I haven't linked to or shared a New York Times link since they fired up their paywall; and I haven't linked to anything on the Memphis Commercial Appeal website since "Carpetbagger Chris" (Peck, editor-in-chief) announced his out-of-town-owned corporation's maximum-profit-driven rag's website pay wall that is even stricter than the Times'.
Yes, I sometimes click a shortened URL and wind up on the CA site without meaning to; but so I don't max out there, I sought out and added to my newsreader RSS feeds from the websites of every TV station in town with a news operation, to go along with the RSS feeds from Memphis' valuable smaller papers with good local coverage.
I'm going to share those with you now in case you want to join this boycott to any degree. Just click on any of the links below to see what stories are typical of the feed. I have chosen, as much as possible, the feeds focusing on local stories, because — let's face it — we can get national and international news from so many sources now, at depths beyond what any Memphis paper does. Here are the feeds. I'll start with links to get Google Reader, which I have used for years, and to a Wikipedia article about newsreaders. You can also read RSS feeds in Internet Explorer and other major browsers and email programs. You don't have to use a newsreader; it's just handier and less time-consuming than navigating many websites to see what's new.
(I was privileged to receive an email from Memphis City Councilman Kemp Conrad. I post it here in its entirety. I like most everything about this plan. I encourage Memphis voters to read it and then in turn encourage your Councilpersons to vote for Conrad's plan.)
Dear fellow Memphian:
Due to the lack of the political will over the last ten years for reform, the decision to cut school funding and spend an additional $40mm on city government in 2008 (I was not on the council then), and lack of will by a majority of the council the last two budget cycles to seriously restrain spending, we find ourselves with a structural and recurring $60mm deficit.
This is approximately 10% of the cost of city government and the budget on the table now balances the budget with $60MM of one time money with no plan for next year. In addition, we have almost $1.5BB in unfunded liabilities for retiree pension and healthcare costs.
During his budget presentation, Mayor Wharton asked us for our ideas.
Attached are mine, which I presented to the Council yesterday and I am happy to report it was warmly received. It focuses on spending and structural reform and it is a durable plan that will allow us to grow and invest in the future.
As the facts suggest, we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem thus restructuring is where we should spend our time and effort.
If you agree with me, please call or email my colleagues on the Council as well as Mayor Wharton’s office and tell them we need bold leadership and a durable plan – not one more year of kick the can. Follow these links for contact information for the Council and Mayor: