Home » Events/Meetings » Recent Articles:

Readers: Change of Summer Festivals in Downtown St. Louis a Bad Move

Over 63% of readers that voted in the non-scientific poll last week said the move to push out the locally-produced  Taste of St. Louis & Bluesweek festivals in favor of concerts from ICM/Summer Rocks is a bad move, 16% thought it was a wash, and just over 20% think it is a good move. Here’s the breakdown:

Q: ICM/Summer Rocks pushed Bluesweek & Taste of St. Louis out of downtown on two holiday weekends. Good move for downtown & city?

  1. Very bad move! 30 [40.54%]
  2. Sorta bad 17 [22.97%]
  3. Meh, no big deal 12 [16.22%]
  4. Slightly good 9 [12.16%]
  5. Excellent! 6 [8.11%]

I tend to agree, I think next year we’ll see just how inexperienced ICM is at producing a festival, especially in a complicated setting like the area around Soldiers Memorial.

Recycling center at the 2010 Taste of St. Louis
Recycling center at the 2010 Taste of St. Louis

I’ve had the pleasure of watching the Taste of St. Louis grown over the years, starting out where Citygarden is now, later at Soldiers Memorial. Each year they learned from past mistakes.  We’ll see how this goes, hopefully it’ll be a positive overall.

— Steve Patterson


Poll: ICM/Summer Rocks Pushed Bluesweek & Taste of St. Louis Out of Downtown on Two Holiday Weekends. Good Move for Downtown & City?

A few months ago Entertainment Saint Louis, the local promoter behind the Taste of St. Louis and Bluesweek, announced both events were moving to Chesterfield. Since those announcements we’ve learned the city was working on a deal to give ICM/Summer Rocks use of the area around Soldiers Memorial for concerts starting next year:

The plan is for events along the lines of Lollapalooza in Chicago, a music festival that has brought millions of dollars and visitors to the city’s Grant Park since 2005, when it went from a traveling event to an annual Chicago spectacle.

ICM Partners intends to bring country music festivals over Memorial Day weekends and rock festivals over Labor Day weekends. The events will be planned to draw residents throughout the South and Midwest to the area around downtown’s Soldiers Memorial. (stltoday)

This means the region will have more total events than before.   The weekly poll this week asks if this is a good move for downtown & the city? The poll is in the right sidebar, the five answers are presented in random order.

I’ll post the results and share my thoughts next week.

— Steve Patterson


Dining Out For Life Today

April 24, 2014 Events/Meetings, Featured Comments Off on Dining Out For Life Today
Click map to view in new tab
Click map to view in new tab

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