Sunday, April 17, 2016


...with embarrassment AND rage!

Okay, so OPTINSTL IS SO WRONG!  Allow me to explain- the new North County transit center was planned originally for the Metrolink.  While the bathrooms are great, the bus center is essentially worthless without a train. Why did OPTINSTL not notice there is no train right away?  Because it is such a no-brainer!  WHY WASTE 10 MILLION DOLLARS ON THAT "TRANSIT CENTER" WITHOUT A METROLINK???

Like the other bus transit centers, the overdevelopment of the CWE with Cortex, the extra-long Grand buses, North County transit center is just another big fat joke at the expense of the transit-dependent public.  The self-congratulations and PR will just keep coming from $80-350K-a-year executives that drive cars from their county homes.   They will keep spending money on stupid sh*t that makes it appear they are doing something, and leave the riders to stand around out in the sun and rain and snow, waiting for their slow buses on stupid routes.


They will not change until we make them change!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016


This one in Richmond Heights.  All of this violence will serve to get Metro more cops and that won't do anything to solve the actual problems.  People in power are not going to do anything that inconveniences them or takes time away from checking their Instagram accounts at work. 

There are too many guns, too many drugs, and too many kids that don't think they have a future.  Schools, jobs, economic development that does more than line the same pockets decade after decade. 

I sound like a broken record even to myself.  The answers for change remain the same.  The county should take that Crestwood Plaza redevelopment money and put it into after-school programs.  No matter how many Starbucks you put in a neighbourhood, if people don't have jobs it is not going to "boost" the economy. The money for more cops needs to go to community relations.  Someone needs to start asking the young people what the solutions are and what these kids need.

Friday, March 18, 2016


Great article on North County Transit Center.

EDIT/PS:  Optinstl doesn't always agree with Nextstl but they are always a good source of info.  Metro DOES need to focus on the areas like North County that are mostly transit dependent.  But Nextstl also seems to support Cortex, which is the biggest waste of money and a giant boondoggle that really only benefits Cortex itself.  The CWE metrolink serves this area just fine. (Regardless of Cortex being non-profit entity, nothing they are proposing there is going to fundamentally change the area. Like Ballpark Village, it will just pull business away from previously existing local businesses, and it is unlikely that it will flourish- if it does indeed flourish at all- for more than a decade.) 

Was just reading this post on Cortex.

 We heard Field Foods was going to be the economic saviour with a grocery store two years ago. Fields is a Boston investor's high end boutique grocery store that got a $12 million dollar grant for the food desert in Peabody Clinton area, NOT the Lafayette Square area. And while the cashiers and other low paying staff come from the area, the management and executives are all from Boston- or were when the store first opened in January 2014. The store has hardly lived up to any of its' promises in terms of sales tax revenues, and mostly seems to compete with locally owned Culinaria downtown.

And remember when Lofts were going to revitalize downtown?  A lot of DINK'S (double income no kids) moved down there, and shocker, the area is declining again as they have kids and move back to the suburbs or more kid-friendly areas of the city.  

The only thing that is going to revitalize St. Louis is a living wage and development in areas that need jobs and public transportation.  Anything North of Delmar, for starters.


I assume this fatality was either a cargo train or Amtrak.  However, this would be the second time in two weeks that someone has been hit on the tracks. (See last post.)

For the most part, train tracks are privately owned and leased.  If you have ridden on Amtrak you learn this, because they have to stop A LOT for cargo trains, and local Metrolinks.  Not all of the tracks are well maintained, and Amtrak often has to stop or has problems due to problems with the tracks.  Sometimes these are long waits because they have to wait for the track owning companies to come make the repairs.

No entity that is private and for profit is going to put safety first. No entity that is funded by government money but not publicly owned is going to put safety first. Railroad tracks, like public transit, should be owned by the public and maintained at the highest standard.  Amtrak is completely subsidized by the government.

