Wednesday, April 1, 2015

DeBerry Pulls "Mini-Indy" Bill

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 10:58 AM


Citing opposition from a "very vocal group of folks in America," state Representative John DeBerry of Memphis has tabled HBO566, which would have allowed student counselors at public institutions to refuse to offer mental health services to clients for reasons of religious belief. DeBerry added that he had "been here long enough to know when a piece of legislation is not going to move."

Dubbed the "Mini-Indy" bill by its opponents, the bill "prohibits public institutions of higher education from disciplining or discriminating against a student in a counseling, social work, or psychology program because the student refuses to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the student."

It's a blow to the Tennessee Legislature, which is obviously trying hard to keep up with the homophobes in Indiana, Arkansas, and elsewhere. DeBerry's bill also demonstrates that stupidity and mindless bigotry is not limited to one party or race.

I hope his constituents in Memphis are monitoring this foolishness. I know I am. Here's his office email link if you'd like to let DeBerry know how you feel.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More Balls, Please

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 3:09 PM

This is ripe for a punchline. Give it your best, er, shot in the comments.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Only 3.1 Percent of Memphians are Gay?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 2:02 PM

A new Gallup analysis of the gay populations of the nation's 50 largest cities ranks Memphis 48th.

San Francisco, perhaps not surprisingly, ranked first, with a gay population of 6.2 percent. Memphis came in at 3.1 percent gay, ranking ahead of only Pittsburgh and Birmingham.

The survey is outllned and explained thoroughly in a terrific piece from the New York Times' blog The Upshot.

Nationwide, Gallup says, 3.6 percent of adults consider themselves gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Gallup’s numbers are based on surveys of 374,325 adults across the 50 largest metropolitan areas, conducted between June 2012 and December 2014. Biggest surprise in the survey? Salt Lake City, which ranks as the seventh-most gay city.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Brooklyn, Portland, Nashville, and Memphis!

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 10:46 AM

The Wall Street Journal just dropped a story online about investment firm Cushman & Wakefield's annual report. The primary focus of the piece was the fact that the U.S. has regained its spot as the world's biggest real estate market. Yay, us.

But more interesting, at least to Memphians, was C&W's assessment "that the top markets offering 'the right live/work/play environment' for millennials were Nashville, Brooklyn, Portland, and Memphis." That's pretty heady company. All that craft beer and music cred and affordable downtown housing is starting to pay off, apparently.

I say, buy now, while prices are still low. I read it in the Wall Street Journal.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Zekepolooza: A Farewell to Zeke Logan

Posted By on Sun, Feb 22, 2015 at 6:14 PM

Hundreds of friends, colleagues, family, and fans of the recently departed David Millar, better known in these parts as Zeke Logan, gathered at the Germantown Performing Arts Center Sunday afternoon for a three-hour celebration of his life.

Ron Childers served as the emcee, introducing a number of speakers, including the Rev. Kenneth Whalum, Mayor AC Wharton, Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzola, novelist Ace Atkins, Councilman Shea Flinn, Zeke's long-time radio partner, Drake Hall, and his close friend J.T. Novarese. Musician and friend John Kilzer played several songs, including a slow and poignant rendering of the Beatles tune, "Help."

There was lots of humor, lots of heartfelt praise, and lots of words honoring Zeke's unique sense of humor and his zest for living a full life. He was a well-traveled "bon vivant," as he once labeled himself to Novarese. "That means 'fancy,'" Novarese joked. Millar leaves behind two children — Zach and Piper — and his wife, Lori.

Cited by many at the gathering as "larger than life," his passing leaves a big hole in the Memphis community. He will be missed.

To help with the family's medical expenses, go to


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snowboarding on Beale!

Posted By on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 9:59 AM

Well, this weather's not all bad. It does offer some opportunities for fun. Like this: Chris Eure and Miguel Sulbaran went urban snowboarding on Beale Street, Monday.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bill Dance Gives a Preview Tour of Bass Pro Pyramid

Posted By on Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 2:23 PM


It's well known that Memphis' premier bass fisherman and outdoor TV personality, Bill Dance, is good friends with Bass Pro CEO Johnny Morris. Dance was around in November to tag along with Morris when the media were given a tour of the progress being made inside the big, pointy bait-shop.

Now, in what appears to be a video made more recently, Dance takes us on a tour from the soon-to-be swampy bottom to the spectacular view from the top. If all goes according to schedule, you'll be able to take your own tour — and shop to your heart's delight — beginning May 1. Click here for the video.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Memphis: How We Googled in 2014

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

The good folks at the Google sent us an interesting summary of the things that Memphis, well, googled in the past year. Here's what they told us ...

This morning, Google released its 14th annual Year in Search–an in-depth look at the stories, people, and topics that captured the world's attention this year. Our 2014 Year in Search Website provides hundreds of top-10 lists from 72 countries.

Google also looked at the most popular local terms searched in various cities and states. Below please find the Top Trending Searches and News/Events for your State’s city and the Top Trending Questions that Memphis, TN needed to know (they were chosen as the Tennessee city because it’s the largest sample size).

