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OCTOBER spotlight

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2012 contents

Missourians Ask “What Retirement?”

by Mary Anne Meyers

lifestyle

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If women ruled the world by Shelly A. Schneider

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Aging is for Dummies by Joe Morice

entertainment

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Looking for Good Movies This Fall by Steve Bryan

VOL 9 | NO 10

food

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photo op

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Boo-tiful Halloween Carvings courtesy of Family Features

LSL Lowe’s Donates to Fire Department photos by Ray Rockwell

Published monthly with direct mail circulation to Wentzville and Lake Saint Louis, plus newsstands in Troy.

Publisher Editor Photographer Movie Critic Creative Design

Community News Shelly Schneider Ray Rockwell Steve Bryan Donna M. Huneke

around town

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Proposition 3: Progress as Promised!

7

Fire Pits and Outdoor Fire Safety

8

Decision--making Skills Key to Surviving

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Community Calendar

12

Western St. Charles Co. Chamber News

Community News

15

Safety on Halloween

2139 Bryan Valley Commercial Dr. O’Fallon, MO 63366 Ph: 636.379.1775 Fx: 636.379.1632

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Health Department to Offer Flu Shots

Copyright 2012 Huneke Publications, Inc.

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All Around Wentzville

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Crossroads School Celebrates Patriot Day

For advertising information, please contact us at:

www.mycnews.com

No part of the publication may be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Crossroads is a trademark of Huneke Publications, Inc. Any published use of Crossroads implying affiliation is strictly prohibited.

OCTOBER 2012 CROSSROADS

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SPOTLIGHT

Missourians Ask “Retirement? What Retirement?” BY MARY ANNE MEYERS With the bad economy eating away at “If I get $1200 a month from Social Seinvestments and housing values, many curity, OK, great - but you know, 20 years older people in Missouri and around the from now, what does that mean to me?” country are nervous about whether they Eichelman asked. can actually afford to retire. The first wave He added the AARP Social Security benof baby boomers is now turning 66, the efits calculator allows people to punch official age for receiving full Social Securiin specific ages and situations, such as ty benefits - although many say they can’t divorce, and crunch the numbers in a varetire now, even if they wanted to. riety of ways to see which would be best A recent AARP survey finds most older for them. Americans believe they have to keep “What this ready-for-retirement tool will working. But Craig Eichelman, AARP Misdo is look at what your cost of living will souri state director, is urging them to figbe at your projected retirement date, and ure it out ahead of time. tell you what would reasonably be cov“Of course, there’s a lot of anxiety out ered by Social Security in terms of coverthere,” Eichelman said. “Seventy-two pering those expenses,” Eichelman said. cent believe that they’d have to delay According to AARP, 93 percent of Misretirement. So I think having a claiming sourians age 65 or over received Social strategy, claiming later, can mean the difSecurity last year. The benefit amounted ference of thousands of dollars a year.” to an average of just under $14,000 for the He acknowledged that some people have year. no choice but to take Social Security early. The Ready for Retirement website inHowever, AARP points out that for every The Social Security promise of yesteryear, as seen in cludes a five-step process to help seniors year a person waits, average annual ben- this 1936/37 government poster. Courtesy of USA.gov. prepare for retirement. The guide includes efits increase by more than $1000. Eichelquizzes, interactive seminars, articles, tips man said AARP’s Ready for Retirement and hints to help seniors get there. The website includes a benefits calculator that can help people figfive steps are: Set Your Goals, Factor in Your Benefits, Assess ure out whether and when they can afford to retire. Your Finances, Create a Budget and Making the Most of AARP’s He said it’s more complicated than what appears on those Resources. statements Social Security used to send out, and that now can The benefits calculator and the Ready for Retirement websites be accessed online. are at www.aarp.org.

