Odds and endsOver time I tend to accumulate a lot of interesting odds and ends that don't justify a daily post by themselves, so I like to group them together into one post. So, in the spirit of "cleaning out the cupboards", here's what I've got:
- Excerpts I liked from the Chronicle article on local ad agencies:
"Houston is growing like no other city in the U.S.," said Chuck Carlberg, principal at Rives Carlberg, the second-largest general marketing agency in Houston. Last year, he said, Houston moved up to the No. 10 spot among Designated Market Areas, regions reached by a TV signal. The No. 10 ranking is significant, he said, because many major advertisers, "like a Pepsi or Coke will say, 'Let's spend in the top 10 markets.' "
Houston is still a city of "dreamers, entrepreneurs and visionaries," he said. "If you have an idea you want to nurture, there is no greater city. You've got the people, the resources, the money and the infrastructure. All you need is an idea."
- Reason's Out of Control blog on how rising home prices in many cities are driving out families. (Some of their links are messed up, so you have to copy and paste them into your browser and fix the http:// part for them to work)
- Neat subway maps for lots of cities, all at the same scale so you can compare how extensive different cities' networks are. Paris is remarkably small vs. London and NYC.
- NYT on some companies moving back to NOLA instead of staying in Houston, with a focus on Shell.
- Who would have guessed that Oregon has the third worst air pollution after NY and CA? I feel a new slogan coming on to counter perceptions of our own air pollution: "Houston - Better Air Than Oregon."
- NYT on the gentrification of Atlanta. Some parallels to our situation around Midtown and the Third Ward.
- We have our share of challenges, as does Dallas, but Atlanta is having a truly painful year that puts our issues into perspective. Excerpt from Maria Saporta, one of the AJC's business columnists:
Makes you want to count our blessings...
Talk about a losing streak. In the past year, Atlanta and Georgia have seen a dramatic reversal of fortune from those days in the 1980s and '90s when it seemed as though we won everything that came our way. We landed the 1996 Summer Olympics, on our very first try, plus two Super Bowls and a slew of national and international corporate headquarters, such as UPS. We beat out other cities for the national headquarters of the American Cancer Society, CARE and the Boys & Girls Club of America. We were on a roll, fulfilling all the promises that boosters had made for years that Atlanta would be the world's next great international city.
Now our fortunes have shifted into reverse. Read the list at your peril.
General Motors and Ford are closing plants. Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem, also closing. Delta Air Lines, Chapter 11 bankruptcy. BellSouth, a Fortune 500 company, to be acquired by the new AT&T. Georgia-Pacific, another Fortune 500 firm, acquired by Kansas-based Koch Industries. Scientific-Atlanta, acquired by San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems.
The list keeps going. The city lost bids for the 2009 and 2010 Super Bowls. NASCAR's hall of fame will be built in Charlotte, not Atlanta. DaimlerChrysler will build a van plant in South Carolina, not Georgia. And efforts to woo the headquarters of Chiquita and K-Mart fell short.