Top-10 trending Searches in Memphis:

1. Ebola

2. Robin Williams

3. World Cup

4. Black Friday 2014

5. Joan Rivers

6. Philip Seymour Hoffman

7. Flappy Bird

8. Tracy Morgan

9. Donald Sterling

10. Ray Rice

Top-10 trending news events for Memphis:

1. Ebola

2. Black Friday 2014

3. World Cup 2014

4. Ferguson

5. Thanksgiving 2014

6. Super Bowl 2014

7. Oscars 2014

8. Labor Day 2014

9. Isis

10. Malaysia Airlines

Top-10 trending people searches for Memphis:

1. Robin Williams

2. Joan Rivers

3. Philip Seymour Hoffman

4. Tracy Morgan

5. Maya Angelou

6. Donald Sterling

7. James Avery

8. Solange Knowles

9. August Alsina

10. Paul George

Top-10 Trending "What is…" questions for Memphis:

1. What is euthanasia?

2. What is corian?

3. What is temperament?

4. What is tryptophan?

5. What is love?

6. What is pico?

7. What is DSL?

8. What is versitis?

9. What is Easter?

10. What is diverticulutis?

Top-10 trending "How To…" questions for Memphis:

1. How to twerk

2. How to whistle

3. How to swim

4. How to weld

5. How to sing

6. How to twerk

7. How to sandbox

8. How to knit

9. How to pronounce

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bad News for Griz Fans...

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Video evidence has emerged that pretty much confirms that the Sacramento Kings' protest against the Grizzlies' last-millisecond win last week will be upheld. Watch this video from the folks over at GrizzlyBearBlues and see if you're not convinced they have a pretty good case:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

LIVE! from the New Midtown Fresh Market

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Today is the day Midtown's new, long-awaited Fresh Market opened, so I decided to drop over on my lunch hour and check it out. In fact, I tweeted my visit ...
I didn't buy much. But it was pricey, just the same.
People wanted to know how much.
And some were a tad snarky.
And, of course, there's already a parody account.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Election Results Give Reason for Optimism

Posted By on Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 10:33 AM

It's been a long time since I woke on the day after an election in Shelby County feeling as optimistic and grateful as I do today. Let me count the ways:

First, my state senator, the mentally and physically impaired embarrassment, Ophelia Ford, was soundly defeated in the Democratic primary by Lee Harris, a smart, young law school professor with, I suspect, a bright political future hereabouts. This was the result I wanted most from this election cycle. Win.

Across the state in Knoxville, GOP primary voters turned out in droves to demolish the re-election bid of lunatic state senator Stacey Campfield, aka "Mr. Don't Say Gay." Thanks, Knoxville. Love ya. For grins, check out Campfield's reaction to his defeat on his blog.


Perhaps the result that surprised me most was the defeat, statewide, of Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey's attempted purge of three Tennessee Supreme Court justices. The upshot: Ron spent a few hundred thousand dollars to let Tennesseans know the names of three Supreme Court justices. Epic fail. Couldn't happen to a sleazier jackass. This vote, and Lamar Alexander's victory over anti-immigration nut Joe Carr, gave me some real hope that the Tea Party tide may have finally turned in Tennessee. I hope so, anyway.

Joe Brown and Henri Brooks were resoundingly trounced in their races for attorney general and Juvenile Court clerk, respectively. I've had my issues with Brown's opponent, Amy Weirich, but Brown, like Brooks, simply self-destructed, making Weirich the winner by default, and by a landslide.

To recount, Memphis purged itself of Ophelia Ford, and along with other Shelby County voters, soundly rejected two potential lightning rods/potential embarrassments for public office.


On the other hand, Germantown and Collierville re-elected self-promoting loon Brian Kelsay and public drunk Curry Todd to the state legislature — without opposition. Shades of Ophelia Ford. The next time you hear some suburbanite snarking on Memphis politicians, remind them to check their own backyard.

And I was glad to see Steve Cohen retain his 9th District Congressional seat. Some advice: If local Democrats want to win county-wide races, they would do well to figure out how to organize behind Cohen and his presidential support and national clout, instead of lobbing a futile and divisive primary challenge at him every two years. The muddle-headedness of the SCDP is self-defeating.

There also needs to be serious state legislation passed to crack down on the illicit fake "official ballot" business hereabouts. It's scandalous. But, all in all, not bad results to wake up to, IMO.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The CA Sale: A View from Milwaukee

Posted By on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Journalist Bruce Murphy of, offers a Milwaukee perspective on the sale of the Commercial Appeal. And yes, I'm quoted in it.

Friday, July 4, 2014

"I Love Memphis" Podcast With Bruce VanWyngarden

Posted By on Fri, Jul 4, 2014 at 1:30 PM

If you've always wanted to listen to a 30-minute interview with Bruce VanWyngarden, well, here's your chance. He's the subject of this month's "I Love Memphis" podcast.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Memphis Restaurant Association Urges Veto of "COD" Bill

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Representative Curry Todd (R-Collierville) has ticked off the Memphis Restaurant Association big-time. According to an MRA email alert, Todd attached an amendment lobbied for by wholesale liquor distributors to a non-related bill dealing with wineries. The amendment requires COD payment for any liquor delivered to restaurants, instead of the current 10-day window allowed for payment.

