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VOL. 131 | NO. 167 | Monday, August 22, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: Bearwater's Week, Deannexation's Return and City Hall's Transparency

By Bill Dries

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Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife and first lady Rosalynn Carter arrived in the city Sunday for a week of work in North Memphis on the Habitat for Humanity subdivision Bearwater Park.

When the Carters were last here in November working on a home in Uptown, they announced then they would be back in August as part of a more ambitious project.

And there were some who wondered if even with all good intentions that would happen given the former President’s cancer diagnosis, his age and the nature of summer in Memphis.

His cancer is in remission and Carter has a reputation on these projects of being a work horse and not a show horse. That was evident in November from watching him on the construction site in Uptown.

The subdivision is a more ambitious undertaking that is north of the formal Chelsea Avenue boundary for Uptown.

Madeline Faber, who will be covering the Carters and the Bearwater Park effort this week, wrote about the plans in a Memphis News December cover story that should set the stage and give you a broader context for what starts happening bright and early Monday morning in North Memphis.

As that is getting underway, the city’s chief operating officer, Doug McGowen and others from the Strickland administration will be on Capitol Hill in Nashville Monday on an issue that went off the political radar in the spring – deannexation.

The summer study committee of state legislators that was part of the agreement for abandoning deannexation legislation during the Legislature’s 2016 session begins Monday.

The proposal the legislature was considering would have allowed residents of areas annexed by the city of Memphis and several other large Tennessee cities to petition for a referendum to deannex themselves from the city. One of the versions of the bill would have allowed deannexation referendums on areas annexed as far back as 1998.

The city opposed it.

And since earlier this month a local task force has been working on the issue with an eye toward coming up with some kind of local understanding that will convince the legislature it doesn’t need to act on this.

State Representative Larry Miller says when the gavel falls on the session that begins in January he is convinced the proposal will be back.

The Rio Olympics are in the books with medal counts, sports as nationalism alongside a worldwide scope that always makes us look beyond the competition among nations.

The Sporting News offering some thoughts on the legacy of the Rio games.

The current cover story in The Memphis News by Andy Meek is all about transparency at City Hall eight months and counting into the new mayoral administration which has already used social media more than any of its predecessors on the 7th floor … or the second floor, where the mayor’s office was previously before there was social media.

With apologies to media theorist Marshal McCluhan, the medium isn’t the message here, at least not all of the message.

The messages you get directly from City Hall do change the way those of us in the media go about our jobs. But our business remains a broader view that goes beyond those institutions and announcements and statements.

Many interesting points to consider in the story. Among them is the belief that when it comes to law enforcement there is a different kind of transparency, according to the administration.

As the weekend began, state Democratic Party leaders decertified the Shelby County Democratic Party. No reason given in the official correspondence but drama thy initials are SCDP. More on this in the Tuesday edition that goes up on this website Monday afternoon.

More on the forming plan to save Aretha Franklin’s childhood home in Soulsville that we touched on last week. A radio station in the fragile shotgun house that will need a lot of rehab is one of the plans emerging.

It’s been almost a year since Good Shepherd Health opened a charity-based pharmacy in Memphis. And the founder, Dr. Philip Baker, talks about what that year has been like. Baker says the pharmacy has a better focus now on its core customers – those in the Medicare coverage gap.

The Memphis News Almanac: Lausanne plays football, Foo Fighters on Beale, The Rainbow Room and the saga of Wild Bill Latura comes to a violent end.


Morgan Stanley’s 401k plan mismanaged.

Zika research includes finding volunteers willing to be infected with the virus.

And deciphering those monthly statements for financial fees.

PROPERTY SALES 50 389 12,758
MORTGAGES 21 248 8,003
BUILDING PERMITS 295 813 29,934
BANKRUPTCIES 35 164 6,064