As 2019 hurtles toward its conclusion, let us pause for a moment and look back at some of the major stories of the past year. We are pointing out some local, some regional and some national stories and determining if they belong on the “naughty” or “nice” list.
St. Louis Blues
2019 was the year that the St. Louis Blues finally brought home Lord Stanley’s Cup, putting an end to lifetimes of frustration for local fans. The celebration was, well, glorious, and it was made all the better by unofficial teammate Laila Anderson who inspired the whole city.
Conclusion: The nicest thing on ice.
This summer saw yet another round of devastating flooding in St. Charles County. The rising waters of the big muddy river wreaked havoc on families, municipalities and the best laid plans of local government.
Conclusion: The water was naughty, but local communities and volunteers came together to help in the nicest ways. Though it would be nicer if they didn’t have to.
Was 2019 the beginning of the end for the Big Tech companies? It sure feels like it. Facebook, Google and Amazon all received a plethora of terrible press over privacy concerns and monopolistic business practices. The most telling sign of the end of tech dominance, however, might be this: When it came time to roll out their own new products, the Big Tech companies were forced to turn to traditional advertising. The massive spending outside of their own platforms highlights a major flaw in their core business lines.
Conclusion: Big Tech has been naughty for a long time, but now the world is watching.
Celebrating Our Veterans
The St. Charles County Veterans Museum opened in O’Fallon this past spring. The museum was designed to tell the stories of local heroes like Ralph Barrale, a World War II veteran and huge supporter of the museum. Barrale passed in 2018, and his wife, Rose, passed in 2019, but the museum will ensure that men like Ralph are not forgotten.
Conclusion: You will be hard-pressed to find nicer people than the Barrales.
2019 marked the beginning of the medical marijuana movement in Missouri. Already, the state has collected big money in fees from people looking to cash in on the dispensary business. 2020 should see continued steps in what seems an inevitable march toward legalizing recreational use.
Conclusion: What used to be naughty is now generating some nice revenue for Missouri.
2019 turned out to be the final season for the financially troubled River City Rascals minor league baseball team. There was almost nothing so quaint as watching the Rascals play a game on a Tuesday night in June. Young men chasing a baseball across a patchy outfield, chasing a dream really. Old men watching from the seats, chasing the same dream. A Prospect League team will begin playing at CarShield Field in 2020.
Conclusion: It’s naughty to see the end of the Rascals era, but nice to support the new ball club.