Regional Community Development News - Top Stories - July 22-25, 2011

 1. Lessons for Atlanta in Denver's transportation tax  |

If Atlanta taxpayers vote next year for a new transportation buildout, will they get the investment of a lifetime?

Or do they risk driving their dollars off a cliff?

The debate over how careful to be is suddenly raging here, among the very officials tasked with putting the plan together. And the answer may lie 1,400 miles away — in Denver.

If voters in the 10-county metro Atlanta region approve a penny sales tax next year to raise $7 billion over 10 years for transportation — likely the biggest single infrastructure investment in the region’s history — they will be treading new ground. But Denver has done it before, with a 122-mile “FasTracks” ... approved in 2004.

The first passengers should step on FasTracks-funded trains in about two years. While the promise of FasTracks has some big fans in Denver among commuters and employers, its failings regarding cost and timetable also offer harsh lessons, which Georgia officials are trying to heed.

 2. Tax Justice Network: 16 French regional councils involved in the fight against tax havens

One year after the adoption by the regional council of Paris of a resolution on banks’ country by country transparency, 16 French regions are now taking concrete action against tax havens.

This is a result of the 'Stop Tax Havens' campaign, launched in September 2009 by CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Oxfam France, ATTAC, some French Trade Unions (CGT, CFDT, SNUI, Solidaires) and the French platform against tax havens.

Template letters were produced in order to encourage activists to write to their regional representatives to get them involved in this campaign. And we have also been very active during the regional elections in spring 2010 to present our proposals to all candidates.

We are now working closely with the regional councils to help them implement these measures of transparency. Nine of them have been asking their financial partners to provide country by country disclosure of information such as: name and number of subsidiaries, numbers of staff employed, profits and ...

 3. Government collaboration can produce huge savings - Canton, OH -

Spending a billion dollars is almost as tricky as earning it. But what if Northeast Ohio found a $1 billion windfall – enough to pay for a college education for every graduating high school senior, hire more great teachers or increase research at our universities?

It sounds too good to be true, but such opportunity exists. It is found through sensible regional collaboration.

Regionalism has already shown us the power to grow new industries and support a new breed of entrepreneur. Regionalism is not a political ideology; it is a prudent fiscal strategy.

We often blame the state and region’s fiscal crisis on a tired story about an aging Rust Belt economy that has undermined government’s ability to raise revenues. But that narrative is, thankfully, outdated.

Our economy is larger than ever, with new industries creating jobs and profits. Greater Cleveland’s unemployment rate has generally been below the national average for almost three years. ...

Connecting Stark County:

4. Team NEO back to its roots in JobsOhio role - Northeast Ohio and Cleveland - Crain's Cleveland Business

With planning under way to serve its role as one of six regional economic development offices under the JobsOhio nonprofit created by Gov. John Kasich, Team NEO is coming full circle.

... the nonprofit appears positioned to play the central role in a collaborative economic development effort that was envisioned for it by its founders nearly a decade ago.

The plan is for the Cleveland-based nonprofit to oversee economic development for 18 counties, only slightly more than was planned for the original Team NEO.

It was never able to play that central role because local politicians and economic development officials were reluctant to share responsibility — and credit — for bringing jobs and industry to their particular corners of the state.

JobsOhio is Gov. John Kasich's vehicle for channeling state incentives to induce businesses to invest in Ohio. It eventually will get as much as $100 million annually from state liquor profits to invest in job creation.


 5. It's official: Rail line from Kenosha to Milwaukee is dead - JSOnline

Meeting for the final time Monday, the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority ended plans for a commuter rail line linking Milwaukee to Kenosha, Racine and the southern suburbs.

The RTA also voted to request that $6 million in federal money congressionally earmarked for the KRM Commuter Link be redirected to the Milwaukee County, Racine and Kenosha bus systems, if legally possible.

Much of Monday's agenda was dictated by the Legislature. In the 2011-'13 state budget, lawmakers ordered that the Southeastern RTA and its Dane County counterpart be dismantled, along with two other regional transit authorities that had been authorized but never formed.

The three-county body had been charged with planning the $283.5 million KRM and would have run the rail line had it been created.

But the Federal Transit Administration has held off for more than a year on approving the RTA's request to start preliminary engineering on the KRM. ...

 6.  Arena effort gets regional business support - Sacramento Press

In what Mayor Kevin Johnson called an unprecedented event, 14 chambers of commerce from the Sacramento region announced Thursday that they support an entertainment and sports complex in downtown Sacramento.

Johnson said the backing of the regional business community, which came after a four-county bus trip for Think Big Sacramento, is a commitment to the promise he made to the National Basketball Association earlier this year in New York City that Sacramento is an NBA city and can build a new arena.

“I did not sell Sacramento, I sold our region,” he said, adding that a common commitment to a downtown sports and entertainment complex will provide a more vibrant community.

The major obstacle facing the Think Big Sacramento coalition is developing a financing plan for the $386 million arena, something that was expected from the ICON-Taylor arena development team but was not a part of the report released after a nearly four-month feasibility study.

 7. Regional eco dev by the numbers - Times Bulletin - Van Wert, Ohio

At a meeting ... representatives of the West Central Ohio Network - an eight-county regional economic development group consisting of Van Wert, Paulding, Mercer, Allen, Auglaize, Putnam, Hardin and Hancock counties - described how the group had become a formal organization over the past several months and been accepted as one of only 22 pilot programs within the Stronger Economies Together (SET) nationwide project. The WCON is also slated to become a sub-group within the Toledo region for the JobsOhio program, along with Wyandot County.

