Sunday Poll: Are We Lucky Dollar Stores Are Willing To Locate In Low-Income Areas?

 

 Today’s non-scientific poll is about dollar stores: These stores have gained attention as success stories in the country’s most economically distressed places — largely rural counties with few retail options. Two main chains, Dollar General and Dollar Tree (which owns Family Dollar), operate more than 30,000 stores nationally and plan …

Four Candidates In Democratic Primary to be President of the Board of Aldermen

 

 Today’s post is for those who’ve not made a decision about who to vote for in the 4-way race for the Democratic nomination to be president of the Board of Aldermen. The partisan primary will be March 5th, the winner will very likely easily defeat the Green Party nominee the …

No Surprise, Readers’ Top Transportation Choice is a Private Car

 

 When I decided on the topic of the recent non-scientific poll, I’d planned to write more along with the results. However, the cold I had last weekend in Chicago continues. Q: My primary mode of transportation is… (pick up to 3): Private vehicle, paid off (no loan/lease): 12 [25%] Private vehicle, outstanding …

Thinking about the former Ackerman Toyota site on South Kingshighway

 

 For decades Ackerman Toyota was located on South Kingshighway Blvd, between Tholozan Ave on the North, and Beck Ave on the South. In 2015 they announced they’d build a new dealership on the NE corner of Hampton & I-44, the site of the former MSD headquarters. Ackerman Toyota, the southern …

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Readers Unhappy Trump Partially Closed The Government

December 26, 2018 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Readers Unhappy Trump Partially Closed The Government
 
Me in front of the White House, October 2001. Back then I wore a watch and on my belt: a case for a point & shoot camera!

Unsurprisingly, most of those who resounded to the recent unscientific Sunday Poll are unhappy with the partial government shutdown, blaming the president:

Q: Agree or disagree: I’m glad President Trump is holding firm on money for the border wall, worth the partial government shutdown.

  • Strongly agree: 6 [20%]
  • Agree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat agree: 0 [0%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Disagree: 1 [3.33%]
  • Strongly disagree: 23 [76.67%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

I’m not going to waste my time trying to convince 20% why they’re wrong.

Those who wanted to visit the Arch museum should consider ice skating at Kiener Plaza. Skate rentals are $12 ($7 kids), skating is free if you have your own skates. See Winterfest for more hours, etc.

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Holiday Nostalgia

December 24, 2018 Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Holiday Nostalgia
 
Christmas 1972-ish with me (right) and my brother Randy (left). This is the last Xmas that we’re both in our 50s.

I’d originally planned to write about retailing, gift giving and such, however, I ran out of time. Instead you get some nostalgic ramblings.

My husband and I are both atheists, but Xmas is an important time for us. It’s about recalling childhood memories, watching favorite movies, and having a meal with family. For us this means my husband’s family (mom, brother, uncle) coming to our loft for Xmas lunch tomorrow.

I love getting to host a holiday meal, this is the 6th Xmas that we’ve had them over. As a kid we’d go to my grandparent’s houses for the holidays. At my maternal grandparents, Mennonites, that meant the men in one room and the women in another (kitchen/breakfast). After we were served, they’d eat. I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen to learn from my grandmother (1902-1982), or hang with my cousin. They never did a tree.

My paternal grandmother’s (1905-1994) house was very different. There everyone was in the kitchen enjoying the company and abundance of food, and her endearing laugh. She always had a huge tree.

Since marrying I’ve learned of traditions in his family, one year I made a traditional German stollen from scratch. His ancestors came here around WWI, fought in WWII.

I hope you have great memories, traditions, and plenty of food. To me, this holiday was never about what it has become: consumerism.

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Border Wall Worth a Partial Government Shutdown?

December 23, 2018 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Border Wall Worth a Partial Government Shutdown?
 
Please vote below

As you likely know, the federal government has partially shut down because of a disagreement over $5 billion in funding to build a border wall.

The partial shutdown of the federal government that began just after midnight Saturday won’t be ending anytime soon. The Senate has adjourned with no business in the chamber anticipated before Thursday afternoon and, maybe not even then, if congressional leaders and President Trump can’t reach an agreement over the president’s demand for $5 billion in funding for his border wall.

The House and Senate convened at noon Saturday, but no votes were scheduled and many lawmakers have already left town. House GOP leaders have advised lawmakers that they will be given 24 hours’ notice of any planned vote. (NPR)

With the long holiday weekend most of us haven’t noticed…unless we tried to visit the Arch or Old Courthouse:

The Arch, museum and Old Courthouse are all closed indefinitely during the shutdown as part of the National Park Service. The partial shutdown affects nine of the 15 Cabinet-level departments, including Interior, which runs national parks, and Agriculture, which runs national forests. About 16,000 National Park Service employees — 80 percent of the agency’s workforce — are being furloughed.

Congress held a Saturday session in a failed attempt to find a compromise in the battle over President Donald Trump’s request for $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The government agencies will remain closed until at least Thursday, officials said. (Post-Dispatch)

The partial shutdown is the subject of today’s non-scientific poll:

Today’s poll, like usual, will close automatically at 8pm tonight. Any effort to flood the site with voters will only result in increased revenue from ads displayed.

I’ll share my thoughts on Wednesday.

— Steve Patterson

 

New Book — ‘Life After Carbon: The Next Global Transformation of Cities’ by Peter Plastrik and John Cleveland

December 21, 2018 Books, Environment, Featured Comments Off on New Book — ‘Life After Carbon: The Next Global Transformation of Cities’ by Peter Plastrik and John Cleveland
 

It usually takes me weeks/months to post about new books I receive, but another book arrived earlier in the week — just when I needed a subject for today.

The future of our cities is not what it used to be. The modern-city model that took hold globally in the twentieth century has outlived its usefulness. It cannot solve the problems it helped to create—especially global warming. Fortunately, a new model for urban development is emerging in cities to aggressively tackle the realities of climate change. It transforms the way cities design and use physical space, generate economic wealth, consume and dispose of resources, exploit and sustain the natural ecosystems, and prepare for the future.

In Life After Carbon, urban sustainability consultants Pete Plastrik and John Cleveland assemble this global pattern of urban reinvention from the stories of 25 “innovation lab” cities across the globe—from Copenhagen to Melbourne. A city innovation lab is the entire city—the complex, messy, real urban world where innovations must work. It is a city in which government, business, and community leaders take to heart the challenge of climate change and converge on the radical changes that are necessary. They free downtowns from cars, turn buildings into renewable-energy power plants, re-nature entire neighborhoods, incubate growing numbers of clean-energy and smart-tech companies, convert waste to energy, and much more. Plastrik and Cleveland show that four transformational ideas are driving urban climate innovation around the world, in practice, not just in theory: carbon-free advantage, efficient abundance, nature’s benefits, and adaptive futures. And these ideas are thriving in markets, professions, consumer trends, community movements, and “higher” levels of government that enable cities.

Life After Carbon presents the new ideas that are replacing the pillars of the modern-city model, converting climate disaster into urban opportunity, and shaping the next transformation of cities worldwide. It will inspire anyone who cares about the future of our cities, and help them to map a sustainable path forward. (Island Press)

The primary chapters are divided into three parts:

Part I: On the Innovation Pathway

  • Innovation Proliferation
  • Urban Climate Innovation Laboratories
  • Goals, Systems, Clusters, and Waves
  • Making a Better City
  • The Rebel Alliance

Part II: Toward Global Urban Transformation

  • The Power of Transformational Ideas
  • Carbon-Free Advantage
  • Efficient Abundance
  • Nature’s Benefits
  • Adaptive Capacities

Part III: Challenges of Urban Evolution

  • The Edge of City Climate Innovation
  • Assembly Required
  • The Next Urban Operating System
  • Going Global

Here’s a three and a half minute video from their website:

I do think cities that resist changing will suffer as the next century nears, whereas those that innovate and adapt will fare better.

— Steve Patterson

Readers Skeptical About Major Earthquake in Their Lifetimes

December 19, 2018 Featured, Missouri, STL Region Comments Off on Readers Skeptical About Major Earthquake in Their Lifetimes
 
The elevated sections of I-64 in St. Louis have been retrofitted to hopefully withstand a major earthquake.

Earthquakes happen all the time, we just don’t feel them. I’m nearly 52 and have never felt an earthquake.

My oldest brother was living in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, my other brother was living in the Los Angeles area during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. A close personal friend was living in Seattle during the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake. My relatives in Oklahoma have all felt their frequent, but minor, earthquakes. I’d be ok with never feeling one, but that time may come.

Here in St. Louis we’re part of at least two seismic zones:

With the New Madrid fault just a hundred miles south of St. Louis, it’s long been known that the region is at a greater risk for an earthquake than other parts of the Midwest. But new research indicates that St. Louis is part of an area that has seismic activity of its own.

Geologists have identified a new seismic zone stretching from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau along the Mississippi River called the Ste. Genevieve Seismic Zone. Their research indicates that the zone is capable of producing moderate earthquakes every few decades and has the potential to produce a major earthquake every 2,000 to 4,000 years.

“It’s a roll of the dice, right. If you’re unlucky, it could happen in your lifetime. The odds are not high,” Indiana University Geologist Gary Pavlis said.

A moderate earthquake measures about a magnitude 5 on the Richter scale. Pavlis said they can be felt but would only dislodge a few bricks here and there.

While the Ste. Genevieve Seismic Zone may not produce anything major in our lifetimes, the same can’t be said of the New Madrid Seismic Zone. OK, someone who’s 90 might not see the big one in their lifetimes, but those in your 20s may. It might happen next week.

There is broad agreement in the scientifc community that a continuing concern exists for a major destructive earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone. Many structures in Memphis, Tenn., St. Louis, Mo., and other communities in the central Mississippi River Valley region are vulnerable and at risk from severe ground shaking. This assessment is based on decades of research on New Madrid earthquakes and related phenomena by dozens of Federal, university, State, and consulting earth scientists. (USGS)

Those in floodplain areas might experience the worst of it, because of liquefaction of the soil.

In the recent non-scientific poll more than half don’t expect the big one to hit St. Louis in their lifetimes:

Q: Agree or disagree: A major earthquake will “wreck” St. Louis in my lifetime.

  • Strongly agree: 3 [10.71%]
  • Agree: 2 [7.14%]
  • Somewhat agree: 7 [25%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [3.57%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 3 [10.71%]
  • Disagree: 6 [21.43%]
  • Strongly disagree: 3 [10.71%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 3 [10.71%]

Hopefully they’re correct.

— Steve Patterson

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