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New Book — St. Louis State Hospital: A 150-Year Journey Toward Hope by Amanda Hunyar

April 19, 2019 Books, Featured, History/Preservation Comments Off on New Book — St. Louis State Hospital: A 150-Year Journey Toward Hope by Amanda Hunyar

In my 28+ years in St. Louis I’ve been in many buildings that interest me. One I haven’t seen inside of is the St. Louis State Hospital on Arsenal. It and the grounds have changed considerably in my decades here.

A few hardcover book from local publisher Reedy Press gives readers a greater understanding:

While the St. Louis State Hospital dome has loomed over the St. Louis skyline for 150 years, the goings-on behind the closed doors of this mysterious complex of South City buildings has been the subject of speculation and curiosity for generations. This fascinating book takes readers beyond the gates on Arsenal and into an institution’s unique history.

It was through those gates in 1869 that 127 patients suffering from mental illnesses would pass to seek recovery through compassionate care. This richly illustrated volume presents their stories through a timeline of the hospital’s history and gives an understanding of what life was like for these vulnerable, often poor and disenfranchised patients. Included are photos and anecdotes of weekly dances in the fifth-floor ballroom, card game parties, and long walks to newly opened Tower Grove Park. Straight from the carefully curated archives are the records of traditional lobotomies, experimental drug therapies, and electric shock—all prevalent treatments of their time.

Author Amanda Hunyar takes readers behind the scenes and through the history of the iconic building with a complex tale to tell. Once the third largest hospital in St. Louis, and a place of healing and hope for thousands, its stories from generations past are finally ready to be shared. Even those with merely a passing understanding of its buildings can now come to appreciate its importance in the history of our region. (Reedy Press)

This new book is by Amanda Hunyar. I’ve loved flipping through the photo-filled pages.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers Opposed To Missouri National Guard Patroling St. Louis’ Worst Neighborhoods

April 17, 2019 Crime, Featured, Neighborhoods, North City, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Readers Opposed To Missouri National Guard Patroling St. Louis’ Worst Neighborhoods
Unfinished house on 22nd Street in the Hyde Park neighborhood, August 2016

Following a recent daytime shooting Ald. Brandon Bosley started a long-overdue conversation about taking back neighborhoods from criminal elements.

The boldness of the crime, on a sunny spring day as sports fans flocked downtown, just three miles south, led the neighborhood’s alderman to call for deployment of the Missouri National Guard before the summer hits and crime spikes.

“I’m done waiting,” said Alderman Brandon Bosley of the 3rd Ward. “Before it gets too bad, we need to do something measurable. Extra hands. Extra guns. Guns bigger than the ones on the street.”

Bosley said he and the city Board of Aldermen’s black caucus had been talking for weeks about petitioning Gov. Mike Parson. He said he hoped to persuade the board to pass a resolution calling on Parson to send troops to the worst city neighborhoods. (Post-Dispatch)

The conversation took place on Twitter after Post-Dispatch writer David Hunn sent out the following tweet about the story:

I read through some of the replies, many good points made. In general I don’t like the idea of military forces being brought in. On the other hand, though I do live in North St. Louis, I’m not in a neighborhood that’s experiencing the violence that a few areas are. I get it, Bosley and residents want something done. Now!

Maybe the Missouri National Guard is the answer, maybe not. I’ve said before a lot of our problems are long-term, requiring long-term solutions. Correcting inequalities would help, but that will take many years once started. Understandably, Bosley wants action before it gets hot out.

I wish I had the answer.

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

Q: Should Gov. Parsons send the Missouri National Guard to help patrol the worst neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis?

  • Definitely not!: 11 [33.33%]\
  • No: 7 [21.21%]
  • Hmm, don’t think so: 3 [9.09%]
  • Neither yes or no: 1 [3.03%]
  • Hmm, I suppose: 4 [12.12%]
  • Yes: 5 [15.15%]
  • Definitely yes!: 2 [6.06%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

A clear majority oppose the idea of the National Guard.

A Doug Unplugged segment on the subject, not online at this time, missed the point entirely. KMOV’s DougVaughn liked the idea, saying the National Guard should be outside Cardinals games, etc. Bosley isn’t arguing for military to make suburbanites who venture downtown for a game to feel safe, he’s trying to help the people in his ward feel safe in their neighborhoods

— Steve Patterson

 

Board of Aldermen End 2018-19 Session Today, Begin 2019-20 Session Tomorrow

April 15, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on Board of Aldermen End 2018-19 Session Today, Begin 2019-20 Session Tomorrow
St. Louis City Hall

When the St. Louis Board of Aldermen are in session they typically meet at 10am on Friday mornings. Their last meeting was February 1st, breaking for Spring elections.

This week they’ll meet today & tomorrow, but not Friday. Today is the last day of the 2018-2019 session, known as Sine Die. Tomorrow is the first meeting of the 2019-2020 session.

Today’s agenda includes wrapping up legislation from the 2019-2019 session, final consent to many bills. Also on the agenda is a long list of courtesy  resolutions, political thank yous.

One is worth noting.

Res.#296 – Ingrassia – The Board of Aldermen wishes our colleague Scott Ogilvie much success in his future endeavors.

Scott Ogilvie decided not to seek a 3rd term, today is his last day as an Alderman. Terry Kennedy’s last day as an alderman is today, he also didn’t seek another term. Kennedy will become the Board’s new Clerk. Their replacements, and others re-elected, will be sworn into office tomorrow.

Friday morning meetings resume next week on the 26th or May 3rd, per today’s & tomorrow’s agendas, respectively.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Should Gov. Parsons send the Missouri National Guard to help patrol the worst neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis?

April 14, 2019 Crime, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Gov. Parsons send the Missouri National Guard to help patrol the worst neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis?
Please vote below

In some St. Louis neighborhoods violent  crime is driving some to the breaking point, including 3rd ward Alderman Brandon Bosley.

From last week:

Bosley said he and the city Board of Aldermen’s black caucus had been talking for weeks about petitioning Gov. Mike Parson. He said he hoped to persuade the board to pass a resolution calling on Parson to send troops to the worst city neighborhoods.

“We’re going to have tanks on every damn corner,” Bosley said. “These people have to know we’re not playing anymore.” (Post-Dispatch)

This is the subject of today’s poll.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight, I’ll share my thoughts on Wednesday morning.

— Steve Patterson

 

My Neighborhood’s Street Lights Are Always On

April 12, 2019 Featured Comments Off on My Neighborhood’s Street Lights Are Always On

I often see street lights on during the daytime. It usually turns out the city’s street lighting department is checking to see which lights are burned out.

After weeks of observation at different times I’ve confirmed most of the street lights in my neighborhood, Columbus Square, are always on. Always.

At home we try to conserve electricity as much as possible, we’ve switched our lighting to LED. Many dimmable so we use even less electricity. To reduce our carbon footprint we also switched to 50% wind-generated credits.

The city, however, has thousands of streetlights of different types. Only some are LED.

I have no idea how street lights are controlled, I assume each area is controlled manually at boxes (buried or above ground), not a centralized computer. It’s possible they’re unaware if lights are always on — unless someone lets them know. I’ll be sending this post to the Citizens’ Service Bureau via Twitter.

Every photo in this post, except the last, was taken on Tuesday April 9th. This first group in a 10-minute window between 10:08am and 10:18am.

Old fashioned cobra head lights on Cole & 7th
Looking up at the two lights on 7th at Cole
Looking west on Cole from 7th, the lights all the way down at least to 9th are on
These lights are supposed to be pedestrian-scaled are also used frequently throughout the neighborhood. Many have the globe canted like this one. Carr at 8th
A cobra head on the same block of Carr, now closer to 9th
At 9th & the former street known as Biddle the cobra head on the right is burned out, but the LED across 9th is on. The back of Patrick Henry school is in the background.
Another type of light, also on, at 9th & O’Fallon
Here a nest stays warm with the light always being on. O’Fallon at 8th.
8th at O’Fallon, all the lights on this block are on
A cobra head at the corner of Dickson & 8th is on along with every light on the short street.

This next group were also taken on Tuesday April 9th, between 2:11pm and 2:40pm.

10th near O’Fallon
O’Fallon near 10th
Tucker at Biddle
Tucker at the curve between O’Fallon and Cass.

I didn’t go down 11th or Hadley to check lights on those streets, I’d seen enough to know this wasn’t an isolated block or two.

Ironically, I can’t figure out how to turn on the new looking lights on the tennis courts.

Four courts on two levels have what looks like new LED lighting, but no idea how anyone is supposed to turn them on to play tennis at night. The south facade of Patrick Henry is in the background, 10th Street is to the left. February 26th

Lighting is important, but 24/7 street lighting is just highly wasteful. Hopefully the city will get this addressed so we have streetlights only at night.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

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