The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that the Friedens Neighborhood Foundation will receive a $400,000 grant to start a new YouthBuild program in the Hyde Park neighborhood of north city.
YouthBuild works to unleash the positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their lives. The program emphasizes leadership development, neighborhood service and the creation of a strong community of adults and youth committed to each other's success.
The HUD grant will enable 40 unemployed and undereducated people ages 16-24 to work toward their GEDs while learning construction skills by building affordable housing. Participants will gain hands-on experience by rehabbing the deteriorating Old German School Building at 1908 Newhouse Avenue into two residential units.
North St. Louis YouthBuild will be based in the 63107 zip code, an area in great need of such a program. 34.3% of the families in the 63107 zip code are below the poverty level, 3.7 times the national average. 22.1% of the civilian labor force is unemployed, 5.5 times the national average. The dropout rates at Vashon and Beaumont, the two general attendance public high schools serving the area, are 23.5% and 31.8%, respectively, compared to a national average of 4.4%. 74.3% of the children in the 63107 zip code receive food stamps, compared to 13.3% nationally.
The Friedens Neighborhood Foundation's major partners for the YouthBuild program include the Friedens Church Council, the Friedens Cemetery Board, the St. Louis Public Schools, The Commonspace, Life Crisis Services and Ameriprise Financial. The foundation also runs a community garden, weekly community lunch, food pantry and neighborhood health program.
YouthBuild was founded in East Harlem, NY, in 1978 by Dorothy Stoneman. Last year, there were 226 YouthBuild sites in the U.S.
Hometown hero-curmudgeons Son Volt, and more specifically their song "World Waits for You," will be featured on this Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy. Watch for the iTunes downloads to ramp right up after 9 p.m. CST -- that show ain't nothin' but a soundtrack vehicle.
Oh, I love it so!
Well, that was inevitable. The Dave Drebes Players have a MySpace page. The lineup is Dave Drebes (vocals, piano/keyboard, songwriter, namesake), Jenna Bauer (bass), Fred Hessel (guitar), Matt Siemer (guitar) and Jeff Smith (drums). Butler Miller and I are the guys behind the guys (and girl). Look for a couple of live shows and a CD in December.
But at least that West County venue has ankled the redundant "UMB Bank Bank Bank Pavilion" moniker, in a new deal that has Verizon at the reins and the name "Verizon Wireless Amphitheater" on the marquee. We are slightly mystified (and not a little scared) by this revelation: "concert-goers will be able to interact with the crowd using their cell phones."
Whatever, dude. I must admit that since I got old and cranky, there hasn't been a show in at least four years (and there've been some I would've loved!) that could lure me out there. But I allow that reasonable people may disagree.
Congratulations to Fred and Amy Stringer Hessel on yesterday's arrival of Camille Rachael Hessel, the baby heretofore known as Lil Snapper. She's only one day old and already being blogged about impressive.
Local jazz-pimping outlet DeBlaze & Associates just released the results of their nationwide poll -- asking jazz broadcasters and writers from across the country which spots they considered the "Top 10 Jazz Cities" -- and here's the list:
"1. New York
2. New Orleans
3. Los Angeles
6. San Francisco
10. (Tie) St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit"
Um, so did we really tie for 10th? Was that just because they felt sorry for us, or felt some pressure when the St. Louis firm came a-callin'? I guess I'm okay with it, though when I spent time in Seattle earlier this year, I didn't notice an immense jazz outpouring, whereas we've got a lot going on, both now and historically.
"Private Enemy" in The Village Voice by Ben Westhoff, RFT staff writer
"Dirty tactics fail in Missouri" in Salon by Dave Drebes, Arch City Chronicle publisher
St. Louis County Associate Circuit Judge Barbara Ann Crancer is Jimmy Hoffa's daughter. I picked up this nugget from Phi Beta Kappa's newsletter, The Key Reporter. (Barbara's a member, too.) Among the many joys of a liberal arts education is the lifelong buildup of inconsequential trivia.
The important question is, as a Detroit native living in St. Louis, who did she root for in the World Series?
Cardinal Nation has a new anthem courtesy of Jonathan Toth from Hoth, Huggie Brown and Abe tha Babe. You can listen to "Dem Redbirds" on Jonathan's MySpace page. It'll be on the upcoming Mr. Blonde, Mr. Brown album.
Does anyone else remember 1982's "Talkin' Baseball (in St. Lou)" by Terry Cashman? My dad bought the 45. I played the heck out of that and "Pac-Man Fever," which came out the same year. Jeez, I'm old.