Category Archives: Opinion

Image

Hey, Valentine, Ready For A Local Lovers’ Leap?

Starved Rock

By Don Corrigan

Lovers’ leaps, bluff areas where romance and intrigue once intertwined, are to be found all over the Midwest. However, it’s not necessary to drive 100 miles to capture the spirit of these places on Valentine’s Day.

In Webster-Kirkwood, happy couples can catch the spirit by visiting high points overlooking Deer Creek and Shady Creek in Webster Groves. A bluff trail at Emmenegger Park in Kirkwood can also offer romantic inspiration.

“Emmenegger Park is a good Valentine’s Day destination because it rises on its western side to a bluff overlooking the Meramec River,” said Bob Rubright. “There are some nice vistas and rocky outcroppings for sitting.

“People once referred to the area below as Chrysler Valley because of the car factory. That’s gone,” said Rubright. “In any case, it must have been a lovelier site before the factories and Interstate 44.”

Kirkwood resident Rubright has been to many of the more distant lovers’ leap sites in the region to research his books on hiking trails. His 2002 book is “Weekend Walks in St. Louis and Beyond.” A new one is in the works, titled, “Two Feet in St. Louis and Nearby.”

Continue reading

Image

2 Big Winter Storms Began in St. Louis on 2/2/22

by Don Corrigan

Few St. Louisans realize that two of this season’s worst winter storms in succession began on 2/2/22. Surely Channel 2 News in St Louis must have taken note of this on “Twosday” when it all began.

A numerology anomaly will be repeated again this month on 2/22/22, and conspiracy theorists are already predicting two rounds of storms for the Gateway City in late February — around 2/22/22.

Here is another fear factor factoid for February: the weather service has released a spring forecast for the Midwest predicting twice as many tornadoes in spring 2022  – compared to 2021. This would mean a jump from about 72 to 142 twisters in year 2022.

The sequence of 2’s, which started two decades ago, will end this February 22, 2022. This month will witness three such dates altogether – February 2, 2022, February 20, 2022, and February 22, 2022.

Continue reading

Image

Senator Squirrelly Announces 2024 White House Bid

By Don Corrigan (Satire/Opinion)

With manly tail upright, clenched-claw pumping, Sen. Josh Squirrelly announced his candidacy for U.S. President on Jan. 21 The Missouri Senator kicked off his campaign in front of the White House before a small entourage of pigeons.

Sen. Squirrelly said his opposition to Critical Squirrel Theory (CST) will be front and center in his campaign. He said CST teaches young squirrels to hate their ancestors, hate their homeland, and to hate themselves.

“It is no accident that this campaign begins on National Squirrel Day,” declared Sen. Squirrelly.  “Squirrels made this country great. That’s a historical fact. We must call out those who seek to diminish and undermine our proud squirrel heritage.”

Healthy, red-blooded squirrels are under assault from Hollywood elites, a perverted public school system, as well as museums and other “centers of learning,” according to Sen. Squirrelly. He said leftist cultural warriors in the film industry have sought to portray squirrels as thuggish murderers.

“I take particular umbrage at the latest Hollywood trash in production called Squirrelnado,” said the freshman Missouri senator. “The depraved trailer for this movie advises audiences to ‘hold onto their nuts.’

Continue reading

Image

As Soft Sheet Use Grows, Environmentalists Note Toilet Paper Woes

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels.

By Don Corrigan

There’s another issue with tissue. This time it’s not because of grocery shelves being raided of toilet paper in a pandemic panic. At issue this time is the loss of old-growth forests as humans appear to be on a roll consuming bathroom supplies.

Environmental Missouri reports that TP is disappearing before our eyes, in part because major companies are using valued trees to make toilet paper for retailers. The decline in forests across our planet is sharp with a loss of a third of our world’s forests in just a few decades.

According to Environmental Missouri, the culprit behind the deforestation in Canada is soft – retailers like Costco are lining their shelves with extra fluffy toilet paper made from the boreal — one of our last, great North American forests.

