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I opinion I 3



Solving whose problem?

No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems - of which getting elected and re-elected are No. 1 and No. 2. Whatever is No. 3 is far behind. Many of the things the government does that may seem stupid are not stupid at all, from the standpoint of the elected officials or bureaucrats who do these things. The current economic downturn that has cost millions of people their jobs began with successive administrations of both parties pushing banks and other lenders to make mortgage loans to people whose incomes, credit history and inability or unwillingness to make a substantial down payment on a house made them bad risks. Was that stupid? Not at all. The money that was being put at risk was not the politicians’ money, and in most cases was not even the government’s money. Moreover, the jobs that are being lost by the millions are not the politicians’ jobs - and jobs in the government’s bureaucracies are increasing. No one pushed these reckless mortgage lending policies more than Congressman Barney Frank, who brushed aside warnings about risk, and said in 2003 that he wanted to “roll the dice” even more in the housing markets. But it would be very rash to bet against Frank getting re-elected in 2010. After the cascade of economic disasters that began in the housing markets in 2006 and spread into the financial markets in Wall Street and even overseas, people in the private sector pulled back. Banks stopped making so many risky loans. Home buyers began buying homes they could afford, instead of going out on a limb with “creative” - and risky - financing schemes to buy homes that were beyond their means. But politicians went directly in the opposite direction. In the name of “rescuing” the housing market, Congress passed laws enabling the Federal Housing Administration to insure more and bigger risky loans - loans where there is less than a 4 percent down payment. A recent news story told of three young men who chipped in a total of $33,000 to buy a home in San Francisco that cost nearly $1 million. Why would a bank lend that kind of money to them on such a small down payment? Because the loan was

insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The bank was not taking any risk. If the three guys defaulted, the bank could always collect the money from the Federal Housing Administration. The only risk was to the taxpayers. Does the Federal Housing Administration have unlimited money to bail out bad loans? Actually, there have been so many defaults that the FHA’s own reserves have dropped below where they are supposed to be. But not to worry. There will always be taxpayers, not to mention future generations to pay off the national debt. Very few people are likely to connect the dots back to those members of Congress who voted for bigger mortgage guarantees and bailouts by the FHA. So the Congressmen’s and the bureaucrats’ jobs are safe, even if millions of other people’s jobs are not. Frank is not about to cut back on risky mortgage loan guarantees by the FHA. He recently announced that he plans to introduce legislation to raise the limit on FHA loan guarantees even more. Frank will make himself popular with people who get those loans and with banks that make these high-risk loans where they can pocket the profits and pass the risk on to the FHA. So long as the taxpayers do not understand that all this political generosity and compassion are at their expense, Barney Frank is an odds-on favorite to get reelected. The man is not stupid. What is stupid is believing that politicians are trying to solve our problems, instead of theirs. As for the FHA running low on money, that is not about to stop the gravy train, certainly not with an election coming up in 2010. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation also is running low on money. But that is not going to stop them from insuring bank accounts up to a quarter of a million dollars. It would be stupid for them to stop with an election coming up in 2010.

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l e tt e r s t o t h e e d i t o r Caring subsidized with public funding which has To the editor: no requirement to show a profit and retains During this time of trials and troubles, I the ability to mandate revenue (taxes) is have been working at an emergency food not competition, it is monopoly. In the curpantry. rent Senate bill there is a tax on the “CadilWe help feed individuals and families lac” private plans such as those enjoyed by who are having such tough times. These many union members (Page 1979, Section individuals and families are trying to pay 9001). Imagine the outcry if Chevrolet their bills, look for jobs, keep their car run- could impose a luxury tax on Lexus, thus ning, pay medical bills, and so much more raising the cost of the Lexus, and take the just like you and me. money from the tax to fund its own operaThese people could be our neighbors, tion. someone next in line at carpool, a family The current bills are simply bad legislamember, or just a stranger on the street tion that seek control over the American corner. We must keep a loving eye on these public. A better approach is a targeted one individuals and families and smile at them aimed squarely at the specific issues of Tort because it could be us in their position. We reform such as a loser pays arrangement, need to keep them in our prayers even if small business association purchasing, and we don’t know them by name. a solution aimed specifically at the uninWe will all get through these rough times, surable instead of this omnibus approach jobs will come back and we will be able to that attacks both  the problems as well as pay our bills, and life will be good again. the 85 percent of people who like their curIn the meantime, please remember we rent plans. need to help each other in good times as Dave Evans well as in difficult times. O’Fallon Please keep praying during this difficult time, smile at someone who is having a bad day, and remember your local food pantry. To the editor: God will bless you a thousand times over. Although I am not yet a participating Janie Bickham member of the “K & N Patriots,” I feel Director of Caring and Sharing duty bound to defend this group against the assertions in Mr. Keith Reel’s letter to the editor. K&N Patriots In my opinion, Mr. Reel, the K & N To the editor: Patriots are heroes. I have enthusiastically In the Nov. 18 edition (of Mid Rivers honked my support every Saturday over Newsmagazine, “Letters to the editor”), the last few months, and will gladly conMr. Keith Reel wrote a series of comments tinue to do so in the future. Contrary to your about the K&N Patriots and the health assertion that these folks are “self-serving,” care debate in general. He begins with the they are indeed unselfishly serving the accusation that the K&N group are all very greater cause of all American citizens. well-off people. I have talked with many Quite frankly, Mr. Reel, the best adjecof the folks in the group and can say for tive that fits the K & N Patriots is “tired.” sure they cross the spectrum of economic They are tired of politicians promulgating status including blue collar, white collar, outright lies to advance hidden agendas. employed, unemployed, and retired indi- They are tired of the federal government viduals. The common thread of the group incurring trillions of dollars in unnecessary is a desire for adherence to our Constitu- debt to fund pork barrel stimulus projects. tion and a return to the concept of limited They are tired of their tax dollars being government championed by our Founders.  wasted due to incompetence, fraud, and Mr. Reel  goes on to accuse the Repub- corruption. They are tired of Democrats licans of not working with the Democrats endlessly promoting the canard that this on the current version of the health control debate is about health care, when any sane bill. Not so. The Republicans have pro- individual knows this is really about govposed many amendments to the existing ernment control and power. Finally, they bills as well as better written stand-alone are tired of having their patriotism chalbills. All have been rejected by the Demo- lenged and their character maligned with crat majority in both houses of Congress name-calling and baseless accusations. while in committee without even being Thank you, K & N Patriots - my respect brought to the floor. and admiration for your heroic efforts Finally, much has been made of the argu- knows no boundaries. ment that the public option would provide Michael Maurer “competition” in the industry. An entity O’Fallon

To the editor: Responding to Keith Reel’s letter to the editor (Mid Rivers Newsmagazine, Nov. 18, 2009), I laughed at what you truly don’t know about what is going on in this country. If you would listen to Glenn Beck on Fox News you’d find out what the truth is, because he quotes chapter and verse from where he gets his info as  well as  sound bites and videos. You’d find out how bad this health care bill really is, as well as how Marxist this country is becoming because of the arrogance of Congress and the army of self-avowed Marxist czars that Obama has appointed to  make laws that by-pass Congress. If you listened to the right news program you would have heard that the Republicans were shut out of some of the meetings concerning health care and Harry Reid and several of his cronies went off into a room by themselves and came up with this heinous health care bill that has 17 new taxes in it, and are now trying to ram it down our throats when we’ve told them over and over, we don’t want it. The Democrats have been totally partisan since Obama was elected - contrary to what he preached in his campaign, that there would be transparency and bi-partisanship. If you think this is such a good bill that you can afford and that the government is looking out for the good of the people - get your head out of the sand and join the real world. LaVerne Williams St. Peters

Sowell the clod?

To the editor: It is my sincere desire that Mr. (Thomas) Sowell, or a member of his immediate family, does not become a victim to severe pain. But if they should and he should complain about the cost of medicines, I  hope someone will remind him to “cut down on medications.”  But then what does he care. His employer pays for his medical insurance or he gets paid enough that he can afford to buy the best insurance available. What an insensitive, selfish clod! Mary Robles St. Charles

Publisher Doug Huber

General Manager Tim Weber

Managing Editor Terry Dean

Marketing Director Sharon Huber

Business Manager Erica Ritter

Graphic Designers

Angela Carmody Chris Conley Steve Glover Ellen Thomas

Advertising Manager Vicky Czapla Advertising Account Executives Sheila Bennett Hope Cohagan Vivian Fortunato Linda Hauhe Sharon Huber Mairian King

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355 Ozark Trails Drive, Suite 1 St. Louis, MO 63011 (636) 591-0010 ■ (636) 591-0022 Fax Please send Comments, Letters and Press Releases to: Mid Rivers Newsmagazine is published 24 times per year by 21 Publishing LLC. It is direct-mailed to more than 61,000 households in St. Charles County. Products and services advertised are not necessarily endorsed by Mid Rivers Newsmagazine and views expressed in editorial copy are not necessarily those of Mid Rivers Newsmagazine. No part of Mid Rivers Newsmagazine may be reproduced in any form without prior written consent from Mid Rivers Newsmagazine. All letters addressed to Mid Rivers Newsmagazine or its editor are assumed to be intended for publication and are subject to editing for content and length. Mid Rivers Newsmagazine reserves the right to refuse any advertisement or editorial submission. © Copyright 2009. A PUBLICATION OF





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Losing faith in the system Only in this great country can the will of the people be so overlooked. Attention politicians in Washington D. C.: The people of the country do not want government-run health care. Do we need and want health care reform? The answer is an overwhelming yes. Reform? Yes! Government-run anything? No. Social Security? Broke. Medicare? Broke. Amtrak? Broke. Post Office? Broke. The Stimulus Bill? An ineffective waste. The only thing our elected officials and the bureaucrats they employ can run is off at the mouth. We the people are not stupid. We know instinctively that the government cannot provide millions of folk’s health care coverage and not run up the bill for the rest of us. Most of us, about 85 percent according to the polls, are happy with our health care coverage. Fix the obvious problems but for the most part leave our health care alone. We are not happy about either of your proposed bills.

