Archive for August, 2006

by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 29th, 2006 7:12pm CST | Comments Off on Clear Cutting Trees And Taxes For A New High School In Southeast Shelby County

Construction has begun on the Southeast Shelby County High School, and already, Shelby County Schools is showing as much sensitivity to the environment as it does to people trying to speak at its meetings. Most of the site has been clear cut so thoroughly it would be the envy of the suburban developers whose interests […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 25th, 2006 8:19am CST | Comments Off on Conservation Easement To Protect Shelby Farms Park Comes Up Short

Last week, The Commercial Appeal called the vote by the Shelby County Board of Commissioners on a conservation easement for Shelby Farms Park a “big step in preserving the park forever.” More accurately, it was one step forward and two steps back. Once again, given the opportunity to take definitive action to protect the park’s […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 24th, 2006 5:37pm CST | Comments Off on Growing Up In Cities

This week on Smart City: Growing up in cities shouldn’t be difficult. Good cities have ample sidewalks, parks, unmatched cultural opportunities and plenty of places to play and explore. But according to David Driskell, UNESCO chair of Growing Up in Cities at Cornell, that is increasingly not the case. David is working with students around […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 23rd, 2006 6:35pm CST | Comments Off on Memphis City Schools Superintendent Ushers In A Stronger Role For Planning

Memphis City Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson took a major step forward Monday in pursuing the more influential role that she envisions the district playing in the redevelopment of Memphis neighborhoods and as a leader for smart growth. To a standing ovation from school board members, she announced that she hired Louise Mercuro, now deputy director […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 18th, 2006 12:13pm CST | Comments Off on Closed Meeting May Only Produce More Questions About Legal Standing For The County To File Suit

There may be another reason that the Shelby County Board of Commissioners’ discussion about suing the builder of the FedExForum was closed other than the reasons given at the time: lawyer-client privilege. It may have been also to eliminate public embarrassment about the basis of the county attorney office’s opinion that Shelby County had “no […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 17th, 2006 5:31pm CST | Comments Off on Smart City: Living The Good Life

This week on Smart City, the topic is about living the good life: What is the good life? That’s a question an upcoming exhibition organized by the Van Alen Institute will explore. Its curator Zoe Ryan is with us to talk about The Good Life: New Public Spaces for Recreation and what cities can learn […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 16th, 2006 7:43pm CST | Comments Off on How About Toning Down The Apocalyptic Rhetoric And Amping Up Reforms Of Tax Freezes?

Surely, Memphis Councilman Jack Sammons kicked himself this morning when he read his comments in The Commercial Appeal justifying the way tax freezes are handed out by Memphis and Shelby County Governments. If he didn’t, there’s probably plenty of economic development officials who’d be glad to do it for him. His comments were the exactly […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 14th, 2006 7:48pm CST | 1 Comment

So, I’m sitting on the couch at home minding my own business when my wife of 36 years complains that I’m not pulling my weight around the house. There’s no reason, she says, that I can’t be more help in cleaning up, washing the clothes, and vacuuming. Wisely, I apologize but offer a defense. “It’s […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 10th, 2006 8:01pm CST | Comments Off on A Modest Project That Could Herald A Better Way Of Designing Roads In Memphis And Shelby County

It’s a modest project, but it’s a start. Shelby County Government’s plan to design a limited stretch of Houston Levee Road according to smart growth principles is welcome news to taxpayers who’ve been paying a premium for suburban sprawl. Few subjects have been as endlessly discussed in this community as smart growth, and at times, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 8th, 2006 3:44pm CST | Comments Off on Concerts Achieve Dual Goals – For Downtown and Memphis Music

Tomorrow night, and every Wednesday evening until October 25, we have a chance to do two things that are seriously needed in Memphis – animate Main Street with activity and support Memphis music. That’s because the second Court Square Concert Series, billed as a celebration of local Memphis music, is back from 6 until 8 […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 6th, 2006 9:52pm CST | Comments Off on Statistics Paint A False Picture Of U.S. Engineering Prowess

While Superintendent Bobby Webb’s announced emphasis on science and math seems a worthy goal for Shelby County Schools, his statistics point out the way that bad information has a way of taking on a life of its own these days. In the article in today’s The Commercial Appeal reporting on his concern about qualified workers […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 5th, 2006 5:36pm CST | Comments Off on Hopeful Signs For The New County Board Of Commissioners

As soon as new Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy takes his oath of office, he seems destined to be under the microscope. He takes office September 1 with high hopes for his ability to maneuver the partisan and racial shoals of county government and act as a mediating influence on the legislative body. His election […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 5th, 2006 3:07pm CST | Comments Off on Some Post-Election Footnotes

While the 11th hour victory by Republican candidates brought back memories of the days of Boss Crump (How many votes did you deliver? Just enough to win.), it does show how tenuous is the Republican hold on the county offices. It sure appears that the Democratic tide will sweep most of them out of office […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 5th, 2006 3:06pm CST | Comments Off on Music Posts

In light of the changes at the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission, we direct your attention to our post earlier this week on the future of labels and to Sherman Willmott’s July 29 responses to our earlier post.

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 5th, 2006 3:02pm CST | Comments Off on Memphis TVA Board Member Is Breakthrough

Finally, Memphis gets a member on the Tennessee Valley Authority board, a lucrative and powerful position, but with Memphis’ historic ties to TVA, it’s amazing how long it took to do something so logical. TVA has been dominated by East Tennessee influence, and its decisions and direction have largely been made within that context. We […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 4th, 2006 12:16pm CST | Comments Off on A Frustrating Night For Following Election Returns

Based on last night’s election performance, The Commercial Appeal needs to reassess its partnership with WREG-TV. Those of us who logged on to the CA’s website, assuming that it would offer the most accurate, up-to-the-minute election returns, were proudly informed that its collaboration with Channel 3 would give us the best coverage of the election. […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 4th, 2006 10:50am CST | Comments Off on Old Habits and New Realities

This week on Smart City, the topic is how to respond to new realities and re-think future possibilities: It’s always difficult to leave old ways behind and embrace the new. But our guests this week, working in very different fields, are dedicated to getting us to do just that. Louis Glazer is urging policymakers in […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 3rd, 2006 11:34am CST | Comments Off on Setting E-Government As A Priority For Local Government

While many local governments are working to solve the problem of the Internet’s “last mile,” Memphis and Shelby County Governments – despite spending about $25 million a year on computer technology – can’t seem to begin the journey. As a result, few websites are as frustrating as those of Memphis and Shelby County Governments. They […]

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