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VOL. 132 | NO. 137 | Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Beale on Beale, The City Council and 1968 and Dr. David Stern on UTHSC

By Bill Dries

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The city’s Beale Street Task Force is going to have its next meeting on Beale Street and City Council chairman Berlin Boyd reminded council members Tuesday that if they join the task force on Beale to remember that it is Saturday night at 11 p.m. – not 11 a.m., a more normal hour for such proceedings.

The task force is coming to Beale Street after 10 p.m. to get a look around at the street as part of its specific mission of examining the issue of the district's $5 cover charge on spring and summer Saturday nights after 10 p.m. The council reduced the cover charge from $10 last month and did away with the $8 in rebate coupons for use with Beale Street merchants in the process. The creation of the task force came with that.

So the task force members will be on the street Saturday night, July 22, and they plan to go to split up and come in through the different checkpoints. Not sure if there is a mandatory Diver necessary for the experience of at least a “Big Ass Beer.”

The last experience like this was with the ill-fated Beale Street Tourism Development Authority that moved its meeting to different locations during the early evening a few times before moving to the Grizz offices at nearby FedExForum. The last meeting on the street itself was in the Merchants Association office just over a patio where a Stevie Ray Vaughn cover band below made it just about impossible to hear each other across the table. The Band Box meeting before that was a success especially with the large neon “Liquor” sign lending its glow to the meeting table.

Some people make mistakes when they’ve had too much to drink. In my case, I make mistakes when meetings go much too long. That was the case with yesterday’s marathon Shelby County Commission meeting which went seven hours, ending at 10 p.m. Monday – not 10 hours as I wrote and later corrected. My apologies, it just seemed like it was 10 hours.

Commissioners still have a county tax rate to set and they take that up Wednesday in committee sessions that start bright and early at 8:30 a.m. with the tax rate at the top of the agenda.

The commission’s long Monday was followed by council day on Tuesday at City Hall and passage of the benefits package for sanitation workers, some discussion and an ultimate delay in the final vote on a long-pending ordinance that would drop the fee you pay to get a boot off your car when you park but don’t pay at a private parking lot… and after a lot of kidding around, the council delayed a vote on a plan to turn the location of the departed Platinum Plus into a used car dealership.

A few other items the council handled earlier in the day.

Retail in the Memphis Medical District next to High Cotton on Monroemicro retail, that is, at what is called Edge Alley.

Elsewhere in the Medical District, Dr. David Stern talks with us about his plan to link the city’s medical research marvels and medical education to the city’s enormous public health needs. Stern is the executive dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the first link in the chain, so to speak, is an Addiction Medicine Foundation.

Don Wade at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama this week with Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema on the targeting rule, Butch Jones on Phil Fulmer and other notes.

A follow-up to this week’s cover story in our weekly, The Memphis News, on rural broadband. Microsoft has rolled out a rural broadband initiative.

Once upon a time Henry Turley had an idea for the second life of The Pyramid. It was to bring a sporting goods retailer to the one-time arena – Cabela’s, not Bass Pro Shops. Cabela’s shareholders have approved the sale of the company to Bass Pro Shops in a $4 billion deal.

PROPERTY SALES 91 293 13,051
MORTGAGES 58 168 8,171
BUILDING PERMITS 99 744 30,678
BANKRUPTCIES 34 156 6,220