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Category: Politics

Your sample ballot for the August 2014 elections

Right-click to save a copy of the Aug. 7 sample ballot

Aug. 7 sample ballot PDF

Just in time for the opening of early voting Friday, July 18, here is the sample ballot for the Aug. 7 election. It features the state and federal primary elections, county general elections and nonpartisan judicial races that come along once every eight years to make this the longest ballot of any election cycle in Shelby County politics.

Unlike the many sample ballots you will be handed between now and Aug. 7, ours comes without any endorsements. So do what you will with the PDF to use as your own voting guide for the “big ballot.”

It’s also printed in the July 11 edition of The Daily News, if you want to do this old school and need a hard copy to have and hold and mark up.

We’ll be tweeting the daily early voter turnout and election night returns at @tdnpols. And we are happy to answer any basic questions about what can be a confusing ballot at times, with primaries, general elections and a few judicial retention races all together.

 

Phil Trenary and the Greater Memphis Chamber

Phil Trenary has been named the new president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

Trenary is the second leader of the economic development agency in a row to come from the aviation industry. Trenary, the former president and CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, is taking over from former Northwest Airlines executive John Moore, who retired in January. And the previous chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors was former Memphis and Shelby County Authority president and CEO Larry Cox.

Though the Chamber hired the Centre Group to conduct a national search for Moore’s replacement, the Chamber Board’s executive committee selected Trenary, at least in part, because of his established roots in economic and community development circles.

City Councilman Harold Collins, who privately urged Trenary to stay in Memphis and consider the leadership position at the Chamber, applauded the selection.

“I always thought (Trenary) would be an excellent choice because he already knows the lay off the land in Memphis having spent a considerable amount of time leading Pinnacle and being a good corporate citizen in Memphis,” said Collins. “I think (Trenary) being named the new president and CEO makes it a seamless transition.”

Trenary takes the reigns of the organization as it seeks to loosen poverty’s grip on the Memphis area through job creation and retention efforts, which include an increased focus on early childhood education and local politics. Currently, the Chamber is urging the city to switch to a 401(k) retirement system instead of relying on its traditional pension program, which is severely underfunded.

Trenary said this week he has been impressed with the coordinated commitment local stakeholders – from individuals to neighborhood organizations, community groups and companies – have shown toward moving Memphis forward. Trenary also said he was particularly excited  by the prospect of a new generation of Memphians getting involved.

“The young people understand that something is happening here and we have to understand and embrace that and if we do we’ll be off to the races,” Trenary said.

Trenary, 59, lives Downtown with his wife, Bridget and their children, Justin, Brittney and Pearce.

University District Neighborhood Summit On Tap

With all the efforts taking place in the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Memphis officials thought it was a good time to have a public meeting to get everything on the table.

The public is invited to attend a University District Neighborhood Summit Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Luke’s Church, located at 480 S. Highland St. Residents and community leaders will discuss activities, development and safety within the University District area. If an update on all the activity in the neighborhood isn’t enough to get you to attend the meeting, organizers will be providing lunch at the event.

Memphis City Council members Jim Strickland and Wanda Halbert and Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy will join the discussion. There will be presentations from Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir and from the Memphis Area Association of Governments on Greenprint partnerships.

After the main program, there will be a 30-minute training session on Memphis 311 services.

The University District represents businesses, residents and organizations in seven neighborhoods surrounding the University of Memphis: East Buntyn, Joffre, Messick-Buntyn, Normal Station, Red Acres, Sherwood Forest and University North.

RSVP to Leah Dawkins at lmdwkins@memphis.edu.

On a related note, here’s the latest from our Bill Dries on the search for a new University of Memphis president.

Congressional Panel Tours FedEx, Port of Memphis

A Congressional panel visited Memphis this week in an effort to find ways to improve U.S. freight transportation.

The bipartisan panel toured FedEx facilities and the Port of Memphis, in addition to meeting with representatives of the region’s freight transportation community. The freight panel is a special panel of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Transportation accounts for up to 10 percent of a product’s total cost, so bottlenecks and limitations in our transportation system can significantly drive up the cost of everything we buy,” said Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.), who chairs the freight panel. “By coming to Memphis, an important hub for U.S. freight transportation, the panel was able to see firsthand how efficiencies can be replicated and where challenges continue to exist throughout our national transportation system.”

Actuarial Study Predicting Soaring Health Care Costs Failed to Disclose Industry Ties

A study produced by the Society of Actuaries predicted medical claim costs could jump 32 percent nationally by 2017 for individual policies under the Affordable Care Act. The research study was widely written about in the press, including The Daily News.

Kaiser Health News and Politico Pro are now reporting the study failed to note the close ties between the actuaries making the forecasts and the insurance industry.

“Undisclosed in the SOA report was the fact that about half the people who oversaw it work for the health insurance industry that is warning about rate shock. The chairman of society committee supervising the project was Kenny Kan, chief actuary at Maryland-based CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield,” Kaiser Health News and Politico Pro reported.

Optum, the sister company of UnitedHealthcare, performed the research for the study. UnitedHealthcare is the nation’s largest private health insurer, the news organizations jointly reported.

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act pointed out that the actuary society’s study failed to factor in the potential for competition to lower prices and the subsidies people will receive to purchase coverage.

Dansette

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