Regional Community Development News – December 13, 2010 [regions_work]


Top Regional Community stories … 1. – 9.

U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State – news articles10.01 - .13

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .13

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .09

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .07

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .02

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

Bold italic highlights “grist for the mill of local- regional thought and action.”


Top Regional Community Stories

1. Regional Leaders Told to Copy Best Practices of Other Cities, Work Together - Arkansas Business - Little Rock, AR, USA

Copy the best ideas of other cities and keep the intraregional competition to the gridiron, public officials and private-sector business leaders from across central Arkansas were told Monday.

Officials from the six-county Little Rock metropolitan statistical area attended a summit, "Understanding the Regional Community," … that focused on building a more globally competitive region by studying the best practices of comparable regions.

A collaborative effort of the Regional Community Initiative, the summit brought together community leaders to study the results of an interregional survey of eight metro areas reasonably close to Little Rock that are either comparable in size to the region or in competition with it for industry.

The RCI is comprised of the Institute for Economic Advancement at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (the event's host), the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, Metroplan ] and the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District [ ].

The eight MSAs are Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Kansas City, St. Louis, Nashville, Memphis and Jackson, Miss. A regional council or chamber of commerce in each city agreed to administer the surveys to public and private entities and individuals in their regions, with focus on multi-jurisdictional projects in the following areas:

* Regional planning

* Tax structure

* Law Enforcement

* Emergency services

* Transportation

* Education and workforce issues

* Environment

* Arts, sports, tourism and entertainment

* Regional advocacy

* Economic development

* Leadership

* Public participation

* Social services

RCI identified Kansas City as the best example of a true regional community, and plans to try and execute a "field trip" …

In addition, the initiative identified three stumbling blocks to developing a "dynamic regional community," compared to the eight regions participating in the survey:

* Term limits for elected officials

* Lack of numerous corporate and industry headquarters

* Relatively low number of regional institutions.

2. Congress of Cities Focuses on Working Together to Get Through Tough Times - National League of Cities - Washington, DC, USA

Cooperation. Regionalism. Collaboration. Working together no matter what side of the party lines. Coming up with solutions. Delegates at the Congress of Cities & Exposition in Denver heard these themes and discussed these issues throughout the conference.

“NLC is a place of collaboration. It is where we can find others who are going through very similar circumstances and very similar challenges,” said 2011 NLC President James E. Mitchell Jr., council member, Charlotte, N.C., …

“NLC is a nonpartisan forum. At this time when our national politics are so divided by party differences, the NLC offers a highly visible and national forum that is made up of elected officials of all political persuasions, yet speaking with one voice for cities and towns,” said outgoing NLC President Ronald O. Loveridge, mayor of Riverside, Calif. “

NLC Board members also discussed how regionalism, partnerships and inter-local agreements can help cities make the best use of scarce resources while still delivering services to citizens.

Host Mayor John Hickenlooper, who was recently elected governor of Colorado, echoed all these sentiments in greetings at the conference, saying, “when we work together everyone succeeds.”

He offered up the region’s FasTracks, regional transit expansion program as an example. All of the mayors and city leadership in the Denver region came together to build 122 new miles of commuter rail and 18 miles of rapid bus transit.

“At some point this country needs to come together in every sense,” Hickenlooper said. “We don’t have the luxury of partisan bickering after the election.”

Loveridge said he believes the 21st century is the century of regions.

“We must figure out how to encourage and support the planning, economic infrastructure, and sustainability of metropolitan regions,” he said. “At present, there is some talk — primarily in think tanks and at the universities, but no resources or well defined strategies.”

3. Officials fear tolls could isolate South Hampton Roads - The Virginian Pilot - Norfolk, VA, USA

A map of Hampton Roads that depicts a ring of fire engulfing the region has made its rounds at city halls and in the community.

The ring is connected by a series of new toll roads, bridges and tunnels that have been proposed to improve movement in and out of the area, which is increasingly getting choked with traffic. The map showing the possible tolls was created by city of Norfolk staff.

With a price tag on almost every major entry and exit point, many local leaders fear South Hampton Roads could become isolated, threatening the region's vitality.

"The dynamics of all that are worrisome," Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim said. "What does it mean for our economy? Has anybody thought through all this?"

"With the backlog of transportation projects we have, we're all anxious to move forward," said Barry Bishop, executive vice president of the Greater Norfolk Corp., which works to enhance economic activity in the region. "But here's the rub - we need these projects to move forward, but not at any cost.

All the toll roads would be operated by private companies. The proposed rates:

"My greatest concern is that it would appear that tolls of these levels would defeat our purpose for these projects - a lot of people won't be making these trips," said Dwight Farmer, executive director of the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization. [] "That being said, I don't think the policymakers would move forward on projects that require a toll level that would defeat our purpose."

Indeed, there will be revenue analyses to gauge toll sensitivities, Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton said.

"We are very aware of the fact that tolls cannot be such as they limit mobility and economic vitality, not just on a project-by-project basis but on a regional basis,"

4. Regional transportation group begins two-year journey - Daily Record - Jacksonville, FL, USA

The legislatively created Northeast Florida Regional Transportation Study Commission embarked Wednesday on its two-year journey to explore the framework of a regional transportation authority for the seven-county region.

The 20-person commission consists of representatives from Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties and is staffed by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. …

Commission members were briefed on the context for developing the study and identified major issues that would both aid and deter such an authority, among other activities during the initial meeting.

The issue of regionalism was explained to the group by Rob Palmer, Reality Check First Coast co-chair and Urban Land Institute North Florida chair.

Palmer discussed the economic competitiveness among regions and infrastructure needs as key reasons why the idea is being explored. The federal government advocates and supplies funds for regional projects.

“Jurisdictions can’t go it alone,” said Palmer, referring to infrastructure needs and costs.

Commission members, as part of their first exercise, were asked to give both “headwinds” and “tradewinds” in developing and implementing such a regional transportation plan in Northeast Florida.

The overall economy was the most commonly cited deterrent, with some commission members listing environmental regulations, lack of voter recognition of regionalism, public apathy, the different infrastructure needs of the individual counties and “turfism” as other obstacles.

On the positive side, commission members discussed the willingness of regional representatives to embark on the study, the availability of local land, the idea of job creation and economic development and changing attitudes toward transportation as supportive of a regional effort.

RC: Northeast Florida Regional Council

5. COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: Are we pioneers or settlers? - The Barnstable Patriot - Barnstable, MA, USA

Maintaining local control and creating efficiencies in delivering services are two goals we strive to achieve when we take on the task of regionalization. Three communities have seriously considered and worked toward accomplishing these goals. …

This is about building smart communities. This is about creating sustainable communities. This is about leadership that recognizes a need and takes action. Chatham High School teacher Hunter Harrison was quoted in the Cape Cod Times (Dec. 7) as saying, “We can be settlers or we can be pioneers.”

