Regional Community Development News - Stories by Region - July 26 - August 1, 2011

Note: This issue is organized regionally using global geocodes. For the U.S., the State geocode is added. Information about the gecodes prototype is available from the Slideshare link at the end of the issue. The geocode based tags are also used to organize Delicious bookmarks based on units of government of global political geography regionally in addition to the topic. This is an open system being developed under a Creative Commons License.  Ed.

Europe - 1000 - United Kingdom 1116-00

1. Simplified planning regime designed to promote growth | Construction News | The Construction Index

The draft National Planning Policy Framework replaces the regional planning policy councils and push planning down to a more local level.

Under the draft, councils will be compelled to work closely with communities and businesses to seek opportunities for sustainable growth; helping to deliver homes, jobs, and infrastructure while protecting the environment. A presumption in favour of sustainable development means that proposals should be approved promptly unless they would compromise the key sustainable development principles set out in the draft Framework, according to ministers.

The draft National Planning Policy Framework slims down the current planning guidance – which is more than 1,000 pages – to just 52 pages.

It maintains the government's commitment to protecting the built and natural environment, including the green belt, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.


2. Big plans but no money... the road schemes going nowhere - Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's road infrastructure could "suffer badly" through tough cuts to the Executive budget, politicians have warned.

Fears were voiced last night after the Transport Minister Danny Kennedy unveiled a new route for an Enniskillen bypass - but admitted there were no funds to build it.

Mr Kennedy said the Department for Regional Development faced "real strain, financially".

Now concerns have been raised about a number of other key road projects being left in limbo - along with road maintenance services being affected - right across the... country.

Americas - 5000 - U.S. 5140

Northeast - New York 5140-07

 1. Inaugural economic development meetings set | Politics on the Hudson

The ten regional economic development councils charged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo with coming up with plans to spark their individual economies will meet starting Wednesday, with the Western New York region meeting first at the University at Buffalo.

Each of the 10 councils will put together a five-year strategic plan to compete against each other for a slice of $1 billion in grants, tax breaks, bonds and other funding sources from the state. Each is chaired by Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy and has two co-chairs—one from the business community, and one from higher education—as well as between 20 and 30 other members who will provide input.
New York Economic Development Councils

Note: Alignment Strategy - 8 of 9 current RPCs are intact or expanded to include adjacent counties; only five counties are aligned with other multi-county regions than the historic ones. See list from press release below. Good use of existing relationships of regional communities emerging along the geography of historic regional councils. Ed. 

... 10 Regional Economic Development Councils

Capital Region (Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington)
Central New York (Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego)
Finger Lakes (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates)
Long Island (Nassau, Suffolk)
Mid-Hudson (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester)
Mohawk Valley (Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie)
New York City (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond)
North Country (Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence,)
Southern Tier (Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins)
Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara)

 3. Regional Development Councils Cheat Sheet - New York

An administration source forwarded this memo of talking points on the 10 regional economic development councils that are in mid-rollout by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and LG Bob Duffy. (I believe we’re at 6 and counting 0).

There’s nothing earth-shattering here, but it is interesting to note the timeline being “suggested” by the second floor.

There are 10 “tasks” – starting with implementing a public participation strategy that includes at least two forums in addition to council meetings and ending with submission of the 5-year strategic plan and grant applications by Nov. 14. As has been noted by a number of people now, that’s a very ambitious agenda.

South - 5140-12 Metropolitan Washington-DC-MD-VA

1. Is cooperation the answer to a better commute? -

What's it going to take to make your commute better?

The answers aren't easy, but the Greater Washington Board of Trade is starting an in-depth transportation study to produce some key points.

While projects like Virginia HOT Lanes, the Dulles Rail Project and plans for streetcars chug along, the Board of Trade says the real solution may come down to better regional cooperation.

"It can't just be everybody for themselves," says Jim Dinegar, head of the Board of Trade. "There's [a] different dynamic in Greater Washington about how people are commuting, about where they are commuting to. It's not just the District as the center of attention any longer."

