Regional Community Development News - August 2 - 8, 2011

"Reports about communities acting regionally on our local planet presented by region."

0000 - Earth

Creative Commons Affiliate Network - CC Wiki - International

The CC Affiliate Network consists of 100+ affiliates working in over 70 jurisdictions to support and promote CC activities around the world.

The teams have a wide range of responsibilities, including public outreach, community building, translating information and tools, fielding inquiries, conducting research, communicating with the public, maintaining resources for CC users, and in general, promoting sharing and our mission. These teams have a formal relationship with Creative Commons via an agreement between organizations, universities or individuals in the jurisdiction and CC HQ. Unaffiliated volunteers are also welcome to organize events and promote Creative Commons locally, regionally and globally.

Reporting the 3rd Creative Commons Arab Regional Meeting - Creative Commons

This year the third Arab regional meeting of Creative Commons (30th June-2nd July, Tunis) proved extraordinary, in keeping with prior gatherings in the region. Co-organized with Tunisian blogging platform Nawaat and sponsored by the Al Jazeera network, the event garnered CC volunteers from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, UAE, Qatar, Iraq, Tunisia and, for the first time, welcomed three people from the Gaza strip—bloggers Bashar Lubbad and Nalan Sarraj and rapper Ayman Mghamis—who joined to contribute to two days of workshops focused on creativity, remixing and peer-production. ...

Brain Finding May Explain Disoriented Pilots, Astronauts | Brain Maps, Spatial Understanding & Vertical Height | LiveScience

With every step you take, your brain is making a mental map of the environment. But new research suggests our mapmaking brain cells aren't good at encoding information on where a person is oriented within up-and-down space.

Alex Steffen: The shareable future of cities - YouTube

How can cities help save the future? Alex Steffen shows some cool neighborhood-based green projects that expand our access to things we want and need -- while reducing the time we spend in cars. New term: The Walkshed.

1000 - Europe

1240 Germany

CHIEMGAUER REGIOMONEY-THEORY AND PRACTICE OF A LOCAL CURRENCY - IJCCRvol13(2009)pp61-75Gelleri.pdf (application/pdf Object)

How the Chiemgauer works: The value of one chiemgauer is one Euro. Other nominations are 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Euro. The Chiemgauer note has 14 security features like ultra-violet colours, imprinting of the logo, watermark, copy-proof colours, individual serial number.
Chiemgauer notes are ageing. The demurrage-fee (=negative interest rate) is 2% per quarter or 8% per year. This is not a 'must' for regional currencies but the Chiemgauer community has decided to establish a money that never slows down in circulation. The advantage is that everybody keeps money going. ...

Chiemgau-geographic area-foothills of Alps between rivers Inn & Traun-lake Chiemsee at its center. Upper Bavaria in Districts of Rosenheim & Traunstein

1280 - France

Nine French Regional Councils Ask for Country-by-Country Reporting from Financial Partners « Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development

The nine regional councils will ask for country-by-country reports from their banks and insurers. This will include the following details: Name and number of subsidiaries; numbers of staff employed; profits and amounts of taxes paid. This information should be provided by the company six months after its annual report is published. This information is invaluable in calculating whether a company is paying its fair share of tax in each country. ...

This the product of the ‘Stop Tax Havens’ campaign, launched in September 2009 by CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Oxfam France, ATTAC, and French Trade Unions (CGT, CFDT, SNUI, Solidaires) and the French platform against tax havens . The campaign made use of the regional elections in 2010, mobilizing supporters to write to their representatives. The first success came last year when the Paris regional council passed resolution calling for country by country reporting by banks.



Government approves first Danube strategy projects |

Hungary’s government on Wednesday approved the first projects under the EU’s Danube Region Strategy, ...

The 23 projects include ones involving river regulation to better deal with droughts, renovation of environmental school campsites, and building fast-track railways along the river, Kovacs said. The projects will be funded by the European Union.
The macro-regional development strategy for the Danube was a priority of Hungary’s European Presidency earlier this year. The Danube Strategy, adopted by member states in June, covers eight EU states – Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania – as well as six states outside the bloc (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Ukraine and Moldova). Its main aim is to promote cooperation between the states involved and to aid sustainable economic development.