What we see going on around us are communities looking within and without. There is something to say about getting one’s own house in order first. …

Cape Cod Regional Government, affectionately known as Barnstable County, has recently brought on board MMA Consulting Services to assist the County Commissioners in accomplishing the same assessment of services from a county perspective. With Cape towns working at the local level and the county government looking at services from a regional perspective, we lay the groundwork for the future.

We are all being driven to do this not only because we need to, but because we want to. We know how important it is to achieve significant savings to preserve the services that best serve the people. The funds to operate government at every level are not only being called into question, but they are decreasing at significant levels due to large decreases in state aid and loss of revenues related to local receipts.

People are calling for less government and fewer taxes, and some go so far as to say keep government out of our lives. Yet when it comes to public safety, recreational facilities, parks, sidewalks, plowed streets, safe drinking water, and other services that government does well, in general, the public wants those services. …

6. When states poach each other’s businesses, taxpayers lose - The Kansas City Star - Kansas City, MO, USA

You know it’s getting weird when Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser is the voice of reason concerning the burgeoning economic warfare within the metropolitan area between Kansas and Missouri.

Although more than a few people think the disarray that the mayor created within the city’s economic development agencies helped make Kansas City particularly vulnerable, he is right in wondering why local civic organizations haven’t been raising Cain on the topic.

“Where is Missouri? Where is regionalism? Where are the civic and business groups that claim to have Kansas City’s interests first?” Funkhouser asked a couple of weeks ago when The Star first reported that Kansas was dangling a $50 million incentive package to lure AMC Entertainment out of downtown.

It was on the heels of the city’s loss of Keybank Real Estate Capital, …

Since then the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce has demonstrated it’s apparently not interested in assuming a leadership role on this increasingly emotional and toxic topic.

Make no mistake, all the high ideals about regionalism and the importance of a thriving downtown to the overall well-being of the metropolitan area don’t cut it in Topeka.

That was made clear earlier this fall … pointed out that Johnson County was critical to Kansas because it represents one-third of the state’s economy.

“If your city can’t win the project, you want it in your county. If not the county, then the state,” Schreck wrote.

The only people winning are state economic development bureaucrats touting up wins, the brokers who shop companies around the metro, and the bottom lines of the firms themselves getting the incentives.

It’s not making the metro any more prosperous, and the area’s ordinary taxpayers are the ultimate losers.

7. New regional chairman unlikely to rock boat, but then who could? - The Standard - St. Catharines, Ontario, CA

Quite the buzz at Niagara Region Thursday.

Indeed, there hadn't been so much excitement in the council chambers since that debate over whether to use red or brown brick for a new sewage-plant addition.

When the dust finally settled, the proceedings served to prove one inalienable truth.

To enhance one's chances of being appointed Niagara Region chair, move to Niagara-on-the- Lake.


Obviously, Burroughs had other things going for him, two of which are absolutely essential for getting the Region's top job. ...

So, what do we get with Burroughs?

Well, the guy knows how to work a room.

Schmoozing goes with the job when you're a longtime hotelier, former head of the Shaw Festival board and Niagara Parks Commission and the lord mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake, where one gets to squire around various dignitaries.

It's unlikely he'll rock the boat at the Region, though.

But then, what regional chair could under the current system?

In a local municipality, a mayor, although the possessor of only one vote, has some fairly significant sway on his/ her council by virtue of being elected city-wide by the people.

The regional chair? Not so much.


The only candidate who, in a sense, spoke to the people was St. Catharines Coun. Bruce Timms.

He actually mentioned the elephant in the room when it comes to controlling spending -- the Niagara Regional Police Service. And he suggested specific changes to governance, including the need for Niagara residents to elect the regional chair.

Timms finished last, receiving two votes.

That'll teach him to speak above councillors' heads!

In his new role, Burroughs will likely be affable, approachable and accommodating.

But a regional chairman who's an agent for change and carries real political weight?

Wake me up when there's an election at-large.

8. Things To Be Thankful For: Redistricting Reform -

There are few aspects of politics that appeal to politicians’ worst demons more than redistricting. The process begins after the decennial census is conducted and population data is given to the states, which then use various methods to redraw their congressional districts accordingly. In many states that task is delegated to the state legislature and governor. When both are controlled by the same party, as will be the case next year in states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, redistricting often descends into gerrymandering, the process by which one party deliberately manipulates the map in order to put the other party at a disadvantage.

But fortunately, we’ve seen several substantive efforts at redistricting reform this year. Ridding our political system of gerrymandering is an issue that puts voters ahead of incumbents and benefits both Republicans and Democrats. Ensuring more fairness and competitiveness in our elections has been pushed by people across the political spectrum, from Tea Partiers to progressives, and from establishment Republicans to establishment Democrats. Because redistricting benefits the party in power, a party’s position on the issue often depends on their status.

Thankfully, voters in a growing number of states are pushing for changes that remove — or severely restrict — politics from redistricting. Four such states are California, Florida, Iowa, and Arizona: ...

Note: The U.S. has regionally elected officials. They are State legislators and U.S. Congress persons. The regions they represent are reviewed decennially based on U.S. Census population counts and may change as a consequence. Although gerrymandering has occurred historically, the use of GIS tools has led to election district regions that have little relationship to the established governance bounders, specifically counties and multi-county regional councils. When these alignments are taken into account in state election districts, there can be more effective communication and coordination between the levels of government for a given political geography. Ed.

The United States of America: Reapportionment and Redistricting

The Electoral Knowledge Network

9. Publishing Your Own Regional Cookbook - Ezinearticles

Making your own cookbooks from recipes gathered locally can be a great money maker or fundraising project. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Gathering Your Material:

First of all, of course, you will have to decide what region you want your cookbook to cover. Is it, for instance the region in which you live, or the south of France? Whichever you decide, it would be a great idea to gather as many recipes as you can, naturally, but also to collect historical or other interesting tidbits about the region in question, the area's food, and even some of your sources.

High-quality photographs are also a must. Take a look at some of your favorite cookbooks just for the sake of example, and you will understand what we mean. There should be a compelling cover image, and photos of the region as well as the dishes and ingredients. No matter how great the food and recipes are, you will need to make your book as attractive as possible in order to create a great finished product.


