News - Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Main Street Journal Website

News - Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Memphis Crime: Police Director Larry Godwin disputes the City’s crime ranking in the CQ Press annual report. He also warned that the City may not reach it’s police hiring goal, even though thousands apply. More from WMC. The City Council is considering ways to deal with it.

Anti-War Protest: The Mid-South Peace and Justice Coalition will be protesting President Obama’s call for more troops in Afghanistan today, at the corner of Poplar and Mendenhall, from 4:30 until 7PM. More information here.

Memphis City Council: They heard from the City Engineer, Wain Gaskins, about afflient residents and neighborhoods paying for their own “speed bumps” if their streets qualify. And, they are considering a resolution to allow donations directly to the Memphis Animal Shelter.

Christmas & the Holidays: A coalition of area non-profits are banding together to ensure families get only one helping from their recession-strapped toy chests.

Downtown: Nashville’s Metro Council will soon consider a development and zoning plan called the Downtown Code, that would radically alter how buildings are looked at and approved.

The Wharton Administration: More reports on the mayor’s violence town hall meeting Monday night. The Daily News is reporting that David Little will be Mayor Wharton’s new Chief Administrative Officer. More reports from the Commercial Appeal, WREG. Eyewitness News reports that leaf collection seems to be lagging around the city.

Memphis Heritage: Fox13 talks with the preservationist group about plans for Overton Square.

City & County Pensions: Via the Daily News, a report on the County’s pension fund’s health. And, in the Commercial Appeal, the City Council moves to close the “12 years and out” pension loophole.

Politics: TANNER RETIRES! News out of Washington that US Rep. John Tanner (8th District), even with a $1.4 million campaign fund, will not seek re-election in 2010. His statement. More from the Daily News, the Commercial Appeal and the Flyer. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Herron is now dropping out to run for Tanner’s seat; more from WREG.

Why aren’t politicians like Al Gore and Bill Frist so statesmanlike when they are running for election or holding office? Some of the costs of health care reform will be passed down to local medical device manufacturers.

Shelby County Register: A Virginia watchdog group has pointed out that the Register’s webs site displays thousands of Social Security numbers, a dangerous personal identity problem.

DeSoto County: The Hernando Board of Aldermen are still weighing curbside recycling. In Olive Branch, their Board has overridden the mayor’s veto and will allow the sale of fireworks, but now Mayor Sam Rickard is threatening a veto of the extension of alcohol sales also recently approved. The National Guard’s 1687th Transportation Company needs public help ASAP to pull of their annual troop dinner this weekend.

Memphis Shelby County Health Department: Memphis HIV/AIDS cases may be on the rise. And, now that the swine flu vaccine is in stock and available to everyone, there are lines to get it.

Memphis International Airport: An Ohio activist has served notice he will file suit if the airport doesn’t change its practices under the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines. A National Guard C-5 Galaxy had an on-board fire while landing.

Arkansas: There has been a drop in new car registrations as there has been a concurrent rise in used car ones.

Good Morning Memphis: Information on the Porter-Leath Toy Truck. The 2nd Annual Canine Christmas is next weekend. Tips on protecting yourself when shopping online. There are new guidelines for cervical cancer exams. Some disturbing numbers on teen sex and STDs, and some advice.

Survey Says: Two of the top ten Christmas Lights shows are in Tennessee; but no Starry Nights. Bad news for retailers as Americans say they want less debt and more savings this holiday season. More consumers were late on their auto loans in 3Q. Good news, too, as pending home sales in October were up as was construction spending.

Mississippi: The State’s tax revenues were down almost 7 percent in November.

Updated! Main Street Journal November Issue: Publisher Jonathan Lindberg sits down with Rabbi Micah Greenstein. From Jonathan Devin, Nostalgia & Tradition: Holidays at the Historic Collierville Town Square.

The Table of Contents is here. And we’ll have several selections up online as the month progresses, so watch this space!

Joe Saino on Consolidation: Main Street Journal contributing writer Joe Saino runs some preliminary numbers on consolidation and sees a lot of red ink coming from pensions. He also shares these presentations on the history and the reality of school consolidation. (PDF documents)

The MED: Shelby County government is forming a 23-member task force to seek “viable, untapped sources of funding” for them.

Election Results: Republican Brian Kelsey soundly defeated Democrat Adrienne Pakis-Gillon in the State Senate 31 race and Mark White is the Republican nominee (and likely general election winner) in the House District 83 race; that special election will be in January. Election Commission website. More from the Daily News, the Commercial Appeal on Kelsey and White.

Metro Charter Commission: They will be holding their next meeting Thursday afternoon in the Shelby County Administration building. The agenda is here. (PDF document)

Shelby County: The County Commission will interview potential candidates to replace former commissioner Joe Ford. Here is a list of known candidates. The ad hoc Shelby County Schools committee is looking to Knoxville for clues to a new student dress code.

