News - Friday, January 8, 2010
Ice and Snow Fizzle: Not what was expected or forecast, though Interim County Mayor Joe Ford declared a state of emergency; more on that from WMC. Again, bitter cold is the bigger worry now. Staying warm in bitter cold. Parents prepare students for the cold.
The Flyer has a video report from the heated homeless tent set up downtown for the weekend. The tent is drawing national attention and respect. More from WMC.
The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore was in town to cover the situation for them (with WMC video). Les Smith of Fox13 asks, “Why does Memphis go crazy over snow?” The animals at the Memphis Zoo and snow. Plumbers expect to stay very busy this weekend.
Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies are going around doing “wellness checks” on the old and homebound. And the Memphis Police are on “Cold Weather Patrol” for citizens in need of assistance. Few problems with the roads, though beware “black ice”.
Memphis City, Fayette County and DeSoto County schools are closed Friday; Shelby County schools remain open. (WREG)
City-County Well Fargo Lawsuit: In a move with cautionary echoes for Memphis, the judge in a similar suit coming from Baltimore has dismissed the case but left room for an amended suit to be refiled. More in the Commercial Appeal, which links the judge’s opinion. (PDF document)
Shelby County: Interim Mayor Joe Ford wants to provide an additional $10 million to The MED, via budget cuts. Mayor Ford’s 14 task forces started work this week; more from Eyewitness News. Walter Bailey, former County Commissioner finally turned out by term limits (after a lawsuit) is now using a particular reading of the new law to run for another term.
MLG&W: The utility says that lower natural gas prices will mean about 10% lower gas bills this winter.
Real Estate: The Federal first-time homebuyer tax credit has been extended to April, to the relief of realtors everywhere.
Bartlett: From the Bartlett Express, part one of the 2009 Year in Review.
Harold Ford Jr: Oops! Even though he hasn’t lived in Shelby County nor spent much time here at all, Ford was registered and voting here until 2008! Ford will make his Senate run decision within 45 days.
Politics: The National Federation of Independent Business has presented its legislative agenda for the coming session. While the State is facing a calamitous budget session, the press is wondering about re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, so to speak.
Financial: Local bankers and finance professionals are only sighing in relief at the end of the past year and figuring out how to prosper in this one. While some banks are still depending on TARP funds for support, others are paying them back as fast as possible. Credit counselors are turning more proactive and diversified, hoping to prevent default and garnishments.
TNInvestco Funds: The State has successfully raised $85 million in capital for the six funds.
West Tennessee: The Dyer County Schools Family Resource Center is looking for volunteer mentors for its “Lunch Buddies” program. (via the Dyersburg State Gazette)
Survey Says: Just more than half of small business owners say the economy will worsen in the next 6 months. According to Yahoo, job hunters are pessimistic about the economy right now. Retailers managed to hold the line and create a profitable December.
NEW! Main Street Journal December Issue: We asked a number of Memphis and Shelby County leaders What A C Wharton Means for Memphis. The Table of Contents is here.
Mayor A C Wharton: The Flyer’s Jackson Baker reports on Wharton’s “State of the City” speech. The Tri-State Defender breaks the speech down by topics.
Shelby County Drug Task Force: They are trying to find ways to keep the court funded and effective.
Mississippi: Governor Haley Barbour is unhappy with a Legislative proposal to narrow his budget-cutting powers; more from WMC. Other legislators are angling to keep budget cuts from programs for the elderly, disabled and mentally challenged. He and other legislators met with the members of the MS Economic Council to share plans and hopes for the next legislative session. With the threat of freezing rain and snow, legislators ended their work week early.
Vesta Home Show: Residents in the surrounding Germantown neighborhoods are concerned about parking and trash from the crowds.
Career Transition Group: This group, which provides “hope and advice” to those who have recently lost jobs, meets regularly around the Memphis area.
Business: Online TN business tax filing is now available, says the TN Department of Revenue. From USA TODAY, a chart-filled presentation on jobs in 2010, including state-by-state data. Fred’s December sales rose. Macy’s increased its 4Q earnings guidance on stronger than expected holiday sales. Target also had a good December. DVD distributor Technicolor trimmed its workforce by 105 employees. California Wal-Mart stores are experimenting with “bring your own bag” or pay extra.
