Regional/Greater Community Development News – February 20, 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
What works is regional cooperation. It may sound trite, but it is key to making the Southeast Valley even better over the next 100 years and beyond.
In the last couple of years alone, we've seen the fruits of regional cooperation. Unfortunately, it took the Great Recession for municipalities to see that we should not compete with each other for regional malls but band together for high-paying jobs in health care, technology and other industries.
Much of the credit goes to Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, who has a knack for building consensus among people with divergent viewpoints. An economic coup for one city benefits the entire region.

The global economy taught us the hard way that municipalities, school districts and business communities must collaborate to prepare our children for the 21st-century workforce. That means beefing up science, technology, engineering, math and art curricula, identifying new job requirements and overcoming social and financial obstacles, so ...
5140-46-05-Maricopia-Phoenix-MAG, re:editorial.opinion, re:editorial, re:collaboration, re:cooperation
U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer led … meeting … with representatives from a wide swath of transportation-related interests across Oregon. His goal was to hear concerns and gather input — from union and business leaders to advocates and agency officials — about the House transportation bill … BTA … concerned an FHWA safety grant program they've used to fund police enforcement near schools will no longer be available. … "Regardless of what happens, we'll see fewer dollars over time," so he urged action on a regional transportation funding package.
Complaints about the bill were numerous, but one of the larger themes was how the bill would lead to the dissolution of a powerful coalition that has been forged in our region over the past several decades. With pots of money relied upon by transit, biking, walking, and freight interests either wiped out entirely or "being left adrift" in the general fund, many fear that Republicans are pushing a "divide and conquer" strategy.
re:officials.elected.appointed, re:federal, re:trans.MPO, re:trans.legislation
In testimony on behalf of the National Association of Counties (NACo), Mathias McCauley, director of regional planning and community development for the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, ... urged the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry to make rural development programs and funding a priority in the 2012 Farm Bill.
Congress is in the process of considering reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which expires later this year. NACo supports full funding of all titles in the 2012 reauthorization of the Farm Bill which includes critical support for agriculture, rural development, nutrition, research and conservation. ...
McCauley said especially important are flexible rural development programs that focus limited federal resources on county and regional priorities, which are asset-based development strategies that create conditions for quality job growth. His testimony was on behalf of NACo and the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO).
re:development, re:NADO, re:legislation.Federal, re:rural
I. Given current budgetary challenges, it is critical that this Committee create a more innovative, streamlined, flexible, and regional approach to enable USDA RD to administer the remaining suite of recently-downsized, but very effective economic development programs in a more integrated, aligned, and leveraged framework, and wherever possible, in a regional context.
II. This regional framework should advance asset-based innovation and entrepreneurship, and above all else, align much more effectively and efficiently with other programs at sister federal agencies addressing similar needs.
III. Given past, current and future RD funding reductions, this Committee must ensure a sufficient level of rural debt, venture and equity capital, as well as an appropriate and flexible suite of federal instruments through which they are delivered, to meet rural financing need. In addition, this Committee should also explore why there continues to be a glaring lack of rural investment ...
re:regional, re:alignment, re:programs, re:federal, re:rural
The One Region, One Vision movement is picking up speed, with a number of high-profile projects in 2011 and some behind the scenes as well.
One Region, One Vision initiative continues to grow
As we now move into our fifth year of providing an annual progress edition, the One Region, One Vision initiative has continued to evolve from the modest challenge to a movement being embraced on so many levels by many different people and organizations.
WILLIAM NANGLE: Join the list of 'do-gooders' in region
GUEST COMMENTARY: NWI is isolated from rest of Indiana
GUEST COMMENTARY: Built on strong foundation, NWI has profound potential
GUEST COMMENTARY: Industrious efforts are driving NWI forward
GUEST COMMENTARY: INDOT is going extra mile to serve NWI
GUEST COMMENTARY: Curtain is rising on region's night life
5140-29-01.1-Northwest-Gary, re:initiative, re:media.newpapers, re:vision
… Republican presidential primary, former Sen. Rick Santorum is riding the highest horse right now, particularly in Texas.
… channeling a bizarre, paranoid form of anti-environmental rhetoric emanating from Tea Party-tied activists across the country.
In our region, the movement has an adherent in Terri Hall, founder of the anti-toll road group Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom.
