Everything you need to know before you vote

Right-click to download your sample ballot.

Click here to view/download your sample ballot.

Early voting is underway through Oct. 30 in advance of the Nov. 4 election day. Here is the sample ballot from the Shelby County Election Commission for you to mark with your choices and use when you vote. (You are going to vote, aren’t you?)

Here are a few more things you need to know:

• WHAT: A few highlights from this year’s ballot: the races for governor, U.S. Senate and House; four state Constitutional amendments; and, depending on where you live, wine in grocery stores (Memphis, Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown and Millington) or liquor by the drink (Lakeland).

• WHEN: Mondays-Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 30 

• WHERE: 21 polling sites across Shelby County (view the list here). You can vote at any of the 21 locations, no matter where you live.

• WHAT YOU NEED: State or federal photo ID – driver’s license, passport, military ID, etc.

Want even more info? Check out the Shelby County Election Commission website at ShelbyVote.com. And follow @tdnpols for early voting updates, election night returns, and all the other political news you need to know.

Memphis Groups Holding Rally for Israel Tonight

The Memphis Jewish community along with other representatives from the Memphis area plans to hold a rally in support of Israel tonight at 5:30 at Temple Israel, 1376 E. Massey Road.

The event comes as Israel and Hamas have been engaged in a fierce military struggle for a few weeks now. The rally will last one hour and will include remarks from Rabbi Micah Greenstein of Temple Israel, Dr. Keith Norman of First Baptist Church-Broad, Church Health Center executive director Dr. Scott Morris, Rabbi Joel Finkelstein of Anshei Sphard-Beth El Emeth, and Rabbi Shai Finkelstein of Baron Hirsch Synagogue.

“The Rally of Solidarity and Support of Israel” is being sponsored by the Memphis Jewish Federation, which serves as the local Jewish community’s central planning body.

Wharton discusses the rape kit backlog on MSNBC

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was on MSNBC Thursday, May 29, with Ronan Farrow to discuss the city’s untested rape kit backlog and announce a $750,000 challenge grant from the Plough Foundation. To receive the grant, the city must raise the gap between the $2 million it has now and the estimated $6 million needed to clear the backlog.

Also look for Wharton’s comments as Farrow presses him on how the backlog came to be.

Memphis the city vs. Memphis the town

I emailed a friend yesterday afternoon, a few hours after word came that Pinnacle Airlines is leaving Memphis and Bishop Byrne is closing. I found it interesting, I told her, that our Bishop Byrne tweets had been mentioned/retweeted more than our Pinnacle tweets.

Her reply:
That may be evidence that Memphis is, in fact, less of a city and more of a town where people value family-related institutions over big business. Thing is … you need both to survive.

Just one person’s opinion, but a valid one.

Within the span of a few weeks, Memphis will lose one of each: Pinnacle will be gone by May; Bishop Byrne’s last day is May 24. They’ve impacted the city in different ways – and will continue to impact the city in different ways for a few more short months. But as different as they are, the bottom line is that they’ve both impacted the city. They both matter. And both will be missed.

Facebook, Google and the definition of ‘success’

Facebook announced this week its plan to go public with a $5 billion IPO. The news was both expected and eagerly awaited – by would-be investors as well as anyone wanting to peek under the hood at the company’s financials.

The prospectus Facebook filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows it ended 2011 with $3.9 billion in cash. To put that in perspective, Google ended the year with $45 billion, according to the Associated Press.

Though Google’s impressive bank balance easily overshadows Facebook’s, the search giant’s dog in the social media fight, Google+, is light years away from overtaking Facebook’s member base.

When Google reported earnings in mid-January, CEO Larry Page said Google+ had more than 90 million users, with 60 percent (54 million) being daily active users, or DAUs. Respected tech news website Ars Technica questioned those numbers and confirmed Google used a rather broad interpretation of what constituted an “active” user. (Ars’ report here.)

But even taking Google’s 90 million at face value, Facebook ended 2011 with nearly nine times the number of members (800 million) and DAUs (483 million). Google+ has plenty of time to catch up – but a long way to go.

The comparison raises an important question: When weighing Google’s bottom line against Facebook’s wild popularity, who’s won the battle and who’s winning the war?

Click here to read Facebook’s prospectus and here to read Google’s most recent earnings report.

Dansette

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