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percentage of everybody’s wealth to a government that expands the money supply. Moreover, inflation takes the same percentage from the poorest person in the country as it does from the richest. That’s not all. Income taxes only transfer money from your current income to the government, but it does not touch whatever money you may have saved over the years. With inflation, the government takes the same cut out of both. It is bad enough when the poorest have to turn over the same share of their assets to the government as the richest do, but it is grotesque when the government puts a bigger bite on the poorest. This can happen because the rich can more easily convert their assets from money into things like real estate, gold or other assets whose value rises with inflation. But a welfare mother is unlikely to be able to buy real estate or gold. She can put a few dollars aside in a jar somewhere. But wherever she may hide it, inflation can steal value from it without having to lay a hand on it. No wonder the Federal Reserve uses fancy words like “quantitative easing,” instead of saying in plain English that they are essentially just printing more money. The biggest and most deadly “tax” rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits – food stamps, housing subsidies and the like – if their income goes up. Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase in pay can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits that they no longer qualify for. That amounts to a marginal tax rate of 150 percent – far more than millionaires pay. Some government policies help some people at the expense of other people. But some policies can hurt welfare recipients, the taxpayers and others, all at the same time, even though in different ways. Why? Because we are too easily impressed by lofty political rhetoric and too little interested in the reality behind the words.

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With all the talk about taxing the rich, we hear very little talk about taxing the poor. Yet the marginal tax rate on someone living in poverty can sometimes be higher than the marginal tax rate on millionaires. While it is true that nearly half the households in the country pay no income tax at all, the apparently simple word “tax” has many complications that can be a challenge for even professional economists to untangle. If you define a tax as only those things that the government chooses to call a tax, you get a radically different picture from what you get when you say, “If it looks like a tax, acts like a tax and takes away your resources like a tax, then it’s a tax.” One of the biggest, and one of the oldest, taxes in this latter sense is inflation. Governments have stolen their people’s resources this way, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years. Hyperinflation can take virtually your entire life’s savings, without the government having to bother raising the official tax rate at all. The Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1920s had thousands of printing presses turning out vast amounts of money, which the government could then spend to pay for whatever it wanted to pay for. Of course, prices skyrocketed with vastly more money in circulation. Many people’s life savings would not buy a loaf of bread. For all practical purposes, they had been robbed, big time. A rising demagogue coined the phrase “starving billionaires,” because even a billion Deutschmarks was not enough to feed your family. That demagogue was Adolf Hitler, and the public’s loss of faith in their irresponsible government may well have contributed toward his Nazi movement’s growth. Most inflation does not reach that level, but the government can quietly steal a lot of your wealth with much lower rates of inflation. For example a $100 bill at the end of the 20th century would buy less than a $20 bill would buy in 1960. If you put $1,000 in your piggy bank in 1960 and took it out to spend in 2000, you would discover that your money had, over time, lost 80 percent of its value. Despite all the political rhetoric today about how nobody’s taxes will be raised, except for “the rich,” inflation transfers a

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letters to the editor ‘Hotels and Hassles’ To the Editor: Mr. Sowell, I don’t recall ever reading any of your editorials all the way through because I find your political views so far from mine that I cannot even bring yours into focus to examine. However, I read with delight your editorial entitled “Hotels and Hassles.” Both my wife and I laughed out loud. Now that I found what a great writer you are, maybe I’ll try harder to get all the way through one of your right-wing editorials and listen to what you have to say. Kim Wennerberg Ballwin

Strong decisive leaders needed To the Editor: Applications are being accepted now for strong decisive leaders on the Rockwood School District Board of Education. Qualified citizens may apply in person at the Rockwood administrative offices located at 111 E. North St. in Eureka. The community of the Rockwood School District is in desperate need of strong, decisive leadership on its Board of Education. In 2007, the Rockwood School Board began discussing unsustainable budget shortfalls for 2013 and beyond. Here it is the end of 2012 and there is no real vision or direction for the future, except more taxes. The claim that Rockwood has already cut a total of $22 million over five years is questionable. If you are a strong decisive leader, or know someone who is, applications for a position on the Rockwood School Board are being accepted beginning through Jan. 15. Two Board director positions on the Rockwood School Board will be decided on the April 2, 2013, ballot. Eileen Tyrrell Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions

Washington immaturity

To the Editor: Washington has a spending problem. However, moreover it has a maturity (or lack thereof) problem. From the president on down, D.C. is dominated by immature men and women who lack the character to act in the best interest of the country instead of themselves. Carl Schroeder Wildwood

In defense of Dr. Sowell To the Editor: A recent letter attacked Sowell as a “hater” (West Newsmagazine, Nov. 28) It stated Dr. Sowell hates Obama and is a liar. The author states that Sowell “dedicates the first half of a recent article to repeating the lies of the far right wing…” and in the next sentence states that the facts will come out over the next few months. It is illogical to call one a liar and then state that the facts are not yet known. Until the facts are known a determination of truth or falsehood cannot be made. In his expression of dissatisfaction over Dr. Sowell’s articles, the author identifies Sowell as a liar seven times, labels Sowell a hater four times, and calls Dr. Sowell, a man who earned a Ph.D. from University of Chicago [arguably, the best school of economics in the world] an idiot one time and ignorant twice. Dr. Sowell dropped out of high school and served in the Marine Corps during Korean War. Returning home, went to work and earned his GED, and then began college. Graduating magna cum laude from Harvard, he earned a master’s degree from Cornell before completing his doctorate. I find Dr. Sowell’s articles measured and meaningful. I have a degree in economics and find Dr. Sowell’s perspective is that which naturally “works” in a capitalistic system and that which does not. Any artificial market constraint, by its very nature, impedes economic growth. Without economic growth the resources to do anything, help anyone, are limited. Winston Churchill said it best: “Capitalism is the worst economic system, except for all the others.” What Dr. Sowell understands is that while capitalism is flawed and inefficient, it is less so than any other system. Dr. Sowell was a self-described socialist as an undergraduate but as he has studied economics and life, his perspective matured. There are facts and there are opinions. I haven’t observed Dr. Sowell misrepresent any facts or to state falsehoods. I have witnessed him express opinions, which are his prerogative. Dr. Sowell’s opinions are predicated upon the principles of economics which he has spent a lifetime studying, teaching and developing. Born in 1930, he is a black man who grew up in the south in poverty. His life has given him a perspective of what does and does not work. Knowing something of

the body of knowledge, his understanding To the Editor: of economics is extraordinarily refined. I am responding to “Why Obama Won” in To confuse his opinions [however refined the Dec. 5 edition of West Newsmagazine. and well founded] with facts is an undisciIt should be remembered that all of the plined evaluation of Sowell and an unfair details about Obama being the winner in the basis for criticism. presidential race are mute here in Missouri. Truth is refined in the crucible of debate This is a red state and Obama lost here as and passion is a beautiful thing. he did in the election of ‘08 regardless of I applaud the author for expressing his how hard the entitlement crowd want to feelings. I would invite him to temper his think he is a great victor. As George Bush approach with the same concern about his before him Obama was elected by four own motivation[s] and manner of expres- states in this union and Missouri wasn’t sion as he observes about Sowell. It seems one of them. to me that the author is as malicious as Missouri is a traditional conservative he accuses Sowell to be. A less vitriol state and would never elect a socialist like approach would have been more produc- Barry Obama no matter how much the tive to make his point. entitled fight to try and get it done. For any who are interested, I recommend As was stated in the column, “the truth learning more about Dr. Sowell’s thoughts hurts” all right. The truth is we are heading and positions here at backward not forward with this president. John Stobbs He has this country polarized like never Grover before. He likes to state his affection for Abraham Lincoln and like Lincoln he has the country divided into two factions. Final thoughts on Although the two are different from the 1860s crowd they are two just the same. ‘Why Obama Won’ Those who expect everything from govTo the Editor: ernment entitlements and those of us who Dear West County neighbor: I want to want the government to get out of our way thank you for the bright yellow envelope and let us move forward. with the fancy font that came to my house Paul Wehrle in response to my letter to the editor entitled Ballwin “Why Obama won.” And thanks for having the courage to send it anonymously. My young son opened it, thinking it was Letter from the Editor a Christmas card. Lucky for me he hasn’t West Newsmagazine is on hiatus in print learned the curse words you sent about the until Jan. 9. We encourage you to visit president. for continued I enjoyed the humor in all the tall tales, West County news. Stories are added and like the one about the first lady demanding updated daily online where you can also an extra 21 personal servants, and the slew find a comprehensive list of events and a of made-up statistics and percentage about chance to vote for the Best of West. the president of the United States. Also thank you, as you have solidified my belief that education should be our country’s focus right now. Too much misinformation leads to unnecessary divisiveness. And I also want to thank you, because it was false statistics, conspiracy theories, disrespect for the president and his family and other modes of hatred that helped to motivate the democratic base. And the least likely way to win our votes now is with more of the same. But to show my appreciation, I have made a generous donation to the Democratic Party in your honor – in a bright Submit your letter to: yellow envelope. Carmen Bumgarner Ballwin

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No reason for worry Worried about the end of the world? One senior scientist has two words for you: “Stop it!” The following is by David Morrison, the director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe and a NASA senior scientist. ••• There is widespread and unnecessary fear of doomsday on Dec. 21. Some people worry about a Mayan prophesy of the end of the world; others fear a variety of astronomical threats such as collision with a rogue planet. Opinion polls suggest that one in 10 Americans worries about whether they will survive past Dec. 21 of this year, and middle school teachers everywhere report that many of their students are fearful of a coming apocalypse. The following are brief facts that address these doomsday fears. Mayan calendar: The Mayan calendar, which is made up of different cycles of day counts, does not end this year. Rather, one cycle of 144,000 days (394 years) ends and the next cycle begins. Mayan prophecy: The ancient Maya did not predict the end of the world or any disaster in December 2012. Such doomsday predictions are a modern hoax. Planet Nibiru: Nibiru is probably the minor name of a god found in ancient Mesopotamian writing. There is no planet named Nibiru, and the fictional books by economist Zecharia Sitchin about a civilization on this planet are a hoax. Rogue planet headed for Earth: For the past decade there have been reports of a rogue object (Planet X, or Nibiru, or Hercubolus, or even Comet Elenin) that will collide with Earth in December 2012. These claims are not true. If such a threatening world existed, it would be one of the brightest objects in the sky, and astronomers would have been tracking it for years. If it existed, its gravity would be distorting the orbits of planets, especially Mars and Earth. Astronomers know that it does not exist. Planet alignments: There is no alignment of planets in December 2012. There is an approximate lining up of the Earth and sun and the center of our galaxy in late December, but this happens every year. In any case, planet alignments have no effect on the Earth. Pole shift: There is nothing strange this year about either the magnetic poles or the rotational poles of the Earth. The magnetic polarity changes every million years or so, but that is not happening now, and it probably takes thousands of years when it does happen. A sudden change in the rotational

axis has never happened and is not possible. If there were any change in the Earth’s rotation, it would be instantly apparent by failure of our GPS systems. Increasing disasters. Our planet is behaving normally in 2012, although we see more and more news stories about natural disasters. There has been no increase in earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. There has been an increase in extreme weather, including both droughts and floods, which are partly attributable to global warming, but this has nothing to do with a 2012 doomsday. Solar outbursts: The sun’s ongoing 11-year activity cycle is expected to peak in 2013, not 2012. Solar outbursts (flares and CMEs) can damage orbiting satellites but will not hurt us on the surface. The strength of the 2013 solar maximum is predicted to be lower than average, not higher. Bunker conspiracy: Accusations of a massive government cover-up are nonsense. No government could hide an incoming planet or silence hundreds of thousands of scientists. Rumors that huge bunkers have been built in the U.S. or elsewhere to shelter the elite are lies. Apparently a few people are building private shelters, but their fear of 2012 is misplaced and they are wasting their money. Scaring children: The group most vulnerable to doomsday claims is children. Teachers report that many of their students are frightened and some are even considering suicide. This is the most tragic consequence of the 2012 hoax. The end of the world: The idea of the sudden end of the world by any cause is absurd. The Earth has been here for more than 4 billion years, and it will be several more billion years before the gradual brightening of the sun makes our planet unlivable. Meanwhile there is no known astronomical or geological threat that could destroy the Earth. Cosmophobia: Many young people write that they are scared of astronomy. When they read about some new discovery, the first thing they think is that it might hurt them, even if it is happening in a distant galaxy. There is no reason for such fears, or cosmophobia. This rash of concern seems to be the result of too many conspiracy theories and sensational stories featured on the Internet and irresponsible news outlets. Astronomical objects are so distant that they cannot threaten the Earth. Please don’t be afraid of the sun or the planets or comets or asteroids. The universe is not your enemy.


Making memories

Ryder, age 14 months, visits with Santa at Chesterfield Mall. Chesterfield and West County Malls will extend shopping hours to 11 p.m. this weekend and will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve keeping Santa busy right up until the very last minute. For Santa’s photo hours, call 532-0777 for Chesterfield, or (314) 288-2020 for West County.

In QUOTES “We’re going to do it in a way that’s going to minimize the impact on the students, minimize the impact on people – teachers, administrators, taxpayers.” – Bill Brown, Rockwood Board director, on the district’s proposed budget cuts

“…the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country.” – Susan Rice, on her withdrawal from consideration as secretary of state



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754 Spirit 40 Park Dr. Chesterfield, MO 63005 (636)591-0010 ■ (636)778-9785 Fax



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West Newsmagazine is published 35 times per year by West Media Inc. It is direct-mailed to more than 67,000 households in West St. Louis County. Products and services advertised are not necessarily endorsed by West Newsmagazine and views expressed in editorial copy are not necessarily those of West Newsmagazine. No part of West Newsmagazine may be reproduced in any form without prior written consent from West Newsmagazine. All letters addressed to West Newsmagazine or its editor are assumed to be intended for publication and are subject to editing for content and length. West Newsmagazine reserves the right to refuse any advertisement or editorial submission. © Copyright 2012.



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News Br iefs BALLWIN Wagner family honored The Wagner family, of Ballwin, was front and center at the city’s Board of Aldermen meeting Dec. 10. The family was honored in a proclamation recognizing their contributions to the city, state and nation. Ray and Ann Wagner were on hand to receive the proclamation, presented by Mayor Tim Pogue and approved unanimously by the Board. Ann Wagner was elected last month to represent Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District in Washington and had recently returned from the nation’s capital after attending an orientation session for all freshmen lawmakers. She has been active in the Republican Party at the local, state and national levels for many years and served as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg from 2005-09. Ray Wagner, a former Ballwin municipal judge and Missouri director of revenue, is a vice president with Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

Board retreat planned The Ballwin Board of Aldermen will hold a retreat on Saturday, Jan. 12, to consider a number of issues and learn more about others. The public session begins at 8 a.m. and

will include information on the Great Streets Initiative, future directions for the annual Ballwin Days Festival, future budget and funding priorities for the city and employee compensation, as well as a discussion of the city’s code enforcement philosophy. Discussion and review of the Board’s role and responsibilities, the city’s financial reporting and public opinion surveys also are tentatively scheduled.

