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McKee’s 3-Bed Urgent Care Facility Should Not Be Named Homer G. Phillips

January 6, 2020 Featured, North City, NorthSide Project Comments Off on McKee’s 3-Bed Urgent Care Facility Should Not Be Named Homer G. Phillips

Last week it came out that Northside Regeneration developer Paul McKee wants to name his future 3-bed urgent care facility, being built on part of the former Pruiit-Igoe housing project site, after the historic Homer G. Phillips Hospital. Many were not happy about this.

The historic Homer G. Phillips Hospital is now senior apartments. May 2010 photo.

When the hospital was first dedicated in February 1937 it was known as City Hospital #2, replacing an older City Hospital #2. City Hospital #1 didn’t serve African-Americans.

In 1942 it was renamed after the man who fought to get it built:

Homer Garland Phillips (1878–1931) was a black lawyer in St. Louis who was born in Sedalia, Missouri. Son of a Minister he was orphaned at birth and raised by his aunt. He is mostly known as a Republican political figure in St. Louis and is known for being the person who was tasked with securing $1 million to constructing a new hospital for African Americans on the city’s North Side called Homer G. Phillips Hospital. (Wikipedia)

It was closed by Mayor Schoemehl in 1979, after running on a pledge to keep it open.  Four decades later the name “Homer G. Phillips” is synonymous with the historic hospital and The Ville neighborhood where it was located. It is also a man’s name.

At every turn Paul McKee has managed to make poor decisions.

Could you imagine McKee proposing a baseball field named Stan Musial Field without getting permission from Musial’s family?  Of course not. Ok, Phillips has been deceased a lot longer than Musial, but respect for someone’s name doesn’t expire.

McKee needs to find a new name for his 3-bed urgent care facility at the former Pruitt-Igoe!

This got me thinking about healthcare facilities during the Pruitt-Igoe era. The 1974 Final Environmental Impact report offered the two options:

Pruitt-Igoe Medical Action Center, 2407 O’Fallon.

Offered medical treatment for minor illnesses and injuries, a weight reduction program,  prenatal care and limited gynecological care. This facility, funded by Model City Agency, served Pruitt-Igoe residents almost exclusively, was closed during the relocation of Pruitt-Igoe tenants.

Jefferson Municipal Health Center, 1421 Jefferson.

Offers comprehensive child health care, prenatal classes, obstetrics and family planning, X-Rays and TB treatment. The boundaries of this facility, operated by the Health Division of the City of St. Louis, extend beyond the Pruitt-Igoe area. Service is still being provided to residents of the area.

Neither was located within the Pruitt-Igoe site, but east & west, respectively. The city eventually closed the second and the site became the headquarters for the St. Louis Fire Department.

This building, on the SW corner of Cass & Jefferson was a medical facility before becoming the Fire Dept. headquarters. May 2012 photo.
My only visit to the building was in October 2016.

McKee must be thinking that because Homer G. Philips Hospital was so important to St. Louis’ black community that taking that name will suddenly make his 3-bed urgent care as important. Sorry Paul, it doesn’t work that way.  How about Rich White Suburbanite Trying To Woo Black Supporters By Appropriating The Name Of A Beloved Institution Urgent Care? Yes, too long — but very appropriate!

Even if McKee’s planned larger teaching hospital should eventually open it shouldn’t be named Homer G. Phillips.  To learn more about the Homer G. Phillips Hospital check out The Color of Medicine documentary.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Should The Feds Allow Illinois & Other States Opt Out Of Changing Clocks Twice Per Year?

January 5, 2020 Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should The Feds Allow Illinois & Other States Opt Out Of Changing Clocks Twice Per Year?
Please vote below

Daylight Saving Time will start again on Sunday March 8, 2020 — giving us an extra hour of daylight in the evenings. It’ll end on Sunday November 1, 2020. Nearly 8 months of the year, with the rest being standard time. Now Illinois is considering a major change from neighboring states like Missouri.

The idea of having Missouri and Illinois in different time zones is circulating after the Illinois Senate approved legislation earlier this year that would make daylight saving time the standard in Illinois.

Although the proposal still needs approval in the Illinois House, as well as the signature of the governor and an OK from the federal government, it has residents and business owners on both sides of the Mississippi River thinking how it might affect their lives. (Post-Dispatch)

The Illinois Senate passed bill 533 last month, it was introduced by state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill.

Originally enacted as an energy-saving measure during World War I, daylight saving time reached its 100-year anniversary in 2018. While initially reserved as a local decision, the practice became law nationwide when U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966.