... By 2030, the D.C. Region is projected to add over 1 million new residents, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

The last time the Board of Trade put together a transportation study of this scale was in 1997. Back then, there was more optimism about resources.

2. Guest Commentary: Falls Church, Arlington & Fairfax Must Cooperate | Falls Church News-Press Online
The recent Council of Governments strategic planning session included a Brookings presentation on the benefit of a region (public and private sectors) adopting a business plan - identifying strengths, weaknesses, and realistic future opportunities and engaging in cooperative initiatives to advance the region.

I propose we engage in a business planning effort for our sub-region--Arlington County, Falls Church City and Fairfax County. As to our strengths, Arlington and Fairfax clearly have size and other important attributes, but Falls Church offers a unique element - a sense of "place" for 200+ years including historic buildings and community institutions, schools, small businesses and events that are regional draws - such as our library, farmers market, places of worship, restaurants and cultural events. And we already cooperate with our neighbors on the provision of many civic services - human services, police, fire and corrections. ...

South - Virgina 5140-13

Virginia Surface Transportation Plan 2035 - Virginia Chapter American Planning Association 2011 Award “State and Regional Plan”

The 2035 Virginia Surface Transportation Plan (VSTP) represents the first time in Virginia’s history that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) have released multimodal planning recommendations together in a single document. The content and the format are what are innovative about this plan. This long-range transportation plan is provided for stakeholders and the public in a web-based format. Regarding content, typically long range plans only focus on a 20-year horizon. The 2035 VSTP also includes short range planning recommendations that aim to utilize the existing infrastructure for a longer life.

The award was given as a “State and Regional Plan” because it uses County-City base geography aggregated at the regional levels of: Panning Districts, Transportation Districts and five super-regions: Northern, Valley and Ridge, Blue Ridge, Piedmont and Eastern. ...

South-South Carolina 5140-21

1. Charleston Regional Business Journal | Charleston, SC

The Charleston Regional Development Alliance has released findings of a multiyear study comparing the Charleston-area economy to regions of similar scope.

The first Regional Economic Scorecard was released in 2010 to begin a discussion on some of the challenges facing the region encompassing Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. This year continues the analysis, with comparisons among economic data from Charleston, Greenville, Savannah, Jacksonville, Fla., Richmond, Va., Raleigh, N.C., Austin, Texas, and Lexington, Ky.

In April, the Development Alliance launched OpportunityNext, a multipart effort to focus the region’s core strengths against specific sectors. OpportunityNext grew out of some of the findings of the Angelou Economics report in 2005 and the first Regional Economic Scorecard in 2010.

2. Tire International to build South Carolina tire recycling facility - American Recycler, August 2011

South Carolina Governor ... , Berkeley County and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance said that Tire International, a tire recycler and maker of rubber products, is establishing a new recycling and manufacturing facility in Berkeley County. The $25 million investment is expected to generate 150 new jobs.

Tire International has established a third-generation recycling and manufacturing operation in Moncks Corner. The company is currently in the process of upgrading its facility there to prepare for full operations. The company previously based its tire recycling and rubber manufacturing work in China, but now is bringing all of those operations to Berkeley County.

At the plant, Tire International will recycle tires by breaking them down into raw materials and will produce finished consumer products including environmentally responsible and high quality commercial and residential flooring, artificial fields, playgrounds, landscaping materials and rubberized asphalt.

South-Florida 5140-18

1. Editorial: Planning council has opportunity | The News-Press

The Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council needs to sort out its staff turmoil, pick a strong new executive director and play a vigorous role again in growth management in the region.

That is especially crucial because the Legislature and governor this year reversed a 40-year trend in growth planning at the state level - emasculating the state Department of Community Affairs.

That leaves local governments with more responsibility for growth management.

This matters enormously. In recent years regionalism and cross-county cooperation have been touted by area leaders as fundamental to making Southwest Florida competitive in business, education and politics.

