Where Am I? Facebook Page Cover Image Contest

 

 I’ve often changed the cover image of the UrbanReviewSTL Facebook page, but now I’m asking “Where Am I?” for most images. In the above example, which will ne uploaded this morning, three buildings are visible. The best answer will identify all three. The reward for getting the first correct answer? …

Economic Impact of PGA Championship Won’t Be Felt Where Needed Most; St. Louis Looked Favorable To A Wide Audience

 

 When it comes to economic impact estimates I’m largely a skeptic. Such was the case with last week’s PGA Championship: The 100th PGA Championship Aug. 9-12 is expected to have an economic impact felt well beyond Bellerive Country Club’s picturesque course, up to $100 million, according to some estimates. Hotels …

Sunday Poll: What Impact Will The PGA Championship Have On Our Regional Economy?

 

 With the exception of Tuesday’s primary the news last week was dominated by the 100th PGA Championship held at Bellerive Country Club in suburban St. Louis County. I’m not a golf fan, so my thoughts turned to economics: The 100th PGA Championship Aug. 9-12 is expected to have an economic …

Recent Articles:

Sunday Poll: Should Non-Violent Offenders Get Less Jail Time?

July 22, 2018 Crime, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Non-Violent Offenders Get Less Jail Time?
 
Please vote below

Crime continues to be a problem in St. Louis, so I thought the following recent story would make a good poll topic:

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner says she wants to see less jail time for non-violent offenders.

Gardner claims such a move could be the key to curbing violent crime, telling News 4 she believes her office and St. Louis police would be freed up to focus on more serious crime.

“We’re looking to collaborate more with law enforcement because as law enforcement we have to say things aren’t working and we have to do things differently. So we have to change the narrative of more arrests means safer cities because St. Louis has done a great job arresting and prosecuting and we still are a less safe city,” said Gardner. (KMOV)

Diversion programs &  bail reform would also be part of her plans. Please vote in the poll below.

This poll will automatically close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

Missouri’s August Primary Is August 7, 2018

July 20, 2018 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Missouri’s August Primary Is August 7, 2018
 
Vintage photo of the former offices of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners. From my collection

On Friday I usually post new Board Bills being introduced at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, but they’re on Summer break until the Friday after Labor Day. So I’ll stick with politics and talk about Missouri’s primary on August 7th.  As always, I start at the bottom of the ballot and work up to the top.

PROPOSITION NO. 1
Shall the following be adopted:

Proposition to issue bonds of the City of St. Louis, Missouri in an amount not to exceed Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000) for the purpose of planning, purchasing, replacing, improving and maintaining the buildings, bridges, computer software/ hardware, and equipment of the City of St. Louis, including (1) acquiring fire trucks, ambulances, and other fire-fighting apparatus for the St. Louis Fire Department, (2) acquiring radio equipment for the Police Department, (3) providing match share funds to repair, renovate, and replace bridges, (4) renovating buildings and facilities owned by the City of St. Louis including courthouses, correctional facilities, City Hall and other City buildings; and (5) for expenses associated with the issuance of the bonds. If this proposition is approved, the property tax levy is estimated to remain unchanged.

YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION
NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION

I haven’t yet decided how I’ll vote on Prop 1.

PROPOSITION A

Referendum ordered by Petition

Do the people of the state of Missouri want to adopt Senate Bill 19 (“Right-to-Work”) as passed by the general assembly in 2017, which prohibits as a condition of employment the forced membership in a labor organization (union) or forced payments of dues in full or pro-rata (fair-share); make any activity which violates employees’ rights illegal and ineffective; allow legal remedies for anyone injured as a result of another person violating or threatening to violate employees’ rights; and which shall not apply to union agreements entered into before the effective date of Senate Bill 19?

State and local government entities expect no costs or savings.

YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION
NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION

I’ll be voting a resounding NO on Prop A.

