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Who Can It Be Knocking At My Door

One of the best things about having such a well-read website is all the feedback I get — both the pro & con. I love nothing better than a good debate on issues. Of course, some comments have little to do with the actual issue and simply seek to bash me. I’m pretty thick skinned so I can handle it. Such was the case with this comment a couple of weeks ago:

From “James” on 5/13/06:

I think it is fortunate for Steve Patterson that this is a Blog. It is human nature to give more credibility to items that are read than those heard by word of mouth. For this reason, Steve is able to present himself as a Journalist in order to gain credibility all the while using this sight for his own personal gain. It is really kind of clever because Steve can write absolutely anything he wants and people will read it and think because of the lay-out it is true. Talk about self-serving.. tell me Steve.. are you planning on moving to the 15th ward anytime soon? I heard forces outside of the Ward may render it alderman-less pretty soon.. maybe if you could run opposed the people would be idiotic enough to elect you.

A couple of hours later I got the following comment, sent from the same location [computer IP, unknown physical location] as “James” from above.

From “Megan” on 5/13/06:

I am a Journalism student at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I heard about your blog through various sources and I decided to check it out.
Recently, in one of my Journalism classes we discussed the dangers of blogging to the field of Convergence Journalism. The Convergence field of Journalism is a newly recognized (it is the first year this sequence has been offered at MIZZOU) sequence that focuses mostly on Online Publishing and Online Periodicals (CBSNews.com, etc). The problem of blogging is that in creating a blog and deeming it a title so decidedly journalistically inclined as the “Urban Review” you are lending a false credibility to yourself and, in essence, misleading those who may misinterpret your articles as truth instead of simply your opinion. I am sure that you think that you are very unbiased but the truth is that as a Journalism student I am horrified at what blogs like yours will mean for the future of Convergence Journalism. I can see that you have been praised by several in my future chosen field, but I am simply horrified and insulted by your irresponsible use of a blog for your own ulterior motives.

The above two comments were among a total of 70 on this post from May 10th. Yesterday I get another comment from the same location [cryptic IP, unknown physical location] answering another commenter’s question from a different post about what Metamora has to do with Jennifer Florida.

From Ian on 5/31/06:

Michael Allen

The comment about Metamora is a reference to where she was raised. She was born in Peoria Illinois and was on the road with her father and mother until middle school, when her parents settled down. She lived there until she graduated from college. Metamora is located about twenty five miles South East of Peoria, it has a population of roughly three thousand, however, due largely to many residents of Peoria leaving the city, Metamora’s population has been steadily growing.

So Ian is posting from the same location as James & Megan. Interesting. And who is this Ian with email address ief919@truman.edu? Well, I believe that would be one of Jennifer Florida’s children, Ian Florida.

Today Ian posted another comment, this time on the post about the ACC;

Doug Duckworth

Your assertion that citizens are moving out of the area because of the “botched” redevelopment of the Sear’s site is absurd. People have been leaving this city for many years, just look at the population statistics and crime rate and you’ll see for yourself why. The city’s crime rate has risen from roughly 38,000 in 2000 to
over 45,000 according to the most recent estimate. While at the same time the population has dropped from 396,685 in 1990 to 348K in 2000 and is now hovering just under 340K. It would be much more rational to draw a correlation and subsequantly attempt to prove a causation between crime and people fleeing the city than your supposition that its all Florida and McDonalds.

So this leaves me wondering, who are “James” and “Megan?” Also, does Ian Florida share his mother’s view that a new McDonald’s will help reduce crime?

The soap opera that is the McDonald’s on Grand continues….

[UPDATE 6/2/06 @ 4am – I added a bit of clarification to the above shown in brackets. I have no clue as to the physical location of the single IP address where these came from, nor do I really care. Nor do I know about 99% of the visitors/commenters to the site. I have not done any research on her kids, an there are many, and only know Ian is her son because she mentioned him at the SSNB ribbon cutting on Wednesday. For all of you that want to think I’ve been doing major digging get over it already — I simply observed four comments came from the same computer location of an unknown physical location. Without her mentioning her son at a public event I would not have been able to know that was who posted. ]

[UPDATE 6/2/06 @ 5:30am – please see my next post on privacy policy.

– Steve


Currently there are "41 comments" on this Article:

  1. Jen says:

    You have researched JF’s childrens’ names and where they go to school? That’s just weird, Steve. It’s just not, you know, common knowledge.

    I don’t know you, but I used to assume that you were a busy guy. Off snapping photos and scootering and measuring bikeracks and being urban and whatnot. But now I think you must spend all of your time in a dark room smoking cigarettes and sweating a lot over your laptop. Seriously, Steve: you can’t dramatically “out” those who post comments to your site and not look stupid. And besides, you’re chilling the discussion that you claim to like and want so much. Who really cares if little Ian up at Truman State wants to weigh in on the discussion a little bit? I’m sure he’s a bright and well-intentioned boy–give him a break.

