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.

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Education
5:30 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Commentary: Public Education's Big Fix

In the coming weeks the future of the Normandy School District and that of every other district in the state will determined by the elected leadership in Jefferson City.  Normandy, currently unaccredited, will run out of money at some point between April and the end of the school year.  This topic covers so many difficult areas to not only talk about but also find consensus: public education, race, poverty and power.

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St. Louis Symphony
2:03 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Other Voices: 'The Most Significant American Orchestral Work Never Played In America'

John Cage
Credit Wikipedia

Last week, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra took over the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.

That symphony musicians play at the Pulitzer is not news. Ensembles have been bringing new works to the Grand Center neighbor for some time. But this time it was the entire orchestra and the work was a major piece by an American composer that had not be presented in this country before.

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Who Is Poor?
8:12 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

Commentary: Missouri Could Do Better In Fighting Poverty

Credit Maria Vladimirova

This month marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

This central pillar of Johnson’s Great Society was designed to finally defeat the age­old scourge of poverty and destitution in the United States. Major programs that were part of the War on Poverty include Medicare and Medicaid, Head Start and Food Stamps.

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Defining Reform
10:55 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Commentary: Normandy School Reform Is Already Light Years Ahead of State Officials

Normandy High School
Credit (via Google Maps screen capture)

Normandy School District.

Now is the time to change how these three words take on meaning in our collective awareness. As one of the instructional coaches brought in by the district’s new leaders last summer, I offer a couple of images to help outsiders — especially our state legislators and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education — see us for real.

12 Years A Slave

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Crime
7:20 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Commentary: Echoes Of Gunfire -- A Man Dead, FBI To Investigate Police

Credit (St. Louis Public Radio)

Let’s begin by acknowledging that the words “legal” and “wise” are not synonyms. It would be legal, for instance, to install aluminum siding on my brick home but that would probably not be a wise course of action. Just because there is no legal barrier to doing something, it does not necessarily follow that it’s a good idea to do so.

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Press Club Awards
10:33 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

What Makes A Good Journalist

Bob Uecker, Rick Hummel and Robert Duffy were honored by the St. Louis Press Club on Jan. 21.
Credit Bill Greenblatt | UPI

On Tuesday night, the Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis honored Rick Hummel, Post-Dispatch baseball columnist, with its Media Person of the Year award, and it bestowed Lifetime Achievement Awards on Bob Uecker, baseball announcer, and Bob Duffy, campaign director of St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon.

Was there a theme for the evening? Sports, sports, arts? Commentators? People whose work often touches those things that bring enjoyment to others?

OK. But what makes these folks stand out?

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Visual Arts
10:27 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Layers Reveal Truths About Challenges And Beauty In RAC Show

David Dolak – Untitled 6 Panel Configuration
Credit Provided by RAC

Rene Dimanche of the Regional Arts Commission has gathered three artists whose combined work makes manifest aspects of the human condition that are difficult to express. Dimanche writes that in their group exhibit, Irrevocable Fragments, artists Byron Darnell Rogers, David Dolak and Clayvon Ambrose Wesley “deal with the disintegration and re-integration of information we digest from places and people we come across in our lives.”

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Commentary
10:48 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Editor's Weekly: Tracking Money In Politics

Rex Sinquefield
Credit Rexsinquefield.org

The latest chapter of Power Players – Jason Rosenbaum's periodic watchdog report on political fundraising in Missouri – shows that Democrats topped Republicans in collecting big donations in 2013. But Rex Sinquefield was the state's most prolific donor. Again.

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St. Louis Media
4:00 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Reflection: Look Back At Media Hall Of Famers Fox, Graczak, Weil And Defty

Credit Wikipedia

When word came that four former Post-Dispatch people were being inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, we asked our own Robert W. Duffy to reflect on those he had worked with.

I finally plowed my way into the newsroom of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1972 not as a registered, pedigreed member “Of the Post-Dispatch Staff” but as what’s called a stringer in the business, otherwise known as a free-lancer or correspondent.

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Not Robin Hood
4:00 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Commentary: Cursing Toddler And Chris Christie Stories Show Harm Done By Thugs

Robin Hood statue in Nottingham, England
Credit Wikipedia

In America, we celebrate our thugs. They’re entrenched in the popular culture as familiar threads in the social fabric —collectively speaking, an integral part of who we are. After all, who didn’t like Tony Soprano?

Because they exist in the shared imagination as mythical figures, it really doesn’t matter that much whether the thugs are real or fictional. Al Capone and Don Corleone are equally well remembered.

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