Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Memphis Pets of the Week (9/3-9/9)

Posted By on Wed, Sep 4, 2019 at 2:07 PM

Each week, the Flyer will feature adoptable dogs and cats from Memphis Animal Services. All photos are credited to Memphis Pets Alive. More pictures and more information can be found on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page.

Harris Presents ‘Landmark’ Funding Plan for MATA

Posted By on Wed, Sep 4, 2019 at 12:30 PM

Mayor Harris wants to give MATA $10 million. - MEMPHIS AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY
  • Memphis Area Transit Authority
  • Mayor Harris wants to give MATA $10 million.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris presented a plan to the Shelby County Commission Wednesday to generate $10 million in funding each year for the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA).


In the past, MATA has said it needs an additional $30 million in funding to build a more robust, frequent, and reliable system.


Gary Rosenfeld, CEO of MATA said Wednesday that the mayor’s proposal is a “landmark plan” that would “dramatically change the trajectory of funding for public transit in this community.”


Harris said the plan would have “zero impact” on most families and does not include an increase in property taxes. Instead, the plan would implement an annual $145 registration fee for households’ third vehicle and beyond. Harris said this would only affect about 17 percent of residents here.


“Today I presented out #Future4Transit plan to the Shelby County Commission,” Harris wrote on Twitter. “If adopted it will have a big impact on transit.”


If the commission adopts the plan, the county would also allocate 1.5 percent, or $1 million of its capital improvement budget, to transit.


Harris anticipates the additional funds will be used to implement recommendations laid out in the Transit Vision 3.0 Plan, such as an express route to the airport and increased frequency on MATA’s most popular routes.


The additional $10 million would have an economic impact of more than $40 million, Harris said, citing expanded job access and a reduction in car accidents.

The mayor also said the plan would have a significant impact on poverty, noting there are 15,000 available jobs in the county: “More frequent transit helps people get a job and keep a job.”


The transit investment would also have a “big impact on our shared environment.” Harris said. With more frequent and reliable transit options, there would be more ridership and a reduction of automobile emissions by thousands of tons.


“Everyone has to play a role in trying to preserve our shared environment, even local officials,” Harris said. “We will all enjoy the benefits of clean air, reduced congestion, and a reduction in poverty. This sustainable investment in transit helps achieve all those objectives.”


Harris is looking for the commission to vote on the plan by February 2020. County approval could be contingent upon MATA giving the county a place on its board.


Earlier this year, the county commission approved $2.5 million of the county’s 2020 budget going toward MATA and related infrastructure improvements. This was the first investment in public transit by the county.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

ACLU Moves to Stop State Voter Registration Law From Taking Effect

Posted By on Tue, Sep 3, 2019 at 12:24 PM

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Tennessee filed for an emergency injunction Friday in an attempt to stop a state law that places substantial requirements on voter registration efforts from going into effect.


The law, signed by Governor Bill Lee in May, mandates a slew of requirements for those participating in voter registration efforts and penalties for those who don’t comply. It is set to take effect on October 1st.


Some of the requirements of the law include providing the coordinator of elections with information about any voter drive prior to holding it, completing a training session, and filing a sworn statement stating an intention to obey the laws and procedures pertaining to the process.

The law also creates civil and criminal penalties to groups or individuals who turn in more than 100 “deficient filings.” Groups opposing the law have said it would place “strict, unnecessary, and irrational restrictions” on community-based voter registration efforts.

Soon after the law was passed, the ACLU, along with the Campaign Legal Center and Fair Elections Center filed a lawsuit challenging the legislation in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Tennessee, the American Muslim Advisory Council, the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, Rock the Vote, Spread the Vote, Central Labor Council, and HeadCount.


The ongoing lawsuit, League of Women Voters of Tennessee v. Hargett, argues that the law violates the freedoms of speech, association, due process, and “the fundamental right to vote under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”


Now, the ACLU is trying to stop the law from going into effect by filing a motion for a preliminary injunction. If granted, the injunction would prohibit the state from penalizing those participating in voter registration who don’t meet all the requirements of the new law. Read the full motion for injunction below. 