Calling the Senate health care bill a package that Ponzi schemer “Bernie Madoff would really envy,” Republican Sen. Jon Kyl recently said, “When they claim a savings ... in the first 10 years, that’s because they start collecting taxes in 2010 they don’t start spending money till 2014.” And at least there is some understanding of the Senate bill. The House bill has been called, at best, incomprehensible. Just 38 percent of voters now favor the health care plan that President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats propose. That is the lowest level of support measured for the plan since June. According to the latest Rasmussen Reports, a national telephone survey found that 56 percent now oppose the plan. The proposed bills in the House and Senate are a joke and a scam. Fancy accounting and separate bills for many costs are a shell game that the folks out here do not want to play. Hard working Americans are not happy about having to pay many more taxes to

provide health care to those who simply do not want pay for it or do not even belong in this country. Seniors should not have to face health care rationing. Plus, much of the public does not want federal funding used for abortions under any circumstances. And if we can ring savings out of the system because of fraud and abuse why not do it now? Yet, in spite of the polls, in spite of the town halls and tea parties, in spite of the e-mails, phone calls and letters, you Democrats and President Obama persist in attempting to ram this kind of change down our throats. It kind of makes one lose faith in the system. But that loss of faith will be regained when you are punished at the polls the next time the folks get a chance to take you out of office. Mid Rivers Newsmagazine encourages you to make your feelings known to our Congressmen and Senators in Washington. Right now, it is all we can do. Soon enough, we will speak loudly at the voting booth.



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in St. Peters. For more information, call 314-495-2893 or 544-3500.

Lanes open Dardenne Prairie Done with Drew After nearly two years in court, the case against Lori Drew is officially over. Federal prosecutors have decided not to pursue an appeal. In November 2008, the 50-year-old mother was found guilty by a jury of three misdemeanor counts of illegally accessing a protected computer. But U.S. District Court Judge George Wu acquitted Drew on all three misdemeanor counts of illegally accessing a protected computer on July 2. The prosecution was seeking a $300,000 fine and a three-year prison sentence. Sentencing was delayed by Wu in May to go over the testimony of two prosecution witnesses, as well as a motion filed by the defense to dismiss the charges. The charges were brought about after it was revealed that Drew created a fake MySpace page acting as a young boy and contacting her 13-year-old neighbor, Megan Meier. The girl committed suicide following the mean comments made by the fictitious boy.

St. Peters Every penny counts St. Peters presented the James S. McDonnell USO with a check for $1,643.12 from the money received from the 2009 Pennies for Patriots aluminum can drive. “We’ve been holding the Pennies for Patriots aluminum can drive since 2002. Over the years, we’ve donated $7,341.67 to the USO,” said Mayor Len Pagano. Hundreds of military personnel and their families travel through Lambert International Airport every day, on their way home from training, or on their way to their next assignment or deployment. The James S. McDonnell USO provides a source of comfort and a full range of services to these travelers. The USO receives no government funding, but relies on private and corporate

donations. During the past six months, 3,496 pounds of aluminum cans were donated by St. Peters residents, scout groups, church groups, and others for the benefit of our soldiers.

Picks vs. sticks The St. Peters Figure Skaters Association (SPFSA) has challenged the St. Peters Spirit Hockey Club to a Holiday Food Drive Challenge to benefit local food pantries. The “Picks vs. Sticks” Holiday Food Drive will continue through Dec. 13. The St. Peters Rec-Plex is the home rink for both clubs and collection barrels will be placed in both the north and south rinks. “The skaters are really excited about being able to help kids their own age whose families may be struggling this holiday season,” said Wendy Clark Robinson, SPFSA public relations chair. “We’re hoping that the community will help the kids by dropping off non-perishable items at the St. Peters Rec-Plex, City Hall and other collection sites.” The food drive will be distributed to local food pantries through Operation Food Search, St. Charles Distribution Center. “More of our neighbors need the assistance of food pantries to provide basic meals for their families,” said Karen Gladieux, community outreach director for Operation Food Search. “The pantries in St. Charles County are showing a 25 percent increase in people needing help over last year at this time. Much of this increase represents families that have never needed assistance before. We are expecting to see a record number of requests during the upcoming holiday season.  The food collected from the Picks vs. Sticks Holiday Food Drive Challenge will help fill the gap for so many families in our community.” Collection barrels will also be placed at Hackmann Lumber located at 3030 Hwy. 94 South in St. Charles, and at Sun River Valley Apartments at 100 Broadridge Lane

Grand Teton Drive is now open to twoway traffic. The street, formerly known as Kimberly Lane, reopened to two-way traffic in the road construction area between Mexico Road and Suemandy Drive on Nov. 23. “The project started in June 2009 and is on target to be completed as scheduled despite a wetter-than-normal October,” said Russ Batzel, group manager for public works services. The city is re-constructing and widening Grand Teton from north of Mexico to Suemandy, and when complete, the concrete road will have three lanes, new curbs and gutter, drainage improvements and sidewalks. The pavement for the road is in place, but work continues on sidewalks, driveway approaches and other work alongside the road. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2009, weather permitting.

O’Fallon Safe City The city of O’Fallon is a safe place to call home—according to the CQ Press which ranked the city as the 14th Safest City in America. On Nov. 23, CQ Press made the announcement along with the release of City Crime Rankings 2009-10, its annual collection of data comparing crime numbers, rates and trends throughout the country. “This professional ranking is good news to us,” said O’Fallon Mayor Bill Hennessy. “We have one of the country’s finest Police Departments, and people rightly feel safe living and working in our city. These rankings affirm what our residents already know, that O’Fallon is a tremendous place in which to live and raise a family.” Of the 393 cities that were studied, O’Fallon ranked 14th safest, with O’Fallon at the top of the list of Missouri cities that were surveyed, as well as at the top of the safe list for Midwestern cities. Lee’s Summit, ranked 30, was the only other

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Missouri city in the Top 100. “Last year, O’Fallon was rated third safest city in the nation, so our ranking has been affected by a couple of high-profile incidents in the past year,” Hennessy said. “But we are proud that we continue to be listed among the nation’s safest cities, and the men and women of this department are committed to ensuring that this city remains one of America’s safest.” City Crime Rankings is one of five annual reference books publish by CQ Press to analyze and rank states and cities in the categories of crime, health care, education, social, and economic conditions.

Winter warm up The ninth annual Warner’s Warm-Up Winter Coat Drive just wrapped up for the season. New and gently-used winter coats and jackets for all ages were dropped off for needy families. “The coats go to our neighbors and kids who may not be able to afford a warm coat to wear through the winter,” said O’Fallon Police Officer Andrew Stowers. “A winter coat is probably one of the most deeply appreciated, long-lasting donations any of us can give.” Metropolitan police departments in Missouri and Illinois teamed-up with Operation Food Search and the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation to sponsor the coat drive, which has collected and distributed more than 100,000 coats since its beginning nine years ago. For more information on Warner’s Warm-Up Winter Coat Drive, call 3795686 or e-mail

Last call for yard waste Next week is the last chance for residents to get rid of weekly yard waste. The last weekly pick up for yard waste from the O’Fallon’s Environmental Services Department will be available from Dec. 7-11. Yard waste can still be picked up once-a-month on the fourth Wednesday of the month if residents call in advance to arrange for the pick up.  Weekly yard waste collection will resume on March 8, 2010. Residents also can call Hansen’s Environmental Wood Resources


NEWSMAGAZINENETWORK.COM at 379-1830, and arrange to drop off yard waste at a special rate of 50 cents per bag or bundle, or $8 per cubic yard for loose material. Residents should bring an ID showing their O’Fallon address. Residents who are not enrolled in yard waste collection may sign up anytime by calling 272-0477.

Light up the night The lights are up—get ready to be dazzled. The 18th annual Celebration of Lights in Fort Zumwalt Park officially kicked off on Nov. 27 and will continue nightly through Dec. 30. It will be closed on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25. “The Celebration of Lights is a wonderful holiday tradition for many area families,” said Marsha Seymour, manager of O’Fallon’s Tourism and Festivals Department. “This year’s display will feature an animated scene synchronized to music. So, for those patrons who have been through the park in the past, there is something new and exciting to see.” Visitors can book a horse-drawn carriage ride, train ride or sleigh-hayride in advance, or cruise through the park in their vehicle. On Dec. 8, visitors can tour the park on foot during the Old-Fashioned Holiday Stroll. The Celebration of Lights is sponsored by the city of O’Fallon with support from local businesses and civic organizations, and serves as a fund-raiser for not-forprofit organizations. St. Charles Graffiti hits Main Street More than 40 buildings in St. Charles were damaged by graffiti last month. The St. Charles Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect(s) who caused more than $10,000 in damage by tagging graffiti on the buildings. “Graffiti is not a significant problem in St. Charles,” said Det. Derek Piasecki. “These were all discovered in a short period of time. The graffiti is ‘SUR5L’ and is believed to mean ‘survival.’” The graffiti was either painted on buildings and city property or scratched into the glass of businesses mainly on North and South Main streets. The damage was discovered between Nov. 2 and Nov. 5. If anyone has information, call the Police Department at 949-3320. Callers can also remain anonymous by calling St. Charles Crime Stoppers at 949-3333.

