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VOL. 131 | NO. 13 | Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: No Bern, Say No More and The Daily Mail Comes For A Visit

By Bill Dries

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Democratic presidential contender and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders didn’t make it the city after all following the weekend’s debate among the Democratic presidential contenders.

There had been a rumor he would perhaps come by the National Civil Rights Museum on the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
As it was, the museum had a lot of other visitors over the weekend.
And the museum hosted a food drive and blood drive in the process.
It was one of many efforts across Memphis on a sunny but briskly cold King Day.

Meanwhile, we took a look pre-King day at a Memphis institution when it comes to such service – the St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen.

It appears the first major controversy the new city council will dig into is the Overton Park Greensward. And it was a busy holiday weekend in the timeline of events surrounding the park.
The council penciled in a committee session Tuesday morning to talk things over.

Here’s a look at the rest of the council agenda as well as the new committee assignments for a 13-member council with six new members. And we've broken out the planning and development items the council will discuss and vote on Tuesday.

The Commercial Appeal reporting in its Sunday editions on the Say No More campaign the city is mounting. Whitney Wood, the woman on the Say No More posters and ads – the face of the effort – is renouncing it as a “PR stunt.”
Wood says in the CA story police didn’t take an aggravated assault complaint she filed against her ex-husband seriously until she became the face of the ad campaign – about three years after she reported in 2013 he choked her until she passed out.
There have been critics of the campaign from its inception locally and critics of the campaign as it has surfaced in other cities.

Southwest Tennessee Community College has moved into the former Kroger store in Whitehaven.
And it is just one example of plans for big box stores that aren’t stores anymore.
Also some predictions about the future of the Sears store on Poplar Avenue that was big box before such stores were called big boxes.

Wright Medical Group CEO Bob Palmisano talks about the Memphis medical device company’s merger with Tornier that closed this past October.

More on global market turmoil from a top executive at Allianz Global Investors who says the Fed’s raising of interest rates contributed. And an overview at the outset of the short trading week. Stock prices are down 8 percent in two weeks.

Don Wade’s Press Box column on Nick Saban and the odds at the halfway point of the NBA season.

And The Daily Traveler, Lance Wiedower, takes a look around Fort Lauderdale where 20 miles of beaches sounds pretty good if you happen to walk around a windy Memphis corner this week.

While we are on the subject of vacations…
Roxanne Pallett is a British actress you will likely be hearing more from if you haven’t already.
She had heard of Memphis but got to know us a lot more when she took her mother on a Nashville-Memphis expedition to mark her mother’s 60th birthday during the Christmas break.
When she returned home, she wrote a very nice piece for The Daily Mail about the Memphis visit.
While Pallett admits to associating Memphis, pre-visit, with the song “Walking in Memphis,” I think of the Beatles’s tune “Paperback Writer” every time I hear the name “Daily Mail.”
Her viewpoint in the piece is that of someone born in the 1980s and it is an important vantage point for Graceland’s future. Like many who come to Graceland these days, she was born after Elvis Presley died.
So unlike her mother, she has no first-hand memories of Presley’s enormous influence on popular culture. She was born into a world already changed and influenced by him and in turn influenced and changed by others influenced by him.
For her and others of her age, Graceland means something very different, parts of which have been obscured over time.
And they are interested in the city’s larger narrative from Sun to Stax to Beale Street to the National Civil Rights Museum to a restaurant scene that is vastly underrated.
They don’t want to just remain in what until recently has been an Elvis bubble in Whitehaven. They view Elvis Presley in a larger context. The other elements of Memphis heritage and culture are not seen as competitors for the spotlight. They are what they have always been in reality – part of a larger creative environment that made Elvis Presley and so much more possible.
Some of the photos in this photo-heavy spread are Pallett’s. Others are stock or file photos of the city.
Note to the Daily Mail: The trolleys are … um. It’s a long story. Never mind.

PROPERTY SALES 79 321 2,586
MORTGAGES 90 426 3,033
BUILDING PERMITS 153 796 6,864
BANKRUPTCIES 37 213 2,000