New Arch To Riverfront Ramps Are A Great Improvement

 

 When I first moved to St. Louis in August 1990 the grand staircase down to our riverfront wasn’t complete — it was grass with steps only on the North & South edges. At some point the center steps were completed.But even as a young (20s) able-bodied person the steps were …

Sunday Poll: Should St. Louis Consider Ranked-Choice Voting?

 

 When you have two candidates running for office it is easy to understand the winner — the person who receives more than 50% of the vote — even if by just one vote. I’m looking at the March 7th Democratic primary ballot with 7 choices for mayor and 6 choices …

St. Louis’ Easton & Franklin Avenues Became Dr. Martin Luther King Drive 45 Years Ago Today

 

 Last month, on the Martin Luther King holiday, I posted my 13th look at the street named after the slain civil rights leader — see Annual Look At Changes Along St. Louis’ Dr Martin Luther King Drive. From a STL250 Facebook post that has since been deleted: This Day in …

Opinion: Sales Taxes Outdated In 21st Century

 

 We order stuff online frequently because it’s convenient to do so, not because we want to save on taxes. Often we’ll order from target.com so we pay the same tax rate we do when we shop at Hampton Village location once per month.  Amazon is the bulk of our online …

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Readers: Climate Change NOT A Hoax!

January 25, 2017 Environment, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Readers: Climate Change NOT A Hoax!
 

First off let me quote NASA to explain some terms:

Weather vs. climate

Weather refers to atmospheric conditions that occur locally over short periods of time—from minutes to hours or days. Familiar examples include rain, snow, clouds, winds, floods or thunderstorms. Remember, weather is local and short-term. 

Climate, on the other hand, refers to the long-term regional or even global average of temperature, humidity and rainfall patterns over seasons, years or decades. Remember, climate is global and long-term.

Global warming

Global warming refers to the upward temperature trend across the entire Earth since the early 20th century, and most notably since the late 1970s, due to the increase in fossil fuel emissions since the industrial revolution. Worldwide since 1880, the average surface temperature has gone up by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), relative to the mid-20th-century baseline (of 1951-1980).

Climate change

Climate change refers to a broad range of global phenomena created predominantly by burning fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to Earth’s atmosphere. These phenomena include the increased temperature trends described by global warming, but also encompass changes such as sea level rise; ice mass loss in Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic and mountain glaciers worldwide; shifts in flower/plant blooming; and extreme weather events.

The science behind climate change is clear, the facts are overwhelming…there is no such thing as alternate facts.

Last year, global warming reached record high temperatures — and if that news feels like déjà vu, you’re not going crazy.

The planet has now had three consecutive years of record-breaking heat.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released its annual State of the Climate report, which says it’s the hottest it has been since scientists started tracking global temperatures in 1880.

separate analysis, by NASA scientists, came to the same conclusion. (NPR)

Human activity is causing the planet to heat up, melting ice, raising ocean levels. Thankfully, most of you realize the situation the world is in isn’t a hoax.

Q: Agree or disagree: ‘Climate Change’ is a hoax.

  • Strongly agree 5 [3.38%]
  • Agree 5 [3.38%]
  • Somewhat agree 1 [0.68%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 3 [2.03%]
  • Somewhat disagree 0 [0%]
  • Disagree 6 [4.05%]
  • Strongly disagree 127 [85.81%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 [0.68%]

As you can see from the non-scientific results above, few think it is a hoax.

Click image to view this 2013 tweet on Twitter.
Click image to view this 2013 tweet on Twitter.

Click here to see a top 10 list of Trump’s climate denying tweets and here to see climate deniers in the Trump administration.

Thankfully we still have Bernie Sanders in the U.S. Senate.

— Steve Patterson

February 27th: Please Join Me For My Last Night In My 40s Happy Hour @ 360 St. Louis

January 23, 2017 Featured, Steve Patterson Comments Off on February 27th: Please Join Me For My Last Night In My 40s Happy Hour @ 360 St. Louis
 

The last day of February is my birthday, but this year is a special one: the big 5-0.

I wasn’t born on a leap year, but I was born on a cousin’s 13th birthday. Interestingly, another cousin was born on my oldest brother’s 13th birthday.

