Crime Thread

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whitherSTL wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:07 am
I took a tour through the Dutchtown neighborhood yesterDAY. The whole Chippewa, Gravois, Grand area is a travesty. 20 years ago that area was a thriving middle-class nabe. Now it almost brings tears to your eyes. The usual prey-on-the-poor businesses have popped up all over. Houses in horrific condition.

Sometimes I wonder if parts of STL are beyond help. I can see why this area is a center of crime.
The belief that it is beyond saving is what will kill this city. Belief and action will bring it back and has in several parts.
ImprovSTL wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:52 am
whitherSTL wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:07 am
I took a tour through the Dutchtown neighborhood yesterDAY. The whole Chippewa, Gravois, Grand area is a travesty. 20 years ago that area was a thriving middle-class nabe. Now it almost brings tears to your eyes. The usual prey-on-the-poor businesses have popped up all over. Houses in horrific condition.

Sometimes I wonder if parts of STL are beyond help. I can see why this area is a center of crime.
The belief that it is beyond saving is what will kill this city. Belief and action will bring it back and has in several parts.
I agree with that. It just is so widespread....
whitherSTL wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:58 am
ImprovSTL wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:52 am
whitherSTL wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:07 am
I took a tour through the Dutchtown neighborhood yesterDAY. The whole Chippewa, Gravois, Grand area is a travesty. 20 years ago that area was a thriving middle-class nabe. Now it almost brings tears to your eyes. The usual prey-on-the-poor businesses have popped up all over. Houses in horrific condition.

Sometimes I wonder if parts of STL are beyond help. I can see why this area is a center of crime.
The belief that it is beyond saving is what will kill this city. Belief and action will bring it back and has in several parts.
I agree with that. It just is so widespread....
I didn't live in that neighborhood 20 years ago, but I assume the neighborhood's decline didn't happen overnight, but gradually, one building at a time over a period of years. That neighborhood will need to be rebuilt in exactly the same fashion...one building at a time. I'm hopeful that our CDCs, neighborhood associations, Aldermen, etc. will take this approach in connection with the Greater Gravois Initiative and the Gravois-Jefferson Planning group. I'd focus on the major nuisance properties first as that's how will see the quickest return on investment. That Phillips 66 on the corner of Gravois and Grand is, from what I've seen and been told, a huge problem...basically an open air market for crime. Just down the street on Gravois, I heard that neighbors, Aldermen, etc. were able to shut down Zozo Mart, a similar nuisance business attracting lots of crime, so we have some precedent very close by. Tackle these nuisances one at a time and crime will ease up. That will then increase the chances of a developer taking a chance on restoring some of the commercial buildings in the area that need to be rehabbed.

And remember, at one time everyone thought even the CWE was too far gone and beyond hope of saving. Dutchtown absolutely can be turned around.
SouthCityJR wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:24 am
whitherSTL wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:58 am
ImprovSTL wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:52 am


The belief that it is beyond saving is what will kill this city. Belief and action will bring it back and has in several parts.
I agree with that. It just is so widespread....
I didn't live in that neighborhood 20 years ago, but I assume the neighborhood's decline didn't happen overnight, but gradually, one building at a time over a period of years. That neighborhood will need to be rebuilt in exactly the same fashion...one building at a time. I'm hopeful that our CDCs, neighborhood associations, Aldermen, etc. will take this approach in connection with the Greater Gravois Initiative and the Gravois-Jefferson Planning group. I'd focus on the major nuisance properties first as that's how will see the quickest return on investment. That Phillips 66 on the corner of Gravois and Grand is, from what I've seen and been told, a huge problem...basically an open air market for crime. Just down the street on Gravois, I heard that neighbors, Aldermen, etc. were able to shut down Zozo Mart, a similar nuisance business attracting lots of crime, so we have some precedent very close by. Tackle these nuisances one at a time and crime will ease up. That will then increase the chances of a developer taking a chance on restoring some of the commercial buildings in the area that need to be rehabbed.

And remember, at one time everyone thought even the CWE was too far gone and beyond hope of saving. Dutchtown absolutely can be turned around.
Do you have any more info this Gravois-Jefferson Planning Group? Haven't heard of that one.
SouthCityJR wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:24 am
I didn't live in that neighborhood 20 years ago, but I assume the neighborhood's decline didn't happen overnight, but gradually, one building at a time over a period of years. That neighborhood will need to be rebuilt in exactly the same fashion...one building at a time. I'm hopeful that our CDCs, neighborhood associations, Aldermen, etc. will take this approach in connection with the Greater Gravois Initiative and the Gravois-Jefferson Planning group. I'd focus on the major nuisance properties first as that's how will see the quickest return on investment. That Phillips 66 on the corner of Gravois and Grand is, from what I've seen and been told, a huge problem...basically an open air market for crime. Just down the street on Gravois, I heard that neighbors, Aldermen, etc. were able to shut down Zozo Mart, a similar nuisance business attracting lots of crime, so we have some precedent very close by. Tackle these nuisances one at a time and crime will ease up. That will then increase the chances of a developer taking a chance on restoring some of the commercial buildings in the area that need to be rehabbed.

