Monday Drinking Liberally Happy Hour With State Rep. Bruce Franks

May20186:30-9 pm Monday, May 21, 2018
Drinking Liberally St. Louis Chapter
Nadine’s, 1931 S 12th in Soulard
Host: Marie Ceselski
Guest Speaker: State Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr.
RSVP mtceselski@aol.com

We’ll go around the tables and ask Bruce questions, similar to past two happy hours.

We’ll play Rex Bingo. Prizes will include kale and collards seedlings.

Please bring single serve packaged food donations for Lafayette Park United Methodist Church Brown Bag Meal Program serving our unhoused neighbors 
(Only Items Needing NO Refrigeration, Cooking, Assembly)
Cans of Vienna Sausages
Packages of Tuna/Chicken & Crackers
Packages of Peanut Butter Crackers
Single Serving Boxes of Raisins
Single Serving Fruit/Applesauce Cans
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I Contacted Bi-State About Bus Cuts. Now Your Turn. Deadline Today/Friday.

busbuschEmail reimagined@metrostlouis.org

Information on Bus Routes to be eliminated (disregard meeting info, the post is a bit dated)

My letter to Bi-State Development Agency

I am writing in opposition to proposed cuts to bus service which pose public safety risks. I am also writing in criticism of the process by which these services are being proposed for cuts, and to review some past mistakes made by Metro/Bi-State Development on service cuts as examples of where service is needed.

The #8 Morganford travels Russell to South 12th and north to Downtown. It serves the Allen Market senior housing at Russell and South 12th, bar and restaurant workers in Soulard and on Grand, and Downtown workers and customers of Fields Foods (on Lafayette) who live in Soulard and McKinley Heights. The public transit option proposed for these current riders is #10 Gravois. This would require crossing six-lane Gravois at Russell, a very dangerous intersection that includes a highway off ramp and traffic from a gas station/convenience store and fast food business, an intersection with frequent accidents.

The #19 St. Louis Avenue would no longer serve the workers and customers of Old North’s 14th Street Mall, Crown Candy, LaMancha Coffee, other businesses, and senior housing. The public transit option proposed is six-lane #74 Florissant in an area with crime problems.

The #20 South Broadway travels through Soulard on South 12th to Downtown. It serves customers of Vincent’s Market at South 12th and Barton, the Allen Market senior housing at Russell and South 12th, bar and restaurant workers in Soulard, and Downtown workers and customers of Fields Foods (on Lafayette) who live in Soulard, as well as homeless persons coming and going to our various service providers. The public transit option proposed for these current riders is #10 Gravois, which would be of no use to customers of Vincent’s Market. See also #8 Morganford for public safety concerns.

The #73 Carondelet would no longer serve the bar and restaurant workers and customers of Cherokee Street. The public transit option proposed is #11 Chippewa on Jefferson. The area has crime problems. Walking in the dark to Jefferson would not be safe.

In each of these cases, an unsafe option is proposed. It doesn’t matter whether planners assumed that captive customers like dish washers will use the unsafe option because they have no alternative, or simply didn’t research what institutions were on the bus routes, the result is the same, a bad proposal.

Over the past five weeks I have sought out bus riders at bus stops on the aforementioned affected routes. I spoke with 57 bus riders that I was not acquainted with. Not a single person knew their bus stop was proposed for elimination. When I mentioned the lack of community outreach to Metro/Bi-State staff at the April 17th meeting, staff insisted that the brochure handed out at transit centers and on buses was sufficient notice. Said brochure said nothing about service cuts. It was dishonest.

You can increase ridership by providing bus service to places you once did and screwed up by eliminating it.

You should return bus service to Busch Stadium. People do not want to take a bus to the train to Busch. Eliminating bus service to ball games was a huge mistake. It resulted in more people driving.

You should return bus service to City Hall and Civil Courts. People do not want to walk from Civic Center transit center to City Hall and Courts, particularly when it is raining or snowing out. 25 years ago about 1/4 of the employees at City Hall rode the bus to work. Now it’s about a dozen people. You really messed up on that one. Today you have buses that travel on Clark, go right past City Hall without a stop for riders. It’s ridiculous.

Probably the worst part about participating in the recent transit meetings was hearing from Metro/Bi-State staff that the reason the transit “hearing” was not attended by Bi-State Development Commissioners is because they don’t know anything about bus routes.

That’s our problem right there, the governing body for public transit has no idea what the product is, let alone how poor a product it is.

—Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

RSVP Last Call for Monday Drinking Liberally with Cori Bush & Mark Osmack

April232018
6:30-9 pm Monday, April 23, 2018
Drinking Liberally St. Louis Chapter Happy Hour
Nadine’s, 1931 S 12th, Soulard
RSVP to mtceselski@aol.com
or Facebook

Format: We will go around the tables and each introduce ourselves and ask our guest speakers an international, national, or state question relating to Congress. Both speakers will answer same question. Please prepare questions in advance.

Guest Speakers for April 23rd include:

1st U.S. House District Candidate Cori Bush – The 1st House District includes all of St. Louis City and most of North St. Louis County.

2nd U.S. House District Candidate Mark Osmack – The 2nd U.S. House District includes parts of St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and St. Charles County.

Voter Registration Applications Available

We’re again collecting food for Lafayette Park United Methodist Church’s Brown Bag Meals Program for our unhoused neighbors. Items being collected- individual serving packages of crackers & tuna, crackers & peanut butter, fruit cups, fruit drinks, raisins, applesauce, cookies.

