Regional/Greater Community Development News – February 13, 2012

     Multi-jurisdictional intentional regional communities are, in all cases, “Greater Communities” where “community motive” is at work at a more than a local scale. This newsletter provides a scan of regional community, cooperation and collaboration activity as reported in news media and blogs. 
     Article text is saved to  within the 1000 count Delicious limit. Geocode system and topic tags are assigned.  An RSS feed is available. Top stories are tweeted daily.!/tomchristoffel
Long Island knows how to compete, but now it needs to learn how to play nice.
In Farmingdale ... Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said the second round of funding for the state’s regional economic development councils would focus more on collaboration between regions than actual competition.
“The expectation was to have competition the first year,” said Duffy, who attended a meeting of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council Tuesday at Farmingdale State College. “That precludes synergy. Now we’re looking to generate more opportunities for growth between the regions that will help jumpstart the economy of all of New York.”
As one of four regions chosen by the state as having the best strategic plan for economic development in December, Long Island won more than $100 million. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already devoted $200 million to a second round of funding and is hoping to have an additional $800 million in consolidated funding application money …
5140-07-00-Economic.Development.Councils, 5140-07-15-Long.Island, re:governor, re:incentives, re:collaboration, re:councils
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) today announced the launch of its first ever “I Love Classic Towns” photo contest.
The contest is part of DVRPC’s Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia program and is designed to engage the community in showcasing the region’s unique neighborhoods in both the city and suburbs, …
“This is a fun opportunity to show why we love our Classic Towns,” said Leslie Richards, vice chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners and member of the DVRPC board. “Our goal is to highlight the unique charm of our Classic Towns so people embrace them as great places to live, work, and play.”
At present, there are 20 towns designated as Classic Towns by DVRPC. They are:Ambler, Ardmore, Bordentown City, Bristol Borough, Collingswood, Germantown, Glassboro, Haddon Heights, Kennett Square, Lansdale, Lansdowne, Manayunk, Media, Merchantville, Moorestown, New Hope, Overbrook Farms, Phoenixville, Souderton/Telford, and West Chester.
5140-09-07-Delaware.Valley-Philadelphia-PA-NJ, re:city-suburbs, re:towns
Innovation is in vogue. Companies want it. Places want it. Why? Because the success of companies and places depends more on innovation than ever before. Despite its luster, many public and private sector leaders cannot really define innovation and therefore, stumble when trying to encourage or harness it. This paper suggests four challenges sub-national places face when it comes to innovation:
Understanding the integral link between private sector innovation and public innovation policy in economic development;
Understanding that innovation comes in many forms and phases of production and development;
Focusing on not just innovation in places, but innovation by places, i.e. states and localities must themselves try new policy approaches;
And finally, creating partnerships between places, especially local places and the national government.
But before discussing these challenges, the paper first discusses why places should care about innovation.
re:economic.development, re:technology, re:city-region, re:cities, re:innovation
Collaboration is a contact sport. “Regional collaboration” has long been a somewhat idyllic phrase within technology-based economic development circles. Beyond the websites and trade show booths, its rare to find “collaboration” expressed in an every day operating plan. Geography, municipal boundaries, political districts and competing organizations provide real challenges for regional initiatives to find and sustain common ground.
With the announcement of the Federal Regional Innovation Cluster (RICs) initiative in March of 2010, those barriers are becoming more transparent. That initiative defined RICs as “geographically-bounded and active networks of similar, synergistic or complementary organizations which leverage their region’s unique competitive strengths to create jobs and broader prosperity.”
… The TechBelt Initiative began in 2008 as a regional conversation about how to reinvigorate the Cleveland-to-Pittsburgh corridor and surrounding region. “ …, re:cluster, re:innovation, re:collaboration
Brian Sandoval’s economic plan for Nevada …
The plan, originally referred to as “Moving Nevada Forward: A Plan for Excellence and Economic Development 2012-2014” could also be retitled as “Nevada Economy: Redux” or alternatively, “We Are Soooooo Screwed”.