2000 - Africa

2000 SADC - Southern African Development Community

Southern Africa: Swazi Kings and Greek Titans - Implications for Regionalism -

Given the democratic deficit in Swaziland, South Africa's 2,4 billion Rand bailout to the kingdom throws open a question about the nature and exigency of neighbourliness within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and begs some comparisons with Europe's problem child Greece. 
A trip through memory lane reminds us that a lot of the original EU did not fancy Portugal, Greece and Spain as 'viable' members of the ex-colonialists' club. What they do now recognize, despite their intra-regional tribalism, is that their fates are tied together and that the contagion could take the Eurozone into almost irreversible crisis. ...

What is most striking is that both regions, the SADC and the EU, espouse principals of neighbourliness and cohesion. However, both have failed to reach a collective or cohesive agreement on how to handle their problem children.

3000 - Atlantic Ocean

4000 - Antarctica

5000 - Americas

5130 - Canada

5130-02 Nova Scotia
5130-04 New Brunswick 

CANADIAN HERITAGE | Harper Government Supports Official Languages in New Brunswick

The Conseil provincial des sociétés culturelles (CPSC) will be able to undertake a new project entitled "Supporting Cultural Stakeholders in Regional Cultural Development," thanks to financial assistance from the Government of Canada. ...

This investment will enable the CPSC to carry out its mandate, which is to encourage cultural development in Acadian and Francophone communities.

5130-10 British Columbia

Regional planning helps all communities - Victoria Times Colonist , Victoria, British Columbia

The Local Government Act requires minimum content requirements for any strategy: 20-year minimum time frame; regional vision statements; population and employment projections; regional actions for key areas such as housing, transportation, regional district services, parks and natural areas and economic development; and targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and policies and actions with respect to achieving those targets.

One other significant matter that the regional growth strategy should consider is avoiding urban sprawl and ensuring that development takes place where adequate facilities exist or can be provided in a timely, economic and efficient manner.

CRD municipalities defined their own urban containment boundaries through a process with their residents. These boundaries allow for co-ordination in planning and constructing infrastructure.

The regional growth strategy is a planning document to set targets and work toward them. Elected officials ...

5140 - U.S.


5140-02 New Hampshire 

Regional Ambulance Service Hands in the Aid Box | Firegeezer

THE ROCKINGHAM REGIONAL AMBULANCE SERVICE in New Hampshire announced yesterday (Monday) that they will be shutting down effective September 30. The service is operated by the St. Joseph's Hospital in Nashua and at 30 years it is one of the oldest still-operating EMS agencies in the state. ... 

The hospital claims that the reduction in Medicare assistance recently put into effect has made operating untenable. According to the Nashua Telegraph, St. Joseph's is facing a $19 million shortfall over the next two years and has decided to concentrate on its core business (quality in-patient hospital care) and shed some subsidiary companies such as Rockingham Ambulance ...

Several months ago, before the hospital made this decision, Nashua decided to put the city's ambulance service needs up for bid and will be getting a new vendor at the same time.

5140-04 Massachusetts 

Freetown shoots down regional 9-1-1 plan - Fall River, MA - The Herald News

The town last Monday was the first community to meet with the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District about a 9-1-1 dispatch feasibility study that would regionalize dispatch services.

But a packed crowd, including many dispatchers and police officers, told SRPEDD that such regionalization is not in Freetown’s financial best interest or in the best interest of town safety.

SRPEDD’s Ross Perry said dispatchers perform a “long list of ancillary duties,” representing an “inefficient use of financial resources.”

In his presentation, he noted that Massachusetts has 246 dispatch entities, whereas Delaware — with a similar population and square mileage — has only 39 dispatch entities.

He unveiled an east-to-west map that would divide many SouthCoast communities into two dispatch areas. Such a move would reduce the number of dispatchers from close to 230 to 104.

5140-06 Connecticut 

Making Hartford (and Connecticut) Competitive -

Colorful buses will not make Hartford competitive. A new, catchy slogan will not change the business landscape. ... Successful rebranding and marketing Hartford and its region ultimately demands substance.

Changing the economic climate for Hartford is a daunting challenge. ... Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, in contrast, is aggressively working to bring new jobs to the state — he has scored three hits on his "First Five" initiative — and change the state's business climate. His commitment to Bioscience Connecticut promises both short-term construction jobs and long-term regional economic expansion. ... 

But Hartford itself is the smallest city relative to its metropolitan region in the nation, and Connecticut's sad history of balkanized municipal government and deep resistance to regional collaboration remain serious challenges to sustained success.

From a marketing perspective, the very first thing to do is to rename Bradley Airport ... New England International Airport.

5140-07 New York

1. Buffalo Ready For Regional Economic Development - WBEN NewsRadio 930 : Buffalo & Niagara Falls, NY

The Governor's new plan for regional development calls for Western New York to act as a region, not individual communities, in its efforts to attract business to the area.

Particularly troublesome, is when neighboring towns or countries fought for he same development that would really become a regional asset anyway.

"I know there are lines on a map," said Governor Andrew Cuomo in Buffalo at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute for the announcement of the regional economic development council last week, and added, "The lines mean nothing to the economic reality of the area."

Cuomo underlined the fact that the communities of Western New York have to work together to attract business, and Mayor Brown says its a no brainer.

"In Buffalo, we've known for quite some time that we can't fight with our regional partners and our neighbors throughout Western New York. We know that we have to cooperate and work together, that's what we've been doing."

2. Health Care Association To Regional Economic Council: Don't Forget Us - WBEN NewsRadio 930 : Buffalo & Niagara Falls, NY

As members of the Western New York Regional Development Council meet at UB for the first time, a health care association is urging those members to "first do no harm" and remember the health care field. The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) says health care is a big part of the region's economy.

"It's the second largest sector of the region's economy. It's one of the only sectors that's growing," says William Van Slyke of HANYS. Van Slyke says with health care providing 50,000 jobs and an impact of $6.1 billion, "what you have is a foundation on which you can build a stronger economy."

Van Slyke says the message is simple. "You have a foundation for economic growth in health care. You need to invest in that and support that foundation as you move forward," notes Van Slyke. He says it's all about ensuring awareness among the members of the council.

... health care sector is the second largest in Western New York ...sound place for investment to grow the economy

5140-08 - New Jersey  

Supporters Rally: Keep Highlands Act Alive - Bloomfield, NJ Patch

The main sponsors of Highlands law that regulates development through much of northern New Jersey joined environmentalists Wednesday, marking the law's seventh anniversary and opposing what they say are the Christie's administration's attempts to neuter it.

... about 20 people ... rallied to encourage the council to follow the Highlands Act, and the regional master plan the council itself created. They applauded the law for creating an 860,000-acre region stretching from Mahwah in Bergen County to the Delaware River in Hunterdon County, and imposing strict development restrictions in about half of it.

The law and regional plan are meant to protect resources that provide drinking water to more than half the state's population. But Gov. Chris Christie has nominated members to the Highlands Council that environmentalists fear oppose the act a basic level, ... Christie himself said ... act was "based on a lie" the state could ever compensate affected property owners.


5140-12 Metropolitan Washington-DC-MD-VA 

Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space: I'm starting to worry, a lot, about the local economy of the Washington, DC region - Blog

I've been meaning to write about a bunch of interesting work on resilience in local economies, including the Resilience Capacity Index ("Measuring ‘resilience’ of U.S. metro areas" from the University of Buffalo Reporter), the Building Resilient Regions initiative of the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California Berkeley, and initiatives at the Center for Local Economy Studies in the UK work on "Place Resilience" and the UK's Urban Forum Guide to Community Resilience.

The Washington region is ranked 10th on the RCI according to data compiled in 2010, but with the recent debacle over the national debt ceiling, I think that this ranking position will change, relatively, at least, and there will be significant differences between jurisdictions intra-regionally.

From "Ranking the ‘resilience’ of hundreds of U.S. cities" on Smart Planet:

... we measured resilience as a capacity to do well, a capacity to cope with an unknown future challenge. ...

5140-15 North Carolina

If nuclear disaster struck, how fast could Triangle scoot? - Local/State -

Booming with subdivisions and office parks, the region surrounding the Shearon Harris nuclear plant has doubled in population over the past decade, making the Triangle one of the fastest-growing nuclear evacuation zones in the nation.

Nevertheless, officials have said they could evacuate the entire zone, which extends 10 miles in all directions from the nuclear plant, in an afternoon. That's primarily because new roads have been built to accommodate the growth.

But two developments could change the dynamics of evacuation planning. Current estimates - clearing out the entire Shearon Harris zone in 4 hours and 10 minutes - do not account for a significant chunk of the zone's population growth.