Voters can pick a non-partisan ballot or from one the following partisan ballets:

  • Republican
  • Democratic
  • Libertarian
  • Constitution
  • Green

The above order is how they appear on the Sample Ballot.   Like most of you, I’ll be voting in the Democratic primary. Below are the contested races.

FOR RECORDER OF DEEDS (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • MICHAEL BUTLER
  • SHARON QUIGLEY CARPENTER
  • JIMMIE MATTHEWS

I’ll vote for Michael Butler, my current State Rep., Carpenter never should’ve been reelected.

FOR LICENSE COLLECTOR (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • MAVIS “TESSA” THOMPSON
  • DANA KELLY-FRANKS

I’ll likely vote for Dana Kelly-Franks. One Republican is running for this office — will win on August 7th but lose in November General.

FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 84 (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • WILEY PRICE IV
  • BRAD BAKKER

Not my district.

FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 82 (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • DONNA M.C. BARINGER
  • FRED KRATKY

Also not my district. but it’ll be interesting to see who wins this race.

FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 81 (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • STEVE BUTZ
  • TRAVIS ESTES

Not my district.

FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 80 (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • PETER MERIDETH
  • MARIAH VANDIVER

Not my district, though I have heard of one of the two candidates.

FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 79 (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • LAKEYSHA BOSLEY
  • J.P. JOHNSON
  • REIGN HARRIS
  • MAXINE JOHNSON

Finally, my district! I’ve heard of J.P> Johnson, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get my vote. I need to research all four.

Though I’m skipping uncontested races, it’s worth noting Bruce Franks Jr, who won 2 years ago, is unchallenged in the 78th.

FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 77 (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • STEVE ROBERTS
  • KIMBERLY-ANN COLLINS

Not my district.

FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 77 (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • CYNDNEY E. JOHNSON
  • DAMON HAYMER
  • MARISSA BROWN
  • CHRIS CARTER

Not my district.

FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 66 (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • KHALIL ABDUL MUMIN
  • TOMMIE PIERSON, JR.

Not my district.

FOR STATE SEN. DISTRICT 4 (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • KARLA MAY
  • JACOB W. HUMMEL

I need to research the position of both candidates.

Four GOP candidates for STATE AUDIROR, the winner will face Democrat Nicole Galloway, Libertarian Sean O’Toole,  Constitution Party nomineeJacob Luetkmeyer, and Green Don Fitz in November.

FOR U.S. REP DISTRICT 1 (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • CORI BUSH
  • DeMARCO K. DAVIDSON
  • JOSHUA SHIPP
  • LACY CLAY

No brainier — I’m voting FOR Cori Bush to unseat Lacy Clay!   Three Republicans are running in the primary.

FOR U.S. SENATOR (VOTE FOR ONE)

  • CARLA [COFFEE] WRIGHT
  • ANGELICA EARL
  • LEONARD JOSEPH STEINMAN II
  • JOHN HOGAN
  • TRAVIS GONZALEZ
  • DAVID FAUST
  • CLAIRE McCASKILL

The most crowded race on the ballot. I need to research the first six because I will NOT be voting for McCaskill in the primary. Ten GOP candidates running against presumed GOP nominee Josh Hawley. One, Ken Patterson, is no relation to me.

See the August 7, 2018 St. Louis sample ballot here. The general election ids 3 months later, on November 6, 2018.

— Steve Patterson

Gen-Z’s Love of Take Out & Delivery Increasing Need for Greener Containers

July 18, 2018 Environment, Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Gen-Z’s Love of Take Out & Delivery Increasing Need for Greener Containers
 
Shift, test kitchen & take out is in response to the need for quick take out meals

Change naturally comes with new generations. Currently restaurants are experiencing big shifts based on demographic changes.

No, I’m not talking about Millennials, but Get-Z.

Generation Z, as they have been coined, consist of those born in 1995 or later. This generation makes up 25.9% of the United States population, the largest percentage, and contribute $44 billion to the American economy. By 2020, they will account for one-third of the U.S. population, certainly worth paying attention to.