One of the key items to emerge from the formation was the chance to have produced a data set for the region. This is essentially a set of numbers and statistics that represent the demographics of an area. Prospective employers, especially those looking to employ larger numbers of workers, ask for this type of information as a part of their decision-making process on where to locate a new facility.

These data sets can be used ...

 8. TRPA rejects biomass power plant at Tahoe - Sacramento Bee

Lake Tahoe's land use regulatory agency has rejected plans for a biomass power plant on the lake's north shore.

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Executive Director Joanne Marchetta says her staff concluded the Kings Beach site is "unworkable."

Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery says the plan generated widespread citizen complaints.

Mike and Dawn Baffone, who Kings Beach home is near the proposed site, initiated a grassroots movement against the plant.

They say opponents are not against biomass technology, but believe Tahoe is an unsuitable location because of a variety of environmental and social reasons.

 9. Regional transit plan identifies future needs | Tulsa World

It's time to rethink how we get around in Tulsa - not only because future needs demand it, but also because the federal government does too.

Local transportation planners last week unveiled a draft version of this area's regional transit system plan, known as "Fast Forward." It's not the kind of reading material most Tulsans would take to the beach. But whether we know it or not, transportation planning is important to all our daily lives - as well as our pocketbooks.

The 25-year regional plan looks at the needs and demands of this area's top-priority travel corridors and sets the stage for identifying how each corridor's challenges might be best addressed in the decades ahead. Ideas include such modest and basic measures as tinkering with the existing bus system to more exotic options such as light rail. (For more, visit

... if we want to preserve such options as light rail 20 or 30 years from now, we'd better get the work started now.


10. Economists stress deeper regional links

Economists in a commemorative lecture on Swadesh Ranjan Bose yesterday stressed the need for increased regional connectivity to achieve expected economic growth.

“The cost of non-cooperation is very high,” said Prof Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of Centre for Policy Dialogue at the city's BRAC Centre Inn.

Bose, whose life spanned from 1928 to 2009, was an economist who served the World Bank, the then Pakistan Institute of Development Economics and Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). He completed his MA in economics in 1960 from Dhaka University.

“The works of Bose could have been a massive source of information for regional cooperation, had they been published earlier,” Rahman said.

The time has come for regional connectivity and regional cooperation, he said. Bose realised the importance of regional cooperation and regional connectivity in the early 1960s, he said.


11. Steve Keen's Debtwatch

As an economist, I do something very unusual: I treat money seriously. Though this may be hard for those who have not done an economics degree to believe, economists have it schooled into them that “money doesn’t matter”– that it is just a “veil over barter”, there to make it easier to swap commodities than it would be if you actually had to find someone who had what you wanted, and wanted to sell what you wanted to buy. ...

Finance Education "After" the Crisis - Steve Keen - YouTube Video

Finance theory, since it takes neoclassical economics as its starting point, is even more flawed than neoclassical economics itself. Here I point out how absurd its abuse of the English language has been--using "Efficient" and "Rational" to describe behavior that any sensible person would see as "prophetic"--and discuss how it should be reformed.

12. Real Estate 4 Ransom - new documentary about global property speculation

Real Estate 4 Ransom is a new documentary about global property speculation and its impact on the economy. Real Estate 4 Ransom considers changing motivations behind property investment and challenges the notion that the Global Financial Crisis was caused by bank lending. ... What role did real estate play in the crashing of the global economy?
Co-Directors Karl Fitzgerald and Gavin Emmanuel - Premier - August 10, 2011

13. New Data Shows Slowing Migration in America - The Urbanophile

The Internal Revenue Service just released its benchmark place to place migration data for 2009. This tracks moves from county to county and state to state for people who filed tax returns between calendar year 2008 and 2009. My initial look at the data confirms what other sources such that Current Population Survey have shown, namely that migration has slowed during the Great Recession. I’m going to cheat though and not actually show much of that despite my enticing title, and instead illustrate a few other points the come out from this data.

As I’ve said before, this data is a gold mine of information. Few people seem to use it though, probably because it is so cumbersome to work with for non-specialists. One of the biggest reasons I built my Telestrian system was to create a platform that would actually make this data usable for me. ...

Megaregional Migration

... I’d previously showed a chart of gross migration between Chicago and other major Midwest metros. Gross migration is one of the better measures of true human capital circulation between cities, and indicates which metros have the tightest talent linkages with Chicago. ...

14. Why States Matter - The Urbanophile

This is the second part of my point-counterpoint series on the usefulness of states. You can read the “anti” state side at “Are States an Anachronism?.” Today we look at the opposite case.

There are a lot of reasons why, despite their obvious flaws, states continue to play a crucial role in our nation. The first is that in a huge, multi-regional, multi-polar country like the United States, we can’t effectively govern the entire place from a single city on the east coast (with perhaps administrative subdivisions), nor would we want to. Our federal system provides independent sovereignty for states that are part of the general principle of separation of powers in our system, one that provides a check and balance against excesses of various types in Washington. Cities and regions, no matter what their economic rationale, simply cannot play that role. It takes something like a state to be able to stand up to the federal government.

... their problems arguably hold no candle to Washington ...