And in the wake of the nuclear disaster that followed Japan's earthquake and tsunami this year, some question whether a 10-mile evacuation zone is large enough.


5140-17 Georgia

1. Committee must trim regional transportation plan »  The Daily Citizen, Dalton, GA

A transportation plan that could be funded by a potential 1 percent regional Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is $46 million over budget, according to numbers provided by the committee putting the plan together.

“We are going to have to cut some money out of those projects,” said Whitfield County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mike Babb, a member of the committee.

The six-person committee meets again in Rome on Thursday. Babb said committee members will have to do “a lot of tinkering” on the plan, which would be funded by a regional SPLOST if voters in a 15-county area of Northwest Georgia approve it next year.

That sales tax is forecast to bring in $1.116 billion over its 10-year life, but the current plan has a total of $1.162 billion in projects.


“The more fair the distribution, the more likely voters are to approve it,” Babb said.

To pass, the SPLOST must be approved by the majority of voters in the region as a whole.

2. Metro Atlanta one region but many voices  |

The Atlanta region is not so much a “region” as an unruly collection of cities and counties, each setting its own tax rates and, quite often, pursuing its own agenda. But in 2012, we will be asked to behave as a region for the first time, going to the polls in 10 counties to vote on the 1-cent sales tax referendum for transportation.

A business group put up more than $5 million in private funds to prod production. In the 10-county region that will vote on a new transportation tax next year, we have 89 locally elected government units. The impact of all that governing: Competing outlooks and agendas that sometimes stymie any chance at regional cooperation.

The 10 counties that will vote on the measure all have county commissions, county school boards, county thises and county thats. They also contain 65 cities, ...

3. Atlanta Forward word display  |

After decades of procrastination, it is time for the region to confront a small group of very big problems. Transportation, water, schools.

What to do – well, on that, opinions differ. But the region's economic stagnation has forced its residents and their leaders to come to grips with problems long deferred. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV convened the Atlanta Forward Roundtable — a panel of civic and business leaders — in late July to talk about solutions.

In order to get an idea of what topics were addressed most by each roundtable expert, we counted the number of times certain words were used. Click on each word below to learn about how that topic was addressed by the experts and who mentioned it most often. You can also watch video clips of the roundtable experts talking about each subject. Scroll down to learn more about each of the roundtable experts.

5140-21 Alabama

City of Gulf Shores, Agency on Aging host free Living Well Alabama course - Baldwin County NOW - A Gulf Coast Information Source for South Alabama

Managing chronic medical conditions is the topic of a free health education course for individuals, caregivers, and family members beginning in September in Gulf Shores hosted by the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission Area Agency on Aging and the City of Gulf Shores.

5140-24 Arkansas
5140-25 Oklahoma

Job growth, alliance plan focus of Aug. 9 meetings | The City Wire

Aug. 9 is shaping up to be economic development day in Fort Smith, with attendance at two events to include half of Arkansas’ Congressional delegation, Gov. Mike Beebe, the head of Arkansas’ Economic Development Commission and the deputy director of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

The first, ... is the unveiling of a 5-year strategic plan of the Fort Smith Regional Alliance. The rollout of the 8-county plan (Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Sebastian and Scott counties in Arkansas; Le Flore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma) ...

“The governor and the AEDC are really emphasizing these regions. He (Beebe) is coming to talk about what he sees as important as regional cooperation,” explained Paul Harvel, president of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce ...

... regional development alliances in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas meant that it was important that the Fort Smith region to create a similar organization.

5140-26 Texas

1. Plan for North Texas regional sports commission falls apart -

The idea to create a regional sports commission to help North Texas attract future Super Bowls and NCAA Final Four tournaments has failed.

North Texas Super Bowl Committee spokesman Tony Fay confirmed Tuesday that there was simply not enough time to create a regional commission.

Fay said Host Committee President Bill Lively and other members including chairman Roger Staubach abandoned efforts to start a regional commission about a month ago.

One of the top host committee executives Tara Green had been expected to lead the regional commission. On Tuesday, it was announced that Green will be taking an executive position with the firm that operates the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

"We are the only region of our size without a sports commission," Green told the Star-Telegram in May. "The Super Bowl has given us the regional dialogue that we didn't have before, and we have a sense of urgency because the Final Four is right around the corner."

