St. Louis Union Station Opened 120 Years Ago Today

The labor of many built the building that opened 120 tears ago today: St. Louis Union Station. This 1894 station replaced the original St. Louis Union Station, which was located six blocks east, at 12th & Poplar. The original had opened 19 years earlier, on June 1, 1875 After millions …

Poll: Which Vehicle Technology Will Become Mainstream Within Two Decades?

Toyota first began selling the Prius hybrid in Japan in December 1997 — nearly 20 years ago. This form of hybrid is now mainstream, cars from many manufacturers offer some form of hybrid. In all these an internal combustion engine (ICE) comes on the drive the wheels, as needed. Batteries are …

Ferguson’s Neighbors Dellwood & Jennings Also Impacted

For nearly three weeks the focus has been on Ferguson, but residents & businesses in neighboring Jennings & Dellwood have also been impacted. So if you’re trying to help out by patronizing businesses be sure to include businesses up and down W. Florissant and Chambers, in Jennings, Dellwood, and Ferguson. …

Three Area Police Officers Suspended, Including Glendale’s Matthew Pappert

The last week several local police officers were suspended from duty. First was St. Ann Lt. Ray Albers: A St. Ann police lieutenant has been suspended after pointing a semi-automatic assault rifle at a protester in Ferguson late Tuesday night, police said. (stltoday) On Friday August 23rd we heard about two more …

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St. Louis Union Station Opened 120 Years Ago Today

The labor of many built the building that opened 120 tears ago today: St. Louis Union Station. This 1894 station replaced the original St. Louis Union Station, which was located six blocks east, at 12th & Poplar. The original had opened 19 years earlier, on June 1, 1875

The beauty of Carl Milles' work with Union Station in the background
The beauty of Carl Milles’ sculpture with Union Station in the background
Window detail inside the Grand Hall at Union Station
Window detail inside the Grand Hall at Union Station

After millions passed through this station over 80+ years it closed. In ruins it was the location of the fight scene from Escape from New York (1981).  Last Friday, August 29th, marked 29 years since Union Station reopened as a festival marketplace. Basically a mall under the train shed. New owner are replacing the failed mall with convention/meeting space to support the hotel. See StLouisUnionStation.com for more information.

Happy Labor Day!

– Steve Patterson

Poll: Which Vehicle Technology Will Become Mainstream Within Two Decades?

Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar
Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar

Toyota first began selling the Prius hybrid in Japan in December 1997 — nearly 20 years ago. This form of hybrid is now mainstream, cars from many manufacturers offer some form of hybrid. In all these an internal combustion engine (ICE) comes on the drive the wheels, as needed. Batteries are recharged primarily through regenerative braking. Millions of such hybrid vehicles have been sold worldwide.

What’s next?

Below are four technologies that might become mainstream in the next two decades, listed alphabetically:

For the poll this week I want to see which of the above, if any, will become mainstream within 20 years. The poll includes those four plus options for ‘none’ and ‘unsure’, all will be presented randomly. The poll is at the top of the right sidebar, you can select up to four answers.

– Steve Patterson

Ferguson’s Neighbors Dellwood & Jennings Also Impacted

For nearly three weeks the focus has been on Ferguson, but residents & businesses in neighboring Jennings & Dellwood have also been impacted.

This former Walgreens, built in 1994, is in Ferguson. The credit union next door is 9mostly) in Jennings.
This former Walgreens, built in 1994, is in Ferguson, across the street from the Ferguson Market. However, the credit union next door is (mostly) in Jennings.
The credit union building next door is in Jennings, but a edge of the rear parking lot is in Ferguson.
The credit union building next door is in Jennings, but a wedge of the rear parking lot is in Ferguson.
The Ferguson Market is in the upper left corner. As you can see numerous businesses are in Jennings, not Ferguson
The Ferguson Market is in the upper left corner. As you can see numerous businesses are in Jennings, not Ferguson
Zisser Tire at 9990 W. Florissant & Chambers is located in Dellwood, not Ferguson. I like how they painted the boards where the windows used to be, very smart!
Zisser Tire at 9990 W. Florissant & Chambers is located in Dellwood, not Ferguson. I like how they painted the boards where the windows used to be, very smart!

So if you’re trying to help out by patronizing businesses be sure to include businesses up and down W. Florissant and Chambers, in Jennings, Dellwood, and Ferguson.  The locally owned businesses were the hardest hit by a decrease in sales due to rerouted traffic/buses.

