New Book — St. Louis State Hospital: A 150-Year Journey Toward Hope by Amanda Hunyar

 

 In my 28+ years in St. Louis I’ve been in many buildings that interest me. One I haven’t seen inside of is the St. Louis State Hospital on Arsenal. It and the grounds have changed considerably in my decades here. A few hardcover book from local publisher Reedy Press gives …

Readers Opposed To Missouri National Guard Patroling St. Louis’ Worst Neighborhoods

 

 Following a recent daytime shooting Ald. Brandon Bosley started a long-overdue conversation about taking back neighborhoods from criminal elements. The boldness of the crime, on a sunny spring day as sports fans flocked downtown, just three miles south, led the neighborhood’s alderman to call for deployment of the Missouri National …

Board of Aldermen End 2018-19 Session Today, Begin 2019-20 Session Tomorrow

 

 When the St. Louis Board of Aldermen are in session they typically meet at 10am on Friday mornings. Their last meeting was February 1st, breaking for Spring elections. This week they’ll meet today & tomorrow, but not Friday. Today is the last day of the 2018-2019 session, known as Sine …

Sunday Poll: Should Gov. Parsons send the Missouri National Guard to help patrol the worst neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis?

 

 In some St. Louis neighborhoods violent  crime is driving some to the breaking point, including 3rd ward Alderman Brandon Bosley. From last week: Bosley said he and the city Board of Aldermen’s black caucus had been talking for weeks about petitioning Gov. Mike Parson. He said he hoped to persuade the …

Recent Articles:

Sunday Poll: OK With Legislators Introducing Bills To Make A Point

March 24, 2019 Crime, Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: OK With Legislators Introducing Bills To Make A Point
 
Please vote below

A Missouri legislator, Andrew McDaniel,  recently made national news. Prior to the recent shooting in Christchurch New Zealand he’d introduced two bills in the Missouri house:

35 year-old Andrew McDaniel, a state representative from southeast Missouri, has received global attention for a bill he’s introduced called the “McDaniel Militia Act” that would require every person in the state between the ages of 18 and 35 to own an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

He also has a second measure, the “McDaniel Second Amendment Act”, that would require everyone over the age of 21 to own a handgun. (Source)

After the NZ shooting McDaniel’s bills got lots of attention.

McDaniel was forced to clarify that he didn’t — technically speaking — support his own bills, at least not as written.

He wants the tax credits for firearms purchases, but that part about requiring everyone to own a gun? It was a tactic to try to bait the left.

“I wanted the media and the other side to jump on it, to show that our Second Amendment rights are under attack,” McDaniel said. “I don’t actually support mandates, hardly ever.”

But he didn’t expect the national media to get involved, a development that has cast a harsh light on his efforts, he said, because of the timing of the mosque attacks in New Zealand. (Washington Post)

So today’s poll is NOT about his bills, it’s about introducing bills that have zero chance of passing…using them to bait others.

Today’s poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

Researching for the General Election April 2, 2019

March 22, 2019 Education, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Researching for the General Election April 2, 2019
 

I’m preparing to mail in my absentee ballot for next month’s general election. Yes, another election. Remember, last month was just so the various political parties could select their nominee. Next month nominees will face each other in the general.

At least they would if we didn’t live in a one party city.

It continues to be foolish why continue having a partisan primary followed by an even lower turnout general election.   The democratic nominees for president of the board of aldermen and the 14 even-numbered wards will all win, only a few have any marginal challenge.

But on the upcoming ballot is two open school board seats, one junior college trustee seat, and a proposition. See sample ballot.

St. Louis Public Schools headquarters, 801 N 11th

SCHOOL BOARD

Seven candidates for two school board seats:

  • ADAM LAYNE
  • DAVID MERIDETH
  • LOUIS CLINTON CROSS, III
  • BARBARA ANDERSON
  • WILLIAM [BILL] HAAS
  • TRACEE A. MILLER
  • DAN MCCREADY

This election is more important than many prior school board elections.

Seven candidates are running for the St. Louis Board of Education next month. It’s very likely those elected to the board on April 2 will be handed back power over St. Louis Public Schools later this year. After nearly 12 years of state control, the state school board is expected to vote to reinstate the elected board in April.
(St. Louis Public Radio — recommended)

None of the seven are incumbents. I’m still researching, I’ve eliminated three so far. The West End Word has a brief summary of all 7 here. Vote411 has info here.

JUNIOR COLLEGE (only applies to some city voters)

  • PAULA M. SAVARINO
  • ANNE ADAMS MARSHALL

Vote411 has info on both here.

