One On One With Political Analyst And Commentator Otis Sanford And News Anchor Richard Ransom, March


Rudy: GRACELAND ATTORNEY’S SAID THEY WILL NOT SEEK APPROVAL ON THE DEAL FROM THE MEMPHIS CITY COUNCIL IN NEXT WEEK’S MEETING. INSTEAD, THEY WILL WORK TO RESOLVE RESIDENTS CONCERNS SCHOOL VOUCHER PLAN. IT WOULD GIVE PARENTS WHO LIVE IN DISTRICTS WITH FAILING SCHOOLS 73-HUNDRED DOLLARS IN PUBLIC FUNDS TO USE FOR PAYING PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION.. EVEN THOUGH COLLIERVILLE DOESN’T HAVE ANY FAILING SCHOOLS.. IT’S WORRIED ABOUT PUBLIC EDUCATION MONEY BEING RE- DIRECTED TO PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS. THE BOARD SAYS THAT’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL. REMOVING HOME SCHOOLING AS AN OPTION. BUT PUBLIC EDUCATORS ARE WORRIED ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THESE EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS… THE SHELBY COUNTY AND GERMANTOWN SCHOOL BOARDS ALSO PASSING MEASURES IN OPPOSITION. SO YOU HAVE SCHOOLS RIGHTLY CONCERNED ABOUT LOSING MORE FUNDS.. AND SUPPORTERS WHO SAY INTERNAL STRIFE AMONG THIS IS ALSO CAUSING SOME INTERNAL STRIFE AMONG DEMOCRATS… WHO MOSTLY OPPOSE THE IDEA OF THESE ESA’S. BUT NOT STATE REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DEBERRY. HE TALKED ABOUT GOING TO SEGREGATED SCHOOLS.. WORKING TWO JOBS TO PUT HIS KIDS IN PRIVATE SCHOOL.. AND SAID THERE’S ALREADY A VOUCHER SYSTEM IN PLACE TO SEND CHILDREN TO PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS… “IT’S CALLED THE PRISON SYSTEM.” SO HE GOT CALLED IN BY THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS FOR THAT. WHERE’S THIS GOING?

Local 24 News Political Analyst & Commentator Otis Sanford On Memphis City Council In The New Year


A NUMBER OF IMPORTANT ISSUES IN MEMPHIS … ARE ON THE TABLE FOR CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS WHEN THEY MEET TOMORROW FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR . MEMBERS HAVE BEEN AT ODDS SINCE THEY TOOK ON VOTING TO FILL VACANT COUNCIL SEATS. LOCAL 24 POLITICAL ANALYST OTIS SANFORD HAS A PREVIEW OF THE BIG MEETING… IN TONIGHT’S POINT OF VIEW. OTIS SANFORD/REPORTIN G: ANOTHER MOMENT OF TRUTH IS STARING MEMBERS OF THE MEMPHIS SOMEHOW COALESCE ENOUGH VOTES TO APPOINT THREE NEW MEMBERS. FOR THOSE WHO TRIED TO FORGET THE COUNCIL’S DISASTROUS END OF YEAR BEHAVIOR, LET’S BRIEFLY RECAP. COUNCIL MEMBERS FAILED ON THREE OCCASIONS TO SELECT AN INTERIM MEMBER FOR THE DISTRICT ONE SEAT. THE DISCORD WAS MOSTLY ALONG RACIAL LINES – AND LED TO

Local 24 News Political Analyst & Commentator Otis Sanford On MLGW Rate Hike


LESS THAN AN HOUR FROM NOW … M-L-G-W WILL HOST ITS FOURTH OF FIVE … TOWN HALL MEETINGS. THE UTILITY IS DESPERATELY TRYING TO INFORM CUSTOMERS … WHY A RATE HIKE IS NEEDED. IT SAYS MORE THAN 700 MILLION DOLLARS IS NEED TO REPLACE AGING EQUIPMENT. CITY COUNCIL IS SET TO VOTE ON THE PLAN IN JUST DAYS… HERE’S TONIGHT’S POINT OF VIEW WITH OTIS SANFORD. OTIS SANFORD/REPORTIN G; ………GIVE CREDIT TO MEMPHIS

