Main Street Journal - Monday, March 12, 2012

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Confusion is the hallmark of the City Council’s handling of the City’s finances this fiscal year. On the one hand, bonuses are given out; on the other, the City finds itself short $17 million.

Shelby County Commission: At today’s meeting, there will be a third and, hopefully, final vote on County redistricting; more from the Commercial Appeal. Meeting agenda; Commission website. Commissioner Steve Mulroy wants local governments, and not the State, to set wage standards.

Memphis Police Department: A suspect died while being chased through a neighborhood. Three officers were routinely suspended.

Transition Planning Commission: Now that an administration model is falling into place they next look at “student assignment” within the district. County mayor Mark Luttrell is pushing a quick decision. TPC members Barbara Prescott and Kenya Bradshaw were on WREG’s Live@9 to discuss the administrative plan. But there is disagreement over including the suburbs in the new plan. Former mayor Dr Willie Herenton says the new plan is full of his old ideas.

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis: The differing explanations Davis has given for some of his reimbursements may get him into further hot water. Despite the State Attorney General ruling there is no statutory way to remove Davis, the petition drive continues.

Education Reform: Reform group StudentsFirst is making a real effort to become a major player in Tennessee politics.

Earthquakes: The New Madrid Earthquake Conference looked at earthquakes historic and impending.

City of Memphis: Not content with current debts, the City is discussing taking over the bonds for AutoZone Park. Mayor A C Wharton insists it is not a bailout for the Redbirds Foundation. More from WREG. The City is going to seek a waiver from the State for the “check engine” light rule during auto inspection.

Pink Palace Museum: Now that the City of Memphis is paying their share, the redesign begins in earnest.

Republican Presidential Primaries: Are the Mississippi primaries, on Tuesday, a “do or die” situation for Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum? As the GOP grows larger in TN, it diversifies but retains a social conservative bent, though the wealthy and older GOP still favor Romney..

Politics: Seventh District Congressman Marsha Blackburn appeared on Meet the Press yesterday. Video here. TN political uber-insider Tom Ingram will have a public sit-down with Governor Bill Haslam in Nashville. Rutherford County Democrats had a meeting this weekend that had some of the feeling of the old days, of their majority in State politics. Is legally restricting sugar intake the next frontier of government? Government meetings are supposed to be open to the public, but some are very hard to find.

DeSoto County: The last chance for public input into the Interstate 69/269 International Trade Corridor Study comes up later this month. Volunteer Northwest Mississippi is kind of the “chamber of commerce” for non-profit groups. Southaven will spend $2.5 million, and $200,000 more per year, for Siemens to save the City money on utilities. The Desoto Times Tribune profiles First Congressional district candidate Robert Estes.

Local Media: More on the KXIQ-AM1180 switch to a classic country format and away from the Thaddeus Matthews talk programming.

Memphis Zoo: Critics say the zoo fees, and their proliferation, are out of control.

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NEW! ONLINE EXCLUSIVE! Presidential Economic Plans, Part II: Financial contributor Chuck Bates continues his examination of the economic plans of the four Republican presidential candidates. You can read part one here.

NEW! ONLINE EXCLUSIVE! The Main Street Journal proudly welcomes Andria K. Brown to our ranks. She’ll be writing Southpaw and in Being Memphisotan she introduces herself.

Internet Exclusive: Farewell, Andrew Breitbart: Mick Wright pens a remembrance of the “iconoclastic provocateur”, the man who showed us the way.

Blight & Recovery: The Rangeline Community Development Corporation hopes to turn around that Frayser neighborhood.

The Endless Election Season: After last week’s primaries the next stop is actual elections for office on August 2. Only 285 provisional ballots were used on Super Tuesday, out of 600,000+ votes cast. The GOP’s division of national convention delegates after Super Tuesday.

University of Memphis: The Commercial Appeal looks at their search for a new athletic director to replace the retiring R. C. Johnson.

Downtown: More on the plans to use the Harahan Bridge to link via bicycle and pedestrian paths Downtown Memphis and West Memphis, AR.

Immigraton: Immigration activists hope to recreate the 1966 March Against Fear with a 2012 Walk Against Fear aimed at immigrants.