Note: This is published in the spirit of the season with a bit of a smile. If you read the whole piece you’ll note the author is selling binding machines. Looking ahead, this tactic may be needed in austerity. Another option is a bake sale. Cookbooks could be sold there as well. - Ed.

News as found:


Delicious Bookmarks:

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 HomeGain Releases 4th Quarter 2010 Regional Home Values Survey Results

Real Estate Blog - US

The national results of HomeGain’s Fourth Quarter 2010 Home Values Survey (conducted from December 1-7) of more than 1,000 real estate professionals and 2,300 homeowners revealed some significant regional differences. Below are the regional results of the entire survey, categorized into four regions*, Northeast, Southeast, Mid-West and West. ... Overall, the majority of agents and brokers in each region of the U.S. indicated that homeowners think their home is worth 10-20% more than the agent or broker recommends. ...

.02 Detroit may get regional patent office, commerce secretary says

Crain's Detroit Business - Detroit, MI, USA

Detroit is a candidate to get a regional patent office, said Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke following a roundtable discussion with local small business owners at the Detroit Regional Chamber today. The U.S. Commerce Department is considering opening regional offices of the U.S. Patent and Trade Office as part of its work to help President Barack Obama meet his goal of doubling exports within five years. When asked how Michigan's manufacturing-heavy industrial base would play a role in meeting that goal, Locke brought up the possibility of a local patent office. There are currently no regional patent offices in the U.S. "We're also looking at, for instance, having regional offices for our patent offices. We know that there's a lot of innovation occurring here in Michigan and the Detroit area, so Detroit is a candidate for a separate patent office," Locke said, ...

.03 MERG is officially launched

Bristol Herald Courier - Bristol, VA, USA

When a vehicle ran off the road in a wooded area high on Clinch Mountain in February, the crash victim went back and forth with dispatchers via cell phone, trying to help direct emergency responders to an unfamiliar location. ... With 14 agencies working on the call, it took more than two hours to locate the man ... If the same thing happened today, it would take less than 20 minutes to find him, Scott County E-911 Director Tim Addington said. That’s because of a new network of computer technology that links geographic information system data from around the region into a central repository. Called Mountain Empire Regional GIS, or MERG for short, the system became operational in October and now has eight participating localities: Washington, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Lee, Dickenson and Wise counties and the city of Bristol. ... Karen Jackson, deputy secretary of technology for the state of Virginia, said the project has raised eyebrows in Richmond, where a lot of folks from more urban areas of the state are used to looking down on Southwest Virginia. ... Nadine Culberson, deputy county administrator for Washington County, called it “a new way of life” for how local governments do business with public safety technology. “All of our decisions for capital investment from here on will be made with regional applications and collaboration in mind,” she said. Addington said the investment made in the system will show a real return for people who live in Southwest Virginia. “Boundaries are non-existent,” he said, “and lives will be saved.”

.04 FORUM: Fairgrounds deal best preserves regional asset - North County Times - Fallbrook, CA, USA

The North County Times editorial "Del Mar deal a scratch" (Dec. 2) raised several important questions regarding the proposed sale of the fairgrounds by the state to the city of Del Mar. I hope the following answers are helpful in evaluating this proposal. Was this deal done in secret or behind closed doors? The city of Del Mar announced its intention to respond to the governor's request for buyers in a newspaper commentary published more than a year ago and has held seven publicly noticed meetings to discuss the negotiations and receive public comment. ... Why is regional control better? State control isn't meeting the needs of the region. The 22nd DAA's Master Plan for extensive commercial development of the property has generated an overwhelmingly negative response from the public. ... proposed nonprofit fair board will be appointed by public entities throughout the region. Del Mar will have a minority on the board. ... How is the proposed plan good for our financially strapped state?


.05 Chamber hopes to learn from Austin in 2011

Richmond Times Dispatch - Richmond, VA, USA

The Greater Richmond Chamber will make its 2011 intercity visit to Austin, Texas, on April 6-8. ... It chose Austin because of its role as a state capital, its efforts at optimizing mega-regionalism, and its innovative thinking leading to economic development despite the recession. The visit's goal is to strengthen relationships with a network of regional leaders, learn the best practices of a peer region, and embrace actions that the Richmond region can put into effect. ...

.06 Donation to help Worcester plan public health regionalization

Worcester Telegram & Gazette - Worcester, MA, USA

The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts has made a $50,000 donation to the city to pursue a public health regionalization effort. The city recently formalized an agreement with Shrewsbury to provide supervisory, advisory and policy recommendations to the town on all public health services. Additional towns have also expressed interest in a regional approach.

“Research on the performance of public health systems across the country indicates that larger public health districts serving up to 500,000 residents are most effective,” said Janice B. Yost, president of the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts. ...

.07 Conn. booted from regional tourism group map

New Haven Register - New Haven, CT, USA

Connecticut has been kicked off a regional tourism group’s promotional map of New England after the state couldn’t pay the group’s annual dues. Discover New England’s executive director, Sue Norrington-Davies, said the group promoted Connecticut for free for six months. But she said the board decided early this year to stop after Connecticut eliminated its budget for tourism marketing and couldn’t pay the $100,000 in annual dues. Now, Connecticut is just a white spot on a map on Discover New England’s website and there’s no link to state attractions. ...

.08 Top States for Doing Business

The Agurban - Boomtown Institute -Effingham, IL, USA

Area Development Site and Facility Planning magazine published their Top States for Doing Business in September 2010. Industry consultants who work with a nationwide client base were asked to name their top-10 state choices for meeting eight site selection criteria, including 1) Lowest business costs; 2) Most business friendly; 3) Corporate tax environment; 4) Overall labor climate; 5) Work force development programs; 6) Fast-track permitting; 7) Rail and highway accessibility; and 8) Shove-ready sites. The top ten states named most often by the consultants as meeting the eight criteria: 1. Tennessee, 2. Texas, 3. South Carolina, 4. Alabama, 5. Georgia, 6. Indiana, 7. Mississippi, 8. North Carolina, 9. Virginia, 10. Oklahoma - The top state in each criterion includes: ...

.09 Governor Beshear Selected To Co-Chair Appalachian Regional Commission

GovMonitor - Miami, FL, USA

Gov. Beshear, who succeeds 2010 states’ co-chair Gov. Sonny Perdue of Georgia, was elected by the governors of the 13-state Appalachian region. He will begin his term in January 2011.

Gov. Beshear today also announced the appointment of Ben Hale as ARC Economic Development Coordinator for Kentucky’s Appalachian region. ... Established by Congress in 1965, ARC partners with federal, state and local governments in efforts to support sustainable community and economic growth throughout Appalachia. ARC funds projects ranging from education and job training to housing and business expansion, transportation and infrastructure development. Kentucky’s 54 most eastern and south-central counties qualify for ARC funding.

