Main Street Journal - Monday, March 19, 2012

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Photo Credit: Transition Planning Commission
Let’s Not Kiss For Now

Legislators in Nashville are also signing on to a proposal to delay the final City-County school merger by a year. Reaction from parents. The Transition Planning Commission website.

A myriad of small concerns attend the unification of City and County schools. Leaders from both systems will meet today to discuss their budgets for the 2012-2013 school year.

The Hamer Incident: The incident with Deputy Superintendent Irving Hamer, who resigned from MCS over his behavior at a party at Superintendent Dr Kriner Cash’s home, may open up the MCS system to more suits. He may have made other comments of a similar nature.

Memphis City Council: Tomorrow’s council meeting promises to be a “tax/budget battle royale”.

Downtown: “Unveil Downtown” is a planned project to bring art from the region to retail and restaurant customers.

State Redistricting: Seven Shelby County Democratic Representatives have filed suit over the State’s redistricting plan, saying it is racially unfair. The suit was filed in Davidson County. More reports from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, WMC.

Charter Schools: Dozens of charter school applications, mired in bureaucratic red tape since November, will not get a swift decision.

Politics: Was State Representative Rick Womick factually wrong about Agenda 21 and “sustainable development”? Business owner cited by Womick, Dan Wilson of Papa’s Butts and BBQ Hot Sauce Store, is “livid” about it. State Democrats are urging Governor Bill Haslam to restore cuts made when revenues were down. A long report on the “social conservative” agenda this session. More on the bill to legalise to legalise the slaughter and processing of horses.

Republican Mark Green has declared in the District 22 state Senate race against Democratic incumbent Tim Barnes. The first Democrat, David Testerman, has entered the race for Democratic State Senator Andy Burke’s 10th District seat. State Representative David Hawk (R-Greenville; the 4th District) was arrested on domestic violence charges Sunday morning and is still being held.

TN Democratic Party: While putting on a brave public face, in private communications and a study done last November, State Democrats are deeply divided, fatalistic and distrustful. The Associated Press story.

Millington: Tonight is the first of three public meetings in the school merger proposal.

Nashville: Spending on Downtown projects was curtailed due to emergency spending on flooding last year. But spending on Nashville’s capital projects is wildly uneven anyway. Mayor Karl Dean wants the State to stop trying to limit local ordinances on wages and discrimination. The Metro school board chair has sided with the school director in his decision to do away with a “memo of understanding” regarding certain employee contracts.

Collierville: The town’s Public Services is pretty conscientious.

Memphis Animal Shelter The three workers charged with animal cruelty are still on the job, though suspended with pay. All three have a history of problems.

Local Media: The Mid-South Emmy awards were given out Saturday; Memphis had only two wins, both to Fox13. The Commercial Appeal won three awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in Arizona.

Mississippi: House Democrats, angry at being a minority party, are insisting every word of every bill be read aloud. The Justice Department has sided with a Holly Springs church in its suit alleging unfair treatment. Governor Phil Bryant is restarting the base-closing commission process. There will be a hearing on Monday about a 2009 hate crime, where a white teen is accused of killing a black man.

Real Estate: Realtor-reported sales rose almost 21% in February.

Tell your friends you read it here:

INTERNET EXCLUSIVE! Commissioner Roland Demands an Apology! On Tuesday of this week, Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland released a letter to the president and CEO of Scripps demanding that Commercial Appeal columnist Wendi C. Thomas apologise to the suburban communities.

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.

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

The Endless Elections: The Commercial Appeal reports that Watkins Uiberall, the accounting firm that audits elections for the Shelby County Election Commission, is partisanly involved in Republican politics, though it has been openly so since at least 2010 and there is nothing “wrong” with that.

Tennessee: The US Attorney General, Eric Holder, will allocate more resources to the Middle District of Tennessee. Officials in Clarksville are baffled by a suitcase with wires they found. The mayor of Covington is talking, for the first time, about their problems with gang crime.

Shelby County: Friday’s brief torrential rains managed to flood the basement of the Shelby County Courthouse; more from ABC24, WREG. The City and County are discussing merging their prisoner re-entry programs.

Grizzlies: Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, is reportedly interested in buying the team and moving them to California. Majority owner Michael Heisley says no.

MATA: The new Airways Transit Center, located at the airport, is getting positive reviews. Bus-riding activists have now split into two groups, one of which is filing a wide-ranging Civil Right complaint against an array of agencies in charge of public transportation. This ABC24 story confuses the two groups.

Islam in the Mid-South: The Commercial Appeal’s religion writer looks at the experience of Islam in Memphis. In another article, they pit reasonable, everyday, multicultural Muslims against “extreme Islamophobes”.

