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St. Louis Strong Opposes Chesterfield's Divided Region Resolution

For Immediate Release January 4, 2017 
Statement by Jake Hollander, Founder of St. Louis Strong to Chesterfield City Council

Council members and Mr. Mayor, I’ve lived in Chesterfield the majority of my life, made life long friends here, learned to skate and play hockey here, gone on first dates and experienced heartbreaks here, celebrated almost every holiday with my family here. In essence, here is my home.

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Metrolink Illustrates Fragmentation Challenges

This is really infuriating to see the "passing of the buck" regarding safety on the Metrolink.  A simple matter of which form to use to write tickets for non-payment of fares has resulted in zero enforcement the last couple years.  Attempts to correct this issue have fallen short.  

In meantime, STL County dramatically increasing number of officers on the trains, but their focus has been on major crimes, not fare enforcement.   Bad guys have figured this out.  

Read this story and it should really make you upset.  

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/as-crime-rises-metrolink-officers-aren-t-writing-tickets/article_2f8b6de2-68c2-5ed2-b012-9e38af5b095f.html


Fragmentation Kicks Soccer Out of Bounds

Almost everyone in St. Louis would have liked to gain an MLS team, including city folks who voted against funding the stadium. Yet, our 'unique' and fragmented regional structures prevented St. Louis from scoring.

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St. Louis City and County, are we that different?

St. Louis County and St. Louis City split from each other back in 1876 when the City was becoming more urban, while the County was farmland.  But now, that distinction is nearly completely erased as the County has grown to over 1 million residents living in neighborhoods that are much closer in design to the classic neighborhoods of the City than to the farmland of the 19th century.

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Starting with the Micro — Building Relationships Across STL

Over our last 2.5 years in St. Louis, my wife (Maria) and I have learned a great deal about St. Louis's longstanding issues, from the Mike Brown shooting and its aftermath in Ferguson to the lack of interaction between folks separated by race, geography, and socioeconomic status. There is a dire lack of relationships across these historic divides (in St. Louis and beyond), and until we get out of our bubbles and get to know our neighbors in different walks of life, things aren't likely to get better.

This year, let's bridge these historic divides together. If you'll be in the STL area on Saturday, January 21st, please join Maria and me as we get to know our neighbors and support small businesses in STL's Walnut Park East neighborhood. We'll visit two great restaurants, help build their online profiles on Yelp and Google, and clean up a neighborhood park. Should be a great opportunity to meet our neighbors and serve our community. We'd be honored if you joined us. The itinerary is below:

10.30am – 11.30am — Brunch at Debbie's Delights (CASH ONLY)
5033 Riverview Blvd., St. Louis, MO

11.30am – 12.30pm — Park Clean-Up at Gregory J. Carter Park
5800 Lillian Ave, St. Louis, MO
(Trash bags provided; bring work gloves if you have them.)

~12.45pm — Tripe City
5124 Natural Bridge Road, St. Louis, MO

 

All the best,
Michael


Could This Help Quality of Life in St. Louis Area

I'm visiting Vancouver, BC, Canada this weekend.  Ran across this story in Huffington Post Canada about boosting energy efficiency.  That city estimates that 55% of greenhouse gas emissions comes from thermal loss in buildings.  The city spent $100,000 to have thermal imaging performed on roughly 16,667 homes ($6 per structure).  They are making this information available online to the owners, so corrective changes can be made which will save energy and reduce the carbon footprint.  

Our main energy source is Coal in St. Louis area.   And we have rates of respiratory illness greater than other parts of the country.  Could we reduce our carbon footprint, save money on our electric bills, increase our life expectancy and lower our health care costs?   Perhaps.

See the story here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/01/12/vancouver-heat-scan_n_14136436.html


Governor Greitens Appointing a COO to Wring Out Cost Savings

Interesting article about Greitens appointing a McKinsey consultant to act as COO (Chief Operating Officer) for the state.  The idea is to find cost savings and overall efficiency. 

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/greitens-names-chief-operating-officer-to-make-state-government-more/article_d207f29c-b90c-5a45-9711-23b795d72adc.html

How can we apply this to finding cost savings for the City and County?  Can standardized processes for typical city and county processes be found under the current structure?  Can this be used as a stepping stone to eventually consolidate and standardize delivery of these services?


Great Template for Putting Vacant City Schools Back to Productive Use

Came across this article, from a friend Bill Streeter (Hydraulic Pictures) and Sunyatta McDermott (Caveofswords band) on repurposing of old school buildings.  

http://lightersideofrealestate.com/real-estate-life/cool-stuff/couple-transformed-abandoned-high-school-into-home

The key was energy efficiency (lowering utilities from $4500 monthly to $300 monthly through use of solar and other technologies.  These old buildings are a huge asset to the city and should be repurposed now, while they can be saved.  

Secondly, and even more importantly, the city and county school districts should look at the energy savings that could be possible, saving taxpayers money in the long run with the existing schools.  


St. Louis, Public says Business Leaders Should Help Renovate Region

St. Louis - Public citizens said for the past decade that business leaders should help fund regional renovations.

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The Différance between Unity and Totality

We live in turbulent times, in which many Americans consider 'Unity' and 'Compromise' dirty words. Considering the goal of St. Louis Strong is to unite people, I've attempted to navigate these murky and dangerous waters so as to examine whether or not our mission is tenable or even desirable. I gladly welcome disagreement and critique.

Unity and Totality arise out of the human impulse for moral clarity, pure justice, and pure freedom. The pursuit of unity and totality have resulted in disastrous losses of life (witness the 20th century and its wars). The desire for technological singularity may result in an even greater future loss. Yet, totality has warped the meaning of unity and abused it for its own all-consuming purposes.

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St. Louis Strong Demands Transparency From Municipal League

While we applaud Municipal League of Metro St. Louis in changing its platform to one that endorse the re-entry of the City into the County, a few concerns remain. The Municipal League makes literally no mention of the inclusion of citizen and resident voices into the planning process.

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Guest Blog: The YOU-Turn

We as a community are facing unsettled and tumultuous times, and the lack of leadership and compassion within our community results in our exclusion from some of the biggest decisions that our City officials make.  The apparent divides between young and old, black and white, rich and poor have created distractions from the pursuit of balance and equality we all share.  The You-Turn is an empowerment philosophy designed to enlighten and motivate the residents of the City of St. Louis to become more involved in the local voting process and dedicated to a better understanding of local government affairs and political issues.

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