November 2015 SRG GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Nov. 4, 2015
Location: Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 1919 S. 7th St.
The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. by President Mike Ziemann.
Board members in attendance: Mike Ziemann, Beth Bennett, Bill Clendenin, Sean Cochran, Luann Denten, Jeremy Mehrle, Jackie Parker, Steve Parker, Gary Toribio
Board members absent: Alicia Stellhorn
Elected officials in attendance: Alderman Jack Coatar, Alderman Ken Ortmann.
Minutes from the Sept. 2 General Membership Meeting, the Sept. 16 Board Meeting, the Oct. 7 General Membership Meeting and the Oct. 20 Board Meeting were approved.
Treasurer’s Report was approved.
One new member introduced himself
Eagle Scout Luke Dibler. Circuit Judge Thomas Frawley and Circuit Judge David Mason of the 22nd Judicial Circuit (St. Louis City).
Hosted by Ryan Carter, owner of STL Party Bus at 2207 S. 12th St.
Check presentation to Soulard Safety Program:
A check for $3,500 representing proceeds from the 1860’s Charity Golf Tournament 2015 on Monday, Oct. 19, was presented to the Soulard Safety Program. Presenting the check was Cecil Adams, manager of the 1860’s Saloon, 1860 S. 9th St., and director of the charity tournament. Receiving the check on behalf of the Soulard Safety Program (standing in for Joanie Thomas Spurgeon) was Max Burton of MADCO Printing & Advertising, 1715 S. 11th St.
Plaque presentation to Eagle Scout Luke Dibler:
Eagle Scout Luke Dibler, accompanied by his mother Lisa Dibler and Scoutmaster Paul Deal, was honored for his Eagle Scout project that resulted in the new gazebo in Aboussie Park, located west of South 13th Street between Lynch and Sidney streets. Luke Dibler was presented a plaque by Richard Eaton and John Durnell. They commended the Ladue Horton Watkins High School senior for devising the project, raising the money to carry it out and supervising the crew that built it.
Address by Circuit Judges:
Judges Thomas Frawley and David Mason of the 22nd Judicial Circuit, accompanied by Public Information Officer Thom Gross, introduced themselves and talked about their roles as judges. Frawley said both joined the court in 1991, after being appointed by then-Gov. John Ashcroft.
Paul Kjorlie asked them about comments by Police Chief Sam Dotson in which Dotson criticized judges for lenient sentences of armed criminals and called for a “gun docket.” Judge Mason noted that the Circuit Attorney’s Office recently received a federal grant to develop a diversionary program for first-time gun offenders. He said that the circuit attorney, the police chief and judges would be in an ongoing conversation on how to deal with gun violence.
Judge Frawley noted that the Board of Probation and Parole, not judges, determines releases of prisoners.
Kjorlie asked the judges about public perception that city judges are liberal. Judge Mason replied that the 22nd Judicial Circuit has a wide spectrum of judges, but that no one would accuse him or Judge Frawley of being liberal. Both judges stressed that they considered the merits of each individual case in determining sentences.
Gross cited a 2014 report on sentencing that said felons sentenced in St. Louis were more likely to do prison time than in any other judicial circuit in Missouri, and that bail bonds were set higher than in other circuits.
Judge Frawley said that he has been asked how residents could help judges carry out their duties more effectively. He suggested three things:
1. When called for jury duty, don’t try to figure out how to get out of it. Instead, strive to be selected for a jury.
2. Form a group to watch the courts, if we don’t already have one. Judges often allow representatives of these groups to speak in the courtroom. At the least, people can see how the system works.
3. Establish a neighborhood accountability board. This would help youths understand there’s a victim for every crime, that there are consequences to misdeeds.
Safety Committee Chairman Bill Clendenin asked if neighborhood impact statements are helpful to judges. Judge Frawley responded “absolutely,” but noted that they need to be followed up by having representatives come to court. He said that shows the importance of the incident to the community, allows judges to ask questions and shows the defendant there are consequences to crime.