Growth is relatively anemic now, but it continues and will increase some day.

Regional planning councils were created in Florida almost 40 years ago as part of the first real effort to impose order on Florida's growth.

The Southwest Florida council is made up of representatives of ...

2. Area must work together - South Florida

The South Florida Regional Business Alliance is a group of CEOs working collaboratively across jurisdictional boundaries to support increased innovation, economies of scale, and a collaborative framework for advancing Southeast Florida's shared priorities in the areas of economic development, transportation, housing, education, and innovation.

Why is this important? In order to compete successfully in the global marketplace, firms must have access to the human, physical, institutional and financial assets that support innovation. Evidence from high-performing regions like Greater Austin, Tampa Bay and Orlando (which are linking to become an economic "super region"), the Research Triangle in North Carolina and others indicates that the ability to link regional assets by thinking, planning and acting regionally is the key to accelerating a region's economy.
Southeast Florida, consisting of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties, ...

3. Regionalism seen as key to growth - Tampa Bay Online

People think Florida competes against New York, California and Texas because of the size of the state.

... We compete with the Southeastern states ...

They are "very focused" on economic development, Swoope said, mentioning North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

"All of these states have resources dedicated to economic development and they are laser-focused on their strategy,"

Swoope said 14 counties have 80 percent of Florida's population. The 53 other counties have about 4 million people, which he said makes Florida a "very rural state from a land mass standpoint."

He noted the strategy from the state's perspective has to be balanced between urban and rural areas.

The state needs to change the way it does economic development, according to Swoope.

The theme during the Sebring forum seemed to be that the way to do it is through regional cooperation and partnerships.

"Regionalism is where it is at,"

South - Alabama - 5140-22

Commission district lines to be redrawn - The Randolph Leader

According to the 2010 census, Randolph County's Districts 2 and 5 will need to make some changes in their boundaries.

A letter from East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission explained that District 2 (Doug Sheppard's district) is over by approximately 400 people, and District 5 (Lathonia Wright's district) is under by about 600 people.

Commission administrator Cindy Arrington said much legal work is involved in redistricting, including paperwork for the U.S. Justice Department and maps.
Wright said redistricting is tedious. It involves knowledge of sexes and ethnic groups, house by house. Public hearings follow. EARP&DC can do this for the county for less than $10,000.

Waldrep made a motion not to redistrict, seconded by Commissioner Terry Lovvorn. It failed to pass, 2-3.

Allen made a motion to proceed by hiring EARP&DC, which passed 3-2.

South - Texas - 5140-22

1. Bridging the Distance in the Texas Panhandle - Governing Magazine - Interview

The Texas Panhandle consists of 26,000 square miles, 26 mostly rural counties and 400,000 people. With a geographic area so big, sharing law enforcement information with colleagues across the region can be a struggle -- one that is made worse by lack of access to the latest technologies.

To bridge the distance and information gap, 40 Panhandle law enforcement agencies joined forces to form the Panhandle Regional Information and Data Exchange (PRIDE). With nearly $1 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and a $300,000 Department of Homeland Security grant, the project outfitted cars with GPS-enabled computers and set up a shared data hub and information database that provides crime information at the local, state and national levels. 

The Panhandle Regional Planning Commission played a large role in facilitating the project. I spoke with the commission's Regional Services Director John Kiehl about these tech upgrades and the project in this edited and condensed transcript.

What spurred the creation of PRIDE?

We had an opportunity with some grant funding coming to the region through the stimulus last year. For our region, the bump in funding was pretty significant. We were scheduled to get about $1 million more than we would in an ordinary year.

2. Tank Storage Magazine - Industry News

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has approved fines totalling more than $1.1 million (€0.76 million) against more than 100 companies for environmental law violations.

One of the companies includes Total Petrochemicals USA, part of fuel major Total company, which was fined more than $170,000 for air violations back in 2009.

Agreed orders were issued for enforcement categories including: one agricultural, 14 air quality, one industrial hazardous waste, 22 petroleum storage tanks, and more.

