About Greg Neri's cover story, "Walking the Line" ...
Greg Neri is a master of first-person reporting. And the loving care that he lavished on this single story of Johnny Cash is astonishing. The 55 miles between the boyhood home of the Man in Black and Memphis must have been traveled many times by Greg to gather all these wonderful stories and observations. Somebody grab their guitar and write a song called "Greg Neri Walks the Line!"
About Jackson Baker's online election results story, "A Deja Vu Election" ...
The Shelby County Democrats have a lot of soul searching to do. The days of "vote for me because I look like you" are over. Running on issues has returned. Democrats have four years to get their house in order, and the work needs to start now.
First thing they need to do is go ahead and go on record now that if Steve Cohen seeks reelection, barring him doing something illegal or highly questionable, there needs to be no challenge to him. No more support for candidates that just run against him because he isn't the right color. If Democrats continue to allow this kind of crap to continue in this high-profile contest, it will continue to turn people off.
Second, start right now recruiting new blood. The Democrats need more Lee Harris candidates — young, energetic, and with a new vision. They need to be a diverse group — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, etc. Start getting these new people involved in various efforts around the county, so that they are building a personal brand and name recognition.
Finally, start building a war chest for the 2018 election. The GOP in this county has the cash and the means to use it. Democrats will not be able in one year to close the money gap between the two parties.
The earlier the Democrats start admitting they have a problem and start addressing it, the quicker they can fix it.
Very nice to see the chronically absent Ophelia Ford put out to pasture. Now, she can rest as much as she desires — on her dime!
About the TVA's Allen Coal Plant ...
In response to the full-page ad by the Sierra Club and Scott Banbury: What do you want? The TVA will likely vote this month to close the Allen Fossil Plant. In its place will be constructed a combined cycle gas plant, a currently reliable and much cleaner source of electricity than coal. Yet, this decision has raised the hackles of the Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club touts the benefits of solar and wind alternatives, but it overlooks the drawbacks of such technology. The Allen Coal Plant, originally built by MLGW, generates on average 750 megawatts of electricity, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently, in order to generate one megawatt of solar-powered electricity, four to six acres of land are required. To replace the electricity produced by the soon-to-be-closed Allen plant, approximately 3,750 acres of land would be required. Basically, it would result in an area the size of Shelby Farms to be covered in solar panels to replace the generation of the plant.
Also, electricity from solar would only be generated when the sun is shinning. From wind, only when a breeze is blowing. Batteries are required to store energy produced by solar sources. That energy then must be run through inverters to change it to a useable form of power for the public. To produce batteries for this purpose, a huge carbon footprint is created.
With the present state of solar and wind electricity technology, there is no feasible way they can be counted on as a reliable source of electricity on a continuous basis.
About Les Smith's column, "Ramsey's Reckless Campaign" ...
I'm proud to say Tennessee voters saw through all the baseless, factless Ramsey rhetoric and soundly defeated his attempt to stack the state Supreme Court in his favor. Also "attaboys" are awarded to Governor Haslam for speaking out negatively on this issue and to Memphis and Knoxville voters who sent Ophelia Ford and Stacey Campbell packing.