Classic "bird on the bat" logo

Classic "bird on the bat" logo

It’s going to be crazy (and lots of fun for baseball fans) in downtown St. Louis on July 14. That’s the day the 2009 All-Star Game will be played at Busch Stadium. There are a lot of banners and other baseball-related decorations going up downtown, and St. Louis will be ready for the national spotlight. It’s quite an honor for our team and our city to host this. I’ve linked the >official Web site of the St. Louis Cardinals< here for more information.

A story I’m linking here that is on >< today quotes Brian Hall, a spokesman for the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, as saying that their Web site traffic is up 300,000 hits from this time last year when the economy was certainly better than it is now. (I’m having Web-site envy!)



I’ve already got a great seat to watch the game—it’s in my comfy chair at home. It will be interesting to see how the city looks on the national television coverage of this high-profile major national sports event, and if our Cardinals All-Star Team members can be a decisive factor in their National League team doing some damage to the American League team this year.

Pujols at bat

Pujols at bat

St. Louis Cardinals fans have voted to land Albert Pujols (Cardinals first baseman) and Yadier Molina (Cardinals catcher) on the team. The international make-up of baseball today will guarantee a broadcast audience larger than just in the USA. Baseball is followed closely in Puerto Ric0 (home of Yadier Molina), the island nations of Dominican Republic (home of Pujols and many major league players), Cuba and other Latin American countries.

It’s also played with fierce competitiveness by leagues in Asia including Japan and Taiwan. I worked with a sports reporter from China a few years ago, who was doing a story for a weekly soccer newspaper there on the US cities that hosted modern Olympics (Los Angeles, twice; Atlanta, once; St. Louis, once.) The reporter found the devotion of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball fans so interesting that she included a separate story. Leave a comment here me if you want a “pdf file” copy of it.

Go, National League!


OTSTL header_logoTickets start at just $25.

An evening at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is one of the most enjoyable events you will attend in any given year. It’s a chance to slow down, dress up, and see world-class musical arts. I see people from all walks of life at OTSL; lots of artists, writers, and such, but also just plain folk. If you think you don’t like opera, I bet you will change your mind after a night at OTSL. Hey, I’m not stuffy. I like opera AND Nine Inch Nails!

The company’s >Web site< says, “With three company premieres and one of the world’s greatest love stories, OTSL’s 2009 season is an enticing blend of repertoire. Join us for the unique pleasures of Opera Theatre: spring picnics, free opera previews and performances by some of the best singers in America!”

Christine Brewer

Indeed, some of the best singers in America. Our own >Christine Brewer< got her musical start there and made a return performance as Queen Elizabeth the First in Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana for OTSL’s 25th Anniversary Season in 2005. This American soprano was voted by the the BBC Music Magazine Critics as one of the >20 Greatest Sopranos of all time<, and only one of three currently performing.

Picnic before the performance!

This season’s OTSL performances:

Puccini’s La Boheme
Strauss’s Salome
Mozart’s Il Re Pastore
John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles

Again, from the OTSL Web site,

“Opera Theatre’s Pavilion is among the great St. Louis summer pleasures.  Lawns, trees, and abundant flowers make a cool and colorful setting for picnics before performances.   Savor not only the performance but the whole evening; come early, enjoy cocktails, dinner, and a FREE “opera preview” by a member of the music staff.  And celebrate afterward!  The fact that everyone in the audience can meet the artists informally after the opera is one of the hallmarks of Opera Theatre.”

Meet the artists after the performance.

Save up to 75% on selected items at Niche | Interior Design + Home Furnishings, during the Spring Sale Friday, May 29 through Saturday, June 6.

Niche carries Baker, Knoll, Gus*, Herman Miller & other classic modern lines, as well as boutique items you won’t see everywhere else in St. Louis home furniture and accessory shops.

Niche is at the corner of Broadway & Olive in downtown St. Louis. Validated parking, with purchase, at Olive & 4th parking garage.

If you stop in, please let the staff know you found out about the sale or saw the information here!  Thanks!



BEIJING — The earthquake that killed 87,000 people in Sichuan Province in China a year ago this week was a devastating tragedy that, through all the rubble, offered a few rays of hope … photos and story at link below:

In Year After Quake, China Sealed an Opened Door

A mother sitting among the rubble in Beichuan county on Tuesday mourned the death of her daughter, Xiang Yazi, at left in photo, in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

A mother sitting among the rubble in Beichuan county on Tuesday mourned the death of her daughter, Xiang Yazi, at left in photo, in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Editor’s note: I can’t even begin to imagine devastation and loss of this magnitude. Money and volunteer labor can help, but we can also help by acknowledging the sad anniversary of this loss by our good friends on the other side of this shrinking world.


The April 20, 2009, MondayMemo from the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association (RCGA) reported,

St. Louis In The National Spotlight On The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer: Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Spencer Michels and Paul Solman of The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer are here in St. Louis through the end of April to file national stories on how President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office have impacted our community. Producers of the highly respected news program chose the St. Louis region as the first of three spotlight regions for 2009, to explore issues relating to the economy, education, science and public media. The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer airs on KETC/Channel 9 Monday through Friday at 6 p.m.