City wins judgment A Circuit Court judge has awarded the city of Ballwin more than $15,000 in legal expenses related to enforcement actions on a deteriorated residence on the city’s southeast side. Ballwin earlier had won a case seeking to enforce a tax lien for $8,624 representing actual costs the city incurred while attempting to tear down the structure. Defendants in the case were Walter Adam Yung, trustee of a trust owning the property, and Clyde C. Farris Jr. The residence is encumbered by a deed of trust in favor of Farris. Asked how Ballwin will receive the funds, Robert Jones, city attorney, said the city could collect if the property is sold and that the municipality could force a sale to receive payment. At this point, the court’s ruling still can

Shop our “12 Days of Christmas Savings” Like our Facebook page to see the daily specials through December 24 (or call the store). They’ll include such items as: Hanky Panky Thongs, Camis and Undies Elle Macpherson Bra and Panty Sets Hanky Panky Bridal Gifts PJ Salvage Pajamas and Robes Barefoot Dreams Robes and Throws Kai Fragrance Products Eberjey Pajamas and Robes

be appealed. Yung has 60 days from the date of an earlier decision to complete specified repairs on the residence and must allow Ballwin building inspectors to check the house for any additional damage.

that information. Budget dollars carried forward from last year will go partly to capital improvements such as dump truck purchases, new street construction and an increased contingency reserve for the city. Mayor Adam Paul polled the audience and most raised their hands in approval of the 2013 budget.

Music set for Ballwin Days The Ballwin Days committee has selected the Well Hungarians, Black Jack Billy and Head East to perform during the city’s annual festivities. Darryl Holman and Jim Lieber, the committee co-chairs, told Ballwin aldermen that the committee wants to raise the level of entertainment at the May 31-June 2, 2013, event as a way to create “marketing buzz” and to boost attendance and keep sponsor interest and participation high.

Christmas tree pickup The city of Ellisville will conduct a Christmas tree pickup on Jan. 9 in District 2, Jan. 10 in District 3 and Jan. 11 in District 1. “It’s a good idea to put the trees out at the curb the night before,” said Donna Bragdon, Ellisville executive assistant. “The trees should be stripped of tinsel as much as possible, because what we do is chip them and turn them into mulch.” The mulch will be available to Ellisville residents at the city’s public works department, located at 553 Old State Road.

ELLISVILLE Council passes 2013 budget The Ellisville City Council passed the 2013 fiscal year budget at its Dec. 5 meeting. The 2013 budget includes $317,500 from the 2012 budget that will be carried forward for specialty projects. The extra money is due to conservative budgeting from the last fiscal year. “This is a strong financial blueprint for the next year for Ellisville,” said Don Cary, Ellisville finance director. Cary explained that the city anticipates a decrease of sales tax of more than $200,000, however, the city created the budget based on

WILDWOOD 2013 budget approved The City Council on Dec. 11 approved an amended ordinance to adopt its municipal budget and capital improvement programs for fiscal year 2013. The bill after its first reading on Nov. 26 was amended to include various changes authorized by the Council at its work session on Dec. 4. The general operating fund included adjustments to the 2012 year-end

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Members of the Chesterfield Hockey Association along with representatives from Hardee’s Iceplex and coaches and players from Lafayette and Marquette ice hockey teams participate in a ceremony honoring West Newsmagazine founder, Doug Huber, Dec. 7.

estimates, the final 2012 budget amounts reflect amounts in the budget amendment as well as an increase in the 2013 salary accounts to reflect the approved 3-percent increase.

Renewing police services The City Council on Dec. 10 approved an ordinance to renew its police services agreement with St. Louis County for 2013. The agreement is based on police services to be provided by the department, including the assignment of 33 uniformed officers and one civilian person, together with support services. The services for 2013 will cost the city $2,946,544.08, which is an increase of $4,288 from 2012.

West county Monarch approves budget The Monarch Fire Protection District has approved a 2013 budget projecting expenditures and revenues marginally below 2012 levels. Revenues for the district’s general and ambulance funds are expected to climb slightly but the increase is more than offset by drops in the dispatch and pension fund monies and the absence of any revenue for debt service. The district paid off its remaining debt earlier this year. With combined revenues estimated at just over $20 million and expenditures totaling just under that, the 2013 budget anticipates a surplus of about $31,000 in 2013. By comparison, the 2012 budget forecast revenues of nearly $20.2 million and expenditures of slightly less, with a surplus of $7,000. On the revenue side, the 2013 budget anticipates that funding from property tax levies should be the same as 2012. Income from miscellaneous receipts and sales of fixed assets likely will be somewhat lower, but revenue from building permit fees is expected to increase sharply due to a number of large-scale construction projects either under way or committed. Billing for services provided to those outside the district – primarily emergency medical calls – also will show a sizable

increase in 2013. The Monarch Board of Directors approved the budget at its Dec. 5 meeting on a 2-1 vote. Directors Kim Evans and Steve Swyers supported the plan while Robin Harris opposed it. Harris said he disagreed with the need to hire two more firefighterparamedics in 2013 and noted that better scheduling of personnel assigned to public education duties could reduce that number.

Honoring one of their own It’s always a great game when the Lafayette Lancers and the Marquette Mustangs meet on the ice. But on Dec. 7, before the teams went head-to-head, at Chesterfield’s Hardee’s Iceplex, a special ceremony honoring Doug Huber had the players of both teams “taking a knee.” The ceremony recognized Huber’s impact on the Chesterfield Hockey Association – including his role in helping to keep the Chesterfield rink open when it threatened to close 10 years ago. Ken Witbrodt, a former CHA Board member, said there have been a lot of misconceptions about how the rink was saved. “It took a team effort,” he said. He explained that the rink was in default and up for sale. “We had to figure out a way to make it (an ice arena) attractive and stable for a buyer,” Witbrodt said. Among the ideas tossed around was the concept of long-term leases. The Iceplex consists of three rinks, a snack bar, a hockey shop and a fitness facility. “We could get four of the six leases, but we couldn’t get anyone interested in leasing two of the rinks. That’s when Doug’s creativity kicked in,” Witbrodt said. “He realized that we didn’t need long-term leases, just long-term ice-usage contracts. “I was able to bring people to the table (Summit Development who still owns the arena), but Doug was able to get those contracts signed. That was Doug’s magic.” The long-term ice-usage contract with CHA, which Huber inked as CHA president, expires in 2013.

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Rockwood gives preview of potential budget By CAROL ENRIGHT It was a packed house at the Rockwood Board of Education meeting on Dec. 6. Some 275-300 teachers, plus a couple dozen district patrons, crowded the Crestview Middle School cafeteria. They were there to hear about the proposed budget for the 2013-2014 school year and the inevitable cuts that will be necessary to make up a $5.1 million deficit and fund a myriad of programs. Before presenting the budget proposal, which Board President Janet Strate pointed out was still in draft form, Rockwood’s Chief Financial Officer Tim Rooney framed it in the context of the $22 million in cuts the district has made since 2008. He also explained an existing district policy. The Board has a policy to end the fiscal year with an operating fund balance that is between 18 percent and 22 percent of budgeted operating expenditures. Rooney said the district is anticipating an ending balance for 2012-2013 that is 25.8 percent of budgeted operating expenditures, or $16.2 million above the Board’s 18 percent target balance. He explained that while the district could avoid cuts by simply drawing from these reserves, without a bond issue or tax increase, these reserves would dry up in a couple of years. The buzz in the crowd grew audible as Rooney broached the topic of staff reductions. Rooney said staff cuts would be achieved through attrition and not rehiring teachers on one-year contracts – at least through the first two years. If the district could not achieve enough cuts through attrition, layoffs could be necessary in the 2014-2015 school year. An immediate consequence of these staff cuts would be increased class sizes in a district which, at an average of 19 students per class,

has one of the highest class sizes in the area. The proposed budget showed $257,000 in cuts at the administrative level, but Suzanne Dotta, president of the Rockwood National Education Association teacher’s union, said she saw too many cuts “happening at the building level where kids reside, where kids show up every day.” Reading from a prepared statement, Dotta shared her reaction to the proposed budget: “The cuts recommended by Dr. Borchers tonight are a disservice to the students of Rockwood. This is a great district because of the quality people who work directly with children in our schools every day. Eliminating teaching jobs, raising class sizes, cutting secretaries and custodians to fund programs and protect excessive fund balances are not in the best interest of kids.” Dotta suggested that using the fund balance “has to be a piece of the discussion, at least in the short term.” Board Director Steve Smith received a spontaneous outburst of applause when he expressed support of teachers, particularly those whose one-year contracts would not be renewed under the proposed budget. He said teachers with one-year contracts should be treated no differently than tenured teachers. Several other Board directors expressed concern, however, Board Director Bill Brown promised the crowd that every Board member was taking the job seriously and would “solve this problem.” “We’re going to do it in a way that’s going to minimize the impact on the students, minimize the impact on people – teachers, administrators, taxpayers,” Brown said. Strate said the Board would be discussing each of the proposed cuts over several meetings and asking, “Can we live with it collectively or not?”

tion illustrating how Ellisville’s current severance package is in line with many neighboring communities. He said though Ballwin does, in fact, have a 12-month severance deal for its city administrator, it is because he has been there for 25 years. He also pointed out that Ballwin is three times the size of Ellisville. Pirello reiterated from the last meeting that he felt the 12 months’ severance was commensurate with surrounding communities and that Bookout’s role as city manager is a bigger job than neighboring city administrator positions. Pirello also reminded the public that Bookout would not get severance if he is terminated for being derelict in his duties, or if he simply resigns.

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It was standing room only at the Dec. 6 Rockwood Board of Education meeting.

(West Newsmagazine photo)

“The key is that we all understand the consequences of these decisions. They will impact students. They will impact our staff,” Strate said. The Board does not need to approve a final budget until June, but for practical purposes it will be motivated to get a budget in place early next year, so that decisions on hiring and programs can be made for the next school year. The results of the district’s community engagement process, Picture Rockwood, will also impact budget decisions. The two final “pictures” of Rockwood’s future, which can be found on the district’s website, recommend a tax increase and one recommends a bond issue. The final recommendation on which “picture” to adopt will be presented to the Board on Jan. 10. Rockwood videotaped the budget discussion and it is available for the public to view, along with supporting documents, at

Ellisville City Council fails to pass increased severance By DIANE E. SAMSON The Ellisville City Council failed with a 3-3 vote to pass a bill that would have increased City Manager Kevin Bookout’s severance from the current six months of salary and individual health insurance to an increase of one month for every additional year of service, up to a cap of 12 months. Councilmembers Troy Pieper (District 2), Matt Pirrello (District 1), and Michelle Murray (District 3) voted for the measure while Councilmembers Linda Reel (District 2) and Dawn Anglin (District 1), as well as Mayor Adam Paul voted against the bill. Councilmember Roze Acup (District 3) was absent. Paul was vocal in his opposition of the bill and offered a PowerPoint presenta-


“The hope is that the city would never have this expense,” said Pirello. “The concern the public is expressing about Ellisville not having enough money is why we aren’t giving him a salary increase.” Murray said, “The fact we’ve stayed in the black shows Kevin has provided good leadership.” And Pieper added, “I’ve never seen anyone work as hard as Kevin does. I really don’t know if those (nay) votes were heartfelt.” Paul said he agrees with those accolades, but added that he believes the motivation behind the bill was the current Council’s apprehension of Paul. “If you think I’m here to clean house, think again,” said Paul. “I’m just here for the city of Ellisville.”

By CAROL ENRIGHT It’s one term and out for Chesterfield Mayor Bruce Geiger. On Dec. 13, Geiger announced that he will be stepping down when his twoyear term expires in April. “When I ran two years ago, I fully expected this would be the beginning of my campaign for a second term as mayor. However, after much agonizing and careful thought, I have decided not to seek re-election as mayor of Chesterfield,” Geiger wrote in a press statement. “… While the mayor often receives credit for the many achievements we have realized these past two years, our success is due primarily to the outstanding efforts of our staff led by City Administrator Mike Herring.” In an interview following his announcement, Geiger recounted an extensive list of accomplishments that have marked his time in office. Highlights include four major road projects, the opening of the Chesterfield Amphitheater and Erberwein Dog Park; and Mercy relocating its world headquarters to Chesterfield. “We accomplished more than I thought we’d be able to in a short period of time. It just seemed like the right time to go and turn it over to somebody else,” Geiger said. But what just might turn out to be the mayor’s biggest legacy is bringing what appears to be two outlet malls to Chesterfield Valley. “I’m convinced that they’re both going now,” said Geiger. “I didn’t think that maybe up to a month and a half ago.” Chesterfield Councilmembers, Bob Nation (Ward 4) and Matt Segal (Ward 1), whose seats are up in April, are both vying for the mayor’s spot – and Geiger has endorsed Segal. “I think Matt would do a good job,” Geiger said. “He has four years on the Council. He’s certainly been an active councilmember, one of the leaders on the Council, and he understands the issues.” Geiger said he’s interested in joining three or four nonprofit boards, including Chesterfield Arts. “Other than that, I’m pretty much thinking retirement. I think my wife is a nervous wreck about having me home,” he said. Geiger’s last piece of official business as mayor will be presiding over the April 17, 2013, City Council meeting, at which time the newly elected mayor will be sworn in.

