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We can think of worse gigs than fixing whirly-birds on a U.S. Navy hospital ship cruising the Pacific Ocean, but that is exactly what Micah Rupp, a St. Louisan (pictured above) is doing in the photo. Rupp is an aviation structural mechanic 2nd Class. His colleague is Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Andrea Ramos, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Rupp and Ramos, both assigned to the Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, are shown conducting maintenance on an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter on the flight deck of hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) in preparation for the vessel’s first mission stop in Timor Leste. The sailors, also known as maintainers, are responsible for upkeep of the aircraft before and after flight. Deployed in support of Pacific Partnership 2016, on this voyage Mercy is scheduled to visit the Republic of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Medical, engineering and various other personnel aboard will work side-by-side with partner nation counterparts, exchanging ideas and building best practices and relationships to ensure preparedness should a tsunami or other disaster strike.

Here, kitty, kitty, kitty and/or puppy, puppy, puppy: Solid Gold Pet is moving from Greenville, S.C., to Chesterfield. Do cats and dogs care that we’re an ag-tech hub? Only to the bottom of the bowl. But if they had the capacity to think about nutrition—and who’s saying they don’t—felines and canines might be pleased to know the company is dedicated to holistic nutrition, and that company officials are happy to be moving closer to its manufacturing and supply-chain base. At the outset, Solid Gold will create about two dozen jobs here, and the company expects to be moved in by late this month. In eye-catching, stylized product packaging—and with names such as ‘Barking at the Moon’ (a combo of beef, eggs and peas … no grain)—Solid Gold markets itself through clutter in the aisle. The products are available online and at select retailers. Do you have trouble digesting gluten? Fido just may, too. Formulations are available that are grain- and gluten-free. The Guv is pleased, but not surprised; Jay Nixon says the Kansas City ‘animal health corridor’ (well, that runs from Manhattan, Kansas, to Columbia, Missouri) is responsible for more than 56 percent of animal-health research, diagnostics and pet-food sales. Pet-food giant Purina is here, and county officials noted that like companies tend to cluster. Solid gold incentives from the state, county and city sweetened the deal for the firm. Add a slobbery ‘Woof’ from us.

With all that’s going on in downtown Clayton, this is a CREW you might like to be pulling for: Commercial Real Estate Women. An association program on developments in the county seat features Mayor Harold J. Sanger discussing current and planned developments in Clayton. It will be held at Varsity Tutors from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Mayor Sanger will update the gathering on Centene’s ambitious plans as well as, we surmise, what’s on tap for the old Schnucks site on the south side of the city. Varsity Tutors is also expected to report on the organization’s new build-out of its Clayton office, 101 S. Hanley Road, Suite 300. And we’d certainly like to know how things are progressing with Chapman Plaza, proposed for the top of the hill of Shaw Park, at the north edge bordering Forsyth Boulevard. Hey, you at the back of the room? There’s a $40 charge for CREW members, $50 for non-members, which includes hors d’oeuvres and cocktails during the networking reception that opens the event.

Ten feet by 20 feet: is it possible that if the global population continues growing at an exponential rate, one day this will be the average size of a public park? We hope not! SWT Design and the City of Maplewood on Friday (Sept. 16) will ‘reclaim’ a parking space in the 7900 block of Manchester for PARK(ing) Day, an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform parking spots into temporary public parks. Some are metered, e.g. in NYC and L.A., giving cause to wonder about tickets. This is a real thing, dear reader. It occurs the third Friday in September. Missed it in 2015 and/or before? Maybe you blinked when you drove by the installation across the street in Maplewood last year. Here, and in most other spots around the world, participants unrolled a 10 by 20-ish-foot swath of Astroturf within the lines that define a curbside parking spot … one, single, solitary parking space. In some cases, real grass—sod—went atop the pavement. (Real grass takes so dang long, much more than 24 hours, to sprout.) This quirky observance has given groups worldwide an opportunity to reimagine public spaces. Some had badminton nets, others had croquet setups. There were park benches, of course, and three-piece combos, a seesaw, and many potted trees and other plants. And golf—miniature golf, to be sure. Just not all together on the same space. I may never whine again about how hard it is to parallel park … and not even grumble so much about coughing up change for the meter next time.

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En plein air doesn’t always mean painting outside in the balmy south of France; it even happens out in St. Charles County. And anyone over 18 from Missouri or Illinois can join in. Bring your gouache equipment, or maybe just some paint and brushes, for ‘Paint Your Parks IV’ in the county parks system—St. Charles County parks, that is. Through Oct. 31, artists may use watercolor, watercolor pencils, oils, oil pastels, the aforementioned gouache technique, or acrylics to paint in one of the following 11 parks:
■ Bangert Island Park
■ Broemmelsiek Park
■ College Meadows Park
■ Heritage Park
■ Hideaway Harbor Park
■ Indian Camp Creek Park
■ Klondike Park
■ Matson Hill Park
■ Quail Ridge Park
■ Towne Park
■ Youth Activity Park

Now, if you can’t find a suitable scene in a park with as romantic a name as Hideaway Harbor, well, there’s no art instruction that could help you. Juror Linda Wilmes, award-winning local plein air painter, will select three submissions for awards; one purchase prize of $1,000 and two honorable mentions of $250 will be awarded at a reception on Thursday, Nov. 10. So, pick your park and start painting it. On a suitable surface such as paper or canvas, please. We seem to have read somewhere between the lines that graffiti will not be accepted. The reception will be held at co-sponsor Foundry art Centre, a fine arts gallery overlooking the Missouri River at 520 N. Main St. The not-for-profit gallery complex features gallery spaces that host juried exhibitions of national and international artists. The mezzanine level features 20 studios where visitors can watch the creative process and interact with local artists. There’s also a children’s gallery where kids can create and explore different artistic activities, and a gallery for emerging artists. Maybe even a temporary home for your park painting, until an art lover snatches it up.