… final plan began as … report specially prepared by economic think tanks Brookings Institution and SRI International. That initial blueprint identified several areas that Nevada needed to focus on for economic recovery, based on a customized analysis of this state’s strengths. … no surprise that gaming technology and innovation was on the list; so was the private aerospace industries and renewable energy.
…complete overhaul of current, clearly non-working economic development strategies.
As mentioned elsewhere at The Nevada View, Sandoval’s new plan was expected to target regional development efforts, with the creation of locally-based economic development agencies that focus on the specific Nevada industries mentioned above.
5140-42-00-Nevada, re:industry, re:Brookings, re:plan, re:economic.development
A regional economic development initiative in Iowa has captured the imagination of Chuck Peters, longtime head of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Getting directly involved meant facing a quandary: How could a news organization consistently support this initiative without becoming a crusader for it? The answer: become a convener of the public discussion…
A stretch of East-Central Iowa (from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids) has long been home to a unique convergence of business, technology, higher education, science, and the arts. All these forces recently banded together under the Iowa’s Creative Corridor initiative to work to enhance the region’s collective competitiveness.
Chuck Peters, president and CEO of The Gazette Co. (which published the daily Cedar Rapids Gazette and runs the local ABC TV affiliate station KCRG), decided to get his company involved. For about two decades he’d been discussing “systems thinking” and community development with Les Garner, former president of Cornell College
5140-35-10-East.Central-Cedar.Rapids, re:systems, re:economic.development, re:convenor,, re:media.newpapers
When Bob Trezise took over leadership of the region’s economic development agency, he thought of the impossible.
Specifically, he came up with a list of several things he’d like to see from greater Lansing by 2020 and wrote them down. His list was so “audacious” — his word — that for an item to earn a spot, at least one person would have to say it couldn’t be done.
Such as increasing the region’s population by 35,000. Or seeing General Motors Co. build additional plants in the area. Or having the Lansing area declared the world’s leading advanced manufacturing hub.
All of those things — or any of them — might not actually happen. But it indicates the direction Trezise, who took over as president and CEO of Lansing Economic Area Partnership Inc. in November, wants to go. And the renewed focus on economic development is initially resonating among businesses and municipalities that helped launch LEAP,  …founded in 2007 and tasked with building economic growth on a regional scale. …
5140-27-06-Tri-County-Lansing,, re:development.economic
Early last year, Gregg Guetschow prepared himself to jump many new hurdles under a state push to tie state revenue sharing to regionalism and innovation.
Even now, the Charlotte city manager and his colleagues have not yet completed all they need to do to qualify for the full $142,000 in statutory revenue sharing funding, although city officials expect by May 1 to complete a plan to implement employee pension and benefit changes sought by the state.
“City officials are jumping through hoops to get the cash,” Guetschow said.
Last week, county officials statewide learned they would face similar requirements to qualify for state revenue sharing …
… officials in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties say they are ready for the challenge and believe they are well on their way to meeting the criteria with initiatives to share services with neighbors. Snyder is asking counties to increase transparency, meet benchmarks for employee benefits and regionalize some services to qualify for full fund
5140-27-06-Tri-County-Lansing, re:revenue-sharing, re:services, re:cities.counties,
Mayor Virg Bernero thinks Lansing Police could have a "more effective presence" on and around campus.
"I find it very strange that a community college would have its own police department," Bernero said. "I find it unneccessary and redundant especially when we're all right here."
LCC President Brent Knight says LCC police serve a specific purpose. He says the college's priorities may differ than the cities when it comes to police work.

Bernero believes the city can provide the same services for less and be rewarded by the state. The governor announced Thursday a 9.2 percent statutory increase in revenue sharing, but it's all tied to "best practices."
"This to me is a classic example of what the governor's called for," said Bernero.
Either way, something needs to be done, says Daniella Farrell. She takes night classes at LCC and says she's been assaulted three times near Shiawasee and Grand.