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Proposition 3: Progress as Promised! Information from the Wentzville School District In April 2011, voters in the Wentzville The addition of kindergarten classrooms School District approved Proposition 3, a has allowed the district to continue offer30 cent tax levy for the purpose of adding full-day kindergarten. Now in the third ing the space necessary to sustain the fullyear, full-day kindergarten in the WSD day kindergarten program, add middle has been an unqualified success. It has alschool classroom space, and build a new lowed us to give our youngest students a high school. This fall thousands of WSD great start, both academically and socially. students are benefiting from Proposition The percentage of students entering first 3 construction efforts over the past year, grade reading at or above grade level exand 75 new classrooms are being used for pectations increased the first year after the first time. District enrollment has inimplementation of the full-day program. creased by over 600 new students again The kindergarten and first grade teachers, this school year, and the WSD continues educators who have seen the changes on a Photo courtesy of Wentzville School District to be the fastest growing school district in daily basis, report the following: the state of Missouri. The district has add• Students are able to write complete sened classrooms at seven different elementary schools and two middle tences with capital letters, spacing, and punctuation. schools, and construction also continues on the new high school. • Students came to first grade knowing all of their sight words, letHere is the complete list of Proposition 3 additions: ters, and letter sounds. • Discovery Ridge - eight new classrooms • More instructional time is available to teach students in math• Lakeview - eight new classrooms ematics, science, and social studies. • Duello - nine new classrooms, six for kindergarten • Allows more time to meet the individual needs of students. • Peine Ridge - nine new classrooms, six for kindergarten • Students are prepared for a full-day experience. No longer asking • Green Tree - eight new classrooms, three for kindergarten, major “When is it time to go home?” parking area expansion • Students came in with a better understanding of daily routines. • Boone Trail - four new classrooms, expanded library, relocated • Less time has to be spent on basic classroom procedures. computer lab The real winners in the April 2011 election were the students of the • Crossroads - four new classrooms, one for music and one for art Wentzville School District. The passage of Proposition 3 would not • Wentzville Middle - five new classrooms, one for choir and one for have been possible without the time, talent and tenacity of many band, and a new auto loop members of the WSD community; it was truly a “grass roots” effort. • South Middle – a new wing with 20 classrooms including four sciAs the fastest growing school district in the state, the WSD can now ence labs, a cafeteria addition, and a new auto loop provide the necessary classroom space for current students. This • New high school – Construction continues on schedule on the continues the great forward momentum of the district, and will help new high school on Sommers Road, a 227,000 square foot facility to ensure that WSD students continue to achieve at a high level. that will open for freshmen in the fall of 2013

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LIFESTYLE

If women ruled the world BY SHELLY A. SCHNEIDER

I can’t remember what got me going… but something made me stop for about five seconds and think, “What if women ruled the world?” Some things would be better, for sure. But some things wouldn’t. Here are some changes I would expect to see on a national and global level. • Rand McNally and Garmin would be the most profitable companies in the world, because women actually use maps. • Guilt would be the prevailing threat, not weapons of mass destruction. Want to blow yourself up on a plane with 250 other people? Fine, we’ll put your mother on that plane, too. Now do it, macho man. I’m thinkin’ 72 virgins in heaven just aren’t going to do it for her. • The United States might very well have a balanced budget. I cannot see a woman agreeing to spend $400 on a hammer. Of course, we’d all take fact-finding missions to Hershey, Pennsylvania at least once a month, so that might blow the budget. • Future disasters (heaven forbid) like fires, hurricanes and earthquakes, would be dealt with promptly and fairly. I’m not saying things would be perfect, but women are great at organizing (homes, places of work, parties, you name it). Again, we might have to use your mother to get you off your butt (or roof) and out of the flood zone, but you’d be safe and have food and shelter.

• Women might not get as much done in one day because we’d spend at least five hours reading and forwarding cute little emails. • We’d all gain a bunch of weight, because every time we ask “Do these pants make my butt look big?” our co-leaders would respond, “Don’t be ridiculous! Here, have another brownie.” Here are some things that would change in my own world: • From my viewpoint, anyway, door-to-door sales would cease to exist. Maybe it’s just my household, but my husband’s heart is too soft, and he cannot say no to little Mary when she stands on the front porch asking if we need yet another roll of $23 holiday wrapping paper. I can say no, and I usually do. Girl Scouts are about my only weakness (but I won’t buy more than two or three boxes). • Telemarketers would not only be banned, they’d be punished if they dared to call my house. How? You guessed it. I’d have their mothers call them at dinner time, each and every night for a year. • I’d never be on time because I’d change my clothes eight times before deciding on something (oh, wait…that happens already!). And my mother couldn’t guilt me into being on time, because she’s always late, too! So, I’m not sure about the whole women ruling the world thing. Hey, here’s a thought…why not let sensible, honest, compassionate people take care of things?

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Fire Pits and Outdoor Fire Safety Information from safetyathome.com The dangers of fire pits Outdoor fire pits have become all the rage in the last few years. A fire pit is perfect for roasting marshmallows in the backyard, warming up a cool evening on the patio or adding a decorative touch to your outdoor living room. For all their coziness, however, a fire pit’s main ingredient is fire – and it must be handled with care. In a recent study by UL, many parents reported that they consider fire pits, candles and tiki torches to be the most hazardous outdoor items, but they don’t make safety a top priority in outdoor living. Read on for tips to avoid the dangers of outdoor fire. Don’t Play with Fire Pits! Fire pits are generally open; some models are nothing more than metal bowls filled with charcoal or wood. Fancier models burn natural or propane gas and come with cooking grills and other accessories. No matter which model you go for, be sure the whole family knows these fire pit safety rules before you light the first flame: • Position it safely. Place or build your fire pit at least 10 feet from structures and flammable items.