    Not my real name, but if you must know I’m located a bit south of Meramec off Grand, near the Ted Drewes. I’m in a brick house, not big, not small, just right–urban enough for you? Don’t cyberstalk me, please, Steve.

  2. oakland says:

    Exactly as Jen said.

    Tonight’s posting puts forth the implication that should you disagree with one who responds to a poster, you resort to Internet Detective work in an effort to discredit the poster instead.

    I was betting myself that you’d not be able to top yesterday’s post wherein you made a fairly baseless conclusion that the Arch City Chronicle is the mothpiece of the Pyramid-Phlorida Political Posse. I apparently owe myself ten bucks.

  3. Ronald says:

    After a long day of tracking IP addresses, I prefer a nice piece of McHumble pie!

  4. Matt says:

    Ian is her son. I went to high school with him. Smart guy but may not necessarilly know all the particulars in this situation being related to the person trying to shove this through. Megan is his sister, I can confirm that from high school also. She is at Mizzouri, so that may have been from her. There are several other sibblings as well. If they are all from the same IP, they are probably just form a home computer

  5. This is Steve’s personal website. If people are spreading disinformation and using other peoples names, Steve has the right to expose them.

    I find this quite funny, especially her son, Ian,

    “People have been leaving this city for many years, just look at the population statistics and crime rate and you’ll see for yourself why. The city’s crime rate has risen from roughly 38,000 in 2000 to ”

    Ian, you are a misguided youth. Firstly, a probable cause of crime would be the exodus of the middle class which you failed to adequately explain. Rather you simply state the exodus’s cause was, and is, crime. The reasons white middle class residents fled are many, but include racism, cheaper property in the county, and the advent of automobiles through destruction of mass transit by General Motors and the government subsidy of the highway system. Perhaps if individuals stayed in the city, then tax dollars would have kept the schools performing well, thus students would receive education, and jobs, therefore they would have a legitimate means to earn income besides crime. Furthermore, with tax dollars comes City services, which were cut from many of the neighborhoods due to the Team Four Plan. Ian, you fail to take account the causes of crime. The root causes of the St. Louis problem is white flight, and historically racist policies, which still are having an effect on our schools, and the political actions of our City officials.

    Moreover, your assertion that population decreases are not a big deal, and that development is not the reason for decreases is wrong. Firstly, population decreases remove tax dollars, the result of which already aforementioned. Secondly, suburban development creates an disincentive to live in the city. Why pay an earnings tax, which is due to the suburban exodus and lack of taxable property, and deal with the “rampant crime” if the city is not much different from the suburbs? Furthermore, why deal with irresponsible politicians, like your Mother, when one can live autonomously in the suburbs, free from tyrannical corporate driven public officials? Many people choose the isolated, strictly structured and segregated zoning environment of the suburbs. In fact, Keystone homeowners, who are directly affected by the McDonald’s move, are moving to the suburbs. Why? Homeowners can live isolated, free from this kind of political intrusion into their personal space and property values. This is a practice which St. Louis can no longer afford.

    The City has not reached the state of suburbanization, which you may not be able to observe from Kirksville, however, with the unilateral actions of your Mother, and other alderman, the City is under attack. We cannot allow our City to be destroyed, and we cannot allow hard working City taxpayers to be alienated, and driven to the suburbs.

    Get out of the isolated pastoral academia of Kirksville and visit the City. Put down the beer, and patronizing frat parties. Read a book or two about St. Louis Politics, and Urban Design, and you might be able to understand the reality of the situation.
    I recommend St. Louis Politics by Lana Stein, and Suburban Nation.

  6. anon says:

    I have to agree with some of the comments. I don’t think it’s exactly right to “out” the posters. I want to be incognito. But I’m sure with a little research you can find out who is posting what and from where. I have plenty of insight and “leads” on urban issues as I work in the built environment, but I don’t always post it because I know you can track people. I am even more hesitant now.

    Though this is YOUR site- so you can do what you want. I’ve “learned” a lot about urban design on your site – thanks. I wish you would focus on the urban issues and not “stalk”.

    You know… you need to choose your battles and “outing” posters is not going to get you brownie points.

    I am also in a brick house but I wish I lived near a Ted Drewes, like “Jen”!

    [REPLY Actually it is nearly impossible to find out much from a computer address. It is a weird series of numbers that is pretty meaningless. You can post all day & night from your address and I won’t have a clue who you are.

    Putting 2+2 together from comments is not stalking. Someone told me her son’s name mentioned at a public event and that he was the same one that commented. I found it interesting it matched a couple of other comments. – SLP]

  7. Christine says:

    I know an Ian Florida who went to school with my brother from South St. Louis and he has a sister named Megan who would be in college, so that is probably their home computer.

