Musician John Bolduan In-Studio Guest from Bilbao, Spain Today!

We’re very happy to announce that we’re scheduled to have native U. City musician John Bolduan as a guest, in-studio, today for the next episode of “The Show with Rod Milam“.

Musician John Bolduan as he performed at The Focal Point in March of 2014. (Photo by © Rod Milam and seen as part of The University City Musician Documentary Project)

Musician John Bolduan as he performed at The Focal Point in March of 2014. (Photo by © Rod Milam and seen as part of The University City Musician Documentary Project)

John is a singer, guitarist, and song writer that currently lives in Bilbao, Spain and is back in his home town for a couple of weeks to visit family and to perform.  Click here to tune into the program today from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm on The U (UMSL Radio) for our chat with John and for a performance or two: http://streamer2.umsl.edu

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TODAY: Final Test Run for “The Show with Rod Milam” from Noon to 2pm CDT (-5 GMT) (Music from the 1980s)!

http://streamer2.umsl.edu

Hey everyone! Rod here. Everyone around the world has heard a lot about St. Louis in the news over the past week and a half because of the issues going on in #Ferguson, just north and west of this picture of the city’s Gateway Arch (the US’ largest national monument).

Well, we won’t be talking about that this week (but who knows when we kick off “The Show” officially next Wednesday…), but I will be going on the air this week from 12:00 noon through 2:00pm CDT (that’s 1:00-3:00pm EDT and -5 GMT) and I’d love to have you along. Just click on this link and you’ll be able to hear everything from a browser, iTunes, mobile device, or Windows Media Player: http://streamer2.umsl.edu

I plan on bringing you the first “A Prince, The Police and a Posse” feature, “A Make/Remake”, and “Free Samples” in the mix of music that I do.  That and some other sounds from the 1980s should be enough to fill up our now confirmed weekly 2 hour slot in the middle of the week.

So I hope you join us today and spread the word to all of your friends about the program.  Follow us on all social media outlets too:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/ucitykid88
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ucitykid88
YouTube: http://youtube.com/ucitykid88
Instagram: http://instagram.com/ucitykid88
Tumblr: http://ucitykid88.tumblr.com
Main Website: http://ucitykid88.com

Thanks and can’t wait to keep the tests running up to the official start!

A view of the Gateway Arch from the Metrolink going over the historic Eads Bridge over the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri.

A view of the Gateway Arch from the Metrolink going over the historic Eads Bridge over the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri.

The Widespread Spreading of Unconfirmed “News” By The Masses Can Easily Lead To Less Real Information

Hello all.  This wasn’t the plan for my first post as host of a coming relaunch of “The Show with Rod Milam” online via http://umslradio.com but I feel that circumstances demand a clear statement from me and how I plan  on conducting my program in general when it comes to the information that I will give and the news that I broadcast around the world.

This is basically a repost of what I wrote on my personal Facebook status update, but made “Public” for all to see regarding the seeming escalation in some social unrest that is currently going on in some sections of the St. Louis, Missouri metro area (Ferguson) after the shooting and subsequent killing of an unarmed, young black man by an older, white Ferguson police officer.  The fact that this happened is not in dispute.  But the events that lead up to the shooting and what has happened in the last couple of days as a reaction to the shooting are quite varied.

I will NOT be commenting or opining on the actual events, but the subject of this post is what I think is a needed caution to all of us that exist online with social media accounts.  Whether you know it or not, you hold a powerful tool in your hands and under your thumbs.  And if you don’t use it wisely, you can, unwittingly, not help situations that you are only trying to understand and make better.

On to my post from Facebook…

[Mounts soapbox] Hello St. Louisians. I’d caution all here on Facebook about speculating on what is/was going on at The Galleria this evening (and the larger unrest that’s going on in certain sections of the metro area).

I can see from my newsfeed that some people were actually in the mall when some of the purported activity was going on. They are telling different stories that those that weren’t there AND that are on traditional media. These eyewitnesses probably have a MUCH better take on what was going down at the time. The traditional press is going to be the press and is not going to be able to get the fullness of the story (read: not just “both” sides, but “all” sides of what is going on. It’s not black & white…pardon the expression), but that doesn’t mean that they’re going out of their way to skew the story.

As a former member of the press and someone that is used to taking a much more considered measure of things before “broadcasting” information, I really think that all should really be very, VERY wary about spreading every tidbit of information they hear on FB and other social media without proper confirmation and thought. Social media is an awful place to get full context about what is going on and a very effective place to spread simple things rapidly. Please resist the urge to just “Share” and “Retweet” every little thing you see. In this increasingly tense time brewing in the St. Louis area, quick-fingered posting of all information and non-skeptical thinking about news from any quarter can easily make the situation in town worse for everyone.