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• Put it on solid ground. Place a fire pit on a solid surface and in an open area, avoiding overhanging trees or rooflines. • Keep an extinguisher handy. Always keep a fire extinguisher near your fire pit and know how to use it correctly. • Man the flame. Never leave any fire unattended, especially if children are nearby. • Stay three feet from the heat. Establish a three-foot “kid-free zone” around your fire pit. Teach your children and their friends the rule and always watch children who are near a fire. • Avoid the lighter fluid. The National Fire Protection Association and the Consumer Product Safety Commission say pourable gel fuel can cause flash fires and burns when added to an already burning fire pit. Both organizations warn against using gel fuel. • Cool it. Throwing water in a fire pit may not be enough to extinguish the flame completely. To be safe, let coals cool and gently pour water over them. Make sure the embers are completely extinguished before going indoors.

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AROUND TOWN

Decision-making Skills Key to Surviving Teen Years Courtesy of MissouriFamilies.org The one thing that sets the quality and ability of youth apart, more than anything else, are their decision-making skills, according to Jeremy Elliot-Engel, a 4-H youth development specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “The teen years bring a real shift in decision making and parents often wonder just what their child can be thinking,” Elliot-Engel said. “While it’s little comfort, there are real, medical reasons why teenagers think they’re invincible and discount the consequences of their choices.” Recent research on brain development indicates that the part of the brain that influences decision making and problem solving doesn’t fully develop until early adulthood. In calm situations, teens can reason as well as adults, but pressure or stress hijacks a teenager’s ability to make good decisions. “The frontal lobes, which help put the brakes on the desire for thrills and risk-taking, are among the last areas of the brain to develop,” Elliot-Engel said. There are steps parents can take to help their teens make better decisions. After helping them define the problem, parents should teach teens that there are six primary steps to decision making: 1. List the choices 2. Think about the pros and cons of each choice

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3. Assess the likelihood of the consequences actually happening 4. Compare the consequences and their importance 5. Decide and act 6. Evaluate the consequences, both expected and unexpected. For teens, the first step can be the most difficult because they often only see either/or choices. Inexperienced teens may have a tough time seeing that there are other options. Teens also worry about their friends’ reactions. The bottom line is that sometimes a parent needs to make the final decision — that is something that even most young people will admit. But it’s important to involve teens in decisions on matters that directly affect them. “Teens feel that fairness has more to do with being treated equitably than simply getting their way,” Elliot-Engel said. “They want parents to take them seriously, ask for their opinions and listen to them instead of criticizing. If teens feel they have no control or power in the decisions important to them, they are more likely to feel angry and rebellious and to make rash decisions.”


ENTERTAINMENT

Looking for Good Movies This Fall BY STEVE BRYAN

The 2012 summer movie season saw monster hits (“The Avengers”, “The Dark Knight Rises”), comedies that became disasters (Adam Sandler’s “That’s My Boy”), and films that didn’t meet expectations (The remake of “Total Recall.”) “The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure” posted such poor box office numbers that it now sits in a class by itself. Typically, the movies released in the fall are a mixed blessing. Those months between Labor Day and the first week of November are not usually the strongest films of the year, but there are always exceptions to the rule. On October 12, Ben Affleck dramatizes a key chapter of the Iranian hostage crisis in “Argo.” Affleck directs and stars in this true story of how Canada helped rescue six American embassy employees in Tehran in 1979. “Argo” shows the ingenious way the Americans made it back home, namely masquerading as a film crew shooting on location. In his post-“King of Queens” years, Kevin James selected roles in “Zookeeper” and other light-weight comedies. “Here Comes the Boom,” due out in October, may have more substance than his previous efforts. James plays a high school biology teacher who becomes a mixed martial arts fighter to raise money for the school music program. James, who was so great in the 2005 comedy “Hitch,” has the talent and chops to pull this kind of role off. Coming to theaters October 5, “The Paperboy” gives Zac Efron a chance to shine. The “High School Musical” star plays the wayward brother of an investigative reporter. While helping his sibling investigate the innocence of a death row convict, he begins a complicated romance. With Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, and John Cusack also in the cast, this drama could become one of the hottest fall films. October 26 sees the arrival of “The Sessions,” a drama that generated some serious buzz on the film festival circuit. Based on the autobiographical writing of late journalist Mark O’Brien, “The Sessions” looks at O’Brien’s adult years in an iron lung. A victim of polio, O’Brien set out to lose his virginity despite his condition. The journalist passed away in 1999, but his stories continue to inspire moviemakers and audiences. Going into a presidential election, healthcare concerns remain a hot-button topic. The upcoming documentary “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” examines the state of the American medical system and efforts to change it. Directors Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke turn the cameras on real people and their struggles with the system.