Local 24 News Political Analyst/Commentator Otis Sanford On Raises For Memphis Police & Fire


JUST YESTERDAY MEMPHIS FIRE AND POLICE ASSOCIATIONS SOUNDED-OFF… SAYING THE MAYOR TOOK PRIVATE PAY RAISE NEGOTIATIONS PUBLIC… BEFORE THEY WERE FINALIZED. HERE’S LOCAL 24 NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST OTIS SANFORD’S POINT OF VIEW. OTIS SANFORD/REPORTIN G: MEMPHIS RESIDENTS ARE ABOUT TO WITNESS A TEST OF WILLS BETWEEN MAYOR JIM STRICKLAND AND THE UNIONS REPRESENTING POLICE AND FIRE FIGHTERS. THE OUTCOME COULD GO A LONG WAY IN DETERMINING THE POLITICAL STRENGTH OF THE MAYOR CLEARLY CAUGHT THE POLICE AND FIRE UNIONS OFF GUARD – SINCE THEY ARE CURRENTLY IN NEGOTIATIONS OVER NEW CONTRACTS. UNION LEADERS USED WORDS SUCH AS COMPETITIVE WITH PEER CITIES. BUT DESPITE THE COMPLAINTS, THIS WAS A SHREWD MOVE BY THE MAYOR. HE IS WELL AWARE THAT THREE PERCENT ANNUAL INCREASES ARE PRETTY STANDARD IN BOTH THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR. IN FACT, IN SOME INSTANCES, THREE PERCENT IS ON THE HIGH END. PLUS, STRICKLAND CAN MAKE THE CASE THAT WITH THE CURRENT PROPOSAL, HE WOULD HAVE INCREASED THE PAY FOR FIRE FIGHTERS BY UP TO 9 PERCENT – AND FOR SOME POLICE OFFICERS BY MORE THAN 10 PERCENT SINCE TAKING OFFICE. STRICKLAND IS BANKING THAT Richard: JOHN IS UP NEXT WITH HIS SEVEN DAY FORECAST. Katina:

Urban Geography: Why We Live Where We Do


This is Wendover Productions. Sponsored by the Great Courses Plus. Here’s an interesting question: which city
do you think is more dense—Paris, France or New York, United States? It probably seems obvious: New York, the land
of skyscrapers, the Big Apple… right? Wrong. New York, in fact, has a population density
of less than half that of Paris. Paris’s is 56,000 people per square mile
(22,000 per square kilometer) while New York’s is only 27,000 people per square mile (10,500
per square kilometer.) To find a European city with a comparable
population density to New York’s—the densest American city—you have to go all the way
down to number six on the list: Lyon France (27,000 per sq/mile; 10,500 per sq/km.) New York of course has a super-dense urban
core, but then around it is miles and miles of suburbia—just like almost every other
American city. Paris, on the other hand, packs almost its
entire population into a compact urban core. There’s also another interesting pattern
that differs between the two continents: rich Americans live outside the city, rich Europeans
live city center. Compare the income map of Paris to that of
Philadelphia. Of course it’s not perfect, but you can
definitely see a pattern. The most commonly cited reason for both these
trends is the difference in age. Most European cities have existed for hundreds
if not thousands of years, while all but a few American cities only gathered enough population
to be called cities in the past one or two hundred years. What that means is that European cities existed
when all but the super-rich had to commute to work by foot. In the middle ages, Paris had a population
of two to three hundred thousand people, but you could walk from one side to the other
in thirty minutes. It was incredibly densely populated. You just had to live within walking distance
of work. Therefore, the rich paid more for the houses
closest to the center of the city. This is a similar reason to why in historic
European hotels, you’ll often see the nicest and largest rooms on the lower floors—the
opposite of what you’d see today. Before elevators existed, the rich didn’t
want to have to walk up as many flights of stairs. Walking distance was not only important to
big cities. Small villages across Europe were almost always
the same size because their population was dictated by the walkability of the surrounding
fields. European farmers tended to live in small towns
and walk to their fields during the day rather than the homesteading approach used in America. Therefore, villages would only be as large
as the amount of people needed to work the fields within walking distance. American cities, on the other hand, began
their period of rapid growth in a more modern era when decentralizing technologies were
much more advanced. By the time North American cities grew larger
than the distance people could reasonably walk, there was already the technological
capability to create public transportation systems. The first major public transportation innovation
was the steam train in the mid 19th century. This was a very expensive means of transport
and was therefore only for the super rich. Interestingly, because steam trains take an
enormous amount of time to reach speed, the towns that the rich commuted from, known as
railroad suburbs, were generally not just at the nearest bit of countryside, but separated
from the city by a few miles of countryside. The impact of railroad suburbs remains today. On the track of the old Philadelphia Main
Line, there’s a stretch of super-rich communities with huge estates and country clubs from Ardmore
to Malvern. The demographics just never changed from the
time of the railroad suburb. A few decades later, streetcars emerged and
quickly became an instrumental part of the American commute. Much like steam trains, streetcars also created
new communities—this time with slightly less rich upper-middle class individuals. In Washington DC, the wealthy suburbs of Tenleytown,
Chevy Chase, Bethesda, McLean, Rockville, and more all grew as a result of the streetcar. But once again, walking distance influenced
geography. Streetcar commuters had to live within walking
distance of a stop, so naturally there would be a radius of civilization about 20 or 30
minutes walking distance from a stop, then past that…nothing. That meant that between the lines, there was
all this open space where nobody could commute from. Enter: the automobile. At first the car was only for upper class
individuals especially with the distraction of the two World Wars and Great Depression,
however, by the time young Americans returned from World War Two, there had been enough
technological advances to make the automobile affordable for the middle class. Over 50% of households had cars by 1950. At the same time, the government was offering
loans to returning veterans which significantly increased the number of americans who could
afford to buy homes. Instead of buying a small central city home,
this generation opted to use their new cars to commute from cheaper, nicer, and larger
suburban homes. The idea was that the working parents would
go downtown each day while the rest of the family would stay to enjoy the suburb. It was the perfect deal. So that whole history was absolutely true,
but it doesn’t entirely explain why European cities didn’t experience suburbanization as
well. In Germany, for example, many, if not most,
cities were bombed to rubble during World War Two. They had the opportunity to rebuild in any
way they wanted, but then chose to keep their compact design. Today, the average metropolitan population
density in Germany is four times higher than the US’s. At the same time, other cities across Europe
that survived the war experienced enormous population influxes and still maintained their
mammoth population densities. Perhaps the least commonly cited reason for
suburbanization in the US is crime. It’s a bit of an ugly period in American
history that we sometimes forget, but crime levels were absolutely insane in the 70’s,
80’s, and 90’s. There are a ton of different theories for
why this was—perhaps the most interesting being the that the rise in gasoline emitted
lead caused lower IQ’s and higher aggressively. New York had an astronomical 2,245 murders
in 1990. London didn’t even have that many in the
entire 90’s decade. Violent crime rates are still consistently
10 or more times higher in the US. In 1992, a poll was conducted asking departing
New Yorkers why they were moving to the suburbs, and the most commonly cited reason was crime
at 47%. Cost and quality of living were way down at
lower than 10% each. Crime rates are significantly lower in suburbs
as they are typically havens for higher-income individuals. Europeans don’t have to worry as much about
inter-city crime so they’re much more willing to live downtown. Land for suburban housing is also readily
available in the US because farmers have always been quick to sell their relatively unprofitable
land to developers. By contrast, In France, for example, agricultural
subsidies are 12 times higher per acre of land than the US. That’s a big reason why large European cities
are still closely surrounded by small farms. In many European cities, you can literally
take the city bus to farms. Lastly, all sorts of energy are cheaper in
the US. A gallon of gas costs as much as $7 in some
parts of Europe compared to the US average of $2.20. It’s significantly more expensive to commute
by car in Europe so there’s more motivation to live closer to work where either the drive
is shorter or you can take public transportation. Also, big suburban homes aren’t as attractive
in Europe because electricity and heating costs are higher. Suburban life really didn’t live up to expectations. Americans now spend an average of 4.25 hours
per week sitting in cars, buses, or trains traveling to and from work. That’s 2.5% of their entire lives. It’s also been scientifically proven that
commuting from the suburbs is linked to higher blood pressure, lower frustration tolerance,
and higher rates of anxiety. Also, the suburbs are no longer the countryside
havens that they once were. They’re just a continuation of the urban
sprawl. Rich Americans are therefore beginning to
return to the city. With lower crime rates, higher fuel costs,
and an overall shift in attitude, urban cores are having a second renaissance. So that’s why we live where we do. It’s a complicated, controversial, and surprisingly
political history. I hope you enjoyed this Wendover Production
video. I first need to thank my amazing sponsor—the
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Professors, National Geographic Scientists, Culinary Institute of America Chefs, and hundreds
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the course on Cultural and Human Geography. It’s a super-interesting topic, and this
course absolutely does it justice. You can watch this or any other of the hundreds
of courses for free when you sign up for a 30-day free trial using the link www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/wendover
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Local 24 News political analyst & commentator Otis Sanford on latest ruling on Confederate monuments


