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Archive for the ‘Business as Usual’ Category


No action was deemed necessary on a February 2011 complaint that a UMSL employee was taking time off without accounting for it, supposedly with a supervisor’s knowledge. Nor was action deemed necessary on an April 2011 complaint that “a senior UM official regularly placed Bible quotes on email signatures, which were inappropriate given the individual’s position.” Still pending is a complaint lodged anonymously last November that “a UMSL supervisory employee made inappropriate comments and treated employees unfairly.” No names or departments are listed, so the university’s paranoid trucation of the information sadly ends up raising suspicions about all superviors at UMSL.


George Scott, regional manager of Steak ‘n Shake, has reported that the chain has opened a spinoff in the David Letterman theater building on Manhattan’s Seventh Avenue, the first Gotham store. . .Paranoid that his family will discover he’s gay, a 40ish and buffed real estate tycoon in our town recently underwent an assisted suicide out-of-state. He backed out at the last minute. He can always be spotted on the town with the most glamorous women on his arm. How sad is that?. . .

Dunard Morris, former exec with Metropolitan Urological, is the focus of some questioning about his $30k purchase of rare Chateau Lafite Rothschild wine that was billed to the company. . .Kemoll’s atop the Met was where the exec board of the St. Louis Plumbing Suppliers Council had a tasting for its Feb. 7 soiree. Rick LaGrotta oversaw the festive event, while he touted Toto’s newest consumer product:

Toto Neorest 600 is a toilet with lid raising and warmed seat and a built-in bidet. They’re stocked at Henry Plumbing Supply. On hand at the do were: Mark Miller; Everett Hargadine; Pat Grawitch; Tommy D’Angelo; Michael Duggan.


Simon Lusky, professional nutritionist for the St. Louis Rams, ordered a training table lunch from Drew Sterling’s St.Louis Rotisserie Restaurant and Catering Co. today. The players and trainers may hopefully be fueled by a win with the wood-fire rotisserie chicken, Jamaican jerk and BBQ beef brisket. . .
Shake hands with two local business types,who have made it through the tough times with new ventures. Kevin Claspille, began launching an auto repair hub in Florissant and has now hit the $1 million mark in sales. Peter Rosciglione, Jr., who still helps his dad Peter churn out Italian bakery treats in St. Charles. The bakery has been around since 1900. Peter Jr. earns bucks by shoeing horses at his Peter Rosciglione Horse Shoeing Co. in Defiance.


Thomas Hill, CEO of Summit Materials, and Thomas Dunne, Sr., continue to sharpen their pencils on a possible acquisition of some or all of Earth City-based Fred Weber, Inc. Summit has a $1 billion credit line with Blackstone Capital Partners VLP. . .The Rev. Larry Biondi is rarely spotted outside his own campus, unless a meal is involved.  Thus, a rare personal appearance Monday to testify in front of the St. Louis Preservation Board marked the seriousness with which St. Louis University’s president regarded a request to demolish four historic structures near the university’s medical center in order to accommodate a new $75 million outpatient center.  Biondi won approval to demolish two of the structures, but will have to return next year with a different plan (or find a willing judge to throw out the decision) if he wants the two other structures – an office building and a smokestack – demolished.  All four structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. . .To address what she calls “the growing speculation about whether Rep. Jamilah Nasheed will seek the newly redistricted 5th Senatorial seat” – speculation that she herself is fueling – Nasheed has sent out a media advisory announcing that she will make an announcement about her plans on Jan. 3.  In the meantime, we can only – speculate.


Ever wonder who named the hand-held device you may be using to read a Blackberry? In 1976, David Placek was press secretary to the late Warren Hearnes during the ex-guv’s complex but failed U.S. Senate bid. “During that campaign, (Placek) began to understand how words could make ideas salable., especially when those ideas were compressed into a brief memorable phrase,” wrote John Colapinto in the recent issue of New Yorker. Placek went on to launch Lexicon, the nation’s first and most successful firm dedicated to guiding companies in naming new products. Lexicon has come up with such household names as Pentium, Swiffer and Blackberry


Dr. Wyse Jackson explained the garden will establish a facility to store seeds of threatened plant species at the garden’s Shaw Nature Preserve in Gray Summit. He also pointed out that the Linehan House in the garden – one of the oldest greenhouses in Missouri – will soon have “new plants from China, Russia and Korea to see what grows in St. Louis.”