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By CAROL ENRIGHT with SARAH WILSON Fresh off a national election in which the hot-button topic was redistributing wealth by taxing the rich, several cities in St. Louis County are rallying to change a tax system that requires all county municipalities to pool their sales taxes and redistributes them according to a complicated formula based on each city’s population. On Nov. 30, Dennis Hancock, mayor of Fenton, invited 36 municipalities “that lose revenue under the current structure” to gather for what was to be the first of several meetings to address the tax pool. “The group that was there agreed that we’re all interested in pursuing some change to the current sales tax distribution formula, and we’ll be meeting in the future to formulate legislation that we’d like to see introduced and work toward getting that done,” Hancock said. Chesterfield Mayor Bruce Geiger, who is one of the most vocal proponents for changing the current system, was in attendance at that meeting. Chesterfield is a pool city or “B” city in the county’s complicated system, which consists of “A” cities (point-of-sale cities) and “B” cities (pool cities). Pool cities share the sales taxes they generate with other cities in the pool on a per capita basis. Chesterfield would like to be a point-of-sale city so that it could retain most of its sales taxes. Currently, two outlet malls are being constructed in Chesterfield Valley. Assuming just one opens, the sales tax to be generated is estimated at roughly $1.6 million. Yet, Chesterfield will only get to keep $100,000 of those taxes. If the outlet mall opened in another city within the pool and it generated that same $1.6 million in sales taxes, Chesterfield would still receive $100,000. But when the outlet mall opens in Chesterfield, the city will have to deal with the additional traffic and police services demanded by the influx of an estimated 3 million shoppers per year. That, according to Geiger, is the fundamental flaw of the current tax system. “Any pool city in St. Louis County has absolutely no incentive to do any economic development,” he explained. Geiger pointed to the neighboring municipality of Wildwood to illustrate his point. “Wildwood doesn’t want any economic development. As a government, they don’t want it. They keep fighting it,” he said. “They generate about $1.7 million a year in sales tax revenue. They take out $4.1 million (from the pool). And Wildwood has got to be one of the highest per capita municipalities in St. Louis County.” Geiger would like to return to the 1977 voter-approved tax system that allowed cities that adopted the 1-percent countywide sales tax to decide whether they would be point-of-sale or pool cities. The law was

changed in 1984, and again in 1993, so that cities could no longer change their status – a pool city must remain a pool city and a point-of-sale city must remain point-ofsale – and point-of-sale cities must share a portion of their revenues. “Thirty-seven cities are negatively impacted under the current system,” said Chesterfield City Administrator Mike Herring. “In other words, they lose money compared to what was originally approved by the voters back in 1977.” Herring said the city of St. Ann, which is redeveloping the defunct Northwest Plaza Shopping Center, is a prime example of a city that would benefit from being able to change its status. St. Ann is a point-of-sale city. “They’re trying hard to redevelop that (Northwest Plaza), and in the meantime, they’re losing substantial amounts of money on a point-of-sale basis,” said Herring. Herring said that St. Ann “would want, in a perfect world, to go into the pool while they’re redeveloping that property and then, when they redevelop the property, become a fully productive point-of-sale city again.” In this scenario, said Herring, pool cities would have an incentive to generate economic growth and become point-of-sale cities. Another argument against the current tax system is that it has fostered the growth of too many cities that cannot support themselves. St. Louis County is home to 89 municipalities. “This sales tax system is propping up cities that probably should go away,” Geiger said. While pool cities with little economic development benefit from the current tax structure, Herring said the big winner is the county. “The county now takes out of the pool upward of $10 million to $11 million more than they generate within the area going into the pool,” said Herring. If St. Louis County operated like the rest of Missouri, according to Herring, cities would be forced to consolidate or raise property taxes to support the level of services they enjoy currently just by being part of the pool. “In the state of Missouri, the law of the land for every place except St. Louis County is point-of-sale. End of discussion,” said Herring. Other perspectives For small municipalities, like Clarkson Valley, tax reform could be devastating. Last spring Clarkson Valley Mayor Scott Douglass entered into informal discussions with the mayors of Wildwood and Chesterfield expressing his concerns about possible changes to the county’s current tax system and requesting that the cities include Clarkson Valley in their annexation map plans. See TAX POOL, page 16


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TAX POOL, from page 14 Annexation plans are filed every five years with the St. Louis Boundary Commission, and only areas identified in the plan can be annexed during that five-year period. At the time, Douglass said, “Our concern is that if the pool sales tax system is eliminated – without any other source to replace it from our city’s standpoint – our demise is imminent. So in order to look forward and try to establish an alternative for our citizens, I’ve asked those cities if they would consider, if we had to close up, looking at us coming into their cities.” Last year, three House bills were on the table regarding sales tax reform. One would have eliminated the pool completely while the other two, including one supported by the St. Louis County Municipal League, offered compromise. “We felt like the issue that was presented last year, which basically is the same issue, was addressed by the St. Louis County Municipal League,” Douglass said in a recent interview. “They promised a compromise that would benefit, we felt, most of the cities involved that made a lot of good sense in its approach, as opposed to devastating the small cities or cities that are not point-of-sale. And I think the proposal still makes sense.” Douglass said the city of Clarkson Valley depends “heavily on the county sales tax” and that about one-third of its revenue comes from it. “I understand that there are different positions, but it is a county sales tax,” Douglass said. “And the decisions that were made on the distribution seem to be pretty equitable.”

Wildwood Mayor Tim Woerther said, “It’s not a problem in search of a solution.” Of the municipalities seeking change he said, “It’s a couple cities who wish to try to change the rules, that they all agreed to years ago and for their own municipal benefit, at a cost to the St. Louis region.” “And at this point, we’ve all played for the same rules for decades,” he said. He said part of the issue has to do with a shift in retail development. He said in the past, the West County area was “much more vibrant, much more alive, in terms of retail development and retail operations and so forth.” “What it shows is that there’s not as much in the St. Louis County area for retail growth,” he said. “The Valley has been successful because of the way in which it was built – with financing to go ahead and develop those properties. But all it did was shift retail from where it was already. “So municipalities running to take advantage of their current situations to their own benefit would rather hurt the region. They’ll characterize it as a fight for survival, but what it is, is a money grab.” As for what is yet to come, Woerther said each municipality is at the mercy of the state legislation that originally enacted the pool tax legislation. “As we have in the past, we (Wildwood) will oppose major changes to the pool tax that benefits just a couple of cities,” Woerther said. “What we will do and what we have done is support legislation that has been agreed to by a vast majority. “This is the same fight we’ve had over the past few years.”

Chesterfield approves 2013 budget

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By CAROL ENRIGHT The Chesterfield City Council unanimously approved its Fiscal Year 2013 budget at its Dec. 3 meeting. The city’s budget is comprised of three funds: the Parks Sales Tax Fund, the Capital Improvement Sales Tax Fund and the General Fund. The Parks Sales Tax Fund, which is supported by the half-cent sales tax approved with the 2004 passage of Proposition P, is expected to generate about $7.5 million in 2013 with approximately $7.46 million in projected expenditures. Revenues from the Capital Improvement Sales Tax Fund, which is supported by a halfcent voter-approved sales tax, are projected to total $5.4 million, with approximately $3.4 million in anticipated expenditures including $2 million for concrete street reconstruction. City officials project total revenue of almost $21 million in the General Fund, a 1-percent increase over FY2012 total revenue. The bulk of these funds comes from

sales and utility taxes, which are expected to grow 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively. The city expects to spend about $19.1 million on operating expenses and capital equipment purchases, with 80 percent of these expenditures supporting police and public services. A highlight of the budget is the addition of two officers to the Chesterfield Police Department, which has been short staffed since the city made cuts to the department in 2010. Chesterfield Police Chief Ray Johnson called the prospect of two more police officers “good news.” “We’ve had to do a lot of restructuring and reorganizing to maintain our level of services,” Johnson said. “This will add two more officers to patrol, balancing out our patrol shifts and greatly reducing the amount of time we now find ourselves without an officer available to respond to calls.” The public may view a copy of the complete budget at Chesterfield City Hall, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.




Ballwin approves 2013 budget, anticipates increased spending By JIM ERICKSON Ballwin’s Board of Aldermen has approved a 2013 budget that includes anticipated expenditures of $17.9 million. The 2013 spending level is $1.5 million, or 9 percent more than what’s projected for the current year. Among factors contributing to the higher budget are a 3-percent boost in funds available for employee wages and salaries and a higher contribution level to pay for improved city employee pension benefits. Ballwin aldermen have not yet specifically approved the pay hike but earlier had asked city officials to include funding for such a provision in the budget. In his budget message, Mayor Tim Pogue described the 2013 budget as “getting back to basics with a concentration on community-wide programs and services.” No full-time employees will be added in 2013, he said, noting that the current total of 142 now on the payroll is 11 fewer than five years ago. Revenues of $17.3 million in 2013 are projected to fall about $600,000 short of expenditures, with the difference being made up by using a portion of the city’s nearly $7.8 million unassigned fund balance. Pogue said all programs and services will continue at current levels and that the budget emphasizes preservation and enhancement of the city’s infrastructure. Among major projects in the 2013 budget are: • A major upgrade in the meeting room used for Board meetings, municipal court and other functions in the Donald “Red” Loehr Police and Court Center on Park Drive is scheduled for to address audiovisual and security issues. • Refurbishment of public spaces at The Pointe community and recreation facility, electrical improvements for Ballwin Days and other festivals and sealing of city parking lots and tennis courts. • Street maintenance and improvement projects costing an estimated $1.5 million, as well as replacement of trucks used for snow removal and other essential services. • Technology investments, including hardware and software upgrades and tablets for department heads and field personnel. • Other spending from the city’s capital improvement fund will include the first phase of improvements at Ferris Park and payment of $506,500 to retire debt. Pogue said the payment will leave the city debt free. Ballwin aldermen earlier had endorsed the employee pay increase after a survey of other communities showed the city had fallen behind its goal of being competitive with salaries paid elsewhere. The 2013 wage hikes won’t achieve the target level

but they move the city in the direction aldermen said they wanted the city to go. However, any salary adjustments that ultimately are made won’t apply to those now at the top of the salary range for their respective positions. Robert Kuntz, city administrator, earlier had noted that emphasis should be on correcting the more pronounced wage differences at lower rungs on the salary ladder. The increase in pension contributions came in the aftermath of a police department move from its defined contribution

pension program to LAGERS, a statewide defined benefit plan for local government employees, including Ballwin, and based on each participant’s years of service and their rate of pay. A problem arose when the years of service many police officers were able to purchase in the new program with funds from the former plan weren’t equal to the years they had been on the job and wouldn’t yield the level of retirement income they had anticipated. For those nearing the end of their careers, with little time left to accu-

mulate more years of service, the issue is especially difficult. Kuntz earlier had advised the Board that steps aimed at pension-related moves benefiting only police personnel raised fairness issues and other complications. Instead, he recommended an increase in contributions for pensions for all city employees. The higher pension contributions are effective July 1. There were no citizen comments for or against the budget and aldermen approved the spending plans unanimously.

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Memories of Sandy

Local first responders share what it was like to be on the frontlines By JIM ERICKSON Almost two months after it ravaged densely populated areas of the East Coast, Hurricane Sandy no longer is headline fodder for nightly newscasts and local newspapers. But for a number of local firefighter-paramedics who were sent to the stricken area to aid in urban search and rescue and humanitarian efforts, the memories of what they saw and experienced won’t fade for soon, if at all. “At first glance, it looked like a blizzard had hit the area,” said Dan Hinson, a firefighterparamedic with the Monarch Fire Protection District. “But then you realized it was sand, not snow, being plowed from the streets and shoveled from sidewalks. There was just so much sand everywhere you looked.” Hinson is a member of Missouri Task Force 1, a skilled volunteer team operating under auspices of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and established to respond to natural disasters and other largescale emergencies that overwhelm the capabilities of local resources. He, along with Brian Towsley and Rich Levin from Monarch, joined counterparts from Metro West Fire Protection District – John Bradley, Jim Silvernail, Brian Zaitz and Steve Heidbreder. Other fire protection districts throughout the state had personnel on the response team, which also included technical specialists from other walks of life. Missouri task force members were summoned to the Boone County Fire Protection District headquarters in Columbia on Oct. 29, following the hurricane’s weekend landfall in the densely populated New York-New Jersey area. With airports closed in the stricken area, the group loaded themselves and more than 100,000 pounds of equipment on buses and trucks, forming a 12-vehicle convoy headed east. Although the task force was in several different locations during their nine-day deployment, members spent the most time in and around the Long Beach community on the south shore of Long Island. “People we met and talked to were surprised when they learned we had come all the way from Missouri,” said Bradley. “But everyone was extremely friendly and appreciated that we were there to help.” Towsley agreed. “The stereotype that people in New York and surrounding areas on the East Coast are cold and uncaring certainly was not what we encountered,” he recalled. “What we saw were people looking after one another and who were glad to see us.” Hinson added that in many cases, members of the Missouri team were the first

Brian Towsley, from Monarch FPD checks his Missouri Task Force 1 gear. (West Newsmagazine photo)

assistance providers that victims in the stricken area had spoken to after the storm. Much of the team’s work involved going door to door to check on residents and see if dwellings had been damaged to the point of being dangerous or outright uninhabitable. During their deployment, the Missouri group covered 34 miles of streets and had 3,540 contacts with residents. While Sandy’s severity and its complete disruption of people’s lives were obvious, the scene also was a considerable departure from other natural disasters team members have encountered. “It definitely didn’t look like Joplin,” Towsley observed, referring to the utter devastation caused by last year’s tornado in that southwest Missouri town. “Some buildings were washed away and some boats had been washed up and deposited where they weren’t supposed to be,” Silvernail said. “But the major impact was that a storm that large hit such a densely populated area. When that happens, people’s lives are going to be turned upside down.” With rare exception, creature comforts were few and far between for Missouri team members. “Part of the time we slept on the gymnasium floor at Hicksville High School.” Bradley said. “I’m not sure I would have handled things as well as the people we encountered during our deployment,” Hinson said. “Sure, there was some venting of frustration, mainly due to the lack of electricity, but no anger was directed at us. Most everyone remained upbeat and optimistic, and it was easy to see that most people were focused on helping each other.”






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20 I  



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By SUE HORNOF If you’re feeling a bit anxious right about now, you are not alone: Studies have shown that December is the most stressful month of the year. During the holidays, many people experience anxiety over finances, shopping, potential family conflicts or the stress of creating the “perfect” holiday. For most of us, life will return to normal in January, but for others, anxiety is a constant companion, and it can become almost paralyzing. Kathryn Tristan, a research scientist on the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine and a resident of Chesterfield, used to be one of those people. For 20 years, her life was riddled with worry and anxiety. “I was a big worrier,” Tristan said. “I suffered from anxiety, and I eventually suffered from panic attacks for many years before I figured out what was going on.” During her struggle, she tried some therapy and medication, and while they helped somewhat, they did not erase the problem. Eventually, Tristan found a way to recover permanently, and she shares her method in a new book, “Why Worry? Stop Coping and Start Living” (Beyond Words, December 2012). The key, she said, is to learn to rewire your brain. “What I’m trying to promote is the idea that we all have a psychological immune system ­– just like we have a biological immune system,” Tristan said. “The psychological immune system is something that

feeds your worries constantly; this could go wrong, that could go wrong, this might be a problem, this could be a big problem. “You have a constant barrage of thoughts that come to you, and when you pay attention to those, it can wire your brain for constantly worrying.” What helped Tristan most, she said, was recognizing that by worrying, she was making a choice. “What I’m suggesting is that the psychological immune system was only meant to be like the soldier – it was never meant to be the general,” she said. “We are the general who gets to choose which worrisome thoughts to pay attention to.” In her book, Tristan breaks down into four basic strategies the “rewiring” process that worked for her. She said anyone can use them to try to tackle chronic worry or chronic anxiety. As any easy way to remember them, she uses the acronym “CORE,” because she believes people have to “go to their core and change from the inside out.” • “C” stands for choice, because worry is a choice, even though you don’t think it is, Tristan said. • “O” is for outlook, and Tristan suggests in her book a number of ways to have “outlook makeovers” that will take a person from “terribilizing” thoughts to “possibilizing” thoughts. • “R” stands for risk. “Whether it’s following our dreams or trying to get that magical relationship, we aren’t taking the risk because we’re worried about how it might turn out,” Tristan said. “Once you start making better choices, once you change your outlook, then you can start taking measured risks. … Get out of your comfort zone.” • “E” stands for “embracing your spiritual, intuitive side that allows you to explore who you are, what goals you have in life, and your connection to your inner spirit” and is like the icing on the cake, Tristan said. “Once you start pursuing your passions that you were too afraid to do – things that will actually make you happy – you are a happier person and you give more happiness back to everyone around you.” Tristan said she wrote the book as a selfhelp tool in hopes that others can benefit from the strategies that worked for her. “This is the journey I went through, and thank God I went through it, because I understand it now,” she said. “A lot of people are going through the same thing, and I really do think these ideas can help them change their lives. “You don’t have to live a worried life. There’s another side to the coin.” “Why Worry? Stop Coping and Start Living” is available in bookstores and through Tristan’s website,





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22 I schools I 



Bu llet i n Boa rd

Helping Sandy victims Fifth-grade students at Parkway’s Mason Ridge Elementary collected $669 for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The students in Connie Binder’s class collected money during morning and afternoon drop-offs. The money will be donated to the American Red Cross.

