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VOL. 132 | NO. 220 | Monday, November 6, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: The Run, 70 Million Gallons a Day and More Shipping Containers

By Bill Dries

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This will be another busy week on the political front with more candidates declaring their intentions in advance of Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, Republican contender for governor Randy Boyd ends his run across the state Tuesday morning on Mud Island – a variation on Lamar Alexander’s walk across the state in the 1978 Republican primary for Governor that remains a part of the state’s political folklore almost 40 years later.

Years later, Alexander wrote that he decided on the walk across the state after losing a bid for Governor four years earlier to Ray Blanton and coming to the realization that his campaign had been too disconnected from voters in addition to having to overcome the aftermath of Watergate. The walk remains a symbol that candidates continue to adapt and emulate as they leave the red and black plaid to Alexander. In Boyd’s case, the former state commissioner of Economic and Community Development is a runner with running as part of how his day starts – that is running as opposed to running for office although the two are likely to overlap if they haven’t already. Boyd says the run at the top of the day helps him relax and focus.

Here is the rest of The Week Ahead and yes, we have adjusted to take into account the extra hour. You are welcome.

Former Shelby County Commisssioner Sidney Chism kicked off his bid for county mayor in Whitehaven by going after state Senator Lee Harris who is also running in the Democratic primary.

Richard Morton among those opening last week around town and since then Morton confirms he is running for county commission in the Republican primary for District 5, that is the seat currently held by county commission chairwoman Heidi Shafer who is term-limited. Morton meets Geoff Diaz in the GOP primary for that seat.

The county primaries are first up in the 2018 election year in May and qualifying petitions in those races can be pulled starting Nov. 17.

You see phrases when you go through your email as a reporter sifting through more events than you can possible make. But when you read “70 million gallons of wastewater a day,” you know you have to go ... to this place. That was the case at a groundbreaking at the T.E. Maxson Wastewater Treatment facility in southwest Memphis. I’ve been to emergency room grand openings, ramen noodle plant openings, a memorable groundbreaking for an expansion of the county corrections center interrupted by prisoners saying some mighty unsavory things through the bars about the dignitaries … and this goes right up there with them. In this case, timing was a factor too because sewers are a very relevant political issue these days with the city cutting off new sewer connections outside the city limits.

You knew you hadn’t heard the last of shipping containers as the setting for retail. Right? A “shipping container retail village” is being planned in The Edge, part of the area between Downtown and the Medical Center. The idea here is to use the containers to house pop-up retail across from Edge Alley.

The Indie Memphis Film Festival still has another week into next weekend after a busy opening this past week in Overton Square.

When it comes to promoting Memphis music – the wealth of live, original music across genres and often in defiance of music industry genres – do all roads lead to Memphis or does the road begin in Memphis? That’s what the cover story by Andy Meek in our weekly The Memphis News examines. Specifically the subject is Music Export Memphis, the organization put together in painstaking detail around the example of business export offices that many cities already have. The effort and others have been organizing Memphis music showcases in places like Austin for several years now. The effort now incorporates a more general branding and promotion of Memphis music by those artists to bring the place all of this music comes from a bit more to the front.

Memphis had a showcase of its own in the 1990s called “Crossroads” that operated primarily out of the clubs on Beale Street. There were some local bands signed to music deals out of the effort and probably with a lot of groundwork independent of the showcase. The schedule was thick with a mix of locals and up and comers from all over -- all looking to catch the ear of someone with a label or a management deal. Crossroads also drew some big names from the management and production side including Kim Fowley and Tony Visconti. The scope of it was arguably not built to last because there were so many performers. The industry folks inevitably approached this with a tactical game plan and probably a lot of networking in advance of Memphis to lay out who they had to see and who was optional. I distinctly remember a Springsteen-like singer-songwriter who had a lot of buzz going into Crossroads. He was on a lot of lists at the outset until the performer blew out his voice the night before sitting in at someone else’s slot on the schedule. This caused quite the quandry among the insiders wondering if they should have been at the early show and those bragging about seeing him first at the show before the real show.

Mixed use retail and office at the corner of Poplar and White Station Road by Gill Properties, best known these days for their TraVure mixed use development just a bit further east in Germantown.

Faropoint made Last Word last week for selling the Trustmark Centre building in the Poplar Corridor. And by week’s end they had bought an office portfolio for $19.3 million that included two other significant office buildings – Lipscomb Pitts on Union Extended near Poplar and Poplar Towers, further east.

A renovation of Neyland in Knoxville.

And an audit turns up missing records needed to justify tax breaks the state awarded for companies moving their headquarters to the state.

The Memphis News Almanac: Post-Prohibition reopening, Norah Jones, Thrasher’s Fabrics, Carrying Out Gideon, Southwestern Turns 40 and the Acousticon.

PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047