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Sunday Poll: What Should Missouri Do To Solve MoDOT’s Funding Shortfall?

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Today’s Sunday Poll question is about funding MoDOT:

The poll is open until 8pm, I’ll share my thoughts on Wednesday.

— Steve Patterson


Readers Opposed To New Missouri Law Commissioning Corporate Security

September 30, 2015 Crime, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Readers Opposed To New Missouri Law Commissioning Corporate Security

The results from the Sunday Poll:

Q: Missouri’s Public Safety Dept can now commission corporate security advisors, include arrest powers.

  1. Strongly opposed 19 [50%]
  2. TIE 4 [10.53%]
    1. Somewhat support
    2. Opposed
  3. Somewhat opposed 3 [7.89%]
  4. TIE 2 [5.26%]
    1. Support
    2. Strongly support
    3. Neutral
    4. Unsure/No Answer

Overall those opposed far outnumber supporters — 68.42% to 21.05%.

The new applies to off-duty or retired police officers that work security for corporations like Anheuser Busch, Ameren, and even Metro.

“Metrolink has officers in that have authority in Missouri and Illinois, some are St. Louis City, some are St. Louis County, some are St. Clair so they’re all cross deputized so this simplifies that process,” said Hill.

But opponents like Patricia Bynes, the Democratic committeewoman for Ferguson, say the new statute gives security guards too much power.

“When you’re a police officer you have a certain jurisdiction that you have to police in, this goes beyond that as long as you work for a corporation in this state you have those powers in the state, that’s extremely scary,” said Bynes. (KMOV)

I don’t see anything good coming from this, only bad. Hopefully I’m wrong.

— Steve Patterson


Sunday Poll: Support Commissioned Corporate Security Having Arrest Powers?

September 27, 2015 Featured, Missouri, Sunday Poll 3 Comments

Recently the Missouri legislature overrode the veto of 10 bills, allowing them to become law. One,  SCS HB 878, relates to corporate security:

Gives the Public Safety Department authority to commission corporate security advisors. It would deny licensed corporate security advisers arrest powers unless they are commissioned by the department. It grants immunity to the department from lawsuits for commissioning corporate security officers. Nixon’s veto letter argued that the bill would give private security officers police powers including the power of arrest and to search private property. (Neosho Daily News)

So what do you think about this new law?

The poll will close at 8pm, answers are randomized.

— Steve Patterson

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Readers: Missouri Should Join States, Like Oregon, Allowing Physician-Assisted Suicide For The Terminally Ill

September 23, 2015 Missouri, Politics/Policy 1 Comment

In the last year the issue of physician-assisted suicide has been in news again, prompted by the following video by Brittany Maynard.

After moving from California to Oregon, she ended her life on November 1, 2014. Her husband returned to California and pushed for legislation, which passed earlier this month:

The California Senate approved a controversial bill Friday that would legalize physician-prescribed life-ending medication for terminally ill patients. The focus now moves to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has yet to indicate where he stands on the issue. (Time)

I’ve supported right-to-die since the issue came into the public arena in the late 90s with Jack Kevorkian. While I don’t understand religious objections, I get other reasons:

Disability rights advocates and oncologists opposed the legislation, saying it takes advantage of the poor and vulnerable. (San Jose Mercury News)

I can see how someone wouldn’t want to be a burden on their family, not a good reason to die. On the other hand, we don’t know the pain & suffering they endure. Who are we to tell them they must continue suffering rather than dying in a more dignified manner?

Here are the results from the Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree? Missouri should join states, like Oregon, allowing physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill.

  1. Strongly agree 20 [47.62%]
  2. Agree 11 [26.19%]
  3. Strongly disagree 6 [14.29%]
  4. Somewhat agree 3 [7.14%]
  5. TIE  1 [2.38%]
    1. Somewhat disagree
    2. Disagree
  6. TIE: 0 [0%]
    1. Neutral
    2. Unsure/No Answer

Those voting on the agree side accounted for over 80% of the votes in the non-scientific poll. Strong support, but I don’t see this getting anywhere in Missouri.

— Steve Patterson




Left Turn On Red Not Allowed In Missouri

June 23, 2015 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy, Transportation Comments Off on Left Turn On Red Not Allowed In Missouri

People do it daily in downtown St. Louis — make a left turn on red from one one-way street onto another one-way street.

Driver makes a left onto 10th from Locust despite having a red light.
Driver makes a left onto 10th from Locust despite having a red light.

Missouri is actually one of a handful of states that doesn’t allow a left turn on red!  From Wikipedia:

In the U.S., 38 states and Puerto Rico allow left turns on red only if both the origin and destination streets are one way. (See South Carolina law Section 56-5-970 C3,[20] for example.)

Five other states, namely Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Oregon and Washington, allow left turns on red onto a one-way street even from a two-way street.[21][22][23][24][25]

The following states and territories ban left turns on red: South Dakota (unless permitted by local ordinance), Connecticut, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, and Guam.[citation needed] New York City also prohibits left turn on red lights, unless a sign indicates otherwise.[citation needed]

In Canada, left turn on red light from a one-way road into a one-way road is permitted except in some areas of Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island. Left turn on red light from a two-way road into a one-way road is permitted in British Columbia[26] but only if the driver turns onto the closest lane and yields to pedestrians and cross traffic.

Missouri law doesn’t ban the left turn on red — it just isn’t allowed the way a right turn is:

(3) Steady red indication 

(a) Vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal alone shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until a green indication is shown except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subdivision; 

(b) The driver of a vehicle which is stopped as close as practicable at the entrance to the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the entrance to the intersection in obedience to a red signal, may cautiously enter the intersection to make a right turn but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed by the signal at the intersection, except that the state highways and transportation commission with reference to an intersection involving a state highway, and local authorities with reference to an intersection involving other highways under their jurisdiction, may prohibit any such right turn against a red signal at any intersection where safety conditions so require, said prohibition shall be effective when a sign is erected at such intersection giving notice thereof; 

(c) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in section 300.160, pedestrians facing a steady red signal alone shall not enter the roadway. 

(4) In the event an official traffic control signal is erected and maintained at a place other than an intersection, the provisions of this section shall be applicable except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. Any stop required shall be made at a sign or marking on the pavement indicating where the stop shall be made, but in the absence of any such sign or marking the stop shall be made at the signal. (Missouri Revised Statutes)

No mention of a left turn, only right turns are allowed under current Missouri law.

Twenty minutes later, at the same intersection as above, I see another driver turn left on red:

leftonred03I’m not suggesting we begin enforcing the law and give these drivers citations. No, I think we need to amend our state statutes to allow it. Even better, return these streets to two-way traffic.

— Steve Patterson