Main Street Journal - Weekly Update for Monday, March 18, 2013

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Photo Credit: WMC
Another Goodbye?

Shelby County school superintendent John Aitken, in a suprising switch, is asking the school board to consider buying out his contract. More from ABC24. School board member Rev Kenneth Whalum doesn’t want him to go. More from Fox13.

The remnant of Memphis City Schools’ obligations, a payment of $57 million, still remains to be paid. Rev Whalum calls Memphis a “deadbeat dad”.

The Shelby County Board of Education will hold an “input session” this Wednesday, open to the public, on the selection of a new superintendent of schools.


Memphis Tigers: The University of Memphis basketball team has been named the sixth seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. More from the Flyer.


Medicaid Expansion: As the State weighs the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, Governor Bill Haslam appears not ready to declare himself yet. Lt Gov Ron Ramsey, on the other hand, seems to be leaning against it.


“Toy Towns”: Nashville and environs are going through the same fight over seceding suburbs that Memphis went through a decade ago.


Mississippi: Beginning in July, a new law on open carry of firearms goes into effect. Governor Phil Bryant signed into law the bill allowing non-official school prayer by students. The ACLU is already concerned and the Freedom From Religion Foundation has expressed an opinion. And Liberty Counsel has agreed to represent any schools or districts in any lawsuits.

Southaven mayor Greg Davis, now running as an independent with a severely damaged reputation, has agreed to participate in a debate, on WREG. The ongoing investigation into Davis’ spending is holding up State funds already expected and budgeted. Meanwhile, there are still questions of how much Davis actually owes.


Overton Square: An update on redevelopment.


Foreign Service: Japan’s consul-general to the Tennessee area believes our hospitality makes us attractive to other countries.

Automobiles: The latest-and-greatest Nissan Leafs, produced in Tennessee, are rolling off the assembly lines and into dealerships.


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Bass Pro Pyramid: After outcry from some Memphians, the Bass Pro Shops team is reconsidering some of the signage for the Pyramid. Another design board meeting was scheduled for today but was postponed.


Second Amendment: Governor Bill Haslam signed into law the bill allowing gun carry permit holders to keep their guns in their cars, even if the property is posted. It was approved on a party-line vote. But will Federal law trump State law?


Drones: The TN Bureau of Investigation opposes limits on drones used in criminal investigations.


Shelby County Commission: Now faced with paying for a sprawling unified county school system already asking for a larger budget, the Commission is scrambling for ways to pay for it.


State Legislature: There is a intriguing idea being floated over cutting grocery taxes for certain foods. State Rep. Barrett Rich as filed a bill stopping local law enforcement from keeping siezed property, including cash, during arrests. The Legislature appears headed to a compromise with the state’s newspapers over the issue of publishing State notices. The bill to halt the renaming of State parks, sparked by Memphis, is headed for the governor’s signature. Legislators also hope to curtail animal welfare activists’ more egregious behaviors. The Senate approved the use of college IDs as voter identification and to tighten controls on online schools enrollment.


Party Politics: In the reduced circumstances of the TN Democratic Party, last weekend’s Shelby County party chairmanship election was very important; more from the Flyer. A radical reorganisation is being proposed by TN’s top Democrats for the state’s Executive Committee. Is State Senator Jim Kyle hoping to get a different government post?


Tax Refunds: Tennesseans have an estimated $19 million in unclaimed 2009 Federal income tax refunds. More from WMC.


Arkansas: A bill legalising raw milk in the state failed to pass the State House. But the House unanimously passed changes to the State’s charter school laws.


Commercial Appeal: The newspaper’s Editor in Chief, Chris Peck, suddenly resigned last week, following the implementation of the paper’s draconian paywall. Interesting comment thread at the Flyer. Mediaverse has some thoughts.


City of Memphis: The Director of the Public Works Department, Dwan Gillom, says the City doesn’t have enough money to maintain its streets.


Farmers Market: The South Memphis Farmers Market hopes to become the city’s first year-round farmers market.


Pope Francis: Memphis Catholics react to the news of the newly chosen Pontiff of the Catholic Church.


Picture of the Week

Hello and welcome to Muddy’s Bake Shop, from Shoot With Personality by Amanda Raney. ¬©2013. Used with permission.

Opinion and Blogs

Flyer: Separating a Southern point of view from a a Confederate viewpoint.


John Branston: Who factchecks the movies? (Via the Flyer)


Gerry Calhoun: Foes of fracking should stick to the facts. (Via the Tennessean)


David Peters: If only to keep up with the demand for STEM workers, America neds comprehensive immigration reform. (Via the Tennessean)


Saritha Prabhu: Maybe it’s time to reset the meaning of “conservative” and “liberal”. (Via the Tennessean)


Notes From Memphis: Prepare for the soup. Lots of soup.


The Intersection of Madness and Reality: A deep discussion of the controversial article, “Being White in Philly,” which will pop up in Memphis eventually.


Steve’s Nude Memphis Blog: He’s noticed a lot of dead elm and sweet gum trees lately.


Carbuncle Trumpet: He’s on a trip to England and has a rollicking post about the whole experience.
 


Memphasis: Of monkeys and parakeets and donuts and dawns. (Via the Daily News)


Vegan Crunk: Homemade energy bars? Vegan, of course….


Urf! Teaching your children what the KKK doesn’t stand for.


Thoroughly Modern Medusa: It’s “March Madness” … of a different kind.


The Daddler and Me: She’s becoming Leona Helmsley.


The Daily Docket: Steve notes a couple of Rep. Steve Cohen votes, one of which might surprise you.


Paul Ryburn’s Journal: It wouldn’t be Saint Patrick’s Day without green beer.


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