Sunday Poll: Should the Size of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen Stay at 28 or be cut to 14?

 

 St. Louis voters have made some  notoriously bad decisions at the polls — the 1876 “divorce” from St. Louis County topping the list, the 1916 pro-segregation vote a close second. Back in 2012, city voters passed a measure cutting the Wards and Aldermen in half to 14. The measure takes …

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 23 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 22. Today’s agenda includes thirteen (13) new bills. B.B.#155 – Guenther – An Ordinance recommended by …

Awaiting NCAA Rules on Collegiate Athletes Getting Paid for their Image, Likeness

 

 During part of my undergraduate days, mid-late 1980s, I worked part-time at Toys “R” Us — I was paid $5.90/hour at the end. I also had a small 401k plan. Not the worst college job. For the top college athletes their sport is their college job. Their scholarship may cover …

Thank You To All U.S. Veterans

 

 Today is a day to honor veterans of the U.S. armed forces. I never served, but my oldest brother spent 24 years in the Navy (1969-1993). Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans, …

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My Visit To Fields Foods in Downtown West

July 1, 2019 Downtown, Featured, Retail Comments Off on My Visit To Fields Foods in Downtown West
 

Back in April I visited a new grocery store located in a building I could see from my windows/balcony for over 11 years. Naturally a very convenient grocery store didn’t open until after I moved.

December 2008: the then-CPI building on the left as seen from my balcony

The CPI building at 17th & Washington is now known as The Monogram. It has apartments on the upper floors, and now a Fields Foods on the ground floor.

A new ramp on Washington Ave for ADA accessibility
Good produce selection, right at the entry.
Deli and all the usual items you’ll find at their original location on Lafayette.

I don’t recall now what I bought, but I do remember they hadn’t been open long and they had ApplePay working — very important to me.  Like their original, prices on some things are lower than other stores, while others are higher. When I was car-free I would’ve gladly paid a little more for the convenience.

I suspect many of my old neighbors will continue to shop where they had been if they’re already out in their cars. If you’re used to driving to ALDI or Costco to stock up you’re not going to like shopping here. However, if you’d rather make frequent walking trips then this will be a great addition to the neighborhood.

I wish them well!  Fields Foods’ Downtown West location is at 1706 Washington Ave.

— 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?
 
Please vote below

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

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 11 of 2019-2020 Session

June 28, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 11 of 2019-2020 Session
 

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  11th 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 10.

Today’s agenda includes three (3) new bills:

  • B.B #82 – Coatar – An Ordinance Adopting and approving the petition to amend the Petition To Establish The 705 Olive Community Improvement District to add property to the 705 Olive Community Improvement District, finding of public purpose for adding property, and containing a severability clause
  • B.B. #83 – Coatar – An Ordinance Approving The Petition Of An Owner Of Certain Real Property To Establish A Community Improvement District, Establishing The Soulard Community Improvement District, Finding A Public Purpose For The Establishment Of The Soulard Community Improvement District, And Containing An Emergency Clause And Containing A Severability Clause.
  • B.B. #84 – Coatar – An Ordinance approving and authorizing the execution of a First Amendment to Cooperation Agreement between The City of St. Louis, Missouri and 705 Olive, LLC; authorizing other related actions; and containing a Severability Clause

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.

Next week they’ll meet on Wednesday July 3rd due to the Fourth of July holiday. The following week they’ll meet on Friday July 12th — their last meeting before Summer break.

— Steve Patterson

Democratic Debates Begin Tonight: Progressives vs Centrists

June 26, 2019 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Democratic Debates Begin Tonight: Progressives vs Centrists
 
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking at a campaign rally, Affton High School in March 2016. Actor Danny Devito at far right.

The first debate of the 2020 presidential election is tonight, with part 2 tomorrow night.

The debates will be available to watch on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo at 9 p.m. [8pm central] on both nights and will be available to stream for free on NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, and the NBC News app, as well as all Telemundo digital platforms, marking the first time a Spanish-language channel will host a Democratic presidential debate. (Yahoo News)

Tonight will be 10 candidates, tomorrow 10 more. Four candidates didn’t qualify.

In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll readers think the last four candidates next year will be two progressives (Sanders, Warren) and two centrists (Biden, Buttigieg).

Q: Of the 20 candidates in the first Democratic debate pick the 4 you THINK will still be the last 4 remaining before the nominee is picked.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont: 25 [19.84%]
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts: 22 [17.46%]
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden: 21 [16.67%]
  • South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg: 19 [15.08%]
  • Sen. Kamala Harris of California: 18 [14.29%]
  • Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey: 4 [3.17%]
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota: 3 [2.38%]
  • TIE: 2 [1.59%]
    • Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro
    • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
    • Former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado
    • Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas
    • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
  • TIE: 1 [0.79%]
    • Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado
    • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
    • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
    • A candidate that didn’t make the 1st debate
  • TIE: 0 [0%]
    • Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
    • Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington
    • Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio
    • Rep. Eric Swalwell of California
    • Author Marianne Williamson

Remember, a lot can happen in a year.

Debating tonight will be following:

  • Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
  • Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
  • Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
  • Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  • Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas
  • Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Warren is doing very well lately, but we won’t get to see her debate with other front-runners this time.  Not sure if this is good or bad for her, probably a little of both.

Tomorrow night will be the other ten, with most of the current front-runners:

  • Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
  • Sen. Kamala Harris of California
  • Former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell of California
  • Author Marianne Williamson
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

The four candidates who didn’t qualify for this first round of debates are:

  • Montana Gov. Steve Bullock
  • former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel
  • Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam
  • Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton

Here are some 2020 guides to candidates:

I supported Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary — an easy decision given the choices. With so many candidates this time I feel I need to learn more about them before coming to a decision.

— Steve Patterson

Noxious Weeds Outside St. Louis’ Gateway Transportation Center

June 24, 2019 Featured, Transportation Comments Off on Noxious Weeds Outside St. Louis’ Gateway Transportation Center
 

The city-owned Gateway Transportation — home to Amtrak, Greyhound, and Megabus — has a landscaped area between it and the adjacent Civic Center MetroLink station. The landscaping has never been noteworthy.  I was at the ribbon cutting in November 2008, but my exterior landscaping pics aren’t that old.

October 2011: non-planted sections with planted in between
April 2015, largely unchanged

On the 7th of this month we were at the station early to catch our train to Chicago. I stopped to snap a pick of the…weeds.

Friday June 7th @ 6am, all the weeds were hard to miss.

Less than a week later I came down to the area the morning after the Blues won the Stanley Cup. I was quiet at Enterprise, but I really noticed the weeds from the MetroLink platform.

June 13, 2019 @ 7:30am
The material to keep the gravel in the non-planted section from moving is now clearly visible

I sent these images to a landscape architect friend, she said it might have been intended as a native garden — but she sees “some thistles (noxious weed).” All landscaping requires regular weeding, something this hasn’t had.

The city issues citations to homeowners for less than this. If a homeowner had this as their yard the city would come mow it and send them a bill. This looks completely unkept, neglected.

It would be nice to see more attention paid to this area since it’s in such a highly-visible location. I can only imagine what our guests from Boston must’ve thought.

I don’t know if this landscaping is the responsibility of the city’s comptroller, Metro, or some other entity. I’ll send this post around today and hopefully someone will step up and get the landscaping cleaned up. Or the city will ticket itself?

— Steve Patterson

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