Three-Sixty St. Louis was built 5+ on the roof of a decades-old hotel at Broadway & Market.
Three-Sixty St. Louis was built 5+ on the roof of a decades-old hotel at Broadway & Market.

A 50th birthday is special, especially considering I came close to not reaching my 41st. To celebrate my last night in my 40s I’ll be at 360’s happy hour 4pm-7pm talking to whomever stops by to say hello, No cards or presents please.

If you’ve not been to 360 before, this is your excuse to check it out. The design is brilliant — a steel & glass box on a new 26th floor with views in all directions.

Through the end of March they have great happy hour specials — on Tuesdays the fish tacos are $2 each 4pm-7pm.

View of the East area from the South patio
View of the East area from the South patio
One of several fire pits among several outdoor areas
One of several fire pits among several outdoor areas
One of two kitchens in the central area
One of two kitchens in the central area
A variety of seating is first come first serve
A variety of seating is first come first serve
View looking West
View looking West

This is one of the best examples of adapting an old building for modern uses…though the building is slightly younger than I am. Anyway,  I hope you can stop by to say hello on Monday February 27th.

Note that everyone is responsible for their own food & beverage.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Is ‘Climate Change’ a Hoax?

January 22, 2017 Environment, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Is ‘Climate Change’ a Hoax?
 
Please vote below
Please vote below

Last week scientists announced 2016 was the warmest year on record:

Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row. (New York Times)

Not everyone is convinced — some call global warming/climate change a “hoax”. We’re either risking irreversible change or wasting time & money on a non-issue.

Today’s poll seeks to find out where readers are on this debate.

The poll will close at 6pm.

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: 28 New Board Bills 1/20/2017

January 20, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: 28 New Board Bills 1/20/2017
 
St. Louis City Hall
St. Louis City Hall

Today is the last day for aldermen to introduce new bills for the 2016-2017 session.  Last week an agenda was posted for week 2u to be held on the 13th. That meeting apparently didn’t happen. The 28 Board Bills I posted about a week ago will be introduced today…or so it seems:

 