2. RTA hires consultant to create $444,000 long-range plan » Corpus Christi Caller-Times

The Regional Transportation Authority on Wednesday hired a consultant to develop for the agency a long-range plan, estimated to cost $444,219.

The plan, which will take as many as 12 months to finish, is supposed to shine a spotlight on the quality, performance and perception of the RTA’s existing services, as well as provide guidance on what the RTA should do to meet regional mobility needs now and in the future.

The RTA will pay the bulk of the cost, which was included in the agency’s 2011 budget, but the Metropolitan Planning Organization also will chip in staff resources or consultant services for as much as $50,000.

Scott Neeley, CEO of the RTA, said the long-range plan will help the agency identify and solve transportation issues facing the Coastal Bend region.

“There’s an old adage that no wind will ever favor a ship without a destined port,” he said. “We need to have a vision of where we’re heading to get there.”


5140-27 Michigan

Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance hires alumni director |

No, you can’t find the borders of the Great Lakes Bay Region outlined on any map.

But the whole idea behind regionalism is thinking and living outside normal borders, argues Claudia Arellano, the first director of alumni relations for the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance.

Arellano joined the alliance in July to open lines of communication between its board of directors and the 171 business and civic leaders who have completed the Great Lakes Bay Regional Leadership Institute, an alliance-led effort to prepare local leaders for regional development initiatives.

The institute focuses on team building, education about area resources and business activity and fostering common goals.

Graduates form a pool of regional ambassadors Arellano will tap to promote growth in Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties, as well as recently added Isabella County.
The Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance has existed for five years and is working to recruit its sixth leadership institute class.

5140-28 Ohio

2011 Ohio Conference on Freight - September 20 & 21 - Toledo, Ohio - An Economy in Motion, Opportunities Ahead - September 20 & 21 - Toledo, Ohio - Registration link

Registration is open for the fifth annual Ohio Conference on Freight to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, September 20 & 21 at the Hilton Hotel Toledo and Dana Conference Center. Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) hosts the conference, presented in partnership with the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). This year the partners have adopted the theme: “An Economy in Motion, Opportunities Ahead.” For details on the 2011 conference arrangements click the headline above. 

The conference was first held in 2007 to break down the separate spheres occupied by each mode of travel and to create a cohesive multimodal industry in the state. With separate regulatory agencies, labor, and environmental and fuel concerns, the railroad, highway, air, water, and pipeline industries needed a forum to focus on their common goals. Now, the conference is vital to an integrated multimodal industry that is committed to growth and development. The Ohio Conference on Freight annually attracts more than 200 people from 14 U.S. states and at least 2 Canadian provinces. Attendees represent all modes of freight travel and also include planners, builders, engineers, economic development professionals, and academic researchers.  

Chagrin Solon Sun editorial: What should regionalism entail? |

... different viewpoints from Chagrin Valley mayors begs the question, who is right when it comes to regionalism? There is no right answer. Sharing services is definitely a part of regionalism and the Chagrin Valley has been doing that for a number of years. ...

Merging communities is something that makes people more nervous. Some residents and leaders don’t want to lose their community’s identity in a merger. Others see all these small communities dotting the map and believe there is too much duplication of services taking place. Merging communities would create one service department, one police department, one fire department and one city hall led by one mayor and one city council.

The beauty of regionalism is that it can be adapted to fit a community’s needs. A community can be content with keeping existing shared service agreements in place and not taking any further steps or it can go all out and explore merger opportunities if it feels the need is there. ...

5140-29 Indiana 

MITCH BARLOGA: Creating a bike-friendly town without breaking the bank

Everything is a science. No matter how inane something might be, there is always a significant amount of thought afforded to its creation. Whether be it a pen, a piece of paper or even a toothpick, you'd be amazed at the process it takes to develop these everyday items.

It also stands to reason that creating a bicycle-friendly community would take a considerable amount of planning as well. It does. Big time. In my role as nonmotorized transportation planner with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, I am constantly perplexed by people's assumptions. They believe creating a safe and accessible bicycle environment is just a matter of paving wide sidewalks and putting in a few crosswalks and maybe a sign or two. Adding to my frustration are those who assume any significant bike network will prove too costly.

In reality, building a bike-friendly community is a complex effort that involves sound planning at the front end to identify routes that safely ...