5140-27-06-Tri-County-Lansing, re:policing, re:regionalism,
The solar panels atop Medway’s high school and middle school show how seriously the town takes its commitment to energy efficiency. With the help of a new regional program, planners hope to enlist residents and local businesses, too.
“I think we have the energy bug here in Medway,’’ said Town Administrator Suzanne Kennedy. “It has infected us here on the municipal side of things and we hope to spread it to our residents and commercial customers as well.’’
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council last week selected Medway, Marlborough, and six other communities to take part in its new Local Energy Action Program to devise long-range energy plans and identify which projects have the best potential to successfully reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
In Medway, Kennedy said, officials hope to develop - and fund - a commercial loan program to help area businesses pursue projects that will cut their energy use.
5140-04-08-Boston.Metropolitan.Area, re:municipalities, re:plan, re:energy,, re:energy.renewable
The Federal Railroad Administration, in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Transportation, is kicking off the Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study. The Iowa DOT will host an online, self-directed, open house meeting beginning Monday, available at
One of five routes under consideration is the California Zephyr route. The California Zephyr stops in Galesburg twice each day. The other routes have tracks in various states of repair, including Route 3, comprised mostly of abandoned track. While purely speculation, the direct nature of the California Zephyr route, and one other factor would appear to make it an early front-runner.
5140-35-00-Iowa, re:trans.rail.high.speed
The region received a major boost last week when state officials announced that Housatonic Community College would share in a $17.8-million state grant, which it will use to create the HCC Regional Advanced Manufacturing Center for Southwestern Connecticut.
The center will expand the college's manufacturing education capability to give students the 21st-Century knowledge and skills needed by today's manufacturers.
As one state official mentioned at Friday's announcement, although manufacturing careers have traditionally been viewed as being for "kids that didn't want to study," that perception is changing. The reality is that manufacturing jobs pay more than the national average, and opportunities are increasing.
However, those opportunities come at a cost. Gone are the days when unskilled laborers could work in factories and support families. Today's manufacturers require specialized skills and training, and Housatonic's new program will be among the finest in the state ...
5140-06-12-South.Western-Norwalk-Stamford, re:editorial.opinion,, re:education, re:manufacturing
As the region celebrates Black History Month, … impact … disgraceful part of our history still has …
Current racial demographics in several area towns may have been influenced by deed restrictions placed on properties as long ago as the 1920s — restrictions known as “racial covenants,” created on behalf of developers and private owners to keep their neighborhoods as white as possible.
Most of the restrictions stated that only whites could purchase or even live on a property, and that included huge sections of some towns. Some specifically banned groups such as African Americans, or occasionally, Italians and non-Protestants.
“Hereafter and forever,” reads one such deed from Somers Point in 1926, no building “shall at any time be occupied or permitted to be occupied by any person or persons other than those of the ‘Caucasian Race.’”
Such restrictions became unenforceable with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but by then, blacks had been kept out of large parts of suburbia for decades.
5140-08-0x-Greater-Atlantic.City, re:demographics, re:history
Developers of Atlantic Town Center are forging ahead with plans to build a new town near Wattsville, which they say will complement and support growth expected to come to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and Wallops Research Park.
Chris Carbaugh of Atlantic Town Center Development Corp. said those plans are proceeding regardless of the outcome of Monday's hearing about the group's application to amend the county zoning ordinance's definition of public utilities.
The report card is out on greater Houston’s education to workforce pipeline. Although we get gold stars on job creation, and there have been incremental strides in middle and elementary school achievement, there is still serious work to be done to make the region locally sustainable and globally competitive. Center for Houston’s Future – The Region’s Think Tank - is releasing its latest data study on key sustainability and competitiveness indicators for the greater Houston region at the 2012 Indicators Symposium …
“The reason for gathering all these statistics about our community is simple: if you can measure it, you can improve it. By conducting these annual studies on sustainability and competitiveness since 2007, the Center for Houston’s Future broadens access to information, encourages public debate and dialogue, builds consensus, and helps to develop shared solutions. The unvarnished facts about how the region stacks up – from our talent gap in the workforce to successes and ...
