Friday, October 03, 2014

Minimum Skills

Thursday, October 02, 2014

FREE Trees Available

I wanted to let you know that we are again accepting applications from Home Owner Associations for free trees (Project CommuniTree) and low-cost trees (Project ReLeaf) to be planted on public (or non-profit) land. 

The free trees are 3-gallon trees, but for those who desire larger trees, we
also have balled and burlapped trees available at a substantially reduced price.  The deadline for Project ReLeaf trees is October 10th. Species availability can be viewed here:

Hope you can take advantage of this great opportunity.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Trimming Trees in Your Subdivision

Click photo to Enlarge

 A person took this picture in Shakopee, MN.
He and one of his co-workers were driving
by and had to circle the block.

It's a man cutting down a tree in his backyard.

The cops showed
up, telling the guy he couldn't do what he was doing.  He told them to go to he --  it's his property and his tree.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

County Residents Up in Arms on St. Louis County Rental Licensing Bill

A controversial proposal to license St. Louis County landlords has been placed on indefinite hold by its sponsor, who claims critics misunderstand the intent of the measure.

In temporarily withdrawing the legislation, Councilman Mike O’Mara, 4th District, emphasized that the licensing would be aimed at rental property owners who failed to meet housing code benchmarks.
“Nobody would be evicted from a home,” O’Mara promised.

The councilman delivered the remarks after opponents for a second straight week blasted an ordinance they contend will trample the rights of individual homeowners.

The critics Tuesday evening invoked the Founding Fathers (Samuel Adams), the U.S. Constitution (the Fourth Amendment prohibiting unlawful searches and seizures) and totalitarianism (“a dictatorship telling us who can stay in our home)” in arguing against the bill.

One speaker even envisioned the measure turning county government into a “plantation owner or a sharecropper.”

Another worried the ordinance would discourage out-of-town relatives from staying at his home on an annual summer trip to visit the St. Louis Zoo and other local attractions.

“If this bill becomes law, our niece and nephew will not be happy with you,” he warned the council.
O’Mara assured the opponents that bolstering the ranks of code enforcement officers while providing the county with a means to track problem landlords was the primary purpose of the legislation.
The rental license would not impose a fee on rental property owners. But yet-to-be-determined fines would be imposed on for failure to obtain the license.

“It’s a shame that we have a few bad pennies but we had to address (the problem) because (some landlords) know how to circumvent the system,” O’Mara said.

O’Mara promised to meet with factions opposing the bill before it is reintroduced.

He offered no timetable for returning the measure to the council agenda. After the meeting, critics expressed relief that the legislation had not moved forward but regret that it may be resurrected.
“I wish he’d just killed it,” said Cathy Armbruster of Lemay. “This ordinance has too many holes in it — it’s like Swiss cheese.”

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Notice: You May Have to Ask for Permission Before you can let Anyone Move in

St. louis County Abrogates Property Rights at American Thinker
Timothy Birdnow

I have a new article up at American Thinker this morning. It is about a plan by St. Louis County to force landlords to apply for a licence before they can rent out a property - or even move family or friends in. In short, you will now have to ask for permission from government before you can let anyone move in. This is Fascism.

For any new readers let me tell you a bit about The Aviary. Founded in 2004, this site has morphed from a personal blog into a small but influential website with some heavy hitting writers. Jack Kemp - our east coast editor - has been writing at American Thinker for years, and is well-known at Tea Party Nation. We have a large number of contributors; Alan Caruba, Paul Driessen, Selwyn Duke, Daren Jonescu, Mark Musser, A.J. Cameron, Dana Mathewson, as well as a host of occasional submitters. And of course myself.

We are a small website but quite influential.

So thank you for stopping by, and please don't be a stranger!

All my best,


Monday, April 07, 2014

The traditional supermarket can’t seem to catch a break - New Wave Coming

First, Walmart transformed its stores into supercenters with groceries. Then the recession happened, and discount outlets such as Aldi and Save-A-Lot began going gangbusters.

Now, there’s a new wave of upstarts shaking things up: smaller-format, fresh grocery concepts. And many of them have their sights set on St. Louis. At least four such companies plan to set up shop — if they haven’t already — in the region. Most of them highlight “fresh” and “market” in their names: Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Lucky’s Market, the Fresh Market and Fields Foods. 

The newcomers’ locations are about half the size of a typical grocery and dedicate a greater proportion to fresh foods — produce, meats, prepared foods — and a relatively smaller portion to “center store” items such as
cereal and ketchup.

