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BOB COSTAS BENEFIT

Deanne Lane with Mike Neidorf

Speaking of broadcaster Costas, his annual outing at the Fox Theater to benefit Cardinal Glennon Medical Center, raised an estimated $500,000 Saturday night via a concert with Jennifer Hudson and comic Jimmy Fallon and a dinner.  That’s where the columnist cornered Deanne Lane, former Channel 5 anchor-turned-tubthumper for Centene Corp.  Lane chirped that her and hub Gregg Goodrich‘s son, Griffin, has turned 16 and is on Kirkwood High baseball team. Asked about rumors that she and Gregg had gone splitsville, Lane shot back, “We’ve loved each other since we met in the fifth grade.”  Neidorf left his wife, Neomi‘s kosher kitchen to sup, kibbitz and network among the crowd.  Dining there were Claudia and Channel 5′s Mike Bush, who updated the columnist on their three children, including their son, Matthew, who will marry Elizabeth Herrmann at the Old Cathedral, to be followed by a pouring at Kemoll’s.  Ebulient prez of the medical center, Sherlyn Hailstone, said she hopes to improve the hybrid cardiac cath lab for premies with congenital heart problems. She added, “Another phase of expansion will be a radiology lab and a pediatric intensive care unit.”  Dr. Philip Alderson, dean of St. Louis University’s school of medicine, expressed his vision, “We want to make Father Biondi’s dream come true to become the top Catholic medical center in the U.S.”  Dr. Alderson also said that a new track and field is in the works for the campus. Gina and Jeff Schindler were there with Abby and John Eilermann, chief of McBride & Son homebuilders.  “Banks realize it’s best to work together with people who’ve made it through (this recession)”, John said.  Meanwhile, McBride is jamming with its Paddington Villas in Chesterfield.

BREAKING NEWS

Having retired or otherwise misplaced many of its most recognizable and outspoken personalities, news honcho Mike Shipley informed his troops on Wednesday that KSDK, Channel 5 will begin promoting a new news segment this week that will tap outside talent to beef up its currently listless lineup of Lane-less, Foss-free news shows.  Beginning March 1, the station will actually start airing what Shipley calls “opinions”. . .during the news, but not as news” during the broadcasts.  Ironically, one of the earliest scheduled talents will be that of charmingly right-wing radio commentator (and former KMOV,
Channel 4 reporter/anchor) Jamie Allman.

OF OUR 20,000 MEMBERS, 4,000 ARE OUT-OF-WORK, SAID TERRY NELSON, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY-TREASURER OF CARPENTERS DISTRICT COUNCIL OF GREATER ST. LOUIS AND VICINITY.

Gladys Kandel-Reeves at the Delmar Gardens family of 20 facilities

Gladys Kandel-Reeves at the Delmar Gardens family of 20 facilities

PITCH & CATCH: It doesn’t take a doctor (though there were plenty of them at Busch Stadium on Thursday afternoon) to diagnose the condition of patient Cardinal Nation. The Nation is suffering from acute Cardinal fever. The all-too-obvious symptoms include a preoccupation with a certain Magic Number, a preference for the color red, an aversion to a team from Chicago, and a willingness to skip more usual pastimes (including actual work) to sit in Busch Stadium drinking $8 malted beverages. While examining the patient, this columnist collected plenty of fastballs, a couple of curveballs, and a wicked brushback pitch or two.

***

SWEET SUITES: “I’m going to lead a delegation to Cuba on Sept. 20 to try and open up a dialogue about travel opportunities,” said US Representative Jo Anne Emerson, who was in a suite with US Rep. Lacy Clay and some other colleagues. “President Barack Obama will drop a bombshell in a joint session on September 9 on health insurance reform,” said Clay, who brags out that he occasionally hears from the President by telephone. Nearby, fellow Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-9) had a bone to pick with Clay about barbeque. Cohen favored Memphis’s Rendezvous, while Clay (and other locals in the suite) spoke up the ribs for our town’s C&K . . . Nearby was Mike DuBois, a legislative assistant to US Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond, and the new father (with wife, Linda) of 2-month-old Ryan Patrick. DuBois mentioned that, while Bond was recently in Japan, our town’s Roy Pfautch, who spends a lot of time in Japan, arranged a sumptuous feast for Bond and ministers of the Diet. DuBois had this to say about Clay and Bond: they get along very well “despite what you hear.” Sen. Claire McCaskill? Not so much, apparently. “Claire brings nothing to the people,” remarked a bystander (not named DuBois or Clay). “She just tells staff members each morning to get her on television.”. . .David Steward, founder and chairman of World Wide Technologies, said his company is expanding with facilities in China, the Netherlands, Sao Paulo and Singapore. “In 2008, we grossed almost $2.6 billion and are buying $1.5 billion worth of network equipment,” said Steward. “We’re in a tech revolution and thinking about the next level. We’re still hiring.” . Elsewhere, Brenda and Jim Talent were entertaining. “I’m doing public policy stuff and have become a consultant to Fleishman-Hillard,” said the ex-senator.

