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MAY 2014




ay is music season in Memphis, and one of the city’s up-andcoming events is making a new home in Cooper-Young May 9-11. The fourth annual Bristerfest, a “grassroots Memphis music and cultural festival,” will bring more than 60 musical acts, performing artists and a film festival to the old Lifelink Church building, now known as Cooper Walker Place, at 1015 S. Cooper. The lineup features performances by local artists Dead Soldiers, Mighty Souls Brass Band, Spaceface, School of Rock Germantown, Artistik Approach, Tyke T and FreeWorld, Ghost Town Blues Band, Black Rock Revival, Agori Tribe, Preauxx and The Chinese Connection Dub Embassy on three stages. Beyond the music, Bristerfest will also feature Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl, Cosmo Universal Art, Randal Morton and Friends Bluegrass Pickin’ Party, DIY Shed Jam hosted by Juju Bushman and Julian Dossett, The Word hosted by Tonya Dyson, Artistik Lounge hosted by ESO and Siphne, a Sound Healing Meditation hosted by Tim Stanek, graffiti mural by Memphis Soul Collective and body painting by Akrylix. There will be Hula Hooping, fire dancing, aerial acrobatics, theater and poetry, plus vendors and food trucks will be on site. Matt Martin of Cooper-Young’s Black Lodge Video will host a festival featuring local film makers. Bristerfest founder Jack Simon and his group have been a presence in Cooper-Young for some time now, staging events at Black Lodge Video and Midtown Market. Simon said the events began as a backyard music scene on Brister Street near the University of Memphis. The parties once thrown by college students grew and went public as Bristerfest in 2011. Last fall, the group began booking music events at Cooper Walker Place, a historic church at Cooper and Walker where Johnny Cash gave his first public performance. “The location is conveniently located in the historic Cooper-Young community across the street from First Congo (church),” Simon said. “There is a family friendly and organic-conscious vibe in the area. Also, many can walk and bike to the festival.” Bristerfest, which bills itself as “conscious and community centered,” will donate a portion of its proceeds to GrowMemphis, a local organization dedicated to building and supporting urban community gardens and ensuring that all Memphians have access to fresh, healthy food. Tickets are $15 in advance for one day and $20 the day of the event. Three-day passes are $35 in advance. A full line-up and tickets can be found at

Hula Hoops were part of the entertainment at last year’s Bristerfest. This year, the event moves to Cooper-Young. Photo courtesy Brister Street Productions.




COME ON PEOPLE NOW, EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER Details on the neighborhood’s annual community yard sale, plus a new event focused on safety.

YARD OF THE MONTH It’s springtime in Cooper-Young and the yards are in bloom. Find out who won this month.

WHAT’S GOING ON Events calendar for CooperYoung and beyond for May.

LampLighter May 2014



LampLighter May 2014

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT: Looking out for the LampLighter MAY 2014

STAFF&VOLUNTEERS FOUNDER Janet Stewart EDITOR Vacant LAYOUT ARTIST Vacant WEBMASTER Patrick Miller BUSINESS MANAGER Chris McHaney DISTRIBUTION Rich Bullington AD MANAGER Susan Jaynes CONTRIBUTORS: Ben Boleware, Tamara Cook, Libby Flynt, Kristan Huntley, June Hurt, Diedre Jones, Lurene Kelley, Renee Massey, D. Jackson Maxwell, Corey Mesler, Patrick Miller, Wes Williamson


Reading the LampLighter has always been one of my favorite things about living in Cooper-Young. Since joining the board around the time that the economy tanked, I have always pushed to help make sure that the print version of the LampLighter doesn’t go anywhere anytime soon. A long line of talented editors have been responsible for maintaining the integrity of this original publication, and our most recent editor, David Royer, is one of my all-time favorites. For the past 2 1/2 years, David consistently raised the bar in regard to the content and design of the paper, and I personally feel is a large part of bringing the paper to the cusp of profitability again. It’s certainly not an easy job to deal with a staff of volunteer writers, sometimes slow-responding board members, and a nervous and often meddling CYCA president. I was just joking last month about driving him crazy with my late letters and weird requests. Coincidence? Hope not. Anyway, I suppose that the downside of having a great editor is that someone bigger and better always wants them, too. Although I hate to lose him, I would like to congratulate David on his new job at The Commercial Appeal. Luckily, David and his lovely wife, Liz, (arguably one of the coolest couples around) are not leaving the neighborhood, and he is very willing to help with the transition of finding a new editor and layout person. We already have a number of highly qualified candidates ready for the chance to carry on the tradition, so I hope to be introducing everyone to a new editor very soon.

June takes a closer look at the LampLighter layout before it goes to press.

In conclusion, David isn’t going anywhere ... are you, David? Please don’t change your number ... smells like dinner is ready ... I like that shirt ... - June Hurt/CYCA president


Please send all articles and submissions to For advertising rate sheet, or to submit ads electronically, please email

May 6 Shelby County Primary Election

CONTENT 901-297-6527 |

May 9-11 Bristerfest

AD SALES 901-652-7092 |

May 10 Cooper-Young Community Yard Sale, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. neighborhood-wide

DISTRIBUTION 901-726-4635 | Cooper-Young Community Association Kristan Huntley, Executive Director 901-272-2922 |

May 13 Cooper-Young Safety Rally at First Congo, 6-8 p.m. (in lieu of general meeting)

Cooper-Young Business Association Tamara Cook, Executive Director 901-276-7222 |

May 22 Rain date for Safety Rally

CYCA BOARD OFFICERS President June Hurt Vice-President Mark Morrison Secretary Renee Massey Treasurer Kevin Ritz

The LampLighter, the official voice of the Cooper-Young Community Association, is looking for an editor and designer. Candidates for editor should live in, and have a love for Cooper-Young and have experience with writing and editing. Living in the neighborhood is a plus. Candidates for designer should be familiar with page layout using Adobe InDesign. Ideally, the CYCA would like to find one person who can do both jobs. This is a paid freelance position.

CYCA COMMITTEE HEADS Art Auction June Hurt Beautification Kristan Huntley Beer Fest Mark Morrison Block Clubs Liz Royer Building Debbie Sowell Code Awareness Vacant Communications Patrick Miller Festival 4-Miler Richard Coletta, Michael Ham, Chris McHaney, Libby Flynt Finance Kevin Ritz Safety Wes Williamson Membership Vacant At-Large Board Members


The LampLighter is published by the CYCA. The opinions and information presented here are those of the volunteer authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of LampLighter staff or the entire Cooper-Young community. The LampLighter assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. However, we commit ourselves to providing current and accurate information.

Each month, 3,500 copies of The LampLighter are delivered to homes and businesses in and around Cooper-Young. Send resumes to LampLighter May 2014



County candidates court Cooper-Young votes By Patrick Miller/CYCA All four candidates for the District 10 County Commission seat spoke at a candidates forum hosted by the Cooper-Young Community Association at its general meeting on Tuesday, April 8, ahead of the May 6 primaries for county offices. Martavius Jones, Jake Brown, Geoff Diaz and Reginald Milton were each given 5 to 7 minutes to speak about their candidacy, followed by a Q and A in which each candidate was allowed to respond to questions. Mike Ritz, county commissioner and father of CYCA board treasurer Kevin Ritz, opened the forum with a brief description of the history of the County Commission, what the County Commission does and what area the District 10 seat serves. The district spreads from South Memphis and Orange Mound, north to Cooper-Young and Central Gardens and east to Chickasaw Gardens. Ritz explained that the County Commission has recently expanded from five large districts to 10 smaller, more focused districts, in order to more closely represent the communities the commissioners serve. The county has, as Mr. Ritz described, a “weak” mayor form of government (though the county mayor presides over the County Commission’s meetings and serves to provide its direction, the mayor’s executive authority is limited, in that it cannot provide for appointments of elected officials or legislate, veto, etc.). The Shelby County Commission, however, does play a very important role in the county and for the City of Memphis. The commission can legislate through resolutions and ordinances, sets the property tax rate for Shelby County and approves the county’s fiscal budget (currently $1.18 billion, of which $381 million goes to Shelby County Schools and $28 million goes to the Regional Medical Center). Geoff Diaz, a Republican candidate who described himself as a fiscal conservative who is more of a social libertarian politically, was the first candidate to speak. Diaz moved to Memphis in August 2010 with his wife from Washington, D.C., where he worked on Capitol Hill. Initially in Memphis, Diaz worked for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital supporting St. Jude Clinics at large in other states, providing population analysis and other key functions. Diaz determined recently that he would either need to retrain in order to move further in a career at St. Jude, or stay true to his political roots and go in a different direction. He decided to vacate his position with St. Jude and embark on a solo career in politics. When the District 10 seat elections came up, he chose to run in order to move further into politics as a politician and candidate himself. Jake Brown, a Democrat whose campaign slogan is “Progress over Posture,” described his affinity for the Cooper-Young neighborhood and Midtown in general as being based upon the strong sense of community and progressive values found in the area. Brown described his campaign as being about looking forward to bringing those values to local government. Brown wants to enact an anti-discrimination ordinance in defense of LGBT citizens, and is concerned about economic development in Memphis, in particular the next wave of development of the Fairgrounds area. Brown said he hopes to bring about a return to politics as it’s supposed to be, especially local. Martavius Jones, a Democrat, is a native Memphian who graduated from Central High School, and attended Howard University in Washington, DC. After finishing college, Jones worked for Aetna in employee benefits management, then for A.G. Edwards as a financial advisor. Jones came back to Memphis in 1999 where he embarked upon a career as an independent financial consultant. Jones feels his financial expertise makes him well-qualified for budget oversight, in particular his experience in Memphis after leaving A.G. Edwards and returning home. As an independent consultant, he spent time attending Shelby County School Board meetings to drum up business, but said through that experience, he eventually learned a great deal about the budget. Jones decided to run for the new District 10 seat out of concern for double taxation and because he said from what he saw, during budgeting, no one has been advocating for education. He feels he can articulate the need for proper funding for education. 4

LampLighter May 2014

From left, Reginald Milton, Jake Brown, Martavius Jones and Geoff Diaz spoke to Cooper-Young residents April 8.

Reginald Milton, a Democrat, is a lifelong Memphian who is a community organizer, active in Memphis for many years now. Milton is a LeMoyne-Owen College grad, who served as director of medical studies at Grinnel College in Des Moines, Iowa. Milton spoke of an extensive career in community organization in Memphis including establishing the South Memphis Alliance, a non-profit organization that supports at-risk children and neighborhoods in South Memphis through social services and other means. Milton advocated his position by describing his active work and saying that he felt that he was a strong choice because of his current and past efforts in Memphis. He described the establishment of a $1.1 million dollar community resource center and laundromat where a blighted property was at risk for unscrupulous use and his own creation of the South Memphis Alliance as examples of true action and activism in Memphis and said he hoped to bring that kind of action to the commission. Several questions were posed of the candidates. Unsurprisingly, the question of reappraisal hassles for property tax assessments came up and the candidates were asked if the commission handled this. Martavius Jones spoke first, saying their role is likely nominating the members that sit in that body. Reginald Milton indicated the commission also sets some regulations and Jake Brown spoke about the possibility that the commission can be of some influence at budget time because they call the different county government divisions before them for budget review. Martavius Jones fielded a question from resident Mark Morrison about what the revelation that Jones owed $12,000 in property taxes said about his ability to manage the budget concerns. Jones described that, in fact, the information was correct, but that it was a result of multiple family members passing in a very short period of time and uncertainty over whether or not escrow was paying property taxes or not. A resident asked if the Regional Medical Center money was still needed with Obamacare in place. Answers came from Milton: yes, because there will still be people without health insurance, despite potential fines, and Jones, who drew comparisons to TennCare. When asked what they thought the most pressing issue before us in Memphis was, each candidate answered specifically and differently. Diaz suggested education of the workforce, in particular re-training of the unemployed. Brown said treatment of people equally was crucial and that there were a variety of services where this is not happening in local government. Blight was Martavius Jones’ response, adding that there were many properties that the county needs to get back on its tax rolls. Milton said he felt there was a serious problem in Memphis government of dealing with the symptom of a problem rather than the problem itself, and there is a need to devote more resources to improve quality of life and services to needy individuals and dysfunctional families. To learn more about the Shelby County Commission, visit https:// To see what district your neighborhood is in, see the 2014 district map here:


Celebrate safely with Safety Shindig May 13 The next CYCA General meeting that is scheduled for Tuesday, May 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. will be held in the parking lot at First Congo. This won’t be just any meeting; it will be our first-ever Cooper-Young Safety Shindig! This event will be a perfect blend of information on a wide array of safety topics with representatives from numerous different organizations such as MLGW, Memphis Animal Clinic, Midtown ATA Martial Arts and even the Memphis Police Department!

The fun comes in with cookout-style food, socializing with your neighbors and door prizes to win from many of our great neighborhood businesses. Just in case the weather doesn’t want to cooperate with us we have a rain date of Thursday, May 22. Come on out with your family to enjoy this great event with the other Cooper-Young residents and help make Cooper-Young a safer place to live, worship, work and play. -Wes Williamson/CYCA Safety chairman