15. If the World Lived Like New Yorkers, We’d All Fit Into Texas | INFRASTRUCTURIST

The wonderful density blog Per Square Mile gives us a graphic rendering of how much space the world’s population of 6.9 billion would need if it were as dense as certain cities. If everyone on earth were packed together like Parisians (above, click to enlarge), we’d only need about 128,000 square miles — an area roughly the size of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. To live like Singapore we keep Louisiana but swap the others for Texas and Oklahoma. Like San Francisco, keep the Singapore lineup and bring back Arkansas. Like London, keep San Francisco’s states and add New Mexico. Houston requires most of the Midwest, Great Plains, Southwest, and Rocky Mountains.

To live like New York all we need is Texas: ...

16. Human Transit: how urbanist visionaries can muck up transit

Architects and urban visionaries play an incredibly important role in a leadership-hungry culture. They have to know a little bit about almost everything, which is hard to do. But for some reason, certain segments of the profession have decided that the basic math and geometry of transit isn't one of those things they need to know, even when they present themselves as transit experts.

To see what I mean, I encourage you to watch this short video from Gensler Architects in Los Angeles. It's a concise summary of all the crucial mistakes that you'll need to confront in much "visionary thinking" about transit. ...

* Disinterest in costs and efficiency.

* Fixation on transit technologies ...

* Confusion about scale. ...

* Confusion about "flexibility,"

* Ignorance about what's already working, leading to premature demolition fantasies. ...

17. Renewables Rule Transmission | RenewablesBiz
The rule establishes three requirements for transmission planning:

• Each public utility transmission provider must participate in a regional transmission planning process that satisfies the transmission planning principles of Order No. 890 and produces a regional transmission plan.

• Local and regional transmission planning processes must consider transmission needs driven by public policy requirements established by state or federal laws or regulations. Each public utility transmission provider must establish procedures to identify transmission needs driven by public policy requirements and evaluate proposed solutions to those transmission needs.

Public utility transmission providers in each pair of neighboring transmission planning regions must coordinate to determine if there are more efficient or cost-effective solutions to their mutual transmission needs.

18. Waldrop calls for more national, regional cooperation - Thoroughbred Times

While noting that factors such as added gambling competition and racetrack ownership conglomerates have forced a shift in focus of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, NTRA President Alex Waldrop is calling for more national and regional cooperation in building the sport’s fan base.
Waldrop said the NTRA is focused on finding ways to get the 50-million people it estimates have some interest in racing to move up from casual fans to participating horseplayers and eventually owners. He said current fans, owners, and trainers can help in those efforts, building interest through social media.

“We do have a passionate fan base and that will be a key to building racing,” Waldrop said, adding that bringing in new fans can best be accomplished by a national body such as the NTRA through a cooperative industry effort. “We all have to be at the table.”

19. Surveying Northwest Regional Surveys Part II - PORT - Portland art
Generally there is no incentive for Northwest institutions to do an excellent (therefore potentially redefining) regional survey as doing so only makes the next one tougher and positions the institution as too crucial in deciding area heirarchies (a political can of worms with every gallerist, artist and collector lobbying like mad). Also, the curators who assemble these shows are generally not trying to establish themselves as bleeding edge practitioners in contemporary art (many active artists in Portland are). Instead, most institutions shoot for a survey that draws a decent audience promotes a little good will and ingratiates itself amongst a broad array of patrons artists and other creatures of culture ... In other words the shows are about the institutions position in the region, not the state of cutting edge contemporary art in the region. ...

Artists often don't understand institutional politics but regional survey's leave curators vulnerable like nothing else ...

20. Recalling Moses: Bridging the Red Sea - New Europe

If ever a region needed creative new thinking, new dialogue and indeed an improvement in regional collaboration, the Red Sea littoral surely is one. The active Saudi diplomacy on political unrest in Yemen and Egypt ... marker of the need for and potential of a stronger Red Sea political community.

Critics might complain that we do not need yet another regional organisation. There are, after all, a number of institutions in which these countries can meet to promote dialogue, common political interests and economic prosperity, if they were so inclined. For the moment, they are not.

... Of the littoral countries, only Saudi Arabia has the resources to fund such a regional dialogue.

... there can be a useful role for external actors, either governmental or non-governmental, to promote new regional dialogues on security and economic relations among Red Sea states and communities. The idea of a Red Sea community can be used as a unifying and peace-building idea in this troubled region.

21. Doomed EEDA creates 22,000 jobs in three years | Business Weekly

The East of England Development Agency has had a lively final year for a dead man walking – creating or safeguarding 8,800 jobs in the ideas region of the UK and Europe.
In its last full year before the Government axe falls, EEDA has also helped 2,800 local businesses to start up and grow; supported 31,800 people in learning new skills and backed nearly 100,000 local businesses and entrepreneurs through the regional Business Link service.

The Government decided to scrap Regional Development Agencies – apart from Tory-controlled London – because it was perceived that despite billions of pounds of funding, they had ‘failed to close the North South divide.’

They were replaced by under-funded and out-of-touch local Enterprise partnerships, many of them built on inter-city alliances that make little economic sense.
While much of the activity undertaken by EEDA will cease, several important programmes will be continuing under new delivery arrangements.

22. Number of reported attacks on ships in Asia reach new high - TODAY online | Singapore

The number of reported piracy and armed robbery attacks against ships in Asia for the first half of this year has reached a new high, compared to the same period over the last four years.

According to regional piracy watchdog the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), 82 such incidents - 64 armed robbery and 18 piracy attacks - were recorded between January and last month. In contrast, 70 such incidents were reported in the same period last year.

ReCAAP's half-yearly report said about 84 per cent of the incidents occurred during hours of darkness when it was difficult for the crew to detect the robbers' boats approaching their vessels, as they were less alert and vigilant during this period.