Search for head of school Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill is announcing a national search for its next head of school. The school has retained Education Access Strategies to assist with the search. Candidates will be identified and interviewed in the coming months with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2013. Lucie Nordmann, RSCJ, who has served since 2009, retires as head of school for Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill on June 30, 2013. “We remain most grateful for the leadership and contributions of Sr. Nordmann in collaboration with the leadership team, faculty and staff, and friends of Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School,” said John Hanichak, Board chair.

Mason Ridge Elementary students and their families prepare bags of soup mix.

Giving thanks by helping others Kindergarten students at Mason Ridge Elementary celebrated Thanksgiving by giving back to their community. After a performance of Thanksgiving songs and poems, students and their families worked together to make bags of bean soup mix. Students went down an assembly line, packaging a variety of beans and season-

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Celebrating culture Laughter and smiles, the smell of treats from around the world, the beats of popular Mexican tunes, and the sparkle of gold-threaded saris filled the classrooms and hallways of McKelvey Elementary on Culture Night.

Students and parents proudly shared their culture with peers and the community. More than 400 participants enjoyed the festivities, including food, crafts, clothing, music, literature, photographs, games and sports. Students performed African drumming and karate and were entertained by Mexican music. “The connections being made between parents of our students across cultures added to the excitement of the evening. Culture Night is an opportunity to share everyone’s culture directly from the community,” a Parkway press statement said.

New president Carmen Fischer, director of child nutrition services and warehouse in Rockwood, was named president of the Missouri School Nutrition Association. A reg- Fischer istered dietitian, Fischer is nearing her 12th year in Rockwood. Prior to that, she worked in school food services for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. As president of the Missouri School Nutrition Association, Fischer will help the organization in its mission to provide healthy meals to students. “It’s great to create healthy habits in children that will last them a lifetime, and schools are perfect for that,” Fischer said. “I’m looking forward to leading the Mis-



I schools I 23

Devoted to the community Westminster Christian Academy students devoted themselves to making a difference in the community through participation in the school’s annual “In the Spirit of Giving” campaign. Each year during the week of giving, students are asked to give items and funds to bless those in need. Items collected included spare change, gently used shoes, food, cleaning sup- Westminster teacher Susie Pike took members of the student plies, baby items, council to the St. Patrick Center to deliver items collected during toiletries and kids’ the “In the Spirit of Giving” week. pajamas and toys to help individuals who benefit from the services of local organizations. souri School Nutrition Association forward in offering educational opportunities to our members so that we may all serve the students in Missouri with nutritious foods they enjoy.”

Fredbird, Andy Benes promote healthy eating Tess Wheeler, a third-grader at Oak Brook Elementary, won the Kids B.E.E. Healthy Better Eating and Exercise contest through Dierbergs Markets. Her essay about how she stays healthy by eating properly and exercising on a regular basis was selected out of numerous applicants. Part of her prize was an assembly for her entire school, featuring Fredbird, former Cardinals player Andy Benes and Team Fredbird members. She also received a new bike. The assembly with Fredbird and Andy Benes was a high-energy program where students learned about healthy food choices and how exercising can be fun. Wheeler was presented with her new bicycle at the assembly, and another Oak Brook student won a bike through an all-school raffle. To top it off, Oak Brook was awarded a check for $1,000 for new outdoor playground equipment.

Distinguished Principal Geggie Elementary Principal Dr. Mary Kleekamp was chosen as the St. Louis Suburban Elementary Principals Association’s “Distinguished Principal of the Year” for 2012. Kleekamp is in her seventh year as

principal of Geggie. SLSEPA recognizes principals for their achievements and honors the role elementary principals play in ensuring students receive a Kleekamp quality education. Colleagues select the recipients based on criteria that the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the U.S. Department of Education established. Nominees must have completed five years as a principal when nominated, maintain high expectations for students and staff, show evidence of outstanding contributions to the school and the profession and be involved in the community. “It’s an honor to be chosen by my peers for this award,” Kleekamp said. “Over the past seven years, I have been fortunate to be a part of this amazing school community. “It pleases me to know that the work and dedication I strive to give in serving this school community empower and make a difference to others. Geggie Elementary is an excellent school because of our caring students, staff and parents.”

Teacher of the Year Fifth-grade teacher Katy Schubert was named the St. Louis VFW Teacher of the Year. Schubert was nominated for the award based on her teaching of the unit, “Why We Should Remember,” at the Center for Creative Learning. A ceremony was held on Dec. 8 to recognize her achievement.

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24 I schools I 



Standards-based grading one year later


By CAROL ENRIGHT Last year, Rockwood high school parents and students were told that two bastions of the American tradition of grading were history: grades for homework and extra credit. Instead, students could retake tests. The district adopted standards-based grading in 2006. It was rolled out incrementally, beginning in the elementary grades. And, today, it is used in all grades. However, when it hit the high schools full force in the 2011-2012 school year, it gained the most attention. Rockwood administrators explained that the goal of this policy – standards-based grading and reporting – was twofold. First and foremost, standards-based grading assesses only what a student knows and is able to do, not whether or not he or she is a hard worker. Second, standards-based grading ensures consistent grading from school to school and teacher to teacher. Rockwood parent, Tracy Alter, whose son was a freshman at Marquette High School last year, told West Newsmagazine in September 2011, “I love the fact that he can retake the test, but along with retaking the test you have to have a conference with your teacher and there is sometimes extra work to be done.” Alter’s son is now a sophomore at Marquette, and she says she is pleased with the new grading system – although there have been some growing pains. “Some kids just didn’t do any homework, went in and took tests,” Alter said. “If they got a bad grade, they just wanted to retake the test again.” Alter said she has seen that change this year – at least in her son’s classes. “He can’t retake a test if he hasn’t completed the assignments,” she said. What about consistency? “The only trouble I have with retaking tests,” Alter said, “is I still think some teachers don’t let you do it unless you get below a 70, and some teachers are allowing you to retest if you’ve gotten an 85 or 90.” Jim Wipke, Rockwood’s executive director of secondary education, said these inconsistencies reflect how the new grading practices are being implemented at the PLC level. PLCs, or Professional Learning Communities, are groups of teachers that teach the same subject area. “So if you’re going to count homework worth 5 percent, then we should all be, on that Algebra II team, counting homework worth 5 percent,” Wipke said. (To clarify, that would be homework used to assess a student’s knowledge, not practice work.) Katie Nease, a sixth-grade teacher at Rockwood Valley Middle School, said standards-based grading is all about “accurately measuring a student’s learning.” “But, unfortunately, that historically in our nation was not what a grade always

meant,” Nease said. She said a grade was often a combination of what students knew and the support they received at home. Translation: Kids from high-achieving families were more likely to turn in homework and get higher grades. “It really did not allow all students to operate on what we call a level playing field,” said Nease. The Parkway School District does not use standards-based grading, or any formal assessment system. “We actually have a small but growing group of teachers who are actually using the principles of standards-based grading, which is really making sure the grade is about the kids’ learning, not as much about work completion,” said Kevin Beckner, coordinator of student assessment for Parkway. Beckner said Parkway is in the process of clearly defining its grading philosophy, but it has not committed to any one system. “What we do know is that we want to improve our grading practices so that they clearly communicate learning,” said Beckner. “That’s the goal of everything we’re doing. If that can happen without standards-based grading, great. If standards-based grading happens to be the best vehicle to do that, OK.” Some question whether students will do homework if they don’t receive a grade. Nease said her students do the homework because they know the feedback they receive on it can help them get good grades. “You’re probably not, as a parent, going to see anything written on a sheet of paper,” said Nease. “But that child would have received a lot more feedback. Empirically, there’s a lot more validity to that teacherdirected feedback than there is a number on a piece of paper.” Wipke pointed to some evidence that standards-based grading is working. “Our level of D’s and F’s is declining,” he said.

26 I sports I 

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District champs The St. Alban Roe sixthgrade boys of the West County District capped off a great season by defeating a very tough St. Margaret Mary team from the South County District, 25-21, 25-22 in the finals of the Archdiocesan Championship on Dec. 9. After achieving runner-up in a pre-season tournament at Mary Mother of the Church in August, Alban Roe went on to a 13-0 record in matches and Back row, from left: Coach Ken Kruse, Dalton Ennis, 33-4 in games, winning the Charlie Perry, Erich Dodge, Alex Nozka and Assistant South Central District League Coach Tracy Simmons; (front row, from left): Patrick Championship and the West Collins, Clayton Kruse, Kyle Radecki and Cory Simmons County District Tournament in addition to the Overall City/County Championship. “The boys really came together as a team this year,” said Ken Kruse, the team’s coach. “Volleyball is a great sport and helped teach the boys that you cannot always do it alone and that every player on the team has a role.”

Battling back to the basket De Smet Jesuit senior Nolan Berry is working hard to return to play for the Spartans. The 6-foot-9 Berry, who recently signed with Butler during the early fall signing period, has been missing since he broke both of his arms when he fell in practice.

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Last season, Berry averaged 19.5 points a game. He also averaged 9.2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.6 blocks for the Spartans, who finished 19-9. Coach Kevin Poelker is optimistic he’ll have his forward back sometime in 2013. “Nolan’s season likely isn’t over,”

Poelker said. “He’s working hard to return the final third of the season. He has already started physical therapy but has a long road ahead of him to get back on the court.” Despite the injury and missing a significant part of the season, Poelker said Berry is not brooding about what happened to him. “Nolan is handling things as well as possible,” Poelker said. “He is an optimistic guy. He is working hard to get his body ready to return to the court. He is encouraging his teammates to work hard and be successful.

High school wrestling The Lafayette Lancers finished second in the Parkway South Invitational, the first big meet of the season. Jackson won the tournament while Rock Bridge finished third and Parkway South wound up fourth in the 12-team event. The Lancers had one champion in senior Nick Olejnik in the 152-pound class. Olejnik took third at the state tournament in 2011 at 132 pounds and again in 2012 at 138 pounds. First-year coach Jonathan Sumner, who also is an assistant football coach, said he was pleased with how his squad performed. “They wrestled hard the whole tournament and, well, up until the final round. We just seemed to run out of steam in that last round,” Sumner said. “They wrestled hard and, as long as they continue to be coachable, we plan to build on this for the rest of the season. We had a lot of positives take place. Hopefully our kids will be motivated to take things to the next level. “With football going so late, we looked

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better than we thought we would, and all that goes to having a bunch of great coaches in our room who can all run a practice at any time and do a great job with it. These guys (Brandon Lococo, Joe Wier, Adam Hicks, Brian Sanguinet) help put these kids in a place to win last weekend and have done an awesome job getting them ready. Without all of them it wouldn’t happen.” Olejnik defeated Lawrence Krabbe, of Mehlville, 4-0 to win his weight division. “Nick wrestled smart,” Sumner said. “The points may have been close, but overall Nick controlled the whole match and that is somewhat his style. His opponent had a good game plan, but Nick wrestled well enough to win. We knew Nick had a good shot if he wrestled well, as long as he is wrestling well and controlling the match he can compete with anyone.” The Lancers had three freshmen – Tim Bogar, Alex Wier, Brendon McKenna – make the finals in their divisions along with sophomore, Justin Perry. “A lot of our older kids were involved in football, so we knew it would be a slow start,” Sumner said. ••• Westminster Christian Academy Invitational Westminster Wildcat senior Bennett Lewis, who placed third in the state at 220 pounds in Class 2 last year as a junior, won his 195-pound weight class in the recent Westminster Christian Academy Invitational that was held in conjunction with the Kaufman-Brand Open hosted by Maryville University at Westminster.

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NEWSMAGAZINENETWORK.COM Timberland took the team title in the 12-team tournament. Wildcat Coach Tim Muehleisen said he was pleased with the event. “This ended up being a great tournament. Timberland looks really tough this year,” Muehleisen said. “We got a ton of matches in and wrestled well in the process.” Lewis looked good in his victory, Muehleisen said. Lewis defeated A.J. Harrel, of Owensville, by a major decision. “Bennett had a little rust at the beginning of the tournament, but came around and wrestled well in the finals,” Muehleisen said. “It is a long season and there will be ups and downs, but his (second-day) matches looked like he Bennett was rounding into shape and looking forward he will be fine. “He has the ability to be so technical. It was fun to watch him later in the tournament with some great combinations. He also looks really big at 195. He won his medal in the state at 220 last year and is cut down this year.” Joe Isaacs also looked good for the Wildcats, Muehleisen said. “We are really excited about Joe Isaacs right now,” Muehleisen said. “He took third and went 7-1 at 220 for us. We are looking for a big season out of him.”

That’s the way Eureka will keep it, Alsup said. “Whomever is on the court for us the rest of the way, we are going to play hard, play smart and play together and let the chips fall where they may,” Alsup said.

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Eureka’s twin brothers will keep going to the same school after they graduate. Austin and Collin Tower will continue their education at Missouri Baptist. Austin will play volleyball for the Spartans while Collin will run cross country and track.

Maryville senior Matt Baker claimed first place in the 197-pound class to highlight Maryville’s wrestlers at the second annual Maryville/Kaufman-Brand Open held recently at Westminster Christian Academy. The Saints finished fifth out of a field of 14 teams at the event. Baker defeated Shawn Scott of Northern Illinois 6-3 before posting a major decision 11-3 over Troy Mercer, of Quachita Baptist. In the semifinals, Baker downed McKendree’s Kyle Reid 2-0. Against Tomas Lira, of Iowa, Baker closed out his day with a 6-3 win over his Division I foe to claim the title. Keenan Hagerty won four straight bouts after losing to take third in the 149-pound classification. At 157, Greg Hegarty reached the semifinals before also falling to a Division I foe from Northern Illinois. He defeated fellow Saint Joey Moorhouse in the consolation semis before falling in the third-place match. Moorhouse won the fifth-place bout at 157 to also place for Maryville. Nick Burghardt reached the semis at 174 before falling to Missouri’s Jordan Gagliano. Burghardt eventually posted a 4-2 win over Matt Greene, of Lindenwood, in the fifth place match. Freshman Donnell Walker, who was wrestling unattached, notched a sixth in the 285 class. Walker is a Parkway South graduate.

