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Sunday Poll: Will St. Louis’ First ‘Blight Elimination Zone’ Be An Asset Within 15 Years?

July 21, 2019 Featured, Neighborhoods, North City, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Will St. Louis’ First ‘Blight Elimination Zone’ Be An Asset Within 15 Years?
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On Friday there was lots of activity in one North St. Louis neighborhood:

The Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood in St. Louis is undergoing a much needed transformation as part of a new Blight Elimination project.

The goal is to demolish 30 abandoned buildings in three days between Cote Brilliante Avenue, Maffitt Avenue, Clara Avenue and Belt Avenue. In addition, 130 vacant lots will be cleaned up for residents to enjoy. (KSDK)

The center point of this four blocks zone is Burd Ave & Wabada Ave.

At an event Friday, Dorsey and Pulte, along with Mayor Lyda Krewson, announced the city’s first Blight Elimination zone.

The zone will cover four blocks in the Wells Goodfellow neighborhood, comprised of more than 130 lots between Cote Brilliante Avenue, Maffitt Avenue, Clara Avenue, and Belt Avenue.

30 vacant buildings will be demolished, 12 by the City of St. Louis and 18 by the St. Louis Blight Authority. Additionally, the Blight Authority will clear eight acres of vacant lots and alleys with the goal of prepping them for future use and purchase.

The plan is to perform all of the removal in three days. (KMOV)

Here is some more specifics:

Tech billionaire Jack Dorsey, a St. Louis native and co-founder and CEO of both Square Inc. and Twitter, along with Detroit native Bill Pulte, whose grandfather founded national homebuilder Pulte Homes, were paying for the demolitions — $500,000 for a pilot program to completely clear more than 130 lots in a four-block area of the northwest St. Louis neighborhood hard hit by abandonment and vacancy.

“St. Louis is a lot easier to solve,” said Pulte, who several years ago launched the Blight Authority, a similar initiative in the Detroit area. “This problem can be solved. This problem can be solved in less than 15 years…. This is just about willpower at the government and private sector level.”

The new nonprofit he and Dorsey are funding, the St. Louis Blight Authority, aims to complement city efforts to tackle vacancy and demolish abandoned buildings, a key initiative for Mayor Lyda Krewson. This initial pilot phase will knock down 30 structures — 18 funded privately and 12 by the city — and then fund debris removal and beautification. Dorsey and Pulte hope to inspire other philanthropists to contribute to the effort and perhaps expand it to other city neighborhoods. (Post-Dispatch)

This effort is the subject of today’s non-scientific poll.

The poll will automatically close at 8pm tonight. Wednesday morning I’ll share my thoughts and the results.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Should Union Station Have Updated The Retail Mall & Food Court Rather Than Gut Them For An Aquarium?

July 14, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Union Station Have Updated The Retail Mall & Food Court Rather Than Gut Them For An Aquarium?
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As you probably know the retail mall under the old train shed at St  Louis Union Station is gone. The former retail/food court space is being converted to an aquarium. The plan for the aquarium was announced almost three years ago.

The other day I overheard a couple of people saying how they missed the mall & movie theater at Union Station. Out of curiosity I want to see what you think.

Today’s poll will close at 8pm tonight. Wednesday morning I’ll have the non-scientific results and my thoughts on the aquarium, Ferris wheel, and other aspects of Union Station’s post-mall future.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Should A Citizenship Question Be On The 2020 Census?

July 7, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should A Citizenship Question Be On The 2020 Census?
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The subject of today’s poll is one that has been in the news a lot lately.

Days after the U.S. Supreme Court halted the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau has started the process of printing the questionnaire without the controversial query.

Trump administration attorneys notified parties in lawsuits challenging the question that the printing of the hundreds of millions of documents for the 2020 counts would be starting, said Kristen Clarke, executive director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kelly Laco confirmed Tuesday there would be “no citizenship question on 2020 census.” (Associated Press)

There you are, no citizenship question. Oh wait…

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday said the Census Bureau had started the process of printing the questionnaires without the citizenship query, giving the impression that the administration had backed down.

