Democratic Debates Begin Tonight: Progressives vs Centrists

 

 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 …

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. On the …

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

 

 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 …

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 10 of 2019-2020 Session

 

 The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  10th 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 9. Today’s agenda includes three (3) new bills: B.B. #76 – Vaccaro – An Ordinance …

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St. Louis Blues History I Found Interesting

June 17, 2019 Featured, History/Preservation, Popular Culture Comments Off on St. Louis Blues History I Found Interesting
 

I’ve never seen a hockey game in person, or on TV for that matter. I never saw the interior of the old dome before it was razed. I’ve only been in the Enterprise Center where the Blues play hockey twice — both for the annual Guns ‘N Hoses fundraiser.  I’m not a sports fan until the home team begins doing exceptionally well, then I take a self-taught crash course on the sport & team.

The Blues ended one of sports’ longest championship droughts Wednesday by beating the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. It is the Blues’ first title in the team’s 52-year existence. (USA Today)

For a few weeks prior to the St. Louis Blues winning the Stanley Cup I began delving into hockey, the NHL, and our team. I thought about posting prior to Game 7 but if they didn’t win I didn’t want anyone to say I jinxed the chances. Today’s post is what I found interesting doing my research:

Let’s start with the Cup itself — it predates the National Hockey League.

The trophy was commissioned in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup and is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canadawho donated it as an award to Canada’s top-ranking amateur ice hockey club. The entire Stanley family supported the sport, the sons and daughters all playing and promoting the game. The first Cup was awarded in 1893 to Montreal Hockey Club, and winners from 1893 to 1914 were determined by challenge games and league play. Professional teams first became eligible to challenge for the Stanley Cup in 1906. In 1915, professional ice hockey organizations National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) reached a gentlemen’s agreement in which their respective champions would face each other annually for the Stanley Cup. It was established as the de facto championship trophy of the NHL in 1926 and then the de jure NHL championship prize in 1947.

There are actually three Stanley Cups: the original bowl of the “Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup”, the authenticated “Presentation Cup”, and the spelling-corrected “Permanent Cup” on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The NHL has maintained control over the trophy itself and its associated trademarks; the NHL does not actually own the trophy but uses it by agreement with the two Canadian trustees of the cup. The NHL has registered trademarks associated with the name and likeness of the Stanley Cup, although there has been dispute as to whether the league has the right to own trademarks associated with a trophy that it does not own. (Wikipedia)

There were many decades where the Stanley Cup was the championship trophy for numerous leagues.

The National Hockey League was established in 1917 as the successor to the National Hockey Association (NHA). Founded in 1909, the NHA began play one year later with seven teams in Ontario and Quebec, and was one of the first major leagues in professional ice hockey. But by the NHA’s eighth season, a series of disputes with Toronto Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone led team owners of the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, and Quebec Bulldogs to hold a meeting to discuss the league’s future.[10]Realizing the NHA constitution left them unable to force Livingstone out, the four teams voted instead to suspend the NHA, and on November 26, 1917, formed the National Hockey League. Frank Calder was chosen as its first president, serving until his death in 1943.

The Bulldogs were unable to play, and the remaining owners created a new team in Toronto, the Arenas, to compete with the Canadiens, Wanderers and Senators. The first games were played on December 19, 1917. The Montreal Arena burned down in January 1918, causing the Wanderers to cease operations, and the NHL continued on as a three-team league until the Bulldogs returned in 1919.

The NHL replaced the NHA as one of the leagues that competed for the Stanley Cup, which was an interleague competition back then. Toronto won the first NHL title, and then defeated the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) for the 1918 Stanley Cup. The Canadiens won the league title in 1919; however their Stanley Cup Final against the PCHA’s Seattle Metropolitans was abandoned as a result of the Spanish Flu epidemic. Montreal in 1924 won their first Stanley Cup as a member of the NHL. The Hamilton Tigers, won the regular season title in 1924–25 but refused to play in the championship series unless they were given a C$200 bonus. The league refused and declared the Canadiens the league champion after they defeated the Toronto St. Patricks (formerly the Arenas) in the semi-final. Montreal was then defeated by the Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) for the 1925 Stanley Cup. It was the last time a non-NHL team won the trophy,[20] as the Stanley Cup became the de facto NHL championship in 1926 after the WCHL ceased operation.

