Regional Community Development News - Top Stories - June 30 - July 3, 2011

... Clinton Global Initiative – America ... The concept ... to get public, private and non-profit leaders together in a room, shake lightly and see what comes out. It is starting to sound like the recipe for a cocktail but it is part of an increasing focus on regions leading the way to economic vitality.
Growth and market activity is usually based in regions, and in order to accelerate that growth, specialized plans are needed. The concept of a grassroots “bottoms up” regional economic development planning has emerged as one way to drive the economic recovery and competitiveness. For example, The Brookings Institution has selected three U.S. regions – the Twin Cities, Northeast Ohio, and Puget Sound – to participate in a pilot project, though the Metropolitan Business Plan Initiative. The goal is to leverage the efforts currently underway and establish a public/private regional agenda for job creation through cluster development, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Cuyahoga County will help move forward talks of a possible merger between Pepper Pike, Orange Village, Moreland Hills and Woodmere.

Mayors Bruce Akers of Pepper Pike, Kathy Mulcahy of Orange Village, Susan Renda of Moreland Hills and Charles Smith of Woodmere attended a meeting and a press conference June 22, along with Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald, announcing a study that will focus on regionalism.

The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission is putting together the study to see what the benefits the benefits to the four communities of combining services or possibly merging into one municipality.

Initial talks of collaboration

Mulcahy said the mayors went to Fitzgerald a number of months ago to talk about doing a study focused on regionalism and other collaborative efforts. The mayors were ready to study the facts of merging, and were looking for support from the county or any entity who could relay any cost-saving benefits to the four municipalities.

Two area economic development announcements Thursday will bring 40 new jobs to the region.
Monroe County is one of 10 counties in the Barren River Area Development District that partners with the chamber to promote regional economic development.
Why should Warren County residents care about an announcement two counties away? The answer is simple, Warren County Judge-executive Mike Buchanon said.

“Recognizing that our local economy and our local workforce is truly regional, and planning and marketing accordingly, is key to our continued job growth and strengthening our quality of life,”“Our local companies’ workforce commutes daily from every county in our region, as do their customers. And many of our Warren County residents work in surrounding counties. ...

“Warren County is the retail shopping hub for all of our BRADD counties, and more. So our efforts to help neighboring governments bring in new jobs to their respective counties, pays dividends to our community as well.

Northeastern Pennsylvania has had both success and shortcomings in its efforts to replace manufacturing jobs over the past 30 years.

A report from the Brookings Institution, ... "Responding to Manufacturing Job Loss: What Can Economic Development Policy Do?" offers an assessment, or what some would call a critique, of the economic development efforts in six metro areas, including Scranton, from 1980 to 2005.

Here's some of the assessments Brookings made in the study:

- Local economic developers are adept at promoting the region's inherent advantages, but fail to place an emphasis on generating new advantages.

- Work force development efforts are lagging other regions of the state.

- Until recently, the region's economic development groups competed, rather than cooperated.

- Efforts to promote entrepreneurship, while laudable, have had limited success in creating an entrepreneurial culture.

- The region as a whole takes collective risks, but shuns individual risk.

From the Statehouse, the 5-year-old lease of the Indiana Toll Road looks wildly successful. It looks a little different from up north.

The 75-year lease to ITR Concession Co. handed the state $3.8 billion upfront. As Gov. Mitch Daniels proudly said Wednesday, that deal has kept Indiana investing in its roads and bridges at a time when other states are forced to let infrastructure crumble.
For its part, ITR Concessions pledged to operate the Toll Road to meet state standards and invest $4.4 billion in the project over the life of the lease.

All that's very good.

But folks in our part of the state have a few additional observations about Major Moves.

Toll rates have gone up. The direct impact of that is on the Toll Road corridor drivers and businesses that rely on the highway. Some of us still remember the promise, made more than half a century ago, that the road would become free after construction bonds were retired. It appears now that that promise will never be fulfilled.


