Main Street Journal - Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Main Street Journal Website

Photo Credit: Shelby County
Watching Your Health,
With Your Tax Dollars

The County’s new initiative, Healthy Shelby–headed by Public Health Policy director Dr Kenneth Robinson and Healthy Memphis Common Table–aims to coordinate various health care providers to manage chronic disease, improve infant mortality and better coordinate terminal patient care. In short, to lower health care costs for the State and business. County announcement; Healthy Shelby’s future website.

Unified Shelby School Board: They are working toward creating a working definition of “surplus” school buildings before any municipality lays claims to them; more from the Commercial Appeal. Judge Samuel Mays, who is guiding the consolidation process, put determining the size of the new school board in the hands of the Shelby County Commission.

MLG&W: They will debut four Nissan Leafs to their board of directors for general utility use.

State Senator Ophelia Ford: More on her inadvertant testimony to a Legislative committee about “mean, hateful” nurses at hospitals. Reaction from her constituents, and the Mid-South Nursing Institute is blasting her. But Ford is defending her comments. Watch her testimony. Is the present-day focus on Ophelia just misplaced longing for the days of State Senator John Ford?

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis: The Desoto Times Tribune has a penetrating interview with Davis. Questons about why Davis was seeking and spending reimbursable funds from the Chamber of Commerce; more from WREG. The Chamber is investigating, and some of their audits have been released. The Commercial Appeal is a member of that Chamber, which gives them access to it.

EDGE: At yesterday’s meeting the Economic Development Growth Engine approved all PILOTs presented to it, a $265 million investment in Memphis. More on the four major projects they agreed to help out.

Memphis Animal Shelter: Renewed charges of neglect and abuse by workers at the shelter. ABC24 has a tape of an unnamed, unidentied female “high-ranking Memphis City leader” ordering a shelter employee in November to kill all pit bulls currently at the shelter.

DeSoto County: The Southaven Police Department conducts yearly officer training for driving. More on Hernando’s Chip Johnson and that mayor’s effort to ban smoking state-wide. Southaven residents wonder where the “Penny for Parks” money they recently voted for is; more. Hernando Planning Commissioners approved a church expansion, with a jail ministry, near the new County Jail site. The First Regional Library System may face an $80,000 budget cut under the State’s new budget. An update on the Washington, DC, mission to the EPA.

Habitat for Humanity: Tennessee is their fourth most productive state in terms of housing production.

Business: Only 3% of Memphis households earn more than $200,000 annually, or more than 15,000 households. We were number two, behind Nashville. The deal for the corner of Summer Avenue and East Parkway, that would have put in a fast-food restaurant, appears to have stalled.

The Commercial Appeal has your People in Business and What to Do. In the Daily News, you find Today’s Events. And the Business Journal covers People on the Move.

Nucor: Details of the new expansion of its steel manufacturing plant.

FedEx: They will double the footprint and outreach of their pilot training program, as they consolidate it into Memphis.

UPS: “Widespread, scattered technical problems” are hampering them this week.

Stanford Financial: Videographer Dave Henry spent 8 years of his life filming R. Allen Stanford, his company and its executives. Henry will turn the footage into a documentary. The prosecution rested and now the defense presents its case.

Tell your friends you read it here:

Temporary Service Interruption: The Main Street Journal Online will not update today. We will return to regular updates on Monday, February 20. Thank you for your patronage.

NEW ONLINE EXCLUSIVE! Rick Santorum’s Necessary Three Strategies: Our Tea Party contributor, Ed “Doc” Holliday is an enthusiastic Rick Santorum supporter now and he has three things he believes it’s necessary Santorum do right now to take his campaign to the White House.

Online Exclusive: Opportunity Lost: It’s one of the most referenced books on local politics and author Dr Marcus Pohlmann, of Rhodes College, introduces it and explains a little about why you should read it, too. It’s a touchstone for understanding Memphis and Shelby County racial politics in education.

Shelby County Commission: The redistricting plan calling for thirteen single-member districts is now one vote shy of passage. More news from last night’s meeting.

Education Reform: Governor Bill Haslam is abandoning his plan to allow Counties to decide optimum class size. More from the Associated Press and the Commercial Appeal.

Blight: The City wants to burn and raze a dilapidated house but the Fire Department worries that street water pressure may not be enough put it out.

Government Secrecy: Governor Bill Haslam is defending keeping business information secret during negotiations, and maybe after. So is the head of the State Department of Economic and Community Development, Bill Hagerty.

Memphis Zoo: Five dollar camel rides are coming this Spring through the Summer, thanks to four male dromedaries. Memphis Zoo website.

