Archive for July, 2012

by (RSS) Education | July 31st, 2012 2:03pm CDT | Comments Off on More Questions about TN Teacher Evaluations

Tennessee’s new way of evaluating classrooms “systematically failed” to identify bad teachers and provide them more training, according to a state report published Monday. The Tennessee Department of Education found that instructors who got failing grades when measured by their students’ test scores tended to get much higher marks from principals who watched them in […]

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by (RSS) Education, Shelby County government | July 31st, 2012 12:13am CDT | 4 Comments

              It’s been a tough few days for the First Amendment. Between our university and our county government, it’s hard to figure out which is the most ham-handed and well, in the interest of complete accuracy, stupid. Most of all, both institutions have lost any sense of proportionality, and […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Transportation | July 27th, 2012 12:04am CDT | 10 Comments

                There’s nothing more fundamental for consumers than to express their opinions to a business from which we are buying a product. But we’ve learned that airline and airport consultants are about as likely to encourage this when it comes to airlines as a physician is to encourage […]

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by (RSS) Shelby County government | July 25th, 2012 12:10am CDT | Comments Off on More on Election Commission Problems

Our friend, blogger Steve Ross, also a candidate for Shelby County Board of Commissioners, continues his public service reporting on the troubling issues at the Shelby County Election Commission. His investigation has spotlighted problems and priorities that require the Election Commission’s immediate attention. We posted a commentary by him last week, and he continues to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 24th, 2012 12:11am CDT | Comments Off on 60 Mass Shootings Since Tucson

There have been 60 mass shootings in the United States since the January 8, 2011, massacre in Tucson, Arizona. Below are three from recent weeks. Click here for the entire list since 2005. – Chicago, IL: Four youngsters were among the latest victims caught in Chicago’s gun violence epidemic, including two middle school-aged girls who […]

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by (RSS) Shelby County government | July 20th, 2012 12:18am CDT | 1 Comment

Maybe The Commercial Appeal should keep this week’s headline handy so it can be cut and pasted for each election cycle: Shelby County election officials say they’ve corrected voting problems. Of course, it’s rarely the case that the Shelby County Election Commission actually fixes the problems, and as a result, we see headlines about “voting […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 18th, 2012 3:01pm CDT | Comments Off on NPR Infographic Wants to Answer: Are You a City Dweller?

From Fast Company: An NPR-designed decision tree makes an educated guess about whether or not you live in a city. We’re living in the early years of what many call the “Urban Century.” Cities aren’t just growing, they’re transforming–at unprecedented speeds and scales. A new series from National Public Radio, The NPR Cities Project, aims […]

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                      It’s a favorite refrain of voters outside Memphis: If only Memphis would quit electing incompetent elected officials, we would be willing to love the city that we depend on for jobs and entertainment. Of course, it’s all rhetoric.  There’s nothing that’s ever going to be […]

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by (RSS) Parks and Greening | July 17th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Urban Parks Improve Your Brain

From Atlantic Cities: A couple weeks ago the folks at Cracked told readers that “living in a city makes you dumber.” There are a number of flaws here — beyond the obvious one of getting your science news from Cracked — but the research at the center of the claim has some relevance to cities […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Talent | July 16th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Tolerance as a Competitive Advantage for Our Economy

By Richard Florida on Atlantic Cities: Tolerance—the third of my 3Ts of economic development—provides a critical source of economic advantage that works alongside Technology and Talent. Places that are open to new ideas attract creative people from around the globe, broadening both their technology and talent capabilities, gaining a substantial economic edge. (Click the map […]

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by (RSS) Education, Shelby County government | July 16th, 2012 12:49am CDT | 3 Comments

              U.S. District Court Judge Samuel (Hardy) Mays said that there is no irreparable harm to Shelby County in allowing the municipal school referendums to be held August 2. He must not have been thinking about Shelby County Assessor Cheyenne Johnson and Interim General Sessions Court Clerk Ed Stanton Jr.   […]

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by (RSS) Livability | July 15th, 2012 3:14pm CDT | Comments Off on Agenda 21 Crazies Pass Alabama Legislative Bill

From Southern  Poverty Law Center: With chronic budget shortfalls, dangerously overcrowded prisons and the nation’s biggest municipal bankruptcy filing, we here in Alabama have a lot on our minds. But at least we can cross one worry off the list: Our property cannot be confiscated by the United Nations or any of its myriad stealth […]

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                Five years or so ago, we were talking here about what a smart city looks like, and we wrote down statements that we thought described one. After compiling our list, we then added more than 200 questions to form what we called “Smart City Diagnostics.”  It’s an assessment tool which allows for […]

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by (RSS) Livability | July 12th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Asking the Right Questions About Memphis

From Planetizen: A few weeks ago, the Economist Intelligence Unit (the business side of Economist magazine) released its annual global Livable Cities rankings. Like the similar Mercer rankings, the EIU efforts aren’t officially meant for urbanist’s bragging rights – such rankings are used in human resource circles in corporate placements, related to such tools as […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Education, Transportation | July 12th, 2012 12:31am CDT | Comments Off on High Tuition and Airfares Keep Memphis Economy From Taking Flight

Memphis’ economy showed signs of new life last year but whether it is sustainable depends in large measure on the presence of talented workers easily connected to national and global economies. Two troubling factors throw a shadow over the sunny economic outlook: climbing tuition costs at the University of Memphis and the high cost of […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Parks and Greening | July 11th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Pittsburgh To Become “Urban Forest”

From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: As the bus lumbered through the city on a day that cried for shade, Arthur “Butch” Blazer fanned the barely conditioned air with his black Western hat. At every turn, trees swept past the windows — the mature canopy in Allegheny Cemetery, the new line of saplings in the median on Penn […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Neighborhoods | July 10th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | 2 Comments

From Atlantic Cities: As many of Cleveland’s big corporate employers have left town over the last few decades – first U.S. Steel, then General Motors, then Westinghouse and General Electric – a cluster of long-running nonprofit institutions has remained intact on the city’s east side. Case Western Reserve University, the University Hospitals and the Cleveland […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Talent | July 9th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Endless Search in the Single Life is a Logistical Nightmare

From Atlantic Cities: I had been warned. When I decided to end my eight-year stint in Washington, D.C. and decamp to Los Angeles last summer, my friends in the capital looked at me like I had announced plans to eject myself into space. They rolled their office chairs toward my cubicle and pressed their hands […]

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