“The Paperboy”

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OCTOBER 2012 CROSSROADS

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AROUND TOWN

OCTOBER 2012 CrossRoads Magazine

COMMUNITY CALENDAR Every Friday Weekly Public Star Shows At Broemmelsiek Park (1615 Schwede Road off Hwy. DD). Join members of the Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri for a viewing of the stars as they present a public open house for 2 hours beginning at dark. View far-away places through complex telescopes and discover secrets of the universe. All are welcome to attend. For more information, visit the Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri at www.asemonline.org. Every Weekend Fall Group Hayrides Enjoy an old-fashioned hayride with family and friends at Broemmelsiek Park, 1615 Schwede Rd., off Highway DD (Winghaven Blvd.) near Wentzville, weekends through Nov. 18. Groups of all ages are welcome to enjoy the fun of a hayride without traveling miles from home. Two tractor pulled wagons take guests on a 45-minute ride through tree-lined fields of the park. Afterwards, participants can enjoy sitting around a glowing bonfire for an hour to roast their own treats. Guests may also bring non-alcoholic beverages, but glass containers are prohibited on the wagons or at the campfire site. Advanced reservations are required by contacting the St. Charles County Parks Department at 636.949.7535 or visiting www.stccparks.org. The cost is $125 a wagon with a maximum of 20 people per wagon. Hayrides may be reserved for 6, 7, and 8 p.m. on Fridays and 5, 6, 7, and 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. October 7 Racin’ for Rescues Put on your running shoes and grab your leash for the Second Annual Racin’ for 10

CROSSROADS OCTOBER 2012

Rescues 5K run/walk, from 9 a.m. to noon at Quail Ridge Park, 5501 Quail Ridge Parkway near Wentzville. Proceeds benefit Stray Rescue of St. Louis and Gateway Golden Retriever Rescue. Registration is only $25 through October 2. Participants who pre-register will receive a complimentary t-shirt. The race will begin at 9 a.m. Registration is $30 beginning October 3 through race day. To pre-register, contact Kevin West at 636.332.9663 or e-mail at WestinnKennels@gmail.com. October 7 Blessing of the Animals 10:15 a.m. at Transfiguration Episcopal Church, 1860 Lake St. Louis Boulevard, Lake Saint Louis. Held on the church’s back lot, adjacent to the parking lot. If it rains, the service will be held inside. Open to all persons of any religious faith or background. Please come casually dressed and bring your pets for a blessing. Please bring a lawn chair. The loose offering for that day will be going to the St. Charles Humane Society and we invite you to bring items, for animals, to donate to Stray Rescue. For more information, please call 636.561.8951. October 13 Babysitting Basics 8:30 a.m. to noon at Lake Saint Louis City Hall. $16 payable prior to class. Designed for boys and girls ages 11 and older. Topics covered by Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital Staff include: infant and toddler care, play ideas, safety skills, appropriate discipline techniques, and more. Fee includes a light snack and course certificate. Register by calling 636.561.4620.

To see your organization’s event listed here, please contact us. E-mail: cnews@centurytel.net Fax: 636.379.1632 Mail: 2139 Bryan Valley Commercial Dr. O’Fallon, MO 63366

October 17 Pumpkin Decorating 5:30 – 6:15 p.m. for 1-3 year olds; 6:30 – 7:15 p.m. for 4-6 year olds; 7:30 – 8:15 p.m. for 7-9 year olds. $12 per resident or $15 per nonresident. Held at Progress Park Conference Room in Wentzville. Everyone will be successful in this step-bystep class to transform a pumpkin into a creepy guest in your home. Each child will receive a pumpkin to decorate and all the material to make the most magnificent pumpkin. Parents may need to assist their little ones. Dress to get messy! A snack and drink will conclude the class. To register, call the Wentzville Parks and Recreation Department at 636.332.9236. October 17 Helping Hands 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Are you looking for a way to better the community you live in? Wentzville Parks and Recreation offers a free volunteer program for kids ages 1015. Parents will be responsible for transportation to and from the destination, and each child must be signed in and out. Free. For more information, call the Wentzville Parks and Recreation Department at 636.332.9236. October 19 H.O.P.P. Night 7 – 9 p.m. at Progress Park. For kids in grades 6 – 8. $3 payable at the door. Hangin’ Out at Progress Park (H.O.P.P.) has become a fun and safe place for kids to spend some time with their friends. Dance the night away, listening to some of your favorite songs under the supervision of Wentzville’s finest police officers and park staff. Register at the front door and remember to bring money for refreshments. We require everyone to


