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Regional Community Development News - March 15, 2006 - 11 MD [regions_work]

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  • Tom Christoffel
    Regional Community Development News – March 15, 2006 [regions_work] A weekly compilation of news links about and for regional communities pursuing local
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 15, 2006
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      Regional Community Development News –  March 15, 2006  [regions_work] 


      A weekly compilation of  news links about and for regional communities pursuing local and regional development. Published on line since November 11, 2003.



       1. Detroit chamber pushes for regional plan - MLive.com - MI, USA

      Time is critical to Dick Blouse as the Detroit Regional Chamber steps out on the speaking circuit to gather nuggets to build into a vision of metro Detroit 20 years from now.

      Blouse, the chamber ' s president and CEO, says it ' s important for the region to act swiftly to reshape itself - before a historically prosperous but now-shrinking manufacturing base fades and economic realities limit what the region can accomplish.

      But more than timelines, the Design Regional Detroit initiative is focused on making a long-lasting, big-splash impact under the guidance of one of the nation ' s largest - and arguably one of the most powerful - chambers of commerce.

      "It ' s about leadership. It ' s about new leadership," Blouse says. "In many ways, some people have been around too long and have seen what we can ' t do. We need people who can see this is what we can do."

      Design Regional Detroit - headed by Edsel Ford II, the former Ford Motor Credit COO and owner of Waterford-based Pentastar Aviation - will create a plan for the 10-county region. It will identify regional priorities, set measurable objectives for sustained economic growth, create strategies to reach those goals and design ways to monitor progress.

      ... successful areas see regionalism as an ethic and they seek out ways to work together on projects such as mass transit. ...


      RC: Southeast Michigan Council of Governments


       2. Frank Jackson sees future in economic regionalism - Case Western Reserve University Observer - Cleveland , OH , USA

      When Frank Jackson campaigned for the mayor ' s office last fall, he emphasized the importance of regional thinking as the only solution for the region ' s long term sustainability. Until recently, regionalism has been frowned upon by most major metropolises as an inefficient and problematic model. The traditional method of regionalism involved consolidation of local governments, very often at the county level. This process is not good for a region or its citizens, as the poorer residents lose their voting power within the city and the richer suburbs lose their distance and separation both financially and politically. However, this is not the system Jackson is proposing; his is rather an economic collaboration for northeast Ohio so it can thrive in the twenty-first century.

      Immediately upon taking office, Jackson sought to connect with other political leaders throughout the region and the Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association has been active creating a regional economy. By the end of February, huge strides had been taken by these 57 city leaders from around the county. The collaborative efforts of this group are two-fold: first, to create a regional fund for development projects and secondly to eliminate the stealing of business from city to city.


      CPC Weblog Archive - an annotated chronological list of links related to planning and development in Greater Cleveland hosted by the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission


      Cleveland City Planning Commission   Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency  Greater Cleveland Partnership  One Cleveland  Leadership Cleveland


       2. Commission delays regional growth plan until next year - Reno Gazette Journal - Reno , NV , USA

      Offended that a plan for 100 years of growth for the Reno-Sparks area was prepared in a courtroom and behind closed doors, the Regional Planning Commission voted Wednesday night to delay the proposal until next year.

      In the 7-1 vote, the commission sent the proposed amendments carving out 140,000 acres for development north of Reno and east of Sparks to its technical committee of planners and other professionals as part of its work in updating the Truckee Meadows Regional Plan next year.

      "This all happened in a courtroom or in a conference room behind closed doors," Commissioner Marge Frandsen said. "They absolutely drew lines in the sand without the knowledge of property owners involved.

      "People in this region were left out entirely. But that ' s what we ' re all about. It ' s all about public process."


       3. Hoeven: State Forging Unified Rail Strategy to Accommodate Growing Industries - Bismarck Farm & Ranch Guide

      FARGO, N.D. - Gov. John Hoeven today announced that the state is forging a unified rail freight strategy to serve North Dakota ' s growing commercial transportation needs. Hoeven was in Fargo today to announce an upcoming trade mission to Southeast Asia .

      The North Dakota Department of Transportation has developed a draft plan that provides for a coordinated state rail transportation strategy to help North Dakota ' s agricultural producers, processors, manufacturers and other industries move products to world markets. Fargo/Dilworth, Minot and Bismarck are moving forward, and the state will coordinate with them and all communities.


      " Red River Valley shippers have access to intermodal shipping through the Fargo/Dilworth facility," Hoeven said. "To improve pricing and service for shippers using that location, we need to increase volumes, which can be done by co-loading intermodal trains with the planned intermodal facility in Minot ."

      The announcement came after a series of meeting between Hoeven, Executive Director of the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments Bob Bright, on behalf of Fargo Mayor Bruce Furness; Mayor Curt Zimbleman of Minot ; Mayor John Warford of Bismarck ; Department of Transportation Director Dave Sprynczynatyk; and representatives of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.


       4. Lode losing COG crusader - Stockton Record, CA

      Dondero has been executive director of the Calaveras Council of Governments since the agency that plans highway projects for the county formed in 1998. ...