Redlands and Logan will strive to be at the forefront of the emerging digital economy under a plan released last week.

The two cities will cooperate under a joint push to enhance the two regions’ economic and social development.

Plans to enhance employment and education through a rapid take up of the proposed high-speed broadband network is one of the key planks of a “Regional Roadmap” unveiled at the launch of community-based organisation Regional Development Australia (RDA) Logan and Redlands Inc.

RDA Logan and Redlands is part of a national network of committees established by the Australian Government to help grow and strengthen the nation’s regions, and ensure their long-term sustainability.

Committees work with their local communities to identify opportunities, challenges and priorities for action.

Redland Mayor, Cr Melva Hobson said the Logan and Redlands RDA would provide a conduit between the federal government and local government.


The upcoming annual Lake Tahoe Summit, to be hosted this year by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California on Aug. 16, promises to be a doozy.
The two-state compact is under severe stress. A renewed commitment is needed by all parties – with the clear goal to restore, then maintain the waters of Lake Tahoe.

Tim Cashman, a Nevada representative on the TRPA governing board has said, "The compact is designed to force us to work together. This is the way to protect Lake Tahoe."

At this year's Lake Tahoe Summit, Feinstein and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada will have to do heavy lifting to rally attention and energy toward solving Lake Tahoe's very real problems. ...

Lake Tahoe's future depends on Nevada and California working together to protect the lake, which is essential for protecting the economy of this resort region now, and into the future. Both states can't let the two-state compact fail. Honest dialogue – not ultimatums – is the only road forward.

Two bills aimed at keeping New Jersey in a regional greenhouse gas reduction pact received final approval from the Legislature Wednesday, but the fate of the state’s participation was no closer to being resolved.

Gov. Chris Christie announced in May he was pulling the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, by the end of the year, saying it failed to cut pollution. Democrats fast-tracked three bills through the Legislature to try to stop him.

New Jersey is one of 10 states currently participating in the pact, which seeks to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases believed to be a factor in global warming. To emit the pollutants, energy producers must acquire permits that can be bought and sold among plants, making it fiscally prudent to rein in their emissions.

The Assembly voted 43-34 Wednesday to approve a measure requiring the state to stay in the pact.


Clues, the Yahoo product that provides information on search trends on Yahoo searches, has just gotten a big upgrade. Their new version includes an upgraded interface, regional search data, and trends for separate demographics.

The Yahoo Clues New Features

While Yahoo Clues has been around for a long time, it's often been overlooked. The trend data, after all, only went back a month, and the top overall trends were often the only visible data points. According to the Yahoo Search Blog, there are four major features in the new version:

An updated design that provides quick links to Top Trends, which shows the most searched for terms, and Trend Analysis.

An improved heatmap that shows how search data is faring in specific regions.

Global reach, with all English searches from around the world showing in the trend data.

Improved information, including 12 months of trend history, three times as many search terms, and the ability to search through data for specified groups.

Sample - Comparison of trend terms "regional" and "local" 

The Western Visayas Regional Development Council yesterday approved a collegial resolution calling on Coca-Cola and other similar industries to buy sugar produced domestically.

Herman Santos of the Confederation of Sugar Producers Association, and Hernane Braza of Sugar Watch sought the RDC’s support for the Philippine sugar industry at its meeting at the Capitol in Bacolod City.

They pointed out that the importation of sugar premixes and high fructose corn syrup is badly hurting the domestic sugar industry, which prompted their campaign to boycott Coca-Cola products.

On Thursday, 19 out of 24 participating regional planning council members gave Ken Heatherington a “vote of no confidence.”

The council said they were upset about Heatherington’s budget proposals, bonuses he gave last year, abrupt layoffs, lack of communication, his inability to produce public records and his overall management style.
The vote stemmed from disagreements between Heatherington and the council on how to tackle a reduced budget for fiscal 2011 to 2012, which was cut $220,000 by the state.
Heatherington came to Thursday’s meeting with three additional budgets. Two of the budgets left the council in a deficit, ...

