Commentaries

During Morning Edition and All Things Considered, or on Cityscape

Commentaries are opinion pieces provided by a wide variety of individuals in the St. Louis region. They are not necessarily the opinion of St. Louis Public Radio, but are intended to reflect diverse viewpoints on issues affecting our region. To submit a commentary or proposal, email commentaries@stlpublicradio.org.

Members of the Republican caucus converge in the House Lounge after Diehl announced his resignation.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

As reality shows go, the Missouri General Assembly’s last week is generally worth watching. This week, the legislature outdid itself. Typically, the session closes with a flurry of surprise votes. This year, the surprise was that nothing — nothing — happened on the floor for days as both chambers imploded.

St Louis has many exciting art galas and parties. One of my favorites will take place on May 16. It is the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis's, better known as CAM, Dada Ball and Bash.

The attendees wear crazily surreal outfits and makeup, but just what is Dada?

As usual, I ran around town asking some of the most scholarly folks in the art world to help me with the definition of this obscure and short-lived art movement.  

Church members pick up debris. 81914
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Many St. Louisans followed the news closely this week as unrest, issues and inevitable comparisons to Ferguson streamed from Baltimore. For a moment, it looked as though the country might stop treating Ferguson as a pariah and focus more on the nation's widespread systemic problems related to race.

But so far, it’s not turning out to be that moment.

Members of the Board of Aldermen look on as Tuesday's meeting rolls on.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Bad news hit St. Louisans this week like a hailstorm. But beyond that blast of mayhem, St. Louis Public Radio reported on some glimmers of progress in the efforts to address the region’s longstanding issues.

A woman casts her vote on election day in Ferguson on April 7, 2015.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

St. Louis area voters sent contradictory messages Tuesday. And that’s a message in itself.

In Ferguson, three new city council members were elected, changing the face of municipal government and raising the number of African-American members to three of seven (counting the mayor). But, as Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies reported, that doesn’t necessarily mean that voters were inspired by the protest movement to clean house.

I was in California at the Palm Springs Art Museum's branch in Palm Desert and saw an exhibition entitled, "A Grand Adventure: American Art of the West.

The exhibition included works by our own native son, Charles Russell, works by Remington, the Taos School of New Mexico, Albert Bierstadt and the list goes on.

When I think of St. Louis, I like to say that we're the last eastern city and how culturally rich we are and WE ARE, but after all we are the Gateway to the West. Our Arch is there to prove it. Of course, it is a magnificent piece in and of itself.

Ferguson protest 3/12/2015
Lawrence Bryant | St. Louis American

Watching yet another panel discuss press coverage of Ferguson this week, I couldn’t help but squirm. We journalists hold others accountable for their shortcomings. But in the months since Michael Brown was shot, we’ve had trouble owning up to our own.

A Taser, with cartridge removed, making an electric arc between its two electrodes
jasonesbain | Wikipedia

About four months before the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, police less than 15 miles down I-70 in St. Charles shot another man named Brown. The event barely drew any attention from anyone except immediate family and friends.

Art for those with challenges

Mar 20, 2015

We've heard of wheelchair basketball, tennis and ice hockey played by those with legs that don't function and we've heard of the Special Olympics.

In the arts there are wonderful organizations who help those with physical and mental disabilities to be a part of the St. Louis art scene.

The Riverfront Times had a terrific article entitled "Thespians On Wheels: Joan Lipkin's Disability Project is on a Roll" written by Aimee Levitt. Levitt says, "There are many ways to fight for social change: marching, shouting, stripping. Joan Lipkin has tried them all."

Kenneth Wheat, a longtime Ferguson resident, said he supports "the good officers" and he wants to see more African Americans express how they really feel publicly.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

A New York Times editorial from last week, "The Problem Is Bigger Than Ferguson," still bothers me.

Since August, the flaws of Ferguson — and the St. Louis region — have been in the national spotlight. At last, the headline seemed to recognize that our home is not the only one plagued by racial issues. That would have been a welcome message coming from the nation’s newspaper of record, writing from the city where Eric Garner’s death raised many of the same questions that Michael Brown’s death did here.

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