Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Island Dreams

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 11:08 AM

When I think about relaxing on the island, I'm not thinking of Mud Island. But maybe one day, with some of the improvements being discussed right now, I will.

Architects from Looney Ricks Kiss (LRK) presented three alternatives for an island land-use plan last night at the Memphis Botanic Gardens. Possibilities included a pedestrian bridge, a ferris wheel, a skatepark, play areas, restaurants, and even a continuation of Poplar Avenue over the Wolf River Harbor.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mud Island Input Meeting

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Tonight is the first of the final two Mud Island public input meetings held by the Riverfront Development Corporation.

I have a feeling that it's going to be packed with skaters and derby girls, so if skate parks don't interest you, or you think they are a really horrible idea for the island, you should go. Or, if you think they're a great idea, you should go. Or, if there's anything you feel strongly about having on Mud Island, be it a museum or a restaurant or whatever, you should go. That's how the process works.

My idea is to keep the park open past 6 p.m. on summer weekends but that's just me. People are always talking about wanting some place to watch the sun set — personally, I think we have plenty such places — but if the park is only open until 6, the sun hasn't set yet.

Here was my last experience at Mud Island. It was a Sunday and one of the prettiest days of the summer — one of those in August that were just unbelievable. Now, like many Memphians, I don't go to Mud Island a lot. So on the rare occasions I do go there, it's the RDC's chance to woo me. Instead my friend and I got chased away by a squawking security guard. She actually shooed us.

And since we were at the Little Gulf of Mexico at the time, we literally could not leave fast enough for her. I mean, it's a five-block walk and I was wearing heels. I wasn't going to break into a jog. But that's what she seemed to want.

Anyway, tonight's meeting is at 5:45 at the Memphis Botanic Gardens. Thursday's meeting is at 5:45 at the Mud Island River park.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Speaking of Myron

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 4:49 PM

This is what I love about our mayor pro tem:

He just sent out a press release touting the almost $1 million of publicity his "friendly" fist bump with the Dalai Lama generated for Memphis.

The fist-bump was mentioned by Jay Leno and featured on CNN.

"When you include the internet, and the fact that this exchange has now gone viral, the benefit for Memphis is astronomical," he is quoted as saying in the release. "There’s not a marketing campaign anywhere that could have generated this much positive press, this quickly, for the City of Memphis.”

This is a little silly, but I do generally like how open Lowery is with the media. Just the fact that he sends out his own e-mails is quite refreshing.

Just Odds

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Sometimes living here feels very surreal.

For instance, what are the odds that a city school security guard would shoot at two pitbulls, and the bullet would ricochet into Myron Lowery's wife's car?

I know Memphis isn't that big, but we're talking about the mayor pro tem's wife. And this is the first time I've heard of a school security guard discharging his/her weapon.

(Granted, if two pitbulls were coming at me and I had a gun, I'd probably do the same thing. Or, depending on the distance between us, gone inside and waited for the dogs to leave.)

What are the odds that it would rain for most of September here? Probably about the same as the odds that August would be so pleasant.

What are the odds that the Mid-South Fair — forced to relocate after last fall because of the fairgrounds redevelopment project — would this month host a new fair at the old location competing with the old fair at a new location?

What are the odds that the ultimate fighting championship will be in Memphis in December, but hometown fighter Rampage Jackson won't be there because he'll be filming an A-team movie?

What are the odds that Lowery's Dalai Lama fist bump would result in him writing a guest column for CNN?

For that matter, what are the odds I'd mention Lowery twice?

It's just ... odd.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New MSARC Report

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 11:24 AM

A new report on the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center recommends that the center move from its current location to the proposed Family Safety Center.

The report, a 90-day assessment promised by Shelby County mayor A C Wharton when the county took the center over from the city in July, says the co-location of MSARC with the Family Safety Center would provide greater communication with partner agencies and illuminate possible economies of scale. The Family Safety Center is scheduled to open in January 2010.

Concerns over MSARC arose last spring after staffing issues forced two teenage victims of sexual assault to postpone getting forensic examinations. That controversy lead the city to enter into a partnership with LeBonheur and ultimately transfer MSARC to county government control.

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Biding Your Climb

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Tonight is ClimbNight at Bridges! For $15 for adults and $10 for kids, you can test yourself on the organization's 35 foot-high climbing wall. It's from 6-9 p.m.

