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



Dare to dream
9:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Commentary: Don't Be Dissuaded From Finding Your Own Arch

What's yet to come
Credit The CityArchRiver Foundation

The St. Louis Gateway Arch is this city’s signature monument. It defines the city’s place in American history and for nearly half a century has stood as one of the nation’s architectural points of pride and engineering ingenuity.

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Appointments, buffer zones
11:38 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Analysis: Supreme Court Unanimous Decisions Do Not Equal Agreement

Credit Matt H. Wade | Wikipedia

The era of unanimity on the U.S. Supreme Court lasted about four days.

When the U.S. Supreme Court issued three important decisions last week with unanimous votes, a flurry of legal and media commentary talked about Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. having engineered a new era of consensus on the court, with nearly two-thirds of this year's decisions decided without a dissent. Some contended that this new consensus court had rejected President Barack Obama's extremism and bolstered House Speaker John Boehner's threatened lawsuit against the president.

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For The Sake Of All
5:43 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Editor's Weekly: Funding With Integrity

The 'For the Sake of All' report.
Credit For the Sake of All

The grant-funded project that St. Louis Public Radio recently announced is ambitious.

It’s big — more than $170,000 from the Missouri Foundation for Health for our news organization and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. And it addresses a big question — how to reach people whose voices and views are often left out of public policy discussions that directly affect them.

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DESE rules
10:50 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Commentary: What Will The State Do For Normandy Students?

Credit Credit Cast a Line / Flickr

The St. Louis area has had more than its share of education headlines this past year. St. Louis schools are trying to regain accreditation amid much turmoil. Normandy and Riverview Gardens lost their accreditation. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has taken over the Normandy School District and announced that all teachers must reapply for their jobs. Riverview Gardens is in a holding pattern as it has enough resources to continue school for a while, but uncertainty remains and its academic record is poor.

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Find the evidence
10:38 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Commentary: Teaching People To Search For Statistical Truth

Credit Ulrik |

About four years ago I realized that, although my business statistics students were understanding the math fairly well, they didn't “get” the statistics part. When asked to apply their knowledge, they were fairly clueless. My challenge was to change that. But how?

That challenge had another prompt: In the book “Academically Adrift,” authors Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa provide strong evidence that a student only experiences small to nonexistent gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills over the entire undergraduate college education.

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On The August Ballot
6:00 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Commentary: Benefits Of Transportation Sales Tax Increase Are Worth The Cost

Redoing the Grand Boulevard Bridge filled just one piece of the city's transportations needs. Derek AuBuchon was foreman of a crew that painted the bridge’s four metal towers.
Credit Tom Nagel | File photo

I want to speak to city voters and to our friends. The rest of you should take this opportunity to check the Cardinals score.

The city of St. Louis has big plans over the next 10 years. I am talking about the kind of transportation system that befits a great city.

We want to create a major streetcar line centered downtown with a North-South and an East-West route.

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9:03 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Editor's Weekly: What I Learned From 'Fatha' Thimes

Lou Fatha Times
Credit St. Louis Media Archives

Gloria Ross’s obituary for radio icon Lou “Fatha” Thimes took me way, way back. Back to the hiss of static on an AM radio in a green Studebaker. Back to a time when the 1950s TV icons were Ozzie and Harriett  rather than Don Draper. Back to a grade school classroom where the African-American kids had only recently won the legal right to be present.

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Opera Theatre of St. Louis
12:30 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Reflections: Listen To The Serious, Radiant 'Dialogues Of The Carmelites'

Christine Brewer (center with hands raised) as Madame Lidoine with the nuns of Compiègne in "Dialogues of the Carmelites." This serious work by Francis Poulenc is the fourth of this year's festival season at Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Credit Ken Howard | OTSL

Thirty-one years ago, Opera Theatre of St. Louis pulled off a season that resounds in memory as an artistic volcano, a bonanza, an operatic gold mine, a tour de force. It followed the defining 1982 season, one crowned with Jonathan Miller’s “Così fan tutte,” a show conducted by Calvin Simmons, who died the summer following his and Dr. Miller’s triumphant achievement.

Power of Poulenc

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On The August Ballot
10:29 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Commentary: Why Not Raise Missouri's Gas Tax Instead Of Sales Tax?

On I-70
Credit (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.

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Tax Cuts
9:56 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Commentary: Policies Will Widen The Wealth Gap

Credit buzzybee |

It probably says something about our times that the book that’s sold out on Amazon is not the latest Twilight thriller but a dense, 700-pager by a French economics professor: Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. He’s also making the rounds of TV talk shows like an A-list actor promoting a new movie.

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