THE LEGAL BATTLE OVER THE REMOVAL OF CONFEDERATE STATUES IN MEMPHIS… MAY GO ON FOR SOME TIME. THIS… DESPITE THE TENNESSEE COURT OF APPEALS… RULING IT WAS LEGAL TO REMOVE THEM FROM TWO FORMER CITY- OWNED PARKS. THE DISPUTE … ACCORDING TO THE SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS … BOILS DOWN TO CONSERVING HISTORY. LOCAL 24 POLITICAL ANALYST OTIS SANFORD … EXPLAINS WHY HE THINKS … ITS TIME TO MOVE ON. OTIS SANFORD/REPORTIN G: NOW THAT A SECOND COURT HAS SPOKEN, THERE SHOULD BE LITTLE DOUBT THAT THE DAYS OF CONFEDERATE STATUES BEING ON PUBLIC DISPLAY IN MEMPHIS ARE OVER. AND THE SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS SHOULD STOP THEIR LEGAL FIGHT ANDSTART WORKING TO HELP FIND AN APPROPRIATE HOME SOMEWHERE ELSE FOR THE MONUMENTS. LIKE IT OR NOT, CITY OFFICIALS – LED BY MAYOR JIM STRICKLAND, HIS LEGAL TEAM AND THE CITY COUNCIL – ACTED LEGALLY WHEN THEY SOLD TWO CITY PARKS IN 2017 TO THE UPSTART NONPROFIT GROUP MEMPHIS GREENSPACE. THE SALE ALLOWEDFOR THE IMMEDIATE REMOVAL OF GIANT MONUMENTS HONORING CONFEDERATE GENERAL NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST AND CONFEDERATE PRESIDENT JEFFERSON DAVIS – ALONG WITH A SMALLER BUST OF LESSER-KNOWN CONFEDERATE CAPTAIN HARVEY MATHES. THE STATE APPEALS COURT THIS WEEK AGREED WITH A LOWER COURT – THAT THE CONFEDERATE VETERANS GROUP HAS NO LEGAL STANDING TO UNDO THE SALE OF THE PARKS – OR TO PREVENT MEMPHIS GREENSPACE FROM DOING WHAT ITS WANTS WITH THEMONUMENTS. THE FACT IS, CITY LEADERS – URGED ON BY GRASSROOTS ACTIVISTS – FOUND A LOOPHOLE IN STATE LAW – AND DID WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE. GET RID OF OFFENSIVE SYMBOLS OF SLAVERY AND RACISM FROM PUBLIC PARKS. SO INSTEAD OF WASTING TIME WITH MORE APPEALS, THE BEST MOVE NOW IS TO HELP MEMPHIS GREENSPACE FIND A SUITABLE HOME FOR THE MONUMENTS. MEMPHIS HAS MOVED ON FROM PUBLICLY HONORING THE CONFEDERACY. IT’S TIME FOR OTHERS-TODO THE SAME. AND THAT’S MY POINT OF VIEW. I’M OTIS SANFORD, FOR LOCAL 24 NEWS.

