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VOL. 132 | NO. 160 | Monday, August 14, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Charlottesville Reaction, Stax & Atlantic Together Again and MEMFix

By Bill Dries

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The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend will be on a lot of minds in a lot of other places including Memphis as this week begins. And the discussion here in Memphis is already underway. The gathering point Saturday just hours after a suspected white supremacist drove his car into a group of counter protesters in Charlottesville really didn’t even need a lot of billing or explanation.

It was the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in Health Science Park. It was a massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston a little more than two years ago that kicked off the last cycle of reaction to Confederate monuments and symbols including official government reactions in some states and cities to remove them and earlier this year got to some of the statues.

Here is Saturday’s account of the Memphis rally.

And here is some of the other reaction to Charlottesville:

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland:

“What happened in Charlottesville this weekend is the result of hatred, pure and simple. I condemn it. White supremacists, the KKK and Nazis have no place in our city or any city. I’m also glad to see more people joining our cause to remove the Confederate statues in our city. We continue to work toward the day this is possible.”

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell:

“The horrible events in Charlottesville Saturday coupled with the tragedy in Charleston at Emanuel AME two years ago compelled me to pause and reflect before speaking and writing. The foundation for both was prejudice and hostility. The assailant in Charleston stated his objective was racial warfare and in response the congregation of the mother church prayed for the sinner. Similarly the objective of the assailants Saturday was to create conflict which they successfully did. Our response as a nation should be an appeal to our greater good as with Emanuel, we cannot survive if our sins of the past; racial prejudice and disharmony are allowed to resurface. Pray that America will heal.”

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff of Germantown:

“As Americans, we must stand united against all forms of hate and prejudice. Violence like this has no place in our country. Praying for all those affected by the horrific violence in Charlottesville.”

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam:

“Crissy and I send our sympathy and prayers to the families of the victims in Charlottesville. Senseless violence and hatred are not who we are as Americans and should be condemned by everyone. We particularly want to express our sadness to the Tennessee families of the two Virginia troopers who lost their lives.”

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson:

“White supremacy has no place in America. When it turned violent in the 80s, I prosecuted them as U.S. Attorney.”

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant:

“The incidents in Virginia are disturbing. Let us all pray for our nation this Sunday morning. We have no room for hate when we seek God’s love.”

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas:

“I’m currently traveling in the Balkans, where the long, violent history of ethnic supremacism still stalks the land and is a reminder of how unique America is. White supremacists who claim to ‘take America back’ only betray their own ignorance of what makes America so special: our country’s founding recognition of the natural rights of all mankind and commitment to the defense of the rights of all Americans. These contemptible little men do not speak for what is just, noble and best about America. They ought to face what they would deny their fellow citizens: the full extent of the law.”

The cover story by Andy Meek in the latest edition of our weekly, “The Memphis News” is on start-up companies, in advance of our Thursday Daily News Seminar at the Brooks. One of the start up veterans we talked with goes against the image of someone with an idea plowing ahead to success by ignoring those who say it can’t be done. Ben Fant advises: “You should have fear – the fear of failure – because that is a real thing.” Meanwhile, Jimmy Lewis, who founded Squash Blossom Market almost 40 years ago and has since gone on to such recent start-ups as French Truck Memphis and Relevant Roasters tells us: “Start meditating right away. Disconnect from fear.”

Meanwhile, some of the start ups that pitched to investors this summer as part of EPIcenter’s Demo Day are getting commitments of funding for their ideas from venture capital investors. The ideas with funding include last-mile same-day delivery software for e-commerce and a device that captures bacteria from blood samples to better diagnose and treat sepsis.

A busy week ahead in Memphis town that includes Elvis Week and the opening of Crosstown Concourse and we haven’t even gotten to the eclipse on the other side of next weekend.

While we are on the subject of Crosstown, MEMFix is back with its pop-up store fronts and temporary street fixes at Madison and Cleveland in October. This is south of the concourse and linked to not only that $180-million project, but also the Medical District efforts.

In the race for Tennessee Governor, Republican contender Bill Lee wades into the school voucher debate.

More EVs – electric vehicles – are coming off production lines around the world, but AP’s auto writer says the network of charging stations doesn’t match what’s coming out of the factories.

And AP’s technology writer says you may miss the cable bundle if you go streaming because the streaming services are more difficult to use … or to adjust to using.

The Memphis News Almanac: The Oasis, “High life and transitory nature”, Sears Crosstown sets its opening date as election day nears and rail lines are repaired from flooding.

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173