Celebrating Blog’s 19th Anniversary


  Nineteen year ago I started this blog as a distraction from my father’s heart attack and slow recovery. It was late 2004 and social media & video streaming apps didn’t exist yet — or at least not widely available to the general public. Blogs were the newest means of …

Thoughts on NGA West’s Upcoming $10 Million Dollar Landscaping Project


  The new NGA West campus , Jefferson & Cass, has been under construction for a few years now. Next NGA West is a large-scale construction project that will build a new facility for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in St. Louis, Missouri.This $1.7B project is managed by the U.S. Army …

Four Recent Books From Island Press


  Book publisher Island Press always impresses me with thoughtful new books written by people working to solve current problems — the subjects are important ones for urbanists and policy makers to be familiar and actively discussing. These four books are presented in the order I received them. ‘Justice and …

New Siteman Cancer Center, Update on my Cancer


  This post is about two indirectly related topics: the new Siteman Cancer Center building under construction on the Washington University School of Medicine/BJC campus and an update on my stage 4 kidney cancer. Let’s deal with the latter first. You may have noticed I’ve not posted in three months, …

Recent Articles:

Democratic Debates Begin Tonight: Progressives vs Centrists

June 26, 2019 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Democratic Debates Begin Tonight: Progressives vs Centrists

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking at a campaign rally, Affton High School in March 2016. Actor Danny Devito at far right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember, a lot can happen in a year.

Debating tonight will be following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some 2020 guides to candidates:

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

— Steve Patterson

Noxious Weeds Outside St. Louis’ Gateway Transportation Center

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

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

October 2011: non-planted sections with planted in between

April 2015, largely unchanged

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

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

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

June 13, 2019 @ 7:30am

The material to keep the gravel in the non-planted section from moving is now clearly visible

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

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

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

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

— Steve Patterson

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

June 23, 2019 Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Who Do You Think Will Be The Final Four Democratic Presidential Candidates Running In 2020?

Please vote below

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 cycle is in full swing, President Trump launched his campaign for a 2nd term and more than twenty candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination.  It’s too early to know who the Democrats will nominate at their July 2020 convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin — that’s the point — to later be able to compare 2019 perceptions with 2020 reality.

For today’s poll will use the list of the 20 declared candidates that met the criteria for the first debate.  This debate is later this week, split into two parts:

The back-to-back debates on Wednesday and Thursday nights could be a pivot point in the Democrats’ primary campaign, which for months has seen candidates refraining from criticizing one another — or doing so only in veiled terms.
It will be a high-stakes test for the biggest primary campaign field ever, which includes three black candidates, one Latino, six women, two Asian Americans and an openly gay man. (Los Angeles Times)

This week’s poll question isn’t who you want to see make it to the final 4, but rather who you think will be the 4 who’ll survive the next 9-12 months of campaigning.

Please be sure to pick 4 answers, the poll closes at 8pm tonight. The non-scientific results ands my own thoughts on Wednesday morning. First night of the first Democratic debate is Wednesday night, 7pm St. Louis time on 5.1 (NBC).

— Steve Patterson



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

June 21, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 10 of 2019-2020 Session

St. Louis City Hall

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 establishing a four-way stop site at the intersection of Childress and Bradley regulating all traffic traveling northbound and southbound on Childress at Bradley and regulating all traffic traveling eastbound and westbound on Bradley at Childress, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B. #77 – Spencer – An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters of the City a proposal to amend the Charter of the City to require that prior to the City entering into any private investment partnership agreement with a private airport operator to manage and operate the City of St. Louis’ public airport and landing fields at St. Louis Lambert International Airport as permitted by the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Investment Partnership Program (49 U.S.C. §47134; Section 149) such agreement first be submitted to the qualified voters of the City for approval to be voted upon at a City-wide election; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#78 – Pres. Reed An ordinance adopted pursuant to Section 105.483 (11) RSMo., reaffirming the provisions of Ordinances 62391, 66691, 67617, 68409, 68934, 70622 establishing a policy for the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest and substantial interests for certain municipal officials, 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

Unfortunately Uniformed Police Will Be Allowed To March In St. Louis’ Pride Parade

June 19, 2019 Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Unfortunately Uniformed Police Will Be Allowed To March In St. Louis’ Pride Parade

Top of the Civil Courts building in rainbow colors for PrideFest 2013

Many are puzzled by the recent decision of Pride St  Louis to not allow uniformed police groups to march in this year’s Pride Parade. To many of us who are LGBT it made perfect sense.

For the first time in 40 years, uniformed police officers are not being allowed to march in the St. Louis Pride Parade.

PrideSTL, the non-profit that puts on the annual event, said the decision is out of respect for the 50th anniversary of the historic riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City.

The June 1969 uprising, which began after police violently raided the gay bar, is largely considered the birth of the modern gay rights movement. (MSN)

Yesterday organizers reversed their decision.

Police will be allowed to march in uniform after all in the June 30 Pride parade, parade officials and Mayor Lyda Krewson announced Tuesday.
Pride St. Louis Inc. had asked police to not take part this year in the annual gay-rights parade downtown, citing sensitivities surrounding the New York police raid on the Stonewall Inn gay bar in 1969 that helped spur the gay-rights movement. (Post-Dispatch)

I personally wish they hadn’t reversed their original decision — it was the right one! No doubt they were pressured to change their mind — it’s important for St. Louis’ political establishment to at least give appearances that all is well. Or perhaps the big money corporate sponsors threatened to pull funding next year?

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots — several nights of rioting by LGBT who were fed up with regular police raids.

Yes, annual Pride events are a way of remembering the violent riot that kicked off the modern movement for LGBT civil rights. Society, via the police, were the oppressor.

You might think that’s old history…time to move on. Except that police forces are old school boys clubs — racist & homophobic.  Even LGBT officers find the conditions intolerable.

[Jay] Brome’s story is part of a wave of lawsuits alleging anti-gay workplace discrimination filed by gay officers against law-enforcement departments across the U.S. in recent years. The lawsuits describe abusive work environments, where being gay or lesbian often meant cruel taunts, hostile work conditions and limited career opportunities. Some officers said they faced different work standards, while others claimed administrators passed them over for promotion or denied them protection — all because of their sexual orientation.

In all, there were at least 11 such lawsuits filed since 2016, according to a review conducted by USA TODAY of public records and media reports. Experts on law enforcement and civil-rights activists noted that the problem of LGBT officers feeling unsafe at work isn’t new, but some officers are now heading to the courts to demand accountability after years of internal complaints that were often ignored.  (USA Today)

Similar stories from the UK.  A San Francisco police officer who had been suspended for sending racist & homophobic messages to fellow officers was convicted last month of bank robbery. Closer to home, a gay St. Louis County Police Sargent alleged he was told ‘The command staff has a problem with your sexuality, If you ever want to see a white shirt (i.e., get a promotion), you should tone down your gayness.” (Source: Washington Post)

And this month a member of law enforcement called for the government to execute people participating in Pride:

Knoxville sheriff’s deputy is being looked into by the county’s District Attorney after he delivered a series of hate-filled sermons calling for the government-sanctioned execution of the LGBT community.

Knox County Sheriff’s Office Detective Grayson Fritts, who is also a Baptist preacher, has grabbed headlines after denouncing members of the LGBT community as “freaks” and “animals.” He called for the state to execute them during his Pride Week sermons. (Newsweek)

A law enforcement officer advocating executing people!

The only uniformed police officers I want to see marching in the Pride parade are LGBT officers. Maybe I’ll check out the less-corporate Tower Grove Pride this year, or just stay home.

— Steve Patterson (out since 1983)

The following is the results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree: The 2019 St. Louis Pride Parade should be very inclusive, allowing everyone to participate — including uniformed police.

  • Strongly agree: 13 [37.14%]
  • Agree: 6 [17.14%]
  • Somewhat agree: 2 [5.71%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [2.86%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Disagree: 4 [11.43%]
  • Strongly disagree: 7 [20%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 2 [5.71%]