Friday, January 10, 2003

Haven't posted in a couple days.

One interesting thing to happen lately is St Louis Public Schools Superintendent Cleveland Hammonds announced his retirement.

(Unfortunately the SLPS web site is down and has been for weeks, inexplicably, so I can't link to any info about him on the web. And of course if I tried to link to anything on the St Louis Post Dispatch web site, the link would be broken within 24 hrs - you'd get a "Lotus Notes" exception since they move articles pretty quickly into the fee-charged archives.

And they even, with the latest redesign, got rid of the last seven days' free archives. Aaack!

Enough complaining about the P-D. How about Danforth Foundation? Instead of spending the big $$ they certainly made from the sale of Ralston Purina to Nestle on investing in neighborhoods and downtown St. Louis, two of their current focuses, they decided the big bucks should go to biotech research.

$100 million, to be precise. And this is not even for basic research at WashU, or UMSL. No, this is for research into commercial applications of biotech - or, as they call it in the positive-spin world, "plant and life sciences".

This seems foolish - believing that the BioBelt will drive the St. Louis economy for the next 20 years. Why not invest in IT instead? At least, there's not likely to be a backlash against computers and the Internet in Europe, yuppie America, or the agricultural developing world. However, all three of these communities are resisting biotech foods.

Just something to ponder. So, how much further down the wrong path can the St Louis region go?

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