About Richard Cohen's column, "Thinking Small" ...
Trump and Cruz have called for Kasich to pull out. That tells me they see the same possible convention outcome. If Kasich stays in it, he could win it by default.
I've often wondered if Trump was in this thing as a grand conspiracy to try to help Hillary get elected. He's certainly helping to fracture the GOP, and if he does manage to pull enough support to get into the general, he's nearly going to lock it up for Clinton.
I was hoping for a pro-gun-control, free-college-education type like Ronald Reagan.
About Jackson Baker's story, "De-annexation Bill Killed for Session" ...
Mark Norris, Brian Kelsey, and Reginald Tate are total embarrassments to Shelby County. It's ridiculous that suburban leaders representing Shelby County in Nashville are constantly against anything that pertains to the city of Memphis. These yokels don't realize that we are all in the same boat. Memphis not only has to fight middle and eastern Tennessee legislatures, but also those from Shelby County.
I would never vote for Mark Norris as governor. Memphis would be better off with former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
I maintain that we must forge a consolidated city/county government and get beyond all this city/county hostility. We have already consolidated the schools, so let's consolidate the rest. It would save all of us a lot of money in taxes. Running two separate governments is ridiculous. What can we do to get this on the agenda?
About Toby Sells' post "Council Members Say Sunshine Law Not Violoated" ...
Where is the independent study that shows that the Memphis Zoo contributes $90 million to the local economy? Zoo people keep quoting that, but where is that number coming from?
The city budgets over $3 million to the zoo to operate annually; the zoo collects between $650,000 to $1,000,000 in annual parking fees (to park on land owned by the city/taxpayers), and taxpayers subsidize the zoo's utilities. So it costs the city of Memphis/taxpayers anywhere between $4 million and possibly twice that when you factor in utility subsidization annually.
There are two types of tourists: day tourists who come to the zoo and then take their tired kids home (that's zero in additional revenue to what they spend at the zoo itself) and then those who come to Memphis and do other tourist things (Graceland, Stax, Sun, Beale Street, barbecue, etc.). The zoo isn't the only driver of that tourism. So what is the real economic impact, and where is the proof?
On the other hand, the annual property taxes from area codes 38104 and 38112 — those immediately adjacent to the zoo — bring in over $18 million annually to the city. And these are people who live, work, eat, shop, and play in the city every day.
Why is the council chasing tourists when they should be serving the residents?
I have been a neighbor and regular user of Overton Park since 1982. During that time, every part of the park — the zoo, Shell, museum, Old Forest, trails, rest rooms, playgrounds, and gardens — has been significantly improved thanks to city government, the zoo leadership and donors, the Overton Park Conservancy, volunteers, and activists who each played an important part.
Sam Cooper, the landscaped eastern approach to Overton Park, is a big improvement over blighted Broad Street 20 years ago. And on the west side, the abandoned expressway corridor is now full of new homes and families. Unless you were in Memphis in those days, you can't imagine how different it was. It's hard to think of another Memphis success story as satisfying and broad-based as this one.
Now a debate over parking on the grass, which is commonplace at other parks in Memphis and elsewhere, is overshadowing this and dividing Midtowners and Memphians. I'm sorry to see that.
Was Berlin Boyd a contestant for Miss South Carolina a few years ago? If not, he does a great imitation.