Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Want Some Sarah Palin Glasses?

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Wanna resemble a barracuda in lipstick? Or maybe just Tina Fey? Midtown's Eclectic Eye says it's the only shop in town that carries vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin's rimless Kazuo Kawasaki eyeglasses.

According to recent news reports, the Palin frames have been flying off store shelves and are often on back-order. But optician Randall Bennett at the Eclectic Eye says customers can find a similar frame in stock. If you want the exact look, you'll probably have to wait for the product to be delivered.

"Palin's optician didn’t recommend anti-reflective lenses, but he should have. That's why she's always got that glare on camera, but you can get the same glasses with anti-reflective lenses here," says Bennett.

The Kazuo Kawasaki frames run from $450 to $475, and lenses are priced separately. Bennett says the phones have been ringing off the hook for Palin glasses in their Collierville location.

"When I mention the frames to most people in our Midtown store, they just politely put their hand on my shoulder and say, 'I don't care what she wears,'" laughs Bennett. --Bianca Phillips

Monday, September 29, 2008

“Ask Vance” Calendar Now Available

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 4:00 AM

The rumors are true. Vance Lauderdale, Memphis magazine's award-winning history and trivia expert, has produced a handsome wall calendar featuring some of the most compelling images that have been featured in the magazine's "Ask Vance" column over the years.

Remember Sivad, the WHBQties, Happy Hal, Mr. Bingle, Lakeland, the King Cotton Hotel, Fortune’s Jungle Garden, the Silver Slipper, and other fascinating people and places from the past? Well, they are all here -- more than 100 images arranged in a scrapbook style on each page.

There's just one hitch. As they say on TV, it’s "not available in any stores." To get the 2009 Vance Lauderdale Calendar, you'll need to purchase a gift subscription to Memphis magazine -- $12 for 12 monthly issues. The lucky recipient will not only get the calendar but a nice gift notice from you.

And if you want the calendar for yourself, just purchase a gift subscription for yourself or renew your current one. It's that easy.

Call 901-575-9470 for more information or to subscribe.

John Ford Gets 14 More Years in Prison

Posted on Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 4:00 AM

NASHVILLE -- Former state Senator John Ford of Memphis, already serving 5 ½ years in a federal prison in Louisiana for a bribery conviction related to the Tennessee Waltz scandal, picked up another 14 years Monday in Nashville from U.S. District Judge Todd J. Campbell.

That sentence was imposed on Ford as the penalty for his conviction on two counts of wire fraud and four counts of making false statements

Ford was found guilty by a federal jury earlier this year on charges of accepting more than $800,000 to help out-of-state companies acquire TennCare contracts and to push for legislation that directly favored the companies.

The controversial and flamboyant former senator had acknowledged working to achieve the two companies' legislative ends but had argued at trial that he had merely served them as a legal consultant.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Drink Beer and Watch the Debate This Weekend

Posted on Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 4:00 AM

They say alcohol and politics shouldn't mix, and while that's probably a good rule of thumb, it's no excuse to miss MPACT Memphis' Debate Watch Party at the Red Rooster Bar & Music Hall at 6:30 p.m. tonight. At least we now know that both candidates will be debating.

Or you could forget America altogether and head to the Memphis Botanic Gardens for days two and three of their Japanese Festival. On Friday and Saturday, the gardens will feature cultural hands-on activities, a kimono fashion show, taiko drummers, and more.

Show off those new walking shorts in the Wet Nose 5K in Cordova Saturday morning. The annual walk/run (and dog walk) benefits the no-kill Guardian Angel Pet Rescue. Registration begins at the Bert Ferguson Community Center at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday.

If the radical politics of the religious right make you want to scream, take a break from mainstream Christianity at the Spiritual Diversity Celebration (formerly Pagan Pride Day) at Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church on Saturday. Workshops will highlight Muslim, Native American, Buddhist, and Neo-pagan beliefs and practices. And there'll be some belly dancers, plenty of crafty vendors, and an Autumn Equinox ritual. Events run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In these scary economic times, it can't hurt to have more available jobs. GrowMemphis, a coalition of community gardeners in Orange Mound, will hold a call to action on Saturday as a part of the nationwide "Green Jobs Now -- A Day to Build the New Economy." Along with thousands of other across the country, GrowMemphis will be raising awareness about the need to build a green economy. The event will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the corner of Douglas and Hamilton in Orange Mound.

