It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

The Federal Reserve’s latest “Burgundy Book” – a region-specific complement to its “Beige Book” – shows that the Memphis metro area’s economy is performing “better than the nation in some aspects but worse in other respects.”

“In terms of employment growth, Memphis has performed similar to the nation. Housing activity in the Memphis area thus far in 2012 has been much stronger than the nation’s pace of activity. At the same time, house prices over the past four quarters have declined a bit more in Memphis than for the nation and Memphis’ unemployment rate remains higher than the nation’s rate.”

Five points to note, from the report -

  1. Annual Changes in Employment: In July 2012, Memphis’s nonfarm payroll employment was 1.4 percent higher than a year earlier.
  2. Short-Term Changes in Employment: Between April 2012 and July 2012, Memphis’s local employment increased by about 0.1 percent per month … The report notes “Employment changes in the Memphis MSA have been unusually volatile lately.”
  3. Unemployment Rate: Similar to the nation, Memphis’ unemployment rate has risen modestly over the past three months.
  4. Building Permits: The number of building permits issued in the Memphis zone during the first seven months of 2012 was an astounding 78 percent higher than the number issued during the same period in 2011.
  5. House Prices: During the second quarter of 2012, housing prices in Memphis were 1 percent below the same quarter a year earlier.

‘Hey St. Jude’ Video Strives to ‘Make it Better’

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has debuted its “Hey St. Jude” video in efforts to “take a sad song and make it better.”

Since no family ever pays St. Jude for anything, the rendition of the song made famous by The Beatles is an effort to raise money for the treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases in light of the hospital’s 50th anniversary celebration and its founder Danny Thomas’ 100th birthday. Click here to read Marlo Thomas’ explanation of how the video came to be (here’s a hint – it started with Michael Jordan on a golf course).

Donations are being accepted from $5 to $35 for the #heystjude T-shirt seen in the video sported by the kids and celebrities. You can also follow the action on Twitter with the hashtag #heystjude.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=tUO91nzpuJo

Cates Among Top Tier of U.S. Colliers Brokers

Andy Cates, executive vice president brokerage with Colliers International Memphis, has been inducted into the Everest Club – the top 10 percent of all U.S. Colliers brokers for the 12-month period ending June 30.

Individuals selected for the club not only are top producers for the company, but are leaders within their respective offices and powerhouses in the commercial real estate industry. Cates and his partner, Preston Thomas, have completed more than 70 deals so far in 2012.

Everest Club members are being recognized at the Colliers national meeting in San Diego next week.

Booksellers Bistro Becomes 48th PGF-Certified Eatery

The Booksellers Bistro is the latest restaurant in the Memphis area to become Project Green Fork certified.

Project Green Fork, a nonprofit founded in 2008 by Margot McNeeley, contributes to a sustainable Memphis by helping reduce environmental impacts, with a focus on strengthening homegrown restaurants.

The Booksellers Bistro, located within The Booksellers at Laurelwood, has been working to achieve its PGF status for many months now, said general manager Eddie Burton. It’s now the 48th restaurant in the PGF family.

“We are committed and convinced that doing so is not only the right thing to do for our community and for our planet but also for our business model as well,” Burton said.

The Booksellers Bistro’s green movement follows the extensive interior renovations and rebranding that took place about a year ago, while converting from the former Bronte Bistro. Booksellers Bistro now offers gluten free and vegetarian options to compliment its PGF status, as well as a wine list with a zero carbon footprint.

WEVL 89.9 Presents Acoustic Music Night with Ben Vaughn

Singer, songwriter, composer and producer Ben Vaughn is performing Friday at Otherlands to raise money for WEVL FM 89.9, which is celebrating 36 years on the air this year.

Baugh was the composer for TV sitcoms like “3rd Rock from the Sun” and “That 70s Show,” among others. He’s also recorded with artists like Alex Chilton, and he is now the host of “The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn” broadcast on WEVL since 2006.

Opening the show is Vaughn’s longtime friend, singer/songwriter Dan Montgomery. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and show time is 8:00 p.m.

Admission is $15, and while seating and capacity are limited, advance tickets can be purchased at Otherlands or online at http://www.wevl.org.

Admission proceeds, merchandise sales, and donations go to WEVL 89.9, which is a non-profit, noncommercial volunteer radio venture.

Dansette

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