Of all the fines, over $85,000 will be put towards operating, maintaining and potentially expanding the current Southeast Texas Regional Air Monitoring Network, which the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission will organise.

Midwest - Ohio - 5140-28

1. Area merger proposal worries Bentleyville officials |

Talk of a potential merger between Moreland Hills, Pepper Pike, Orange and Woodmere is prompting concerns here, where Mayor Leonard Spremulli sees the potential for the village losing some of its shared services and personnel if the communities do indeed merge.
Spremulli expressed he is currently uninterested in participating in any type of merger.

“My idea of regionalism is a little different than theirs,” he said, explaining he believes effective regionalism consists of sharing equipment, services and/or personnel, while still maintaining some sense of separation.

Councilperson Wendy Gillund also expressed concerns about the potential merger, stating if the decision goes through, Bentleyville could be negatively impacted.

“Two of the communities already regionalize with us, and if they pull out, that affects all of the other communities,” she said.

2. Region 6 economic development office closing Monday | Bucyrus Telegraph Forum 

The local Ohio Department of Development Region 6 office will close Monday, according to office spokesman Bethany McCorkle.

"They are restructuring," she said.

McCorkle said details have yet to be released. The Ohio Department of Development was designed to be a catalyst for business growth and prosperity. Region 6 had its office based at the Kehoe Center in Shelby. Its territory included Crawford, Richland, Ashland, Huron, Seneca, Wyandot, Knox, Marion and Morrow counties.

Herm Stine, economic development director for Ohio Department of Development Region 6, will continue to work until Sept. 1 to finish a few projects. Stine has been on the job for four years.

Midwest - Wisconsin - 5140-31

Work across local borders - JSOnline

At a time when retailers are struggling, developments are at a standstill and municipalities are facing funding cuts, it is critical that municipalities work together to identify new, creative and smart approaches to revitalizing local economies and encouraging economic development.

Municipalities may independently recognize and implement the financing tools and other resources to help spur development without considering the larger regional benefit. The economic climate should encourage municipalities to look past borders and recognize the importance of real estate developments on a regional basis.

In Greendale, we have been energized by neighboring municipalities and their willingness to advocate for developments in Greendale. ...

Greendale and its surrounding communities have realized that local governments must work as a team. We can no longer compete as communities. Rather, we must pool our resources and work toward the success of the region. ...

Midwest - Iowa - 5140-35

Pink slips going out today to 95 Workforce Development employees

Nearly 100 state employees who have worked to help the unemployed find jobs will have to start their own job search. Officials in the state Workforce Development agency say pink slips are starting to go out today to employees who were stationed at the three-dozen regional Workforce Development offices which are being closed.

Greg Lewis of Des Moines — a member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal employees union — is also a non-voting member of the Workforce Development Board.

“This is absurd,” Lewis says. “You’re talking about laying 95 people off whose job it is to find jobs.”
“A lot of these sites were only open one day a week, one afternoon,” she says, “not very accessible.”

Reynolds says ensuring computer access in a public place will be a better service to Iowa’s unemployed.

Midwest - Missouri - 5140-37, Kansas - 5140-38

To deal with aging population, we need more effective planning -

If Kansas City is to be a robust and thriving metropolitan area, we must all work toward “Creating a Community for All Ages” and that cannot be done without recognizing the profound impact on the region of the shifting age demographic.

We must acknowledge that the unprecedented increase of older adults in our region will insist we address areas such as caregiving, health/technology, housing, mobility/transportation, social/civic engagement and work force development from a perspective that includes and serves all those who work, live and participate in commerce.

This critical factor was omitted in a recent ... column ... three of these “winners” were intrinsically linked (address the problem of obesity, improve regional transit and develop additional miles of bike lanes and trails).

I suggest that at the foundation of these three issues is land use and regional planning.

We must control sprawl and adopt an attitude that reflects the notion of “smaller, denser, closer-in."