Judge Frawley said that young offenders ages 17 to 25 know no boundaries. “They don’t think like we do because most don’t think they’re going to live past 25.”
In response to a question, Judge Frawley said that an offender’s parents might be responsible for paying restitution but aren’t accountable for the actual crime.
Judge Frawley ended his presentation by thanking Alderman Ortmann for having been a longtime friend of the juvenile court system.
Neighborhood impact statements:
Safety Committee Chairman Bill Clendenin circulated two impact statements for signatures. The cases involved two defendants in armed robberies that occurred in August.
Officer Brian Min said October crimes included:
· Four assaults (One involved a runner being punched by three individuals at 5:47 a.m. Another involved an intoxicated female who said she was assaulted at three different locations, one of which was at S. 9th Street and Geyer Avenue. Another involved a suspect who confronted and kicked someone urinating in an alley.)
· Five stolen autos (A .22 caliber rifle was in one of the vehicles.)
· Two burglaries
· Two robberies (Two suspects grabbed the purse of an intoxicated woman, who fought back and was knocked to the ground and kicked. Another involved a victim who reportedly met someone at a restaurant in DeSoto, accepted a ride to Soulard and was robbed at gunpoint in the 2000 block of Menard Street.)
· 27 thefts (12 were car break-ins, six were stolen bicycles and two were stolen golf carts. Among items stolen were a guitar, designer sunglasses and an alley motion detector.)
Officer Min said that so far in November, there had been one assault and one larceny.
Paul Kjorlie asked if citizens should be patrolling and looking for criminal activity. Officer Min responded that it is okay to watch for crimes but not to confront suspects. Officer Min said that GCI security supplemented police patrols of the neighborhood and that GCI wrote four summonses in October.
Officer Min said that most of the people who commit crimes in Soulard aren’t from the neighborhood. “They come here shopping.” Alderman Jack Coatar noted that Soulard is located at the crossroads of major highways, which is why security cameras will be so important.
Old Business and New Business:
Parlour Tour Update:
President Ziemann called for volunteers for the neighborhood’s largest fundraiser, and he noted that this event offers volunteers the opportunity to do many more things than pour beer.
Julie Price of the Parlour Tour Committee displayed the poster for the 40th anniversary event. The photograph on the poster was taken by Linda Kurdi, and the poster was designed by Neal Thompson. Julie Price said that craft tables will again be located at the tour’s starting point, Gene Slay’s Boys’ Club of St. Louis, 2524 S. 11th St., at no charge to vendors. Six houses and one business are on this year’s tour. Committee members will meet with the homeowners Nov. 19 at the Mardi Gras Inc. building, 2200 Dolman St. About 100 volunteers are needed. A signup list was circulated and is accessible online via Google docs. A Facebook event page has been created. Wreaths from the wreath fundraiser were purchased for each of the tour stops. Tour scripts will be mailed in advance to guides. Businesses are still needed to sponsor tour stops. Tour tickets are $22 in advance and $25 at the door. Volunteers may take the tour for free. A thank you party for volunteers and homeowners will again conclude the event.
SLACO Regional Neighborhood Conference:
Ziemann reported that Lewis Reed, president of the city’s Board of Aldermen, had posted a notice on Next Door Soulard about an upcoming Regional Neighborhood Conference (Nov. 14) being held by the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations.
(Here is the text of Reed’s post on Next Door: The SLACO Regional Neighborhood Conference Nov. 14 features a spectacular lineup of speakers designed to shed light on the topics of greatest relevance to neighborhood work in the St. Louis area. The 28 member neighborhood associations of SLACO have decided to focus this conference, which is open to everyone, on effective neighborhood associations and local government, vacant land and buildings, youth, education and neighborhoods, "Ferguson" lessons learned, and the role of community development corporations in neighborhoods. Rev. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation and Co-Chair of the Ferguson Commission, will keynote. The entire program and a registration link are available online. Abundant opportunities for networking and meeting interesting people in the hallways have been planned into the conference. The day-long event will be held at Harris-Stowe State University. Regular registration at $25 closes Nov. 9, with late registration at $35 starting Nov. 10. Neighbors who are not online can call the SLACO office (314-361-9406) to arrange registration. More at http://www.slaco-mo.org/conference.html)
American Legion Post 422 Report:
Mr. Bill Wirtel reported that:
· John Durnell, LeRoy Fitzwater and Alan Ziegler were the guest bartenders at the Oct. 16 Third Friday Family Happy Hour Social.