5140-26-16-Houston-Galveston.Area, re:indicators, re:future, re:think.tank, re:workforce.skills, re:workforce, re:education
Today, more than 2 million workers support metro Atlanta’s economy, a number which is projected to more than double over the next three decades. Because these workers live and commute to their jobs all across this region, we know that our economic prosperity is linked to our ability to promote reliable, cost-effective commute options for the nearly 50 percent of metro Atlanta workers who leave their home county to get to their jobs.
One effective way to accomplish this goal is through efficient transit services that help commuters get from point A to point B at the lowest possible subsidy from Georgia’s taxpayers. Right now, though, metro Atlanta’s multiple transit entities operate essentially independently, as an inadequately coordinated set of systems that are geographically constrained to serving only small areas of the larger and growing region.
Additionally, these transit systems need strategic coordination and vision to achieve long-term, economic outcomes for the region ...
5140-17-05-Atlanta.Regional, re:governance, re:governor, re:trans.commuting, re:trans.transit
The U.S. House Infrastructure and Transportation Committee has approved a bill that could bypass local Metropolitan Planning Organizations or MPOs, when federal transportation projects like I-69 do not match the interests of state officials.
Under the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012, the governor of a state could modify a metropolitan transportation improvement plan or TIP without the consent of the organization that wrote it.
The wording is part of a larger federal bill sponsored by committee Chairman John Mica of Florida (R-7th), but it was Indiana Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-8th) who helped create the language in the section regarding MPOs.
Monroe County MPO member Richard Martin, whose group has vigorously fought the Indiana Department of Transportation over I-69,... says he told Buschon’s office that he would be satisfied with the bill if it allowed MPOs to provide their input into transportation projects from the beginning, before economic and environmental studies
re:officials.elected.appointed, re:governor, re:state.dept.transportaton, re:trans.DOT, re:legislation.Federal, re:trans.MPO
Are you prepared for an emergency? Whether it be a tornado, flood, terrorism, or other disaster event, citizens need to be prepared in order to take care of their family, neighbors, and community.

Everyone needs to be able to take care of themselves, their family, and possibly their neighbors in the initial stages of a disaster event. However, the task of preparing for such an event can seem to be overwhelming and costly. This is why the Region 6 Homeland Security Board and Safeguard Iowa Partnership have partnered to bring the “20 Weeks to Preparedness Program” to your area. This program will help prepare you and your family, a little at a time, over a 20-week period.

The Region 6 Homeland Security Board is comprised of 14 counties in eastern Iowa that coordinate homeland security planning, training, exercise, response, and recovery. The counties included are Benton, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Cedar, Clayton, Clinton, Delaware, Dubuque, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Linn and Scott.
5140-35-00-Iowa-regions, re:multi-county, re:emergency.preparedness
Monmouth County and each of its 53 municipalities will be required by the state to prepare emergency/disaster response operations for the development of a regional, coordinated emergency/disaster response plan for the coastal area.
Plans must include procedures for evacuating residents, including those with special needs, livestock and domesticated animals, hospitals and health care facilities, evacuation routes and temporary and long-term shelters.
The state mandate, which applies to all counties and towns in New Jersey …
“The development of all plans shall be coordinated with the emergency operations plans of the state, county and neighboring municipalities to ensure a regional coordinated response and the efficient use of resources,” the bill states.
5140-08-00-New.Jersey, re:plan, re:emergency.preparedness
Members of the King County Council said they look forward to working with County Executive Dow Constantine in developing the regional cooperation needed to establish the “shared prosperity” called for in today’s State of the County Address.
“I continue to support the Executive’s initiatives striving for efficiencies and responding to the economic crisis facing King County and the entire world,” said Council Chair Larry Gossett. “Within King County, there are those that continue to live comfortably, but there are far too many that continue to live with economic uncertainty and various levels of need and poverty. As elected officials, it is the latter we must prioritize if we are to remain true to our commitment to equity and social justice.”
