Dead Sidewalks Won’t Come Back To Life With Overhead Walkways Gone

 

 Enclosed walkways over public sidewalks are generally a bad idea — removing pedestrians from the public realm. However, with these elevated walkways often comes the real culprits to killing sidewalk life: blank walls, inward focus, etc. A prime example of what not to do in a downtown was downtown St. …

Sunday Poll: Is Doug Vaughn Right About St. Louis’ Riverfront?

 

In a trio of segment KMOV’s Doug Vaughn has commented on the St. Louis riverfront — both immediately North & South of the Arch ground. In short, he feels the large vacant buildings, old train trestle, etc are eyesores that should be razed.

St. Louis Board of Aldermen, New Board Bills Week 5 of 2018-2019 Session

 

 The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 5th meeting of the 2018-2019 session. It appears I missed numerous new bills last week, they were: B.B.#53 – Kennedy – An Ordinance adopting the 2018 International Building Code with amendments, including Appendices E, F, G, H, I and …

Technical Issues Yesterday; One Year Anniversary of Kiener Plaza This Coming Saturday

 

 Yesterday something went haywire, crashing the site. When it did work the poll didn’t appear. I’ve pulled yesterday’s post since only two readers were able to vote. I’ll have a new post on Friday, my usual on new Board Bills being introduced at the Board of Aldermen. If all goes …

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Opinion: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens Should Resign

February 28, 2018 Crime, Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens Should Resign
 
Mugshot of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens

The reasons why Eric Greitens should NOT resign as Missouri’s governor are few, the reasons he should are numerous. Let’s review the issue quickly:

Missouri GOP Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted on Thursday amid looming allegations of sexual misconduct and blackmail following an admission of an affair last month.

He was charged in St. Louis with a first-degree felony invasion of privacy, according to the Missouri court system. 
In a statement Thursday, Greitens denied committing any crime and instead called the situation “a personal mistake” from his time prior to taking office. (CNN)

Here’s a little more detail:

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who was swept into office in 2016 with a vow to clean up a corrupt state government, was indicted and booked Thursday on a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking and transmitting a non-consensual photo of his partly nude lover shortly before that campaign started.

It stems from a scandal that broke last month, in which Greitens was accused of threatening his lover with the photo — an allegation that isn’t mentioned in the indictment. Greitens has admitted having an extramarital affair, but has denied the rest. (Post-Dispatch)

So here’s why he shouldn’t resign:

  • An indictment isn’t proof of guilt. The prosecution & defense are both going to debate the applicability of the Missouri privacy law Greitens is accused of violating in 2015. Innocent until proven guilty by a jury of peers is an important part of our justice system.
  • This is a personal matter from before the election.

The above sound very logical until you look at it from other perspectives — here’s why he should resign:

  • Defending himself against this charge will require his full attention. Sorry Missouri…the governor is preoccupied. The day after the indictment he resigned from a leadership post with the Republican Governors Association — to focus on Missouri. More like to save his own skin.
  • The felony charge is serious. Ok. not Illinois-level serious but still possible jail time if found guilty.
  • Even some members of his own party are saying he should:

    Greitens should resign, even before his criminal case reaches a conclusion, said Reps. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, and Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville.

    “The recent news of Gov. Greitens’ indictment on a felony charge is very disturbing,” Dogan said. “While the governor is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, the governor appears to have lied to the people of Missouri when he said in January that he had not taken a photograph of a woman who was undressed, blindfolded and bound.” (Springfield News-Leader)

  • His defense team wants an early trial, like May, but the St, Louis Circuit Attorney says more time is needed to conclude the investigation and prepare the case. With state primaries in August and the midterm elections in November this could hurt GOP candidates. Hmm, perhaps he shouldn’t resign — that way neoliberal Sen. Claire McCaskill has a chance at being reelected.
  • Until a jury finds him guilty or not guilty this will prevent him from doing his job. Who will slash budgets of programs helping the poor, lower taxes for the wealthy, etc?

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

Q: Agree or disagree: Missouri Gov Eric Greitens, indicted last week, is innocent until proven guilty in court. He should only resign if found guilty.

  • Strongly agree 9 [18.37%]
  • Agree 4 [8.16%]
  • Somewhat agree 3 [6.12%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 3 [6.12%]
  • Somewhat disagree 2 [4.08%]
  • Disagree 16 [32.65%]
  • Strongly disagree 10 [20.41%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 2 [4.08%]

A little more than half think Greitens should resign.

Even if he somehow continues he’ll only be in office for one term. I think we’ll see Lt Gov Mike Parson sworn in as Governor before the midterm election in November.

— Steve Patterson

Elevator Problems Again Ruin Arrival At Gateway Transportation Center

February 26, 2018 Featured, Transportation Comments Off on Elevator Problems Again Ruin Arrival At Gateway Transportation Center
 

In August 2017 I called The Gateway Transportation Center (Amtrak/Greyhound) Amshack #3, writing:

For at least 5 years the opener to the outside door leading from Civic Center MetroLink station hasn’t worked. Same with a urinal in the main men’s room. Our train from Chicago arrived about 15 minutes early on Sunday July 30th . The up escalator from the platform wasn’t working so everyone had to use the elevator up. Once over the tracks we needed to get down to the main station. The down escalators and elevator weren’t working — stairs were the only option. There were families with small children and I’m in my wheelchair. My husband goes down the stairs to see if anyone can help.

Earlier this month we took the train to Chicago — our first since last July. Upon arrival on Wednesday February 7th I was pleased the outside door opener had finally been fixed! I didn’t use the restroom so I’m not sure out the urinal. Both elevators worked fine  — the first up to the walkway over the tracks and the one to the 1st platform.

The door opener finally worked

My renewed optimism for the station was shattered upon our return. Our train arrived about 30 minutes late — about 1am on Sunday February 11th. We’d just missed the last bus out of the adjacent Civic Center MetroBus Transit Center. We just wanted to get out to 14th Street so we could roll/walk home.

The elevator for platform 2 was out of service

But like our return in July 2017 — an elevator wasn’t working. This time it was the elevator up from the platform. I knew the way to the end of the platform, through the employee parking lot, to the employee entrance — that elevator, not working last time, worked this time.

A building less than a decade old shouldn’t continually have problems. St. Louis has low standards.

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Should Missouri’s Governor Eric Greitens Resign?

February 25, 2018 Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Missouri’s Governor Eric Greitens Resign?
 
Please vote below

Thursday was a busy news day.

Robert Mueller filed new charges against Manafort & Gates, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner drank chocolate milk to demonstrate his commitment to diversity, and Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was indicted:

The St. Louis grand jury’s indictment accused Mr. Greitens, a first-term Republican who was seen as having ambitions for higher office, of photographing a nude or partially nude person without the person’s knowledge or consent in 2015. The indictment said Mr. Greitens then transmitted the photo in a way that allowed it to be viewed on a computer, which prosecutors said made the crime a felony rather than a misdemeanor.

The charge comes weeks after Mr. Greitens acknowledged having an extramarital affair in 2015, but denied reports that he blackmailed the woman or took a nude photo of her without permission. A St. Louis television station had aired a report with claims that Mr. Greitens, a married father of two, took a compromising photograph of a woman with whom he was having an affair and then threatened her with retribution if she revealed the relationship. (New York Times)

Democrats, and some Republicans, are now calling on Greitens to resign. This is the subject of today’s poll.

On Friday he resigned his leadership post in the Republican Governors Association.

 

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 35 of 2017-2018 Session

February 23, 2018 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 35 of 2017-2018 Session
 
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 35th week of the 2017-2018 session.

NEW BOARD BILLS ON THE AGENDA* FOR INTRODUCTION TODAY 2/23/18:

*Note that just because a bill is on the agenda doesn’t mean it’ll be introduced, similarly, bills not on the agenda might be introduced if they suspend the rules to do so. This information is based on the published agenda as of yesterday @ 8am:

  • B.B.#266 – Navarro –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 215 York.
  • B.B.#267 – Moore – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name, Frankie Muse Freeman Boulevard, to begin at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and North Sarah and run east on Lincoln to the intersection of Lincoln and Bishop P. L. Scott Avenue.
  • B.B.#268 – Muhammad –An ordinance prohibiting the issuance of any package or drink liquor licenses for any currently non?licensed premises within the boundaries of the Twenty-First Ward Liquor Control District.
  • B.B.#269 – Guenther –An Ordinance establishing a four-way stop site at the intersection of Iowa and Juniata regulating all traffic traveling northbound and southbound on Iowa at Juniata and regulating all traffic traveling eastbound and westbound on Juniata at Iowa, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#270 – Boyd –An ordinance approving a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program for the City; authorizing certain other actions; amending Ordinance 69427 pertaining to workforce inclusion by amending Sections Three, Four, Five, and Ten of said ordinance, which are codified as Sections 3.110.020, 3.110.030, 3.110.040, and 3.110.090 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis, to increase percentage goals for minority, women, and city residents, and to put in place a mandatory one?year disqualification penalty and liquidated damages for developers and contractors who fail to meet the goals; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#271 – Navarro/Williamson — An ordinance pertaining to the Skinker-DeBaliviere Historic District; amending Ordinance #57688, approved September 22, 1973 and having as its subject matter the boundary and regulations and standards for the Skinker-DeBaliviere-Caitlin Tract Parkview Historic District, and providing new standards for the Skinker-DeBaliviere-Caitlin Tract Parkview Historic District.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session.

— Steve Patterson

Readers: We Need More Gun Control

February 21, 2018 Crime, Featured Comments Off on Readers: We Need More Gun Control
 
Grand Theft Auto’s gun store Ammu-Nation

Every time we have a mass shooting in America I’m reminded the rest of the world doesn’t have this same problem. How can we have such a major problem but nobody else does? They have firearms, are not immune to mental illness, play the same video games, etc.

After the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Australia, the country made its previously patchwork state-by-state regulations more uniform and banned some semiautomatic and self-loading rifles and shotguns. A 1987 attack in Britain led to an outright ban on the ownership of high-powered self-loading rifles and burst-firing weapons. (The Washington Post)

We have far more guns than per person than any other country. Some argue this is why they need a gun — to protect themselves from other people with guns.

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. (Cornell Law School)

The above language is a big part of our problem.  The late 18th century language doesn’t work in the 21st century. So we work at the fringe.

From October 2017:

Democratic politicians routinely profess their fidelity to the Second Amendment — or rather, “a nuanced reading” of it — with all the conviction of Barack Obama’s support for traditional marriage, circa 2008. People recognize lip service for what it is.

Then there are the endless liberal errors of fact. There is no “gun-show loophole” per se; it’s a private-sale loophole, in other words the right to sell your own stuff. The civilian AR-15 is not a true “assault rifle,” and banning such rifles would have little effect on the overall murder rate, since most homicides are committed with handguns. It’s not true that 40 percent of gun owners buy without a background check; the real number is closer to one-fifth.

The National Rifle Association does not have Republican “balls in a money clip,” as Jimmy Kimmel put it the other night. The N.R.A. has donated a paltry $3,533,294 to all current members of Congress since 1998, according to The Washington Post, equivalent to about three months of Kimmel’s salary. The N.R.A. doesn’t need to buy influence: It’s powerful because it’s popular.

Nor will it do to follow the “Australian model” of a gun buyback program, which has shown poor results in the United States and makes little sense in a country awash with hundreds of millions of weapons. Keeping guns out of the hands of mentally ill people is a sensible goal, but due process is still owed to the potentially insane. Background checks for private gun sales are another fine idea, though its effects on homicides will be negligible: guns recovered by police are rarely in the hands of their legal owners, a 2016 study found.

In fact, the more closely one looks at what passes for “common sense” gun laws, the more feckless they appear. Americans who claim to be outraged by gun crimes should want to do something more than tinker at the margins of a legal regime that most of the developed world rightly considers nuts. They should want to change it fundamentally and permanently.

There is only one way to do this: Repeal the Second Amendment. (New York Times Opinion piece)

Repeal the 2nd amendment and adopt a new modern amendment. It’ll take generations to accomplish, if ever. In the meantime, with more guns than population, mass shootings will continue.

Results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree: We don’t need more gun control legislation, just enforce existing laws/regulations.

  • Strongly agree 0 [0%]
  • Agree 8 [25%]
  • Somewhat agree 1 [3.13%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree 1 [3.13%]
  • Disagree 5 [15.63%]
  • Strongly disagree [16 50%]
  • Need LESS gun control 1 [3.13%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

 

I hope the students will succeed where us adults have failed over and over.

— Steve Patterson

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