***

WITH THE WORKING STIFFS: Carpenters Union bossman Terry Nelson said, “For $12,000 a week, we are getting groceries to the unemployed in the union.” How many, Terry? ” Of our 20,000 members, 4,000 are out-of-work. But, I’m sure that we’ll pick up after the first quarter of 2010.” As Hemingway’s Jake said in “The Sun Also Rises”, “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

***

IDIOT BOX BOX: In the Fox Midwest Sports box, account exec Tim O’Connor did the honors for a select Steak ‘n Shake crew. Anchoring the group were Brad Manns, head of franchising, and Springfield, Mo., franchisee Gary Leonard, who tipped us that the 420 restaurants in the chain will soon bow a new entry on the menu: a combination called Pico De Gello, a chilled combination of peppers, onions, tomatoes, lime and lemon juice and cilantro served up on either a steak burger or a steak frank.

***

David Steward with US Rep. Lacy Clay and Corbin

David Steward with US Rep. Lacy Clay and Corbin

INVESTORS CORNER: “The Post-Dispach is too episodic,” insisted investments guru Joe Schlafly in the Merrill-Lynch suite. (A charge that a newspaper published daily would find it hard to rebut.) “I invested my own money and got Bill Danforth to contribute seed money for the St. Louis Beacon. We need responsible journalism.” (The St. Louis Beacon is a news/features website staffed primarily by former employees of the episodic P-D.) . . .Between pitches, Ralph Gaia, an IT’er with Centene Corp. raved non-stop about the company’s topper, Mike Neidorff. Why does Gaia love his boss? “I was so impressed that he conducted an ethics meeting, and that he’s arranged a golf tournament for employees at the Bogie Club a week from Friday,” said Gaia . . . Nestle/Ralston Purina makes the best-selling Fancy Feast cat food. That’s the best I could get from the company’s CEO, Patrick McGinnis. “This is my day off and we don’t need any publicity,” he barked when he noticed my notebook . . . Stuart Shelp of the RCGA probably should have listened to McGinnis. “We don’t get along with them (the Regional Business Council) and we got them started.” (Does anybody know RBC exec director Kathleen T. Osborn’s email address?) . . . Brian Rhame, head of institutional advancement, and Mike Loyet, president, of St. John Vianney High School, got my congratulations on the 50th anniversary of their school — and quickly dropped names of some illustrious alums.

***


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THE GOLDEN YEARS: It’s a great time to be young, in an area that hasn’t quite grown up yet, in a world on the brink of disaster. But, still poised for the future is optimistic visionary Gladys Kandel-Reeves, who has toiled for more than four decades at the Delmar Gardens family of 20 facilities, which stretch from here to Atlanta, and including Omaha, Kansas City and Las Vegas. And now, the glamorous woman is touting the company’s fifth retirement center in O’Fallon, Mo., the Garden Villas of O’Fallon, that opens in November with a bowling alley, no less. . .

***

PINHEADS: St. Louis Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Kraft has been accused of threatening a couple with a gun during a dispute about a parking spot at a Shrewsbury bowling alley. His subsequent legal problems in St. Louis County have drawn the support of his friends, including managers in his department and judges. A recent fundraiser to help pay his lawyers was hosted by the St. Louis Sheriff Lt. Ray Harris, and Deputies Charles Russo and Kathy Kraft, sister of Charles. Wonder what the St. Louis County prosecutor thinks about that?