High school girls basketball Eureka finished second in the 25th annual Troy Invitational. Incarnate Word Academy scored a 60-23 victory over the Wildcats. Eureka coach James Alsup said his squad ran up against a legitimate state championship contender in the Red Knights. “IWA is the real deal. I been coaching for a while now and if they are not the best I have seen they are tied for first,” Alsup said. “The team played well in the Troy Tournament. The first two games were especially nice and the ladies played hard in all three games.” The Wildcats were missing four players in the matchup with Incarnate Word. Eureka was missing junior Torie Allen (ACL), junior Jessica Moore (MSHSAA), junior Lindsey McCoy (another school event) and senior Ali Wallner (out of town). “Playing The Red Knights without all hands on deck is not a good idea,” Alsup said. “I am very proud of the ladies that were on the floor for the Wildcats. They all did the best they could and played their behinds off.”

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College men’s basketball Illinois Wesleyan junior Michael Mayberger, a native of Chesterfield and a graduate of St. Louis University High, was named to the all-tournament team for the recent 29th Lopata Classic. The No. 10 ranked Washington University Bears captured the 29th Annual Lopata Classic with a 67-57 win over No. 7 Illinois Wesleyan University at the WU Field House. Washington University’s senior guard Ben Hoener, a Parkway South graduate, had quality minutes off the bench with eight points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Mayberger, whose father Joe played for Bears head coach Mark Edwards for four seasons, led all scorers with a career-high 22 points on 5-of-9 three-point shooting. Washington University junior Chris Klimek, Illinois Wesleyan’s Kevin Reed, Tufts’ Scott Anderson and Wilmington’s Brandon Candella were also named to the All-Tournament Team. Klimek averaged 13.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game for Washington University and shot 73.3 percent (11-15) from the field.

I sports I 27

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By WARREN MAYES There’s more to do on Christmas morning after the presents have been opened including tuning in to ABC to catch the Disney Christmas Parade and see the Parkway South cheerleaders. “The girls were selected to participate in the Disney Christmas Parade by winning ‘Top Sideline Cheer’ at NCA cheerleading camp over the summer,” Parkway South coach Megan Cunningham said. She noted that “the girls did a ton of fundraising.” “They ended up raising enough to cover about 25 percent of their expenses,” she said. Sponsorships covered the cost of meals. Once the girls got to Orlando, in late November, they were immediately evaluated on their parade routine to determine where the girls would stand in the parade. “The evaluation was open and I was able to watch them. They looked great,” Cunningham said. After a three-hour rehearsal, both parents and coaches were able to come in to the banquet room and watch. “There were over 500 cheerleaders from all over the U.S. You could tell the girls were exhausted from drilling it over and over,” Cunningham said. On the day the parade was taped, parents and coaches went to Magic Kingdom to find a place to watch. “Main Street in the Magic Kingdom was packed,” Cunningham said. “A high school marching band was the first to go and they escorted Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas. She rode in an old-fashioned car. It took the band three takes to get what the director wanted. It was a cool experience hearing the director talk to each parade act.

“Next, there were a couple hundred Storm Troopers from ‘Star Wars.’ Then Darth Vader was following them. It took them five takes.” Finally, came the stars – the South cheerleaders. “They walked down Main Street spiriting and getting the crowd involved. They spread out along all of Main Street and got set to perform,” Cunningham said. “It took them four takes. The girls looked like they were having so much fun. “They’ve been working on this routine since October and they finally got to perform it.” After the parade, the squad went to Hollywood Studios and to Epcot for dinner. The following day, the girls spent the whole day at Magic Kingdom. On Dec. 2, everyone left Florida to return home. “The girls had a blast during the whole experience,” Cunningham said. But it wasn’t just about having fun. “Overall this experience was humbling,” Cunningham said. “Little girls were saying ‘hi’ to them and a few asked for pictures and autographs. It provided an opportunity for the girls to see firsthand that people are always watching them and they have an impact by being cheerleaders. “This year, we have really been stressing the importance of setting a good example and I was so proud of how they conducted themselves. This trip was also a great bonding experience. The girls spent so much time together and will always share this experience. “It was an honor to represent Parkway South in Florida and to generate exposure for our talented cheerleading teams. The girls set a wonderful example for our school, and we are very proud of our student athletes.”

Join us as Javier Mendoza leads worship. Dedication, perseverance, pure talent, honesty, humility and spiritual power are some of the things that can describe Javier Mendoza and his music. Born in Virginia, raised in Spain and Germany, and now living in St. Louis, Javier continues to create and perform his amazing music. He has been selected as the Best Male Vocalist and Best Latin Artist in St. Louis. Rather than focusing primarily on the future he is focusing on “Now” and how incredible the journey of life can be if you let it. For Javier living in the “Now” is about personal growth, working with great musicians, new fans, long time fans, and welcoming all that life has to offer without hesitation.

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A Johns Hopkins-led study found that helmets save lives of skiers and snowboarders and do not promote riskier behaviors on the slopes.

The case for helmets when skiing, snowboarding ‘Tis the season for skiing and snowboarding, and according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, wearing a helmet on the slopes reduces the risk of head injuries, saves lives and does not give people a heightened sense of security that might lead to more dangerous behavior. That is the conclusion reached by Adil H. Haider, M.D., associate professor of surgery

at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who led a team of researchers in the review of 16 published studies on injury among recreational skiers and snowboarders. “There really is a great case to be made for wearing helmets,” Haider said in a news release. “By increasing awareness and giving people scientific proof, we hope behavior changes will follow.” According to information provided by Johns Hopkins, about 10 million Americans ski or snowboard each year, and about 600,000 injuries are reported annually. As many as one in

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five of those injuries is a head injury, most of which occurs when the athlete hits an inanimate object, like a tree or the ground. Haider said traumatic head injuries are the No. 1 cause of death among skiers and snowboarders. He said some athletes have wrongly argued that helmets lower visibility, encourage risky behavior or increase the likelihood of neck and spinal injury. “These are all just excuses,” Haider said. “Our research shows none of those theories hold water.” In the U.S., recreational skiers and snowboarders are not required by law to wear helmets, but ski helmet use is on the rise in America. According to a National Ski Areas Association study involving more than 130,000 interviews, roughly 57 percent of skiers and snowboarders wore helmets during the 2009-2010 ski season, compared to 25 percent in 2002-2003. A list of safety tips for skiers and snowboarders, plus answers to questions about helmet use, can be found on the National Ski Areas Association website,

Siteman Fund grants $2 million to fight cancer Five scientists at Washington University School of Medicine and Siteman Cancer Center have received a combined $2 million in grants for their innovative approaches to fighting cancer. The awards from the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Research Fund are meant to further promising early-stage science that because of its unconventional approach might not receive funding from elsewhere.

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Alvin J. Siteman, an emeritus Washington University trustee, established the $25 million fund in 2010. An external review panel recommended the funded projects. The grant recipients include: • Dr. Kenneth Murphy, who received $900,000 for research aimed at using a rare immune cell to fight infection and possibly tumors. Murphy is working to find ways to improve the effectiveness of cancer vaccines and is collaborating with Dr. William Gillanders, a Siteman Cancer Center surgeon. • Dr. Barry Sleckman, who received a grant in the amount of $894,000 for his work to develop a screening process to identify compounds that don’t harm normal tissues but can make malignant tumors more vulnerable to radiation and chemotherapy treatments. • Dr. David Curiel, director of the Division of Cancer Biology and of the Biologic Therapeutics Center; Dr. Mark Watson, associate professor of pathology and immunology and director of the Tissue Procurement and Multiplexed Gene Analysis Laboratories; and Kyunghee Choi, associate professor of pathology and immunology, each of whom received $75,000 to help advance cancer research in their laboratories.

Mercy’s meals receive national attention The Daily Meal (, a website that says it produces more culinary content than any other resource, has named Mercy among nine hospitals in the nation that serves food that “would fit right in at a fine dining restaurant.”

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Holiday food poisoning prevention Food-borne illness is possible any time of the year, but the holidays bring additional opportunities for trouble. To make sure food poisoning doesn’t spoil your holiday party, follow these tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods: • When shopping for food, keep raw meat, poultry and seafood separate from ready-toeat foods, including produce and breads. • Use two cutting boards when prepping foods: one for raw meats and seafood and another for ready-to-eat foods. • Do not buy bruised or damaged produce or canned goods that are dented, rusted, leaking or bulging. • When baking, make sure no one eats raw cookie dough or brownie batter containing raw eggs. • Keep track of how long food is left on a buffet table or sitting unrefrigerated on a countertop. Throw away all perishables, including meat, poultry, eggs and casseroles, that have been left at room temperature for longer than two hours. • Refrigerate leftovers in shallow, air-tight containers, and label them with an expiration date. To determine how long leftovers can be safely kept, refer to the free Is My Food Safe? application, available for Apple and Android devices, or the Keep it Cool Home Food Safety Chart, available at • Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees F.

Better health in 52 weeks Women who are resolving to improve their health in 2013 might want to check out “A Primer for Women’s Health: Learn about Your Body in 52 Weeks.” Provided by the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health, the resource offers weekly health information and is available online and as a mobile application. It offers guidelines and strategies women can use every day to reduce the risk of developing illnesses and conditions that can affect quality of life. To learn more, visit 52weeks4women.

Coffee and cancer risk Results of a long-term, large-scale study by the American Cancer Society point to a link between coffee consumption and a lower risk of death from some oral cancers. Authors of the study reported that people who drank more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day were at about half the

An American Cancer Society study suggests that drinking more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day significantly reduces a person’s risk of dying from oral cancer.

risk of death from oral/pharyngeal cancer than those who only occasionally or never drank coffee. “Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and contains a variety of antioxidants, polyphenols and other biologically active compounds that may help to protect against development or progression of cancers,” lead author Janet Hildebrand said. “Although it is less common in the United States, oral/pharyngeal cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in the world.” The study was published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Study authors say more research is needed to explain the biology behind the findings.

On the calendar An Alzheimer’s support group will meet from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20 and Thursday, Jan. 17 at Parc Provence, 605 Coeur De Ville Drive in Creve Coeur. The Alzheimer’s Association sanctions the group. Call (314) 542-2500 to RSVP. ••• “Home Alone,” a program designed for children ages 9-11, will be held from 9-10:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 28 at St. Luke’s Hospital’s Institute for Health Education, 222 S. Woods Mill Road in Chesterfield. The class is for kids who may be staying home alone for the first time or who need to learn more skills in order for their parents to feel comfortable leaving them home alone. Topics include handling the unexpected, stranger danger, simple first aid, dealing with loneliness and boredom, storm safety, trust and honesty. The fee is $15. For more information or to register, call (314) 542-4848, or visit ••• “Healthy Resolutions for 2013” will be held from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Jan. 12 at The Lodge Des Peres. The event will feature group exercise classes, health screenings, an American Red Cross blood drive, tips for leading a healthier lifestyle and community wellness vendors. Des Peres Hospital will offer glucose and cholesterol screenings and body mass index (BMI) testing, and Premier Medical Specialists will offer walk-up blood pressure checks. Admission is free. To register for testing, call (888) 457-5203.

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36 I gift guides I 



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I 37

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PUBLIC HEARING CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI January 7, 2013 A public hearing is scheduled before the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Ballwin on January 7, 2013 in the boardroom at the Donald “Red” Loehr Police and Court Center, 300 Park Dr, Ballwin, MO, 63011, at 7:00 P. M. upon the following: 1. A petition submitted by Kenneth E. Marolt, 1005 Waldo Ln., St. Charles, MO, 63304 for the approval of a special use exception to allow the establishment of a shop for the sale of antiques including consignment items, but not including a pawn shop or similar use, in the C-1 zoning district at a location commonly known as 15457 Clayton Rd. Ballwin, MO, 63011. 2. A petition submitted by the City of Ballwin, 14811 Manchester Rd., Ballwin, MO, 63011 to amend the provisions of the Ballwin Zoning Ordinance by deleting in its entirety Article XIV, Section 1 (16) which provides that the sale of used firearms in conjunction with the sale of new merchandise is only allowed by the issuance of a special use exception, and substitute therefore existing ordinance language that allows such sale by right in the C-1 commercial district. The City of Ballwin will consider the zoning ordinance or district regulations as provided herein, or may adopt different changes or provisions, without further notice or hearing, as the Board of Aldermen may deem to be in the public interest. The public hearing may be continued, by announcement at the public hearing, from time to time, as deemed necessary by the Planning and Zoning Commission, without publication of the time and place of the continued public hearing. Petitions of protest against zoning district boundary changes, duly signed and acknowledged, must be submitted by owners of thirty percent or more of either: (1) the area of the land (exclusive of streets and alleys) included in the proposed change(s), or (2) within the area determined by lines drawn parallel to and one hundred and eighty-five feet distant from the area proposed for a zoning district change, public rights-of-way excepted. These petitions will be considered in determining the percentage of favorable votes by the Board of Aldermen necessary to make the zoning district change in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Ballwin. Residents of Ballwin are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the programs and services of the City of Ballwin regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, marital status, national origin or political affiliation. If you are a person requiring an accommodation, please call (636) 227-8580 V, (636) 527-9200 TDD or 1-800-735-2466 (Relay Missouri) no later than 5:00 P.M. on the third business day preceding the hearing. Offices are open between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.

_____________________ Thomas H. Aiken, A.I.C.P. Assistant City Administrator / City Planner

38 I  



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By SUE HORNOF Jan. 1 may be just another square on the calendar, but when an entire year of fortune is on the line, many people give in to New Year’s superstitions rather than tempt fate. Some of us adhere to New Year’s traditions, like kissing and making noise when the clock strikes midnight, entirely unaware that our behaviors are rooted in superstition. Here are some popular New Year’s traditions and the superstitions behind them: • Kissing at midnight is said to ensure that affection and closeness with the one you kiss will continue for another year. • Ushering in the new year with loud noises began as a means of scaring away evil spirits, hence the traditions of banging of pots and pans, blowing horns, sounding noisemakers and setting off fireworks at midnight. • The belief that eating black-eyed peas on Jan. 1 will bring luck and prosperity in the coming year dates to the Civil War. According to legend, soldiers burned all the crops in the town of Vicksburg, Miss., except for the black-eyed peas stored to feed the cattle. Residents were forced to eat the peas to survive, and they considered themselves – and the peas – lucky. • Because pigs root forward – symbolic of moving ahead and leaving the past behind – eating pork on New Year’s Day is considered a good idea. Conversely, chickens scratch backward, so many people avoid eating poultry on Jan. 1. • The tradition of eating 12 grapes for good luck – one with each strike of the clock – at midnight on Dec. 31 originated in Spain in December 1909. That’s when vine growers came up with the concept in hopes of selling lots of grapes from their abundant harvest. • Because cabbage leaves (supposedly) resemble folding money, eating cabbage

on New Year’s Day is said to ensure a year of prosperity. • Settling one’s debts before the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31 is said to ward off a year of financial woes. • Some people open all the doors and windows of their homes at midnight on New Year’s Eve to let the old year escape and allow the new year to enter. • Some people are superstitious about letting anything, including the garbage, leave their homes on New Year’s Day. They believe that if you take something out of your home on Jan. 1, you will be giving things up all year long. • Working a little bit on New Year’s Day is said to ensure success in your career in the coming year. But go easy, because working too much will bring a year of constant work with little success, according to superstition. • Washing clothes on New Year’s Day is a bad idea, because it will cause a loved one to be “washed away” (die) in the coming year. Some people apply the same rule to washing dishes. Some New Year’s superstitions are pretty much out of our control. For example: • In parts of Europe, meeting a chimney sweep on New Year’s Day is considered a harbinger of good luck. • The direction of the wind on New Year’s Day morning is said to be a predictor of the year ahead. If it’s blowing from the south, money and happiness are on the way; wind from the north is an omen for bad weather; wind out of the east means a year of famine and rotten luck; and wind from the west means there will be plenty of fish and milk in the coming year, but also that someone will die. No wind is a sign of happiness and prosperity. • If a woman wakes up on Jan. 1, looks out her bedroom window and sees a man passing by, she can expect to be married before year’s end. • Babies born on New Year’s Day are said to be destined for a lifetime of good luck.

Seeing a chimney sweep on New Year’s Day is considered a harbinger of good luck.

New Year’s Eve 2012 at Table Three! Come enjoy dining, drinking and the sounds of Bryan Foggs with music of the 1970’s (9:30-1:30am). Chef Inspired Four Course Prix Fixe Dinner Menu Complimentary Champagne, Party Favors and Late Night Appetizer Buffet (11:00 – 1:00 am) Reservation times (2 Hour Seatings) 5:00/5:30, 7:00/7:30 - $65 per person 9:00/9:30 - $85.00 per person Includes 1 bottle of wine per couple

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Support dogs encourage learning, stability inside and outside the classroom

Calvin. Never eat next to Calvin. Never lie on Calvin. Don’t pet Calvin during learning time. And, sometimes, Calvin just needs a little alone time. “If he’s under the table, it means he can’t be petted,” said first-grader, Dakota. This is Calvin’s first year at Highcroft Ridge. Prior to this year, Bronner brought Calvin with her to Carman Trails Elementary School, where he spent six years in a first-grade classroom. Last year, he hung out in the Carman Trails office while Bronner worked as an administrative intern. Bronner said Calvin’s time in the office “was probably his best work, actually, because he really saw kids who needed help every single day.” In the office, Calvin had daily contact with children sent there for disciplinary reasons or who were upset for a myriad of reasons. Bronner said Calvin’s role in the classroom is more of a beloved “staff member that’s just fun to see every day.” “In this classroom, he’s fun to have,” said Bronner. “Kids write about him, they read A popular classmate to him, they hang out with him, they visit In Bronner’s classroom, students read to him. And kids from other classes, if they Calvin, they make things for Calvin’s box need a break, can come in and see him.” – which on one day contained a studentBronner said Calvin can comfort a child made paper collar and a picture of a child who has lost a pet or cheer up a child who’s walking Calvin. But, most of all, it’s about just having a bad day. She recalled an example what Calvin gives to the kids. of one student who refused Calvin seems to bring a positive and to get out of his car in calming presence to the classroom. the morning carpool “It’s just really important to me line. As traffic that kids feel safe at school and backed up, Bronknow that school is their place to ner took Calvin be,” Bronner explained. “And they out to the car and can’t wait to get here every day. It’s asked the little boy their room, their environment – and the if he would like to dog makes one more piece of a kiddo walk Calvin in. feel good about school.” “He got out It’s clear to anyone visiting of the car, Bronner’s classroom that her students love having Calvin as a “classmate.” “Calvin’s a great dog for our classroom, because everybody loves him and it’s so much fun,” said first-grader Jake. Jake’s classmate, Isaiah, was quick to point out Calvin’s attributes. “Calvin plays a lot and he wags his tail – and do you know the cutest thing about him?” Isaiah paused for effect. “His eyes.” But Mrs. Bronner’s students also know that having Calvin in the classroom comes with a set of rules. Never feed By CAROL ENRIGHT Sylvia Bronner teaches the first grade at Highcroft Ridge Elementary School in the Parkway School District. On many days, a number of second-graders stop by Mrs. Bronner’s classroom before the morning bell rings to say hello – not necessarily to Mrs. Bronner, but to her canine companion. Calvin is a 10-year-old black lab, an assisted therapy dog trained by Support Dogs, Inc., and he has a loyal following at Highcroft Ridge. When asked if she visited Calvin every day before school, one second-grader said, “No, only on the days that he’s here.” That would be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Many know Support Dogs, Inc. for the dogs it trains to help people with physical disabilities. However, support dogs also are praised for their uncanny ability to calm and motivate children with special needs or those considered high risk. But Bronner’s is a typical, mainstream classroom of first-graders. You might be wondering: What can a dog bring to this environment?

grabbed the leash and walked him in,” Bron- dog, students who were initially fearful realize that “they don’t have to be afraid.” ner said. A four-legged counselor Highcroft Ridge counselor Melissa Neverls used Calvin to help a student overcome her fear of dogs. Neverls said when this first-grader (not one of Bronner’s students) initially found out that Calvin was in the building, she wouldn’t go near him. But Neverls said having Calvin around helped the little girl “develop strategies to get over her fears and apprehensions.” Neverls said because Calvin was so calm around this student, she eventually began to trust him “and then we got closer to him.” “Because he’s so non-threatening – and he represents something that’s threatening – that’s a good, just gradual, tool to help her get over one of her fears,” Neverls said. And Neverls said that she continues to use Calvin as an example to help the student deal with other fears, too, asking her: “What did we do to get closer to Calvin?” Bill Dahlkamp, executive director of Support Dogs, Inc., agreed that introducing a support dog into the classroom is “a wonderful opportunity” to help children overcome their fear of dogs. When a support dog is first brought into a classroom, Dahlkamp said there is an educational component in which the teacher and/ or a Support Dogs representative talks to the children about “how these dogs are different and how they’ve been trained differently than just a normal, everyday pet dog.” He said that “once they see their classmates interacting with the dog” and they spend time around the

A non-judgmental motivator Dahlkamp said dogs like Calvin can motivate kids. “It’s results driven ... The teacher uses the dog to get what they want,” said Dahlkamp. “But, also, it’s good therapy for the kids because they have a canine classmate in their classroom and it just helps the overall learning environment. “It’s funny, because kids will do a lot for a dog, and maybe not so much for a person or an adult, because (the dog is) something that they can relate to. “And then there’s the reward system when the dog is there. They can pet the dog. They can read to the dog. What we’ve found is some teachers will develop exercises around the dog so that kids can write about the dogs or incorporate them into other things besides reading.” When it comes to reading, Dahlkamp said a dog can be particularly motivating to children who are behind their peers in reading or embarrassed to read in front of the class. “It’s a non-judgmental entity that they can read to and they can work through. They can build their confidence,” Dahlkamp said, “because a dog doesn’t critiSee COVER STORY, page 42

Students in Sylvia Bronner’s first-grade class at Highcroft Ridge Elementary School read to an assisted therapy dog named Calvin.

(West Newsmagazine photo)



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Wishing Wishing you a you a Wishing tangle-free tangle-free shing you a holiday. holiday. tangle-free ua holiday. ngle-free ee Wishing liday. Maybe allmerry your days merry and bright. May all and be bright. you ayour days 42 I cover story I 


two court advocate dogs in Missouri to assist in cases in which children have been cize and a dog doesn’t necessarily correct mentally, physically or sexually abused. – and I mean correct in a bad way – but it “The dogs were incorporated as part makes them feel comfortable, makes them of their forensic interview process, and empowered, makes them feel that they can the kids actually tell their stories to the do things that they don’t have to necessar- dog and it’s videotaped,” said Dahlkamp. ily do in front of the class.” “That’s used as evidence in the trial and, if Dahlkamp said when a child reads to a dog, for some reason the child has to testify, the “they get to be the leader in that dynamic.” dogs can actually go to court with them.” “They feel honored. They feel special that they get to do something that’s out of the Trained to take anything ordinary,” Dahlkamp said. “And even for On the day that West Newsmagazine visthe class, as a whole, what we’ve found is ited Bronner’s classroom, children plopped that the classrooms these dogs are in, the down next to Calvin, hugged him, crowded whole class feels special because they’re the around him and left him very little personal only ones in the school that have a dog.” space. But Calvin took it all in stride. “The dogs are actually trained and chosen A stable presence because they can take anything,” said DahlDogs like Calvin have also been effec- kamp. “However, and I say a big ‘however,’ tive in providing a sense of security and we don’t allow that to happen. The teacher stability for at-risk children. has to have some management of the class “We have a dog over in Illinois where every and be able to coordinate it and kind of wransingle one of the kids in the classroom comes gle in a class if they do get out of hand.” from an at-risk background,” Dahlkamp said. That said, Dahlkamp said dogs like Calvin ® He explained that many of these students’ “have a tolerance that goes above and beyond.” there. parents are incarcerated and the children Support Dogs celebrates its 30-year anniare living in foster care. versary in 2013. It has never had an incident “So their lives are very non-constant,” of a dog becoming aggressive. Dahlkamp said. “They can at least look “What we find is that the dog helps calm forward to coming to school every day and these kids,” Dahlkamp said. “It’s magical. … that dog is going to be there.” I don’t know how to explain it, but the dogs In 2009 and 2010, Support Dogs placed just seem to be a calming presence for them.” COVER STORY, from page 40

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7255 Mexico Road (St. Peters) ................................. 636-397-7721 2710 Hwy. K (O’Fallon)............................................. 636-379-8499 2214 First Capital .................................................... 636-947-0343 1290 Jungermann (at McClay - St. Peters) ................. 636-922-3000

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Bu si ness Women Doing Business with Women Three West County businesses celebrated the holiday season the weekend of Dec. 1-2 by hosting Women Doing Business with Women. Three French Hens in Wildwood, Mary Tuttle’s in Chesterfield, and Dream House and Tea Room in Ballwin offered a 20 percent From left: Jeanie Hood, owner of Three French Hens; Angela Carter, manager of Mary Tuttle’s; Judy Macher and Tracy discount on purchases, McMonigle, of Dream House and Tea Room. Not pictured: Mary and shoppers who Gallow, owner of Mary Tuttle’s. visited all three stores were entered into a drawing for a $1,000 shopping spree and other prizes. Judy Busch, of Town & Country, won the $1,000 spree, to be divided equally at each of the three stores. St. Louis resident Pat Flood received a $100 gift certificate to Three French Hens and a $100 gift certificate to Mary Tuttle’s. Laura Filmore, of Chesterfield, won a $100 gift certificate to Dream House and Tea Room.


and Timothy J. Reichardt, of West County, have been named partners in the law firm of Behr, McCarter & Potter, P.C. Jackson focuses primarily on the areas of medi- Jackson cal malpractice defense, legal malpractice defense and personal injury claims litigation; Reichardt’s primary focus is in the areas of health care law, municipal and construction law, personal injury, wrongful death and commercial Reichardt litigation. ••• Jean Larson Steck, of Des Peres, has been named director of communications for Variety, the Children’s Charity, which serves children with physical and mental Steck disabilities in the Greater St. Louis region.



senior credit analyst; Veronica Suarez, to vice president/credit administration manager; Thomas Bitting, to vice president, commercial credit risk; and Tom Modde, to vice president, information systems. ••• Attorneys Stacy Jackson, of Wildwood,

Creve Coeur-based Pulaski Bank has announced the promotions of Gail Cramer, to vice president/consumer banking operations manager; Lindsey Bernaix, to vice president, commercial lending; Kym Crowell, to assistant vice president,

New Classes Begin 1/28!

First State Bank of St. Charles has opened a branch at 17050 Baxter Road in Chesterfield. The expansion to West County marks the first time in the bank’s 145-year history that it will operate a full-service retail branch outside of St. Charles County. First State Bank of St. Charles reported total assets

of $262,971,000, as of September 2012. ••• Total Access Urgent Care has opened at 1737 Clarkson Road in Chesterfield. The walk-in medical facility features a team of emergency medicine and family practice physicians who specialize in the treatment of common injuries and illnesses for patients of all ages. Hours are from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. every day of the year, and online check-in is available at ••• Tide Dry Cleaners has opened at 14464 Clayton Road in Ballwin and includes a drivethru offering 24-hour drop-off and pickup. Tide products are used on all garments.

MEETINGS & NETWORKING The West County Chamber of Commerce hosts author and motivational speaker John Foppe at its general membership meeting at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20 at Forest Hills Country Club. Born without arms, Foppe has had to break down and rethink every aspect of daily life and has developed a variety of solutions to help others, including business leaders, overcome obstacles and translate their visions into outcomes. Admission is $30. Call 230-9900, or visit ••• A job fair is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10 at DoubleTree Hotel, 1973 Craigshire in Creve Coeur. Attendees should dress professionally; otherwise, admittance may be denied. Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit

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Also in St. Charles, North County, and South Kingshighway Call to Donate Furniture & Schedule Pick-Up Mag 12’12 ~ 314-881-6006 ~

ADHD Research Study Psychiatric Care and Research Center is currently conducting a study of an investigational medication comparing current medication treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in adolescents, ages 13-17. A full diagnostic evaluation and medical examination will be provided as part of the study. Subjects may be compensated for their time and travel. Research conducted under the supervision of Drs. John Canale and Howard Ilivicky. If you or someone you know is interested in participating in this study, please contact our research department at: 636-244-3593 Ask for Jenny or Kara Also reach us at Psychiatric Care and Research Center 636-244-3593 • www. 4132 Keaton Crossing Blvd., Ste. 201 • O'Fallon, MO 63368

I 47



Enter t ai n ment New Years Eve Fireworks & Carriage Rides


Holiday Celebration is from Dec. 21-23 at Powell Symphony Hall.

CONCERTS A Gospel Christmas with Take 6, Dec. 20, Powell Symphony Hall Holiday Celebration, Dec. 21-23, Powell Symphony Hall El Monstero, Dec. 21-29, The Pageant Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, Dec. 22, Peabody Opera House Talib Kweli, Dec. 22, Old Rock House Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “The Lost Christmas Eve,” Dec. 27, Scottrade Center Leftover Salmon, Dec. 28-29, Old Rock House “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” Dec. 28-30, Powell Symphony Hall Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Jan. 10, The Pageant An Evening with Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Jan. 26, J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts Railroad Earth, Jan. 26, The Pageant

“The Foreigner,” through Dec. 23, Loretto-Hilton Center “The Nutcracker,” through Dec. 23, The Touhill “A Gnome for Christmas,” through Dec. 23, Heagney Theater “Wicked,” through Jan. 6, The Fox Theatre “Good People,” Jan. 2-27, Loretto-Hilton Center LoneStar Rodeo, Jan. 4-5, The Family Arena “Flashdance – The Musical,” Jan. 8-13, Peabody Opera House “Stomp,” Jan. 11-13, The Fox Theatre “Yo Gabba Gabba Live!” Jan. 18, The Fox Theatre


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Visit us from 6 — 8 pm every Friday and Saturday in December and take in the holiday lights at Westport on free carriage rides!




Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “The Lost Christmas Eve” plays at Scottrade Center Dec. 27.

“Locally O wned. Family O wned. Since 1926”

(Photo by Bob Carey)

Circus Harmony’s “Capriccio,” Jan. 19-27, City Museum “Sesame Street Live: ‘Can’t Stop Singing,’” Jan. 24-27, Peabody Opera House “Moulin Rouge: The Ballet,” Jan. 25-26, The Touhill “Mrs. Sorken/The Duck Variations,” Jan. 25-Feb. 10, Mustard Seed Theatre “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” Jan. 29-Feb. 10, The Fox Theatre “Sense & Sensibility,” Feb. 6-March 3, Loretto-Hilton Center “Romeo and Juliet,” Feb. 8-10, The Touhill “A Gnome for Christmas” plays through Dec. “Connected,” Feb. 8-23, Kranzberg Arts 23 at Heagney Theater. Center (Photo by Repertory Theatre of St. Louis)


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tickets and information Loretto-Hilton Center:, (314) 968-4925 Chaifetz Arena:, (314) 534-1111 City Museum: circusharmony.brownpapertickets. Mustard Seed Theatre:, (800) 838-3006 org, (314) 226-3633 Old Rock House:, (314) 534-1111 The Family Arena:, (314) 534-1111 The Pageant:, (866) 448-7849 The Fox Theatre:, (314) 534-1111 Peabody Opera House: (866) 448Heagney Theater:, (314) 968-4925 J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts:, 7849 Powell Symphony Hall:, (800) 232-1880 (800) 432-7250 Kranzberg Arts Center:, (314) Scottrade Center:, (866) 448-7849 The Touhill:, (314) 516-4949 289-4060

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48 I events I 



3 fun-filled days jam-packed with activities for kids ages 7-16! Activities including archery, riflery, Pine’s Peak, arts & crafts, the nature center, campfires with s’mores along with winter games and memories that will last a lifetime. The cost for Winter Camp is $195 per camper. This includes lodging in a warm and cozy cabin, hot meals, and all activities.


1-888-FUN-YMCA •

Com mu n it y Event s BENEFITS The Helping Hand Me Downs clothing drive runs through Thursday, Jan. 31 at Whole Foods Market in Town & Country. Used clothing, toys and books may be dropped at the front of the store for donation to Helping Hand Me Downs, a local nonprofit organization serving St. Louis children ages newborn to 2 who are born into poverty. Call 527-1160. ••• “Pin the Nose on Frosty” is from noon-2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22 at Whole Foods Market in Town & Country. For a $1 donation to Operation Food Search, kids can try to pin a nose on Frosty. All participants receive a prize. Call 527-1160. ••• Holidays on Ice is from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at Creve Coeur Ice Arena, 11400 Olde Cabin Road. Those who bring a canned good donation skate for free. Skate rental is $2 per pair. Call (314) 432-3961. ••• A trivia night and silent auction to benefit Gateway Indoor Percussion is at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) on Saturday, Jan. 12 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 14033 Clayton Road in Town & Country. The nonprofit organization teaches young adults respect and teamwork through musical education.

There are cash prizes, a 50/50 drawing, a silent auction and games. Admission is $20 per person/$160 for a table of eight. To reserve a table, contact Mary Jo at (314) 750-2000 or

FAMILY AND KIDS “A Taste of Discovery” followed by a Kosher Chinese lunch provided by Jon Rubin Catering is from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 25 at Aish Firehouse, 457 N. Woods Mill Road in Chesterfield. “Discovery” is an easy to understand program that has opened many to Judaism and Torah. The cost is $35 per adult and includes lunch. RSVP to Claire at (314) 862-2474 or The program is limited to the first 50 adults with payment. ••• Winter Break Escape, a new field trip program for kids ages 7-14, is from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26-Friday, Dec. 28 starting at The Pointe at Ballwin Commons. “Lunch and a Movie” on Wednesday includes a trip to the Wildwood 10 Theater and lunch at Indigo Joe’s; “Bowl and Skate” on Thursday features trips to West County Lanes and the ice rink at Queeny Park; and “Sled and Swim” on Friday includes a trip to Hidden Valley and swimming at The Pointe. Participants may register for individual days or sign up for all three field trips. The regular price per day is $70,

Visit for more information! or by calling Adam Peper at 207-2327. ••• Toddler Get Together at the Pointe is from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Thursdays, Jan. 10 and Feb. 14, at The Pointe at Ballwin Commons. Toddlers ages 1-4 enjoy a variety of activities, stories, crafts, visits from special guests an opportunity to meet new friends. Regular admission for each session is $5; VIP admission is $4. To register, visit, or call 227-8580.

and the VIP daily price is $60; the regular rate for those registering for all three days is $200, and the VIP three-day rate is $170. To register, call 227-8580, or visit ••• “Babysitting 101” is from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at Whole Foods Market in Town & Country and from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28 at Wildwood City Hall (choose one class). A St. Louis Children’s Hospital instructor provides information on the business of babysitting, child development, safety/ first aid, fun and games. A workbook and light snack are provided. The class fee is $30 per child, and registration is required. Call (314) 454-5437, and press option 3. ••• St. Louis County Library presents Babaloo in concert at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27 at the Grand Glaize Branch, 1010 Meramec Station Road in Manchester. The interactive performance is for kids of all ages. Registration is required. Call (314) 994-3300. ••• A Disco Swim Party is from 8-10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4 at The Pointe at Ballwin Commons. Guests swim in the pool, which is illuminated by disco lights and light sticks. Games, light stick favors and a deejay are featured. Regular admission is $5; VIP admission is $4. Register at, at the front desk at The Pointe,

HOLIDAY Santa’s Magical Kingdom is open from 5:30-10:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and from 5:30-11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through Sunday, Jan. 6 at Jellystone Park in Eureka. The drive-thru holiday light display features animated scenes, special effects and millions of shimmering lights. Photos with Santa, train and wagon rides and Kringle’s Store also are featured. Admission is $19 per family vehicle and $30 per limousine, commercial transport van or small bus. Call 938-5925, or visit ••• St. Louis County Parks’ Winter Wonderland, a drive-thru holiday light display, is open to vehicular traffic and for horse-drawn carriage rides from 5:30-9:30 p.m. SundayFriday through Tuesday, Jan. 1 (closed


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NEWSMAGAZINENETWORK.COM Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve) at Tilles Park, 9551 Litzinger Road. Horse-drawn carriage rides are available by reservation every night (except Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve), including on Saturdays. Admission is $10 per family vehicle, $20 per limousine, $40 per commercial transport van; and $90 per tour bus. Carriage ride ticket prices vary, depending on carriage type and number in party. Advance payment is not required for vehicular traffic. For carriage ride tickets, call (314) 534-1111, or visit ••• The Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show is from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Tuesday, Jan 1 at the Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd. in St. Louis. Admission is $5 for those age 3 and older, in addition to regular Garden admission. Call (314) 577-5100 or visit ••• The St. Louis County Library hosts a holiday open house at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22 at the Daniel Boone Branch, 300 Clarkson Road in Ellisville. Kids ages 2-10 are welcome to enjoy stories and treats, and to create a craft. Registration is required. Call (314) 994-3300. ••• Christmas Eve services are celebrated on Monday, Dec. 24 at Living Word Church, 17315 Manchester Road in Wildwood. The children’s service is at 4 p.m., and candlelight

services are offered at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Childcare is available during the 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. services. Visit

SPECIAL INTEREST The city of Creve Coeur hosts a holiday light recycling drive through Sunday, Jan. 13 in the entrance lobby of the police department, located at the rear parking lot of the Creve Coeur Government Center, 300 N. Ballas Road. A portion of drive proceeds benefits Operation Food Search. For more information, call (314) 222-8004. ••• The city of Ballwin holds a self-defense class from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6 at The Pointe at Ballwin Commons. For more information and to register, visit ballwin., and click on the yellow starburst. ••• Creative writing workshops for seniors begin on Monday, Jan. 7 at the Wildwood Hotel. The cost is $10 per class, with a discount offered to all members of the military. U.S. military veterans are being sought for the classes. For examples, visit lifeslegacys. com. Call Samantha at (314) 243-2470 for more information, including class times.

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14377 Manchester Road - Just West of 141! - 636 527-3334



 I 51

Romance pulls patrons to Studio Inn at St. Albans

By SUZANNE CORBETT Elegance, charm and romance are the signature amenities that attract brides and those seeking a getaway B&B experience to The Studio Inn at St. Albans. The Studio, once known by locals as The Château and designed by renowned St. Louis Union Station architect Theodore Link, was built as a summer home for International Shoe co-founder Oscar Johnson and his wife. “I first discovered St. Albans 28 years ago. That’s when I got the hankering to open a B&B,” said Datra Herzog, owner of The Studio Inn and the Gardens at Malmaison. Herzog said she originally considered opening a winery in St. Albans but instead seized the opportunity in 2004 to purchase the Malmaison property. Soon, she began focusing on weddings, private events and catering, which proved to be a winning strategy. St. Albans is considered one of the area’s most romantic locations and was named by Reader’s Digest as one of the most scenic spots in the U.S. “Romance is our biggest pull,” said Herzog, who noted that The Studio Inn and The Gardens at Malmaison (the adjacent restaurant area) are popular for weddings, private parties and dinners because they offer a unique special event venue and bed and breakfast getaway. “About 90 percent of our busi-

The Studio Inn at St. Albans 454 Studio Road • St. Albans 636-548-0131 Reservations required

h s a B s ’ r Brothe Year’s eve! on ne8wpm - 1 am

ness is bridal and private parties that we host between The Studio Inn and Malmaison, which originally was the Old Barn Inn that dates back to 1843, we think.” The Studio and the Old Barn Inn can claim roots as an overnight destination beginning in1928, when Irene Johnson invited her friends to summer at the property’s five cottages. “The men would commute by train into the city while their wives spent the day lunching and playing bridge. Then, the men would take the train back and have dinner,” said Herzog, who explained that the property was where some of the wealthiest St. Louisans spent their summers. Today, guests at The Studio can choose from one of six rooms housed within its The Studio Inn at St. Albans is a popular venue for weddings, private parties and multi-level design. Amenities include relaxing B&B getaways. beautifully appointed rooms (private and public) and patios and gardens that offer of St. Albans. Each room has its own character and comes breathtaking views of the Missouri River Valley. A new addi- with a bottle of wine and breakfast, with arrangements for tion planned for 2013 is a labyrinth, which Herzog believes lunch and dinner available. Accommodations are offered will enhance the serenity of the estate. for rental by the day, the night or the week. “It’s so calming and spiritual in its very nature that I With its picturesque location and peaceful surroundings, wanted to go a step further and create another space differ- The Studio Inn makes guests feel like they’re miles away ent from the patios that can add to the experience,” Herzog from home, even if they are visiting from West County. It explained. “In practical purposes, it provides another hard is “the getaway in your own backyard,” located only 15 space that can be used as an event or gathering space.” minutes from Ballwin. The Studio Inn’s rooms all are themed and named for “People think we’re further,” Herzog said, “but we’re places and people who were significant in the development closer than you think.”

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 I 53



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Season’s Greetings 

A very special “Happy Holidays” wish to our friends &  clients, those of you who have used our services, and those who  have helped to keep us busy this year with your referrals. We sincerely appreciate your support.   Have a joyous Holiday season!  Happiness, good health and a wonderful 2013  is our wish for you and your family. 

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Roy Kinder

We’re the place to check out first.

Custom Woodworking • Bars • Bookshelves Mantels • Doors • Stairs • Media Kitchens • Basements • Baths

Master Carpenter #1557 Custom Contractor/Builder

(636) 391-5880

Insured • Satisfaction Guaranteed Since 1979 •

Now Available Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits



Specializing In:

Driveway & (314) 822-0849 Patio

New and Replacement

Traditional Finishes To Old World Charm

Free Estimates

706 Wycliffe Place Ct. 1.5 story with a 2sty Great Rm. 4 Bdrm, Chef's Kitchen with granite, custom cabinets and stainless appliances. Windows galore look out to this wooded Lot. Cathy Shaw-Connely 636-346-4960 Sheena Connely 636-236-7036

120-5 Highway 109 Mini Horse Property- 3.86 rolling acres with out Bldg. 3bdrm brick ranch, hrdwd flrs, stone fireplace & nice airy sunroom off Master Bedroom. 3 car. Close to Wildwood Town Center. Matt Shaw 314-503-4872

9024 Spy Glass Place Drive - O'Fallon Stunning, 2story-4bd/3bth. 3.800 sq.ft. home offers updated bths, 9 ft. ceilings, granite counters, wood floors & bonus room plus so much more. Cathy Shaw-Connely 636-346-4960 Sheena Connely 636-236-7036

5133 Kennerly Place Dr. - St. Louis Spacious 2bd/2bth ranch features Lg Fmly Rm, Brkfst Rm, & Separate Dining. Bay windows, main floor Laundry & custom blinds. Awesome Mstr Bdrm Suite. Cathy Shaw-Connely 636-346-4960 Sheena Connely 636-236-7036

152 Highway F - Defiance Renovated home on 7+/- acres in the heart of Wine Country. Lg spacious rooms. 2nd bdrm offers its own full bath. Custom cabinets, granite, stainless & upgrades galore. Cathy Shaw-Connely 636-346-4960

19324 Deer Pointe Estates Dr. - Wildwood Gated Community w/common equestrian facilities! 1.5 story 5bd/3.5bath, 3 car garage sits on top of a hill of 10+/- acres. Cathy Shaw Connely 636-346-4960

17924 Pond Bridge Rd. - Wildwood Amazing Equestrian 1.5Sty 4bd , 2.5ba, 3 car Gar, 6.7 +/- acres w/4 stall horse brn. Permanent horse riding easement to all trails in Babler State Park. Cathy Shaw Connely 636-346-4960

4325 Fox Creek Rd. - Wildwood Amazing 5Bd/7Bth on 21 +/- ac. Horse paradise, access to Rockwood & Greensfelder Park. Breathtaking views. Cathy Shaw-Connely (636) 346-4960

19300 Deer Pointe Estates Dr. - Wildwood Gated Community w/common equestrian facilities! Stunning 1.5 sty home offers 4bd/6ba, 3 car garage. Cathy Shaw Connely 636-346-4960 Tom Shaw, Jr. (314) 283-5064

Hwy 94 - 48 Acres - Defiance 1890's Farm House in great shape. Best view in the Valley overlooking Mo river bottoms. Weekend home or Investment property. Tommy Shaw Jr. 636-283-5064 Cathy Shaw-Connely 636-346-4960

1273 Rogue River Court Spacious Ranch w/vaulted ceilings, brick fireplace, newly remodeled kitchen. Finished lower level. Wonderful private yard on quiet cul-de-sac. Cathy Shaw-Connely 636-346-4960 Donna Metts - 314-313-7976

533 Colebrook Drive #D - St. Louis Bright & Open Condo with 2bd/2bth. Lg spacious rooms, updated flooring, light fixtures & appliances & HVAC. Lg windows and terrific location. Minutes off Hwy 44. Paul Michaels - 636-575-1866

17813 Edison Avenue, Suite 200 Chesterfield, MO 63005

Office:(636) 532-1922 Fax: (636) 532-0222

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WEST claSSifiEdS V

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Found Pet


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Coal is back home for the holidays.