This won’t be a popular statement or an easy thing for people to do. But I feel that I’d be failing any journalistic training and practice that I’ve had if I failed to put this up for all that follow what I do and say on FB to see. Feel free to “Share” this post if you agree. [Dismounts soapbox]

Five Days On – University City April 2014 Tornado (1), University City Trees And Homes (0)

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This old tree at the intersection of McKnight Road and Spoon Drive, the epicenter of the tornado destruction in the early morning hours of April 3, 2014, is still laying in its twisted state 5 days later on the western edge of the Ruth Park public golf course.

(All Photography © Rod Milam)

Five days after the rude 5:26am wake up call that the western section of University City, Missouri received in the form of an F1 tornado, there are still visible and raw signs of the power of the relatively “weak” twister.

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Street signs, utility poles, and fully toppled old growth trees litter the easements and sidewalks of the recently reopened main drag of McKnight Road.  Demolition teams and tree cutting services also dot the neighborhood and Ruth Park public golf course along with uprooted tree stumps as clean up continues nearly a full week after the series of storms last week that brought a double punch of grape-sized hail and tornadic conditions within the span of 16 hours.

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And while there was, thankfully, no loss of life or serious personal injury as a result of the rough start to spring, the trail of crushed cars, shingle-less roofs, and damaged or condemned homes still hurt those that survived the initial touchdown path of the 1/2 mile long trail that the tornado blazed.

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Caution indeed….

April Roars In For The City Of Lions

Comp of hail storm and tornado damage.

(l) A University City neighborhood during a hail storm at about 1:30pm on April 2, 2014, and (r) the aftermath of a probable tornado that passed through U. City in a different section of town at 5:20am on April 3rd.

The weather in March of 2014 in St. Louis/U. City may have come in like a lion and gone out like a lamb, but April has shown that it refuses to be upstaged in the drama department by its predecessor on the calendar.

On Tuesday afternoon, April 2, 2014 at about 1:30 a fairly strong, but typical, thunderstorm was passing over University City.  There didn’t seem to be any excessive wind.  But the large falling rain drops slowly converted into larger, grape-sized hail stones that came pelting down on the middle third of the city and left a layer what looked like snow blobs on every flat surface.  (Click here to see the hail storm in action.)

This hailstorm was part of a series of other storms that hit in the region. The video I posted was interesting enough that both ABC’s and NBC’s evening news programs wanted to use the video for their broadcasts.

ABC Evening News Featured Video

The ABC Evening News With Diane Sawyer used the linked video to talk about this and the other storms that passed through the Midwest on the anniversary of the largest recorded outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded.

Then, as if the dinged cars, bruised tree buds, and gumball (sweetgum) cull wasn’t messy enough as a result of that storm, only 16 hours later at about 5:30am on Thursday, April 3rd while I was working a graveyard shift in Earth City, my father reported hearing the tell-tale “freight train” sound during another round of thunderstorms passing through U. City.  Sure enough, given the path of downed trees, shingle deprived roofs, and toppled power lines, it appears as though a low-grade tornado made its way through town.

Possible Tornado Path

This is the path of the twister that I estimate based on the number of downed trees and level of detritus I observed as dawn broke.

By the time I made my way back east to town, the University City police had shut down McKnight road from one end of Ruth Park to the other because of a number completely uprooted trees and telephone polls.

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These city worker trucks are about a block away from the biggest damage, but this street suffered quite a bit as well.

Fortunately, it appears that the initial touchdown hit over the town’s public golf course (Ruth Park) which is only permanently populated by rabbits and squirrels in the pre-dawn hours and was certainly empty of the local duffers that may have been out during daylight hours on a nicer day.

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The last thing that these felled old evergreens gave the city was a distinct aroma of pine from their abrupt and harsh last nights sleep on Groby Road.

Moving southeast away from Ruth Park, there was more evidence to be found about the path of the twister.

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No one in this house off of Old Bonhomme Road was reported as injured. Certainly they’ll have to be on the phone to both their home and auto insurance companies later on today.

Then even further southeast on Gannon Avenue, a sight that I’ve never seen went by…a Metro (Bi-State) bus was diverted from Delmar Boulevard down this damaged street because a big section of Delmar was shut down because of more downed trees and a broken gas main.

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This big bus had to bob and weave its way down this tiny side street since I didn’t fair much better than the main drag that it usually travels.

At the time of this post, I’ve seen no official word of whether or not this was officially a tornado nor any word on what strength the twister may have been.  Having seen much worse post tornado damage in the past, I guess that this was a low-level one at best, maybe an F0 or F1 on the Fujita Scale.  Most importantly, it doesn’t appear as though anyone was hurt.  But even if this wasn’t the strongest tornado to have ever hit this area of St. Louis, it was bad enough for those that it hit directly.  More news will certainly come out in the coming hours.  (Hopefully, most of it benign. )