Women's Forum - UK

Taxpayers could reap a £500million property windfall from the planned abolition of the eight regional development agencies in England. Details just published by Business Secretary Vince Cable show that the agencies have amassed an astonishing portfolio of assets since they were set up in 1999. The schedule of properties includes business and technology parks, prime city-centre commercial sites and science parks. ... The agencies – criticised for allegedly wasting large parts of their annual £1.4 billion funding – will be wound up by 2012. While no final decision has been taken, it seems likely that most of their property assets will be sold, giving Chancellor George Osborne a much-needed windfall. Financial Mail understands that the RDAs are carrying out audits and valuations of their property and land holdings. ‘There will be no fire sale,’ said the Business Department. ‘ ... While the RDAs have bought the sites of many defunct industrial and commercial operations, they seem also to have collected some live businesses as tenants. ... An RDA spokeswoman said the businesses would have been acquired as a by-product of buying commercial properties for regeneration, and that the RDAs would not seek to manage the enterprises concerned. The RDAs will not be replaced in their present form, but local councillors and businesses will be able to form ‘local enterprise partnerships’ that will be invited to bid for money from Whitehall. It is thought unlikely that any of the RDAs’ portfolio will be transferred to the partnerships.

.10 Government is on track to meet its $2.4 million dollar commitment to support Saskatchewan's Regional Parks

News Release - Government of Saskatchewan, Canada

This year the Saskatchewan Regional Parks Association is receiving a grant of $515,000.

"Our regional parks are an important part of our province's high-quality recreation system," Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Bill Hutchinson said. "They often attract local people and tourists from out of the area who contribute to the regional economy. By supporting regional parks, we help make Saskatchewan a great place to live and visit." The Saskatchewan Regional Parks Association will use up to $125,000 of the $515,000 grant to assist with the operation of its office and to administer the grant program. The Saskatchewan Regional Parks Association will distribute the remaining funds, as grants, to qualifying member regional parks. Regional parks must match or exceed the grant money and use those funds to upgrade services such as campsites and buildings. ... Saskatchewan currently has 100 regional parks. They were developed by people in local communities who saw a need for local recreation areas. ...

.11 Politics: Regions compensate for federal deadlock

... “One of the advantages of regionalism is that even when the federal government is not working at full capability, decisions can still be made at different levels,” ...

.12 Regional Infrastructure Development Fund

Government Grant Guru - Australia

Regional Development Victoria’s (RDV) Infrastructure Branch provides up to $5 million in government grants for capital works to enhance the economic and social development of regional communities. To facilitate this development, the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) will focus on six priority areas:

* Tertiary education;

* Sustainable industries;

* Industry investment and development;

* Tourism;

* Transport and access; and

* Community and cultural infrastructure.

Industry Investment and Development RIDF will offer government grants focussed on attracting new investments into regional communities, and growing or securing the operations of existing regional businesses. The primary objective is to leverage more private sector investment and create new jobs in regional communities. RIDF Industry Investment and Development grants may be available for: ...


.13 Yahoo Plans Launching Content In Six Indian Regional Languages By Next Year - Bangalore, India

Yahoo’s website will soon be seen in six more Indian regional languages, the company said. After witnessing the mounting traffic for its Hindi website, Yahoo is now prepared to capture the huge potential for regional language-website. Yahoo, which currently has Hindi and English content, is planning to launch regional languages website by next year. Yahoo is now looking for partners in order to implement this. ...

.14 Asian-Pacific States Agree to Set Up Regional Connectivity Framework

News Blaze - Folsom, CA

In an effort to harness the rapid developments in mobile telecommunications services to enhance broadband access, countries in Asia and the Pacific agreed today at a United Nations-backed meeting to set up a framework for regional connectivity. "Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has opened up an array of previously unimaginable possibilities for even the poorest members of society," said Noeleen Heyzer, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), at the end of the two-day session on ICT in the Thai capital, Bangkok. "Nowhere is this more evident than in the mobile phone revolution," Ms. Heyzer told ESCAP's Committee on Information and Communication Technology (CICT). She added that mobile telephone usage in the region has reached more than 60 per cent of the population, the target set at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), which took place in Geneva in 2003 and in Tunis in 2005. The Committee recommended that ESCAP's members and associate members continue to strengthen cooperation in the development and application of ICTs, including space applications, and to build on new developments made possible by the rapid advances in mobile devices and broadband networks. ...

