Before Ferguson/Beyond Ferguson

Download the PDF

We are at work on a racial equity project. Click on the link to download the first chapter highlighting the challenges St. Louis families have faced over many generations in getting a quality education and securing their purchase on the American Dream. This story and others to follow from a team of reporters, photographers and presentation specialists grew from my work with Forward Through Ferguson, an organization formed in the wake of social unrest and with the goal of achieving racial equity in our region. I have moved on from FTF but continue to believe in using stories as catalysts for change.

These stories are meant to shine a light, engage the mind, touch the heart and serve as a call to action.

We start with the Caldwell family. We will tell of experiences like theirs not just in print but in other dynamic ways. We’ll take our stories and the family members involved into homes, community centers and places of worship. We will promote the concept of #onethingyoucando so that after engaging with our stories, our new friends can begin their own social justice work.

We are identifying sponsors who will help us convene meetings and donors who will financially support the effort. Please join us.

-- Dick Weiss,



The Katrina Animal Rescue Effort

Pets have played a large role in my life as a writer. Here's an example of a tale (tail) I told about the Humane Society of Missouri's rescue effort during Hurricane Katrina.


Cloudy forecast for the Post-Dispatch...

 ... but as Annie sang, the sun could come out tomorrow. Lee Enterprises' annual report listed its auditor's finding that questioned the company's ability to remain "a going concern." Even so, media analyst Alan D. Mutter notes that Lee still produces a larger operating profit, percentage-wise than Exxon. The problem is the debt Lee took on to purchase Pulitzer properties, including the Post-Dispatch in 2005. Here are links to Mutter's analysis and others that describe the situation. 

What's next for Lee -- Allen Mutter

No champagne for Lee -- Fitz & Jen, an Editor and Publisher blog

The "going concern" letter -- Jim Gallagher, business writer for the Post-Dispatch writing on behalf of the Newspaper Guild

Debt trouble at Lee triggers auditor's warning -- Associated Press

-- Dick Weiss



Elizabeth Edwards: Right On The Money

 Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of the former presidential candidate, offers a trenchant critique on the media in an op-ed piece in the New York Times. Click on the link below.

Bowling 1,  Health Care 0

-- Dick Weiss



Forest Park: The Jewel of St. Louis

Enjoy the memories and rich history of St. Louis' famed Forest Park in this new book from St. Louis Post-Dispatch books.

"Forest Park: The Jewel of St. Louis" features nearly 200 rich archival photographs dating from the founding of the park -- more than 130 years ago -- to the present. The accompanying text, written by St. Louis natives Sally J. Altman and Richard H. Weiss, takes readers on a fascinating tour of the park, revisiting its founding, the 1904 World's Fair, the construction of the zoo, the Muny Opera, Saint Louis Art Museum and Art Hill, the History Museum, Steinberg Rink, Science Center and much more.

Plus there's a look back at key events, people and famous zoo critters, such as the Great Forest Park Balloon Race, Marlin Perkins, Phil the Gorilla, Siegfried the Walrus and the most dainty elephant Miss Jim.

Read about the book in the Post-Dispatch book section.

Listen to Sally and Dick talk about the book on Don Marsh's St. Louis on the Air on KWMU. (90.7-FM).

Visit the Post-Dispatch Store, get a preview look and buy the book.




St. Louis Magazine Shines A Light On The Platform

St. Louis Magazine has a new edition out with a story on The Platform, a nascent online journal that will feature meaningful and interesting stories about St. Louis. It was founded by a group of St. Louis-Post-Dispatch expatriates, including yours truly. Click here to read it online: St. Louis Magazine.

-- Dick Weiss


National Night Out: Your Tax Dollars At Work

Matt A Peskin, the man who created National Night Out (coming up Tuesday, Aug. 7 in a neighborhood near you) is paid a salary of $255,000 plus $42,000 in benefits to oversee an organization with just one full-time employee. Part of his salary is supported by a federal grant. In other words you pay for it. There's no evidence that neighborhood watch groups spawned by Peskin's organization prevent crime. There's some evidence that it makes people feel better about their neighbors. Worth it? Read the Philadelphia Inquirer's story and decide.


Forty-One Questions For The Candidates

Tired of hearing the presidential candidates answering the same old questions from the press. Here' some that may be illuminating and throw the  pols off their talking points. Thanks to John DeGroot, a writing coach and a former staffer at the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for sharing these questions at one of his workshops.  -- Dick Weiss

1. What is your earliest memory?

2. Tell me about your mother and father - what were they like?

3. Who had the greatest influence on you during your childhood?

4. Describe a typical day in your childhood.

5. Do you remember your first day of school?

6. What teacher had the greatest impact on you?

7. What was the happiest day of your childhood?

8. What was the saddest day of your childhood?

9. What was your first personal experience with death?

10. Did you have pets?


High School Journalists Speak Out Against Drug And Alcohol Abuse

 For the last few years I've been working with Healthy Communiites of St. Charles County on a program that encourages student journalists to write compelling stories about ways to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and to foster healthy lifestyles. Each year students have risen to the challenge with stories that both touch the heart and the mind.

And each year we present awards for the very best stories. This year's winner is Megan Ogar (left) of Fort Zumwalt West High School for her story about a fellow student who lost her father in a drunk driving accident. You can read that piece by clicking here: Drunken Disaster. Zach Vicars of Francis Howell High School took second place with his story about two smokers, one a high school student, and the other an adult who paid the consequences for his inability to kick the habit. Follow this link to read that story: From First Light To Haunted Night. Megan won tickets to a Cardinals game and Zach won tickets to a Rams game for their efforts. Thanks to the Lowenbaum Partnership and the St. Louis Rams for donating the prizes.

-- Dick Weiss



Best High School Column In The State

 Here's a great column written by Katharine Weiss, an editor and columnist for the Clayton Globe. She is distantly related to the head of WeissWrite LLC, Dick Weiss. Actually, she lives in his house. This column about Katharine's visit to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem won first place at the Show Me Awards competition at the University of Missouri. Read it and you'll see why. (Scroll down to the second page on the PDF).