Archive for May, 2009

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 29th, 2009 4:50pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: City Dividends On Every Block

Change is in the air and we’ve got the numbers to prove it on Smart City. At a time when tax revenues are declining and city budgets are strained, our first guest has a modest proposal that could produce big dividends for cities. Joe Cortright is an economist for Impresa Consulting in Portland, Ore., and […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 28th, 2009 5:36pm CDT | Comments Off on Answering A Question About Guard Rails

A week ago, we wrote a post about the new, improved bridge design created by Shelby County Government, and some of you suggested a better relationship between the bridge and the guard rails. To follow up, we asked County Engineer Mike Oakes about the guard rails, and here’s what he said: “The guardrails are a […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 28th, 2009 12:20am CDT | 1 Comment

No religious denomination acted more often as apologists for segregationists during the civil rights movement than preachers in the Southern Baptist Convention. It was of course a time of all-white churches but none was more devoted to white pride. Sermons across the South used the analogy that God did not allow a beautiful songbird and […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Shelby County government | May 26th, 2009 11:35pm CDT | Comments Off on WWJD? Surely Not Discriminate Or Hate

It’s tempting to dismiss Shelby County Commissioner Wyatt Bunker and his fundamentalist preacher friends as merely the latest incarnation of the flat earth society. Surely, it’s hard to identify a group in recent memory that has so cavalierly dismissed scientific evidence, that has so conveniently picked and chosen selective Bible verses, that has calculatedly misstated […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 25th, 2009 10:14pm CDT | Comments Off on County Deseg Order Based On What’s Legal, Not What’s Right

There’s an old Courthouse adage: It may be legal, but it still isn’t right. It’s a sentiment shared by federal court observers – and some say by Judge Bernice Donald herself – in the wake of the appellate court ruling that removed Shelby County Schools from a 46-year-old desegregation order. Judge Donald had rightfully stated […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 22nd, 2009 9:15pm CDT | Comments Off on THis Week On Smart City: Arts, Culture And Buzz

This week on Smart City: arts, culture and buzz. Does your city have it? How can you tell? And if you don’t have it, where do you get it? First we’ll speak with Rick DeVos of ArtPrize – an “open art” contest in Grand Rapids that will offer the world’s largest prize ever: $250,000. The […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | May 21st, 2009 1:00pm CDT | Comments Off on County Engineer’s Office Bridges To Better Design

Shelby County Engineer Mike Oakes had no trouble over bridging waters when it came to an opportunity to show how an inspired engineer can contribute directly to a better quality of life. Here’s the set-up: Shelby County Government needed to build a new Kerrville-Rosemark Bridge over Big Creek. No one driving over the bridge would […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 20th, 2009 12:31am CDT | Comments Off on Skating Toward A More Vibrant Downtown

Eight years ago, we were in Louisville and the mayor wanted to show off the things that showed how serious his city was about its future. He took us to two places that he considered proof positive – the new, improved riverfront and the new skate park within a stone’s throw of the riverfront. It […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Shelby County government | May 18th, 2009 12:06am CDT | Comments Off on Shelby County Builds Its First Smart Road

Shelby County’s model “smart growth” road – Houston Levee between Wolf River and Macon Road – lives up to its advanced billing. The $7 million experiment sparked by Shelby County Engineer Mike Oakes’ commitment to smarter road design stands in stark contrast to county government’s long-time tendency to build too many lanes to fuel too […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 17th, 2009 8:37pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Cities – Global And Green

Smart City takes global perspective on the secrets of successful cities and a peek at the truth about green jobs in America. Christopher Choa is an architect and urban designer and a principal at EDAW, a design firm that values the relationship between people and their environment. Chris joins us from London to talk about […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 14th, 2009 10:29pm CDT | Comments Off on Clash Of The Dailies Elevates The Little Guy

Memphis Daily News reporter Bill Dries is like the NFL player who scores the winning touchdown as the clock runs out. There are high fives all around. It’s been that kind of week for the intrepid and highly-regarded reporter, who’s as much a fixture on the Memphis journalistic scene as murder coverage. After all, not […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Memphis City Schools | May 13th, 2009 10:03pm CDT | Comments Off on Confessions Of A City Schools Tutor

This spring, I worked as a tutor for the Memphis Literacy Corps. I signed up not really knowing what to expect, just thinking that it would be a good experience and a good part-time job for a full-time student such as myself. I had no previous experience tutoring and little experience working with kids, but […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 12th, 2009 9:32pm CDT | Comments Off on Good News Would Be More Gays And Lesbians

Clearly, what Memphis and Shelby County need are more gays and lesbians. After all, reports put Memphis near the bottom of the nation’s largest 50 cities in same sex couples and gay, lesbian and bisexual population. Meanwhile, Memphis is at the bottom in major economic indicators. With only 3.5 percent of its MSA population, Memphis […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 12th, 2009 4:17pm CDT | Comments Off on 10 Things We Love About Memphis: From EcoMemphis

Continuing our intermittent feature, 10 Things We Love About Memphis,” here’s a great list from EcoMemphis. We continue to welcome your list which we’ll post at this address: 1. I love Memphis for it’s (nearly subversive) determination to make this a great place to live – nay-sayers be damned. 2. I love the suburbs. There’s […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 10th, 2009 10:26pm CDT | Comments Off on County Ordinance Vote Is A Vote For The Future

Memphis is like the actor looking for the chance to take a role against type. We need something dramatic to send the message that we’re not your grandfather’s Memphis, that we’re not stuck in time and that we’re not a group of Bible-thumping, intolerant bigots. That’s why the vote by the Shelby County Board of […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 9th, 2009 4:14pm CDT | Comments Off on It’s Time To Be Able To Carry Guns To Visit Legislators

We’re assuming that it’s now O.K. to carry our guns into the Tennessee Capitol. After all, if, in the opinions of our legislators, that we’re not at risk from the their law allowing guns to be carried into restaurants and parks, it only makes sense that they’d allow us to also carry them into the […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 9th, 2009 11:40am CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Seeding Entrepreneurship And Featuring Our Own Eric Mathews

How do you reinvigorate the economy of a rust belt city? Our guests on this week’s show are working both at the grass roots and civic levels to rebuild the economies of their mid-sized cities. Ron Kitchens is the CEO of Southwest Michigan First, a nonprofit organization dedicated to being a catalyst for success in […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 7th, 2009 11:19pm CDT | Comments Off on Maybe Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better

If Memphis was a real estate business, we would say that it suffers from a low occupancy rate. If we ran a shopping center with this problem, we could spend some money making it more attractive and offering special leases, we could lose money and suck it up, or we could raise rents, but if […]

Read More →