Cooper-Young Community Yard Sale set for May 10 Do you have knick-knacks and stuff you never use strewn about your basement, attic and every available inch in the closet? Do you realize that you haven’t used said kitchen gadget or worn a shirt in the past year or five? Could you use a few extra bucks (couldn’t we all)? Well it sounds like you need to take part in this year’s Cooper-Young Community Yard Sale on May 10! The Annual Cooper-Young Community Yard Sale will take place on Saturday, May 10th from 8 am until 2 pm. Please keep in mind that this is a RAIN OR SHINE event, so plan accordingly. You may use your discretion in choosing to reschedule your yard sale if the weather is bad, but we will only have the one “official” date of May 10 that we will advertise. How Will People Find Out About the Event? The Cooper-Young Community Association (CYCA) will help get the word out about the Community Yard Sale by way of the Commercial Appeal, Craigslist and our websites. Closer to the date of the yard sale, we will also put up posters around the area. We will also utilize Facebook and create an event that can be shared by everyone. The best form of advertisement is always word of mouth though, so remember to tell your friends and colleagues. Will There Be A Yard Sale Listing? Yes. There will be an official list of households participating on our website and but you MUST be a current Cooper-Young Community Association member for your address to be listed. To renew your membership, visit us at or call us at 272-2922. Other than the membership (which has lots of additional benefits), there is no fee for partic-

ipating in the yard sale. We want you to keep your hard earned money from your yard sale. If you wish to participate in the yard sale, please email us no later than May 5. You are also welcome to comment on the Facebook event and give the address of your yard sale, along with a brief description of what you will be selling. If you are not on Facebook, you can email us the information to If you are new to the world of yard sales, here are some helpful hints to keep you sane and safe: Yard sale shoppers like to find a price easily. Use stickers or, for a bunch of items like books or stuffed animals, place them in a box labeled with a price (i.e. $1 per item). Leave room for bargaining when you set your price. Yard sale shoppers like to haggle. You will be up early the day of the yard sale, so remember to get change on Friday. Be honest. If an item doesn’t work, be truthful and reflect that in the price. Instead of having your yard sale alone, invite a friend to share your yard. You increase safety and can alternate refilling each other’s coffee. Keep your money on you at all times. A money belt or fanny pack works well. Close your front door, shades, and garage door so that the contents of your house are not visible to yard sale shoppers. Decline the use of your restroom unless you know the individual. If you have questions, email or call the CYCA offices at 901-2722922. Best wishes for a prosperous yard sale! -Kristan Huntley/CYCA executive director LampLighter May 2014



2014’s first Yard of the Month goes to 1008 Meda St. By Libby Flynt As I looked around our great neighborhood for someone who was able to revitalize their yard after this miserable winter, I was very excited to see Tim and Ben Catania-McKinley’s yard at 1008 Meda! Tim learned the art of gardening, no surprise, from a master — his grandmother, who was the president of the North Little Rock Horticulture Club. Tim and Ben boast a lovely, weed-free yard of Bermuda and lush boxwood shrubs lining the porch. Simple, freshly mulched beds in front include pansies and irises. The color and variegation diversity continue on the porch with hanging baskets of ivy and pansies as well as a corn plant, dracaena marginata, and a spathiphyllum (peace lily). Tim and Ben bring their more tropical plants inside during the winter. One hint for beautiful gardens is occasionally taking a risk, such as the “drop and go” succulents that Tim is trying out on the side yard this year … Just till the soil, drop the seed and watch it grow. While they love Cooper-Young, Tim and Ben will soon be off to the West Coast for other adventures. We wish them the best of luck and thank them for creating such a bright spot in our neighborhood.


LampLighter May 2014


Thank you to Art for Art’s Sake artists, volunteers By Kristan Huntley/ CYCA executive director As I write this, it is less than a week after the Art for Art’s Sake Auction, therefore we don’t have all the final tallies and amounts yet, but we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to thank all of our wonderful donors and volunteers who made this event possible. Many thanks to our donating artists and businesses: Alex Warble, Allen Portner, PhD, Andrew Ware and Paul Cooper, Andy McNally, Arcade Restaurant, Archicast, Art N Things, Arts Memphis, Austin Howard, Ballet Memphis, Bally’s Resorts, Barbara Brown Rowland, Bayou Bar and Grill, Bebo Folk Art, Bed Bath and Beyond, Beverly and Paul Cooper, Black Lodge, Blue Monkey, Blue Sky Tie Dye, Booksellers of Laurelwood, Boutique Essentials, Brandon Marshall, Brenda’s Fused Glass, Buster’s Liquors & Wines, Buzz and Judi Shellabarger, Cabin Dreamworks, Camy’s, Carne Schule, Carol Robison, Central BBQ, Chandler and Olly, Charles Culp, Chiwawa, Chris Collins, Chuck Parr, Cindy Uphoff, Cooper-Young Business Association, Cottage Restaurant, Crooked Creek Designs, Cynthia McKee, Dabbles Hair Company, Debbie Crawford, Donna Blackard, Eclectic Eye, Ed Wade, Fork It Over, Foster Luminosity, Funky Ladies Studio, Gino Pambianchi, Global Goods, Gould’s Salons, GPAC, Gurleygirl, Hollywood Casino, Hollywood Feed, Huey’s, Imagine Brazil, Inside Out Gym, Jana Travis, Jeanne Seagle, Jessica Lyons Designs, John and Tyrina Browning, Judy Daniels, Judy Vandergrift, Juve, Karen “Bottle” Capps, Karen Golightly, Karen Kendrick, Katie McWeeney, Kevin Sullivan, KeyshaWarr, Khakiman, Kimberly Fox Malone, Kindred Spirit Style, KMT Creations, Kristen Archer, Kyl El, La Baguette, Laser Quest, LeAltaBrummett’s Fluer de Lee, Lee Ann Thompson, Lee Phenix, Lindsey Penn, Lisa Lumb, Lizi Beard-Ward, Local Gastropub,Lurlynn Franklin, Malco Theatres, Inc., Mark Morrison, Marty Spence, Melissa Chipman, Memphicity Designs, Memphis Botanic Gardens, Memphis Hop, Memphis Made Brewing, Memphis Redbirds, Memphis Zoo, Mewtopia, Midtown Massage & Bodywork, Mollie Riggs, Moments of Whim, MPM Designs, MR Designs, Mr. Scruff ’s Pet Care, Music City Minis, Nail and Skin Bar, Neil McElory, Nicole Phillippe, Ole Don’s Craft Shoppe, Olive This Art, On the Rag Designs, Otherlands, Paint a Piece, Painted by Holly, Patricia Loureiro Collection, Paul Clarke, Paulette Regan, Pet Care Professionals, Phillip Ashley Chocolates, Pink Palace Museum, Playhouse On the Square, Pop Art, Poplar Ridge Pottery, Psychedelic Shack, Reas Artwork, Renee Ulike, Sandra Dennis, Savory by Jim Smith, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, Silver Gallery.Biz, SJS Images, Smashing Threads,

Paul Clarke was the featured artist for this year’s annual Art for Art’s Sake Auction, benefiting Cooper-Young Community Association.