West - Colorado - 5140-44

EDC, chamber appear headed toward merger - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

Two decades after a bitter fight led the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp. to break away from the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, the city’s two leading business groups might be headed for a reunification.

The boards of each organization will meet Tuesday to vote on the idea of a merger — and key members of each group say there’s momentum to reorganize under one roof. How a merger would work, the structure of a combined EDC-chamber, its mission and staffing aren’t yet clear.
EDC Board Chairman Doug Quimby, a Springs real estate developer, said he doesn’t know which direction Tuesday’s meeting will go. But he personally is leaning toward a merger.

“I think that a unified, integrated organization focusing on the economic vitality of the region would be a good idea,” Quimby said.

West - California - 5140-44

1. San Diego County regional government to buy bankrupt toll road -

A San Diego regional government organization has agreed to purchase the bankrupt State Route 125 toll road near the U.S.-Mexico border for approximately $345 million.

Opened in November 2007, the 10-mile toll road in southern San Diego County was described initially as an example for Los Angeles and other traffic-beset regions on how a private-public partnership could build new roads and ease congestion.

Instead it became a cautionary tale about risky assumptions, and the stubborn opposition of motorists to paying tolls. In March 2010 the road's operator filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, noting that traffic counts were less than 50% of projections.
The San Diego Assn. of Governments, governed by a board composed of officials from the region's 18 cities and the Board of Supervisors, voted in closed session Friday to make the purchase, once a public hearing is held.

Under the new ownership, the road won't be free but tolls will be reduced, officials said.

2. Anti-Sprawl Group Calls SD Transportation Plan 'Disastrous' |

San Diego’s Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) today drew fire from a group that called it illegal and environmentally disastrous. The Cleveland National Forest Foundation also offered an alternative plan that would implement all the mass-transit proposals in the 40-year RTP during the coming 10 years.

They’ve dubbed their proposal the “50-10” transit plan.

The Regional Transportation Plan was created by SANDAG, San Diego’s regional planning agency. The RTP would spend $196 billion in state, federal and local tax money over the next 40 years to build roads, mass transit systems and related developments.

Lawyers for the Cleveland National Forest Foundation submitted a 100-page document to SANDAG, criticizing the RTP and SANDAG’s draft environmental impact report. The foundation said the transportation plan was a recipe for increased car traffic and increased greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Regional transit, planning agencies could team up to buy headquarters in San Francisco | San Francisco Examiner

A consortium of regional transportation and planning agencies could band together to buy a building in San Francisco to house their new headquarters.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the region’s lead transportation agency, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which monitors pollution in the area, and the Association of Bay Area Governments are in talks of jointly purchasing a building at 390 Main St. in The City. According to the MTC, the joint purchase of the building would decrease costs for the agencies while improving energy efficiencies.

The acquisition must be approved by the boards of each agency involved in the plan, but if authorized, the new building would be the site of regular meetings conducted by the departments. Currently, the MTC, which controls regional funding for transportation agencies in the Bay Area, meets in Oakland.

4. Metro Chamber applauds Lt. Gov. Newsom's new plan to grow business - Sacramento Press

The Sacramento Metro Chamber applauds the much-needed economic growth plan for the state of California released today by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. The plan incorporates principles for state regulatory reform long-espoused by the Metro Chamber and supports the chamber’s long-practiced strategy of regional economic collaboration to promote business growth.
One of the hallmarks of Newsom’s plan is its recognition that the state’s role must be anchored in regional economies that are the engines for growth and aligned to build on regional strengths. Moreover, Newsom noted that “model practices” from different regions can be scaled to state level.

“Much of what the plan calls for is already part of the Sacramento region’s collaborative DNA,” Townsley added. “Take for instance his call to build on industrial strengths. To do this, the Metro Chamber has been working to enhance how the region’s powerhouse sectors contribute to the six-county economy. ...

U.S. 5140-00

1. Intercity Buses: The Forgotten Mode | Randal O'Toole | Cato Institute: Policy Analysis

The debate over President Obama's fantastically expensive high-speed rail program has obscured the resurgence of a directly competing mode of transportation: intercity buses. Entrepreneurial immigrants from China and recently privatized British transportation companies have developed a new model for intercity bus operations that provides travelers with faster service at dramatically reduced fares.

New-model bus companies save money by selling tickets over the Internet and loading and unloading passengers at curbsides rather than in expensive bus stations. They speed service by running most buses non-stop between major cities rather than making numerous intermediate stops. Some companies distinguish themselves from their competition by providing leather seats, free wireless Internet, more legroom, and — in a few cases — onboard meal service and movies.


2. Exploring the Role of Regional Transportation Projects as Rural Economy Drivers |

The NADO Research Foundation has just released a new report on regional transit, developed through its Center for Transportation Advancement and Regional Development in July 2011. With case studies in Alabama, Oregon, and Vermont, this report explores regions where public transit is playing a role in connecting employees to work, getting people to services, and revitalizing downtown areas. Through partnerships at the local and regional level, regional planning and development organizations are facilitating improved mobility, which in turn supports the regional economy. View the report at:

3. HUD releases Notice of Funding Availability for Regional Planning Grants and Community Challenge Grants. | Smart Growth America

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today in a press release that HUD will be investing $95 million to support stronger, economically competitive communities through their Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. 

4. Pando Networks Releases Nationwide ISP And Network Study | Pando Networks

A study of data collected by Pando Networks today revealed striking disparities in the quality of web access across America. By tracking downloads by 4 millions users across the country from January through June 2011, Pando Networks’ study revealed that some states are averaging connectivity speeds as much as ten times faster than those in other cities.

The most striking findings were the core differences between the average speeds on a state-by-state basis. The data indicates that the fastest state was Rhode Island at an average of 894 KBps, which was almost three times faster than the slowest, Idaho, which had a dismal 318KBps. Rhode Island and Idaho may stand out as the extremities, but the disparities they highlight reflect more expansive, regional trends. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region contained eight of the ten fastest states. With California, Oregon, and Washington in the top 15, the West coast was also a remarkably a speedy region. ...

Oceana - 7000

Australia - 7430 

1. Economic Development - Southern Downs Regional Council

Queensland’s Southern Downs Region has excellent opportunities for growth and investment in horticulture, agriculture, commerce, manufacturing and tourism. These industries are already flourishing, and the Southern Down’s quality infrastructure means there is ample room for new developments.

The Gross Regional Product of the Southern Downs Region is estimated to reach $1400 million by 2010. Based around the main centres of Warwick and Stanthorpe, there are over 16,000 residents currently in the workforce. These residents worked in the estimated 3,700 business within the Region.

The majority of Southern Downs businesses are classified as small to medium enterprises (SME’s) and cover a wide range of industry types. Given the rural location of the Region, almost 50% of businesses are involved in primary production, followed by construction (10%), retail (9%) and property and business services (8.7%).

2. Commission to stay put - Collie Mail

THE South-West Development Commission will remain an individual statutory authority following a review of WA’s nine regional development commissions.

After last year’s review, plans to downgrade the nine regional commissions into branches of a Perth-based WA Regional Development Commission were announced early this year.
Business groups and shire councils expressed alarm at what might happen as a result.

But Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls last week announced the commissions would only be streamlined to provide greater focus on developing regional investment — a move hailed by councils and business.

“We will work closely with the WA Planning Commission to produce detailed blueprints to identify service gaps and investment opportunities,” he said.

The RDC council, made up of the nine commissions including the SWDC, would continue to play a critical role and be given a dedicated executive support team within the Department of Regional Development and Lands.

3. Crean sells carbon tax to crowd | Rockhampton Morning Bulletin

AS FEDERAL Cabinet Minister Simon Crean put the hard sell of the carbon tax to a crowd at the Rockhampton League's Club yesterday, across town, the Queensland Resources Council espoused the damage it would do.


