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Radioactive Threat: War in Ukraine Shows Potential for Nuclear Disaster

Photo: Yvonne Logan

By Don Corrigan

Americans never envisioned that any military would be demented enough to attack an operating nuclear power plant, but then Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. The world has been shocked to see nuclear power plants in the midst of heavy fire.

Endangering the integrity of nuclear plants is an attack on the ecological well-being of all of Europe and a large chunk Russia itself, according to Steve Cohen of Columbia University’s State of the Planet.

“Any species that can produce a Putin and give him an army cannot be trusted with the management of such a complex and potentially dangerous technology,” declared Cohen.

“As if attacking a functioning plant was not sufficient, Russia has also taken over the site of the no longer operating Chernobyl nuclear power plant,” wrote Cohen. “The Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in 1986 spread radioactive materials throughout Europe and was one of the largest nuclear catastrophes in history.”

Europeans know all too well what happens when a nuclear power plant fails. Radiation from the USSR’s Chernobyl plant spread from Poland to Germany to Scotland. The disaster galvanized an anti-nuclear movement in Western Europe.

Now Ukraine is under siege, a country that relies on nuclear power for 60% of its energy, and Russians are pummeling and seizing these plants.

Lynn Sableman, president of the St. Louis chapter of the Women’s League for International Peace and Freedom (WILPF), speculates that the Ukraine conflict could mean the beginning of the end of the nuclear age.

It could also provide the impetus to clean up global radioactive contamination. Or, it could lead to a world nuclear nightmare.

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Editor Corrigan To Debut ‘Amazing Webster Groves’ This May

A new book, Amazing Webster Groves, has gone into pre-press production and will be available in May. EE Co-editor Don Corrigan will do a Missouri book tour starting in May with first presentations scheduled for book outlets in St. Louis and Webster Groves.

America’s Heartbeat can be found in the St. Louis suburb that’s been a Time magazine cover story, the subject of a CBS-TV documentary, and a magnet for pollsters at presidential election time.

In Amazing Webster Groves, you will discover Old Orchard, where prime real estate was sold out of President Ulysses S. Grant’s log cabin. You’ll find Webster Park, where a governor, a senator, and many of St. Louis’s business geniuses once lived.

You can read the true tale of the Webster TV housewife who nicknamed her hubby “Fang,” the man whose election to governor was held up when Democrats cried fraud, a zoologist who advocated for “charismatic megafauna,” an atomic age activist who collected 300,000 baby teeth for Strontium 90 detection, and a female author who won a Pulitzer at 24.

You will also learn about the town’s remarkable college, Webster University, and the revered Eden Seminary where theologians who advised presidents taught beneath its Oxford Tower.

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St. Louis Planting Calendar From Seed St. Louis!

Want to know when is the best time to plant your veggies and fruits in St. Louis?

Seed St. Louis has a local planting calendar to help!

Check it out here: 542c0a3c-46e3-432b-9bc4-0379f7d1453e.pdf (ctctusercontent.com)

 

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Washington Park hosts CCC Co. 1743 celebration March 19

Washington State Park team members are hosting an open house celebration of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1743 in honor of Black History Month. The open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at the Thunderbird Lodge. The African American Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1743 craftsmanship can be seen throughout the park.

Washington State Park interpretive team members will be on hand to discuss the cultural and historical significance of Company 1743 and their unique contribution to the park. Photographs and artifacts from CCC Company 1743 will be on display.

Black History Month 2022’s theme is “Black Health and Wellness,” and interpretive team members will lead a guided hike on 1,000 Steps Trail at 1 p.m. to support this initiative. This trail was built by Company 1743 and displays their stonework and highlights the park’s natural resources. The hike is 1.25 miles long over a natural surface.

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March Promises Us Some Weird “Wizard of Oz” Weather

North of Hannibal, Mo, 2003. Photo: STL NWS.

By Don Corrigan

March brings us Mardi Gras, Irish revelry, International Fanny Pack Day and wild-ass weather. Tornadoes are just around the corner, which is why it is an American family tradition to watch “The Wizard of Oz” on TV in March.