  8. Maurice says:

    Just what point were you trying to make with revealing the posters? How does that better your cause? Doesn’t that bring you down a level or two? I fail to see what revealing anything about any of the posters brings to the table anything of value to discuss with relation to the city.

    And as for the comments regarding frat parties and isolated pastoral academia…If the poster truly is a college student, why dont’ you cut him some slack? Misguided youth? Find me one that isn’t. I bet you were a misguided when you were that age! Everyone is. With age comes knowledge, responsibility, and civic responsibility.

    [REPLY – This reply is for this and earlier comments. I did zero detective work other than observe the posts were from the same location. I had no idea the names of Florida’s kids but it just so happened she introduced Ian at the recent SSNB ribbon cutting and someone else observed that it was likely the same one that posted on my site. So, drop all your conspiracty theories already.

    The point is and was to show the connections between some of the comments and where they are coming from. Of course, computer locations are very cryptic and don’t tell you much. I knew weeks ago the comments from James & Megan were from the same location but that simply didn’t mean much until I saw that Ian Florida, a name I happened to stumble upon by chance, was posting from the same address. – SLP]

  9. John says:

    Posters are guests of Steve’s blog and should be expected to act as such. Steve’s actions are appropriate especially when certain posts are purely written to taint the forum.

    Blogs like this provide a great service to the public and our communities. Unfortunately the posters who disagree with this goodwill are attempting to destroy it.

    Thanks for the info Steve and for providing a public service. There are too many people who fail to address our problems which allows those in power to abuse others.

    As stated by Albert Einstein, “The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

  10. maurice says:

    Steve: You were at the ribbon cutting? I wish I had known, I would have introduced myself. I had never been in the building until now, and they have a lot of work to do. But the display unit was beautiful and views breathtaking.

    [REPLY Actually, I was not at the ribbon cutting. I thought about going as I was part of the group that fought to save the structure from demolition. However, I know that Jennifer Florida deserves considerable credit to continuing to fight for this building and my being there might have, in a small way, detracted from that moment that she deserves.

    I talked to others that were in attendance plus I had seen the display during their real estate open house a month or so ago. – SLP]

  11. Josh says:

    I hate to sound like a follower, because that is one thing I’m not. But I just happen to share similar perspectives on a lot of the issues Steve comments on. Just as I respect the astute perspectives of readers/writers/bloggers like Michael Allen, Jim Zavist, Joe Frank and many of the other people who regularly comment on this blog. I may not always agree with everyone, but I respect their perspectives.

    I wonder why so many people are disapointed/upset/outraged that Steve pointed out that these comments were from the same source and happened to connect the dots that they were from Florida’s offspring?

    If an author from a single IP made numerous attempts to discredit you on your own forum under different names, don’t you think you would’ve pointed that out as well? Or would you just let it go? My guess is that Steve’s initial assumption was that this was all one person posing as three different people. A legitimate reason to pull the sheet of their head. Furthermore, you miss the real context here. He wasn’t revealing “identities” commentators, he was revealing CONNECTIONS. I’m pretty confident that if I start posting comments blasting Patterson when I disagree with them, he’s not going to tell you all where I live. But if I post ten comments under ten different names blasting him, I say he’d be a pushover not to point it out.

    I don’t blame Jennifer’s poor leadership on her children and hope that they continue to read and comment on this blog after the McDonalds fiasco is over.

    But just as their is a journalist code of ethics, shouldn’t there also be a blogger code of ethics? Here’s the first ammendment: If you’re going to criticize someone on their own blog, don’t post several times in the same forum under different names to give yourself more credibility than you have.

    And for the record, Megan, James and Ian…. I also attended a journalism school and I have been reading this blog for several years now, long before Jennifer Florida was ever brought I think that the content here (McDonalds and your mom aside). The content here is both timely and relevant. Steve doesn’t claim to be a journalist, but his research and presentation of timely, pertinant issues with careful attention to represent both sides of an argument and follow coverage through until the story reaches an end is better journalism than I see on any of our local news stations or papers.

    I read about 12-20 St. Louis blogs regularly and from a journalistic perspective Patterson’s blog is among the top five, if not THE top blog for coverage. You’ll read things here that you would otherwise never hear about.

  12. Josh said: “If you’re going to criticize someone on their own blog, don’t post several times in the same forum under different names to give yourself more credibility than you have.”

    That same rule should apply if you agree with the blogger’s position.

  13. Josh says:

    ^ Good point.

