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VOL. 131 | NO. 52 | Monday, March 14, 2016

The Week Ahead: March 14-20, 2016

Daily News staff

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How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly roundup of local happenings you need to know about, from the first look at the Greater Memphis Chamber’s proposed diversity program to a truly Irish celebration of St. Paddy’s Day.

The Memphis-Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine meets Wednesday at 3:10 p.m. At this highly anticipated meeting, the Greater Memphis Chamber will present its proposed diversity program to the EDGE board.
The plan is being compiled in response to updates made to EDGE’s payment-in-lieu-of-taxes program, which makes contracting with local minority businesses a hard requirement if a company wants to gain tax breaks.
The chamber says it’s a deal killer.
At the EDGE board meeting last December, chamber president and CEO Phil Trenary and chairwoman Carolyn Hardy called for a three-month delay on implementing the new local business participation program while the organization worked on an alternative.
EDGE president Reid Dulberger has said he’s open to a compromise but stands behind the local business participation plan, which has built-in clawbacks if companies don’t meet the requirements for contracting with local businesses.
The meeting takes place at the Memphis Area Association of Realtors office, 6393 Poplar Ave.

Calvary Episcopal Waffle Shop

The last day this year for Calvary Episcopal Church’s Lenten Preaching Series and Waffle Shop is Friday.
The last of the speakers is Rev. Richmond Webster of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Ala.
For those of you who are regulars each year at the Waffle Shop, you may have noticed the waffles had a different texture this year. Calvary’s rector, Rev. Chris Girata, tells us the secret is new waffle irons for the first time in many years.

Porter-Leath breaks ground Wednesday morning on its 32,000-square-foot Early Childhood Academy in South Memphis. 
It is the latest step in the Memphis institution’s deep dive not only into pre-kindergarten and early childhood education but also training early childhood educators in a community where there is a significant gap in school readiness between those who have access to pre-kindergarten and those who don’t.
The academy will have room for 200 students in 16 classrooms.

Stymied by the soggy weekend, the Wolf River Conservancy has postponed its 11th annual tree planting until this Saturday.
Volunteers will gather from 9 a.m. to noon at Shelby Farms Park500 N. Pine Lake Drive, to create a butterfly habitat by planting 350 redbud trees and clusters of butterfly-attracting plants. Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Visit wolfriver.org/annual-tree-planting for details and registration.

Memphis City Council

The Memphis City Council meets Tuesday at City Hall. On the agenda during committee sessions are more discussions between the council and Mayor Jim Strickland about existing programs and projects both inherited when they took office in January, and how those plans affect new goals and initiatives.
Strickland talks at the council’s executive session Tuesday about deannexation legislation in Nashville, an estimated $60 million tab for a new police and fire radio system, the city’s minority business efforts, blight and solid waste.
And at the same session, the council again will remind the administration that items for its agenda are due the Thursday afternoon before the twice-monthly Tuesday sessions.
The reminder is a regular feature of the relationship between City Hall’s fifth floor, where the council offices are, and the seventh floor, where the mayor’s office is.

Movie buffs and music fans, we have some news just for you: this Saturday, the third annual Time Warp Drive-In series gets under way at Malco’s Summer Drive-In theatre and runs through October. Coming Saturday is a set of Martin Scorsese films – “Goodfellas,” “The Departed,” “Taxi Driver” and “After Hours.” The drive-in is such an iconic throwback to another time, and special presentations like these serve as a good reminder to not take it for granted.
Meanwhile, the Broadway smash “The Book of Mormon” returns to Memphis this week for a limited engagement. It runs Tuesday through Sunday.

The Memphis Grizzlies have a pair of 7 p.m. games at FedExForum this week. On Wednesday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves pay a visit, and on Friday night, in what could be a preview of a first-round Western Conference playoffs matchup, the hated Los Angeles Clippers come to The Grindhouse.

107 S. Main St.

Two of the Downtown Memphis Commission boards meet this week. On Wednesday, the Center City Development Corp. convenes at 9 a.m.
The agenda includes approving $10,000 for a temporary mural at 107 S. Main St.
The building was a thorn in Downtown’s side for nearly 15 years. Last year, the DMC took the property owner to General Sessions Environmental Court, citing that the building’s blighted state was damaging the surrounding area.
It appears the property has turned a corner as Suna Investments purchased the building last December and is pursuing a long-term development plan.
Also on the agenda is an anti-blight update from the DMC’s planning commission. With 107 S. Main moving forward, the DMC is turning its eye to 82 S. Main, the last remaining blighted property on the South Main row.
The DMC and attorney Steve Barlow have said they are working together to find ways to put pressure on the property owner to either sell or redevelop the property.
The greater DMC board of directors meets Friday at noon. Recaps from the marketing, operations and planning departments are on the agenda.
Both meetings take place at the DMC headquarters, 114 N. Main St.

If anyone knows how to do St. Paddy’s Day up right, it’s the Memphis Irish Society. The organization is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day – and, on a broader scale, National Irish Heritage Month – with a parade through Cooper-Young on Thursday.
This year is special, the group points out, because it marks the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising – the beginning of the Irish revolution.
The inaugural Cooper-Young parade is a family-friendly affair that begins at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of First Congregational Church, 1000 S. Cooper St., and heads north to Memphis Made Brewing Co., 768 S. Cooper.
Cooper will be closed between York and Walker avenues during the celebration, which will include floats, Wolf River Pipes and Drums, Memphis Police mounted patrol, the Grizz Crew and Grizz Girls – and, according to the society, “merriment and leprechauns.”
The Memphis Made Brewing Co. tap room, by the way, will be open special hours for St. Patrick’s Day – from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.

The Daily News staff compiles The Week Ahead for you, our readers, every week. You'll receive it as part of our Monday online edition. Email associate editor Kate Simone at ksimone@memphisdailynews.com if you have items for consideration.

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