“Civic-minded groups like our clients should be able to help community members register to vote without the threat of being charged with a crime or slapped with an exorbitant fine,” said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee. “While this case works its way through the system and we prove in court why this law is unfair and unconstitutional, our clients should be able to help as many Tennesseans as they can gain access to the ballot box.”


Tuesday (today) is the last day to register to vote to participate in the upcoming city elections, set for Thursday, October 3rd. Voters can register one of three ways: online, via mail, or in person. Find more information on how to register here


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Friday, August 30, 2019

Bolt Drops Fleet of ‘Revolutionary’ Scooters in Memphis

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2019 at 12:39 PM

Bolt scooters are here
  • Bolt scooters are here

Memphis added yet another set of scooters to its growing fleet, as Bolt officially launched here Friday.


The Florida-based company put 100 scooters on the streets and plans to add 150 over the next few months. But, these scooters are not the traditional electric scooters Memphis has seen. The Bolt Chariot scooter is “the biggest revolution in micro mobility thus far,” said Andy Shenkman, Bolt’s North American director of operations.


“We at Bolt have created a revolutionary device that bridges the gap between what micro mobility was and what it will be,” Shenkman said. “We’ve taken all the amenities of an automobile and combined it with the convenience of dockless mobility.”


Bolt’s Chariot scooter is equipped with a small foot basket for cargo, two cup holders, a slot for phones, and a USB outlet. The scooter’s design also differs from others here. The Chariot is larger and has two foot platforms, rather than the traditional single platform. Shenkman said this gives riders a better center of gravity and 180 degrees of visibility.

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Similar to other scooter companies in town, Bolt is accessed through an app. However, Bolt does not charge the common $1 activation fee, but charges 50 cents per minute, compared to the 15 cents per minute that Lime, Bird, and Spin charge.


Shenkman said that the “added amenities to the scooter legitimize that extra price.”


Bolt currently operates in 13 different U.S. cities and Paris. Memphis is only the fourth city to get Bolt’s Chariot scooter.


Shenkman said in choosing which cities to place scooters, Bolt considers the transportation needs there.

One of the company’s priorities, he said, is figuring out how to “use our devices to connect the under-served neighborhoods where there isn’t transportation or infrastructure to the interior where there might be better jobs or better quality of life. The goal is to bridge that gap and that is absolutely a core philosophy of our company.”


Bolt aims to consistently maintain 35 percent of its fleet in under-served communities, Shenkman said. Bolt accepts cash payment options for riders without smartphones or bank accounts. It also offers reduced prices for riders who qualify for government assistance though its Bolt Forward program.

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Construction of New U of M Fitness Center to Begin Next Month

Posted By on Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 4:13 PM

UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS
  • University of Memphis

The University of Memphis will begin construction on a new $30-million fitness center next month, the university announced Thursday.


Construction of the 74,000-square-foot Center for Wellness & Fitness, which will sit next to the newly constructed parking garage on Southern Avenue, is tentatively slated to be completed by spring 2021.


Richard Bloomer, dean of the U of M School of Health Studies, said the new space will be built with the “whole student in mind.”


“It will be just one more example of expansion on our campus to enhance student engagement and the overall user experience,” Bloomer said.


The two-story center will house “new and expanded features not previously available on our campus,” the university said in a press release. In addition to housing two basketball courts, fitness studios, strength training and cardiovascular fitness areas, and functional training areas, the center will have a nutrition kitchen, cafe, academic classrooms, and an indoor track.


Outside there will be an exercise patio, a leisure pool, sports fields, three tennis courts, and a basketball court.


UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS
  • University of Memphis
UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS
  • University of Memphis

The existing recreational center will remain in place and get several improvements including new roofing and revamped mechanical systems. The most significant enhancement to the current facility will be the construction of the $10-million Mike Rose Natatorium, officials said. As a part of this project, the current pool will be renovated into a deeper and longer pool, a new warm-water leisure pool will be added, and spectator seating will be expanded.


The university, in partnership with Splash Mid-South, YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South, and the Rose Foundation, will offer aquatics programs at the natatorium to “promote water safety and enrich community health among diverse populations,” according to the press release.

UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS
  • University of Memphis

This announcement comes a week after the university opened its new Hunter Harrison pedestrian bridge over Southern Avenue and adjoining parking garage and amphitheater.


