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Wharton on conference call with Biden

Memphis Mayor AC Wharton Jr.’s office released this statement moments ago:

“Mayor Wharton received a call from The White House this morning asking him to join a call with the Vice President and a small group of Mayors (included Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, where Mayor Wharton just visited on the gun issue) around the issue of gun violence. Mayor Wharton exited the funeral services of Officer Martoiya Lang slightly before its end in order to get on the call.

He is currently on the call now in the office of Pastor R. Craig Strickland, pastor of Hope Presbyterian Church.”

Why Memphis?

In a blog post at the Seed Hatchery website, Eric Mathews, founding CEO and co-president of LaunchYourCity Inc., has several reasons why companies should choose Memphis as the place where they’ll build their business.

“1) Founders First: We focus on building great founders. Let’s face it: failure rates are high for startups. If you go through an accelerator program and we only help you build a business, then our impact has not been fully realized. We fully expect that our founders will be a serial entrepreneurs. We focus on providing each founder the skills, coaching, and training needed to lead startups.

2) National Exposure from Day 1: Nibletz.com and EverywhereElse.co (the largest startup conference in the United States) are both in Memphis. All of our companies get automatic admission, exposure, and access to the big players at the conference.

3) Intense Focus: We only invest in six companies per program at a time. This gives our founders plenty of face time with our leadership team as well as other experts that we bring in. Over 150 people will be working on just 6 startups each cohort. That is a lot of support.

4) Results: Companies that participate in our Memphis accelerator programs on average raise over $250,000 in capital.
5) Lifestyle: As the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, we don’t take things seriously all the time. The culture of working hard and playing hard is alive and well. You’ll have as much fun at the whiteboard as you will at the bar. Our founders enjoy both the dynamic innovation programming as well as the cultural and music outlets.”

More here – “http://www.seedhatchery.com/2012/12/07/building-great-founders-that-grind/

Tree Facelift Underscores Overton Park’s Banner Year

Overton Park’s 342 acres are now some 400 shades greener, thanks to 300 new trees and 100 shrubs planted from the border of the Greensward to the East Parkway picnic area.

The park’s plant facelift was funded by landscape design firm Greg Touliatos & Associates Inc., The Miriam and Ernest Kelly Family Foundation and members of the Kelly family. The plants were installed Saturday, Dec. 15, by Echo Systems Landscape Services, landscape designer Tom Pellet and volunteers from Club Scout Pack 13 at Trinity United Methodist Church.

“We gave them what I would describe as an extremely deep discount to try to help to get as many trees into the park as possible,” said Greg Touliatos. “I’ve lived in Midtown for over 30 years and I think the park just being so convenient and so useful for really everybody, it’s a wonderful thing.”

Among Overton Park’s new additions are wintersweet shrubs and Cornelian cherry dogwoods. Click here for more.

It’s been quite a year for Midtown’s Overton Park and its Conservancy. The 1.3-acre dog park, Overton Bark, opened this summer, and Overton Park turned 111 this year.

And construction at Rainbow Lake Playground kicked off Monday as Viktor Hall Construction LLC began demolishing an existing stone wall. The 20-year-old playground’s redesign is by Askew Nixon Ferguson Architects Inc. and is slated to be open in Spring 2013.

Click here for project details, or learn the end-users’ thoughts on their new digs by watching this video:

 

Companies want more

For a time, it looked like local officials might be in the politically unpalatable position of having to say yes or no to a company – International Paper – that was going to asking for a 30-year tax freeze.

The company will be sticking with the usual max of 15, per plans IP released Friday in advance of a city-county Economic Development Growth Engine board meeting this week. In exchange for a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes benefit, IP would keep 2,274 jobs here, create 101 new jobs, keep its headquarters in Memphis and build a new 235,000-square-foot, 10-story building along with a new 470-car garage and two pedestrian bridges.

Companies like IP, though, look to keep asking for more and more in the “High-stakes game” – the title of the cover story in this weekend’s Memphis News on this topic – of economic development. This, from the Wall Street Journal:

“The world’s biggest sneaker maker is expanding its operations in the U.S. and has threatened to move if Oregon cannot guarantee its corporate tax structure will remain the same.

Gov. John Kitzhaber is asking lawmakers to grant him the authority to ensure that the state’s method of determining corporate taxes won’t change for companies, like Nike, that fit very specific criteria: Will invest $150 million in the state over five years and create 500 jobs.”

Under the proposed Oregon law, Nike could get that promise for as much as 40 years.

Tiger High Debut on MTV

Memphis band “Tiger High” makes its MTV debut, the latest national attention for a band with a very different sound. Seems like just yesterday they were playing the Cooper Young festival. Oh wait, that was September.

Tiger High’s MTV premiere

 

 

Dansette

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