PROPOSITION S

Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District Proposition S
Simple majority required.

Ballot wording: Shall the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) charge a Stormwater Capital Rate upon all customers, whether public or private, within the District based on the amount of impervious area on the real property of each customer for the purpose of providing revenue to fund capital improvements for flooding and erosion control, as set forth in the following schedule? Single-family Residential (per month) for the following tiers, Tier 1 (200-2,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) $1.42 Tier 2 (2,001-3,600 sq. ft. of impervious area) $2.25 Tier 3 (3,601-6,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) $3.74 Tier 4 (over 6,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) $6.84 Commercial and Multi-Family Residential (per month) $2.25 per 2,600 sq. ft. of impervious area.

Summary:  The measure would allow the district to impose a new stormwater charge to generate money to addressing local and regional flooding and stream erosion that threaten structures, roads or yards. The charge would be based on the amount of a property’s surface area that does not absorb rainwater. Funds would be used for property buyouts, rain scaping, natural creek bank stabilization, stormwater drainage systems and other improvements. All public and private property in MSD’s service area, including properties owned by governmental or nonprofit entities and those not receiving MSD wastewater services, would be subject to this charge.  If passed, the charge would raise $30 million annually and the average residential property owner would pay an additional $27 per year. 

Proponents say that the increased revenue is necessary to address local and regional flooding, erosion issues and to improve water quality for stormwater. They also say that the proposed rate imposes a fair and reasonable burden on all classes of ratepayers with an incentive system. Opponents say that there are no detailed engineering plans on the proposed projects and that there is insufficient funding for the projects proposed. They also say that the projects are not required by any regulation or law. (Vote411)

No clue how I’m going to vote on this.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Patrick’s Day Myths; Early St. Louis Irish History

March 20, 2019 Car Sharing, Featured, History/Preservation, Popular Culture Comments Off on St. Patrick’s Day Myths; Early St. Louis Irish History
 

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya. I knew the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll was going to have a low response, the more controversial the subject, the more responses.

Q: Agree or disagree: Irishman Saint Patrick is celebrated today for bringing Christianity to Ireland, driving out snakes.

  • Strongly agree: 1 [6.67%]
  • Agree: 3 [20%]
  • Somewhat agree: 1 [6.67%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Disagree: 2 [13.33%]
  • Strongly disagree: 6 [40%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 2 [13.33%]

Most correctly disagreed. I say correct because everything stated in the poll question was false:

  • Patrick wasn’t Irish
  • Christianity was already in Ireland before Patrick
  • Ireland, an island, didn’t have an literal snakes

This reminds me of grade school in the early 70s, cutting shamrocks out of green construction paper, etc. We were taught myths that just aren’t accurate — including the color green!

The following is from the history.com article titled: “St. Patrick’s Day Myths Debunked“:

  • Myth: St. Patrick was Irish.
    Though one of Ireland’s patron saints, Patrick was born in what is now England, Scotland or Wales—interpretations vary widely—to a Christian deacon and his wife, probably around the year 390. According to the traditional narrative, at 16 he was enslaved by Irish raiders who attacked his home; they transported him to Ireland and held him captive there for six years. Patrick later fled to England, where he received religious instruction before returning to Ireland to serve as a missionary.
  • Myth: St. Patrick was British.
  • Myth: St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland.
  • Myth: St. Patrick banished snakes from the Emerald Isle.
  • Myth: Green has historically been associated with St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Myth: Popular St. Patrick’s Day festivities have their roots in Ireland.
  • Myth: Corned beef is a classic St. Patrick’s Day dish.

You can click the link above to read the debunking of each myth.

Irish-American immigrants celebrated St. Patrick’s Day as a show of their pride — despite lots of anti-Irish discrimination:

The refugees seeking haven in America were poor and disease-ridden. They threatened to take jobs away from Americans and strain welfare budgets. They practiced an alien religion and pledged allegiance to a foreign leader. They were bringing with them crime. They were accused of being rapists. And, worst of all, these undesirables were Irish. (history.com)

Sounds similar today’s anti-immigration rhetoric.

The money to build the Mullaphy Emigrant Home on N 13th was left by Bryan Mullanphy, the son of Irish immigrant John Mullanphy. Bryan Mullanphy was mayor in the 1840s.

