Party Boy

29 07 2012
Mardi Gras reveller Stacy Hastie and his pals opened their wallets to Mayor Slay and then cleaned up with a windfall in state brownfields tax credits.

by Will Delaney                                                                             

CPA  and environmental clean-up expert Stacy Hastie toasting the good life.

The Facebook photo shows St. Louis businessman Stacy Hastie quaffing a beer at a party. Two bottles of Jagermeister can be seen sitting on the counter in the background along with other liquor and wine. It may not be the most flattering image, but it appears to capture a certain panache of a man who enjoys the full pleasures of life. Other online snapshots show the chairman and chief executive officer of St. Louis-based Environmental Operations Inc. reigning over the Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball at City Hall in February. He donned a crown and regal robe for that occasion.

Obviously, Hastie knows how to party. He’s been at it a long time. And partying – with the right people – is a way of establishing and maintaining connections in the hazy world where business and politics merge.

Read the rest of this entry »





See No Evil

18 07 2012

St. Louis Forestry Division Commissioner Greg Hayes turns a blind eye to his agency’s clandestine landfill in Carondelet Park.

By Bill Newmann

“A man should look for what is and not for what he thinks should be.”Albert Einstein

Forestry boss Greg Hayes says this dump doesn’t exist.

By all appearances there is a landfill craftily tucked within the trees at the St. Louis compost facility in Carondelet Park. But according to the city official in charge of the site, the dump  doesn’t exist.

On Monday, St. Louis Forestry Division Commissioner Greg Hayes denied the dump site’s existence, which was first reported by the The Journal of Decomposition last week [What a Dump!, July 10].

Hayes’ denial comes on the heels of a response from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources that draws into question the legality of Forestry’s  Carondelet Park landfill. In a response to a request under the Missouri Sunshine Law, DNR verified that none of the required state permits have been issued for the unacknowledged dump.  DNR is the state agency that regulates solid waste disposal.

Renee Bungart, DNR’s public information officer, was unavailable for comment earlier this week regarding the department’s policy on investigating illegal landfills.

Read the rest of this entry »





What a Dump!

10 07 2012

City officials deny illegal dumping in Carondelet Park. The clearing in the background is the location of the alleged illegal landfill.

Cloaked by a grove of trees just beyond public view at the  free-compost site in Carondelet Park, the city Forestry Division is covering up its real dirty work.

by Bill Newmann

With the first bloom of the crocus, the foragers begin to descend on the southeast corner of Carondelet Park with shovels and pitchforks in hand.  Among the gardening set, a visit to the South St. Louis compost pile is a rite of spring.

The pilgrimages, which continue throughout the growing season, have the down-to-earth purpose of adding soil nutrients to front yard rose beds and backyard tomato patches.  Not surprisingly, urban gardeners and  landscapers who participate in this humble ritual have long showered perennial praise on the St. Louis Forestry Division for the free compost and mulch it offers.

There is a dark side to Forestry’s green image, however.

The free compost – tons of it – is littered with every kind of trash imaginable. A stench fills the air next to a fetid clump of trash that has accumulated under a piece of heavy machinery.  Nearby, a green flip-flop protrudes from one compost pile. A hairbrush lies next to another.  Besides the abandoned footwear and the filthy article of grooming, there are countless fast-food containers, Styrofoam cups, plastic water bottles, and aluminum cans.

But the trash isn’t limited to the compost heaps.

Read the rest of this entry »





The One that Got Away

7 07 2012

A federal sting snares the mayor of St. Gabriel, Louisiana in a trashy scam and  links him to a St. Louis con artist who remains on the lam.  

by Will Delaney

As it meanders toward the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River slows and bunches together as if trying to delay the inevitable. The lingering creates a closer bond with the land. St. Gabriel, Louisiana, a sleepy Delta town of 6,600, hugs one of the river’s many serpentine bends south of Baton Rouge. The burg is located in Iberville Parish, the heart of Cajun country, but two thirds of its population is African American. And nearly one quarter of the inhabitants live below the poverty level. The town is noted for being the location of two state prisons, which house more than 2,700 inmates. The other major employer in the area is the petrol-chemical industry. With the exception of Slay Transportation, which has a truck terminal in St. Gabriel, there are few ties to St. Louis, a Midwestern city more than 600 miles to the north.

But that was before Igor Grushewsky came to town.

Read the rest of this entry »








%d bloggers like this: