Archive for April, 2014

Some months ago, we blogged about the Midwestern visitor during Elvis Week who said that Memphis “doesn’t look much like it loves itself.” That comment came to mind as we read about the drive-in restaurant approved for construction in the neighborhood of the National Civil Rights Museum and in the Downtown Memphis Commission’s SoFo planning […]

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by (RSS) Trends and Issues | April 24th, 2014 12:51am CST | 1 Comment

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 eight years later, as the city basks in the latest playoff victory of the Memphis Grizzlies, to remember the depth of the controversy back then.  […]

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by (RSS) Transportation | April 23rd, 2014 3:02pm CST | Comments Off on Sierra Club-Sponsored Panel Discussion Monday about Transportation Planning

WHAT: Panel Discussion- Public Participation in Transportation Planning Sponsored by Sierra Club, Chickasaw Group WHEN: April 28, 2014. 5:30pm (meet & greet); 6:00pm (panel begins) WHERE: Benjamin Hooks Public Library, 3030 Poplar Ave, Memphis BACKGROUND: The Sierra Club, Chickasaw Group is sponsoring a panel discussion, titled “Public Participation in Transportation Planning” so that Memphis city […]

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by (RSS) Education | April 22nd, 2014 3:03pm CST | Comments Off on Which Education Bills Passed and What Failed in Nashville

The Bluff City Education blog has put together its Tennessee Legislation Roundup on educational issues.  Meanwhile, it continues its must-read posts about all things education. Here’s its roundup: First, What passed: Common Core/PARCC Delay – Common Core standards in Math and ELA will continue, but science and social studies standards will not be implemented this coming […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Livability, Planning and Urban Design, Uncategorized | April 21st, 2014 12:39am CST | Comments Off on Rebooting Memphis’ Future

There is the temptation to place the three days of Bootstrap City presentations this week under a convenient heading like New Urbanism or smart growth, but the truth is neither does the presentations justice. There clearly will be themes consistent with New Urbanism and smart growth in these presentations as well as the themes of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 18th, 2014 4:05pm CST | Comments Off on A Public Health Primer by Emma Nichols

“The subject of public health is greatly important – without it, our communities and wider societies would not be able to function effectively or safely. We’re not always aware of the steps being taken to protect us, but we’d certainly know about it if they ceased to exist. I am writing this to show how […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government, Taxation | April 17th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on D.C. Looks at Better Taxation and a Commuter Tax

Two interesting ideas from Washington, D.C. – a Tax Revision Commission and a commuter tax. From Governing:  Is it Time to Put a New Commuter Tax in Drive? D.C.’s Tax Revision Commission has suggested an unusual way to broaden the city’s tax base — and get around the federal government. Taxes, they are a-changin’. This […]

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It’s often said, particularly in the midst of budget deliberations, that Memphis simply has too many parks. It’s another one of those myths about Memphis that gets repeated when the facts show conclusively that Memphis lags behind the national average in every park category. Even including 3,200 acres at Shelby Farms Park, only 4.8% of […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Planning and Urban Design, Trends and Issues | April 15th, 2014 3:13pm CST | Comments Off on Picking Ourselves Up By Our Bootstraps: Three Discussions Vital to the Future of Memphis

Decades of sprawl. Burdensome regulations that discourage investment in historic, neighborhoods. Rising property taxes and decreasing levels of municipal services. Increasingly fragile cities that must manage escalating demands on shrinking resources.These challenges – and a host of possible responses – will be the focus of BOOTSTRAP CITY: THE CASE FOR AGILITY, a series of three […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government | April 14th, 2014 12:04am CST | 2 Comments

We have written for several years that the budget process for City of Memphis has become more and more about finding the best options from a list of poor ones. Those previous years may be seen soon by city officials as the good old days, because this year, the options are between bad or worse.  […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 11th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Supreme Court’s Thumb on the Scales: More Money, Less Voting

From The Nation:   The Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)In the past four years, under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court has made it far easier to buy an election and far harder to vote in one. First came the Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which brought us […]

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by (RSS) Transportation | April 10th, 2014 3:33pm CST | Comments Off on Understanding The Rising Public Transit Ridership Numbers

From Planetizen: After the American Public Transit Association announced that public transit ridership reached an all-time high of over 10 billion riders, a variety of commentators sought to minimize the importance of this news, using a wide variety of arguments. Transit critics seek to deny news of ridership increases to encourage politicians to reduce transit […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | April 9th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Memphis Last – #101 – in Ranking of Small Business Vitality, According to Business Journals

From Business Journals: Note: We don’t post many of these rankings but we make an exception since this is one compiled by newspapers that include our own Memphis Business Journal. Each market’s score has been determined by a six-part formula. (See the methodology sidebar for a full explanation.) The following chart includes a selection of […]

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by (RSS) Education | April 8th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on How Voucher Programs Are Using Tax Dollars To Teach Propaganda

From Salon: School voucher programs are being debated everywhere you turn — in courtrooms, in state governments, and even in popular culture. Just  Thursday, Republicans in Florida tried and failed to expand their state’s voucher program. On  Friday, Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled that using state funds to pay for children’s education at religious and private schools was constitutional. […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government, Politics and Government, Shelby County government | April 7th, 2014 3:28pm CST | Comments Off on Answering 10 Questions for Better Public Programs

From Governing: Implementation plans for government programs are as diverse as the constituents that they are meant to serve. What led to extraordinary results and outcomes in one city or state may cause the program to fall flat on its face in another jurisdiction. But while every program needs to be tailored for its particular […]

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It is with a total lack of self-reflection that the Tennessee Legislature now removes the cities’ option of annexation although it was lack of courage by the legislators for half a century that drove the cities toward sprawl through annexation. Because the budgets for Tennessee’s largest cities are funded largely by one of the most […]

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by (RSS) Regionalism, Tennessee Legislature | April 4th, 2014 3:12pm CST | Comments Off on Rural Legislators Have Power Beyond Their Numbers

From Governing: Rural Areas Lose People But Not Power Rural lawmakers are dwindling in number as people continue to migrate to metropolitan areas. But the battle between urban and rural politics is as big as ever — and those out in the country may be winning. by Alan Greenblatt | April 2014 Jim Wheeler represents […]

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by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design, Trends and Issues | April 4th, 2014 12:16am CST | Comments Off on Data Points: Our Changing Suburbs

Caucasian Population (2010): Arlington: 81.2% Bartlett: 78.7% Collierville: 79.7% Germantown: 89.5% Lakeland: 83.3% Millington: 65.2% African-American Population (2010): Arlington: 13.8% Bartlett: 16.1% Collierville: 10.9% Germantown: 3.6% Lakeland: 9.4% Millington: 25.6% Foreign Born Population: Arlington: 3.6% Bartlett: 3.6% Collierville: 6.7% Germantown: 8.1% Lakeland: 4.9% Millington: 4.3% Language Other Than English Spoke at Home (2007-2011): Arlington: 7.0% […]

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