Bryan’s  sister Anne Mullanphy  married Thomas Biddle. After his death she donated the land for St. Joseph’s church in what’s now known as the Columbus Square neighborhood.  Most Irish immigrants were poor living in tenements & flats stretching west to Jefferson, including what became known as the former [Kerry] Patch neighborhood:

The neighborhood’s boundaries shifted over time—Irish families moved farther west, as German, Polish, and Eastern European immigrants settled around them after the Civil War. But during its heyday, the Patch was generally described as being between N. 15th Street and Hogan Street, Division Street and Cass Avenue. The heart of the neighborhood was squeezed into the tight rectangle between 16th and 18th streets, Cass Avenue and O’Fallon Street—a few blocks east of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in near north St. Louis.

In the early 19th century, emigrants left Ireland to escape English political oppression. By 1847, during the height of An Gorta Mór, The Great Hunger, they flooded out of the country to escape starvation and death. As Diamond notes, the immigrants’ sheer numbers, as well as their religious affiliation—Catholic—did not endear them to second- and third-generation American Protestants, specifically the nativist Know Nothing movement, founded in 1845, the year the potato famine began. The level of disdain and outright hostility toward Irish immigrants in major American cities, including St. Louis, was reflected in ads for housekeepers, which indicated “NO IRISH NEED APPLY.” Earlier Irish immigrants who had blended into St. Louis society also castigated the new arrivals for not working hard enough to assimilate, Diamond adds. Patchers responded by banding together. (St. Louis Magazine)

Once Irish neighborhoods were razed for public housing projects: Cochran Gardens, Carr Square, and Pruitt-Igoe.

— Steve Patterson

Activity at the Bottle District Site

March 18, 2019 Featured, North City, Real Estate Comments Off on Activity at the Bottle District Site
 

The eastern edge of my new neighborhood, Columbus Square, has been known as “The Bottle District” since 2004.

In 2004, longtime neighborhood business McGuire Moving and Storage Company, announced plans to redevelop the district as an entertainment destination. Noted architect Daniel Libeskind was hired to design the district. The Ghazi Company of Charlotte, North Carolina is the co-developer.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 27, 2005, with plans for the first phase to open in 2007. The plans called for a Rawlings Sports museum, a Grand Prix Speedways kart-racing center, a boutique bowling alley, 250 residential units, and several restaurants. The first phase of the development was anticipated to cost $290 million, to be funded in part by $51.3 million in tax increment financing.

But that effort stalled. In late 2011, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved the transfer of the unused $51.3 million to a new developer, NorthSide Regeneration LLC. The deal would see the previous investment group, including developers Larry Chapman and Clayco, sell the site to NorthSide for an undisclosed amount that documents with the city suggest would be $3 million; all three were to work to find tenants and build on the site. Construction on a $190 million office and residential project was to begin in summer 2012. (Wikipedia)

This area is basically a wedge between I-44 (formerly I-70), Cole, 7th, Cass. The only thing that’s happened was the giant Vess soda bottle got a new paint job in 2016.

The Vess bottle in 2012, before being repainted. The McKee-owned warehouse in the background has since had a fire.

From August:

Six years after developer Paul McKee, through Northside Regeneration, LLC, acquired the Bottle District just north of the Dome at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis, no development has occurred. (Post-Dispatch)

Recently I’ve seen some activity, but nothing to get excited about.

Lots of trucks brought many loads of gravel last month
The gravel was placed on several of the blocks
It was then spread out in places

Workers with large equipment have moved some dirt, big trucks have delivered gravel, which has been spread out on some of the blocks. Looks to me like they’re prepping for use as surface parking. With XFL pro football starting at the dome in 11 months there will be people to pay to park here.

Looking North
Looking East from 7th & Biddle
McGuire’s former building can still be renovated, but the clock is ticking.

The location seems good, right next door to the Dome, very close to Laclede’s Landing and the renovated Arch grounds. Yet, surfacing parking appears to be the highest & best use.

— Steve Patterson

A St. Patrick’s Day Sunday Poll

March 17, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on A St. Patrick’s Day Sunday Poll
 
Please vote below

The downtown parade was yesterday, the Ancient Order of Hibernians parade is today in dogtown. St. Louis has a long history of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day:

On March 17, 1820, a small band of Irish settlers gathered to praise St. Patrick. It was the first recorded observance of St. Patrick’s Day here, although the sparse accounts disagree whether a parade was included. The Irish then were a small part of the city’s 4,400 souls. Marching came later. (Post-Dispatch)

Here’s more on St. Patrick’s Day:

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage. (History.com)

Today’s poll is about Saint Patrick:

This poll will close automatically at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

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