And remember, at one time everyone thought even the CWE was too far gone and beyond hope of saving. Dutchtown absolutely can be turned around.
absolutely. targeting nuisance properties and slumlords is the surest way to turn things around. i know alderman Spencer has been working with the PD to do just that. unfortunately opportunist pieces of sh*t like this Nathan Cooper tool continue to make things difficult:

https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis ... meThisWeek

(that article also talks about how this part of town ended up the way it is.)

there are already signs of progress though. we just bought a home on Meramec and several other homes nearby are under rehab. on top of that developers are starting to take interest:

https://nextstl.com/2017/05/great-thing ... ghborhood/

it's pretty block-by-block but we've met a bunch of great neighbors who are invested in making it better. agree that the stretch of Grand between Gravois and Meramec is a sh*t show. i think the Grand-Gravois and Grand-Chippewa intersections are linchpins in terms of development spreading south from Tower Grove. good things are happening on Chippewa so hopefully that will help things along:

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/fash ... 17edb.html

anyway, it's just a matter of getting a critical mass of responsible residents who do little things like maintain their properties, pick up litter, and report nuisance behavior consistently. it'll turn around, but it takes people actually DOING things instead of just talking about how terrible everything is.
In my experience the whole "twenty years ago it was better" story is off by at least ten years. And not quite right anyway. In 1997 the Sears was empty and decaying. SSN was almost empty. The gas station was already there and run down. The porn store was there. There were massage parlors. I honestly don't recall much of a difference. The Buttery was a little less greasy. I would still eat there then. That's a difference, I suppose. The Schnucks didn't look any better then than now. (To be fair, it's fine now and I shop there sometimes, when I'm coming from that direction.) Twenty years ago my county acquaintances wouldn't touch anything east of Grand with a twenty foot pole. Not at Grand an Arsenal east of the Streetside. (Remember that?) There were some large empty or mostly empty buildings that aren't empty now. SSN done got bought and fixed. The Sears got all crunched up and replaced with retirement apartments. Okay, maybe the empty National was still open. But there's plenty of other business up and down the strip. I shop in them. Regularly. I eat at Kim Ngan all the time. At night. Southtown isn't the dive now that some are making it out to be. And it wasn't middle class then. Probably hasn't been middle class in more like forty years. Maybe more than that. It was already run down when my great grandfather lived there. In the late seventies. I was there. Hell, I lived across the street more or less in Bevo. Does it need investment? Sure. Is it a den of awful and nasty? Well, if you take awful and nasty with you, or go looking for it, yeah, probably. But if you're not doing criminal sh*t you probably won't be a victim of criminal sh*t. Same rule as elsewhere.

It doesn't look great. That scares a lot of people. People drive like ass. Serious ass. That scares more people. There really are empty buildings. Most have been empty a long time. More than twenty years, in fact. Honestly, if we didn't criminalize poverty or certain things associated with poverty there probably wouldn't BE a crime problem there at all. But quite a lot of this is perception and sugar coated memory. It really hasn't changed much. I was there many evenings twenty years ago. I'm there many evenings now. I . . . kind of skipped out for fifteen years in the middle, but other than the Sears getting torn down and replaced with apartments it's amazing how much really is the same. And yes, I remember when that Sears was open. Forty years ago. And when it closed thirty five years ago. I was there then too. So . . . trust me. It ain't that different from twenty years ago. Forty and you have an argument, but even that is sort of marginal. Different poor people, but poor people. It was my poor people then: Slovaks and Poles and other Eastern European sorts. Maybe a few Germans that were still working in the factories. Which, you know, I'm Slovak and German, so . . Then it turned into poor black people, which is why folks decided it was terrible, I think. My people included, just to be fair. Cousins mostly, but . . . Now it's them and some poor Middle Eastern and South Asian sorts. Meh. The food's different. But still tasty. I just can't get many of my cousins to come eat it with me. But . . . their loss, honestly.

I actually suspect things are getting expensive enough nearby that they'll get fixed up there soon enough. Which is both good and bad. Good, in that I'm twenty years tired of looking at giant empty buildings. Bad in that it'll probably run out some of my favorite places. Except the Buttery. That place will survive. But hopefully someone will wash it. A little. And fumigate. A lot.
The Chippewa area needs an influx of immigrants. Latinos and Asians. Or pretty much anyone to displace the current residents. Give the current residents a one way ticket and a section 8 voucher to Houston or Atlanta.

