Main Street Journal - Monday, April 9, 2012

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Photo Credit: Memphis Heritage
It’s Now or Never

The Downtown Memphis Commission’s Paul Morris was on Fox13 making many of the same points as in his article to the right about acting now on the Hotel Chisca’s renovation–or tearing it down.

Shelby County Commission: At today’s meeting, space for the Jury Commission is among the items to be discussed. The meeting agenda.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr Avenue: Fox13 asks, is it too short?

Elections: Once-in-a-decade State redistricting has led to some interesting races this year.

The Daily News has the names of the Millington mayoral and aldermen candidates. They also cover the transitional Unified School Board races; members of the Unified school board promise to work together, even with rivals. The Commercial Appeal notes the many Democrat-on-Democrat races in the State House and County Commission.

Memphis Schools: A teacher at the Excellence Academy-Memphis, Aaron Thompson has been charged with sexually assaulting a 14 year old; more from WREG. MCS board member and mother Stephanie Gatewood is credited with promoting an anti-bullying program.

Crime: Residents in Frayser teamed up with the Memphis police to “take back” Denver Park; more from WMC and WREG. Copper thieves tried to hit Raleigh Springs Mall.

Overton Park Conservancy: The new executive director, as of May 1, is Tina Sullivan they announced Saturday. More from the Commercial Appeal. Conservancy website.

Wolf River Harbor: The new “floating trash rack” by the Bayou Gayoso Pumping Station is actually just that!

Collierville: At tonight’s Board meeting they may approve allowing door-to-door salesmen.

Politics: After passage in the State House, the bill to keep teacher evaluation scores private awaits the governor’s signature. Governor Bill Haslam notes the State media’s obsession with the “craziest” legislation and political proposals. Can the Legislature force parents to get involved in their children’s school perfomance? Murfreesboro mayor Tommy Bragg is challenging statements made by Representative Rick Womick during his push for anti-Agenda 21 legislation. The race in TN’s Third Congressional District is already a multi-million dollar race, nearly a year out. That “medical marijuana” bill may not be competely dead yet; State Senator Beverly Marrero is still fighting for it.

Scorecard: So far, the count is 11 Democrats leaving office and 5 Republicans but next year’s 108th General Assembly may have an unprecedented Republican absolute majority. The numbers tell an amazing story. A related story on the coming Republican sweep, focused on the Hamilton County races, from the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The TN Republican Party is formally moving to oust Representative Mike Willams, who last session derailed their plans by securing the Speakership of the House for one session. East Tennessee Democrats are predicting a rally, though, and a comeback. State Representative Gary Moore (District 50) has announced his retirement to take AFL-CIO and TN Democratic Party jobs.

Work Investment Network: WIN has identified 3000 open jobs that need filling and are dedicating themselves to finding those people.

TVA: Completing the Watts Bar Nuclear Reactor will take three years and $2 billion more.

US Senator Bob Corker: When questioned at a press conference about being open to a vice-presidential nomination this Fall, Corker didn’t say no.

Mississippi: The State Legislature narrowly approved a bill to require drug testing for workers’ compensation claims. Proposed State redistricting maps will be released in the next two weeks and then…well, who knows. Legislators will review 40 applications for specialty automobile tags.

Tell your friends you read it here:

NEW! INTERNET EXCLUSIVE! The Downtown Memphis Commission’s Paul Morris makes the case that it’s now or never for the Hotel Chisca. Either we save it now or knock it down!

INTERNET EXCLUSIVE! Southpaw: When he came to Memphis in the days before his assassination, Rev Dr Martin Luther King saw the city as a launching point for radical change, a point mostly lost to popular history. We can still be those people and that city!

Internet Exclusive: What Is “Stand Your Ground”? Regular contributor Craig Harper looks at Tennessee’s “Stand Your Ground” law, telling you what it is and what it covers. Clear and factual information.

Blight: Shelby County is offering to hire grass-cutting vendors to attack the 3000 abandoned lots around the county. The Tri-State Youth Baseball Academy will take over upkeep on Jesse Turner Park in exchange for getting to play there!

Charter Schools: MCS Superintendent Dr Kriner Cash paints a self-serving, apocalyptic vision of the damage 17 charters schools will do, if opened next year.

Demographics: The numbers of employed in Shelby County and the Memphis MSA grew, but the numbers of employed in Memphis proper shrank.

Unified Shelby County School Board: Candidates for the next version of the school board say they want answers to the County Commission’s rationale behind several decisions.

Mud Island River Park: Opening day for the 30th anniversary celebration is April 14. Mud Island website.

Germantown: Supporters of the Germantown Museum want it to have its own permanent museum site.

Mid-South Food Bank: Strain is taking its toll on food supply levels. Please help if you can! Food bank website.

Tennessee: There are fewer homeless veterans this year than in 2010. But more and more female veterans are finding themselves homessless these day.

Financial: BancorpSouth has settled their lawsuit, concerning overdrafts fees, for $175 million.

Business: Economist Arthur Laffer will be the guest speaker today at the Economic Club of Memphis. The Daily News’ Small Business Spotlight shines on PeopleCap Advisors. Businessman Dale Wilson isn’t afraid of giant advertising.

The Daily News writes up Today’s Events. From the Commercial Appeal, What to Do for Sunday and Monday; People in Business for Sunday; and Property Transfers.

Pinnacle Airlines: Their stock will be delisted from the NASDAQ on Wednesday, the next step in their bankruptcy. One plan would have them fly routes only for Delta Air Lines.

Delta Air Lines: Reports say the airline is bidding on an oil refinerty, to deal with fuel issues.

Terminix: The Commercial Appeal profiles company president Chuck Fallon.

Pink Slime: The USDA has agreed to allow some meat producers to list the product in meats that contain it.

Chattanooga: Opponents of a revitalisation plan that would destroy a lot of public housing units will meet today with Mayor Ron Littlefield and the Chattanooga Housing Authority. More from

Real Estate: Double digit increases in monthly and year-over-year sales, says Memphis Area Association of Realtors. More from the Commercial Appeal.

DeSoto County: The good news of State redistricting: one new State Senate and two new State House seats. County school supply boxes will cost students $50-some dollars? County officials are really selling Earth Day, later this month. Once again, no public money will be spent on Olive Branch’s July Fourth celebration. A new study has been commissioned for the Hernando West project. Despite indifference in Jackson, the County sheriff and legislators will still push for increased radar use. Southaven alderman Greg Guy’s new horse barn has neighbors asking questions.

Internet Exclusive: First-time contributor B. R. Kuhn shares a harrowing tale of mental illness to illustrate the health care model TennCare should be funding.

Picture of the Day

The Memphis Dawls perform at Otherlands, from Tumblr by the Dawls. Photographer uncredited. © 2012.

Opinion and Blogs

Paul Ryburn’s Journal: A weekend recap full of parties, crawfish, Urban Dare and 38103 shirts! And a Friday update heading into the weekend.

LeftWingCracker: His thoughts on the August Shelby County election candidates.

MAKE IT HAPPEN: Her Easter weekend was probably not like yours.

Memphis Shelby Inform: What is a Tourism Development Zone and what does that have to do with your pocketbook or wallet?

Memphis Weaver: Handwoven scarves and deep blue Chagall windows.

Pretty in Pink Megan: Shoes!

readmorewritemorethinkmorebemore: Explaining her new blog comments policy.

Smart City Memphis: A guest post from Anthony Siracusa, on the Green Lane Project and a bikable Memphis.

The Intersection of Madness and Reality: He falls for the untrue story that neo-Nazis are stalking around Sanford, Florida, and goes from there.

Tim Lee: Who was more prudent with Pascal’s Wager: Christopher Hitchens or Joanna Moore? (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Chattanooga Times The decision to move the “Bessie Smith Strut” has created enough hostility that it will be reversed, because the history of the “Strut” demands it.

Chattanooga Free Press: The decision to move the “Bessie Smith Strut” from its traditional place on M.L. King Boulevard to the riverfront will leave long, ill feelings….

Gail Kerr: Reining in State government and legislative overreach makes her unhappy. (via the Tennessean)

Tom Humphrey: Have the State House and State Senate undergone a role reversal this year? (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

The Chubby Vegetarian: Bear with me…chocolate-covered matzo and vanilla ice cream!

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

Tennessean: Splitting hairs to keep the Ten Commandments from public and State display.

Knoxville News-Sentinel: Last minute changes to the State budget make it a better budget.

John Whitehead: The Supreme Court’s “strip search” ruling will needlessly humilate millions. (via the Desoto Times Tribune)

Andre K. Fowlkes: He identifies three measures of civic prosperity and one thing we can do to make a better Memphis. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Wendi C. Thomas: So, she recognises there are some limits to the “nanny state”? (via the Commercial Appeal)

Otis L. Sanford: Janis Fullilove’s heart is in the right place–the rest of her, he argues, not so much. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Chris Peck: Journalists must be both believers and nonbelievers, scientists and the faithful. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Nancy Coffee: More cheerleading about early childhood development as a civic priority. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Commercial Appeal: Once again, they counsel the suburbs to listen to their betters in the City. Pretending to “balance” when it comes to limiting gun rights. How are Federal tax dollars and local tourism taxes, and putting a publicly-funded university on the hook, “a victory for taxpayers”? As far as they’re concerned, churches that don’t fight crime are just “uninspired by activism”. They are surprised that a Republican can sometimes be selfless (by their standard).

Memphis News: Cities, like season, have their own rhythms.

Smart Stuff 4 Work: He offers a plan to correct self-defeating behaviors. (via the Daily News)