***

COMINGS & GOINGS: Cop talk (no, not CopTalk) says that Governor Jay Nixon will dump the decades long tradition of being escorted through St. Louis by a special detail of the Metropolitan St. Louis Police Department. The guv is rumored to be considering using the state patrol to take over the duty. Is this an early indication of how the guv is leaning on the contentious issue of surrendering state control of the city’s police force? . . . One of my all-time favorite news anchors, Deanne Lane, sent a note to set the record straight. “I was not fired. I resigned from KSDK (Channel 5), because I no longer wanted to work at night.” Could she still be working in TV? “Among the offers I’ve had was one from KMOV (Channel 4),” Lane penned from Centene Corp, where she is listed as media contact . . .David Bonetti, sharp-tongued art critic with the Post-Dispatch has written that he “took advantage of advanced age and a benefits package and decided to retire.” He further stated, “Although some of the Cherokee Street clique would like to think that I was fired by an enlightened management that wants reviews of inept artists showing their woeful attempts at self expression in vanity galleries, that is not the case”. . . Z. Dwight Billingsley, whose most recent column for the Post-Dispatch compared President Obama’s national healthcare prescriptions to bad public education policies, has penned his last column for the newspaper. (Will Z. Dwight now follow familiar migration patterns and end up in the St. Louis Beacon?). . .Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi will be special guest on Oct. 3 at the Chase-Park Plaza for the fifth annual gala with Rep. Russ Carnahan. For more info or to RSVP call 314-534-2004. Former Post-Dispatch editor Ellen Soeteber still has her CWE condo and regularly visits her mom, Norma Soeteber, in Shiloh, Ill., as well as other family and friends. But, she and her husband, Dick Martins, are enjoying being back in South Florida, where multiple cultures and lifestyles are the happy norm.  When not in our town, she misses her family, her friends, and former colleagues at the Post-Dispatch and the Missouri Biotanical Garden. Christine Bertelson has ankled the Post-Dispatch for what she hopes will be a brighter future with Guv. Nixon’s office, beginning Tuesday. A media maven mentioned to her how nice Nixon’s state fair speech was on Aug. 13, while still in the paper’s employ. She is rumored to have replied, “I wrote it” The maven also suggested, that her dealing with Nixon while in the employ of the P-D, got other staffers’ noses out-of-joint. Bertelson served a number of posts at the paper, including editorial page editor, colyumnist and features editor…

***

HELLO?: The announcement that the local telco will no longer have to deliver its White Pages directory to customers will deprive some of us a favorite pastime: playing the Name Game. One favorite: the St. Louis directory contains a Hitler (and a bunch of Hittlers), a Tojo, two Roosevelts, nine Trumans and 12 Churchills. (There are also eight Schmucks and eleven Dierbergs – but, that’s not a food fight, not a World War.)

***

BURY MY HEART: David Simon, family service guy at Kriegshauser Mortuary West, is tub-thumping the firm’s pre-arranged funeral services.

John Smoltz, Michael Jackson and August Busch IV meet in premiere column.

Al and Nancy Malnik with Michael Jackson

Al and Nancy Malnik with Michael Jackson

DON’T STOP THE PRESSES; THEY MAY NEVER START AGAIN!: The Post-Dispatch’s Tony Messenger was bylined in a page-one scoop, outlining the connection of erstwhile Democratic campaign consultant Milton “Skip” Ohlsen to the investigation of the 2008 bombing in a private Clayton parking garage, that injured an attorney. The article sourced “a search warrant obtained” by the newspaper. That raises a couple of Berger-worthy questions:: who gave the search warrant (and several supporting documents) to the newspaper? and which local news managers are now kicking themselves for not pursuing the lead as assiduously as the tireless Messenger? If you have answers, let me know.

* * *

WARREN RAPP HAS SOLVED THE MYSTERY, THAT HAS ENTHRALLED CARDINAL NATION:”(Cardinals pitcher) John Smoltz told me, that in his first practice session with the Redbirds, Chris Carpenter confided in Smoltz, that he tipped his hand by the way he held his glove,” said Warren Rapp, general manager of Il Bel Lago Restaurant. Smoltz continued to admit, that he knew which pitch was coming and had the best outing of the year. Stoltz dined with his uncle, St. Anthony’s wunderkind Dr. Anthony Tensigni.

