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VOL. 133 | NO. 76 | Monday, April 16, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: Parking Distrust, Early Voting Numbers and Missile Strike Reaction

By Bill Dries

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There is probably no better symbol of the distrust that has been a factor in reaching a compromise in Overton Park to end greensward parking by the Memphis Zoo. It is what happened to the idea of a walkway from the zoo plaza to the greensward with the critical juncture being where the gravel driveway is now that is used by cars to park on the greensward. We examine that and other larger points from last week’s decision by City Hall to change the design and make the amended plan the final plan.

Early voter turnout through the weekend in the county primaries topped 7,000 and we attempt to make what is admittedly an imperfect comparison to try to give some context to that number. You be the judge and considerable yourself warned of the limitations on this.

The Dixon is about to break ground on a new education building.

The $9.6 million Watermark development in Germantown  has filed for building permits.

Reaction to the allied missile strike in Syria at week’s end:

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander:

“The United States should have and did demonstrate our disgust with the Syrian government’s apparent use of chemical weapons against its own people. There are a variety of ways to do that, some military and some not. If the President intends for there to be a sustained U.S. military response in Syria, that requires the approval of Congress, according to our Constitution. During the congressional debate, I will assess whether additional military action would do more harm than good by setting off a chain of consequences that could involve American fighting men and women in another long-term Middle Eastern conflict.”

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker:

“The regrettable failure to hit back in 2013 in response to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons remains a failure of the Western world. Today, more than 500,000 people are dead in one of the worst humanitarian disasters in modern times. The precision strikes last night send a clear signal to the Syrian regime, and I applaud the president for following his words with action and taking an important step in coordination with our allies to hold Assad accountable. Going forward, it is imperative that the administration engage directly with Congress and clearly communicate its plan to the American people.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen was among 88 House Democrats and Republicans who signed a letter to President Donald Trump Friday before the strikes saying:

“Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution. We stand ready to consider the facts before us and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.”

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff:

“Assad’s deliberate and heinous crimes against his own people must end. For years, President Obama did nothing as the Syrian regime repeatedly crossed the red line. Last night, President Trump took decisive military action and sent a clear message to the brutal regime – the United States and our allies will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians. I pray for the brave men and women of our armed forces who are carrying out this important mission.”

With the Redbirds into their regular season, the owner of the baseball franchise is preparing for the debut season of the United Soccer League in a year's time also at AutoZone Park.

The owner of the Memphis Redbirds says he wants the same authenticity you get with the baseball experience for the soccer games the United Soccer League team he owns will be playing at the same park come 2019. Craig Unger talking about how to go about pulling that off in Don Wade’s cover story in the new edition of our weekly, The Memphis News.

Last week's announcement of World Golf Championship status for the FedEx St. Jude Classic was two and a half years in the making and tied to FedEx's ongoing sponsorship of the FecEx Cup.

Details of the soccer team are coming together rapidly including tryouts Saturday at MUS for a development league soccer team that is part of the Memphis effort. Here’s a separate story on all of that.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare CEO Michael Ugwueke was among the speakers at The Daily News Seminar on the state of health care.

Pete Wickham on World Golf Championship status for the FedEx St. Jude Classic starting in 2019. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan had a snappy answer last week when asked about the possibility of Tiger Woods making a stop in Memphis with WGC status. This move began two and a half years ago as the PGA officials came to town to talk about the FedEx Cup and FedEx leaders involved in the sponsorship talks began pitching a better status for the Memphis tournament.

Notes from The Daily News Seminar on the state of health care last week at The Brooks.

First quarter results from First Horizon show the effects of Capital Bank’s integration into operations.

Opioid abuse is the topic we explore with the major contenders for Tennessee Governor and U.S Senate in the August Republican and Democratic primaries in the latest installment of the once-a-month series in partnership with the Tennessee Press Association. Here is the scene setter for the issue by Frank Daniels. And here is the Q&A with the candidates on the issue.

Three projects on the EDGE agenda for Wednesday seeking tax breaks – two for expansion and retention and a third for a new plant on Presidents Island.

Here’s the rest of The Week Ahead which includes whacky boat races, Africa in April, protest and hot wings.

In our Around Memphis reading list: the prom dress that went viral, the 2018 NBA mock draft, domestic spying in Memphis and James Lawson’s optimism.

The Memphis News Almanac: Settling the strike and Plough’s role, Myriad Tunica resort plans become a casualty of the recession and Grant on Beale Street.

PROPERTY SALES 68 162 2,781
MORTGAGES 60 97 1,880
BUILDING PERMITS 148 769 6,470
BANKRUPTCIES 61 172 1,149