RCGA has been working with KETC President & CEO Jack Galmiche and his team on research and data on these issues, as well as on prospective venues, story ideas and interview prospects.  Over the next three weeks, Ifill, Woodruff, Michels, and Solman will attend forums and discussions throughout the bi-state region focusing on these varied topics. Their reports will be filed in “Spotlight City” segments that will air nationally on the NewsHour on Monday, April 27th and Tuesday, April 28th.  The final event will be a Town Hall Meeting that will take place at Channel 9’s studio and will air during the NewsHour on Wednesday, April 29th.

A television crew from KETC is accompanying the NewsHour team during their stay in St. Louis and will produce five, 30-minute follow-up programs that will be broadcast locally. One will air at 7 p.m. after each broadcast of the NewsHour from April 27th to May 1st.

The schedule for NewsHour events was as follows:

  • Friday, April 17 – At Lindenwood University , NewsHour business and economics correspondent Paul Solman interviewed The Newberry Group founder and CEO Brenda Newberry, Quilogy CEO Randy Schilling, St. Charles Community College President Dr. John McGuire, and David Ross, President of Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, about economic and financial issues before an audience of business, civic and education professionals. This will be broadcast locally on Channel 9 on April 27th.
  • Monday, April 20 – At Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville , Channel 9 senior producer Jim Kirchherr served as moderator of the Regional Energy Summit 2009.  Immediately following, NewsHour producer and correspondent Spencer Michels moderated a panel on the economy to engage the region’s community leaders on financial issues.  RCGA Board members Bruce Holland, President & CEO of Holland Construction Services, and Herman Seedorf III, Refinery Manager at ConocoPhillips Wood River Refinery, along with Leadership Council Executive Director Patrick McKeehan participated in the panels.  This morning’s program was hosted by Southwestern Illinois College President Dr. Georgia Costello, and included both Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Congressman Jerry Costello.  Portions of the event will be broadcast locally on Channel 9 on April 30th.
  • Wednesday, April 22 – At the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center , NewsHour senior correspondent Judy Woodruff will explore the impact of plant science issues on the region and world, and the intersection of science with politics and public policy.  Leaders of area scientific institutions will be on the panel; the audience will include members of the Missouri METS Coalition and the bio-technology community.  This will be broadcast locally on Channel 9 on April 28th.
  • Sunday, April 26 – Former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter and editor Dick Weil and his wife, Josephine, will host a gathering of KETC donors and St. Louis Beacon reporters.  Remarks by NewsHour senior correspondent Gwen Ifill will highlight the event.
  • Monday, April 27 – The importance of the revitalization of the St. Louis region’s central city and the region’s sustainability and vibrancy will be explored in a forum hosted by NewsHour senior correspondent Gwen Ifill. The location is not yet determined. The audience will include St. Louis business, civic and education leaders, including RCGA Vice President for Business Recruitment Jim Alexander. This will be broadcast locally on Channel 9 on April 30th.
  • Monday, April 27Gwen Ifill will address KETC Legacy 9 members, longtime station members and board members at a luncheon at the Sheldon Concert Hall.
  • Tuesday, April 28NewsHour senior correspondent Judy Woodruff will host a discussion at KETC that examines the concept of public media in the digital age. Guests include college students and professors from area universities.
  • Tuesday, April 28 – KETC will host an hour-long Community Town Hall Meeting moderated by Gwen Ifill before an audience of 150 guests representing a cross section of area residents. A segment of the Town Hall Meeting will air on The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer on Wednesday, April 29th. The Town Hall Meeting will be broadcast locally on Channel 9 at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 1st.

chinese-culture-days-2009-photoThis photo is too beautiful to size it smaller. I’m really looking forward to the sights, sounds, good smells and tastes of this annual festival this weekend.

Ticket information is on the > Missouri Botanical Garden’s Web site <, which I’ve linked here.

I’m going to copy/paste the schedule of events, which doesn’t include the unofficial events of eating and socializing and enjoying the entire gardens.

Earth Day and Chinese Culture Days in the same weekend: An embarrassment of riches, as the saying goes.

Image courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden via the Web

Schedule of Events

Saturday–Sunday, April 25 & 26

11:00 a.m. OPENING PARADE, Saturday Only

Spoehrer Plaza to Cohen Amphitheater

11:15 a.m. OPENING CEREMONY, Saturday Only

Cohen Amphitheater

12:00 p.m. New Shanghai Circus Cohen Amphitheater

Guided Tour of the Chinese Garden

1:00 p.m. Fashion and Cultural Show Shoenberg Theater

T’ai Ji Lesson Chinese Garden

Guided Tour of the Chinese Garden

2:00 p.m. GRAND PARADE Climatron to Cohen Amphitheater

Guided Tour of the Chinese Garden

2:30 p.m. Traditional Arts Program Cohen Amphitheater

Cooking Demonstration Kemper Center for Home Gardening

3:00 p.m. T’ai Ji Lesson Chinese Garden

Guided Tour of the Chinese Garden

4:00 p.m. New Shanghai Circus Cohen Amphitheater

Guided Tour of the Chinese Garden

4:30 p.m. Fashion and Cultural Show Shoenberg Theater
All Day Tea tasting and traditional Chinese music

Chinese Garden

(Note: If it rains, some events will be moved indoors.)



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Image from Guy Burstein, who blogs for Microsoft