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MARSHALL FAULK, JIM & LIBBY McDONNELL, APPLE iPhone

A proposed Major League Soccer stadium funding question will not be on the City of St. Louis ballot come April. . .Just in case you haven’t received an invitation, the heirs of the founder of McDonnell Douglas are having a party. “Eat, drink and be merry,” the invite begins. “Fifty years – Jim and Libby McDonnell, cocktail buffet, 6:30 p.m., Feb.18 at St. Louis Country Club” (Apparently, they can’t afford an anniversary dinner). . .Other anniversaries: Campbell’s Tomato Soup is 100 years old; Apple’s iPhone has reached it’s 10th and the federal income tax is 218 years-old.

MARSHALL FAULK has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He is a three-time Heisman finalist and yesteryear running back for San Diego State and former member of the St. Louis Rams and Indianapolis Colts.

THE AWARDS SEASON HAS KICKED-OFF with the Golden Globes and looming Oscars. The Missouri Lawyers Weekly will honor attorneys for their achievements in 2016 at a ceremony 11 a.m., Jan. 27 at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. Securing the largest reported plaintiffs verdicts or judgments: James Onder, Onder Law; John Simon and Erica Blume Slater, The Simon Law Firm. Largest reported defense wins are Robert T. Shaw, Felicia Williams, Virginia Woodfork, Thompson Coburn; Peter Spataro and Sarah Cahill, Brown & James; Kenneth Brostron and Wendy Wolf, Lashly and Baer; Robert W. Cockerham and Ryan T. Knopf of Cockerham & Associates; Thaddeus Eckenrode, Eckenrode-Maupin. Securing the largest reported settlements: John F. Medler, Jr. and Tammy Medler, Medler Law Firm;

KSDK, PIONEERING STATION

The AAA is expecting to see legislation introduced to address distracted driving via smartphones in Missouri. (It’s not what your hands do, but what your brain does.). . .Continuing to trend: Conflict of House members and MO Rep. Sam Graves’ wife who had a financial stake in the fuel industry while he served on the House Committee of Small Business in 2009. He invited expert testimony on the renewable fuels industry. . .THE ENTIRE “GOLDEN GIRLS” LIBRARY WILL STREAM ON HULU BEGINNING FEB. 13. . .TONIGHT AT 7 P.M., the Golden Globes will be aired on KSDK with Meryl Streep cinching the “Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.” Jimmy Fallon will host the ceremony.. . .ON THIS 70TH ANNIVERSARY SINCE KSDK WENT ON THE AIR AS KSD-TV, STATION OFFICIALS SHOULD PAY HOMAGE TO THE LATE GEORGE BURBACH. In the 1940s Burbach approached his boss, Joseph Pulitzer, Il., to apply for a license to own a television station. Pulitzer told Burbach that television wouldn’t last and declined to apply. Burbach, through constant encouragement, finally convinced Pulitzer to apply. The station became a cash cow following its NBC affiliation. . .TODAY IN HISTORY (JAN. 8): 2011, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot; 1992, President George H. W. Bush vomited on the Japanese prime minister’s lap; 1989, the musical, “42nd Street,” closed on Broadway after 3,486 performances; 1982, AT&T agreed to divest itself of 22 Bell Systems; 1974, gold hit a record of $126.50; 1963, the Mona Lisa was unveiled and hung in the National Gallery of Art; 1889, the first computer was patented.

JULI NIEMANN ON THE ECONOMY

Our town’s consummate spokesperson of the economy, Juli Niemann of Smith Moore, told an audience at the downtown Rotary Club that “bull markets do not die of old age.” She continued that a number of gurus are expressing concern that it is coming to an end. “There are always specific conditions which precipitate a bear market,” Niemann opined. “At present it is likely that market volatility will increase, but we still have steam left in this recovery. The economy is continuing to move in the right direction. The rate of growth in earnings is likely to slow somewhat, but that doesn’t kill a bull. . .we can deal with it. It is unlikely that Donald Trump would deal any body blows to the economy. Internationally, it is improbable, but not impossible for some catastrophic occurrence, but it is unknowable. So we continue to muddle through. However, not all sectors will do well this year. This market rally is unlikely to treat high dividend leading stocks well, because interest rates are rising. . .albeit modestly in my opinion. So caution is in order. Summary, be in the race, but on the right horses.”

THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI HAS LANDED A NEW 20-YEAR OPERATING LICENSE FROM THE U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION to produce crucial radioisotopes.

JOE BIDEN TO DONALD TRUMP ON PBS: “Grow up!”

KIA, HONDA, AUDI ORDERED 30-second television spots for SUPER BOWL 50. Each will belly-up $5 million for each ad or $170k a second. The first Super Bowl in 1967 cost advertisers $42k per 30-second spot.

ERIC TRUMP FOUNDATION has raised $16.3 million for St. Jude Hospital that offers free care to needy children.

RESTAURANTS NEWTOYOU: The space of the Webster Groves Bookshop will become a restaurant under the banner of Olive+Oak; Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery; 4715 Macklind; Louie (was Jimmy’s on the Park) 706 DeMun; Charleville Brewing Co. and Tavern , 2101 Chouteau (thanks to George Mahe).

CONNIE BURKHARDT OF FRONTENAC has been appointed to the Missouri Arts & Education Council by the Missouri Dept. of Economic Development.

MACY’S, CHANNEL 4 SPORTS STAFF REUNION, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

Thirty-five years later, a reunion took place at Ameristar in St. Chas. Former sports anchor Tim Van Galder, still donning the sweater he brought into vogue among sportscasters in the 1970s television, joined former staffers Gregg Mullen, Lou Tevlin and Bob Frischmann. It was a surprise reunion for Van Galder, known as “TVG” during his KMOX-TV years. Mullen is now a producer for ESPN, Tevlin toils as a professional sports agent at his own Integrity Sports and Frischmann has retired as a journalism teacher and collegiate sports information officer.

A PRO-MARIJUANA GROUP plans to protest President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20 by passing out free joints to attendees beginning at 8 a.m. in DuPont Circle.

MONSANTO IS BEING SUED by Buder Farms of Kennett, MO over alleged damage from illegal herbicide use responsible for killing 30,000 fruit and nut-bearing trees.

THE “NEW CELEBRITY APPRENTICE SHOW,” featuring host Arnold Schwarzenegger, has lost punch with only 4.9 million viewers – 35 percent less than the last Trump-hosted airing.

ALMOST EVERYONE WEARING DEPENDS are shocked to learn that Macy’s is shuttering so many stores. They can recall when Macy’s predecessor, Famous-
Barr, issued Eagle Stamps, created exciting Christmas windows with moving action, bountiful candy departments, cash & carry service, an ice-cream bar, French onion soup, shrimp salad sandwiches. There were skilled executives: Leonard Hornbein, Helen Weiss, Judith Hoffer, Joan Van de Erve, Stanley Goodman, Richard Battram and David Farrell. Oh, helll! Throw another dollar in the slot!

DONALD TRUMP’S ABILITIES

Blues ownership group has asked the City of St. Louis to pay multimillions in upgrades for Scottrade Center. . .Gallup Poll: Less than half of Americans are confident of Donald Trump’s ability to handle an international crisis (46 percent), to use military forces wisely (47 percent) or to prevent major scandals in his administration (44 percent). At least seven in 10 Americans were confident in Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter before they took office.

JUDGE RAYMOND GRUENDER ON DONALD TRUMP’S LIST OF POTENTIAL SUPREME COURT NOMINEES TO REPLACE LATE JUSTICE SCALIA

Gruender, 53, Judge if the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and former U.S. Attorney in St. Louis under Bush, has worked as prosecutor here covering white collar crime and corruption cases involving county council members, lawyers and judges connected to scandals in Missouri Workers’ Comp cases. Born in our town,
Gruender earned undergraduate, MBA and law school degrees from WashU.

THE PASSING PARADE

It was a great weekend, any way you look at it (provided you weren’t looking at it in Istanbul, Syria or Iraq). After the ball dropped, fireworks and gunfire, you ran out of conversation while others returned to checking their cell phones and showing photos of their latest trip or their children. “See my kid here, she’s on the dean’s list,” hawked a living person. Some decline to mention that their children attended one of the many diploma mills in our town.

