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Dining Out For Life Today

April 24, 2014 Events/Meetings, Featured Comments Off on Dining Out For Life Today
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If you’re like us, dining out is a rare treat. If so, make it count and go out for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner today:

Raise your fork on Thursday, April 24th and take part in the 21st annual Dining Out For Life©!

Dining Out for Life© is an international event that has raised over $4.27 million nationally in 2013 to provide vital services to people living with HIV/AIDS. In 2013, the St. Louis community raised over $260,000 to help Saint Louis Effort for AIDS provide education on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and comprehensive support services for those affected by the disease.

Grab your family and friends and make plans to dine out for breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, cocktails and more at any of our participating Dining Out For Life© restaurants where at least 25% of your check will be donated to support the work of Saint Louis Effort for AIDS.

This incredibly important event that not only helps nourish our community…but also the soul. If you are not able to join us but would like to contribute, click to donate now! (Dining Out For Life St. Louis)

You can view the list of participating restaurants here, all are donating at least 25%. Reservations are recommend because this event is so popular, we have dinner reservations at a place donating 50%. So please make plans with friends, order appetizers & dessert so lots of money can be raised today.

— Steve Patterson


Notice of Change of Date of a Monthly Public Meeting

Entrance to the Treasurer's office in city hall, though the main office is a block away,
Entrance to the Treasurer’s office in city hall, though the main office is a block away,

Yesterday I went to city hall to attend the monthly Parking Commission meeting, held every 2nd Thursday, but was told it took place the day before. Really?  I’d checked the Treasurer’s Twitter account before leaving home, no mention at all. I tweeted about the change from the hallway, mentioning @stltreasurer.  The response was “@urbanreviewstl It was on our website: https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/events/eventdetails.cfm?Event_ID=8145”   I guess I should’ve checked the website every day since April 1st on the off chance the meeting date will be moved a day early? If only there was a way for me to subscribe to get notices of interest, like RSS.

The city only offers four (4) RSS feeds on its subscriptions page:

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds allow you to get the latest news from your favorite sources, all in one place. The City of St. Louis offers the following feeds:

City of St. Louis – All News [feeds.feedburner.com]

Latest news and press releases posted by the City of St. Louis.

City of St. Louis – Board Bills [feeds.feedburner.com]

City of St. Louis – Board Bills

City of St. Louis – Calendar [feeds.feedburner.com]

Upcoming events and meetings in the City of St. Louis

City of St. Louis – Jobs [feeds.feedburner.com]

Latest City of St. Louis job postings.

RSS allows subscribers to be notified of new content. But with only four feeds another way is needed to let people know, enter Twitter & Facebook. The subscription page  the Twitter profiles and Facebook pages of numerous city departments/officials, including the Treasurer’s office, below the four RSS feeds are. No RSS, follow on Twitter &/or Facebook. The Treasurer’s twitter account currently has 782 followers, the Facebook page has 125 likes. The Facebook page is updated via Twitter.

The city relies on Twitter & Facebook instead of having hundreds of RSS feed, but the departments need to use these tools for them to effectively keep the public informed. It’s one thing to not tweet about a meeting being held a day later than usual, but it’s very important when moving up the meeting a day. Not using social media in this instance makes me suspicious of the goings on. The agenda listed only two items, but potentially controversial ones:

  • ICM/Summer Rocks Parking Agreement
  • Review and Approval of FY 2015 Budget

I usually attend meetings, tweeting discussions during. It appears the meeting was moved up a day so I wouldn’t be present. There may well be another reason for the change, but the appearance remains the same in my eyes.  Since the prepared minutes aren’t shared online I’ll only know what took place if I make it to the next meeting on May 8th when I can get a copy. I’ll have to make a note to start checking the website starting on May 1st in case it’s decided to move the date again.  So much for transparency….

— Steve Patterson


Three St. Louis Aldermen Will Sponsor a Marijuana Legalization Panel Discussion Monday 3/24 6-8pm

Entrance marker to Harris-Stowe State University. Compton and what was once Laclede Ave
Entrance marker to Harris-Stowe State University. Compton and what was once Laclede Ave

Last year the St. Louis Board of Aldermen reduced penalties for possession of small quantities of marijuana, see Reduction in marijuana penalties approved by St. Louis Board of Aldermen.  This year Colorado began allowing the legal sale of marijuana for recreational use, Washington state will do the same later this year.  New polls show a narrow majority of Americans support the legalization.  The debate comes to St. Louis Monday evening:

ST. LOUIS (AP) – The debate over legalization of marijuana will be the subject of an open forum in St. Louis later this month. Three members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen are hosting the forum the evening of March 24 at Harris-Stowe State University. The panel discussion will address the disproportionate number of marijuana arrests for African-Americans, the safety of the drug, and whether a marijuana tax would benefit government revenues. (KSDK)

With the legalization of marijuana being such a hot topic these days, Sixth Ward Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia will address various issues surrounding the debate during an open forum at Harris-Stowe State University, Monday, March 24, 2014, 6-8 p.m. in the Emerson Performance Center’s Bank of America Theatre. Held in collaboration with Alderman Chris Carter, 27th Ward, and Alderman Shane Cohn of the 25th Ward, the panel discussion will address how marijuana arrests disproportionally affect people of color; whether marijuana is safer than alcohol; how legalization would affect black market drug sales and whether a marijuana tax would benefit declining government revenues. (St. Louis American)