stay the whole time unless signed out by an adult. No outside beverages or backpacks will be allowed. For more information, call the Wentzville Parks and Recreation Department at 636.332.9236. October 20 Tour de Dirt Mountain Bike Ride The St. Charles County Parks Department is teaming up with the American Diabetes Association for the Second Annual Tour de Dirt, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Broemmelsiek Park, 1615 Schwede Road off of Highway DD, south of O’Fallon. Beginners to avid cyclists of all ages are encouraged to participate in this fun mountain bike ride that assists in the fight against diabetes! The $30 registration fee includes: the ride, time trails, skills area, bike shop support, food/ beverage, and entertainment. A $40 fee will be charged the day of the event. For more information about the ride or to register for the event, contact Shawn Martin at smartin@diabetes.org or call 314.822.5490 ext. 6824. October 21 Coffee Talk with Mayor Guccione 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at Wentzville City Hall, 310 W. Pearce Blvd. Coffee Talk will be an informal, open discussion of important city issues with Mayor Nick Guccione. The mayor welcomes all residents who would like to attend. For more information call Vi Skillman at 636.327.5101. October 26 and 27 Hayride Hoedown Held at Broemmelsiek Park, 1615 Schwede Road near Wentzville. Guests will experience a 45-minute wagon ride through the park, along with a light dinner, s‘mores, and the foot-stomping, knee-slapping performance of Babaloo, a one-man musical comedy act suitable for all ages. Cost is $10.50 per person, and advanced reservations before Oct. 19 are required. Sessions are offered at 6, 6:45 and 7:30 p.m., and are limited to 40 participants per session. To register, contact the Parks Department at 636.949.7535 or

visit www.stccparks.org. October 26 and 27 Night of Fright Haunted House Be afraid... be very afraid at the Sixth Annual Night of Fright from dusk – 10 p.m. at the Youth Activity Park, 7801 Highway N in Dardenne Prairie. Children and their families are invited to experience this spook-tacular Halloween celebration at one of St. Charles County’s most unique parks. $5 per person. Designed for children ages 8 – 16. After the scare, skateboard or rollerblade the night away in the 33,000-square-foot skate park. An activity waiver must be completed for all guests using the skate park, and helmets are required. For more information about Night of Fright, contact the Youth Activity Park at 636.561.4964. October 28 Moonlight Bike Ride Series Held 6:30 – 9 p.m. at Indian Camp Creek Park, on Deitrich Road off Hwy. 61 near Wentzville. Join experienced guides on a moonlight bike ride through some of St. Charles County’s most scenic natural surface park trails. Open to cyclists of all ages and skill levels, these relaxing bike rides through woods and prairies take place after the sun goes down. Participants must also provide their own equipment and wear bike-safety helmets. Lights are

required. If unfavorable trail conditions exist, contact the St. Charles County Parks Closure/Cancellation Hotline at 636.949.7475 before heading out. To participate in these free trail ride opportunities, please register by visiting www. stccparks.org or contact the Parks Department at 636.949.7535.

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www.historicstcharles.com OCTOBER 2012 CROSSROADS 11


AROUND TOWN WESTERN ST. CHARLES COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE “Serving Wentzville, Lake St. Louis, and Dardenne Prairie” BY TONY MATHEWS

Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce Mystery Dinner Theater

Tony Mathews, President/CEO Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce

The Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Mystery Dinner Theater on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3, 2012. The cast will perform Some Show (About a Murder) by Lee Mueller. The event will be held at the Pitman Banquet Center located at 1543 Wentzville Parkway, Wentzville, MO 63385. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the play starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $30 per person. Admission includes dinner, drinks, dessert and a wonderful play. For reservations contact the Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce at 636.327.6914.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies The Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce hosted ribbon cutting ceremonies for RS7 Studios – Photography & Cinema and Consort Homes at Carlton Glenn Estates. RS7 Studios – Photography & Cinema is located at 11110 Veterans Memorial Parkway, Lake St. Louis, MO 63367. You can reach them at 866.963.7824. RS7 specializes in wedding photography, fine art, commercial photography, and video. They also provide classes and workshops. Consort Homes at Carlton Glen Estates is located at 4001 River Dell Drive, Wentzville, MO 63385. You can reach them at

636.327.4390. Come tour their two brand new display homes and all the amenities that Carlton Glen Estates has to offer. To see videos and find out more information about these ribbon cuttings please visit www.westernstcharlescountychamber. com and click on the Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page. Representatives of each business, the Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce, and cities helped cut the ceremonial ribbons.

