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Posts Tagged ‘Justin Rigali’

CHARLES LINDBERGH WON THE PRIZE BUT DID HIS RIVAL GET THERE FIRST?

French flying enthusiast Bernard Decre says that a newly-found 1927 U.S. Coast Guard telegram suggests that French aviator Charles Nungesser may have actually been the first to cross the Atlantic non-stop, passing over Newfoundland but perishing in a crash, according to the Wall Street Journal. . .How did vet religion scribe Pat Rice, a retiree of the Post-Dispatch, learn in the summer of ’03 about Archbishop Justin Rigali’s impending promotion to become Philadelphia’s Cardinal? A 23 year-old Philly college student Rocco Pelmo called her out of the blue and said, “No archbishop had ever left St. Louis before, and that somebody would was amazing.” Rice told the Baltimore Sun this week, in a profile of Pelmo, “That was the first time I knew that this kid had incredible contacts,” The young man’s blog, “Whispering in the Loggia,” has since become widely-read among Catholic insiders. . .Former P-D skilled scribe Joe Mahr, now with The Chicago Tribune, just completed a lengthy investigation showing that “convicted rapists, molesters and other violent felons” are getting paychecks from Illinois’ Dept. of Human Services for babysitting kids from lower income families (so their moms and dads can work). The money comes from an otherwise praise-worthy $750 million a-year program that subsidizes child care for more than 150,000 impoverished families. Mahr’s probe found that the agency “poorly vetted babysitters for years,” and even now “lacks safeguards to weed out babysitters who watch children while living in the homes of sex offenders and other felons”. . .

ED MARTIN & CARDINAL JUSTIN RIGALI

A New Mexico journalist who was a burr in Ed Martin’s saddle during his last run for Congress is forming an independent expenditure “527″ group – Independent PAC, that will allow him to target specific candidates, fully independently of campaigns and party.  In a hard-hitting video last year, Mike Corwin raised tough questions about Martin’s close relationship with then-Archbishop Justin Rigali and his possible role in clergy sex abuse cases during Martin’s years in the archdiocesan inner circle. Meanwhile, Rigali has just been named as a defendant in the sixth child molestation lawsuit in the last three months.  He now heads the Philadelphia archdiocese which has been rocked by a recent scathing grand jury report that concluded Rigali “continues to engage in practices that mislead victims, that violate their trust, that hinder prosecution of their abusers and that leave large numbers of credibly accused priests in ministry.”

CARDINAL TIM DOLAN & BISHOP RICHARD STIKA PANNED

It’s been a tough month for several Catholic bishops who hail from our town. New York Archbishop Tim Dolan is accused of “hiding” millions in the Milwaukee archdiocese to keep the funds from going to clergy sex abuse victims involved in litigation. A Texas newspaper reports that Omaha Archbishop George Lucas, who headed Kenrick-Glennon Seminary here, kept silent for months last year after receiving a report of suspected child sex abuse by a priest. This week, Knoxville Bishop Richard Stika, who oversaw clergy sex cases for years, is criticized in a Louisville newspaper. Victims and advocates are blasting Bishop Edward Braxton for appealing a 2008 jury verdict in a clergy sex case to the Illinois Supreme Court. And, most notably, Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali has been excoriated by a scathing new grand jury report there which concludes that his archdiocese “continues to engage in practices that mislead victims, that violates their trust, that hinder prosecution of their abusers and that leave large numbers of credibility accused priests in ministry” and the procedures “designed to help victims that instead are helping the abusers and the archdiocese itself.”

A CHAIN OF FRESTA & TUCCI’S PIZZERIA & BAR, CHEAPO DEPOT AND DIERBERGS MAY BE COMING TO A NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU

Sharon and Kim Tucci

Sharon and Kim Tucci

SCOOPLETTES: Re-development of the former Raffie Vending Co. warehouse on the north side of Forest Park Parkway between Spring and Grand – proposed by the St. John-based Sasak Corp. to be a relatively low-end Holiday Inn Express – has hit an important, likely fatal roadblock. St. Louis University prez Larry Biondi, whose views regarding construction around the perimeter of his midtown campus are highly regarded around City Hall, is withholding his figurative “nihil obstat”… Keep your ears open for more corruption indictments, where something is brewing on the ninth floor of the county government center (not Chaz Dooley)… Mike Reap has done such an outstanding job as acting U.S. Attorney seven months into Prez Obama’s term, insiders are wondering if U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill would show her independence by nominating a career prosecutor for the permanent position. . .The Covalence Ethical Ranking attempts to measure the ethical reputations of 541 multinational companies based in 45 different criteria, including labor practices and product social utility.