Mississippi: They will hold their Republican presidential primary tomorrow. A look at the Congressional candidates in tomorrow’s primaries. Mississippi Outdoors, from the Commercial Appeal. The State’s “certificate of need” law for hospitals is back before the State’s Supreme Court.

Second Amendment: Legislators are desperately searching for a compromise between property rights advocates and self-defense advocates. The growing anti-parking lot carry coalition in Northeast Tennessee. More on the debate.

Business: A weaker dollar will help Mid-South exports to China, boosting our economy. Bruce Caldwell will speak next week to the Economic Club of Memphis on Austrian economics. Studies find a growing race and gender disparity in corporate boardrooms.

People on the Move, in the Business Journal; Today’s Events from the Daily News. In the Commercial Appeal, People in Business and Property Transfers.

Valero Fire: Following the fire this past week at their refinery, contractor Nicolas Cuevas has died.

Tennessee: New TennCare guidelines are expected later this year, setting upper and lower bounds on treatment reimbursements. Voters ranked Tennessee the third most favorable state.

Meat Products: Is “pink slime” the new, true, mystery meat?

Memphis Animal Shelter: The Daily News profiles new iterim director James Rogers. Why didn’t police go undercover years ago at the shelter, trying to root out problems? Few details are being released about the three shelter workers charged with animal cruelty.

Gasoline: Local gas prices have levelled off, at least for now. The current Memphis average is $3.56/gallon. (via No, they’re going up, says this story.

Occupy: A municipal judge in Murfreeboro has ruled that Occupy protesters there can be prosecuted. A lone protester still remains in Nashville, where protesters were given until the 9th to leave.

University of Tennessee Health Science Center: The new dean of the College of Nursing is Laura A. Talbot. She is currently the director of the Health Services Research Ph.D. Program at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Picture of the Day

We all have one of those moments, from Oh, It’s Amanda by Amanda Raney. © 2012. Used with permission.

Opinion and Blogs

MAKE IT HAPPEN: What she gets from blogging and from sticking her hand out to introduce herself other people.

Tiffany Tastes: Five star dining at Restaurant Iris. Wow!

Mr Brame’s Blog: His February reading list is rather short.

My Crazy Busy Life: Thoughts on the roles of women and birth control.

I’ll be the one in heels: Standing on your principles, she learns, is a lonely place. Background here.

Dinner Belles: A straightforward recipe for curry.

Best Memphis Burger: From now on, he’ll only review local restaurants, and here’s the chain restaurant that provoked the decision.

Ben Thompson Can Change: Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Bill Minor: Bemoaning the fact the other party is, for the first time in 135 years, in control of the nominal two-party system. (via the Desoto Times Tribune)

Knoxville News-Sentinel: Sunshine Week, which is this week, celebrates open and transparent government.

Gail Kerr: A moderately fair remembrance of retiring former Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh. (via the Tennessean)

Frank Daniels III: A newspaperman admits his biases. (via the Tennessean)

Sam Venable: The story of how Daylight Savings Time was revoked for twenty year in Tennessee because of a missed bus. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Smart Stuff 4 Work: Pay attention to kids to pick up some important life lessons. (via the Daily News)

Memphis News: It’s time for “fundamental change” in how the City budgets.

Benito’s Wine Reviews: A break from the alcohol to discuss his merit badges and what they mean to him.

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

James Dowd: Ambitious aims for LaunchYourCity. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Small Business Advocate: Managing cash and managing capital are two very different things. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Tennessean: The contraception debates treats women as “second-class citizens”.

Fran Tylavsky: If children are “profoundly affected” by their environments, then why is society reconstructing those environments along unhealthy lines? (via the Commercial Appeal)

Otis L. Sanford: Writing on Super Tuesday, he hits all his usual beats, the usual way. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Chris Peck: He talks with the CEO of Delta Air Lines and wants to discuss … the possible price hike in jet fuel? (via the Commercial Appeal)

Andre K. Fowlkes: Creating Memphis success you must “get inside the parkways”. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Wendi C. Thomas: Ridicule for Millington for wanting their own school district. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Bill Haslam: The governor touts his Public Safety Action Plan, to reduce crime. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Commercial Appeal: They support making teacher evaluations public. And they support Soles4Souls. Confusion and desperation between the City Council and Mayor A C Wharton. They believe the arrests at the animal shelter will solve the problems there? Kudos to retiring Representative Jimmy Niafeh.