Earlier this month, a building permit was filed for the university’s $35-million Scheidt Family Music Center, which is also slated to be completed by spring 2021.

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Church Plans to Open Park Area For Big River Crossing Visitors

Posted By on Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 11:01 AM

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The Church on the River is raising funds to upgrade its playground in hopes of opening it up (and offering water) to visitors to Big River Crossing.

The church sits just below the Tennessee-side gate of the pedestrian bridge, which spans the Mississippi River. Its playground is now a large, grassy area, fenced for security. It has a swing set, some plastic climbing structures, and a large shade tree.

CHURCH OF THE RIVER/IOBY
  • Church of the River/ioby
As for the Big River Crossing entrance, according to a statement from the church, “There are no additional amenities: no playground, no benches, no picnic tables, no shade, not even a drinking fountain.” But the church has begun a fund-raiser on the ioby crowd-funding website to change that and open the area up to all. The church wants a ”a true family-friendly destination, where children can safely play and adults can relax and find water and shade.”

The church wants to replace the current play structures with larger, more diverse play equipment, install a safe surface and drainage, build a concrete walkway from the path to the play area, install benches and picnic tables, plant new trees and other foliage, and extend water lines form the church to the area for a water fountain.
CHURCH OF THE RIVER/IOBY
  • Church of the River/ioby

“But while we have the available space on our property, and the desire to share it, we are just a small congregation and, therefore, do not have the funds to make all the necessary improvements,” reads the group’s page on ioby. “While our congregation will fund many of these improvements, we are also seeking donations and grants from other sources.”

As of Thursday morning, the group has raised $6,138 of the $21,777 needed to fully fund the project.

The funds raised on ioby will specifically fund the extension of the water line for a foundation and a play area for toddlers.

The area would be reserved for church use only on Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon and during some occasional church events.

CHURCH OF THE RIVER/IOBY
  • Church of the River/ioby

“We believe this playground would benefit the quality of life not only for families who live in the South Main/Downtown area, but also families from across Shelby County who visit the Big River Crossing, and adults who walk, run, or bike across the bridge,” reads the ioby page. “Our church's desire is to be a ’good neighbor’ to all.”

For more information, visit the church's ioby.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

New App Aims to Promote Green Living on U of M Campus

Posted By on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 1:31 PM

green_feelogo.png

A new app created by a professor at the University of Memphis is meant to encourage green living activities on the campus and beyond.


Green Fee, developed by Susan Elswick, a professor in the social work department at the U of M, is a game-based app that allows users to track their green-living efforts, as well as green-living issues they encounter.


In creating the app, Elswick, who is also a master gardener in the region, said she “nailed her love for horticulture, technology, and social behavior sciences together. Green living is a behavior that we can easily see and track.”


Green living app developer Susan Elswick - UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS
  • University of Memphis
  • Green living app developer Susan Elswick

Elswick said the app is similar to Waze, an app drivers can use to track road conditions and incidents to give other drivers on the road a heads-up. With the green-living app, users can identify and geotag a green-living issue or problem they see, such as trash on the ground. Elswick said they can “take it a step further” by taking action to address the issue and then tagging that activity.


Examples of green-living activities could include carpooling, walking, or biking to campus, picking up trash, or turning the lights off when leaving home. Green activities can also include reducing blight, pulling weeds, or working in a community garden.


A big, green issue in Memphis is abandoned tires that litter the city, Elswick said. “Tires are a huge problem so someone could even see some tires on the side of the road and decide to pick them up and repurpose them. It’s that easy.”

Each time users identify an issue, they get one point. For addressing the issue or doing their own green activity, users get two points.


The points aren’t tied to an external reward outside of the game, but Elswick said that could be a possibility in the future.

A screenshot from the green living app - GREEN LIVING
  • Green Living
  • A screenshot from the green living app

Elswick hopes the app will raise awareness about and get more students involved in green-living practices. She also said the app will help show the university’s green footprint in the community.


“To be able to visually see our impact on a map is huge,” Elswick said. “We know our outreach on campus is pretty good, but there’s a lot of students who participate in green living that live in the community and we want to highlight those practices.”