Just so we’re clear:
A “Millennial” is a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000.
Generation Z (also known as Post-Millennials, the iGeneration, Founders, Plurals, or the Homeland Generation) is the demographic cohort following the Millennials. (Huffington Post)

This young generation is having a big impact on the restaurant industry.

Twenty-four percent of Gen Zers order takeout three or four times in a typical week, which is more than any other generation, according to a study released last fall by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) and the Center for Generational Kinetics. Comparatively, 21 percent of millennials, 17 percent of Gen Xers and 6 percent of baby boomers order takeout at the same rate. (Huffington Post)

Restaurants are responding to attract delivery & take out customers.

Delivery made up just 3 percent of total restaurant transactions in the year that ended in June, according to research firm The NPD Group. But interest in eating outside the confines of a traditional restaurant is clear. Customers only sat down to eat at restaurants 37 percent of time during the year that ended in June — with carryout representing a slightly larger piece of the pie (39 percent) and drive-thru visits accounting for 21 percent of restaurant transactions. And delivery growth also is in contrast to a slowdown in restaurant traffic overall, according to NPD. ?

Still, redesigning a restaurant to accommodate the burgeoning trend toward mobile ordering and meal delivery can be a risky move for restaurants, Roth said. For example, creating two lines for customers — one to wait for food ordered on the premises and the other to pick up mobile orders — makes sense, but it also could raise labor costs because more employees may be needed to staff both lines.

Those added costs can make a difference, especially in times of slower business. (Chicago Tribune)

For cities this might mean different needs for storefront restaurants — smaller dining rooms but more kitchen space if the 2 kitchen model is used. Remember when lines were to get a table? Now they’re to pick up orders.

All this take out & delivery means more single use packaging. I do like when restaurants have reusable;e to go containers, I have several I’ve been reusing for years.  The Green Dining Alliance looks at packaging and other aspects of restaurants:

While we see many different ways that St. Louis’ restaurants may work toward sustainability, all GDA restaurants must commit to our Core Concepts:

  • Ban use of Styrofoam
  • Utilize single-stream recycling 
  • Phase in efficient lighting. 
  • Set waste reduction and diversion goals, and share waste data with the GDA so that we can assess member restaurants’ environmental impact. (information kept private)
  • Share baseline utility data so that the GDA can aggregate data for the region’s environmental impact (information kept private) (GDA Core Concepts)

See certified restaurants here.

Responses on the recent non-scientintific Sunday Poll were less than usual, but here are the results:

Q: When buying a dinner (vs cooking at home) what’s your preferred method?

  • Dine in at restaurant 16 [76.19%]
  • TIE 2 [9.52%]
    • Take out/grab & go/to go
    • Delivery
  • Unsure/no answer 1 [4.76%]

I prepare most of our meals so when we pay for food I want to get away from home and have a server bring me food & beverage, but I’m not young,

— Steve Patterson

Proposed Rail Transit Through Downtown, An Alternative To Delmar

July 16, 2018 Featured, Public Transit, Transportation Comments Off on Proposed Rail Transit Through Downtown, An Alternative To Delmar
 

Last week I promised an alternative to the proposed alignment for the proposed northside-southside light rail study. At the time I thought my alternative would work only with the Cass option, but it could work with the North Florissant alignment. First, a look at the overall plan at this point.

The overall route map

Now let’s examine the downtown inset from the upper right.

From the South the line comes North on 14th from Chouteau, East on Clark. 9th Street would be used for northbound vehicles, 10yth Street for Southbound. All would use Convention Plaza (aka Delmar) to 14th Street. Stations would be at Clark, Pine, & Washington.

Now let’s examine the downtown inset from the upper right.

Two alternatives to 14th & Cass to Parnell (Jefferson) & Natural Bridge

In 2007-2008 the plan stayed on 14th rather than go East into the Central Business District. This new alignment through the CBD is much better for transit users and visibility that transit is an option.

