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Fotbal has a long history in St. Louis

I am not a sports fan but I do like seeing the occasional baseball game in person.  But I don’t like football. I am, however, taking an interest in fotbal.  My interest first started four years ago when I was traveling in Toronto during the final match of the World Cup.

ABOVE: Toronto July 2006
ABOVE: Toronto July 9, 2006

The fans were everywhere displaying flags for their team.  The city went crazy.  I’ve since watched a few games on TV but not yet in person — but soon.  Tonight I will be at the Old Post Office Plaza to watch a free showing of The Game of Their Lives:

“The film details the true story of the 1950 US soccer team which, against all odds, beat England 1-0 in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil during the World Cup. The story is about the family traditions and passions that shaped the players who made up this team of underdogs. One group of teammates were from The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. Another group came from the Corky Row district of Fall River, Massachusetts.”  (Wikipedia)

That is a great legacy!



The movie is free and should start around 9pm.  Bring food and a chair.  The Old Post Office Plaza is located on the north side of Locust St between 8th and 9th.

Much of the filming was done in Marquette Park (Compton & Gasconade).

ABOVE: Marquette Park in St. Louis.  Source: Google Streetview
ABOVE: Marquette Park in St. Louis. Source: Google Streetview

On the weekends local groups can be seen here playing soccer. This is a great use of our many city parks.  St. Louis has long been a city of immigrants and what better way to bring together various groups than soccer?

– Steve Patterson


Beyond the Motor City highlights infrastructure issues

Infrastructure is not the sexiest topic, unless you are really into infrastructure as I am.

ABOVE: decaying Grand Ave overpass over Forest Park Parkway
ABOVE: decaying Grand Ave overpass over Forest Park Parkway

On Monday I attended the free screening of Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City.

ABOVE: Beyond the Motor City Director Aaron Woolf at the Tivoli
ABOVE: Beyond the Motor City Director Aaron Woolf at the Tivoli

Director Aaron Woolf joined a group of us beforehand for dinner.  The dinner was organized by Courtney Sloger from Metro & NextStopSTL.org where she wrote a nice summary of the film and the post-film panel discussion, here is an excerpt:

“The film shows rich pictures and details of Detroit’s downtown area during its heyday in the 1920s – vibrant skyscrapers, retail and industries surrounded by neighboring burroughs [sic] and connected by bustling corridors with streetcars, automobiles and pedestrians. The rise of the American automotive industry ushered in a boom for the Motor City, and many of the city’s residents and industry moved to the suburban areas with the explosion of highway infrastructure and affordability of the automobile. Now the depopulated city (which had lost over half of its residents by turn of the century, but maintained its land acreage) is having problems affording services when people and places are so spread out. Providing services like public transit, fire, police, streets works, sewers, etc. have become almost prohibitively expensive, and residents lament the loss of community that happens when people do not live and interact with one another on a daily basis. The images of Detroit are stark, and the frustration of its citizens and leaders are palatable. As the movie points out, there are very significant costs, both economically and socially, of sprawl.”

Woolf pointed out in the discussion his films are not about assigning blame but offer hope and direction to solve problems.  You can stream the entire film at the link above.

– Steve Patterson


Urban Review Radio tonight at 7pm CST

May 13, 2010 Media 2 Comments

Tonight (Thursday May 13, 2010) at 7pm CST I will be taking your phone calls on my online “radio” program.  The title for tonight’s show is: Open Chat with Steve Patterson.  Creative huh? The toll-free call-in number is 1 (877) 259-0877.

If you can’t listen live the show will be available for playback on demand.  The shows can be found at UrbanReviewRadio.com. If you have topics you’d like me to talk about please list them in the comments below or call in tonight.

– Steve Patterson


Readers believe Post-Dispatch online editor Kurt Greenbaum should be fired

December 1, 2009 Media, Sunday Poll 14 Comments

Kurt Greenbaum didn’t like the repeated anonymous comment from a reader on the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  He saw where the comment came from (a school) so he contacted them – a violation of a portion of their privacy policy:

We will not share individual user information with third parties unless the user has specifically approved the release of that information. In some cases, however, we may provide information to legal officials as described in “Compliance with Legal Process” below.

Compliance with Legal Process
We may disclose personal information if we or one of our affiliated companies is required by law to disclose personal information, or if we believe in good faith that such action is necessary to comply with a law or some legal process, to protect or defend our rights and property, to protect against misuse or unauthorized use of our web sites or to protect the personal safety or property of our users or the public.

He claims the person that submitted the comment resigned his job when confronted by his employer.  The alternative of putting the school’s IP address on a blacklist was ruled out by Greenbaum because he says it would prevent others at the same location from commenting on the website.  The truth is it means any comment submitted would have just been held until approved by him or someone else.

He either doesn’t know what he is talking about or lied to get the public to side with him on the issue.  Either way it was enough for me to vote in last week’s poll that he should be fired.

Q: Recently Kurt Greenbaum took action that allegedly caused a person to resign their job. Greenbaum should:

  • be fired 78 (54%)
  • resign 37 (26%)
  • keep doing his job 21 (14%)
  • unsure 9 (6%)

Total votes was 145 out of 2,463 visitors during the week.

Putting information out for public consumption and moderating comments is not an easy job.  I’ve been doing it here for over five years now.  It takes a lot to earn the trust of readers and Greenbaum made that more difficult for online readers of the Post-Dispatch’s website, stltoday.com.   Traditional print media needs to do all it can to cultivate online readership as fewer and fewer get their news in printed form.

– Steve Patterson


Commentary on comment moderation

November 22, 2009 Media 14 Comments

It is not often an editor for our hometown paper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, makes stories from coast to coast.

Huffington Post:

A school employee lost his job after he posted a one-word vulgarity in the comments section of an online article at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Globe and Mail:

According to Greenbaum’s blog post (which was mirrored on his personal blog), someone posted a comment on a story in which they used a colloquial or slang term for female genitalia. It was deleted, but then was reposted. Greenbaum says he noticed that the comment alert from WordPress showed that it came from a nearby school. So Greenbaum called the school, and they asked him to send them the email with the comment, which he apparently did. About six hours later, he says, the school called and said that an employee had been confronted and that he had resigned.

Ars Technica:

There are many things that are disturbing about this situation, starting with Greenbaum’s apparent willingness to brag about it publicly—are we five years old here? “Ha ha, someone posted naughty words and I got him fired!” There’s also the question of whether Greenbaum has done (or would have done) the same for other vulgar comments posted on the site—surely this isn’t the first time someone has used a NSFW term in the comments of a story. “Of all the comments that you guys choose to ‘narc on,’ for lack of a better term, you chose one that was actually kind of funny […] Vulgar, yes, but nowhere near as offensive as some of the racist stuff I’ve seen of here,” one commenter named Karen wrote.

How does he decide what’s a tattle-to-the-employer comment versus a merely annoying one? We tried to ask Greenbaum these questions but he declined to comment.

There are many more.  Greenbaum says he didn’t identify the individual, he just informed the school that has the IP address where comment came from.  The school figured out who used the p-word twice.  In defending his decision to contact the school he says he couldn’t just ban the IP address because that would ban anyone from that school that wanted to comment.

STLToday.com uses WordPress for their blogs — the same software I’ve used here for the last three of my five years blogging.  Greenbaum’s excuse shows either 1) a lack of understanding of the software or 2) a is a complete lie.  The WordPress software includes a section in the settings where an administrator can list words or IP addresses that if matched the comment is held for moderation.  Had that same person used that word in a comment here the comment would have automatically been held for my review.   “Banning” the IP address doesn’t mean that persons can’t access stories and comment.  It just means any comment from that IP address would be held up for manual approval.

I see the IP address of every comment on this site.  I generally only know that you use say Charter or SBC for internet access.  I do see employer names at times too but I’ve never contacted one.

I saw a comment somewhere by a person  suggesting this was just a PR stunt by Greenbaum and the Post-Dispatch to increase web traffic.  We have only the word of one person — Greenbaum.  I’m not a conspiracy theorist but it is plausible.  The poll this week asks what you think Greenbaum should do: resign, be fired, or keep working.  Remember your comment will be held for review if you use course language.

– Steve Patterson