The app is slated to launch in the Android and Apple app stores in two weeks, Elswick said. It will be free to all university students, faculty, and staff.


Elswick said she anticipates the app being widely used on campus, as she says all of the university’s green programming is “pretty well-received.”


“We have two community gardens on campus, we have pop-up gardens, and a lot of students across all departments who are engaged in green programming and research,” Elswick said. “I’m confident the app will get support on campus ”


Eventually, Elswick said the app will be available to community partners and businesses who want to track their philanthropic efforts and outreach in the city related to green living.


“For example, if a local company goes out and cleans a flower bed, they can geo-locate that,” Elswick said. “That would then show up on a map with their brand on it.”

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Memphis Pets of the Week (8/27-9/2)

Posted By on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 10:57 AM

Each week, the Flyer will feature adoptable dogs and cats from Memphis Animal Services. All photos are credited to Memphis Pets Alive. More pictures and more information can be found on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Group Calls for Memphians to Record, Share Stories

Posted By on Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 1:33 PM

StoryCorps' mobile recording booth
  • StoryCorps' mobile recording booth

Have an interesting story to share with the world?


Well, one New York-based organization is giving Memphians a chance to do just that, beginning next month.


StoryCorps, whose mission is to “preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world,” is partnering with WKNO to record and share stories of Memphis.


StoryCorp’s mobile recording booth will be parked at Crosstown Concourse September 10th through October 9th to gather stories from Memphians.

The goal is to give people from different backgrounds, typically two friends or loved ones at a time, the opportunity to record a meaningful 40-minute conversation or interview with each other. The conversations will then be archived at the Library of Congress in the American Folklife Center. To sign up for a slot, go here.


StoryCorps’ stop in Memphis is a part of its 2019 cross-country, story-collecting mobile tour that also includes stops in Flint, Michigan, Washington D.C., and Yuma, Arizona.


Since StoryCorps launched its mobile tour in 2005, it has recorded nearly 75,000 interviews from more than 150,000 participants across the country. The group calls its tours “one of the largest oral history projects of its kind.”


Watch the video below to learn more about StoryCorps' work.


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Monday, August 26, 2019

U of M Moves to Brand Central Avenue as Arts Corridor

Posted By on Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 1:46 PM

Future home of the Central to the Arts Hub - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • Future home of the Central to the Arts Hub

The University of Memphis is working to designate a stretch of Central Avenue as the “Central Arts Corridor.”


To help brand this part of Central, between Patterson and Zach Curlin, as an arts corridor, the College of Communications and Fine Arts (CCFA) is taking over the former information kiosk at Central and Patterson and reopening it as the Central to the Arts Hub.


The small, circular building will serve as a “gateway” to the arts corridor, which will be a “real arts destination,” Anne Hogan, dean of the university’s CCFA, said.


“I think this building is an opportunity to brand and designate this as an area for Memphis where students, the university, and the wider communities can come and benefit from the resources and arts,” Hogan said. “We want everyone in the city to know we’re doing creative stuff over here."

Once open, the art hub will house pop-up galleries featuring one student’s work for two weeks at a time. This gives students the opportunity to curate their own gallery and sell their work. There will “always be fresh art to see there,” Hogan said. Genres of art to be featured include everything from sculpture to ceramics to photography.

The art hub will also be a place where the public can come and learn about the university’s art programs and upcoming events.

Hogan said the goal is for the arts corridor and the new hub to bring attention to the many performances happening at the university throughout the year.


“Our students are just so talented and they do great work,” Hogan said. “We have performances going on all the time that are open to the wider public, but a lot of times, people just don’t realize that they are here.”

Hogan said the college has “amazing art facilities and resources” that are all located just off of Central. On this segment of Central sits the university’s art museums, galleries, theater, and concert hall.


Rendering of Scheidt Family Music Center - ARCHIMANIA
  • archimania
  • Rendering of Scheidt Family Music Center

A big piece of the college’s rebranding effort is the addition of the new Scheidt Family Music Center, for which construction is slated to begin this fall and wrap up in the spring of 2021.

It will occupy much of what is now a parking lot on the north side of Central just east of Patterson.


The 90,000-square facility is going to be a “beautiful, highly visible building,” Hogan said. It will be a state-of-the-art facility, she said, and an “incredible asset for the larger Memphis community.”


Not only will the center host student performances, but the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and other community organizations will also perform in the new space.


Hogan said when she assumed the role of dean for the CCFA two and a half years ago, the college had been talking about building a new music center “for literally decades. It was a dream everyone had, and now it’s finally happening.”

Rendering of Scheidt Family Music Center interior - ARCHIMANIA
  • archimania
  • Rendering of Scheidt Family Music Center interior

The public is invited to take a sneak peak of what the music center will look like on Saturday, October 5th, during the unveiling of the Central to the Arts Hub. There will be renderings of the Scheidt Family Music Center on display in the newly opened hub.


The half-day event, scheduled for noon to 4 p.m., will also feature live music from students in the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music and stage combat demonstrations from the Department of Theatre & Dance.


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Friday, August 23, 2019

Group Hopes to De-Criminalize Poverty

Posted By on Fri, Aug 23, 2019 at 2:06 PM

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A Tennessee organization is looking for community-sourced solutions to the criminalization of poor Tennesseans.


Free Hearts, an organization led by formerly incarcerated women, seeks to provide support, advocacy, and education to families impacted by incarceration. The group’s ultimate goal is to keep families together or reuniting them.


The organization is asking the public to complete a survey to help generate community-based solutions to decriminalize poverty in Tennessee.


“#ItsNotACrime to be poor, but the state of TN has made it a crime to be poor and working-poor,” the survey introduction reads.


Dawn Harrington, executive director of Free Hearts, said that the survey will help identify new Tennesseans who want to join their efforts to end the criminalization of the poor and “transform our state into one that is just and equitable for all.”


The survey will be open through October 4th. Those who are interested can also send a 1-minute video on the criminalization of poverty to the group.


Free Hearts, along with the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, helped push for a recently-passed state law meant to help parents facing incarceration stay with their families.


The Primary Caretaker Bill, which became law in July, requires that courts factor in someone’s caretaker status when handing down sentences. The idea is for the caretakers to be offered a community-based alternative to incarceration.

Free Hearts with Gov. Bill Lee as he signs the Primary Caretaker Bill - FACEBOOK/FREE HEARTS
  • Facebook/Free Hearts
  • Free Hearts with Gov. Bill Lee as he signs the Primary Caretaker Bill


The group has since been talking with Gov. Bill Lee’s office about solutions to the criminalization of poverty. The organization was asked to present solutions to address the issue and other policies related to poverty and criminal justice.


The survey is a step in that direction. Harrington said the group wants to build on the work it’s done for caregivers, by looking for alternatives to parts of the system it says criminalizes poverty, such as bail and pre-trial detention.


“It is our belief that participation is the first win and in order to propose solutions to a problem that affects so many of us, we must get input and buy in from Tennessee across the state on their ideas and organizations that already exists that they believe are effective,” Harrington said.


To incentivize participation, Free Hearts will enter all survey participants or those who create videos in weekly drawings through October 4th for a chance to win a $500 gift card.

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Attorneys General Plan to Curb Robocalls

Posted By on Fri, Aug 23, 2019 at 12:00 PM

DREAMSTIME
  • Dreamstime
Tired of robocalls blowing up your phone? So is the Tennessee Attorney General.

State AG Herbert Slatery said Thursday that he and 51 other attorneys general and 12 phone companies have adopted a new slate of protocols to fight robocalls.

“Robocalls are uninvited, a breach of privacy, distracting, and generally a menace,” said Slatery. “This agreement should better protect Tennesseans from illegal robocalls and enable this office and other attorneys general to investigate and prosecute offenders.”

The new plan would install call-blocking technology at the network level, give consumers free call-blocking technology for their phones, and implement new technology that would ensure callers are coming from a valid source.

Phone companies will assist in the effort by helping to identify bad actors, notifying law enforcement if they find them, tracing the origins of robocalls, and requiring call traceback identification.
“The principles offer a comprehensive set of best practices that recognizes that no single action or technology is sufficient to curb the scourge of illegal and unwanted robocalls,” said Henning Schulzrinne, professor of computer science at Columbia University. ”I hope that all parts of the telecommunication industry, both large and small, will commit to rapidly implementing these principles and work with state and federal authorities to make people want to answer their phone again without fear of being defrauded or annoyed.”
YOUMAIL ROBOCALL INDEX
  • YouMail RoboCall Index

The group is comprised of attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The coalition of companies includes AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream.