Continue reading

Image

St. Louis Environmentalists Offer Hope For The 2022 New Year

Carol Davit of the Missouri Prairie Foundation

By Allison Hagene

Carol Davit of the Missouri Prairie Foundation said she hopes for more cooperation in 2022, because  “all of us –from individuals to communities and corporations – must make the health of the natural world, and the natural resources upon which all life depends, an automatic consideration of actions we take. We can no longer abuse nature and natural resources and defer the damage to the years ahead. Doing so destroys natural abundance and beauty that not only makes life possible, but also makes it worth living”

The Missouri Prairie Foundation had a good year, receiving news that “the Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded national accreditation to the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a designation earned by about 30% of the nation’s 1,360+ land trusts. Over the summer, MPF acquired four more original, unplowed prairies, including a rare sand prairie near the Bootheel; dedicated four other prairies we acquired prior to 2021; and have nearly reached our goal of raising $2.2 million for our Lordi Marker Prairie Missouri Bicentennial project.”

Read more below from The Missouri Prairie Foundation, Magnificent Missouri, Just Moms STL, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, the Sierra Club, the Open Space Council, Allison Hagene and Don Corrigan.

Continue reading

Image

In Memorium: Thanks, Karen, For A Helping Of Ozark Hospitality

Karen Hood Simpson

 

By Don Corrigan

Sometimes a new friend crosses your path – the kind of friend who helps you out. You look forward to a lasting friendship. Then something tragic happens, and you realize you did not say “thank you” enough before they exited this life.

Such is the case for me with Karen Hood Simpson. She helped me explore Missouri caves, trails and waterways on a Missouri Outdoor Communicators’ (MOC) trip in June to the Pulaski County area and the Gasconade River watershed.

Karen, who worked with the Pulaski County Tourism Bureau for more than a dozen years, helped this city boy enjoy some Ozark nooks in the forest and on the river – and to breathe in a little fresh mountain air.

The MOC get-together was at Gasconade Hills Resort, located on a magnificent stretch of river showcasing amazing scenery, caverns and local wildlife including eagles, otters and deer.

She helped with arrangements for a canoe float not far from the cold spring waters that flow into the Gasconade and Big Piney rivers. It was a scenic on-the-water trip in the vicinity of Devil’s Elbow, a bluff area full of lore from a time when lumber men floated timber down the river.

In the evenings, there was time to relax at the Piney River Taproom. One eating and imbibing excursion involved time at the newly-opened Heritage Cultural Art Center on Route 66 in Waynesville.

Continue reading

Video

Reporting from Ireland: A St. Louis Journalist Explores “The Troubles.”

Northern Ireland is in the news again as the implementation of Brexit by the United Kingdom brings worries that the strife of the past could be re-ignited by borders, economic upheaval and sectarian distrust.
 
Don Corrigan recently spoke on Ireland’s troubles, past and present, at the International Week sponsored by the University of Missouri-St. Louis. His Irish talk coincides with the much-praised movie, Belfast, recently opening in St. Louis.
 
Corrigan’s presentation focuses on his reporting of the Irish Troubles in Belfast and Derry at the time prior to the Easter Agreement to bring peace to Northern Ireland. He provides background on the surprises for an Irish American in covering the conflict and its emotional overtones.
 
He also touches on the film portrayals of the Irish Conflict and how those depictions have influenced perceptions in America. And, of course, he had a few things to say about Belfast.
 

Corrigan is professor emeritus of journalism and communications at Webster University in St. Louis and an editor of the Webster-Kirkwood Times newspaper group in suburban St. Louis.

 
He has reported from Ireland, Russia, Bosnia and Vietnam. He has taught global journalism at Webster campuses in Geneva and London and has presented papers on the Irish Troubles as portrayed in film at Trinity College in Dublin and in the United States.
Image

Kay Drey: Whistleblower for an Atomic Age in St. Louis

Environmentalist Kay Drey will be honored at the First Amendment Celebration of the St. Louis Gateway Journalism Review. The event will be on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, from 7-8 p.m. Sign up for this virtual celebration at tinyurl.com/3rakxfet.