· Guest bartenders for the next Third Friday Family Happy Hour Social on Nov. 20 will be Joanie Thomas Spurgeon, Nadine Soaib and Patti Thomas of Patti and the Hitmen. Music will be supplied by Judith Howard.
· Guest bartenders for the Dec. 18 Third Friday Family Happy Hour Social are still be to determined. Music will be provided by Air Force veteran Chic Lisitano, who will be in town from Florida for her CD release party.
· Post 422 will play a big role in the Veterans Day parade that starts at 10:55 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, at Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, 1315 Chestnut St.
· The Legion distributed flags on Nov. 7 at Soulard Market Park.
· The Legion collects tattered and worn flags year round so that they can be properly disposed of. Mr. Bill displayed a box in which flags can be deposited and said boxes are available for businesses and public places, such as churches, hair salons, hardware stores, restaurants, etc. One is currently in the Ameren UE lobby.
· Mouse Racing will be 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9 at St. Vincent’s De Paul, 1408 S. 10th St. The family friendly event will benefit veterans. The cost is $25 for adults in advance and $30 at the door. Kids’ admission is half-price, free for those under age 12. For more information, call Mona Parsley at 314-220-3786 or Kathleen Lee at 314-369-6292.
Soulard Business Association Report:
SBA President Dan Shields said that the Mardi Gras theme is “All Things Sports.” He said Mardi Gras shirts would be available in mid- to late-November.
Mardi Gras Inc. Report:
Billy Tomber said Mardi Gras season kicks off in two months and two days with Twelfth Night on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Ziemann noted that the SRG General Membership Meeting scheduled for that night will need to be adjusted.
Weed Warriors will have their final workday of the season at Pontiac Square Park from 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 7 cleaning out plants from the SRG Beautification containers.
Ash trees in Soulard Market Park are being removed because of the presence of the ash bore beetle, which destroys ash trees. Three trees in Pontiac Square Park will be removed.
The deadline for the Parlour Tour edition of the Renaissance is Nov. 5.
Code and Zoning Report:
Jay Gibbs reported there aren’t a lot of new projects coming in right now.
The next meeting is Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at Soulard Station. Coming up with new membership events is on the agenda.
A Sunday Funday Paint Brunch party will be held Sunday, Nov. 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Soulard Station. The cost is $10 for SRG members.
Residential Promotion Report:
Luann Denten thanked those who participated in the Creepy Cart Crawl golf cart and walking parade and trunk or treat on Friday, Oct. 30.
The next Local Hour will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at Shelly’s, 2001 Menard St.
The entry marker project has been delayed so that responsibility for insurance can be determined.
People who attended last year’s Vices & Virtues Mardi Gras Ball need to act quickly to reserve spots for this year’s ball Jan. 16 or they will be released for others to purchase. A lottery system was used to choose the royalty for the 2016 ball. Out of more than 50 entries, Alan Ziegler was selected. The other member of the royal court will be LeRoy Fitzwater.
Rick Dungey thanked volunteers who worked at Oktoberfest Oct. 9-11. The net was $7,600, with $1,000 appearing in the tip jar on Saturday alone. 53 kegs of beer were sold.
Dungey said 132 holiday wreaths had been ordered for that fundraiser. He said some extras were ordered and are available for purchase. The fundraiser has netted $1,300. Volunteers are needed to help pick them up in Maplewood before Thanksgiving. Help is also needed to distribute them Saturday, Nov. 28.
Smarty Gras Trivia Night will be Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Franklin Room.
Bill Clendenin thanked those who took part in the Fall Safety Walk Oct. 7.
The next Safety Committee Meeting will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at Soulard Station.
The meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.