The newcomers’ locations are about half the size of a typical grocery and dedicate a greater proportion to fresh foods — produce, meats, prepared foods — and a relatively smaller portion to “center store” items such as cereal and ketchup.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is planning to open 10 to 12 stores in this region. They are trying to capitalize on the rising interest in healthier, non-processed foods and local and organic produce, positioning themselves as a more affordable alternative to Whole Foods Market.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Secretary of State Issues Alert Regarding “Corporate Records Service” Solicitation

Secretary of State Jason Kander is alerting Missouri corporations to a potentially deceptive letter from an entity called Corporate Records Service. The solicitation, called “Annual Minutes Records Form,” falsely suggests Missouri businesses must complete the form and pay a $125 fee, or risk being in non-compliance with state law.

Although the solicitation looks official, please note it is NOT from the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office. Annual minutes are NOT required to be filed with this office. Any official correspondence from the Secretary of State’s Office will contain the Missouri state seal and Corporations Division contact information.

“Missourians should be aware of this situation so they are not taken advantage of when trying to file with our office. We are working to stop this company from misleading Missouri business owners,” Kander said.

For further questions about annual filings with the secretary of state, please contact the Corporations Division by calling 1-866-223-6535.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

What's Happening With Housing East of Broadway

Monday, March 24th: Update on East of Broadway Plan.

Last year Lemay Housing Partnership staff lead residents, public officials and other representatives through a planning process for the East of Broadway portion of Lemay.  The process was anchored by a 4-day public design charrette.  Now, one year later, Lemay Housing Partnership is inviting residents and others back for an update and to seek additional input. 

Please join us on Monday, March 24 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at 336 E. Ripa in the Maria Center on the School Sisters of Notre Dame campus.  RSVP by calling (314) 631-9905.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Is Your Neighborhood Full of Cheaters? — a computer dating website specifically for married people looking for affairs — has released information about which areas of STL are looking the most.

The not-in-the-least-bit-cynical folks at AshleyMadison took their membership data, about 61,000 users in the St. Louis area, and grouped it by neighborhood, thereby compiling a Top 10 list of STL neighborhoods belonging to the website.

(The cartographically challenged folks at AshleyMadison have also produced a map of these neighborhoods, with most of the metropolitan area inexplicably squeezed to fit inside the St. Louis city limits.)

The list:
   1.       Oakville (8.2 percent of St. Louis-area website members come from this area)

2.       Maryland Heights (7.8)

3.       Creve Coeur (7.6)

4.       Clayton (7.4)

5.       Affton (7.1)

6.       Overland (6.6)

7.       Kirkwood (6.3)

8.      St. Louis Hills (5.7)

9.       North Hampton (5.4)

10.   Princeton Heights (4.8)

Site founder Noel Biderman said affluence is a common element found on most cities' top ten lists. "Those with discretionary income and freedom to travel are even more likely to stray," he said.

Other factoids offered by the website are:

• Oakville site members have the most children

• St. Louis Hills members have the most affair partners

• Forty-four percent of STL's potentially wayward ones are women, with an average age of 36.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Dumb and Dumber, But We Keep Voting Them In

Can’t you hear students telling their teachers they want to be welfare recipients when they grow up?

 Note that Calif is $18.50 an hour.


The Cato Institute released an updated 2013 study (original study in 1955) showing that welfare benefits pay more than a minimum wage job in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Even worse, welfare pays more than $15 per hour in 13 states. According to the study, welfare benefits have increased faster than minimum wage. It’s now more profitable to sit at home than it is to earn an honest day’s pay.

Hawaii is the biggest offender, where welfare recipients earn $29.13 per hour, or a $60,590 yearly salary, all for doing nothing.

Here is the list of the states where the pre-tax equivalent “salary” that welfare recipients receive is higher than having a job:

1. Hawaii : $60,590
2. District of Columbia : $50,820
3. Massachusetts : $50,540
4. Connecticut : $44,370
5. New York : $43,700
6. New Jersey : $43,450
7. Rhode Island : $43,330
8. Vermont : $42,350
9. New Hampshire : $39,750
10. Maryland : $38,160
11. California : $37,160
12. Oregon : $34,300
13. Wyoming : $32,620
14. Nevada : $29,820
15. Minnesota : $29,350
16. Delaware : $29,220
17. Washington : $28,840
18. North Dakota : $28,830
19. Pennsylvania : $28,670
20. New Mexico : $27,900
21. Montana : $26,930
22. South Dakota : $26,610
23. Kansas : $26,490
24. Michigan : $26,430
25. Alaska : $26,400
26. Ohio : $26,200
27. North Carolina : $25,760
28. West Virginia : $24,900
29. Alabama : $23,310
30. Indiana : $22,900
31. Missouri : $22,800
32. Oklahoma : $22,480
33. Louisiana : $22,250
34. South Carolina : $21,910

