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Readers Split on Bill to Ease Motorcycle Helmet Use & Vehicle Inspections

May 29, 2019 Featured, Missouri Comments Off on Readers Split on Bill to Ease Motorcycle Helmet Use & Vehicle Inspections
Missouri Capital, Jefferson City, MO, April 2011

In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll neither side got more than half the votes — a lot were like me — in the middle.

Q: Should Gov Parsons sign the bill relaxing motorcycle helmet requirements, vehicle inspections; raise registration & license fees?

  • Definitely yes! 2 [6.45%]
  • Yes: 2 [6.45%]
  • Hmm, I suppose: 7 [22.58%]
  • Neither yes or no: 4 [12.9%]
  • Hmm, I don’t think so: 2 [6.45%]
  • No: 3 [9.68%]
  • Definitely not! 10 [32.26%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 1 [3.23%]

I don’t think motorcycle riders should be allowed to ride without a helmet. If signed, the law would allow those with health insurance to ride sans helmet. Will those without health insurance continue to wear a helmet, or will they ride without knowing it’s unlikely they’ll get stopped?  I’m also a fan of vehicle inspections, even though they’re a pain. These can find problems that should be fixed for the safety of everyone else.

I do like that the bill will permit left turns onto one-way streets — basically because everyone already does it.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis’ Soldiers Memorial Military Museum

May 27, 2019 Downtown, Featured, History/Preservation Comments Off on St. Louis’ Soldiers Memorial Military Museum

Our World War I memorial, the building known as Soldiers Memorial Military Museum,  opened nearly two decades after the war ended.

Soldiers Memorial officially opened on Memorial Day in 1938. The building was designed by St. Louis architecture firm Mauran, Russell & Crowell in a classical style with art deco flourishes. It features four monumental groups of sculptures by artisan Walker Hancock that represent courage, loyalty, sacrifice, and vision. Hancock, a native St. Louisan, served in the US Army in World War II but is perhaps best known for being one of the Monuments Men, the group tasked with protecting and recovering cultural and historical artifacts from wartime damage.

By the end of the 1940s the Court of Honor had been established across the street from Soldiers Memorial. It memorializes the St. Louisans who lost their lives during World War II. (Missouri History)

In 2016 it closed for a much needed renovation by the Missouri History Museum, the new caretakers of the property and collections.

The St. Louis flag being lowered on Sunday February 28, 2016

After it closed for renovations I posted some of the pics I took on that last pre-renovation day.  It reopened last Fall, here are some before pics along with the after renovation pics.

2016: The east & west galleries hadn’t changed in decades. Sunshine was damaging some artifacts, neither was air conditioned.
Blinds now cover the historic windows, protecting the artifacts. Lots of new displays for the vast collection.
2016: upstairs meeting room had fixed seating, no air conditioning
With the seating removed the room can host many different types of functions. Lighting is improved, and air conditioning was added here and the rest of the building.
2016: Obviously built before the ADA, getting to most of the 2nd floor required steps or a non-compliant ramp.
Most lifts are very cheap looking/feeling, but this one is in such a prominent location it had to look good.
From up top
About to enter
2016: no ramp existed until the 21st century. This ramp is located on the NW corner, near Pine & 14th.
A 2nd ramp was added on the opposite corner, 13th & Chestnut.
2010 photo: The WWII Court of Honor looked very much the same since built.
A few slight changes were made, the most dramatic was replacing the grass with a raised pool/fountain.

Now for some more pics.

2016: The original elevator remains, but a new elevator was added on the opposite end. It travels to the higher level of the 2nd floor, so the lift can be avoided.
The basement level is now set up for additional exhibition space.
The lighting inside & out is greatly improved, now LED

If you haven’t checked it out I suggest you do so.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Should Gov Parsons Sign Bill To Ease Motorcycle Helmet & Vehicle Inspection Requirements; Increase Vehicle Registration Fees?

May 26, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Gov Parsons Sign Bill To Ease Motorcycle Helmet & Vehicle Inspection Requirements; Increase Vehicle Registration Fees?
Please vote below

A bill on the desk of Missouri Gov Parsons, if signed by July 14th, would change a number of things, including:

  • Allow motorcyclists 18 and older, with health insurance, to ride without having to wear a helmet.
  • Cars 5-10 years old, with less than 150,000 miles, would no longer need safety inspections every two years. Vehicles older than 10 years or with 150k miles would still need state inspection. No mention of emissions testing.
  • Increase vehicle registration and drivers license fess.
  • Allow a left turn on a red light. Currently Missouri law doesn’t permit these turns. I blogged about this in 2015, see Left Turn On Red Not Allowed In Missouri.