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Stelli Siteman

Stelli Siteman's role in a touring production, "Unbelievable," about cancer and written by a cancer survivor.

The 2009 rankings were great news for some St. Louis titans, bad news for others. Large St. Louis employers Boeing Co. at number 40 and Anheuser-Busch InBev at number 56 appeared near the top of the reputation list, ahead of Emerson Electric at number 374 and Peabody Energy at number 396. Firmly anchoring the bottom of the list was Creve Coeur-based Monsanto. which finished at 541st… A former St. Louis priest moves up in the church hierarchy in an unusual shake-up of the Scranton, Pa., diocese in which its bishop is suddenly stepping down because a number of controversies. Msgr. Joseph Bambera has been tapped as administrator of the diocese, taking the reins immediately. Who tapped him for the post? Another former St. Louis Catholic cleric, Justin Rigali, who as Philadelphia’s Cardinal is the top church official in Pennsylvania… Fred Teutenberg has been frozen out of the Dirt Cheap stores despite his 25 percent interest in the shops. So, he has turned around to launch another chain – Cheapo Depot – which will bow soon in metro-east… Downtown, some grumblers note that planning details for the revitalization of the Kiel Opera House have slowed to a snail’s pace as its developers re-examine their financing… Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (@jack) rarely travels unnoticed. Like millions of other users of his popular micro-blogging service, the Bishop DuBourg alumn takes the time to tell the world – in 140 characters or less – what he is doing at any given moment. Dorsey, who now lives in San Francisco (but is apartment hunting in Manhattan), has made private trips to St. Louis in the past. Later this month, however, Dorsey will make an even more public visit to his hometown with stops on the pitcher’s mound at Busch Stadium to throw out the first pitch at a Cards/Cubs contest, at a gathering of social media experts at Webster U. – and, reportedly, at City Hall to visit with tweeting Mayor Francis Slay (@mayorslay)…. Some residents in Lake St. Louis are wondering when Dierbergs is going to build a store on the vast plot of land it owns.

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Mitch and Yael AlveyMR. NITELIFE: “We are going to introduce a new concept from our Pasta House Company in St. Charles,” said J. Kim Tucci, “and it will be called Fresta and Tucci’s Pizzeria and Bar.” His partner in the new venture and also in PHC is Joe Fresta. When boniface Vince Bommarito stopped by to laud Tucci and his wife, Sharon, on their wedding anniversary. Kim tipped that he is supporting state rep Rachel Storch (D-64th Dist.) to fill the seat previously held by beleaguered Jeff Smith. Kim is also taxi commissioner for our town and said, “We’ll allow no taxi on the streets more than six years.” Nearby were psychologist Mitch Alvey with his wife, Yael, who also were toasted on their wedding anniversary. Turning to anxieties, Alvey said that “We use cognitive therapy.. “Some people are afraid to get on an airplane; others afraid of crashing. I usually tell them to change their perspective and it changes how they feel.” Making the rounds in the room, many were spotted dining on Tony’s new creation: cold lobster with white peaches, artichokes and citrus vinaigrette. Famed thoracic surgeon Dr. Nick Kouchoukos and his wife, Judy, pulled up steaks, while colon/rectal surgeon Dr. Ira Kodner with his wife, Barbara, were toasted on their special wedding anniversary. Dr. Kodner, also a WashU Med School prof, tipped that he is closing the school’s Center for the Study of Ethics and Human Values of which he has been the director. . .Over at Chez Leon, Alvin and Ruth Siteman, benefactors of the Siteman Cancer Center, enthused about their daughter/actress Stelli Siteman’s role in a touring production, “Unbelievable,” about cancer and written by a cancer survivor. The show hits the boards on Oct. 16 at Westport Playhouse.

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Susan Bonano with her boyfriend, Dennis Geoghegan

Susan Bonano with her boyfriend, Dennis Geoghegan

Bossman at Chez Leon, Leon Bierbaum said, “If the sale of the restaurant (to Gerard Craft) is a done-deal, I will scout for a location in Clayton.” And, at Truffles, Peggy and Jerry Ritter lamented that a repeat of the BMW Golf Tournament at Bellerive C.C. is not in the future. “The members don’t want it,” said Jerry. Also seen there were Lenny Landsbaum with his wife and heiress to Moog Industries, Donna Moog Landsbaum, said they commute between Phoenix and their condo in a high-rise on Hanley Road. “Laura Orthwein lives there,” chuckled Donna. “It’s time for creativity,” said Paul Chesterton of his switch from attorney to real estater. With Paul was his glammy wife, Beth. And, other faces in the crowd were those of Susan Bonano with her boyfriend, Dennis Geoghegan, who were waiting for the Dolph Busches.

