Archive for October, 2008

by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 31st, 2008 3:33pm CDT | Comments Off on Detroit Aerotropolis Takes Flight

In the aerotropolis sweepstakes, Detroit is the first city to take flight. There, the Detroit Region Aerotropolis has used the nation’s latest economic development big idea as a vehicle for regionalism, bringing together politicians and business leaders from two counties, seven cities, and two airports – Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Willow Run Airport. Quoting the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 30th, 2008 7:29pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Charter Schools and Local Eats

Both Barack Obama and John McCain embrace the idea of publicly financed, independently run charter schools as a way to reform the education system. But what is a charter school, and how do they differ from traditional public schools? Our guest, Nelson Smith knows a lot about it. He’s the President and CEO of the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 29th, 2008 9:35pm CDT | Comments Off on Voting No On Big Government And Yes On Better Elections

Despite predictions of a Constitutional crisis in county government if we don’t pass the two charter amendments, we still vote no. Meanwhile, on IRV, we vote yes. First, the county charter amendments. There are just too many reasons to vote against them, chiefly that there is no justification for the covey of elected officials that […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 28th, 2008 7:18pm CDT | Comments Off on No Crisis Can Pave Over Roadbuilders’ Influence, Part 2

Continued from the previous posting: All of this concern that $2 billion isn’t enough for roadbuilders must seem extremely misplaced to officials in higher education, like our university president Dr. Raines, who are making increasingly tough decisions because of state cuts to their budgets. Our university presidents are making budget decisions that will decide which […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 26th, 2008 12:38pm CDT | Comments Off on No Crisis Can Pave Over Roadbuilders’ Influence

You can never underestimate the power of the roadbuilding industry. While University of Memphis President Shirley Raines is forced to cut a budget that long ago lost any fat in it, while the state shortchanges our community’s schools with BEP funding, while sprawl is busting the budgets of Tennessee’s urban governments and while Tennessee ranks […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 23rd, 2008 3:25pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Using the Internet to Explore Your City

This week, we’re talking with people who use the internet to help you explore your city. Want to find out what’s happening in your neighborhood? Adrian Holovaty knows. He’s the creator of Everyblock.com, a website that provides hyper-local news tailored to your street address. We’ll give the site a test run and see what’s happening […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 21st, 2008 10:17pm CDT | Comments Off on Who Says There’s No Good News In The Paper?

It’s hard to remember when we’ve seen two more hopeful headlines: One yesterday said: “Shelby County Commission rejects Wal-Mart Supercenter.” A day earlier, there was another: “Riverfront plaza to replace lot.” Is it possible that the sustainability movement in our community is now officially under way in Memphis and Shelby County? Perhaps, for once, we […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 19th, 2008 8:41pm CDT | Comments Off on Booking A Different Future For Memphis

We asked recently how deep the hole can get before Memphis can’t climb out of it, and we thought of this seminal question again this week when the electrifying young mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, came to town. Newark is one of those cities that can’t climb out of the hole that it’s in. It […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 17th, 2008 9:37pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: What is a Social Entrepreneur?

We have two answers to that question on this week’s show. First we’ll speak with Dan Biederman. He’s the co-founder of the Bryant Park Corporation in New York, a private organization that transformed Bryant Park from a dangerous and depressing eyesore to one of the best loved and most intensely used urban parks in the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 15th, 2008 10:54pm CDT | Comments Off on Ideas Flower At Grassroots

The most exciting things happening in Memphis these days are found at the grassroots level. There’s no lack of new ideas, new programs and new vision that are springing from the imagination and creativity that we find when we get off the Memphis grid that too often turns to local government for the answer anytime […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 15th, 2008 1:16am CDT | Comments Off on Getting To The Point Of The Pyramid Plan

Some county commissioners are like the guy who doesn’t kiss his wife for 20 years, but gets mad when somebody else tries to. That’s a relatively accurate version of how Memphis City Councilman Jack Sammons summed up some county commissioners “I don’t want her, but you can’t have her” attitude toward The Pyramid. Mr. Sammons, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 12th, 2008 7:19pm CDT | Comments Off on Shelby Farms Won’t Park Ambition

Nothing contributes more to success with the public sector than timing, persistence, and positioning. There’s no better proof than Shelby Farms Park. Considered DOA six years ago by Shelby County Government, it has risen from the political graveyard with a vengeance. Today, it is well on its way toward a massive overhaul that could cost […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 10th, 2008 11:02pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: The Power of Perception

Barack Obama’s candidacy has raised a host of issues surrounding race in America. To help address some of those issues we have Dr. Camille Charles on the show this week. Camille is the Director of the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and talks about how race has played a role this […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 9th, 2008 8:08pm CDT | Comments Off on Bringing Shelby County’s Grand Experiment To A Close

The grand experiment that began 32 years ago to reinvent Shelby County Government as an urban government is coming to a close. It began with such promise on a clear, unseasonably warm New Year’s Day in 1976 when Shelby County’s first mayor, Roy Nixon, took office and sent the clear message that he was intent […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 8th, 2008 10:40pm CDT | Comments Off on Test Your Knowledge About Consolidation

Consolidation is equal parts fact and fiction. More than 35 years of spasmodic attention has done little to increase understanding of consolidation in Memphis and Shelby County. As the discussion continues, here’s a 25-question quiz to test your knowledge. Here’s the grading scale: 25 right – a consolidation genius; 20 right – pretty smart on […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 7th, 2008 7:57pm CDT | Comments Off on Consolidation May Be The Exception And Exceptional

Cities with consolidated governments are the exception, not the rule. Of the 3,141 counties and 20,000 municipalities in the U.S., a grand total of 35 are consolidated, or 1.1 percent of counties. Referenda on consolidation are anything but sure things. More than 85 percent fail. Consolidations don’t generally save money. Just The Facts In fact, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 6th, 2008 8:11pm CDT | Comments Off on Turning The Consolidation Moment Into A Movement

It is inevitable. It’s the “consolidation moment,” the time in every meeting where the future of Memphis is being discussed. It’s when someone holds up the merger of city and county governments as the answer to all that ails our city. Frequently mentioned in these merger moments is the poster child of all things virtuous […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 4th, 2008 1:33pm CDT | Comments Off on Consolidation Redux

In light of Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton’s latest call for consolidated city-county governments, we’ll focus on the facts and fiction of consolidation in the next few days, beginning with the reprise of a March post on the subject: In the not too distant future, government in Memphis and Shelby County will look nothing like […]

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