5140-29 Indiana
5140-30 Illinois
5140-31 Wisconsin 

School to Make Emergency Plans For Chicago, NW Indiana - Newsroom - Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick

Purdue University has been selected to develop a planning guide for regional centers being created to provide critical services during catastrophes such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks in Chicago and surrounding counties in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

The Purdue Homeland Security Institute ... awarded $1.5 million... The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications selected teams from Purdue and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Purdue will create a planning guide for Regional Hub Reception Centers that will serve the Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin Combined Statistical Area, which encompasses 10 Illinois counties, the City of Chicago, five Indiana counties and one Wisconsin county.

"We are making sure that plans are in place in each county and that those plans work seamlessly with one another for the public good," ...

The regional centers will be activated to care for and shelter large influxes of people injured and displaced by a catastrophic event.
5140-31 Wisconsin

Northern Developers Clash Over Selection Of Regional Marketing Group | Ashland Current

In the midst of a lingering recession, Northwestern Wisconsin leaders are engulfed in a dispute that could hinder efforts to better promote the area and fund new development.
For months, members of various economic and job development bodies have complained the 10-county area lacks an overarching regional marketing group to seek new private investment. Similar entities ... already have been created in eight areas of Wisconsin. Only the northwest lacks a unified organization.

But there’s sharp disagreement over who should manage that entity, if it’s created, ...

... dispute came to a rolling boil when Spooner-based Wisconsin Business Innovation Corp., a private nonprofit affiliate of Northwest Regional Planning Commission, was awarded a $30,000 state grant to facilitate creation of the regional marketing group. Within a month, a competitor for that grant, Opportunity North, raised the stakes, declaring itself the “New Regional Economic Development Authority in Northwest Wisconsin.”

5140-35 Iowa

Supervisors approve grant to fund 7-county consortium in Newton, IA and Jasper County, IA -

The Jasper County supervisors on Tuesday approved an additional $2,500 grant to the Iowa Innovation Gateway.

The Iowa Innovation Gateway grew out of a regional collaboration of central Iowa counties. Following the closing of Maytag Co. in Newton in 2006, Jasper and other bordering counties came together to improve the economic development opportunities of the area, and to facilitate the area’s workforce to find new jobs.

The Iowa Innovation Gateway was formed and the seven-county area became the first in the nation to receive a $250,000 Regional Innovation Grant from the Department of Labor to create a strategic regional plan. ... Those counties forming the Iowa Innovation Gateway include Jasper, Story, Marshall, Marion, Tama, Poweshiek and Mahaska.


5140-44 Colorado

Hancock gets warm welcome from Denver area mayors | The Denver Post

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock received a warm welcome and got in some friendly jabs Wednesday morning at the meeting of the Metro Mayors Caucus, which is made up of 40 mayors from cities around the Denver metropolitan area.And after Hancock’s earnest comments about embracing regionalism and improving education for Denver’s kids, the mayor of the largest city lightly jousted with Ed Tauer – the mayor of the second largest city.

... Hancock said he was excited to serve with fellow mayors and work to untangle the complex problems resulting from the recession.

“If the recession has taught us anything, it is the importance of having a regional economy,” Hancock said. “We all share services. How do we begin to create opportunities by sharing services.”

Hancock mentioned the discussion over the possible move of the National Western Stock Show and said the next big topic involving regionalism will be around education. Hancock introduced Paul Ryan as his director of regional affairs.

5140-48 Washington

1. Regional Fire Authority Financial Study On The Way - News Talk 1280 KIT

In 2004 state legislation allowed municipalities to form a Regional Fire Authority. A Regional Fire Authority (RFA) is a separate taxing district with the sole purpose of providing fire and medical services. An RFA would operate almost identically to a County Fire District as far as funding and governance.

The mayors and council of Union Gap and Yakima requested a joint feasibility study for a Regional Fire Authority between the Cities of Yakima, Union Gap, and Fire District 10 and 11. This feasibility study is moving steadily ahead as planned. A group of over 20 business owners, residents, elected officials, and fire officials from all four jurisdictions have been meeting regularly since January of 2011. 
In Washington State feasibility studies have led voters to form seven regional fire authorities involving over twenty jurisdictions since 2006.

The success of Regional Fire Authorities has prompted many more municipalities to begin the process of feasibility studies.

