During Morning Edition and All Things Considered, or on Cityscape

Commentaries are opinion pieces provided by a wide variety of individuals in the St. Louis region. They are not necessarily the opinion of St. Louis Public Radio, but are intended to reflect diverse viewpoints on issues affecting our region. To submit a commentary or proposal, email



5:33 am
Wed January 30, 2013

You Have The Right To An Attorney - The Gideon Case's 50th Anniversary

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Even if you have never been arrested, you know that if you are, you have the right to an attorney. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Gideon case, in which the United States Supreme Court declared that the right to an attorney applies regardless of ability to pay.

Read more
5:33 am
Mon January 14, 2013

TIF Financing Hurts Communities By Forsaking Crucial Property Taxes For Sales Taxes

David Stokes / Policy Analyst, Show-Me Institute
Show-Me Institute

Shrewsbury is the latest city within Saint Louis County to consider Tax Increment Financing (known as TIFs) to subsidize a new Walmart. TIFs have been ravaging our region for twenty years, despite strong evidence they don’t help the economy. A study of TIF use in Chicago suburbs found that cities that did not use TIF grew faster than those that did, while a study of TIF in Iowa found no evidence of economy-wide benefits from its use.

Read more
4:37 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

St. Louis Grown Artists

Ntozake Shange, taken December 2010 at the Urban Zen Center at the Stephan Weiss Studio
Photo by Peter Monsanto via Flickr / Hip-Hop Theater

I recently saw a picture of Joe Edwards of the U. City Loop fame shaking the hand of Ntozake Shange after her star had been installed in the University City Walk of Fame.

Shange is of course best known for her choreopoem,"For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide,When the Rainbow is Enuf."

I started thinking of the multitude of artists in all artistic fields who have come out of our culturally rich region and made it on a national level. Many are deceased, many are still working, and many are up and coming and will probably go all the way to the top.

Read more
6:59 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Architecture of Houses of Worship

A Missouri appeals court has ruled that the Archdiocese of St. Louis, whose seat is the Cathedral Basilica, cannot be held responsible for abuse committed by a priest off church property.
(via Flickr/Matthew Black)

It's that time of year when many of us celebrate Christmas or Hanukah. How many of us look inside or outside our place of worship and notice that we are worshiping in an architecturally significant edifice?

Mary Stiritz says in her book, Historical Churches and Synagogues of St.Louis, "There are many ways to look at ecclesiastical buildings: method of construction, materials, ornament, stained glass, etc. The rich variety of styles chosen for religious buildings in St. Louis generally followed the national trends which were fashionable in any given period."

Read more
5:30 am
Tue November 13, 2012

School Accreditation and Poverty

Credit (via Flickr/comedy_nose)

In the last several weeks the St. Louis Public Schools and the Normandy School District traded places on the list of unaccredited and provisionally accredited schools. . Congratulations to the city schools for regaining provisional status and good luck to Normandy on its journey back to accreditation. Here in the St. Louis region we typically only talk about our public school challenges or occasionally the Kansas City challenges but the list of unaccredited and provisional schools in Missouri, in addition to St.

Read more