… rails against what she considers local manifestations of the malicious Agenda 21 …
In addition to toll roads, these include ciclovías and the policies of the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization.
A ciclovía is a free festival to encourage physical activity. The city partnered with the YMCA in October for its first “Síclovía,” closing two miles of Broadway for four hours to create a space to ride bicycles and play.
But Hall cites the ciclovía as a weapon in “a war on autos,” in which politicians cause traffic jams on purpose with the secret aim of permanently closing roads to cars.
5140-26-18-Alamo-San.Antonio, re:politics.Tea.Party, re:sustainability, re:trans.MPO
The coalition appeared in 1983 and made an immediate impact on all issues regarding the entire Yellowstone ecosystem.
In the early 1990s GYC fought the development of an open-pit gold mine near Cooke City. The coalition worked to help biologists figure out how to help grizzlies recover from fewer than 200 to a recent count of close to 600.
GYC was also involved in the reintroduction of the wolf.
A current hot topic involves trying to protect bison that leave the park in the winter from being shot because some believe the wild animals can transmit brucellosis to cattle.
GYC also is spending a lot of time and effort on native fish in the Yellowstone area. The group is working to help fund a seasonal fisheries technician to help the Yellowstone fisheries program battle nonnative lake trout threatening native cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake.
5140-00.Yellowstone-Teton, re:environment.wilderness, re:coalition
San Benito, Brownsville and Cameron County SWAT teams descended on the new Brownsville bus terminal Thursday night for a joint training session, with the teams focusing on learning how to maneuver buses in an emergency situation.
The estimated 50 men from the three tactical teams stormed buses in full gear and examined the mechanisms for turning the ignition on and off, opening and closing the doors and ways to enter and exit the bus. The session lasted into the early hours of the morning.
The squads trained in the new terminal, La Plaza at Brownsville — an international bus station just yards from the border — for the first time.
Brownsville Police Commander James Paschall said teams from across the region train together three or four times a year.
“Networking is key,” Paschall said. “In certain situations there might be a standoff where we relieve one team with another team in the county.”
...practiced what they called “bus assaults” which prepared teams in case of an emergency to...
5140-26-21-Lower.Rio.Grande,, re:law.enforcement, re:policing
The Elko County Economic Diversification Authority will be talking Wednesday about the state’s call for regional economic development agencies.
ECEDA Executive Director Pam Borda said ECEDA’s board will be asked to decide how the authority wants to respond to the state’s proposals, such as creation of a six-county regional economic development authority.
“No matter what scenario we do, there is no benefit for Elko County,” she said.
The regional authorities are part of the new economic development plan Gov. Brian Sandoval outlined earlier this month for the state, and Borda said there are good ideas in the plan but she is concerned about the regional goal.
The checklist for 2012 released with Sandoval’s plan includes: “Designate regional development authorities, and allocate operating funds.”
ECEDA already had looked at creating a regional authority with White Pine and Eureka counties under the expectation that the new state economic development effort would call for regional au
5140-42-0x-Elko.Co, re:state, re:authority, re:economic.development
You might notice a few new additions along the highway on your way into work this morning. The Arts Council of Greater Lansing has partnered with Adams Outdoor advertising to put local artwork on billboards in the region.
The initiative is called "Art in the Sky," and the goal is to promote local artists and bring art to the public in a new way.
"We want to let the community members know that we have wonderful talent here," said Leslie Donaldson, executive director of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. "We want to encourage people to buy local art, to support local artists."
When the Arts Council of Greater Lansing gave artist Kate Cosgrove the chance to put her art "in the sky," it was an offer she couldn't refuse.
"It was just a really wonderful opportunity, and you don't turn down a billboard," said Cosgrove.
Seeing the opportunity become a reality has special meaning for Cosgrove.
5140-27-06-Tri-County-Lansing, re:creativity.innovation, re:arts
The ArtsWave annual community campaign brings people together from across the region to support local theater, festivals, dance, arts centers, music and museums.
As of Thursday, 5,063 Cincinnati area residents and supporters had contributed $2,038,961 (18 percent) toward the ArtsWave annual community campaign goal of $11.2 million. The campaign continues through April 25.
Many of the organizations supported by ArtsWave bring touring productions and exhibits to community centers throughout the region.
5140-28-01-OKI-OH-KY-IN-Cincinnati, re:fund.raising, re:arts
Make room, Silicon Valley.
On this, the 15-year anniversary of the Web as a tool for everyday use, the tech community of the Roanoke-Blacksburg region can revel about a little dot-com notoriety. A few of the finest Web domain names now in use belong not to groups and companies in a big city, but to organizations here.