The National Hockey League embarked on rapid expansion in the 1920s, adding the Montreal Maroons and Boston Bruins in 1924. The Bruins were the first American team in the league. The New York Americans began play in 1925 after purchasing the assets of the Hamilton Tigers, and were joined by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The New York Rangers were added in 1926. The Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars (later Red Wings) were also added after the league purchased the assets of the defunct WCHL. A group purchased the Toronto St. Patricks in 1927 and immediately renamed them the Maple Leafs.

St. Louis wanted a team during this expansion  period, but they didn’t get a team. The primary reason they didn’t was travel cost/distance/time in the days of train travel. However, after losing out on an expansion team we would get a team to relocate.

The Ottawa Senators were founded in 1883 as an amateur club. They began paying their players “under the table” in 1903 and turned openly professional in 1907. They were a charter member of the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1917, and won the Stanley Cup four times in the NHL’s first decade (and seven times prior to the league’s formation – including their time as the Silver Seven).

However, for the better part of their tenure in Ottawa, the Senators played in the smallest market in the NHL. The 1931 census listed only 110,000 people in the city of Ottawa—roughly one-fifth the size of Toronto, the league’s second-smallest market. The team started having attendance problems when the NHL expanded to the United States in 1924; games against the new American teams did not draw well. Despite winning what would be its last Stanley Cup in 1927, the team lost $50,000 for the season. The Senators asked the NHL for permission to suspend operations for the 1931–32 season in order to help eliminate debt. The league granted the request. During their suspended season, Ottawa received $25,000 for the use of its players, while the NHL co-signed a Bank of Montreal loan of $28,000 for the franchise. The Senators returned for the 1932–33 season and finished in last place. They finished last again in 1933–34 season. After the season, the Ottawa Auditorium, owners of the Senators, announced that the team would be moving elsewhere for the next season due to losses of $60,000 over the previous two seasons. Auditorium officials said they needed to move the Senators to a larger city in order to protect the shareholders and pay off their debts.

The Senators’ owners decided to move the franchise to St. Louis, Missouri, and the transfer was approved by the league on May 14, 1934. Thomas Franklin Ahearn resigned as president of the Ottawa Auditorium and Redmond Quain became president. Quain transferred the players’ contracts and franchise operations to a new company called the Hockey Association of St. Louis, Inc. Eddie Gerard was hired to coach the new team. The club was renamed the Eagles, inspired by the logo of the Anheuser-Busch brewing company, which was founded in St. Louis.[10][11] The Senators name and logo remained in Ottawa and would be used by a senior amateur team until 1954. At the time, St. Louis was the seventh largest city in the United States, with over 800,000 inhabitants— over seven times larger than Ottawa. Despite this, St. Louis had been denied an NHL franchise in 1932 because travel to the Midwest was considered too expensive during the Great Depression.

Even before the debut of the Eagles, a problem had arisen for the new NHL club. There was already a professional hockey team in the city, the St. Louis Flyers, playing in the minor-pro American Hockey Association (AHA). The owners of the Flyers claimed they had an agreement with the NHL which prevented it from settling west of the Mississippi. They threatened to sue for $200,000 in compensation as soon as the Eagles played their first game. Following a visit from the AHA President, the Flyers were asked not to go forward with the lawsuit. The Flyers did not pursue further legal action and eventually changed their home arena. (Wikipedia)

The depression was tough and the St. Louis Eagles team folded after just one season. Ouch. So when the NHL decided to expand in the 1960s a group put in an application to be awarded an expansion team? Not exactly.

The Blues were one of the six teams added to the NHL in the 1967 expansion, along with the Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and California Seals. St. Louis was the last of the six expansion teams to gain entry into the League; the market was chosen over Baltimore at the insistence of the Chicago Black Hawks. The Black Hawks’ owners, James D. Norris and Arthur Wirtz, also owned the decrepit St. Louis Arena. They sought to unload the arena, which had not been well-maintained since the 1940s, and thus pressed the NHL to give the franchise to St. Louis, which had not submitted a formal expansion bid. NHL president Clarence Campbell said during the 1967 expansion meetings, “We want a team in St. Louis because of the city’s geographical location and the fact that it has an adequate building.”

