Archive for December, 2009

by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 31st, 2009 12:00am CST | 2 Comments

With a new year before us and so much to be done, we share with you a video sent to us by contributor and friend Ray Brown:

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 29th, 2009 9:58pm CST | 6 Comments

Jack Sammons was right. In his first directors’ meeting as the newly-minted Memphis Chief Administration Officer for interim Mayor Myron Lowery, he told his subordinates around the conference table to quit saying no. It was a modest proposal with huge ramifications.  Just imagine what the possibilities are for a government whose officials begin with a […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 29th, 2009 1:16pm CST | 1 Comment

I’m Elizabeth Alley and I make lists. I’m also Director of Public Art at UrbanArt and an artist, so I thought I’d start here with part 1 of a series of lists about public art and why it is important. Public art helps to heighten the awareness of our city’s rich cultural heritage. 1. Tom […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 27th, 2009 10:16pm CST | 2 Comments

It’s Friday, trash pick-up day on my street and I’m watching. I’m trying to be optimistic. I’m thinking that maybe today is the day. Will they? Will this be the week that our across the street neighbors (family of five), changes their ways? Nope, it happens again. Same as last week and the week before […]

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by (RSS) Transportation | December 27th, 2009 7:29pm CST | 4 Comments

  There is such value in government for the elected official who’s willing to ask the impertinent question.  That’s because so often, the shared, unspoken understandings and accommodations prescribe silence and going along to get along.  In Shelby County Government, it’s obvious that no one is more willing to ask the impertinent question than Commissioner […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 25th, 2009 8:45pm CST | Comments Off on This Week on Smart City: Christmas in the City.

Today on the show we’re kick starting the holiday season with a program about celebrating the holidays in an urban environment. We’ll speak with Cindy Gatziolas of the Chicago Mayor’s office of special events.  She’ll tell us about the city’s plans for the holidays and how a city works with private organizations to make the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 24th, 2009 11:56am CST | Comments Off on A Christmas Letter from Down Under: Anthony Siracusa on the Road

24 December 2009 Melbourne, Australia “Maybe, he thought, there aren’t any such things as good friends or bad friends – maybe there are just friends, people who stand by you when you’re hurt and who help you feel not so lonely.  Maybe they’re always worth being scared for, and hoping for, and living for.  Maybe […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 24th, 2009 10:35am CST | Comments Off on Peggy Edmiston and the Real Meaning of Christmas

7 Comments This time of the year, it’s impossible for us to not think about Peggy Edmiston. It wasn’t the glittery Christmas sweaters that no one else had the courage to wear.  It wasn’t the permanent collection of Christmas decorations and miniature villages that exuded a festive feeling at all times in her house.  It […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 23rd, 2009 7:15pm CST | Comments Off on Planning Students Blog

Memphis City Watch is a blog being written by graduate students in urban planning at University of Memphis.  The project is an outgrowth of the class on urban revitalization taught by Professor Emeritus Gene Pearson.  By the way, if you didn’t read Dr. Pearson’s recent Smart City Memphis post, you need to check it out. […]

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by (RSS) Downtown Revitalization | December 22nd, 2009 6:45pm CST | 2 Comments

Sometimes we don’t need expensive consultants or years of study or the latest technology.  Sometimes we may need to try to get more out of the resources we have.  Sometimes all we need are good leaders to set some enthusiastic beginners off down a path. In the summer of 1994, Robert Lipscomb and Don Campbell […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 22nd, 2009 3:06pm CST | 3 Comments

A wise, long-time observer of the local government scene tells us how the Shelby County Board of Commissioners put themselves in position to appoint a new county mayor by changing the county charter last year. With rumors of then-Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton’s interest in running for Memphis mayor and the inevitability of that […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 22nd, 2009 2:37pm CST | Comments Off on Old Face at New Job

Toledo, Ohio, got a special holiday gift this year when David Kushma was named editor of The Blade. Mr. Kushma was former editorial page editor for The Commercial Appeal and assumes his new duties January 1, and 2007.  After running his own communications company in the Detroit area, he’s returned to his first love – […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 22nd, 2009 1:09pm CST | Comments Off on The Mondragon Model

Our friend Aaron Shafer is one of Memphis’s most imaginative thinkers, and lately, he’s thought a lot about how the Mondragon model could be applied to our city.  It is a provocative idea and its applicationsin Cleveland is featured in Time magazine.

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by (RSS) Memphis City Schools | December 21st, 2009 8:11pm CST | Comments Off on Recipe for Success: Leverage Private Money and Good Data to Improve School Readiness and Academic Outcomes

MCS Superintendent Cash recently told the Commercial Appeal that one of the reasons the Gates Foundation was interested In Memphis was that the district was able to link students’ test score data directly to their teachers through the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS). This capacity enables the system to look not simply at school […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 20th, 2009 8:34pm CST | 3 Comments

“Wow, you moved here from Memphis?”  “There was this BBQ shop in an old white garage with bright yellow slaw…” “What’s the name of the juke joint with the burgers outside of downtown?” “We went there for a wedding and on Tuesday we were still there…” —– Memphis generates great stories, the kind of stories […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 19th, 2009 4:37pm CST | Comments Off on This Week on Smart City: Big Ideas and Big Change

This week on Smart City, we’re talking about big ideas and big change. First we’ll talk with Tim Brown, CEO of the design firm IDEO.  His new book, Change By Design, shows how the techniques and strategies of design are valuable in most any endeavor.  Tim will tell us how to use “Design Thinking” to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 18th, 2009 9:33pm CST | Comments Off on A Kinder, Gentler Mud Pit at Overton Park

Thankfully, Citizens to Preserve Overton Park maintain their vigilance over City of Memphis Engineering’s plans that promise change and deliver more bad ideas for its detention basin in the midst of our city’s most beloved park. We thought you’d find this post worth informative.

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 17th, 2009 5:34pm CST | 3 Comments

Being one of the most-churched cities in the country is a mixed bag. Certainly many of us are grateful for the comfort that faith communities can bring in times of personal distress, such as illness and death, and personal joys, such as weddings. There are times, however, when I wish that the faith communities could […]

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