There's, registered to Roanoke Valley Greenways. pings back to Roanoke.'s current home is Blacksburg.
As the history of the Web is written, Switzerland (where the Web was invented) and California (home to Google) will figure big. But let's not overlook Southwest Virginia, whose economy is tilting slightly from manufacturing toward Web-based businesses.
"It seems like in this region we did get an early jump on the importance of the Web," said Gordie Zeigler, who directed the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council - then called the New Century Technology Council - beginning in 2001. …
5140-13-05-Roanoke.Valley.Allegheny, 5140-13-04-New.River-Blacksburg, re:internet,, re:technology
Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver unveiled his business plan today for the $100,000 economic development line item Augusta commissioners approved sight-unseen in November.
His release of plans for the new Augusta Regional Collaboration, or ARC, Project, comes ahead of Wednesday’s inaugural Technological Association of Georgia Augusta Chapter meeting, Copenhaver said.
Citing “a pressing need” for the Augusta area to move toward a knowledge-based economy because of its heavy reliance on federal investment such as Fort Gordon and Savannah River Site that is unsustainable at current levels, the center will provide a permanent presence for the area’s information technology, including military, medical and energy sectors in a single location.
The former Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce Building on Broad Street would house the center, letting the sector
5140-17-13-Coastal-Savannah, re:business.plan, re:collaboration, re:mayor
Jobs, jobs, jobs. Location, location, location.
That about sums it up.
We all want the same thing for Bluffton, Hardeeville, Beaufort and Jasper counties. and the surrounding area: We want economic development that leads to job creation. Sometimes we just take different paths to get there.
Bluffton’s rapid growth over the past decade has been pretty well documented. One of the town’s biggest draws for business is its proximity to Hilton Head Island, Interstate 95, Savannah and both the Savannah port and the Charleston port.
That’s not to say the community I now am part of doesn’t have a lot of other things going for it. Access to top-notch health care, good schools and an above average quality of life are just a couple of the other highlights.
These are factors that companies and people look at when deciding whether or not to relocate to a community. Suitable housing is yet another.
5140-16-10-Low.Country-Beaufort-Hilton.Head, re:tourism, re:job.creation, re:development.economic
Usage of transit park-and-ride facilities reached a new high in the Twin Cities metro area last year, rising to more than 18,000 daily users.
That’s one of the key findings of the park-and-ride survey conducted annually by Metro Transit in cooperation with other transit and transportation agencies in the region.
Maurice Roers, manager of facility planning for Metro Transit, says usage rose from 17,367 in 2010 to 18,341 in 2011, an increase of 5.6 percent.
“That tracks quite closely with our growth in express bus ridership,” Roers says. “It was up 6.3 percent in 2011.”
5140-32-11-Metropolitan.Council-Minneapolis-St.Paul, re:trans.ridesharing, re:trans.commuting
A regional board selected the Lenawee Economic Development Corp. to lead a search for a private contractor to manage its business revolving loan program.
Lenawee County is the only member in the five-county region that had an active revolving loan program before Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration created a regional system, said Jim Van Doren, executive director of the LEDC. Because of its experience, the new Region 9 board selected the LEDC to conduct a search for a private fund manager to oversee the loan program, he said.
Under the new regional system, private businesses are to be hired to oversee regional revolving loan funds. County programs had been overseen by Michigan Economic Development Corp. staff.
Regional systems were created in part because few counties were using available funds for revolving loan programs to help finance small-business start-ups and expansions to create jobs. Lenawee County’s revolving loan program was among the few active ones in the state, ...
5140-27-02-Region.II, re:loan.program
Members of the county's Economic Opportunity Advisory Council got some first-hand information that the global economy is a lot closer to Flagler County then some may think.
Jerry Mallot, president of the JAXUSA Partnership, a regional economic development group that includes Flagler County, briefed the advisory body on what the organization does and how it can help the county's economic development efforts.
Formally known as Cornerstone, the Jacksonville-based group covers a seven-county area in Northeast Florida.
Mallot said the group changed its name to JAXUSA in response to suggestions from prospective businesses.
"… to better reflect us in the national and international marketplace," …
… the organization receives the bulk of its funding from private businesses and has 165 members and operates with a $2.7-million annual budget.
The group focuses on expanding the economy of Northeast Florida, increasing the wealth in the region, … "positioning the area for the new economy,"
5140-18-04-Northeast-Jacksonville, re:economy, re:marketing.branding, re:regionalism
The Central Sierra Economic Development District this week was awarded a $50,000 federal grant to help promote counties and cities in the foothill region.