Fire damages auto shop A St. Charles business caught fire on Nov. 22, causing extensive damage and


injury to two employees. A sports utility vehicle caught fire in the CTX Auto shop located at 2725 Veteran’s Memorial Parkway, at about 1 p.m. Six employees were in the building when the fire started and two suffered from smoke inhalation trying to put the fire out. The men were treated and released from a local hospital. The cause of the fire was unknown at MRN press time.

Policing the neighborhood Citizens wanting a taste of law enforcement will have an opportunity this winter. The St. Charles Police Department is accepting applications for the 2010 Citizens Police Academy. “Anyone who is over 21, a city resident, employee or owner of a business who is interested in the operation of the Police Department (should attend),” said Det. Derek Piasecki. The academy gives citizens the opportunity to understand how the department operates with topics that will address both parts of the Police Department—those readily visible by the public and those seldom seen. Some of the topics and divisions that may be covered in the academy are: operational services to include traffic enforcement, investigative services, identification and forensics, mounted and K9 units. The eight week course will meet from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, starting Jan. 27, with graduation on March 17. Included in the curriculum are interactive exposures to “subject control,” and the opportunity to participate in the RideAlong Program. Applicants must be at least 21-years old or older with no felony convictions, or misdemeanor convictions within one year. Applicants must also be a resident, owner or employee of a business within the city of St. Charles, who can make a commitment to attend the eight week course. Applications can be found on the city’s Web site,, or at the Police Station located at 1781 Zumbehl Road. For more information, contact Lt. Mike Akers at 949-3539.

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Scouts collect millions of cans The 2009 Scouting For Food Drive held last month brought in more than 2 million cans of food for the needy. More than 30,000 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers nationwide helped food pantries as they collected 2.1 million cans of food. Locally, the scouts have collected more than 41 million cans of food.during the 25-year history of the drive.


10 I NEWS I 



Dardenne Prairie City Hall puts out ‘For Rent’ sign By Jeannie Seibert FOR RENT: Dardenne Prairie City Hall… …Make that, office space at Dardenne Prairie City Hall is now available to rent. “I showed four people through (City Hall) this week,” said Community Development Director Brad Turvey, reporting to the Board of Aldermen during a Nov. 18 work session. Turvey has just launched a marketing effort to promote the availability of lowcost office space in the incubator wing of the new City Hall building. A much smaller version of the Economic Development Center’s two incubator facilities on the east side of the county, the City Hall incubator wing is opening to businesses as of Jan. 1. The low-cost office space is first being made available to city residents transitioning from a home business to a more “Main Street” location. “I sent out brochures to Dardenne Prairie home-occupation business owners,” Turvey said. “The thinking is that this would give them the chance to make that step out of the home office into a professional setting. Then, as downtown develops, by the time there’s office space available, they will be ready to step into their own space.” Nine office spaces range in size from 315 square feet to 500 square feet, Turvey said, as budget talks were beginning to get underway. Over time, as the City Hall administrative staff expands to meet the needs of a

city designed to grow, and through attrition of ‘graduates’ out of the incubator, the city would reclaim those offices, Turvey said. “This building is designed to grow along with Dardenne Prairie,” Turvey said. “In the meantime, if we can generate some rental revenue, that offsets some costs.” The Board of Aldermen is currently reviewing the recommended funding Turvey said would be needed to finish out the common areas of the incubator wing and those office spaces rented as of Jan. 1. The common area includes a break room, conference area, kitchenette, rest rooms and a media center with printer/photo copier located on the second floor between the incubator wing and the present administrative wing. “Since the units are already framed in, we can begin moving in our first tenants at the first of the year,” Turvey said. “All that’s needed is carpet, ceiling tiles, dry wall and paint.” Monthly rentals start at $465 per month which includes access to all the common areas, the office space, taxes, insurance, utilities and cleaning service. Phone, data connections and photocopies are the responsibility of the renters, Turvey said. The appeal of having a professional presence at a relatively low cost should be a fairly easy sell, Turvey said, “Especially in this economy.” During regular business hours, clients of the incubator companies will be able to enter City Hall’s front door into the three-

Dardenne Prairie Community Development Director Brad Turvey, left, and Carl Kindermann, Parks Department, tidy up in the incubator wing at City Hall.

story lobby to be greeted by a professional sessions are expected to continue into receptionist. December. The incubator idea was the brain child The opportunity the incubator wing of City Architect Tim Short, who designed offers in the way of revenue to the city the building and grounds, but was also the is welcomed at this time. City Clerk and general contractor on the City Hall project. Treasurer Kim Clark covered the overview Short sustained serious injuries on the to the 2010 budget and, at first glance, it job in October and remains in the hospital. appears that revenue to the city is projected The accident prompted the unscheduled to be fairly flat - about the same as 2009. expense of a protective structure around Expenses continue, however, as finish the perimeter of the roof where mechani- work at the City Hall complex remains to cal equipment and solar panels are located be completed. Work on the 2010 budget to prevent another fall. Because those esti- continues. The next budget session is mates haven’t been confirmed yet, budget scheduled for Dec. 2.

Holidays prompt more unannounced no-refusal sobriety check points By Jeannie Seibert According to St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Jack Banas, residents can expect to see more unannounced sobriety check points as the year winds down. The messages is simple: holiday revelers should make the proper plans to avoid driving under the influence (DUI). A new program begun earlier this year at the instigation of St. Charles County Sheriff Tom Neer has garnered state funding to cover the costs of equipment and personnel needed to place more law enforcement officers on the scene adjacent to entertainment districts. The officers will be at the Bauer works with an officer to supply locations at times determined to be most likely to encounter motorists driving while the necessary paperwork required by a intoxicated (DWI) or under the influence judge who would deny or permit a search warrant. In this case, the judge’s decision of a controlled substance. Banas said the new program has put one could give the officer permission to adminmember of his staff, John Bauer, on call at ister a test to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC) while the officer is on the odd hours. When Bauer gets a call, a pre-determined scene with the driver in question. Collecting data in a timely fashion has process shifts in gear – much higher gear increased the percentages of DWI and DUI than in the past.

convictions. Now the next step is to go for a state law to further shorten the turn-around time for records searches as repeat offenders are treated differently from the prosecutor’s standpoint. “Record keeping is a real problem in this state,” Banas said. “Quick access can make all the difference.” If Bauer needs to determine the prior

related offenses of a driver stopped at a check point, the system can frequently break down when inquiries extend to jurisdictions outside the metropolitan region. At a Nov. 4-5 summit of law and order personnel in Jefferson City Banas said that was the number one frustration expressed by police and prosecutors alike. “I probably heard that 30 times,” Banas said. Of the 2,000 arrests that occur in this county in the past year, Banas’ office prosecuted about 1,300 of them with the municipal prosecutors handling the bulk of the remainder. However, inadequate prior arrest records or slow response time to prior arrest between jurisdictions have an impact on conviction rates. “We’re encouraging a legislative fix,” Banas said. “Several states have already passed no-refusal statutes.” The ultimate effect of accelerating the sobriety check point program has been fewer alcohol-related accidents and second-degree vehicular manslaughter prosecutions.




St. Louis smoke ban emboldens county officials to consider own ban simply choose to take their business to can do things related to health which is the cities.” those municipalities where smoking is why you don’t see the cities running their “I’ve already spoken with (St. Charles allowed. own health departments, the county does Mayor) Patti York and some of the O’Fallon County Council member Cheryl Hib- that.” people,” Hibbeler said. beler (Dist. 1) may have the answer that Hibbeler maintains that “indoor smoking Hibbeler read the outcome of the St. will satisfy both sides. She has proposed is a health issue” and is proceeding toward Louis city and county smoking ban ballot the county take the lead in determining the a “carefully and thoroughly worded” ballot question the same as Pellerito – as a green voters’ intent in the form of a ballot issue. issue “so thorough that everybody under- light to proceed with some type of smok“Because of the way we’re structured the stands it.” ing ban legislation. county can’t force its will on the municiSetting her sights on the 2010 August If voters choose to ban smoking, St. palities,” Hibbeler said. “But the Missouri primary or the November 2010 general Charles County’s smoking ban would go Constitution gives powers to the county election Hibbeler said, “(It) is giving us into effect at the same time the St. Louis governments to oversee health issues. We enough time to work with the officials in city and county bans – January 2011.

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By Jeannie Seibert St. Louis City and county has voted to snub out smoking. Does that mean St. Charles County wants a smoking ban, too? With the passage of the county-wide smoking ban ballot issue on election day next door in St. Louis, local officials are gearing up to get their own draft legislation before their respective bodies to limit where smokers can light up in St. Charles County. Structured as a ballot issue after repeated failures with the legislative process, smoking ban advocates petitioned for the required number of signatures to get the question on the Nov. 3 St. Louis city and county ballots, where it was approved. In Lake Saint Louis, Alderman John Pellerito (Ward 3) was quick to bring the matter to the Board of Aldermen at the first meeting scheduled after the Nov. 3 general election. Two years ago Pellerito’s sponsorship of a city-wide smoking ban was stunted. What was eventually passed “was a watered down version,” Pellerito said. For the past two years all restaurant and bars have been required to prominently post at the entrances the existence of designated smoking areas with directions to designated smoking areas clearly marked or a prohibition against smoking within that establishment. Pellerito grudgingly went along with the measure. Now, reinvigorated by the recent success of the smoking ban lobby in St. Louis, Pellerito said the time seemed opportune to try again. “I must say, I was delightfully surprised when I got support this time,” Pellerito said. When he polled his fellow aldermen, three said they would support a ban – aldermen Ralph Sidebottom (Ward 1), Kathy Schweikert (Ward 2), and George Rich (Ward 3). Alderman Harry Slyman (Ward 1) said he would prefer to reserve judgment until he sees what type legislation Pellerito has in mind. Alderman Charlotte Norton (Ward 2) is as emphatically against the idea as she was when it was first brought up for discussion 3 years ago. “I still have the same objections,” Norton said. “We don’t need government telling people how to run their businesses.” Noting that the business community is currently struggling in an economic downturn, Norton said, “I am also concerned about what kind of message this sends to our retailers. I want to do nothing that would cause business not to locate here.” Unless the measure is adopted countywide, Norton said she thinks that bar and restaurant customers who smoke will

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What may seem like similar tax returns can actually be much different just by comparing a couple factors. One household may have both spouses working while the other may have only one. Both households may have 3 children but in one they are all under 17 and the other they may all be 17 and over (this alone could make a $3,000 difference in the refund). What is the balance and rate on the mortgages? A 3% difference in interest rates on a mortgage balance of $175,000 can mean a difference of $5,000 interest deduction on your tax return. If your marginal rate is 25% this can be a $1,250 difference in total tax. Due to various circumstances similar homes can have much different mortgage balances resulting in a huge difference in deductible mortgage interest. Does one household pay for childcare and get a tax credit of $1,200 and the other have a friend or relative that cares for their children free or low cost? These 3 examples alone add up to a $5,450 difference in total tax.



