Archive for July, 2005

by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 31st, 2005 9:42am CST | Comments Off on In Case the Latest Pyramid Scheme Fails, Here’s Another

As a late but satisfied reader of Erik Larson’s “The Devil in the White City” about the great Chicago World’s Fair, I came across the following passage this morning… “The exposition promised to surpass the Paris exposition on every level — every level, that is, except one, and that persistent deficit troubled [Daniel] Burnham. The […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 29th, 2005 1:54am CST | Comments Off on A Memphis Welcome Begins At The Airport

The chairman of the Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority is quoted in the Memphis Flyer as saying that Memphis without FedEx is Shreveport. Well, music heritage, an MSA twice as large, a more vibrant business base and innate authenticity aside, Shreveport’s airport at least knows how to welcome its guests. If you doubt it, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 28th, 2005 1:05am CST | Comments Off on When The Church Endorses Hate…

In the end, the Edgar Ray Killen verdict was nothing if not a case of justice delayed, justice denied. Four decades passed before he was finally convicted of his lead role in the hate-filled murders of three heroic civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, four decades in which he was able to live his life […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 27th, 2005 1:33am CST | Comments Off on A Greenprint Is Our Most Important Statement About Memphis’ Future

“Greenprints,” as Will Rogers of the Trust for Public Land said on Smart City, is a smart growth strategy emphasizing land conservation to improve quality of life, clean air and water, offer more recreational opportunities, improve personal health and contribute to the economy. He says that greenprinting is a voluntary approach designed to steer growth […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 26th, 2005 1:21am CST | Comments Off on Compromising To Honor The Real Heroes of Memphis

Maybe the Sons of the Confederacy are right. Taking the names of their heroes off Memphis parks is rewriting history. Instead of rewriting history, maybe we just need to write it right. To do this, there is already precedent for our simple compromise – add the names of African-American civil rights heroes to the names […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 23rd, 2005 1:05am CST | Comments Off on Parks Are Renamed Every Day…Except When They Are Named For The Old South

Sometimes, listening to the defenders of our Confederate-named parks, you get the feeling that the future of Western civilization itself is at stake. It’s as if Memphis was a bastion of Southern gentility like Richmond or Atlanta. It’s all revisionist history of the crassest kind. It’s time to get real. Memphis’ main historical claim to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 22nd, 2005 1:33am CST | Comments Off on Industrial Development Board Needs Retooling

When it comes to term limits, we suggested earlier this month (see July 8 blog) that city and county boards and commissions – where members have served for as long as 25 years – should be included. Based on the performance of the Memphis and Shelby County Industrial Development Board, it can’t happen too soon […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 21st, 2005 7:56pm CST | Comments Off on Memphis Makes You Feel So Good

I did something today that I’ve never done before in my 35 years of working downtown. I felt “cool.” About 2:30 this afternoon, fighting a losing battle with a big-time case of writer’s block, I grabbed up the stake of papers that was the source of my aggravation, and I decided maybe a change of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 21st, 2005 6:56am CST | Comments Off on My "Dear John" Letter to Northwest Airlines

Dear N.W.A.: It’s not you. It’s me. I thought I would never have to write this letter, but I’ve changed. My needs are different, and although I thought I could deal with it, I can’t. You were there when I needed you, but over the years, we’ve grown apart. You haven’t seemed as concerned about […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 20th, 2005 2:20am CST | Comments Off on A Hopeful View of Memphis and Shelby County’s Future

A report by consultants writing Memphis/Shelby County’s new Unified Development Code is “must reading” for anyone who believes that it isn’t too late for our community to control sprawl, invest in the urban core and save county government from bankruptcy. The nationally recognized team of planners which is preparing the code have set out ambitious […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 19th, 2005 12:15pm CST | Comments Off on A Letter To The Editor of The Commercial Appeal

Wendi Thomas writes that we need day care van drivers who do their job. Here’s an alternative: We don’t need day care van drivers at all. We need day care close to home, and let parents be responsible for getting their children to and from day care. How did we decide that putting young children […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 19th, 2005 1:02am CST | Comments Off on A Flower on the Cliff

There is the classic Buddhist parable, told in several variations, that goes something like this: There is a man running through the jungle, fleeing from a tiger. It is clear that it is only a matter of time before the tiger prevails, because although the man is out of his grasp, he is tiring. Clearly, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 18th, 2005 12:01pm CST | Comments Off on Reappraisal Adds Up To Taxpayer Confusion and Higher Tax Bills

Many politicians secretly love reappraisal. It is a time of complicated assessment equations, mind-boggling financial and legal nuances, public confusion about the processes, and, despite rhetoric to the contrary, windfalls for government. The windfalls of course are not supposed to happen. State law espouses the proposition that there will be none, but the reality is […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 15th, 2005 1:01am CST | Comments Off on Stuck Inside Of Cleveland With The Memphis Blues Again

I got homesick today for Memphis. So I took the RTA down to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland. It would be a gross oversimplification to say, as many do, that this museum “lost” this museum and it should be in Memphis. There is a mythology that feeds the notion that […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 14th, 2005 11:49am CST | Comments Off on Chamber Needs Half-time Talk By Coach Cal

Coach Cal needs to tell the Memphis Regional Chamber about the dangers of “bulletin board motivation” for your opponents. As the University of Memphis head basketball coach, Calipari has warned his team that smart players don’t make comments that can come back to haunt you by motivating the opposing team. Surely, last week’s presentation by […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 13th, 2005 11:02pm CST | Comments Off on Every City Needs More Bill Freemans

Bill Freeman was buried yesterday. Somehow the world seems less fun. Bill was a retired Air Force colonel, with a booming voice that could keep you in rapt attention if he was merely reciting the alphabet. It was a voice that could fill a room, but it was no match for Bill himself. He had […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 12th, 2005 1:15am CST | Comments Off on Even A Winning Vote Loses In Billboard Wars

It’s a glimpse of Memphis as it could have been. The spur that connects I-40 to Highway 51 (Thomas Street) is a 1.2 mile green escape from the billboards that dominate Memphis’ expressways. On the other hand, Bill Morris Parkway (Tennessee 385) doesn’t offer as much nature, but it also doesn’t have a single billboard […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 11th, 2005 11:08pm CST | Comments Off on Lessons from Vancouver

Vancouver co-director of planning Larry Beasley was my guest today on “Smart City.” Vancouver is regularly named as one of North America’s most appealing cities. I wanted to know why, so I asked Larry. According to Larry, Vancouver’s transformation began with Expo ’86 when Vancouver began re-thinking how cities are developed. The city decided not […]

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