Federal Reserve: Two more Memphians–Mott Ford and Charles S. Blatteis–were appointed to the board of the Reserve of St Louis.

Business: The Daily News’ Small Business Spotlight shines on Michelle Hayes Homes and Realty. They also look at some of the history of our Irish immigrants. Events of interest to entrepreneurs.

From the Business Journal, your People on the Move. The Daily News cover Today’s Events. And the Commercial Appeal has People in Business for Sunday and Monday, What to Do for Sunday and Monday, and Property Transfers.

Pinnacle Airlines: Both of their subsidiaries posted a total 6.6% increase in passenger counts. The airline also informed the US Securities and Exchange Commission that its annual report and meeting will be delayed.

International Paper: The Ethisphere Institute has named them one of the most ethical companies for the sixth year. More from the Commercial Appeal.

UPS: They are hoping to acquire Dutch firm TNT Express NV.

Economic Development Growth Engine Board: They meet this Wednesday and International Sourcing Company is seeking a 5-year PILOT. More details on ISC.

Lists and Studies: One list Memphis is glad not to be on this year: Top 50 Bed Bug Cities. A study finds the Millenial Generation to be more materialistic and less civically engaged that previously thought.

Germantown: Joe Lee Wyatt’s former positions are slowly being filled, following his surprise resignation.

DeSoto County: Soon, the Regional Technology and Training Center will help those kids not headed to college to prepare for a trade instead. The Olive Branch board will consider tax breaks to four firms. The success of Hernando Parks and Recreation can be given to wise spending and Dewayne Williams. Parkwood Behavioral Health System, in Olive Branch, is celebrating 25 years.

Picture of the Day

That special father-daughter moment–”My Little Pony” time, from Time Flies… by Brooke Helsley. © 2012.

Opinion and Blogs

Memphis Foodie: Casa Mexicana on Saint Patrick’s Day weekend? Sure….

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

16 Balls in the Air: Cliff’s Notes to help a mother remember who it’s all for.

Ben Thompson Can Change: When great expectations are met with not-so-great results.

Benito’s Wine Reviews: A simple lesson over a simple Irish lunch.

beth g. sanders: Pure, epic fail on so many, many levels….

Mediaverse: His thoughts on the Commercial Appeal series on Islam and the Mid-South.

Tom Humphrey: House Joint Resolution 634 aims to make this officially the Volunteer State. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Snark Bites: Governor Bill Haslam is switching economic incentives over to a “cashalanche” system of bribery. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Tennessean: “Getting a grip on childhood obesity” is defined as “government spends a lot on State-run programs.

Frank Daniels III: It’s not that the people want the provocative, so much as the people who pander to them do. (via the Tennessean)

Bill Minor: Thad Cochran: “company man”. (via the Desoto Times Tribune)

David Hampton: He defines “support for education” as “funding for every program imaginable”. (via the Desoto Times Tribune)

Memphis News: Arguments for a non-partisan redistricting commission to take over this heavily political process. (via the Daily News)

Frederic Koeppel: Some simple rules for bringing your own wines when eating out. (via the Daily News)

FIX MEMPHIS: Just because it’s early days for Spring, don’t skip the sunscreen! And thoughts on Memphis and being vacant.

Smart Stuff 4 Work: Lessons learned from a footwear epiphany. (via the Daily News)

Eric A. Trotz: Real estate appraisers are having to learn how to price “green” amenities. (via the Daily News)

Commercial Appeal: They defend the outrageously high ticket prices for the Memphis Zoo while also calling for “underwriters” to step in. They also back the TVA plan to build a new gas-fired plant. Commissioner Brooks is wrong–it’s not race but accountability and effectiveness that really matter. They support the proposed one year delay in the merger of City and County schools.

Scott Morris: Ten “essential touchstones” in order to interact with integrity. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Better Business: Beware Medicare fraud and scams. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Andre K. Fowlkes: The Farm to Fork Fellowship program aims to teach farming to urban students. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Chris Peck: A strange argument in the Federally funded contraception debate. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Otis Sanford: Actually, MCS Deputy Superintendent Irving Hamer wasn’t “ousted” but allowed to resign, eventually. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Wendi C. Thomas: Commissioner Henri Brooks is guilty of “hyperbole”. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Kyle Veazey: While the U of M claims not to have started the search for a new Athletic Director, he’s got some suggestions. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Geoff Calkins: He answers a few questions on the Tigers and the Grizzlies. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Small Business Advocate: Government employemnt statistics, green jobs and massaging the numbers. (via the Commercial Appeal)