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Von Maur department store at The Meadows in Lake Saint Louis sits quiet, wrapped tight.

Von Maur department store construction halted By Jeannie Seibert said. “There are things that can be done in The big retail anchor, Von Maur depart- partnership with the city.” However, the city is not a bank. ment store, set to open in September 2010 “There could be some type of agreement at The Meadows in Lake Saint Louis, is on hold presently as a stop-work order has worked out with the city,” Markworth said. “It would have to be repaid - we can’t been issued. Lake Saint Louis City Administrator make any gifts or grants. It would have to Paul Markworth said the shopping center be structured to earn our money back with developer, Davis Street Land Co., of interest.” But no decision has been made at this Clayton, and Von Maur are in discussions to “work out some issues.” One of which point. While the city reviews its options, comapparently is the parameters of a proposed munications between the developer and parking garage. “But, the project is ahead of schedule,” retailer are purported to be “ongoing and positive.” Markworth said. Meanwhile, the shell of the two-story, And the city has been informed of the status of the project. While the talks play 120,000-square-foot department store out, the city has been approached to con- awaits its fate at the northwest end of the sider making some concessions during the shopping complex. With the roof on and the walls intact, it present economic downturn. “There is a TDD (transportation develop- sits quiet, wrapped up tight, waiting to be ment district) in place there,” Markworth opened at a later date.

No tuition increase for state schools Community college students in Missouri souri’s community colleges have agreed not won’t see an increase in tuition or aca- to impose a tuition increase on in-state studemic fees next year. dents for the 2010-11 school year. Despite “To turn this economy around, Missouri- economic challenges that are requiring ans must be trained, educated and ready to difficult cuts throughout state government, work, and that’s why it was vital that we Nixon has agreed to maintain higher edukept tuition flat for Missouri families,” said cation funding at approximately 95 percent Gov. Jay Nixon. “As tuition skyrockets by of the current fiscal year’s appropriation. double digits in other states, university This works out to be a reduction of 5.2 leaders, faculty members and my adminis- percent, or $8 million for the community tration have worked together to put Mis- colleges and Linn State combined. souri students first and protect them from This agreement is subject to approval by tuition spikes for the second year in a row. the General Assembly and the institutions’ By helping keep higher education afford- governing boards. able, we are taking bold steps to prepare Prior to last year’s freeze, tuition at the workforce that will move Missouri Missouri’s public four-year colleges and forward.” universities increased by an average of 7.5 Under the agreement with Nixon, Mis- percent a year over the past decade.



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Developer Tom Longeway addresses the LSL Board of Aldermen.

LSL Aldermen refuse Chateau extension; developer says he’ll build it anyway By Jeannie Seibert After hearing from all sides as to the question of whether or not to extend the site plan for The Chateau at Lake Saint Louis senior housing facility, the Lake Saint Louis Board of Aldermen unanimously voted against the request during its Nov. 16 regular session. “This certainly wasn’t what we were hoping for,” said developer Tom Longeway. “They voted to not continue the building design we’d all worked together to develop back in 2006.” However, Longeway said he has more than $5.5 million invested in the project and promises he won’t “just go away. The site is still approved for senior housing and senior housing will be built.” The property is located near the intersections of Hwy. 40-61 (I-64), Lake Saint Louis Boulevard and Freymuth Lane. The 12-plus acre lot is included in the zoning area designated for the business park located along Lake Saint Louis Boulevard. One of the permitted uses is for a senior housing facility. Residents from the adjoining subdivisions of Hawk Ridge attended the public hearing en masse with spokesmen Eddie Weber, Don Roberts, Tony Zito and Jim Drey speaking on behalf of their neighbors. Each elucidated a distaste for a 66-foot building towering over their subdivision, reciting the history of their on-going protest kept up since before the 2006 site plan approval. This included appearances at Planning and Zoning Committee hearings as well as numerous pleas before the aldermen as the project moved through the development and appeals process. Longeway pointed out that six weeks after his project gained board approval at 66 feet, the height restrictions were reduced

to 50 feet from the original 71-foot limit. Unfortunately for Longeway, the approval came at about the same time funding for construction projects dried up. According to Community Development Director Steve Schertel, that was why Planning and Zoning granted his request for a 12-month extension in 2008. However, his staff did not recommend a second extension to Planning and Zoning and, in turn, that committee didn’t recommend approval to the Board of Aldermen. Knowing all this, but back for a second try anyway, Longeway said he was disappointed the second extension wasn’t granted. But now, with his funding sources on a more secure footing, he is more committed than ever to seeing through completion of a building “designed to be the finest retirement community in the St. Louis area,” Longeway said. “Having to change the design will affect our funding prospects but we’re prepared to reduce the height of the building. “It’s a shame too,” Longeway said. “It will mean more impervious surfaces and will require we take out 24 specimen trees which the plan approved in ’06 would have protected.” Among the numerous studies Longeway has commissioned, one was an economic feasibility study which recommends 91,000 square feet of apartments. To accommodate that, Longeway illustrated for the board and the residents how two of the three wings of the Y-shaped building will have to be extended further out from the center. But this argument wasn’t enough to sway the aldermen or the Hawk Ridge residents. “It’s back to the drawing board to redesign the project to conform to current zoning requirements,” Longeway said. “There will be a senior housing facility on this site.”



O’Fallon’s new police chief brings years of ‘big city’ experience By Mary Ann O’Toole Holley O’Fallon City Council, Nov. 17, approved the hiring of Roy Joachimstaler as chief of police. Joachimstaler retired in January as a Lt. Colonel with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Joachimstaller, 58, served the St. Louis Police Department for 39 years, most recently as the leader of the Bureau of Community Policing. He began his new job in O’Fallon on Dec. 1. During the meeting, he thanked the council for their confidence, but opted to address the residents via television cameras. “You have my personal commitment to keep this city one of the safest cities in the U.S.,” Joachimstaller said. “My commitment is to work as hard as I can for you folks.” He began his career in 1969 as a Police Cadet and worked his way through the ranks. In 2003, he was promoted to deputy chief and took over command of the Bureau of Patrol Support before becoming Chief of Detectives in charge of the Bureau of Criminal Investigations in 2007. In 2008, he was named to lead the Bureau of Community Policing.

Mayor Bill Hennessy selected Joachimstaller after completion of a national search which involved evaluations and interviews by committees composed of City Councilmen, city staff and O’Fallon residents. Each committee provided the mayor with a list of five candidates. “The selection of Roy for this very important position is the culmination of hundreds of hours of research, interviews and evaluations of candidates from all parts of the country,” said Hennessy. “The men and women who assisted in these searches ensured that we looked at every aspect of these individuals’ careers. I am extremely grateful for their commitment to the process and their dedication to our residents.” Councilman John Haman Jr. (Ward 3) said both the chief and city administrator have his full support. “This is a great day for the city. I called the mayor this afternoon, and we both felt like it was Christmas,” Haman said after the announcement. “We have a great new beginning for the city of O’Fallon.” Joachimstaler fills a spot vacated by former Police Chief Jerry Schulte who “retired two days after being offered an early retirement package.

O’Fallon City Council approves new city administrator By Mary Ann O’Toole Holley It has been five months in the making, and now, the city of O’Fallon has a new city administrator. At a special meeting held Tuesday, Nov. 17, the City Council approved the hiring of Keith J. Riesberg as city administrator. Riesberg, 37, who served for just over four years as the Sedalia, Mo., city administrator, will fill the O’Fallon post starting Jan. 1. Riesberg had a successful tenure in Sedalia, receiving exceptional performance reviews from the City Council. Prior to that Riesberg served as City Manager for Roosevelt Park, Mich., and as executive director of the Chesterfield (Mo.) Community Development Corporation. Combined, he brings more than 13 years of local government experience to O’Fallon. “Thank you for your confidence,” Riesberg said as he accepted the appointment. “I look forward to working with city staff and working with you all.” Riesberg’s move from Sedalia to O’Fallon will be a step up. O’Fallon, with a population of 76,000, is the seventh largest city in Missouri while Sedalia’s population ranks at just over 21,000.

Riesberg holds a masters degree in public administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me professionally and personally,” Riesberg said. Riesberg replaces Robert Lowery Jr., who resigned in June under pressure after Mayor Bill Hennessy was elected in April. One of Hennessy’s campaign promises was to oust Lowery. Lowery’s dismissal caused the city to pay him a settlement of more than $200,000. In the past year, Lowery received a threemonth suspension with pay, resulting in a $35,000 payout, and an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing which cost the city $45,000. He continues to receive his full salary through Jan. 1, 2010, and continues to receive his salary as a consultant to the city through Oct. 15, 2010. He also received a $10,828 signing bonus for accepting the buyout and deferred compensation of $34,172. In August, Lowery was hired as executive director of the missing children division at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He said his new job will not affect his buyout agreement.