But Trump then ordered a policy reversal via tweet on Wednesday, saying he would fight on, although the government has said the printing process continues. (Reuters)

And Friday…

Lawyers for the Department of Justice told a federal judge in Maryland Friday afternoon that the Trump administration will continue to explore options of adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. (CNN)

So here’s today’s non-scientific Sunday Poll:

As usual, this poll will automatically close at 8pm tonight. Wednesday morning I’ll have some Census history, my thoughts, and the results.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Should 9th Street Through Citygarden Remain Closed or be Opened to Traffic?

June 30, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should 9th Street Through Citygarden Remain Closed or be Opened to Traffic?
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Ten years ago today Citygarden, an urban sculpture garden in downtown St. Louis, was formally dedicated. No ribbon was cut, instead the water features were turned on.

Citygarden is an urban park and sculpture garden in St. Louis, Missouri owned by the City of St. Louis but maintained by the Gateway Foundation. It is located between Eighth, Tenth, Market, and Chestnut streets, in the city’s “Gateway Mall” area. Before being converted to a garden and park, the site comprised two empty blocks of grass. Citygarden was dedicated on June 30, 2009, and opened one day later, on July 1, 2009.

Citygarden is 2.9 acres (1.2 ha) in size—occupying two square city blocks—and cost US$30 million to develop. St. Louis’ Gateway Foundation, a not-for-profit organization supporting public art, funded the design and construction of the garden. While the city owns the land on which Citygarden was developed, the foundation owns the statues and covers all park maintenance costs except water and electricity. The Gateway Foundation is also in charge of providing additional security for the garden. (Wikipedia)

Two city blocks, divided by 9th Street  In fact it was 9th Street where the stage was set up for the dedication. However, 9th Street never reopened for more than a day or two after the stage was dismantled. The Gateway Foundation had attractive movable barriers made to block off each end of 9th, preventing vehicle traffic from traveling northbound on the one-way street. Eighth & 10th streets are both one-way southbound.

This one block of 9th Street, Market to Chestnut, is the subject of today’s poll.

Today’s poll will close at 8pm tonight. Results and pros & cons on the topic will be online Friday morning.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Who Do You Think Will Be The Final Four Democratic Presidential Candidates Running In 2020?

June 23, 2019 Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Who Do You Think Will Be The Final Four Democratic Presidential Candidates Running In 2020?
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Today’s poll is similar to a poll here just over 4 years ago. At that time the GOP field was huge, most picked Jeb Bush as the GOP candidate most likely to be on top. Yes, a lot can change in the year prior to nominating conventions!

The 2020 election cycle is in full swing, President Trump launched his campaign for a 2nd term and more than twenty candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination.  It’s too early to know who the Democrats will nominate at their July 2020 convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin — that’s the point — to later be able to compare 2019 perceptions with 2020 reality.

For today’s poll will use the list of the 20 declared candidates that met the criteria for the first debate.  This debate is later this week, split into two parts:

The back-to-back debates on Wednesday and Thursday nights could be a pivot point in the Democrats’ primary campaign, which for months has seen candidates refraining from criticizing one another — or doing so only in veiled terms.
It will be a high-stakes test for the biggest primary campaign field ever, which includes three black candidates, one Latino, six women, two Asian Americans and an openly gay man. (Los Angeles Times)

This week’s poll question isn’t who you want to see make it to the final 4, but rather who you think will be the 4 who’ll survive the next 9-12 months of campaigning.

Please be sure to pick 4 answers, the poll closes at 8pm tonight. The non-scientific results ands my own thoughts on Wednesday morning. First night of the first Democratic debate is Wednesday night, 7pm St. Louis time on 5.1 (NBC).

— Steve Patterson

 

 

 

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