Thanks all!

Cleaning Services


CPA Firm for Small & Medium Size Businesses

Affordable Accounting, Tax, Payroll & Guidance Solutions

Call Tom at 314-448-4264

Call Ellen




Comprehensive Care at Home Homemaking, Companion & Personal Care

636.696.5801 Classifieds


Free 1 Hour CLeANiNG for New CLieNtS (after 3 hrs.) by KEEPING IT CLEAN. Work is guaranteed, flex schedules, move-ins/outs. Res. & Comm. B o n d e d / i n s u re d / s c re e n e d employees. Pet-friendly. FREE estimates. Accept Visa, MC, discover & debit. 314-852-9787.

Education EXPERIENCED TUTOR: One-on-One. Individualized. ACT/SAT: Reading & English Writing • Grammar • Critical Thinking

30+ yrs. experience Call Patti 636-394-2751

Lori's Cleaning Service - Choose a cleaner who takes PRIDE in serving you and is grateful for the opportunity. Call Lori at 636221-2357.


Weekly • Bi-Weekly • Monthly Move in & Move Out $10 OFF AFFORDABLE New Clients PRICING Now Accepting Credit Cards

Assisted Care

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Assisted Care Miss Daisy - Personal Assistants for Seniors. Errands, light housework, shopping, companionship. FREE hour with 2 hour min. Call for personal estimate. Call 636-220-8077 or visit www.


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Your Satisfaction is Our Goal


Family Owned & Operated


Electric eriC'S eLeCtriC - Licensed, Bonded and insured: Service upgrades, fans, can lights, switches, outlets, basements, code violations fixed, we do it all. Emergency calls & back up generators. No job too small. Competitively priced. Free Estimates. Just call 636-262-5840.

Call Ellen



Serving St. louis & St. charles co

•Spyware •Adware •Virus Removal •Hardware •Software Upgrades

$30 diagnostic charge only for first ½ hour Day, evening and weekend appointments available.

Classifieds 636.591.0010




ALL SpLit Firewood For SALe 4ft x 8ft x 16in., delivered and stacked. Premium Small Split $95. Call Scott 573-6310291.

Resurfacing SpECiALiStS

Basement Floors

Decorative Custom Design replaces carpet! Creative ConCrete Design

WINTER Special!


Call EllEn 636.591.0010

Fire Wood

Split Seasoned - Oak & Hickory 4x8 ft - Stacked & Delivered Call for Pricing • 20 Years Exp.

636-337-7758 |


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Heating & Air



Jt dunn Heating & Cooling 24/7 - Small Prices - Big Service. Discounts available online at Call 314809-3019 now for Expert Advice Over the Phone!


Sold in 4x8 Stacks NO Criss/Cross Stacking Not A Tree Service

ing West County since 1980. Springs, cables, electric openers. Door replacement. Evening & weekend service available. Call 636-388-9774.

Help Wanted

See you in 2013!

NOW HIRING: (Donut Shop) Part or Full Time Evenings. Fryer/ Decorator. Will train. Call Ann or Kelly at 636-527-2227.f ffffffff


Flooring wood FLoor reFiNiSHiNG : Add instant equity to your home. Professional Floors of St. Louis 31 year old fully insured company serving entire metro community. Sanding, r e f i n i s h i n g, r e p a i r s, n e w installation, most manufacturers available. Free estimates 314843-4348,

CARPET REPAIRS Restretching, reseaming & patching. No job too small. Free estimates.

For Rent SUPER LARGE garage space in Chesterfield area condo. Perfect for classic car storage or extra parking. Reasonable rental. Call 636-220-6647 or email to

For SALE Home Helpers is your #1 source affordable, dependable care by compassionate caregivers. ♥ Senior Adults ♥ Recuperative Care ♥ Alzheimer’s / Dementia Care ♥ Bathing/Personal Care ♥ Transportation ♥ Meal Preparation ♥ Housekeeping ♥ On Call 24/7 Insured/Bonded & Carefully Screened West County 636-391-0000

E t w o r k

Garage Doors

call Mike at 636-675-7641 Service at your home or office for: • PC problems or set-up • PC won't start or connect



(314) 892-1003

Computer Specializing in Home Offices and Small Businesses. County Computer Consulting LLC, can support your computers and networks. Call Ray for more information at 636-391-3853 or www. CCC-LLC.BIZ.

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DINING ROOM SET: 84" light oak table with leaf. Six chairs include 2 captain chairs. Matching Breakfront and Serving Hutch with marble top. $750. Call 636346-5684.

Foundation Repair top Notch waterproofing & Foundation repair LLC. Cracks, sub-pump systems, structural & concrete repairs. Exterior drainage correction. Serving Missouri for 15 yrs. Free estimate 636-2816982. Finally, a contractor who is honest and leaves the job site clean. Lifetime Warranties.

Glass Since 1966, Ballwin Glass Co. has served W. Co. for all glass needs from home to business and all types automotive glass & repairs. Call us today for a FREE ESTIMATE (636) 227-1424 or go to www. .



WE HAUL IT ALL Service 7 days. Debris, furniture, appliances, household trash, yard debris, railroad ties, fencing, decks. Garage & Basement Clean-up Neat, courteous, affordable rates. Call: 636-379-8062 or email: Skips Hauling & demolition! Serving the Bi-State Area including St. Charles County. Appliances, furniture, debris, construction, rubble, yard waste, excavating & demolition! 10, 15 and 20 cubic yard rolloff dumpsters. All type clean-outs & hauling! Affordable, dependable and available! No conditions! 20 yrs. service. Toll Free 1-888-STL-JUNK (888-7855865) or 314-644-1948.

Wishing you a

Merry Christmas and a

Happy New Year from

WesT Newsmagazine Home Improvement

Total Bathroom Remodeling Cabinetry•Plumbing•Electrical 20 Years Experience dr. p's plumbing & Handyman Service. Over 25 years experience. FREE estimates. Insured. Call Don 7 days a week. 314581-7485.

Handyman Corner Inc. Reliable Home Repair PLUMBING • ELECTRICAL CARPENTRY

30 yrs. Experience - Free Estimates

(636) 230-3588 CELL: (314) 799-4334

Next DeaDliNe:

JAN. 3 for JAN. 9 issue

ClAssifieds 636.591.0010

Caulk Specialties: Expert application and product knowledge. Specializing in showers, tubs, windows, doors and trim. Stop the leaks and damage. John Hancock. 22 years experience. 636-795-2627.

MAKE ONE CALL! For repairs to complete renovation

Painting • Drywall • Framing • Ceramic Tile Hrdwd Flrs • Doors • Windows and more!

Remodels on bath, kitchen & basements earnback referral program MC-VISA-DISCOVER-AMEX

CALL OR TEXT 314-803-3713

Email: ClassifiEds@nEwsmagazinEnEtwork.Com



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WEST claSSifiEdS Call EllEn 636.591.0010 Home Improvement



Valley Landscape Co. Spring cleanup, mulching, m o w i n g, t r e e a n d s h r u b trimming and removal, complete lawn care. (636) 458-8234.

Handyman • Carpenter 25 + Years Experience Cheap Rates! Free Estimates! House Closings • Deck Repairs Automatic Door Repairs All Jobs - Big or Small Licensed, Bonded, Insured Call James at 314-420-3562

Handyman Minor Repairs, Carpentry, Electrical, Painting, FREE Estimates, West County Area

(636) 227-1173 All Around Construction LLC - All interior and exterior remodeling and repairs. Historic restoration, molding duplication. Finished basements, kitchens, baths and decks. Liability, workmens comp, and EPA certified in lead removal. 18 years exp. Call 314-393-1102 or 636-237-3246.

Patrick Interior Finish Co., LLC: Specializing in interior home remodeling, drywall, trim, taping & painting. Over 25 years experience. NO PAY TIL jOB COmPLETE! Honest Day's Work for Honest Day's Pay. References available. Licensed & Bonded. Call Pat 314-415-0377.



Pets In Your Home Dog & Puppy

by The


Gary Smith


Lawn Mowing & Maintenance

CLEAN-UP! Trim Bushes • Sodding Retaining Walls SNOW REMOVAL




We take care of Pets in your home Where Pets Prefer

Pet Sitting & Dog Walking. POOP'R SCOOP'R Services Available! Insured

West County Pet Care 636-394-6852 314-401-5516



Full service grooming in your home...

Reasonable rates • Free consultation All services available Keep your pets stress-free at home - great for older dogs Ask about discounts for rescues!

Call for appointment



AT Merry Christmas



Sell your home, lot, or mobile home

Direct Mail to

• Stump Grinding • Bucket Truck Service • Emergency Storm Service




Call Ellen





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per inch

what a deal! LINE AD: 8 lines of text with 3035 words in this size type. West Newsmagazine is direct-mailed to 68,000+ homes in St. Louis County and mid Rivers Newsmagazine is direct-mailed to 62,000+ homes in St. Charles County. Call 636-591-0010.

Display ad includes: • 1 pt. border • Logo/art • Many typestyle options your ad is created just for you + a proof at no charge! - Call 636.591.0010 -

Next DeaDliNe:

JAN. 3


for JAN. 9, 2013 issue

ClAssifieds 636.591.0010

• All ads are online • Competitive rates • Custom Design

call classifieds

Fully Insured • Free Estimates

what a deal!


Fully Insured Work Guaranteed References

Tree & Brush Removal • Pruning • Dead-Wooding Deep Root Fertilization • Stump Grinding • Cabling Storm Clean-Up • Plant Healthcare

only $45 per inch



Residential • Commercial Complete Tree Service

For only $

68,000 homes

mailed DIRECT to

Happy New Year d s



YOUR Ad is

and a

no money down



Wishing you a


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Tree Service Trimmed &

[636] 274-1378

Our Specialty: Kitchen/Brkfst Room Wallpaper Removal & Paint

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may the Sacred Heart of jesus be adored, glorified, loved and preserved throughout the world now and forever. Sacred Heart of jesus, pray for us. St. jude, Worker of miracles, pray for us. St. jude, Help of the Hopeless, pray for us. Say prayer nine times a day; by the 8th day prayer will be answered. Say it for nine days. Then publish. Your prayers will be answered. It has never been known to fail. Thank you, St. jude. mEC Holy Spirit, you who make me see everything and show me the way to reach my ideals. Give me the divine gift to forgive and forget them all who have done wrong to me. I, in short dialogue, want to thank you in everything and confirm once more that I never want to be separated from you no matter how great the material desires may be. I want to be with you and my beloved one in our perpetual glory. Thanks for favors. Pray this prayer for three consecutive days without asking for wish. After third day, wish will be granted no matter how difficult. Promise to publish this dialogue as soon as your favor has been granted. PAG


Free Estimate



Novena to the Holy Spirit

Dog Grooming

PAINTER PROFESSIONAL: 27 years experience. Interior/ Exterior painting. Deck, drywall repair, wallpaper removal. Free estimates and insured. Call 314567-7957 or 314-629-7852.


COLE TREE SERVICE Tree and stump removal. Trimming, deadwooding. Free estimates. Insured. 636-475-3661 w w w. cole -tree -ser v i ce. bi z . We a c c e p t C r e d i t C a r d s !


KEVIN'S PAINT SERVICE - Expert & Professional. New & old house interior/ exterior painting, drywall & acoustical ceiling repair. 25 years painting experience. Low rates/ Free Estimates. Call Kevin at 636-322-9784.

Call Dan Today!

Move-in ready $189,600

Karen's Painting Looking for a job done right the first time? On time? Neat & organized? Someone who respects your home like her own? Interior & exterior painting. Free estimates. Discounts on empty properties. Call KAREN 636-262-0045.



Lindbergh School Dist.

Call Gary 314-805-7005

Call 314-426-8833


3 BR • Hardwood Flrs.

www.yuckos .com

25 years experience Fully Insured • Owner/Operator

#1 In Quality, Service & Reliability Est. 1995 for a Free Estimate

Green Park, MO


Painting & RePaiR

Leaf Cleanup & Vacuuming Aeration • Overseeding Fertilizing • Sodding • Seeding Planting • Mowing • Mulching Edging • Spraying • Weeding Pruning • Trimming Bed Maintenance • Dethatching Brush Removal • Retaing Walls Paver Patios • Drainage Work

ANYTHING IN PLUMBING - Good Prices! Basement bathrooms, small repairs & code violations repaired. Fast Service. Call or text anytime: 314-409-5051.

in 2013!


Interior/Exterior • Wallpaper Dry Wall • Crown Molding & Trim

Complete Lawn Maintenence for Commercial & Residential

Real Estate


Painting jim's Paint & Trim Service Interior & Exterior painting, crown and decorative moulding, wallpaper removal, texturing, drywall and rotten wood repair. Call 636-778-9013.


See you

Certified • Insured • Bonded 314-651-7364

C a l l T o m 636.938.9874

Drum & Percussion Lessons - Rock, pop, jazz/fusion, metal and hand percussion lessons in Chesterfield. Have premier equip., 13+ yrs. experience - live & studio. $20 for 30min., $35 for 60 min. Call 319-530-5421 or email


Pawsitive K-9 "Train Without Pain"

Re t aining walls, patios, pruning, chainsaw work, seasonal clean-up. Friendly service with attention to detail.

Music Lessons

Email: ClassifiEds@nEwsmagazinEnEtwork.Com

Snow Removal SNOW REMOVAL: Commercial and residential. Insured. 30 Years in business. 24/7 Service. Call Dan at 314-852-5467.

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Anytime... Anywhere... Marriage Ceremonies Renewal of Vows Baptisms ~ Full Service Ministry ~ Non-Denominational

(314) 703-7456 C o m


telligent all-wheel drive BLE

ing at $ 38,500 MSRP nder, 240 horsepower

W of Maplewood 0 The all-new BMW 3 Series (314) 727-8870

3015 SOUTH HANLEY ROAD • 314-727-8870

merica, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks.


The MINI NOT NORMAL Sales Event is not your typical sales event, and neither are the savings. So rather than give you the hard sell, we’ll give you great incentives on a new MINI.

Visit us at our BRAND NEW SHOWROOM


8455 Maryland 40 Sunnen DriveAve Clayton MO 63105-3646 Maplewood, MO 63143 (314) (314) 727-8870 644-6464

MINIOFSTLOUIS.COM/NNSEDETAILS © 2012 MINI USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The MINI name, model names and logo are registered trademarks.


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