Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Neighborhood Group

I apologize for being somewhat behind as of late in getting this blog updated. We are at one year in reforming our neighborhood organization and soon coming up for elections for a new officer corp. I have been serving as Vice-Chair for the last six months and have seen a huge improvement in communication, interest, and ideas I just feel that there is so much more to do.

As of late we have been working on getting an idea on how to get more volunteers for projects we have upcoming, manpower and money seemingly always in short supply. Additionally I am trying to implement some ideas I have learned in my MBA program in trying to create metrics for our issue list and working with my wife Sara on getting a survey out to determine continued interest. (thinking survey monkey).

We also have added a Facebook group a Linkedin group and I think I might start a Flickr group to continue getting the word out (also making it easier to organize).

Sara's sister also created a logo for us and we should have a full color mockup soon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What Matters to You in Saint Louis

Orange Question Mark Button
Originally uploaded by jhhwild
Why do you chose to live in the Saint Louis region versus other regions?

What is here that you could not find anywhere else?

What would make you leave Saint Louis?

What is this regions most well deserved and least known about strength?

These questions are almost a poll, One strength the United States Labor Market has always had is our flexibility to adapt to new locales to met demand for jobs in a region.

These questions are likely most answered with a family, jobs, education, or new experiences, along with negative history.

It seems that there are more ex- St. Louisians than there are current ones. This really has little to do with our climate, notions of our crime, schools, or sprawl. All are just byproducts of the times.

The real question is then what will be our evolution in the greater sense?

Where will people live in the 21st century, what jobs might they do?
and those cities which are not part of the boom how will they cope in stagnation or even decline?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

St. Louis growth non existent.

Alot of talk has been directed against the dreaded 1% earnings tax that all residents and workers of the city must pay, and although I agree that this needs to go away I still believe that this issue is used more as a scapegoat when businesses and potential residents wish not to (re) locate to St. Louis City in the first place.

Getting rid of this tax is not easy as it accounts for 31% of city revenues. To even attempt it would require drastic cuts in city services and payroll which is already experiencing a large budget shortfall. It would also force the city to raise sales and or property tax which St. Louis could then join the ranks of all the other mini munis in the metro area for fighting for the "next big thing" development of which we already have our share.

I believe this article is a good read although I do not see any statistical correlation when reading the article which directly pinpoints retraction to 1% tax.

The only solution out there is to combine City and county and vastly restructure our government along with strengthening our advantages (our universities, workforce, cost of living, location, life and medical sciences, modernize manufacturing), while minimizing our defects (city schools, crime, sprawl and its effects).

I'm holding my breath.

Monday, June 15, 2009

One Way Streets

One Way
Originally uploaded by Timothy Schenck
I live by a one way street.

not to bad most of the time, I prefer the potentially decreased traffic however it really perturbs me when vehicles travel the wrong way to avoid a nearby intersection.

I can understand this dilemma to when driving in most parts of the Central West End really defeats the grid pattern and sure makes traveling on Kingshighway unpleasant. Downtown would be more easily navigable if there were two way streets.

I wonder if there was always so many one way streets, I know that mine was originally many years ago a two way and guess that in some ways it was to create that cul-de-sac feel for urban neighborhoods.

It would be harder to find parking if all two ways maybe one day we will have no car streets in neighborhoods. Holding my breath.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Upcoming All Star Game St. Louis

Originally uploaded by RpDannan
Sara and I were biking downtown tonight and I could not help but wonder how St. Louis will be presented during the All Star Week, including all the out of towners who will be visiting.

I think this town has a lot to offer but in a gritter sort of way.

BTW go Cards hoping that the bats can keep up with the excellent pitching.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wal Mart

Wal Mart Cards
Originally uploaded by thomasexicting
I hope that Wal*Mart never comes to the city and would fight their entry into this market by any reasonable means to keep them in the exurbs where they belong.

No company is more inconsiderate of urban planning, more damaging to the diverse fabric of retail choices and more destructive to good paying jobs than Wal*Mart.

They also seem to have a penchant for hypocrisy. I can't buy the newest Green Day album unedited but I can buy guns, tobacco and liqour, you know because we're wholesome.

In this new epoch of comsumerdom the meaning behind a brand matters just as much as the product. Wal*Mart has a lot to make up for past transgressions.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

David Simon misses you

St. Louis Post Dispatch
Originally uploaded by jwinterscom
I was recently listening to the Bill Moyers Journal podcast with guest David Simon who wrote one of my favorite shows The Wire. One of the many topics of discussion was how devastating the loss of the 4th estate would be to our society and to our local communities.

I could not help but wonder well take a look at St. Louis. Sure our local paper still carries metro area news but on the smaller scale there is an obvious vacuum in local information down to the neighborhood level. We used to have the Suburban Journal but as their title suggest retracted to the markets which bear their name.

I currently subscribe to 20 or so local oriented blogs and I am thrilled that these individuals take the time out of their day to write about topics that really drill down to a specific theme. The hard part is to do it day after day while covering every aspect of an area. This no one unpaid could do.

I am certain Lily Pulitzer is happy she sold when she did and part of me is not sorry to see the Post go as it will meet the fate it dealt to so many of its competitors. I can only hope that the new model steps into its place soon less we as a public be left in the dark even if it is mundane it still should be checked to determine if its newsworthy.

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