.10 Kentucky To Begin Appalachian Regional Short Line Rail Project

GovMonitor - Miami, FL, USA

Governor says ‘will significantly improve’ Appalachian transportation infrastructure. Govenor Steve Beshear today announced that work will soon begin on a job-creating and economy-boosting project to improve railroad infrastructure in Kentucky and two other Appalachian states, West Virginia and Tennessee. With Gov. Beshear’s endorsement and support, the Appalachian Regional Short Line Project, proposed by R.J. Corman Railroad Group, was approved for a $17.5 million grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. “This project will significantly improve the transportation infrastructure of Appalachia, which is often neglected, and will create much-needed economic stimulus,” Gov. Beshear said. “In the short term, it will create some badly needed jobs. In the long term, it will be a spur to regional economic development and will promote proven, environmentally friendly transportation.” The bulk of the grant – $12,964,443 – will fund work in Kentucky. R.J. Corman is putting up a $3,041,111 match and the Commonwealth is contributing $200,000. ...

.11 Some SC residents question Marines' new F-35 jets

Herald-Journal - Spartanburg, SC, USA

A small group of residents in South Carolina's military-friendly Beaufort are raising objections to the potential noise and disruption a new Marine Corps fighter jet might bring to their region's tranquility and tourism. The Department of the Navy is slated to make a decision in the coming days about the placement of 13 F-35B fighter squadrons along the East Coast, with a mix of aircraft and support units expected to go to Beaufort's Marine Corps Air Station and North Carolina's Cherry Point Air Station. Program boosters, such as Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., say about 1,700 jobs and $300 million in construction hang in the balance. While not taking issue with Marine training at nearby Parris Island Recruiting Depot or the F/A-18s flying now from the air station, a group dubbed "Best for Beaufort" says they are worried the new jets will be noisier and come in squadrons requiring more takeoffs and landings than the current jets do. The jets are in testing and the Marines want it deployed in 2012. "I think tourists come to Beaufort for a natural history experience and a cultural experience," said Kim Gundler, who runs a kayak tour business with her husband. ...

.12 Don't touch our tax break, businesses plead with reform council

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Atlanta, GA, USA

Eight years ago, farmers from Alabama were big players in Atlanta’s lively sod market, which flourished during the region’s decades-long housing boom. That’s not true today, after the state exempted sod from state sales tax, as Alabama had already done. The number of Alabama farmers shipping grass here dropped and the number of Georgia sod farmers grew, according the president of a sod company near Newnan. "Please do not recommend reinstatement of taxes that will impact our industry's ability to compete," wrote NG Turf's Aaron McWhorter in a letter to the state's Council on Tax Reform and Fairness. The letter is one of a number of special-interest entreaties to the council charged with finding ways to update and streamline Georgia's tax code. The council is expected to make recommendations to state lawmakers next week. The letters exemplify some of the barriers the council faces as it searches for ways to broaden the state's tax base and make the code more simple and fair. The sod exemption is one of dozens of special tax breaks for businesses, all of which deny money to state coffers and -- at least according to critics -- increase the tax burden on everyone else. Businesses counter that the breaks help them create jobs and feed state tax revenues in other ways. No business wants to lose its tax break, and some want new sales tax breaks added to the 13-page list of current ones. Those exemptions go to a surprising stew of businesses. ...

.13 Feds plan to remove Great Lakes wolf designation - Madison, WI, USA

Despite being rebuffed three times by federal courts, the U.S. government is trying again to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list, officials said Friday. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will release a proposal by April for handing management of the region's wolves to state wildlife agencies in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and hopes to make a final decision by the end of 2011, regional spokeswoman Georgia Parham said. The plan is being designed to withstand legal challenges that have thwarted previous efforts to strip the wolves of protection under the Endangered Species Act. Agency biologists remain convinced the predators have made a solid recovery from near-extinction and can flourish without federal protection, Parham said. "We're doing our best to develop something that is scientifically sound and legally defensible," she said. But environmental and human rights groups that sued successfully in the past to retain the wolves' protected status were ready to continue the fight. "I don't think there's a way to legally delist the wolves at this time," said Collette Adkins Giese, staff attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. "There are still threats to wolves and there is too much up in the air with the science." ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Study shows support for 'fourth tier' of regional government

ABC News - Australia

A Queensland law professor says a survey has found some people think regional government should be a "fourth" tier in the federal system. Dr AJ Brown from the Griffith Law School has been studying regional and local governance and he has done a case study in central-west Queensland. He spoke about his findings this week at a meeting of the Remote Area Planning and Development Board. Dr Brown says some form of regional government could be the answer to strengthening communities. ... Dr Brown says regional bodies and groupings of local councils play a vital role in community decision-making. "Some people actually do think that we should have a four-tiered system of government and that includes about 15 per cent of adults in the central west [that] we found out from our survey work of what people think," he said. "Even if you don't think that regional government should be a sort of fourth tier in the system, a lot of people think that regional government is the answer in the future in some way, shape or form."

.02 The never ending amalgamation love song - British Columbia, CA

During my first year on the news beat in 1981, local governance was a big story. ... Trail council was certain that a district municipality was the only way to go. But Vander Zalm convinced the Silver City councillors that the option most palatable to the other communities – regionalizing recreation, fire and four other services – was more doable and would be a transitional step on the way to one municipality stretching from Park Siding to Paterson. Three decades later, all but two of the seven mayors and electoral directors of that era are dead. Numerous studies have been done on regional governance, all of which came to naught, and the largest of the regionally-funded functions – recreation – has also been laid to rest. ... And local politicians are still discussing district governance. After three decades, they have talked themselves into a box. Many citizens believe that amalgamation is a no-brainer: fewer politicians and bureaucrats – how can you argue with that? But the reality is more complicated, even if you set aside the possibility that administrative costs can actually rise (bigger departments mean bigger salaries and more assistants for managers). ... After three decades of fruitless expenditures of time and money on Greater Trail, the bureaucrats in Victoria have lost interest in our little valley. The province has told the local pols that they are washing their hands of the issue until at least after the next municipal elections late next year. ...

.03 CoR message to Cancún: climate action starts in the regions but must be part of a global agreement

Committe of the Regions Press Release - Brussels, Belgium

Climate change negotiators in Cancún must acknowledge the importance of local and regional authorities in tackling global warming or risk a repetition of last year's disappointment in Copenhagen, the Committee of the Regions has warned as the UN-sponsored talks on climate action get underway in Mexico. The vital work in cutting emissions already underway at local and regional level must be better supported and coordinated on both a European and global scale. ...

