Archive for July, 2009

by (RSS) Transportation | July 31st, 2009 12:21am CDT | Comments Off on Driving Toward An Effective Public Transit System

It’s been said with no sense of hyperbole that all the planets would have to align for Memphis to have high-quality, efficient public transit. Such is the lack of confidence that Memphis Area Transit Authority will ever offer the kind of transit system used in other cities to attract young professionals, reduce pollution, and connect […]

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by (RSS) Transportation | July 29th, 2009 5:44pm CDT | Comments Off on Et Tu LXIX

The reason we are so exorcised about I-269 and other sprawl-inducing highway projects are because they deepen the economic segregation that holds back Memphis’ progress. Memphis is #1 in economic segregation among the largest 50 metros in the U.S. Here’s the kicker: sprawl is a major cause of economic isolation, and economic isolation in turn […]

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by (RSS) Transportation | July 28th, 2009 3:11pm CDT | Comments Off on Et Tu Sixty-Nine, Part II

Present transportation policies are critical to creating the tax burden that drives people out of Memphis. While density is one of those things that cause people’s eyes to immediately glaze over, it’s a factor that drives everything in government – from quality of service to the tax rate. As we pointed out a year ago, […]

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by (RSS) Transportation | July 26th, 2009 11:27pm CDT | Comments Off on Et Tu Sixty-Nine

The drumbeat of the asphalt lobby is getting louder, and as it has been so often, its persistent beat hypnotizes elected officials who should know better. What is it anyway about otherwise logical people who suspend all logic and sense of balance when roads come into play? How do so many of these hypnotized people […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 23rd, 2009 9:07pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Leading For Learning

This week on Smart City, Philip Schlechty of the Schlechty Center joins us to talk about school reform. Phil is a a longtime and passionate advocate for public education and his latest book, Leading for Learning: How to Transform Schools into Learning Organizations, challenges many of the basic assumptions of educators. We’ll talk about how […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 22nd, 2009 11:26pm CDT | Comments Off on Time For Valuing Family, Not Just Family Values

We have absolutely no interest in the sex lives of celebrities and politicians, and we’ve always thought that marital infidelities are best left to the couple involved and the rest of us should just mind our own business. The only disagreement that we’ve ever had here on this rule of thumb has been the Monica […]

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by (RSS) Memphis City Schools | July 21st, 2009 11:52pm CDT | Comments Off on School Districts Need Education In Fair Taxes

Memphians are the only people in a major Tennessee city who pay twice for their public schools. Memphians are the only people in Shelby County who pay twice for their public schools. And apparently both school districts want to keep it that way. Out Of The Closet We’ve learned to expect the worst anytime Shelby […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 19th, 2009 11:42pm CDT | Comments Off on Memphis: The Good, The Bad And The In-Between

As the cat-loving father of two wonderful daughters, I have always found dogs and boys mysterious in equal measure. The dog illiteracy was solved with a lovable Airedale terrier named Brodnax, the company mascot and family pet of Carol Coletta and John Montgomery, and the ignorance of boys was resolved when my two perfect daughters […]

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by (RSS) Regionalism | July 16th, 2009 10:48pm CDT | Comments Off on Can Memphis Have A Storied Mayor?

Kip Bergstrom, former executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council and now head of Stamford, Connecticut, Urban Redevelopment Commission, is one of the smartest people we know, and always bears listening to. But his words resonate especially in today’s politically charged environment. “Leadership is about telling stories,” he said. We were reminded of […]

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by (RSS) Transportation | July 16th, 2009 12:29am CDT | Comments Off on Paving The Process For Better Transportation Decisions

Sadly, we’re not surprised that stimulus money spent here on transportation is more of the same – unfocused, unstrategic and unconnected. Earlier this year, the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) approved projects to be funded by $28.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka stimulus plan. In a blog post a couple of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 14th, 2009 10:54pm CDT | Comments Off on 9-1-1 For Customer Service In City Hall

We were excited to see this department in City Hall – Office of Strategic Customer Services. Unfortunately, it’s found in the city government of Dallas and not here, but the office there manages a program that seems like an idea whose time has come – mystery shoppers for city services. In the Texas city, volunteers […]

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by (RSS) Shelby County government | July 12th, 2009 11:10pm CDT | Comments Off on Local Government As Performance Art

Caught in a brutal vise of too many kids, too little density and a broken tax structure, the next people to head up local government here may not need to be mayors, but alchemists. There are so many troubling trends taking place in Memphis, and they converge by necessity in the budget hearings of our […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 10th, 2009 5:35pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Creative Ecologies And Families

What’s the right habitat for for nurturing and hatching new ideas? John Howkins has spent a lifetime answering that question. His earlier work documented the rise of the creative economy and his latest book, “Creative Ecologies,” proposes a new approach to making a supportive environment for creativity and ideas. Rod Frantz was on the forefront […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 9th, 2009 12:27pm CDT | Comments Off on Back To The Future With Memphis City Council

We are repeating a post from June, 2007, whose point we thought we had moved beyond: It is an aphorism – though none the less true – that the most segregated hour in Memphis is at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning. Surely it’s equally true that the most racially-corrosive time in Memphis is any time […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 8th, 2009 2:35pm CDT | Comments Off on Bring Your Own Bike Lane

We’ve been tempted to organize a guerilla bike lane striping movement. While the city engineer’s office treats it like it’s virtually impossible to get this done, what if each of us just went out in front of our house and business and laid down a line for bikes? But we’ve just seen something that may […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 7th, 2009 11:04pm CDT | Comments Off on Anthony Siracusa: Pedaling His Way To Progress

Anthony Siracusa is peddling, or pedaling, Revolutions abroad these days. Literally. As the founder of Revolutions Community Bike Shop eight years ago at the age of 17, he’s been an ebullient advocate for cycling as the vehicle for civic engagement and progress in Memphis. Now 25 years old, he’s off on a year-long adventure exploring […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 6th, 2009 10:38pm CDT | Comments Off on No Words Left

Today, we are speechless. We find ourselves suffering from a exhausting case of drama fatigue from the swirling events in City Hall. There’s really not much else we can say, except that it’s time for a fresh start. We hope the political games of chicken and the emphasis on oneupsmanship will end and that we […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 6th, 2009 10:37pm CDT | Comments Off on Reassessing The Facts About The Tax Rate

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz continues to wage a war for truth in government taxation that would make Don Quixote proud. Or perhaps more aptly, he feels like the Amish shunned from the community for talking too much to the outside world. In his case, the sin is not going along with the party line […]

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