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Have A Great Memorial Day

May 28, 2012 Events/Meetings, Featured Comments Off on Have A Great Memorial Day
ABOVE: The Court of Honor in the foreground with the Soldiers Memorial in the background

Today is Memorial Day:

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. (Southern ladies organizations and southern schoolchildren had decorated Confederate graves in Richmond and other cities during the Civil War, but each region had its own date. Most dates were in May.) By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. As a marker it typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as people visited the graves of their deceased relatives in church cemeteries, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 auto race, held since 1911 on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. (Wikipedia)

Have a great day!


Steve Patterson


Grouphug St. Louis 2011 Was A Blast, 2012 Should Be Too

May 12, 2012 Events/Meetings, Featured Comments Off on Grouphug St. Louis 2011 Was A Blast, 2012 Should Be Too

One of the funnest events I participated in last year was Grouphug St. Louis:

Same as last year: we are asking you and your friends to scour the city for your favorite people, places, and objects—ones that define our city and/or help to explain why you love St. Louis—and HUG these subjects for the camera. Get a friend to snap a photograph of you with your arms wrapped around your favorite St. Louis building, business, monument, person, etc. On May 26, all participants and friends are invited to attend the Grouphug party to view pics, imbibe, listen to music and express your love for St. Louis.

The creativity on display in the images and energy at the event was electrifying!

ABOVE: A huge crowd at STL-Style watched the slide show, June 2011

The following are the 2011 top three (click to view larger image):

But the name is Grouphug — the organizers would like to see some group images:

We strongly encourage you to get with your neighbors and represent your neighborhood. Whether it’s Fox Park or Ferguson, the Hill or the Ville—we’d love to see you and your neighbors’ take on what represents your neighborhoods (involving hugs of course!).

Click here for an example of a group Grouphug image. Submission deadline is 5pm Wednesday May 23rd and the big event is Saturday May 26th 7pm-10pm (details).

– Steve Patterson


St. Louis Earth Day Festival; Poll On Global Warming

Earth Day is recognized all over the world today, including here in St. Louis:

The St. Louis Earth Day Festival is the oldest Earth Day festival in the Midwest and the third largest celebration in the country! Attracting 30,000+ attendees annually, the Festival is a premier destination for the public to learn about a wide-range of environmental issues in an engaging and entertaining setting. 

The St. Louis Earth Day Festival is today, Sunday April 22nd, from 11am to 6pm in Forest Park. The event is free.

ABOVE: Forest Park

The organizers, naturally, would prefer you not drive to Forest Park for the event, their “Planning Your Visit” page offers directions on using public transit, bicycling, walking and carpooling. Unfortunately, like most local events they mention MetroLink but forgot about MetroBus — you know the part of our public transit that carries more people daily.

The number of bus lines around Forest Park are too numerous to list. Besides taking a bus to Forest Park you can take a bus to one of the MetroLink stations to get on the light rail system. Buy a transfer on the bus ($2.75 total) and the transfer will also cover your MetroLink trip for 2 hours.

ABOVE: From Metro's Missouri system map, click to view (large PDF)


The poll this week seeks to see if readers see a connection between global warming and the weather in the US. The poll question was copied from a national poll that will be credited on Wednesday May 2, 2012 when the poll results are presented. The poll is in the right sidebar.

– Steve Patterson


Local Green Projects Received Awards

Green design is becoming more and more commonplace such that competition for awards among many green projects is now crowded. Last week I attended the Growing Green Awards hosted by the USGBC Gateway Chapter.

ABOVE: Cannon Design's St. Louis office

One award winner stood out to me because of the horrible condition the building was in prior to the renovation work. The 1928 building was a power house supplying heat to downtown buildings until 1980, when it was abandoned.

AWARDEE: Cannon Design

When Cannon Design chose to relocate their office – they were presented with an opportunity that allowed them not only to reuse and restore a unique and historic structure in the City of St. Louis but also redevelop a Brownfield site and develop an interior space that supports the most forward-thinking workplace while still maintaining the historic integrity of the architectural features. Almost 99% of the existing walls, floors and roof structure were reused while 92% of the construction waste was recycled. While many sustainability measures were taken during the restoration of the former steam generation plant, the one with arguably the biggest impact was Cannon’s commitment to reusing an existing building and identifying the reuse as an opportunity for creation rather than an hindrance of a vision.

Operational Excellence Nominees: Joe Abernathy – St. Louis Cardinals; Barnes-Jewish Hospital; Cannon Design; Graybar; Novus International; Tarlton

For more information on their office click here. Read about all those who received awards here. Congrats to all the nominees and winners.

– Steve Patterson


Transit Union Seeks Input From Riders

Over the next two weeks The Transit Riders Union of St. Louis is hosting three “transit talks” to discuss with actual riders what we’d like to see done to improve local public transit. I’m on the steering committee. Here was our post:

In March we’re hosting a series of discussions focusing in the needs & issues of regular transit riders. Please come and tell us the areas you want your Transit Riders Union to work on improving.

We want everyone that uses Metro to join us so come as you are.

Monday March 12, 2012 (evening)

Tuesday March 20, 2012 (lunch hour)

Wednesday March 21, 2012 (evening)

Please plan to attend at least one of these discussions!

Everyone is welcome too attend and all are free. Again, we want to hear from actual transit riders.

– Steve Patterson