… called for continued support for the expansion of the State Convention Center, and continued collaboration similar to the effort to keep construction of the next generation Boeing 737 in the region. …
5140-48-12-Puget.Sound-Seattle, re:economic.recovery, re:economic, re:county
It started with a small group of private-sector stakeholders brainstorming how they could help northern Santa Barbara County generate well-paying jobs.
Their commitment was to rebuild a thriving regional economy that could fight double-digit unemployment. The vision was to collaboratively develop a thriving, North County economic region where a family's children could find high-quality jobs. An economic region where industries, businesses and entrepreneurs were welcomed and retained for their economic support and innovation. A region retaining the beauty of the area and representing the best of the Central Coast lifestyle.
Most of all, the vision was for a sustainable, diverse economy that would be less subject to boom and bust cycles.
What evolved was the Economic Alliance of Northern Santa Barbara County (EconNSBC), a group of possibility thinkers launching a high-performance community.
... dedicated to the creation of a community ready to compete in the 21st-century global economy, …
5140-50-0x-Santa.Barbara, re:economic.strategy, re:community, re:collaborative
The Houston area is home to 90,249 small businesses.
It’s a big number that tends to garner little attention as analysts point to the region’s more imposing accomplishments – the Medical Center, the Houston Port, the energy sector – as what blunted the blow of the recession in this part of the country.
Yet, according to the Greater Houston Partnership, which encompasses 10 counties, including Harris, Brazoria, Fort Bend and Montgomery, 95 percent of its area businesses employ fewer than 100 people.
That’s a lot of jobs – perhaps as many as 1.3 million, accounting for total wages in excess of $45 billion a year, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers.
“Well, I wouldn’t have thought it was anything like that many,” said Felix Garza, who works as a machinist at two small shops north of downtown. “That’s a lot of people buying things instead of out hustling around for food money.”
5140-26-16-Houston-Galveston.Area, re:business, re:economic, re:partnership, re:partner

As Secretary of State…Clinton has said, and as the United States has long maintained, our foreign policy relationships will always be nation-to-nation. But the scope of what defines nation-to-nation conversations are shifting in the modern, more global, and more flattened economy—deeming city-to-city, and state-to-state dialogues just as critical to the larger context of executing, implementing, and achieving a nation’s overarching diplomatic goals.

It is about initiating subnational conversations that will establish a dialogue to transfer knowledge among parts of the world…peer-to-peer engagement on a city level will offer inclusive growth for nations recovering from conflict, because cities will actively pursue other areas of the world whose resources and demographics mirror theirs, in order to apply best practices in a way that most effectively meets the nuanced cultural demands of a particular region of the world.
7th Annual Peacekeeping, Reconstruction, & Stabilization Conf.
5140-00-00-USA.United.States.of.America, re:national, re:cities, re:knowledge, re:subnational, re:diplomacy
With 42,000 new jobs and other positive indicators, Silicon Valley's innovation engine is heating up again, according to an annual barometer of the region's economic and social health.
The valley's employment base grew by 3.8 percent in the past 12 months, and the unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent -- compared to a national unemployment rate of 11 percent, said Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network, which issues an annual "Silicon Valley Index." The report was issued in partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
The document lists hundreds of economic and social measures in 40 cities stretched over Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, as well as parts of Santa Cruz and Alameda counties.
But the positive economic news fails to translate into broad community health because mid-range jobs are disappearing, Hancock said. ...
5140-50-05-Bay.Area-San.Francisco-ABAG, re:taxation, re:tax, re:cities,, re:community
Local leaders met Monday to discuss their progress on developing a plan to boost the regional economy.
Two months ago, the Southern Tier won nearly 50 million dollars in Governor Cuomo's Economic Development competition.
The Southern Tier got the smallest piece of the pie out of ten New York regions.