Smoothie King, Soul Fish Café, Southern Silverworks, Stax Museum, Stone Soup Café, Sun Studio, Sweet Grass, T&P Designs, Tatia Johnson/Solstice Studios, TD Designs, The Arcade Harvest/Randi Marx, The Art Center, The Cotton Museum, The Growler, The Orpheum Theatre, The Peabody Hotel, The Polish Bottle, Theatre Memphis, Theurich-Weber, Tim Andrews, Toad Hall Antiques, Trace Elements, Tracy Parish, Trudy Bratten, Tylur French, Ugg Lee Dolls, Underground Art, Victory Bicycle Studio, Young Avenue Deli, Wish, WEVL. Our amazing volunteers: Ami Okasinski, Andy Ashby, Cheryl Bledsoe, Chris McHaney, Dan Spector, Debbie Sowell, Demetrius Boyland, Edward Greene, Jessica Sievers, Kate & Ted Schurch, Kathy Fisher, Kelly Phillips, Kevin Ritz, Leslie Boone, Leslie Thompson, Mark Morrison, Michael Michaud, Noopy Dykes, Patrick Miller, Renee Massey, Sarah Wilson, Shannon McKenna, Susan Hesson Andersen, Emma Hesson, Sydney Ashby, Tripp Mazurak, Triston Causey, Ty and John Browning, Vickie Flake, Wes Williamson.

Many thanks to featured artist Paul “the Delta Wanderer” Clarke for his time and dedication to this event. Also, a very special thanks to Karen Capps, who goes above and beyond in hanging the art, talking to fellow artists and constructing the backdrop used for the live auction. Special thanks also goes to Karen Lebowitz and her staff at Otherlands for hosting our Artist Reception and Michelle Campbell and Fork It Over Catering for providing the wonderful food. Phillip Stroud and Tiger Bryant always go above and beyond when it comes to hosting the Art for Art’s Sake Auction. A big thank you to Young Avenue Deli for also providing the wonderful buffet, Kevin Sullivan for his hummus, and Camy’s for the scrumptious cheesecake and gift certificates. Of course, no Cooper-Young event would be complete without beer, and for that we thank Memphis Made Brewing and Young Avenue Deli. Last but not least, a BIG THANK YOU to each and every one of you who came out in support of the Auction, bought a ticket and bid. We greatly appreciate it!

Don’t leave your pets alone!

LampLighter May 2014


CALENDAR Midtown Massage & Bodywork hosting second anniversary party

Michael Graber, Reba Russell to play at Overton Park

Midtown Massage & Bodywork is celebrating their two-year anniversary on May 8 starting at 5 p.m. This is a free event and the public is invited to enjoy free food, libations, drawings and the first 50 people to arrive receive a surprise gift bag. Drawing winners will receive gifts from local Midtown businesses like Restaurant Iris/The Second Line, The Polish Bottle, Bubble Larrie Rodriguez Bistro and many more. Over the last two years, Midtown Massage & Bodywork has grown in size and in popularity. In 2012, the owner, Larrie Rodriguez, was named Memphis’ “Favorite Massage Therapist” by Natural Awakenings. In 2013, they were voted as “one of the best places to get a massage” by Memphis Health and Fitness magazine. Midtown Massage & Bodywork provides Therapeutic Massage, Thai Bodywork, Neuromuscular Therapy, Myofascial Release and Therapeutic Yoga instruction to people of all ages, lifestyles and professions. This type of bodywork helps to release stress and tension, relieve pain and soreness, stimulate the flow of energy and improve flexibility and strength. This year’s party will support the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center. Everyone is invited to attend.

Overton Park Friend’s Wednesday Night Music Series continues at the Overton Park Abe Goodman golf house, May 7 and 21. Admission is free and music is from 6 to 9 p.m. May 7 is Michael Graber. Through speech, poetry and music, Michael connects and delivers. Having served with Professor Elixir’s Southern Troubadours, Fatback Jubilee, the Bluff City Backsliders, the Damfool String band and more, Michael is a formidable presence in our rich Memphis music landscape. May 21st is Reba Russell. For over 20 years the Reba Russell Band has recorded and performed original blues music and toured the world promoting Memphis music, peace, love and world boogie. Food trucks will be at the park and wine, beer and beverages will be available for purchase. The events are family friends so bring your chairs and join the fun.

Free classical concert by Memphis Repertory Orchestra Memphis Repertory Orchestra will celebrate its first season finale at the Buckman Performing Arts Center, 60 Perkins Extd., with soprano Mary Wilson at 8 p.m. May 17. Wilson will join the orchestra for performances of Mozart’s “Come scoglio” and “Deh Vieni, non tardar,” “Morgen” by Strauss, and Bernstein’s “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide. To close the evening’s celebration, the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s First Symphony, a piece fittingly composed at the dawn of a new century that changed the conception of the classical

genre. Also on the program will be Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.” Admission is free to the public with donations accepted. Visit or call 921-8490 for more information.

Memphis Symphony Orchestra presents Beethoven works The Memphis Symphony will present the seventh and final concert of this season’s First Tennessee Masterworks series, Beethoven’s “Pastorale” featuring Beethoven’s Fifth, May 3 at the Cannon Center. The two pieces are as different from one another as night is from day, allowing the Symphony to present the many faces of Beethoven’s genius. The mighty Fifth Symphony grapples with the most turbulent emotions. Beethoven takes us on an epic journey from darkness to triumphant light. From the shocking violence of the famous first movement to the blazing glory of the finale, the MSO will take the audience on a journey that plunges headlong with Beethoven as he climbs upward from the depths of despair to the heights of triumph over adversity. It’s often been said that this is the first truly biographical symphonic work with clear parallels to the composer’s own struggles with deafness and creating music that left many of his contemporaries bewildered. It is a near perfect metaphor in music for “the hope that springs eternal.” The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. There will be a second performance on Sunday, May 4, at 2:30 p.m. at the Germantown Performing Arts Center. Tickets range from $15 to $85, and $5 for students. To order tickets , call the Memphis Symphony Orchestra Box Office at 537-2525 or visit

Check out our live music every Take a break from the heat Sunday afternoon and night! with a brew and burger!

Voted “Best Burger in Memphis” since 1984! 8

LampLighter May 2014

1927 Madison Avenue 38104 901.726.4372


C-Y Night Out set for May 1 Cooper-Young First Thursday Night Out, May 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. will be full of music, art, and fashion finds. Live music at the newly landscaped gazebo, sponsored by Central Automotive, is a wellknown Memphis duo, Cherry Brooks and Cal Jackson. Enjoy their soulful jazz tunes from 6 to 9 p.m. Other music offered is over at the Café Ole patio under the palm trees with Charvey McLemore from 7 to 11 p.m. and you can catch the Bluff City Backsliders on the patio at Celtic Crossing starting at 5:30 p.m. Java Cabana has a night of original songs and poetry with their Open Mic Night. Chris Johnson of American Fiction will be appearing at Wish, 2157 Central Ave. Over at Allie Cat Arts, owned and operated by Nicolle Phillippe, see new items by Barry Joyce, Karen Capps and Lisa Lumb among more than 80 artists in the gallery. Jay Etkin Gallery is featuring paintings this month by James Koskinas from his Angels Series as well as recent work by gallery artists. Greencork has local artist Julie Blackwell Trotter on display as well as works by Eric Painter, Virginia Schoenster and Sharon Grinspan. At Phillip Ashley Chocolates, you can see paintings by Edwin McSwine and get discounts on chocolate. Recent work by the students of the Memphis College of Art’s Paper Arts class will be on display at Tsunami.