.15 Sustainability key to regional transportation strategy - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

As a part of Abu Dhabi's goal to become the most sustainable capital in the world by 2030, they have revealed plans for a new freight and passenger railway extending from the emirate of Abu Dhabi's western region through Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman.The construction of the Union Railway is about to start and will cost between Dhs30bn and Dhs40bn with construction. It is set to be completed in 2015. Across the region, a coordinated GCC network will include one rail line of 1,970 km connecting all GCC countries and Qatar via a bridge. The second line of 1,984 km will stretch between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman. The wider standpoint is for the railway network to extend to Jordan and Syria, linking the Gulf with Asia and Europe via Turkey. ... "All projects in the region whether it be cargo or passenger are all being designed with sustainability in mind. The GCC rail network, along with road and aviation projects, are there to not only link all of the GCC countries, but to address the growing issue of air pollution that the region faces with CO2 emissions." ... With a steady rise in respiratory and bronchial asthma, the UAE is facing a problem with air quality, especially in the hotter months, with added humidity. In a recent survey by Maplecroft, UAE and Saudi Arabia were ranked in the top 6 worst offenders for CO2 emissions in the world with UAE taking top spot. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 A way for a metropolitan area to support arts institutions based in the center city

Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

... instead of creating a bunch of separate taxes, how about supporting cultural institutions more systematically, just as how the Regional Asset District was created in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania to support cultural and civic institutions, primarily those located in Pittsburgh, which also serve regional audiences, but also to support institutions located in the county, not just the center city. (This helps strengthen support from jurisdictions other than the center city.) From the RAD website: Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) supports and finances regional assets in the areas of libraries, parks, cultural, sports and civic facilities and programs ...

.02 Smart Policies Can Moderate Regional Economic Harm of Greenhouse Gas Reduction: C.D. Howe Institute

Manitoba Chambers of Commerce Blog

Policymakers have the policy tools needed to ameliorate the regional economic harm that taxing GHG emissions can cause, says a study released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In Taxing Emissions, Not Income: How to Moderate the Regional Impact of Federal Environment Policy, authors Jotham Peters, Chris Bataille, Nic Rivers and Mark Jaccard recommend returning to the provinces the revenues collected through auctioned emissions permits, so that they may offer personal and corporate income tax relief, all to moderate the regional impact of GHG carbon policy. A price on GHG emissions will affect Canadian provinces differently, possibly undermining support for a policy that incurs regional transfers of income. This Commentary measures the financial transfers leaving regions under different policy scenarios; comparing the effects of an intensity-based cap-and-trade system, auctioning emissions permits coupled with federal corporate and personal income tax cuts, and an auction with provincial corporate and income tax cuts. Allowing provinces to retain the revenues collected from auctioned emissions permits would achieve a greater degree of regional equity than the other policy options.

.03 Sachse preaches regionalism, patience in turnpike corridor

Garland Blog - The Dallas Morning News - - Dallas, TX, USA

... Sachse is preaching regionalism and patience. It's not Sachse's intention to steal new businesses at Firewheel Town Center and along FM544 in Murphy and Wylie or to embark on incentive-laden battles along its new turnpike. "We're open to incentives, but that's not the objective," Vigil said. "Citizens pay taxes for parks, police officers and quality of life. They don't pay taxes for us to give it away." "We're not going to give up the farm so a retailer doesn't go to Wylie. We're not desperate."... comment ... I hope the loss of this undeveloped land will bring development that is actually "useful" and not more banks, tire stores and pharmacies!

.04 Regional Amalgamation from Below Could Challenge Moscow

Window on Eurasia Blog

Officials from six predominantly ethnic Russian regions in the Central Federal District have been quietly discussing consolidating into a single unit, something Moscow would like if it were running the process but a measure that could challenge the center’s control if it takes place spontaneously from below. On the one hand, such steps taken from below could spark a parade of specific unifications or demands for unifications that Moscow does not want, much as the efforts to create broader Russian entities like the ill-starred Urals Republic in the early 1990s or the calls more recently for the amalgamation of Circassian units into a single republic. And on the other hand, because this process is again beginning within predominantly Russian regions, it could result in changing the balance away from the predominantly Russian regions, at least in numbers, exactly the reverse of the intention Vladimir Putin had when he began the current push for regional amalgamation in 2004. ...

.05 The New “Cluster Moment”: How Regional Innovation Clusters Can Foster the Next Economy – Mark Muro and Bruce Katz (Brookings Institute)

Republic of Mining Blog

An except from a United States Department of Commerce, February 1, 2010 News Release states, “Competitive, high-performing regional economies are the building blocks of national growth and can benefit from smarter policies. The budget supports growth strategies based on stronger regional clusters of economic activity through funding in the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as the Department of Labor with other agencies in key support roles. As part of the administration’s place-based initiative, the 2011 budget provides $75 million in regional planning and matching grants within EDA to support the creation of Regional Innovation Clusters that leverage regions’ competitive strengths to boost job creation and economic growth.” Mark Muro and Bruce Katz have produced an excellent policy paper on the economic value of regional clusters for the Brookings Institute. The Executive Summary is posted below. ...

Blog Mission Statement

This blog aims to build awareness among the media, the general public and political decision makers about the economic and social benefits of sustainable mining practices in the 21st Century. These benefits include poverty alleviation, employment and enormous wealth creation for governments and shareholders. To ensure that the digital generation has exposure to the fascinating and captivating history of this dynamic sector. ...

.06 The Four Corners Coal Plant and Regional Climate Policy

Legal Planet - The Environmental Law and Policy Blog

The results of the recent elections in California and elsewhere suggest that the Golden State may be flying solo for many years when it comes to regulating greenhouse gas emissions. While Congress and elected officials in most states have grown even more partisan and climate-theory skeptical, Californians have soundly rejected efforts to cut back on climate regulation. As a result, concerns about “leakage” are likely to grow. Leakage is the term often used to describe an environmental policy in one jurisdiction that just chases pollution to another place, rather than creating a net environmental benefit. The poster child for concerns about leakage is likely to be the Four Corners coal plant in New Mexico ... Fear of leakage should not be used to stop California from implementing its climate program, but it should inform the California Public Utilities Commission when it considers whether to approve the sale. It should cause the next governor to redouble efforts to create a comprehensive climate program across the West. ClimateWire points out that Arizona walked away from the current Western Climate Initiative earlier this year. California should use its oversized economic and political clout to help get Arizona back on the team. Which brings up perhaps the most important point – although neighboring states might leak carbon dioxide, it’s California that is the elephant in the garden. California exports much of its pollution to other states, …

.07 Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, VA Readied for Taurus-2 Flights

Spaceports Blog

The construction of multi-million dollar launch pad facilities at the FAA-commercial licensed Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, VA. continue to be underway in a timely fashion for the launch of the first commercial Orbital Sciences Corporation Taurus-2 booster in about 6-to-9 months. The spaceport manifest of planned flights is expected to rapidly grow upon the launch pad going operational in 2011. The pad water tower is said to be the tallest in the world. Viewers may click the picture to expand and see greater pad facility detail. An "official" pad dedication ceremony is planned for spring 2011. Many Virginia space advocates remain hopeful that Bigelow Aerospace, SpaceX and other commercial launch firms will opt to launch their cargo and crews from Wallops Island, Va. in this decade.

.08 JISC RSC's impact report 2010

Joint Information Systems Committee - UK

The JISC RSCs are marking 10 years of support to the sector, supporting and helping learning providers to realise their ambitions in the use of technology. RSCs work collaboratively, with providers, funders and partners bringing benefits directly to the learners.

JISC RSCs (Regional Support Centres) exist to advise the learning providers of designated sectors to realise their ambitions in deployment of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to achieve their organisational mission. The network of JISC Regional Support Centres operates as a national service responsive to local needs through a strong sense of local ownership.

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Webinar: NCRLC and USDA to host discussion on rural economic development - December 8, 2010 - Initiative for Sustainable Communities and States

On Wednesday, 12/8/2010, at 2:00pm EST the National Catholic Rural Life Conference (NCRLC) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will host a webinar on rural economic development titled, “Revitalizing Rural America Together.” The webinar will discuss how faith-based groups can connect with rural development programs across the country. To sign up for the webinar, please RSVP at or call (202) 720-2032.

.02 Southern Regional Science Association - Golden Anniversary Meeting in New Orleans - March 23 - 27, 2011

To participate in our 50th anniversary meeting, please send us your abstract soon. Only abstracts received by January 31, 2011 will be considered in the preliminary program, which will be posted by February 15, 2011. Thus, if you submit by this date, you will know exactly when you will present the paper and can make better travel arrangements. You may also request a particular day of the conference , but only if you submit your abstract before January 31.

Please send the abstract or a proposed session to Program Chair Doug Woodward (University of South Carolina) by going to SRSA Conference page. To find the link, go to the SRSA website:

Please contact the SRSA organizers at with any questions. You can also follow the SRSA meeting by joining the group on Facebook. We hope you can join us to celebrate the half century milestone for the SRSA.

.03 Regional development and policy - challenges, choices and recipients - RSA International Annual Conference 2011 - April 17 – 20 - Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

Deadline for abstract submission 31st January 2011. Call for Papers PDF -

Registration PDF:

.04 2011 National Planning Conference - April 9-12 - Boston, MA - American Planning Association

Plan on attending the 2011 National Planning Conference and select from hundreds of sessions, technology showcase presentations, mobile workshops, GIS workshops, poster sessions, facilitated discussions, and training workshops. Conference details to be published.

Note: For the past five years that I have attended, there is a strong regional community theme within presentation topics. This emerges from the issues of the day and in amplified by the Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division. - Ed.

.05 Making Local Government More Efficient and Effective (Video) - American Institute for Economic Research - Great Barrington, MA, USA

Dr. Gerald Benjamin discussed strategies for more efficient and effective local government. Benjamin is Associate Vice President for Regional Engagement and Director of the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO) at SUNY New Paltz. CRREO is the principal locus of the college's efforts to raise its level of engagement within communities, governments, not-for-profits and businesses across the Hudson Valley. He has written and commented extensively on state and local government and regional governance.

.06 Water Governance Project

The Water Governance Project is a research effort funded by the National Science Foundation (SES-0519459, and SES-0921461). The research team includes scholars as well as graduate and undergraduate students of Political Science from Florida State University, the University of Arizona, the University of California Davis, and the Catholic University of Córdoba Argentina. Our research efforts are aimed at understanding the role of policy networks in enhancing the success of collaborative efforts among governmental authorities and other political actors in areas subjected to the increasing environmental stress produced by growing populations. We are not affiliated with any government agency, although we hope that our findings will help all agencies and stakeholders work together more successfully. Results from this research will be published, presented to interested groups, and provided to all participants who request the analyses.

Self-Organizing Policy Networks: Risk, Partner Selection, and Cooperation in Estuaries - 2010 - PDF

.07 Philippines: Call For Applications: Asia-Pacific Regional Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights And Advocacy Training In The Philippines -Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources - Winter Park, CO, USA

The Diplomacy Training Program (DTP), in partnership with Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and the Cordillera Indigenous Peoples’ Legal Center (DINTEG), is calling for applications for the Indigenous Peoples Human Rights and Advocacy Program: a Training Program in Human Rights and Advocacy for Indigenous Advocates from the Asia-Pacific Region. This program will take place in Baguio City, the Philippines from April 6-15, 2011.

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 On the Edge with Max Keiser-California Dreaming-11-26-2010

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Documentary – California Dreaming -

.02 End Game: Why the Status Quo Is Unsustainable - of two minds - charles hugh smith

The status quo models of "growth" and credit expansion inevitably lead to collapse.

Frequent contributor Harun I. has captured the essence of why the status quo is intrinsically unsustainable. Readers often do a better job than I can in explaining a profound feature of our world, and Harun's commentary is devastating in its logic and clarity. (CHS: Emphasis is mine.)

Our problems began in 1913 when the Fed and therefore de facto centralized planning was established. And every generation that ignored the fact that counterfeiting money and lending it at interest is a scheme that has catastrophically failed in all previous attempts deserves what eventually befalls them -- results equal intentions.

The problem with maintaining inflation at 3% is that it compounds until the curve approaches vertical. This exponential growth will eventually outpace real productivity and therefore, at some point, fake prosperity has to be created through expansion of fiduciary media (credit). What this implies is that what is happening today could have been and probably was predicted well before 1913. But once again politics trumped reason.

The effects being experienced today had to materialize. Mathematically there is and can be no other outcome. ...

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

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, MeRSA -