The Loop Trolley has encountered another error.  Shocking (*sarcasm*).  The main focus is on the fact that cars might be hit.  With that narrow a margin, this screams "pedestrian injury/fatality." PLEASE REMEMBER that the Trolley got a big chunk of money for "urban revitalization" (  Originally the Trolley was to run down Forest Park Parkway.  But to keep the Urban Circulator funds, they had to re-route the trolley through an "urban area"- in this case, the part of the Loop in the city.  (Let's not forget that this Trolley is about making sure no local "park and ride" and rural tourists have to set foot on a Metro bus to go drink beer and eat cheeseburgers at Blueberry Hill. That is ALL this trolley is really about.)

I find the city and county planners, street services, and MODOT, do be completely blind to pedestrians and pedestrian safety.  The lights at the corner of Skinker and Delmar are a perfect example.  (I haven't actually been at that corner in awhile, completely avoiding it even if I had to go to the Loop by turning on Olive or Vernon, since I am always coming from the north.  So maybe they fixed it. I doubt it.  I pointed it out to them a few times when I first moved back here.)

Stand at any of the corners and watch the light sequence.  In each cycle there is a 30 second or so period where traffic is only moving from two directions- meaning no left or right turns.  The car traffic has usually slowed at this point.  During this time there is  the inevitable crossing of pedestrians against the light, because of the lag. There is also a turn light that comes up during this time, which adds to the confusion.  I can't recall which direction now, even though I used to encounter it daily a few years ago.   Day and night I've seen near misses as someone comes speeding to catch the light before they think it is going to change, and pedestrian confusion-  that is, stepping out into the walkway because the instinctual, intuitive understanding of how traffic lights are normally sequenced, and not expecting that out of sequence turn light.

(There is one turn light that looks like it was added much later than the rest.  At one point I made a little diagram of where the light needed to be sequenced. I'm pretty sure it was the right turn onto Delmar from northbound Skinker, and the lag was the north-south flow of traffic on Skinker.  But I can't recall exactly and have no idea where those notes are.  This is all from memory.)

Even with all the focus on Washington University students- many of whom walk and bike in the area, and live in the Loop- the people that make all the decisions do not walk or use public transit.  You need nothing more than a heavy snowfall to prove this.  The ploughs come out immediately, and the streets are clear. But all the snow is piled up on the sidewalks.  Even in the Loop and other areas with heavy foot-traffic, shoveling sidewalks is the responsibility of the property owners and businesses.

North County though, has to be the worst in terms of street planning and pedestrian safety.  To get to the new North county transit center on foot- and a lot of times it is faster to walk from your last connection than wait for a bus- you have to walk on a shoulder.  The bus stops in front of Centene have no shelter and trash cans.  The bus stop across from Centene-- west/south side- is on the shoulder and then there is a slope into a little ditch before the fence separating the 270 freeway.  Super fun to stand there at night. (Again, *sarcasm*.)


It's always strange to me, when people talk about our "infrastructure".  Only in the last two hundred years have roads been mostly for something other than pedestrians.  Their were pedestrian fatalities from carriage accidents, but certainly not as many.  Horses in a wooden carriage versus horsepower and 2000 pounds of metal are a very different situation for the person on foot.

I heard President Obama say, when one of the highway bonds was up for the voters, "This is what we do- we build roads and bridges."  (Or something like that.) True.  But no one in the world has more than 65 years of experience building and maintaining roads solely for use of the internal combustion engine.  In this country the population of people and the amount of cars on the road doubled since the 1970's and we are only now seeing what a mistake it was to ditch the railroads for trucks and public transit for private automobiles.

All one has to do to see how blind to pedestrians the planners are is go look North County Transit Center. (Or Maplewood. The worst, in my opinion, as detailed in the optinstl link above, and here again:

These planners and city leaders, and most of the Metro executives, have never ridden the bus except on rare occasions, and seem to walk only for exercise or because they have dogs, and usually then, only in their own neighbourhoods.  (And sidewalks are often missing in areas that were "developed" after the 1950's.  Who needed them right?  We will all just drive a block to the store or park, etc.)

If St. Louis monitored pedestrian traffic as much as car traffic, there would be sidewalks and lighting in most parts of North County (and south and west county, too, actually).

There is nothing more troubling than seeing people with small children standing out on that shoulder in front of Centene, or the many other bus stops just like it.

