Thursday, March 8, 2012

Welcoming Oktoberfest

We heard that the Oktoberfest drunk is no longer welcome in Lyon Park, located between A-B and the Defense Mapping Agency south of Soulard. Apparently the Map Factory considered the Oktoberfest to be a "national security" problem, so they cartographed it off their front porch.

This was confirmed by Ninth Ward Alderman Kenneth Ortmann, who said that 2011 was the last year the Oktoberfest event would be allowed to use Lyon Park, and that Organizer/Owner John McKinstry would have to find another location.

One suggestion was that the festival move across the highway and find a new home in Cherokee Park, located in the Benton Park neighborhood. Commented Alderman Ortmann: "Over my dead body."

We sure wish Seventh Ward Alderman Phyllis Young was as forceful in giving the bum’s rush to those whose only intent is to exploit the neighborhood, make a mess and undermine any sense of community. Soulard Farmers Market put up with this pay-for-drunk and its turmoil for many years before Oktoberfest got the boot to Lyon Park two years ago, and Soulard residents have put up with Oktoberfest profiteer John McKinstry and his b.s. ("The only reason we put on Oktoberfest is to help the neighborhood") for the duration of this debacle with its associated trash and violence.

Read the SRG General Membership Meeting minutes for Feb. 1, 2012, under Old Business: "Soulard Oktoberfest has not paid SRG and that group does not currently have funds to pay us. John M invited to March 7 meeting to explain his plans for payment. Board to decide how to move forward."

In other words, McKinstry has not yet paid the SRG their cut for operating a booze booth at the 2011 Oktoberfest. We understand the cut amounts to around $7200. Could McKinstry be claiming that "I can’t pay you because a dingo ate my proceeds?" SRG gets no respect, and they don’t deserve any for being so stupid as to associate with that greedy clown, John M., as they call him. A ship of fools, gladly accepting the mooky end of the stick.

Meanwhile, where is this miserable event going to land? Back to the future at Soulard Farmers Market? In Forest Park? In Mayor Slay’s neighborhood? In the middle of the Mississippi River? Soulard gadfly Paul Kjorlie describes Oktoberfest as "the party that nobody wants," and he seems to have hit the nail on the head.

Addendum: The March 7 SRG meeting was a no show for John McKinstry and his money. Information is that he stiffed other non-profits ("thanks for the free labor, fools") who manned booths. If only we could remember what month Oktoberfest was held, we could calculate how many months have gone by without his paying his bills. Well, we are sure that things will be rectified by the next Oktoberfest. Actually, we plan to attend that one. For the frauleins!


Anonymous said...

Have you ever looked up John McKinstry's "Broker Check" report from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's website? It's a pretty horrifying list of violations, fines, complaints, and suspensions. I'll let you read the gory details yourself (it's quite a read). How can someone with a background like this be taken seriously enough, for long enough, to even start something like the Soulard Oktoberfest? Hasn't anyone investigated this guy?

Anonymous said...

The man's a dishonest, hateful weasel. He bought a lawyer by importing her from Russia and putting her through Harvard and then funding the Wash U law department. His organization's operation and structure does not qualify as a non-profit organization, and should lose its status immediately. The Oktoberfest would be a nice event to continue, but it needs to be done without McKinstry.