Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back to the Bus

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Pastor Jonathan Prince thinks MATA is giving Germantown, Bartlett, and Collierville "a free ride."

"MATA is trying to provide service to community that are not willing to support those services financially," Prince said at last night's public hearing on proposed MATA route changes. "If you don't want to see these cuts, you need to talk to the powers that be in Germantown and Collierville."

About 50 people attended the meeting.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Burke's, Virtually

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 11:06 AM

In addition to a relatively new physical location, Burke's Books has new home on the web.

Check it out. All the store's used inventory is searchable, and the site accepts payments by PayPal and credit cards. What are you waiting for?

Sprawl? So What?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 8:05 AM

[In this week's Memphis Flyer, I wrote about Memphis' new outer loop, I-269. This is the last in a series of maps and graphics that I think help illuminate that story.]

So we're sprawly ... Who cares, right?

People are allowed to live wherever they want, if they have the means, and who are we to say otherwise? I agree, to a certain point, but in many ways, this is a situation where some people are subsidizing the choices of others.

Even if that wasn't the case, however, living close to schools, shops, work, each other seems -- in general -- to be a good thing.

Continue reading »

Monday, July 27, 2009

Square Talk

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 11:14 AM

My friend Josh Horton asked me to help spread the word about the new Overton Square website.

A collaboration of the Memphis Regional Design Center and Greater Than, SquareTalk.org is asking people to "think outside the box" and give their opinion on what should happen with Overton Square.

There has been a lot of talk about proposed redevelopment in Overton Square, including a big-box grocery store. There aren't a lot of details yet, but the City Council voted that any proposed demolition of the area will have to come before it for approval.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Roads V. Retail

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 8:30 AM

[In this week's Memphis Flyer, I wrote about Memphis' new outer loop, I-269. For the next few days, I'll be posting extra maps and graphics that go along with that story.]

For a presentation to the Memphis City Council, consultant John Lawrence prepared several maps that plotted retail development against highway construction.

"People can argue that [highway expansion] isn't the only reason [for sprawl], and that's true: crime, education, old homes — there are a million arguments," he said. "But there is no question that where people have moved and built has followed some type of road expansion."

In the paper, we showcased two of his maps, one from 1964 and one from 2009. But to see a more clear progression, all one has to do is view retail development in 10 year intervals.

Continue reading »

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gone Fishin

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 3:59 PM

A break from the sprawl stuff ...

The city and the zoo are looking for volunteer fish-catchers Tuesday, July 28th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The city is planning on draining and repairing Rainbow Lake sometime next week, and the zoo is setting up tanks to hold the fish of Rainbow Lake until it's fixed.

Adults wanting to volunteer should email Brandy Weigandt (bweigandt@memphiszoo.org) and locate their galoshes.

I-269: The Routes

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 8:30 AM

[In this week's Memphis Flyer, I wrote about Memphis' new outer loop, I-269. For the next few days, I'll be posting extra maps and graphics that go along with that story.]

The local components of I-69 are divided into two parts: I-69, which runs through the center of town, and I-269, the outer loop.

TDOT recently completed work on the $11.5 million segment of I-269 from Route 385 from Macon Road to an area north of Eads. That segment opened to traffic just about a month ago.

An additional $54 million was recently allocated for the second-to-last segment of the road, from Highway 57 in Collierville to Raleigh-LaGrange Road.

So where exactly will I-269 be? And how many exits will it have?

Continue reading »

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Bigger the Better?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 8:30 AM

This week, in our regularly scheduled print edition, I wrote about Memphis' new outer loop, I-269.

Though the highway is not yet completed, it will eventually connect Paul Barret Parkway near Arlington, travel south along the Shelby/Fayette county line, and link with the Bill Morris Parkway in the south, before heading across the state line to Marshall and DeSoto counties and Mississippi Highway 304.

Local proponents argue that it will relieve congestion and improve area air quality.

Community advocates, however, are concerned that the interstate will drive area residents and development further east, exacerbating Memphis' sprawl and costing taxpayers more money in new infrastructure, schools, and service.

As part of the story, I have a lot of interesting maps and graphics — most of which did not make it into the story b/c of how much space we needed for the words.