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THITHER & YAWN:Heartland Banks’ Larry Schiffer is telling friends, that he’s bought a dude ranch in Colorado for his grandchildren and “It was expensive,” declared Shiffer to pals… Memo to mouthy mourners:: If you don’t want to spend $50 for a $20 per-person catered buffet at the visitation, don’t write a check and don’t complain to me, but to Peggy Ross, Barbara Smith or superflack Joan Quicksilver, *whom I’ve known since the Boer War, which she handled. . .How’s this for a paper chase? Left-leaning pundits at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch complain that the charming righty Colleen Carroll Campbell is paid more than twice the column rate of her colleagues. . .Gossips at the paper-less St. Louis Beacon wonder about the disposition of a 5,000-word probe submitted by scribe John McGuire two weeks before he died. Spiked is the word.. .Retired Maritz exec Philip Moses – one l, really – who works for the BBB and his wife, Pat, of the Ladue Galleries are beaming – and nervous. Their offspring are stars, Mark Moses, who has been in “Desperate Housewives” and “Mad Men” for the last two years: Burke Moses was in the original Broadway cast of “Beauty and the Beast” as Gaston. “It’s a scary ‘mom’ thing’ – and they’re always looking for jobs,” said Pat. . .Employees of The Shoe Box in South County Center recently found themselves in a kind of show business. Owner Dave Kaplan confirmed that – yes, a young, blonde woman had a double wardrobe malfunction while leaning over during a shoe fitting and no, he’s not enough of a heel (or has too much sole?) to give up the name of the buxom beauty.

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PLAYING THE NAME GAME: One favorite: the St. Louis telephone directory contains a Hitler (and a bunch of Hittlers), a

Peggy and Jerry Ritter

Peggy and Jerry Ritter

Tojo two Roosevelts, 12 Churchills, nine Trumans.. There are also eight Schmucks and 11 Dierbergs. (That’s not a food fight, not a World War.). . .Cindy Lieber, the better half of entrepreneur Lester Miller’s household, confirmed that Lester “has traded in his Rolls-Royce for two Bentleys,” she said. Lester is owner of the popular Lester’s eateries. . .Expatriates Mary and Allyn Glaub were spotted at Beffa Bros. cafeteria and Mary and Al Baker of yesteryear’s leading  restaurant, Al Baker’s, were doing the Miss Sheri’s thing..

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PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: Over the years, many big egos have trod the boards at the fabulous Fox Theatre – though, for sheer chutzpah, few of them have rivaled the megalomaniacs above the stage in the owners’ box. That box is a little less heavy these nights after co-owner Harvey Harris was unceremoniously dropped from the partnership by Mary Strauss.

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HOUSE PROUD: Triple-murder suspect Christopher Coleman was so closely tied to televangelist Joyce Meyer that he was the only person not named “Meyer” to get a home free of charge from the televangelist’s ministry. It was only after an investigation into the federally-banned setup that paid all living expenses for Coleman, his wife Sheri, and their two sons, that Coleman had to go out and buy his own home . Coleman went to Columbia, Ill., to buy the new home – the scene of the ghastly murder of Coleman’s family. Coleman is alleged to have killed them to avoid being fired for getting a divorce. Joyce Meyer has been known to fire workers who have decided to get divorces. Coleman had hoped to pin the murders on someone who hated Joyce Meyer so badly, that the person would kill his entire family. His plan was to then marry one of Sheri’s friends – a dancer with whom Coleman hung out with while out-of-town at Joyce Meyer’s conferences. In addition, Meyer was the first on the scene of the crime in Columbia, Ill., the morning that police found the strangled bodies of Coleman’s wife and two sons.

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Alvin and Ruth Siteman, benefactors of the Siteman Cancer Center

Alvin and Ruth Siteman, benefactors of the Siteman Cancer Center

JUST SKIP IT?: If it were possible to combine bad timing with worse timing, you’d have to tip your hat to former state senator Maida Coleman for a fund-raising letter arriving in some west St. Louis county mailboxes over the weekend.  Coleman, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last April against St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, is asking for $55, $155 or $255 contributions to help settle a tremendous campaign debt.  The bad timing of the letter – months after her losing campaign – is compounded  by the worse timing missive appearing the same week that former senior Coleman advisor Milton “Skip” Ohlsen made political news.. .And I won’t skip the Sept. 17th fete at the Top of the Met in honor of Jim Cloar’s retirement after eight years atop the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis.  Cloar, who arrived in our town from Tampa, is credited with untangling the financial and administrative messes he found at the then Downtown St. Louis Partnership.  He plans to return to the Sunshine State.


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