The financial assistance award was granted to the district to help fund a new regional economic development strategy, according to Tuolumne County Economic Development Director Larry Cope.
Management of the organization was handed over to TCEDA last year after the CSEDD and its partner group, Central Sierra Planning Council, went broke.

“I am encouraged and excited by this federal investment in a comprehensive economic development strategy for our region,” Cope said in a prepared statement.

The grant comes from the national Economic Development Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and is designed to create jobs and encourage private sector collaboration in economically distressed communities.

CSEDD is one of five economic development districts in the state and works on behalf-five counties-seven cities
5140-50-0x-Central.Sierra, re:grants.EDA, re:EDD
Wichita lacks enough ready industrial sites, deal-closing cash and regional cooperation to compete at the highest level, said Jay Garner, a consultant who helps companies pick new locations.
In what was a generally upbeat assessment of the city’s competitiveness … Garner told members of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition that Wichita has progressed greatly in the past five years.
It has a unified public/private leadership, an attractive downtown, advanced worker training, a skilled workforce and strong state incentives.
“Wichita is on the cusp of having one of the best products in the country, but it’s not quite there,” he said.
Wichita needs a wider variety of industrial sites ready for construction, or even completed buildings. The GWEDC also needs to repair its relationships with nearby counties and cities, so that it can truly represent the region.
In addition, successful communities need a dedicated stream of money for economic development, ... In Texas ...
5140-38-04-South.Central-Wichita, re:greater, re:development.incentives, re:development.economic
Brookhaven state Sen. Sally Doty is among lawmakers pushing for greater cooperation among Mississippi's southern region in the pursuit of increased economic development.
Doty, of District 39, and other southern region legislators met with Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves Wednesday to discuss their goals.
At Doty's request, Lincoln County supervisors ... adopted a resolution supporting greater economic development in the region. All of the state's 22 southernmost counties have now adopted the resolution at their legislators' prompting, Doty said.

The resolution asks Bryant and other state authorities to "exercise fairness and parity for the South Mississippi region regarding economic development opportunities and infrastructure improvements."
Doty said large economic development projects undertaken by the Mississippi Development Authority have tended to land in north Mississippi. Such projects have included the Toyota plant near Blue Springs.
5140-22-00-Mississippi, re:legislators
Realizing that entrepreneurship is a key ingredient in economic development, states and localities continue to support programs that assist bioscience businesses and capitalize on the regional presence of universities and/or federal laboratories.
With this fact in mind, Peter M. Pellerito, a senior policy consultant at BIO, and I recently collaborated on a report that investigates what specific steps have been taken across the United States as a means of attracting bioscience companies and expanding job opportunities.
The three areas we looked at were:
State Legislative Strategies
Supporting Bioscience Industry with Venture Capital and Discovery Funds
Incubators and Economic Development Centers
This report was the third and final installment of a series on workforce development strategies.
re:incubator, re:state.legislation, re:economic.development, re:entrepreneurial, re:bioscience
Of the 10 largest cities in Texas, Austin Water Utility pays 53 percent more for it than the average of those other nine cities.
This is what environmental advocate Paul Robbins found in a new, four-month study .
"Austin has the highest water rates of the top 10 cities. It is highest in all classes, residential, multi-family, commercial and industrial," he said.
Why? Austin is fast growing and has growing needs. There is also the difficult hill country to traverse, supplying customers.
"Things like geography, topography, the different type of treatment processes, the elevation of the city -- those are all variables," said David Anders, assistant director of Austin Water Utility.
Another reason for Austin's high water rates: debt.
"It's debt for water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants and huge infrastructure," Robbins explained.
Fifty-two percent of Austin Water Utility's expenses go to servicing the debt.
5140-26-12-Capital.Area-Austin, re:infrastructure, re:debt, re:water.utility
Residents of Harris and Liberty counties live in a 13-county region that planners and other professionals believe may grow by as many as 4 million people during the next 30 years.
Levels of public investment in housing, infrastructure, transportation, environmental protection and economic development must axiomatically account for such growth.
How will localities as different as Hardin and Huffman cope? How may contiguous areas, to include East Lake Houston and South Liberty County, orchestrate some of the growth planning, as if they were pieces to a puzzle which belong together?
Those are among the overriding questions that the Houston-Galveston Regional Plan for Sustainable Development is devised to address. Some of the answers came from the Feb. 16 visioning session held at the Dayton Community Center.
The Houston-Galveston Area Council scheduled the session. The council leads a 24-member public-sector and civic-sector partnership that has been awarded a $3.75 million federal...
5140-26-16-Houston-Galveston.Area, re:planning, re:growth, re:sustainable, re:grant.HUD.EPA.DOT
A passenger rail connection for the Peoria area remains among the highest legislative priorities in both Springfield and Washington, D.C., for the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission.
At least one local lawmaker is promising to help local officials take that message to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, commission members heard Friday at their annual meeting with the region's legislative delegation.
"We want the Peoria area to be on the radar," commissioner Dean Grimm said, bemoaning the fact that a metropolitan region of 350,000 people didn't have a rail connection but that, for example, "our friends in Kewanee with 10,000 people just got a new Amtrak station."
Grimm pointed out that Peoria remains the largest metropolitan area without a rail connection or without one promised to it. With news that Rockford and the Quad Cities are in line for rail, Decatur remains the only other sizable downstate community without passenger rail on the horizon.
5140-30-0x-Central-Peoria, re:trans.rail.high.speed
New York City has a plan to keep the subways from flooding. Queensland, Australia, has a plan to keep agricultural lands from drying up. Chicago has a plan to cope with higher temperatures.
In the Bay Area, where climate change is expected to cause flooding, shoreline erosion, heat waves, water shortages and a spread of exotic infectious diseases, it seems as if people are drowning in plans — but with little regional coordination.
One of the biggest fears for Laura Tam, a policy director at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association who spends her workdays thinking disastrous thoughts about climate change, is that the lack of planning coordination could leave residents increasingly vulnerable.
“It’s important to plan regionally,” said Ms. Tam, 36, who spent more than a year at the nonprofit research institute holding climate change workshops and interviewing scientists, government and utility representatives and local community leaders. Unless municipalities coordinate…
5140-50-05-Bay.Area-San.Francisco-ABAG, re:municipalities, re:water.wetlands, re:infrastructure, re:cooperation, re:climate.change
The Special Commission on County Governance—a 27-member group formed to make recommendations to Barnstable County’s three commissioners about a possible restructuring of county government—met last night and discussed broad questions about county government, and then focused on specific issues that could best be tackled regionally, including wastewater.
The group made a unanimous recommendation that the county commissioners work with the Cape’s legislative delegation to obtain special legislation establishing a Cape Cod Wastewater Authority, which the panel decided should be a separate, independent body with enough authority to realize its goal of improving water quality standards on Cape Cod.