Chamber City 2 City Black Sunday 5K/10K Run and Walk The Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce its City 2 City Black Sunday 5K/10K Run & Walk on Sunday, November 18, 2012. Anyone who races or walks will be registered to win a $1,000 gift card to spend over the Black Friday Shopping Weekend! Make your reservations to race today. The race will begin at 8 a.m. Race will be $20 per person for runners and $15 for walkers. Race will begin at Dardenne Prairie City Hall, 2032 Hanley Rd., Dardenne Prairie, MO 63368 and end at The Meadows at Lake St. Louis, 20 Meadows Circle Dr., Lake St. Louis, MO 63367. For more information about the Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce, please call 636. 327.6914, or visit www.westernstcharlescountychamber.com.

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Photo Op PHOTOS BY RAY ROCKWELL

LSL Lowe’s Donates

CrossRoads photographer Ray Rockwell was at Lowe’s in Lake Saint Louis Sept. 19 when Store Manager Elizabeth “Liz” Lee and Plumbing Dept. Manager Lorey Howerton donated several cases of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and batteries to the Wentzville Fire Protection District. The supplies will be distributed to the community.

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LIFESTYLES

Aging for Dummies This is a speech on aging I plan to give while standing on a soapbox in the park: Haiti and Chili have experienced devastating earthquakes that killed thousands. The tsunamis from earthquakes all over the world have killed tens of thousands. The weather is changing all over the world and hurricanes, tornados, floods, cold and heat are killing millions. The threat of Middle East nuclear wars is imminent. Terrorists are killing tens of thousands. The air is getting more polluted all the time and its killing people. So are all the rest of the pollutants and diseases. My doctor is worried I’ll die if I don’t do what he says. I’m worried I’ll die from boredom if I do. Drivers are jabbering on cell phones in rush hour and causing accidents that kill thousands. Cancer is killing millions. It even tried killing me. Drug lords, smugglers and pushers are killing judges, police, government officials and each other. Their products are killing tens of thousands…or maybe people are killing themselves by using their products. We’re in a world recession and people are starving to death by the thousands. I drove to a lake to camp and fish to get away from all the bad news. Traffic and boat accidents and tainted fish kill thousands every year. I decided to ride a motorcycle and tour the country on the www.vincesasianbistro.com cheap. Motorcycles use less gasoline. Hundreds of bikers get killed every year.

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BY JOE MORICE

As I stood looking out the window at other people looking out the window, I began to understand why many people only read the sports pages and watch hopelessly inane sitcoms and unrealistic reality shows on TV. I canceled my TV service before I became a mushroom. I had the daily newspaper delivered and became infuriated while reading the news. I cancelled it. Now I read it on the Internet and become infuriated. Getting infuriated is hard on my heart. Heart attacks kill millions of people all over the world. I hate Missouri winters so I checked out Florida to see about living in a warmer climate. It was full of elderly people who hated winter, too. They sat on park benches staring at other people sitting on park benches. Occasionally one of them would die. Old age kills millions of people. I checked out Arizona. It’s full of more elderly people dying from old age. I’m getting tired of all this!!! Everthing I do or want to do might kill me. I have a choice. To quote Ellis Redding in The Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” To the doctors trying to keep me alive and bored to death, the careless drivers of cars, truckers and boaters that threaten to kill me while they jabber on cell phones, the purveyors of tainted food and unhealthy diets, the bad news media moguls, the bad weather and earthquake gods, the environmental polluters and saviors thereof, the unsafe and the safety experts, the pill pushers and health care providers that save us from disease and take all our money, the nuclear attack threateners and terrorists, and all the rest of the friends and enemies of mankind, real or imagined, I say “Thank you for allowing me to live this long.” From now on, however, I’m taking a ride on the wild side. You’ll find me doing things that might possibly kill me and you’ll warn me I shouldn’t. Too bad. I refuse to go on preventing death by preventing life. My doctor will be furious. My children will be worried. My friends will think I lost my mind. My enemies already do. My neighbors will complain about the crazy person next door. My clergyman will say, “I know where he’s going.” My lawyer will up his retainer. My ex-wife will cheer. My relatives will…scratch that. They always thought I was crazy, anyway. I don’t have to get high or drunk to avoid reality. I don’t have to watch TV to avoid thinking. I no longer want to worry about wars, pestilence, pollution, traffic fatalities, fatty foods or the price of butter in starving countries. Maybe I’ll write a book. I’ll call it “Aging for Dummies.” Or maybe I’ll join a biker gang and disturb the peace. Or maybe I’ll teach my grandchildren how to enjoy life without worrying about what their peers do. After all, doing what everybody else does could possibly blind them from truth. And the truth is this is the first day of the rest of our lives. Something’s going to kill me no matter what I do. My new plan is to have a good time until it does. Wish I’d thought of that sooner. Worrying about dying was killing me.