The amount of trash and garbage in the street is mind boggling.

The problem is that even the most hard up people from anywhere on the globe wants no part of the American ghetto style behavior and lifestyle. It's literally the bottom of the barrell anywhere on earth. I'd rather live in Nairobi than this area in its current state.
leeharveyawesome wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:28 am
I'd rather live in Nairobi than this area in its current state.
Then GTFO
ricke002 wrote:
leeharveyawesome wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:28 am
I'd rather live in Nairobi than this area in its current state.
Then GTFO
That's what most people do.

But, Ricke002, I'm not going anywhere. It's time for other people to GTFO.
leeharveyawesome wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:59 am
ricke002 wrote:
leeharveyawesome wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:28 am
I'd rather live in Nairobi than this area in its current state.
Then GTFO
That's what most people do.

But, Ricke002, I'm not going anywhere. It's time for other people to GTFO.
You seem fun.
ricke002 wrote:
leeharveyawesome wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:59 am
ricke002 wrote:

Then GTFO
ricke002 wrote:


You seem fun.
That's what most people do.

But, Ricke002, I'm not going anywhere. It's time for other people to GTFO.
You seem fun.
You say GTFO = genius

I say GTFO = no fun

Got it.

I'm next level fun, brother.
leeharveyawesome wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:38 am
ricke002 wrote:
leeharveyawesome wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:59 am


That's what most people do.

But, Ricke002, I'm not going anywhere. It's time for other people to GTFO.
You seem fun.
You say GTFO = genius

I say GTFO = no fun

Got it.

I'm next level fun, brother.
Yes, I'm basing my "You seem fun" off of this one instance.
symphonicpoet wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:37 am
In my experience the whole "twenty years ago it was better" story is off by at least ten years. And not quite right anyway.
we must be about the same age, poet. i spent a good deal of my childhood along this stretch of Grand as well, and while it wasn't necessarily bustling 30 to 35 years ago there were certainly more businesses (Sears, Ben Franklin, Netties, National, Schaefer's Hobby, a little corner store at Grand and Montana that I used to walk to as a kid, etc.). there's no denying that the stretch looks 10 times worse now than it did then. and buildings that were at least maintained just 15 years ago are now boarded up and/or crumbling (i'm thinking specifically of Grand and Miami and Grand and Alberta). there's trash everywhere. it's the usual stuff that accompanies disinvestment and poverty. in this case disinvestment by working class whites as working class and poor blacks moved south from north city. In the last 10 years the situation has been further exacerbated by the big mortgage scam.
These sad neighborhoods just need some love and hard work to make them safe again. Tower Grove South is an example in some cases
symphonicpoet wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:37 am
Probably hasn't been middle class in more like forty years. Maybe more than that. It was already run down when my great grandfather lived there. In the late seventies. I was there. Hell, I lived across the street more or less in Bevo.
Great post, SP. Brought back memories. When I was a wee half-pint I spent a lot of my weekends at my grandparents longtime home very close to Gravois and Chippewa. Pretty much every Saturday morning in the early-to-mid 80s my grammy would drive me down to a baseball card shop on Gravois near Bevo Mill. Good times.
leeharveyawesome wrote: The Chippewa area needs an influx of immigrants. Latinos and Asians. Or pretty much anyone to displace the current residents. Give the current residents a one way ticket and a section 8 voucher to Houston or Atlanta.

The amount of trash and garbage in the street is mind boggling.

The problem is that even the most hard up people from anywhere on the globe wants no part of the American ghetto style behavior and lifestyle. It's literally the bottom of the barrell anywhere on earth. I'd rather live in Nairobi than this area in its current state.
LeeHarvey - I appreciate the realism you add to arguments and I hope you continue to participate in this forum. I don't know enough about Nairobi to make a fair comparison, but I agree there are probably immigrants who pick other locations than these neighborhoods (if they have the options to do so).

