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St. Louis Sponsoring Photo Contest, Images for New Website

September 25, 2007 Media 7 Comments

citysite The City of Saint Louis is working on a long overdue new website and is seeking images to use throughout the site, click on the image at right for all the details.

Calling all photographers! The City of St. Louis is looking for great photos of St. Louis to feature on our new website. A new City of St. Louis website is planned for 2008 and we’re looking for pictures that show our city’s unique character and beauty. Whether you’re a professional photographer, or just like to take pictures, we invite you to submit photos.  

So now is your chance to have your images of St. Louis be seen by thousands.  Hurry, the deadline is November 1st.

Each contributor is limited to five images so I’m having issues editing my nearly 30,000 images down to just five.  With Loughborough Commons, the demolition of the Century Building, the countless parking garages, Sullivan Place, Southtowne Center and such it is really tough —- I have so many great images of St. Louis.  Oh wait, they want unique character AND beauty.   Well, that leaves out all of the above.  However, I probably can find five images to submit and if not I may just be forced to go out looking for the character and beauty that St. Louis does still have left.

Again, click the draft image of the new site on the right to view the contest details and photos already submitted.


Tiny Municipality Better Known After Abusive Cop Video on YouTube

Last month I showed you videos from Jimmy Justice — the New Yorker out to show the world that New York traffic cops, and other officials, park in places where nobody should be paking — such as in front of fire hydrants, bus stops and on public sidewalks. He gets in the face of these officials and screams at them about breaking the law.

Well, by now, most of you have likely heard about the St. Louis area case of a young motorist berated by a cop from the virtually unknown municipality of Saint George (pop. 1,288, google map).

Here is part 1 of the video. Note, the video doesn’t show much but the audio records the entire scenario. The cop uses the f-word often so just make note of that if you are watching at the office, around impressionable ears or just plain offended by the f-word then you may want to skip this one.

The National Association of Motorists, with a slogan of “we fight back against unfair traffic law” has the story with a complete transcript here.

Time for me to get a hidden scooter-cam! This cop may have been having a bad day but that is no excuse in my view — he should have asked to be off duty or done something to get help. He should not be allowed to have a badge, billy club and certainly not a gun. He shouldn’t even be permitted to be a mall security guard! The cop’s attorney says the driver, Brett Darrow, taunts police.
Other sources:

Today’s Post-Dispatch sheds some light on St. George:

It’s one-fifth of a square mile of small brick homes and condominiums — amid a sea of small brick homes and condominiums — at Interstate 55 and Reavis Barracks Road in south St. Louis County.

Like so many of the county’s 91 municipalities, it’s a subdivision with police power, and no shortage of it. Some who have gotten tickets might have wondered why St. George even exists. They can thank moms in two subdivisions, back in 1948, who wanted their kids bused to school. Bayless schools would not send buses. So the subdivisions incorporated as St. George, which allowed them to join Affton schools.

Yes, this is why we have 91 municipalities in St. Louis County — because it was very easy to incorporate. Decades later we are left with tiny villages and towns trying to find ways to pay for services demanded by residents. Like the City of St. Louis of past, these incorporated areas find themselves losing residents as people move further out for newer digs or, ironically, move back to the city for a more urbane lifestyle. So they try to draw big box stores, strip centers and issue as many tickets to motorists as they can.

Getting the city back into St. Louis County is potentially an impossible task, one that requires a statewide vote to change the Missouri constitution. However, consolidating municipalities, school districts and other governmental jurisdictions within St. Louis County is relatively easy. Two subdivisions, that incorporated nearly sixty years ago, do not need to remain separate with its own police force, six aldermen and a mayor.


Patterson’s Political Commentary in New Magazine Geared Toward CEOs

August 22, 2007 Media 3 Comments

A new magazine has come on the scene, St. Louis CEO, and yours truly shares the political commentary space with three others on a rotating basis. My first column appears in the current issue, August 2007. I wrote about the need for better regional leadership so that we can see the big picture — important for business interests in my view. But hey, I’m not a big time CEO.

CEOAug07_coverThe other three writing in the political commentary page are former U.S. Senator and current co-chairman of Fleishman-Hillard, Jim Talent; State Rep and attorney Connie Johnson; and former chief of staff to the late Gov Mel Carnahan; Brad Ketcher, also an attorney. The other three must be wondering who this Patterson guy is. My next column will be in the December 2007 issue.

The magazine is geared, as the title indicates, to the CEO. This is not to be confused with a business owner. Last month, the premier issue, had a very nice review of small jet planes and a run down of what local CEOs were flying in these days. This month, in the ‘cars’ section, is a review of the new Bentley Continental GT which is priced at a mere $180,000. My house isn’t even worth that!

If you are an important CEO you already have the magazine in your mail. If you didn’t receive a copy in the mail, you are not an important CEO. Anthem Publishing is still working on distribution agreements for local newsstands. Your best bet is World News in Clayton although Left Bank in the CWE might carry it as well.

Also in the August 2007 issue is an article about blogging called, Blogging Distraction. The point is that businesses need to understand blogging and perhaps join in. Writer Robert Amberg indicates it is important for companies to pay attention to their brand and identity online, “marketing through blogs is an evolution of communication.” Amberg continues, “Your customers are moving online and so too must the businesses that market to them.”

I’ll take that a step further and suggest that government is a business with customer and needs to be mindful as well of the need for customer services being online. Being able to pay parking tickets online, for example, has been quite helpful to me in the past. Just as the business CEO might have a blog to help control a company message so too much local elected officials. In this day of free blogs there is really no excuse for local politicians not communicating via a blog.


Steve Wilke-Shapiro on KDHX Tonight, Farewell Party Tuesday

August 20, 2007 Media, South City 10 Comments

Tonight is Steve night on KDHX‘s Collateral Damage program — Steve Wilke-Shapiro from 15thwardstl.org and myself will join hosts DJ Wilson and Fred Hessel in studio at 7pm on 88.1FM. As many of you know, Wilke-Shapiro and his family are moving to Des Moines for a new job and to be closer to family. Among tonight’s topics will be Steve’s 50 Things I Won’t Miss About St. Louis list which includes, in no particular order:

  • The Board of Aldermen – I’m not going to name all the individual representatives. That would take up 24 of my 50 items in this list. For the most part, they seem to be just about as incompetent at dealing with critical issues in a proactive and comprehensive manner as Congress is. Two big thumbs down.
  • Parochialism – Y’all have to figure out a way to work across borders. The region is killing itself from all the fighting over scraps in a zero-sum game.
  • Eureka, Chesterfield, and friends – That sucking sound you hear? That’s all my taxes going to maintain your unsustainable infrastructure.
  • Paul McKee – Pretty much represents all that is wrong with politics and development in St. Louis. Clear cutting is not the right way to go about rebuilding community.
  • Interstate 64 – Or is it Highway 40? Redoing this road is the biggest boondoggle we’ve seen since, well, the Page Avenue Extension. Should have planned for transit.
  • Page Avenue Extension – I could put together another “Top 50” list of things I would rather have spent a billion dollars on. All you self-centered suburbanites quit complaining about Metrolink “subsidy” until you add up all the money spent on extending and widening your own roads.
  • Loughborough Commons – With a little urban planning, it could have been done so much better. Instead we have another “place not worth caring about.”
  • Riverfront – Quite possibly the biggest missed opportunity in the region. What a huge disappointment it is to cross under the Arch and gaze down the grand stairway only to see the might Mississippi lapping at a sometimes parking lot and a bunch of concrete bollards.
  • Racism – Race seems to inform everything in St. Louis (and not in a good way). I’ve been in St. Louis for 14 years and haven’t seen much forward movement. I don’t know what the right steps are, but I do believe that until people make a conscious effort to equalize some of the spatial disparities in income, education, health, and employment, it will be difficult to deal with the underlying prejudices.
  • The Gateway Mall – If you build it they will come. We don’t need “greenspace” downtown.
  • “Reserved” street parking – They are public streets. I’ll park where I want. Just because you own the adjacent property doesn’t make a street space yours.
  • River Des Peres – Affectionately called River Dispair by those in the know.
  • Schnuck’s – I shop there because it’s so damn convenient to my house (I don’t even have to get in the car), but I don’t like it. Shame on you for demolishing the Century Building. Is it intentional that the logo looks so much like “Schmucks”?

This should make for a good conversation! Tuesday evening friends are giving Steve a farewell party at The Royale. 5:30pm-? And finally, if you are looking for a great home in a great neighborhood consider Steve’s home at 3618McDonald.com (listed by my broker, Christopher Thiemet).


Citizen Journalism, New York Style

August 18, 2007 Media 20 Comments

“Oh, you’re that guy that did the video at Copia!” is something I hear often as I introduce myself to people. Last year I video taped a valet company at Copia violating the terms of their valet permit — placing cones in the street and such. The owner came out of his restaurant to confront me after I removed their cones from the public street. In case you missed it, here it is (note: video contains explicit language):

Valet Parking at Copia from UrbanReviewSTL and Vimeo.

People were aghast at both my behavior and the restaurant owners. Dave Drebes wrote on the Arch City Chronicle blog, “Yes, there’s too much space reserved for valet parking, but I’m not sure his approach is… um… constructive.” One commenter on that post said, “wow, talk about needing to get a life! This guy is a class A-1 Loser. who the hell cares if the valets use freaking parking spaces?” Yet another person wrote, “I would suggest that Mr. Patterson try to change his methods and behavior before he becomes the person who complains all of the time and never compliments anyone for any reason.” This video, from nearly a year ago now, came after months and months of trying to get some change. At the time, I could not believe the things this guy was saying to me on camera, clearly he did not know who I was or what I’d do with the video. My post, with a variety of comments, can be found here.

But this post is not about valet parking, Copia or me. Well, sort of about me. I’ve been called a bully and my methods questioned which is fair game as public as I am. Ald. Florida called me a zeolot and has said that I am mean. To everyone out there that doesn’t like me or my methods all I can say is be thankful I’m from Oklahoma and not New York.

Meet Jimmy Justice:





Recently Jimmy Justice was featured on the Today show, here is a report from the ABC station in New York.

Now let’s see, a good place to shop for video cameras in the city…