Archive for June, 2005

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 30th, 2005 1:18am CDT | Comments Off on Cell Towers Are Attracting Lawsuits

It’s a battle of goliaths: Can you hear me now vs. Not in my backyard. More than 500 cell tower disputes have already ended up in court across the U.S. and as the towers become as ubiquitous as the phones themselves, look for the number to climb, especially now that they are showing up in […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 29th, 2005 9:08am CDT | Comments Off on Pyramid Development Remains Daunting

The Rameses statue standing in front of The Pyramid is an exact copy of one found broken, lying in the sands, at the site of the dead Egyptian city of Memphis. The committee studying future uses for the Memphis icon hopes its presence is not prophetic. There are days when the most appropriate statue these […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 28th, 2005 9:47pm CDT | Comments Off on Washington Testimony for CEOs for Cities

The following testimony was presented today on Capitol Hill by Carol Coletta on behalf of CEOs For Cities to the Saving America’s Cities Working Group, comprised of a group of House Republicans who support cities. Organized by by House Speaker Dennis Hastert and chaired by Congressman Mike Turner, former mayor of Dayton, Ohio, the group […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 28th, 2005 7:29pm CDT | Comments Off on Memo to Northwest Airlines: Customer Service Training ASAP

Heard in Washington National today from a harried Northwest gate agent: “Folks, I hate to tell you that we’re still not going to Minneapolis. A window in the cockpit is broken and maintenance personnel are looking at it now. We just haven’t been able to do anything right with flight 477.” A refreshing bit of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 28th, 2005 9:22am CDT | Comments Off on Doing Nothing Is Not OK

OK, so maybe the Riverfront Development Corporation has done a less than stellar job selling its Promenade plan. But that’s no reason for the Commercial Appeal to fall for the case to do nothing being made by the so-called “Friends for Our Riverfront.” You’ve heard the debate: The Big Bad RDC wants to “develop” our […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 26th, 2005 7:34pm CDT | Comments Off on Chicago’s Difference: Taste of Chicago and Summerdance

Over the weekend, I had my first opportunity to visit “Taste of Chicago,” a 10-day annual event held in Grant Park. The basic formula is simple: a few (very few) rides for the kids, street performers for the adults, several scheduled concerts and lots and lots of food. The big attraction is the food. It’s […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 24th, 2005 9:17pm CDT | Comments Off on Emotional Days in County Budget Hearings

The underlying emotions in county budget hearings are rarely understood outside the commission meeting room where Finance Committee Chairman Cleo Kirk and other commissioners hear public managers present their spending requests for the coming year. But in private conversations, it is clear that department heads and division directors of county government resent the way schools […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 23rd, 2005 3:23pm CDT | Comments Off on It’s the Little Things Like Clean Air

In recent weeks, close to 170 U.S. mayors of both parties have signed on to do their part to fight global warming on the local level by pledging to carry out the Kyoto Accords – an international environmental agreement that would reduce heat-trapping gas emissions to levels 7 percent below those of 1990, by 2012. […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 22nd, 2005 1:32pm CDT | Comments Off on Giving Incentives for Poverty Level Jobs

As their taxes are waived, employees of Jabil can take heart. They not only will have new jobs, but they likely will qualify for food stamps. That’s right. The Memphis and Shelby County Industrial Development Board actually gives away taxes for jobs paying $8.50 and $11.50 an hour. If you calculate salaries like the federal […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 22nd, 2005 9:20am CDT | Comments Off on Maybe We Ought to Be Looking for a New Strategy…

“Jabil adding 500 new jobs” was the headline on the front page of yesterday’s Commercial Appeal. Third paragraph: “The new jobs will pay from $8.50 to $11.50 per hour.” It was only in the twelfth graph, deep in the jump (and after Mayor Wharton is quoted praising the company), that we learn Jabil is seeking […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 21st, 2005 8:46pm CDT | Comments Off on Summer in Panhandler Heaven

It is officially summertime in Memphis. Flowers are blooming, the temperature is going up, tens of thousands of people flood downtown for baseball at the best minor league stadium in the country and the panhandlers are back in force. As reliable as the swallows at Capistrano, they reappear to wander through downtown, some in constant […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 17th, 2005 1:36pm CDT | Comments Off on When Shelby County Is "Built Out"

A recent Michigan headline was enough to make a Memphis reader homesick: “The Height of Foolishness: Sprawl Without Growth.” The article told how Detroit treated sprawl as the engine of economic development, and as a result, the city is hollowed out and it has the highest rate of brain drain in the nation. It is […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 14th, 2005 10:42am CDT | Comments Off on The Beginning of the End of Tax Incentives

Perhaps we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the escalating bidding wars that cost cities and states millions of tax dollars for incentives to attract new companies. It is now only a rumble, but citizens’ objections are growing louder as these incentives continue at a time when state and local governments are raising […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 7th, 2005 9:00pm CDT | Comments Off on I’d Like a Table on the Patio, Please

It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t too long ago that Memphis was in the dining dark ages. In those days, Memphians looked with envy at those centers of sophistication which actually let diners eat outdoors at their favorite restaurants. Back in the 1980’s, leaders of the Memphis Restaurant Association – Thomas Boggs of Huey’s […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 6th, 2005 10:07am CDT | Comments Off on If I Were in Charge

Below is Carol Coletta’s piece that ran in the Memphis Flyer in May that asked what she would do if she were in charge of Memphis: If I were in charge, here’s where I would focus: Develop a new story for Memphis. Today, Memphis is defined increasingly by its deficits. We need to define Memphis […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 1st, 2005 3:40pm CDT | Comments Off on Carol’s Thoughts on Re-Use of the Pyramid

Like many others, I have been disappointed by the proposals for Pyramid re-use. It’s a reminder that too often, we’re 15 years behind the rest of the country. An aquarium? It’s a dicey proposition. How many aquariums have been major disappointments — even outright flops — for cities? Simulator rides? Oh my God. Vegas gave […]

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