Archive for August, 2010

by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 30th, 2010 4:30pm CDT | 9 Comments

The past couple of days I’ve been thinking about the City’s short sighted decision to approve the CVS at Union and Cooper over recommendations of rejection from both Office of Planning and Development and the Land Use Control Board. Why is it that just as the City seems to be gaining momentum (Unified Development Code […]

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by (RSS) Parks and Greening, Uncategorized | August 30th, 2010 12:54am CDT | 12 Comments

Tom Lee Park is the worst riverfront park in the country. That’s the comment made to Memphis City Council by Riverfront Development Corporation President Benny Lendermon, and surely, this is an RDC statement we can all agree to.  Rarely has such prime waterfront public realm real estate been put to such abysmal use in any […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 27th, 2010 12:33am CDT | 9 Comments

Perhaps what local government needs most is a Department of Connecting the Dots. While one public agency talks about creating a workforce that can compete in the knowledge economy, another gives tax freezes to companies that perpetuate low-wage, low-skill jobs. While one government launches a “sustainability agenda,” no government seems able to rein in sprawl-inducing […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 26th, 2010 12:17am CDT | 3 Comments

  It seems that those of us who care about the built environment, urban design and planning, public realm and quality of life are often talking about it after a decision by government that flies in the face of a city that cares about itself. Maybe we should create a way, a process or a […]

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by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | August 25th, 2010 12:05am CDT | 11 Comments

These are days when optimism and hopefulness have actually been realistic attitudes for us in Memphis.  Yesterday’s Memphis City Council meeting was a reality check, showing that we have a ways to go. It’s no secret that overall, we’re positive about this Council, particularly its courage in confronting the tax equity issue that have foundered […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Uncategorized | August 23rd, 2010 12:05am CDT | 10 Comments

We know the primary job description for a Chamber of Commerce is to be a reliable cheerleader for Memphis, but there are times when we just crave someone to tell us the truth. While we admire the dependable hyperbole that’s attached to all things Memphis, we are concerned that our leadership – not just at […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 20th, 2010 10:56am CDT | 8 Comments

This is the great recession, right?  No one is moving on anything, right?  Besides, Memphis is an extraordinary city with everything to offer and if there was a move to make it would be here, right? Then how is it that over only two weeks in July, Olive Branch, Mississippi, took the gold medal in […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 19th, 2010 10:44am CDT | 36 Comments

Just when it’s hard to imagine the Shelby County Democratic Party being more out-of-touch, it manages to do something else to top itself. It’s hard not to conclude that the Republican sweep of Shelby County elected offices in the recent election is a reflection of the general disarray and ineffectiveness of our local Democratic Party.  […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 17th, 2010 12:29am CDT | 11 Comments

Imagine Memphis, as it celebrates its 200th year in 2019—only 9 years away— and Shelby County Government – celebrating its 200th in 2020 – are known as the “FedEx and St. Jude City of the United States”– where our government absolutely positively delivers premium service to all citizens at a competitive price and where the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 17th, 2010 12:17am CDT | 7 Comments

It’s customary for optimism to accompany the election of a new mayor – either city or county – because of the hope that he and his mayoral counterpart will be able to work together to create a leap of progress for the community. The optimism surfaced when A C Wharton was elected county mayor, and […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 13th, 2010 12:57pm CDT | 3 Comments

How “green” is Memphis? In today’s world of energy issues, from spills to national security, the question of a community’s level of greenness has never been more important.  To many people, the concept of green is defined by a few issues that have been highly marketed by various interest groups.  Things like wind turbines, solar […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 12th, 2010 12:43am CDT | 41 Comments

There’s one favorite response by “county” voters opposing a new government for our community We don’t want Memphis coming out here. It’s a glimpse into how complete the denial is about the interlocking relationship between the city and the suburbs.  It’s also a glimpse into the self-delusion that denies the obvious: Memphis is already there, […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | August 11th, 2010 12:45am CDT | 4 Comments

“Every system is perfectly designed to achieve exactly the results it achieves.” Dr. Don Berwick may have been talking about the health care system, but he could have just as easily been talking about economic development in Memphis.  Repeatedly, we act as if our economic challenges just happened or were driven by forces beyond our […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 11th, 2010 12:07am CDT | 18 Comments

I’m so proud of Memphis and all we’re doing to become a more sustainable city.  But an event last week had me wondering if we’re  really ready to become that city. A friend of mine was recently pulled over and given a ticket for three Class C Misdemeanor charges. No big deal, right? This happens every […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 10th, 2010 12:46pm CDT | 4 Comments

Our rabbi, Micah Greenstein of Temple Israel, delivered this statement yesterday as one of the religious leaders speaking for the proposed anti-discrimination ordinance before Memphis City Council: As a fomer President of the Memphis Ministers Association and twenty-year religious leader involved in the greater community, it’s become clear to me that whenever theology mixes with […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | August 9th, 2010 12:07am CDT | 11 Comments

We are losing record numbers of jobs.  The number of business prospects has flatlined.  The number of applications for public incentives can be counted on one hand. So, faced with these brutal facts of life and the need for dramatic action, the priorities of the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Economic Development seem strange […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 8th, 2010 4:43pm CDT | 2 Comments

This past decade witnessed one of the biggest urban building booms in the nation’s history.  Memphis enjoyed its share of higher-density multifamily construction, renovation and conversion within its borders, particularly in its downtown. As we find footing in the wake of the housing market meltdown and ponder what market share multifamily should represent in this […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 5th, 2010 3:03pm CDT | 15 Comments

So, I’m sitting on the couch at home minding my own business when my wife of 40 years complains that I’m not pulling my weight around the house. There’s no reason, she says, that I can’t be more help. Wisely, I apologize but offer a defense. “It’s not my fault,” I sputter. ‘It’s those damn […]

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