He's been all over the media lately. Read more about Oher-mania at Sing All Kinds.
Bartlett native Jeremy Benson's Live Animals will also be shown. The made-in-Memphis film is a bit of torture/shock horror in the vein of the Saw or Hostel franchises and stars veteran local actor John Still as a "white slave" trader.
But wait! There's more. Read all about it in Sing All Kinds.
The mayor made the request Friday in a letter delivered to council members asking that they not "play games" with the budget he presented Tuesday.
The text of the letter follows.
"At the risk of appearing to be defensive or offensive, I want to make it very clear that the Administration has developed a sound budget and we are not going to play games over schools funding.
"In my judgment, the council should not have decreased the funding for schools and should not have lowered the tax rate. You ignored my advice and some council members are threatening to undo a balanced FY 2010 operating budget to hedge your mistake.
"My advice to the Council is to reinstate the previous 0.82 tax rate allocated for schools and let's moves [sic] on to other priorities for the city. In the final analysis we need to do what is best for children."
If the council does that and does not make any changes in the rest of the budget then it there would almost certainly be a property tax increase for city residents. The council managed to cut the tax rate last year by cutting some money for schools.
Read more about the festival and watch film clips at Sing All Kinds.
A lot can be said about a theoretical political match-up of Steve Cohen and Willie Herenton, but three days after the mayor's surprise announcement, what's striking about Cohen-Herenton is not how different they are but how much alike they are.
The differences are as obvious as black and white and tall and short.
But the similarities stand out, too.
When the 2010 congressional election rolls around, both will be over 60. Both have been eligible for AARP membership since 2000 or earlier (disclosure: me too), and by 2011, Cohen, like Herenton, can start drawing Social Security.
Both are Democrats.
Both are male and single.
Both are career public officials who got their first public jobs in Memphis in the 1970s -- Herenton as school superintendent and Cohen as a member of the Shelby County Commission.
Both held on to an elected job -- Cohen in the state senate and Herenton in the mayor's office -- so long that burnout and fatigue and ineffectiveness became issues.
Both won key elections with less than a majority of the vote – Herenton the 2007 mayor’s race (42 percent) and Cohen the 2006 Democratic primary (32 percent).
Both have been household names in Memphis for years. Google "Steve Cohen" and Memphis and you get 45,400 entries. Google "Willie Herenton" and Memphis and you get 34,700 entries. Google "Fred Smith" and Memphis and you get a mere 19,900 entries.
Both formed their fundamental philosophies in the 1960s and 1970s, when the big issues were the war in Vietnam, desegregation, busing, and Watergate.
Both have childhood memories of teeter-totters instead of Twitters.
Both were around when Stax and Elvis and disco were alive and well.
Both remember Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell, and Jim Brown.
Both are three times as old as Derrick Rose and old enough to be Josh Pastner's father.
Both are tied to the old guard of the Democratic Party, which makes them formidable candidates. They're both "80 percenters" -- politicians who can win the all-important 80 percent or more in multiple precincts in an election.
Both have aspired to hold other political jobs -- county mayor for Cohen, city school superintendent redux for Herenton.
Both have long associations with Republican senator Lamar Alexander and Democrat A C Wharton, who are also in the over-60 club.
Being young and bright is no guarantee of success in politics. Witness the disgraced former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, and Cohen’s vanquished opponent Nikki Tinker. But if I'm active in New Path or Mpact Memphis or Memphis Tomorrow or Young Democrats or Young Republicans or campus politics -- especially if I'm a woman -- I'm all over this one.
There are three big-time political jobs in Memphis -- county mayor, city mayor, and Ninth District congressman, especially with all that stimulus money flowing.
Where are the young?
This comes just days after the school's assistant principal was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, after an 18-year-old student filmed two other students, both minors, engaging in a sex act.
Which might make one wonder: What is going on at Melrose? And the area's schools?
Read all about it in Mary Cashiola's In the Bluff: the Blog.
In a letter to members of the Rebounders boosters club, Pastner, who replaced John Calipari as coach, vows to "do things the right way, and that begins by building a strong foundation from the grassroots up."
The text of the letter: "First off, I wanted to thank all of you for your tremendous support for not only myself, but for the entire Tiger Basketball program. I've said this before but I will say it again because it is the absolute truth: this is YOUR team, the city's team.
"We are going to do things the right way and that begins by building a strong foundation, from the grassroots on up. This isn't something that will happen overnight because we won't cut corners. It may even be the type of situation where we have to take a step back in order to get two or three steps ahead.
"I can assure you that we will always be positive, loyal, principled, energized and enthusiastic. There are great things ahead for Tiger Basketball and I appreciate all that you do to help make this one of the best programs in the country.
It's an amazing show of support for the non-profit, which is dedicated to helping area restaurants become more environmentally friendly.
When the Flyer first checked in with Project Green Fork's founder Margot McNeeley some nine months ago, McNeeley was still working out the details and using Tsunami as a test-case.
Project Green Fork has since certified 12 restaurants, among them Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Tsunami, Miss Cordelia's, and Sole Fish Cafe. Their most recent client was Central BBQ -- a particularly challenging endeavor for both McNeeley and Central BBQ, because the restaurant has a large take-out business that used a good deal of styrofoam.
Project Green Fork recently got its 501(3) non-profit status that will allow to McNeeley to pursue "green" grants.
Today, Earth Day, McNeeley tells us that she has taught two yoga classes, consulted with two restaurants, and worked on the details of Sunday's dinner — all while awaiting news of her niece's or nephew's impending birth (her sister is in labor as this is being written).
She also imparts a little earth-loving advice for the local restaurant patron:
"Support those restaurants that are making an effort to be green -- recycling, not using styrofoam. They don't have to be Green Fork clients."
And the man can still talk trash with the best of them. Brown's new DVD finds the aging pretend gladiator dishing on drug use and orgies ...
Read more at Sing All Kinds.
To say that the mayor's announcement was a surprise is a considerable understatement. There had been rumors, ever since Cohen did not give Herenton an outright endorsement during the mayor's 2007 reelection campaign, that Herenton was displeased with the congressman, whose own race in 2006 he had supported enthusiastically.
After instructing Turner to pass out copies of the statement, Herenton walked away with aides and did not take further questions.
This is the text of the statement handed out to the media Tuesday afternoon by Herenton:
“The transition from public service to the private sector has been contemplated by me for a considerable time after retirement from my current office.
“However, after receiving considerable encouragement from citizens to become a candidate in 2010 for the U.s. House of Representatives Ninth Congressional District, I am seriously evaluating the opportunity to represent the Memphis community at the federal level. My thirty years of public service has uniquely prepared me to represent Memphis at the federal level as our national leadership faces some very difficult challenges.
“I am forming an exploratory committee and anticipate making a decision in the near future.”
See Jackson Baker's Political Beat for more as this story develops.