July 23, 2014

Shouldn’t a Cold War be a Hot Topic?

A new cold war? Who decides?

missilesA Memphis Conversation ventures to national and world issues in this discussion of U.S. foreign policy. With tensions between nations seemingly growing with conflicts in various locations, we talk about the Constitutional provision for the declaration of war, the War Powers Act of 1973, whether our institutions designated to make decisions about war and peace are examining the issues and determining what our national interests are and what they are not. Among ourselves I think we agree we wish more people were having this discussion.

Duration: 34 minutes, 54 seconds

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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.

June 10, 2014

Desirable Qualities for Local Leadership

campaign-signsWhat attributes should those seeking local public office have? That is the primary question being discussed in  this Memphis conversation. While there may be many, this conversation focused on a couple of overriding qualities. The decision for the City of Memphis to further involve itself in the AAA minor league baseball franchise and its Redbirds Stadium (also known through purchased naming rights as AutoZone Park) became somewhat of a case study. Darrell Hugueley, Eddie Settles, and Ken Welch hope you will engage this issue in your own conversations. In the meantime, we invite you to list to ours.

Length: 55 minuted, 33 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.

February 24, 2014

Are we sheep or is our government ours to shape?

A Memphis Conversation began exploring the proper role and function of local government. Beginning with a few examples of what the conversationalists though was proper and what was not, the discussion evolved into a broader exchange about the local and federal role and the people’s role. There were divided opinions among the participants. While their thoughts are important, the greater good might be that they addressed the issues with one another. This is what A Memphis Conversation hopes all of us will do. In a civil and informed manner, discuss the issues of our society. At least in one advocate’s position, it is hoped you will make your thoughts known to our governments on various issues with the intent to influence our governments to do the will of the people.


Duration: 45 minutes, 14 seconds]

January 11, 2014

Behind the School Walls After Unification: An Insight

classroom-genericWhat is it like in the schools and how is that different in the unified school district compared to the separate Memphis city and Shelby County districts? We took the wonderful opportunity December 14, 2013, to get first hand answers to that question when White Station High School senior Grace Hugueley joined us to explore that question. Her father, Darrell Hugueley, is one of our regular conversationalists and is a teacher at White Station High School. So we got perspectives from student and teacher.

Some of the observations are that food is better, security is about the same, morale is better than expected. We also talk about differences between optional school classes and regular classes, which can be dramatic, and about academics and discipline in the schools now compared to decades ago.

We invite you to listen to our conversation, then engage in the conversation with those you know.

Length: 1 hour, 5 minutes, 51 seconds

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

December 8, 2013

Control of suburban school buildings: county or municipality?

In late November and early December, five of the six suburban Memphis cities have come to agreement with the County Commission and Shelby County School Board regarding the future ownership and use of the school buildings within their boundaries and requesting the federal district court to dismiss a lawsuit over the issue of suburban school districts. The City of Germantown, however, in which there are eight Shelby County Schools has not reached such an agreement and is arguing for possession of those all those schools. The Shelby County system, however, says that because high percentages of the pupils in three of those schools live in the City of Memphis or unincorporated areas, it wants to keep and operate them as county schools. This is a major issue for Germantown, as the county wants to continue to operate its three namesake schools in question: Germantown Elementary, Germantown Middle, and Germantown High.

In A Memphis Conversation, our panelists discuss the ownership and operation of the schools at issue. The community, governments, and school boards seem to have different points of view and that holds true for our conversationalists.


Length: 42 minutes, 14 seconds

Note: As of December 16, 2013, all the suburban municipal governments of Millington, Lakeland, Bartlett, Arlington,  Collierville, Germantown, the Shelby County Commission, and the Shelby County School Board have reached agreements which cover the ownership and control of school buildings within the limits of the suburban municipalities. The agreements provide that the school buildings to be deeded to the suburban school districts are for $10 upon condition the suburban municipalities provide a local education authority for at least 25 years and the dropping of the pending federal lawsuit over suburban schools. The agreements also calls for the municipalities to provide payments to Shelby County Schools for the purposes of retiree health and life insurance liabilities in the amounts listed below:
Lakeland: $676,044 over a period of 12 years at $56,337 a year,
Arlington: $3.9 million over a period of 12 years at $333,333 a year,
Bartlett:  $7.2 million over 12 years at $608,000 a year,
Collierville: $6 million over 12 years at $507,819 a year,
Millington:  $2.7 million over 12 years at $230,219 a year,
Germantown: 4.3 million over 12 years at $355,453 a year.

 

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.