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By Jeannie Seibert Since July a few area residents have gathered every Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. in O’Fallon at the intersection of highways K and N to protest a laundry list of proposed legislation and presidential appointments. The protests have set off alarm bells at the grassroots level all across the U.S. While its counter-part across the street has primarily focused on a pro-health care reform platform, it was not until the U.S. Senate opened up debate on Nov. 21 did the K&N Patriots unite more uniformly behind any one topic. K&N Patriots founder Janet Allquist said, “Today we’re focusing on health care – it threatens our liberty and our freedom. We want a government working for the people not the other way around.” While Allquist speaks in broad, general terms many of the so-called “K&N Patriots” have specific suggestions for lowering the cost of health care and health insurance. “Health care needs to be reformed but not this way,” said Barb Grimm, from the Harvester area of unincorporated St. Charles County. “Put it back to the states where it belongs. The Constitution doesn’t say anything about health care.” Chuck McNab, of Wentzville, agreed: “It (health care) needs some revisions but not a complete overhaul. But this isn’t about health care. It’s about power.” The size of government is also a concern to some. I’m for anything leading to smaller government and getting back to the Constitution – back to how our Founding Fathers envisioned this country,” said Lida Bringe, of Cottleville. “We respect the office of the president but it’s not backing the people. This health care legislation is just so huge.” Others, like Kenny McCune, of O’Fallon, is just tired of the government’s involvement in health care. “Get government out completely,” McCune said. “Get the lawyers out completely. Let insurance companies compete

across state lines.” That would be a good place to start according to Dave Evans, of Cottleville. “Why are there prohibitions against insurance companies competing across state lines,” he said. “If there’s more competition, the cost of health insurance would come down. …make it more reasonable for the insurance companies to take on preexisting conditions. “Medicare rejects claims two times more than private insurance companies,” Evans said. “This is who we want running our health care? Allow small businesses to form associations to buy insurance at reasonable rates the way the big businesses do. Plus we need serious tort reform so there’s not so much defensive medicine driving up the cost of health care.” Kurt Bahr, of O’Fallon, agreed. “Tear down this wall between competitors – open up competition between the states,” Bahr said. “Make health insurance premiums tax-free. There are ways to become more cost effective. “They say there are 44 million people who aren’t insured,” Bahr said. “Well, 12 million of them are illegal aliens. Others don’t even want insurance. For a fraction of the cost we could provide health care for the 12 million people who are legal, want it and can’t get it. We could do that without destroying the 85 percent of people who are happy with what they’ve got.” While the K&N Patriots executive committee had put out a call to focus on health care on Nov. 21, the individuals who gather each Saturday still have their own pet grievances. “Health care needs to be reformed, yes. But there are other things more important right now,” said Peggy Eatherton, of St. Peters. “The economy is more important.” McNab sees a greater threat as well. By the end of the weekly two-hour protest, another 200-plus protestors had come out to join the group. Meanwhile, the number of anti-K&N Patriots protestors had dwindled.




Wentzville School District seeks input on overcrowding issues unique challenges, but also has some unique opportunities. It is the desire of the Board of Education and the superintendent to engage the community in another GPS meeting in early January. At that time, the district will present the public with the pertinent information, The Wentzville School District Board discuss possible options, and answer any questions. of Education plans to solicit input from The recommendations of the GPS committee would the community in a Guiding Principals for then be presented to the Board of Education at the our Schools (GPS) meeting to be held Jan. January board meeting. 12. Members of the community will be asked to weigh in on a number of subjects, up to including full-day kindergarten and its Buy two entrees pizzA sustainability, middle school/high school Build You Own Pizza $ ($14.99 and up) space and programming requirements, and 10 in. $8.35 / 14 in. $11.35 get two glasses of future financing. in Value Mediterranean Veggie Pizza house wine & The district will be opening two new 10 in. $10.99 / 14 in. $15.99 2275 Bluestone Dr. elementary buildings to start the 2010two greek desserts free Spiro’s Supreme St. Charles 11 school year. The new buildings are up to10 people per coupon. 10 in. $12.99 / 14 in. $20.95 House wine choices include: Merlot, Cabernet, expected to ease the current crowding at Must show Chardonnay, White Zinfandel. some of the existing primary schools. The MediterrAneAn dishes coupon Max one coupon per visit, per table. Void with other offers new buildings will also provide the district or specials. Present coupon when ordering. Chicken Parmesan $13.99 at the door no Cash Value. Please offer your server a tip on the with the opportunity to possibly offer fullCrecian Chicken $13.99 total bill before discount. not valid with the early Bird day kindergarten next year. Most WentzLamb Steak $17.99 Special or any Major holiday. Dine in only. ville elementary schools would be able to Expires 1/31/10. Dolmades $12.99 house all full-day kindergarten students in Mousaka $12.99 their own building. The only exceptions Pastichiio $12.99 reGulAr dinner Menu are Green Tree Elementary and Crossroads Pikilia $17.99 Elementary, some sections of kindergarten Chicken Piccata $13.99 Appetizers Pasta Macedonia $14.99 at those two schools would probably need Beef Souvlaki $15.99 Saganaki $5.75 Pasta Corfu $13.99 to be housed at Prairie View Elementary. Chicken Souvlaki $12.99 Spanakopita $4.25 Pasta con Broccoli $13.99 Wentzville is still the fastest growing Fish Plake $14.99 Dolma $4.99 Blackened Chicken Pasta $13.99 school district in the state. This year alone Veal Piccata $16.99 Stuffed Mushrooms $5.50 Pasta Angelo $13.99 enrollment increased by almost 500 new Pan Veal $16.99 Shrimp Dijon $9.99 Mostaccioli $12.99 students. Smoked Shrimp Appetize $11.99 By 2012, even with a conservative growth seAfood Shrimp Cocktail 9.99 Grill model, the middle schools will exceed 100 Fresh Trout $15.99 Toasted Ravioli $4.50 Charbroiled percent capacity. Today there are 3,264 Salmon Dijon $17.99 Tzatziki $4.25 Chicken Breast $13.99 high school students in two buildings that Grecian Shrimp $16.99 Taramosalata $4.99 Filet Mignon 6oz.. 18.99 are at 98.9 percent capacity. Smoked Shrimp $17.99 Calamari Fritta $6.99 8oz. $22.95 Even with the new Timberland expanShrimp Scampi $16.99 Bruschetta $4.75 Rack of Lamb $23.95 sion, both high schools will be at more than Tilapia $14.99 Mediterranean Combo $11.99 12 oz Pork Chop $14.99 100 percent capacity by 2012. Lobster Market Price Hot of Cold Strip Steak $20.95 By 2014 there will be an estimated 4,205 ASk ABOuT THe FReSH FiSH Veal Chop $25.99 high school students, and without addiOF THe DAY - Market price soup & sAlAd Prime Rib 10oz... $16.95 tional space the two high schools will be at Avgolemono $3.75 16oz... 19.99 116.8 percent capacity. Soup of the Day $3.75 22oz... $23.99 District officials believe there is little Athenian Salad Grilled Salmon $15.99 doubt that the district will need a new high small...$3.75 large...$6.99 Stuffed Filet Mignon $23.95 school in the near future. Caesar Salad Pepperloin $23.95 Financing of these programs would small...$3.75 large...$6.99 Chateaubriand for one $24.99 require something to be put on the ballot available Horiatiki $5.50 for the approval of the voters, possibly as sAndwiches early as November of 2010. Because of pAstA Gyro (lamb and beef factors such as existing debt and decreased Pasta Primavera ala Greco $13.99 sliced from the cone) $7.99 a Week property values, the district has reached its Vegeterian Pasta $11.99 Chicken Gyro $7.99 bonding capacity. That means any addiPasta Pesce $14.99 tional funds for capital projects in the near future would be on a lease-purchase basis, and would likely require public approval of Check out our Fabulous EARLY BIRD Menu 6 Nights a Week a tax rate increase. Because of its sustained growth, the Wentzville School District faces some

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Bu llet i n Boa rd Fort Zumwalt Candidates ready? Beginning Dec. 15, the Fort Zumwalt School District will accept declarations of candidacy from those interested in running for a position on the Board of Education in the April 6, 2010 election. Filing will begin at 8 a.m. on Dec. 15, at the administration building. The board has three, three-year positions available. Qualifications include: citizen of the United State of America; resident taxpayer of the district; resident of Missouri for a minimum of one year preceding the election; at least 24 years of age; and eligible to hold office in accordance with Missouri law. Filing will end on Jan. 19, 2010.

Structured teaching Teachers in the Fort Zumwalt School District participated in a Kagan Workshop on Structures for Cooperative Learning during the local/state teacher meetings held last month. The workshop provided teachers with experience in research-based teaching structures to create classroom success. The workshop focused on strategies for creating a cooperative class through team building and why cooperative learning produces achievement gains. The district will also be offering followup training to staff members next summer.

Full bowls Hope High School in the Fort Zumwalt School District held its annual Empty Bowls event last month to raise awareness and fight hunger. The Family and Consumer Science classes made different kinds of soups and ceramic bowls were made by the Hope High art students. The bowls serve as a visible reminder that people go to bed hungry each night. Entertainment was provided by the Hope

High students while people enjoyed their soup. The proceeds from this event went to the Cornerstone United Methodist Church Food Pantry.

Ranken donates machine Ranken Technical College has donated a Haas CNC milling machine to the industrial tech classes at Fort Zumwalt South High School. The $38,000 machine is what is used in industry today. Ranken continues to partner with South High  in order to  keep the industrial tech classes up to date with supplies and equipment.

