04/28/2005: Memphis News: The Week In Review
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The biggest news this weekend (I realize I'm jumping the gun here) is the Annual Beale Street Music Festival, the inaugural event of the annual Memphis in May celebration. At the CA Website, the banner reads:
The link off the banner is to the CA's Beale Street Music Fest Blog, though the banner's plaintive question should, IMHO, point to this particular post.Beale Street Music Fest
Salient stories from the week I was in Buffalo: An interesting cycle of electoral terms has Shelby County Election officials gearing up for a "big ballot" in August of 2006. The phenomenon happens every 8 years in Shelby County.
Our friends at the Memphis Flyer broke an interesting cover story: while investigating a Memphis-Morocco marriage scam, local FBI agents found a lot more than they bargained for: weapons, passports, $34,000 or so in cash, and a bloody videotape.
April 20: Want a Tudor mansion, cheap? Just one dollar and this one's yours. Of course there is a catch: you have to move the house off the lot it's on, which is slated for redevelopment.
April 21: The conventional wisdom is wrong: dead men can tell tales. In Shelby County Criminal Court, jurors heard the testimony of a murder victim. Granted, that testimony was given in an earlier trial of a co-defendant in the case, and the witness only died of complications of wounds received in the incident after that trial....
April 22: Former Shelby County Medical Examiner O.C. Smith gets his 15 minutes (well, maybe more like an hour or two) of national fame, as CBS's "48 Hours" is going to do a show on his case. Smith was recently tried on federal charges of lying to investigators and illegal possession of a bomb. His jury hung 9-3 in favor of acquittal, and prosecutors elected not to retry him.
Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, faced with budget problems, is cutting all funding of nonprofit organizations from the city budget.
April 24: Meanwhile, growing discontent with Mayor Herenton has some potential candidates for mayor contemplating a run in 2007.
April 25: The Tennessee State Senate passed a comprehensive official ethics reform bill mandating public disclosures of outside income and placing restrictions on officials' outside income. Continuing Local Source of Amusement Sen. John Ford voted for the bill, but criticized provisions exempting attorney's outside income from the requirements of the bill. Governor Bredeson is expected to sign the measure.
April 26: Naming rights to the Sunset Symphony, the oldest event in the annual Memphis in May International Festival, have been sold to Atlanta based SunTrust Bank (which recently bought the National Bank of Commerce, which has many branches in the Memphis area). The event shall now be known as the SunTrust Sunset Symphony; this year's installment will take place on May 28, 2005 at 7:30 PM.
April 27: Meanwhile, local congresscritter Harold Ford, Jr., has apparently worked out some nifty sponsorship deals of his own. Watchdog website PoliticalMoneyLine.com names Ford as the second most traveled federal lawmaker, and notes that much of his travel has been paid for by private underwriters. When the announcement was made, Ford was traveling. How many of you were shocked to hear that?
At the Memphis Theological Seminary, Episcopal priest Rev. Timothy Holder conducted "a hip-hop mass": "Employing hip hop music, local rappers and a break dancer, the worship service was a far cry from typical Episcopal tradition." No word from the Vatican as to how this affects ongoing explorations of increasing intercommunion between the Catholic and Anglican churches, but one cannot imagine newly-installed Pope Benedict XVI being exactly enthusiastic about this liturgical innovation. However, as A Public Service, we at DBV bring you Psalm 23, the hip-hop translation:
The Lord is all that,
I need for nothing.
He allows me to chill.
He keeps me from being heated and allows me to breathe easy.
He guides my life so that I can represent and give shouts out in His Name.
And even though I walk through the Hood of death,
I don't back down for You have my back.
The fact that You have me covered allows me to chill.
He provides me with backup in front of my player-haters and I know that I am a baller and life will be phat.
I fall back in the Lord's crib for the rest of my life.
(Adapted by Ryan Kearse)
April 28: Unless you're extremely sociable, or a glutton for punishment, you may want to avoid downtown Memphis this weekend. Between the Beale Street Music Festival, two Memphis Grizzlies NBA playoff games at FedEx Forum, three Memphis Redbirds baseball games at AutoZone Park, a Memphis Symphony Concert at the Cannon Center, a kayak and canoe race, and Wonders' ongoing "Art of the Motorcycle" exhibition at the Pyramid, things are going to be a tad crowded downtown.
With a real estate transfer tax pushed by Shelby County officials seeming to be dead in the water, or at least dead in the Tennessee legislature, Shelby County mayor A.C. Wharton announced that the county will be looking at a property tax increase to cover rising county debt costs.
And from this morning's "Daybreak" column:
Big news for big teethI expect a full report from Thursday Night Fever (Tennessee's Preeminent Nightlife Blog™) on this. ASAP.
If you happen to see a gigantic tube of Crest, it won't be the beer talking: You just can't beat those public relations types. They're always coming up with something.
The world's largest Crest toothpaste tube will be at the Beale Street Music Festival this weekend.
The 48-foot-long traveling toothpaste will be on hand so festival-goers can brush their teeth after snacking on festival food.
And later -- this is where their press release gets strange -- the tube "morphs" into a "Club Crest" feel, visiting popular nightspots and sporting a "nightclub vibe" with pumping music and cocktail waitresses handing out toothbrushes.
Len on 04.28.05 @ 09:24 PM CST