Monday, August 31, 2009

Art School

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 3:12 PM

Earlier this year, I wrote a story called "The Art of Teaching," a look at Memphis City Schools' new program to put art teachers in every elementary school.

(Before, schools could choose to have art or music, not both.)

Now one of those teachers is using the Adopt-A-Classroom website to solicit help for her classroom.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Sk8 Glenview

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Even though redevelopment plans for Mud Island are still in the early phases, local skaters may soon have a new home.

The city's park services division has proposed Glenview Park, south of Southern at McLean, as the site for a $440,000 skate park.

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What Green Looks Like

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 8:30 AM

Last January, BioDimensions held two public meetings to discuss what "green jobs" might be in the Mid-South.

This week, a study sponsored by the Memphis BioWorks Foundation suggested the answer was in bioprocessing.

The study found that a bioeconomy could support more than 25,000 green jobs in the next decade, and more than 50,000 in the next two decades, in the Mid-South Mississippi Delta, a region encompassing parts of Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Memphis Academy

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Christian Brothers University staffer Aimee Lewis went through the Leadership Academy's Fellows program a few years ago. After CBU's new president John Smarrelli Jr. began work in July, Lewis thought he might benefit from seeing the Leadership Academy's Memphis 101 presentation.

"Our new president is from Syracuse, New York, and when he wasn't there, worked a good deal in Chicago," she says. "I thought the overview would be good so he has a grasp of the community he had moved into and some of its idiosyncrasies."

The Leadership Academy offered its "crash course" on Memphis again earlier this week. The program covers Memphis history from its first charter, through yellow fever, the second charter, Mayor E. H. Crump, the sanitation workers' strike, and the election of the city's first black mayor.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Cash for Clunkers Nearing a Stop Sign

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 11:28 AM

If you're still thinking about trading in your gas-guzzler, time is running out. The government's $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program ends today at 7 p.m.

The program was designed to help consumers buy or lease a more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle, as well as provide a boost to the economy.

(The environmental benefits have been questioned, however, with some people saying the benefits in air quality are not cost-effective. Having heard stories of what people traded in and what they got instead, I have to say that I 'm not sure I disagree.)

There are reports of some dealerships around the country having sold their entire inventory.

As of last week, 450,000 vouchers had been submitted by dealers for a total of almost $2 billion. After a big weekend, those numbers are up to 625,000 vouchers and $2.6 billion.

Only about $140 million had been approved in payments to dealers as of last week, however, leading to some concerns about the timeliness of government reimbursements.

Beer to be Sold at U of M Football Games

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Mayor Myron Lowery announced this morning that beer will be sold at the Liberty Bowl Stadium during U of M games. The revenue will be used to help pay for repairs at the aging facility.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Door Prize

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 10:49 AM

(I have another weekend recommendation, but this one comes with a home decorating component!)

The much-awaited Adapt A Door auction is this Saturday at Howard Hall. A fundraiser for Memphis Heritage and the local chapter of the AIA, Adapt a Door started in the spring when hundreds of people dashed into Memphis Heritage's warehouse of historic doors and claimed their raw materials.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Triple Shot

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 10:13 AM

I typically don't write about music, but if you're looking for something to do this weekend, let me suggest Rock for Love 3.

The show, a benefit for the Church Health Center, is Friday and Saturday night at the Hi-Tone, as well as a free show Saturday afternoon at Shangri-la.

For a better and more complete write-up about the event, check out Andria Lisle's feature in this week's Flyer. Or you can find it here. (I believe this link includes the line-up.)

Hopefully, I don't have to tell you what a great thing the Church Health Center is. Started by Dr. Scott Morris in 1987, the Church Health Center caters to under-insured workers. Currently, the organization sees about 36,000 patients a year, and includes the Hope & Healing Center, an 80,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art wellness facility (of which, full disclosure, I am a member).

Twice a year, the Church Health Center holds a replication workshop for people around the country who are interested in starting Health Center-like organizations in their communities. To read about that, click here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

City School Funding Moves Forward

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 1:14 PM

The City Council's education committee approved the Memphis City Schools' $879 million budget this afternoon.

The city's contribution to that figure is $78 million.

Members of the city school board also told the committee they were for the concept of single-source funding, but need more details before they can back a specific plan.

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Fine for a Fee

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 9:43 AM

The Council's public safety and homeland security committee took a turn this morning as a budget committee.

The committee considered two proposals — a traffic court docket for unpaid court costs and an additional fines for home alarms — that would bolster the city's coffers.

"[Citizens] are given time to pay court costs and fines and for some reason they don't do this," said council chair Harold Collins. "We have millions of dollars in outstanding court costs."

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Monday, August 17, 2009


Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 11:09 AM

I'm back in town after a little sojourn away and, during my travels, I noticed something at the Memphis International Airport that made me very happy:

Recycling containers.

Yes, they finally have them.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Cobblestone Meeting

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 10:16 PM

I'm spending time on another body of water this week, but I wanted to let y'all know about an upcoming event that you may be interested in.

RDC, TDOT, and the Corps of Engineers will host a public meeting on the future of downtown's cobblestone landing Tuesday, Aug. 11th at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held at 330 N. Main.

Both Memphis Heritage and Friends for Our Riverfront are asking that anyone interested in historic preservation, revitalization, or the river come out, as this may be the only public meeting on the subject.

For more, visit Friends for Our Riverfront.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Same 10 Cities

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 12:25 PM has a list out of the 10 most pet-friendly cities.

Would you care to take a guess as to what they are? Oh, heck, let me just spare you the suspense.

1. New York
2. Chicago
3. Boston
4. Houston
5. San Francisco
6. Austin
7. Washington, D.C.
8. Portland
9. Charleston, South Carolina
10. Ann Arbor

Okay, okay, Houston and Ann Arbor are a little surprising. I guess Houston has a variety of pet-friendly hotels and restaurants, and Ann Arbor "invites pets for outdoor fun from dog-friendly canoeing, farms and gardens." (Hmm, pets and outdoor fun ... wacky.)

So what else makes a city pet-friendly? Boston allows cats and dogs on leashes to accompany passengers on the subway, and Chicago has canine cruises across from Navy Pier.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Proposed Post Office Closing?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 2:43 PM

In an effort to save some of the $7 billion it expects to lose this year, the U.S. Postal Service has proposed closing a number of post offices nationwide.

They're currently reviewing 3,200 branches, and ABC had a list of 700 slated for possible closures.

I know, you don't care about all that. You just me to get to it and tell you if your favorite post office is going to close.

Well, it might ... if it's Lee Finance Station.

It looks like that's the George W. Lee post office at the corner of Mississippi Blvd. and Crump. It's a little slip of a post office, really, and used to be right next to a fire station that has since been torn down. (I think. I may do a drive by a little later to confirm.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

With Golfers Teed Off, Council Takes a Swing at Course Hours

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 6:04 PM

The City Council's executive committee today asked the parks division to find another solution for area golfers.

Starting with the new fiscal year July 1st, the parks department cut hours of operation at several area golf courses. That schedule favors mornings for afternoons, and weekends over weekdays.

"We have six golf courses that are open 40 hours a week. We wanted people to have the opportunity to play when they want to play, and many people like to play golf in the mornings," said division director Cindy Buchanan. "But some people can't play in the mornings because they have to work."

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