The team’s first owners were insurance tycoon Sid Salomon Jr., his son, Sid Salomon III, and Robert L. Wolfson, who were granted the franchise in 1966. Sid Salomon III convinced his initially wary father to make a bid for the team. Former St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial and Musial’s business partner Julius “Biggie” Garagnani were also members of the 16-man investment group that made the initial formal application for the franchise. Garagnani would never see the Blues franchise take the ice, as he died from a heart attack on June 19, 1967, less than three months before the Blues played their first preseason game. Upon acquiring the franchise in 1966, Salomon then spent several million dollars on extensive renovations for the 38-year-old arena, which increased the number of seats from 12,000 to 15,000.  (Wikipedia)

In short, we got an expansion team because a couple of Chicago businessmen wanted to sell the Arena!

Old postcard of The Arena (1929-1999)

The team name of St. Louis Blues was chosen because of W.C. Handy’s song of the same name:

Saint Louis Blues” (or “St. Louis Blues”) is a popular American song composed by W. C. Handy in the blues style and published in September 1914. It was one of the first blues songs to succeed as a pop song and remains a fundamental part of jazz musicians’ repertoire. Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Bessie Smith, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo, and the Boston Pops Orchestra are among the artists who have recorded it. The song has been called “the jazzman’s Hamlet.”

The 1925 version sung by Bessie Smith, with Louis Armstrong on cornet, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1993. The 1929 version by Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra (with Red Allen) was inducted in 2008. (Wikipedia)

Here is W.C. Handy playing the Saint Louis Blues on Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town in December 1949:

The Blues made the finals in their first few years, but never again until this year.

Deferred contracts came due just as the Blues’ performance began to slip. At one point, the Salomons cut the team’s staff down to three employees. One of them was Emile Francis, who served as team president, general manager and head coach, who convinced St. Louis-based pet food giant Ralston Purina to buy the team, arena and the $8.8 million debt. The Salomons sold the Blues to Ralston on July 27, 1977. However, longtime Ralston Purina chairman R. Hal Dean said that he only intended to keep the Blues as a Ralston subsidiary only temporarily until a more stable owner could be found who would keep the team in St. Louis. Ralston renamed the arena the “Checkerdome.” After two awful years including finishing with a franchise low 18–50–12 record with 48 points (still the worst season in franchise history) in 1979, the Blues made the playoffs the following year, the first of 25 consecutive postseason appearances. (Wikipedia)

So local corporate interests stepped up to keep the team from moving, but that changed when the person in charge changed:

Ralston Purina lost an estimated $1.8 million a year during its six-year ownership of the Blues, but took the losses philosophically, having taken over out of a sense of civic responsibility. In 1981, Dean retired. His successor, William Stiritz, wanted to refocus on the core pet food business, and had no interest in hockey. He saw the Blues as just another money-bleeding division, and put the team on the market. While there were a number of interested parties, none had the cash to do it. On January 12, 1983, Batoni-Hunter Enterprises, Ltd led by WHA and Edmonton Oilers founder Bill Hunter tendered an offer to buy the team. He intended to build a $43 million 18,000-seat arena in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in time for the 1983-84 season While the fan base was stunned, the players were aware of this as there were being dealt brochures on December 7, 1982 as the Blues faced the Oilers that said “Saskatchewan in the NHL”. These distractions would greatly affect their performance as they entered to the playoffs with a 25–40–15 record in the 1983 season, good enough for 65 points. This led to a Norris Division semi-finals exit against the Chicago Black Hawks. Following their playoff exit, Ralston authorized the deal to Hunter’s renamed company Coliseum Holdings, Ltd for $12 million on April 21. Emile Francis would call it quits on May 2, leaving for the Hartford Whalers to become president and general manager. The Blues then fired 60 percent of its employees. The remaining staff included the accounting department, scouting staff and coach Barclay Plager. They waited for an authorization by 75% of the NHL Board of Governors for the sale and transfer of the club. However, the NHL Board of Governors rejected the deal by a 15–3 vote on May 18. The NHL felt Saskatoon was not big enough or financially stable enough to support an NHL team.