As such, states that approve proposals to end the clock change must first get approval from the federal government before they take effect, according to Manar. “The only two ways that it can change in Illinois, ultimately, even with this bill becoming law, is either Congress gives us an exemption as a state or Congress implements a uniform standard presumably different than what we have nationwide,” Manar said, according to the Illinois Radio Network. (Illinois Policy)

Today’s poll is about the federal government and states wishing to make changes to DST in their states.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.
— Steve Patterson

 

 

High Marijuana Taxes Means Black Market Will Continue

January 3, 2020 Crime, Featured, Metro East, Recreational Marijuana Comments Off on High Marijuana Taxes Means Black Market Will Continue

I’ve long supported the legalization of marijuana. No, I’m not a regular user — my last time was in the Fall of 2017 to deal with severe pain after breaking my wrist.

I just think legalization is good public policy. Criminalization was horrible public policy.

In the 1930s, Prohibition was repealed in the middle of the Great Depression. Straight-laced bureaucrats looking for another target turned their attention to marijuana, which, at the time, was mostly being used in the Mexican and black communities. They painted the drug—and the communities using it—as a threat to the already crippled country and began the process of banning it. Twenty-nine states had outlawed marijuana by 1931, and in 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed, essentially making the plant illegal in the United States. (History.com)

So some bureaucrats wouldn’t be out of work during the Great Depression they used race to get marijuana criminalized! Eight plus decades later 11 states have legalized recreational use. It was 6 years ago that Colorado became the first, Illinois became the 11th on January 1, 2020.

On the first day of legal sales in Illinois the line at HCI Alternatives in Collinsville stretched hundreds of feet around the corner.

Illinois needed to legalize, for the tax revenue.

It depends on the amount of THC, the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. In flower form, there will be a 10% tax. Edibles are taxed 20% but jumps to 25% if the THC levels are above 35%.

In most states that have legalized recreational weed, it’s typically 30-50% more expensive than illegal weed. (CBS Chicago)

That’s the part I’m struggling to get past: 30%-50% more expensive than illegal weed. The cash cow to help state budgets is keeping the black market alive.

In the United States, high tax rates have been effectively driving consumers to purchase black market marijuana.

California, for example, is taxing the daylights out of its pot buyers. In addition to passing along a state tax and local tax, buyers are paying a 15% excise tax, as well as a wholesale tax of $9.25 per ounce of dried cannabis flower, or $2.75 per ounce of cannabis leaves. Add this up, and it could work out to an aggregate tax rate of 45% on legal pot. And, mind you, this doesn’t include additional costs such as the laboratory testing on weed grown in the Golden State, which is also being factored into the price that consumers pay. (Motley Fool)

Taxes on alcohol & tobacco are higher than things like, say, toilet paper. That’s fair, I suppose. Yet there’s no black market for those, at least not that I’m aware of.

Food trucks filled the parking lot to sell food & beverage to those who waited in line for hours to buy legal cannabis.

Will the legal and illegal markets continue side by side? Maybe that’s a good balance? I need to let go of my expectation that legalization will lead to the end of the black market.

On the other hand, the black market does a poor job supplying quality concentrates & edibles.

— Steve Patterson

 

2020 Census Prediction: St. Louis City & County Will Each Lose Population

January 1, 2020 Featured, Politics/Policy, St. Louis County, STL Region Comments Off on 2020 Census Prediction: St. Louis City & County Will Each Lose Population

The decennial census is ramping up for an important task three months away:

The U.S. census counts each resident of the country, where they live on April 1, every ten years ending in zero. The Constitution mandates the enumeration to determine how to apportion the House of Representatives among the states. (U.S. Census)

The 2010 census officially showed population losses for St. Louis City (a smaller percent than prior decades), St. Louis County (first time losing population), and a small gain for Missouri (resulting in the loss of a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives).

I haven’t seen anything happen during the last ten years to convince me we won’t see a repeat for 2020. Yes, St. Louis’ central corridor will again see gains, but the net for the city will be a loss. The percentage of loss may drop again, but that’s small consolation.

I have no doubt St. Louis County will see another net loss, as the exodus from North County continues. Hopefully I’ll be proven wrong about the city & county, but I don’t think I’ll have to eat my words.

Here are the results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Will the City & County population change with the 2020 census?

  1. St. Louis City & County will both have population losses: 16 [64%]
  2. St. Louis County will have a population increase, St. Louis City a loss: 4 [16%]
  3. St. Louis City & County will both have population increases: 3 [12%]
  4. St. Louis City will have a population increase, St. Louis County a loss: 2 [8%]
  5. Unsure/no answer: 0 [0%]

Obviously the majority agree with me.

Missouri is expected to hold onto its congressional seats, but Illinois won’t be so fortunate. Illinois is one of ten states expected to lose a seat(s).

New census figures will be used to redraw everything from the city’s wards (dropping from 28 to 14) to House & Senate districts. New wards/districts will be in place for 2022 elections.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Future Medical Marijuana Cultivation Locations in the City of St. Louis

December 30, 2019 Featured, Medical Marijuana Comments Off on Future Medical Marijuana Cultivation Locations in the City of St. Louis

Last week Missouri announced which applicants will be awarded licenses to grow medical marijuana.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the winning 60 applicants for cultivation facilities sought by an estimated 500 companies hoping to cash in on the legalization of pot.
Approval of the growing operations comes just days after the state awarded licenses to companies seeking to transport cannabis products. Among those are companies in St. Louis, Festus, Eureka and Florissant. (Post-Dispatch)

Seven licensees will be located in the City of St. Louis.  Three will operate out of the same large warehouse, so there’s five total locations.

I decided to look into each location.

7110-7140 North Broadway

The four buildings that make up 7110-7140 N. Broadway were built between 1941-1947.
  • Property Owner: 7110 North Broadway LLC  (Sauget IL)
  • Year Built: 3 buildings in 1941, and 1 in 1947
  • Neighborhood: North Riverfront
  • Ward: 2nd
  • Applicants: Kindbio LLC (7110), Certified Alternative Medicine (7140), VMO-Ops Inc. (7110)
  • Comments: I imagine the Broadway facade was originally a beige brick, though perhaps reddish. Located across Broadway from Bellefontaine Cemetery, this location has easy highway access. Separate licenses have been issued to companies that will transport cannabis product, so having three facilities at one location may prove advantageous from a logistical perspective.

3417 South Broadway (part of the large Lemp Brewery complex)

It’s unclear how much of this Lemp Brewery building at Broadway & Cherokee will be used for cultivation.
  • Property Owner: Historic Lemp Brewery LLC
  • Year Built: Early 20th century
  • Neighborhood: Marine Villa
  • Ward: 9th
  • Applicant: Blue Arrow Holdings LLC
  • Comments: This is large building, though small compared to others on the former Lemp Brewery site. My guess is this will give this cultivator room to expand as demand warrants.

1315 Cherokee St

It’s unclear if the applicant will occupy all or part of this building.
  • Property Owner: Mound City Partners LLC
  • Year Built: 1966
  • Neighborhood: Benton Park
  • Ward: 9th
  • Applicant: BeLeaf Medical LLC
  • Comments: Local news reports showed cute storefronts near Jefferson when mentioning one cultivation facility would be on Cherokee Street, another showed the north side of the Lemp Brewery across the street. This is the most out of character property on Cherokee Street.

1400 North 7th Street

  • Property Owner: Northside Regeneration (Paul McKee)
  • Year Built: 1959
  • Neighborhood: Columbus Square
  • Ward: 5th
  • Applicant: TC AppliCo LLC
  • Comments: This is just around the corner from our apartment, so I was hoping this applicant would be approved. Will be nice seeing it occupied.

2727 Hamilton Ave

  • Property Owner: St. Louis’ Land Reutilization Authority (LRA)
  • Year Built: 1923
  • Neighborhood: Wells-Goodfellow
  • Ward: 22nd
  • Applicant: Growing Jobs Missouri LLC
  • Comments: This is probably the most ambitious/challenging location of this list — but easily one of the most interesting architecturally. A 1909 Sanborn Fire Insurance map indicates the adjacent warehouses were part of A. Leschen and Sons Rope — manufacturers of wire rope and tramways, etc.  The building is very open — literally. Hopefully renovations can happen quickly, though not sure how long it will take for the applicant to secure title from the LRA. The Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood made headlines earlier this year after a concentrated effort to raze buildings deemed beyond renovation — see Options For The Wells Goodfellow Neighborhood. It would be great if, as the applicant name suggests, this location generated new jobs for local residents.

So there you have it, the five city locations for the seven applicants recently awarded cultivation licenses. All will need investment to get ready to operate as an indoor growing operation. As this is a new highly-competitive business we will have to see how each performs, it’s possible not all will survive their initial first year or two in business.  Others may thrive and need to expand in place, or relocate to larger facilities.

Really looking forward to seeing where the city’s dispensaries will be located.

— Steve Patterson

 

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