The biggest problem I personally have with the type of revitalization that we've seen in similar, nearby neighborhoods in the last decade or two has to do with displacing existing residents. I would imagine by-and-large the existing residents are lower income and mostly renters. Many are probably people who have made this their home and community over the last few decades.
urban_dilettante wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:49 pm
symphonicpoet wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:37 am
In my experience the whole "twenty years ago it was better" story is off by at least ten years. And not quite right anyway.
we must be about the same age, poet. i spent a good deal of my childhood along this stretch of Grand as well, and while it wasn't necessarily bustling 30 to 35 years ago there were certainly more businesses (Sears, Ben Franklin, Netties, National, Schaefer's Hobby, a little corner store at Grand and Montana that I used to walk to as a kid, etc.). there's no denying that the stretch looks 10 times worse now than it did then. and buildings that were at least maintained just 15 years ago are now boarded up and/or crumbling (i'm thinking specifically of Grand and Miami and Grand and Alberta). there's trash everywhere. it's the usual stuff that accompanies disinvestment and poverty. in this case disinvestment by working class whites as working class and poor blacks moved south from north city. In the last 10 years the situation has been further exacerbated by the big mortgage scam.
Oh, thirty to thirty five I'll give you. It was better then. The big empty Sears did the place no favors. I . . . don't remember the Ben Franklin very well. But it at least seemed about the same to me twenty years ago as it does now. Lots of empty. Lots of decay. Some of this is always perception, but the place clearly wasn't roses. And I'd guess it's pretty much always been a working class neighborhood, right around there, at least right off Grand. Flats, tenements, apartments. Not a lot of single family until you get a couple of blocks away in one direction or another. But there's more and more immigration around there all the time. If you go to the Aldi's at Grand and Winnebago you'll see folks from everywhere. Any day of the week. And the strip of groceries should probably be a clue. Along about a two block stretch centered Grand and Chippewa you've got Baghdad Market, Afghan Market, Gurung Bazar (Indian), and Chu Quoc Te (Vietnamese, which is where I shop), and the Hilal fish joint and butcher shop. (They've got rabbit, by the way, if you're in the market.) And that's not even counting restaurants, insurance, lawyers, phone card dealers, and who knows what else with signs in Vietnamese or Spanish or scripts I can't really parse. It's a pretty international place. Poor, but poor folks from every walk of life and every corner of the blinking planet, I think. I actually kind of like the place. Which is maybe why I took it a touch too personally. I'm probably close to Grand and Chippewa at least one night a week, and often more than that.

As to ages, I grew up over on Beethoven in the seventies and early eighties. After that I was assorted elsewhere's for a while, but my heart was always close to Morganford. And Gravois and Chippewa had both been well within the stomping grounds. Didn't get to Grand much until I was a little older, save as a passenger in someone's car, but it was always on my radar in a way that more mysterious places like Midtown and Downtown were not.

Anyway, it's fun reminiscing. And even more fun hoping for the future. :)
City homicides stand at 142, compared to 135 for the same period last year.
^ now 143. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I think we're going to hit 200 this year Also, fwiw, south corridor has seen a pretty decent drop in homicides compared to last two years while north city has increased.,,, not sure what to make of that.
Man, looks like Krewson got an earful last night at her first townhall:
http://www.kmov.com/story/36296713/krew ... -brutality
One of the participant statements: "....what are you doing about the out of control police."

It's a false narrative and needs to be corrected every time. Needs to be dealt with right away.

Complaint about out of control police will lead to the police stopping policing. Then things will be very bad. It's already happening. Crime is rising, especially in those areas with the highest complaints against police.

In this thread regarding running red lights, a response was that police are lazy - One reason police seem lazy: Constantly getting yelled at or getting back talk from those they stop. One can expect the police to get tired of it, and just stop being bothered about it. Then, they don't stop people anymore for the 'minor' offenses...then, after a few years, the next level of offenses become 'minor' and the police stop bothering with those.

The last few decades have become the start of a lawless society.
MTBE wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:59 am
One of the participant statements: "....what are you doing about the out of control police."

It's a false narrative and needs to be corrected every time. Needs to be dealt with right away.

Complaint about out of control police will lead to the police stopping policing. Then things will be very bad. It's already happening. Crime is rising, especially in those areas with the highest complaints against police.

In this thread regarding running red lights, a response was that police are lazy - One reason police seem lazy: Constantly getting yelled at or getting back talk from those they stop. One can expect the police to get tired of it, and just stop being bothered about it. Then, they don't stop people anymore for the 'minor' offenses...then, after a few years, the next level of offenses become 'minor' and the police stop bothering with those.

The last few decades have become the start of a lawless society.
You think the massive drop in crime in the last 30 years has "become the start of a lawless society"?
Are there statistics on minor crime we can look at for trends? Such as traffic stops, expired tags, etc?

One thing that probably isn't helping is the lack of red light cameras. People know that they can get away with it so they do.
MTBE wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:59 am
One of the participant statements: "....what are you doing about the out of control police."
It's a false narrative and needs to be corrected every time. Needs to be dealt with right away.
Yep, law enforcement is above any scrutiny whatsoever and are always in the right 100% of the time. ...Yes, that was sarcasm.
San Luis Native wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:57 pm
MTBE wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:59 am
One of the participant statements: "....what are you doing about the out of control police."
It's a false narrative and needs to be corrected every time. Needs to be dealt with right away.
Yep, law enforcement is above any scrutiny whatsoever and are always in the right 100% of the time. ...Yes, that was sarcasm.
Unless a nurse is mistreated - then heads shall roll.