The history of the drug and how it became illegal is interesting, and a reflection of our racial fears:

The political upheaval in Mexico that culminated in the Revolution of 1910 led to a wave of Mexican immigration to states throughout the American Southwest. The prejudices and fears that greeted these peasant immigrants also extended to their traditional means of intoxication: smoking marijuana. Police officers in Texas claimed that marijuana incited violent crimes, aroused a “lust for blood,” and gave its users “superhuman strength.” Rumors spread that Mexicans were distributing this “killer weed” to unsuspecting American schoolchildren. Sailors and West Indian immigrants brought the practice of smoking marijuana to port cities along the Gulf of Mexico. In New Orleans newspaper articles associated the drug with African-Americans, jazz musicians, prostitutes, and underworld whites. “The Marijuana Menace,” as sketched by anti-drug campaigners, was personified by inferior races and social deviants. In 1914 El Paso, Texas, enacted perhaps the first U.S. ordinance banning the sale or possession of marijuana; by 1931 twenty-nine states had outlawed marijuana, usually with little fanfare or debate. Amid the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment fueled by the Great Depression, public officials from the Southwest and from Louisiana petitioned the Treasury Department to outlaw marijuana. Their efforts were aided by a lurid propaganda campaign. “Murder Weed Found Up and Down Coast,” one headline warned; “Deadly Marijuana Dope Plant Ready For Harvest That Means Enslavement of California Children.” Harry J. Anslinger, the commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, at first doubted the seriousness of the problem and the need for federal legislation, but soon he pursued the goal of a nationwide marijuana prohibition with enormous gusto. In public appearances and radio broadcasts Anslinger asserted that the use of this “evil weed” led to killings, sex crimes, and insanity. He wrote sensational magazine articles with titles like “Marijuana: Assassin of Youth.” (NPR – Reefer Madness)

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 effectively banned marijuana & industrial hemp in the US, even though the drug had been used by doctors until then. In 1969 the US Supreme Court said the act was unconstitutional, see Leary v. United States. In 1970 congress passed the Controlled Substances Act, which listed marijuana among the most dangerous drugs. From the US DEA:

Schedule I Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote  Schedule II Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are: cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin Schedule III Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV. Some examples of Schedule III drugs are: Combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), Products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone Schedule IV Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are: Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien Schedule V Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Some examples of Schedule V drugs are: cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin

Yes, since 1970 marijuana has been listed as more dangerous than cocaine, methamphetamine, etc. For many marijuana does indeed have medical uses:

Pain is the main reason people ask for a prescription, says Barth Wilsey, MD, a pain medicine specialist at the University of California Davis Medical Center. It could be from headaches, a disease like cancer, or a long-term condition, like glaucoma or nerve pain. (webMD)

Some parents say medical marijuana stops severe seizures in their children, the reason a Missouri parent is fighting for medical marijuana here.

Again, the event is Monday 6-8pm at the Emerson Performance Center at Harris Stowe, see map.

— Steve Patterson



2014 Boat & Sportshow

The other day we attended the St. Louis Boat & Sportshow. The show was interesting because it included a very broad range of boats for most budgets.

A restored boat in the vintage club corner. A vintage outboard motor club also had a great display
A restored boat in the vintage club corner. A vintage outboard motor club also had a great display
Pontoon boats are much nicer now, some include built-in BBQ grills!
Pontoon boats are much nicer now, some include built-in BBQ grills!
Several boats cost over $1 million!
Several boats cost over $1 million!

As a city guy I’m not a lake kind of person. I have spent time on the Missouri River, but not since 1999. My employers in the late 90s had a 37ft Sea Ray with a kitchen, bathroom, and one bedroom below deck.  Such luxury spoiled me for anything less but the twin engines sucked fuel like crazy, each few hour outing cost hundreds in fuel. These things cost more than an average house! The shows offers tips for green boating.

Steve Patterson on the Missouri River, July 3, 1999
Steve Patterson on the Missouri River, July 3, 1999
Missouri River beach party, July 11, 1999
Missouri River beach party, July 11, 1999. We had to anchor out in the river and wade in the water to get to the beach. 

For me, boats are like pools — great if you can afford to buy and maintain. Better for me to know someone with a boat than to ever try to have one. Still, we found the boat show interesting, it continues today and tomorrow.

— Steve Patterson


Happy 250th Anniversary Saint Louis!

February 14, 2014 Events/Meetings, Featured, History/Preservation Comments Off on Happy 250th Anniversary Saint Louis!

Depending upon how you interpret Auguste Chouteau’s handwriting, today or tomorrow marks 250 years since St. Louis was founded. The recent half hour special Chouteau’s Journal: In His Own Words touched on this and other debated facts surrounding the origins of our city. For most everyone it means two days of celebrating.

There are many events this weekend and throughout the coming year. The Missouri History Museum includes a whole weekend of activities, starting with the opening of the 250 in 250 exhibit:

St. Louis turns 250 in 2014! How do you tell 250 years of St. Louis history in one exhibit? The Missouri History Museum does it through the stories of 50 People, 50 Places, 50 Images, 50 Moments, and 50 Objects. We can’t give you a complete picture of St. Louis’ 250 years of history, but through these 250 snapshots, we will give you an engaging look at the richness, diversity, and complexity of the place you call home.

The 250 in 250 exhibition is part of the yearlong celebration marking the founding of St. Louis in 1764. 

250in250Happy 250th Anniversary Saint Louis!

— Steve Patterson







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