Below is the full text of the MRA email:

MRA Member,

On behalf of MRA President, Patrick Reilly, and the Board of Directors, we ask you to please take action TODAY!

Please reach out to the Governor and ask him to "VETO" HB 2027 / SB 2415 - At the bottom of this email you can click on the link to send a "Veto" letter. The amended version of the bill, specifically amendment number three restricts the terms of payment from restaurants and hotels to wholesalers so that the wholesalers are guaranteed payment at the time of delivery of alcoholic beverages. The old rule / current law allows for 10 days to pay for the liquor.

The amended bill is unanimously and vigorously opposed by the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association (TnHTA). Since the creation of the three tier system, restaurants and hotels have had a ten day window by which to pay invoices to the wholesalers. This ten day window is critical to the industry and especially to smaller operators with limited purchasing power. Please contact the Governor office and ask for him to "Veto" HB 2027 / SB 2415. letter from the association:

Governor's Office Contact Info:


Phone: 615-741-2001

Intro & Background:

During the last days of the legislative session, the liquor wholesale lobby attached an amendment by Representative Curry Todd onto a piece of legislation related to manufactures of distilled spirits.

The amendment says: "In order to facilitate the prompt payment of state taxes imposed upon wholesalers, payment for all sales to any licensee holding a license under this part by a wholesaler shall be made upon delivery of the product and shall be made by electronic funds transfer, credit card, debit card, or such other method as approved by the commission that will facilitate full payment at or near the time of delivery."

The amendment applies only to liquor by the drink establishments and replaces the old "ten day rule," which read, "No holder of a license for the sale of alcoholic beverages for wholesale or retail shall sell, deliver, or cause, permit or procure to be sold or delivered, any alcoholic beverages on credit, except that holders of wholesale licenses may sell on not more than ten (10) days' credit."

Talking Points:

1. During the last days of session, the liquor wholesale lobby (potentially a few of the larger ones) attached an amendment by Representative Curry Todd onto HB2027 / SB2415 related to wineries. This was done with no discussion between the affected parties and without any discussion in committee, which is the normal transparent procedure. In fact, the amendment was described on the floor of the House as affecting the ways that payments could be made to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The passage of this amendment will completely change the landscape of relations between wholesalers and retailers with a grand total of 15 seconds of debate on the House floor. It is clear that there was no open and full debate about this amendment.

2. There was no discussion with TnHTA or any of our Restaurant or Hotel members on how this could affect the hospitality industry. Since the creation of the three tier system, restaurants and hotels have had a ten day window by which to pay invoices to the wholesalers. This ten day window is critical to the industry and especially to smaller operators with limited purchasing power. This bill huts small businesses that are the backbone of the TN economy.

3. There was no agreement from anyone in our industry for any changes to the current process.

4. The amended bill treats restaurants and hotels differently from retail package stores, a change that is fundamentally unfair for businesses that sell the same liquor products.

5. The amended bill places into law contractual matters between two private parties. The TnHTA believes that if changes to these provisions of law are to be made, they should seek to lessen state involvement in private contracts, not require more onerous terms.

6. Some liquor wholesalers contend they did not know about the change - if that is true, ask them to help you as their customer and ask for the Governor to "Veto" the bill.

7. Overall, we are asking for the Governor to "Veto" HB2027/SB2415 and we are asking for immediate relief on this issue. This only hurts an industry that is the second largest in Tennessee and creates more than $16 billion dollars in economic impact, employs over 270,000 Tennesseans and pays more than $1 Billion in taxes to the government.

These are general talking points - also please reach out to your wholesalers and put the heat on them. Thank you for your help.

Greg Adkins


Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Royal Memphis Weekend!!

Posted By on Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Sure, anybody who hasn't been hunkered down with the Nevada Bundys for the past week knew that British royals Prince William and Kate Middleton were headed to Memphis this weekend for the wedding of their friend Guy Pelly to Memphian (of sorts) Lizzy Wilson. Hope you got your invite. It's going to be swell. Here's what the handsome couple will look like as they ponder whether to hit Gus's Fried Chicken or the Rendezvous.

But, as they say on the infomercials, there's more! Now, it seems, William's brother, Prince Harry will also make the Memphis scene. He looks like this

Prince Harry in Vegas
  • Prince Harry in Vegas
so keep an eye out while you're down on Beale this weekend, 'cause we all know Harry loves to party.
Guy Pelly, the groom
  • Guy Pelly, the groom

But let's get real. We know these boys aren't going to be hanging out with the hoi polloi in Memphis this weekend. Though I guess it wouldn't hurt to hang out around Royal Studios. Could happen, right? Nah. They're probably going to behave themselves. And they're probably going to be dressed like this.

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