[central west end]
How do you spell mayhem? Some would say ‘S-U-P-E-R B-O-W-L.’ Others would add ‘A-L-C-O-H-O-L.’ A few hours after the pitiful Denver Broncos whinnied their last against the marauding Seattle Seahawks, police say an inebriated man in a Central West End home shot another in the leg during an argument over the game. At press time, the victim was hospitalized and the gunman, a relative, was still at large. Most online comments about the crime were almost as thoughtless as the act itself, but one follower of the story sagely observed: “Booze and bullets don’t mix.”


Speaking of Super Bowl Sunday, most took the annual occasion to kibbitz and nosh, others to, uh, Zumba? Participants in a free Zumba session at Chesterfield Mall before the game gave their all to straining and sweating. Meanwhile, their other halves, no doubt, slurped ’n’ snacked in preparation for an evening of armchair quarterbacking watching very large men strain and sweat for three-plus hours.

Seems there’s a local controversy that almost rivals New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s ‘Bridgegate’ right here in the County seat. There’s no pressure like political pressure, and some would characterize the actions of County Executive Charlie Dooley as outright strong-arming.

Perhaps Dooley is putting his own spin on St. Louis City’s 1 percent employment tax for residents? Dooley has ‘asked’ (air quotes) for county government workers to ‘donate’ (air quotes) 1 percent to his reelection campaign. One could rationalize that many of those employees need to dance with the one that brung ’em … if Dooley’s voted out, they’re back on the bread line, so to speak.

But at a recent meeting out of the office with 50 such workers, Dooley reportedly raised his voice and let loose a profanitylaced tirade that made the amount seem anything but discretionary. Of course, the boss’ spin doctors spun away: Dooley’s just enthusiastic and outspoken, the folks present were all pumped up about kicking off the campaign. Whatever.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Steve Stengel, Dooley’s chief rival in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary election, released a statement declaring he would never subject his employees to ‘mandatory’ campaign meetings or donations.

Dooley has been county exec since 2003, when he was appointed to succeed Buzz Westfall, who died in office.

Kids can bring adults along for breakfast with Sid the Science Kid at the Magic House this Sunday (Feb. 16) to watch as their preschoolers enjoy having pictures taken with the Muppet-like character. Kids can then romp around Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit! Admission ($15 members, $20 others) also provides some private playtime at the museum before it opens to the public. Sid the Science Kid, a half-hour PBS Kids series, debuted in 2008 and ended in September. The exhibit runs through Aug. 31.


To the eight or so families whose dogs have been killed in coyote attacks since December, these wily creatures are not reminiscent of cartoons, but of horror movies.

Six other small dogs have been attacked, but survived, according to Tom Meister, wildlife damage biologist with Missouri Department of Conservation. A dog lover himself, Meister understands how people might view coyotes as the criminals of the canine world.

Unfortunately, dog owners aren’t aware that a coyote may only be responding to a perceived threat from the pet. Many small dogs rush and bark at animals much bigger than they are. All the reported attacks have been at night, when coyotes out hunting squirrels and rabbits are acting to protect their territory or their young, and respond according to instinct.

Dog owners are tempting fate if they let small dogs out to roam alone; accompanied pets, especially those on a leash, are safer. If you do happen to see a coyote, harass it: bang pots and pans, aim for it with the garden hose. But deterrence is key. For instance, clean up seed below the bird feeder, leave outside lights on, don’t leave dog food outside, put out garbage cans only on the morning of pickup and pick up fallen fruit in summer.

Control is difficult, if not impossible; coyotes are crafty animals. Meister says traps have been set around St. Louis Country Club, but because they’re as likely to catch a dog or cat as a coyote, pet owners may disable them. Coyotes are here to stay, Meister acknowledges. Since we can’t get rid of them, he emphasizes, we have to learn to live with them.

[saint louis]
Shen Yun celebrates Falun Gong. Translation: This extravaganza chronicling 5,000 years of Chinese culture through music and dance is reportedly a feast for eyes and ears, but also a strong statement against the authoritarian crackdown on a spiritual movement the Communist regime has perceived as a threat to the state. Reviewers have praised the dazzling production for its ability to thrill, irrespective of message, although its portrayal of political dissent and repression is there for anyone to consider. It’s at the Peabody Feb. 14.

[webster groves]
The NRA would have us believe that the best protection against criminal threats to residents where they live … well, and anywhere else … is a gun. But what if guns are what a criminal is after? Webster cops say burglars broke into a residence on E. Jackson Street and made off with four, count ’em, four guns. Meanwhile, in Kirkwood, cops reported two incidents of missing guns after separate auto break-ins. Six deadly weapons in the wrong hands—not a bad week for the knuckleheads. So if you’re a gun owner, don’t be a knucklehead yourself. Guns must be secured at home, perhaps in a safe for that purpose, to protect against theft … and inquisitive kids who want to play cops and robbers. And don’t forget to unload them.

By Bill Beggs Jr.