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Commentary on life in Kentucky

By wmadministrator

Southern Govs Want to Hit the Gas in 2010

As its new 40th chairman, Gov. Steve Beshear will host fellow Southern Growth Policies Board governors in Lexington next June 6-8 at the group’s 2010 conference, which will focus on strengthening the automotive industry in the South.

The conference, Driving the Next 20 Years: Maximizing the New Automotive Industry in the South, is being developed as an opportunity to connect industry players in the region and create more jobs and investments.

Southern Growth will also focus in the next year on economic recovery. It is developing self-help guides to support community economic development planning, as well as developing a broad Southern database of competitive indicators, so that communities and states can better gauge their needs. The Listening to the South effort will focus on communities and how they can respond to current economic challenges, while at the same time positioning themselves for success in the future. Thousands of Southerners will be able to provide their input to policy-makers. Southern Growth will also be working on the advanced materials clusters and changing leadership models.

Beshear succeeds Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and follows a long line of distinguished Southern leaders, including Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

“I am honored to serve as chairman of the Southern Growth Policies Board and confident the 2010 conference will be a success for Lexington and the entire state,” Beshear said. “With my administration’s focus on creating and maintaining jobs in Kentucky, and the commonwealth’s status as an automotive center, Kentucky is the perfect location to host a serious conversation on the South’s emerging leadership in the automotive industry.”

The South has had success building an automotive cluster the past two decades. Sixteen automotive manufacturing facilities in Southern Growth member states now produce 36 percent of the nation’s cars and light trucks.

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry looks forward to the conference also.
“This is a great opportunity to acquaint leaders from across our nation with our dynamic community and its growing horse, healthcare and high-tech industries,” Newberry said. “Shining the national spotlight on our automotive industry is also important. Auto parts suppliers are the top industrial employers in Kentucky, and many of these employers are located in Central Kentucky because of the Toyota plant.”

Conference information will be available soon at southern.org.

Louisville: A Top Digital City Government

Louisville Metro made national news last month for its work in digital government – placing third in the ninth annual Digital Cities Survey, and third in the 2009 Best of the Web – both from the Center for Digital Government.
The Digital Cities Survey (centerdigitalgov.com) looks at how municipalities incorporate information technology into operations that better serve citizens engaging with local government. Louisville ranked above New York, Houston and Washington, D.C., to name a few.

Louisville Metro’s Web site, louisvilleky.gov, was part of the survey. The Best of the Web survey looks specifically at city websites and how they serve local residents and business. The site allows visitors to pay parking tickets, register pets, track city government spending with the new Your Tax Dollars at Work feature, map services, chat live online and track federal stimulus project spending.

According to Beth Niblock, Louisville Metro’s CIO, “Streamlining government is both a challenge and an opportunity. Our staff has done an amazing job doing more with less, whether it’s moving more applications online for our residents and businesses or improving safety by helping manage the technology infrastructure in our new MetroSafe emergency operating facility.”

The survey was open to all U.S. cities with a population of 30,000 or more.

The Lane Report’s Flashy New BG Magazine Aimed at Bluegrass Young Professionals

Lane Communications Group has launched a colorful new lifestyle magazine aimed at young, active professionals in Central Kentucky. BG – A way of life will publish twice a year, beginning with the Fall 2009 issue, now out, covering a wide array of subjects of interest to young people including:

• A behind-the-scenes look at Lexington’s ever-growing nightlife

• Profiles of budding entrepreneurs, including Drew Curtis, the Versailles-based mastermind behind the wildly popular weird-news aggregator Fark.com

• A peek at the latest fashions for both men and women

• 10 things we like about fall in the Bluegrass

• A look back at October’s inaugural Bourbon Chase, a 200-mile relay race through the heart of Bourbon country

• Food, fitness, finance and more

“BG is a lively combination of news and entertainment, aimed at tomorrow’s movers and shakers,” said editor Meredith Lane. “There’s a strong movement under way to attract and retain young professionals in Central Kentucky, which is vital to our economic future. We want them to know about all the Bluegrass
region has to offer.

To keep the content fresh and vibrant, a 10-member advisory committee made up of a broad crosssection of 20- and 30-something Central Kentuckians will provide input on the new magazine, said Mark Green, editorial director for Lane Communications.

In addition to the commonwealth’s only statewide business and economic development magazine, The Lane Report, Lane Communications also publishes the business-to-business food-service magazine Prep, and a variety of other specialty business publications.

BG was distributed to all regular recipients of The Lane Report in the 17-county Bluegrass Area Development District. The new magazine also will ship to the following:

• College/university seniors and postgraduate students

• Members of Lexington Young Professionals Association

• Expatriates of Central Kentucky colleges and universities

• A limited number to meetings and special event venues of groups meeting BG demographic criteria

• Advertisers

The magazine’s target demographics include well-educated, high-income young professionals and creatives aged 21-34, with a secondary audience of adults 18-49. The magazine will have an estimated primary and secondary readership of up to 60,000 persons.

For more information and to see PDF and Flash versions of BG, visit lanereport.com.