Archive for September, 2005

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 29th, 2005 1:50am CDT | Comments Off on These Can Be Historic Days For County Government

The slash and burn political tactics of the Shelby County Board of Education is doing nothing to win points with Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton, who recently ordered the Office of Planning and Development to conduct a complete evaluation of school needs in the southeast county. There’s three inviolate rules in county government. When […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 27th, 2005 1:13am CDT | Comments Off on Pondering The Imponderables #3

• So we’re doing everything to get prepared for the “big one,” right? Just one question. If the three massive earthquakes in the early 19th century along the New Madrid fault – three of the largest four earthquakes to ever hit the U.S. — averaged a magnitude of 8, why is the Hernando deSoto Bridge […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 26th, 2005 1:27am CDT | Comments Off on Delay & Delay, LLC, Have Ties To Memphis Through The Coalition To Build I-69

Another unfortunate feature of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is that they have overshadowed the growing storm about the pattern of behavior by Majority Leader Tom DeLay. While it seems that Rep. DeLay will be the ultimate destination in several parallel investigations, those who know the intricacies of Washington politics are unsurprised. He’s always been a […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 23rd, 2005 10:29am CDT | Comments Off on Imagining A New Future For The Fairgrounds

If we, indeed, could muster the civic courage to demolish the Mid-South Coliseum, how could we re-use the land? A drive through the Cooper-Young neighborhood during last weekend’s festival revealed a surprising amount of new construction and renovations — exactly the kind of activity the City of Memphis wants to encourage. Former Parks Director Wayne […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 23rd, 2005 1:51am CDT | Comments Off on If We Can’t Have Just One Mayor, Can We At Least Have Just One Arena?

Now here’s a novel idea. In a few weeks, just up river in St. Louis, they will actually demolish Busch Stadium, whose 39-year history has given thousands of us Memphians some of our favorite sports memories. For some, it’s Mark McGuire’s now-tainted assault on Roger Maris’ single season home run record, but for me, it’s […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 22nd, 2005 1:24am CDT | Comments Off on Perhaps MPD Just Needs Good Old-Fashioned Customer Service Training

God bless every member of the Memphis Police Department, because they see things we can’t imagine and face risks that we’d never accept. But there are times that they do things that just defy plain common sense. And for once, we’re not talking about their inability to stop the apparent right to beg for a […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 21st, 2005 12:17pm CDT | Comments Off on Parks: An Antidote to Childhood Obesity

Like father, like son. That’s why it shouldn’t be any surprise that childhood obesity is a growing health crisis in Memphis. After all, we already knew about the parents. Three years ago, Men’s Health and Self ranked Memphis as the nation’s unhealthiest city. In its most recent rankings, Men’s Health ranked Memphis as the fifth […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 20th, 2005 1:19am CDT | Comments Off on StormReady or Not, Here It Comes

Watching the news unfold in New Orleans, we’ve learned painfully that the belief that someone is in charge when disaster strikes can be misplaced. Unfortunately, we also learned that too often, no one learns until it’s too late. That’s why the National Weather Service created its StormReady communities program. It’s designed to encourage public agencies […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 19th, 2005 10:33pm CDT | Comments Off on Are Memphis and Shelby County "StormReady"?

Today, a Smart City guest with OK-FIRST, Oklahoma’s emergency management service, told me about “StormReady,” awarded by the National Weather Service to communitiies proven to be prepared to respond to severe weather. After learning about the storm ready designation, I called back to the office to check whether New Orleans had the designation. After some […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 16th, 2005 1:42am CDT | Comments Off on Finding a Fair Tax Burden for Memphians, Part 2

In response to several emails and calls asking for more information about how fairness could be injected into the current tax system, here’s our observations. Memphis is unique in its place as one of only a few metropolitan areas – underline metropolitan – that has such a complex web of economic, social, and physical conditions […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 15th, 2005 1:56am CDT | Comments Off on Finding the Fair Tax Burden for Memphis Taxpayers

In a blog last week, we mentioned that Mayor Herenton’s consolidation presentation was ignored by the news media and that the committee he appointed to study consolidation was hijacked by the town mayors and is now yet one more review of school funding. We wrote: “Although the city mayor has now taken himself out of […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 14th, 2005 1:25am CDT | Comments Off on The Miracle in Mineola Has Lessons for Shelby County

The late Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen once notably said, a million here, a million there, and pretty soon, it adds up to “real” money. In Shelby County Government’s case, it’s ten million here and ten million there, and pretty soon, you have a “real” crisis. According to officials in the county finance department, the bonded […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 13th, 2005 1:36am CDT | Comments Off on This Is No Time For Politics As Usual

The Bush Administration proved again last week that it has a tin ear when it comes to poor Americans. Beset by troubling and unrelenting questioning about whether the federal government’s bumbling response to Hurricane Katrina reflected racial insensitivity, the White House compounded its image problem last week when the president waived Davis-Bacon Act requirements for […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 9th, 2005 1:49am CDT | Comments Off on Mayor Herenton’s Presentation Falls Prey To Media Disinterest

Mayor Herenton finally met his match last week when he bowed out of his latest campaign for school consolidation. In acknowledging that his presence is a lightning rode for controversy, he threw in the towel. But his defeat was as much a surrender to the media as to the anti-consolidation forces arrayed against him. Unfortunately, […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 8th, 2005 1:49am CDT | Comments Off on The Justice Center: Government At Its Worst

It is a day to wonder if any government can get it right. Leaving television reports filled with today’s images of Hurricane Katrina, I drove to the Justice Center to go to traffic court. It’s not an experience that builds confidence in government’s ability to organize or plan anything. This time it’s Shelby County Government, […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 7th, 2005 7:43am CDT | Comments Off on Asking The Right Questions About New Orleans

It’s been a historic week for the news media covering Hurricane Katrina. They have discovered poor, black people. There is widespread outrage about the deaths directly caused by the failure of our federal government to mobilize its massive resources to save those whose lives hung in the balance in the murky floodwaters of New Orleans. […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 3rd, 2005 10:05am CDT | Comments Off on New Chamber President Can Usher In New Era For Memphis Economy

The following blog from early August is worth revisiting now that the Memphis Regional Chamber has taken a “more of the same” approach to its future with the selection of its next president. The new head of the Chamber will need to be a quick study to undertake the overhaul of economic development strategies that […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 2nd, 2005 7:31am CDT | Comments Off on County Schools’ Decisions On Sites For New Schools Drive Sprawl and Debt

When conversation turns to developers’ stranglehold over local government, inevitably, people talk about some members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners and Memphis City Council. Almost never mentioned are the public officials who are so close to development interests that when they roll over in bed, they bump into them – the Shelby County […]

Read More →