The council voted 14 to 10 to approve a “goal budget.” The “goal budget” included the plan to reduce the budget by $250,000 and to look at “all the options.” All options include, re-examining the regional planning council’s mission, strategizing to increase revenue and terminating the executive director.

The wise entrepreneur develops a business plan before launching a venture. The plan is an indispensable tool for stating a company’s mission, analyzing the competition, sizing up risks, developing products or services customers want to buy, figuring out who you need to hire, forecasting financials and measuring performance.

Now imagine doing all that for a region.

That’s the goal of the Metropolitan Business Plan, an initiative recently undertaken by the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity in concert with the Brookings Institution, a think tank, and RW Ventures, a consultant.

We know what you’re thinking. Just what we need, another study!

CenterState CEO’s forebear, the Metropolitan Development Association, produced stacks of them over the years, attempting to chart a path to jobs and prosperity for a city and region forever picking itself up off the mat.

What will the Syracuse region pick? The process is just getting started.

If you're looking for a way to escape the triple digit heat this holiday weekend, there are going to be additional cooling stations open across the Las Vegas valley.

Temperatures are expected to reach or exceed 110 degrees, which can be a serious health hazard if you're without shelter, or even without air conditioning and cold water inside.

The Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition’s Inclement Weather Shelter Program provides seasonal cooling shelters seven days a week throughout the summer at the Salvation Army and Shade Tree Shelter.

When the weather reaches these “Extreme Weather” thresholds, additional Cooling Stations are made available to the homeless and others to provide a safe place to escape from the heat and receive water.


Natal suffers from regionalism of a special type. For this reason, a low-key provincial politician may hold the keys to the country’s future.

"Regionalism" is a term adopted by activists and commentators wishing to skirt the controversial vocabularies of tribalism and ethnicity. It refers to the tendency of some citizens to award public sector jobs, political offices and government tenders to fellow South Africans who share a similar background, language or culture.

There is a lot of regionalism about. The African National Congress (ANC) has historically believed that discussion of ethnic chauvinism should be suppressed. Instead, tribalism should be ameliorated by managing candidate lists, balancing government appointments and denying ethnic entrepreneurs the freedom to mobilise in internal elections.


Residents of the southern Kyrgyzstan request politicians to refrain from division citizens by regional and national features as the leader of the Kyrgyz Communist Party, Iskhak Masaliyev, stated at the press conference in news agency.

According to him, people note that current politicians further the growth of regionalism and nationalist moods. “This has become the major problem in Kyrgyzstan for recent 20 years and the presidential elections won’t be an exception – Iskhak Masaliyev said. – The population offers the Kyrgyz politicians to field as less candidates as possible for the presidency to avoid division of the nation.”

He expressed concern that the growth of regionalism will cause the collapse of the country.

 The new director-general of police V Dinesh Reddy said regionalism was becoming a problem in the state, joining other ‘isms’ like extremism, communalism and factionism.

Addressing a press conference after taking charge, Reddy said, ‘’Regionalism is a problem but we will tackle the issue. We will cross the bridge when it comes.’’ Describing policing as a noble profession second only to medicine, the new state police chief said he would provide a definite direction to his force.

"I assure people of the entire state that protecting their lives and property will be my aim,’’ he said.


This is a speech that was presented at The Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville Maryland on June 25, 2011. Panelists presented their speech on an array of topics pertinent to Eritrea’s Path towards Democracy.

The main issues that were presented by the panelists were: Diversity Management in Nation Building, Religion and Languages in Eritrean politics, Regionalism Identity and Political Organizations in Eritrea, Nationality Rights and Constitutional Design in Eritrea and Lessons from Constitutional Designs in Africa. This is a speech that was given relating to Regionalism, Identity and Political Organizations in Eritrea.