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.





“St. Louis County voters will be asked Nov. 4 to approve a half-cent sales tax increase to provide funds for public transportation — sustaining the current Metro transit system and providing for future expansion of MetroLink light rail… .”

This little sentence on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch blog on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2008, and the paper’s endorsement, has set off the usual debate among the bloggers about waste, responsibility, and such that erupts when someone’s trying to get another half-cent out of them.

It’s always interesting to see what selfish, mean-spirited, short-sighted things people will say when they can post anonymously. Even if some of the examples of waste, poor decision-making, etc., that people give are true, wouldn’t the best solution be for them to get involved and make sure good decisions are made in the future, rather than to hobble the public transit system by voting against it? It’s something vital to the health and well being of the region. Those arguing the libertarian theme of “let those who use it pay for it” only say that because they can’t imagine they will ever need to use it. Let’s don’t allow the short-sighted run us off the rails here. EVERYBODY can afford to pay this tax, and I believe we need to vote yes on this.

St. Louis MetroLink Light Rail

St. Louis MetroLink Light Rail


WeCar, downtown St. Louis’s car-sharing program featuring nine Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles, is upgrading its Web site. New features include: an easier to navigate reservation page, better scheduling, automated confirmation and billing, easy cancellations and information updating.




WeCar is a trademark of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.


Enterprise Rent-A-Car is headquartered in St. Louis and serves customers in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Ireland, and Germany.



 Huping Ling (pictured left) is Professor of History at Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri, and the author of Chinese St. Louis and Surviving on the Gold Mountain: A History of Chinese American Women and Their Lives.

The book is available through Temple University Press, and their Web site says, “Chinese St. Louis offers the first empirical study of a Midwestern Chinese American community from its nineteenth-century origins to the present. As in many cities, Chinese newcomers were soon segregated in an enclave; in St. Louis the enclave was called “Hop Alley.” Huping Ling shows how, over time, the community grew and dispersed until it was no longer marked by physical boundaries. She argues that the St. Louis experience departs from the standard models of Chinese settlement in urban areas, which are based on studies of coastal cities. Developing the concept of a cultural community, Ling shows how Chinese Americans in St. Louis have formed and maintained cultural institutions and organizations for social and political purposes throughout the city, which serve as the community’s infrastructure. Thus the history of Chinese Americans in St. Louis more closely parallels that of other urban ethnic groups and offers new insight into the range of adaptation and assimilation experience in the United States.”

The Table of Contents reveals that the book documents the community from the 1860s through present day.

Also on the Temple University Press Web site is an audio of an interview with the author from 2005.


The Web site is not completely up yet, but the “under construction” splash page is probably worth a visit. You be the judge. This home-state girl from Kennett, Missouri, just keeps making us proud here in Mid-America, this time with a new line of women’s wear.

Jean styles in Sheryl’s collection include names like Missouri, Nashville and Kennett (Sheryl’s home town). Well: WHY NOT?!?

“Bootheel” refers to the shape of the State of Missouri down in the southeastern corner. Get it? Boot + Heel. The locals say it more like “Boot-hill,” so if you go to Kennett looking for Sheryl and want to blend in, remember that.

Kennett is right down there in the Missouri Bootheel, about an hour-and-a-half north of Memphis, Tennessee. (St. Louis to Memphis is an easy drive, about 5 hours. I always say by the time I’m bored with the cotton and rice fields going by the car window, we’re there!)

The gorgeous women here in the “Heartland” of the USA have had a lifetime of being overshadowed by stories on women with California’s laid-back beauty, New York’s stylishness, and the charm of the Southern Belles, but now it’s OUR turn. We have our own collection of women’s wear, including jeans, thanks to Sheryl. You all better watch out: We know how to wear these jeans!


Missouri Wine Country

October 14, 2008

You haven’t heard that phrase before? Sweetheart: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!? Let me help you catch up on what’s happening in the region around St. Louis, to avoid embarassing yourself by not knowing. The eastern, southeastern and central regions in Missouri are gently rolling hills that have a thriving wine culture. This isn’t something new–the rest of the world is just now starting to pay some attention to the natural beauty in this mid-western state and its wine growing regions.

Fall is very exciting around here, with the change of the seasons, and the much anticipated Norton Wine Festival held in early September at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis’s Forest Park. The Museum’s Web site describes it, “After decades of increasing quality, the perception of the Norton grape is changing, growing in to a viable premium red wine worthy of national acclaim. The National Norton Wine Festival is aimed at providing exciting ways to experience one of the most versatile American grape varietals, doing so through education, tasting and interaction. The festival is also committed to positioning Missouri as the leader in Norton production, working with local sponsors to achieve this goal.”

Zinfandel is often described as America’s first and most original gift to the world of wine. Actually, it’s Norton. Read all about it, and order a bottle online from one of our wonderful vineyards.



October 1, 2008

Learn Chinese site with topical lessons delivered by e-mail.