Dust off your dress clothes for the annual Blues Ball on Saturday night. This legendary downtown blues bash features plenty of live music and a silent auction. And the best part -- they’re roping off George W. Lee Street for this outdoor block party. Festivities begins at 7 p.m.

For more weekend fun, check out the Flyer's searchable listings.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ask Vance: Calendars, Clowns, and a Dog Hero

Posted on Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 4:00 AM

On his blog this week, resident know-it-all Vance Lauderdale unveils his new 2009 calendar and unearths a scary old Goldsmith's ad and a story about "Memphis' Number One Hero Dog."

About that dog, "Poochie": One day [his owner] took Poochie with him to the Mississippi River, just above Memphis, to train him as a pointer. Just as they arrived at the banks, they encountered a tragedy: A group of men and boys who had foolishly tried to swim in the Mississippi were being pulled under by the strong current.

From a 1941 Commercial Appeal story: "Poochie didn’t know what it was all about, but he could recognize the screams of distress, so in he went. He grabbed a drowning boy by the hair and started for the bank. When he had nine-year-old Harold Smith in shallow water, he turned and went back.”

Read the rest of the story about Poochie and more here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fayette County Animal Rescue Will Remain Open

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 4:00 AM

After months of fighting with neighbors and Fayette County Commissioners over zoning issues, Fayette County's only no-kill animal shelter will be rezoned allowing them to remain open.

In May, Fayette County's zoning board of appeals accused Fayette County Animal Rescue (FCAR) of operating illegally in a residential area. Although FCAR had been operating at that location for 10 years, it was forced to suspend operations. The board ruled that FCAR had until September to shut down or find a new home for its cages and 40 or so dogs.

But last night, the Fayette County Commission voted 13-6 to allow the facility to be rezoned so it can remain open. The commission's vote supersedes the zoning board’s vote.

FCAR first came to the zoning board's attention after a handful of neighbors began complaining about dog’s barking. In response to residents' concerns, FCAR erected privacy fencing, planted over $1,500 in shrubbery to act as a sound buffer, and purchased bark collars for the dogs.

For more on the situation, see this Bianca Phillips' story.

Report: McCain Will Suspend Campaign; Wants Debate Postponed

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 4:00 AM

From Fox News comes this blockbuster two-paragraph story: John McCain asked the Presidential Debate Commission on Wednesday to postpone Friday’s scheduled debate with Barack Obama so that he can work on the financial crisis bailout plan now on Capitol Hill.

The Arizona Republican senator said he will suspend his presidential campaign on Thursday to return to Washington to help with bailout negotiations. He urged Obama to do the same.

More to come on this, no doubt.

The "Zac Attack"

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Earlier this year, former Memphis bicycle mechanic Zac Holford set out on an 80-day, 4,200-mile coast-to-coast bike ride to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. His ride, dubbed "Zac Attacks Cancer," took him through 12 states, some bad weather, and a few mountain ranges. Holford traveled an average of 60 miles per day and carried with him only the bare necessities. The ride ended in Seaside, Oregon, and the Flyer recently caught up with him to see how it went. -- by Shara Clark


Holford: There were so many. Just getting up every morning, getting packed, and getting on the road was difficult.

Keeping food and proper nutrition was a big deal because I would just burn through food. It would stink to get into a rural town and not have food, so food was something I obsessed about constantly.

I'd say the hardest state to go through was Kansas. The winds were relentless, and the weather became very difficult -- thunderstorms and extreme headwinds. Wyoming was tough, too. It was high, dry desert. There was a stretch in Wyoming where there was only one gas station and one restaurant for 160 miles -- that was the scariest part. The Ozarks in Missouri were really tough, too. That was the hardest landscape because of the hills, and people weren't friendly at all. A lot of people forced me off the road, and some hotels wouldn't give me a place to stay.


