Short Cuts

Apparently there isn't room for such nostalgia in the normal Sunday sports section, particularly when there is a perceived

need for a full-page photo/poster of Mark McGwire. So that's what that guy looks like.

Though readers who don't rush out for Sunday's paper on Saturday won't be able to read Broeg, three times each weekday they can hear his words intoned by Bob Costas on KFNS (590 AM). Broeg wrote, and Costas narrated, 200 five-minute reports that document the "Century of St. Louis Sports."

THE SHOW-ME STATE SHOWS UP: Be it corporate welfare, dirty water or urban sprawl, Missouri is making the cut. One Washington, D.C., think tank just named Hazelwood's $17 million tax-increment financing (TIF) project the fifth-worst "corporate candy-store deal" in the country. According to Good Jobs First, the city declared 322 acres of Missouri bottomland a "conservation area" (the next worst thing to a blighted area) so an industrial park could be built and qualify for tax breaks under state laws. When a majority of local residents opposed the project and then signed a petition requiring a referendum for any future TIF giveaways, the city council ruled that the petition was "procedurally flawed."

Another list including Missouri was put out last week by Taxpayers for Common Sense and Friends of the Earth, which considered the Page Avenue extension between St. Louis County and St. Charles County one of the "Worst Roads to Ruin" in America. "The project is excessively costly and will not solve the long-term congestion that the St. Louis area faces," the report states. In addition, the Page Avenue extension will cross the Missouri River, which, because of excessive channelization and bank stabilization, was last week named the second most endangered river in the U.S. by American Rivers in Washington, D.C.

On an up note, we think, Muscle & Fitness magazine in New York just named Mark McGwire one of the "Top Five Best Bodies in Baseball" for the second year in a row. Use of andro apparently wasn't a disqualifier. (MR)

FIVE STARS ARE BORN: Not often is Shelley Winters thought of in the same context as William Danforth, but in the University City Loop, it fits. The former Washington University chancellor and four others will join Winters on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Most recently Danforth helped craft a settlement to the school-desegregation suit. Also having stars laid in the sidewalk are actor and St. Louis native Robert Guillaume, musician John Hartford, activist/politician Harriett Woods and -- last but far from least -- pro bowler Dick Weber. The ceremony is set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 16, next to Blueberry Hill in the Loop. If it rains, the ceremony will be held in the Tivoli Theatre. Some guy named Ray Hartmann is giving the keynote address, but don't let that stop you from showing up -- there'll be a free concert of ragtime and Dixieland jazz.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM: Just how much is Webster University paying former President George Bush to speak at its graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 8? Don't ask Karen Luebbert, executive assistant to the president at Webster. Bush normally gets $100,000 per spiel; Luebbert claims Webster is paying less than that but refused to tell The Journal on campus how much less. Bush's cousin, George Walker, is on Webster's board; hence the appearance. Some type of protest is anticipated; however, history professor/ activist Daniel Hellinger won't be walking out, though he would have preferred a different speaker -- say, someone like Noam Chomsky. Uh, chances are Bush's appearance may inspire a few more donors to reach for their checkbooks than would Chomsky, who isn't exactly known for his corporate connections.... In the Open Mouth, Insert Foot (or Gun) Category, we have NRA president Charlton "I'm holding the stone tablets" Heston speaking at the shooters' convention in Denver, not that far from Littleton and not long after the killings there. His main point was, don't blame guns, for God's sake -- blame the evil people with itchy trigger fingers. Sayeth Chuck: "Somewhere there are evil people planning evil deeds." This was not a subconscious confession of his reason for being at the NRA soiree.... No, we haven't forgotten the concept of the Shannon Koan, so named for Redbird broadcaster Mike Shannon's knack for pronouncing Zenlike puzzles that defy definition. Take this recent one, spoken as Mark McGwire batted: "If you miss inside, Big Mac will put a missing ball into play ... missing as far as the park is concerned." Meditate on that, sports fans.

Contributors: Melinda Roth, D.J. Wilson

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