Ann Wagner Fundraising Pleas Say President Obama Personally Attacked Her -- But Did He?

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via Facebook
Representative Ann Wagner.
Update below: Here's one reason to donate to Rep. Ann Wagner, a Republican from Ballwin who represents Missouri's second congressional district: President Barack Obama is personally attacking her.

So says Wagner in recent fundraising tweets and e-mails. "Did you hear what President Obama said about me?" she says in one tweet and "I thought I've seen it all - but when the President attacks you personally- you know you have ruffled some feathers," in another.

There's only one problem, which some critics have pointed out to Daily RFT: Neither the president nor the White House have said anything about Wagner.

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Forest Park Named One Of The Most Beautiful City Parks In The World (PHOTOS)

Categories: Environment, News

via Facebook
St. Louis is home to one of the most beautiful city parks on Planet Earth!

So says a new top ten post from Yahoo, which has listed Forest Park as one of the best urban parks in the world, one of only four American locations to make it on the list.

Take that, haters!

The website's Travel & Leisure list puts St. Louis' Forest Park in the top ten alongside City Park in New Orleans, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and Balboa Park in San Diego.

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Untreated Wastewater Flows Into Mississippi, River Des Peres, Possibly 1 Million Gallons

Categories: Environment

Lemay Wastewater Treatment Plant.

A broken valve at an Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District pump station yesterday caused untreated wastewater to discharge into the River des Peres, officials say. That break happened less than three-quarters of a mile from the Mississippi River, eventually causing the discharge of wastewater from a site in south St. Louis county.

Given heavy rains, officials believe that the total volume that flowed could be up to 1 million gallons -- and as a precaution are warning residents to avoid contact with the rivers for the next two to three days.

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Walmart Improperly Dumped Hazardous Waste in Missouri, Must Pay $82 Million

Categories: Environment, News

Officials with Walmart pleaded guilty this week to mishandling hazardous materials at retail stores in Missouri and California -- and as a result will have to pay a total of more than $110 million in fines to resolve these cases. The company, authorities say, violated a slew of federal and state environmental laws.

"By improperly handling hazardous waste, pesticides and other materials in violation of federal laws, Wal-Mart put the public and the environment at risk and gained an unfair economic advantage over other companies," Ignacia Moreno, assistant attorney general for the justice department's environment and natural resources division says in a statement. "Today, Wal-Mart acknowledged responsibility for violations of federal laws and will pay significant fines and penalties, which will, in part, fund important environmental projects in the communities impacted by the violations and help prevent future harm to the environment."

What kind of violations occurred in Missouri?

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West Lake Landfill: EPA Says No Radioactive Hazards As Activists Scrutinize Bridgeton Fire

Bridgeton Landfill.
In March, concerns about the incredibly smelly landfill in Bridgeton reached a new level when environmental groups warned of a possible "dirty bomb." The question was whether the Bridgeton Landfill's increasing stench -- tied to an underground fire -- could prove to be especially hazardous, given that there are radioactive wastes at the West Lake Landfill on the very same complex, which is located in north county.

And this month, the controversy at the two adjacent landfills was in the national spotlight when Rolling Stone published a feature titled "St. Louis Is Burning."

But yesterday -- days after environmental activists raised alarms about increasing temperatures around the Bridgeton Landfill -- the Environmental Protection Agency released a report shooting down some of the concerns about radiological wastes. The radiation at West Lake Landfill does not pose any health hazards, the EPA says.

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2013 World Naked Bike Ride In St. Louis Set For July 27 (PHOTOS)

Categories: Environment, News

Steve Truesdell for RFT
Mark your calendars, cyclists/ environmentalists/ people who enjoy getting nude in public! The folks behind the 2013 World Naked Bike Ride have just announced that the annual ride is set for Saturday, July 27 in St. Louis. With favorable weather -- although, once your naked, a little rain never hurt! -- organizers expect there to be record turnouts.

"We're getting a lot bigger and a lot more mainstream," coordinator and co-founder Stephanie Co tells Daily RFT. "It's...exciting for us."

The sixth annual "bare as you dare" ride will kick off at the parking lot on South Grand Boulevard and Hartford Street at 6 p.m. for a pre-ride festival that includes "live music, live art, an expo of bicycle, environmental, and body acceptance organizations and businesses, speakers, and a rally." Activism, nudity, exercise and more!

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Is Congresswoman Ann Wagner A Climate-Change Denier? Warns Of "Unsound Science"

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Ann Wagner.
Is Missouri congresswoman Ann Wagner a climate change denier?

Organizing for Action-Missouri, the nonprofit offshoot of Barack Obama's reelection campaign, is staging a protest today to pressure Wagner to acknowledge that climate change is real. Why Wagner? The group says that the Missouri Republican has dodged questions of climate change in the past, and one local volunteer with the organization points Daily RFT to comments she made in an e-mail that are alarming to some environmental advocates.

Wagner wrote, "The field of climate science is in its relative infancy and it appears that some within the public policy world have made dubious assessments of scientific information in order to further their own political agenda. Our policy response to this dilemma should not be based on inconsistent and unsound science or driven by the fear of a supposed catastrophe."

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Bridgeton Landfill Agreement: Will Officials Eliminate Horrible Odor, Protect Residents?

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After months of controversy regarding the smelly Bridgeton landfill -- with heated debates about the cause of the awful stench and the potential health hazards -- the Missouri attorney general's office and the company behind the site have hammered out an agreement.

Republic Services, parent company of the landfill, and Attorney General Chris Koster, who sued, unveiled a legal agreement yesterday, which includes details on relocation opportunities, a timeline on efforts to reduce the stench and funding plans for ongoing monitoring of air quality.

Environmental activists, however, say the plans don't go far enough to protect local residents in the coming weeks -- in part, because some in the surrounding areas may have to deal with an increasingly putrid odor.

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Parking Meters That Accept Credit Cards? St. Louis Launches "No Change, No Problem" Pilot

Categories: Environment, News

via KTVI
Meters of the future!
Starting today, St. Louis will offer limited parking meters that accept credit cards as part of a pilot program to explore a potential overhaul of meters throughout the city.

That means that in certain select locations, you can park in a metered spot...without quarters. Hooray!

"We realized that St. Louis was behind the curve a little bit," Treasurer Tishaura Jones tells Daily RFT.

Where can you find these special meters?

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Bridgeton Landfill: Foul Smell Getting a Lot Worse, Officials Offer Alternative Housing

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Worker at the landfill.
The folks behind the smelly Bridgeton landfill are moving forward with a project that they say, in the long run, should make the site a lot less smelly. In the interim, however, it's going to get worse -- potentially a lot worse.

Which is why Republic Services, parent company of Bridgeton Landfill LLC, is offering residents who live within a one-mile radius of the landfill free, alternative housing over the next month or so in hotels.

Why is it getting smellier? The company has planned "intensive work" that requires excavating small sections of the landfill to remove concrete pipe sections. "As a result, this work may increase the odor for local businesses and residents," Republic says. Now, at least, some may be able to escape the stench -- if they choose to relocate.

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