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The St Louis Contrarian

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

Vacancy Taskforce

Today I attended a meeting of the Preventing Vacancy Sub committee of the Vacancy Taskforce. There were about a dozen people present, mostly community people. Good people but nobody has a clue what to do. I asked the question of why there were vacancies; no one could answer. I am not optimistic. Written by Paul Dribin

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Decline in Support for Public Transit

Ridership on public transit declined about 3.2% nationally. In St. Louis, Metro ridership declined 32%. Crime has increased significantly. The powers that be want to increase metrolink. Why? The technology is obsolete and the demand is not there. Written by Paul Dribin

Bezos Donations

This is a story that shows no good deed goes unpunished. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon is donating $2 billion of his own funds to support Montessori Schools and help the homeless. The left is complaining that he is acting privileged, this is not a good idea because the government should do it, we shouldn’t let rich guys run the country etc. I don’t get it. Wealthy people have contributed financially to this country forever with great results. Bill Gates though his foundation has almost reduced malaria in Africa. Carnegie endowed libraries. Are we better off if Bezos put the money in his own pocket?

Eminent Domain

I’m not sure I totally understand this story. The City of St. Louis is involving eminent domain against one of its agencies, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority. (LCRA). This is to convey clear title to the NGA which is taking over land owned by the city for their facility. I guess this makes sense but is very strange.

Violent Crime Up in St. Louis

This headline speaks for itself. Bad news. I don’t see anyone addressing it.

Poor People and Middle Class Housing

Local activists are missing the boat as usual. They complain about any effort on the part of the city to support middle income and upper income development. The city has too little of this population. Any efforts to improve the lives of poor people also requires middle class people to migrate into the city. Efforts to only help poor people are short sighted. Written by Paul Dribin

Crime

Crime in St. Louis appears to be higher than ever. I hear about carjackings near Washington University. This could affect top students willingness to attend and remain at the university. No one in the city leadership seems to be focusing on this problem. Activist groups focus on problems of the police will ignoring poor behavior by some of our citizens. Written by Paul Dribin

Boutique Hotels

2 New boutique hotels are prepared top open in downtown St. Louis. This is really good news. It shows a need for upper end hotels for a discerning clientele. Written by Paul Dribin

St. Louis Housing Summit

Today, 9/21, I attended a housing summit here in St. Louis at Christ Church Cathedral downtown. The idea of the summit was to start to build a coalition to develop more affordable housing in St. Louis and end homelessness. There were approximately 300 people in attendance including some homeless people. The speakers were good, enthusiasm high. Let’s hope for the best. Written by Paul Dribin

LRA Owns 12000 Houses in St. Louis

The Post Dispatch published an important article on Sunday showing the problems associated with foreclosed houses owned by LRA, a city agency. Future columns of mine will address the ideas I have for improving the sale of these houses and lowering vacancies in St. Louis. Written by Paul Dribin

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