Media: Senior vice-president of E. W. Scripps, Mark Contreras (Scripps is the owner of the Commercial Appeal.) has interesting suggestions about government involvement in the media marketplace, and about consumer data privacy. Also, the local Fall sweeps numbers for local television news.

Lakeland: Thanks to insurance, they will have a Christmas parade, but no candy will be thrown out to kids.

Memphis Arts Collective: Their fourth annual Holiday Artist Market will open this Friday.

Tennessee: State Comptroller Justin Wilson reports that all local governments are now compliant with GASB standards. The pro-income tax group Tennesseans for Fair Taxation is agitating for new methods to calculate business taxes for large multi-state corporations; more in the Commercial Appeal. Governor Phil Bredesen warns critics that all options for budget-cutting remain on the table. The home of US president Andrew Jackson is getting a million-dollar facelift.

West Tennessee: Monday was the 59th Annual Christmas parade in Dyersburg. (via the Dyersburg State Gazette) Frequent small quakes, such as have been happening in recent weeks, are normal for the “Reelfoot Fault zone”. (via NWTN

Business: A Tyson Foods plant in Texas has been deemed unsanitary.

What to Do, from the Commercial Appeal.

Delta Air Lines: The airline will be cutting flights from Cincinnati through February.

Memphis Bar Association: They will be hosting a talk by Lee Jay Berman, of the American Institute of Mediation, on mediation practice.

University of Memphis: Eight art students are having their senior theses displayed on campus and downtown. After complaints from professors that the old system of putting coursework and information online was troublesome, a new system is in place. (via the Daily Helmsman) Radio station WUMR, one of the few jazz stations left in the country, is holding a fundraiser/telethon as they prepare to move into the old WKNO studios. Dr Shirley Raines has been appointed to the Southern Regional Education Board by Tennessee Gov Bredesen.

Public Relations Society of America: Peter Shankman spoke on the the power of letting your customers determine your business.

Memphis Sleep Diagnostics: They have now been accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Oakland: Former police chief Robert Tisdale received three years’ diversion on the three charges brought against him.

Davis-Kidd Booksellers: Their Reading Reindeer Book Drive will benefit Mid-South Reads.

Picture of the Day

Street art found Downtown, from Brain Release Valve by Zach Whitten. © 2009.

Opinion and Blogs

X Bianca talks about her evolution into a vegan.

more mittenz: Thoughts on the redevelopment of Overton Square.

Oval Soul Journey: The survivor’s guilt of a recovering addict and alcoholic.

Student: Revisited: Decoratin’ and rearrangin’.

The Intersection of Madness and Reality: Where are the black male teachers our kids so desperately need? Watch the stunning video included, though be aware the language is blunt and not-at-all safe for work.

Love is a Movement: Creating a blogging plan.

Memphis City Watch: Thoughts on the “right developement” for Overton Square. Oh, and Cooper-Young is going green.

Midtown Security Community: Some home and shopping security tips for the holidays and vacations. Mayor A C Wharton will speak to the MSC tomorrow night.

Just a Girl in the World: Mr. November and relationship deal-breakers. The power of the art of the dealing with it. The appendix tale. Finally, speed dating in Memphis.

Jesus is Hot: Sometimes the fork in the road is an airport terminal.

Life as I know it from Memphis: She has some stuff for sale on eBay.

Doug Johnson at Work: He’s back in Memphis and has thoughts on Tiger Woods’ woes.

Downtown Memphis Blog: Oh oh… it’s on! A blogger / cooking challenge is in the offing.

Drawing In: New Englander Caroline Bender visited Memphis recently and wrote a very generous and enthusiastic post about her experience, calling us “the friendliest city no one is visiting”.

Divers and Sundry: Opposing President Obama’s Afghan War stance.

Crime in Memphis: Thoughts on criminals and pardons and early releases.

Bring me penguin dust: Her Dad gave his permission, so the wedding is officially on.

Brain Release Valve: An open letter to the comic book industry to join the digital/green age. Bad news and a weird night out.

Bigger Than Your Head: The wine of the week. Wine marketing failure.

Commercial Appeal: Welcome, Tigers coach Larry Porter, now win! Negotiation and compromise — by all parties — is needed in Overton Square.

Gene Holcomb: Saving The MED is going to require enormous financial resources and a long-term commitment. (via the Commercial Appeal)

55-40 Memphis: Thoughts on City Council staffs and independent audits of the City.

Adventures in Merriness: Thirteen things in Memphis she’s glad for. (Which is why she’s moving back!)

artbutcher: A day in the life of an art teacher.