Climate Change May Mean A Bleak Future For Today’s St. Louis Kids

 

 On Friday some in St. Louis took part in the global climate strike: Hundreds of people took to the streets of downtown St. Louis to protest the failure of politicians and special interests to act despite mounting evidence of climate change’s accelerating and potentially devastating effect on life on the …

Sunday Poll: Are We Too Soft On Crime?

 

 Last week Missouri Governor Mike Parsons was back in St. Louis, announcing the state’s new commitment to help reduce violence in the St. Louis region. Starting Oct. 1, 25 Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers will be deployed in a variety of roles throughout the city. Six of them, along with …

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 15 of 2019-2020 Session

 

 The St. Louis Board of Aldermen meet at 10am today, their 15th 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 14. Today’s agenda includes five (5) new bills. B.B. #108 – Middlebrook – An ordinance recommended …

Readers Either Neutral or Feel Less Safe Around Open Carry

 

 To many people the presence of a firearm makes them feel less safe.  Some research indicates it isn’t just a feeling — they’re less safe! Does carrying a gun make you safer? Does it make other people safer? Millions of Americans who pack heat think so, and 33 states with …

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St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 5 of 2019-2020 Session

May 17, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 5 of 2019-2020 Session
 
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  5th meeting of the 2019-2020 session.

Today’s agenda includes seven (7) new bills:

  • B.B.#40 – Green/Ingrassia/Rice/Guenther/Navarro/Narayan – An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters of the City, a proposal to amend the Charter of the City by adding a new Article, Article XXVII which shall pertain to Campaign Finance, and a new Section thereunder to prohibit candidate committees for individuals who are candidates for an elective public office of the City from accepting campaign contributions from individuals or entities that are competing or submitting an application for any City contract during the period beginning ninety (90) days prior to any solicitation or request for proposals are issued by the City of St. Louis and ending ninety (90) days after the corresponding contract has been awarded; and containing
    an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#41 – Green/Ingrassia/Rice/Guenther/Navarro/Narayan – An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters, a proposal to amend the Charter by adding a new Article, Article XXVII which shall pertain to Campaign Finance, and a new Section thereunder mandating that no contribution to a candidate for an elective public office of the City shall be made or accepted, directly or indirectly, in a fictitious name, in the name of another person, or by or through another person in such a manner as to, or with the intent to, conceal the identity of the actual source of the contribution, with a rebuttable presumption that a contribution to a candidate for an elective public office of the City is made or accepted with the intent to circumvent the limitations on contributions imposed by any City ordinance or the Charter of the City, or other applicable state or federal law, when a contribution is received from a committee or organization that is primarily funded by a single person, individual or other committee or organization that has already reached its contribution limit under any City ordinance or the Charter, or other applicable state or federal law, and a committee or organization shall be deemed to be primarily funded by a single person, individual, or other committee when the committee or organization receives more than fifty percent of its annual funding from that single person, individual, or other committee; and providing for an election to be held for voting on the proposed amendment thereat and for the publication, certification, deposit, recording of the ordinance; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#42 – Green/Ingrassia/Rice/Guenther/Navarro/Narayan – An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters, a proposal to amend the Charter of the City by adding a new Article, Article XXVII which shall pertain to Campaign Finance, and a new Section thereunder to prohibit individuals holding an elective public office of the City and individuals who are candidates for an elective public office of the City from directly or indirectly accepting a gift of any tangible or intangible item, service, or thing of value from any lobbyist or lobbyist principal valued in excess of five-dollars per occurrence, excluding campaign contributions made in accordance with this ordinance and all applicable Federal, Missouri State, and City campaign finance laws and regulations; and providing for an election to be held for voting on the proposed amendment thereat and for the publication, certification, deposit, recording of the ordinance; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#43 – Pres. Reed/Vollmer – An Ordinance pertaining to the Transit Sales Tax imposed pursuant to Section 94.660, RSMo., as adopted and approved by the voters on August 2, 1994, pursuant to Ordinance 63168 creating the “City Public Transit Sales Tax Trust Fund” directing the Treasurer of the City to deposit funds received pursuant to said sales tax into the “City Public Transit Sales Tax Trust Fund – Account ONE” appropriating $11,580,000 from the said sales tax for the period herein stated to the Bi-State Development Agency for certain purposes; providing for the payment of such funds during the period July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020; further providing that in no event shall the Comptroller draw warrants on the Treasurer for an amount greater than the amounts of the proceeds deposited in the “City Public Transit Sales Tax Trust Fund” during the period of July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#44 – Pres. Reed/Vollmer – An Ordinance pertaining to the Transit Sales Tax imposed pursuant to Section 94.660, RSMo., as adopted and approved by the voters on November 4, 1997, pursuant to Ordinance 64111 creating the “City Public Transit Sales Tax Trust Fund” directing the Treasurer of the City to deposit funds received pursuant to said sales tax into the “City Public Transit Sales Tax Trust Fund – Account TWO” appropriating $11,580,000 from the said sales tax for the period herein stated to the Bi-State Development Agency for certain purposes; providing for the payment of such funds during the period July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020; further providing that in no event shall the Comptroller draw warrants on the Treasurer for an amount greater than the amounts of the proceeds deposited in the “City Public Transit Sales Tax Trust Fund” during the period of July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#45 – Pres. Reed/Vollmer – An ordinance appropriating the sum of $21,940,000, as described and defined in Section 94.600 through 94.655, RSMo. 2000 as amended for the period herein stated, which sum is hereby appropriated out of the “Transportation Trust Fund” to the Bi-State Development Agency for transportation purposes; and further providing that the appropriation is conditional upon the Bi-State Development Agency supplying the Board of Estimate and Apportionment an annual evaluation report; further providing that in no event shall the Comptroller draw warrants on the Treasurer for an amount greater than the amount of proceeds deposited in the “Transportation Trust Fund” during the period from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020; further providing that the appropriation is conditional upon Bi-State requiring the payment of prevailing wages and benefits to employees of outside service contractors; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#46 – Middlebrook – An ordinance amending Ordinance 69782 approved June 25, 2014 by modifying the terms of real estate tax abatement and amending Section C of the attached Redevelopment Plan by extending the time of completion to June 25 2021.

