News - Friday, December 18, 2009

The Main Street Journal Website

News - Friday, December 18, 2009

Memphis City Council: The wrangling continues, as Councilman Jim Strickland promises to present his budget ideas soon; more from WREG and Eyewitness News. Mayor A C Wharton may reduce the number of City divisions. The firm Relman & Dane has been chosen as the lead outside counsel in the City/County suit against lenders who helped create the foreclosure problems in the County.

Memphis Police Department: When one of their own is caught in a DUI and loses his job, the department presents a new, more forgiving policy for driving under the influence. But, it’s only a second chance program. The MPD has four police helicopters but doesn’t have sufficient pilots to put them in the air during some times of the day. The MPD nurse, LaQuita Rallings, is being investigated for not having a nursing license.

The MED: Communications manager Angie Herron confirms that the CEO position has been offered to Dr Reginald Coopwood of Nashville. More in the Daily News.

Memphis City Schools: A report from the Tennessean on an innovative, “no frills” approach to getting students to complete school.

Christmas & the Holiday Season: The Central High School Choir comes to Fox13 to sing some carols. Santa Claus shares some insights into the “naughty / nice” lists and life at the North Pole with NWTN There are about 20 children left on the Bartlett Express’ Angel Tree; can you help? A guide to a healthier, happier holiday season from the Tri-State Defender; also, Kwanzaa in Memphis.

MATA: Their board voted unanimously to build an enormous new facility on Airways and then lease most of it to Greyhound for an “intermodal terminal”.

Shelby County Office of Preparedness: They are recruiting volunteers for the Emergency Management Agency’s reserve program.

Mississippi: The College Board has changed procedures to simplify the process to fire tenured professors. The Graduation Task Force is trying to raise graduation rates in State colleges and universities.

Financial: The commercial lending market is at a standstill.

DeSoto County: More on the racial graffiti found at Horn Lake High School. Police from every jurisdiction and sheriffs will be out on patrol through the end of the year, so be careful and drive smart. Shopping at Kilgore’s Antiques can be an overwhelming experience. The Vineyards apartment complex in Olive Branch is forming its own Neighborhood Watch program.

Politics: Lots of activity on the TN Congressional race front. State Senator Diane Black is joining the Republican primary, along with Jim Tracy, for Bart Gordon’s 6th District seat. State Senator Bill Ketron has dropped out and endorsed Tracy. With Black, there are now six Republican candidates in that race.

East TN Rep. Stacey Campfield, also a candidate for the State Senate, released his own “Merry Christmas” / Santa Claus video.

An obituary for the TN Democratic Party? The Gordon and Tanner retirements are a double-blow for Democrats. An “impending Congressional turnover record”? But, with no voter pressure, the Blue Dogs are starting to vote with the House leadership. 8th District’s John Tanner may find a warm and lucrative welcome from Washington lobbyists.

In the governor’s race, Bill Haslam wants everyone to know he, too, has been to all 95 counties. Democrat Jim Kyle is proud to pick up the endorsement of the SEIU, connected with violence at last Summer’s Tea Party protests. Republican Ron Ramsey voices an opinion on Planned Parenthood opening a clinic nearby to Memphis Catholic High School; the CA has more.

The Flyer’s Jackson Baker looks at the varying fortunes of the Democratic Party in Shelby County and Tennessee. Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas files to run for the County Commission.

Governor Bredesen: His call for a special one-week Legislative session at the start of next year, focusing on education reform, is being seen as too ambitious by some lawmakers.

Literature: The ten best black books of 2009.

Tennessee: The State Funding Board is asking for a delay in releasing their revenue projections for next budget year.

NEW! Main Street Journal December Issue: We asked a number of Memphis and Shelby County leaders What A C Wharton Means for Memphis. Michael Roy Hollihan wonders: How Many Mayors Are We Electing?

The Table of Contents is here.

Joe Saino: The Memphis Watchdog: In a special to the Main Street Journal, Joe offers some suggestions of things to cut in the City budget before we go raising property taxes to cover the MCS settlement payment.

Unemployment: State unemployment rate for November dropped slightly to 10.3%. Health care was the only job sector that grew and the labor force shrank by 60,000. More in the Memphis Business Journal.

Raleigh Assembly of God: Yesterday, hundreds of volunteers helped feed and give supplies and gifts to thousands of needy folks in this annual church tradition.

MIFA: The Meals on Wheels program need item donations such as blanket, socks and toiletries.

Metropolitan Government Charter Commission: The consolidation planning group’s first major action was to exclude City and County schools from any of their planning?

MLG&W: The board chose Von Goodloe as the new vice president for human resources.

Real Estate: Commercial real estate sales slid precipitously last year and this. Wyatt Aiken of Commercial Advisors LLC talks his love of real estate and his upcoming term as president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Commercial Council.

Stanford Financial Group: A Federal judge has finally set a trial date: January 2011.

Mississippi River: The Stiles Waste Treatment Plant has so many “overflows” and other problems, that dump huge amounts of human waste and industrial chemicals into the river, that the TN Clean Water Network is suing to get the situation rectified.