.04 More regional cooperation vital to combat climate change: ADB expert

Regional bodies in Asia and the Pacific should get dynamic to combat from the front the impacts of climate change, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) expert said from Mexico's Cancun through a teleconference in Dhaka on Monday. David S McCauley, ADB's chief climate change specialist, told Xinhua, "Enhanced cooperation through regional and sub-regional bodies like SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is vital to address climate change." It is very important to speed up transfer of cutting-edge technology to mitigate the climate induced challenges, he added. According to the Manila-headquartered ADB, climate change poses a real economic and environmental threat to the countries in Asia and the Pacific region, which is home to more than half of the world's poor. ...

.05 Regional and National systems of Innovation

CiteMan Network

... One of the emerging features of the twenty first century innovation landscape is that it is much less of a single enterprise activity. For variety of reasons it is increasingly a multiplayer game in which organizations of different shapes and sizes work together in networks. These may be regional clusters, or supply chains or product development consortia or strategic alliances which bring competitors and customers into a temporary collaboration to work at the frontier of new technology application. Although the dynamics of such networks are significant different from those operating in a single organization and the controls and sanctions mush less visible, the underlying innovation process challenge remains the same – how to build shared views around trigger ideas and then realize them. Source: Managing Innovation John Bessant

.06 Intl. Cooperation Platform bolsters Turkey regional ties

Turkish Forum - Marblehead, MA, USA

Having the 16th largest economy world-wide, Turkey is a key regional economic power. Its rapid pace of growth and ability to with-stand the global economic crisis, says Turkey’s president, provides regional partners with know-how his country wants to share to aid regional development. A Turkish initiative, the International Cooperation Platform, brought together representatives from 26 countries including ministerial delegations from Pakistan and Iran to talk infrastructure and connectivity. Turkey’s foreign economic relations board showcased a project which aims to integrate the economies of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, not unlike the European Union model… Turkey’s hopes this will later be expanded to include other countries. ...

.07 Regional TV Marketing’s new website goes live

mUmBRELLA - Australia

Regional free to air TV marketing body RTM launched its new website today and is the first media channel to develop a Google Maps API for media coverage areas. The Google Maps application allows users to view regional coverage areas by aggregated and submarket, with key profile information for each, including a Wikipedia function that gives detailed information on individual regional towns as well as location photos and video. ... The url is: 8 Million People Live in Regional TV Markets - Australia

Free to air TV continues to be the most popular mass medium in regional Australia, offering increasing opportunities for advertisers to engage with regional consumers. Click on our new Google maps application to view Regional TV coverage maps and key data with the added benefit of a link to Wikipedia regional town profiles.

.08 Quebec: Regional First Nations-Osisko Mining Corporation Sign Hammond Reef Resource Sharing Agreement

Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources - Winter Park, CO, USA

Osisko Mining Corporation ("Osisko") is pleased to announce that the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat, Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation and Osisko Hammond Reef Gold Ltd. have signed a Resource Sharing Agreement on Friday, December 10, 2010, creating a commitment by all parties to engage in active consultation and collaboration, as part of Osisko's continued gold exploration activities at their Hammond Reef advanced gold project. "This is an important and significant next step in the continued relationship between First Nations," said Tammy Ryll, Executive Director of the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat. "Osisko has proactively engaged in a process of consultation that respects our traditional territories and our Treaty rights, and we are pleased to support their initiative and its continued development." ...

.09 30th FAO regional conference for the Near East

African Press Organization

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) concluded today its thirtieth Regional Conference for the Near East Region (NERC 30) that was held during 4 – 8 December 2010 in Khartoum; at the kind invitation of the Government of the Sudan. Seventeen member states from the Near East Region have participated in addition to observers. ... Dr. Saad Al-Otaibyi, Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for the Near East stated that five priority areas were identified and endorsed for FAO work in the region. These are: Enhancing Food Security and Nutrition; Fostering Agricultural Production and Rural Development for Improved Livelihood; Sustainable Natural Resources Management; Response to Climate Change Impacts; and Developing Adaptation Strategies; and Preparedness for, and Response to, Food and Agriculture Emergencies. He said that the proposed regional framework is foreseen to support Member Countries in addressing national, sub-regional and regional priorities. It will serve as the tool for resource mobilization and for the development of cooperative programmes, involving donors from and outside the Region. ...

.10 Saarc members urged to overcome impediments for regional development

AAJ News - Pakistan

Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of Pakistan Dr. Nadeem-ul-Haq on Wednesday urged the Saarc member countries to enhance mutual cooperation for poverty alleviation, trade development and economic prosperity of the region. Nadeem-ul-Haq was addressing a ceremony here to celebrate 25th anniversary of the signing of the Charter of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc). “Geography and nature has brought us together,” he remarked and added that the member countries must accept challenges and overcome the impediments to develop South Asia. ... He said that establishment of regional cooperation associations have become need of the day and countries around the world have been developing such association for their mutual benefit. ... The participants also cut the 25th SAARC charter cake to mark the occasion.

.11 Turkmenistan’s neutrality contributing to regional peace, security: Qureshi

AAJ News - Pakistan

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday appreciated the ‘Permanent Neutrality’ stance of Turkmenistan and said it had contributed to regional peace, security and stability. He was addressing the International Conference on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan here, as part of series of ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of neutrality of the land locked Central Asian Republic. Turkmenistan is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its permanent neutrality, approved by 185 countries on December 12, 1995. ... Foreign Minister Qureshi said Pakistan has urged Turkmenistan to go for barter trade of commodities between the two countries as it would enable them both save their foreign exchange reserves. ...

.12 Regional flood vulnerability - Maps and Graphics


Regional flood vulnerability. Since Asia comprises a large portion of the World’s population, and more than 40% of all the foods in the world occur in Asia, a large number of people are affected by disasters (Fig. 14). More than 40% of the people killed by natural disasters are killed in Asia (Fig. 15). In the ten-year period from 1999–2008, 402 foods were recorded in Africa, 342 in the Americas, 259 in Europe and 649 in Asia. In the same time period close to 1 billion people were affected by floods in Asia whereas the corresponding fgures for Europe were around 4 million, for the Americas 28 million and Africa 22 million. The vast majority of people either injured, made homeless or otherwise affected by natural disasters on a global basis, i.e. 80–90% live in Asia. As a rough estimate foods appear to cause 20–25% of all deaths associated with natural disasters across Asia (World Disaster Report, 2009, USAID, 2007, UNU-IAS, 2008).