Local 24 News Political Analyst & Commentator Otis Sanford On Wolfchase Galleria’s Hoodie Policy


MONTHS AFTER A VIRAL ENCOUNTER WITH POLICE AND MALL-GOERS WEARING HOODIES … WOLFCHASE GALLERIA HAS REVISED ITS SECURITY POLICY. LOCAL 24 POLITICAL ANALYST OTIS SANFORD … SHARES HIS POINT OF VIEW ON THE RULE CHANGES. OTIS SANFORD/REPORTIN G: TAKING VIDEOS INSIDE THE MALL. AND ABOUT THE BEST THING YOU SAY IS – THE MALL OWNERS FINALLY USED COMMON SENSE. SIMON PROPERTIES, WHICH OPERATES WOLFCHASE, TOOK A PUBLIC RELATIONS POUNDING – AND JUSTIFIABLY SO – AFTER TWO AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN WERE DETAINED BY POLICE WHO WERE WORKING AS MALL SECURITY. ONE OF THE MEN WAS HANDCUFFED AND BRIEFLY HELD IN CUSTODY FOR ALL CHARGES WERE DROPPED. BUT MALL OFFICIALS AT FIRST TRIED TO JUSTIFY THE POLICE ACTION. AND THAT LED TO FIERCE CRITICISM ON SOCIAL MEDIA – AND A PROTEST INSIDE THE MALL. THE PROBLEM WAS THE MALL’S WRITTEN POLICY – WHICH SAID NOTHING ABOUT BANNING HOODIES OR PERSONAL VIDEOS. NOW AS IT IS FOR NON- COMMERCIAL AND NON-DISRUPTIVE PURPOSES. IT’S A GIVEN THAT THE MALL SHOULD HAVE REASONABLE RULES THAT PROMOTE SAFETY. BUT WHAT HAPPENED IN NOVEMBER SMACKED OF RACIAL PROFILING. AND BOTH THE POLICE AND MALL OWNERS ARE TO BLAME. NOW THE RULES HAVE CLARITY. AND HOPEFULLY MALL OWNERS HAVE LEARNED A VALUABLE LESSON — IN PUBLIC RELATIONS. AND THAT’S MY POINT OF VIEW. I’M OTIS SANFORD, FOR LOCAL 24 NEWS.

Local 24 News political analyst & commentator Otis Sanford on Mid-South Coliseum clean-up


OTIS SANFORD/REPORTIN G: THE MID SOUTH COLISEUM HAS BEEN CLOSED FOR MORE THAN A DOZEN YEARS. BUT JUDGING FROM A GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS OVER THE WEEKEND WITH CLEANING EQUIPMENT IN HAND – THE ICONIC ARENA HAS NOT BEEN FORGOTTEN. THEY CAME TO REMOVE OLD DEBRIS AND AS MUCH DUST AS THEY COULD. ALL IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE THE COLISEUM PRESENTABLE FOR TOURS – AND POSSIBLY A RETURN TO PERMANENT USE. THAT WILL BE A TALL ORDER. THE 66 YEAR OLD ARENA IS IN SERIOUS DISREPAIR – NOT TO MENTION THAT IT COMES NOWHERE NEAR MEETING AMERICANS WITH DISABILITY ACT STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC USE. MAKING THE COLISEUM USABLE AGAIN WOULD COST ANYWHERE FROM $25 TO $40 MILLION DOLLARS – DEPENDING ON WHO’S TALKING. AND THE CITY OF MEMPHIS – WHICH OWNS THE BUILDING – HAS NO INTEREST IN BRINGING IT BACK TO LIFE. WHEN CITY LEADERS ANNOUNCED A $160 MILLION DOLLAR REDEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR THE FAIRGROUNDS AREA IN 2017 – THEY SAID THE COLISEUM WOULD BE MOTHBALLED – BUT NOT TORN DOWN. AND YET, THE GROUP TRYING TO REOPEN THE ARENA ARE NOT GIVING UP – HENCE THE NOBLE CLEANUP EFFORT SATURDAY. FOR MANY MEMPHIANS, MYSELF INCLUDED, THE ATTACHMENT TO THE COLISEUM IS UNDERSTANDABLE. THE MOST MEMORABLE CONCERTS AND SPORTING EVENTS IN THE CITY’S HISTORY WERE HELD AT THE COLISEUM. AND IT WOULD BE GREAT IF THE OLD

