Archive for November, 2013

November 24, 2013

Should the Bus Stop?

bus-stop-sign-medShould the Bus Stop?
At about $2,500 per passenger a year, is the current MATA service an appropriate public transportation model?

The conversationalists discuss public transportation in the Memphis area, specifically the Memphis Area Transit Authority. With the pending retirement of the long time administrator, is this a good time to conduct a comprehensive review of the local public transportation alternatives?

Length: 39 minutes, 27 seconds.

Start your own conversation: this is just one conversation. Memphis has room for many thousands. Become informed and discuss these and other matters of public importance with your friends and colleagues.


November 16, 2013

Raise taxes for pre-kindergarten classes or seek to encourage the roll of parents in preparing their children for kindergarten?

Mailer distributed by pre-k sales tax advocates

Mailer distributed by pre-k sales tax advocates

Update: Unofficial results on the referendum vote:
No 17,636  (60.2%)
Yes 11,659 (39.8%)

On November 21, 2013, voters in Memphis, Tennessee, will have the opportunity in a referendum to implement, or not, a one-half cent increase in the local sales tax in order to fund a city government created pre-kindergarten program with any money remaining from that revenue stream not used for pre-k going to lowering the property tax rate.  On November 16 our three regular conversationalists discussed the property tax hike proposal, the need for pre-k in the city, and the value of pre-k education. Is it wise for the city to undertake such an endeavor?

Length: 44 minutes, 2 seconds.

BONUS MATERIAL: If you listened to the above conversation you know some of the issues involved. Now you can listen to a proponent of the referendum, Dr. Barbara Prescott, and an opponent of it, Rev. Kenneth Whalum, Jr. Both of the speakers are former members of the Memphis School Board. The League of Women Voters of  Memphis and Shelby County sponsored a forum at the central library in Memphis the evening of November 18, 2013. The following is the discussion. Length 1 hour, 28 minutes.

Problem listening to the above audio? See the alternative below.
Alternative: it is noticed that often when attempting to play the above audio the player remains in a “buffering” state beyond a reasonable time. Alternatively, if your system is configured to do so, you may listen to the audio by directly accessing the file at In our testing, this method played the audio promptly.