.13 WITWA Blazing "techtrails" to Regional Western Australia

Women in Technology, WA (WITWA) launched techtrails, an initiative aimed at supplementing the shrinking technology sector with new talent. Designed to encourage high school students to consider careers in technology, techtrails is a school incursion focused on regional WA. The goal of the program is to increase awareness of the many lucrative opportunities present in the broader technology industry. ... Utilising the Scitech “technotruck” to deliver workshops for students in grades 9 through 11, techtrails also brings experienced technology volunteers into the school environment. Gilmore College in Kwinana is participating in the pilot program. Karratha and Geraldton have expressed interest in early visits. “WITWA developed this new concept to cater for the growing needs of the Technology sector. It addresses the lack of Generations Y and Z studying in our field”, says Towler. “What we discovered is that students and parents are unaware how many opportunities exist for them. Once the NBN project gets underway, regional WA will have more options than ever.” ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Regional Quality Initiatives: Expanding The Partnership

Health Affairs Blog

If you’re looking for a transformation in health care, look first to America’s cities, towns and communities. That’s where it happens, among local men and women who deliver and receive care, and the employers and consumers who pay for it. That’s why the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are excited by what’s happening in communities coast to coast. … Since Aligning Forces kicked off in 2006, it has essentially defined the field of regional quality improvement. When Aligning Forces began, the idea of diverse local stakeholders linking approaches to enhance quality and value was novel. Since then, the program’s emphasis on engaging consumers, measuring the performance of providers and reporting it publicly, and improving the quality, cost and equality of care being delivered has taken hold. The Aligning Forces regions are beginning to explore payment reforms to help sustain and increase local improvements in quality. ...

.02 A New Regional View of Great Britain

The Regional Studies Blog

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have recently published a paper on 'redrawing the map of Great Britain' using a network of human interactions (telecom data). What it does is take a new view of the regional geography of Great Britain using a huge dataset (12 billion records). It's best here just to show you the best map from the paper (below) and to look at the video (also below).

.03 Placemaking as an antidote for shrinking city budgets

New Urban Network Blog

It’s that time of year, but it’s no holiday party in most city budget meetings. Cities across the continent are looking for ways to make ends meet. ... How can great placemaking save money and grow the economy? If we want to be bean counters about it, there is plenty to count. Urban mixed-use midrise is over 200 times as profitable in tax revenue per acre than suburbia. The tax basis adds up. ... Infrastructure and transportation value capture Infrastructure to service compact, dense development costs 32% less than conventional development patterns, says the US EPA (7/09). Denser Calgary will save taxpayers $11.2B versus sprawl over 60 years, according to PlanIt Calgary (4/09) ... So what’s standing in our way? Most of our current laws make the economic losers – from the city’s perspective – easy to build, while mixed-use walkable neighborhoods are generally illegal. ... San Diego’s Uptown District, a mixed-use infill project on 14-acres of formally city-owned land, was executed in 1987 by then City Architect, Michael Stepner. The project includes a healthy mix of residential and commercial units types, townhouses, flats over retail, live-work over retail, office over retail and two-story retail. The city invested its land into the project to promote the “City of Villages” concept to private developers, and its numerous award have resonated over time as the definitive model for redevelopment in the region. Its success led the way for Peter Calthorpe’s innovative 1992 Transit-Oriented Development Guidelines as well as informing the recently updated General Plan Strategic Framework. The $14 million dollar public investment in buying the land is still paying dividends today as this site has the lowest vacancy rate and highest rents per square foot in the mid-cities region. ...

.04 Economic Development Alliance works with Regional Partnership to receive certification

The AroundFortWayne Blog

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance announced today that it has successfully completed the process of obtaining site certification for the James E. Kelley Aero Centre property. The site, which is located at the Fort Wayne International Airport, was “Certified Site Ready” by the Strategic Development Group, a professional site selection firm. ... The “Certified Site Ready” program is an initiative launched by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and funded by the Northeast Indiana Foundation. The process was set in place to expand northeast Indiana’s inventory of development-ready sites. ...

.05 Blogging the First East Central Illinois Regional Broadband Summit

404 Tech Support

Last week, I had the privilege to attend the first East Central Illinois Regional Broadband Summit. The summit was put on by the East Central Illinois Development Corporation (ECIDC) and hosted in Mattoon, Illinois. The catalyst behind this summit gathering non-profit organizations and private corporations together stems from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and other grant funds. The stimulus package has particular provisions in it to improve broadband access to households that don’t have reliable access to broadband Internet for the quality of life improvements that the Internet provides. The East Central Illinois Regional Broadband Summit was arranged to bring together those organizations that have the capability to make a difference for rural Americans. ... The ECIDC is a regional organization focused on driving economic development in 11 neighboring counties in Illinois, including: Christian, Shelby, Moultrie, Douglas, Coles, Edgar, Clark, Cumberland, Effingham, Jasper, and Crawford. The Regional Broadband Summit focused on the local area but many of the partnerships were naturally working beyond those boundaries and even state-wide. ...

.06 The Midwest Regional Conservation Guild

Emerging Conservation Professionals Network Blog

If you’ve been reading our 10 Tips for Becoming a Conservator, you know how important it is to get involved with professional organizations. The Midwest Regional Conservation Guild (MRCG) is a great example of a regional group that has a lot to offer, and it exists to benefit conservators like you! I asked the current president, Laurie Booth, some general questions to get an idea of what the MRCG is all about: 1. When and how was the guild founded? The guild was founded 30 years ago by a group of professionals in the Midwest who felt it was time to form a regional group in order to facilitate a dissemination of information and to represent the needs of Midwest conservators to organizations like the AIC and Heritage Preservation. Our last meeting was dedicated to a history of conservation in our flagship cultural institutions as well as a history of MRCG itself. ...

.070 WikiLeaks XVI: Cancun -- From a Combustible Regional Summit to a Lacklustre Climate Conference

Focal Points/Blog

We're honored to have Michael Busch dissecting the latest WikiLeaks document dump for Focal Points. This is the sixteenth in the series. Reading through the Latin American cache of recently released WikiLeaks dispatches, it's hard not to feel a little sorry for Mexican president Felipe Calderon. Not only are things looking grim on the home front, according to a cable dating from earlier in the year, the Mexican government can't even get it together to host a conference of regional leaders that doesn't break down into failure. In February, Calderon gathered Latin American heads of state in Cancun to hammer out a regional initiative to promote greater unity among the neighboring countries. But instead of harmony, Calderon nearly got a fistfight between Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. According to the cable, things were doomed from the jump: Notwithstanding President Calderon's best intentions to create a more practical regional forum for regionally dealing with Latin American priorities (ref A), Mexico's Latin American Unity summit in the tourist resort of Cancun (22-23 February) was poorly conceived, inadequately managed, and badly executed.


