Archive for September, 2008

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 30th, 2008 10:36pm CDT | Comments Off on Impact From Wall Street Trickles Down

Who would have guessed that the most serious wave of socialism wouldn’t bubble up from the demands of the unwashed masses but would walk over in Canali suits from Wall Street? It’s been a long, strange journey, and it may get both longer and stranger, but it does look like the nationalization of key financial […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 29th, 2008 6:51pm CDT | Comments Off on Herenton Committee Evaluates Convention Center Future

There is little question that city and county governments made a serious misjudgment when they expanded the Memphis Cook Convention Center. Because of it, we’re inclined not to join those dismissing out of hand Mayor Willie W. Herenton’s notion of considering if Memphis needs a new or dramatically renovated convention center. Before the expansion, the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 28th, 2008 10:10pm CDT | Comments Off on Personalities Often Obscure Proposals

In politics, you know things are getting out of hand when your very presence produces an added overlay of suspicion and mistrust that complicates public decision-making. That’s certainly been the case with the conspiracies and intrigues ascribed to plans to expand Beale Street and to consider a new convention center. These days, it seems that […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 27th, 2008 1:33pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Touching The Future Through Teaching And Planning

This week on Smart City: two different cities, two unique challenges. We’ll speak with Ana Menezes and Lindsay Enters from the group TeachNOLA. The organization works to bring the best and brightest teachers to New Orleans and also helps talented people earn their teaching certificate to bring a high caliber of teachers to New Orleans […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 25th, 2008 11:19pm CDT | Comments Off on City Council Cleared Of School Assault Charge

Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash and his educational émigrés are coming face-to-face with a fundamental reality of Memphis City Schools – our urban school system has operating systems that are anything but urban. As a result, it has been difficult to have a high comfort level with almost any information it has produced, from […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 24th, 2008 11:30pm CDT | Comments Off on 1984’s Big Lie Typifies 2008 Campaign

We live in the Age of the Big Lie. George Orwell saw it coming, but it took a couple of decades longer than he thought. Somehow, it seems appropriate that Ronald Reagan was president in 1984, because his administration gave voice to the Orwellian view: “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 22nd, 2008 10:28pm CDT | Comments Off on Solving Old Problems Rather Than Grabbing New Land

Memphis is #5 with a bullet. Unfortunately, it’s the list of the top 10 cities with the highest poverty rates. As alarming as that statistic is, it could be much worse if it wasn’t for Tennessee’s liberal annexation laws. That’s because the 2007 poverty rate for Memphians is 26.2%, edged out by El Paso (27.4%), […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 21st, 2008 10:38pm CDT | Comments Off on MCS Improvement Demands Management And Manipulation

Educational experts disagree about the wisdom of creating schools for overage students, the strategy that’s a centerpiece of Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash’s strategies to turn around the low-performing district. There is no disagreement, however, on the wisdom of the move as a strategy for gaming No Child Left Behind. It seems only logical […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 20th, 2008 12:09pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Turning Vision Into Action

How do you find out what people want for their city? Sometimes, you just ask them. John Lewis is the president of Intelligent Futures and leader of Imagine Calgary. Imagine Calgary asked citizens four key questions to find out what Calgarians sought for the future of their city. The discussion took place in person, online, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 19th, 2008 12:31am CDT | Comments Off on Paying For Big Projects Is Taxing Experience

Nothing is quite as confusing as government financing, and that’s never been truer than now. There seems to be big numbers every where – the $30 million for The Pyramid, there’s the idea of a new convention center likely to cost at least $500 million, there’s the tens of millions of dollars for Liberty Bowl […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 16th, 2008 10:16pm CDT | Comments Off on Milken Report: Another Wake-Up Call

Memphis needs some “leap frog” strategies to get more competitive in the knowledge-based economy. Just how badly we need the strategies was underscored in the past few days with the release of the highly-regarded annual report by the Milken Institute: “Best-Performing Cities 2008: Where America’s Job Are Created and Sustained.” The Memphis metro wasn’t in […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 14th, 2008 9:10pm CDT | Comments Off on Tomb Doomed More Than $10 Million In Property

The Pyramid is more empty than we even thought it was. Memphis City Councilman Bill Boyd recently toured the arena and learned that many of its “furniture, fixtures, and equipment” are missing. According to one person who has walked through the vacant building, “It looks like locusts went through it.” Gone are thousands of chairs, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 14th, 2008 9:02pm CDT | Comments Off on Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson has formed a political action committee that will financially support candidates “who believe in limited government.” The senator – the most underperforming Tennessee senator in 30 years – said he is now on the look-out for high-performing candidates who share his conservative bona fides. As for us, we wish him […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 14th, 2008 8:41pm CDT | Comments Off on Ignoring Consultant Costs $100 Million

Sometimes, local government really ought to pay attention to its consultants. Yes, there are times when there’s really no downside, but we can think of one whose price tag is $100 million. That was how much city and county governments spent on the expansion of the Memphis Cook Convention Center after their consultant said to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 14th, 2008 8:40pm CDT | Comments Off on Alaskan Haters

A couple of weeks ago, we suggested that Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton apparently was overqualified to be vice-presidential candidate for the Republican Party. Perhaps, we were too hasty. We just read that when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is criticized, she too refers to her enemies and critics as “haters.” Perhaps, she and our mayor […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 14th, 2008 8:38pm CDT | Comments Off on Less Than Half Of MCS Employees Are Teachers

In announcing recent layoffs, Memphis City Schools’ officials said that the district has 7,000 teachers. On its website, it says that its total number of employees is 16,000. In other words, there are 9,000 employees that are not teachers. It would be instructive to see a breakdown of all employees, because on paper, it sure […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 12th, 2008 1:26pm CDT | Comments Off on Word Of The Day: Resilient (September 11, 2008)

The following is a commentary from Charles Santo who teaches at University of Memphis. He moved from Portland, Oregon, to Memphis about three years ago, and his fresh perspective and insight into our city are affecting key issues that we often discuss often. Here’s his post: Intertwined with other more obvious concerns in the aftermath […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 11th, 2008 8:59pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: New Ways Of Exploring Cities

This week on Smart City, Scott Bernstein is the president of the Center for Neighborhood Technology where he has developed the Housing and Transportation Affordability Index. We’ll speak with Scott about the true cost of commuting and the toll it takes on your wallet and your time. What’s the pulse of your city, 24 hours […]

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