Charter Amendments On General Election Ballot

 

 A week from tomorrow is the general election in St. Louis.  I already posted about the School Board & Junior College Board races. We all know about the mayor’s race, and some of us live in a ward electing an alderman to a 4-year term. All of us have the following six …

Sunday Poll: Should Municipal Bans On Pit Bulls Remain?

 

 Two weeks ago one local municipality voted to repeal a prior ban on pit bulls: The Florissant City Council voted Monday night to end the city’s ban on pit bulls and pit bull mixes. The new ordinance that passed states it “allows pit bull dogs in the city with mandatory spaying …

April 4th Ballot: School Board & Junior College Board

 

 In a little over a week St. Louis voters will return to the polls for the general election — mostly a rubber-stamp of the Democratic nominees selected earlier this month. In addition to propositions that I’ll cover next week, there are two often overlooked nonpartisan races on our ballot (sample): …

Opinion: Loop Trolley Will Surprise Naysayers

 

 I’m not a huge fan of vintage/heritage streetcar/trolley lines — I much prefer modern streetcar lines using 21st century low-floor vehicles (see Kansas City’s streetcar). I have ridden vintage/heritage lines in San Francisco, Little Rock, New Orleans, and Memphis. I wanted to ride the one in Dallas after becoming disabled, …

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Bissell Water Tower First Saved 55 Years Ago Today

January 27, 2017 Featured, History/Preservation, North City Comments Off on Bissell Water Tower First Saved 55 Years Ago Today
 
Image from the 1970 nominating to the National Register of Historic Places, click image to view
Image from the 1970 nominating to the National Register of Historic Places, click image to view

Today’s post was originally supposed to be about how a historic water tower, one of our three, was saved 55 years ago. In researching, however, I found the truth was a little differing.

A few years ago the STL250 group posted a daily tidbit — I saved those which thought might be of interest here.

This Day in St. Louis History, January 27, 1962:
Salvation for the Bissell Street Water Tower

When news was released that the city had decided to tear down the dilapidated Bissell Street Water Tower at Blair and Bissell Street in North St. Louis, protests came from every direction. The tower had been losing bricks from its face due to water infiltration and freezing, but people demanded the structure be saved. Thanks to a matching grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior and the realization that tearing it down would be just as expensive, the tower was saved and restored. The Bissell Street Water Tower was constructed in 1885 to control surges of water pressure along with its older adjacent neighbor, the Grand Avenue Water Tower, shaped like a giant Corinthian column. Less than ten Victorian-era water towers remain in the United States, and three are in St. Louis.

Their post has been deleted from Facebook. So it was saved on a Saturday in 1962 — great

From the city’s page on the water tower:

Bissell Street Water Tower – City Landmark #12

Built in 1885, the Bissell Street Water Tower, also called the “Red” Water Tower, was designed by William S. Eames in the form of a Moorish Minaret.  The tower stands 206 feet high and is located at the intersection of Blair Avenue and Bissell Street in the Hyde Park City Historic District.

There are nine doorways leading into a space containing an iron standpipe and spiral staircase. At the top is a look-out platform. The tower was renovated in 1913.  There was an attempt to raze the tower in 1958, but luckily it was halted by Donald Gunn, the President of the Board of Aldermen.  The Red Tower was restored once again in the 1960s and designated a City Landmark in 1966..  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

So it was saved from demolition in 1962, restored and listed on the National Register. Not quite.

From the nomination to the register completed on April 8, 1970:

No material alterations have been made on the structure since its construction and its appearance remains essentially the same as when it was completed. The tower was taken out of use  June 8, 1913 when new pumping engines rendered both it and its companion, the Grand Avenue Water Tower, obsolete. It has received no substantive maintenance since that date and has fallen into such a state of disrepair that it has been barricaded since 1965 to protect people from falling bricks. Because it has been deemed a danger to public safety, it is now threatened with imminent demolition.

This description of the physical appearance of the building is based on the data included in a field report by Edward A. Ruesing written, on February 26, 1970. The report is filed at the central office of the Missouri State Park Board, P.O. Box 1?6, Jefferson Building, Jefferson City, Misoouri 65101.

No doubt something happened 55 years ago today, but it was just part of many steps taken to save it from demolition. I haven’t been up there since December 2011 — not sure of the current condition. Would be nice to see the Compton Hill Water Tower & Park Preservation Society expand to cover all three of our water towers or help form an organization to help the two north side towers.

It is located at the intersection of Bissell St & Blair Ave.

— Steve Pattetrson

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

 

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