You checked out the papers and cable TV only to find they’ve now have been lowered to the reducible minimum. Photographers had lurked in dark corners of the north side poor taking photos that would forever live in the minds of Caucasians. Cable news is back to the old cliches about Donald Trump. Some channels hang on to the Debbie Reynolds’/Carrie Fisher’s deaths with film festivals that starred them.

Many businesses are closed today. The families and tourists driving around our town will find that narrow streets and old structures in Lafayette Square, Shaw, Benton Park, Bevo and The Grove neighborhoods are as important to the image of a St. Louis as urban and urbane places to live. The conservationist stands in the middle of fast-disappearing oases, surrounded by enemies. He says “Save!” this and that and churns up the manic-naysayer, progressive grumps who accuse him of being addicted to chintz, charm, and Victorian yesterdays.

St. Louis is our precious heritage. If you don’t believe it’s precious, just think of what Chicago would exchange for it by offering the White Sox, the birthplace of Al Capone, the Biograph Theater where John Dillinger attended before he was murdered, the garage where the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre took place and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

ARE WE IN FOR A GOOD YEAR?

SIGHTEM: Outside the Hideaway Lounge on Arsenal in south city: “Goodbye 2016, nobody likes you!”

IF SOMEONE SAYS “FIRST OF ALL” during an argument in 2017, run away, because that person has prepared research, data, charts and will destroy you!

THIS NEW YEAR has brought joy to a couple who married a few days ago: Jim Matson, 82, retired prez of Pet, Inc., and Martha Jane Dickey 68, of Little Rock, Ark. They met on a cruise to Spain.

INVESTORS BRACE FOR 2017 SHOCKS AFTER SURPRISE 2016 RUN
“Investors are wary that the market could be primed for a spill to start in 2017,” reports Reuters.
Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis: “There was a tinge more enthusiasm not only because Donald Trump won, and that is perceived as less headwinds for business, but also because the Republicans were able to hold onto the Senate, which was unexpected. But it’s not like all these deals are rubber-stamp deals.”

FAREWELL TO 2016

What a year! Kerfuffles over Obamacare, U.S. & Russia relations, Donald Trump’s unprecedented media circus that made television history drawing cable channels to lead the pack, Hillary Clinton went from “queen of the hour” to “the girl who got dumped on the prom night,” the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and homicide rates in the Windy City rose to 700. We lost Debbie Reynolds and her daughter, Carrie Fisher, almost simultaneously, In sports, we lost Arnold Palmer, there was RyanLochtegate at the Rio Olympics, Peyton Manning went out on top and there were suspected football deflate games. There was, arguably the best weather caster around, but Channel 5’s weathercasting chief Cindy Preszler clocked out to launch her own website, Betsey Bruce ducked the cameras at Channel 2 to head for retirement.

IF A DRONE, TESLA OR ROBOT TAKES YOU TO JUPITER, MARS OR URANUS, you still won’t find a better toasted ravioli, crunchy pretzels or BBQ than here in St. Louis. Status symbol: getting choice seats for Monday’s Winter Classic at Busch Stadium and it’s so secret that there’s no marked highway sign. But the right people know where it is. Their VIP parking in front of Busch has vanished. Many of them live in Ladue, almost as old as some of the families whose domain it will always be, and that’s not bad.

SOON IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL where the teacher will try to teach kids the world is round. Don’t believe it. The world is flat, flatter than Granite City. The world is the center of the universe and the sun goes around it. We say that the sun rises and sets, don’t we? We don’t say the earth rises and sets. Ergo, the earth is flat and man is god.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

DECEMBER 31 IN HISTORY

1907, the first time the ball dropped in NYC’s Times Square; 1938, Dr. R.N. Harger introduced his “drunk meter” (breath test) in Indiana; 1943, Frank Sinatra was greeted at the Paramount Theater in NYC; 1946, President Harry Truman officially ended World War II; 1961, the first public performance of the Beach Boys; 1966, the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” hit #1 on the charts; 1971, last day of existence for the acronym U.S.S.R.

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