Author Archive

by (RSS) Shelby County government | September 20th, 2017 7:30am CDT | 1 Comment

                    We live in strange times. Shelby County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Heidi Shafer says her government may sue City of Memphis for its new policy that eliminates sewer extensions in the unincorporated area of the county. First, we’re not sure why she thinks county government […]

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                            Walker Percy said that the problem with culture is that we must wrest meaning from experiences that come to us prepackaged and disconnected from our own assumptions and expectations. Consumers today are being pulled in a multitude of directions by entertainment […]

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                                    Two years ago, when most attention was focused on the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in a prominent city park in the center of the University of Tennessee Health Sciences campus, we raised an issue about all the […]

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                Years ago, after listening to the latest idea for revitalizing downtown, former Beale Street developer John Elkington facetiously said Memphis is always chasing the latest trend, but “usually, it’s 10 years after everyone else.” Back then, his comment was met with knowing laughter, but maybe, just maybe, […]

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                    We can identify with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and the Greater Memphis Chamber when it comes to Amazon’s $5 billion competition.  It’s the same way we felt when the Powerball got over $600 million – faced with the equivalent of getting hit by lightning, we […]

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                  Graceland officials say that their new proposed 6,000-seat arena will not pull events and concerts away from FedExForum, but that only hints at the biggest question of all: does the new arena threaten Memphis and Shelby County’s non-compete agreement with the Grizzlies-operated arena? It is in […]

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                    If only Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland had been in office 35 years ago. Perhaps, he would not have signed the agreement that supercharged the sprawl that took Shelby County Government to the verge of bankruptcy and in the end dealt a blow to City of […]

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by (RSS) Civil Rights | September 1st, 2017 7:30am CDT | 4 Comments

                  I remember sitting as a child in Southern Baptist churches while the preacher said the Bible validated segregation and discrimination of African-Americans and how God was fine with the way things were because he created it this way. I remember sitting in a congregation while the […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Parks and Greening | August 30th, 2017 7:25am CDT | 25 Comments

The following post was submitted by our friend, Aaron Shafer, who was a leader for Memphis first skate park adjacent to Tobey Park:                     By Aaron Shafer The City Memphis is moving forward in redeveloping the Fairgrounds within the next couple of years. If all goes […]

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by (RSS) Arts and Culture, Livability | August 28th, 2017 7:34am CDT | No Comments

                  It’s good to see so much building going on in Memphis these days, but nothing excites us more than the new studio and offices for Ballet Memphis in Overton Square. It’s not just that the blighted, vacant French Quarter Inn is finally gone.  It’s much more […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | August 25th, 2017 7:38am CDT | 18 Comments

          The IRS Tax Statistics Migration Data have been released for 2013-14. Shelby County added 614 people from Nashville with salaries of $13.5 million but we lost 985 people to that city with salaries of $30.7 million; the net loss to Dallas was about $10 million, $3 million to Chicago, $1.5 […]

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                    This commentary was published August 18 by The Commercial Appeal: For two decades, the remarkable rebirth of Crosstown Concourse seemed about as plausible as reviving the lifeless Sterick Building. Now risen from the dead, the former Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog distribution center and retail store is generating […]

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by (RSS) Trends and Issues | August 21st, 2017 7:31am CDT | 16 Comments

                1. One of the most enjoyable experiences in my life was when Eric Robertson was incubating Community LIFT in our office, and the meaningful conversations became a daily activity for about a year and a half. Often, our day ended with our watching the local television news, […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | August 18th, 2017 7:30am CDT | 25 Comments

              It seems an appropriate time to repost this commentary from March 12, 2015, because Memphis should be in the list above: There are several organizations that thankfully are working on talent attraction and retention in Memphis, but none of the work is more important than the Memphis Urban League […]

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                  The following is “The state’s long arm stops Memphis again,” from my 9:01 column published in The Commercial Appeal on October 26, 2016, followed by a June 24, 2015, blog post, “Can We Now Send Nathan Bedford Forest Back to the Cemetery. First, the 9:01 column: The State’s […]

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by (RSS) Civil Rights, Parks and Greening | August 14th, 2017 7:30am CDT | 25 Comments

It was not just that President Donald Trump did not defend this country’s most cherish values and the diversity that lies as a central strength.  It was that when he did speak, he said that we should “cherish our history,” and there’s no way to interpret this except as a an intentional message aimed at […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 10th, 2017 7:30am CDT | 16 Comments

                    Tribalism is so easy to recognize when we see it from a distance of several thousand miles. We recognize it in the conflicts between Sunni and Shia Muslims where their majorities in various countries repress and attack the other denomination of the same religion.  We […]

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                    There is a lot of talk these days that we need a culture of planning, and that is true. Even more, we need a culture of following through. The truth is that for decades, planners have been producing shelf after shelf of reports and solid […]

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