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Eads Bridge Remains Inaccessible Years After Arch Project “Completed”

January 13, 2020 Accessibility, Featured, Walkability Comments Off on Eads Bridge Remains Inaccessible Years After Arch Project “Completed”

Thursday last week I decided to go see the level of the Mississippi River before we began getting rains and localized flooding. The best view is from the pedestrian walkway on the south side of the Eads Bridge top deck. I knew there had been accessibility issues at the west end of the sidewalk, but the I’d seen some asphalt had been put down to lessen the problem.

The loaner wheelchair I’m using couldn’t get over the huge gap.

So I had to stand up and, while not falling, drag the chair up onto the sidewalk by pulling on each front caster, alternating from left to right. Someone saw me and came to help when I was nearly finished.

This is the view as I approached. The steel plate and asphalt are more recent, but now ineffective.
If we step back across Memorial Drive we see barricades have been placed to physically prevent anyone from going from the Eads to Arch grounds, or vice versa.

It seems a contractor on the Arch project accidentally busted into the MetroLink light rail tunnel beneath the Eads Bridge/Washington Ave. Since Metro owns the bridge & tunnel it’s up to them to get it fixed.

Let’s take a look at my older photos, in reverse order.

May 31, 2019. A steel plate covered the gravel but no asphalt yet to get up
May 2, 2019
April 1, 2019
March 16, 2019
May 7, 2017 is my oldest photo of the problem. This is when I began conversations with various officials about being able to access the pedestrian walkway in my wheelchair.

So this problem is about three years old at this point. Three years!

I did get to see the river level last week, but it took far more effort than it should have.

As Spring flooding season begins I’d like to get regular photos to show how water is approaching and eventually covering Lenore K. Sullivan Blvd.   I live close by so this shouldn’t be the issue it is.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Sunday Poll: Was the Airport Privatization Process Ended Too Soon?

January 12, 2020 Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Was the Airport Privatization Process Ended Too Soon?
Please vote below

Last month St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said the effort to privatize St. Louis Lambert International Airport was over.

Krewson’s surprise decision followed almost three years of controversy over the possibility of farming out all operations of the airport, which is owned by the city, to private managers. Proponents said such a deal could pay the city hundreds of millions of dollars. Opponents said the city was selling out to private interests, and doing it behind closed doors.

Friday’s announcement brought quick accolades and criticism. Comptroller Darlene Green, a long-standing opponent of privatization, said the airport is well managed and the mayor did the right thing. (Post-Dispatch)

On Friday Lewis Reed, President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, spoke up.

Reed, in his first public comment on Krewson’s Dec. 20 announcement declaring privatization dead, said that the city first should have sought, received and reviewed bids from some of the teams of companies competing for a privatization deal.

“I don’t think we had any information to make a clear and final decision,” Reed said in an interview. “It would have been good to at least see what the proposals looked like. We would have gotten good information from that, whether we moved forward or not.”

Krewson, in abruptly ending the city’s exploration of privatizing Lambert, had cited criticism from residents, business leaders and other elected officials. (Post-Dispatch)

This is the subject of today’s poll:

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 27 of 2019-2020 Session

January 10, 2020 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 27 of 2019-2020 Session

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen meet at 10am today, their 27th 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 26.

Today’s agenda includes four (4) new bills.

  • B.B.#187 – Arnowitz – An Ordinance authorizing and directing the Director of the Department of Human Services, to accept a Grant Award from the St. Louis Community Foundation in the amount of $26,000 for the current fiscal year and to expend those funds for the City of St. Louis “You Matter! Appropriating such funds and authorizing the Director of the Department of Human Services, upon approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, to expend such funds as permitted by the Grant Award Agreement; and containing an Emergency Clause.
  • B.B.#188 – Davis – An ordinance recommended and approved by the Airport Commission, the Comptroller and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, making certain findings with respect to the transfer of up to $13,727,769 of excess moneys that The City of St. Louis, the owner and operator of St. Louis Lambert International Airport, to be used to make funds available to mitigate rates on an annual basis during the term of the Airport Use and Lease Agreement commencing July 1, 2016; containing a severability clause; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#189 – Ingrassia/Spencer/Middlebrook – An ordinance prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms by persons who are subject to a restraining order or who have been convicted of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as provided in this ordinance, and the firearm such person is in receipt of has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce as prohibited by Title 18, Section 922g (8) and (9) of the United States Code; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#190 – Vaccaro – An Ordinance establishing a four-way stop site at the intersection of Oleatha Avenue and January Avenue regulating all traffic traveling northbound and southbound on January Avenue at Oleatha Avenue and regulating all traffic traveling eastbound and westbound on Oleatha Avenue at January Avenue, 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

 

It’s Time To End Twice Per Year Clock Changes

January 8, 2020 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on It’s Time To End Twice Per Year Clock Changes
Sunrise at the YMCA sign at 16th & Locust, April 2013 photo

All over the United States there’s an effort to end changing our clocks twice per year.

From August 2019:

So far this year, at least 36 states have introduced legislation to end or study the practice, more than any year before. Some bills call for all-year standard time, but most endorse permanent daylight saving time — which would result in an extra hour of evening sunlight for more of the year in exchange for a delayed sunrise in the winter.