The size of the grant is determined by the area's needs, as well as the economic development plans.
To get more money next year, the council will have to come up with a better blueprint for economic growth.
"When we were in front of the review board they made that very clear that the performance on what you were awarded this past round was going to be a major factor in terms of what you got going forward," said Tom Tranter from Corning Enterprises.
The Governor has set aside another 200 million dollars in competitive economic development grants for 2012, which is expected to be announced in late spring.
5140-07-05-Southern.Tier.East, re:economy, re:plan, re:economic.growth, re:blueprint
There's only about a month to decide whether or not to join the pack.
North Liberty City Council members briefly discussed the request from Iowa City to help fund an animal care and adoption center that would serve the entire area during their budget work session Tuesday, Jan. 31.
All municipalities in Johnson County and the county were asked to help fund the construction and ongoing operation of a proposed regional animal care facility last October. The request by the City of Iowa City, which currently operates the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center that serves all of Johnson County's jurisdictions, was reiterated at a Jan. 25 meeting of the area's Metropolitan Planning Organization. City officials and county supervisors were not pleased with the request, citing the lack of input into the facility's design and future operation, questioning the project's price tag and the amount of requested contributions, and expressing concern about the open-ended nature of any agreements ...
5140-35-10-East.Central-Cedar.Rapids, re:animal.shelter , re:infrastructure
Support is growing for a regional jail to help with Jefferson County's money woes and relieve crowding at the downtown jail.
Talks are under way among state, county and city officials about using the unopened county jail in Bessemer to house inmates from Birmingham and other jurisdictions under a cooperative entity. …
"We believe we can combine use of the county jails in Birmingham and Bessemer and take in the city's jail population and make it work," said Jefferson County sheriff's Chief Deputy … . "That would relieve our overcrowded problem at the county jail in Birmingham. It has to make financial sense for Birmingham, and we think it will. If we get past that hurdle, this will be a win-win. ... That's the kind of regional cooperation our area is thirsty for, and we are pretty excited about it -- cautiously optimistic."

The county jail in Bessemer was closed September 2009, a move Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale made when $10 million was cut from his then $61 million budget.
5140-21-03-Greater.Birmingham, re:budget.cuts, re:cooperation, re:jail
Still concerned that plans for a new Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis could lead, indirectly, to big problems for St. Paul, Mayor Chris Coleman has again made a plea for a regional look at how decisions like that are made.
The big concern: Minneapolis officials want to tie a stadium deal to paying for renovations to the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. Doing so would help Target better compete against St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center for concerts, shows and sporting events.
(Coleman also thinks it is superfluous to have two municipal arenas in one metropolitan area and would like to see Target Center demolished, but that would mean bringing the Timberwolves to St. Paul, and that ain't gonna happen.)
In a message to city residents this week, Coleman outlines his concerns and calls for a spirit of regionalism in the stadium issue, much the same as the metro counties handle transportation issues.
5140-32-11-Metropolitan.Council-Minneapolis-St.Paul, re:greater, re:impacts, re:cities, re:regionalism, re:sports
… new book, "American Nations," throughout the Colonial period these separate regional cultures regarded one another as competitors, and occasionally as enemies, as was the case during the English Civil War, when Royalist Virginia stood against Puritan Massachusetts, or when New Netherland and New France were invaded and occupied by English-speaking soldiers, statesmen, and merchants.
Only when London began treating its colonies as a single unit - and enacted policies threatening to nearly all - did some of these distinct societies briefly come together to win a war of liberation and create a joint government. …
America's most essential and abiding divisions are not between red states and blue states, conservatives and liberals, capital and labor, blacks and whites, the faithful and the secular. Rather, our divisions stem from this fact: The United States is a federation composed of the whole or part of 11 regional nations, some of which truly do not see eye to eye with one another. …
5140-00-00-USA.United.States.of.America, re:government, re:federal, re:regionalism
HUD Sustainable Communities Grantees, FY2010 - FY2011 map
re:map, re:communities, re:sustainable, re:grant.HUD.EPA.DOT
For those working U.S. Census data over time, researchers at Brown University have developed the Longitudinal Tract Data Base:
The system now includes two sets of files in which census data from 1970-2000 have been recalculated into 2010 tract boundaries. One set is full-count data (the 100% variables from Census 1970-2000 as well as Census 2010). The other set is sample data (the one-in-six variables, like socioeconomic status, from Census 1970-2000 and the variables from American Community Survey 2006-2010).