AROUND TOWN

Safety on Halloween The Wentzville Police Department wants area residents to have a safe and happy Halloween. Children between the ages of 5-14 are four times as likely to get killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other evenings of the year. Falls are a leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween. Parents can help prevent these injuries by following these safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Safety Council: Children should: • Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses. • Travel in small groups and be accompanied by an adult. • Know their phone numbers. • Have their names and addresses attached to their costumes. • Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect them. • Use costume knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid or sharp. When walking in neighborhoods, they should: • Use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing through yards. • Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks if available, and do not cross between parked cars. • Stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing. • Wear clothing that is bright, reflective, and4:11 flamePMretardant. Flooring_march2011_b:Layout 1 2/8/11 Page 1

• Consider using face paint instead of masks. • Avoid wearing hats that could slide over their eyes. • Avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversized shoes to prevent tripping. • Always look left, right, and left again before crossing the street. Parents and adults should: • Supervise the outing for children under age 12. • Establish a curfew for older children. • Prepare homes for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks and by placing decorations away from doorways and landings. • Avoid giving choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children. • Inspect all candy before children eat it. To ensure the safety of pedestrian trick-or-treaters, parents and adults should: • Make sure children under age 12 are supervised as they cross the street. • Drive slowly. • Watch for children in the street and on medians. Exit driveways and alleyways carefully. • Have children get out of cars on the curb side, not the traffic side. Following these tips should help make your Halloween a safe and fun holiday.

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FOOD

Boo-tiful Halloween Carvings (Family Features) This Halloween, why not put a fun twist on pumpkin carving by making some Jack O’Melons? Watermelons carve up boo-tifully, and you can eat the fruit right away, making it easy to scare up some delicious Halloween fun. This Bat Jack O’Melon and Tiki Mask can add a frightfully fun touch to a Halloween party — and the whole family can help carve them. To get more carving ideas and instructions, visit www.watermelon.org. Watermelons are a healthy addition to any Halloween party. They’re the lycopene leader among fresh produce, are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and contain 6 percent of the daily value for vitamin B6 — all of which boost your immune system. Carving Tips — Have the watermelon at room temperature when you carve. The cuts will be easier to make. You can chill the watermelon in the refrigerator after cutting and before serving. — After you’ve drawn the design on the rind, insert toothpicks in key places to use as guides for your cuts. — Use a sharp knife with a pointed tip — the sharper the knife, the easier and cleaner the cuts will be. — When attaching cut pieces on the watermelon to make your design, use round toothpicks or skewers. Flat toothpicks will often break due to the weight of the piece or the thickness of the rind.

Bat Jack O’Melon

2 round watermelons, preferably yellow, for the body Kitchen and paring knives Cutting board Green dry-erase marker (preferably washable) Large bowl and spoon

Candy corns 4 to 6-inch wooden skewers Toothpicks Candle or light

Wash watermelons under cool running water and pat dry. On a cutting board, place the roundest watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the stem end, being careful not to cut too deep into the white part of the rind. This will provide a sturdy base. Using dry-erase marker, draw two eyes, an oval for a nose and a smiling mouth that would resemble a bat. Draw two ears and an outline of a forehead, continuing the line around to make the top for the bat that will be removed. Use a knife to carefully cut away inside of the eyes, nose and mouth and also around the top of watermelon. Remove top and hollow out watermelon with spoon, reserving fruit to use in a fruit salad or punch. On the second watermelon, use dry-erase marker to draw 2 bat wings (the top of the wings will have 2 points and the bottom of the wings will have 2 points.) Use knife to carefully cut wings out, reserving inside of watermelon to make fruit salad or punch. Attach wings to side of watermelon bat with wooden skewers, and use toothpicks to attach candy-corn as fangs. Insert a candle to light up your bat.

Tiki Mask Table Decoration 1 oblong seedless watermelon Pencil or green dry erase marker Melon baller Paring and kitchen knives

Spoon Channel knife Toothpick

Slice 1/4 inch off end of watermelon to provide a stable base. Use pencil to draw the face, making adjustments in scale to your particular watermelon. Use melon baller to scoop out nostrils; use small paring knife to clean up edges. Next use paring knife to cut out the inside mouth area, leaving room for the teeth. Next cut individual teeth, using the same small paring knife, and use a spoon to dig out a large area of flesh for the mouth cavity. Next carve out eyes, digging a deep cavity in each, for drama. Use a channel knife to carve details. Use some carved out pieces to cut a “bone” decoration for top of head, and attach with a toothpick. 16 CROSSROADS OCTOBER 2012