* * *

WHEE, THE PEOPLE: Banker Joe Imbs is brushing up on syntax of a speech he’ll deliver in 2010, when he becomes the Mysterious Majesty of Khorassan or the Veiled Prophet. .The lilting language of the prince of prose has returned to your screen with a bon mot about Michael Jackson from the late icon’s frequent host in Palm Beach, Al Malnik. Former St. Louisan, businessman and philanthropist Malnik said that when Jackson houseguested at Al and Nancy Malnik’s Palm Beach estate, “he could compose two songs at once. He could write a song in five minutes,” recalled Malnik. . .Gregg Wurm, yesteryear Ladue police chief-turned-secuirty chief has been bounced from his $200,000 a-year job at Centene Corp. Centene is also where former KSDK, Channel 5 anchor Deanne Lane is rumored to be toiling. . .Over in Forest Park, rumors are rife, that Broadway vet and frequent Muny headliner, Lee Roy Reams, may be paged to succeed productions chief Paul Blake. Muny officials are still burning over Blake’s 20-minute onstage eulogy for performer Gretchen Wyler a few seasons back. “Ninety-nine percent of the audience had never heard of her,” commented an angry official. Also at the Muny, beloved boxoffice guardian George Walsh retired after a 69-year gig there. . .The beleagured Dr. Bill Landau of WashU med center’s neurology dept. has not only been ousted from the ACLU for uttering the “n” word, but also faces a number of angry docs. The contentious Landau harps about the dearth of “secretaries” at clinical staff meetings and frequently uses his battle cry, “I’ll sue.” After the meetings, docs complain they have double-digit numbers of cases to Landau’s few. Another kind of brouhaha took place years ago there, when the department’s chief Dr. Dennis Choi threatened to evict Landau. Choi backed off after Landau threatened to sue. . .And, August Busch, IV, is telling pals, that he “has left Dodge City for the Ozarks” where he is spending most of his time these days.

* * *

THREE-DOT JOURNALISM, CONT.: Retired P-D reporter Bill Lhotka has scribed a tome about crime in our town, “St. Louis Crime Chronicles: The First 200 Years,” featuring 50 historic events. Among the stories is the one about the murder of Native American Chief Pontiac in Cahokia, Ill., who was buried around Broadway at Chestnut St. The pageturner is due to hit the stalls in October from Reedy Press. .Sam Koplar was spotted checking out the Clayton real estate market with what friends say is a possible move of Koplar Enterprises from its downtown Jello-tower of indecision. . .Carlene Goddard Mazur is now a permanent resident at Delmar Gardens on outer US-64. The unfortunate woman collapsed from a stroke in her kitchen and was left unattended for three days. . .Don’t invitems to the same party: electrical wizard David Payne and wife, Amy, and Sugo Restaurant bossman Michael Del Pietro – all over the eatery’s outstanding debt of $60,000. . .Are the former Harriet Cella and hub Doug Marshall getting separate mail?… Celebrated chef/owner of Niche Gerard Craft, is eyeing the purchase of the venerable Chez Leon in the CWE

* * *

NO ENNUI AT SLU: Prez of St. Louis University the reverend Lawernce Biondi, SJ has been the butt of a few jokes. Some of the administrators refer to the Jesuit priest as “L.B.J”

* * *

TO PONDER: Why the shakedown at our fancy shmancy markets? I mean, they’re touting Kobe Beef, when actually the meat is Kobe mixed with American cattle. A customer was overheard telling a meatcutter at Straub’s, “Real Kobe would be about $400 for six sirloin steaks.” The butcher shot back, “Is there a real American car?”

* * *

Bogart and Bacall

IT’S ONLY MONEY: And, the top-grossing mom & pop restaurant in our town (as opposed to a chain operation) has to be Annie Gunn’s out in Chesterfield, which rang up $6 million last year, according to an insdier.  For this columnist, Annie Gunn’s is a marvelous retreat and the house disease is nostalgia. It’s the kind of place I would imagine could be a fanatastic movie set. Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart might have been embracing in one of those private hutches near the bar. Mixologist Eve Perlmutter excused herself from the brokers and broken  to create whiskey sours for the twosome. Bogie got a tic in his upper lip as he had in “The Maltese Falcon,’ in which he played private eye Sam Spade.  He said to Perlmutter, “In a paternity case, it’s always her child; in a divorce, it’s her children.

* * *

ALL OF MY WASTED LIFE I’ve never seen so many new buildings that are studies in sterility and lone cranes no longer hoisting girders out of a sea of mortgages. There was a time, when topping off of a new building downtown became the lead story. In those days we’d gather for a 35-cent dinner at Garavelli’s on Grand at Olive Street, our baseball heroes were the Browns at Sportsman’s Park on Grand at Dodier Street, where we entered with a Knothole Gang card. I wonder if nostalgia attracts many living people these days. But, back then, anyone worthwhile wore Threadneedle Street shoes from Boyd’s (packaging chief Bob Ragsdale still has a few like-new pairs) and then there were crewcuts. My crewcut appeared as if I had been readied for a prefrontal lobotomy.!


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