And this last schedule change seemed to bring a higher than usual amount of bus stop closings.  I'm all for efficiency, but I don't trust the way Metro does things.  For example, on Chambers they are eliminating two bus stops.  On paper it makes sense.  But these two bus stops sit at the bottom of two hills, right where an apartment complex is.  That means that the people in wheelchairs or with health issues will have to go up the hill to catch the 61.

Route changes should not be made by asking the advice of random people motivated enough to go to one of the meetings, or briefly surveyed at Open Houses, even if they are held at transit centers.  Metro should have neighborhood liaisons that are employed or compensated by Metro to determine and tailor public transit to the community's needs.

Please, call Metro today and tell them what you need for a better, faster, safer transit experience:

Call Metro every time you ride!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Too many guns, not enough school or civic opportunities, too great a racial divide between North and South, too many young people that don't see a good future for themselves and decide to take what power they can.  More cops aren't going to solve the problem.

Monday, March 14, 2016


"Big Changes to Buses" comes the headlines today.

They change the buses all the time, but it never makes anything better.  This is because Metro does not do enough research on what transit riders need, and when they do, it's the wrong way.

Their blog congratulates holding FOUR "open house" transit meetings.  Four.  To change the entire bus system.

At least they came to the transit centres.  But it is still not enough.  They really need to have someone out every day, soliciting information from passengers, and they need to have surveys.  (You can always volunteer the OPTINSTL survey information when you call them.

I also find it amusing that they always congratulate themselves for figuring out that North County is the most transit dependent area.  The focus is always on "reducing traffic congestion".  Very few people with cars are going to give up driving to ride the sloooooow buses.  The train, maybe. But only to and from work and ball games.   Of course, most of the money for the North County Transit Center came from funding to reduce traffic congestion and emissions. 

Well, at least they are trying to appear like they are trying, and who knows? Maybe they really are. But four open house meetings? How many people decided these changes? It can't be more than 200.  Hardly representative or comprehensive.

I still don't see how they can live down the shame of buying those used Grand buses.  Love seeing them break down (*sarcasm*), and other than peak times, and between Mid-Town and Arsenal, they never seem very full. Remember how that was going to reduce congestion on Grand? Right.

It's up to the transit rider to call them, email, and generally communicate EXACTLY what we need to make public transit serve us, instead of the other way around.

Oh, and those sidewalks on Pershall, make sure there is plenty of lighting, too.  That whole area along 270 is a nightmare for pedestrians, on the Pershall and over on the other side, on Dunn.  If you live in North County you know how many accidents go unreported.  This one wasn't.  A transit friendly city is a pedestrian friendly city.  That would mean that the planners and designers and engineers and executives would need to ride transit and do some walking.

More people are going to be walking over to Clocktower Aldi's and the Wal-mart, and down to the Home Depot on Halls Ferry.  Don't just build the transit center and leave it, like you did in Maplewood for 7 years.  Put in the sidewalks NOW.


EDIT 17 April 2016: This accident is now a fatality.

I missed this in the news on March 6 and it does not appear to be widely reported.  A man was struck by a train and his foot was severed and neck broken after a train ran over him at Swansea.

I keep checking the dates on these stories.  It's not on any other news stations that I could find, and it isn't on Metro's Blog.  In the old days, every news story contained the details of what happened- when, where, etc.  Is this some new development in an old accident case?  Or did this just happen on March 6th? These are the only two stories I could find: 

KMOV video is freezing my computer, so I will try to watch later and see if the video segments have more details. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016


Couldn't find any local reporting on this.  It was "Drumpfed", I guess.  The orange-faced Amerikkkan Hitler got all the news this weekend.

I haven't been there yet, but will check it out tomorrow.  I hope those restrooms are really "public".  At Riverview the toilets are operated by the privately owned snack shop.  (Which means it is only open when they are open and you have to get a key- or at least you did last time I used it, which was actually about 2 years ago.  Will check that out this week, too.)

Also, they need to put in sidewalks all the way along Pershall.  The construction has made the already dangerous walk on Pershall between West Florissant and New Halls Ferry a nightmare.  Especially at night.

