Archive for May, 2013

by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design, Taxation | May 31st, 2013 3:00pm CST | 1 Comment

From Atlantic Cities: About 1.5 million people live in Manhattan, an imposing number that’s larger than the entire populations of Phoenix, Dallas and San Francisco. More impressive, though, is what happens on the island by day: So many commuters come in (and so few residents commute out for work) that Manhattan’s population nearly doubles in […]

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by (RSS) Education, Talent | May 31st, 2013 12:58am CST | Comments Off on Pre-K Can Transform Lives

There is no longer any argument about the value of Pre-K in Memphis and Shelby County. The challenge now is to fund it adequately so that every child can benefit from it. A year ago this month, The Urban Child Institute wrote that Memphis and Shelby County had reached the tipping point on early child […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Taxation | May 30th, 2013 12:30pm CST | Comments Off on EDGE Ranks Highest in Study on Transparency of Tax Breaks

Regardless of how you feel about tax freezes or the volume given out in Memphis and Shelby County, it’s worth celebrating the fact that EDGE has brought more transparency to the process in one year than local government had in the previous 20.  In a report today by a leading critic of “job subsidies,” Memphis and Shelby County […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government, Taxation | May 30th, 2013 12:41am CST | Comments Off on City Services Handcuffed by Public Safety Budget

This is Part 2 of a post about the City of Memphis budget challenges.  To read Part 1, click here. There is a direct line that runs from larger police and fire budgets to Memphis being a city on the bottom rungs of per capita funding for crucial services like libraries and parks.  In a […]

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by (RSS) Livability | May 29th, 2013 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on An Idea for Main Street

Here’s a great idea that Jeff Speck sent as a solution for under I-40 on Main Street. From Architizer: Chandeliers Made Of Recycled Bicycle Parts Illuminate A Dreary Cement Underpass A dreary piece of infrastructure in San Antonio, Texas recently became a pop-up cultural destination when artists Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock installed a series of six, […]

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by (RSS) Taxation | May 28th, 2013 3:19pm CST | 2 Comments

Countywide reappraisal programs that are required by state law and their impact on property taxes are confusing to most citizens. A significant number of people in local governments probably don’t understand them either. People who like to dabble in numbers—and even some who don’t– might want to take a look at the following. At the […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government, Taxation | May 28th, 2013 12:36am CST | Comments Off on City Budget Hearings Enters Stretch Drive

If there’s a contest for the most thankless job in government, the winner has to be Memphis City Council during budget hearings. That’s especially true this year as City Council members look for a “sweet spot” that may not even exist. Some Council members suggest that the city tax rate, despite a significant decline in […]

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by (RSS) Trends and Issues | May 24th, 2013 12:39am CST | Comments Off on Memphis Population Making a Comeback?

From Governing: Census estimates released today signal many of the nation’s larger cities continue to see populations climb, including some that could be experiencing their first growth in years. Much of the fastest-growing cities can be found in Texas and parts of the western United States, fueled in large part by strong local economies and […]

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by (RSS) Livability | May 23rd, 2013 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Get Ready for Bikesploitation III

We’re approaching the third annual Bikesploitation – yes, it’s all about bikes – that will take place May 24-26.  It’s one of Memphis’ most unique events and best of all, it’s free.  This year it’s at Crosstown Arts at 422 and 430 N. Cleveland Avenue.  Add it to your calendars because you won’t want to […]

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by (RSS) Trends and Issues | May 23rd, 2013 12:27am CST | Comments Off on Suburban Poverty Swells in Suburban Shelby County

Brookings Institution released a report yesterday about the growing numbers of poor people in America’s suburbs.  The Brookings Institution study released Monday says those in poverty living in suburbs jumped 67 percent between 2000 and 2011. In light of the release of this report, we’re reprising a post from March 11: Suburban conventional wisdom about […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | May 22nd, 2013 3:20pm CST | Comments Off on Upstart Memphis: Accelerator for Women-led Tech Startups

A movement is growing across the United States as we recognize that economic growth and job creation are driven by entrepreneurship. A study by The Kauffman Foundation found that the majority of net new jobs are generated by companies under five years old. It further shows that young companies – startups – are responsible for […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Neighborhoods | May 21st, 2013 1:13pm CST | Comments Off on Broad Avenue Gets $350,000 for Water Tower and Programming

Congratulations to Binghampton Development Corporation and Historic Broad Business Association, which has received a $350,000 grant from ArtPlace for the Broad Avenue Water Tower Depot.   It’s an exciting testament to the power of guerilla creative placemaking. According to ArtPlace, “Binghampton Development Corporation and Historic Broad Business Association will transform an active warehouse loading dock on […]

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by (RSS) Neighborhoods | May 21st, 2013 12:03am CST | Comments Off on It’s A Crime What They Say About Gaston Park

Recently, Memphis neighborhoods have taken a beating.  Two were included in the 25 most dangerous U.S. neighborhoods, according to NeighborhoodScout.com, and a Gallup poll of the top 50 cities showed that Memphis was #1 in the percentage of people who are scared to walk alone at night. We use a lot of data here but […]

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by (RSS) Livability | May 20th, 2013 3:16pm CST | 1 Comment

From MinnPost: “Stop talking about your weather. People get that it’s cold here.” The command came from Katherine Loflin, a placemaking expert. Her audience, a batch of business leaders gathered together by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Hennepin Theatre Trust, giggled uncomfortably. The lousy weather, after all, has been the main topic […]

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by (RSS) Downtown Revitalization | May 17th, 2013 12:08am CST | Comments Off on Revisiting the Negotiations that Brought the Grizzlies to Memphis

In June, 2006, we posted a commentary about the FedEx Forum as the controversy about its construction and financing continued even after the new arena opened.  It’s hard now, almost seven years later, as the city basks in the victories of the Memphis Grizzlies, to remember the depth of the controversy back then over almost […]

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by (RSS) Trends and Issues | May 16th, 2013 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on The Geography of Hate Map

The Geography of Hate is part of a larger project by Dr. Monica Stephens of Humboldt State University (HSU) identifying the geographic origins of online hate speech. Undergraduate students Amelia Egle, Matthew Eiben and Miles Ross, worked to produce the data and this map as part of Dr. Stephens’ Advanced Cartography course at Humboldt State […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 15th, 2013 9:24pm CST | 5 Comments

John Willingham died a few hours ago at the beginning of what was the equivalent of barbecue’s holy week in downtown Memphis.   It seemed like an appropriate to bid farewell to a man as unique and authentic as the city he passionately loved. Adding to the irony, Corky’s founder Don Pelts also died yesterday.  It […]

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by (RSS) Education | May 15th, 2013 3:14pm CST | Comments Off on Lessons From Finland About Schools and Teachers

From Washington Post: Finland’s Pasi Sahlberg is one of the world’s leading experts on school reform and the author of the best-selling “Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn About Educational Change in Finland?” In this piece he writes about whether the emphasis that American school reformers put on “teacher effectiveness” is really the best […]

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