The language adopted yesterday recommends that the county commissioners charge both the executive director of the Cape Cod Commission and the head of the Cape Cod Water Protection Collaborative with crafting the details of the structure, powers, and funding mechanisms for the authority.
5140-04-11-Cape.Cod, re:governance, re:authority, re:wastewater
The U.S. House's current version of a transportation funding bill could eliminate federal money for public transportation and planning agencies the size of the Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission.
The transportation law and funding began in 1964 and has been renewed every five years until 2009 when it expired. … the current extension expires March 31.

The regional planning commission is a designated depository of federal funds for the region, said Thomas Mazur, agency director. The bill as he last saw it eliminated metropolitan planning organizations serving populations under 200,000. That would affect places such as Lima, Mansfield and Sandusky, small urban centers in Ohio.
“I understand they're trying to save money,” Mazur said. “But we so many times have the same issues as our bigger counterparts, and those dollars are coming back to the community. Federal dollars go to local projects and local officials make those decisions.”
5140-28-0X-Allen.Co.-Lima, re:legislation.Federal, re:trans.MPO
The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors has joined with Hamilton County, the city of Chattanooga, the Greater Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, local foundations, and a host of other public and private organizations in advancing the 40-year growth planning process now getting underway over a 16-county region, encompassing Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia.
Members of the GCAR leadership met with County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Beth Jones, executive director of the Southeast Tennessee Development District, the lead regional organization helping to guide the process, to present a check for $10,000 in support of the effort. Many of the association’s large membership have also pledged their support of collective knowledge and experience in property matters to help guide the effort forward over the next few years that the planning stages are scheduled to take place.
The funding … from the National Association of Realtors … advocates for smart growth planning for regions …
5140-20-07-Southeast-Chattanooga, re:plan, re:2050, re:multi-state
It would be easy to dismiss the recent joint meeting of the region’s mayors as a shallow photo opportunity that was short on results and long on symbols. But wait a minute. To expect the chief executives of Fall River, New Bedford and Taunton to emerge from a single session with a detailed blueprint for the region’s success would, of course, be totally unrealistic.
For me, the bottom line is that such meetings are not only advisable, but absolutely necessary. While these cities may have their own unique problems, they also share enough common ground to warrant a collective attempt to address the challenges they face.