It's totally fun. But if you're a little apprehensive, I've heard the course to the far left is the easiest.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Maybe we all should have paid more attention to real estate's "location, location, location" axiom.

Land is generally cheapest the farther it is from a city core, due to the law of supply and demand. That typically means suburban homes are thought of as more affordable.

(I know, you're thinking about housing prices in Germantown and Collierville, but if you consider what those same homes would cost if they were in, say, Central Gardens or Downtown, well, the land value makes a difference.)

But how affordable are they really?

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Monday, September 21, 2009

National Citizen Participation Director to Speak at the Hilton

Posted By on Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 10:04 AM

I know, I know. I've been all about events recently. I might as well just transfer over to the We Recommend section of the website.

But there's so much going on!


Tomorrow, Rhodes graduate Katie Jacobs Stanton, the nation's first Director of Citizen Participation, will be speaking at the Leadership Academy's Celebrate What's Right luncheon. Stanton will speak about affecting positive change.

To register, click here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Don't Be a Social Media Douchebag ...

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 4:17 PM

... and other important life lessons will be discussed at the second SocialCamp this weekend at the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering on Jefferson Avenue.

The social media conference will also look at the Cheers model of marketing, advertising on Facebook, what schools can teach businesses about social media, and adding value to your blog.

Sounds like it could be very interesting. To learn more, go here or to register, go here.

[At some point, I would like to discuss how the word "douchebag" and all its etymological cousins (douche, douchebadge, douchecraftcarrier) became perfectly acceptable in polite (?) conversation. I'm not saying I have anything against it, or that I don't use it — I do, and other words that are far, far worse — but it did surprise me when I saw it on a sitcom at 7 p.m.]

On the Courthouse Steps

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 3:27 PM

As part of the sixth annual Architecture Month, Jimmy Ogle will lead a tour of the Shelby County court house this Saturday.

The tour is free and begins at 1 p.m. Participants should meet a few minutes before then on the courthouse steps at the corner of Adams and Third Street downtown.

The courthouse is actually celebrating its Centennial Tuesday, October 13th, so this is a good chance to get a sneak peek. For more information on that, go here.

For more info on other Architecture Month events (this year the chalk art competition is at the Brooks), go here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Metro Merger Moves Forward

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 2:49 PM

The City Council's executive committee approved a resolution today to set up a new Charter Commission to come up with a plan for a new metro government.

"Just because we have a metro charter commission doesn't mean we'll have a metro government," said council member Shea Flinn. "It matters what consolidation looks like. ... This commission would create the document that tells us what we're talking about when we say consolidation."

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More Council Nubbins

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 1:17 PM

For those of you interested in the fate of the airport area beautification plan, a resolution approving the funding passed in a joint City Council CIP/economic development committee earlier today.

(Surely, it's not just me. Tho I do like things pretty.)

"Not only is it something that's attractive to our visitors, it has an impact on the citizens' beliefs about the community and our future," said John Moore, head of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

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City Attorney Update

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 9:36 AM

A resolution urging the removal of City Attorney Elbert Jefferson has been delayed and moved from the Council's personnel, intergovernmental, and annexation committee to full council.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Zippin Up the Pippin

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2009 at 3:33 PM

I've been tied up at the other blog as of late, but hopefully we'll get back to business over here soon enough.

Like right now.

County Commissioner — and Libertyland advocate — Steve Mulroy met today with Memphis mayor pro tem Myron Lowery and Memphis CAO Jack Sammons about the preservation of both the Zippin Pippin and the Grand Carousel.

Though demolition will occur at the Mid-South Fairgrounds to make room for future development, neither the Carousel or the Pippin will be harmed.

In a release from Mulroy, he said Sammons said the simplest thing to do with the Pippin would be to leave it where it is and raise money to restore it to working order. The other option could be to move it elsewhere in the city.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mixed Reaction Over Van Jones' Resignation

Posted By on Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 11:30 AM

I really admire Van Jones, Obama's former "green jobs" appointee. Some would say it's maybe even a crush.

He wrote "The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems." He also co-founded both the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Green for All.

I met him at a Green For All conference held in Memphis several years ago and I was impressed by his vision, his leadership skills, and the way people flock to him.

So I was disappointed to see that, after being the victim of a weeks-long smear campaign by Fox News' Glenn Beck, Jones resigned from his position with the White House Council on Environmental Quality over the weekend.

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