ReCAAP said at least two different syndicates or groups of robbers were responsible for the attacks and observed that tug boats appear to be more vulnerable compared to other type of ships due to its slow speed.

23. Samoan PM renews push for Pacific regionalism - Radio Australia:Pacific Beat

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says Polynesian countries should revisit the idea of forming a subregional group to deal with issues of common interest to them.

The idea of forming a Polynesian subregional body like the Association of Small Island States and the Melanesian Spearhead Group has been talked about in the past, but has never materialised.

Mr Tuilaepa says besides the preservation of languages culture and traditions, sub-regionalism can also provide better platforms for the effective delivery of programs in the sub-region and in the wider region as a whole.

The Samoan Prime Minister said this while speaking on the theme of Pacific Regionalism in an address to mark the Pacific Islands Forum 40th Anniversary Leaders' Lecture Series.

24. Park could possibly permeate two cities

Thompson County Park in West St. Paul and Kaposia Park and Kaposia Landing in South St. Paul could be linked as part of a regional park sometime in the future as the result of a decision by the South St. Paul City Council Monday night.

The Metropolitan (Met) Council -- the regional planning agency serving the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area -- had prompted the council to update the city's comprehensive plan to include some language about the possible formation of a regional park between the two cities.

"We just got done doing our comprehensive plan updates and we got notification that we need to change it once again -- we have to update our comprehensive plan to make sure it's in line with (the Met Council's) policy plans," South St. Paul City Planner Peter Hellegers said at the meeting.

Hellegers explained that even though the council voted to accept the amendment, that doesn't mean the city will be required to link it's two park with West St. Paul's.

"This does not necessarily mean this will become a regional park," he said. "It's just something they're looking at."

25. Regional forensics computer crime lab opens in Orange County | 89.3 KPCC

Law enforcement agencies throughout Southern California now have a new tool for fighting crime: a new regional computer forensics crime lab in Orange.

Inside, a blue machine about the size of a box of Girl Scout cookies whirs as it quickly copies a hard drive.

In a room down the hall, computers can extract that data and file them into categories, including e-mail, pictures and documents.

More and more, this is how law enforcement investigates crime. And the new Orange County Regional Computer Forensics Lab lets local law enforcement team up with the FBI to trace the digital footprints of criminals.

"There is not a case that we have now where you do not have a hard drive, a thumb drive, a cell phone or some other mechanism for either communicating or storing data," said FBI Director Robert Mueller at the lab's unveiling yesterday.

... The Orange County lab is the 15th in the country, ...

More stories:

Regional Community Development News - Top Stories - July 18-21, 2011

1. State reveals economic 'blueprint' | Boulder County Business Report

Colorado officials will focus on nurturing innovative companies, improving access to capital and aggressively recruiting and retaining businesses, according to an economic development plan released Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The plan, named "The Colorado Blueprint," was developed by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade with consultation of county and regional economic development organizations. The blueprint was the result of Hickelooper's campaign promise to create a "bottom-up" economic plan for Colorado.

The plan outlines six focus areas to promote the state economy. They are creating a business friendly environment; recruiting, growing and retaining businesses; increasing access to capital; creating and marketing a stronger "Colorado brand," work force education and training; and cultivating innovation and technology.

The report can be read online at 

2. Regional Planning Efforts Have Friends in High Places | New Jersey Future

The State of New Jersey has identified three areas where special circumstances justify the creation of regional planning bodies to oversee development and preservation decisions: the Meadowlands (1969), the Pinelands (1979) and the Highlands (2004). Together these areas comprise 2,800 square miles, fully 37 percent of the state’s land area.

Recently, however, some have questioned whether the regional planning bodies in these areas really matter, or whether they just add an unnecessary layer of government or red tape.

In their latest Star-Ledger column, Govs. Brendan Byrne and Tom Kean made it clear where they stand on regional planning. ...

Gov. Kean’s comments touched more broadly: “Regional planning in the state is absolutely vital — in the Highlands, in the Pinelands, in the Meadowlands. We cannot go backwards, so you’re right. We have to pay attention here and make sure we have a livable state to pass on to our children.”

 3. Slumps in Consumer Spending - Graphic - NY Times

Slumps in Consumer Spending During economic downturns, consumers usually spend less on what the Fed calls “discretionary services” — items like education, entertainment, restaurant meals and insurance. But in the chart below, it’s clear that consumers today are cutting back much more sharply. Part of the reason: In previous years, households often added debt to continue spending. Now the bill has come due.

 4. Marion CAN DO! joins Columbus regional group | The Marion Star 

Described as a "potential game changer" by the city/county regional planning director, Marion CAN DO!'s joining of a 10-county regional economic development initiative is already showing promise, ...

Columbus 2020 is a private/public partnership in which the Columbus Partnership joined with many people and groups including more than 500 community leaders in the 10-county region to improve economic development in central Ohio.

The organization identified central Ohio's key assets and challenges, visited peer cities, compiled a fact base on the region's current economic development efforts and developed a case for regional change.

Columbus 2020 ... Marion and Knox counties were added to the central Ohio region, which initially comprised only Franklin, Delaware, Union, Morrow, Licking, Fairfield, PIckaway and Madison counties. He said including Marion and Knox counties "makes a lot of sense because of the proximity to the Port Columbus Airport. ... I think it's fantastic."

