Archive for October, 2006

by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 31st, 2006 6:30pm CST | Comments Off on An Epidemic of Homophily

From Otis White’s Urban Journal at governing.com. Otis is a regular guest on Smart City each week: The Fading Urban Marketplace of Ideas If you look back on the novels written about cities since the 18th century, one theme stands out: the young person who moves to a big city to escape the sameness of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 29th, 2006 11:58pm CST | Comments Off on Merger Talks Are Targeted By Fire Department Officials

It didn’t take long for the Memphis Fire Department to challenge the notion that it should manage the Shelby County Fire Department. As we mentioned in Friday’s post, fire officials have proven adept at blowing up any such talk in the past, and a day later, in Saturday’s Commercial Appeal, they already seemed intent to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 27th, 2006 7:02pm CST | Comments Off on Agreement on Fire Departments Blazes New Trail

Sometimes truly historic breakthroughs pass for wonkish public contracts. That’s certainly the case with the prospects of an intergovernmental agreement for fire protection between Shelby County and City of Memphis. For 20 years, city and county officials have talked about functional consolidation and better ways to deliver public services, but if Shelby County Director of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 27th, 2006 12:55pm CST | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Making Healthier Cities

The city is a reflection of its people — their beliefs, their skills, their relationships. Our guests today are working in very different ways to improve the city by improving the lives of the people who live there. Dr. William Pinsof is president of The Family Institute at Northwestern University. His work with the families […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 25th, 2006 4:51pm CST | Comments Off on Giving Credit Where Credit’s Due

The most popular public official in Memphis isn’t on this year’s ballots. She’s running Memphis City Schools. So far, Superintendent Carol Johnson’s approval ratings haven’t translated into higher public confidence for the district itself. That’s too bad, because she’s slowly winning some key battles in the ultimate war – transforming a culture that fights change […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 24th, 2006 7:33pm CST | Comments Off on Sifting Through The Sewer For Votes

Over the years, we’ve had our complaints about some positions by U.S. Rep. Harold Ford, but if there are any lingering doubts about who to vote for in this year’s Senate race, they should end with the most recent ad by the National Republican Committee. And it’s rare for us to even comment on campaigns, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 20th, 2006 6:13pm CST | Comments Off on Pleading The Case For Cities

Dear Attorney General Gonzales: We’ve read that you have ordered Department of Justice officials to visit U.S. cities to find out why there is a spike in crime. To help you out, we Mapquest’ed the tour for you. It will tell you what you need to know, and it will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 19th, 2006 9:29pm CST | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City Radio: Leading Change

Mavericks are at work in our nation, and they are reinventing everything in their path. Bill Taylor is the maverick who co-founded Fast Company magazine and with co-author Polly LaBarre he has just written a new book on other remarkable people who are challenging business as usual. It’s titled, Mavericks at Work: Why the Most […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 17th, 2006 5:49pm CST | Comments Off on All The News That Fits The Business Plan

It’s a tale of two cities, at least that’s the inescapable conclusion from watching TV news and then reading The Commercial Appeal. More and more, the daily newspaper seems to be officialdom’s view of Memphis while television news swings wildly to the other end of the spectrum. It’s almost as if you need to read […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 16th, 2006 3:18pm CST | Comments Off on Choices For The Homeless

From Otis White’s Urban Journal at governing.com: Dealing with the homeless is unpleasant and expensive, and, unfortunately, doesn’t get much easier even if you’re successful. But here are the choices: Do it right and at least the problem becomes manageable in time. Or do it wrong and end up like Groundhog Day, with the same […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 13th, 2006 7:05pm CST | Comments Off on Dot…dot…dot

The headlines in The Commercial Appeal this week about funding by the City of Chattanooga pension fund in a Memphis investment firm raised the eyebrows of federal investigators because of its striking similarities to a pension investment made by Shelby County Government with the same politically connected company. In both cases, Delta Capital Management was […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 12th, 2006 6:00pm CST | Comments Off on Building A Village

New immigrants are changing America’s cities in many ways, but what is happening in immigrant neighborhoods is not always easily understood. Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Vikki Katz, both at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, are working in the immigrant neighborhoods of Los Angeles to learn how communication flows and what […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 10th, 2006 7:50pm CST | Comments Off on A Lott Of Politics In I-69 Alignment

The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but I-69 was paved with partisan, hardball politics. Without U.S. Senator Trent Lott, “there probably would not be an I-69,” said Ken Murphree, former Tunica and Desoto County administrator, at the ribbon-cutting for the interstate last week. Mr. Murphree is the consummate professional, well-liked, effective […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 8th, 2006 10:55pm CST | Comments Off on Questions On Our Minds

Shelby County Schools reports that it’s about to overhaul its schools’ attendance zones. As usual, in the parallel universe that is the county school district, the announcement was made by the political head of the system, David Picker, rather than its professional head, Supt. Bobby Webb. The need for the changes is spurred on by […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 6th, 2006 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Tuning Into New Media

The use of new media, particularly by young people, challenges conventional wisdom in many fields – education, social engagement, civic participation. Our guests today have been studying new media and how they may change our most familiar habits and institutions. Doug Thomas is associate professor at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 6th, 2006 9:40am CST | Comments Off on Investigators Consider Vagrants In Downtown Fire

Fire investigators at the scene of the devastating fire at downtown’s First United Methodist Church are looking into the possibility that a vagrant could have been involved in the three-alarm blaze. It’s one of several leads being investigated at this time, but the church was a favorite of some of downtown’s homeless, who slept in […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 4th, 2006 7:16pm CST | Comments Off on We’ve Had Enough Of This Homeless Crap, Literally

If all politics is local, then surely all government is personal. So, forgive us for being less than optimistic about throwing more than 600 new police officers at the city’s crime problems. We’re just waiting to see if the MPD can make the homeless guys quit sleeping on our front stoop and defecating on our […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 1st, 2006 10:56pm CST | Comments Off on Will Film Company Pitch Be Music To Taxpayers’ Ears?

Forgive the skepticism, but the premature announcement by the former president of the Memphis Music Foundation about the interest of an Australian film production company in opening a regional operation in Memphis feels awfully familiar. As in the past, it seems like nothing so much as something to shift the conversation from his recent intemperate […]

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