Sip & Shop at the special appearance of the Henny Penny Mobile Boutique that will be making a stop at Me & Mrs. Jones, 889 South Cooper. Loudeans knows all about FLAX and their spring and summer fashions have just landed. Want to pop-up shop? Wish, Langford Market and Arthouse T-Shirts will be at the gazebo so you can do just that. Happy Hocker Pawnshop has vintage and antique jewelry on sale up to 50 percent off. Charm Boutique will have discounts on clothing items as well as refreshments. Enjoy giveaway surprises and refreshments at Midtown Massage & Bodywork. It is a Manicure and Martini party at The Polish Bottle starting at 4 p.m. Cowork Memphis has discount membership for the day and door prizes with games in the parking lot. Start a free week of classes at Memphis Fitness Kickboxing. At the House of Mews get a new family member for 50 percent off the adoption fee. Plus, people watching and deals on food and beverages at Mulan Bistro, Sweet Grass/ Next Door, Beauty Shop, Bar DKDC, Alchemy, Imagine Vegan Café, Celtic Crossing, Young Avenue Deli, Jasmine Thai, Café Ole, Greencork, The Growler and Soul Fish Café.

2189 Central Ave. (901) 725-4766

Bring this flyer in to receive:

- Cooper-Young Business Association

A recipe from the kitchen of Kathy Katz at Cooper Street 20/20

Sweet and Sour Coleslaw

16 oz. bag coleslaw 1 medium red onion, chopped 1/2 cup white vinegar 3/4 tsp dry mustard 1/2 tsp celery seed 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup sugar pinch of salt

$8 off oil change

Combine in sauce pan - vinegar, salt, dry mustard, celery seed, salad oil and sugar. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Cool. Separately, combine slaw and chopped onion. Pour cooled dressing over slaw and onion mixture. Refrigerate overnight. Serves 6 to 8. Cooper Street 20/20 is located at 800 S. Cooper

$25 off brake service

10% off maintenance Expires 6/30/14 LampLighter May 2014



Hankins tapped as poster artist for Cooper-Young Fest

‘In the Dream’ by Jan Hankins

The Cooper-Young Business Association announced recently that local artist Jan Hankins will be the poster artist for the 27th annual Cooper-Young Festival, presented by Evolve Bank and Trust. Hankins is known locally for his commercial signs and murals. His artistic side reflects images from his vivid imagination and observations. Hankins’ work can be seen at Gallery Fifty Six at 2256 Central Avenue. Rollin Kocsis, curator of Gallery Fifty Six, describes Jan as a “highly imaginative, somewhat misunderstood artist” and called him “one of the most talented artists in the Memphis community today.” There will be a poster unveiling party Aug. 7 at 6 p.m., at Haizlip Studio, 2125 Central Ave., for a first look at this year’s CY festival poster. Everyone is welcome to come and view the last 26 years of posters, and enjoy refreshments and live music. The 2014 Cooper -Young Festival is slated for Saturday, Sept. 13 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. - Cooper-Young Business Association 10

LampLighter May 2014


Join us  for  a   PARTY!  

Larrie, Owner,  Massage  Therapist  

Thursday May  8th   5-­‐7  pm   Free  food   Libations   Door  prizes  

Karina, Massage  Therapist  

Catherine, Massage  Therapist  

Debbie, Yoga  Therapist  

Tom, Massage  Therapist  


Lizzie, Massage  Therapist  

This year’s  party  will  support  our  friends  and  neighbor  at  the  Memphis     Gay  and  Lesbian  Community  Center.       So,  be  prepared  to  throw  your  spare  change  or  dollars  in  a  tip  jar.     LampLighter May 2014



Hop On Hop Off shuttle to begin making stops in Cooper-Young Blues City Tours has named the Cooper-Young Historic District as its latest stop for the Memphis Hop On Hop Off shuttle service that visits local museums and other cultural venues in Memphis. Starting May 1, there will be three daily stops in Cooper-Young starting at 11:55 a.m. and every two hours after that. The bus will stop at the intersection of Cooper Street and Young Avenue at the gazebo area. It takes two hours to complete the entire route of 13 stops. Tickets can be purchased at Burke’s Book Store, from the bus driver, online and at several of the other stops like Graceland, Rock & Soul Museum and the Peabody Hotel. Sponsorship funding from Celtic Crossing made this additional stop possible. Memphis Hop On Hop Off hours during the spring are Tuesdays through Sundays from 11:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For info, call 577-5467 or go to - Cooper-Young Business Association

Farmers market bids farewell to manager The Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market (CYCFM) is saying farewell to their beloved market manager Nate Folse on Saturday, May 3 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1000 S. Cooper, corner of Cooper and Walker in the parking lot of First Congregational Church. Join them for High Cotton Beer, live music, food trucks and more. Mark Allen, Artistik Approach and Alex Greene will perform. Elle Valentine will be reading from her book “The UnPopular Pea (&Carrot)”.

Roen kicks off run for judicial office Cooper-Young attorney and business owner Leah Roen, pictured with supporter Saul Belz and committee member Ann Harms, celebrated her kickoff party for her run for judicial office on March 27. Alchemy owners Bert Smythe, John Littlefield and Stewart Wingate provided an elegant atmosphere for local attorneys, politicians and friends to wish her well and help her get a financial boost for her run. Roen moved her law practice to Cooper-Young approximately five years ago. The location is close to the courts and yet is accessible to her clientele with adequate parking and a less formal feeling than heading downtown to high-rise buildings and crowded streets, she says.


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COOPER-YOUNG NEWS Meda Street block party Megan Kelly and Dana Bottenfield (top) and Sam Keasler with neighbors Ayler and Ryan (bleow) relax and hang out at a block party on Meda last month.

Our purpose is to form an association of residents and interested parties to work together to make our diverse and historic community a more desirable and safer place to live, worship, work, and play.

Enclosed is a check for my membership in the Cooper-Young Community Association New


Household – $20

Trestle Tender – $50

Senior 55 and older – $5

Name ________________________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________ Zip _____________ Phone ___________________________ Email ________________________________________ Yes, I want to hear about volunteer opportunities! Enclosed is my gift of $____________________ in honor or/in memory of: _________________________________________________________ Enclosed is my gift of $___________________ for the General Operating Fund Mail this form with payment to: CYCA Membership, 2298 Young Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 You can also join online at The CYCA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Ray Rico


Branding & Design « Social Media « Smart Websites « Speedy Printing

901.800.1172 « 2294 Young Avenue « Memphis, TN 38104 « LampLighter May 2014


Peabody kids learn to lead by serving others


By Deirdre Jones/Peabody Elementary Peabody Elementary’s Beta Club has been leading by serving others. They have been busy researching, organizing, and implementing service projects that have enriched the lives of our school and community. In November, they volunteered as host and hostesses for the school’s first International Carnival. At Christmas, they organized a school wide toy drive and donated the toys to The Memphis Family Shelter. Just last month, they spearheaded a campaign that raised over $1,500 to help support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Pennies for Patients. They have two more projects in the works, which includes a TCAP Dance and delivering TCAP message grams to encourage excellence and excitement during the TCAP test. Beta Club sponsors Rachael Drozinski, Anna Hardin, and Deirdre Jones are proud of the character and leadership skills these students exemplify. At right, back Row: Keilah Woods, Morgan McClaran, Lauryn Davis, Ashley Westbrook, Talea Crowder, Briana Massey Center Row: Makayla Harley, Sobenna Egwuekwe, Tytianna Pope, Ava Butler, Alexia Collins Front Row: Ayler Edmaiston

