18 October 2008

Parking On Gravois at Oldenburg

Neighbors of popular restaurant Syberg's along Gravois say they do not blame the restaurant for the problems that their customers have made for drivers. But those same neighbors say they would like to see St. Louis County Police issue a few tickets and perhaps make some arrests of select, inconsiderate, restaurant customers who park along Gravois in the NO PARKING ZONE areas just north of the intersection with Oldenburg Avenue.

A quick view of the area in question shows the concerns of the residents are valid, and, although when News St. Louis visited the corner there were no illegally parked vehicles along Gravois on this particular night, we did observe one pickup truck illegally parked halfway in the first parking stall and halfway onto the SIDEWALK.

A followup visit is scheduled soon. We'll keep you posted to see if police show up, or if the inconsiderate vehicle owners win and continue parking illegally.

06 October 2008

A Monday News-In-Review Moment

Over the weekend, St. Louisans had many choices of things to do, places to go, people to see, and weather that was warmer than normal.

On Sunday afternoon, The Fabulous Fox Theatre was the place to be for the 2:00 pm Stan Kann Memorial and tribute. The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ was the centerpiece for the hour-long remembrance ceremony of a man who embraced music as a child and was the face of theatre organ enthusiasts all over the planet. Many family members, close friends, acquaintences from the Fox and the St. Louis Theater Organ Society - which by the way has a wonderful tribute page on their website to the late entertainer - and fans were given the opportunity to view some video and film presentations showing Stan Kann in various situations from performances at the Fox to his many appearances on The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, and other on-screen and personal appearances. Mary Strauss, Marty Bronson and numerous others paid tribute to Stan Kann's wit, laughter, and --- chiefly important --- talent.
I suggest putting his name into a search engine and watching some of the videos that prove the man was a natural showman. There are things we learn only after we have lost someone of Stan Kann's caliber --- take the moment and see why so many of us who knew him found him to be genuine, kind, and someone who could brighten up a moment with his charm. And if you were someone who didn't know him from the theatre organ, you may have been a vacuum (cleaner)collector --- as Stan was one of the only people in the entire country who could say he'd been on national TV shows with his collection. In several online videos such as those on YouTube, you can see his collection from the collectors' standpoint or in his comic adventures on those national hookups.
Stan Kann was 83 years young. And memories of his life will be with thousands of us well beyond our own years, thanks to technology.

Did you get to the Soulard Oktoberfest this year? A great weekend of weather kept those working busier than ever, and fans of beer and fun and gehmuetlichkeit could not have been more pleased than to have the mild temperatures and dry conditions. No matter which part of the Soulard Oktoberfest you may have attended, there was Oktoberfest music with German Bands and great party bands such as Brave Combo as well.
There are concerns being raised by some that the Soulard Oktoberfest is growing too fast. That having been stated by just a few locals, it doesn't appear that there were many problems, as a quick view of other local news sites and blogs didn't show any serious crimes associated with this year's event. The weather may have played a part in the largest attendance in the short life of this traditional outdoor event.


It's Monday: the stock prices around the globe are in a state of flux. Having watched the Asian markets and European index fall during Monday trading, Wall Street is following suit.

###Now may be the time to get a second job, if you can find one. The unemployment claims have been steadily rising along with the actual rate of unemployment. Observers are pointing out that many people who have been underemployed after losing their primary income and some who have been truly unemployed had not filed claims or they had been denied by government agencies over the past two years.

STL: Locally, those who are employed at the former AG Edwards, now Wachovia Securities, are watching to see what moves are made on behalf of the banking arm of giant Wachovia. Last week the company was approached by Citigroup and eventually by Wells Fargo as those firms jockied position to take over the less-than-stellar Wachovia Bank, and perhaps the entire group. It has been speculated that the securities division based in St. Louis at the former AG Edwards HQ could be the prime reason that Wachovia Bank has been able to stave off insolvency, although if there have been money exchanges between the branches of Wachovia it has not been widely reported. The securities division could be spun-off and be a stand-alone business, or it may be absorbed in whichever deal is accepted by the government entities overseeing large banking and securities business. A judge put a temporary stop on the later proposed deal by Wells Fargo after the Citigroup protested that their bid was not being given time to be properly negotiated.
Be assured that law firms are filing papers and boards are talking money while Wachovia workers feel held hostage by uncertainty.


Eyes are on THE MOONLIGHT RESTAURANT in Fosterburg/Alton IL. The Castelli family members who have been managing and operating the lone location on Fosterburg Road has a bid from other family members to takeover the 71-year-old Italian family restaurant --- but there may be a rough patch today. Alton Mayor Donald Sandidge has been party to a 5:00 pm deadline today for the Castelli's to pay thousands of dollars in owed fees for services ranging from sewage to business taxes on the restaurant. Should that deadline pass without the debts paid, the city of Alton would likely revoke the business' liquor license for an unspecified amount of time. We'll keep a keen eye on this story. It has been a personal favorite of many in the metropolitan area, including the chief editor of News St. Louis, who celebrated his birthday dinner there this summer.


Congratulations to the Mizzou fans who have reason to celebrate the first gridiron victory on the road at Lincoln, Nebraska, in 30 years. 52 - 17 --- many Cornhuskers fans must be thinking they are in the twilight zone. Meanwhile, Missouri fans who believe in jinxes are hopeful that a top-ranking does not come until the final week of the college football season. It would be nice to have a national-champion in the University of Missouri-Columbia.

01 October 2008

It Takes Time And $$$$$$ For Make-A-Wish Foundation

The story:

The flooding associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ike is striking hard at the purse strings of individuals, families, businesses, and even non-profit charities. There have been numerous stories published in the regional and local newspapers and online blogs as well as on television and radio since that fateful day, but none appear to have been hit with any more devastating a blow as the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Missouri, whose office suffered severe damage. More importantly, they lost their furniture, tens of thousands of dollars in electronic equipment, office supplies, computers, and other items.

Thanks to a news story in the St. Louis Business Journal, we have learned that the community and those associated with the organization can say "thank you" to THF Realty for helping this outstanding charity with the issue of where to "rebuild the basics" of the organization's office while the building on Rock Hill is inspected to see what, if any, structural damage occurred on September 14th when more than five feet of water inundated the building housing the St. Louis and Missouri Chapter HQ for Make-A-Wish Foundation.

There are more details I plan to learn about this story, but here are a few basics. The Make-A-Wish Foundation helps families with those children stricken with a critical illness. Often it is a rare disease which may be incurable or inoperable. This foundation is well-liked by the media, by those who donate money and time and materials, and especially by those families who have been given a once-in-a-brief-lifetime gift such as a trip to Disney World for that one last trip before death strikes. So --- what can one do? Perhaps it is difficult with the unemployment rate at more than SEVEN percent in the region, but you could possibly donate money. You can find out more about the charity online at http://mo.wish.org for the Missouri Chapter, and if you want details on the St. Louis Chapter office (which appears to not be altogether working, perhaps because of the flood) you can see more facts online at http://stlouis.wish.org/about/facts.html and you can donate by phone by calling 314-918-9474.

Although the organization is temporarily being housed in Clayton, the mailing address remains:

Make-A-Wish Foundation
1324 N. Rock Hill Road
St. Louis, MO 63124

They will be receiving mail at the Rock Hill Road location during the cleanup and reorganization of the Missouri and St. Louis Chapter offices. However, as pointed out, THF Realty has donated temporary office space at 8251 Maryland Avenue in Clayton --- that's roughly across the street from the parking lot at Brown Shoe HQ and the next block down & across from the Clayton Straub's, for those who need landmarks. If you or your office has office supplies, fax machines, copiers, computers, furniture, make sure you contact the Make-A-Wish Foundation, because they'll need them to rebuild what water has taken away. Call them at 314-918-9474 for further information.

Also, if there is any way to come through by donating items for their upcoming "Wish Gala" on November 1st, find a way to do that. The charity lost ALL of their auction items stored in the flood-ravaged building.

It is in times like these when one should be content to have a roof overhead and be healthy enough to aid organizations like this one who grant wishes to critically ill children in what could be some darker hours. They tell me the wishes will continue to be granted for the kids even while the cleanup and rebuilding of the office is in progress.

My view:

If all I do is my small share, it just doesn't seem enough --- so I hope you are able to contribute and make their plight less strained. The Make-A-Wish Foundation in St. Louis has strained enough of those items in the waterlogged building since that fateful September Sunday.

News St. Louis