Today’s Buzz theme is Stephen King’s magnum opus, The Dark Tower series.  There has been some tremendous art associated with that series over the years, and I will share some of my favorite images with you herein.

Right Now with Ben DeClue (Twitter / LinkedIn)

What I’m watching: Another episode of HBO’s Westworld

What I’m listening to:  Weightless, the most relaxing song ever

What I’m reading: Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance

What I’m doing: Catching up on TV


Gwen Ifill, Award-Winning Political Reporter and Author, Dies at 61: Ms. Ifill, anchor of PBS “NewsHour,” reported for The Washington Post and The New York Times, covering Congress, presidential campaigns and national political conventions.

Joe Biden, a Meme for All Seasons: A meme, pared of its particulars, is democracy making fun of itself. And during the eight years of the Obama presidency in the United States, there has been no public figure who has lent himself so readily to memery than Vice President Joe Biden. You can attribute that to a combination of factors—his genial, expressive face; his persona’s mixture of frankness and affability; the fact that he occupies an office that lends itself especially well to fan-fictional speculation; his general intolerance for malarkey—but they have resulted, all in all, in Biden becoming, in the worst way and also the best, a running joke.

Internet Freedom Wanes As Governments Target Messaging, Social Apps: Apps like WhatsApp and Telegram are the latest to face crackdowns, a new report says. Two-thirds of Internet users live in countries that censor criticism of the government, military or rulers.

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  • Supermoon 2016: Last night, and later tonight, skywatchers around the world will be treated to views of this year’s so-called “supermoon,” the largest full moon of the year. Today, on November 14, at 6:20 am Eastern time, the moon approached within 356,500 km (221,500 mi) of Earth, in what is scientifically known as a perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system (perigee: closest point of an elliptical orbit; syzygy: straight line made of three bodies in a gravitational system). Though the moon does appear larger than normal, the size difference is so small that a casual observer would probably never notice. Nonetheless, photographers across the globe set out to capture the event, and collected here are 21 of the most super images of this year’s supermoon. If your skies are clear, be sure to look up around moonrise tonight.

  • The Trump Administration Starts to Take Shape: President-elect Donald Trump’s administration is starting to take shape. In a statement on Sunday, Trump announced that Reince Priebus, the chair of the Republican National Committee, will serve as White House chief of staff. Steve Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, a conservative website that has promoted white ethno-nationalism, will serve as chief strategist and senior counselor to the president.

  • What Does St. Louis Feel Like Now?St. Louis Rises is a short documentary by Andrew Litten that zeros in on a handful of residents’ recent experiences surrounding race in St. Louis. After Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was killed by a police officer in 2014, Ferguson, Missouri, became the center of a national debate around race and policing. Litten’s film allows its subjects to reflect on what racial reconciliation—if any—has happened in the segregated city since Brown’s death. For some, it was a tipping point. “It was kind of like an unspoken thing. You knew how it was in St. Louis, you knew how segregated it was, but when this happened it just brought it all to the forefront,” says one young man. “A lot of people were angry.”

  • Putin and Trump Talk on Phone and Agree to Improve Ties, Kremlin Says: The leaders discussed trade and combating terrorism, with the Russian president saying he hoped for “noninterference in the other’s internal affairs.”

  • Millennials Just Didn’t Love Hillary Clinton The Way They Loved Barack Obama: Young voters showed an increase in third-party support, potentially low turnout, and stronger than expected support for Trump in some key Midwestern states that Clinton lost.

  • The Tricky Nature of Reusing Urban Timber: The benefits of urban trees are well documented, from storing carbon and absorbing rainfall to easing depression and increasing property values. But what happens to our stately benefactors when they come down due to disease, development, weather, or old age? Millions of trees in the United States meet this fate every year; New York City alone cuts down around 8,000 trees annually.

  • The Great Rent Squeeze: “The rent is too damn high” is more than a political slogan. It reflects the harsh reality of increasingly unaffordable housing in America today. Ever since the economic crisis of 2008, American has been in the midst of a “great housing reset”—a shift from home-ownership to renting. But it’s not just that home-ownership that’s become increasingly unaffordable. Renting has too. Between 2001 and 2014, the number of renters who spend more than half of their income on rent grew by more than 50 percent, from 7.5 million to 11.4 million renters.

#LocalGov Confidential

Held in the Jennings jail? You could be owed money: Ten days remain on deadline to file a claim in class-action suit

Despite vote to cap donations, Missouri donors say effort to limit money in politics failed: Although Missourians have voted to end the state’s policy of unlimited political giving, mega-donors say the effort to limit the role of money in politics won’t work and might inadvertently increase the clout of wealthy donors.

Developer proposing apartments for Chemical Building, elsewhere in downtown St. Louis: Among them is reno of the Chemical building

 Historic photo of Negro League’s St. Louis Stars Park is discovered: 1922 image, discovered among items donated to Missouri Historical Society, previously existed only in tall tales.
 High Honors for Lake Bluff Library: The Lake Bluff Public Library is one of the nation’s top 100 libraries in its budget category of $400K to $999.9K, according to the 2016 edition of the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service.  Out of the 1,414 reporting libraries in this budget category, the Lake Bluff Public Library earned an overall ranking of 76th in the nation and is the highest ranking Illinois library in its budget category. The 2016 rankings represent significant growth for the library. Five years ago, the library was ranked 182nd in its budget category nationwide and 5th in Illinois.