  • B.B.#247 – Conway –An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the St. Louis Municipal Finance Corporation to issue and sell the Corporation’s City Justice Center Leasehold Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2017 (Direct Purchase) in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $7,000,000 in order to refund or redeem, if desirable, all or a portion of the Corporation’s City Justice Center Leasehold Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2005.
  • B.B.#248 – Conway – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of The City authorizing and directing the St. Louis Municipal Finance Corporation to issue and sell its Leasehold Revenue Refunding Bonds in order to refund all or a portion of its outstanding Refunded Bonds and its Leasehold Revenue Improvement Bonds to fund the construction, repair, improvement and renovation of the Cervantes Convention Center (collectively, the “Leasehold Revenue Bonds”) in one or more series in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $30,000,000; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#249 – Conway  –An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the St. Louis Municipal Finance Corporation to issue and sell, in one or more series, its Police Capital Improvement Sales Tax Leasehold Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2017A, in order to, refund all or a portion of the outstanding Police Capital Improvement Sales Tax Leasehold Revenue Bonds, Series 2007 and the Juvenile Detention Center Leasehold Refunding Revenue Bonds Series 2017B, in order to, refund all or a portion of the outstanding Tax?Exempt Juvenile Detention Center Leasehold Revenue Bonds Series 2008B.
  • B.B.#250 – Villa  –An Ordinance relating to the I?55/Loughborough Redevelopment Project authorizing and directing the Mayor and Comptroller to execute a First Supplemental Financing Agreement, which supplements and amends that certain Financing Agreement, by and among the City, the Industrial Development Authority of the City and the Loughborough Commons Community Improvement District, in connection with the Authority’s Tax Increment and Community Improvement Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2017 (Loughborough Commons Redevelopment Project) (the “Series 2017 Bonds”), pursuant to which certain TIF Revenues and CID Revenues will be assigned for the benefit of said Series 2017 Bonds; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#251 – Coatar – An ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission to change the zoning of property in City Block 483.03 (1322?32 Dolman Street) from “C” Multiple?Family Dwelling District and “F” Neighborhood Commercial District to the “E” Multiple?Family Dwelling District; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#252 – Spencer – An ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission to change the zoning of property from “B “ Two? Family Dwelling District and “J” Industrial District to the “B” Two?Family Dwelling District in City Block 1648 3627 & 3635 S. Jefferson); and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#253 – Krewson  –An ordinance recommended by the Airport Commission, the Board of Public Service, and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the Comptroller to enter into and execute an Agreement and Contract of Sale for the Sale of Property, between St. Louis, the owner and operator of Lambert?St. Louis International Airport, and the City of Kinloch, providing for the sale of approximately .674 acres of property owned by St. Louis and located in St. Louis County, for the sum of Twenty Two Thousand, Two Hundred and Twenty Dollars ($22,220.00); and containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#254 – Krewson  –An ordinance recommended by the Airport Commission, the Board of Public Service, and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the Comptroller to enter into and execute an Agreement and Contract of Sale for the Sale of Property, between St. Louis, the owner and operator of Lambert?St. Louis International Airport, which is located in St. Louis County, Missouri, and Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church of South Kinloch, providing for the sale of approximately 1.076 acres of property owned by St. Louis and located in St. Louis County, for the sum of Forty Three Thousand, One Hundred Eighty Two Dollars ($43,182.00); and containing a severability clause and an emergency clause
  • B.B.#255 – Krewson  – An Ordinance recommended and approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the Comptroller to enter into and execute the “Second Amendment to Lease Agreement AL?226” to the Lambert?St. Louis International Airport® Lease Agreement AL?226, between the City and Jet Linx St. Louis, LLC, dated March 7, 2013 and authorized by City Ordinance No. 69384, approved February 6, 2013, as amended by the First Amendment to Lease Agreement AL?226, dated August 20, 2013, which was authorized by City Ordinance No. 69497, approved July 10, 2013, granting to the Lessee; containing a severability clause; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#256 – Krewson  –An Ordinance recommended and approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the Comptroller, owner and operator of Lambert?St. Louis International Airport to enter into and execute the Assignment and Assumption of Interest in Dual Customs Agreement and Consent of The City agreement whereby the City consents to the assignment by Brownsville International Air Cargo, Inc. to Bi?National Gateway Terminal, all of Assignor’s right, title and interest in the Dual Customs Agreement AL?353, between the City and Assignor; containing a severability clause; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#257 – Hubbard  –An ordinance, recommended by the Board of Estimate & Apportionment, authorizing and directing the Mayor and Comptroller, to enter into and execute an agreement or agreements with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the receipt of Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Funding; appropriating the sum of Twenty?Nine Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($29,500,000) which the City has been awarded as a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant for the Near North Side; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#258 – Coatar  – An Ordinance Approving The Petition Of An Owner Of Certain Real Property To Establish A Community Improvement District, Establishing The 501 Olive Community Improvement District, And Containing An Emergency Clause And Containing A Severability Clause.
  • B.B.#259 – Kennedy  – An ordinance authorizing and directing the Fire Commissioner, on behalf of the Mayor and the City of Saint Louis, to enter into and execute a Grant agreement with the U.S. Department of homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Assistance to Firefighters Grant, to fund the 2015 Fire Operation and Safety Grant, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#260 – Kennedy  – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, authorizing a supplemental appropriation; amending Ordinance #70272, commonly referred to as the budget ordinance for Fiscal Year 2016?17; appropriating and setting apart revenues to address the expenditure required and set forth herein for the current fiscal year, in the amount of $95,000, to be apportioned to the Division of Corrections for the purpose of establishing a charity bail fund to assist certain non?violent defendants in posting bail as allowed by the Court, and to alleviate the cost of housing such persons, and to save public funds currently allocated for the incarceration of such persons, and containing an
    Emergency Clause.
  • B.B.#261 – Green/Spencer/Howard/Arnowitz  – An ordinance requiring employers to provide unpaid leave for victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking; containing definitions; violations; a penalty clause; and a severability clause.
  • B.B.#262 – Hubbard – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to conditionally vacate travel in alley in City Block 527 as bounded by Delmar, 14th, Lucas and 15th.
  • B.B.#263 – Roddy  – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to conditionally vacate travel in alley in City Block 2342 as bounded by North Market Street, 19th Street, Maiden Lane and 20th Street.
  • B.B.#264 – Davis  – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to vacate travel in remaining 188.07 feet of the 20 foot wide east/west alley in City Block 940 beginning at 21st Street and extending eastwardly to a point, same bounded by Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, 20th St., Delmar Blvd. and 21st.
  • B.B.#265 – Ogilvie  – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to conditionally vacate travel in the northern 5 feet of the 15 foot wide east/west alley in City Block 5066 beginning at Kraft St. and being bounded by Wise Ave., Louisville Ave., West Park Ave. and Kraft.
  • B.B.#266 – Bosley  – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to vacate travel in several streets and alleys bounded by St. Louis Ave. on the north, 22nd St. on the east, Cass Ave. on the south and Jefferson Ave./Parnell St. on the west.
  • B.B.#267 – Coatar  – An Ordinance pertaining to a City Housing Conservation Program; amending, Ordinance 67914, adopted on April 11, 2008, containing an Emergency Clause.
  • B.B.#268 – Roddy  – An ordinance pertaining to parking within the “Chouteau?Newstead Parking District” and the “Taylor? Chouteau?Tower Grove Parking District”; which establishes the location and restrictions for curb parking in the restricted parking zone in the two districts created by this ordinance; containing definitions, a penalty clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#269 – Davis  – An ordinance approving the petition for the addition of certain real property to the Forsyth Associates Community Improvement District; establishing the expanded Forsyth Associates Community Improvement District; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#270 – Bosley  – An ordinance, relating to the Solid Waste Services Fee established under Ordinance No. 68698, authorizing an increase to said fee of two dollars ($2.00) per month per dwelling unit commencing with the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#271 – Coatar  – An Ordinance Approving Amendments to the Blighting Study and Plan for the Eleventh/Clark/Eighth/Poplar Area.
  • B.B.#272 – Krewson  – An ordinance approving a blighting study and redevelopment plan for 6201 Delmar; containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#273 – Vollmer  – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 5217 Botanical Ave.
  • B.B.#274 – Vollmer  – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 5214 Wilson Avenue.