Comparable data will become commercially available in the spring. In addition, the system includes tools that you can use to translate any data — not only census data — that were collected for census tract areas for 1970-2000 into areas for 2010. For example, if you had tract-level crime data for 1990, you could convert it to 2010 tracts. This may be helpful in many applications.
re:census, re:data
The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, in partnership with Commerce Trust Company, presented grants totaling $127,500 Thursday.
The grants will be awarded to 14 regional organizations that work on rural poverty issues
5140-37-18-Southwestern, re:grants,
The Joint Task Force (JTF) on Northwestern Ontario Economic Development Planning requested feedback from municipal leaders on its pilot project after providing an update during the Rainy River District Municipal Association annual meeting last month.
Project manager Pat Forrest, on behalf of JTF chair Iain Angus, explained the task force’s mandate is to play a lead role in developing a proposed model and implementation plan for regional economic planning in Northwestern Ontario.
The priorities are local decision-making, collaborative governance, participation by all leader groups in the region, including aboriginal organizations, and authority to give to decision makers the tools to implement and influence decisions regarding economic policy and strategy.
The JTF is proposing a regional economic development organization that will co-ordinate the development of a regional economic development strategy and implement regional economic development projects and programs.
5130-06-0x-Northwestern, re:development.organizations, re:regional, re:leaders, re:economic.development, re:plan
The idea of a northern regional assembly looked to have died a painful death in 2004 when 78% of North East voters rejected the idea in a referendum.
Six northern Labour MPs wrote an open letter to The Observer newspaper this weekend suggesting it was time once again to consider having a northern political assembly.
None of the six are from the North East. Instead they are all from Yorkshire and the North West.
"With the scrapping of the regional development agencies, we don't have a body to deal with strategic problems and issues for the north."
Instead it sees the solution being devolution of powers to the country's biggest cities, including Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield.
It believes they can be handed extra powers to become drivers of economic recovery. They will also have the chance to have directly elected mayors through referendums in May
1116-09-North.East, re:government, re:organization, re:mayors, re:cities, re:assembly
Facing the prospect of paying for major road projects in the near future, a United Counties council committee is considering the establishment of regional development charges to help offset costs.
"We may have to look at it," Ron Holman, public works committee chairman, …
Holman wouldn't go so far as saying the charges -which would be levied on new homes and commercial buildings to pay for the roads, water and sewer services to the properties -are inevitable.
Instead, a presentation to the committee next month by Bob Clark Associates will help to determine if the counties should proceed on implementing development charges and what level of fee may be applied, ...
The mayor of Rideau Lakes Township said his municipality charges development fees that pay half the price of new infrastructure required to service their properties.
… rejected a previous proposal for the counties to institute "a general development charge," … willing to consider a charge to address specific circumstances, ..
5130-06-0x-United Counties.of.Leeds.and.Grenville, re:officials.elected.appointed, re:development.fee, re:infrastructure
Crime has become one of the main challenges threatening economies and livelihoods in Caribbean countries, but the right mix of policies and programmes can halt the problem, according to the Caribbean Human Development Report 2012 launched here yesterday by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The report, Human Development and the Shift to Better Citizen Security, says that with the exception of Barbados and Suriname, homicide rates including gang-related killings have increased substantially in the last 12 years across the Caribbean, while they have been falling or stabilising in other parts of the world.
Although murder rates are exceedingly high by world standards, the report says that Caribbean governments can reverse the trend, calling for regional governments to beef up public institutions to tackle crime and violence -- including the criminal justice system — while boosting preventive measures.