Francis Howell Career Day The seventh-grade communication arts department of Bryan Middle School will host its second Career Day on Dec. 18. Career Day is an opportunity for students to talk with professionals from around the community about job opportunities, responsibilities, and likes/dislikes about a wide variety of careers. The school is looking for volunteers in the community to share a job experience with students from 1:15 p.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 18, at Bryan Middle School. Professionals of all areas of expertise are needed to talk with small groups of students about their career/job. The informal discussions only last about 15 to 20 minutes before the students rotate to other stations to learn about other careers of interest. Workers interested in sharing workrelated experiences with students, can e-mail Becky Strickland at

Science Camp Current 10th and 11th graders interested in

math, engineering, technology, science and business are invited to apply to the threeweek summer Missouri Innovation Academy held at Missouri State University. Students will receive instruction from scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and business faculty and then develop a business model for an innovative product that could be developed commercially. Admission is competitive and all students admitted to the program receive a scholarship to cover the full cost. More information is available at The application deadline is Feb. 1, 2010.

Soft place to fall Students at the Early Childhood Family Education Center-Hackmann Road are enjoying a new playground surface thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the fundraising efforts of families. Hackmann installed a rubberized surface at the center’s playground that will provide a clean, safe and accessible surface for its preschoolers. The surface installed used recycled tires making it a ‘green’ project. The building is already a recycling conscious school with staff and families recycling printer cartridges, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, paper and batteries. Tab tops from aluminum cans collected are donated to the Ronald McDonald House to provide funding for their community programs. Students will also be participating in recycling education activities provided by St. Charles County Division of Environmental Services in November coinciding with America Recycles Day.

Wentzville Senior signs with Arkansas Jon Glidewell, a senior left-handed pitcher for the Timberland Wolves, has committed to play college baseball for the Arkansas State Red Wolves.

With his parents Pam and Rick at his side, he signed his NCAA National Letter of Intent last month at Timberland High School. “The coaches are great and I really enjoyed my visit to the campus,” Glidewell said. “It’s close enough to home that I can get back when I want to, but far enough away to be on my own and have the full college experience.” Glidewell was a 2nd Team All-Conference selection in 2009, and he led the Wolves pitching staff in wins, innings pitched and ERA.

New principals The Wentzville School District Board of Education has approved the hiring of two principals for the new district elementary schools opening next fall for the 2010-11 school year. Laura Bates, currently the assistant principal at Prairie View Elementary, has been selected to helm the new school being constructed on Sommers Road. Bates has been with the district since 2005, and has over a decade of teaching experience in four different school districts. Doug Holler, the assistant principal at Heritage Primary, has been chosen to run the new school being constructed on Mexico Road. Holler came to Wentzville in 2007 after nine years of classroom experience in the Mehlville School District. The board also chose to have a student contest to name the new facilities, as per Board Policy 7230. The contest will be coordinated by the superintendent and the principal of the new facility. Students will be encouraged to research the history surrounding the school’s location when making suggestions for the school’s name. The principal and teachers of the new school will narrow the list of suggested names and present them to the superintendent. The superintendent will take the list to the Board of Education who will make the final decision in naming the facility.



I 19


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County Youth Orchestra calls to musicians far and near By Amy Armour A love of music has students driving across the river and the county on Saturday mornings to participate in the St. Charles County Youth Orchestra. The St. Charles County Youth Orchestra was established in 1996 by four high school music teachers—Suzanne Costanza, Donna Daggett, Debbie Wagman and Marilyn Kruse. At that time, Executive Director Judy Williams said there was not a local orchestra available for young students in the Francis Howell School District. “It’s important for students receiving private lessons to perform in a group setting. It rounds out their education,” Williams said. The orchestra started rehearsing at the St. Peters Cultural Arts Center, before spending 13 years at St. Charles Community College. After the college renovated its fine arts building, a room large enough to rehearse in was not available. The group recently moved its Saturday morning rehearsal space to Living Word Christian School in O’Fallon. “It was a very good move for us. We’re more centrally located,” Williams said. Now, Williams said the orchestra has 110 to 120 students, ranging from second grade to high school. Students travel from

St. Louis County, Warrenton, Winfield and throughout St. Charles County to participate in the orchestra. “Most of the students who graduate with us do go on into music. I would say 50 percent of the graduates go into some kind of music,” Williams said. The St. Charles County Youth Orchestra is divided into three groups based on experience—primo, the cadenza and the symphony. Students audition in August each year to determine the seating. The orchestra has students playing the violin, viola, cello bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba and percussion. “We want students to play,” Williams said. “We want students to perform.” The St. Charles County Youth Orchestra only has four paid positions—executive director and the three conductors. “The rest of the coordinators and parent helpers are all volunteers,” Williams said. “It’s a great group of parents. They are always there when we need them.” Jamie Swope, a former youth orchestra student, has returned to the orchestra this year—as a conductor of the primo group. “My hope for this year is to help the primo students improve in individual and ensemble playing,” Swope said.

Music lovers will have the opportunity to hear the young musicians play at an upcoming winter concert. The St. Charles County Youth Orchestra will perform its winter concert, with special guests the St. Charles Christian Home

Educators Choir, at 1 p.m. on Dec. 12 at the First Baptist Church in O’Fallon. Tickets will be on sale at the door. For more information about the youth orchestra, email or call 916-0515.


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22 I gift guide I 


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A Gift For Everyone On Your List Customized Holiday Gift Baskets, gourmet foods, cookbooks, gift sets & more. Perfect for hostess, teacher, and friends. Unique stocking stuffer ideas too! The Wooden Door - Home Decor & Gifts 1155 Wentzville Pkwy. Suite 107 • Wentzville (636) 332-3888

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I gift guide I 23

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Complete Guitar Packages Including Lessons Acoustic Guitar Pack includes: guitar, strap, picks, soft case, and tuner plus free lessons (a $90 added value) Starting at $99 Midwest Music Conservatory 15977 Clayton Road • Ellisville (just west of Clarkson Road) (636) 527-5558 •

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A Great Stocking Stuffer for the Kids Gift certificates in any denomination make great stocking stuffers for the kids. Annual passes available as well. A gift that kids can enjoy all year long.  Planet Fun 5849 Suemandy Dr. • St. Peters (636) 397-7700 •

Candles Celtic Collection Wreaths Holiday Arrangements 3070 Winghaven Blvd. • Lakeside Shoppes near Hwy 40/61 (636) 561-4611 • Mon-Thu 10-7, Fri & Sat 10-8, Sun 12-5

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24 I gift guide I 



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26 I NEWS I 



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Sleepless in Missouri Study ranks state below average in good sleep patterns By Diane Plattner A recent study showed that Missourians are getting less sleep than residents of other states, prompting local experts to offer sound sleep advice. The study revealed that approximately one in every 7.5 Missourians reported having a restless month of sleep, which is below the national average of approximately one in 10 Americans reporting a sleepless month. While Illinois residents fit the national average, the study ranked West Virginia as double the national rate of people with sleep problems. Released at the end of October, the results were from a federal health survey that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted last year. While health officials did not cite the exact causes of differences among the states, experts said people with health problems, including obesity and anxiety, may have sleep problems. “The relationship between health and sleep is bidirectional,” said James Walsh, executive director and senior scientist at St. Luke’s Sleep Medicine and Research Center in Chesterfield. He said a major influence on sleep is health, and poor or insufficient sleep can contribute to health issues, such as lung disease, heart burn, arthritis, lower back pain, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and anxiety. “Just because someone is healthy does not mean that person can get away with insufficient or poor sleep,” Walsh said. “Everyone knows exercise and nutrition are good pillars of healthy lifestyles. But not everyone knows good sleep is important, too.” Other factors, such as financial stress and odd working hours, which also can contribute to sleep problems, may account for the differences in states’ sleeping patterns, experts said. Earlier studies also have shown that black people are more likely than whites or Hispanics to get less sleep and women are more likely than men

to have sleeping problems. Factors such as amounts of light and noise also may account for different sleep patterns among various states, Walsh said. For example, some Alaskan residents may find it harder to sleep during the summer when it is light for most of the time. While some sleep experts recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night, Walsh said the optimal number of nightly sleep hours varies by individual because different people have different biological sleep needs. Still, Walsh said sleep experts are not sure if the people getting by with less sleep are at risk for long-term health issues like high blood pressure or weight gain. Walsh offered the following advice on what people could and should be doing to ensure proper sleep: • Pre-sleep regimen: Reserve approximately 30 to 60 minutes before bed for calm and no stress. • Caffeine intake: Drink a maximum of two cups of coffee before noon. • Smoking: Quit this unhealthy habit. • Alcohol: Drink in moderation. • Exercise: Engage in vigorous exercise around 4 or 5 hours before bedtime. • Reserve sleep time: Spend an extra 45 minutes in bed. Walsh said if someone is following these proper sleep protocols and still is unable to get proper or enough sleep, they may have a medical condition contributing to the sleep problem, which medication may be able to address. He said that while people frequently use over-the-counter sleep aids, these drugs often cause side effects and are just as likely to cause problems as they are able to help people. Instead, Walsh advises consulting with a doctor who can assess the problem and, if necessary, prescribe good, safe sleep medication, which should be taken under the doctor’s supervision. “If you’re not sleeping well, go to the doctor to figure out why,” Walsh said. “Sleep quality is a vital sign. If someone is not sleeping well, something is wrong.”