The issue has played out on social media with the hashtags #DitchTheSwitch and #LockTheClock, and it has pitted recreational businesses that would benefit from longer days, like golf courses, against groups that worry about the danger of darker mornings, such as parent-teacher associations. (NBC News)

Eight months of the year, first Sunday in March through first Sunday in November, we’re in Daylight Saving Time (DST)— an hour ahead of standard time.

The federal government gives states two options:

  1. Change clocks twice per year
  2. Observe Standard Time all year.

Observing Daylight Saving Time all year isn’t an option.

States Arizona & Hawaii have chosen #2 — to observe Standard Time all year.

The recent non-scientific Sunday Poll wasn’t very popular, but that’s ok.

Q: Agree or disagree: The federal government shouldn’t let states opt out of 2x per year Daylight Saving Time (DST) clock changes.

  • Strongly agree: 4 [22.22%]
  • Agree: 3 [16.67%]
  • Somewhat agree: 1 [5.56%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 1 [5.56%]
  • Disagree: 5 [27.78%]
  • Strongly disagree: 4 [22.22%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

I’m personally in favor of ending the twice per year clock changes. I think I’d tend to favor DST all year over 12 months of Standard Time.

However, it’s not just one or the other. Some suggest DST, for 8 or 12 months, is bad.

Daylight saving time (DST) eliminates bright morning light that’s crucial to synchronizing your biologic clock, possibly putting people at increased risk of heart attack, stroke and other harmful effects of sleep deprivation, said Dr. Beth Ann Malow, director of the Sleep Disorders Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. (WebMD)

Maybe it’s good that DST all year isn’t an option?

— Steve Patterson

 

McKee’s 3-Bed Urgent Care Facility Should Not Be Named Homer G. Phillips

January 6, 2020 Featured, North City, NorthSide Project Comments Off on McKee’s 3-Bed Urgent Care Facility Should Not Be Named Homer G. Phillips

Last week it came out that Northside Regeneration developer Paul McKee wants to name his future 3-bed urgent care facility, being built on part of the former Pruiit-Igoe housing project site, after the historic Homer G. Phillips Hospital. Many were not happy about this.

The historic Homer G. Phillips Hospital is now senior apartments. May 2010 photo.

When the hospital was first dedicated in February 1937 it was known as City Hospital #2, replacing an older City Hospital #2. City Hospital #1 didn’t serve African-Americans.

In 1942 it was renamed after the man who fought to get it built:

Homer Garland Phillips (1878–1931) was a black lawyer in St. Louis who was born in Sedalia, Missouri. Son of a Minister he was orphaned at birth and raised by his aunt. He is mostly known as a Republican political figure in St. Louis and is known for being the person who was tasked with securing $1 million to constructing a new hospital for African Americans on the city’s North Side called Homer G. Phillips Hospital. (Wikipedia)

It was closed by Mayor Schoemehl in 1979, after running on a pledge to keep it open.  Four decades later the name “Homer G. Phillips” is synonymous with the historic hospital and The Ville neighborhood where it was located. It is also a man’s name.

At every turn Paul McKee has managed to make poor decisions.

Could you imagine McKee proposing a baseball field named Stan Musial Field without getting permission from Musial’s family?  Of course not. Ok, Phillips has been deceased a lot longer than Musial, but respect for someone’s name doesn’t expire.

McKee needs to find a new name for his 3-bed urgent care facility at the former Pruitt-Igoe!

This got me thinking about healthcare facilities during the Pruitt-Igoe era. The 1974 Final Environmental Impact report offered the two options:

Pruitt-Igoe Medical Action Center, 2407 O’Fallon.

Offered medical treatment for minor illnesses and injuries, a weight reduction program,  prenatal care and limited gynecological care. This facility, funded by Model City Agency, served Pruitt-Igoe residents almost exclusively, was closed during the relocation of Pruitt-Igoe tenants.

Jefferson Municipal Health Center, 1421 Jefferson.

Offers comprehensive child health care, prenatal classes, obstetrics and family planning, X-Rays and TB treatment. The boundaries of this facility, operated by the Health Division of the City of St. Louis, extend beyond the Pruitt-Igoe area. Service is still being provided to residents of the area.

Neither was located within the Pruitt-Igoe site, but east & west, respectively. The city eventually closed the second and the site became the headquarters for the St. Louis Fire Department.

This building, on the SW corner of Cass & Jefferson was a medical facility before becoming the Fire Dept. headquarters. May 2012 photo.
My only visit to the building was in October 2016.

McKee must be thinking that because Homer G. Philips Hospital was so important to St. Louis’ black community that taking that name will suddenly make his 3-bed urgent care as important. Sorry Paul, it doesn’t work that way.  How about Rich White Suburbanite Trying To Woo Black Supporters By Appropriating The Name Of A Beloved Institution Urgent Care? Yes, too long — but very appropriate!

Even if McKee’s planned larger teaching hospital should eventually open it shouldn’t be named Homer G. Phillips.  To learn more about the Homer G. Phillips Hospital check out The Color of Medicine documentary.

— Steve Patterson

 

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