News - Friday, December 4, 2009

The Main Street Journal Website

News - Friday, December 4, 2009

Memphis Animal Shelter: The task force, led by Lucy Shaw, has produced its report and recommendations for action; more from the Commercial Appeal. A dog owner claims there are still problems with the shelter.

The Wharton Administration: The Tri-State Defender reports on the mayor’s violence town hall meeting. So does the Flyer’s Jackson Baker, among other things political; and the Daily News has a report. Wharton plans to treat community violence as an “illness”.

FEMA is claiming the City owes it a refund of $2 million for Hurricane Elvis recovery funds never spent!

Memphis City Schools: Police are called out to Melrose High because of threatening text messages over an Orange Mound killing just a week ago. More from WMC, WREG, Eyewitness News.

Bloggers: New rules from the Federal Trade Commission regarding acknowledging the receipt of free products that you then write about are now in effect.

WKNO: A consortium of six TN public television stations will pool their content into a weekly four-hour block of programming to air twice a week.

Politics: Tim Rudd, a member of the TN Republican Party Executive Committee, sent out a graphic comparing House Speaker Kent Williams to Judas at the Garden of Gethsemane. More on the Gethsemane graphic here. State Rep. Stacey Campfield writes of a meeting with Shelby County and West TN Republican legislators, about Williams returning to the State Republican Party, that went so badly similar meetings with with Middle and East TN Republicans were cancelled. Why wasn’t this reported locally? The Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone examines Tanner’s challenges and wonders if more national Democrats won’t also step aside. More from the Politico.

Democrat Ward Cammack has discontinued his run for the governorship; more in the Commercial Appeal. Does Democratic Rep. Roy Herron’s jump to running for John Tanner’s Congressional seat benefit Mike McWherter’s gubernatorial run? McWherter’s reaction. The Cook Political Report thinks Herron’s chances aren’t that good. Kim McMillan reminds folks she’s also in the running. The Democratic gubernatorial race, either way, is shaken up.

State Senator Doug Jackson already has three firearms bills ready for the next legislative session.

The Rutherford County Republican Party will hold caucuses for County offices rather than taxpayer-paid primaries next year!

Financial: An interview with Duncan Williams of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Employment: The good news is that Goldman Sachs predicts small GDP growth. The bad news is they expect unemployment to peak in mid-2011. New unemployment claims continue to fall!

Tire Bounty: As citizens wait for the new program of “tire bounties” to go into effect, tires are piling up around the city.

MLG&W: The much touted “smart grid” program will roll out, but it is now severely scaled back.

Rock-n-Romp: The very last one of the year! If you like good local indie rock and have kids, it’s the perfect venue. The acts are kid-friendly, as are the volume and the venue, but the refreshments are adult. Website here.

Tennessee: AccessTN will accept uninsurable kids and those with chronic/acute conditions to the State’s health insurance plan. The Tennessean looks at the closing of enrollment for CoverTN and CoverKids.

Literacy Council: They will be merging with Mid-South Reads to become Literacy Mid-South.

Farris Bobango Branan: Seven attorneys with the firm have been listed with the 2010 edition of Best Lawyers in America.

Amie Vanderford: The local photograher is drawing acclaim for her project to shoot portraits of locals every day for a year. Some of her work has also been featured on the Photograph of the Day at the Main Street Journal website. In a related story, the Wolf River Harbor fish kill she discovered and documented last month turns out to have been caused by the Corps of Engineers and a dredging operation!

Shelby County Clerk’s Office: The investigation still continues with three more felony indictments, including the owner of Fleet Equipment and Leasing. More from Fox13, WMC, WREG, Eyewitness News and the CA.

Real Estate: The Memphis Area Association of Realtors credits the first-time home buyers tax credit with boosting October home sales; more in the CA. Randall L. Churchey is the new CEO of the Education Realty Trust.

DeSoto County: More on Olive Branch Mayor Sam Rickard’s veto of extended alcohol sales hours. County Animal Services are touring schools to teach children about pet and animal care.

Norfolk Southern: Developer William Adair and others talk about protecting the Wolf River when selecting a site for the company’s massive new intermodal rail yard.

United Methodist Neighborhood Centers of Memphis: After nearly closing their doors a year ago, they survived and rebounded.

Survey Says: Twenty-seven percent of Tennesseans have little or no access to banking. Related story, from the Tri-State Defender.

Collierville: The City is selling raked leaves to the highest bidder.

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)

US Rep. John Tanner: The seismic tremors from his decision not to run again continue to roll through TN politics. Was a sickly grandchild the true reason he’s retiring? Will the trickle of Democratic retirements turn into a flood?

The Paris Press-Intelligencer calls him “principled and independent”. Like a “late-night earthquake on the New Madrid Fault” according to NWTN

The scramble to see who is running and who isn’t is already on. State Rep. Phillip Pinion says he’s in; more from NWTN Another Democratic Representative is thinking about running and a Jackson doctor might run in the Republican primary against Steven Fincher. Former Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh is one possibility being put out there. The reaction to his retirement depends on your party. CQ Politics is now calling the 8th District a “tossup”.

Downtown: Differentiating between the vulnerable homeless and “aggressive panhandlers”.

Christmas & the Holidays: A list of the various parades in the coming weeks. Some tips and reminders about holiday home safety and security.