Airlines: Pinnacle Airlines Corporation’s subsidiaries saw increased passenger counts in 2009. However, Delta’s December numbers nosedived. FedEx’s new Boeing 777 cargo aircraft means non-stop flights between Memphis and Shanghai, China.
AT&T: They have completed $28 million upgrades to its Memphis cell network.
Playhouse on the Square: A look at the new facility as they prepare for the first production to be mounted there, Pippin and some of the fundraising history.
Tennessee: A wide-ranging coalition of State and Federal agencies and some private businesses are signing on to a strategic plan to help combat invasive non-native plants. The Civil War Preservation Trust took up five acres in the state this year.
Cecil B. Humphreys School of Law: The new downtown school opens to students next week, but this article provides some history and architectural comment.
Commercial Appeal: Mediaverse is reporting that CA writer Zach McMillan is leaving the paper to take a job with RebuildGovernment, the local pro-consolidation outfit.
DeSoto County: County schools will close again today. Dealing with the “deep freeze”.The 2010 Census has opened a Local Office in Horn Lake. Southaven’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a request to the State Legislature to grant them a 1% tourism tax.
Picture of the Day
|Snow berries, from mrjakob69 by Jacob Greene. © 2010. Used with permission.|
Opinion and Blogs
I Love Memphis: A visit to the Second Editions bookstore at the main branch Public Library on Poplar, which sells the library system’s … er … recyclable materials.
SNOW DAY: No surprise that Memphis bloggers had plenty of “Snow Day” posts. Here’s a list of them: School anyway, from Urf!. What she did inside, by Thoroughly Modern Medusa. “Powdered sugar” from The Soundcheck and the Fury. The charm of half-inch snows from The Chockley Blogs. “Snow frenzy” from moremittenz. Another reason to love Memphis from … I Love Memphis. The promise of snow at Fertile Ground. Amie Vanderford’s picture captures the anticipation. A gallery of snow pictures from WREG.
MemphisConnect: So, tell him where the locals eat.
Pretty in Pink Megan: Bangs!
Pulled Before the Push: Two more of her enchanting watercolors.
Smart City Memphis: Using urban design to get “talented workers” to choose Memphis. Planning for life after FedEx: Part one and Part two. Worrying signs in the new Interim Mayor Ford’s office. Mayor Wharton needs to be a “strong mayor”.
Running With Dice: Thoughts on the origins of urban legends.
artbutcher: Dwayne gets interviewed!
Jen-sized: What is the etiquette of ordering simple mixed drinks at a high-end cocktail bar?
Gilmour Girl Goes Memphis: She’s been on a peripatetic national tour for the past two weeks and recounts the fun. Many pictures, too.
Divers and Sundry: A little late, but Wednesday was the Catholic celebration of Epiphany.
Squeaky Wheel Seeks Grease: A dear friend is about to be evicted and she’s turning to you for help.
Thoroughly Modern Medusa: An interview with the unofficial Mayor of Midtown, Rafe Murray.
Vegan Crunk: Bianca’s on a special, highly restrictive “cleansing diet” and recounts some of her choices, and more on raw foods.
vibinc: He rants about the Republican and Democratic Parties and Democratic infighting.
VVixen: The death of Lauren Hesse leads to thoughts on loss.
Xspectre8: Preparing for the snowpocalypse.
The Rant: Listen to and heed the President’s call to action in Afghanistan. (via the Flyer)
Shea Flinn: The City Council wants to prepare you for budgets cuts to come. (via the Flyer)
John Branston: He talks with the Center City Commission’s Jeff Sanford on the Downtown and what’s needed. (via the Flyer)
Jim Strickland The City Councilman argues for no tax increases to fund the budget (and City schools) with the “30-10-10″ plan. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Steve Cohen: The US Congressman argues that credit checks should not be a part of the employement screening process and has legislation to do just that. (via the Tri-State Defender)
Brittany Jackson: High school students hoping for financial aid for the 2010 school year need to get started now! (via the Tri-State Defender)
The Tale of a Southern Belle: Thinking about Widespread Panic leads to remembrances of things past.
The Ominous Comma: A really unique perspective on the “city on a hill” metaphor.
The Intersection of Madness and Reality: Thoughts on the electability of a black man with a white wife.