Last Word: The Return of Chiwawa, Mud Island's Dilemma and A Good Map

By Bill Dries

Chiwawa is back. But don’t call it a doughnut shop. And the owner says it won’t be called Chiwawa either. We presume it will still proclaim that Midtown is Memphis.

If you’ve seen some activity in the building since it closed to the public, you weren’t imagining things. The kitchen has been used to help out the Tamp & Tap restaurants which Daniel Flanagan also owns.

For several years we’ve been hearing about efforts to light the Harahan Bridge across the Mississippi River in time for the opening later this year of the Big River Crossing – the bicycle and pedestrian river crossing on the north side of the Harahan.

There is now a plan being overseen by the Downtown Memphis Commission, which is marshalling the private support to do this.

While we are in the neighborhood, the future of the Mud Island River Park has gone high profile in the last two weeks as we’ve chronicled. In the process, the spotlight has moved off of the dilemma the Riverfront Development Commission faces with its two finalists who have proposals to redevelop all and part of the river park. Both call for some measure of public funding to work.

EDGE approves a “Fast Track” PILOT program that is seen as an edge (sorry, couldn't resist) against the competition in North Mississippi for economic development. Next month, the EDGE board takes up a highly anticipated proposal to get more of a commitment from those getting the tax breaks to use minority locally-owned businesses as business to business contractors.

Almost time for the FedEx St. Jude Golf Classic in June and this year the tournament has a new director who has come up through the ranks so to speak to succeed the tournament’s long time director Phil Cannon, who is working for the event as a consultant.

I got a map this week from Jimmy Ogle – tour guide and historian. It is a bike map put out by the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In last week’s edition of our weekly, The Memphis News, our editorial pointed to the need for a bike map that focuses on greenlines, greenways and bike lanes – already in place and planned.

The CVB map is more than a start toward what we cited the need for in the editorial.

But there needs to be more.

I keep wondering what this network would look like with the street system that is not part of the bicycle and pedestrian network more in the background. Not done away with because if you are out there riding on two wheels without a motor you have to be aware of the total environment.

And I don’t think we are in danger of anyone on a bike in this town forgetting that essential fact of life.

The different parts of the bike system need to be named so you know what you are on in which part of the city.

Atrractions, landmarks and bicycle shops are noted on the CVB map which is good.

But it could be easier to read with a different orientation than the map features someone in a car relies on. It's kind of a cultural thing.

The Mid-South Regional Greenprint Corridor Handbook has the right idea in that regard. It has 58 separate corridor maps with plenty of detail.

But what we also need is a county-wide map with the ability to zoom in on corridors as well as see the county’s broader possibilities.

And at least for the foreseeable future given all of the trail and bike lane work that is to come, it needs to be a map that can change to reflect an evolving reality.

From commercial artist to nurse to CEO of a women’s hospital. That’s the story of Anita Vaughn, the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Memphis.

Vaughn is CEO of the Baptist Women’s Hospital and the journey shows just how unpredictable career paths can be after the quick years of high school and the quicker years of college that follow.

American Crew bills itself as “the king of men’s grooming.” That’s a hashtag (I am making the hashtag hand sign here.)

And when you say “king” and “men’s grooming” – well, who else could really come to mind.

So, American Crew has Elvis Presley on each of the six limited edition pucks of hair care products in salons and barber shops. A different Elvis for the pomade than for the fiber and the forming cream, not to mention the defining paste and the grooming cream.

The sixth one is molding clay – “high hold with medium shine.”

This is an Elvis-heavy promotion at least for 2016 with lots of photos from the Graceland archive and an ad that features “That’s All Right, Mama.” So, yes, EPE is involved.