Ralston would then file a $60 million anti-trust lawsuit in US District Court against the NHL. They claimed that they broke federal anti-trust laws and breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing by voting to reject the sale and transfer of the Blues to Coliseum Holdings, Ltd. They also requested that the court allow them to give up the team and bar the defendants from interfering with the sale of the team. On June 3, Ralston announced that it had no interest in running the team anymore. Because they were not required to participate in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft they did not send a representative, which led the Blues to forfeiting their picks. The following day after the draft, the NHL would file a $78 million counter-suit against Ralston, accusing that “damaging the league by willfully, wantonly and maliciously collapsing its St. Louis Blues hockey operation.” The NHL also said that Ralston broke a league rule that an owner had to give two years notice before dissolving a franchise. Ralston called the counter-suit “ridiculous” and gave the NHL an ultimatum–if the NHL accept Hunter’s offer by June 14, Ralston would disestablish the team and sell off players and assets to other teams. The Board of Governors rejected the offer and “terminated” the team on June 13, one day before Ralston’s supposed deadline. It then took control of the franchise and began searching for a new owner. League president John Ziegler said they would try to keep the team in St. Louis. However, had the league not found a new owner by August 6, it would dissolve the team and hold a dispersal draft for the players. On July 27, 1983, ten days before the deadline, the NHL would approve the purchase of Harry Ornest and a group of St. Louis-based investors for the team and the arena. Ornest had made plans to buy the team as early as March, but built up his efforts in late June to have enough money. Ornest immediately reverted the name of the team’s home to the St. Louis Arena. To date, this is the closest that an NHL team has come to folding since the Cleveland Barons merged with the Minnesota North Stars after the 1977-78 season. (Wikipedia)

The St. Louis Blues have changed hands many times since, but always staying local. In the 90s they moved from the Arena to a new facility initially called the Kiel Center.

In 1993 the convention hall at the back of Kiel Auditorium was razed to construct what is now called the Enterprise Center
The Enterprise Center the morning after winning the Stanley Cup in Boston
Hundreds of thousands of Blues fan were in downtown St. Louis on Saturday to watch the Blues parade down Market Street from 18th to Broadway (5th), this is in Kiener Plaza

Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues from going from last place to first this season. Even is non-sports types can appreciate such hard work.

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Should PrideFest Parade Allow Uniformed Police to March?

June 16, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should PrideFest Parade Allow Uniformed Police to March?
 
Please vote below

Earlier this month an announcement caused some controversy:

Local police will not be participating in the 2019 St. Louis Pride Parade.

Pride St. Louis will not allow uniformed officers from the St. Louis City and St. Louis County police departments to walk in the June 30 celebration. (KMOV)

This is the subject of today’s poll.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight. My thoughts on Wednesday. The PrideFest parade is two weeks from today.

— Steve Patterson

City Residents Please Consider Using Public Transit (Bus &/or Rail) To Get Downtown For The Blues Parade Tomorrow

June 14, 2019 Environment, Events/Meetings, Featured, Public Transit, Transportation Comments Off on City Residents Please Consider Using Public Transit (Bus &/or Rail) To Get Downtown For The Blues Parade Tomorrow
 

Yesterday I shared a Metro post, criticizing their lack of mentioning MetroBus.

Of course, no mention of MetroBus.

Posted by UrbanReview ST LOUIS on Thursday, June 13, 2019

Fr0m their post:

MetroLink will have extra trains ready to go on Saturday as hundreds of thousands of Blues fans head downtown to celebrate with the Stanley Cup Champions, the St. Louis Blues.

With five downtown MetroLink stations a block or two away from the Stanley Cup Parade, MetroLink is the perfect option while avoiding road construction, traffic and parking issues.

What about residents of North & South city that don’t yet have light rail?

2012: The #11 MetroBus crosses Jefferson Ave. heading west on Chippewa Ave.

Yes, MetroBus is a good option. Since Metro’s marketing folks don’t seem to want to suggest their own service I decided to step up and show you some suggested routes.  Those of us who live in the city are well-served by transit, if we take it downtown that’ll ease congestion for everyone downtown.  We’re not all served by light rail.

My focus is on MetroBus routes that enter downtown, though other routes could connect you to say the Forest Park MetroLink station — the 90 Hampton MetroBus serves both North, West, & South city.  Of course the busiest MetroBus route, the 70 Grand, is an excellent option to reach MetroLink.

Because the Civic Center Transit Center is on the south edge of downtown (Downtown West technically) the south routes have less disruption from downtown events. However, most should be good, assuming you get downtown prior to street closures.