At least we have a train up here now.  EDIT: Please see this post:

As for John Nations comments that "five years ago we identified" etc... Stop patting yourself on the back.  North City and County are the most transit dependent areas you service and you don't deserve congratulations for figuring that out. Your own data proves that.  And that new Cortex Metrolink stop is a big waste of money, rivalled only by the St. Charles turned to Shrewsbury extension that bankrupted the Agency in 2010.


I thought there was already a blog post with this title, and I was looking for it to add a few links. 

So here is the gist of what I thought I'd already posted:

Metro and Bi State need to be separated.  Metro carries the dinky little  Bi-State Development Agency (the airport, arch trams and parking, etc).  Metro needs to be run by people that have experience in Metro- in particular former drivers.  John Nations has ridden the bus a few times as publicity stunt.  A Metro executive told me that it wasn't feasible for someone like John Nations to commute from Chesterfield to Metro (via the Olive bus and the Metrolink).  Why?  Public transit in St. Louis is too slow.

The CEO appointment is to groom political careers.  John Nations wants to be governor.  Nations is famous for telling his drivers during negotiations that "As soon as I become Governor I'm changing Missouri to a Right To Work state and elimination the unions."

He gave himself a raise a while back.  For $325K a year heading an agency where ALL monies are public- $350 million a year in government subsidies and grants, and rider fares- he can't ride his own transit 4 hours a day to get to and from work?

The people that work in minimum wage job in Chesterfield and live downtown do.

Metro's drivers went 6 years without a contract.  If you don't know about this please take a look:

From 2013: 

2014 "oreo" incident:

"Rally for Respect" 2014

Page 5 of the doc, from the Union's magazine:

Health care and pensions secure:

Don't forget that Metro is raising fares again this July.  They need $5 million, the same amount of money they spend every year in "contributions to outside entities".  This is usually political campaign contributions.  By appointing CEO, the governor guarantees a contribution to his campaign.  Call Metro if you think this is wrong.  Call them and demand an explanation.  Call them and demand the CEO salary be lowered - not to the $250K he received before, but 1/2 that- $125K.  Demand the CEO ride public transit at least once a week.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


"Voting and calling representatives won't do any good, we need a revolution! The whole system has to change!"  I have said this myself in the past, and I have heard this from other people countless times.

"They would rather kill us all than change the system!" Said about the 1%.

I spent ten years in a revolutionary movement. I've never lived through a revolution, but I have talked to many people from Central and South America that have, and read about many revolutions in history.

Violent revolution is not a solution.  It does change a lot of things in a seemingly "quick" fashion, but only because of  years of work by a few individuals that were prepared for the moment of a mass uprising, and had a plan to take power.  These people- for the most part- had their own agendas, and just ended up replacing the faces in power, and making cosmetic changes to the power structure.  The masses of people have never been in power.  There has never been a "people's government."  (Iceland might be, but I haven't researched it enough yet.  They did make a lot of changes without violence.)

And revolutions are wars, and wars are a nightmare.  Everybody suffers.  (A few psychopaths, like George H.W. Bush, prosper and thrive, and usually live to propagate more wars.)

There are 7 billion people on this planet, twice the population of all the civilizations before us, twice the population of the world in 1970, and we are running out of drinkable water on a global scale.  Any mass death requires disposal of the dead, and treatment of wounded.  We really don't have the resources for this. Our species can't afford to solve problems with violence anymore.

The American Revolution created a kind of Republic that is unique in the world.  Freedom of and from religion, democratic mass voting (except for the President), the Constitution, all of these things were created after the revolution against the monarchy.   People had to think up these new modes of government and bring them into existence.  There was debate and disagreement, countless discussions.

None of the bloodshed and sacrifice of the revolution would have made a damn bit of difference without the work that came afterward.

For the first time in history, we could actually accomplish everything WITHOUT the violent uprising and war.  We could create a whole new mode of government power, run by and for the people, without killing each other.

From roughly age 16 to age 26 I advocated armed revolution in the U.S. I sold newspapers and talked to people and went to demonstrations and organized conferences and rallies.  I don't hold the same beliefs anymore but I learned a lot and talked to a lot of people about politics and things that really matter in their lives. 

Back then (the 1980's) there was no internet and no cell phones.  I remember trying to get information on the MOVE massacre in Philadelphia.  I had to go to different libraries, look in card catalogs and at microfiche, track down people that had videotaped news segments.  (Video machines were still very new then, and personal video cameras were cumbersome and heavy.) Then a leaflet had to be written and photocopied and distributed on the street in my spare time.

To talk to people I had to have all of the facts in my head or on a piece of paper in front me.  Most people don't really want to know about things that are happening because it is disturbing.  (Most people in our country have the luxury of avoiding political interaction with their government. This is very different than avoidance in poor countries where leisure time of any kind is very limited, and simply questioning politicians can mean imprisonment and/or death.)

Even in areas that were responsive and sympathetic - in the MOVE example we went to South Central Los Angeles- we were encountering people when they were out shopping, or running errands.  They could buy the paper or take a leaflet, but to find out more, they had to keep in touch with us, calling the bookstore to find out when an action might be, or we had to call them.  

It was a lot easier for people in power to lie and cover up dishonest and deadly actions.  And many people who didn't want to be disturbed by cold, hard evidence of their governments misdeeds were able to dismiss the few people like me that they might encounter.

Research that took months and even years in 1985, can be found on line in minutes. Tens of petitions can be signed on line in an hour.  Hundreds of elected officials can be emailed instantly in the time it took to write one letter and mail it.

A lot of people that say "there has to be revolution" really mean "I am not going to do anything until it gets so bad that I can't ignore it anymore."  But a lot of people really don't think that anything can be done unless we overthrow the existing power structure, with violence.  Which means they have to wait around until enough other people will revolt with them.

Which means things have to get really, really bad.

This is the first time in 35 years that I have felt like a revolutionary uprising might occur in the U.S.A.  The only other time was in Los Angeles after the police that beat Rodney King were acquitted in 1992.

The revolt that is brewing is another sign of a new world.  It's not the usual suspects this time.  It's the Good Ole Boys that are taking over government buildings and hoarding guns and ammo.  As someone said to me at a Ferguson protest "Equality feels like privilege or special treatment to the oppressed, and it feels like discrimination to the oppressor."

In Ferguson it was the mostly white Peacekeepers walking around with guns, not the Black Panthers. The paranoid delusions of the Dylan Roof's and the Donald Drumpf's are not completely paranoid or delusional.  They are losing their privilege.  America is not "Great" for racists anymore. The status quo no longer serves them first, because the rest of us demanded a more equitable and fair society.

The Armchair Revolution and Phoning It In are more effective now than an armed uprising.  For the first time in history, we can make revolutionary change without making revolution. We can, literally,  "call them on their bullshit." Make them answer to you and work for you.

Make this country great.  Not "again", but for the first time.  Your mind, your time, and your phone (or computer), are the only weapons you need.


In the Political Activist's Guide To St. Louis ( I say that violent revolution won't work in a world of 7 billion people and the kinds of weapons that police and the military have now.  We live in a world now where if we are going to survive and thrive, we need people to begin actively running their governments.  Mao once said "all power comes from the barrel of a gun".  That has to change.  Violence just changes the faces in power, not the power itself.

Protests and counter protests, in the past, served to bring large groups of like minded people together, to raise energy, and to spread messages through the media coverage.  That's the plus side, and those things are still effective.

But large protests and counter protests often end up as screaming matches, the arrests only benefit the police and courts, and the real work of educating the general public and making material changes still falls to a few dedicated people who do the solitary work of calls, petitions, education, etc, for weeks, months, years, after the protests are over and most of the people have returned to business as usual.

(The upcoming RNC counter protest in Cleveland bought the police a bunch of fancy riot gear and big budget for the summer: )

Instead of counter-protesting when Drumpf or the KKK is having their rally, do it the day or night before, and go to the people that aren't in the KKK.  You will reach more people about your concerns, and likely get the same or more media attention.  And little chance of getting arrested and creating revenue for the cops through arrest fees and fines.  (If you do get arrested PLEASE don't just take the plea and pay the fine, GO TO COURT and challenge everything you can.  Even if you lose you will do the First Amendment a great favour.)

