It's asinine. We simply can't nor should we try to compete with Nashville. We need to upgrade the current Convention Center, find a permanent public transportation alternative to the trolleys, and market like crazy to small and mid-size conventions. We don't have the hotel capacity to ever compete with Nashville or Atlanta. Then there is the fact that flying into Atlanta or Nashville is significantly cheaper than Memphis. If folks don't think that matters, then they have never planned a major convention or national business meeting.
We would be far better served by using an additional hotel tax to improve public transportation downtown, help fund the modest Convention Center updates, and improve pedestrian safety across downtown.
We should be outraged at the lack of accountability at MAS. The "accidental" killing of so many animals that had a chance of adoption is unforgivable. What is even more unforgivable is that no one seems to be held accountable.
That being said, you can't hold them accountable for the sheer number of animals that are put down each year. That horrible number lies squarely on the backs of Memphians who refuse to spay/neuter their pets, operate backyard breeding operations, and view pets as disposable.
We need more low cost or free spaying/neutering clinics. Midsouth Spay and Neuter is swamped with business. We need to enforce the mandatory spay/neuter bill that has been on the books for almost 5 years. Are there even any stats on how many people have been fined for non-compliance?
We are blessed in this city to have a plethora of amazing rescue organizations, pet foster homes, and great advocates. However, we will not make a dent until we stop the continuous litters and pet dumping.
I went to Cuba on a People to People trip in February. It was absolutely amazing! I want to go back to stay in some hotel particulares as opposed to the nationally owned hotels; although, the Hotel National in Havana was pretty amazing!
We went to the Cuba Libro bookstore, the only English language bookstore in Cuba, in Havana. It's run by an American, Conner Gorry, who is a journalist and married a Cuban. She offers free English lessons, loans out books to locals, pays a living wage to her employees, and offers free condoms to anyone who needs them. She's a fascinating woman; you can read here blog at hereishavana.com .
What really hit me is how the embargo has hurt not just Cubans, but Americans, too. Cuba has a pretty successful medical system. While those who can provide favors might be given a same day appointment, everyone I spoke with was very happy with their healthcare. The country has it's own biotech industry and has created a drug, very successful in preventing amputations due to complications from diabetes. We have no such drug in the US and won't until the embargo ends.
There definitely are still weird things...the period after the USSR pulled out and the average Cuban lost 15 lbs from near starvation is called "the special period". The large cities are facing a crisis because everyone wants to work in tourism. Those with means are opening restaurants and hotel particulares, and others want to drive the old car cabs, wait tables, or bartend. A doctor earns about $60 US dollars/month, which is about half of what a bartender makes.
I'm so glad that I live in a state with amazing education, no poverty, no unemployment, infrastructure in excellent condition, and a fully insured populace. It makes me feel better about paying our legislators to pass laws that do absolutely nothing to benefit their constituents.
Arlington Pop- I'm a Democrat who pays the Halls tax and federal taxes. Insuring others keeps my own personal healthcare less expensive because I'm not paying for anyone else's unpaid bills.
I also have a pre-existing medical condition which prevented me from ever getting healthcare outside of an employer. Without insurance, I would be spending upwards of $15,000/year staying alive and healthy. Since the healthcare exchange opened, I have had a peace of mind that I have never enjoyed before in my adult life because I have choices that extend beyond finding a job with top notch insurance and going broke trying to stay alive.
No one should have to worry about coming up with $500/month to pay for medication to stay alive. Medical bills should not be the #1 cause for bankruptcy in our country. Every single person in this country is worthy of not just life saving care, but more importantly, preventative care.
Every single person living in this country pays taxes. Renters pay rent, which covers the apartment's property taxes...drivers buy gas and pay for registering their vehicle, which pays federal, state, county, and city taxes...bus riders pay a fare, which covers the same gas taxes...whenever anyone buys anything at a store they pay sales tax. The reality of the situation is that in TN, the poorest residents spend a higher percentage of their income on taxes than those who actually pay federal income taxes.
Rwanda, Ghana, and Tunisia are out...so are: Libya, Bhutan, and Serbia. It's hilarious that even the countries that attack personal freedom define preventative health care as a basic human right. I think that Maslow might agree.
"Really bad idea!! We need more traffic lanes and more parking downtown, not less!! The reason why there was little negative impact on traffic when Riverside was down to two lanes was because so many people opted to go to restaurants in either Mississippi or Germantown/Cordova/Collierville in order to avoid the traffic nightmare on Riverside."
A) If you are taking 240 into downtown, you can always get onto 40 and exit onto 2nd.
B) This plan actually brings in more parking by making the entire right lane on the Eastbound side parallel parking.
C) The reason that downtown is horrible during MIM is because everyone is there for MIM! During the rest of the year, traffic isn't bad, parking isn't a problem, and you don't have to dodge drunk teenagers.
I live downtown as do my parents. I don't bother going out during MIM unless I am going to their house in South Bluffs to park. For the other 49 weeks out of the year, there aren't one hundred thousand extra people in one area of the city.
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By Toby Sells
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