Archive for March, 2008

by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 30th, 2008 10:12pm CDT | Comments Off on 1968 Events Bear Marks Of The Invaders

If the Memphis Invaders hadn’t existed, the Memphis civil rights movement would have had to invent them. They were the militant yin to the mainstream movement’s yang. They were the tough talk to the leaders’ persuasive rhetoric. They were the grassroots organizers to the movement’s community mobilizers. But, most of all, they created a palpable […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 28th, 2008 10:57pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week on Smart City: The Power of Art

The power of art to change people and communities can be breathtaking. This week we talk with Johann Zietsman who has orchestrated powerful art experiences internationally from South Africa to Mesa, Arizona. Johann is executive director of the Mesa Arts Center. We also find out which cities are best prepared for $4 a gallon gas […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 27th, 2008 8:51pm CDT | Comments Off on Efficiency Study Offers Mixed Mesage

Government efficiency studies are all the rage. Across the U.S., cities, counties and states are paying for studies ostensibly aimed at increasing efficiency and decreasing costs. In our community alone, more than $1.2 million has been spent by city and county governments. The $700,000 version that Memphis city government commissioned has finally broken into the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 26th, 2008 12:40am CDT | Comments Off on Back To The Future: Superintendent Herenton

Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton reminds me of an absurdist friend who told his wife that he was having an affair, but he wasn’t sure where it was headed, and he might be back to her in the end. Her response: “What makes you think I want you if she doesn’t?” It’s a feeling familiar […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 23rd, 2008 9:09pm CDT | Comments Off on Memphis’ Race To The Finish Starts With Honesty

Here’s what we learned from the recent controversy regarding Barack Obama’s minister: too few white Americans have close black friends. Otherwise, they would have heard it all before. And more. Even if they don’t rachet up to the level of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s rhetoric, it’s always clear that there is an emotional platform that every […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 22nd, 2008 12:58pm CDT | Comments Off on Startup Weekend Coming To Memphis

We got the following email from Eric Matthews updating us on the campaign to bring Startup Weekend to Memphis: Thanks for your coverage of the vote (about Startup Weekend). We got it . For three days in late spring, approximately 80-100 people will gather in EmergeMemphis and the Mercury Launchpad to create a new startup […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 22nd, 2008 11:38am CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: City Values

Majora Carter surprised everyone when she founded Sustainable South Bronx as a way to reclaim that community’s quality of life. She has grown that into a movement, Green for All, that is using the green economy to move people out of poverty with job creation and job training. Born, raised, and continuing to live & […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 20th, 2008 9:32pm CDT | Comments Off on Herenton Era Ends…For Now

The signs that Mayor Willie W. Herenton was going to be a short-timer began almost immediately after his reelection. At his swearing in, he seemed almost detached and the ceremony certainly lacked the fire in the belly passion that characterized the previous times that he had taken the oaths of office. Always a detached manager, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 20th, 2008 2:45pm CDT | Comments Off on Cutting The Threads In Memphis Neighborhoods

It was only a few swearing-in ceremonies ago that Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton proclaimed that he was ushering in the era of the neighborhood. Today, with many Memphis neighborhoods hanging by a thread, he often is the man wielding a giant pair of scissors. There’s always a disconcerting contradiction between what the mayor says […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 18th, 2008 10:26pm CDT | Comments Off on Economic Development As An Art Form

Paul Krutko is our kind of economic development director. A cornerstone of his program to sell San Jose: cultural development. In fact, his hometown in the heart of Silicon Valley is so serious about the connection between culture and economy that its Office of Cultural Affairs answers to him as director of the Office of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 16th, 2008 7:39pm CDT | Comments Off on MATA Loses Race For Buses Of Future

It’s our prediction that Memphis Area Transit Authority can give away rides on excessive ozone pollution days – rather than the 25 cents special fares it’s proposing – and it’s still not going to lure anyone aboard our city buses. MATA’s intentions are good – part of a broader attack to bring Memphis into compliance […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 14th, 2008 10:02pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: What’s Old Is New Again

Stories of cities and the changes they endure over time always have something to teach us. Our guests this week are at the forefront of change in two American cities in two great neighborhoods. Bob Eury has for 23 years served as president of Central Houston, leading the redevelopment of the city’s downtown. This week […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 13th, 2008 5:38pm CDT | Comments Off on Buildings’ Best Future Hinges On City And County Involvement

We understand Shelby County Government’s dire need for additional revenue to close a $16 million funding gap, but a fire sale of its interests in local sports facilities – The Pyramid, Mid-South Coliseum and Liberty Bowl – mainly feels like third-degree burns for county taxpayers. This week, county government proposed to sell all interest in […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 13th, 2008 12:09pm CDT | Comments Off on University Fumbles Stadium Plan

The decision by the University of Memphis to oppose plans for an on-campus stadium felt suspiciously like a well-scripted three-act play. In the end, the script called for the athletic committee of the Board of Visitors to weigh the merits of the university’s first on-campus stadium and recommend against it. Then, it called for the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 11th, 2008 9:58pm CDT | Comments Off on Question Of The Week: What Are Our School District’s Priorities?

We’re pleased that Memphis City Schools has finally done what makes sense in finding a new superintendent. It began a national search. It didn’t come without missteps and personal agendas, but at least it’s finally come. Of course, it remains to be proven that the process headed up by a national search firm isn’t going […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 9th, 2008 4:56pm CDT | Comments Off on Memphis’ $3 Billion Bonus For Being Average

It didn’t get any headlines, but it was news nonetheless. In a presentation to 500 people at Leadership Memphis’ annual community breakfast, Portland economist Joe Cortright said that our city gets a $3 billion bonus if it can just get to average in the key indicators of the 50 largest U.S. metros. That’s why the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 8th, 2008 4:15pm CDT | Comments Off on Kentucky Ruling Sounds Pertinent For Lemoyne-Owen Funding

A recent Kentucky news article caught our eye because of Memphis and Shelby County Governments’ questionable decisions to fund the chronically financially ailing Lemoyne-Owen College. In a lawsuit in our neighbor to the north, a judge ruled that a public appropriation to a religious college violated the separation of church and state. Or put another […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 8th, 2008 12:33pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Creative Ambition

Every city seems to have at least some ambition linked to creativity. It may be expressed as the creative class, innovation, the creative industries or the creative city. Colin Jackson who runs Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts in Calgary has been wrestling with these concepts as he considers a major new expansion. We’ll talk […]

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