Holford: I'd say, 85 percent of the way, I camped; 10 percent, I got hotel rooms; and 5 percent I stayed with random people I met on the way. But I mostly camped in state and city parks. And there were a couple of hostels out West. Colorado was my favorite place because the people there were super-nice and the landscape was beautiful.


Holford: Our goal was $15,000, but we exceeded it. I don't know how much we have yet. We're still totaling it because people keep giving me money. I've got almost $18,000 so far, but I still have to total the most recent series of checks.


Holford: It was just awesome in general. When the ride ended, I came back to my hometown of Aiken, South Carolina, and held a benefit, and we raised $2,000 in a single night. The South Carolina Senate recognized my accomplishment by presenting me a state flag, and the city government in Aiken gave me a plaque of character.


Holford: No, I haven't had a job for a while, so I kind of don't have any money. Right now, I'm in Chattanooga checking out bike shop jobs and places to live. I hope to finish school here because it's more conducive to cycling than Memphis. But I do miss Memphis. I kept telling people all over the country all of my crazy Memphis stories. I guess living in Memphis and riding my bike there really prepared me for dealing with people across the country. I never really felt scared on any of the roads because I was used to Memphis drivers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Commercial Appeal to Cut Home Delivery in Arkansas

Posted By on Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 4:00 AM

From ArkansasBusiness.com: The Memphis Commercial-Appeal will begin rolling back its home delivery to subscribers west of the Mississippi in about a month, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Those affected can still read a replica of the print product at the Commercial-Appeal's Web site, Lou Lambert, consumer sales and marketing manager said. The paper is also working out the details on how it will distribute papers for single-copy sales.

"We are trying to put together a plan to continue single-copy sales in areas where we hope to continue or increase single-copy sales," because of the reduction in home delivery, Lambert said. "We are committed to a plan to provide single-copy papers to people who previously had delivery out there."

The paper will continue home delivery to West Memphis and Marion. It has 5,761 subscribers in Arkansas, of which between 2,000 and 2,300 will be affected, Lambert said. The remaining subscribers are in the two cities where home delivery will continue. The Commercial-Appeal's total circulation is about 184,000 on Sundays and 150,000 during the week, Lambert said.

Read more at the Arkansas Business website.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Don a Kilt and Your Fishnets This Weekend

Posted on Fri, Sep 19, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Candy apples, corndogs, funnel cakes … and the kamikaze. Oh yeah, it's that time again. In fact, it's the last time the Mid-South Fair graces local soil before the impending move to Mississippi. So get your butt down to the fairgrounds and hop on the ferris wheel one final time. The Mid-South Fair begins tonight and runs through September 28th.

Dig out those fishnets and bright red lipstick for tonight's screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Orpheum Theatre. The annual cult classic screening includes a pre-show costume contest, and the theater will sell bags of Orpheum-approved props (no rice or water, please) as well as Transylvania-themed cocktails. The show begins at 8 p.m.

In these bleak economic times, it doesn't hurt to learn to live off the land. Get foraging tips and discover what plants are edible and medicinal in herbalist Glinda Watts' Fall Plant Walk on Saturday at 1 p.m. The meet-up location will be provided upon registration. Call 647-4097.

Calling all elementary school P.E. champs! The annual Wifflestock wiffleball tournament takes place at noon on Saturday through Sunday in the parking lot of Zinnie's East. Teams will raise money for the Ronald McDonald House.

Break out ye olde bagpipes. The annual Clanjamfry Scottish festival goes down tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Evergreen Presbyterian Church. Enjoy music by the Old Blind Dogs, traditional Scottish fare (haggis, anyone?), games, and more.

Every year, animal rescue groups across the state spend one week in September pounding the pavement to find homes for homeless pets. This year's local festivities kick off on Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with the Tennessee Week for the Animal Festival at Shelby Farms. Dogs and cats from the Memphis Animal Shelter will be available for adoption, and there’ll be live music, a doggie fun run, and more. Leashed pets are welcome.