From South City:

  • 8 Bates-Morganford winds its way through the city on streets like: Loughborough, Holly Hills, Tower Grove, Shaw, Russell, 12th/Tucker, and — Bates & Morganford. On Saturday this bus runs every hour, the last bus before the parade arrives at Civic Center at 11:40am.
  • 10 Gravois-Lindell originates at Gravois & Hampton, cutting a diagonal path through south city along Gravois. Saturday morning this bus runs every 30 minutes.
  • 11 Chippewa runs every 40 minutes on Saturday morning, from the Shrewsbury MetroLink Station along Landsdowne, Chippewa, and Jefferson. Normally the EB bus heading into downtown goes up to Market but tomorrow it’ll use Chouteau to 14th to avoid the parade.
  • 20 South Broadway serves South County & South City including South County Mall, Jefferson Barracks, far south city, & Soulard. On Saturday it runs every hour.
  • 30 Arsenal is another route running through south city between Shrewsbury MetroLink and Civic Center Transit Center in Downtown West. It primarily uses Arsenal for the East-West portion and Broadway for the North-South.  The 30 runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays.
  • 31 Chouteau connects the Maplewood/Manchester MetroLink Station to Civic Center via Manchester in both the county & city, and Chouteau. It runs every hour on Saturdays.
  • 73 Carondelet serves both south county & city, every 30 minutes on Saturdays. Streets include: Michigan, Virginia, Osceola, Meramec,  Cherokee, Lemp, and Truman Parkway.
  • 80 Park-Shaw connects the CWE MetroLink to Civic Center via south city. Similar to 8 above, but the route is different. Every hour on Saturdays.

From North City — most will have a reroute in the downtown area due to the parade.

  • 4 Natural Bridge travels mostly along Natural Bridge, then using Parnell/Jefferson, usually to Market. Due to the parade it’ll reroute by staying on Jefferson to Chouteau to 14th to Civic Center. The 4 runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays.
  • 19 St. Louis Ave connects the Rock Road MetroLink to Civic Center, through the heart of The Ville. It runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays. Because 14th will be closed for the parade it’ll reroute to Olive, Jefferson, Chouteau, 14th — if you take this bus to the parade I suggest exiting at 14th & Olive.  The 19 runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays.
  • 32 ML King also connects Rock Road to Civic Center, a little further south than the 19. It uses ML King & Cass for East-West and 9th/10th for North-South. At Washington & Tucker it will due a massive reroute along Washington to Jefferson, to Chouteau, to 14th. Avoid the reroute and exit before Tucker. The 32 runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays.
  • 40 North Broadway connects Riverview to downtown, primarily along Broadway.  Like the 32 it reroutes along Washington from Broadway to Jefferson — avoid all that and get off at Broadway & Washington! The 40 runs every hour on Saturdays.
  • 41 Lee runs every 40 minutes between Riverview and downtown/Civic Center on streets like Thekla, Emerson, Lee, Kossuth, 20th, Carr. Like other bus routes, avoid the very long reroutes by exiting at 14th & Olive.
  • 74 Florissant runs every half hour connecting north county to downtown via West/North Florissant. Like others, exit at 14th & Olive to avoid the long reroute.

From West City:

  • 10 Gravois-Lindell was mentioned above on the South City section, but for those in midtown it’s a good option to get to Civic Center. It’ll reroute at Jefferson to Chouteau so either stay on the bus to Civic Center or exit at Olive & Jefferson and walk to the parade start at 18th & Market. Or take it WB to the CWE to catch the train downtown.
  • 94 Page runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays connecting Westport Plaza via Wellston to Civic Center. In the city it primarily uses Page, 18th, Market. Because of the parade it’ll reroute at 18th & Olive to Jefferson, Chouteau.  Either get off at 18th & Olive or continue to Civic Center.
  • 96 Market Street Shuttle runs every hour on Saturdays. This is an option for SLU/Harris Stowe students. It’ll reroute at Jefferson to Chouteau.
  • 97 Delmar connects Clayton to Civic Center via the Delmar/Loop MetroLink, running every 30 minutes on Saturdays. In the city it primarily uses Delmar, Compton (briefly) and Washington. Due to the parade it’ll reroute at Washington to Jefferson, to Chouteau.

The links above are to the regular map for each route, for a list of all MetroBus routes click here. Again, if you live in the city and plan to attend the parade please walk, bike, or use transit — bus and/or rail.  The cash fare each way is $2 — have $1 bills because you can’t get change on the bus. If you need to take more than one bus or bus plus rail you’ll need $3 each way for a transfer. For exact times, stop locations, etc use Google Maps, Apple Maps, the Transit App, or Metro’s Trip Planner.

Street parking isn’t free on Saturday, and lots will be charging a lot. Uber/Lyft will likely have surge pricing, plus will have to deal with lots of traffic. Take transit — light rail or MetroBus.