The 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

Opinion: Climate Change Making Natural Weather More Intense, Frequent

May 15, 2019 Environment, Featured Comments Off on Opinion: Climate Change Making Natural Weather More Intense, Frequent
 

The St. Louis region has experienced flooding events since its founding, so it’s easy to think current flooding is usual Spring flooding.

The St. Louis riverfront the afternoon of May 5, 2019

It’s not.

The impact of climate change on snowfall in the Midwest and Plains is uncertain, but projections suggest that heavy snow events will become more likely in the northern Great Plains.

David Robinson, a professor at Rutgers University who manages the Global Snow Lab, said that in some areas where climate change causes winter temperatures to warm above freezing more often, more winter precipitation may fall as rain. But other areas may experience more snow.

“As the cold temperatures get closer to freezing, there’s more moisture being held by the atmosphere,” he said. “So ironically, there are some areas that should warm up and get snowier because the temperatures will still be below freezing.” (Yale Climate Connections)

Hers’s another way to look at the connection:

Climate scientists often use a baseball analogy to explain the connection between climate change and extreme weather.

Martha Shulski, Nebraska’s state climatologist, describes the analogy this way:

Say you’ve got a home run hitter and you put him on steroids. He still hits home runs, but now he’s hitting the balls farther and getting home runs more frequently.

That’s how climate change influences weather: It can increase the intensity and frequency of extreme events. (Omaha World-Herald)

Let me repeat that last point — extreme events will be more frequent and intense.

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

Q: Agree or disagree: Our current flooding is normal, has nothing to do with climate change.

  • Strongly agree: 5 [25%]
  • Agree: 2 [10%]
  • Somewhat agree: 1 [5%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [5%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 2 [10%]
  • Disagree: 3 [15%]
  • Strongly disagree: 5 [25%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 1 [5%]

The following is not safe for work due to f-bombs, but it’s worth watching:

I saw the above as part of an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver  — you can watch the full 20 minutes here (again, NSFW).

— Steve Patterson

Neighborhood Streetlights Still On Because Electrical Station Is Blocked

May 13, 2019 Environment, Featured, Neighborhoods Comments Off on Neighborhood Streetlights Still On Because Electrical Station Is Blocked
 

A month ago I posted about how My Neighborhood’s Street Lights Are Always On. To get this resolved I sent the link to the blog post to the folks at the St. Louis Citizens Service Bureau (CSB). As always, the promptly responded.

Here’s one of the many images of street lights on during the day included on my April 12th post.

These lights are supposed to be pedestrian-scaled are also used frequently throughout the neighborhood. Many have the globe canted like this one. Carr at 8th 

The CSB said lighting department was to respond by April 17th. On May 3rd the lights were still on so I replied asking what’s going on.

Click above to view the thread on Twitter

Yes, the lights have been on in my entire neighborhood for months (years?) because a concrete barrier is blocking access. I went searching to see if I could figure out the location of the blocked access to the electrical station.

Manhole cover at 6th & Carr Streets. This might be the blocked electrical station

I”m not sure the above is the blocked location in question. In September 2014 it’s partially covered, and more so in August 2017.  Another nearby cover remains accessible.

Again, I don’t know if this is the correct location for the neighborhood electrical station workers need to access to get the street lights to come on only at night. All I know is the street lights, except the ones that are burnt out, remain on 24/7 a month after I notified the city.

We must have extra money to burn.

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: ‘Climate Change’ Contributing to 2019 St. Louis Area Flooding?

May 12, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: ‘Climate Change’ Contributing to 2019 St. Louis Area Flooding?
 
Please vote below

Local rivers are still in flood stage, but nothing like they were a week ago:

Local news cameras captured dramatic aerial images of the moment floodwaters breached a levee in St. Charles County. Footage of the raging water surging over the Elm Point Levee in St. Charles County astounded those watching in the KSDK newsroom as one of the station’s news choppers broadcast images back to the control room. The station posted the video of the breach on Twitter. According to KSDK, the Elm Point Levee is situated between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, both of which are experiencing flooding.

FOX2 posted similar footage on social media showing the Elm Point breach along with a breach of the levee at the nearby Sand Fort Creek. Raw footage sent back from the FOX2 news chopper showed rising floodwaters inundating various buildings, including one that appeared to be leaking oil.

St. Charles County officials advised West Alton residents to evacuate due to the current Mississippi River crest projection of 35.5 feet on Monday. While the water levels in some areas along the Mississippi river are falling, many communities saw continued cresting in Missouri, according to the NWS office in St. Louis. (AccuWeather)

Today’s poll is simple, is this usual Spring flooding or is Climate Change a contributing factor?

Today’s poll will close at 8pm

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 4 of 2019-2020 Session

May 10, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 4 of 2019-2020 Session
 
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  4th meeting of the 2019-2020 session.

Today’s agenda includes five (5) new bills:

  • B.B.#35 – Roddy – An ordinance authorizing the execution of an intergovernmental cooperation project agreement among the City, the City Foundry Transportation Development District, and the City Foundry Community Improvement District prescribing the form and details of said agreement; making certain findings with respect thereto; authorizing certain other actions of city officials; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#36 – Navarro – An ordinance authorizing the Mayor and Comptroller to execute, upon receipt of and in consideration of the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) and other good and valuable consideration, a Quit Claim Deed to remise, release and forever quit-claim unto 6005 WESTMINSTER LLC certain city-owned property located in City Block 5423, which property is known by the address of 6001-5 Westminster Place.
    AGENDA NO. 3 MAY 10, 2019 3
    11. First Reading of Board Bills – (cont.)
  • B.B.#37 – Bosley – An ordinance providing that in the event that any City of St. Louis port district is expanded or additional port districts created in the City pursuant to Section 68.015 of the Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri the area or any portion thereof that lies within the boundaries set forth in Section One of this ordinance shall be excluded and left out of the designated area of such expanded or newly created port district.
  • B.B.#38 – Middlebrook – An Ordinance amending Ordinance No. 69650 relating to a Phase 2 Redevelopment Agreement between The City of St. Louis, Missouri and Carrie TIF, Inc. and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#39 – Ingrassia/Davis – An ordinance amending Ordinance# 62220 approved February 6, 1991 by modifying the terms of real estate tax abatement and amending the attached Redevelopment Plan by adding Phase IV to be completed by May 1, 2029.

The 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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