– Steve Patterson

Three Area Police Officers Suspended, Including Glendale’s Matthew Pappert

The last week several local police officers were suspended from duty. First was St. Ann Lt. Ray Albers:

A St. Ann police lieutenant has been suspended after pointing a semi-automatic assault rifle at a protester in Ferguson late Tuesday night, police said. (stltoday)

On Friday August 23rd we heard about two more suspensions. Here’s one of the two, suspended due to statements made in a YouTube video:

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said officer Dan Page, a 35-year veteran of the department, has been suspended pending a review by the internal affairs unit. The video was brought to Belmar’s attention by CNN reporter Don Lemon, who had previously brought Page to the department’s attention after complaining Page shoved him. (stltoday)

I knew the name of the last one as the TV news anchor began introducing the story; ‘an officer from suburban Glendale Police in trouble for Facebook comments’ was roughly how the story was introduced. I immediately knew the name they’d say: Matthew Pappert.

A police officer just 15 miles away from the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Mo. allegedly said he thinks the protesters should have been “put down like rabid dogs.”

Officer Matthew Pappert is a police officer with the Glendale Police Department. He has been an officer since 2008. Pappert received the 2009 City of Glendale Community Service Award and the 2013 Kirkwood American Legion Post and Kirkwood Optimist Club Public Safety Award. (St. Louis Area Cop Thinks Protesters Should Be ‘Put Down Like Rabid Dogs’)

You can click the link above for screenshots of Pappert’s statements, which include: “Where is a Muslim with a backpack when you need him?” More sources:

So how did I know his name in advance? I learned about Matthew Pappert on July 21st, via Facebook, of course. It started with the following image I took that morning:

At 12:31pm I posted this image to my blog's Twitter account & Facebook page with the text: "This morning a @SLMPD traffic cop parked in front of a hydrant in a @STLMetro bus stop, forcing me to go 2 blocks east to catch the bus"
At 12:31pm I posted this image to my blog’s Twitter account & Facebook page with the text: “This morning a @SLMPD traffic cop parked in front of a hydrant in a @STLMetro bus stop, forcing me to go 2 blocks east to catch the bus”

From across Market St I saw the traffic cop pull up and get out of the vehicle, I thought to ticket the truck parked in the bus stop I needed to use. As I crossed Market at 16th the truck pulled out and the officer went in to the building, presumably for traffic court.

Not long after posting, the photo was shared by someone. With the privacy set to public I was able to see the comments, I wasn’t prepared for what I read:

The initial conversation on the profile of a person I've never met,
The initial conversation on the profile of a person I’ve never met

Who is this Matthew Pappert guy? Oh look, his Facebook profile says he’s a patrolman for the City of Glendale, a small suburb of less than 4,600 people — 96.7% of them white (Wikipedia).

Matthew Pappert's Facebook & Twitter accounts have since been deleted
Matthew Pappert’s Facebook & Twitter accounts have since been deleted

I was furious so that night I used Glendale’s “contact us” form to email the police department. I never heard back from Glendale and I forgot about it — until last Friday’s evening news. Back to the website I went, but I couldn’t find the name of the chief. I called their non-emergency number and explained to the staff person. I then typed out a letter and faxed it to the attention of the chief, including my email address. I heard back from Chief Jeffrey within an hour:

Mr. Patterson,

Thank you for bringing the information you faxed to me attention. This will be included in the internal investigation we are currently conducting. As stated in my previous press release, the comments and posts by Matthew Pappert absolutely do not reflect the views & opinions of the Glendale Police Department and City of Glendale, Missouri. That includes the comments he posted during your correspondence dated July 11, 2014. I am not sure why we did not get your previous emails but I assure you it will be looked into as well.

Sincerely,
Jeffrey Beaton
Chief of Police

I sent supporting documentation via email. On Monday I heard from Captain Bob Catlett, Glendale’s Assistant Chief of Police, who’s investigating. We’ve been corresponding back and forth. After reading the statement from Pappert’s lawyer, I emailed Capt Catlett back to assure him the recent vile comment from Pappert about Ferguson were not an “aberration.” It turns out many in the LGBT community are familiar with his right-wing outbursts.

If  Pappert resumes working, I’d advise all non-whites to avoid Glendale Missouri.

– Steve Patterson

Poll Results On Ferguson Shooting

The poll last week had two questions related to the the shooting of Michael Brown and the leadership afterwords. Many more voters than usual, but these events are known around the world so I expected higher than usual numbers.