Dr. Maxwell: Finding the right extended care for your kids As the next school year approaches, it’s time to select your best options

By Dr. D. Jackson Maxwell Today’s world is radically different from the world that we grew up in. When many of us were children, mothers were often “stay-at-home.” Children would run the streets because there were always mothers, peeking out of windows or sitting on front porches to make sure all was well. Today, we live in a world where single parents and two-parent working households are now the norm. Therefore, kids today rarely run the streets because there are few mothers at home to watch children at play. This fact has created an explosion of need for extended care services. Fortunately, excellent extended care programs that enrich children rather than merely babysitting them are now available at many schools. This is good news for parents who need a full service school. One that provides the highest quality educational experiences for students as well as childcare services that go beyond caretaking to include enrichment opportunities for all students. These proactive childcare programs challenge both struggling and advanced students socially and academically. Here is how one school has addressed this issue. Grahamwood Elementary has embraced a multitude of extended care options that are truly inspiring. The extended care programs offer students the opportunity to extend learn while pursuing their interests and dreams. The choices are plentiful and unique with something for every student and family budget. Five days a week from 3-6 p.m. a Chinese Language Aftercare program is offered at Grahamwood Elementary. Ms. 14

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Hongbo Wang teaches students to speak the Chinese dialect of Mandarin. The students engage in a number of activities that introduce words and eventually sentences. More advanced students even learn to write using the Mandarin alphabet. With China’s growing influence, parents can give their children an early start learning a language of global importance in the world of business and politics. Plans are afoot to add a similar Spanish language extended care program. A second aftercare program is Kid City headed by registered nurse, Catherine Strickland. This in-house program focuses on academics in small group settings. Kid City works closely with classroom teachers to cooperatively address each student’s individual needs. Instruction is provided by way of direct tutoring, educational contests, and field explorations. This program was started when parents noticed Ms. Strickland voluntarily tutoring students after school. Finally, so many parents asked for her help she moved from a parttime volunteer to heading up a five-day, 3-6 p.m. full-time aftercare program. Michelle Woodruff administers the Extended Learning Opportunities Program (ELOP), the largest of Grahamwood’s in-house extended care offerings. For $40 per week, students can attend before care from 7-7:45 a.m. and aftercare from 3-6 p.m. Tutoring by certified teachers is available three days a week. These sessions are coordinated with classroom teachers to pinpoint individual needs and help with homework plus offer computer enrichment programs. Tie-in programs such as “Healthy Kids &Teens,” founded by Clintonia Simmons, teach the importance of healthy eating habits and exercise. Lauren Bassanger, the Farms 2 Schools Farm Man-

ager, instructs classes on planting, nurturing, and harvesting what they grow in Grahamwood’s outdoor gardens and greenhouses. Further, students play mental and dexterity games such as cup stacking and indoor basketball as well as imagination play with Lincoln Logs and Legos to enhance creativity. Reverend Wind teaches children karate which instills respect and discipline. Frequent fieldtrips introduce students to Memphis’ rich cultural and historic past. Finally, students attend weekly Spanish classes. Beyond these, several off-campus aftercare programs offer free transportation and care for students who need it. The Grizzlies sponsor Memphis Athletic Ministries at Leawood Baptist Church that in addition to homework help also ensure that students are physically active by engaging them in daily sports activities. Multi-National Ministries provides caters to English as a Second Language Students (ESL). Homework help, Reading Mondays, and religious studies are some of the weekly offerings of this program. Working parents today are not only concerned about academics but also what types of extended care programs a particular school offers. As decision time approaches for the 2014-2015 school year, it is time to select not only the best school but also the school with the best extended care options. While Grahamwood is the role model I chose, demand the same multiple extended care options from the administrators at your chosen school. Make sure your child has every educational opportunity they deserve. Dr. D. Jackson Maxwell is a National Board Certified Teacher with 30 years of educational experience. He is also a freelance writer. If you have any questions or comments, please contact him at:


Volume 11: How do you know what to read next? Intuition? My wife and I have a minor disagreement about how you pick what you want to read next (this also applies to which movies you watch). She reads reviews, jacket copy, blurbs, online discussions. She listens to other folks who divulge plot points and opinions. I, instead, want to start each book (or movie) from a position of total ignorance (I hear you saying that I do, in fact, already live in total ignorance, and there is truth in that). I don’t want to know a single plot point or story arc. I don’t even want to hear if someone liked or disliked it. If I read anything about a book ahead of time, a review, for instance, I skim so I don’t learn anything. In other words, I want each reading experience to be an unmitigated surprise from By Corey Mesler page one till the final word. My wife rightly asks me: how do you know what to read next? It’s tricky, I guess. Paranormal intuition? Of course I have my stable of authors who almost never let me down so that I have their entire body of work to conclude. Authors in this group include: Anthony Burgess, Iris Murdoch, Philip Roth, John Updike, Toni Morrison, Charles McCarry, Lorrie Moore, Vladimir Nabokov, Virginia Woolf, Ross MacDonald, Alice Hoffman, Louis Begley, Thomas Berger, Don DeLillo, E. L. Doctorow, John Barth, Steven Millhauser, Saul Bellow, Anthony Powell, and on and on. Yet, I do find new authors to love. Recently I read Emma Donoghue’s Room. I knew little about it except that a lot of people liked it. I was so happy reading that book from my position of absolute obliviousness. Every turn of its clever, snaky plot was a delight for me. Ditto Herman Koch’s The Dinner and Edward St. Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels. How do I find these? I guess I hear buzz, word of mouth. I do skim The New York Times Book Review and Publishers Weekly. But I also think there is something larger at work: an instinct, a guess, literary mojo, a stab in the dark, a spin of the globe stopped by a single questing finger. And when you’re between books isn’t the dilemma always, what do I want to read next? another book by an author I can count on, or an unfamiliar author who just might be the start of a new romance? Come to think of it this has much to say about my dating years. This also raises the question: If you are trying out a new author how many pages do you give him or her? My wife told me life is too short to read bad books and I agree. I used to persevere through almost everything. I felt I owed it to the author. It’s hard to write a book. Anyone who has accomplished it deserves my time. That’s what I used to think. Then I switched to the 100 page rule. If you don’t have me by the gullet in 100 pages it’s back to the bookstore for you. Then I altered it to 50 pages. This has to do with age and the amount of time I have left on this dense planet with its dense libraries. I don’t want to think about that. Death, get thee behind me. Even making peace with quitting early, following my wife’s lead, I think of the books I didn’t love till the final chapters. I guess those breakthroughs are a thing of the past for me. Oh well. I don’t want to think about that either. Nabokov said, “There are no good readers, only good re-readers.” He must have thought he was going to live forever. Now I only want to read as many books as I can down here until I have been bussed out of this district and into the empyrean one. I am told by Borges that Heaven is a library. I must be extra good in the time left to me because I believe the opposite also. Hell has no books. As of this writing, I am reading one of the best books I’ve read in a long time: Brian Moore’s The Mangan Inheritance. As usual write if you wanna: Corey Mesler is the owner of Burke’s Book Store in Cooper-Young.