Continue reading »

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dumpster Diving

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 1:59 PM

I'm both disgusted and intrigued.

The NYT has a story about dumpsters being converted to swimming pools.

From the story: "While the project is conceptually simple — get a bunch of trash containers, clean and seal them, fill with water, jump in — there were a lot of details to finesse. The coarse edges inside the containers were filed down, and underneath the liners, the bottoms were covered in sand, for soft landings. Tightly packed sandbags double as benches along the walls, and pool toys and kid-friendliness provide an intentional counterpoint to the neighborhood grit."

Welcome Back

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Oh. Hey, there.

I know, blogging has been a little light as of late. I've got this other thing going on and I've been distracted by some other stuff, mainly this week's upcoming cover story.

More on that later, tho.

For now, let's see what's going on.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sown, Grown, and Delivered

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 9:26 AM

This morning, Shelby County inmates are expected to deliver 400 lbs. of zucchini, okra, cucumbers, and corn to the Mid-South Food Bank.

The produce was grown as part of the county's new Sow to Grow program, which teaches minimum security inmates gardening skills and puts them to work in several community gardens around town.

Flyer intern Kimberly Kim did a story on the program when it began; if interested, you can find that story here.

The program delivered 147 lbs. of produce to the Food Bank in late June and 298 lbs. last week, but this will be its largest delivery to date.

UPDATE: Apparently, Sow to Grow actually delivered 681 lbs. of produce to the food bank this morning. I have to say, their gardens have obviously done much than mine. So far, I've had a few cucumbers and the smallest cherry tomatoes (some might even say blueberry tomatoes) I've ever seen. They tasted good, tho.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ozone Days

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Does anyone know of any days that were designated as "ozone days" already this summer?

Feel free to comment below or e-mail me: cashiola@memphisflyer.com. Thanks!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Money Mag's Best Places

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Just for any of you that are:

A. Single
B. Thinking of moving away from Memphis
C. Shallow and gold-diggery
D. A combination of the above

Money Magazine has a list of places to find rich singles. Topping the list is Hermosa Beach, California, where the median family income is almost $138,000 a year and 47 percent of the population is single.

Other places include Arlington, Virginia; Coronado, California; Edgewater, New Jersey; and Santa Clara, California (as well as 20 other cities).

The site also has its annual best places to live list up, but they're all small towns. Also, none of them are in Tennessee.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Officers: Geography v. Competency?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Sure, the mayor's Clash-like dilemma, and the resulting on-again, off-again mayor's race, has dominated the news, but other things are still happening.

For instance ... the City Council continued its more than year-long struggle Tuesday to employ a full complement of police officers.

Earlier this year, the job of hiring police officers was transferred from the Memphis Police Department to the city's Human Resources division. The City Council also voted in a resolution that would allow officers to live 20 miles outside the Shelby County line but those officers would have to pay a $1,400 fee.

The Council then said that officers who live inside the city limits should get preference for the positions, which brings it to its current dilemma.

Continue reading »

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Overton Square Charrette

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 12:41 PM

The Memphis Regional Design Center, Memphis Heritage and AIA Memphis are convening a public meeting/mini design charrette for Overton Square Friday, July 24th.

From a Regional Design Center e-mail:

"The MRDC, MHI and AIA Memphis are interested in your input about the future of Overton Square. The current owners (Fisher Capital) and potential developers (AWG and Sooner Investment Realty) are still not responding to requests for more information on their plans or our suggestion of working with us to determine a solution that is acceptable to the community. The assumed plans are to demolish the south side of Madison Avenue between Florence and Cooper and place a big box retail center on the southwest end of the existing parking lot with its back to Sidestreet, the Magnolia Room and Mr. Lincoln's. This is not a sustainable solution to the site. ...

The day will begin with a tour of the neighborhood and a brief presentation on the history of Overton Square. The rest of the day will consist of hearing suggestions from you from a consumer point of view as well as a design point of view. These ideas would culminate in a series of site plans and perhaps an image board or character renderings depicting the desired public realm. This may include options of saving the buildings (or portions of them) as well as options for new buildings on the site. Plans generated from the meeting will be shared with the community and the owners/developers."

To RSVP, email Chooch Pickard at cpickard@mrdcinfo.org.

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