The St Louis Contrarian

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

Misguided Criticism of Sam Page

I think this is hysterical. The coronavirus epidemic is higher than it should be in the St. Louis region because people are not adhering to masking and distancing guidelines, going to bars etc. County Executive Page has issued requirements limiting youth sports activities. Parents are not protesting at Page’s house to express their displeasure with Dr. Page for his policies. The real villain is not Dr. Page but the reckless behavior of many of these same parents. Written by Paul Dribin

Ending Homelessness and Improving Health Care at Once

This seems to be too good to be true but is real. Experiments around the country and most recently in St. Louis conclude the same thing, that housing and supportive services for homeless people not only improves their housing situation but their health.

An experimental program started by Barnes Jewish Christian Hospital and St. Patricks Center has demonstrated the point. The BJC staff had found that a relatively small number of homeless people were significantly overusing their facilities and running up huge unreimbursed health care bills. BJC contracted with St Patricks Center to provide affordable supportive housing and wrap around services. The results have been fantastic. The clients significantly reduced their emergency room usage, thereby showing significant drops in health care costs. Furthermore, the formerly homeless people were housed properly and affordable, and had access to good healthcare and jobs. A true win win situation. Let’s replicate it all over the country. Written by Paul Dribin(I played a leadership role in bringing the parties together and getting the program started)

Coronavirus Relief and Poverty

The coronavirus relief efforts that have expired were remarkable successful at keeping people out of poverty in the short term. The additional unemployment plus the one time tax refunds helped millions of people stabilize their lives and prevent more poverty. We should learn a lesson from this for general public policy. A comprehensive program of cash payments to poor people could end poverty and stabilize the economy. Why don’t we implement such a program? I suspect vested interests. Written by Paul Dribin

Metro to Put Sheriff’s Deputies on Trains

A good idea. Between crime and coronavirus Metrolink is really hurting

Misinformation About St Louis Public Schools

An excellent column by tony Messinger. We have to work

K hard to stop the spread of misinformation in social media. Paul Dribin

Lou Brock

I have very fond and bittersweet memories of Lou Brock as a Cub fan when he played. Lou came up in 1961 with the Cubs and was really hyped as the next Willy Mays. He was very raw coming from D ball to the majors. To make matters worse, the Cubs had terrible leadership and didn’t develop him in the right way. They put him in centerfield and later right which are sun fields at Wrigley with the wind adding to the difficulty. Lou was only 19 or 20 when he came up. His play was erratic, making brilliant plays and long home runs. He would drop balls and make base running errors.

By 1964 he turned into a good but not spectacular player. At the time the Cubs actually thought that getting Ernie Broglio for Lou could make them a contender. It was obviously one of the worst trades in baseball history as Lou turned out to be a hall of farmer both on and off the field. I have very fond memories of sitting in the right field bleachers at Wrigley and watching Lou play in front of me. Written by Paul Dribin

Everyday Racism in Neighborhoods and the Housing Market

Let me give you an example of systemic racism and classism that impacts most of us and for which many liberals and people of goodwill are responsible. That would be suburban zoning.

Our suburbs are generally zoned to make denser and multifamily housing more difficult to enact. Land is the biggest costs in most real estate transactions, the more units you can build on a given piece of land, the cheaper the cost of housing. Most suburban communities have zoning and land use laws that require large minimum lots sizes, set backs, sidewalks, yards, etc. This zoning which meets an antiquated aesthetic keeps housing more expensive than it needs to be which mostly negatively affects people of color and lower income households. Similarly, restrictions on manufactured and other less expensive forms of housing also hurt these groups. Communities should be willing to undertake significant changes to zoning laws to allow denser more affordable housing. Anything less is a perpetuation of racism.

Assaults are Up in Downtown St. Louis

Assaults are at a record high in downtown St Louis. This of course is bad news. The coronavirus may be one cause. Another is the reluctance of police to take any strong action to prevent crime since the Michael Brown case of several years ago. A third reason is the lack of fans going to Cardinal baseball. The crowds associated with these games create a safety barrier and the games result in far more police being on the street than usual. Written by Paul Dribin

Criticism of ameren

A thoughtful article from Sierra club published in Post Dispatch

Lyda Krewson and Husband Have Temporarily Moved to Safer Housing

Lyda Krewson, Mayor of St. Louis and her husband have temporarily moved to an apartment in the Central West End due to the protests at her house and a wish to not disrupt the lives of her neighbors. Mayors in other cities have taken similar actions. This is all too bad. I wish our political disagreements could be more civil. Written by Paul Dribin

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