Maryland Heights-based Fred Weber, Inc. has received interest from a company to buy the more than 80 year-old firm, confirmed chairman and CEO Thomas Dunne, Sr. “We had to announce that to our officers and employees, because we’re an ESOP (Employee Share Ownership Plan) company,” said Dunne. “There is a confidential agreement and we’ll have to look it over.”  Fred Weber, Inc. is the region’s premiere leader in heavy and highway construction, bridge building and materials provider with a web of companies. The firm was founded in the 1920s.


Lynn Davis, Amy Stegman, Dana Vedder, Megan Lynch

It should always be, as always, the most fruitful and self-indulgent time of the year and at first glance, it is. Even the Cardinals are doing well and might win it all. One soap opera has signed off and another about to become a victim of sagging ratings, while “Dirty Soap” is in the offing. Election campaigning is hitting fever pitch, Salvation Army belles will soon ring  bells over black kettles, the oompa loopas at Bissinger’s are poised for shipping chocolates, box stores that are every bit as distinctive as those in Poplar Bluff or Alton have begun festooning the counters with age-old, plastic, holiday decorations. Monsignor Sal Polizzi and his flock are celebrating the centennial of his

Susan Fadem, Ellen Futterman

beloved St. Roch Church. Crown Candy Kitchen continues to lure hundreds of people from the “neighborhood,” where residents once lived, loved and rejoiced. Plaza-Frontenac seemed like a good place to start over the weekend at an early hour when only scavengers and stockbrokers are awake. At Nieman-Marcus, the Press Club held a “Face the Nation” beauty event at which money was raised to support the club’s scholarship

Lenore Pepper, Germaine Gibbs, Joan Quicksilver

program. Experts from products provided tips for beauty and among the brands were the names of “Dermal Quench,” “Hollywood Glow” and “QuasarMD.” There was a cry from some guests: “But, I have no makeup on!” The program was helmed by Jennifer Blome, Aisha Sultan, Debra Bass, Amanda Cook and Alice Handelman. On the sidelines, Cary Schneithorst, with Molly Hyland Ittner, chirped, “My brother’s in rehab.” Margaret Gillerman seemed to know everyone there. Ellen Futterman spoke of the recent round of

Adele Zerman, Alice Handelman, Charlene Bry

departures from the Post-Dispatch, that have included Ron Cobb, Bill Coates, Matt Fernandez, and Lou Shucart. Joan Quicksilver swooned over son, Robert, who has just joined the ranks of Charter leadership. Charlene Bry, whose late ex-husband, Richie Bry, bought for her Tennis Press, which she parlayed into the Ladue News, touted her recent tome, “Ladue Found.” The dewy-eyed old-timers bonded well with the younger chic women.  Then, it was onward to dash off a few items.

Gina Galati, Cary Schneithorst, Molly Hyland Ittner





The dress shirt you sent to the laundry, tagged “Do not starch,” came back starched, tag and all. . .Dr. Oz on Channel 5: “Do you look before you flush?”. . .The meteorologist on Channel 4, who proclaimed on a chilly morning, “You’ll need to warm your biscuits this morning”. . .The news reader on Channel 2 asked, “Do you let your kids jump on the bed?. . .A lovely Victorian house being steel-balled to death. . .The stranger who falls asleep next to you at the Fox and puts her head on your shoulder: her hair is lacquered with goo. . .A tourist seeking directions that you can’t answer. . .The nine out of 10 poker players who ask, “Who dealt?” just dealt.


For more than 20 years, Walmart has been anxious to open shop in Florissant. The city council did a thumbs-down about a year ago (9-0). At that time, the big box store asked for  TIF (Tax Increment Financing).  Now, insiders say the company will request financial assistance from the CID (Community Improvement District). Walmart is now docketed for a Sept. 19 hearing with the Planning & Zoning fat cats. . .Michael Neidorff and Thelma Steward have been beckoned as Variety Club’s 2012 “Man and Woman of the Year” and will reign during next year’s 80th anniversary of the do-right club.  The meeting of Variety Club’s board Thursday will feature a sneak preview of the club’s production of “The Wizard of Oz,” which will take the stage of the Touhill Performing Arts Center Oct. 21-23.  An online documentary will follow two of Variety’s kids, who are new to the production. . .And, the national preparer of tax returns, H&R Block, will reportedly no longer offer loans tied to the size of customers’ returns.

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