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 8 of 2019-2020 Session

June 14, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 8 of 2019-2020 Session
 
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  8th meeting of the 2019-2020 session.  They’ve corrected the previous duplication of week #1 so they correctly list this as week/meeting 8 [UPDATE 6/14 @ 7am — I was tired yesterday. The BoA didn’t fix the problem, this is actually week 9. Ugh.]

Today’s agenda includes ten (10) new bills:

  • B.B. #64 – Green – An ordinance prohibiting the City and any agency, department, or instrumentality of the City, and any unelected boards or commissions whose activities are funded either in whole or in part, directly or indirectly by the City and whose membership includes one or more members appointed by the Mayor from entering into contracts with or otherwise spending monies for any individual or entity to provide legislative or executive lobbying services.
  • B.B. #65 – Green – An ordinance requiring that all votes taken by committees of the Board of Aldermen to act and report on bills and non-courtesy resolutions be recorded by the Clerk of the Board of Aldermen and a record of each committee members’
    vote be made and recorded as “Yea”, “Nay”, “Present”, “Abstain”, or in the event an Alderman is not present for the vote, “Absent”; and that Committee members’ votes be published on the City official website and digitally archived online; and requiring that a record of attendance be taken and published on the City of St. Louis’s official website; and containing an effective date.
  • B.B.#66 – T. Hubbard – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 1221 Locust.
  • B.B.#67-Ingrassia- An ordinance repealing and replacing ordinance #70710, authorizing the Board of Public Service to promulgate regulations regarding bicycle sharing activities, which such regulations will be known as The Bike Share Policy of the City; and providing for the establishment of a “Micro Mobility Fund”; and providing for user fees to be deposited in the “Micro Mobility Fund” and expended as set forth herein to further, encourage and promote the use not only of bicycle sharing, but also scooters and other small vehicles, both manual and electronic, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#68-Vollmer- An Ordinance approving the petition to establish the Northeast Hampton/I-44 Community Improvement District, establishing the Northeast Hampton/I-44 Community Improvement District, finding a public purpose for the establishment of the Northeast Hampton/I-44 community improvement district, authorizing the execution of a Cooperation Agreement between the City, the Northeast Hampton/I-44 Community Improvement District and the Jerry Ackerman Motor Company 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 and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#69-Vollmer – An Ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance and delivery of not to exceed $5,172,000 plus issuance costs principal amount of tax increment and special district revenue notes (Northeast Hampton/I-44 Redevelopment Project) Series 20__-A/B, of The City; prescribing the form and details of such notes and the covenants and agreements made by the City to facilitate and protect the payment thereof; prescribing other matters relating thereto, and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#70-Clark Hubbard – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 5236 Vernon Area
  • B.B.#71-Coatar – An ordinance amending Ordinance # 70316 approved July 14, 2016 (Exhibit “A”) by amending the Property Description of the Area and amending Section C of the attached 705 Olive St. Redevelopment Plan by extending the time of completion to June 25, 2022.
  • B.B. #72 – T. Hubbard – An ordinance approving a blighting study and Redevelopment Plan for 1528-1530 Locust.
  • B.B.#73 – Muhammad- An ordinance authorizing and directing the Director of Public Safety, and the Sheriff to enter into and execute an Intergovernmental Agreement with the United States Marshal Service for housing, transportation, and related services for United States Marshal detainees housed within the Division of Corrections, providing for appropriation of these funds paid by the United States Marshals Service in accordance with the Intergovernmental Agreement, authorizing the expenditure of such appropriated funds by entering into contracts or otherwise upon approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, and containing an emergency 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.

— Steve Patterson

More Secure EMV Chip Readers Lacking at the Pump, Parking Meter, Metro Ticket Machines, ATMs, ETC.

June 12, 2019 Featured Comments Off on More Secure EMV Chip Readers Lacking at the Pump, Parking Meter, Metro Ticket Machines, ATMs, ETC.
 

Credit cards have changed a lot in my lifetime. The magnetic stripe didn’t appear on the backs of cards until the 80s. My first credit card, for department store Montgomery Ward, didn’t have a magnetic stripe at all. Before the magnetic stripe was days before merchants & banks learned of fraudulent sales.

In 1970, the credit card’s magnetic stripe had its first big test when it was rolled out in a joint pilot project by American Express, American Airlines and IBM at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. IBM accepted the team’s recommendation to adopt the technology in 1973, and it rolled out bank cards and employee ID cards.