The regional approach to municipal problem-solving is not a new concept. Many of us recall the famous 1997 handshake on a highway overpass between Fall River Mayor Ed Lambert and New Bedford Mayor Fred Kalisz. Remember, too, that the proponents of renaming the region “SouthCoast” did so with the expectation that the regional clout surpasses individual efforts.
5140-04-10-Southeastern-Fall.River-New.Bedford, re:cooperation, re:editorial.opinion, re:mayors
On Jan. 26, 2011 — a day that lives in infamy for members of the Incident Management and Response Oversight Committee for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments — only 5 to 6 inches of snow were predicted for the Washington, D.C. metro region, …
Rain led to ice that formed under snow and a gross underestimation of the storm left many workers leaving early for home stuck in an eight- to 10-hour commute, …
Led by Andrews, the committee has been working for months to craft a strategy to avoid disabled traffic signals, clogged streets and stranded residents when nature strikes.
“Better preparation and coordination will lead to better results,” he said.
Established by Fairfax County, Va., for the entire region, Capital Region Updates allows residents to sign up for emergency text alerts and view real-time news from their local governments through a regional news feed as well as traffic and transit information, according to the council of governments. …
5140-12-01-Metropolitan.Washington-DC-MD-VA, re:coordination, re:emergency.preparedness, re:trans.commuting
Economic developers from the Dothan area and Northwest Florida are working together to bring a "mega" industry to the region in an effort to provide more jobs to the area.
Neal Wade, the executive director of the Bay Economic Development Alliance, said area economic development representatives have identified several possible sites they hope will attract industries to the region.
“I thought what a natural partnership between Southeast Alabama, where you have a strong population base, and what we have here in Northwest Florida. You’ve got large tracts of land that could be potential sites for development,” said Wade, the co-chairman of the development effort. “You have a larger population there coupled with larger tracts of land and I-10 and U.S. 231. So I think it’s a perfect marriage of assets from Alabama and Florida.”
5140-18-01-West-Pensacola, 5140-21-07-Southeast, re:multi-state, re:industry, re:mega
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) has developed a work program and budget for the coming fiscal year identifying transportation planning activities to be completed by the staff of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, local governments and state agencies between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013.
The $6.9 million FY 2013 budget includes $1.9 million to support regional planning activities initiated by the local jurisdictions or State Highway Administration, $715,000 for consultant activities, and $4.2 million for BMC staff activities.
A major focus in FY 2013 uses the recently approved long-range transportation plan as the basis for exploring regional transit and freight initiatives.
Proposed activities for Fiscal Year 2013 include: ...
5140-11-04-Baltimore.Metropolitan, re:trans.plan, re:trans.MPO
More than 300 members of the Greater Hartford business community gathered … for the unveiling of the MetroHartford Alliance’s Strategic Plan for 2012-2015. The plan, which was the culmination of a year-long collaboration with investors, stakeholders and outside consultants, provides a strategic framework for growth and advancement in the Hartford Region over the next four years.
“Alliance investors played a vital role in the development of our new strategic plan,” Oz Griebel, President and CEO, MetroHartford Alliance said. “Our investors are actively engaged in the Greater Hartford community and share our commitment to making the region a great place to live, work, play and raise a family.”
… mission of ensuring the region competes aggressively and successfully for jobs, capital and talent. …, the Alliance will continue to operate as the region’s strategic convener of investors, stakeholders and other interested parties to accomplish critical objectives that require collaboration.
5140-06-04-Capital-Hartford, re:strategic, re:collaboration, re:greater, re:investors, re:alliance
The Richmond region has "1,400 square miles of stories," the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau says.
And the bureau will take visitors on a quick trip through those stories with its newest promotional tool: a 3½-minute high-definition video highlighting the best of the Richmond region.
The visitors' bureau, in cooperation with the Greater Richmond Partnership, the Retail Merchants Association and the state's Virginia Tourism Corp., has produced the first in a series of video vignettes showcasing the Richmond region's cultural and historic attractions, sports offerings, outdoor activities, special events, and shopping and dining opportunities.

The regional tourism agency wants to use the videos to encourage potential visitors, travel media, meeting planners, sports organizers, tour operators and local residents to come to the area's attractions.
5140-13-15-Richmond.Regional, re:tourism, re:greater, re:partnership

The regional planning authority for the Nashville, Tennessee metropolitan area has embarked on a new philosophy to put the notoriously sprawling region on a less polluting and less consumptive path, anchored by walkable neighborhoods, public transportation, and maximizing the efficiency of current roadways. Meeting the laudable goal of shaping a more sustainable region will not be easy: in 2001, the Nashville metro area was cited as the nation’s most spread-out – the area with the fewest number of residents per square mile – in a review of 271 of our largest metro areas.
If Nashville’s land use challenge is daunting, its transportation challenges – in large part created by the predominance of sprawl – are similarly formidable. The nonprofit organization Cumberland Region Tomorrow highlights some of the statistics:
The Nashville region ranks near the bottom, 93 out of 100 among major metro areas, for transit access.
The average commuter drives 37 miles per day.
5140-20-05-Greater.Nashville, re:sustainable, re:sprawl, re:trans.MPO
There is no question that our state and local leaders are facing bleak budget outlooks. … they understand the need to innovate in order to remain competitive, lower costs and improve the lives of their citizens.