Local 24 News political analyst & commentator Otis Sanford on slavery reparation hearings


REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY … REMAIN A TRENDING TOPIC TONIGHT. AND MEMPHIS CONGRESSMAN STEVE COHEN … IS RIGHT AT THE CENTER OF THE DEBATE. THE ISSUE GETTING MIXED REACTIONS.. BUT LOTS OF REACTION… ON THE LOCAL MEMPHIS FACEBOOK PAGE. TONIGHT WE HEAR FROM LOCAL 24 POLITICAL ANALYST OTIS SANFORD… OTIS SANFORD/REPORTIN G: MEMPHIS CONGRESSMAN STEVE COHEN WAS FRONT AND CENTER IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WEDNESDAY – FOR A HEARING THAT TOOK YEARS JUST TO CONVENE. THE TOPIC WAS A POLITICALLY DIVISIVE ONE – REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY. COHEN LED THE HEARING AS CHAIRMAN OF A HOUSE JUDICIARY SUBCOMMITTEE ON CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES. THE REASON THAT REPARATIONS ARE SO DIVISIVE – IS THAT OPPONENTS VIEW IT AS A VEILED ATTEMPT TO HOLD WHITE AMERICANS TODAY FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR A TRAVESTY THEY DID NOT CREATE. AND AN EFFORT BY SOME AFRICAN AMERICANS TO GET MONEY THEY DID NOT EARN. BUT THE ISSUE IS MUCH DEEPER THAT JUST WRITING INDIVIDUAL CHECKS – WHICH LIKELY WILL NEVER HAPPEN ANYWAY. THE BILL THAT LED TO WEDNESDAY’S HEARING WOULD MERELY AUTHORIZE A NATIONAL COMMISSION TO STUDY THE LONG- TERM EFFECTS OF SLAVERY ON AMERICAN SOCIETY – AND WHETHER REPARATIONS ARE EVEN FEASIBLE. MOST SUPPORTERS SAY REPARATIONS ARE MORE ABOUT MAKING SYSTEMIC CHANGES THAT WOULD IMPROVE THE LIVES OF MANY AFRICAN-AMERICANS WHO, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, ARE STILL LIVING WITH THE EFFECTS OF SLAVERY. REMEDIES COULD INCLUDE MORE INVESTMENT IN BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS, GREATER ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTHCARE, IMPROVING PUBLIC SCHOOLS – EVEN ELIMINATING FOOD DESERTS AND REMOVING BLIGHT. THE POINT IS, STUDYING THE POSSIBILITY OF REPARATIONS SHOULD NOT BE THIS DIVISIVE. WE SIMPLY CANNOT SAY THAT SINCE CONGRESS PASSED CIVIL RIGHTS AND VOTING RIGHTS BILLS AND ELECTED A BLACK PRESIDENT – OUR WORK IS DONE. BECAUSE IT’S NOT. AND THAT’S MY POINT OF VIEW. I’M OTIS SANFORD, FOR LOCAL 24 NEWS. AND NOW FOR A FINAL LOOK AT THE