Which of the following do you think happened in Ferguson MO on Saturday Aug 9th? (331 votes)

  1. Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, forcefully stole cigars from a convenience store a half mile away; was killed by Ferguson PO Darren Wilson who used appropriate force 153 [46.22%]
  2. Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, forcefully stole cigars from a convenience store a half mile away; was killed by Ferguson PO Darren Wilson who used excessive force 110 [33.23%]
  3. Unsure/No Opinion 38 [11.48%]
  4. Michael Brown, an innocent unarmed teenager; was murdered by Ferguson PO Darren Wilson. 30 [9.06%]

In the initial week I would’ve voted for the answer that received the least amount of votes; he was innocent and murdered. The Friday before the poll stared Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson released images of a strong-arm robbery just prior to PO Darren Wilson shooting & killing Brown. Doing so, just before releasing Wilson’s name, was a deliberate attempt to blame the victim. I was skeptical about the timing, leaving the Ferguson Market and getting to Canfield Green in such a short amount of time.  Only later we learn officer Wilson wasn’t aware Brown was a suspect. Still, I don’t think any objective person could’ve picked the last answer, as 30 people did.

The store police say Michael Brown stole a box of cigars.
The store police say Michael Brown stole a box of cigars.

The answer that got the most votes was that Wilson used appropriate force. I disagree, I voted that Wilson used excessive force.Very few reasons why an officer should shoot someone six times, walking in the street isn’t one of them.

Since the poll started I’ve been researching the use of deadly force and it’s not a pretty picture. I’ve long been aware of discrepancies between the treatment of whites vs non-whites, but the last two weeks has forced me to realized how much white privilege has benefitted me and all white males.

Much of the future legal wrangling will center on the use of deadly force by Wilson, a Grand Jury will decide if charges are warranted.

Neither the patrol car or Wilson was equipped with a camera so we don’t have video or audio, leaving many questions about that day. Was there a struggle? Did Brown surrender? Did Brown go for Wilson’s gun? Assuming Brown did try to get Wilson’s gun, isn’t six shots excessive? Did Wilson follow proper police procedure? What could both men have done differently that wouldn’t have resulted in the death of Brown?   And what if Wilson had used pepper spray, stun gun, or a taser instead of his revolver?

I don’t know what officers carry on their belt, but I’d assume circumstances dictate when you’d pick one over the other. In late 2011 ’60 Minutes’ ran a piece on taster use:

The Taser sounds like the perfect law enforcement tool. Simple, effective and generally safe, it allows officers to subdue a suspect using electricity rather than resorting to blunt or deadly force. But a recent study found that some officers may be too quick to use the popular stun guns when conventional procedures would suffice. As David Martin reports, there’s growing concern that Tasers may be inflicting unnecessary pain and, in rare cases, lead to death. (Taser: An officer’s weapon of choice)

During the poll two white police officers shot a black man holding a knife.  I’ve watched the video numerous times, this seems like a perfect situation where the use of a taser would’ve been more appropriate. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson avoided the type of unrest that was happening in Ferguson by addressing it head on, not shutting out the media. I think those two officers also used excessive force.

Which two of the following officials has displayed the BEST leadership regarding Ferguson? (PICK 2) (290 total votes)

  1. Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson 113 [38.97%]
  2. Unsure/no opinion 51 [17.59%]
  3. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon 43 [14.83%]
  4. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson 27 [9.31%]
  5. St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch 14 [4.83%]
  6. Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal 12 [4.14%]
  7. Ferguson Mayor James Knowles 10 [3.45%]
  8. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar 9 [3.1%]
  9. Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed 8 [2.76%]
  10. St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley 3 [1.03%]

Captain Ron Johnson has earned praise from everyone, it seems. Gov Nixon, though gaining the #3 spot, after unsure, has been praised and criticized.

There have been many calling for Bob McCulloch to recuse himself, but he refuses to step aside. If the Grand Jury doesn’t indict Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown McCulloch will be blamed. McCulloch easily won the Democratic primary just four days prior to the shooting, with no challenger in the November general election he’ll win another term unless there’s an independent or write-in candidate.

Not on my list was St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, he’d been reporting up to that point. Since then we’ve seen Ald French assume a leadership role. His number of twitter followers @AntonioFrench have ballooned to more than 120,000. French now has nearly four times more Twitter followers than @MayorSlay. Of course, tweeting isn’t leadership. We’ll see if Ald French can unite factions in the city & region. If he can’t, I’m not sure anyone can.