There is no better movie tornado scene than Dorothy and her little dog Toto trying to find shelter as a Kansas cyclone bears down on them. The tornado in “Oz” is every bit as scary as anything in the more recent movie, “Twister.”

If “The Wizard of Oz” classic were filmed today, the setting would have to be moved from Kansas to Missouri. That’s because changing weather patterns have meteorologists telling us that Tornado Alley is moving eastward.

Missouri and states to the southeast are seeing more and more tornadoes. On a recent drive to the Florida Panhandle, this scribe witnessed plenty of tornado damage in Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.

Meteorologists are predicting twice as many tornadoes this spring because of what used to be called “global warming.” That terminology has changed to “climate change,” because a warming atmosphere gives us weather extremes of hot and cold.

February 2022 has exhibited this phenomenon. It has been a roller coaster. Sunny, balmy days followed by ice, sleet and snow and an occasional polar vortex. It has been roller coaster weather.

The weather roller coaster of extremes in February has put us on a track for violent tornadoes in March. So grab Toto and be ready to take shelter as dark and ominous roll clouds wind their way up I-44 in Missouri, a super highway which has become Missouri’s very own Tornado Alley.

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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.”

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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.

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Ozark Forests Find Advocates At Webster University

Protester on upturned vehicle. Photo by Orin Langelle, photojournalist, environmentalist and a graduate of Webster University 1978.

By Don Corrigan

Trees have never been so important as now. Stands of trees can help counteract harmful climate change. That’s, in part, why a national and local fight continues to halt destruction of old growth forests.

Residents interested in the fight for trees may want to attend the film, “Shawnee Showdown: Keep the Forest Standing.” The documentary will show at 7 p.m., Feb. 18, at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University.

It documents a past battle in the 1980s and 1990s, when a dedicated group of activists fought on the ground and in the courts to stop clear-cutting, oil and gas drilling, and ATV use in the Shawnee National Forest located in Southern Illinois.

Jan Wilder, Rene Cook and unidentified child. Photo by Orin Langelle.

The activists were successful for a time, but the battle begins anew because the prohibition on many such activities in the Shawnee National Forest was lifted several years ago. That gives the film particular relevance.

Karla Armbruster, an English and Sustainability Studies professor at Webster University, was instrumental in bringing the documentary to campus. She cited some photos in the film that were taken by world-renowned photographer, Orin Langelle, who honed his talents in Webster’s media studies program.

“I associated this kind of protest with the Pacific Northwest and was thrilled to learn that it happened here in the Midwest,” said Armbruster. “It sounds like more activism of this kind is needed now to keep our forests healthy.

“This film offers not only a history lesson but also encouragement that ordinary people, who care, can really come together and make a difference,” she added.

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Maple Sugaring Programs Available In February At MDC’s Rockwoods Reservation

Photo: MDC

What makes winter so special for maple lovers?  For about six weeks, from mid-January to the end of February, nature cooks up its own sweet delights within sugar maple trees as the sap begins to flow, ready to be tapped for making sugar and syrup.  Anyone can learn skills to collect, boil down and, create their own maple syrup or sugar from trees they may have in their own backyards.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is presenting a series of free educational Maple Sugaring programs in February, the peak season for maple sugaring in Missouri.  The programs are free, open to all ages, and will be held at Rockwoods Reservation in Wildwood.  Some of the programs will be tailored to families, and others to homeschoolers.

Participants will learn the fascinating history of maple sugaring, visit the sugar bush to see where sap is collected, and learn how to turn the sap into syrup. The entire program is outdoors, so participants should dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear for a short hike. A portion of the trail is not stroller/wheelchair accessible.

In Missouri, this time of year is prime maple sugaring season because it produces the right weather conditions.  It has the perfect combination of below freezing temperatures at night and above freezing temperatures during the day that causes the sap to ‘flow’.”  The greater the night-to-day temperature difference, the more the sap flows.  But come March, leaves and seeds open on the trees and the sap changes, calling an end the sugar production season.  Sap from the sugar maple tree has the highest sugar content – about 3-percent – and produces the most sugar per gallon of sap collected.

The maple sugaring programs are free but advanced online registration is required at the following links.  Participants should choose the timeslots of their preference:

Read more below for dates and times of the Maple Sugaring events.

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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.’

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