"Violence limits people's choices, threatens their physical ...
0000.UN-United.Nations, 5000.CARICOM-Carribean.Community, re:economy, re:law.enforcement.courts, re:institutions, re:criminal, re:crime
Leaders from the South West, Nigeria today gathered at Premier Ibadan for the first Legislative summit tagged, “Achieving Regional Collaboration Agenda for Rapid Growth”.
Among the leaders …
All the speakers in one voice emphasized that regional integration is a task that must be achieved to restore the region’s glory and transform it.
Host governor, Abiola Ajimobi expressed the regret that the region, which used to be the hub of development and envy of all in the First Republic, had witnessed “an embarrassing regression’’.
He said, “Since Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s departure from governance, development has been far between in what used to be …. Rather than building on the firsts of the First Republic, the South West had witnessed an embarrassing regression. It is a shame that, decades after the First Republic, with the advent of technology, sophistication and advancements in knowledge, that republic is still our benchmark of excellence and example of purity of mental sophistication
2210-00-Nigeria, re:growth, re:collaboration, re:economic.development
U.S. scientists using satellite data have established a more accurate figure of the amount of annual sea level rise from melting glaciers and ice caps which should aid studies on how quickly coastal areas may flood as global warming gathers pace.
…University of Colorado … found that thinning glaciers and icecaps were pushing up sea levels by 1.5 millimeters (0.06 inches) a year, in line with a 1.2 to 1.8 mm range from other studies, some of which forecast sea levels could rise as much as 2 meters (2.2 yards) by 2100.
Sea levels have already risen on average about 18 centimeters since 1900 and rapid global warming will accelerate the pace of the increase, scientists say, threatening coastlines from Vietnam to Florida and forcing low-lying megacities to build costly sea defenses.

Globally, the rate of sea level rise has accelerated in recent decades to reach about 3.5 millimeters a year, with more than half coming from thermal expansion of the oceans.
Water expands as it gets warmer
re:science, re:mega-city, re:climate.change, re:sea.level.rise
"Urban expansion often creates poorer neighbourhoods which lack adequate infrastructure and services, making them more vulnerable to floods," said Pamela Cox, the World Bank's vice president for East Asia and the Pacific.

According to the World Bank, floods are the most frequently occurring form of natural disaster in East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific. In the past 30 years, about 40 per cent of flooding world-wide occurred in Asia. More than 90 per cent of the global population exposed to flooding lives in Asia.
Meanwhile, the urban population of East Asia will have doubled from the 1994 level by 2025, …
Urban flooding is becoming more costly and more difficult to manage as low and middle-income countries in the region transition to largely urban societies, with greater concentration of people and assets in cities and towns. Losses can reach beyond the edge of actual floodwaters, as the impact on industrial supply chains during the 2011 floods in Thailand demonstrated.
6000-Pacific.Ocean, 8000-Asia, 0000.World.Bank, re:urban, re:flooding
The popularity of the Firefox Web browser has grown tremendously in recent years, but there is one region where it is practically ubiquitous. Firefox has consistently held 80 percent market share in Antarctica.
The Firefox enthusiasts at the bottom of the world are now launching their own community group in collaboration with Mozilla. A new Mozilla Antarctica website went live on Tuesday of this week, the 191st anniversary of the first documented landing on mainland Antarctica.
The Mozilla Antarctica community group started as a joke. Mozilla's David Boswell included a reference to an Antarctic community group as an easter egg when he developed the global Mozilla community map. The idea soon took on a life of its own when Boswell began working with a group of Antarctic enthusiasts to make the joke a reality.
There isn't much on the Mozilla Antarctica website yet, but it promises to deliver interviews with Antarctic Firefox users and (of course) nyan-penguins. For more details about
4000-00-Antartica, re:community, re:technology, re:tech
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

"Global Region-builder Geo-Code Prototype" © 

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