 5. Bagging AMBAG | Monterey County Weekly

There’s more to road rage than angry drivers. Transportation and planning agencies in the region are butting heads when it comes to who does what, and some of them are proposing to eliminate the regional Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments.

As a federally designated metropolitan planning organization, AMBAG oversees long-range growth strategies for San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. After both the Transportation Agency for Monterey County and Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission boards directed staff to consider realigning planning functions, AMBAG board members have been on the defense.

The AMBAG board ousted Director John Doughty in May, and on July 13 directed his interim replacement, Les White, to create a restructuring proposal.

“One of the first things I was faced with is the fact that various agency executives and some elected officials were talking about the dissolving or modifying of AMBAG,” White says. ...

 6. Off the bus - Bites - Opinions - July 21, 2011 - Sacramento News & Review

Mayor Kevin Johnson and his merry band took their Think Big Sacramento show on the road last week.

The bus tour was of course part of the effort to drum up public support for public subsidies for a new Kings arena, and the Big kids unveiled yet another study—the “Capitol Corridor Impact Report”—which shows that most of the patrons at Arco Arena over the last few years have been from outside the city of Sacramento.

Nothing we didn’t know there, but Bites supposes the idea is to show a new NBA arena will be an asset for the whole region, and so the whole region should want to help pay for it.

The booster club’s own math shows a new arena isn’t really going to generate much new spending. And Think Big’s “Economic Engine Report” ... biggest impact will be right around the site of a new facility.

As a general rule, Bites is all for that. But out in the burbs, where the word regionalism is often translated as “redistribution of wealth,” Bites can’t imagine they’ll be on board.

 7. Twelve smart people, plus three smart ideas |

Sharing services, combining operations and even merging governments were the hot topics ... Nothing brought more sense of urgency from our panel of experts, many of whom insisted our region must transcend its traditional political subdivisions - cities, townships, villages, counties, even states - in order to thrive.

Former mayor and council member Ken Blackwell framed it as a matter of economic survival, allowing us to compete with other areas, such as Indianapolis, Louisville and Lexington, that have combined.

"This is an issue of growth - either you grow or decay," Blackwell said. "We need a structure that fosters economic growth. That means we need to aggregate communities of interest who understand the importance of growth. People have to see what their interest is in development."

... former city manager ... "I believe you need significant change at the state level. We need to get rid of townships as a form of government. The state's going to have to force the issue."

 8. 'Sun Corridor' partners hire contractor to promote Arizona in California market - TriValley Central

Regional economic development and governmental agencies across the state today announced a significant advancement in their alliance, known as the Arizona Sun Corridor Partnership (ASCP). The partnership, composed of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation (GYEDC), Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO), the City of Flagstaff and Pinal County, has pooled funds to hire a private contractor to focus on business development efforts in California.

“The Sun Corridor is one of only 10 U.S. markets expected to see most of the nation’s growth in the next 35 years. We need to work together as Arizonans, aggressively leveraging this unique position in attracting businesses looking for growth in the Southwest,” said Joe Snell, president and CEO of TREO.

 9. NIU participates in effort to win federal funding to strengthen areospace industry in Rockford | NIU Today

Seven area groups collaborated and applied for a federal grant that could significantly strengthen the region’s aerospace industry. ... “We are here to celebrate a milestone in the increasingly strong, local collaboration among higher education, economic development and workforce development. In today’s economic climate, collaboration is not just a good idea, it is an imperative.”

The grant application was for the “Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge” (JAIC) that is funded by the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), Department of Labor Employment Training Administration (ETA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

The organizations submitting the grant application are Northern Illinois University, Rock Valley College, Rockford Area Economic Development Council and EIGERlab. Additional partner groups include the Rockford Region Economic Development District, Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning and Workforce Investment Board.

10. Defunct planning council faces bankruptcy - Calaveras Enterprise

The Central Sierra Planning Council closed its doors June 30, but leaves a slew of problems in its wake that must be sorted out before the council members can move forward.

“Basically, the council is now functionally defunct. It’s not operational any longer,” said Tuolumne County District 2 Supervisor Randy Hanvelt.

It was Hanvelt who called for the council to be audited, which revealed that it was spending significantly more than it was taking in. The discovery eventually led to the dissolution of the council.

“I think it’s sad,” Hanvelt said. “This is a case where a joint powers authority, a government agency, mismanaged funds.”

Tuolumne County Auditor-Clerk Debi Russell told the board at its July 7 meeting in Angels Camp that the council could face up to $1.6 million in unfunded pension liabilities.

District 4 Supervisor ... said there is little to no money to pay for the liabilities and thus the council is considering a municipal bankruptcy, among other options.

11. RDA fight is over

The Indiana Supreme Court brought an end Wednesday to Porter County's attempts to withdraw as a member of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority.

The court voted 4-1 not to accept the county's request to hear the case, following the county's defeat at the state appellate court level.

"It's time to move forward," said Porter County Council member Laura Blaney, D-at-large, who helped trigger the attempted withdrawal in April 2009. The move resulted in a legal battle with the council losing at both the trial and appellate court levels.
While pleased with Wednesday's ruling, RDA Executive Director Bill Hanna said the case already was becoming history.

"We've already moved past this issue," he said.

That was made possible by the council's appointment of Good, along with the re-establishment of communication between the RDA and the County Council and commissioners, Hanna said.

12. Land-of-Sky Regional Council receives national award for Linking Lands project | The Asheville Citizen-Times 

The Land-of-Sky Regional Council, based in Asheville, received a 2011 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation for its Linking Lands and Communities in the Land-of-Sky Region initiative.