As a point of reference the average Middle Class annual income today is $50,000, down from $54,000 at the beginning of the Great Recession. Hawaii, DC, and Massachusetts pay more in welfare than the average working folks earn there. Is it any wonder that they stay home rather than look for a job. Time for a drastic change. America is virtually bankrupt.
 Are we Nuts or what? How do we un-do this type of stupidity on the part of Americans? 

This is crazy!

Salary of retired US Presidents
$180,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of House/Senate....$174,000 FOR LIFE
This is stupid.

Salary of Speaker of the House ....$223,500
This is really stupid. 

Salary of Majority/Minority Leader $193,400
Ditto last line.

Average Salary of a teacher .. $40,065
Average Salary of Soldier DEPLOYED IN
AFGHANISTAN .. $38,000
Think about this.

Nancy Pelosi will retire as a Congress Person
at $174,000 Dollars a year for LIFE.
She has retired as SPEAKER at $223,500
a year. 

PLUS she will receive an additional $193,400 a
year as Minority Leader.

That's $803,700
Dollars a year for LIFE including FREE medicalwhich is not available to us .... the taxpayers
She is just one of the hundreds of Senators
and Congress that float in and out every

I think we found where the cuts should be made!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Free Trees for Common Grounds!

Forest ReLeaf of Missouri is a small nonprofit organization that has been giving away trees for the past twenty years - nearly 150,000 to date!  With a mission to restore our urban forests, this dedicated group has made a huge impact on the area. Their trees are everywhere from schools and churches to Forest Park and out in Joplin. In fact, they just received a national award from the Arbor Day Foundation for their Excellence in Urban Forest Leadership.

Trees are available to groups for planting through two different programs with the provision they must be planted on public or nonprofit land.  For neighborhood associations and subdivisions, common grounds also qualify.  The first program, Project ReLeaf, provides balled and burlapped trees, typically 5-12’ tall, which are sold at a greatly reduced price. These trees must be ordered in advance and can be done so by going to the Project ReLeaf link on their website. This will also connect you to the Tree Catalog so you can see the species selection.  The deadline for ordering trees will be sometime in March but is yet to be determined given the recent unusual weather. 

The second program, which provides free trees, is Project CommuniTree.  These are 3-gallon trees, typically 4-6’ in height, distributed on a first-come first-served basis. Applications are required and can be printed and faxed or mailed in. 

Forest ReLeaf grows about 20,000 trees at their CommuniTree Gardens Nursery in Creve Coeur Park which is also the pickup site for trees. The work to grow and maintain these trees is done largely by volunteers. 

Each spring, groups, families and individuals volunteer at the nursery and pot up thousands of seedlings that will be distributed back out to the region. People from age 6 to 86 come to help out and find that this is a great way to have fun and give back to the community. Forest ReLeaf also gives frequent classes and lectures including their free, 7 week TreeKeepers class. 

To learn more about these programs, available species, deadlines and other opportunities within Forest ReLeaf, visit their website at  To make sure you receive notification of deadlines and the latest developments, email to have them add your name to their email list.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Death of the PC

Research firm IDC believes that the market for traditional PCs has nearly bottomed, a good sign for PC-dependent tech giants like Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) .
Although the firm expects 2014 to be another year of contraction, it is looking for a return to growth in the years ahead, with a floor of about 300 million annual PC shipments for the foreseeable future.
IDC has overestimated the PC in the past, and is likely doing so again. So far, 2013 has been the worst year on record for the traditional PC, but its death is only beginning. In the years ahead, competition from devices running Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) mobile operating system will prove overwhelming.
Underestimating the rise of mobile

In 2010, IDC was projecting PC shipments to slow in 2011, but then rebound to double-digit growth in 2012 and beyond. By 2015, IDC was expecting PC shipments to exceed 500 million, and grow by an annual rate of 10-15% -- projections that seem absolutely absurd today. IDC had thought that tablets like the (then recently unveiled) iPad would take a slight toll on PCs in 2011, but the firm seems to have underestimated their long-term effects, most notably, the rise of cheaper alternatives running Google's mobile operating system.
While the demand for traditional PCs running Microsoft's Windows has dried up, the tablet market continues to grow. Gartner expects tablet shipments to total 184 million this year, up 53.4%, and even IDC admits that tablet sales should surpass PCs by the end of 2015. Most of these tablets will run Google's mobile operating system. Although Apple continues to be the single-largest tablet maker, Android-powered tablets have overtaken the iPad. Apple's tablet operation may remain immensely profitable, but the far cheaper price points, and widely divergent form factors, should give Google the market-share edge.