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By Mary Ann O’Toole Holley

HOLY CROP Addiction to online games, like Farmville, is growing faster than the treatment

It was a simple message; a cry for help. A young man states: “I find myself binging on Farmville for two to three hours straight. I get nothing done, but there I am, moving things around until I feel that my property is just the way I want it. I need help; it is ruining my life.” Matt, no last name given, posted that request on one of the Farmville Addiction Support Group sites found on the Facebook Web site. Matt is not alone. Online interactive role-playing games such as Farmville, EverQuest and World of Warcraft draw millions into their multifarious realms and complex social orders. Some become so enthralled that mentalhealth professionals are seeing patients who play as much as 70 hours a week, neglecting school, work, even marriage. A recent poll on “Farmville Freaks” indicated that 65 percent of those who responded were self-proclaimed addicts. What is an innocuous passion for many players is coming under increased scrutiny by therapists, and even gamers, as a potentially dangerous addiction. Maressa Hecht Orzack, director of the Computer Addiction Studies Center at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., hears from five or six people a day looking for treatment or information related to obsessive online game-playing. They are “so used to living in a virtual world, they don’t know how to connect” in

real life, said Orzack, who is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. “I’ve seen more and more people who are so involved in this that they can’t put it down.” The Farmville game’s platform is simple: Players first receive an “online” 12 x 12 acre plot of land and 100 gold coins. To earn more game money and experience, players can plant and sell crops, raise cattle and help on neighbors’ farms, among other farming activities. As they gain experience through time and online farm production, players raise more game funds and get a greater selection of things to buy, including larger acreage, new crops, animals or decorations that include grandiose manors, rugged log homes, scarecrows, various colors of barns and fences and more—all that help create the virtual farm of their dreams. It sounds like something only kids would enjoy, right? Wrong. Bill Mooney, Farmville vice president and general manager, says the game of farming is a genre that attracts all ages. “This genre has been around for some years,” Mooney said. “It’s happy. It’s healthy. Everybody likes it and everybody gets it.” And most players refused to allow MRN to print their last name, for obvious reasons. Jeanne, of St. Louis County, a self-proclaimed Farmvillian addict, says goodbye

for the weekend to her co-workers using a different phrase these days. “Happy Farming,” she’ll say as she heads home to check her crops and her Farmville critters. Jeanne, who holds the coveted “King of Compost,” title and others for being such a good farmer, is one of more than 63 million players of the online game “Farmville.” “I keep the game at the bottom of my screen all day at work, and pop it up to check on it about six times a day,” says Jeanne, who opted for a first name only for fear of being tracked down at work. “It’s just like in life; it’s the coins, the money, and buying the things you want for your farm.” Jeanne has been playing Farmville for two months and says it hasn’t really tied up her time too bad, but, she rethinks it, and adds, “I guess it ties me up some.” “I didn’t think I’d like it at all, but now that I continued on - it’s like designing your home. It’s your own creativity. It’s kind of like shopping, but it doesn’t cost any money,” Jeanne said. “Well, it’s only cost me $40 so far. I bought some Farmville cash twice.” Jeanne also signed up for Blockbuster, which is among numerous businesses and service opportunities that give bonus Farmville Cash for subscribing to their offers. Jeanne says buying the cash is easier, and avoids commitment to services. “I hope I’m not the worst case of addic-

tion,” Jeanne said. “My daughter does give me a little bit of trouble about it, but she’s 21, and she can survive a bit of time away from me. I try not to do it too much at home, but I have a big plantation, and I need one more Farm Cash dollar to get to expand my farm further.” Zynga, the company that developed the Farmville phenomena, says Farmville has become the most popular online game of all time. According to, a Web site that compiles Facebook statistics, the number nearly doubles the 35 million of monthly users of the second-ranked application, “Causes.” “We expected it to be a big hit, but we didn’t expect this,” Mooney said. “World of Warcraft is at around 11 (million) or 12 million users a month. Farmville had 63 (million) this month.” The game accessed through the online Facebook site can become an addictive distraction for students who have scheduled it into their daily routines, or adults who delay dinner to harvest their soon-to-wither pattypan squash, green tea or red wheat crops. There are gamers from all walks of life who have somehow become more entrenched in the virtual world of Farmville than in their own neighborhoods. Adam Apo, of St. Peters, a 21-year-old student at Loyola University, started playing Farmville after his friends did. “I had to shut it down,” Apo said. “It was just taking up too much of my time.” The game is one of several popular Facebook applications created by Zynga, an Internet gaming powerhouse that began in 2007. Of the 10 most popular Facebook applications, Zynga owns half. In the near future, plans are to expand the Farmville application beyond the Facebook platform and allow users to play on Tina, a St. Peters 40-something level 32 farmer has attained the “Ace of Acreage” moniker. She has been playing Farmville for three months. How often does she check her crops? “A lot,” Tina said. “(Checking my crops is) the first thing I do when I get up in the morning, when I get to work, after lunch, the minute before I drive home and sometimes in between. And if it’s the evening or weekend… Well, I just don’t know.” Addiction on the rise Video game addiction treatment is still a new field and research is currently being conducted in the initial stages. However as with other addictions, the most effective treatments appear to be psychotherapy or talk therapy and medication, if necessary, for anxiety or depression.

However, because gamers are usually computer savvy, a non-profit organization called On-line Gamers Anonymous was formed in 2002. It is a 12-step self-help support organization for individuals suffering and recovering from the negative effects of compulsive and excessive computer game playing.  They provide online support meetings, message boards and other tools for healing. According to Gamers Anonymous, Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) also known as “MMOs” are the most addictive in nature because they never end. “You can never truly win or lose the game as a whole. There is always something more to be done and more progress to be made,” an Online Gamers Anonymous report states. “Success in these games is highly dependent on the amount of time you put into them. Playing the game casually will leave you trailing behind others who put in more time, possibly making you feel as if you aren’t as good or are falling behind.” Detox for video game addiction may sound like a stretch, but addiction experts say the concept makes sense. Kimberly Young, Psy.D., clinical director of the Center for On-Line Addiction and author of “Caught in the Net: How to Recognize the Signs of Internet Addiction— and a Winning Strategy for Recovery” says she has had many parents call during the last year or two, particularly about the online role-playing games. “I see it getting worse as the opportunity to game grows—for example, cell phone gaming,” Young said. Sandy Meinert, a 40-something O’Fallon farmer who has reached the whopping level 37, owns six coveted donkeys, an Airstream camper and a couple of fire pits only attained through “Mystery Gift Box” purchases. Meinert is up at 7 a.m. checking her farm and often sends her Farmville avatar careening among crops every two hours to harvest peas, tomatoes, milk cows and collect chicken eggs. She walks through neatly lined orchards with her self-designed avatar picking fruit from more than 10 different types of trees. Next she plows, replants her crops and rakes the leaves off her neighbor’s farm for extra points. “I also play Fish World and Happy Aquarium on Facebook. It’s fun. I probably spend too much time on it, but it certainly keeps me from shopping online,” Meinert said. “I’ve paid for Farm Cash. It’s not that much money—$20 for $115 in Farm Cash, and that buys a lot of stuff for the farm.” This year the company will make millions from the success of games such as Farmville. One feature of the game allows players to spend real money in exchange for Farmville currency. Players can use this



NEWSMAGAZINENETWORK.COM money to expand and improve their farms and while consequently rising in the ranks. What does that mean for the creators of the game? Mooney said Zynga’s profits had skyrocketed this year. He said $100 million is a conservative estimate. Having friends on Farmville also contributes to the competition. Bill, a West County senior citizen and level 39 “Green Ribbon Farmer,” has watched the game’s popularity increase since its debut. He started playing after he and his friends stumbled upon the game last year. Back then, his only neighbors on Farmville were his two friends, but now, Bill is asked several times a day to be someone’s neighbor. Neighbors reap more daily gifts of cows and fences and even bouquets of flowers, creating a better farm and more points. The neighborly setting definitely contributes to the addiction, Bill said. “You want to keep up, and if you fall short, it looks like you’re a loser,” Bill said. “People I hardly know ask me to be their neighbors.” Is it a real addiction? Some say Farmville is addicting because the more tech-saturated city folk become, the more we crave some sort of agrarian experience. And for many of us plugged in 24/7 and restless to nurture even pixels on a screen, Farmville is as close as we are likely to get. Others say it just may be an itch to be scratched by games that mimic the pointless, patient wanderings of real life. “The Sims,” in which users build lives, is primarily plotless play, but it is also one of the best-selling computer software games in history. Online game addiction isn’t recognized as a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, though an official with the group said it could be considered a behavioral addiction. People aren’t hooked on the games, they said. They are hooked on chemicals the games trigger in their brains. In a study this year, Nielsen Interactive Entertainment found that more than half of the estimated 117 million U.S. gamers play online. Of those, 15 million are involved in MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). Other statistics about online role-playing games are scant. According to a survey of MMORPG players conducted since 1999 by Nick Yee, a Stanford University graduate student, the average age of players is 26, 85 percent are men and 36 percent are married. Now, however, because adults are joining the Facebook scene, more adults are joining in on the gaming. In 2004, Yee asked MMORPG players if they were “addicted.” Of 2,218 respondents, about 14 percent answered “definitely” and 27 percent said “probably.” But, Yee cautioned, many use the term loosely.

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By SUE HORNOF Finding the perfect gift for a loved one with dementia, hearing loss, poor vision or reduced mobility poses special challenges. Mid Rivers Newsmagazine asked caregivers at area retirement communities to share their suggestions for gifts for elderly people who struggle with mental or physical limitations. Following are their recommendations: • Items for keeping warm, such as a lap blanket, sweater, large-banded socks and the “Snuggie” (sleeved blanket). • Wrinkle-free, washable clothing that is easy to remove, such as a sweat suit with an elastic waistband or a comfortable nightshirt. • Stuffed animals. • Baby dolls for those with moderate to late stage Alzheimer’s disease. • Calendar with “cute pictures of animals.” • Calendar with important birthdays, anniversaries, etc. written on the appropriate dates. • Playing cards with large print for those with poor vision. • Oversized pens that are easy to grip. • Family photographs in frames, albums or scrapbooks. If the person has dementia, label photographs with family members’ names. • Digital photo frame pre-loaded with photographs of people and places that evoke fond memories. Set the frame to the slowest possible speed so photos do not change too quickly. • Large-print crossword puzzles and word searches that are not too challenging for the recipient. • Jigsaw puzzle with large, easy-to-grip pieces. • Personal care items, such as lotions, body washes and baby powder. • Perfume. • Electric razor for men.