This bill on the governor’s desk is the subject of today’s poll.

Today’s poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 6 of 2019-2020 Session

May 23, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 6 of 2019-2020 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  6th meeting of the 2019-2020 session.

They usually meet on Fridays, but are meeting today because of Memorial Day weekend.

Today’s agenda includes one new bill — on a topic I posted about back in November:

  • B.B.#47 – Murphy – An ordinance prohibiting persons and entities selling or offering for sale consumer goods or services at retail in the City from refusing to accept cash as a form of payment to purchase goods and services unless otherwise provided in this ordinance.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2019-2020 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

Opinion: Access To Birth Control, Abortion, Must Remain Legal

May 22, 2019 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: Access To Birth Control, Abortion, Must Remain Legal
Missouri Capital, Jefferson City, MO, April 2011

In an ideal world there would be zero abortions, but reality is often less than ideal. Women get raped, sometimes by a relative. They can also find themselves pregnant at inopportune times.

Pregnancies have been terminated for centuries, regardless of laws.

Abortion bans, unsurprisingly, have always been about racism, controlling women.

The state [Alabama] first made abortion a crime a bit more than 150 years ago, and others passed similar measures through the middle of that century. Prior to that wave of legislation, common law had allowed abortion until quickening, when the woman first perceived fetal movement — usually around the middle of a pregnancy. Only at the point of quickening was life recognized as having begun. A small group of elite physicians working to professionalize medicine initiated a campaign to criminalize the practice of “bringing on the menses.” They aimed to eliminate their competition by casting midwives and “irregular” doctors as criminals.

To gain legislative support, these doctors raised questions about exactly who was having babies, who was aborting and who should populate the nation. They knew well-to-do white women were having fewer children, and that the families of immigrants, Catholics and, after the Civil War, freedpeople, were larger. To put it plainly: Lawmakers hoped to force middle-class white women to have more babies by removing the option of abortion, thus preventing the country from being “taken over” by “foreigners” and people of color. (Time)

Even when laws banned abortion, women with means & connection could still terminate their unwanted pregnancy. From a woman who’s now 74:

When I was 23, I had an illegal abortion arranged by the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion. I was young, in no position to raise a child, and had gotten pregnant by a man I barely knew. The Clergymen’s Committee was a group of ministers and rabbis who arranged for physicians to provide safe, albeit illegal abortions in different cities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Though I lived in New York, mine was scheduled in a city about an hour’s flight away.

My parents helped pay for the procedure and my friends knew about it, but I chose to go to this appointment alone. What I was doing was illegal and I didn’t want to implicate friends or family. I flew to Pittsburgh and caught a bus to the center of town, near the hotel room where I met the doctor. He was an older gentleman, a respected doctor at one of the local hospitals, and though he was pleasant as he explained what he would be doing, I noticed that his instruments were wrapped in a soiled cloth. (HuffPost)

Some want abortions to go back underground, into back allies again.

Laws that restrict access to abortion are not an effective way to end or greatly reduce the number of abortions because people will continue to have abortions regardless of the law. We actually know how to reduce the number of abortions. Most of those ways involve being honest about how and when people have sex and giving people the information they need to have sex responsibly.

Yet most who favor these highly restrictive laws do not seem terribly interested in pursuing policies that would do any of these things. Every state that has passed a restrictive law around abortion in recent weeks requires that sex education “stress” abstinence. Neither Alabama nor Missouri mandates sex education, though when it is taught, both states require that it emphasize the importance of “sex only within marriage.” Georgia, which does mandate sex education, does not require that information about contraception be included.

This simple fact suggests to me, when I am in a less generous mood, that they are not concerned about preventing abortions. They are instead interested in enforcing their own reactionary views with regard to women and sex. (VOX)

If we really want to reduce the number of abortions then we need to all work to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. This means increasing realistic sex education classes, increasing access to contraceptives (including Plan B), and allowing all women, regardless of races/means, to control their own bodies.

Most of you, like most of the country, agree.  Non-Scientific results from the recent Sunday Poll:

Q: Should Roe v. Wade be overturned?

  • Yes, absolutely! 7 [16.28%]
  • Yes: 0 [0%]
  • Sure: 0 [0%]
  • Neither yes or no: 0 [0%]
  • Probably not: 0 [0%]
  • No: 6 [13.95%]
  • Definitely not! 30 [69.77%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

Hopefully Roe v Wade will not be overturned.

— Steve Patterson

 

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