– Steve Patterson

Aviator Charles Lindbergh Died 40 Years Ago Today

U.S. Route 67 runs north-south from the Mexico border in Texas into Iowa after passing through Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois. In St. Louis County U.S.67 is better known as Lindbergh Boulevard, named after famed aviator Charles Lindbergh (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974):

One of the finest fliers of his time, Charles Lindbergh was the chief pilot for the first St. Louis to Chicago airmail route, in April 1926. While based at Lambert Field, he conceived of an airplane that could fly from New York to Paris, and persuaded a group of St. Louis businessmen to finance the project. The result was the immortal “Spirit of St. Louis,” which he flew across the Atlantic on May 20-21, 1927. The feat made Lindbergh a national hero, and raised public awareness of aviation’s potential to an unprecedented level. (St. Louis Walk of Fame)

Lindbergh was born in Detroit and died in Maui, Hawaii at age 72:

The "Spirit of St. Louis" in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, photo Sept 2001
The “Spirit of St. Louis” in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, photo Sept 2001

Lindbergh didn’t live here long:

March 1924 – Lindbergh enlists in the Army Air Service and begins training. He graduates, first in his class, from the Army’s Advanced Flying School and is commissioned as a second lieutenant. At loose ends because few squadrons need new pilots, he decides to head for St. Louis, where he begins working as a test pilot, barnstormer, stunt flyer and mail pilot.

Fall 1926 – Bored with mail flying, Lindbergh dreams of capturing the $25,000 Orteig Prize that will be given to the first aviator to fly nonstop between New York and Paris. He starts searching for the financial backers necessary to sponsor his flight. Time is of the essence because several other teams of pilots in the U.S. and France, including U.S. Navy Commander Richard Byrd, are preparing their own transatlantic flights.

April 1927 – Construction on Lindbergh’s plane, built by the Ryan Aeronautical Company in San Diego, is completed, and Lindbergh conducts a series of test flights.

May 12, 1927 – Lindbergh arrives in New York. He had crossed the entire country in less than twenty-two hours of flying time. The media takes a shine to Lindbergh, not only because he is physically the most attractive of all the fliers attempting the New York/Paris flight but because he is the only one attempting the journey on his own.

May 20, 1927 – At 7:54 am, Lindbergh, who has not slept in almost twenty-four hours, takes off from Long Island’s Roosevelt Field.

May 21, 1927 – At 10:54 pm, Lindbergh lands at Le Bourget airfield near Paris. A human tidal wave of spectators, 150,000 strong, is there to greet him and Lindbergh is quickly caught up in the riptide of the masses. Overnight, the modern wonders of communication transform the 25-year “boy” into the most famous man on earth. (Lindbergh Foundation)

Lindbergh needed financial backing to buy the plane he needed for the attempt, it came from St. Louis businessmen:

He had $2,000 in savings, and he figured he’d need an additional $15,000.

The first to pony up was Maj. Albert Bond Lambert (note the last name), an enthusiastic balloonist and the city’s first licensed pilot. The others were banker Harold M. Bixby, head of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce; broker Harry H. Knight and his father, Harry F. Knight; aircraft execs Frank and William Robertson; Earl C. Thompson; J.D. Wooster Lambert; and St. Louis Globe-Democrat publisher E. Lansing Ray.

Bixby suggested that Lindbergh name the plane the Spirit of St. Louis. Today Bixby’s nephew, Charles Houghton, says his Uncle Harold had more in mind than honoring his own city. “What most people don’t know is that the patron saint of Paris was Louis IX, Saint-Louis,” Bixby says, “so the French were just thrilled when this plane arrived. Besides honoring the backers and the community, there was that wonderful connection to the French people.” (St. Louis Magazine)

I wasn’t able to find out where Charles Lindbergh lived during his couple of years living in St. Louis prior to the famous flight, perhaps someone out there knows. Charles A. Lindbergh was born on

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Michael Brown Tribute on Canfield Drive

The funeral for Michael Brown, the teenager shot & killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th, will be held today. Last week I finally made it down Canfield Drive to see the makeshift memorial to him.

Heading east on Canfield Dr I spotted the line of red roses in the center of the street.
Heading east on Canfield Dr I spotted the line of red roses in the center of the street.
The roses end at the spot where his body was left for four hours the afternoon Saturday August 9t, 2014
The roses end at the spot where his body was left for four hours the afternoon Saturday August 9t, 2014
Next to the sidewalk there are more items as a tribute to Michael Brown
Next to the sidewalk there are more items as a tribute to Michael Brown

My heart goes out to family & friends.

– Steve Patterson

Weekly Poll/Trivia: Which FOUR (4) of the following are part of unincorporated St. Louis County, NOT a separate village/town/city

Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar
Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar

The poll question this week is really a trivia question. In the poll, right sidebar, I’ve listed 16 areas in St. Louis County; four, 25%, are part of unincorporated St. Louis County. The other 12 are among the 90 incorporated villages, towns, and cites in St. Louis County. Without doing any research, I’d like readers to pick the four they think are unincorporated.