Late last summer, flinty Vermonters faced one of their toughest tests yet as Tropical Storm Irene barreled into the state. … It was amidst the worst flooding in a century that the state’s early and strong commitment to a smarter grid played a helpful role. Prior to the storm, Vermont was well on its way toward its goal of building the first statewide smart grid in the U.S.
… Vermont faced the storm with one of the highest penetrations of smart meters in the country, due to improvements by the Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) in 2004. Like most other smart-grid projects, Vermont’s drive was based on a basket of cost savings and network reliability improvements.
But Irene highlighted an entirely different benefit of the smart grid: rapid disaster recovery. ...
5140-03-00-Vermont, re:emergency.response, re:technology, re:energy.electric.power.grid

Why regionalism? The issue really isn’t about the region, but Atlanta. There is this mindset Atlanta is the region and all have to center on it. A false notion.
Look at transit issues. They want outer counties to commute to Atlanta to work and those within Atlanta to be able to go to outer counties to work. High paying jobs in Atlanta and service and retail jobs elsewhere.
That means Atlanta is in a win-win situation at the expense of the rest of us. Tax and other monies located in Atlanta and those commuting out bring back their money to Atlanta.
One big problem is it won’t work. Every wonder why it is called Plan 2040? Because the kick-off plan is for 30 years, not 10. …
Instead of Atlanta being The Hub, how about multiple hubs? Jobs where people live. Let each county and community establish its own standards, be it high density urban like Atlanta or non-urban, like ... Peachtree City?

The inflexible single region approach is a failure and will drag us down.
Mayor Peachtree City
5140-17-05-Atlanta.Regional, re:transportation, re:mayor, re:regionalism.not
The Association to Invest In the USA (IIUSA), the trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Investment Pilot Program, today celebrates a new historic high in Program utilization for the first quarter of FY2012. US Citizenship and Immigration Services recently reported 2,364 EB-5 visas issued in the first three months of the current federal fiscal year (1). This equates to at least 10,000 new jobs for American workers. At this pace, the 2012 Program will come close to using its 10,000 annual visa allocation for the first time since the Program’s inception in 1994. 10,000 EB-5 Visas would mean at least 40,000 new jobs for US workers.
At a time of limited liquidity around the United States, the EB-5 Regional Center Investment Pilot Program is finally coming of age. Globally integrated marketplaces now facilitate the exchange and migration of capital, resources and people across international borders at an ever-increasing rate. ...
re:immigration, re:economic.development, re:industry
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan addressed the National Association of Regional Councils and announced that HUD’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal includes $100 million to fund Regional Planning and Community Challenge Grants. The grants are part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which is an association between HUD, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joining the federal government with local partners in taking a pragmatic, regional approach to problem solving that supports local leadership, local resources, and local innovation.
“An American economy built to last needs strong local and regional economies that include a wide range of businesses and attract a diverse workforce,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “The Sustainable Community Grants are a blue print for regional and local governments to plan for their economic future, and in this budget we are seeking restoration
re:communities, re:sustainable, re:grant.HUD.EPA.DOT

… American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver, British Columbia. … "Flattening the World: Building a Global Knowledge Society."
… "community modeling," which can have teams of researchers pooling data and ideas in a far-reaching, ever-changing collaborative process.
"Think: Linux," … open-source computer operating system … 
Until recently, researchers have tended to work alone or in small groups, gathering data, building models and getting feedback after publishing their work. Community modeling is bigger, more powerful and more interdisciplinary while retaining the peer-review process essential for rigorous science.

Agriculture and natural resource concerns in the Pacific Northwest are increasingly interconnected, he says, as demands for food, water and energy grow while facing pressures from climate change, increasing world population, and the hungry markets of emerging economies.
"We need to understand how the region will fare under projected future scenarios,
re:future, re:scenario, re:research, re:community, re:model, re:data, re:science
The euro-zone debt crisis may be squeezing capital out of emerging economies, but it is also cultivating much-needed regional depth in developing countries’ financial markets, … head…World Bank’s International Finance Corp
The Institute of International Finance expects capital flows to emerging markets to fall this year by an estimated $164 billion, contributing to a near-30% plummet in cash flows to those regions since 2010. Emerging market governments also don’t have the same budget room they did after the 2008 financial crisis to stimulate growth.
“The European banks, which have been very strong in cross-border finance, are reducing their exposures,”…. “There are lots of project finance portfolios for sale from the European banks and they are cutting down on peripheral finance. … 
That is particularly tough on companies that don’t have access to capital markets, such as the small-to-medium enterprises that dominate developing economies. Still, it is an opportunity for regional banks
0000.World.Bank, re:international, re:banking, re:finance, re:cross-border, re:financial.crisis

Scotland’s planned referendum on independence has inspired an upsurge of nationalist sentiment in the Spanish region of Catalonia. Spain's financial crisis is proving a potent engine for the Catalan demands.
Catalonia's national identity was repressed when Spain was a dictatorship. Soon after Spain's transition to democracy … in 1975, powers were devolved to the nationalist government in Barcelona. But Spain's richest region was left was a sense of economic grievance - Catalonia pays around 8 percent more of its GDP to Madrid in taxes than it gets back in public spending.
Now, Catalonia's best-known politician, Jordi Pujol, has his eye on Scotland, where Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party recently announced plans to hold a referendum on independence –

The veteran independence campaigner was president of the Catalonia region for 23 years. Like in Scotland, he suspects that there would be more support for greater devolution than for full-blown independence.
1412-0X-Catalonia, 1116-02-Scotland, re:independence, re:autonomy, re:devolution
The Education and Skills Society of Gravity 2.0, The Regional Planning and Development Forum, today conducted a Gravity 2.0 Round Table on leveraging Telugu for technical skill development. The Round Table was attended by several volunteer members of Gravity 2.0 as well as senior professors from engineering colleges in the city.
The Round Table had a focused discussion on technical skill development, especially for promoting high-end manufacturing activity in the Greater Vizag Bay region. Mr. M.S. Rao, IAS, Development Commissioner, Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone, Chief Guest for the event, speaking on the occassion said "volunteer organizations such as Gravity 2.0 can play a significant role in the economic development of the region, especially by focusing on specific goals where results can be achieved in the near term".
8272-0x-Greater.Vizag.Bay, re:education, re:workforce.skills
Gravity 2.0 Vizag-Bay comprises volunteers resident in the Vizag-Bay region with a common shared goal of helping to make the Vizag-Bay region a better place to live and work. The group focuses on the Visakhapatnam (Vizag) region also termed Greater Vizag Bay.
Gravity 2.0 Vision
We believe that we live in a region that is one of the most gifted places in the world with natural resources, rivers and great nature loving and hard working people. We would like to see this region transform into a mature economy that provides residents a great place to live and work.
Gravity 2.0 Mission
Be a platform for developing a common vision, set of goals and action plans to transform the region into a great place to live and work with both economic and social prosperity for all segments of the society.
Gravity 2.0 Vizag Bay Goals
Brand Vizag-Vijayawada Region as a Super-City cluster stretching from Srikakulam to Vijayawada. Identify and project key strengths and opportunities. Help formulate plans ...
8272-0x-Greater.Vizag.Bay, re:super-city, re:region, re:forum, re:development, re:planning
The collection of one (1) million signatures in electronic format. The signatures should cover as many regions of Europe as possible on the basis of geography and population. The text bearing the signatures will then be sent to the President of the E.C.
1000.EU.European.Union, re:financial.crisis, re:regions

David VanderZwaag, Canada Research Chair in Ocean Law and Governance, says that, although Canada faces growing challenges in Arctic governance given increased regional activity and mounting interest in developing the region's oil, gas and mineral industries, it has the potential to lead the way by how it governs its oceans and adopts practices of sustainable development in the Far North.
"There is a huge doughnut hole in the central Arctic Ocean that's beyond all the countries' coastal jurisdiction,"… "As every country has the right to a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone, there's a big gap in the middle, which could potentially turn out to be problematic. It's an area, however, where Canada could demonstrate its leadership."
… work is wide-reaching and addresses ocean law, research, governance and policy—areas where Canada could prove to be an international leader. His research looks at how and where Canada can build on its strengths in oceanic governance. Oceans Act of 1996
5130-00-Canada, 0900-Arctic.Ocean, re:international, re:law, re:policy, re:coastal, re:development, re:sustainable, re:governance

The latest population forecasts paint an inaccurate picture of the Goldfields-Esperance region, community leaders claim.
Released last week, the Western Australia Tomorrow report predicts the population of the region to increase to 62,300 by 2026.
However, this is a revised down estimate from the 64,400 predicted by the previous report, released in 2006. Trends in fertility, mortality and migration were used to prepare the forecasts, but it is understood other factors, such as fly-in, fly-out workers and future resources projects, fell outside of the scope of the report.
The report stipulates it should not be used in isolation, but City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor Ron Yuryevich said he was concerned Government departments would rely on the misleading report.
“Various departments base spending and projects on this document,” Mr Yuryevich said.
“If you don’t take into account fly-in, fly-out and mining projects, what is the document worth?”
7430-0x-Western.Australia, re:mayor, re:population
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has spoken in Parliament about the need for a regular funding stream to recognise the many services regional and rural local governments provide for their ratepayers.
Wellington Council has also lobbied for recognition, aware that funding will come from this.
Mr Coulton has been a passionate advocate for local government recognition, having been themayor of Gwydir Shire Council before entering Parliament.
“I spoke of the need for recognition of local government and the need for a regular funding stream to local government in my maiden speech in this place in February 2008,” he said.
“My concern is for regional and rural local governments.
“Local government in rural and regional areas are responsible for many things that large metropolitan local councils are not.
Mr Coulton said there was a need for a regular funding stream, however it should not be approached as a flat rate.
7430-00-Australia, re:officials.elected.appointed, re:services, re:regional, re:rural, re:funding

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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