Instead of clumping together and focusing on the idiots that aren't going to change their minds no matter what you say, not too mention making it easier for the police to arrest you, stretch out side by side on the sidewalks, single file.    You will still be protesting, but you will reach more people, and will have time to talk to them because you aren't shouting at the idiots.

I am NOT criticizing people that demonstrate, or shout at the cops or counter protesters (during Ferguson the police were the counter protesters).  It's just that it is not effective anymore. We saw very clearly in Ferguson that they just send in the tear gas and jack up all the fines.

To change things means we need to protest every day, or every week, or every month, to the people in power.  We have to educate the people that aren't paying attention to the issues on how the issues effect them.

For example, if all of the people that counter protested at the Drumpf rally yesterday had held the counter protest Thursday night at rush hour, on the sidewalk, single file, and then the next day during the rally called the Drumpf campaign headquarters here in St Louis, nationally, and also called local representatives and media, and told them why they think Drumpf is dangerous, it would have had greater impact.  It wouldn't have made the same thrilling headline news of bloodied protesters and Drumpf drones screaming "fuck you whore" at counter protesters, but it would have had greater impact on the people who are on the fence or who aren't involved in politics at all.

And in Drumpf's case, it would have been a bummer for him and his supporters.  They WANT a fight. We already know that.  That's all he talks about.  And they love being vilified.  Being met with "crickets" would have been a let-down for Drumpf and his drones.

 As someone who has worked for many years as a receptionist, switchboard operator, desk clerk, etc, I can tell you that the phone is one of the most effective tools of disruption to "business as usual".  And it is invisible to anyone outside of the office.  An overload of phone calls puts massive stress on any government or business entity.  There is no nightly show that is going to run footage of Drumpf's office staff answering angry calls (unless it shuts the phone lines down).

No heroism to bask in on the nightly news, no vilification to uphold, no cross for the martyr to bear publicly.

For example, 35 people were arrested yesterday.  A phone "demonstration" by 35 people for 6 hours, taking in to account breaks for the bathroom, etc, time waiting on hold, etc, could still have made approximately 20 calls each an hour, which totals 4200 phone calls.  This would have taken extra time to prepare 120 short "scripts"- one for each call, or compiling 120 places to call with one script.

So- a list of 120 - the Mayor, the Governor, state and national congress members, Republican party hq's, Drumpf's headquarters, the board members of Peabody Opera House, the local and national media, etc- with the same message "I oppose Donald Trump, do you stand with me? etc".  Which means 120 places getting 35 phone calls each. Or 120 places for each caller- Drumpf's business entities, elected officials, etc- with a tailored message for each place.  35 extra calls over a 6 hour period is a pain in the ass.  Even if you are paid employee, and a lot of the people at the Drumpf offices are volunteers.  Even the most hard-core believer would get worn out if this happened every time Drumpf spoke somewhere.  Especially if the calls asked a lot of questions and requested detailed answers in a calm way.

Getting Drumpf's staff to quit is more effective than yelling at his followers.  Convincing his fellow Republicans to come out publicly against him is almost too easy these days.  And making Peaody Opera House sorry they booked the event would be a cakewalk. And you don't end up in jail and paying out money to the courts.

"Hi I am a registered voter and I was wondering if you could detail for me what era in American History your candidate is referring to when he says 'again?'  When was America great in your candidate's opinion, and why was it great then?  What specifically does he have planned to return our land to -this time in the past considered great-?"

(I took at look at the Drumpf supporters in St. Louis and I assure you that during Reagan's presidency these people were saying the same things they say now- replace "Muslim" with "Iranian".  Remember the Moral Majority?  Phyllis Schlafley hasn't written a new speech in 40 years.  Even from a Drumpf drones' point of view there is no "great" to go back to.   And it is not that hard to manipulate a conversation to get them to admit it.  These people are the ultimate haters.  And most lack the critical thinking skills that their candidate lacks as well.  Try it sometime, it is fun.  Ask leading questions, but frame them in their rhetoric.)

