Archive for ‘Community’

December 31, 2014

Part 2: A $15/hour Minimum Wage?

PART 2:  The conversation which began focused on minimum wage issues continued, with the discussion becoming much broader in scope including is the public thoughtfully engaged in important issues, is the public library serving to promote well read and well informed citizens, what is the role of the Internet in research and information, and much more. As always, we appreciate your listening to our conversation, but yours is more important! Discuss these issues with your family, friends, acquaintances, and legislators.

Length: 42 minutes, 25 seconds

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December 21, 2014

A $15/hour Minimum Wage?

PART 1:  Whether to raise the minimum wage required by law in the USA has, once again, become a topic of controversy with a number of employees of fast food restaurants staging protests demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage. One such worker wrote to The Commercial Appeal to outline her reasons she thought the minimum wage should be increased to $15. A high school class examined her arguments as we do along with other considerations in this Memphis Conversation. (Part 2 is below the audio link to Part 1.)

Length: 36 minutes, 49 seconds

PART 2 is the continuation of this conversation and is posted on this site.

June 23, 2014

To pass the culture along, or not?

The Culture

A few months ago a magazine asked the question if, outside of the sciences and technology, have our achievements improved over those of our grandparents’ era?

Inspired by that question, the conversationalists discuss the state of the American (U.S.A.) culture and if it is one we would want to inculcate in our children and grandchildren.

The focus shifts along several fronts, from educational institutions, to the media, to religion and Biblical influences on the culture.

This topic, in particular, seems to be incomplete without further civil and informed debate among other people. So, as always, the participants in this recorded conversation encourage listeners to continue the discussion with their family, friends, and acquaintances.

Length: 36 minutes, 16 seconds.

May 1, 2014

Concussions, Cash, and Conduct in American Football

football-ballIs U.S. American football a game that has gone too far? Are recent revelations of the risk of permanent brain injury due to concussions sufficient to curtail the game? Has the huge sum of money involved, particularly in college and professional football programs, adversely affected the coaches, players and spectators? If so, have we abandoned ethical conduct for the entertainment value? The conversationalists kick these topics around as we discuss the game of, the business of, and the consequences of football.

Length 29 minutes, 1 second.

December 15, 2013

Amazing Grace: Understanding Epilepsy — a First Person Perspective

Listen to a story of a girl called Grace and her fascinating and brave journey.

One in 26 Americans will be diagnosed with epilepsy sometime during their life.

Epilepsy is defined by a person having recurrent seizures, meaning at least two or more. Seizures can take many different forms.

Our regular conversationalists were privileged to have Grace Hugueley join us to tell about her experiences which began with easily dismissed temporary pain, then over time transitioning to some unusual behaviors, and eventually becoming unmistakable grand mal seizures.

This 17 year old tells a remarkable story she and her family experienced, of bravery, of a top notch diagnosis and treatment center in Memphis, Tennessee, of people that have touched her heart through the course of the condition and those to whom she reaches out.

This is a story worth listening to for a multitude of reasons. Whether it is to know how to recognize if someone is having a more subtle type of seizure, what to do if someone in your presence has a seizure, of support mechanisms for epileptics and their families, of a young woman’s bravery in face of brain surgery and that of her family, or just to hear her share a fascinating journey, we encourage you to listen, then tell others about what you learn.

As always, we hope our conversation inspires you to talk with your friends, family, and colleagues about this and other matters that matter.

Now, take some time and please join us also in listening to this special discussion with and of, as her father sometimes calls her, Amazing Grace.

Length: 50 minutes, 2 seconds

warning-iconThere have been reports that this audio file sometimes stops playing when accessed through this WordPress blog. It seems to play fine if you access it directly from http://www.apronetwork.com/amc/epilepsy-broadcast.mp3

We also invite you to read Grace’s father’s compelling story on his Goodbye Religion blog.

A cautionary note: someone with a prolonged seizure lasting more than 5 minutes may be in status epilepticus and should be taken to an emergency room immediately, according to the National Institutes of Health.

If you know someone with epilepsy, it is strongly recommended you learn more about the condition. Two good sources are National Institutes of Health and the Epilepsy Foundation.

Useful links:

First Aid for someone suffering a seizure

Epilepsy Partners support group

Grace’s blog

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

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 http://apronetwork.com/amc/tax-pre-k-debate1.mp3. In our testing, this method played the audio promptly.

August 26, 2012

Cotton, hardwood and rock ‘n’ roll, the capital of the Delta. A new state of West Tennessee?

Listen:

Length 1 hour 42 minutes.

For our August edition of A Memphis Conversation we knew what we were going to talk about. The only thing is, we did not talk about those things. One of the wonderful aspects of talking with friends is that the conversation can go in a direction completely unplanned. Perhaps those targeted subjects will be the fodder for future conversations.

We also took a turn away from the topic that has dominated our previous conversation programs. Those largely focused on the primary and secondary education systems in Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee. Rightly so, since Memphis is the central location for a Teacher Effectiveness Initiative and it is also in the midst of one of the largest school district mergers. This month, though, the school systems were barely mentioned.

So, what did we talk about? A wide range of subjects. Including those that might wish there were a 51st state: West Tennessee, Memphis as the capital of the Delta, Memphis being the exporter of “some of the most important cultural innovations … in the 20 and 21st centuries.” We also discuss our responsibility in a self governed society and concerns about surrendering freedom for security or a false sense of security.

Admittedly, I probably like to hear myself talk. Still, I, Ken, thought I’d listen to the entire program when I went to bed the evening after recording it and that it would put me to sleep. I was wrong. It was such and interesting and enjoyable conversation, it kept me up until the wee hours of the morning.

We hope you’ll not just listen, but that you’ll engage in conversation with friends, family, colleagues.

 


Want to know more? Here are some links to information about some of the things we talked about.

Buster Williams and his Plastic Products Company & his jukeboxes
Memphis as the Hardwood Capital
The Story of Cotton ( from planting to marketing)
Memphis History
Jimmy Ogle, historian or storyteller
Meet the Mayor – Citizens’ opportunity to meet personally with the Shelby County Mayor
Downtown Museum Day – September 15, 2012