  14. Ian says:

    I have only ever used one name to post on any thread in this forum, my real name, Ian. I chose to not submit my last name because I recognized that people would look past the words in my post and only see that name and subsequently use it to discredit all that I had said. That last name is Florida, big deal. I’ve lived in this city all my life, I am 20 and also a registered voter. As to Doug Duckworth’s post attacking the validity of my own, I never stated that crime was the cause of flight from the city, I stated it was more rational to correlate crime with the loss of population, not the existance of McDonalds. I never stated that the population decreases over the past 15 years were not a problem, they are a problem and are hampering St. Louis’ effort to reassert itself as a major city on the National level. The loss of middleclass jobs from throughtout the state is a cause as well. Doug why do you think I’m an alcoholic? I hardly ever drink and I do not go to frat parties. Thats nice that you went to journalism school, however I’d expect your reading comprehension to be on par with that fact.

    (as a side note i post on many forums as well, and i do not use my last name in those either, you never know what kind of weirdos might want to track you down)

  15. Brian W says:

    Welcome to the Patterson Blog Ian. I for one hope you and your siblings stick around and continue to provide your feedback.

    Now, you also owe me a keyboard. That last comment made me spray Dr. Pepper all over it.

  16. Ian says:


    Your brand new keyboard is in the mail, Steve gave me your address so I know where to ship it.

    The potential to carry on joke after joke at Mr. Patterson’s expense is seemingly limitless; however, I will try to make that the last one.
    I did not really have a major problem with Steve Patterson reposting my post; however, it seems unethical to draw specific attention to me when he does not do so to other submitters in the same manner. Also Patterson stated that “For the record, email addresses are not gathered for any purpose private or commercial. ” And yet it seemed he had no qualms with collecting mine and posting it on the Main site in a manner which suggested there was a specific private purpose. (And for the record about whoc Josh went to journalism school, that comment was not for Mr. Duckworth, I should have been clear.)The reason people are upset is that there is reasonable amount of surety that information given will not be used to discredit.

    [REPLY I have to agree with Thomas that posted after this, you are OK with a great sense of humor. You joke about giving you Brian’s address which is funny because I do know where Brian lives. No stalking, invited. – SLP]

  17. Thomas says:

    Based on these posts, Ian Florida’s okay in my book. Then again, anyone who’d dare take a gentle needle to some of the inflated windbags in this corner of cyberspace is okay in my book.

    I’d like to buy him in a beer in the City, once he hits 21.

    Back to meta-blogging…


  18. Why shouldn’t Steve have used this information on IP’s and a little common sense to put 2 and 2 together? He puts his real information out there whilst he critiques very fairly on a number of issues that affect our city.

    Then by “pure coincidence” three posts from the same IP defame him. How could he not call the culprit out on this? It looked like one person making multiple posts to back himself up and create the look of false support, very shady indeed. The fact that it turned out to be two people instead of one, Ian and his sister, is irrelevant.

    And like it or not Ian, being Florida’s son does matter quite a bit in regards to your comments, and I am glad to know the motives behind your erroneous posts(i.e. the city still losing population myth you purport) and your anti-Patterson rants.

    Any other Florida relatives out there who have miraculously started posting just and Steve began posting on this issue, step up now.

  19. newsteve says:

    Its rather interesting how emotion can deflect from the real issues. But this is no suprise since many of our politicians use emotion every day to sway their constituents thoughts. The first two posts commented on by Steve raised an issue suggesting that Steve was somehow fraudulently posing as a journalist, for some unidentified self gain.

    First, I ask, what self gain are these individuals suggesting Steve is after. Is it self gain to want to live in a city thats safe, prosperous and aesthetically pleasing to its residents. Perhaps, but, this, I would venture to guess, is not the self gain suggested by the posters. I say, Steve, if this is what you are after, which Iperceive to be the truth, then continue what you are doing.

    Second, I am no journalist. I took no journalism classes in college. I dont really know what Convergence Journalism is or is meant to be. What I do know, is that I read a variety of newspapers daily, as well as news magazines and websites. I, for not one moment, ever thought that Urbanreviewstl was journalistic, news, convergence journalism, or whatever you choose to call it. Its a blog, by a guy, concerned about issues involving the city he chose to live in. Nothing more and nothing less as far as I can tell. I seriously doubt there is any risk that most people view what is said by steve as the gospel. They read what he has to say, and make up their own minds. Some choose to comment, some agreeing and some disagreeing with his views. This is the beauty of a blog – instant debate.

    Finally, I will continue to read Urbanreviewstl regularly as I value the information provided by steve and the commentators. What I dont want to see, however, would be comments or information that is simply meant, for no other reason, then to detract from the real issues invovling the City of St. Louis.

    So steve, keep sweating in that backroom, keep photographing interesting subjects, and scootering around the city – and most importantly – keep writing about issues involving St. Louis and encouraging “healthy debate” on those issues.

  20. In all honesty, I’d just like to commend Jennifer Florida for sending her kids to public colleges.

    So many politicians and others are too stuck up to even consider our state schools — recall the “sub par” BS that circulated on this blog’s comments page awhile ago — for their kids. It’s nice to see that an elected official supports a public institution, no matter what else she may be doing.

  21. Ian says:

    To Urban Elitist, Doug Duckworth and others who deny the population in decline as a myth.
    The most recent statistics I found were from 2004 which listed a population of 343,279.
    http://www.city-data.com/city/St.-Louis-Missouri.html This was also backed up by
    http://www.missourieconomy.org/regional/slmetro/index.stm which put the actual figure
    at 343, 279. Urban Elitist cited an old Estimate (keyword there is estimate) put out by the Census Bureau they put the lower end estimate at 344,362 on the same page as listed the higher second estimate of 352,000. I see you failed to mention that other estimate. But since they are estimates and did not say whether either of those estimates were reached, I did not use them. Also, I cited a more than fifty year trend and specifically identified a trend over fourteen years. A 1.2% increase between 2004-5 would not make up for a systemic decrease of 13.5%.
    (Your point is kind of like Bush saying he created 100K jobs last month but not mentioning we lost 125K and there is a net loss. note: these numbers are just made up but you should understand the example)
    I would also like us to be clear on whether or not people are in fact “fleeing the city” one submitter tells me white flight is sinking the city, another submitter points to two consecutive years of population increases, two years does NOT create a trend. The optimistic perspective should be that our situation is “precarious.” I will not deny that our city is moving forward and that an urban renewal is the key to advancing our predicament. However, we cannot expect every redevelopment to be as grand as the South Side National building.
    I was not saying that everything is as simple as: “crime is bad people are running from crime.” The loss of jobs in the city is a big problem, the depletion of our middle class is a problem, many other reasons contribute as well. I am arguing that, to paraphrase, “McDonalds makes people quit the city” was over
    simplistic and irrational. People in this community cannot afford to abandon their homes and head West because of McDonaldÂ’s moving into the neighborhood, or staying in the neighborhood for that matter. However, gangbangers and serial rapists would make me reconsider my place of residence.Population statistics prove that there has been a substantial decrease in population over a long period of time it is not a “myth.” It will take many years to bring the city back.

    My last name should not make a difference anymore than yours. Fight me with facts, not ad hominums. Logic and analytic philosophy are your friends, embrace them.
    Thank you, IÂ’ll have a Bud Select (in four months of course).

  22. maurice says:

    Well said Ian. I too, went to Mizzou and now I go to SLU and I will probably be going there for the rest of my life. Education is important. The points you mentioned (white flight and crime) are extremely important. We are luckier than most. We live in pretty well stabalized part of the city where crime, on average, seems to be under control. Unfortunatly we cannot say that for all the city and that is sad.

    Steve, I will give you credit for raising some very important concerns/issues. Sometimes it is unfortunate that the only outlet is this blog. But then again, I’m sure most of your readers have computers and some education, income, goals, etc. But let us not forget those that lack all those things and more. Part of civic responsibility is taking care of those that cannot or will not take care of themselves. No, change that, part of civic responsibility is taking those that cannot travel (for whatever reason) with us as we travel to improve this city.

    Ian, you are right in mentioning that soon the city needs to address jobs. And I’m not talking hourly cleaning jobs. I’m talking professional, well paying jobs, which are more in the county than in the city.

  23. “I would also like us to be clear on whether or not people are in fact “fleeing the city” one submitter tells me white flight is sinking the city, another submitter points to two consecutive years of population increases, two years does NOT create a trend”

    Yes, white flight. If you know anything about rust belt cities, and St. Louis, then you will see the connection between white flight, loss of jobs, decrease in educational value, and increase in crime, all of which are result in a constrained and lower tax base. If you combine this with the Team Four plan, you will see how racist policies harmed many of our neighborhoods.

    Moreover, a two year population increase is a trend, and it is a trend which shows that urban development downtown is making a difference, however, St. Louis cannot make big gains with an urban downtown, and increasingly suburban developments in our neighborhoods. As I stated before, people will not choose the city if it has many suburban developments. Why pay the earnings tax, and deal with “horrible, rampant crime” if an equal environment exists in Maplewood. This suburbanization of the city has not yet occured, but it must be prevented. In 10 years, with big box developments like Longborough Commons, which has no sidewalks, all over the city, which destroy the street grid and historical neighborhoods, the city might not be so attractive. We must preserve our best urban aspects in order to remain unique from the inner-ring suburbs. This McDonalds is both an example of horrible suburban development, and complete alienation by a public official. Jennifer claims the McDonalds reduces crime, and increases property values. Homeowners clearly do not agree, and they are moving out of the city. The bottom line is that this cannot continue.

    “I will not deny that our city is moving forward and that an urban renewal is the key to advancing our predicament.>

    You claim to see the positive aspects of urban development, yet you do not think the McDonald’s is a big deal. Perhaps you need to define “urban” and “big deal” for the crowd.

    “People in this community cannot afford to abandon their homes and head West because of McDonaldÂ’s moving into the neighborhood, or staying in the neighborhood for that matter.”

    Walk down the street of Keystone and see the results.

    A home is an investment. People cannot afford to live by a McDonald’s as it lowers property values.

    “However, gangbangers and serial rapists would make me reconsider my place of residence”

    Really? Well did you know that many cars and abandoned homes in Gravois Park were reported, yet Jennifer has not had them condemned, or towed? Trash dumpsters were removed, because the city let them overflow into the streets, instead of emptying them. She was asked to empty the dumpsters, but they were removed! With such wonderful city service, or lack thereof, its no wonder that “gang bangers” live in her ward. Maybe you should tell your mom to visit Potomac and Louisana to pick up the trash… Don’t forget to tow the cars which have no tires, lisence plates, windows, or doors. Wait, she does not consider them “derelict.” She will see large piles of trash in the alleys as well.

    Tell your mom that she is pissing off the 612 registered voters which she represents.

    You need to quit, because you have no idea what is going on in the 15th Ward, or the City for that matter.

    [REPLY While I don’t disagree with some of your points I’d like the tone to change from being so personal. Let’s alll try to keep these posts and facts & issues, not personalities. Take it down a notch Doug. – SLP]

  24. Ian said:

    ” Urban Elitist cited an old Estimate (keyword there is estimate) put out by the Census Bureau they put the lower end estimate at 344,362 on the same page as listed the higher second estimate of 352,000. I see you failed to mention that other estimate.”

    This statement only further proves that you have no idea what has been going on in the city for the past 3 years. There is not a “low end” estimate and a “high end” estimate listed on the same page. The US Census Bureau made an error in their original estimate (notice how the first estimate is labeled as original). Mayor Slay then Challenged the estimate. He won this challenge and the estimate was revised to the correct population estimate of 253,000.

    Your being unaware of that story (which was a fairly big deal when it first occurred) shows your lack of awareness of current city affairs. Here is a link to the Mayor’s statement on this issue.

    Mayor Slay’s Statement

    Also you should pay closer attention to the data you cite. On the city-data.com page you cited this disclaimer is located at the bottom:

    “City-data.com does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information on this site. Use at your own risk.”

    It is clear that they took the information from the first US census estimate and forgot to update this information when the estimate was challenged. The same is true for the Missourieconomy.org webpage you cited. Also City-data.com is a WIKI, anyone can add information to this page. I cited the most recent, not the oldest, census information from the US Census bureau.

    You need to stop collecting your data you use in debates from obscure STL WIKI pages.

    Three years (not two) of population growth does represent a trend. No one said that it makes up for all of the past population loss. by that logic we will not have “come back” until our population reaches 800,000. What we are saying is the city of STL has turned around and is hearing for a bright future, as long as we don’t run it with suburbanization techniques.

    Population Loss=Myth

  25. The Southsider says:

    Nice one Steve, Your big conspiracy turned out to be a few college kids who have just as much right to weigh in on this situation as anybody else. Take some strategic advice to avoid these egg on the face scenarios in the future. Stick to your message, you know that rational, well reasoned recall effort for building a McDonald’s on a vacant commercial lot, in a business district…

  26. thinker says:

    As much as Brian and Thomas don’t like anonymous posters (sorry, guys…), this anony still has to make this comment…

    to Southsider..re. this sarcastic, pointed, comment you directed at Steve:

    “Stick to your message, you know that rational, well reasoned recall effort for building a McDonald’s on a vacant commercial lot, in a business district…”

    …I’m thinking…”hmmm, I wonder how many readers (like anony me and others) are shaking their heads and saying, “that Southsider, he/she, just doesn’t get it. Doesn’t get it at all.”

    I’m guessing that Southsider is fully entrenched in the world of feel good, city democratic politics, aldermanic courtesy, and the status quo.

    Am I right?

  27. Wiki pages are certainly far from objective sources. So is MayorSlay.com. But both are like that stopped clock…

  28. Ian says:


    Why would they revise it to 253K that doesnt make sense. I would also suggest you read something about applied statistics and pay special attention to inferential statistics. There has not been a three year trend of increases. There were increases from 2004-2005 and an assumption that there will also be increases from 2005-2006. That would be a two year anomaly when looking at those numbers from any kind of true statistical analysis. Also I did not use Wikipedia. Yeah great big bright futute…as long as we dont take into account the drastic reduction of middle class jobs with any real benefits, the large increase in crime, and the fact that this “trend” you seem to point to might stop at any day. As I said before, the city is precariously placed. I think your optimism has usurped your view of reality and your misguided judgement of what real struggles our city is facing is detrimental to your cause.

  29. Ian said:
    “Why would they revise it to 253K that doesnt make sense.”
    Because their estimate was wrong. Whether or not that makes sense to you is your problem, it doesn’t change the fact that they did change the population estimate to reflect new trends. This isn’t the first year that it has happened either. The same thing occured in 2004.

    2004 Census Estimate Challenges

    (on a side note notice the “original” populaton estimate in 2004 was 343,279….the EXACT number you cited on missourieconmy.com, coincedence? I think not.) See your quote below:

    “This was also backed up by
    http://www.missourieconomy.org/regional/slmetro/index.stm which put the actual figure
    at 343, 279.”

    As I stated, they listed the original wrong esimate, and never updated their website.

    “Also I did not use Wikipedia”

    I never said you used Wikipedia. I said you used a STL wiki, which you DID. There are other WIKIs besides wikipedia.

    “Yeah great big bright futute…as long as we dont take into account the drastic reduction of middle class jobs with any real benefits, the large increase in crime, and the fact that this “trend” you seem to point to might stop at any day. As I said before, the city is precariously placed. I think your optimism has usurped your view of reality and your misguided judgement of what real struggles our city is facing is detrimental to your cause. ”

    When did I ever say that we don’t have a lot of work ahead of us? Your are simply upset because I pointed out that some of your stats were outdated/wrong. This led to you telling me to go read a statistics book…The very type of personal attack you denounced earlier…

  30. Ian says:

    The numbers you link to keep changing, first you say 354 then 353 then 253 then you link to one that says 350. And I think most people would assume that for a city’s population to drop by over 100k residents in one year something would be wrong with the information or the city would have to experiance a massive catastrophe, like New Orleans. These are all conflicting reports. And anyway you are missing the point entirely. Two points out of fifty, even three, heck I’ll lie and say we were positive in 2003, would not give you a statistical hook to hang your hat on. By saying that the population is up from last year, or even the year before that, you might be right, but we are still not experiancing sustained healthy population growth. Give it ten years and then we can look at the statistics. (Commenting that an individual does not understand a complex mathematical field and suggesting that to better interpret the data they should probably read up on the subject is not an ad hominum. Calling me a heavy drinker and a “misguided youth” as Doug Duckworth did were. His comments were not directly linked to the subject matter. If you are ignorant of a subject, suggesting an education in the area is not an insult, unless every teacher I have ever had has been secretly making fun of me.)

  31. Ian says:

    One additional comment about this line, the number you linked to is 350,705, not the 253, 354, or 353 you have stated in other threads. The US Census from 2000 was 348,189. This would be about less than a 1.00% increase over five years. That is not healthy and it would indicate sustained growth. (I believe you may have mistyped that 253K thing, so I will just ignore it from now on, unless you would like to back it up.)

  32. Ian says:

    I left out a word. I meant to say: “That is not healthy and it would NOT indicate sustained growth.”

  33. “The numbers you link to keep changing, first you say 354 then 353 then 253 then you link to one that says 350.”
    You’re really digging now. The 253,000 number I stated above was a typo, as you well know. 353K is the number I should have typed there.
    Yes I linked the the report that showed 350k only to show you that the 2004, as well as the 2005, estimate was challenged and changed….I’ll link them side by side to alleviate further confusion.

    2004 Census Estamte Challenges
    2005 Census Estamte Challenges

    That’s what I was trying to say. So as you can see I have posted no conflicting reports….just the census estamates from to seperate years to further illustrate the new growth trend. Three years of population gain is a new trend for STL which was losing population for decades. Whether of not that meets the definition of “trend” in a stat book is not what I am arguing.

    What I was arguing was that you posted out of date/inaccurate statistics in your argument, which I have more than proven that you have. That’s all I was ever saying. You’re the one who then began trying to expand the scope of my original statement from:
    “You’re data is incorrect”
    “The city of ST. Louis is perfect”

    I never asserted anything about the state of STL in general other than we are now gaining population instead of loosing it…contrary to what your incorrect stats would have us beleive.

  34. Ian says:

    What you asserted was that a statistical FACT is a myth. You are failing to look at the big picture. Because the statistics are fluctuating it is inaccurate to claim that our population growth is sustainable. Not some of my statistics are wrong, 1 of my samples was outdated.
    Your exact same argument was used by people in the 1990s in Chicago. They pointed to several years (inside of a 50 year trend) and claimed that the City was back, however their assumption turned out to be wrong when three years later the city began a negative trend which has lasted more than six years thus reinforcing the original negative trend. This period of positive influx in the City is not stable enough for you to declare population loss a myth. You cant speed into the situaiton on your shining white moped, pull out your +1% sword, and vanquish the evil myth of population loss, it doesnt work like that. We need to look at the larger scope of things. You can prove practically anything if you narrow your view to a sufficiently finite target. I can prove the moon doesnt exist by staring into the sun for for example, however no one would believe the moon has vanished. So you should see why I am having trouble believing your declaration that population loss is a myth. You need to quit staring into the sun and broaden the scope of your argument by putting these past two years into the context of a reliable stable mathematical construct. You DID say we are heading for a bright future, but that is stil uncertain and I believe using a 1% population increase to back that up is overly optimistic which is what I was trying to convery, but apparently put right over your head.

