Main Street Journal - Tuesday, March 13, 2012

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Refighting the Old Wars

Yesterday’s County Commission meeting collapsed into racial acrimony over which redistricting plan was acceptable. Commissioner Henri Brooks addressed some commissioners with, “The Civil War is over, y’all lost.” The issue was whether there would be seven or eight majority-black districts in a 13-district plan. Seven districts passed the third-and-final vote, but will be headed to court now; more.

Homelessness: Representative Steve Cohen will announce today a Federal grant of $446,000 to allow some chronically homeless to get homes.

Mayor A C Wharton: Yesterday, he introduced his Advisory Council on Education; more from the Commercial Appeal. Wharton still insists there is no plan to privatise the sanitation department.

Memphis City Council: A look at the 259 appointed City workers who also earn the big salaries. There’s a “showdown” brewing on the issue.

Occupy: The “last remnant” of the Occupy Nashville emcampment were gone over the weekend. There were no arrests. A short report from the Associated Press and a localised report from the CA.

Elvis Presley Boulevard: Groundbreaking for the renovation plan is set for November.

Chattanooga: City Realtors are denouncing the Hamilton County school rezoning plan as “hastily prepared without public input”.

Republican Presidential Primaries: Rick Santorum says that Newt Gingrich should exit the race. He also think this Summer’s GOP convention would hand him the nomination; more. What to expect tomorrow. Mitt Romney is having problems with his “Southern” accents. Romney is campaigning hard against his three rivals; more from the CA. More than half of Mississippians polled believe that President Barack Obama is a Muslim.

“Walk Against Fear”: This recreation of a Sixties protest is meant, this time, to highlight issues of immigration.

Business: While the Memphis MSA is the nation’s 13th largest warehousing/transportation market, we lag in average wages to Nashville. State figures show a slowly improving job market in Memphis. There will be a job fair today, with 30 employers available.

From the Commercial Appeal, What to Do. Today’s Events in the Daily News.

Servicemaster: Monday’s job fair drew 1000 job-seekers for 100 IT positions.

DeSoto County: More on the $2.5 million Siemens contract with Southaven. There were a dozen business break-ins over the weekend, across the County; more from WREG. DeSoto County youth were in Memphis to help out with clean-up.

Tennessee: A software problem with the Department of Children’s Services means there have been over- and under-payments for foster care.

Lakeland: The town is discussing how to make and fund a municipal school district.

Real Estate: Gaps between real estate sales data compiled by Chandler Reports and the Memphis Area Association of Realtors still persist.

Tell your friends you read it here:

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.

Beale Street Historic District: A bill to add a fifty cent charge to every $50 spent in the district, for district spending on various things, was shot down in Nashville.

Downtown: More on the Harahan Bridge Project, which will connect downtown Memphis to downtown West Memphis. There was a public meeting last night. The “revitalisation” of South Main.

Blight: Three squatters terrorised a Jackson Avenue neighborhood when the took over a vacant house to deal drugs.

Mississippi: Federal primaries are today. Three bills to ease craft beermaking laws in the State ease through the Senate. State Representative George Flaggs, a Democrat from Vicksburg, is fighting charges from other party members he’s not a “real Democrat”. Some legislators want a law allowing cops to ask for “papers” when they stop someone. A bill to allow businesses to pass along tax breaks to some employees has failed.

Voter ID Laws: Despite not being prevented from voting, former Congressman Lincoln Davis is going forward with a lawsuit alleging just that. More from the Nashville City Paper, the Tennessean and the lawyers representing him.

Politics: According to the Tax Foundation, we have one of the nation’s lowest taxes on beer. Governor Bill Haslam continues to oppose efforts to limit discussions of sexuality in elementary schools. Democrats were successful in fighting off Republican efforts to modify HOPE scholarships. Republican legislators from East Tennessee are introducing legislation repealing a 1959 law preventing discount funerals. Memphis Representative Antonio Parkinson wants to make sure that rapists serve their full sentences. WMC has a short tribute to retiring legislator Rep. Jimmy Naifeh.

Bartlett: Having the municipal school vote in May and then the sales tax vote to fund it in August isn’t the plan that Mayor Keith McDonald wanted.

Nashville: Bus ridership was up 15% in 2011.

Aeronautics: Three Memphis airports–Memphis International Airport, Charles W. Baker General Aviation Airport and General DeWitt Spain General Aviation Airport–will split $2.75 million in State grants for basic maintenance.

Gasoline: Prices rose by a nickel over the weekend alone, nationwide. The current Memphis average is $3.57/gallon. (via

Mo’ Money Taxes: Congressmen is three States, including Rep. Steve Cohen in Tennessee, want Congressional hearings on the company.

Picture of the Day

Her backyard wedding had this display of pictures for the guests to browse, from A Merry Wife by Mary Thompson and Amy Hutchinson. © 2012. Used with permission.

Opinion and Blogs

Fertile Ground: A report from the New Orleans’ Rock-n-Roll Marathon and then the best part–hanging out in New Orleans!

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

Giving Back: He continues posting answers to his question: “What does Memphis mean to you?” (via the Daily News)

Andy Cates: While we are a small industrial real estate market, we have other advantages to help us. (via the Daily News)

Chattanooga Times: Voting reform is just a Republican effort to suppress votes.

David Cook: Making some fundamental choices about public housing in Chattanooga. (via the Chattanooga Times Free Press)

Sid Salter: The political fallout from the State Supreme Court’s upholding the constitutionality of former governor Haley Barbour’s pardons. (via the Desoto Times Tribune)

Jackson Sun: Fight the influence of gangs by investing in the children.

Gail Kerr: The Nashville Chamber of Commerce may have acted in time to appease the Metro Council over zoning. (via the Tennessean)

Lindsey Krinks: She argues the same law that keeps Occupy off the War Memorial Plaza will also be used against the homeless. (via the Tennessean)

Commercial Appeal: Do they support the “multiple sub-districts” for County schools because it forestalls talk of municipal school districts. Support for John Fowlkes Jr for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

matters of merrymaking: Her new favorite outfit. And a little guided tour of some of her favorite internet reads.

Ramblings of a River City Resident: How to get a credit line after bankruptcy.

NMissCommentor: Thoughts on the “worst president in history” label. A few things that caught his attention.

Mediaverse: Comparing the coming media coverage of teacher evaluations with how they cover Memphis crime data. Memphis makes the Conan O’Brien show.

MAKE IT HAPPEN: She’s marathoning/vacationing in Tucson this past weekend. And more, on the Tucson Smashfest.

Living Loud in Midtown: Thoughts on the City buying AutoZone Park.

Life Is Awesome: She lives in New Zealand these days and you can help her come back to America to visit.

I’ll be the one in heels: A movie starring Tim Riggins? Count her in!

Floating, Floating and Floating With Travilis: He was sitting in the parking lot of Kroger….

beth g. sanders: Here’s a website about Memphis she’s been working on.

East Memphis Moms: Suggestions for date nights for parents or going out. Charitable efforts with children in mind you can get involved in.

Agitatrix: If you don’t smile back at her, you’re a poop head. :-)