Archive for December, 2007

by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 30th, 2007 5:02pm CDT | Comments Off on A New Year’s Resolution To Be Intolerant When It Counts — About Our Civic Dysfunction

Memphis is always tough on tolerance, but it’s been an especially bad year for a virtue that’s defining cities looking to succeed in the global economy. Even if you are uncomfortable talking about a city’s moral values, there’s also a reason anchored in enlightened self-interest: Tolerance is a critical competitive advantage for cities today, particularly […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 28th, 2007 11:41am CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Meeting People’s Needs

Chip Conley is celebrating his 20th anniversary as founder and CEO of California’s largest boutique hotel company, Joie de Vivre Hospitality. But his is not a business story about uninterrupted success. Instead, at a low point, Chip turned to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to guide him and he is sharing what he learned in his […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 26th, 2007 5:39pm CDT | Comments Off on Question Of The Week: Fishing For Ideas

We’re continuing our discussion about the future of The Pyramid, which began last Thursday. We hope you’ll join in. Questions of the week: What should Memphis do to put The Pyramid to its best use? What objective should city government have in mind as it considers options for the arena? If the choices are Bass […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 23rd, 2007 11:08pm CDT | Comments Off on Our Christmas Wish: No More Cooked-up Kwanzaa Complaints

We bet you never thought you’d hear us say this: Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks is right. Nonetheless, it is true, and in the current manufactured controversy about Kwanzaa, Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas is either being intentionally obtuse or being driven by the irresistible opportunity for political advantage that comes with his racially-veiled comments. […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 20th, 2007 5:51pm CDT | Comments Off on Fishing For Answers To Questions Of The Week

O.K., you’ve heard from us once again about The Pyramid. Now it’s your turn. Questions of the week: What should Memphis do to put The Pyramid to its best use? What objective should city government have in mind as it considers options for the arena? If the choices are Bass Pro Shop and Pyramid Adventure, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 19th, 2007 11:35pm CDT | Comments Off on Tomb Of Tomb Beckons More Projects

Memphis’ biggest stocking – which has always promised more than it delivered – remains to be stuffed – The Pyramid. We’ve never been fans of the Bass Pro Shop proposal, a disdain made visceral with the prospects of a fish logo on the side of our signature building on the riverfront. But then again, even […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 19th, 2007 1:01am CDT | Comments Off on Three Pair Of Big Shoes To Fill

‘Tis the season of transitions, and three deserve special mention — Andy Dolich, Judith Drescher and Carissa Hussong. All are about to step down from their jobs, but they share more than the coincidence of their announced resignations. More to the point, they are all class acts, principled people who have shown unusual dedication to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 16th, 2007 8:02pm CDT | Comments Off on MPO Takes Road Less Traveled

There are public agencies buried so deep in local government that they would make Tony Soprano envious, and their unassuming names give no hint of their impact. Poster child for these agencies is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the federally-mandated regional conduit for hundreds of millions of transportation dollars. On paper, the organization was created […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 14th, 2007 7:37pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Connecting Through Technology

New technologies are combining to change the way we influence our communities. In her book, Momentum, Allison Fine writes about these new technologies and how they are igniting social change in our connected age. Allison is a senior fellow on the Democracy Team at Demos: A Network for Change and Action in New York, and […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 13th, 2007 11:04pm CDT | Comments Off on Council Stripped Of Power Over Clubs

There’s the axiom in the public sector that the organizational chart shouldn’t be based on personalities. There’s also an axiom that the fundamental principles of local government shouldn’t be abandoned in pursuit of political expediency. Of course, both of these rules at times succumb to the realities of city and county governments, but the zeal […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 12th, 2007 10:14pm CDT | Comments Off on HBCU Lessons For Lemoyne-Owen College

While all institutions of higher education struggle with the problems of reaffirming their accreditation on a cyclical basis, the unique problems facing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) have been pernicious in recent years. The recent problems at Lemoyne Owen, while well known to those of us in Memphis, are not the only ones for […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 11th, 2007 11:42pm CDT | Comments Off on Memphis Toasts New Ranking

Now, here’s an interesting ranking for Memphis. It may surprise all those folks over on Beale Street, but Memphis is in the bottom 20 percent of the least dangerously drunk cities, according to Men’s Health. Leading the pack for the most dangerously drunk cities is Denver (all those brew pubs?) and Anchorage (what else is […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 11th, 2007 11:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Avoiding The Slippery Slope Of Tax Increment Financing

Mike Ritz is fast becoming the Oliver Wendell Holmes of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners. Like the U.S. Supreme Court justice, Commissioner Ritz these days often delivers a decidedly minority opinion. Sometimes, even his friends appear concerned that he doesn’t pick his battles carefully enough and that he runs the risk of being marginalized […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 11th, 2007 10:59pm CDT | Comments Off on Tigers Bowl Over High Expectations

We know we are probably just being curmudgeonly, but it’s just hard to get excited about our alma mater’s upcoming date in the 2007 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. After all, it’s a battle between our #123 Tigers and the favored #86 Florida Atlantic, which oddmakers give a 2½ point edge. It just makes it […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 9th, 2007 11:16pm CDT | Comments Off on The Road To Better School Operations Could Start With A Joint Board Of Control

There are better ways to run urban school districts than by elected school boards. That’s an opinion that’s gaining traction in many large U.S. cities and given new energy by the success of buoyant, youthful Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty in taking over his city’s troubled school district. This year’s takeover of school operations by […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 7th, 2007 10:07pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: The Quality Of Place

This week’s classic Smart City is a repeat of a show that first aired on April 26, 2003. Brussels-based consultant Robert Palmer works on city change and cultural planning in more than 20 countries. He’s learned what it takes to transform cities all over the world from also-rans to stand-outs. He’ll share his lessons for […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 5th, 2007 10:52pm CDT | Comments Off on Memphis Should Make Other Cities Green With Envy

We always welcome guest posts on this blog, and recently, we asked Amie Vanderford, who notified us last week about the presentation, “Design for Sustainable Systems,” if she would expand on some points in her email. We are grateful that she agreed, and the following is her commentary, which is coincidentally complementary with the theme […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 4th, 2007 10:19pm CDT | Comments Off on Manifesto Summit Put Memphis In National Spotlight

Four years ago in early May, the Creative 100 – a group of creative thinkers nominated from across the U.S. and that swelled to 150 with the addition of Memphians – came together in Memphis to develop their call to action for cities wanting to attract and retain them. It was called the Memphis Manifesto. […]

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