      While many elected officials - both on and off the COG board - praise Dondero, at least one questions the expense of having an independent agency for highway planning in a small rural county.

      "The administrative cost balance is all out of whack, in my opinion," said Tom Tryon, who represents Angels Camp and Murphys on the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors.

      The Council of Governments runs on a budget of about $585,000 a year. Tryon estimated that about $350,000 of that is overhead. In contrast, he said, administrative costs for highway planning were only about $80,000 a year before 1998, when a county-run local transportation commission did the planning for Calaveras.

      Tryon said Dondero ' s departure is a chance to disband the Calaveras COG and use the savings to repair and improve roads.



       6. Harper’s task won’t be easy - Brandon Sun - Manitoba , Canada

      There’s no better place to understand Alberta ’s challenge to public health care than in Quebec . It’s here that the thinnest line is drawn between runaway regionalism and a Confederation cohesive enough to be greater than the sum of its parts.

      Seen through the prism of Stephen Harper’s political advantage, Ralph Klein stands on one side of that line, Jean Charest on the other.

      Klein’s proposals make nonsense of medicare’s guiding principles but, if you squint as hard as the prime minister, Charest’s privatization can be perceived as provincial innovation. Somewhere in the difference lies the new definition of Canada .

      As often as the term is still tossed around, asymmetrical federalism died with the Meech Lake and Charlottetown constitutional accords.

      Rising from their shared grave is what Harper calls “open” federalism and what Paul Martin indirectly endorsed in September 2004 when he extended Quebec ’s policy freedom to all provinces in return for yet another backroom health-care deal.

      Taken to extremes, or even to its logical conclusion, that freedom creates a patchwork Canada where provinces wander in and out of national programs.

      The assumed benefit is more efficient service delivery; the danger is the fragmentation of a country that McGill University political scientist Antonia Maioni half-jokingly says is now cemented only by hockey, Tim Hortons and health care.

      Maioni, who heads the university’s Institute for the Study of Canada, is sanguine about the regionalism central to Canada ’s history.



       7. Remedial Action Required To Revive Regional Tourism - Anglo Celt - Cavan , Ireland

      ... latest initiative by Tourism Ireland will assist owners and managers of tourism enterprises and will focus on identifying and packaging for tourists the unique qualities, values, products, places, culture and people of the county.

      While this latest initiative will be of some assistance it will not unilaterally address the serious decline in rural tourism which has occurred in recent years. While nationally tourist numbers are up the nature of the business has changed radically with many visitors now taking shorter city breaks. These are being promoted by cheaper air travel and a huge increase in city hotel beds, now in oversupply.

      This oversupply has resutled in growing pressure on the traditional Bed & Breakfast market which has witnessed the registered B&B market decline by 23% since 1998.

      These businesses have particularly struggled in the face of stiff competition on prices from the hotel sector which has grown to oversupply due to generous tax concessions. The number of hotel beds has increased by 73% nationally since 1996.

      There has been an alarming decline in bed nights ‘outside Dublin ’ which have fallen by a staggering 9.2 million since 1999. The decline in the UK ‘brought car’ market has also drastically reduced.

      There are a number of reasons for this decline not least of which is our regional sub-standard transport infrastructure which is in urgent need of upgrading.

      This week the Irish Hotel Federation holds its annual conference and Chief Executive John Power has warned that there will be a further down turn in regional tourism unless the Government fast tracks the vital regional access infrastructure outlined in it’s Transport 21 plans, we agree.

      It is self evident in Counties Cavan and Monaghan that the once vibrant B&B business is in rapid decline. We are no longer getting the UK and European fishermen in the numbers that flocked here in the eighties and early nineties. Owners complain of poor road access to our waterways, poor or non existant signage and access difficulties.

      If we are to have ‘regional balance’ as promised by the government then we must demand action to have these issues addressed immediately.

       8. Tribes to join regional panel - North County Times, CA

      Tribal governments are expected to take on a much greater role in transportation and other regional issues following a vote Friday by the Southern California Association of Governments.

      The association ' s regional council, its main governing body, voted to include a tribal representative on the council and several more representatives on advisory committees. The vote at the council ' s meeting in Los Angeles gives the region ' s 17 tribes a greater say in planning roads and other infrastructure and in how the region ' s governments steer development.

      Ron Roberts, Temecula ' s mayor and former president of the association, pushed for the tribes ' inclusion in the regional coalition of municipal agencies. He said their membership is important particularly because some of them have large casinos or plans for casinos that can create as much traffic on the region ' s roads as a shopping center or a large housing tract.


       9. Encyclopedia of Appalachia offers realistic picture of region - Kingsport Times News, TN

      Encyclopedia of Appalachia co-editor Rudy Abramson wanted a reference book that went beyond the stereotypical images of hillbillies and poverty.

      "The place has this reputation of being just a different nation of poor people and strip mines and that sort of thing," said Abramson, an Alabama native and retired Washington correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

      He wanted to help create a more realistic picture of Appalachia ' s history and natural diversity. It was a project that took a decade to complete.

