Feature, July 19, 2007Bite the wallet: Pete Rahn comments that one benefit of the New I-64 project would be "saved time" by commuters "worth $850 million for the twenty years after completion." The exchange would have been even more valuable had he mentioned that the same assumptions and the predictions of MoDOT's own consultant suggest a $5.85 billion cost in lost time over 2008 and 2009. (See page 18 of "An Evaluation of Alternative Methods for Reconstructing I-64 in St. Louis," Regional Economic Models, Inc., November 2006. The report is available upon request from MoDOT.)
Thus far MoDOT has offered only relatively small cost savings and the fear of losing the federal money ($535 million) as an explanation for the full project, as opposed to a stripped-down design that merely replaces the bridges that go over I-64. The St. Louis area deserves better than an assertion of MoDOT's confidence when being asked to risk economic Armageddon. Charles Moul, assistant professor, Department of Economics, Washington University
Rahn for your life! "Road Warrior" is far better than what is being written by the Post-Dispatch. The feature articles from the Riverfront Times are analogous to what public radio does with their in-depth stories as far as fairness and completeness. What is the greater absurdity, MoDOT not having a direct line of responsibility to the elected governor and legislators, or the fact that Pete Rahn is making decisions that negatively impact the economic engine of the state of Missouri?
Jim Kratzer, St. Louis
That tobacco-juice business gross! As a south-city resident, I quite enjoyed Keegan Hamilton's "Fade to Black," because it brought to light Greg Tsevis' inability to take care of his property. I was walking by the Avalon Cinema one afternoon last summer as Mr. Tsevis came out of the building. (He had to climb over the foot of garbage inside the front door to do so.) Curious, I asked him what his plans for the building were, and he went into the details (most of which were discussed in Hamilton's article). During his rant, I noticed the cigar/stick/whatever on which he was chewing had allowed dried tobacco juice and spit to crust over as it dribbled down his chin. Yuck!
In the months that followed, I kept track of the Avalon's sad story through various local papers, but was truly excited to hear about the city's eminent-domain idea. It's about time something is done to stop this disgusting man's assault on the area's property values. Aaron Wright, St. Louis
Riverfront Times seeks freelance contributors to render riveting written reflections of St. Louis' visual arts landscape.
Applicants should possess a strong background in arts and feature writing, familiarity with the local art scene and the ability to submit in-depth, thought-provoking copy while adhering to unforgiving deadlines.
Treatises steeped in impenetrable academic jargon will be transported to Art Hill in Forest Park and set ablaze.
Please e-mail résumé and writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to:
Ellis Conklin, managing editor
6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200
St. Louis, MO 63130
No phone calls, please.