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The Homeless Don’t Drink Bottled Samuel Adams

December 2, 2011 Crime, Downtown, Featured, Homeless 8 Comments

Last month I noticed two beer bottles on a window sill (Ely Walker bldg) on 16th between Washington Ave & St. Charles Street. It was a Saturday so I figure someone had a nice Friday night.  But who?

ABOVE: November 19, 2011

Often it is the homeless that are accused of public drinking, and no doubt some do. But they aren’t drinking Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA:

Samuel Adams® Latitude 48 IPA is a unique IPA brewed with a select blend of hops from top German, English, and American growing regions all located close to the 48th latitude within the “hop belt” of the Northern Hemisphere. The combination of hops in this beer creates a distinctive but not overpowering hop character. The beer is dry hopped with Ahtanum, Simcoe®*, and East Kent Goldings hops for a powerful citrus and earthy aroma. The hop character is balanced by a slight sweetness and full body from the malt blend.

I’ve not tried this beer or any of the others in their Brewmaster’s Collection, though I’m sure it’s a fine beer. Please don’t blame everything on those without homes.

– Steve Patterson

 

Where is Downtown St. Louis? KMOV Needs to Know

September 26, 2011 Crime, Downtown, Media 31 Comments
ABOVE: Story from the KMOV iPad app

It seems the local media has no clue where downtown is, or isn’t. Or they just think it’s much much larger than it actually is. A story from this morning:

“ST. LOUIS (KMOV)– A man is shot and killed for allegedly trying to break into a home in downtown St. Louis.

This happened around 1 a.m. Monday in the 5600 block of Maple.”

Really? 5600 block of Maple in downtown St. Louis? Reporter Robin Smith correctly says north St.Louis in the video report but the online report said downtown (corrected following my tweet). Google Maps shows the distance from KMOV’s downtown studios as a 21 minute, 6.5 mile drive. Downtown? Past Saint Louis University, past Grand Center, past the Central West End — nearly to Page & Goodfellow.  Downtown huh?

Who types this stuff? Do they have editors? Are they all from Chesterfield or further where the view is the city limits is synonymous with downtown? I don’t care what the excuse is,I want them to get their stories correct. It’s no wonder I meet people who are afraid to come downtown — all they here is every bad thing that happens in the City of St. Louis is in “downtown.”

– Steve Patterson

 

Gun Show Billboards in North St. Louis

September 13, 2011 Crime, Featured, North City 23 Comments
ABOVE: Orange billboard on N. Florissant advertises a gun show in St. Charles

Billboards for a gun show in St. Charles appeared all over North St. Louis, but some objected:

“We have a lot of momentum going, so to see an advertisement for a gun show really struck a major nerve,” James Clark of Better Family Life said.

After all, Clark’s mission is to encourage teens to put down the pistol and settle beefs by talking instead of shooting.

“This urban core where citizens go to sleep hearing gunshots — we do not need to have that image in these neighborhoods,” Clark said. (KMOV)

Residents got CBS Advertising to removed the billboards in one neighborhood but they remained in many others.

ABOVE: Hard to miss these billboards with images of guns.

Should the community be able to set standards for such advertising or does that violate the free speech of the show’s organizers?

– Steve Patterson

 

Readers: Find Another Way to Stop Meth

July 20, 2011 Crime, STL Region 16 Comments

In the poll last week readers made it clear they don’t want to need a prescription to buy common cold & allergy medication:

Q: Should St. Louis County & City Require Prescriptions for Cold & Allergy Medicines to Stop the Production of Meth?

  1. No, don’t punish innocents in an effort to stop the illegal activities of a few 52 [48.6%]
  2. Yes, meth is a regional problem 26 [24.3%]
  3. Only if the other four counties agree to fund homeless services in the city 12 [11.21%]
  4. No, rural counties don’t care about our problems, why should we help them? 8 [7.48%]
  5. Other answer… 7 [6.54%]
  6. Unsure/no opinion 2 [1.87%]

So much for regional cooperation. Here are the seven other answers:

  1. no, current laws are strict enough (and just shifting production to Mexico)
  2. Put it behind the counter
  3. These choices are ridicules. Yes, by prescription, to protect the innocent.
  4. Why isn’t the electronic tracking system, in place now, doing the job?
  5. Could write the law to expire in a few years?
  6. What do homeless services have to do with cold
  7. No. This will drive up the cost of the medicine by forcing everyone to see docs

The answer with the most votes was not originally one I provided.  The poll software allows me to convert a reader submitted answer into an official poll answer, which I did early on the first day of this poll.

– Steve Patterson

 

Can St. Louis Learn From Newark NJ & Cory Booker?

I’ve seen Cory Booker  on TV and in the news. Booker is the young mayor of Newark NJ. To some of you, 42 may not be young, but anything younger than me (44) is young in my book.

ABOVE: The Manhattan skyline as seen from the NJ Turnpike on January 15, 2008

I’ve been to Newark once.  More accurately, I saw the highway exit as I was driving to Rhode Island in January 2008. I wanted to stop and visit, but my schedule didn’t permit.

Troubled cities are attractive to me for some reason, perhaps the challenge of reversing negative trends? Newark, like Detroit and St. Louis, has serious issues.  I knew in 2008 that Newark had this new mayor, 37 when he was elected mayor. Booker’s lost to 4-term incumbent Sharpe James in 2002 but when James didn’t seek a 6th term in 2006 Booker won the non-partisan election.

As I watched Street Fight, the documentary of the 2002 race, I couldn’t help think of parallels to St. Louis:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8jtAASYdLw

Old urban city with a large African-American population, poor performing public schools, poverty & high crime, entrenched machine politics and the dirty tricks that go along with that to discourage challengers.

Famed urban engineer Harland Bartholomew worked for Newark before coming to St. Louis.  We’d have been better off had he stayed there.

Newark does have some differences from St. Louis. Their elections are non-partisan, their municipal council has only 9 members – five from wards and four at-large. Corruption in Newark is so bad “where every mayor since 1962 (except the current one, Cory Booker) has been indicted for crimes committed while in office.” (Newsweek)

I plan to learn more about Newark’s efforts to reduce violent crime, improve schools and attract jobs. I’ve started watching episodes of Sundance Channel’s Brick City series.

– Steve Patterson

 

 

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