Friday, May 21, 2004

An interesting lunch hour

Just came from the CWA rally outside One Bell Center.

Several hundred people were there, in bright red t-shirts that read in part "HEALTH INSURANCE CUTS - A SICK IDEA" with the CWA logo in the center. Many also wore stickers depicting the infamous Calvin peeing - but instead of on Ford or Chevy, he's peeing on "SCABS". The rally spilled out into Chestnut Street, but nobody seemed to mind much. Many passing drivers honked, presumably in support.

Steelworkers and American Postal Workers Union members were also present. Somebody from the Corey Mohn campaign was across the street in the Gateway Mall.

Later I walked further down the Mall and at Kiener Plaza got a small flyer from a young woman with information on "what's happening in the Gaza Strip", presumably sponsored by Amnesty International since their URL was on it, as well as a very sophisticated-looking web site called Electronic Intifada.

All in all, a very interesting lunch hour for a progressive person!

Thursday, May 20, 2004

You Go Girl!..And the SBC Strike

My old friend Tavia Evans (Missouri Scholars Academy class of '95; Crossroads School class of '97; Northwestern J-School class of '01) has switched bylines from the St. Louis American to the Post-Dispatch.

Her byline is on today's story "Union workers at SBC plan 4-day strike."

Oh - and speaking of that strike. The Communications Workers of America is organizing anybody who wants to sign up to switch local phone service - in the event of a strike - from SBC to AT&T.

Go to http://www.fairnessatsbc.com to sign the pledge; you just might get a call from AT&T tonight.

The issues? Health insurance premiums, and outsourcing of jobs in the high-tech sector like VoIP, Wi-Fi and DSL to companies like Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting...), many of which then are offshored to India, China and the Philippines.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

"Decency"

Did you know the City of St. Louis has an official Decent Literature Council? Its powers are designated according to Chapter 15.32, City of St. Louis Revised Code.

As best I can tell, this is a body that was very active in the 1960s - indeed, St. Louis County had a similar body chaired by Bill Webster.

The seven-member commission in the City seems to have been totally inactive for at least fifteen years. The members are appointed by the mayor.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Working Paper

As you may know, I am a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis. I have just finished my first year of pursuing a PhD in political science.

My research is pretty basic so far: I've shown that there's a pretty high correlation between concentrations of minority population and childhood lead poisoning. Not too surprising. Anyway, if you're interested take a look at my paper:

PDF Icon http://artsci.wustl.edu/~jgfrank/docs/MetroServices.pdf
(Note: This is a 30 page, 500k PDF which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Any comments are appreciated. I've just enabled the Blogger.com Comment feature on this blog, so I'd appreciate if you'd try it out. You don't have to leave your name, but if you have any thoughts, I would appreciate if you did.

Thanks!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

This Weekend...

The wide range of events happening this weekend in the City of St. Louis represent the incredible diversity of the community as a whole, despite the problems and fragmentations we suffer.

The "May Fiesta" is a slightly delayed Cinco de Mayo scheduled for this Friday May 14 at Kiener Plaza. It is a prelude to the Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival scheduled for August 13 to 15 at Memorial Plaza.

Also in downtown St. Louis is the ACT II Street Festival and Downtown Housing Tour, which will be on 10th Street between Olive and Locust, adjacent to the chain-link fencing around the Syndicate Trust Building. The tour is a self-guided tour with tickets priced at $10; the music festival is free. Both are ongoing Saturday and Sunday.

Just north of downtown, the Old North St. Louis House Tour starts off 10 am Saturday, across the street from Crown Candy Kitchen, and offers a self-guided tour of 10 houses in the up-and-coming but still affordable neighborhood north of downtown. Tickets are also $10.

On Sunday, you can travel a little further north to Natural Bridge between Union and Vandeventer, to watch the Annie Malone May Day Parade an annual celebration of pride for this institution and for North St. Louis.

Also on Sunday, is the Windermere Place House Tour, a peek into the homes on one of St. Louis' less prominent private streets, just off Union Blvd. in the Visitation Park neighborhood. The tour goes from 2 to 5, starting from West End Community Center. Tickets are $10.

Finally, as we get to the western reaches of the city, the Delmar Loop Street Fest "East Meets West" concludes this weekend, a celebration of the continuing growth of the success of the Delmar strip eastward.