Here’s a hint: one of the four that’s unincorporated was a village until becoming part of unincorporated St. Louis County in 2012.

On Wednesday September 3rd we’ll see how everyone did and I’ll share some thoughts on fragmentation in the St. Louis region, particularly St. Louis County.

– Steve Patterson

In 2012 A Resident Had To Fight With Ferguson Officials To Keep His Front Yard Vegetable Garden

The post is a repeat of my post A Front Yard Vegetable Garden In Ferguson Missouri from August 2012:

In July one modest house in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson got the attention of many:

A Ferguson resident has won a battle with city officials that could be considered a matter of taste.

The resident, Karl Tricamo, had been feuding with the city for months over the vegetable garden he had planted in front of his house in the 300 block of Louisa Avenue.

The city saw the garden as a blot on the landscape and issued Tricamo a citation demanding he uproot the corn, tomatoes, sorghum, peppers and other crops sprouting there and, instead, seed the yard for grass. The garden measures 35 feet by 25 feet. (stltoday.com)

Other resources:

Numerous pictures were circulated on Facebook & Twitter as front yard gardening advocates celebrated this victory. But all the pictures concentrated tightly on the garden, I wanted to understand the context. I went to Google Maps but no streetview was available just an aerial.

The 45 degree view of the house in Ferguson, before the lawn was replaced with the garden. Click image to view in Google Maps.

I knew I wanted to see the garden and street in person but it’s a 12+ mile drive — and I don’t have a car. So I caught a bus at the North Hanley MetroLink station and I was within blocks.

ABOVE: The MetroBus dropped me off at Suburban Ave and S. Clark Ave, this is looking north on Clark
ABOVE: Looking west on Louisa St from Clark., nice but well-maintained homes. No manicured lawns.
ABOVE: Continuing on Louisa looking for the house & garden on the right.
ABOVE: I’m visiting on Monday August 20, 2012. The garden looks good to my eye given how dry it has been and how late in the growing season it is.
ABOVE: Lawn remains between the sidewalk and driveway
ABOVE: Another view

In an older neighborhood with mature trees locations for a vegetable garden are often limited, most vegetables need full sun.  I applaud Tricamo for fighting the City of Ferguson so he could grow food for his family.

– Steve Patterson

Braille Bus Stop Signs Shouldn’t Face The Street

For nearly a decade this blog has been about my observations, even if some think they’re trivial.  Monday & Tuesday I noticed something I’d never seen before, braille signs to mark bus stops.

Braille bus stop sign on  W. Florissant in Dellwood
Braille bus stop sign on W. Florissant in Dellwood, SB #74. 8/18/2014
Braille bus stop sign at Jennings/Ferguson line faces W. Florissant, not the sidewalk
Braille bus stop sign at Jennings/Ferguson line faces W. Florissant, not the sidewalk. NB #74, 8/19/2014

Out of curiosity I turned to the web to learn more. I found the following on a site administered by Easter Seals, Inc., but funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation & Federal Transit Administration:

Question: Is braille required on bus stop signs?

Answer:

For bus stops, there is no requirement for braille. However, if braille is provided, then the information must meet certain standards.
The braille information should be placed uniformly on the bus stop pole, and not on the traffic side. Always ensure that braille dots are raised to the touch. If possible, have a person who reads braille confirm that it is the correct label. Materials for braille include embossed labels, polymer, chemically welded raster beads, cast metal and stamped metal. Costs vary depending on the process and materials.

Placement and orientation of braille is important and should be placed below any corresponding text. Braille signs should be mounted and installed in the correct location. For details on signage, see Chapter 7, Communication Elements and Features in the 2010 ADA Standards.

http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAstandards.htm#c7

Other accessibility considerations include providing bus stop sign poles that are stylized with tactile features to distinguish them from other poles for customers with visual impairments. For example, some transit systems have selected a square pole that uniquely identifies the stop from traffic sign posts. It is important to consider tactile raised letter information with the braille information as many people who are blind or have low vision are not braille readers. (Project ACTION)

The 2nd sign shown above, with the rose, is facing the street. Metro’s signs are often installed toward the street, not toward the pedestrian on the sidewalk. The visually impaired want to be independent like anyone else, the least we can do is think where they’d walk to read a braille sign.

– Steve Patterson

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Offensive Facebook posts aren’t limited to police from the St. Louis region, this is from Greenfield IL police officer named Brock Meyer #Ferguson
Profile https://www.facebook.com/brock.meyer.54

You can call Greenfield chief Good at (217) 368-2135
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Spotted Antonio French talking with STLCounty Police Chief Jon Belmar at Ferguson Burger Bar & MORE #ferguson ... See MoreSee Less

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