The Linking Lands and Communities Project emerged from a need for better tools to help the region plan for growth and development while sustaining healthy natural systems. Land-of-Sky Regional Council, along with over 40 local and regional partners, worked together to gather information about the region’s natural and cultural resources and identify opportunities to link these systems into a regional “green infrastructure” network.

... For more than 20 years, NADO’s Innovation Award has provided regional development organizations throughout the nation a unique opportunity to showcase their important work and their critical role in promoting economic development for rural and small metropolitan communities,” said NADO President Tim Ware...

13. Regional development councils seen as progress » Press-Republican

Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled part of his economic-development plan Wednesday that could have a big local impact.

The plan calls for 10 regional economic-development councils that will be able to apply for state funding to support projects they deem part of their local strategy.

The applications will go to a new consolidated funding application, which will provide grant funds and tax credits from dozens of existing programs, which have a pool of $1 billion available.
Previously, projects needed to make separate applications to various potential sources.

Now, one application will provide access to nine state agencies: Empire State Development; New York State Canal Corp.; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; Environmental Facilities Corp.; Homes and Community Renewal; Department of Labor; Division of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Department of State; and Department of Transportation.

14. What's The Opposite of Smart Growth? - Palmer-Forks, PA Patch

... if human-scale, walkable development is "smart," it's worth reflecting on what's not smart: the low-density sprawl, McMansions and Big Box shopping centers the region was building furiously in the outlying townships before the housing bubble burst.

The reason this kind of development isn't smart is that it's simply not sustainable, economically, fiscally or environmentally.

Over the past 10 years, the Lehigh Valley has built miles and miles of infrastructure with no regard for how residents would pay for the lifelong maintenance costs.

No one has priced in the toll unrestrained outward growth will take on the environment, or the vampiric impact of job sprawl on the region's productivity and GDP.

Just look to the east to see how this will end: New Jersey is quickly running out of horizontal space, and eastern Pennsylvania could easily find itself in a similar situation if we don't get a handle on sprawl. These development practices are "unsustainable" because they ...

15. Regionalism doesn't work for Palm Beach County - South Florida

Ever run up against ideas that sound good, but don't seem to pan out? For example, it "sounds" good for the South Florida business community to engage in "regional cooperation." There's even a regional business alliance that has been engaged in efforts since 2003.

At some point, it is fair to ask if Palm Beach County has been treated fairly by regionalism partnerships in a Dade/Broward/Palm Beach trifecta. ...

Regional cooperation requires that a coalition be built, which only works when a true partnership is in play. Creating a coalition among the counties of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade is not hard to do, and has been done. But the coalition begins to lose value if the work of the group unduly benefits one or more members over others. Another bugaboo threatens if the coalition achieves some successes, and it's time to divvy up the prizes. Then, economic chauvinism emerges, and too often the divvying ends in one or more of the coalition members getting the shaft.

16. Regional Water Supply Plan Shows Long-Term Shortfall

Due to new state requirements, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) has drafted a regional water supply plan through the next several decades that includes current and estimated future water needs for Hampton Roads localities along with suggestions on coping with future shortages. Though most of the region will likely have adequate water supply through the period, the York-James Peninsula will fall short around 2040, according to the draft of the report set to be adopted by the HRPDC Wednesday.

The York-James Peninsula includes James City County, York County, and the Cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, and Williamsburg. Based on current trends, demand will exceed supply in 2041 under average conditions. By 2050, the water supply plan estimates a shortage of about 6 million gallons per day (which could be up to 21 million gallons per day under extreme conditions).

... projected shortage “I expect we will pursue this regionally, ...

17. Ardmore Will Host Local Business Owners as Regional ‘Classic Town’ - Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood, PA Patch

In just its second annual “Classic Towns Trolley Tour,” scheduled for Wednesday, July 27, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission has chosen to spotlight Ardmore, starting the day with a breakfast hosted by the Ardmore Initiative.

About three dozen local business owners and representatives from other DVRPC-designated “Classic Towns” throughout the region will also tour Ardmore’s downtown business district, and visit the Frank Lloyd Wright “Suntop” homes on Summit Road.

One of the homes, built in 1939 with the ambition of being a cornerstone for a new type of community planning, is currently for sale, as first reported by Patch last month. The group will be able to take a walk-through.

The DVRPC, which works within a nine-county area in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, defines characteristics of a “classic” town to be “vibrant residential neighborhoods, diverse architecture, bustling business and entertainment districts, and remarkable recreational opportunities.”

18. Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Leadership Fort Wayne Announce New Strategic Collaboration | Indiana's NewsCenter

A pair of organizations will now be working together to develop sustained regional leadership throughout Northeast Indiana.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, through its Vision 2020 program, ...announced a new strategic collaboration with Leadership Fort Wayne, Inc.

Collaborative regional leadership has been identified as a key tenet for achieving success in improving the regional economy in addition to the five focus areas of Vision 2020: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life.

NEIRP and LFW's first significant activity will be to orchestrate a community visit to Denver, Colorado, .... The 2011 Regional Leadership Experience will bring together Northeast Indiana's preeminent business and community leaders to learn from the experiences and practices of Metro Denver's Economic Development Corporation-an organization that is internationally known for its collaborative approach to economic development.

19. SunRail Breaks Ground After Years Of Planning - News Story - WFTV Orlando

SunRail is under way on Monday as the federal government officially signed its part of the construction paycheck after years of talking and planning.