The celebration will benefit the nation’s only regional journalism review. Keynote Speaker is former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Kirkwood, Missouri.  

By Don Corrigan

Kay Drey is an activist, environmentalist, a whistleblower, an Earth Mother. Who could argue that there is anyone more passionate than Kay Drey about protecting humanity from the dangers of the atomic age?

Humanity means mothers, fathers, children – it’s not just a word. She is the premier whistleblower because she has educated so many journalists to blow the whistle, to make some noise, to sound the alarm in defense of man, woman and child.

She is the Paul Revere of the Nuclear Age:

• “Mobile Chernobyls are coming!” she warned us.

•  “Plutonium is coming!” she warned us.

• “Polonium is coming! Have you heard of it?” she asked us.

Who else but Kay Drey would have tritium3 as her email address? It is impossible to message her without wondering if this radioactive element might be contaminating the neighborhood.

Continue reading

Image

Fall Color Flop? Maybe.

By Holly Shanks

Well, I was looking forward to Fall this year. It happens to be my favorite time of year and the drive from St. Louis to Hannibal or Branson usually shows off the colors of nature.

CNN recently posted an online article, “Why autumn weather won’t be the same this year,” by Hannah Gard and Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologists.

The article offers several interesting updates, but I was certainly bummed about the colorful foliage I was looking forward to. Just another thing to add to the list of disappointment this year.

However, I will remain hopeful and look forward to the possibility of a few reds, golds, yellows and oranges this year. And, next year, as I remain hopeful for, will see me and my husband on the Fall color search road trip again!

Check out the CNN online article HERE.

June Hutson: St. Louis Has Lost A Horticulture Legend

This writer interviewed June Hutson for the following EE article in 2017. It was the first time I met with her. June was welcoming to this stranger asking many questions about gardening and her life in general. She answered each one with a delightful enthusiasm and with a humble openness found only in rare spirits. She was genuine. She was real. She was kind.

Hutson touched many lives in St. Louis and the truth of that can be found in the observations today from her colleagues and friends. In her retirement, she said she intended to travel and explore historic U.S. gardens and maybe the grand gardens of Europe.

However, the true passion in her voice could not be mistaken and was not related to foreign travel – she was looking forward to making future memories with her two grandsons in her own garden.

Hutson’s love of people and passion for gardening left a lasting legacy. This St. Louis horticulture legend will be missed because she was the kind of person that made the world a better place.

—Holly Shanks 7/25/21

The St. Louis Post Dispatch obituary for Hutson can be found HERE.

A memorial celebration of life will be held at the Spink Pavilion at Missouri Botanical Garden on Wednesday, Aug. 11 at 5 p.m.

June Hutson: St. Louis Horticulture Legend

By Holly Shanks

(This article originally posted on Environmental Echo July 17, 2017.)

After spending more than 40 years working at the Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT), one might think, June Hutson, a master gardener and horticulturist, retired this past January for some much-deserved leisure time. Nope. She says she retired to do the exact opposite. She wants to spend as much time as possible feeding her passion – getting her hands dirty in the garden.

Hutson started as a gardener at MOBOT in the late 1970s. She spent the last 20 years as supervisor of the outdoor gardens at the Kemper Center for Home Gardening. The ordering of plants and managing staff and volunteers limited some of her time to physically work with planting and maintaining the gardens. The love for the hands-on work played a role in her retirement decision.

Hutson wanted to retire on a good note and her long-term staff was knowledgeable enough to function independently. It was the right time for her to make the change.

“I really missed the physical work and I had a wonderful crew when I retired. If I was going to continue gardening I needed to retire while my physical health was still good,” Hutson said. “I was 74 when I retired, so, you know, time-is-a-tickin’.”

Continue reading