Post Office: Three of the four local Post Office branches slated for closure are now off the list.

Medical Education and Research Institute: A report on the first of six planned training sessions for emergency responders, in this case a simulated bombing in Midtown.

Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce: A report from Thursday’s Annual Chairman’s Luncheon from the Business Journal and another report from the Commercial Appeal.

Business: From the Commercial Appeal, What to Do and People in Business.

Memphis International Airport: As expected, Flintco was chosen to build the nbew parking garage and other improvements. More in the Daily News and the Commercial Appeal. The NTSB has released its report on the November crash that killed Emmett O’Ryan; the CA also has the story.

FedEx: Their 2Q earnings fell by almost a third. 3Q profits may also be below expectations. More from Fox13 and the Commercial Appeal.

AutoZone: The board of directors has approved a $500 million buyback of common stock.

Crime: Local scrap metal thieves are breaking into Forest Hill Cemetery to steal bronze funerary vases, for the copper.

Survey Says: The Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose for the 8th straight month. Personal incomes grew in TN, just not fast enough. Tennessee is the fourth happiest state! Consumer Reports warns not to wait until the last minute for Christmas shopping, as stocks of most items are already selling out or sold out.

Memphis and Shelby County Tire Redemption Program: It’s open! You can now bring in old tires for a $1 “bounty” per tire, limit 250 tires a day. More in the Commercial Appeal.

West Tennessee: The “Feed the Need” program in Dyersburg expects to distribute food to almost 1300 families today, with help from the Mid-South Food Bank. (via the Dyersburg State Gazette) The Dresden Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to increase water and sewer rates. The City of Martin will delay replacing their emergency warning sirens. (stories via NWTN

Previously Posted: More on the Smith & Nephew PILOT. More on the increase in traffic at other area animal shelters since the troubles at the Memphis Animal Shelter.

Picture of the Day

Christmas cookies, from Meredith Jubilee and Madeline Jane by Kate Lareau. © 2009.

Opinion and Blogs

sharp stick in the eye: Leslie goes wild and makes four kinds of butter: pumpkin, cinnamon honey, pumpkin honey and strawberry butter! Wow. Recipes and plenty of pictures, so you can try it, too. And a few related questions are answered.

Pretty in Pink Megan: It’s Ask Megan! Guest blogger Lacey helps you dress for the Winter Wonderland.

Oval Soul Journey: Clean sheets and fresh jammies.

(Lang Wiseman) Random Thoughts: Mayor Wharton is proposing a tax hike in this economy?

Just A Girl in the World: Mr Whoops: gone before we knew him!

Slybrand: Will the Union Ave. Methodist Church restoration look anything like this?

Smart City Memphis: Churches should rally behind the things that matter. Keeping a scorecard on the Industrial Development Board.

Ramblings of the Mad Cow: A Christmas poem, set to music and images, for our family and friends in America’s armed forces.

Commercial Appeal: “In the interest of stability” the Senate should confirm Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Fed, ASAP. Local and State officials need to stop crying “Woe”, and start finding some money for The MED.

Brittany Jackson: Student are looking forward to Christmas break, and being with family. (via the Tri-State Defender)

The Quest: John Branston on sports blogging, injuries and what he hopes to accomplish. (via the Flyer)

The Flyer: They intimate an electoral conspiracy by Secretary of State Tre Hargett but don’t provide a motive. (via the Flyer)

Jim Bailey: Advocating health care reform based on “‘HealthCARE’ principles advocated by a local group called the Healthy Memphis Common Table”. (via the Flyer)

Brain Release Valve: From individual genius to distributed, group work. And, a very very long post filled with random, strange, beautiful and intriguing (and a few icky) pictures from around the vastness of the web. (It may cause your browser to explode.) And thoughts on the perfect introductory comic.

Blue Collar Republican: Thoughts on the old leadership of the TN Air National Guard.

Bigger Than Your Head: First, the wine of the week. And then, gifts for wine geeks who think they’ve tried everything: one and two.

Barefoot in Memphis: Negotiating the relationship. Santa’s sleigh is a Buick?

Air Traffic Mike’s: He stops by the ex’s to pick up a package and, a few days later, decides to leave.

16 Balls in the Air: And with a shrug, childhood ends. Also, the family Santa / Christmas photo.

55-40 Memphis: Steve Cohen, some of your constituents are watching.

Bring me penguin dust: She offers suggestions on how to propose marriage to a man. Men, dogs and babies.

The Shelf Life: A short piece on Dr Wanda Rushing and her book, Memphis and the Paradox of Place.

Running With Dice: Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas.

Buck Daddy’s Blog: Christmas gift ideas for the Star Trek fan. On the way home from Starry Nights, this cute moment happened, thanks to Feliz Navidad. And, a little princess is revealed.

Fertile Ground: Stacey went to her kids’ school to explain and share Hannukah. And, a trip to My Big Backyard at the Botanic Garden.

ForkBombr: OK, just for you typographical geeks, here’s your joke of the day.

Haaaaave You Read My Blog? The top ten TV shows of the decade.