AROUND TOWN

Health Department to Offer Flu Shots Influenza (the flu) season begins in October and continues through the spring, which means that the time to schedule your flu shot is now —since it typically takes up to two weeks for protective antibodies to develop within the body. To help safeguard the community against influenza, the St. Charles County Division of Public Health is offering flu vaccine for $25 to adults and children. Two types of vaccines — a traditional shot or a nasal spray — are available and designed to protect against the flu strains the World Health Organization predicts will be most common this year. Both types have been thoroughly tested and approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Vaccinations are offered at the health department facility (located at 1650 Boone’s Lick Road in St. Charles) every weekday except Thursday. Hours are 8:30 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. — open until 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. In addition, the facility’s hours are extended until 7 p.m., on the second Tuesday of each month. Patients are asked to schedule an appointment for their visit, but walk-in customers are accepted on a space-available basis from 8:30 to 11 a.m., on Fridays. To schedule an appointment, please call 636-949-1857. “A flu vaccine is the best way to protect against influenza,” Division of Public Health Director Hope Woodson said. “Although

last season was considered one of the mildest ever, there is no way to predict the number of flu cases reported this year. With the start of the season coming soon, it’s important to schedule your appointment now to best protect your family.” Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that is spread through everyday interaction. The flu can range from a mild nuisance to a severe, lifethreatening situation. Presenting with symptoms that range from a fever, cough, stuffy nose and general fatigue to a sore throat, headache and vomiting, the illness typically lasts for a few days to a long week. Some — especially those 65 or older, people with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children — are at a higher risk for developing more severe complications if they get sick with the flu. Along with getting the annual vaccine, there are two other basic steps you can take to protect against the illness. The first step is to take preventative actions to limit contact (cover your nose/mouth when coughing, wash hands with soap and hot water regularly and avoid close contact with others). If you do happen to become sick with the flu, the next precaution is to treat it with antiviral drugs and to stay home until at least 24 hours after your fever subsides.

www.pbtc.net/about.html OCTOBER 2012 CROSSROADS 17


AROUND TOWN

All Around Wentzville Free Fall Pickup of Tree and Shrub Trimmings

Once fall arrives, many residents like to do a final trimming of the trees and shrubs around their houses. To make it easy for residents to dispose of these trimmings, the city of Wentzville provides a free Brush and Tree Chipper Program in both the spring and fall. For residents living north of the railroad tracks, the free fall pickup of tree and shrub trimmings is scheduled for the week of October 1-5. Residents living south of the railroad tracks will have their tree and shrub trimmings picked up October 9-12. To ensure their trimmings are picked up, residents should have them placed at the curb by 6 a.m. on Monday of the week their area is scheduled for pickup. Limbs should be eight inches or less in diameter, and not tied into bundles or placed in bags. All materials not placed at the curb line or that have greater than an eight-inch diameter will not be picked up. Leaves, decorative grasses or grass clippings are not included in this pickup and will not be accepted. After the October pickup, the next scheduled free limb-and-brush pickup won’t be until spring of 2013. For more information about the Brush and Tree Chipper Program, call the Wentzville Public Works Department at 636.639.2049.

Wiffle Ball Tournament

Get your friends (ages 16 and older) together for the Wiffle Ball Tournament! The tournament will be held from 6 – 10 p.m. on Friday, October 12 at the Rotary Park lower field. The cost is $45 per team. Teams will consist of three to five players with a pitcher and two outfielders. Official wiffle ball rules will apply with house rules added. All equipment is provided. The games will be played under the lights at Rotary Park field. This will be a double elimination tournament, so get a couple of your friends together and try to capture the first place trophy!

18

CROSSROADS OCTOBER 2012

Halloween Window Decorating Contest

The Wentzville Downtown Business Association and Wentzville Parks and Recreation have teamed up once again to offer the annual Halloween Window Decorating contest. All fourth and fifth grade students with a love for art are encouraged to participate in this fun event. Paints are supplied; however, participants must supply their own brushes. Colors available to painters are black, white, yellow, red, green, brown, purple, and orange. Window locations are assigned when paints are picked up. Painting will take place on October 27 and 28, with judging taking place on October 29. First, second and third place trophies and gift certificates will be awarded. For more information please contact Wentzville Parks and Recreation at 636.332.9236 or visit www.wentzvillemo.org for an application.

Halloween Happenings

Wentzville kids ages one through 10 are sure to have lots of fantastic fun on Sunday, October 28, when Wentzville’s Parks and Recreation Department hosts its annual Halloween Happenings at the Progress Park gymnasium. In addition to wearing their favorite costumes, kids will get to play games, jump in the bounce houses, and watch clowns create cool balloon gifts just for them. Kids should be sure to bring trick-or-treat bags with them to carry all the treats they get that afternoon. This safe, fun-filled Halloween event is for residents only and runs from 2 – 4 p.m. The cost per child is $2 in advance, or two canned food items. Advance tickets may be picked up at Progress Park during regular business hours. Tickets on the day of the event will be $4, but no canned-goods substitutions will be allowed.


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CrossRoads: Oct. 2012