Regional Community Development News - Top Stories - June 24, 2011

1. Cornell expert says hydrofacking already affecting New York State

Reflecting on lessons learned and questions yet to be answered about the hydrofracking and the economy, a Cornell expert today told members of the Tompkins County Council of Governments (TCCOG) that New York State is already being affected by such shale gas drilling, even though wells are not yet permitted here.

Economic Geographer Susan Christopherson, of Cornell’s Department of City and Regional Planning, has been studying the economic effects of hydrofracking, looking at the experience in nearby Pennsylvania and effects in New York.  Since there is “no border fence between New York and Pennsylvania,” she said, drilling produces a regional industrial effect, and cautioned there will be “important impacts to Tompkins County”—from such aspects as heavy truck traffic, water resources, and waste disposal— even if a single well is not drilled here. She maintained State officials are showing “willful ignorance and disinterest” in failing to  address those issues and, because of that, the state is unprepared.


2. Seneca president says territories are open for business - | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - Dunkirk | The Observer

Seneca Nation of Indians President Robert Odawi Porter wants others to know the nation's territories are "open for business."

It was a message officials from Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Erie, Niagara counties, Warren and McKean counties in Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board heard at a nation-sponsored economic development meeting ...

"We're integrated in Western New York," said Porter about Seneca businesses he wants to do well. Therefore, he said he wanted to bring together others and start a dialogue to make sure Seneca and neighboring businesses thrive. The Thursday meeting was a way to begin that discussion, agreed officials gathered who said they shared information about Industrial Development Agency structures, and how the governments can work better together.

For instance, Porter said, the nation can offer advantages such as attracting tourism, tax abatements, working with nation regulations instead of those of New York while other area governmental officials offer their own advantages, resulting in potential business partnerships.

"We are all a little unique and different," said Michael Kimelberg, nation chief planning officer with David Kimelberg, chief executive officer of Seneca Holdings, adding learning offerings each can contribute was the order of the day. In the end, officials said, all who came to the economic development meeting want the same thing: for the region to do well. 

3. Parisi outlines plan for controversial regional planning commission - Madison, WI

... outgoing Dane County Executive ... calling for the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission to disband.

Incoming Executive Joe Parisi vowed to talk with stakeholders to determine the future of a body that is paid for entirely by the county at a cost of $700,000 a year.On Thursday, Parisi put out a memo outlining his plan for retaining and reforming the commission.

"We do need some type of process to manage our growth," Parisi said Thursday. "We are one of the fastest growing counties in the country and we need to manage that. So the question for me was, is CARPC the best vehicle to manage that growth or is some other alternative better? Or is a reformed CARPC better?"

After meeting with environmentalists, developers and representatives from the county, the city of Madison, the Cities and Villages Association, and the Dane County Towns Association, he decided to give the commission a chance to fulfill its original charter....

4. State, local and native corporation reps discuss Integrated Resource Plan - Petersburg Pilot - Alaska

There are dark clouds, storms and train wrecks on the horizon for Southeast Alaska’s utility needs ... 

As oil prices fluctuate around the world and locally, Southeast’s access to clean available hydropower has driven residents to convert from oil to electric heat at an unprecedented rate. And as the available resources dry up, planning for the future by integrating all the region’s projects into one plan has begun.

... in the Petersburg City Council chambers, members of state and local agencies as well as regional native corporations came together to discuss plans for an Integrated Resource Plan, due to be drafted and released later this year.

The plan discussed Tuesday is meant to examine the region’s energy needs for the next 50 years, so that future projects can be prioritized and developed with a unified voice.

5. Strengthening entente cordiale with Wales’ Celtic Cousins - News Wales

The special relationship with Brittany was given a further boost today when First Minister, Carwyn Jones, addressed the Breton Regional Council in Rennes, renewing the Welsh Government’s commitment to further cooperation between the two countries.

The First Minister was invited to Brittany by Monsieur Jean-Yves le Drian, President of the Regional Council.

Reflecting on the common ties between Wales and Brittany, the First Minister will praise the co-operation between the two countries on areas including culture, language, health, agriculture and sustainable development.

He said that the partnership is continuing to deliver real mutual benefit and continued:“By working together we shape and influence policy on an international stage and further promote the role of regional governments. Wales and Brittany are both longstanding members of The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR).

... CPMR is an example of how regional cooperation can have real benefits."...

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