Going 64-bit

One of the advantages traditional PCs have always had over mobile devices is raw computing power -- when you need a lot of it, there's no substitute for a PC. But in the years ahead, mobile devices are likely to become far more powerful. Next year, chips will be capable of powering devices running the 64-bit version Google's Android (including Intel's Bay Trail). In contrast to 32-bit Android, 64-bit will allow devices to access more than 4 GB of RAM.
Right now, this limitation is superfluous -- the iPad Air, for example, only has 1 GB of RAM, while Samsung's beefy Note 10.1 still only has 3 GB -- but in time, it will allow for much more powerful mobile devices. Consider that, just four years ago, it was debatable whether or not desktops running Microsoft's Windows needed 4GB of RAM. Today, even the cheapest of PCs ship with at least 4GB, and many come with 12GB or even 16GB.
Larger tablets will make more work possible

One major trend in mobile computing that is likely to play out in 2014 is the emergence of larger tablets. Mobile devices have been criticized for their inability to serve as true work stations -- even full-size, 10-inch screens are ill-suited for doing productive work. But as tablets have gotten lighter and thinner, larger screens have become possible, and the ability for 12-inch (or larger tablets) to cannibalize a larger chunk of the laptop market seems likely. The most popular laptop screen sizes are 14- and 15-inches, with 13-inch screens accounting for a sizable chunk.
Samsung is expected to roll out a 12-inch tablet running Google's mobile operating system next year, and if the form factor is successful, it isn't hard to imagine Google's other hardware partners emulating the idea, as they did with Samsung's phablets.
The demise of Wintel

For years, Microsoft and Intel jointly dominated the PC market. Intel provided the chips; Microsoft provided the operating systems. The rise of mobile computing has proven quite challenging for both companies, with Microsoft's hybrid Windows 8 operating system seeing sluggish adoption, while Intel has provided the processors for only a minority of mobile computing devices.
If the traditional PC market stabilizes around 300 million, as IDC is expecting, then both companies should have a sort of cushion. Even if they never really break into mobile, there will always be a sizable market for traditional PCs, one where both Microsoft and Intel face little competition.
But mobile computing is still evolving rapidly. Larger form factors, and more powerful 64-bit processors, will make mobile devices, mostly powered by Google's Android, far more enticing to a larger group of traditional PC users. As mobile devices become more capable, the traditional PC's worst days still lie ahead.

Three display homes robbed in St. Louis County

Police are investigating after appliances were stolen from display homes in St. Louis County on three separate occasions in Feb.

According to St. Louis County police, thieves on Feb. 1 took appliances from a home in the 1000 block of Bridlerridge Crossing Spur.

Another appliance theft happened on Feb. 11 at a home in the 1000 block of Bridlewood Valley Pt.

A house in the 13000 block of Wynston Trace Ct. had its appliances taken on Feb. 19.

St. Louis County police say they are working with detectives in several local jurisdictions to help identify

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

St. Louis Unite: Slay, Dooley Call for Open Minds at City/County Merger Symposium

Are St. Louis City and St. Louis County ready to hug it out and become one entity to benefit the region? That was the big question at Friday's public merger discussion at the Saint Louis University School of Law.

Panels of community leaders, regional historians and policy experts spoke about the pros and cons of merging completely or partially, but civic activists primarily cared about the ideas from St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charley Dooley. We followed the discussion on Twitter through the #MergeSTL hashtag (with host @SLULAW doing the heavy lifting) and learned that while local leaders are heavily involved in the merger conversation, they've still got plenty of issues to address.

 Check out the symposium & go to Storify for a much longer tweet recap.

Elections are coming


Meth in Your Subdivision?

There is probably no drug more vilified these days than meth, and Missouri is often said to be the capital of meth production. That's not something to be proud of considering many people think the average meth user smokes bathtub cleaner chemicals before arrested for biting -- with their last two good teeth -- the face of a convenience store worker in a botched attempt to steal a carton of Marlboro Reds.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Lemay Streetscape Open House

Mark Your Calendar
Click on Photo to Enlarge

$5 Million and Growing for St. Louis County Trash Program

In his most recent “You Paid For It,”  Fox 2 News Investigative Reporter Elliott Davis reports on St. Louis County’s intentional noncompliance with a state statute that has the potential to cost county taxpayers $5.9 million, or even more.

The trash haulers lawsuit that originated in 2008 has worked its way all the way up to the Missouri Supreme Court where the trash haulers won in 2013.  The case was remanded back to the Circuit Court to settle the only remaining issue, which is just how much the county will have to pay the three victorious haulers (American Eagle, Meridian and Waste
Charlie Dooley

 Management).  The county appealed the money judgment and thinks that it can also appeal the merits of the original case again.  However, Jane Dueker, the winning attorney for the trash haulers says that “the (Missouri) Supreme Court has determined that they (the county) did not give the proper notice, then in fact the only issue left is how much money they owe the trash haulers for wrongfully displacing them.”

When Elliott Davis asked St. Louis County Counselor Pat Redington why the county did not send the notice certified mail as required by state statute before taking away the trash haulers customers, she replied, “They all got it.  There’s no question that they got it.”  And, she added, “The only question is whether a letter telling the trash haulers about the program should have been sent by certified mail instead of regular mail.”

Dueker countered by stating that the whole issue could have been easily avoided if the county would have just complied with the law.  Dueker said, “Very easily.  They could have just given the notice.  It would have been real easy to just comply with the law.  They (the county) just said, oh, we don’t have to.”  I mean, that’s what they’ve always said, they’ve had that level of arrogance that they don’t have to comply with the law.” 

With regard to the pending judgment, Redington says that the taxpayers would only have to absorb $2 million dollars of the $5.9 million dollars judgment, since insurance would cover the rest.  However, the county’s insurance rates could be affected, especially since this issue could have been avoided by complying with the law.

Of the trash hauler’s judgment, Dueker said, “We initially got a judgment for $1.1 million.  The county appealed.  And, now that judgment is $5.9 million.  And, interest is running on that judgment currently.  We’re currently requesting about $8 million dollars.  And, so if the county appeals again, yes, that number could go up.”  

When asked about the handling of the case, Redington told Davis that she thought the county handled the case properly.  She said, “I think we did the case right.  I’m happy with the way we did the case.”  And, of course, why wouldn’t she and the rest of the Dooley administration be happy.  After all, they can’t be held personally accountable and it’s not their money at stake – it’s yours, the taxpayers.

If you would like to express your opinion about this issue to your St. Louis County officials who played a key role in establishing a trash program that will cost you millions, call or email the following officials, as they’re probably anxiously awaiting to hear from you.

 Charlie Dooley                                                   Garry Earls                                          Patricia Redington

St. Louis County Executive                           Chief Operating Officer                 St. Louis County Counselor

(314) 615-7016                                                   (314) 615-7016                                   (314) 615-7025                                

Click on the following link to watch the two minute and 42 second “You  Paid For It” video about the county administration’s bungling of the never-ending trash fiasco:


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Not All Thieves Are Stupid


Some peoplec left their car in the long-term parking at San Jose while away, and someone broke into the car.  Using the information on the car's registration in the glove compartment, they drove the car to the people's home in Pebble Beach and robbed it.  So I guess if we are going to leave the car in long-term parking, we should NOT leave the registration/insurance cards in it, nor your remote garage door opener.  This gives us something to think about with all our new electronic technology.

2.    GPS:
Someone had their car broken into while they were at a football game.  Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans.  Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control,    some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.  When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen.  The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house.  They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house.  The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house.  It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.  Something to consider if you have a GPS - don't put your home address in it... Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.

I never thought of this....... This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her cell phone after her handbag was stolen.  Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc., was stolen.  Twenty minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says, "I received your text asking about our Pin number and I've replied a little while ago."  When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn.  The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text "hubby" in the contact list and got hold of the pin number.  Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.

Moral of the lesson:
a. Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc....
b. And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back.
c. Also, when you're being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them.  If you don't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet "family and friends" who text you.

