Smart Growth Equals Sustainable Development

Funds Available: Child Care

Corporate Angels

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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on April 5, 2000. All rights reserved.

Globalization’s Downside


The flip side of globalization and the digital economy

is that rural areas are getting left in the dust, says Amy Glasmeier,

professor of geography and regional planning at the Institute for

Policy Research and Evaluation at Penn State. "Internet businesses

stay in the urban regions or they move abroad," she says. "If

you’re looking for a place to standardize software design modifications,

you’re not going to Tupelo, Mississippi, but you may go to Bangalore,

India, where there are many computer engineers for a cheap price."

Glasmeier speaks on "What Happens to the Small Places? Economic

Globalization and the Future of Community Well-Being" on Tuesday,

April 11, at 4:30 p.m. at the Livingston Student Center on Rutgers

Livingston College. Call 732-932-7084. Free.

Businesses have always been drawn to urban centers where the access

to educated workforce and other resources are greater. "In the

past we would see that an industry would begin in an urban area, but

as it matured and stabilized, and cost became more important, it would

move out into other areas to be more cost effective," says Glasmeier.

"Rural areas benefited from some of that."

The Internet-driven economy, however, remains geographically concentrated,

mostly in the cities, and companies that might have moved into rural

areas are instead moving out of the country to find cheap labor. "Companies

are now increasingly able to tailor their location to exactly the

kind of labor force they want," says Glasmeier, who has a PhD

in city and regional planning from University of California, Berkeley,

and worked at University of Texas before coming to Penn State.

The poverty-stricken parts of the country are only going to be poorer

unless civic organizations, government, and businesses work to provide

inhabitants with the kind of skills that are desirable to companies

in the post-industrial economy, says Glasmeier.

Wednesday, April 12

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Smart Growth Equals Sustainable Development

The NIMBYs (those shouting "Not in My Back Yard")

have a stake in preventing too much development, but so does everybody

else, says Michael McGuinness, executive director of NJ-National

Association of Industrial and Office Properties. "The rapid growth

now occurring throughout the country in metropolitan areas, coupled

with continued economic expansion, has thrown a spotlight on quality

of life issues, and the result has been an intensified effort to slow,

or at least more closely manage, growth."

He has organized the "Smart Growth and Sustainable Development"

seminar for the NJ-NAIOP. The meeting will be Wednesday, April 12,

at 8 a.m. at the Newark Club. Cost: $100. Call 732-417-9010.

Thomas Dallessio of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Planning

is among the speakers. Also on the panel are Pippa Woods of

the NJ Department of Transportation; Brian Blaesser of Robinson

and Cole; Peter Buchsbaum of Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith, Ravin,

Davis & Himmel; Dennis Toft of Wolff & Samson; Nancy Tindall,

the mayor of Washington Township; and Eric Eicher, a Tampa,

Florida-based developer.

"Along with legitimate concerns, there are many myths and much

misinformation surrounding the attempts to manage growth," says

McGuinness. "Our seminar will arm attendees with expert advice

from a number of disciplines, so that they can get a clearer understanding

of a phenomenon that is affecting our industry on both a local and

national level. This forum will be of interest to developers, builders,

engineers, planners, consultants, public officials, and all others

involved with the development process."

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Funds Available: Child Care

Rare in the annals of child care has an agency declared

it has more money than applicants for government funds. Under a program

administered by the Child Care Connection, families living in Mercer

County can now apply for financial assistance from the New Jersey

Cares for Kids Child Care Certificate Program. Call 609-737-7498.

"This is an unusual situation in which Mercer County does not

have a waiting list," says Nancy Thomson, executive director

of the Child Care Connection. "We are hoping eligible families

will come forward and take advantage of the opportunity the state

is providing."

Income eligibility is based on family size. A family of two can be

eligible with a gross income of $22,120 or below. A family of three

can have an income of $27,760. The minimums are increased by $5,640

for each additional child.

Family members — a grandmother, for instance — can be paid

by the state to do the child care. If a grandmother is babysitting

her grandchild she could get as much as $63 per week from the state

and the parents would come up with about $40 for co-pay. But the money

does not need to be used for low-cost solutions. If the child were

attending a daycare center that cost $150 per week, the state would

pay as much as $100 of that fee.

Among the services of the Child Care Connection: resource and referral

services to the community and corporations, training for providers,

corporate seminars, resource development, advocacy, and consumer education.

The non-profit agency serves central New Jersey.

The reason for the unusual plethora of funds: the state made a one-time

increase of funds so that the families lingering on the waiting list

could get immediate assistance. "We’ve cleared out the waiting

list, and now there is $500,000 available," says Thomson. "In

most counties the money has been used up."

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Corporate Angels

<D>Cachet Cleaners collected non-perishable foods

for the soup kitchen/food bank of the First Presbyterian Church of

Mount Holly. Douglas Gammon, owner of the Burlington-based cleaning

service that picks up and delivers from Princeton’s office buildings,

offered one free shirt laundering for every two items donated to the

food bank.

The New Jersey Agricultural Society and its Farmers Against

Hunger program teamed up with United Progress Inc. (UPI), a community

action agency that has a food pantry, to show its clients how to prepare

nutritious meals using items from the food pantry and winter produce.

Chef David Jenkins of Farmers Against Hunger and Kathy Nowicki,

a registered dietitian from UPI, taught the class at Pennington United

Methodist Church. Farmers Against Hunger (609-777-0553) collects and

distributes fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables to those in need

in new Jersey.

The agencies cite statistics showing that nearly 12 percent of New

Jersey families live below the poverty line, and that one out of four

children in Trenton are hungry.

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