David Stokes

There is nothing on earth better than Rocky Mountain skiing in enormous amounts of fresh snow. But now that I have had my yearly ski renewal, it's time to get back to work and jump into whatever debate I feel like jumping into.

I see that Clay Chastain has filed a lawsuit to enforce the voter-approved referendum on light rail in Kansas City. I am not going to say anything on this now, but check out the main SMI web page on Wednesday, January 23, and you will see something very big on this exact issue. 

As discussed elsewhere on this blog by our intrepid intern, Nick, mandatory steroid testing of high school athletes has been proposed by the state legislature. There is nothing I loathe more than drug testing for any but the most sensitive of jobs, safety-wise (i.e., school bus drivers) — so, as you can imagine, I think this is an absolutely atrocious idea. Hey, kids! If you want to run cross-country, you first have to piss in a cup and prove your innocence! I am usually pretty good at understanding the reasons why people disagree with me on various issues, but I have never been able to remotely fathom the enthusiasm many people have for drug testing.

The Riverfront Times has a well-done story (link via Missouri Political News Service) on the similarly terrible decisions to install red-light cameras throughout the city of Saint Louis. The article in question focuses on a new camera at the intersection of Skinker and Delmar, a location I know very well. As teenagers, we used to buy beer at the J & W Liquor store two blocks east of there, until the whole area up and got gentrified. Anyway, there is absolutely no "safety" reason to have a red-light camera there. The reason there is a no-right-turn-on-red sign from eastbound Delmar to southbound Skinker is so residents of Parkview will have easier openings in and out of their subdivision. (I am certain of this, by the way, based on knowledge from a former job.) While that may well be a legitimate reason for the ban, it serves the convenience of the residents rather than any "safety" issue. The normal reason for such right-turn-on-red bans is a lack of visibility at certain intersections — but the visibility at this intersection is absolutely fine. Saint Louis city is doing absolutely nothing more than using cameras to raise money.

I think this is enough for today. Damn, the skiing was great

About the Author

David Stokes
David Stokes was a policy analyst at the Show-Me Institute from 2007 to 2014 and was director of development from 2014 to 2016.