"Can you explain how your candidate's First Amendment rights were violated? I would like to see the First Amendment get a more thorough discussion in his speeches.  What will he do to protect Freedom of Speech?"  (Yes, really. Drumpf said his First Amendment rights were violated in Chicago last night:

"What is your candidate's stance on the TPP? Can you explain the TPP to me and how it will effect our economy for the better?"

"Your candidate says he is millionaire, but his tax returns say differently. He isn't evading his taxes or lying about his income is he? Can you explain the discrepeacy?"

"What does your candidate have to say about the Monroe Doctrine?"

"Many African slaves were Muslims, is your candidate going to deport anyone who has a Muslim ancestor?"  
These people don't know shit about history or politics.  Make them research the answers. Make them think.

I decided not to go to the Drumpf protest, but I was very proud of St. Louis to see that many people did, even though I am sorry that many were arrested.  I am suggesting though, that courageous, motivated activists channel their energy differently.  MAKE HEADACHES FOR DRUMPF, NOT HEADLINES.

Friday, March 11, 2016



What would you like to learn that you are not studying now? (Dance, music, acting, filmmaking, astronomy, skating, sculpture, clothing design, baking, ???)

What do you think would make school better for you?

What would make your neighbourhood better for you?

What do you need in your life that you do not have now?

Do you feel like you have a meaningful future ahead of you? If not, what do you think needs to change?

Do you feel that you have something to contribute to the world?

Do you take pride in yourself? In your school? In your community? If not, what would need to happen or change for you to feel proud?

What changes would you like to make in your life? What do you need to make those changes?

Is there anywhere in St. Louis that you would like to go that you have not been?

Anywhere in Missouri that you would like to visit? In the U.S.? In the World?

Are there enough after-school and weekend activities and venues for Teens in St. Louis?

What sort of activities or social events or clubs do you think would reduce crime and gang violence in schools and neighbourhoods?

What do you think would prevent kids from dropping out of school?

Answer these questions to yourself first. Be as detailed as you can in your answers. If you have the courage and the desire, write the answers down, or make a video or audio recording, and share them. Share them with your teacher, or an elected official, or church or community group, or Imagine a Better St Louis or similar organization.

Every great invention, all of our technology, every song, every movie, every social change, everything in human civilization began with a thought.

Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. Youth are the future, and the world looks to you for leadership. Begin shaping your world now, by communicating what you need, and by sharing your solutions to the problems in your community.

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Nelson Mandela

"If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities." -- Maya Angelou

If you want to print this as a leaflet and share it (it's two sided, half a page each side) 

Thursday, March 10, 2016


EDIT: Please see this post, too:

Instead of more cops, the same tired, ineffective response, over and over again, how about real solutions?

There are the obvious- put money into jobs and schools, etc.


And then ask all the other kids, too.

Don't just stop with kids, ask every single person that ends up in trouble with the law.

Is there anything you would like to be doing with your time? Is there any activities that you would want to do with your free time? (Sing, Dance, Make movies, fly a kite, run a marathon?)
What would you need to be able to do that? (A ride, lessons, a video camera?)
Do you feel you have a meaningful life and a future ahead of you?
What would you need to feel that way?

Instead of more cops, ask every kid in every junior high and high school these questions.  There are actual solutions to these problems. 

(The job of everyone in prison should be to answer these questions, too. Just asking these questions would bring about results, even if the person did not answer out loud.)

Also, Metro can barely pay the interest on its' bond debt with payments they get from St Louis County Prop A.  Steve Stenger says more cops on Metrolink will be covered with Prop A.  Please ask him how that is possible?  Please ask how much of that money goes to Metro already and what do they spend it on?   St. Louis really can't afford anymore bonds.

Or cops. More cops almost never reduce crime.  In fact, more cops usually means more crime.

Solve the real issues. Make real changes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


The first issue is the template for change.  Future issues will focus on specific issues and power structures (including Metro/Bi-State, of course).