Mr Crean cited the planned purchase by Xstrata of Meteor Downs Station on the Central Highlands as one reason why the carbon price would not affect the coal industry in Central Queensland.

But Mr Rynne told the regional ABARES conference new projects would be affected.

On a whirlwind trip around the nation, Mr Crean visited Mackay and Gladstone last week, and dropped in to Rockhampton briefly, before catching a plane to Port Hedland to continue promoting the government's carbon price and associated funds.

He said more than $27 billion would be spent on a host of initiatives designed to encourage use of renewable technologies, promote carbon farming, compensate mining companies and provide incentives for cultural change.

4. Council completes draft Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme | Sunshine Coast Queensland

Sunshine Coast Council is one step closer to a single regional planning scheme for the Sunshine Coast after it today delivered the preliminary draft of the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme to the Queensland Government.

Following consultation and formal review from the state, council will conduct an extensive community engagement campaign, sending the new Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme out into the community to seek their thoughts and views on the draft.

When finalised, it will replace the three existing planning schemes – the Caloundra City Plan 2004, the Maroochy Plan 2000 and the Noosa Plan 2006 – as the tool used by council to manage land use and development for the region in a sustainable way.

Statutory and Regional Planning Portfolio Councillor Russell Green said the new planning scheme is a first for the Sunshine Coast and the most significant planning project undertaken by council.


Asia - 8000

Philippines - 8316-00

1. Autonomy dream in Cordillera still alive | Sun.Star

THE Cordillera Month celebration ended July 29 but the pursuit for autonomy continues, a top city official said.

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the end of the monthlong celebration also marks the deadline of submission of reports on comments and suggestions by the different provinces in the region.

The mayor also thanked all line agencies that have participated in the celebration.

Regional Development Council co-chairman Virgilio Bautista said autonomy must materialize as it is the answer to poverty in the region.

He said the act will allow the region manage its own resources, adding that there will be creation of jobs when schools will be improved as school curricula will be modified to meet job requirements.

Bautista also stressed that environment will be protected as people in the region will be given the right to manage their natural resources.


1. Transport Ministers At BIMP Meet To Look At Regional Cooperation - BERNAMA

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri is confident that the ongoing Transport Ministers meeting of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Filipina-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), at Cagayan De Oro in the Philippines, will result in some form of regional cooperation in the area of transportation and communications.

He said cooperation in the sector would be necessary and timely as it would be in line with present efforts to create an Asean community by 2015.

"I hope the meeting today will raise the level of cooperation in the transportation and communication sector as it would be beneficial for member nations of BIMP EAGA," ...

2. US opens regional trade gambit in Asia - Asia Times Online

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton...on economic diplomacy in Hong Kong. ... "Principles for Prosperity in the Asia-Pacific", it purported to place the United States in the cockpit to drive the agenda of regional economic integration that is distinct from what China has been attempting under its own leadership banner.

Employing the language of economic rationality and avoidance of wasteful costs, Clinton criticized "a hodgepodge of inconsistent and partial bilateral agreements which may lower tariffs, but which also create new inefficiencies". Taking to task the over 100 bilateral trade pacts signed by Asian states in less than a decade, she beckoned towards "true regional integration" and a "genuine free trade area of the Asia-Pacific".

The strategic undercurrent of these pronouncements is a reality that the US' export-oriented businesses are feeling the pinch of being left out of the growing sphere of intra-Asian trade, with China as the center of the wheel. ...

3. U.S.-ASEAN Regional Forum Cooperation

The United States is committed to playing a role in shaping regional institutions to ensure peace, security, and prosperity in Asia and the Pacific. A major part of this effort is our cooperation with the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which focuses on important security issues, including counterterrorism and transnational crime, disaster relief, maritime security, nonproliferation and disarmament, and preventative diplomacy.

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR): The United States works with the other 27 ARF countries to improve regional cooperation in preparing for and responding to disasters in the region. Elements of U.S. HADR cooperation include:

The United States has committed to support the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, which will begin operations later this year. The center will serve as the hub for a regional tsunami early warning system and an earthquake information center, ...

