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On the CVS Fight

Preserving the individuality of Midtown is one of the most oft-cited reasons of preservationists and neighborhood supporters in opposing developments like CVS’ plan to replace the church building at the corner of Union and Cooper with a drug store.

It’s a version of the same fight that saw preservationists and neighborhood supporters fight to keep a grocery store out of Overton Square and to delay Chick-fil-A building a Midtown restaurant for months until the eatery agreed to preserve – a wall.

The reasons behind those preservation fights are understandable. People want Midtown populated with businesses that don’t exist in the suburbs.

It sometimes gets lost in that discussion, though, that such businesses actually need to be patronized to survive.

I can’t help but wonder where some of this same passion was when:

Square Foods was forced to close its doors in 2008;
Sweet Bistro closed in 2009;
Dish closed its doors earlier this year;
the House of Mews struggled financially to the point its managing director was preparing to sell her house when a benefactor stepped up to offer aid;
Lux closed, then was offered a better location and, by chance, was able to reopen.

Wharton On Anti Discrimination Ordinance

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. responded late Tuesday afternoon to the withdrawal of a non discrimination ordinance that was to be voted on by the City Council on the second of three readings.

The sponsor, Janis Fullilove, pulled it citing opposition from the administration.

Here is Wharton’s statement in full:

“Given the events that transpired today in the Personnel, Intergovernmental & Annexation Committee of the Memphis City Council, it is necessary to clarify my position on the issue of the non-discrimination ordinance.

“Allow me to be clear: throughout my career in public service, most recently as Shelby County Mayor when this same issue was under discussion by the County Commission, I have made it clear that I believe governments should focus on merit and merit alone in their hiring and purchasing policies. My vision is for Memphis to be a city of choice for all people, which means that our long-term economic strength will require all individuals, regardless of their personal creeds or viewpoints, to work together toward a shared vision of prosperity.

“Over the past several weeks, I have watched with great interest to see what direction the City Council will take. This discussion originated with them and will conclude with them. I will abide by my duty to support whatever actions they take. My hope is that they proceed in a way that aligns with our values of inclusiveness and non-discrimination.

“My beliefs or views on the subject have been clear and consistent throughout my entire life. I will not permit them to be mischaracterized by any group, individual, or elected body who seek a convenient excuse for not confronting the issue now that it is at hand.”

Blame smart phone for being dumb

The constant barrage of information from smart phones and other digital devices could be hammering away at your brain power.
That’s what scientists are saying, according to an article in The New York Times.
Read the article:
nytimes.com/2010/08/25/technology/25brain.html?_r=1&ref=business

Trinkets from Shelby County’s Attic

Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood’s office is a treasure trove of historic tidbits from just about every aspect of life in Memphis and Shelby County.

His office recently dug up the first page of an old Memphis City Council resolution urging the Beatles not to go forward with their 1966 concert at the Mid-South Coliseum. It was around the time the Beatles were tacking flak for anti-religious comments like John Lennon’s statement that the Beatles had become “more popular than Jesus.”

Also included below is the link to a letter from a fan urging the City Council not to cancel the Beatles’ concert. “I do not approve or like what John said, but you can like the Beatles without liking what they said or say,” the letter reads.

In other words, Mr. City Council-person, all you need is love.

Turner On County Primaries

As Shelby County Commissioners prepare for Monday’s meeting, local Democratic party chairman Van Turner has weighed in on the resolution the deals with county partisan primaries.

Republican commissioner John Pellicciotti is sponsoring the resolution which urges local leaders of both parties to do away with the primaries.

Here is Turner’s response in full:

I will be unable to attend the Shelby County Commissioner’s meeting this afternoon. As you know, I have been busy the last couple of days. When the issue of ending Democratic primaries was presented to the Shelby County Democratic Party’s Executive Committee last year, it was soundly defeated. I do not suspect that much has changed since that time as it relates to this issue. As you know, it is up to both of the respective Executive Committees for the Republican Party of Shelby County and the Shelby County Democratic Party to determine if it will hold primary elections.

The other issue that I saw was timing. The next county-wide elections are due to take place in 2012. As far as I can tell right now, the only scheduled elections for 2011 are municipal elections after November 2nd. So, I really don’t see the need to address this issue right now. Anyway, I will discuss this matter and the results of today’s vote with the SCDP Executive Committee at the next scheduled meeting on September 2, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the IBEW (1870 Madison). Regardless of what happens today, ultimately, we all know that it is up to a majority vote of the respective Executive Committees to request primaries, and I don’t think the SCDP Executive Committee will vote to end primaries.

Now, more specifically to the Commissioners, I appreciate your service this past term. I know that there have been many controversial issues that you have worked through, and the citizens of Shelby County are all the better for you putting in the time and effort to do so. I send well wishes to the outgoing Commissioners, and I extend a hearty welcome to the incoming Commissioners. I look forward to working with everyone to make Shelby County better for everyone.

Turner’s response follows an op-ed piece in the Memphis Flyer by former local Democratic party chairman Matt Kuhn. Kuhn called for the primaries to be abolished.

Both local parties had intense internal debates before Republicans went first in 1992 and decided to hold the first set of primaries. Democrats, who had a bruising internal debate in the mid 1980s that ended with no primary call, didn’t follow the GOP primaries with a matching set for a couple of election cycles.

Dansette

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