Tom Schlafly


Tom Schlafly is an attorney in St. Louis.

Berlin 1986
selbst fotografiert | Wikipedia

People in Berlin and throughout Germany recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. These commemorations should prompt some reflection closer to home, specifically on the state of local government in the St. Louis area. Doing so raises a fundamental question: If it’s possible for East and West Germany to be reunited, why can’t there be meaningful municipal reorganizations in St. Louis city and county? Whatever barriers we perceive in our community are minuscule in comparison with those that had to be dismantled in Germany.

Ian Sane | Flickr

The bad news is that chronic wasting disease, or CWD, has reached epidemic proportions among deer in some parts of the United States.

The good news is that the Missouri Department of Conservation has so far been successful in containing the spread of CWD after finding cases of the disease at a captive deer breeding operation in 2010.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews)

During its recently completed session, the Missouri General Assembly passed a measure that would let voters decide whether to increase the state sales tax to pay for improvements to highways and for other transportation needs. This action is interesting for a couple of reasons.

First is the underlying assumption that voters are in fact capable of making an informed decision about how to generate revenue for the state.

In Missouri, as in most states, public schools are administered by local school boards.  The boundaries of school districts are drawn in accordance with state law. Schools are funded primarily through local property taxes. Districts with higher per capita incomes tend to have better schools.  The districts most in danger of losing their accreditation tend to be those with lower per capita incomes.

St. Louis has always had a love-hate relationship with the Mississippi River.  The city depends on the river for its very existence. Yet we cursed the river for giving us too little water last fall and we now curse it for giving us too much.  As is the case with so many of life’s mysteries, we need to look to poetry for insights into our complicated relationship with our river.

Seventy years ago, St. Louis native T. S. Eliot wrote The Dry Salvages, which opens with the lines:

I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river