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Posts Tagged ‘Monsanto’

BEEKEEPERS CONFERENCE

More than the termperature may be sticky next month when local beekeeper Jane Sueme, owner of Isabees.com, addresses colleagues from across the U.S. at a three-day conference of beekeepers July 12-14 at UMSL. . .Stickhead Lacrosse, Missouri’s only lacrosse and field hockey store, has changed its name to Stickstop.  No one will be surprised to learn that it’s located in Frontenac. . .St. Louis’ MarketVolt, owned by Tom Ruwitch, and Wilson Monnig Creative, owned by Melissa Wilson, has struck a partnership.  That on the heels of Wilson Monnig’s recognition at IABC’s Bronze Quill Award with Monsanto, Reliv International and Savvis.

JOHN CARNEY: DO-GOODER

Our town was one of the best ideas of mankind.  A sensibly sized city favored by God and nature, spiced by the Italians, Asians, Germans, Greeks and Irish, once run by the Lebanese.  Its cultural life was enriched with Enrico Caruso singing at the old Coliseum, Leonard Bernstein conducting at the Kiel,  the Barrymores and Sarah Bernhadt emoting at the old American Theater.  There were T.S. Eliot and Tennessee Williams writing masterpieces, physicist and Nobel laureate Arthur Holly Compton, whose investigations ultimately led to the development of the atomic bomb and visionaries who financed the historic flight of Charles Lindbergh.  The table on which those visionaries planned their Spirit of St. Louis investments still remains intact at the Racquet Club-east. Corporate giants such as Monsanto, Mallinckrodt, Tums, Ralston-Purina, Emerson, Anheuser-Busch, Brown Shoe and Ravarino-Freshi were birthed here. R-F turned out pasta products that fed the world.  Segue:  Pasta was uppermost in the mind of KMOX radio’s John Carney, when he hosted the “Carney Kids Charities” gambol at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Clayton, that drew more than 450 donors for the Halloween themed event.  During the auction, Carney turned to auctioneer and  Pasta House bossman Kim Tucci and joked, “To think, I went to Tuscany to learn to make ravioli so I could come back here where you charge $9 a serving.”  The organization is rare since it has no one on its payroll and divvies monies raised for six charitable agencies (see carneyskids.org. )  With Carney was his wife, Suzanne and sons, John James and Liam.  KTRS radio’s McGraw Millhaven was also on hand of whom Carney quipped, “He’d have to stay late to have the comedy explained to him.” John Daus of Johnny’s in Soulard provided the sparkle for the event.  He brought in about eight glammies to dress up the evening.  Caneyskids was founded by the broadcaster and Joanie Protzel, who serves as its exec director.  For the walloping evening, Joanie got major assists from her children, Erica and Max, and her husband, Alan.

AND MORE

St. Vincent Home for Children got a $45,000 boost the other night from donors at the Four Seasons Hotel.  That’s where hosts Jeanne and Rex SinquefeldRachel and Travis Brown of Pelopidas and Laura Slay of Slay and Associates plied hundreds of guests with a dinner and music by a Motown-sound band (Arvell & Company).  Sinquefeld and his brother, Jerry, lived at St. Vincent in the 1950s, after their family fell on hard financial times following the death of their father. Rex said to guests, “This organization has an important job.  And, with families struggling in a down economy, our task becomes even more urgent.  The children who come through the center need every bit of tender loving care, and every second of recreational, social, emotional therapeutic and spiritual help we can give them.”  Donors on hand included: Mayor Francis Slay; County Exec Charlie Dooley; Lt. Gov. Kinder; Vince Mannino of R.G.Construction and his wife, Patti; Charlie Brennan of KMOX; Diana Bourisaw of Midwest Charter Solutions; Mark Carlie of Stone Carlie & Co.; Dan Mehan of the Mo. Chamber of Commerce; Sam Fox of the Harbour Group and his wife, Marilyn; Lauren Herring of IMPACT Group; Bob Duffy of The St. Louis Beacon; Antonio Segovia of Monsanto and Guy McCormack of the University of Missouri-Columbia and his wife, Norma.

ADD SYMPHONY NOTES

I thought, as I strolled down Grand Boulevard (nee Grand Avenue), that St. Louis must’ve charmed the world afresh with a great symphony orchestra, for that alone, we should be grateful. After a glance at Powell Hall, I recalled walking with Bill Zalken and Orrin Wightman – both symph execs – to inspect Powell Hall’s predecessor, the St. Louis Theatre.  It was tattered and torn and on the screen was a tattered and torn “The Sound of Music” or as a bitter Lauren Bacall referred to as “The Slime of Music”” Zalken and Wightman were scouting for a venue to hold a party for Monsanto with piano virtuoso Van Cliburn as headliner. They loved the proscenium and the acoustics and the rest is history – a new home for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and a move from Kiel Opera House. Zalken harkened back to the days when he engaged a promising, young composer/pianist by the name of George Gershwin to perform at a “Save our Symphony” benefit. That took place during the Golden Age of Grand Avenue and our town. I joined Zalken and Wightman at Busy Bee on the corner of Grand and Washington Avenues.  That’s when Zalken recalled the time it fell upon him to sign up a resident conductor, after the esteemed Vladimir Golshman retired.  Golshman had charmed audiences and board members for many years. Before knighthood, the distinguished Sir Georg Solti was lured to our town to negotiate a contract. He took the documents with him back to his New York base to discuss it with his lawyer.  The late PR pundit Al Fleishman drove Solti to the airport.  After Solti arrived there, he long-distanced Zalken and told him he tore up the contract. He firmly stated something like, “I’m not coming to St. Louis. Fleishman told me in the car I’d have to appear before garden clubs and the like I don’t do that.”  Click!

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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