Local, state, and federal officials held a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday as the Federal Secretary of Transportation signed off on a $178 million agreement to build the rail line.

That money would pay for the first 31 miles of the commuter rail line, from DeLand to Orlando.

... Florida Hospital is spending $3 million of its own money to build a rail stop for its 17,000 employees.

Federal Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood and local leaders signed a joint funding agreement on Monday that allows construction to start on phase one. The train will eventually run 61 miles, connecting DeLand to Poinciana.

20. Nominations being accepted for new award | Martinsburg, WV  - The Journal

Region 9 Planning and Development Council is accepting nominations for its inaugural Neal Carpenter Community Service Award.

Carpenter was appointed to the council in 2004, representing Jefferson County. He devoted a great deal of time and energy to the organization, greatly assisting the staff. After battling cancer, Carpenter died in September 2010.

Council members established the award last year, naming it in honor of Carpenter. It "is intended to recognize, reward and encourage activities that have a significant impact in meeting the needs of local communities or schools in the region."

Mary Jo Carpenter said that her late husband thoroughly enjoyed his involvement with Region 9, the challenges and the friendships.

"Neal would be humbled that Region 9 is instituting this community service award in his honor," she writes. "He recognized early on an obligation to give back to the community for the opportunities he had to live an extraordinary life."

21. Esri Opens Enterprise License Agreements to Regional Governments - Directions Magazine

With encouragement from the National Association of Regional Councils, Esri is now offering enterprise license agreements (ELAs) to regional governments in the United States. Thousands of federal, state, and local governments already leverage Esri's government ELAs to centralize geospatial data and enhance operations across departments. Extended availability of government ELAs brings unlimited use of ArcGIS software to the staffs of councils of governments, associations of governments, and regional and metropolitan planning organizations.

Organizations such as the Georgia Association of Regional Commissions have already recognized the value of an enterprise-wide GIS and made special arrangements to obtain ArcGIS ELAs. The newly expanded government ELA program will make it easier for regional governments to obtain similar agreements. Because the ArcGIS system supports desktop, mobile, web, and cloud implementations from one integrated geospatial platform, regional government ...

22. Atlantic Canadian Energy Ministers Reaffirm Commitment to Regional Priorities | Canada Views

Energy Ministers from the Atlantic provinces continue to make progress on energy priorities and initiatives with regional significance.

Ministers from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island met ...  before the Energy Minister and Mines Conference in Kananaskis, Alta.

The ministers discussed the Atlantic Energy Gateway, which will provide opportunities for development of clean energy projects in the region, the Lower Churchill project, the outcomes of the New Brunswick Energy commissioned report, and establishment of the commission on the future of electricity in Prince Edward Island.

“Our work through the Atlantic Energy Gateway will allow us to better understand how regional planning, generation and system operation will save ratepayers money and help us advance our cleaner energy agenda, especially for hydro, wind and tidal,” said Energy Minister Charlie Parker.

23. Report ‘alarming’ says Lynch - Local News - News - General - Cooma Monaro Express

THE board representing 12 south east regional councils, including Cooma, has refuted claims by an independent report which proposes changes to the way the Federal Government invests in regional development.

South East Regional Organisation of Councils (SEROC) has written to all relevant government ministers opposing the Grattan Institute Report which it believes contains radical conclusions that may be incorrect.

The Grattan Institute at the Melbourne University released a report titled “Investing in Regions: Making a Difference” in May.

In the report the Institute calls for the federal government to re-evaluate its investments in decentralisation, regional jobs, regional higher education and regional infrastructure. Cooma Mayor Dean Lynch said the report was alarming and could be damaging for regional towns.

The Institute is campaigning for more government funding to be directed to “bolting” towns that are experiencing high and sustained population growth on the coast, ...

24.  The bush has been rorted - Opinion - Editorial - General - The Canberra Times

Australia must invest in the regions that are the source of our wealth. It is nauseating to hear the pejorative ''pork barrelling'' used for what is strategic investment. We must think of the benefits of regionalism logically: where are the coal mines, the iron ore mines, wheat paddocks, cotton fields, the cattle and many of the tourism attractions?

Why is a bus network in a capital city ''nation-building investment'' but a road in regional Australia welfare?

Ask yourself a very simple question: how many of the consumer items that reflect your standard of living came from overseas? So who is sending something in the other direction to pay for all of this?

While only one-third of Australians live in regional areas, over half of our exports come from regional Australia. If a person with $2 goes to a table of four and kicks off a series of transactions that move the coin around the table, then broadly speaking the gross domestic product of that table would be $10. ...

25. Regional alliance guidelines released | The Australian

Victoria's $20 million fund to expand the regional delivery of degrees through alliances between universities and vocational providers requires proposals to be closely linked to regional economic development strategies.

"Proposals developed in partnership with and/or endorsed by local industry, employers, chambers of commerce and local councils will be regarded favourably," say fund application guidelines ...

The fund isn't limited to universities and TAFEs. Private providers who already receive government funding are also able to apply so long as consortia include as least one accredited higher education provider.

The fund also extends to the adult and community education sector.


26. Mineral-Rich Mongolia Prepares for Flood of Money - Bloomberg
“We are very aware this is transforming Mongolia’s economy,” says David Paterson, vice president for regional development and communications at Oyu Tolgoi, also noting that capital spending on the project’s first stage alone is equal to Mongolia’s annual gross domestic product.

Simply getting ready to mine is supercharging the tiny economy. GDP grew 6.1 percent last year and was up 9.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011 from a year earlier.

