Politics & Issues
Fri April 25, 2014
The Rundown: A King's Birthday And A Governor's Dilemma
We know that you listen to us on air and check our website for news and information about our region. We hope that you look at our website every day, but we know that's not always possible. So, once a week, on Friday, we will highlight some of the website's top stories.
Small is beautiful
But is it the most efficient? People have long debated whether St. Louis County should consolidate the number of municipalities. Some might argue that efficiency isn't the best measure. Responsivness might be.
Charlie Giraud resides in one of the tiny St. Louis County municipalities that have been subjects of conversation — and contention — regarding regional governance. With 90 municipalities, St. Louis County has the most incorporated cities, towns and villages in the state. Some see this as a positive, giving residents more access and clout to change things in their communities. But others recommend consolidation, contending that the current state of affairs is inefficient and fragmented.
Nixon's the one
Talk about a blast from the past. For starters were the impeachment hearings against Gov. Jay Nixon, admittedly not as spellbindings as those against President Richard Nixon. Then there was tax cut fight 2.0.
Hearings began Wednesday on three articles of impeachment against Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. The filing of the impeachment articles comes in the wake of deteriorating relations between the Democratic governor and the Republican-led General Assembly. While the Nixon administration and GOP leaders have never had what could be described as a warm or close working relationship, it became downright hostile after the governor began his second term in office.
With a new tax-cut package on his desk, Missouri Gov. Nixon has zeroed in on a new “fatal flaw’’ that his administration says could wipe out 65 percent of the state’s general-revenue income used to fund most state services and aid to public schools. The details may be different, but the basic argument mirrors last year’s fight, when Nixon successfully killed a tax-cut bill by highlighting flaws that he said would cost the state's treasury – and the public – far more than the bill’s backers had intended.
And, if you are wondering how much, we put together a map showing the cuts that each district can expect (and what proportion of their budget is affected) ....
St. Louis blues
St. Louis has taken it on the chin recently, with bad news about crime and a north side Schnucks closing. They may seem unrelated, but both affect the perception of the quality of life in the city.
St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson says a big uptick in homicides in 2014 is "concerning and alarming." The chief spoke to the Board of Aldermen's public safety committee on Thursday to discuss the latest crime statistics. There have been 44 murders since the beginning of the year. That compares to 30 people by this time in 2013.
The opening of three grocery stores in St. Louis just a few months ago added to the perception that the city was trying hard to shrink its "food desert," the term used to describe a large area of a city that has no full-service supermarket. That effort took a hit last week, however, with the announcement that Schnucks was closing one of its two remaining stores on the city's north side, an area already suffering from a major shortage of full-service supermarkets.
I know, I'm a sucker when it comes to Monarch butterflies. Do we really want to risk their disappearance?
St. Louis and several partners, including the Missouri Botanical Garden, are launching a project to help monarch butterflies. It involves encouraging area residents to plant milkweeds -- a plant with large fruit pods that release fluffy seeds in the fall. "Monarch caterpillars can only feed on milkweed, and if you can’t feed the caterpillars, you’re not going to have adults,” said one scientist.
Happy birthday, St. Louis!
Why Is St. Louis Named After A French King Who Was Born 800 Years Ago? St. Louis on the Air looks at how a French king born in 1214 became the namesake of a city founded in the heart of the Americas 550 years later. The answer is woven into the fabric of St. Louis’ identity even now, as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding. And just for fun...10 Things To Know About Saint Louis, Himself, On His 800th Birthday