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VOL. 133 | NO. 183 | Friday, September 14, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: Trader Joe's, Bredesen at Rhodes and Haslam on Memphis

By Bill Dries

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Here comes Trader Joe’s with a Friday opening in Germantown after lots of mystery and delays and changes for what is a pretty simple concept. For so many of us, this has been a long-hoped for goal. It’s kind of up there with smuggling in Coors beer from the west in the 70s before it became available everywhere and Coors had a brewery here.

So we will go to check it out and satisfy our curiosity. Some will make it a habit. And more will then move on to the next brand pursuit that gets built up until you expect a place where all of your cares melt away and you are in a state of consumer zen. That state of mind where it’s not just about what you are looking for but what you didn’t know you were looking for. Remember Cheesecake Factory? That was one touted by political leaders as a sure sign that we were a city on the move.

As promised when last we met, more on the return of the Beale Street cover charge. There are a lot of decisions still to be made and a lot of concern about this winding up in court again.

Meanwhile, the owners of Purple Haze announcing Thursday that the nightclub is “ceasing operations for the time being.” That’s a change from the two-week closing the club owners announced in the wake of a Monday pre-dawn shooting inside the club that injured at least four people.

Democratic Senate contender Phil Bredesen at Rhodes College Thursday evening for what had first been planned as a debate with Republican rival Marsha Blackburn. Even without Blackburn being present, the two sparred over the Kavanaugh nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Our own version of the World Series, the fall classic (even though it’s not fall just yet), comes to town Friday – the Pacific Coast League championship series between the Redbirds and Fresno with game three at AutoZone Park. The two teams are tied at a game a piece after the first two games in Fresno in the best of five. The rest of the series is here and game time Friday is 7:05 p.m.

At least one of the three Memphis City Council members who are now holding county government offices says he has a mission to complete in the 90 days before he has to resign. City Council member Edmund Ford Jr. is working on a transportation utility fee that would be a dedicated funding source for MATA and road projects. The goal is really a dedicated funding stream. Ford says what is so far a discussion without a formal proposal and no date for a first vote on anything could evolve into some different mechanism. Ford plans on pursuing it as both city council member and county commissioner.

Meanwhile, more on the formula that would be used for the fee and some very preliminary numbers for what the monthly fee would look like depending on how many car trips a piece of property generates.

The other two council members who are now holding county elected positions. Bill Morrison is Probate Court Clerk and Janis Fullilove is Juvenile Court Clerk. Neither very forthcoming about why they are hanging around on the council. As we’ve noted before the deadline to get these council seats on the November ballot was Aug. 22 although courts could and have pushed aside such Election Commission deadlines in the past. No one has taken the matter to Chancery Court.

So if the 90-day period runs its course, the remaining city council members will be making the appointments around Thanksgiving to fill these three seats through the end of 2019, which is a city election year. The council already has one appointed member in Ford Canale. So at year’s end, about a third of the city council would be appointed.

BTH Redux: Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris on “Behind The Headlines” and he has a lot to say about what is his first to-do list coming to the Shelby County Commission on Wednesday. The show airs Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on WKNO TV.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam reacts to the theme of Memphis being ignored by the state that has been a feature of the race for Governor between Republican Bill Lee and Democrat Karl Dean. And Haslam, who has endorsed Lee, says Memphis has not been ignored during his eight years in office.

NPR on Al Green recording at Sam Phillips with Matt Ross-Spang with a band that includes the Gamble Brothers, Al and Chad, as well as Charles Hodges. It’s an Amazon Music project that also includes Margo Price, John Prine and William Bell working with Ross-Spang. Price and Prine are no strangers to Sam Phillips either.

Mick Jagger makes it official the day after, posting a picture on his Twitter account of him in the doorway of Sun Studio and Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick was indeed along for the trip to Sun with Jerry Lee Lewis. So this probably has something to do with the upcoming movie version of Guralnick’s Elvis bio which Jagger’s production company in involved in.

Friday is classroom set up day at Dubois Academy Middle School and Kirby Middle School for 9th and 10th graders and 11th and 12th graders respectively from Kirby High School during the rat remediation underway there. The high school students start at the temporary locations Monday and don’t be surprised if this remains the arrangement up to the end of the semester and Christmas break.

The Memphis Music Hall of Fame’s most recent class of inductees goes from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio – Johnny and Dorsey Burnette and Paul Burlison – to 8Ball and MJG. The induction ceremony is Nov. 1. That takes in a lot of ground and a lot of time.

More on the new Five Below store leasing up at Bartlett Towne Center at Stage and Bartlett Boulevard and how the Towne Center is developing since getting new ownership last year.

Don Wade on the Grizz’ Mike Conley’s 10th annual Bowl & Bash events this weekend benefitting the Sickle Cell center at Methodist and an update on Conley’s pre-season health status.

The post office facility by Crosstown Concourse is on its way to being renamed in honor of retired Circuit Court Judge and civil rights icon Russell Sugarmon. In D.C. Thursday the House approved the bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis. The bill awaits action in the Senate. The postal facility at 1320 Autumn Avenue will be formally known as the Judge Russell B. Sugarmon Post Office Building.

Remember all of the fuss about Bird in Nashville? It resulted in Bird becoming a thing here in Memphis and then a different kind of thing that wasn’t necessarily good and then a thing that was good again? Past the electric scooters here whizzing all around and the one you almost tripped over or picked up and threw into some bushes out of frustration, Nashville again has electric scooters in their shared mobility portfolio. But they don’t call them scooters. They are LimeBikes. LimeBike is the name of the bike and scooter sharing company that replaced Bird in the capitol city. Which do you think is faster – LimeBike or Bird? There needs to be a race to settle this.

PROPERTY SALES 66 66 6,612
MORTGAGES 78 78 4,207
BUILDING PERMITS 158 158 16,073
BANKRUPTCIES 45 45 3,441