Archive for March, 2007

by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 29th, 2007 8:29pm CDT | Comments Off on Charter Schools: This Week On Smart City

Educating children from America’s cities may be the toughest challenge urban leaders face. This week, we’ll talk to three guests who are deep into meeting that challenge. Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson is the nation’s only mayor who has the power to charter schools. His point person in setting up and running the chartering operation is […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 28th, 2007 12:45am CDT | Comments Off on Unanimous Vote Shapes New Future For Shelby Farms Park

There is the political axiom that when the right people and the right timing align, they can change the world. This week, they did in fact change the world of Shelby Farms Park. The right people were Laura Adams, AC Wharton and Mike Carpenter. The right timing was ushered in September 1 when the radically […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 26th, 2007 7:12pm CDT | Comments Off on Fault Lines Threaten Riverfront Potential

It seems likely that this week’s visit by Project for Public Spaces (PPS) will be a missed opportunity. We were hopeful when we heard that the New York City-based organization would be coming to Memphis at the invitation of Friends for our Riverfront with the purpose of encouraging consensus and communication. Based on the way […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 24th, 2007 7:05pm CDT | Comments Off on City Council Hopeful Leaves Us Hoping For Facts

We’re always excited by the prospect of new faces and fresh voices willing to get involved in our city’s political process. To that end, we’ve been encouraged by reviews that we’ve heard about Denise Parkinson and by reports about her intentions to run for District 5 of Memphis City Council. That’s why her Q&A with […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 23rd, 2007 7:58pm CDT | Comments Off on Partisan and Racial Politics In Memphis Are The Same Thing

Federal investigators are justifiably thin-skinned when faced with widespread criticism in the black community that their prosecutions are racially-biased. African-Americans are equally justified in questioning whether just is really blind, particularly color blind. This transcript of a conversation between an FBI agent investigating the “Tennessee Waltz” and a suspect does raise some interesting questions. One […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 22nd, 2007 10:05pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: The Spirit Of Independence

Comparing the unique shops and restaurants of cities is one of the pleasures of traveling. Kaie Wellman has made it her business to find them, photograph them and present them to readers in her series of eat.shop.guides. Kaie is a native Oregonian who attended Parsons in New York, then traveled the world, doing a stint […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 21st, 2007 7:14pm CDT | Comments Off on The County Mayor’s Office: Ahead Of Its Time

After 31 years of being maligned and ridiculed, it actually looks like Shelby County was being visionary when it created the mayor’s job. At least that’s the conclusion we draw from recent debate in the largest local government in the United States – Los Angeles County, California. There, they are considering a major “reform” of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 19th, 2007 11:06pm CDT | Comments Off on Coordinated Economic Development Is Music To Our Ears

At first blush, the news items seem unrelated: the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission is breaking its ties to the Music Foundation, and Memphis and Shelby County Port Commission policy sends projects to nearby counties. And yet, they are symptomatic of a long-standing problem: the lack of an overriding philosophy of economic development that […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 18th, 2007 11:32pm CDT | Comments Off on Surviving The Siege Requires A Different Mentality

The main problem with a siege mentality is that you don’t even know you have it. You lose the ability to recognize the true dimensions of a problem. You think cleverness can make things better and are mystified that it only compounds the problem. You lose sight of the organization’s best interests because you think […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 16th, 2007 6:51pm CDT | Comments Off on Calling Our Nation’s Capital Home: Next On Smart City

Not too many years ago, our nation’s capital was considered unsafe, unappealing, and generally unlivable. But today, everywhere you look, there are cranes in the air, and housing prices have soared as redevelopment and new building have made the district a very attractive market. This week, we talk about Washington, D.C. as a place to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 14th, 2007 11:09pm CDT | Comments Off on A To Do List For Memphis Music That Helps Our Musicians

This post was previously published in Memphis Business Quarterly’s Winter Issue: Continued from the previous post… No longer dependent on “artist development” from record companies managing the modern equivalent of the company store, musicians now have the ability to create their own success, build their own value, maintain control of their own careers, and follow […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 11th, 2007 9:41am CDT | Comments Off on Lessons From Memphis’ Music Past Key Its Music Future

This post was previously published in Memphis Business Quarterly in its winter issue: They were outsiders. Poor, unsophisticated, and living on the margins, they created music that carved out a mythic reputation for Memphis around the world. Their heirs today are by their nature also outsiders, and perhaps, this is the fundamental fact of life […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 9th, 2007 1:42am CDT | Comments Off on Report On School Funding Gets Grade Of Incomplete

It appears that the Task Force For Quality Education is about to unveil its final report, and it’s all beginning to sound like an old conversation. Champions for Memphis City Schools are expecting the worst, suspecting that the recent flurry of activity by Shelby County Schools to breathe life into its proposal to become a […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 6th, 2007 8:30pm CDT | Comments Off on Environmental Report Fuels Greening Greater Memphis

If the Greening Greater Memphis movement needed any extra boost, it’s come in the form of Memphis’ scores on the Urban Environment Report by the Earth Day Network. In rating 72 cities on more than 200 environmental health indicators, Memphis finished # 50. We can thank our water quality for keeping us from sinking lower. […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 4th, 2007 2:18pm CDT | Comments Off on Mayor Herenton’s Meaning Depends On Who’s Listening

Some people say the recent behavior of Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is crazy. To many of his supporters, he’s crazy as a fox. Those who currently underestimate him do so at their peril, because they don’t understand how calculated his behavior is, as proven in Friday’s appearance on WDIA’s Bobby O’Jay Fun Morning Show. The […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 2nd, 2007 10:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Real Leadership Is Putting The City’s Interest First

The Joseph Lee fiasco has become political theater, but at the end of what is now destined to be a three-act play, the ending will be the same. Mr. Lee will exit stage right. The die is cast, and while Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton tries to wring every ounce of political gain out of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 2nd, 2007 9:57pm CDT | Comments Off on An Authentic Sense Of Place: This Week On Smart City

Authenticity is one of those qualities that is hard to define, but you know it when you see it – or feel it. We’re going to explore its meaning and its application to places this week with James Gilmore and Scott Russell Sanders. Jim Gilmore is the man who, with his partner Joe Pine, introduced […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 1st, 2007 5:59pm CDT | Comments Off on Addressing The Real Problem For Memphians Is A Taxing Challenge

It is inevitable. It comes in every meeting talking about the future of Memphis or in every committee discussing solutions to current problems. It’s the “consolidation moment,” the time when someone holds up the merger of city and county governments as the answer to all that ails our city. Few issues are discussed as much. […]

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