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Sunday Poll: Think An Earthquake Will Strike St. Louis During Your Lifetime?

December 16, 2018 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Think An Earthquake Will Strike St. Louis During Your Lifetime?
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Last week two earthquakes, 4.4 & 3.3, hit Eastern Tennessee (source).  You’re probably wondering when Eastern Tennessee has to do with St. Louis Missouri, right? Nothing, directly.  It seems they’re in a dangerous fault zone.

The only other regions east of the Rockies with that much hazard potential are in the South Carolina Seismic Zone (limited to South Carolina’s central coastal area) and the New Madrid Seismic Zone (which includes much of West Tennessee as well as smaller areas of Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Illinois). (Knoxville News Sentinel)

Oh right, so are we.  Yeah, but were’s not California, Washington, or Alaska.

In contrast to California, however, the consequences here could be more far-reaching because faults in the Mississippi Valley are buried under sedimentary deposits up to a mile deep. These conditions allow seismic waves to travel as much as 20 times farther than they do in California. As a result, a moderate New Madrid quake would shake a seven-state region — Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Indiana — like a bowl of jelly. (Riverfront Times)

Our neighbors in Louisville KY are taking notice:

In 2008, the U.S. government announced that an earthquake on the New Madrid Seismic Zone could cause “widespread and catastrophic” damage in the area and “the highest economic losses due to a natural disaster in the United States,” according to Reuters.

“The big thing we prepare for is with New Madrid,” Bobel said. “Depending on the significance of an earthquake, Memphis, Tennesee, would be gone, St. Louis would be wrecked.” (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Of course, nearly every article mentions the big earthquakes that happened over two centuries ago:

The 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes were an intense intraplate earthquake series beginning with an initial earthquake of moment magnitude 7.5–7.9 on December 16, 1811, followed by a moment magnitude 7.4 aftershock on the same day. They remain the most powerful earthquakes to hit the contiguous United States east of the Rocky Mountains in recorded history. They, as well as the seismic zone of their occurrence, were named for the Mississippi River town of New Madrid, then part of the Louisiana Territory, now within the US state of Missouri. (Wikipedia)

While none of us can accurately predict when, or if, an earthquake will occur I thought this would be a timely topic for a non-scientific Sunday Poll:

There’s no right or wrong answer to today’s poll.  As usual, this poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Did You Think the Lawsuit Against the Rams Would Fail or be a Success?

December 9, 2018 Featured, Popular Culture, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Did You Think the Lawsuit Against the Rams Would Fail or be a Success?
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St. Louis received some positive football-related news last week. First, professional football is returning. Well, sort of…

The XFL obviously won’t replace the NFL in St. Louis, but it will provide an opportunity to watch pro football from February through April in what is now called the Dome at America’s Center.

The XFL has a multi-year lease with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (aka Explore St. Louis). Lease details aren’t known at this point, but one source familiar with the process said the CVC will receive more than the $25,000 per game the Rams paid to use the dome. (Post-Dispatch)

The first XFL games will begin in February 2020, so no direct competition with the NFL in terms of calendar. The XFL failed after one season, many years ago. This time around it seems better prepared/funded.  All teams will be owned by the league itself.

The other good news received last week was regarding the Rams:

The Rams have agreed to pay personal seat license-holders in St. Louis up to $24 million for the unused portion of their PSLs after the team relocated to Los Angeles.

Attorneys representing thousands of St. Louis Rams PSL-holders filed a motion for preliminary approval Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

This follows the news last week that the parties had reached a settlement in a class-action suit filed shortly after NFL owners approved the relocation of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles on Jan. 12, 2016.

The Rams also agreed to pay up to $7.4 million in attorney’s fees and expenses — a figure that will be paid separately from the $24 million. (Post-Dispatch)

In May 2017 the majority who participated in a non-scientific Sunday Poll didn’t think the lawsuit against the Rams would be successful. See: Readers: Lawsuit Against NFL Won’t Be Successful.

I never committed either way, but I did follow the court case as I got email updates over the last 18 months. Anyway, today’s poll is a followup to the May 2017 poll:

This poll will automatically close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Would a MLS Stadium be a Catalyst for St. Louis’ Downtown West Neighborhood?

December 2, 2018 Downtown, Featured, Popular Culture, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Would a MLS Stadium be a Catalyst for St. Louis’ Downtown West Neighborhood?
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Last week the city’s development agency issued a glowing report about the economic value of a potential soccer stadium, and aldermanic committee approved a resolution related to a soccer stadium:

For three hours Wednesday, aldermen on the Housing Urban Development and Zoning Committee questioned the prospective team owners and their aids on the many details of the soccer proposal. They wanted to know how much money the prospective owners were putting into the deal and how much the city would be on the hook for.

Team owners said they’d cover almost the entire $392 million cost to build the stadium, although they won’t have to pay the amusement or real estate tax. And three cents will be added to every dollar spent by fans at the game, which will go to the team.

Some aldermen wanted to know how much it would cost to demolish the yet-to-be-built stadium in 30 years because the city will own it by then.

“Some of that stuff was just meant to distract and it’s sad those things continue to happen,” Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed said.

The place was packed with soccer fans; it was standing room only. Everyone who spoke up supported the proposal.

“I have asked countless people in all walks of life tell me the downside of this. ‘It’s too good to be true.’ ‘What am I missing?’ The answer is simple there is no downside,” said Cardinals broadcaster Dan McLaughlin.

The proposal passed out of committee by a unanimous 8-0 vote. (Fox 2)

With the Resolution 180 out of committee, the full board voted on it on Friday:

The city Board of Aldermen overwhelmingly approved a resolution Friday that outlines tax incentives for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium downtown.
The proposal passed 26 to 2, with President Lewis Reed voting yes. Megan Green, 15th Ward, and Sharon Tyus, 1st Ward, voted no. Sarah Wood Martin, 11th Ward, was absent.
“I will enthusiastically vote yes,” Alderman Scott Ogilvie, 24th Ward, said before the vote. “But I will remind everyone that our work is not done making sure this is a good and fair lease.”
 
The resolution is just a first step. It outlines the financing plan but doesn’t create the laws required to secure tax incentives. Aldermen would vote on those later — if, Mayor Lyda Krewson has said, the MLS awards St. Louis a team. (Post-Dispatch)

Now it’s up to Major League Soccer (MLS) to determine if St. Louis will be awarded one of two remaining expansion teams. Today’s non-scientific poll is a hypothetical based on being awarded a team by the MLS. It’s up to you, the reader, to define what “catalyst” means in this context. An existing highway on/off ramp — built for a long-abandoned highway loop project — would be replaced by the stadium.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight. Wednesday I’ll share my thoughts, along with the poll results.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: How Do You Feel About The Loop Trolley Now That It Is Operating On The Full Route?

November 25, 2018 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: How Do You Feel About The Loop Trolley Now That It Is Operating On The Full Route?
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The ribbon was cut on the Loop Trolley on Thursday November 15, 2018 — the ceremony was held indoors due to the snowstorm. When it began rolling it couldn’t enter University City because of a bureaucratic snafu.  That has all been rectified and the vintage cars are now rolling on the full route.

The 2.2-mile line was a long time coming. First envisioned in 1997, various hiccups slowed St. Louis’ re-connection with its street car past. The line finally opened last week.

But opening day was thrown for a loop when University City barred the trolley cars from crossing the border from St. Louis because of permit requirements that had yet to be met.

As a result, the trolley operated only on part of the St. Louis segment of the route last weekend — between the history museum and the corner of Delmar Boulevard and Des Peres Avenue.

Gregory Rose, U. City city manager, said he gave the go-ahead to enter the city on Wednesday, after trolley officials approved a $300,000 bond to be paid to dismantle the line if the project fails. Crews also erected temporary barriers around an electric line tower. (Post-Dispatch)

I rode the Trolley yesterday — it was free for Small Business Saturday. I’ll talk about my experience on Wednesday. Today’s poll is about how you, the readers, feel about the Trolley now that’s it is finally operating.

This non-scientific poll will close at 8pm tonight. Again, on Wednesday I’ll share my experience as a passenger using a wheelchair, thoughts on the project, and these results.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Would You Take Amtrak If St. Louis Union Station Was Still Used For Trains?

November 18, 2018 Featured, Sunday Poll, Transportation Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Would You Take Amtrak If St. Louis Union Station Was Still Used For Trains?
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It has been over four decades since Amtrak stopped using St. Louis Union Station for passenger rail.  When it opened in 1894, replacing the original St. Louis Union Station, it had 42 tracks.

At its height, the station combined the St. Louis passenger services of 22 railroads, the most of any single terminal in the world. In the 1940s, it handled 100,000 passengers a day. The famous photograph of Harry S. Truman holding aloft the erroneous Chicago Tribune headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman”, was shot at the station as Truman headed back to Washington, D.C., from Independence, Missouri, after the 1948 Presidential election. (Wikipedia)

Amtrak, formed in 1971, used the station until a “temporary” station could be built along the tracks to the East. That began in 1978. There was a period where the Union Station’s main “headhouse” wasn’t used but trains still used the shed — the design allowed access to tracks without going through the main building.

I first came to St. Louis just 12 years after passenger rail service ended at Union Station. I had just traveled by train from Union Station in Washington DC though Union Station in Chicago to a tiny station in Kansas. There I caught a Greyhound bus back to Oklahoma City where I got my car and drove to St. Louis to take up permanent residence. However, passenger rail service had been in decline since before I was born. Interstate highways & air travel made rail service seem obsolete — hence the government’s consolidation of numerous rail companies to create Amtrak.

For 40 years rail service has been at locations other than St. Louis Union Station.  Does this make a difference when deciding how to travel?

Today’s non-scientific poll will close automatically at 8pm tonight. Wednesday I’ll have more on this topic.

— Steve Patterson

 

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