  35. Ian says:

    Your argument is: “population loss = myth”

    My argument is: recent population increases do not create a reliable statistical trend.

    Outcome: wait for the 2010 Census and we’ll have a better picture, wait for the 2020 Census and we’ll know who is right.
    (if you think I am being upfair by stating your argument in such a summed up simplistic fashion, i’m only using your exact words)

  36. The last post by Ian is by far the most sensible position on St. Louis’ recent population growth I’ve read in cyberspace.

    At a conference this weekend attended by mostly out of town scholars and historians, I lead two tours and during question and answer sections everyone wanted to talk about the city’s population. Everyone liked the physical changes they saw in the city, and were enthusiastic about the renewal of the city fabric they saw. Few were convinced that the recent population growth indicated anything large enough to call a trend. I agree.

    When the city has regained 10,000 new residents, let’s throw a party. In the meantime, we have to fix the schools, get good jobs back in the city and stop the bleeding of the northside. That’s hard work.

  37. “When the city has regained 10,000 new residents, let’s throw a party. In the meantime, we have to fix the schools, get good jobs back in the city and stop the bleeding of the northside. That’s hard work.”

    I can agree with this. Especially about fixing the bleeding northside.

    “You DID say we are heading for a bright future, but that is stil uncertain and I believe using a 1% population increase to back that up is overly optimistic which is what I was trying to convery, but apparently put right over your head.

    For someone who claims to dislike using personal attacks in arguments you certainly cannot resist sticking the little jabs into your arguments.

    I wouldn’t say I went over my head so much as I would say you are tap dancing to save face. Let’s not get into an argument about who is better educated/went to the better school/etc.

    Yes my argument is population loss for the past 3 years is a myth, because it is..the census shows that. Will it sustain for the long term? No one knows for sure. But I sure hope (and believe) it will. And I do believe that St. Louis has a very bright future.

  38. maurice says:

    I totally agree with Mr. Allen’s comments and also Ian’s. Using statistical surveys of such a short time frame can be used to support just about any arguement. The only thing to do is wait to see which side is right. But the problem is is that living doesn’t wait. We have to deal with what is in front of us….a rebuilding of the city physically, but still some serious educational, employement, and social ills which could easily tip the scales and put the city back where it was 20 years ago.

  39. mrh says:

    Ian, you obviously understand statisitics well, and probably much better than I ever will. However, I don’t think you’ve taken all the variables into account.

    One thing I haven’t seen anyone mention in this sometimes heated exchange is the FACT that Saint Louis city’s estimates are done annually using methodology that applies to counties, not cities. This doesn’t take Saint Louis’ status as an independent city into account, and certain factors such as building permits are not part of the equation.

    Prior to the 2000 official count, Saint Louis’ population was once estimated to be as low as 332,000 and some change. I’d say 16,000 is an astonishing difference, and I have seen similar trends of low estimates in similar independent cities (Baltimore) or city-counties (San Francisco). Forgive me for not linking, as I’m at work copying what I gleaned from the above linked sources earlier, but these are the year-to-year figures for Saint Louis since 2000:

    2000: 348,189*
    2001: 342,773
    2002: 338,353
    2003: 348,039**
    2004: 350,705**
    2005: 352,572**

    *- official 2000 count
    **- accepted challenges of Census Bureau estimates

    I’m not about to suggest the city gained 10,000 people between 2002 and 2003. However, the city did not challenge the Census Bureau’s 2001 and 2002 estimates. FWIW, it’s widely believed in the Slay administration that the city bottomed out between 340,000 and 345,000, so the revised 2003 estimate would represent an increase over the two previous years, even though it’s slightly less than the official 2000 count.

    As you can see, I’m not a statistician, nor would I ever care to be. I realize we have to go much further than citing three recently revised estimates to show a positive trend in city growth. And I also realize we have a long way to go toward improving our overall quality of life (to dramatically reduce crime, to improve schools, increase investment in the northside, etc.). However, I still see the revised estimates as a more accurate trend of where our population is heading than estimates for counties that do not take all variables into account.

    With all due respect, your doom-and-gloom perspective about the city’s population fits hand-in-glove with the antiquated mindset of those that think progress in Saint Louis equals the zero-sum relocation of a suburban-style McDonalds. Billions of dollars have been invested in the city since 2000, and the days of settling for any new development in the name of progress are over. If politicians continue to support such woefully misguided efforts, their days will eventually be numbered as well.

  40. Patrick Wessel says:

    from today’s post-disgrace:

    “I really don’t know what I could have done differently,” Florida said. “I attend to the ward as if it were my own child.”

    Poor Ian.

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