If your phone rang in Memphis last month, it was a scammer 40 percent of the time, according to YouMail, host of the RoboCall Index. So, how many calls are we talking here? Nearly 15 robocalls were made every second here last month.

YOUMAIL ROBOCALL INDEX
  • YouMail RoboCall Index
YOUMAIL ROBOCALL INDEX
  • YouMail RoboCall Index


The No. 1 robocaller in Memphis last month was Intelliquent, reminding you to pay your credit card. Other robocallers included prison-call consents, payment reminders, debt collectors, and straight scams.

Memphis ranks 28th on the RoboCall Index with nearly 40 million calls last month. No. 1? Atlanta. More than 187 million robocalls were placed to callers there last month.

See all of the data here

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Downtown Business Owners Urge Tom Lee Park Renovation

Posted By on Fri, Aug 23, 2019 at 11:02 AM

Owners of nearly 70 Downtown businesses support the renovation of Tom Lee Park - ALDO'S PIZZA PIE'S, CATHERINE AND MARY'S, THE MAJESTIC GRILLE (FACEBOOK)
  • Aldo's Pizza Pie's, Catherine And Mary's, The Majestic Grille (Facebook)
  • Owners of nearly 70 Downtown businesses support the renovation of Tom Lee Park

Owners of well-known Downtown restaurants — Aldo’s Pizza Pies, The Majestic Grille, Catherine and Mary’s, and more — say they, and nearly 70 Downtown businesses fully support a renovated Tom Lee Park. (Read the letter in full at the bottom of the story.)

The group made public Thursday a letter of support it sent to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland in June. The letter urged Strickland to move ahead with the Mississippi River Park Partnership’s (MRPP) $60 million plan for the park.

That plan adds contours, trees, facilities, and more to the now-wide-open Tom Lee Park. The plan was unveiled in February and raised concern for Memphis In May (MIM) officials, worried that their month-long festival would not fit inside the new park.

A view of Tom Lee Park from Studio Gang's 2017 Riverfront Concept Plan. - STUDIO GANG
  • Studio Gang
  • A view of Tom Lee Park from Studio Gang's 2017 Riverfront Concept Plan.

That concern simmered to a boil for some citizens, afraid the new plan is taking precedent over the MIM tradition. A Facebook group called "Save Tom Lee Park & The Festivals" has nearly 2,500 members. Another Facebook group called "Memphis-Wake Up Save Memphis In May, Riverside Dr. and Tom Lee Park" and signs for another group read, “Let Tom Lee Be.”

The group of Downtown business owners said they want to set straight “recent inaccurate news reports that the majority of Downtown businesses are opposed to the transformation of Tom Lee Park and other misinformation being disseminated on social media.” They say ”a world-class, riverfront park that is activated 365 days per year will be better for business, better for Downtown, and better for Memphis as a whole.”
“We need this park to happen” said Andy Ticer, partner in Catherine and Mary’s and The Gray Canary. “Downtown has seen such positive growth over the past two decades, and because of this momentum, we chose to open two signature Downtown restaurants.

“A re-envisioned Tom Lee Park affirms ours and others’ investments in Downtown, and helps our businesses and Memphis continue to move forward.”

The group said they collectively employ thousands of people and generate tens of millions of dollars in annual tax revenues for the city. The group includes creative agencies, developers, retailers, major corporations, tourist destinations, “and contrary to the official stance of the Memphis Restaurant Association, over 40 restaurants and bars.”

STUDIO GANG
  • Studio Gang

“I hate to think that all the joys of Memphis are relegated to just one month in the springtime,” said Aldo Dean, owner and operator of Bardog Tavern, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, and Slider Inn. “While I understand the economic impact of May's festivities, as an owner of multiple Downtown businesses, I'd rather see my chosen city benefit from the year-long activity and density that a single month's revenue can't hope to match.
“The re-imagination of the riverfront seeks to deliver it from the dormancy of mediocrity. The prototype at River Garden exists as a glimpse of the long-term vision of this much needed improvement, and any argument against the proposal is short-sighted and self-defeating.”