      The finished work - the first general reference work on Appalachia - has just gone on sale through the University of Tennessee Press for $79.95 a copy. It ' s a single 1,832-page volume weighing nearly 8 pounds. More than 1,000 historians, folklorists, sociologists, geologists and journalists contributed.

      "What we tried to do across the entire encyclopedia was to make sure the information was authoritative, that the writing was clear and engaging and accessible, and we had balance," said Abramson ' s editing partner Jean Haskell, retired director of Appalachian studies at East Tennessee State University.

      The authors note that debate continues over exactly where Appalachia is and even how the name is pronounced.

      They accept the federal definition of Appalachia as comprising all of West Virginia and parts of Mississippi , Alabama , Georgia , Tennessee , South Carolina , North Carolina , Kentucky , Virginia , Ohio , Pennsylvania , Maryland and New York , roughly following the spine of the ancient Appalachian Mountains .

      But the encyclopedia also considers the impact of Appalachian migrants to other areas, including cities in the Midwest, and recent trends such as "urban Appalachia" in growing metropolitan areas and "rural sprawl" in expanding tourism enclaves of the Great Smoky Mountains .


      10. U.S. regional communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - in news articles. Highlighted words are Google search terms.


            a) McPeak: Collaboration is the key to success
      Fresno Business Journal, CA - 8 hours ago
      ... Larry Fortune. Before her appointment in 2003, McPeak had spent six years as president and CEO of the Bay Area Council. During her ...


            b) FutureGen no longer in Baytown’s future
      Baytown Sun, TX - 21 hours ago
      A spokesman at the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) confirmed that Baytown has been pulled as a contender for the coal-fired experimental energy project. ...


            c) Economic development just got a little easier

      Fort Wayne News Sentinel, IN

      Five regional economic development groups are moving their headquarters to downtown Fort Wayne . They will exist under an umbrella called the Economic Growth Partnership, designed as a convenience for the people and business its member groups serve. ...


            d) Creating a hub that isn't Boston
      Boston Globe ,  United States  
      ... According to data from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the area is expected to see faster job and population growth than any other in Greater Boston. ...


            e) Fort Wright wants form district planning for KY 17
      Community Press, KY 
      ... City Administrator Larry Klein introduced the idea to council, which voted unanimously to send the proposal to the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission. ...


            f) Western States Revel In, Cope With Energy Development
      New West, MT 
      ... Counties and cities, stung by the boom and bust economy of the past, are cautious about making permanent hires of deputies, well inspectors, social service ...


            g) Committee stalls FR rail bill
      Fall River Herald News, MA 
      ... That document will then be forwarded to organizations such as the Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Planning and Economic Development District and local ...


            h) Toll for improved roads in valley: $2.6 billion
      The Desert Sun, CA 
      ... What ' s next: The valley ' s city managers will meet with officials from the Coachella Valley Association of Governments today to discuss the plan. ...


            i) Trans-Texas Corridor could cut through Collin County
      McKinney Courier Gazette, TX 
      ... North Tollway and the proposed Collin County Outer Loop are included on a Trans-Texas Corridor study conducted by the North Central Texas Council of Governments ...

            j) Furniture mart to ask Triad for help
      Winston-Salem Journal - Winston-Salem , NC , USA
      International Home Furnishings Market Authority said yesterday that it is preparing official requests to Winston-Salem , Greensboro , Burlington , Archdale and other communities to provide a combined $1 million in annual financing for five years. ... Authority members said their request for money could be considered a test of regionalism ...

            h) Smart appointments
      Newsday - Long Island , NY , USA
      ... but a case can be made that recent appointments of one deputy in Suffolk and one in Nassau constitute a healthy turn of events for the growth of regionalism. ...

            i) Commissioners request state intervention in region plan
      Business Gazette - Gaithersburg , MD , USA
      ... Lennie” Thompson Jr. (D) asked the department to become an active participant in updating the New Market Region Plan. The two ...


            j) Regional Community Dialogue on the Budget - Central NJ Edition
      Blue Jersey - USA
      Last night, I and a few hundred other concerned citizens in Central NJ attended the Governor ' s "Regional Community Dialogue" (read: semi-scripted town hall ...


            k) Regional United Way is proposed
      Kansas City Star - MO, USA
      The outgoing chairman of the Heart of America United Way proposed Thursday that the area’s five United Ways dissolve and merge into one regional United Way . ...

      RC: Mid-America Regional Council


            l) Regional Cooperation Growing for Western Grid Improvements
      EnergyOnline - Los Altos , CA , USA
      ... The MOU is designed to better coordinate the planning efforts of the three parties in order to more effectively develop regional transmission expansion plans ...


            m) Deft beginning to regional solutions
      Seattle Times - United States
      ... Under the governor ' s sensible approach to regional transportation adopted by the House and Senate, voters via advisory vote or the City Council will back ...

      RC: Puget Sound Regional Council



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