“The mining sector could very well carry Mongolia for the next 50 years,” says Parmeshwar Ramlogan, the Ulaanbaatar-based resident representative for Mongolia at the International Monetary Fund.

Ramlogan predicts Mongolia could grow at double-digit rates for at least the next 10 years, raising per capita income -- now at $2,470 -- fourfold within a decade and making it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

27. Water buses proposed for Fraser River in Metro Vancouver | Vancouver, Canada

Here’s one idea to get people out of their cars and off the roads: how about a new water bus on the Fraser River?

According to Jeff Malmgren, this mode of transportation connecting communities from Richmond to Maple Ridge would also lessen the strain on the transit system as well as cut the commuting time of many who travel from the suburbs.

Malmgren, a director with the Fraser RiverBus Society, will present the concept at a meeting of the regional planning committee of Metro Vancouver ...

28. Regionalism and school connections - The Korea Times

... what has still remained unsolved in my heart during the 10 years is regionalism and school connections that close ranks. While teaching in a southern province, I came to know that regional antagonism between the southeastern and the southwestern regions goes beyond hatred. While working in a central district, I also came to know that almost all the teachers in the county I worked, both who had graduated from the same university and whose hometown is in the county, formed a mafia to try to monopolize everything related to promotions. Teachers' ability was at the bottom of the list of priorities there.
Here, we need to rethink the American society. Where does its strength come from, which makes it possible that America still remains the most powerful nation economically and militarily? I am sure that is because the principles of democracy, free-market economy and the rule of law work well.

29. Govt responds to review of regional development - State News - Agribusiness and General - General - Farm Weekly

THE State’s nine Regional Development Commissions (RDCs) will be streamlined to provide greater focus on developing regional investment blueprints after analysis of a review into the commissions’ structure.

Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the review was requested by State Cabinet’s Economic Expenditure and Reform Committee and examined ways the delivery of Western Australia’s regional development agenda could be improved.

The review is the first comprehensive examination of the Regional Development Commission since its inception in 1993.

The State Government has determined the RDCs will remain as individual statutory authorities but the will be asked to work closely with the WA Planning Commission to produce detailed blueprints to identify service gaps and investment opportunities,” Mr Grylls said.

Further information on the Government’s response to the RDC review is available at

30. Grant funds new places to see art - Worcester News

FIVE artists will get the chance to display their work in a slightly more unusual setting thanks to a grant.

The artists, who will all be recent graduates, will benefit from almost £26,000 given to Worcestershire County Council by Arts Council England to put on shows in non-gallery spaces.
The project will be managed by 5x5x5=creativity, an organisation which has developed this model over the last 11 years and has worked with 140 settings in eight different local authorities.
Jenny Peevers, relationship manager for regional planning with Arts Council England in the West Midlands, said: “The organisation behind this project is well respected for delivering high quality work with young people.

“This project represents a new challenge for them by extending their work to all age groups, including elderly in care homes, hospital patients and library users.

31. Local artists invited to apply for regional grants | Independent Tribune 

One of the Cabarrus Arts Council’s goals is to support outstanding artists and one of the ways we do that is to join with other arts councils in sponsoring the Regional Artist Project Grants.

Applicants must have lived for at least 12 months in Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan or Rutherford County in North Carolina or York County in South Carolina. They also cannot have received a Regional Artist Project Grant in the past two years.

32. 8 things you should know before starting your own convention - Intervention, The Internet Culture Convention

This post is meant to help those of you who have a great idea for a convention or event and want to know if you should go ahead and do it.

1. You must be OK with working an unpaid full time job until your event becomes sustainable. Cons are not cheap to start. I advise saving up at least $5,000-$10,000 to invest into an event that is a 3 day, full featured event like Intervention. More, if you can. Scale that down if you intend to start off small. No, you probably won’t make any money in the beginning. Yes, you will have to work harder than you do at your day job.

2. It might take 5 years for your event to become sustainable. You have to be OK with taking a short term loss your first few years. Let’s face it – you and I both know that people are more willing to support an event that they complain about that has been running for 10 years rather than try something new. It is human nature. 

33. 2011 City and Regional Magazine Survey - City and Regionals @

When the Mass market magazine industry plunged into recession in 2008, city and regionals were an oasis in the waste land of magazine advertising, thanks in part to a clientele that wasn’t as eager as national advertisers to jump into digital.

However, by 2009-2010, city and regional magazines were no longer immune. Historically, the ideal target margin for a city and regional magazine was around 20 percent. That’s shrunk in recent years (along with revenue and staff).

The majority of respondents (39 percent) to the 2011 FOLIO: City & Regional Magazine survey are single title publishers; 15 percent publish two titles while 10 percent publish seven or more [Chart 1]. Another 15 percent offer four to six titles, while 11 percent publish up to three magazines.

34. The State of Metropolitan America: Suburbs and the 2010 Census - Brookings Institution

During a conference exploring the 2010 Census and the country's suburbs, Alan Berube delivered a presentation on the demographic convergence between cities and suburbs within metropolitan areas.

First, the initial results from the 2010 Census signal a continuing demographic convergence within U.S. metropolitan areas, one that is blurring the lines that have long separated cities and suburbs.

Second, this convergence results from a complicated mix of economic, social, and physical changes in metro areas, and raises a host of consequences for suburban communities at the front lines of change.

And third, in light of these growing and shared challenges, we must adopt a metropolitan approach to managing and making the most of demographic change in an increasingly metropolitan world.


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