Sunday Seed Swap Happy Hour

zinniamix1-3 pm Sunday, April 8, 2018
7th Ward Seed Swap Happy Hour
Nadine’s Gin Joint (tables closest to kitchen)
1931 S 12th, Soulard

RSVP Facebook  or to mtceselski@aol.com

Everyone welcome. You do not have to be a 7th Ward resident.

We’ll be giving away Spring sow seeds- veggies, herbs, flowers- and some Aloe plants.

patridgepeamonativeHave a lots of Zinnia, Marigold, Basil, Partridge Pea

Anyone interested in Geyer Garden (new community garden at 11th & Geyer) please attend.

Not necessary, but if you seed harvested and have seeds to share, please bring.

We will also have Voter Registration Applications.

The weather forecast looks like Sunday will be a miserable, cold, wet day, so come on out and hang with gardeners and talk about growing food and pretties.
basil

The City Wants $40.15 To Make Me Paper Copies Of Emails

0f17fd2b197f0ea69688f292fe66f060--louis-brandeis-coffee-quotesA simple request. Emails sent to an Alderwoman between two dates relating to Rex Sinquefield’s Plan to privatize St. Louis Lambert Airport.

The City has Gmail accounts. The Alderwoman should not be using private email for public business. The Sunshine request should have involved the Alderwoman’s secretary (shared with several other Aldermen) going through the emails and forwarding them to me.

Easy Peasy.

But not for the City of St. Louis. Instead, the City, at the direction of the Mayor Lyda Krewson and/or her City Counselor, former Circuit Court Judge Julian Bush, has dragged out this request for over a month, now wants $40.15 in fees, has a three day waiting period after I’ve paid, and appears to be giving me paper copies of emails instead of just forwarding emails by email.

It’s 2018 and the City of St. Louis still doesn’t know how to use Gmail yet.

Let’s start from the beginning. On the evening of Monday, February 19, 2018, I used the City’s online form for Sunshine requests to request Airport Privatization emails received by 19th Ward Alderwoman Marlene Davis (Chair, Transportation Committee, Board of Aldermen) between January 22, 2018 and February 16, 2018. That’s right, I’m interested in specific emails during a less than one month period.

DavisSunshine
The auto-response said I would receive a response in three days, by Thursday, February 22, 2018. Three days to find the emails and send them to me. Fair enough.
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Community Gardeners Are Just Unpaid Lawn Care And Janitors For The City

KaleA lot of people are sadly mistaken about the gardens on lots owned by the City of St. Louis via Land Reutilization Authority.

These community gardens were about growing healthy food. Before there was talk about food deserts, neighbors organized to plant, maintain, and share fresh produce, fruit, and herbs.

These community gardens were about creating beautiful, productive, safer community spaces where once there were weeds and trash and illegal activity.
garden2
These community gardens have been places of learning. Before there was talk of sustainability, there was Gateway Greening teaching gardeners how to grow food and pretties with best practices and giving them the gift of gardening enthusiasm to share with others.

For 35 years, Gateway Greening helped start community gardens across St. Louis. This incredible organization provides training, seeds and seedlings, expert advice and encouragement; lent tools; helped with insurance and water access, and so much more.

The City supported community gardens not only by providing the space but also free compost and mulch. It made community gardening affordable for everyone.

But the good times of the City being a gardening partner are gone.

The free compost from the City is now often of very poor quality.
composttrash

Curbside leaf pick up and street sweeping yield beer cans, condoms, disposable diapers, Styrofoam food containers, plastic cutlery, needlesticks, cigarette butts, and any other garbage tossed out of vehicles, and it all makes poor and dangerous compost.

Buying a load of compost for delivery is not cheap. Picking up a load of the great free compost at University City’s Heman Park requires a truck.  Most community gardeners do not have a lot of money to spend on gardening or own a truck. They came to gardening because it was a inexpensive way to grow food nearby.

The City knows gardeners who cannot afford to buy compost will sort the trash from the useful compost in order to use it. This is why the City doesn’t pay for sorting the trash out at the front end.

In 2013, the City’s garden lease program was expanded to include individuals and not just groups. There are now 500 garden leases.

The downside is that vacant lot gardens are development opportunities. In the eyes of the City, the Mayor, current and former, community gardeners are nothing more than unpaid lawn care and janitors.

The City does not respect the community investment, money as well as sweat equity, that goes into your garden.

The City does not care that the garden is a valued neighborhood asset, a safe gathering place.

The City does not see the value of the healthy physical activity that the garden requires.

milkweedThe City only sees a parcel someone wants to develop. It sees a building permit, a statistic, not your great tasting tomatoes, sweet smelling iris, butterflies on the milkweed, and all the quality of life benefits that your garden brings.

If you’re lucky and have an alderman you can work with, your community garden may be placed in the Gateway Greening Land Trust and out of development harms way.

If not, the City can deed your little piece of heaven to someone to pour concrete all over it.

That happened today. The City sold the site of English Cave Community Garden to a family that wants to build on it.  It’s true that the group missed a deadline to renew its lease for the garden. It’s also true the group was prepared to buy the parcel. But the City prefers that the land be developed. Given a choice between a community asset and a new home, the City went with the new home. The City knows how to quantify the new home. The City gives little or no value to the garden.

This can happen to any garden parcel. The City can sell it off. You are just the free labor that keeps the City from having to mow it right now.

The only path to a St. Louis City that values community gardens is to change the people in charge. I would not bother trying to change hearts and minds. Focus on changing who is in charge.