A lady went grocery-shopping at a local mall and left her purse sitting in the children's seat of the cart while she reached something off a shelf... wait till you read the WHOLE story!  Her wallet was stolen, and she reported it to the store personnel.  After returning home, she received a phone call from the Mall Security to say that they had her wallet and that although there was no money in it, it did still hold her personal papers.  She immediately went to pick up her wallet, only to be told by Mall Security that they had not called her.  By the time she returned home again, her house had been broken into and burglarized.  The thieves knew that by calling and saying they were Mall Security, they could lure her out of her house long enough for them to burglarize it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Death of the PC

The Death of the PC

The days of paying for costly software upgrades are numbered. The PC will soon be obsolete. And BusinessWeek reports 70% of Americans are already using the technology that will replace it. Merrill Lynch calls it "a $160 billion tsunami."

Computing giants including IBM, Yahoo!, and Amazon are racing to be the first to cash in on this PC-killing revolution. Yet, a small group of little-known companies have a huge head start. Get the full details on the technology that is destroying the PC.

Another County Boondoggle: Eminent Domain Lawsuit May Cost County Taxpayers Millions

A battle between a Chesterfield subdivision and St. Louis county could end up costing county taxpayers millions.  At issue is land used to build the new section of Highway 141, and how county leaders got their hands on it.

Tiffany Semar is one of countless families who bought homes in the River Bend subdivision off of Olive long before ground was broken, or plans even laid out for the Highway 141 extension.  The area behind her home was quiet, wooded space with the occasional deer passing through.  Now it’s home to a closed access highway.

“Horrible,” she says of the noise.  “It’s hard to have a conversation in our front yard or our back yard.”

About three acres of the land where the highway now passes was once common ground belonging to the subdivision.  Many here believed it would always remain as it was because they didn’t think it could be transferred.

“It’s common ground and it’s not legally supposed to be sold,” another resident, Melissa Hibberty said.

But when St. Louis County officials were obtaining land for the highway back in 2010, they decided that common ground should be part of the path.

“So the county came in and said we will just condemn it and give you some money for it,” Hibberty said. The sum was in the neighborhood of $60 thousand.  A low price for property in high end Chesterfield, if it the transaction they say the county forced was legal at all.

The subdivision’s leaders filed suit,  with a trial getting underway where they’ll ask jurors to award them in excess of $2 million for the land they say should not have been taken at all.

Most here say it didn’t have to come to this.  They simply wanted county officials to work with them on the highway’s routing, and help do something about the noise where necessary.

“Little things like that,” Hibberty said.  “We didn’t need to go into taking all this common ground property and turning into a highway in these people’s back yards.”

Should the residents win, they hope the money will be used on noise abatement for those hit hardest.  Though people like the Semars will tell you the damage has already been done.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Local business owner disappears. Clients left hanging with no accounting records

A local business owner, Ken Line, literally disappeared right before Christmas. Line provided accounting services to approximately 30 clients in the metro St. Louis area. His office is located at 122 N. Kirkwood Rd. in Kirkwood.  The accounting service operates as Executive Business Solutions.
Ken Line

Line's father and brother say they do not know his whereabouts. The building owner says Line abandoned the office leaving client records and computer equipment behind. As client complaints poured in, the landlord, Dan Wind, entered the locked office to find Line's computer running and a half eaten sandwich and soft drink on his desk. He left behind piles of papers on the floor on desks and shelves, in plastic bags, etc.
Wind is the building owner and says he has the office contents boxed up and in storage. He is unwilling to attempt to extract records from the many boxes and, due to Mr. Line's obvious comingling of documents, would not allow any particular person to dig through them. It's believed Mr. Wind has not taken any legal steps in an attempt to return the records to the various clients but that's expected to change.

Clients have filed complaints with the Kirkwood Police Department. It's believed those "complaints" will soon be changed to "theft" charges against Line and Wind. The primary contact at the Kirkwood Police Department has been Captain John Follue.
Several clients have expressed serious concern since they need their files for year-end tax reporting.

One client advised she spoke with a judge friend. He said the Kirkwood Police Sergeant gave the landlord incorrect advice. The judge said the landlord cannot legally hold client's property but only keep what Ken Line owned. She subsequently met with the Kirkwood Police Chief to discuss the situation. No action has been taken by the police department to correct the error.
Another client said they don't want a media storm about this, but that's what it's shaping up to be. She said the Kirkwood Police Sergeant  gave out incorrect information, and that the department has refused to correct the situation.

If any of the public is aware of the location of Ken Line, they should contact any of the following individuals.

For information, contact:

St. Louis Browns Historical Society
Bill Rogers

Angela Haas

Building owner:

Multack Building
Dan Wind

Police Department:

Kirkwood Police Dept.
Jack Plummer, Police Chief

Captain John Follue