Note: When I read the full post, it reminded me of the article below. Ed.

.071 Acquiring political points on quarrels - BLIC Online

… “All leaders from this region are excellent allies, because instead of solving far more difficult problems of the borders, unemployment and of attracting foreign investments, they give each other a chance for opening old battlefields. Thus they cover up their inability to solve real life problems. This will be a problem for a long time in the region. ...

.08 Norwich, London, and the regional integration of Norfolk’s economy in the first half of the fourteenth century

Introduction: The central-place theories used by geographers to explain the integration of markets are increasingly popular with medievalists, and the growth of Norwich in the first half of the fourteenth century, coupled with its connexions with London, raises the possibility that this period did indeed see the integration of markets into regional economies which matured into what James Masschaele has called ‘a rudimentary national economy’. He concluded that regional economies had already evolved in outline in England by about 1250 through the creation of a hierarchical constellation of markets round a leading town which became the specialised hub of the network and its chief link with other regions. As the most commercially progressive of English counties, Norfolk should offer the most convincing evidence of these developments. By 1349 at least 121 weekly markets had been founded in the county, ...

.09 Hiring practices of regional planning agencies?

Cyburbia - The Planning Community

hilldweller: I've always sensed that regional planning agencies tend to employ a lot of activist-type, more ideologically-driven planners, often with very a specific focus in a particular aspect of planning such as housing advocacy, watershed protection, environmental justice, smart growth, etc. Committment to a specialization/ pet issue seems to be highly valued, and often the staff have academic backgrounds that are more peripheral to planning in nature - i.e. sociology, antropology, life sciences, etc. There doesn't seem to be positions in these agencies for more traditional, generalist-type planners with experience in local government dealing with physical planning- zoning, subdivisions, ordinances/resolutions, and the like. Often there aren't staff in these agencies with any local government or private sector experience, which I find curious. Does anyone have any familiarity with the hiring practices of regional planning agencies? Are my characterizations off-base?

Tide: You need to remember that regional planning agencies were born out of State level requirements. Many of them uphold state level programs and distribute grants (such as CDBGs). Some of the responsibilities of regional planning agencies responsibilities that aren't directly planning related are; aging services such as hospital and nursing home certification and monitoring, clean water research, you mentioned the housing/community development which often takes on a sociological flavor than a planning flavor, and legislative services for municipalities.

I do think there are places for generalist planners, especially in some private practices and at many county level positions. Larger regional planning agencies that actually participate in planning such as those around DC, Chicago, and San Fransisco, will have generalist planners but the smaller communities just don't have the budget to hire a catch all and have specific roles to fill, often 1 person departments.

chocolatechip: Going along with Tide's comments, most regional planning agencies have specific charters or regulatory power that focuses what they do to a certain realm of planning. I'd say most of these regional agencies are clustered around two broad areas: 1) transportation (rail authorities, metropolitan transit authorities, state highway departments, etc.) and 2) the environment (watershed management, wildlife management, etc.).

Local planning departments encounter a broader range of planning issues, because they have greater jurisdictional purview of development and land use, but over a smaller area. In plannig school we discussed the "home rule" concept, which is how most planning power has historically stayed at the local level. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but often those exceptions are in the form of those regional agencies above (e.g. Robert Moses and his use of the "Authority" to override local government and private property uses).

mike gurnee: In addition to the above regional planners in more rural areas often do city planning work for the smaller towns, like a circuit rider.

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 New £250k investment in research, collaboration and knowledge transfer - Regional Studies Association - UK

Responding to a rapidly changing state-of-play in higher education, the Regional Studies Association (RSA) announces a major funding initiative to support its members in research, collaboration and knowledge transfer activities over the next three years.

"The current climate of austerity in some countries and 'land of plenty' in others gives a very uneven playing field for researchers and practitioners in our field. The RSA is committed to helping our members continue their work wherever they live" says David Bailey (Chair, RSA).

He went on: "With growing membership and a strong financial position we’re delighted to make this investment in supporting research in regional studies”. Sally Hardy, (CEO, RSA) adds “We aim to make targeted input to the research and practice world to enable and support communication and collaboration from local to international scales. We are making funding available specifically to help members in setting up international research networks, to support conference travel, and to assist with RSA co-badged organised events and to further help our members we will also seek to cap fee increases to attend our own events and also offer more bursary places."

Funding Opportunities

* Apply for up to £3000 of renewable Research Network funding to bring people together to discuss key questions in your area of interest (open to all individual categories of membership).

* Everyone is eligible to apply for conference bursaries taking the form of a free conference place at our annual international conference (precedence may be given to young/new researchers or those from countries with recognised funding difficulties)

* Ask for a Travel Award, which offers up to £200 towards travel costs

* Apply for one or more of our annual Awards for a chance to win some of prizes;

* Two Bill Ogden memorial prizes are available covering a free conference place and limited travel support to the winter conference.

* Apply for up to £1000 to support your regional studies event via our Event Support Scheme


.02 Call for Papers: World Symposium on Transport and Land Use Research - Inaugural Meeting of the World Symposium on Transport and Land Use Research (WSTLUR) - July 28-30, 2011 - Whistler, British Columbia

The conference will bring together academics and practitioners at the intersection of economics, planning, and engineering in the fields of transport and land use. In addition to presentations based on rigorously peer-reviewed papers, the conference program will include confirmed plenary presentations from:

* Ed Glaeser (Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University), Keynote Address

* Robert Cervero (Professor of City & Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley), Featured Luncheon Speaker

* David Banister (Professor of Transport Studies, Oxford University), Featured Luncheon Speaker

Submission of Papers

Join this exciting initiative by presenting original and interdisciplinary research papers on topics that address the interaction of transport and land use. Welcome domains include: engineering, planning, modeling, behavior, economics, geography, regional science, sociology, architecture and design, network science, and complex systems.

Papers will be categorized and ranked by peer reviewers. Theoretical, empirical, case-study, and policy-oriented contributions are welcome. All papers will be considered for publication in the Journal of Transportation and Land Use.

Papers must be submitted electronically by December 31, 2010 for consideration. See the WSTLUR paper submission Web page for detailed instructions.

