WPLNA Meeting on Tues. 3/10/19 at 7:00

The West Pine Laclede Neighborhood Association will meet on Tuesday, March 10th at 7 pm at Northwest Coffee, 4251 Laclede (at Boyle).  All are welcome!

Our featured guest speaker will be Alfred Montgomery, candidate for the Sheriff of the City of St. Louis. 

As a neighborhood association, the WPLNA is a completely non-partisan organization. It does not endorse specific parties, individuals, or pieces of legislation.

The WPLNA does welcome, however, brief appearances by any and all candidates for public office at our monthly meetings, solely in the interest of creating a better-informed electorate.

The minutes from our January meeting and copied below and will be presented for approval at the upcoming meeting. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday. 

WEST PINE LACLEDE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION

Minutes:  02.11.2020 –  DRAFT until approved at upcoming meeting

President Harold Karabell called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. 

MINUTES from the January meeting were amended to show $1,061.52 balance in our savings account and approved as amended.  

TREASURER’S REPORT – Terry Werner  – No change from January

  • $7,327.64  – time deposit account 
  • $2,027.98  – checking   
  • $1,061.52 – savings

Reminder:  annual dues will be due soon 

BEAUTIFICATION: 

All three arbor gates at the community garden need to be replaced.  After exploring funding options from Gateway Greening and finding nothing appropriate, Erv Janko was asked to provide an estimate. He said two years ago it would have cost $300 in materials to replace all three arbors. Based on this estimate, Diana Gualdoni requested funding for 50% of the material costs, up to a maximum of $200 from the association for the materials to replace three arbor gates. The balance will come from community garden reserve funds.  Erv generously offered to donate his labor.  The motion was seconded and approved.  By next month, we’ll have actual costs rather than an estimate.  

Update on the median planters on Forest Park Avenue:  Diana Gualdoni said Parks Department is actively seeking quotes to bring water and a basic irrigation system to each of the 5 planters.  Diana and Marshall Michener are still waiting to hear back from Cortex regarding our request to meet with them to discuss their possible participation in the planter project.   

DEVELOPMENT

Ron Coleman, Neighborhood Improvement Specialist:  Anthropedia Center for Well-Being opened today, February 11.  St. Louis University partnered with the Anthropedia Foundation to open a new $1 million center to improve students’ mental health and wellbeing. The Center is located at 3693 Forest Park Ave. and provides training programs, workshops and support services, in addition to wellness services such as cryosauna treatment and a salt room. 

Dan Scott from Forest Park Southeast neighborhood reported that the problematic properties and drug dealing houses in that neighborhood have been removed but the neighborhood needs to be stabilized.  Long-term property owners cannot compete with new developers in the neighborhood, especially when the developers get tax breaks. Some of these long-term property owners are getting notices of code violations that they are not financially able to correct within the proscribed time frame.  They would like to see more active support from the city.  Harold Karabell asked if an affordable loan program would be helpful.  Ron Coleman explained that this exists but the program is underfunded and there is a 2 to 3 year wait.  Dan Scott said the enforcement is being applied unfairly and primarily affects black homeowners.  He asked that the alderman direct the Building Department to work with residents and declare a moratorium on aggressive enforcement.  Harold Karabell offered to ask Alderman Roddy to urge the Building Division to work with the residents of Forest Park Southeast.  

SECURITY –  Marshall Michener was unable to attend. 

Dug Feltch and Harold Karabell reported a shooting in front of the SPOT (Supporting Positive Opportunities with Teens) at 4169 Laclede Avenue.  At least 5 shots were fired and the victim was hit several times before being taken to the hospital.  Kelly Righton, Director of SPOT Programs was in attendance this evening and said their staff knew of nothing that might have led to this incident. Jim Whyte of the Central West End Security Initiative told Harold that it happened at about 3:32 pm on Monday, February 10th and that he is convinced it was a targeted shooting. An investigation is ongoing.  Harold pointed out that this kind of crime in our neighborhood is exceedingly rare.  Anybody with information relating to this is asked to contact Jim Whyte at (314) 454-5808 or by email jwhyte@cwensi.com.  

Jedadiah Bolheimer, a neighbor of SPOT, shared his concerns about SPOT clients loitering on his property.  He agreed to exchange contact information with Kelly Righton, Director of SPOT Programs and to work together to resolve the issues.  

Commissioner Yusef Scoggin said that 2019 crime statistics for our neighborhood were generally down and thanked those who voted to approve the new Special Business District which will provide for additional resources for security, including more cameras.  

Ron Coleman said that, after getting support from the businesses on Laclede at Boyle (Dr. Michael Gerdine, Scarlett’s Wine Bar and the Car Wash), the city approved installation of signage limiting parking on that area of Laclede to two hours.  Signs should be up within a few days.  

NEW BUSINESS:  

Kimberly Ann Collins introduced herself as a candidate for the seat of State Representative for the 77th District. This district is large and diverse and our neighborhood is one of the more densely populated areas within the district.  The seat currently is held by two-term State Representative Steve Roberts Jr., who has announced his own candidacy for 5th District Missouri State Senator.  

Key issues of her campaign: 

  • Promoting and empowering fundamental strategies to address homelessness
  • Comprehensive crime prevention approach that targets changes in community culture, infrastructure and environment to deter crime.
  • Reducing racial and ethic disparities in the criminal justice system

Kimberly Ann Collins can be reached at KimberlyAnnForSTL@gmail.com or (314) 349-8042.

Terry Van Schaik explained that WPLNA has an opening for a member representative to the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO). She noted the Association’s commitment to reducing house and business vacancies throughout the city; fostering collaboration between and among STL neighborhood organizations; and providing after school care, piano lessons, and summer camp for children in SLACO’s nearby neighborhood. For information about SLACO’s programs, events, and happenings, visit its website (http://slaco-mo.org). 

Key features of the position include:

Length of service 

  • 1 to 3 years depending on SLACO’s schedule

Expectations

  • Meet occasionally with member representatives of other community organizations in our geographic area
  • Ideally, attend SLACO’s annual member meeting with registration fee paid by WPLNA 
  • Participate on one of SLACO’s standing committee (e.g., Nominating Committee, Annual Meeting Planning Committee, Vacancy Committee)
  • Average monthly time commitment about 1-2 hour

Benefits 

  • Meet St. Louisans from multiple areas beyond WPLNA’s borders
  • Learn about issues affecting WPLNA, other communities, and their organizations
  • Participate in making St. Louis a better city through urban planning
  • Expand knowledge of how St. Louis functions 
  • Meet interesting people with similar and dissimilar backgrounds

Next steps 

The meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

Diana Gualdoni

Secretary

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