St. Louis City: We Need More Hoops!

not enough basketball hoops

In today’s Post, there was an article about how our City Park system ranks compared to the rest of the country.    We did well.  The article was on the proverbial back.

Going through the analysis, it appears that we compete very effectively against the cities on the top of the list except for one catagory.   Why the Post writer didn’t notice this is bothersome.

I came upon a GLARING DEFECT in our park system!

st louis park rankings

In most areas we are competitive with the other cities.   Its in the area of BASKETBALL HOOPS that we are the farthest behind.   The high is 40 basketball courts per 10,000 residents, the average is just over 31 courts per 10,000.   Saint Louis lags behind all the other cities with only 16 courts per 10,000 residents in its parks.  Nearly 50% less than AVERAGE!

In the Post article, it talks about how close we are to other cities scores.   It stands to reason that if we invested in adding more basketball courts to all the city parks, that this would be one ranking that we’d rise into the top 10 of all cities in the country.   Not bad!

So why would we want to do that?

ESPN polls taken in 2017 have basketball ranked as the #1 recreational sport for youths, having risen steadily since 2006.  It a suprising reality to me. Growing up in a non-NBA city prior to the internet, we heard as much about basketball as we did ski reports.    More recently, having lived in the city with 3 children playing basketball, it became clear to me when I was driving my kids home from school with some of their buddies, and a vigorous debate was going on about who was the most dominant NBA players in each position.   I was shocked.

As a basketball and soccer ‘dad coach’, the lack of adequate basketball facilities was apparent.   Competing with teams around the area, I remember driving through the suburbs and seeing house after house with driveways that included a basketball hoop.   In the city, not so much.   There aren’t many driveways, and even less basketball hoops.   Then we’d go to parks.   Suburban municipal parks almost always had basketball courts, in the city, not so much.    I remember Father’s Day of 2014 we found that Clifton Heights Park had one basketball court, so we headed over with a picnic basket and the kids, only to find that there was already a group there  ☹️ .   We attended neighborhood meetings in Tower Grove South, and the park director fielded questions about what they could do to improve the park.   For whatever reason, basketball courts weren’t what they had in mind.

Children don’t vote.   They don’t attend neighborhood meetings. Had I known when my kids were toddlers that  A.   they’d love basketball and  B.  the city lagged so far behind other cities in that catagory, I may have had time to do something about it.   Last year, I coached my son’s 2nd grade team 😬.    We practiced indoors at a charter school.   One day the weather was warm, and we played with the doors open.   OOOPS.   Without a warning, about 6 kids, mostly older than our 2nd grade casually strolled in, grabbed a ball and started playing basketball.   The kids were from the adjacent “projects”.   As a youth athletic coach, nothing is more important than maintaining control of  what’s going on.   Rounding up and expelling the intruders took about 5 minutes, while my team waited for the disruption to end.    While frustrating, I felt bad for the boys.   They wanted something to do, but they’re options were limited.   Their school didn’t have a solution, their parents and communities didn’t have a solution, and reading this article, it appears the local parks didn’t either.

Let the Director of St. Louis City Parks know!

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Filed under st louis government and politics, St. Louis Parks, Uncategorized, Urban vs Suburban plans

Take the HOMELIFT QUIZ: It May be worth $15,000

freemoney2Any home buyer’s looking in the city right now may want to check the qualifications of the Homelift Downpayment Assistance program.   The program really is ‘free money’ to those who qualify since it was devised as a mandate by the federal government for misbehavior by Wells Fargo.  Only those buying in St. Louis City qualify!

Downpayment Assistance in St. Louis City

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Negative Spin undone

dumb

For years, a common perception has been that getting a good education isn’t possible in the City of St. Louis.   Young couples buy a home in the city with a vision for the future, and within a few years, they start having children and start focusing on the move that will bring them into a good school district so that their beloved children don’t end up looking like the above.

There has always been the parochial school exception, if you’re willing to pay.

That’s about as much as most people know when they weigh in about St. Louis City.  There’s just an understanding, it seems.

For some folks that are more “in the know” there’s the City Schools gifted programs.  Interestingly, out of all the negative hype we hear about city schools, the fact that 2 of the top 10 secondary schools in the State of Missouri are SLPS schools didn’t seem to make a dent in the cynical majority.  This information has been available for months, yet most are unaware, and still shocked to hear it.

