VOL. 133 | NO. 182 | Thursday, September 13, 2018
Last Word: Jagger, Jerry Lee, Whalum & More and Harris' Plans on BTH
By Bill Dries
Sir Mick Jagger and Jerry Lee Lewis walk into Sun Studio Wednesday. That’s not the start of a joke. Variety has reported that Jagger’s film company has signed on to the Elvis biopic being made from Peter Guralnick’s definitive two volume biography of the king. You connect the dots or don’t – who knows if there is a connection? Yes, but they aren’t talking.
Meanwhile, Marlo Thomas tweeting that actor Chadwick Bozeman of Black Panther fame was at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Wednesday for a visit. Bozeman also playing James Brown in “Get On Up” another biopic that Jagger had a hand in producing. This just gets more interesting.
The topper… Kirk Whalum got his star on Beale’s Walk of Fame Wednesday and performed outside the Halloran Centre.
Look for Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris to roll out some action items at County Commission committee sessions next Wednesday. Among those items, Harris told us during a Wednesday taping of “Behind The Headlines,” is the appointment of an “education liaison” – an idea you might remember from David Lenoir, Harris’s Republican rival in the hard fought race for mayor.
Harris acknowledges where the idea came from. He also talks in depth about what he sees as the need for change at EDGE and why he probably won’t make that and economic development in general an immediate priority. The show airs Friday at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV. The committee sessions next week mark the first major step in Harris’s term of office.
A bit of a shuffle at City Hall announced Wednesday with the exit of deputy city COO Patrice Thomas to become Harris’s chief administrative officer. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland moving Kyle Veazey and Chandell Carr into co-deputy COO positions – Carr running day-to-day operations and Veazey working on long term projects including economic development initiatives.
Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton confirming Wednesday that he will be running for mayor in the 2019 city elections, 10 years after he left office as the city’s longest serving mayor. The online post follows his announcement in April during MLK 50 events that he would be running. Herenton brought up the distinction of being the longest serving mayor in his Wednesday post.
“It is also true that I am now 78 years old,” he wrote. “Still, age is just a number and I am physically fit, mentally sharp and quite healthy. Instead the questions I had to ask myself was whether I could still make a difference and positively influence the lives of our citizens.”
Herenton also cops in general terms to some mistakes during his 17 years as mayor but says his administration learned from them. The early and repeated announcement for mayor reflects someone out of office for a decade when this campaign begins in earnest once Nov. 6 is settled and in the books. And Herenton was never a political figure who was somewhere in the political mix when he wasn’t running. Herenton was either all in as a candidate or not in at all for anyone else. The only exception to that was a very brief experiment in trying to form a working majority on the city council in 1995 that failed at the polls. Herenton acknowledging later that it proved he was no Harold Ford Sr. in terms of his political influence when it came to getting others elected.
Strickland is expected to seek a second term although he’s not acknowledging that for now and Memphis Police Association president Mike Williams has never really stopped running since his bid in 2015.
Plenty of opinions the day after the Memphis City Council voted to reinstate some kind of Beale Street cover charge. State Rep. Raumesh Akbari, chairwoman of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators on Twitter Wednesday: “There are better ways to keep Beale Street safe than charging a $5 fee. Never paid to be on any public street ANYWHERE, even in an entertainment district.” More on this when next we meet.
Inside the Sons of Confederate Veterans offer to settle the Confederate monuments lawsuit for $30 million via unsealed Chancery Court documents out of Nashville this week.
You will hear plenty of reminders that Thursday was supposed to be the day that the state’s two Senate contenders – Phil Bredesen and Marsha Blackburn – were to debate at Rhodes College. Bredesen will still be at Rhodes in a forum that is expected to be a major policy push for areas that would be a priority if he wins the Senate seat. His campaign started running ads Wednesday for the Memphis market.
Meanwhile, Bredesen will likely field some questions about his take on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh thus far. Bredesen termed the confirmation hearings in Washington a “circus” and said he’s undecided on Kavanaugh. Some local Democrats who opposed Bredesen’s paring of TennCare rolls while Governor renewed their questioning of Bredesen’s Democratic bona fides with that.
Bredesen and Blackburn chart different paths to deficit reduction.
The saga of “Air Blackburn” and Roll Call figures on who earns how much in Tennessee’s D.C. delegation in Sam Stockard’s “View From The Hill” column.
Speaking of air, the staging for construction at MEM has been underway for a while. But Wednesday, the airport got out the ceremonial shovels to mark the start of the concourse overhaul that will dramatically change the look of the airport.
FedEx Ground is going to a six-day operation permanently with the Christmas season it is ramping up for currently. So after the tree comes down, FedEx Ground will still have a longer work week and e-commerce is the reason why.
Meanwhile, Amazon Prime started making home deliveries Wednesday in Memphis for Whole Foods Markets.