However, it wasn’t until 1980 that the price of the technology became acceptable to Visa and MasterCard, Svigals says. The original cards cost about $2 per card to produce, he says, but with economies of scale and improved production methods, they came down in price and cost less than 5 cents per card to produce just before MasterCard and Visa came on board.

Now a swipe of a credit card or debit card in an electronic reader sends the customer’s information to the bank that issued the card. The bank’s computers verify that the cardholder has sufficient credit or funds to cover the purchase and can either approve the request or decline — all within seconds. (CreditCards.com)

When I began working at Toys ‘R’ Us in 1983 we could swipe the card’s magnetic stripe to get an approval, but we still had to make an impression of the card to write the approval number on. All these impressions were guarded like cash, submitted daily with bank deposits.

Criminals got better at creating fake cards with stolen magnetic stripe information. Rather than wait for the government to step in, card issuers decided to switch to the EMV chip cards already in use in the rest of the world. This began almost 4 years ago:

Before October 1, 2015, any time a consumer’s credit card was duplicated and used for purchases, the bank would refund the fraudulent purchase to the store, with the understanding that the bank could have done more to prevent the fraudulent transaction from occurring. This created an incentive for the bank to verify the cardholder’s identity.

Starting October 1, 2015, that liability for fraud shifts from the bank to the store in cases where the bank has provided an EMV credit card but the store has not upgraded to an EMV terminal. The logic behind this is that the credit card issuer did everything in its power to protect the consumer, and the store ultimately dropped the ball, so to speak. This creates the incentive for both the bank and the store to upgrade to EMV — so the bank can avoid refunding fraudulent transactions and the store can avoid losing money on fraudulent transactions. If neither the credit card nor the store is EMV-ready, then the traditional liability rules apply. (NerdWallet)

It is important to note the end user isn’t responsible for fraud — this is a shift from bank to retailer accepting cards. Most stores have upgraded their equipment by now, longer deadlines were set for other transactions.  Pay at the pump, for example.  From December 2016:

Citing technological and regulatory challenges, Visa, MasterCard and American Express recently announced that the U.S. deadline for installing EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip-card readers at automated fuel pumps has been extended to Oct.1, 2020 from Oct. 1, 2017.

More than 1.7 million merchants—or about one-third of all U.S. stores—now accept chip cards, and the nation has already seen a 43% reduction in counterfeit-card fraud among merchants using chip technology, according to Visa. However, selling fuel comes with a complex set of challenges, and gasoline retailers need more time to make the mandated upgrades.

Companies now have three more years to migrate from traditional magnetic stripe-based payment card scanners to chip readers before they would incur any financial liability for fraud perpetrated at the point of sale (POS).

The new liability shift deadline for gas pumps is a little over a year away. My husband pumps the gas in our car, but I’ve had him looking for EMV pumps for a couple of  years now. To our knowledge none exist in the St. Louis region.

One of St. Louis’ newest gas stations, ZOOM Gas on Tucker, doesn’t have an EMV chip reader. However, it is NFC enabled for mobile payment.

When shopping I prefer using ApplePay rather than a physical card, but I frequently have to get out my wallet to retrieve a physical card. When I do I hope there’s an EMV chip reader — I don’t trust magnetic stripe readers — these could contain a skimmer.

All our parking meters accept credit cards now, but none read the secure EMV chip.
I’ve yet to see an ATM with an EMV chip reader.
In Chicago this past weekend we ate one meal at a national chain — they’d taped over the EMV chip reader on the end of their equipment! Yes, I’ve complained to the company.
Metro’s ticket machines at MetroLink stations lack EMV chip readers.

Eventually our cards will no longer have the magnetic stripe and we’ll enter a PIN to verify transactions — like the rest of the world does.

While many of us are ready to go completely mobile, many prefer physical cards. Our POS infrastructure has to change with the EMV replacing magnetic stripe.

In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll most correctly think the EMV is more secure than magnetic stripe.

Q: Agree or disagree: The magnetic strip on the back of credit/debit cards is just as secure as the new EMV chip.

  • Strongly agree: 1 [5.26%]
  • Agree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat agree: 0 [0%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [5.26%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Disagree: 6 [31.58%]
  • Strongly disagree: 9 [47.37%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 2 [10.53%]

While I know I won’t be responsible for fraud, the lack of EMV readers at businesses tells me they don’t take issue of security seriously — I don’t like the hassle of getting replacement cards frequently.

— Steve Patterson

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