Also in the news is the success of many of the charter schools.  Both City government and local residents have been highly supportive of the movement to improve local schools, and Charter schools have been the vehicle by which local government and residents can participate.   We always ask parents for feedback when we hear their child attends a city school, and seem to hear the truth.  These are the same parents that provide feedback on stlcityschools.org; a site specifically designed to help parents understand the many options and how they rank in the eyes of current parents.  

So the moral of the story, if you or someone you know is spreading false information about the ability to get a great education in the City of St. Louis, take the time to do your homework.  

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Filed under Education, Uncategorized

Whitaker Music Festival Line Up -2014

Shaw area attractions Whitaker music festivalOne of the highlights of summer for me is a relaxing evening at the Botanical Garden enjoying a packed light dinner on a Wednesday night.  The Whitaker Music Festival isn’t about excitement, but just a relaxing evening outdoors in one of our cities greatest assets:  the Missouri Botanical Garden.

The summer line up was just published today.

Show time is 7:30 p.m.

The concerts are free.

— June 4, Peter Martin Quartet

— June 11, Al Holliday and the East Side Rhythm Band

— June 18, Marsha Evans and the Coalition

— June 25, Javier Mendoza

— July 2, Old Salt Union

— July 9, Big Brother Thunder and the Master Blasters

— July 16, Nigel Mooney

— July 23, Augusta Bottoms Consort

— July 30, Melissa Neels Band

— Aug. 6, Gene Dobbs Bradford Blues Experience

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Filed under Botanical Grove, Shaw, St Louis City Neighborhoods

Great Perspective on St Louis

This is a video that describes why the so called crime reports that pop up on on news sources have St Louis ranked higher for crime than it actually is.

While I’ve always understood how crime numbers are made to look bad due to the geographic size and population of St. Louis City, compared to other metro areas, I’ve never seen a video that helps people understand it.

Hopefully this video helps stop some of the lies that come from critics of the City / County merger spread about why the merger would help the region.

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March 7, 2014 · 9:46 am

VOTE TODAY!!

VOTE TODAY!!

Today is Election Day! Vote~~

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March 5, 2013 · 12:39 am

Forest Park Southeast, What’s Happening in StL!

Image

One of the cool, up and coming parts of St Louis City is the Grove in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood.  This neighborhood is located south of the massive BJC main campus, Central West End, and Interstate 64, east of Kingshighway, and north of Vandeventer.  The Grove started out as a few popular nightclubs and grew into a diverse commercial district with great restaurants, shops and other amenities like the Language Immersion Charter School.  Commerce is not all that is happening in the Grove.  After finding a few buyers some awesome renovated homes in the Grove, I sat down with Austin Barzantny of Grove Properties and talked about the great strides going on in FPSE.

The folks at Grove Properties LLC do a great job of finding “shell” homes in the area and stripping them down, and restoring the homes with a high quality, modern finish while maintaining the historic charm of the home.  Currently, the home on the market through Grove Properties is listed below at 4342 Hunt St.  St Louis, MO.  63110 –a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath listed for $129,900.  

Forest Park Southeast home for sale

The Grove home for sale

editdsc_2965 editdsc_2945Interestingly, in the late 90’s, a client of mine in a prior business was buying a home on Gibson in

Forest Park Southeast.  She gushed about the potential of the area due to its proximity to Barnes Hospital and Interstate 64.  If I was smart, I would have started buying up homes then.  The latest massive growth of both  CORTEX and BJC are fueling more growth in the surrounding neighborhoods like Forest Park Southeast.

One of the problems that seemed to stifle development in the past was poor access to the neighborhood.  Limited highway access; there was a Boyle Avenue exit from westbound I-64 (Highway 40 for the locals), but access was blocked from Kingshighway.  The bridges over the highway that allowed traffic in from the Central West End were narrow and lacked modern functionality.

Now, the MODOT project to increase traffic flow and add highway access from both directions to not only Boyle but also Tower Grove Avenue is in process.  That major project, along with the ‘suburban-esque’ apartment complex being built along the highway are adding to the density and housing options available for the growing area.

Infrastructure improvements will improve the Grove

With the improvements to the roads and infrastructure surrounding the Grove, along with the commercial and entertainment improvements along Manchester Avenue and throughout the northern Neighbor, the BJC Complex will leave the small neighborhood known as the the Grove in a PERFECT position to thrive into the future.

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Filed under Forest Park Southeast - The Grove, St Louis City Neighborhoods, st louis real estate