4. Regional connectivity needs cooperation: analysts

Amjad Khan Chowdhury, president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said economic integration and cooperation between the South Asian countries should be conceived within the framework of regional economic integration, where all natural and environmental resources, facilities and opportunities should be utilised for the benefit of all countries in the region.
Sultan Hafeez Rahman, director general of ADB's South Asia Department, said South Asia has been slow in promoting regional cooperation. As a result, the region has missed out on major opportunities, he added.
Dipu Moni responded by saying that things are moving in the right direction and there is a lot of satisfaction that can be drawn from the progress.

She said connectivity will remove unnecessary delays at land customs faced by private businesses. The minister urged development partners and the private sector to come up with investment to build the regional connectivity.


1. Geoffrey West: The surprising math of cities and corporations?? - YouTube

Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities -- that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city's population. In this mind-bending talk from TEDGlobal he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporations.

2. How Do the Economic Outputs of China’s 8 Most Productive Cities Compare to Those of U.S. Cities? | China SignPost™

Economic discussions involving the U.S. and China often focus on national-level matters such as currency valuation, duties, and trade policy. Yet decisions and economic activity at the local level are immensely important, as they form the building blocks of a strong national economy. This analysis therefore takes nominal  gross metropolitan product (GMP) data from the eight most productive Chinese cities from 2009, the last year for officially reported data, and compares it to 2009 GMP data from U.S. cities. The U.S. data uses the metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the OMB and used by the BEA for its GDP statistics. For the Chinese data, the National Bureau of Statistics says that “counties under the jurisdiction of city governments are included,” which we interpret as being a concept similar to the metropolitan statistical areas used in the U.S. ...

Financial Crisis

The High Price of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors’ Failure to Read Akerlof & Romer - By William K. Black

By reviewing the annual reports (2005-2007) of President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) I learned that the Council had some interest in fraud, but no understanding of elite fraud and its implications for the economy.  The reports make sad reading.  They deny the developing crisis entirely and they do so for reasons that reflect badly on economics and economists.

The CEA’s reports’ analysis of the developing fraud epidemics and crisis reveal critical weaknesses in theory, methodology, empiricism, candor, objectivity, and multi-disciplinarity.  Overwhelmingly, the reports ignored the developing crises and their causes.  Worse, as late as 2007, they denied – even after the bubble had popped – that there was a housing bubble.  When the nation and the President vitally needed a warning from its Council of Economic Advisors the CEA did not simply fail to warn, but actually advised that those who warned of a coming crisis were wrong. 

Had the CEA understood the true import of these three economic theories it could have gotten the crisis right instead of making things worse.  White-collar criminologists and economists share these three theories (among others) and employ a (limited) “rational actor” model.  (Criminologists never made the mistake of assuming purely rational behavior.  Even neoclassical economists now generally acknowledge that behavioral economics research demonstrates that economic behavior can be irrational in important settings.)  In the 1980s and early 1990s, the efforts of a small group of criminologists, economists, and regulators to understand the causes of the developing S&L debacle led them to develop a synthetic theory that criminologists refer to as “control fraud theory.”  Unfortunately, the typical theoclassical economic treatment of these three theories, exemplified by the CEA’s 2006 report, ignores control fraud.  The result is that the 2006 CEA report misstated the predictions of each of the three theories that it discussed and concluded “no problem here.”  In reality, the three theories predicted that there were epidemics of accounting control fraud 
that were leading inevitably to a catastrophic crisis. 


Information on the "Global Region-builder Geo-Code Prototype" and U.S. Geocodes that are used in this edition are at:

and on the blog:

Basic Geocodes - 
0000 Earth
0900 Arctic Ocean
1000 Europe
2000 Africa
3000 Atlantic Ocean
4000 Antarctica
5000 Americas
6000 Pacific Ocean
7000 Oceana
8000 Asia
9000 Indian Ocean

More links: