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Readers: Local Stay at Home Orders Are Good Public Policy

March 25, 2020 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Readers: Local Stay at Home Orders Are Good Public Policy
Source: Food & Drug Administration

Missouri, like most backwards states, didn’t issue a statewide stay at home order. That meant Kansas City, St. Louis City, and St. Louis County had to act on their own.

In a matter of days, millions of Americans have been asked to do what might have been unthinkable only a week or two ago: Don’t go to work, don’t go to school, don’t leave the house at all, unless you have to.

The directives to keep people at home to stunt the spread of the coronavirus began in California, and have quickly been adopted across the country. By Tuesday, more than a dozen states had called on their residents to stay at home as much as possible, with many cities and counties joining in.

This means at least 167 million people in 17 states, 18 counties and 10 cities are being urged to stay home. (New York Times)

It should’ve been nationwide, but President Trump is already discussing easing guidelines and reopening the country by Easter — over the objections of health professionals.  If this is going to end we’ve to stop it from spreading. That means reducing human interactions.

In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll an overwhelming majority agrees, this is what governments should do to keep us safe.

Q: Agree or disagree: St. Louis City & County issuing stay at home orders is government overreach.

  • Strongly agree: 5 [10.64%]
  • Agree: 2 [4.26%]
  • Somewhat agree: 1 [2.13%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [2.13%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 2 [4.26%]
  • Disagree: 10 [21.28%]
  • Strongly disagree: 26 [55.32%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

I’m too tired to write anymore.

— Steve Patterson

 

Vote For The Moderate Candidate: Bernie Sanders

March 9, 2020 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Vote For The Moderate Candidate: Bernie Sanders

Wait, isn’t Bernie Sanders the left-wing extremist? No, not really.

In the 1940s, Senators Robert Wagner and James Murray and Congressman John Dingell Sr. introduced legislation that would have established a national program for hospital and medical insurance. It was stymied by a coalition of Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans, as was also the case with Truman’s efforts after 1949 to achieve the same result. But it was central to the party’s core ambition for many years after.

Only in the 1960s did Democrats abandon the concept of universal, single-payer health care and champion a narrower program of guaranteed hospital insurance and voluntary medical insurance for the elderly—the program that we now know as Medicare. They didn’t abandon universal coverage because they viewed it as too radical. Rather, they believed it was no longer necessary. After World War II, major employers began extending unprecedented benefits to workers, including annual cost-of-living adjustments to wages, defined benefits pensions and private health insurance. Given this reality, they turned their focus to a narrower subset of the population that, by definition, would not benefit from employer-based health programs: senior citizens. (Politico)

Since 1980 Democrats have been moving to the right, FDR wouldn’t recognize today’s Democratic Party.

Bernie Sanders in Affton four years ago.

The policies Bernie Sanders has advocated for decades are very moderate:

  • Healthcare for everyone. Millions would live longer, others wouldn’t go bankrupt, people wouldn’t need to resort to online fundraising. Our peer countries have universal healthcare, but somehow we think this is extreme.  Now with Coronavirus it’s especially important people not to fear the cost of going to the doctor.  Speaking of cost, we could save money with Medicare for All.  Doing nothing will continue to cost us more and more. Better coverage for less money isn’t radical, it’s common sense.
  • Taxing the 1%. Decades ago the wealthiest paid their share of taxes, but now we’ve got the 99% objecting to them paying more. Some billionaires paid a lower rate than their workers. It’s not radical to think they should pay a higher rate.
  • Act on climate change. Time is running out, today’s kids count on us to make wise decisions. Not doing anything is the radical position.

Elected Democrats that call themselves “moderates” are only slightly less conservative than Republicans. No wonder the other candidate would consider a republican as a running mate.

Missouri votes tomorrow, Illinois a week from tomorrow.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: 12th Ward Alderman Larry Arnowitz Resigned, Indicted

March 6, 2020 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: 12th Ward Alderman Larry Arnowitz Resigned, Indicted

At the St. Louis Board of Aldermen meeting last week all 28 seats were occupied.

Not today.

Alderman Larry Arnowitz, who abruptly resigned Tuesday afternoon, has turned himself in to federal authorities Wednesday, officials said.
Arnowitz’s brief letter of resignation cited “personal reasons.”