The MED: Fox13’s Les Smith reports on the first meeting of the ad hoc committee trying to save The MED’s funding. One proposal is a hospital bed tax.

Arlington: In a Facebook posting, Mayor Russell Wiseman claimed President Obama’s Afghanistan War speech was timed to block the Peanuts Christmas special and its Christian message.

West Tennessee: A look at Angel Food Ministries. Union City is also reconsidering red light traffic cameras. (via the Dyersburg State Gazette)

Arkansas: Dr Trent Pierce, the victim of a still-unsolved car bombing, received a suspicious package at his home. More from WREG and the CA. Following the late October storms, 37 counties have been declared disaster areas. A former judge is criticising Governor Mike Beebe for not appointing African-Americans to the State Supreme Court.

Millington: In an effort to shore up water and sewer revenues (and the fund for treatment) officials are recommending not hiring an outside consultant.

Overton Square: The developers who hope to move their plan forward have hired Looney Ricks Kiss architect Frank Ricks, who is also a member of the Memphis Regional Design Center, to advise on and refine their current proposal. Here is an article on Sooner Investment’s retail construction strategies. (PDF document)

Comcast: Another channel, Newschannel3 Anytime, has been removed from the analog tier and made digital only. Upgrade now!

Fayette County: Thirty felons (some in other counties) were indicted for voter fraud, for voting in 2008.

University of Memphis: The Daily Helmsman runs a series of articles, looking at various forms of violence and abuse: Sexual abuse. Abuse in the workplace. Bullying and verbal assault. Domestic violence. Animal abuse.

St George’s Episcopal Church: They are holding a workshop on Saturday with a trio of Christian authors on incorporating prayer into physical activities.

West Memphis: They turned on a lighting project, the West Memphis Gateway Project that makes more of a grand entrance of the turn-off from I-40/59.

Business: November sales for Fred’s were disappointing; more in the Daily News. Luminetx Corp. will sell its assets to Christie Digital Systems; more in the Daily News and the Commercial Appeal. Macy’s November sales were down 6%. Smith’s Medical ASD is opening a distribution center in Olive Branch.

A business profile of Classic American Hardwoods, from the Daily News.

Stricter laws and generous tax benefits on “green” buildings and practices can be an opportunity for businesses. A slump in retail sales for November is worrying retailers.

FedEx: They announced they will raise their 2010 shipping rates by about 5%. More from Eyewitness News.

Mississippi: Governor Haley Barbour has cut more than $54 million from the current budget. More in the Commercial Appeal.

Freedom From Religion Foundation: Their co-president, Dan Barker, spoke here last night about keeping religion out of government. They are the organisation threatening to sue over prayers and invocations before City Council meetings.

National Civil Rights Museum: The AARP will sponsor a free day for seniors at the museum, this coming Tuesday.

Crime: The ZIP codes with the most burglaries in November.

Traffic: Traffic in the Downtown and Midtown area will be massively snarled most of the day as there are several marathon races taking place.

Picture of the Day

A Christmas window display at Flashback, from I Love Memphis by Kerry Crawford. © 2009.

Opinion and Blogs

Vegan Crunk: A teriyaki vegan hamburger and baked onion rings. OK, yeah, it’s a little different, but think of the calories!

The Tale of a Southern Belle: Her Christmas wish list.

Memphis Lagniappe: Want something to do this weekend? Here you go!

(Lang Wiseman) Random Thoughts: He urges you — yes YOU! — to get active in local politics.

I Love Memphis: The Breakfast Bracket Challenge reaches the end of Round One, with Front St Deli v. Blue Plate Cafe.

Fertile Ground: Wooden swords and rubber band guns?

Doug Johnson at Work: Thoughts on social media.

Confessions of a West Tennessee Liberal: Brad reveals the nasty underside of the drive to remove the homeless from the Downtown. Also, if you are interested in helping the poor, needy, homeless, drug-addicted and others on the margins, he helped produce The Memphis Survival Guide.

Air Traffic Mike: For you newbies to his blog, he explains his nickname and all the inside jokes for you!

Smart City Memphis: Can we be both black and progressive? An interview with Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell.

Paul Ryburn’s Journal: Various bits and bobs and a tip on Comcast cable.

Moments in Time: Baby Natalie is now six months and, as the pictures show, just cute as a button.

Pretty in Pink Megan: Winter layering 101.

Commercial Appeal: A warm welcome to new Memphis CAO George Little. “Profound disappointment” with President Obama’s Afghanistan War plan.

Gary Patterson: Small earthquakes are common in West Tennessee, but preparing for the Big One is common-sense planning. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Reneé S. Frazier: The ER is no replacement for a family doctor. (via the Tri-State Defender)

Linda S. Wallace: Dogs are a great teacher when it comes to teamwork. (via the Tri-State Defender)

The Rant: A rant on religious holidays, celebrations and observances, and commercialism. (via the Flyer)

Buck Daddy’s Blog: Thoughts on blogging and passion and growing your horizons.

Boy in The ‘Hood: Yes Walt, an excellent baby.

Ashley La Rouge: “It may be pot pie time.”

Barefoot in Memphis: Starting a new job has given him a new vitality.

Can’t Stop: There are three races in Memphis this weekend; psyching yourself up for one of them.

Complacencies of the Peignoir: Two scathing open letters to liberals and feminism.