More Information:

* Kevin J. Krizek, WSTLUR Conference Chair

Associate Professor of Planning & Design, University of Colorado -

* Stephanie Malinoff, Manager of Events and Outreach Services

Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota -

.03 All Hazards Consortium - 3rd Annual Regional State Border Coordination Workshop

On January 24-25, 2011, the states and urban areas of the All Hazards Consortium (AHC) will hold the 3rd Annual Regional State Border Coordination Workshop. The AHC will further develop the findings and discussions that came out of the 2nd Annual State Border Coordination Workshop regarding existing catastrophic evacuation planning efforts within the states of NC, VA, DC, MD, WV, PA, DE, NJ & NY including challenges and opportunities to achieve the long-term vision of a coordinated plan and support of integrated planning. Breakout sessions cover: credentialing, mass care, transportation, resource management and situational awareness. ... For more information, or to register, visit

.04 EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Regional Council 2011 Annual Meeting - OCLC - UK and Ireland

"On the 2nd and 3rd March 2011, OCLC will hold its second Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional member Meeting in Frankfurt at the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. The Meeting will mark another milestone in OCLC's move towards becoming a more global organization, taking its decisions and direction from a membership of libraries worldwide. By holding annual Regional Meetings, it is hoped that the organization can listen to and better understand a membership of diverse cultural, economic and geographic interests. So, what should libraries expect from this forthcoming Meeting?

When OCLC talks about its membership, it is referring to some 27,000 libraries, archives and museums; in particular, those institutions that have chosen to work collaboratively with the OCLC organization to introduce efficiencies in library workflow and to overcome certain new challenges that libraries face, collectively.

In 2009, OCLC's Members Council voted through a change to the governance structure. A previous single members' council was replaced by three Regional Councils representing the Americas, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Asia-Pacific, all operating under an over-arching Global Council. Delegates are nominated and voted simultaneously on to EMEA Regional Council and Global Council. At present, there are ten delegates nominated and elected by members to serve on the EMEA Regional Council. Mr. Dugall is also the President-elect of Global Council.

It is the delegates that determine the theme of the Meeting and the theme this year is "Breaking down barriers to knowledge". ...

.05 Developing Sustainable Community Business --- A Look at Concrete Models of Success - Festival of Community Economics - July 14 -16, 2011 - Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia, Canada (opens with a lobster supper)

Special guests: Inacio Irizar from the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation and Ray Holland from Durham University in the United Kingdom. We will look at community business models which have used innovation to survive the Global Recession. We are interested in the role of technology and innovation. We are interested in the experience of community based investment efforts…what works and what does not. What is the role of government?

For more information contact Greg McLeod:

Related information at website:

.06 Premier Issue - Sustainable Communities Magazine - Volume 1, Issue 1 Partnership for Sustainable Communities - San Rafael, CA, USA

.07 Consultancy Possible regional approaches to supporting judicial services and legislative drafting services in Forum Island countries - Pacific Island Forum Secretariat

Terms of Reference for Consultancy


1. In their Auckland Declaration of 2004, the 16 Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum (the Forum) adopted a Vision of „…a region of peace, harmony, security and economic prosperity… in which its cultures, traditions and religious beliefs are valued, honoured and developed… that is respected for the quality of its governance, the sustainable management of its resources, the full observance of democratic values and for its defence and promotion of human rights." Leaders agreed to give effect to this Vision through the development of a „Pacific Plan" [ ] for strengthening regional cooperation and integration. Following a period of drafting and widespread consultation, the Pacific Plan was adopted by Forum Leaders in October 2005.

2. The Pacific Plan is organised under four pillars of economic growth, sustainable development, good governance and security. The Pacific Plan identifies a number of initiatives for enhancing regional cooperation and integration under each pillar, within an implementation framework of varying priorities that extends to ten years. Responsibility for ensuring implementation of the Pacific Plan rests primarily with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (the Secretariat), but many initiatives are being pursued in cooperation with donor partners and/or other regional and international organisations. Implementation is monitored by a Pacific Plan Action Committee (PPAC) comprised of representatives of Forum Members, associate members and observers. Priorities and progress in relation to the Pacific Plan are also reviewed annually by Forum Leaders.

3. In 2007 the Pacific Plan Action Committee recognised that there was a need for an increased emphasis on regional legal infrastructure, including judicial and court services, in the Pacific Plan, and approved the creation of a new initiative 12.9 under the Governance pillar of the Plan. Initiative 12.9 proposes that the Forum might:

Deepen regional cooperation between key actors in the legal sector in the region, including senior government law officers, legislative drafters and judges. Explore the possibilities for regional support, including through pooling of resources and regional integration, in legal institutions and mechanisms providing legislative services, and in the area of judiciaries, courts and tribunals.

This initiative was endorsed by Forum Leaders at their annual meeting in Tonga in October 2007.

4. The Secretariat is now in a position to embark on consultations and research to advance this initiative.


9. The Consultant shall undertake a scoping study into possible regional approaches to supporting judicial services and legislative drafting services in FICs, in accordance with initiative 12.9 of the Pacific Plan.

10. The overall objective of the study is to explore and develop recommendations for appropriate regional approaches to supporting judicial services and legislative drafting services in FICs.

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 A World Upside Down? Deficit Fantasies in the Great Recession - The REAL News

Robert Johnson, Director of the Project on Global Finance, Roosevelt Institute: Austerity and stagnation real risk to debt-to-GDP ratio

YouTube - 15:40

A World Upside Down? Ferguson and Johnson Take on Deficit Hysteria - new deal 2.0

This paper demonstrates that the current hysteria over deficits in the US is unjustified. Markets for even long term US government debt are strong.

Key findings:

· Claims that economic growth falls off at anywhere near current US levels of debt to GDP are untrue. Neither is it the case that cutting deficits magically stimulates the economy. And stories about 90% limits are untrue.

· The CBO August 2010 budget revision implies that the U.S. is less endangered than most analysts claim.

· Private oligopolies in health and defense spending, along with the possibility of another banking crisis, are the real threats to the deficit, not entitlements.

· Social Security is in essentially no danger for decades and does not require any fix.

· It would be easy to stimulate the economy with a program of public investment that would substantially reduce public debts in the long run.

Read Working Paper 7: “A World Upside Down? Deficit Fantasies in the Great Recession“

.02 Janet Tavakoli's Top Ten Business Books of 2010 - The Market Oracle - UK

New Century: Fooling Me All of the Time or Why Improper Practices Only Matter When I’m Short and Not Earning Double Digit Dividends by David Einhorn


The End of Wall Street and the Global Takeover by Financial Oligarchs, by Roger Lowenstein

Best All-Time Business Book:

The Best Way to Rob a Bank (Again and Again) Is to Own One: How Banking Executives and Politicians Looted the Global Financial System, by William K. Black.

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

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Please email the Editor:

To search previous issues since 2003 go to:

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Tom (Thomas J.) Christoffel, AICP -