On Tuesday, defense lawyer Patrick Conroy said Arnowitz, 66, would turn himself in to federal authorities Wednesday morning to face a federal fraud charge.
“He made a mistake,” Conroy said. “We anticipate that the government’s going to allege that the alderman converted some monies from his campaign fund for personal use,” he said.
(Post-Dispatch)

Arnowitz was first elected in 2011, narrowly defeating incumbent 12th ward alderman Fred Heitert, a Republican, in March 2011. He was challenged in the 2015 primary, but easily won. Last year he had two primary challengers, both easily defeated.

I immediately thought of former 6th ward alderman Kacie Starr Triplett.

She was one of the city’s youngest politicians when she was first elected in 2007 — just 26 years old, poised and energetic about serving the city. Then she abruptly left office, announcing that she’d taken another job. Months later, it finally came out that Triplett was also pretty energetic about looting her campaign coffers and using the cash for personal expenses. The money went to pay her mortgage, for her credit-card bills, her salon and spa visits, and for her clothes, shoes and jewelry. The amount was somewhere between $8,000 and $18,900. (Riverfront Times)

Arnowitz was on the board when Triplett resigned, but he didn’t learn from her mistakes.

The Board of Aldermen meet at 10am today, their 35th meeting of the 2019-2020 session. As previously noted, they have the first two meetings labeled as Week #1, so they list this as week/meeting 34.

Since the current session is almost over, today’s agenda has no new bills. The Board of Aldermen 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

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Week 34 of 2019-2020 Session

February 28, 2020 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Week 34 of 2019-2020 Session

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen meet at 10am today, their 34th meeting of the 2019-2020 session. As previously noted, they have the first two meetings labeled as Week #1, so they list this as week/meeting 32.

Because we’re so close to the end of the session, today’s  agenda includes no new bills. It does include “perfecting” a bill to put it to a vote to reconsider reducing the size of the board from 28 to 14.

The Board of Aldermen 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.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 33 of 2019-2020 Session

February 21, 2020 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 33 of 2019-2020 Session

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen meet at 10am today, their 28th meeting of the 2019-2020 session. As previously noted, they have the first two meetings labeled as Week #1, so they list this as week/meeting 32.

Today’s agenda includes eighteen (18) new bills.

  • B.B.#224 – Coatar – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to conditionally vacate above surface, surface and sub-surface rights for vehicle, equestrian and pedestrian travel in City Block 181 as bounded by Locust, 7th, Olive and 8th Streets in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, as hereinafter de- scribed, in accordance with Charter authority, and in conformity with Section l4 of Article XXI of the Charter and imposing certain conditions on such vacation.
  • B.B.#225 – Hubbard – An Ordinance Authorizing the Execution of a Maintenance Agreement for InterCo Plaza, and containing a Severability Clause.
  • B.B.#226 – Hubbard – An Ordinance Authorizing the Execution of a Cooperation Agreement for Portions of Hadley Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, and containing a Severability Clause.
  • B.B.#227 – P. Boyd – An ordinance regulating the storage, transportation and disposal of waste tires; and requiring waste tire haulers to register with the Department of Public Safety, and tire dealers, waste tire processing facilities, and waste tire holding sites obtain permits from the Department of Public Safety; and providing penalties for violations of the provisions thereof; and containing an effective date, and severability clause.
  • B.B.#228 – Muhammad – An ordinance amending Ordinance 70714 by repealing Section Two of that ordinance and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section Two pertaining to the same subject matters; and adding Section Three containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#229 – Spencer/Coatar – An ordinance directing the Director of Health of the City of St. Louis to compile a list of organizations recognized by the Missouri Department of Mental Health as Recovery Community Centers that provide the substance abuse and recovery related, services and public health risk mitigation programs specified in the Section 1 of this ordinance, and to update and maintain current, said list; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#230 – Spencer/Coatar – An ordinance pertaining to the employees and volunteer of recognized Recovery Community Centers providing of sterile syringes and injection related supplies such as sterile water, cotton, and tourniquets to intravenous drug users as part of programs focused on the mitigation of public health risks associated with unsterile intravenous drug use, and providing limited protection from arrest and prosecution for violation of Section 11.61.020 governing the delivery of paraphernalia under those circumstances specified herein.
  • B.B.#231 – Spencer/Coatar – An ordinance amending Section 1 of ordinance 63800 codified in Chapter 25.64.010 of the City of St. Louis Revised Code of Ordinances to include a charge of $150.00 to cover the cost to the City for providing police security escort services during Building Division demolitions, repairs, board-ups, and clean-ups of buildings or structures that have been declared public nuisances.
    B.B.#232 – Narayan – An ordinance pertaining to commercial vehicles, as such term is defined herein; and prohibiting such traffic along West Park Avenue from the eastern boundary of Hampton Avenue to the eastern boundary of Hugh’s Place; and exempting from said prohibition non-commercial pickup trucks, emergency vehicles, including privately owned tow trucks when providing emergency service to non-commercial vehicles, vehicles making deliveries to nearby addresses, and vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of ten-thousand (10,000) pounds or greater; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#233 – Guenther – An Ordinance repealing Ordinance No. 63107, which ordinance relates to a lease between The City of St. Louis, Missouri and Manufacturers Railway Company, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., authorizing the execution of a new Lease Agreement between the same parties under certain terms and conditions, for a period of five (5) years with four (4) five (5) year mutual options; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#234 – J. Boyd – An ordinance authorizing and directing the Fire Commissioner, on behalf of the Mayor and the City of Saint Louis, to enter into and execute an Intergovernmental Transfer Agreement with the Missouri Department of Social Services MO Healthnet Division for a Ground Emergency Medical Transportation (GEMT) program for uncompensated Medicaid cost associated with GEMT services pursuant to RSMo 208.1032, establishing a fund from which to pay the non- federal share of the reconciled costs reimbursements and the administrative fee, providing for appropriation of the funds subsequently paid through the Missouri Department of Social Services, authorizing the expenditure of such appropriated funds by entering into contracts or otherwise upon approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#235 – Middlebrook – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to vacate public surface rights for vehicle, equestrian and pedestrian travel in Tillie Ave. from Frederick to Newby and the 15 foot wide east/west alley in City Block 5430 as bounded by Tillie, Frederick, Baden and Newby in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, as hereinafter described, in accordance with Charter authority, and in conformity with Section l4 of Article XXI of the Charter and imposing certain conditions on such vacation.
  • B.B.#236 – Middlebrook – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to vacate public surface rights for vehicle, equestrian and pedestrian travel in a portion of Gilmore Avenue between Union Pacific Railroad Right of Way and Switzer Avenue in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, as hereinafter described, in accordance with Charter authority, and in conformity with Section l4 of Article XXI of the Charter and imposing certain conditions on such vacation.
  • B.B.#237 – Howard – An ordinance relating to the appointment of and salaries of certain Employees in the Collector of Revenue’s Office pursuant to Section 82.610, Revised Statutes of Missouri, by repealing Ordinances 70020; allocating certain other employees to a grade with rate; and including an emergency clause. The provisions of the sections contained in this ordinance shall be effective with the start of the first pay period following approval by the Mayor.
  • B.B.#238 – Ingrassia/Rice – An ordinance establishing a citizen commission to collect community input, gather information, conduct community outreach, study and create a new ward boundary map of the City of St. Louis.
  • B.B.#239 – Ingrassia – An ordinance amending Section 18, paragraph C. of Ordinance 68604, codified in Section 20.46.010 of the City of St. Louis Revised Code of Ordinances, concerning fees for street blocking permits; repealing the residential street blocking permit requirements and fees, and establishing in lieu thereof permit requirements and fees for high volume areas and low volume areas as such terms are defined herein; removing the one week cap on extending street blocking permits for containers, and instead requiring the approval of the Director of streets for such extensions, and establishing permit fees for street blocking permits for containers in high and low volume areas; and requiring justification of sidewalk closures and the implementation of measures to ensure mobility accommodations.
  • B.B.#240 – Howard – An ordinance to regulate employer and employee working relationships between the City of St. Louis and all employees under the Medical Examiner’s Office, including a compensation plan, terms and conditions of employment, benefits, leaves of absence, and authorization for a Deferred Compensation Plan; repealing Ordinance 70019; allocating certain other employees to a grade with rate; and including an emergency clause. The provisions of the sections contained in this ordinance shall be effective with the start of the first pay period following approval by the Mayor.
  • B.B.#241 – Davis – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name William A. Pearson Street, which shall begin at the intersection of North Cardinal Avenue and Franklin Avenue and run south on North Cardinal Avenue to the intersection of North Cardinal Avenue and Samuel Shepard Drive.

The Board of Aldermen 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

 

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