2. Website offers info about regional fire service planning - Edmonds Beacon News

Citizens can visit a new website to learn more about regional fire service discussions taking place in south Snohomish County.


Nine jurisdictions in south Snohomish County are exploring the possibility of consolidating fire and emergency medical service in a regional fire authority (RFA).

The website,, provides meeting information, planning documents and presentations.

5140-50 California

1. Regional agency's move assailed : City Insider

It's not just Oakland officials who are upset over the recent decision of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to move to San Francisco and buy a building ... where they'll shack up with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, is denouncing the commission's plan to buy and remodel the building into a regional government center. He says his opposition is not so much to the move as it is to the plan to spend toll revenues, or bond money secured by future toll revenues, for the $180 million project.

He's calling for Senate hearings into the decision and plans to ask for a state audit to look at whether the building buy is an appropriate use of bridge tolls,

"I'm a big believer in the agencies working together and locating in the same building," said DeSaulnier, a former long-term member of the commission. "But I have a big problem with toll money going into buying a building."

2. California Regional Independent Inventors Conference

Congressman Adam Schiff will be the opening speaker August 12 at the California Regional Inventor Conference in Pasadena. Schiff has been a member of both committees with oversight of issues related to intellectual property protection and the USPTO.

Senior USPTO officials, successful inventors, including National Inventor Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Gary Michelson, and intellectual property experts will be on hand to provide practical advice and information for novice and seasoned inventors. ...


Sugar Cane-to-Jet Fuel Pathway Analyzed for Sustainability

Two publicly traded aircraft manufacturers and the Inter-American Development Bank will jointly fund a sustainability analysis of renewable jet fuel sourced from Brazilian sugar cane.

Last month, the bank announced a regional cooperation grant to help public and private institutions develop a sustainable biojet fuels industry. The Amyris study is the first to be financed under that grant.

Shouldering the funding with the bank are The Boeing Company and Embraer S.A., the world's largest manufacturer of commercial jets up to 120 seats.
"This study will examine the overall potential for sustainable, large-scale production of alternative jet fuels made from sugarcane," he said. In 2010, the U.S. EPA designated Brazilian sugarcane ethanol as an advanced biofuel due to its 61 percent reduction of total life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, including direct and indirect land use change emissions.

6000 Pacific Ocean

Launch of UN report warning of rising economic losses due to disasters and climate change in the Pacific -

The Pacific Platform is the region’s foremost gathering of over 200 national and regional disaster risk management stakeholders. Officials from 22 Pacific island countries and territories will meet with experts to address concerns relating to reducing the risks of disasters and the impact of climate change affecting regional development.

A major objective of the platform is to endorse a "roadmap" for development of a regional policy framework for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

... globally mortality risk associated with weather-related disasters has decreased. ... Disaster related economic losses, however, are increasing across the globe, critically threatening the economies particularly of small island development states, also in the Pacific region, and even outstripping wealth creation across many of the world’s richer nations. The absolute value of global GDP exposed to tropical cyclones tripled ... 1970s to .. 2000s ...

Association of Pacific Island Legislatures

We are a regional organization committed to working together on matters of mutual concern and interest.   

7000 Oceana

7430 Australia

Coast rail link: next stop Port? - Port Macquarie News

The federal government’s rail plan is still in its early days.

But preliminary work identifies an eastern seaboard network connecting Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney and a range of regional centres.

The stage one study said the Mid-North Coast had sufficient size and demand to warrant a station.

The Mid-North, Northern Rivers, Far North Coast and the Gold Coast are identified as indicative regional station locations.
“It doesn’t matter where it stops – Port Macquarie or Coffs Harbour – it’s a benefit for the Mid-North Coast,” he said.
The community is invited to comment ...

8000 Asia

8000 Association of Southeast Asian Nations 

ASEAN to improve cooperation with GCC | The Jakarta Post

ASEAN has moved forward toward enhancing regional economic cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), an official says.

Trade Ministry Director General for International Trade Cooperation Gusmardi Bustami said Sunday that both parties conducted the first meeting of ASEAN and GCC senior economic officials in Salalah, Oman, on July 11-12.

“At the meeting, we exchanged views and information about ways to improve economic cooperation, such as mechanisms of decision making in ASEAN, which involves existing councils,” ...

More links:

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

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