WPLNA 08.13.19 meeting minutes

Draft until approved at our next meeting. Of particular interest to some may be an event mentioned by Alderman Roddy that Jimmy Edwards, Director of Public Safety will be at Northwest Coffee on Thursday, August 15that 7 pm.  Neighbors are invited to attend. 


Minutes:  08.13.10

President Harold Karabell opened the meeting at Northwest Coffee at 7:00.  The normal order of business was suspended to allow our two guests to present. 

Terri Stipanovich, the founder of Faith That Works, introduced her organization and presented their plan to move into the neighborhood.  Coupling a need for skilled sewers in St. Louis with the need of immigrant women for jobs, Faith That Works began training these women and placing these newly skilled workers with local manufacturers. They plan to move from their current location on McPherson to 12-14 Newstead (the old Police Station, currently vacant).  The new location would house local designers, sewing trainers and state-of-the-art industrial equipment.  In addition to training immigrant women and helping them find fair wage employment opportunities at local firms, she plans to add a design and small batch manufacturing operation employing about 10 women.  They will rebrand themselves as “The Collective Thread” at the new location.  They plan to renovate the 1st floor of this building for their operations, restoring some of the original beauty to the space.  They hope to occupy the entire building in time.  A zoning variance will be needed.  The West Pine Laclede Neighborhood Association unanimously approved a motion to write a letter to the city supporting this zoning variance. Alderman Roddy agreed to shepherd this through zoning.  

You can read about their history, successes and plant at https://faith-that-works.org.  If you are interested in how to support their efforts, see https://faith-that-works.org/engage/.  

Cindy Mense, the Executive Director of Trailnet, spoke of the need to create environments that make walking and biking in St. Louis better for everyone.  Doing so is an important component of making our area a car-optional neighborhood. She spoke of impediments to walking, biking and wheelchairs such as steel plates and crumbling sidewalks and of the need for bicycle and pedestrian safety plans. For pedestrians, she spoke of traffic calming involving changes in street alignment, installation of barriers, and other physical measures to reduce traffic speeds and/or cut-through volumes.  For bikes, there is the Connecting St Louis plan to provide bike lanes from Sarah Avenue near Cortex to Tower Grove Park.  Another method of traffic calming is the creation of Parklets which are small seating area or green space created along a sidewalk or street, especially in space that was formerly roadside or parking spaces. This has been done successfully in many cities and in St. Louis on Demun Avenue.  Trailnet, with funding support from AARP is proposing a parklet at Vandeventer & Laclede utilizing street space but not reducing parking spaces. 

More on these initiatives can be seen at https://trailnet.org/our-work/planning/current-projects/

MINUTES from the July meeting were approved unanimously as written.    


Terry Werner was absent but submitted the following via Harold Karabell 

        $  3,312.86 checking

         $  1,060.85  savings

There was one outlay of $400 to Sue Nauert for landscaping on the west end of the 4300 block of Laclede.


Sue Nauert used the $400 from WPLNA to landscape the areas at the west end of the 4300 block of Laclede Avenue including soil amendments, mulch, edging and planters.  An application to Brightside for a $1,500 Neighbors Naturescaping grant is pending and would provide plants for the area.

Lorraine Simpson, Marshall Michener and other neighbors applied for a Neighbors Naturescaping grant of $1,500 for the cul-de-sac on West Pine at Sarah.  It would provide new mulch, 2 new trees and lots of perennials in planters.  If funded, a work crew and pickup truck will be needed to transport and install everything.  

Lorraine asked if anybody could lend a power washer to clean planters around the neighborhood.  


Harold Karabell has been contacted by a number of members concerned about a robbery and assault at 9:45 pm on the 4300 block of Maryland Avenue.  Even though it’s outside our neighborhood, it’s uncomfortably close. Marshall Michener discussed this with Jim Whyte of the Neighborhood Security Initiative – no arrests have been made to date.  

Lorraine Simpson said a neighbor suffered a garage break-in but did not report to police.  Marshall said that all incidents are data and it is important to report, no matter how trivial.  Lorraine recommended NextDoorSTL for receiving and sharing information, including crime in the neighborhood.  

Comissioner Yusef Scoggin confirmed that the Special Business District was approved with 76% of the vote.  The old SBD provided for security (police, security cameras, and lighting) and the new SDB will provide additional funds for beautification and other improvements.  The next step is to identify needs priorities.  

Alderman Joe Roddy said that Jimmy Edwards, Director of Public Safety will be at Northwest Coffee on Thursday, August 15that 7 pm.  Neighbors are invited to attend. 

He also reported that the City of St. Louis has a budget surplus of c. $23M this year due to unfilled positions (low pay) and to a growth in revenue.  

Nancy Lewandowski made a motion to continue our annual tradition of a $100 donation to Brightside.  The motion was approved by consensus.  

Respectfully submitted, 

Diana Gualdoni