Mesler to sign copies of new book Corey Mesler will be at Burke’s Book Store May 1, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to read from and sign copies of his new full-length poetry collection, “The Catastrophe of my Personality” (Blue Hour Press, $15. Joining him for the signing will be the cover artist, his daughter, Chloe Mesler. The reading will begin at 6 pm. This event coincides with the Cooper-Young Neighborhood First Thursday Night Out.

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C-Y SNAPSHOTS In Memory of Doug Grooms By Judy Grooms I walked on down to the water’s edge and thought about the life we had. When I threw his ashes in the bend, I heard his voice in the wind, “Don’t give up, I’m right here, live your life, don’t shed your tears. Love is strong and lingers on, just live your life - we are still one.” I found I had to learn to smile, to love each day and laugh a while. To shed some tears to clear my mind and thank the Lord for all he left behind. Our family’s grown by leaps and bounds. I see his face in happy smiles and hear his voice in laughter now. Still he whispers in my mind, “Give hugs and love all around.” As time goes by, my thoughts grow calm. I look forward to what lies in store. I hope to find that gentle soul to share my life and make it whole. I’ll always remember the words he said, “Don’t give up, I’m right here, live your life, don’t shed your tears! Love is strong and lingers on. Just live your life - we are still one.”


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Volunteer spotlight shines on new member Jeff Williams By Renee Massey/CYCA I know from personal experience that the members of the Cooper-Young Community Association Board of Directors have to be serious about the both the quantity and quality of volunteering they do for the organization. Many people are willing to help out now and then, but members of the board make a long-term volunteer commitment to make Cooper-Young a safer, more desirable place to live, worship, work and play. That is why we get so excited when we have a new board member like Jeff Williams. Jeff has lived in the neighborhood for years and has helped out with LampLighter routes in the past, but he recently decided he wanted to take community participation to the next level. He has joined the Safety Committee, joined the Board of Directors (with a special interest in Safety and Beautification), helped man the CYCA table at a recent CY Farmers’ Market, and participated in a recent neighborhood clean-up. You can read Jeff ’s bio on the CYCA website,, and you can read his thoughts on volunteering right here: 1. How long have you lived in Cooper-Young? How long have you been volunteering for the CYCA? I have lived in Cooper Young for approximately three and a half years. I have been volunteering for the CYCA for around two months now. 2. Please tell our readers about your most recent CYCA volunteer experience. My most recent volunteer experience with the CYCA was the community cleanup. We had a really good turnout of volunteers, and everyone was very friendly and helpful! Everyone had their own assignment given to them. I was assigned a section at the end of Tanglewood Street. The area was covered in trash, and it made me feel really good to get out there and help clean it up. A few of the neighbors expressed their thanks as they drove by and one even grabbed a trash can and helped! It was very rewarding to look at the area once the project was completed. It was a great way to show my appreciation for the neighborhood and make a small contribution. The experience helped me feel more connected to the community, and I look forward to the next volunteer opportunity.

3. What other CYCA activities, if any, have you volunteered for in the past? This was the first actual volunteer event I have attended aside from helping with one of the LampLighter community newspaper routes, but I look forward to more. 4. What motivates you to volunteer with the CYCA? I am motivated by my love for the community. I feel we have a really special thing going on here in Cooper-Young, and I feel it is my duty to contribute. Cooper-Young is the way it is because the residents care about it. Things don’t get done on their own. It takes people like you and me to keep Cooper-Young great. 5. What are your favorite things about Cooper-Young? What do you think makes Cooper-Young special? My favorite things about Cooper-Young are the people, the atmosphere, the art, the music, and the restaurants. We have a very unique community and I love that. People can be who they want to be and everyone is accepting. I cannot think of a more desirable place I would want to live in Memphis. Cooper-Young is the very essence of FREEDOM and INDIVIDUALITY! The CYCA Board of Directors warmly welcomes Jeff Williams as its newest member. If you want to contribute to the magic of Cooper-Young by volunteering with the Cooper-Young Community Association just email us at, call the CYCA offices at 901-272-CYCA(2922), or stop by 2298 Young during office hours. As Jeff mentioned, “It takes people like you and me to keep Cooper-Young great.”

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What journalists can teach us about reporting crime on By Lurene Kelley When I first started using Twitter in 2008, I imagined it could be everything local news could not be — a space to find out what was happening in my immediate surrounding, even the small stuff. I tried to make it that. One night, I saw several police cars gathered on my street. I issued my own personal APB on Twitter, asking if anyone knew what was happening. Crickets. You could hear crickets. Was it because no one cared or knew what was happening on my street? No. The people who followed me lived in Downtown Memphis, New York City or Switzerland. They didn’t live on my street. Years later, as my networks have grown, Twitter and Facebook have grown into a de facto neighborhood news source for me. Sandwiched between pictures of kids, witty observations and articles shared from the New York Times are conversations among neighbors about power outages and crowd sourced recommendations for the best nearby dentist. For the most part, though, we would never update our Facebook or Twitter status with “Suspicious man walking in my alley. Be aware.” Why? Because it would mean nothing to the bulk of our friends and followers scattered across the city, country and world. It would just look kind of … strange. There is nothing strange about it on The social media site is, by design, a very different networking platform. Only those who verify they live within neighborhood boundaries that have been established by an organizer can join a Nextdoor network. These privacy settings are intended to bring together people with one thing in common — their neighborhood. The verification process alone makes Nextdoor a natural fit for inquiries and reports about neighborhood safety. Even though the creators of Nextdoor originally built the site to spawn highly localized versions of Craigslist or Angie’s List — it is about much more than commerce exchange and lost dogs. In fact, nationally “classified ads” only account for about 10% of all Nextdoor posts. On the other hand, “crime and safety” posts account for twice that, making up 20% of all posts on Nextdoor networks across the country — second only to posts about “civic issues.” The national popularity of crime and safety on Nextdoor has been noted. In the past year, the list of partnerships between local police departments and Nextdoor neighborhood sites has grown rapidly. Law enforcement in California, Florida, Texas and Denver are just a few of the programs now sharing neighborhood safety alerts, conducting online Neighborhood Watch programs and sharing crime prevention tips on Nextdoor. And with 8,000 neighborhoods using Nextdoor and 40 new neighborhoods added each day, its force as a virtual Neighborhood Watch, builds. Nextdoor has even been credited with solving crimes. In Baltimore, a series of posts about burglaries revealed a pattern that helped police eventually catch the burglar and recover the items. In Memphis, an alleged burglar was apprehended after a neighbor on the Central Garden’s Nextdoor network posted specifics about the time and location of a break-in. Another member of Central Garden’s network lived on the same street and regularly videotaped activity in his alley. He was able to match the time of his neighbor’s break-in on his video and captured a shot of a man walking in their shared alley. Police used the video to make an arrest. The power of Nextdoor for sharing crime and safety information and, in some cases, solve crimes, is well established. It means that now there are hundreds of people with the ability to share details about every burglary, car break-in and suspicious person in your neighborhood. Where as before, you may not have known that a car was broken into two blocks away — now you do. 18

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Everyone is a crime reporter. “Sometimes the emphasis on crime and safety can make reading Nextdoor downright grizzly. A bit too much for me at times; but there are plenty in the neighborhood who want to know” - Sara Lacey of tech website Pando Daily discussing her Nextdoor network in San Francisco. But what do we do with all of this? And, more importantly, how do we share crime and safety information in a meaningful way? Before teaching journalism at the University of Memphis, I was a reporter at WREG-TV. Say what you will about journalists (particularly TV reporters,) but we do have standards. Quite a few, particularly, when it comes to reporting crime. Why? Inaccurately or inadequately reporting crime details can scare people, unnecessarily. Private citizens now have the ability to publicly and broadly “publish” information about crime. So consider treating Nextdoor as the powerful tool it is – a neighborhood news source. No one should expect pro-level reporting on Nextdoor and everyone, including professional reporters, makes mistakes. But there are a few ideas we can all learn from journalists to make our posts more meaningful and helpful … so that we can avoid creating confusion and stirring fear. (While these tips were written with Nextdoor in mind, it’s worth noting they can also apply to Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.) Location, location, location. When a crime happens, the first thing we all want to know is, “How close did it happen to me?” That takes on new meaning on a neighborhood site, like Nextdoor. Most local news operations will, at the very least, report the neighborhood and block number where a crime happened. This allows us to determine how close this event was to our home, workplace or school. The Takeaway: Just giving the street name isn’t enough. Depending on what you’re comfortable sharing, give the exact address, the street and the block number or the cross streets. Burglaries vs. Robberies. While many of us use these terms interchangeably, police and journalists use a distinct set of crime terminology. Some words indicate property crimes only — in which property was stolen, but the perpetrator never confronted the victim. Usually, property crimes take place when the owner is absent. Some words, however, indicate that property was stolen and the perpetrator confronted the victim. These are personal crimes and indicate a much higher level of seriousness and personal violence. While all types of crime can be disturbing, unintentionally leading neighbors to believe the crime involved violence causes confusion and fear. The Takeway: Property crime — use the terms “burglary,” “theft” or “break-in.” Applies to homes or cars that were broken into or personal items taken while person is not around. Personal crime — use the term “robbery” when an individual used threat or force to take property. “Armed robbery” indicates a weapon was used. Be detailed. Provide as many details as you feel comfortable sharing. The more vague your post, the more troubling it can be for your neighbors. Just saying, “My house on Main Avenue was burglarized” raises more questions than answers. The Takeaway: Date and time of day are critical details. As mentioned in the case from Baltimore, neighbors were able to piece together a pattern based on times of day that burglaries occurred. That level of detail provides meaningful information to your neighbors. Point of entry. Sharing how the individual entered your home can reveal patterns and create awareness for those of us who do not have windows or back doors properly secured.

Confirm details. Be careful reporting on behalf of another person. It’s easy to gather incorrect information from a friend or neighbor when you are both upset about what happened. Make sure you get the correct details (who, what, when, where) before you post. Better yet, encourage that person to report the incident on Nextdoor, first hand. Recently, a friend of a victim posted to Nextdoor that a violent crime had taken place on a Cooper-Young street. Ultimately, the correct address revealed the crime did not take place in Cooper-Young at all. The Takeaway: If you file a report on behalf of someone, make sure you have accurate details before posting. Avoid feeling rushed to post it immediately. Accuracy on the first report is more important than speed. Reporting suspicious individuals. Be as detailed as possible. Most news stations will not even release descriptions about suspects at-large unless they have enough to provide a meaningful description. Just noting the race and gender of a “suspicious” individual is not helpful to protecting anyone and can just perpetuate suspicion of anyone who remotely matches that description. Also, think carefully before posting this type of information – ask yourself if the individual’s activity was suspicious or did the person’s appearance just make you uncomfortable. If it’s only the latter, think twice about posting. The Takeaway: Report suspicious activity, not people. Include as much detail as possible about the activity and the individual so that the reader can really use the information. Correct errors. Journalists are not known for always correcting mistakes; so this is where you can do the pros one better! Sometimes, when a journalist makes an error in an initial story, even when corrected, it never quite makes the impact or reaches as many people as the original story. The Takeaway: If you make an error, correct it as soon as possible. If it is a more serious error, consider correcting it in the comments of your original post AND creating a new post, clearly labeled “CORRECTION.” In the case where the individual incorrectly identified Cooper-Young as the location of an armed robbery, the individual corrected the post in comments. But the main line of the post was what most people continued to read, not seeing the corrected version in the comments. A new post labeled “CORRECTION” would get more attention and will keep your neighbors better informed. is proving to be a highly effective tool at connecting neighbors at the digital level. You may not create friendships on this network (that’s not what it was designed to do) but you can more quickly and widely share neighborhood information with people most interested in it. If the reports of crime in your neighborhood ever feel overwhelming, stop checking it for a week or two; then you’ll be reminded of what your life was like before using Nextdoor — when you just didn’t know about the burglary four blocks away and the two car break-ins on the edge of the neighborhood. Accurately sharing information about crimes in our neighborhood could eventually result in our neighborhood being safer — because more people are connected, watching and, possibly, becoming more involved in neighborhood activities. But it can also make us more fearful, maybe walking around in our neighborhood less. In the worst case, it could make us feel like as if we should move to a different neighborhood. Being instantly informed of all the happenings in our neighborhood, be they good or bad, is another stream of information we must all learn to share and consume … without letting it distort the reality of our day-to-day life. - Lurene Kelley works for the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office and writes for their blog, She is a former journalism professor and television reporter. Kelley considers herself a resident of Central Gardens and/or Cooper-Young, depending on the day and the occasion.


Crimes reported March 25- April 17 Map compiled by Ben Boleware The LampLighter is working with the CYCA to bring you meaningful crime information. In addition to the crime map, which details crimes within a one-mile radius of the Cooper-Young intersection, we also included a list of crimes that happened within our neighborhood. The list includes the case number, which you can use to get more details from police. The information is also available online at, with a link to further information from police. The Memphis Police Department offers a tool on its website ( that allows you to locate crime information. Crimemapper allows you to input an address and search in quarter-mile increments for a specific type of crime. It then returns the results of your search for the previous 30 days.

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The LampLighter May 2014  
The LampLighter May 2014