The meeting begins at 10am, it can be watched online here.

— Steve Patterson

 

Opinion: Missouri Should Reject ‘Right to Work’

January 18, 2017 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: Missouri Should Reject ‘Right to Work’
 
Labor Day Parade in downtown St. Louis, 2009
Labor Day Parade in downtown St. Louis, 2009

Even though my parents were both blue collar workers they both were anti-union. In 1979 General Motors opened a new plant in Oklahoma City to build the new X-Body cars (Chevy Citation). Briefly my father considered trying to get a job there, but he didn’t want to be forced to join a union.

Then why did he even consider applying?  Simple: union wages, hours, benefits, etc. My dad remained a self-employed carpenter the rest of his life. Growing up in their house I too was anti-union but moving to St. Louis at age 23 allowed me to learn about the history & importance of organized labor…including the long-standing resistance from some business interests.

I do think ‘right to work’ could bring more jobs to Missouri — more low-paying jobs.

One scene from an old episode of Roseanne sums up the issue:

We will see action on the subject quickly.

According to St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies, the question is not if ‘right to work’ will become a reality in Missouri but how quickly and how big?

Missouri’s General Assembly will convene in early January, and Mannies said this issue is probably one of the first they’ll take up as a “show of strength” and “to unify the Republican base and bring Greitens into the fold.” Mannies expects that right-to-work will be a decided reality in Missouri by early February 2017.

“The only question is how expansive it will be,” Mannies said. “In some states, police and fire are exempted because Republicans have always been trying to reach out to police and fire groups and they don’t want to tick them off. Some of the bills that are introduced may be blanket, including every union or association. Other bills might just do private sector. Some may do everything but police and fire. Some may be police, fire and teachers.” [St. Louis Public Radio]

Good question, will this apple to every union or will some be exempted? My guess is more conservative-leaning unions like police unions will be exempted.

Based on the non-scientific Sunday Poll, I’m preaching to the choir:

Q: Agree or disagree: A right-to-work law will bring more jobs & higher wages to Missouri.

  • Strongly agree 5 [9.09%]
  • Agree 2 [3.64%]
  • Somewhat agree 1 [1.82%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 2 [3.64%]
  • Somewhat disagree 0 [0%]
  • Disagree 14 [25.45%]
  • Strongly disagree 29 [52.73%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 2 [3.64%]

Missouri is about to get very red.

— Steve Patterson

 

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