This is looking West at Clark from 9th. The rail line would come toward us on Clark then turn North on 9th (our right)
Now we’re looking North on 9th, the Stadium West garage is on the right
Looking North on 9th from Walnut — there’s plenty of height for the rail vehicles, overhead wires, etc
Since opening in 2009 Citygarden has unofficially closed 9th Street. Would rail be allowed but not other vehicles?
The reason they closed 9th is because they didn’t figure out how to let pedestrians using the “hallway” to know when it was safe to cross 9th
At 10th Street the “hallway” needs to be continued into the next block, along with a system of pedestrian signals.
Looking West at Convention Plaza, formerly Delmar, from 9th Street.

My question was why rush to get to 14th Street? Why not go further North on 9th/10th before heading West? It’s likely too late for a change since they plan to submit to East-West Gateway, our MPO, late next month. Still, I took a look at alternatives to Delmar to reach 14th from 9th/10th.

The next block North of Delmar is MLK Dr
St. Louis loves to give away public property, is MLK between 10th-11th is a narrow private service drive. MLK was also vacated West of 11th
Cole is a nice wide option, but West of Tucker you can see it narrows considerably.

With MLK & Cole ruled out that leaves only one other option: Cass Ave. I’ve written before about 9th & 10th through the Columbus Square neighborhood being excessively wide one-way streets — from when they served as long on/off streets for I-70. Since the bridge construction changed traffic patterns, 9th/10th are way too wide and little used. Running the rail lines on 9th/10th through the center of this neighborhood would help connect it to downtown, partially making up for the convention center (1977) and dome (1993) closing access via 6th/7th/8th.

Looking South at 9th from Cass
Commercial storefront building might become viable if served by rail transit rather than infrequent bus service.
Looking West on Cass from 9th
Looking North from Cass & Tucker. It would be nice if people driving intro St. Louis from this point saw rail transit on Cass
Lots of vacant land at this important intersection, development could be served by rail transit,,
Looking West on Cass from Tucker,
The long-vacant Cass Bank at 13h & Cass might get developed if rail t=ran down Cass
14th Street sidewalks near Cass are horrible, booked in many places or too natrrow due to encroachments like this.

I think more north city residents would be served by extending the line on 9th/19th to Cass. It could continue on Cass to Jefferson or use 13th or 14th to connect to North Florissant ,Connecting the development node at Cass & Tucker to downtown and to NGA West is important.

In the interest of full disclosure, by the end of this year my husband and I will very likely be new residents of the Columbus Square neighborhood, moving from our loft in Downtown West to a smaller place.More on that later. Still, I’ve been photographing & writing about the area for years.

It’s probably too late to consider 9th.10th to Cass, but I had to share it.

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Prefer Dining Out, To Go, or Home Delivery?

July 15, 2018 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Prefer Dining Out, To Go, or Home Delivery?
 
Please vote below

We don’t all need the latest clothes, a tablet computer, or many other consumer products — but we do all need to eat.

Today there’s huge number of options. Grocery shopping foe ingredients and making your own meal is one, buying frozen entrees st the store is another. Now we have meal kit services that deliver ingredients to your home so you can cook a meal without having to worry about shopping for ingredients or portions.

If you don’t want to cook it yourself there are even more options available to you. Besides dining in at a restaurant you can get a to go order from that restaurant, have your order delivered, grab something from the grocery hot section.  Ordering is often as simple as opening an app on your smartphone.

Today’s poll is about your preference when you decide to buy a meal prepared by someone else, rather than cook at home.

[

This poll will automatically close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

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FACEBOOK POSTS

Where am I? Name the intersection and the 3 buildings that are visible.

ANSWER: Jefferson Hotel/Arms at Tucker @ Locust. Christ Church cathedral can be seen through the opening. At left you can see a little of the Park Pacific Apartments (Union Pacific bldg)
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8 hours ago  ·  

Where am I?

ANSWER: Looking northbound at the Tucker median from the Locust Street crosswalk.
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