For more weekend fun, check out the Flyer's searchable online listings.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's Easy Being Green

Posted on Thu, Sep 18, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Especially if there’s a handy-dandy list involved.

Now that you’ve had a chance to read the Flyer’s green issue (see Conservation Nation, left), maybe you’re interested in more information.

Memphis consumes more electricity per capita than any other city in the nation. Together, Americans consume 26 percent of the world’s energy.

To help do something about that, we’ve put together a list of websites for products, organizations, and companies featured in the green issue.

Green Resources:

Autoclaved Aerated Concrete product association:


Brac Grey Water Recycling Systems:


MLGW’s EcoBuild Program:


Paperstone countertops, conference tables, and toilet partitions made from recycled paper:


Project Green Fork:


Recycle Memphis:


Recycle Solutions:


Rocio Romero’s pre-engineered modern home kits:


Sharp’s Photovoltaic Panels:


Two Chicks and a Broom:


U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification system:


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Capture Sustainable Shelby

Posted on Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Fire up those Flickr accounts -- the Sustainable Shelby initiative is looking for your digital photos.

Earlier this year, Sustainable Shelby came up with 52 recommendations to make the area more sustainable, including walkable neighborhoods, protecting the natural environment, and creating unique public spaces.

Now the initiative wants local photos to illustrate its upcoming implementation plan and website.

To learn more, visit In the Bluff.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NeoSoulville Showcase in Downtown Memphis Wednesday

Posted By on Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Mix, mingle and groove this Wednesday, September 17 with the Neosoulville Showcase in "GayoSoul" Lane, kicking off the weekly Downtown Alive Fall Concert Series!

Listen to the soulful sounds of some of Memphis' best up-and-coming performers including singer/songwriter Will Graves, hip-hop violinist Lila, Phillips Award winner Kelly Hurt, soul sensation Tim Terry and the mayor of NeoSoulville herself, Tonya Dyson.

Gayoso Lane is a beautiful private alley located off Peabody Place between Main and Front, behind Majestic Grille. There will be lots of nearby parking and admission is free!

For more info, check this out.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stormy Monday: Get Ready for a Bumpy Financial Ride

Posted By on Sun, Sep 14, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Wall Street is readying for a stormy Monday as Lehman Brothers, the fourth-largest investment bank in the U.S., prepares to file for bankruptcy.

Sunday night, the two strongest potential buyers appeared to have pulled out of talks to rescue Lehman, which means the bank will likely become the latest victim of the U.S. credit crisis.

If no new financing comes before Wall Street opens, it will have to seek "Chapter 11" bankruptcy protection. This could result in a severe shock to the global financial system, as banks unwind their complex deals with Lehman.

Former Federal Reserve boss Alan Greenspan said Sunday that the government faced "very difficult decisions" over Lehman if it could not secure a rescue deal that did not involve public funds.

"They [will then] have to make a very difficult decision as to whether or not they allow it to liquidate or they support it," he said.

Greenspan added that it would be "unsustainable" for the government to bail out every bank that got itself into difficulty.

How will all this impact the Mid-South? Stayed tuned. For a more comprehensive analysis of the Lehman situation, go here. --BV

Friday, September 12, 2008

Neimanis' "Air Heart" this Weekend at Rhodes

Posted on Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Mara Neimanis' visually compelling Air Heart --on stage at Rhodes College this Friday and Saturday -- mixes poetry, dance, sculpture, and aerial acrobatics, with the conventions of a well-worn theatrical convention: The one-person show about a famous historical character.

Available clips from the show suggest that Air Heart, which recounts the life and mysterious last flight of Amelia Earhart, America's most famous aviatrix, is an over-enunciated affair that finds Neimanis gracefully, and sometimes comically interfacing with the rotating 12-foot metal skeleton of a 1937 Lockheed Electra airplane.

Neimanis has trained around the world as an actor, aerialist, mime, dancer, and clown who has spent more than a decade studying and teaching at Blue Lake, California's Dell’Arte School for performing arts.

Air Heart will be performed at the McCoy Theatre on the campus of Rhodes College on Friday and Saturday September 12th and 13th at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

--Chris Davis

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