The letter was delivered to Strickland on June 26. It says ”pedestrian connections between the Downtown core and the riverfront are crucial for Memphis to continue to be an attractive hub for headquarters, creative agencies, and entrepreneurs, for our identity as a top tourist destination, and for our continued growth as the most diverse, inclusive neighborhood in the MidSouth.”

Strickland - CITY OF MEMPHIS
  • City of Memphis
  • Strickland
Renovation construction was slated to begin right after the festival ended this year. It was pushed back to the fall in May. Strickland announced in late July that MIM would return to the park next year, be held at an alternate location in 2021, and return to Tom Lee Park in 2022.

“We are pleased that Mayor Strickland has shown such strong leadership and vision by announcing that this project is moving forward,” said Patrick Reilly, co-owner of The Majestic Grille. “The revised timeline ensures Memphis in May ample time to plan for alternate sites in 2020 and almost two years to plan the evolution of the festival to the new space and a new era.

“We’re looking forward to experiencing a new and improved festival and a world-class park that both reflect the current trajectory of our great city.”

Tom Lee Park model at Beale Street Landing. - BRUCE VANWYNGARDEN
  • Bruce VanWyngarden
  • Tom Lee Park model at Beale Street Landing.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Memphis Pets of the Week (8/20/19-8/26/19)

Posted By on Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 1:35 PM

Each week, the Flyer will feature adoptable dogs and cats from Memphis Animal Services. All photos are credited to Memphis Pets Alive. More pictures and more information can be found on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page.


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Zoo Lot Construction to Begin Monday

Posted By on Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 11:29 AM

BRANDON DILL
  • Brandon Dill

It’s the beginning of the end for parking on the Overton Park Greensward.

Construction is slated to begin Monday on a project that will reconfigure the Memphis Zoo parking lot, adding an additional 415 parking spaces. Those spaces are expected to end the decades-long practice of parking cars on the Greensward, the grassy field adjacent to the zoo’s parking lot.

The first phase of the project will focus on the Prentiss Place parking lot, on the northwest side of the zoo. Work there will take about three months, and during that time, the lot will be completely closed. Once complete, the new Prentiss Place lot will have gained 108 parking spaces.

Prentiss Place is expected to stay open as a two-way street for most of those three months, though some closures are expected to complete pedestrian crossings and on-street parking.

SAVETHEGREENSWARD.ORG
  • savethegreensward.org

Construction crews will then begin work on the main zoo lot, just south of the zoo entrance. That work is slated to start this fall and winter, an optimum time to transplant many trees, which officials have said is necessary to the project.

During it all, the zoo’s North Parkway entrance will be staffed and open on busy days when overflow parking is expected. This will give access to the zoo from the nearly 200 on-street parking spots on North Parkway.
“By executing on this project, we’ll fulfill [Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s] promise to put 30-plus years of controversy behind us by permanently ending parking on the Greensward, as well as accommodating the growth of one of the nation’s top zoos,” Doug McGowen, the city’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “We will surely have some growing pains as we work through the construction, but we’re committed to strong communication to make sure park visitors, zoo patrons, and neighborhood residents know what to expect.”

New zoo president and CEO Jim Dean said he was “very happy” to have the “strong” support of the Overton Park Conservancy, Overton Park Alliance, and the city of Memphis.

“The Memphis Zoo has been a part of Overton Park since 1906,” Dean said. “We have grown quite a bit since then and have faced some challenges.

The hotly contested battle for the Greensward
  • The hotly contested battle for the Greensward

“We’re happy this resolution will, once complete, end parking on the Greensward. We are also excited about strengthening and growing our partnership with the Overton Park Conservancy and the Overton Park Alliance to continue to make Overton Park one of the best parks in the country.”

Tina Sullivan, executive director of the Overton Park Conservancy, said community support made the project possible and “is a testament to Memphis’ love for Overton Park.”

“We look forward to the day very soon when park visitors can look from the Doughboy statue to Rainbow Lake across a beautiful Greensward that is free of cars,” Sullivan said.

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