Voting: Nationally, some two million deceased voters are still on the rolls. Early voting started yesterday, including for the Republican presidential primary. The Shelby County Election Commission website. So far, early voting is going well under the new voter ID laws.

Dutch Treat Luncheon: This Saturday’s luncheon, starting at noon, features guest speaker Josh Fox. More information at their website.

Tennessee: A 14-year old class action lawsuit filed against TennCare has been dismissed by a Federal judge; more from the Tennessean. Rebecca Hill, at 89, may be the State’s oldest public employee.

Railroad Crossings: The Memphis mayor’s office is considering “quiet zones”, where train engineers do not have to sound horns.

Politics: A bill to increase penalties for domestic violence cleared a Senate committee. The bill labeled “Don’t Say Gay” by opponents passed the State House committee. Governor Haslam’s civil service reform bill cleared the House after being stripped of Democratic amendments. State Republicans have set up a “Super Tuesday” website. The TN Wildlife Resources Agency will survive under a new name.

Fox13’s Insiders discuss the day’s political events. You can also watch the co-production of WKNO-TV and the Daily News, Behind the Headlines. Another Democrat, Janis Sontany, is retiring from her State House seat.

Germantown: Plans for Bobby Lanier Farm Park are will be available for preview today.

ZeroTo510: This partnership between the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and Innova will speed Memphis medical/biotech startups through the initial regulatory hurdles.

Mississippi: Republican State Senator Joey Fillingane has proposed a constitutional amendment to “protect the life of every unborn child”. Republicans in the Legislature have approved a new rule requiring matching cuts for any increase in spending. They also pushed through the House a bill allowing elected and appointed officials to hire their own outside attorneys.

Gasoline: How to save a little on the high price of gasoline.

Online Exclusive: R-E-W-T, Root For Newt! Our tea party contributor, Ed “Doc” Holliday was in Charleston, South Carolina, for the CNN Republican presidential debate and he thinks he’s found “the Tea Party’s new prize fighter”. Do you agree?

Online Exclusive: The Political Silly Season: Our political and financial contributor, Chuck Bates, is already growing tired of outrageous political ads and he’s still got to survive until November!

Picture of the Day

How cold was it over the weekend? This cold, from a belle, a bean, and a chicago dog by Liz. © 2012. Used with permission.

Opinion and Blogs

Pretty in Pink Megan: Her response to a reader email. And, she likes pink!

Joe Spake’s Daily Buzz: The rest of the day’s news, from all sorts of eclectic places.

David Hampton: Random observations on the in-session Mississippi State legislature. (via the Desoto Times Tribune)

Bill Minor: Noting author Joan Sadoff’s Mississippi women’s history, Pieces From the Past—Voices of Heroic Women in Civil Rights. (via the Desoto Times Tribune)

Rays of Wisdom: Finanacial planning is about more than just accruing wealth. (via the Daily News)

I Swear: Reader reactions to his praising of author David Rosenfelt. (via the Daily News)

Tennessean: Rutherford County sheriff’s Muslim training by an avowed anti-Muslim activist is “hatemongering”.

Gail Kerr: She salutes the Nashville Occupiers and asks them to move on. (via the Tennessean)

Commercial Appeal: They enthusiastically support and endorse the Healthy Memphis government/business initiative–with all their usual caveats and hesitations. School reformer should learn from the lessons of Jeter Elementary.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell: Remember the ultimate aim of all the changes to Shelby County school education. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Wendi C. Thomas: Pick a political battle, identify the victims, lament their fate, laud your political goal. Rinse, repeat. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Best Memphis Burger: A guest poster (click to see who) goes to BGR and gives it four out of five stars, mostly on the strength of the burgers.

a belle, a bean, and a chicago dog: How Nintendo can save your marriage.

Andrea Fenise: She traveled to New York for a State of Style event.

Ben Thompson Can Change: The Ryan Gosling Effect.

16 Balls in the Air: The sweetest thing a mother could hear.

Benito’s Wine Reviews: Did you know there’s an Admiral Benbow Cocktail and you can learn how to make it?

beth g. sanders: She has two words for people who think social media disconnects us: Bull. Crap.

Bigger Than Your Head: The wine of the week is an Italian import.

Commontaries: Thoughts on State Rep. Antonio Parkinson’s tattoo-child abuse law.

East Memphis Moms: They recommend some “date night” restaurants and property managers.

FIX MEMPHIS: “I Wish This Was” stickers, but won’t they just clutter things up?

Friends for Our Riverfront: A map of the current and proposed bike and hiking trails along the Mississippi River.