The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the month “October, 2018”

Arch Renovation in St. Louis

My wife and I visited the arch on October 19 for the first time since it had been rehabbed at a cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

I am mildly disappointed. The entrance is better and visitors do not have to cross busy streets to enter. Parking is further away, the grounds looks the same, and the museum is confusing. Overall someone who visited the arch previously would have a difficult time noticing the improvements. Written by Paul Dribin

Kemolls Leaves Downtown

Kemolls, an excellent restaurant that has been in the downtown for 90 years is leaving for Westport. Bad news for downtown, a real institution. Business must have been falling off.


St. Louis like many cities has an abundance of social problems that bring down life for our community. Several months ago, David Brooks wrote that there are two strongly different perspectives on the cause of our problems. Conservatives believe that poor people are mainly to blame for their problems due to poor choices they make. Progressives tend to blame societal structures such as racism for society’s ills and believe there is little individual responsibility.

The reality lies in the middle. Conservatives are blinded to societal prejudices that push down poor people. Liberals are unwilling to admit that even in a perfect society people make poor choices that ruin their lives. If we could ever understand both of these perspectives we might make progress in ending poverty. Written by Paul Dribin

Soccer Stadium in St. Louis

Some good news. A new soccer stadium and team have resurfaced in St. Louis. The best news is that it will be privately funded led by the Taylor family of Enterprise Car Rental. The people who voted against city funding for the previous stadium have been more than vindicated. Maybe if communities said no more often to these hairbrained schemes, good things will happen. I do not think the effort at a privately funded stadium would have surfaced unless the community said no to the publicly funded one. Written by Paul Dribin

New Zoo Park

The St. Louis Zoo is promoting a new endeavor; an adventure park in north St. Louis County. They are asking county voters for a sales tax increase to fund the development.

I have mixed feelings about this development. It can be an economic development tool for north county which needs it and will add to the list of attractions in the St. Louis area. The biggest negative is that other surrounding counties are not being asked to support it. Again, good news is that those who are not supporting it financially will need to pay for admission. I am not yet sure how I will vote. Written by Paul Dribin

Positive Commercial Real Estate Trends in St. Louis

The commercial real estate trend in St. Louis is positive. This is from information gathered from a report from the St. Louis Business Journal. Cortex is accounting for a significant share of the success. The only damper is that wages have not increased and I believe the growth has had almost no effect on the north side. Written by Paul Dribin


The Cortex Tech Development Corridor is a great success. My hats off to all involved. St. Louis is really growing as a tech center and positively utilizing the resources of our educational institutions.

St. Louis Convention Center

The powers that be including the mayor and county executive are announcing a plan to expand the convention center. I have mixed feelings. There is no question the convention center is too small and out of date. On the other hand, I am not sure how much difference is makes in the overall scheme of things. Improving the convention center is a must, just don’t expect miracles from it. Written by Paul Dribin

Container Houses

The Post recently wrote of a couple in Old North St. Louis who are building a house consisting of storage containers. As long as the housing meets code, why not? The sad part of the story is that lenders are not willing to make mortgage loans on the north side. Isn’t that redlining? Written by Paul Dribin

Light Gun Sentences

The Post Dispatch recently ran an editorial with which I totally agree. They opined for stronger gun laws and stronger sentencing of criminals using guns in the act of their crimes. Some judges habitually hand out suspended sentences for criminals convicted of violent crimes. A high ranking official who would know said that suspended sentences have been invoked in St. Louis for all crimes except murder I. A police captain who I know said two of his officers were shot, the perpetrator caught, and upon receiving trial was awarded a suspended sentence. This has to stop. Written by Paul Dribin

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