• Wristwatch, either digital or with large numbers; a “talking” watch for someone who is blind or has poor vision. • Fleece-lined, moccasin-style slippers for men. • Amplified hearing device for the hearing impaired. • Shoes that fasten with Velcro. • Nightlight. • Erasable white board for jotting down reminders. Ellen Warner, founder and president of The Alzheimer’s Store (, said that one of the best gifts for someone in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease is “a baby doll with a happy face and eyes that sparkle,” because it makes the recipient feel important. “Look for gifts that make people feel like they matter, like they have something to do and that make them feel important,” Warner said. Warner suggested the following gifts for those in various stages of Alzheimer’s disease: Early stage: • Clock that shows the day, date and time. • Memory phone with photos of frequently called family and friends. • Automatic medication dispenser. Middle stage: • Video of classic television shows. Middle to late stage: • “Mothballs in My Attic,” a fill-in-theblank workbook with simple questions designed to stimulate memories of childhood days, family life and growing up. • The Handyman’s Box, a wooden tool box with interesting doors, locks, latches, hasps and knobs. • The FiddleTwiddle, a soft hand muff with tactile features outside and a squishy ball inside. All stages: • Music from bygone days.


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32 I mature focus I 



On the calendar

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BJC Home Care Services will conduct a caregiver class from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thurs., Dec. 3 in the Siteman Cancer Center conference room at BarnesJewish St. Peters Hospital, located at 150 Entrance Way on the hospital campus. Attendees will learn to recognize what financial and legal issues need to be considered by those caring for the ill or aged at home. Admission is free. For more information, call 314-575-3983. ••• The city of O’Fallon will hold a Pearl Harbor Day Ceremony at 1 p.m. on Sun., Dec. 6 at Civic Hall, located at 305 Civic Park Drive. All are welcome to attend the event, which will honor those who lost their lives during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Call 240-2000 or visit ••• The St. Peters’ Veterans Memorial Commission will host a Pearl Harbor Remembrance from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Mon., Dec. 7 at St. Peters City Hall. A special ceremony will honor the more than 2,400 service men and women who were killed in


A “Jingle & Mingle” and Holiday Wreath Auction will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 17 at Oak Tree Village Retirement Community, located at 363 Jungermann Road in St. Peters. A variety of holiday wreaths will be offered through a silent auction, which runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and light refreshments will be served. Wreath donations will be accepted from Dec. 6-10. Wreath auction proceeds will benefit Honor Flight Network, an organization that transports veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit their memorials. To register, call 928-3877. ••• A City Centre Dance featuring the Joey James Orchestra playing music of the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, including swing, polka and waltzes, will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 18 at St. Peters City Hall. Tickets are sold in advance for $6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, at St. Peters City Hall and may be purchased also by sending a check and a list of attendees to: City of St. Peters, Attention: City Centre Dance, P.O. Box 9, St. Peters, MO 63376. Tickets will be held at the door. Tickets purchased at the door are $7. Call 939-2386.

Give The Gift of Worry-Free Living!

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the 1941 attack at Pearl Harbor. The event will be held indoors. Visit ••• “Know Your 10 Warning Signs,” a workshop covering the 10 signs that are critical to detecting Alzheimer’s disease, will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 8 at the Hwy. K Medical Building & Urgent Care Center, located at 2630 Hwy. K in O’Fallon. Attendees will receive answers to questions about dementia, find out how to seek a diagnosis and learn what steps to take once a dementia diagnosis is confirmed. Admission is free. To register, call 344-2273. ••• “Financial Advice: Retirement – It’s About Independence” will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mon., Dec. 14 at the St. Charles City-County Library Spencer Road Branch, located at 427 Spencer Road in St. Peters. Jim Enlow, of Edward Jones, and Michael Ukman, of John Hancock, will discuss how Medicare, Medicaid and tax law changes impact long-term care strategies. To register, call 447-2320 or visit •••

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Kenneth E. Dick, a trial attorney concentrating his practice primarily in business and civil litigation, has joined the St. Charles-based law firm of Federer & Federer, P.C., as an associate. ••• Lisa Mancini has been named president of Sanford-Brown College’s St. Peters campus. ••• St. Charles resident Norm Eaker, chief administrative officer of Edward Jones, has been elected to the Maryville University board of trustees.

PLACES Computer Service Specialists of Missouri has opened at 412 Jungermann Road in St. Peters. ••• Fritsche’s Creamery, home of hand-

crafted ice cream, has opened at 231 Spencer Road in St. Peters. ••• Hope Lutheran Church Preschool has opened at 1975 S. Old Hwy. 94 in St. Charles. Sheri Hartman is the school’s director. ••• JumpBunch, a national provider of mobile sports and fitness programs for children from toddlers to age 12 has opened at West County Day School in O’Fallon. The franchise is owned by Michelle Palm.

AWARDS & HONORS Mercy Health Plans’ Mercy MedicareADVANTAGE has received a Five Star Excellent Rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is the only health plan in Missouri to receive that distinction. In addition, “U.S. News and World Report” ranked Mercy Health Plans’ Medicare health plan among the top 100 in the nation for 2009-2010, and the America’s Best Health Plans 2009-10 list ranks Mercy MedicareADVANTAGE 93rd out of more than 700 in the nation and No 2 in Missouri. ••• Northwestern Mutual, a financial security company, recognized St. Charles resi-

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“Conflict Management Skills,” an Economic Development Center of St. Charles County Business Boost seminar, will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 10 at the St Charles County Community College Social Services Auditorium in Cottleville. Instructor Erin Cox discusses what conflict is, where it comes from, specific common problem areas leading to conflict and tools for managing conflict. To register, call 441-6880, ext. 221, or visit

Grand opening Karen Porter, owner of The Bakery Shoppe, recently celebrated the grand opening of her new business with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Representatives of the O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce and the city of O’Fallon were on hand for the event. Located in the O’Fallon Crossing Plaza at the northeast corner of Hwys. K and N, The Bakery Shoppe serves donut holes, Danish coffee cakes, cream and meringue pies, cinnamon rolls, brownies, cupcakes and more.






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One of the strongest talking points of those who want a government-run medical care system is that we simply cannot afford the high and rising costs of medical care under the current system. First of all, what we can afford has absolutely nothing to do with the cost of producing anything. We either will pay those costs or not get the benefits. Moreover, if we cannot afford the quantity and quality of medical care that we want now, the government has no miraculous way of enabling us to afford it in the future. If you think the government can lower medical costs by eliminating “waste, fraud and abuse,” as some Washington politicians claim, the logical question is: Why haven’t they done that already? Over the years, scandal after scandal has shown waste, fraud and abuse to be rampant in Medicare and Medicaid. Why would anyone imagine that a new government medical program will do what existing government medical programs clearly have failed to do? If we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical drugs now, how can we afford to pay for doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical drugs, in addition to a new federal bureaucracy to administer a government-run medical system? Nothing is easier for politicians than to rail against the profits of pharmaceutical companies, the pay of doctors and other things that have very little to do with the total cost of medical care, but which can arouse emotions to the point where facts do not matter. As former Congressman Dick Armey put it, “Demagoguery beats data” in politics. Economics and politics confront the same fundamental problem: What everyone wants adds up to more than there is. Market economies deal with this problem by confronting individuals with the costs of producing what they want, and letting those individuals make their own trade-offs when presented with prices that convey those costs. That leads to self-rationing, in the light of each individual’s own circumstances and preferences.

Politics deals with the same problem by making promises that cannot be kept, or which can be kept only by creating other problems that cannot be acknowledged when the promises are made. Price controls are a classic example. At various times and places, in countries around the world, price controls have been put on any number of goods and services - going all the way back to the days of the Roman Empire and ancient Babylon. Price controls create lower prices for open and legal transactions - but also black markets where the prices are higher than they were before, because the risks of punishment for illegal activity has to be compensated. Price controls also lead to shortages and quality deterioration. But politicians who take credit for lower prices blame all these bad consequences on others. Diocletian did this in the days of the Roman Empire; leaders of the French Revolution did this when their price controls on food led to hungry and angry people; and American politicians denounced the oil companies when price controls on gasoline led to long lines at filling stations in the 1970s. It is the same story, whatever the country, the times or the product or service. The self-rationing that people do when prices are free to convey the inherent impossibility of any economy to supply as much as everybody wants is replaced, under price controls, with rationing imposed by government, which cannot possibly have the same knowledge of each individual’s circumstances and preferences - least of all when it comes to medical care, where patients differ in innumerable ways. Here, as elsewhere, there is no free lunch - even though politicians get elected by promising free lunches. A free lunch in medical care is one of the most dangerous illusions of all. Waiting in long gasoline lines at filling stations was exasperating back in the 1970s, but waiting weeks to get an MRI to find out why you are sick, and then waiting months for an operation, as happens in countries with government-run medical systems, can be not only painful but dangerous. You can be dead by the time they find out what is


NEWSMAGAZINENETWORK.COM wrong with you and do something about it. elites will deign to allow you to have, is But that will “bring down the cost of completely incompatible with the vision of medical care” because you will not be an elite-controlled world, which they call “social justice” or other politically attracaround to require any treatment. tive phrases. PART 4 The “uninsured” are another big talking What is so wrong with the current medi- point for government medical insurance. cal system in the United States that we are But the incomes of many of the uninsured being urged to rush headlong into a new indicate that many - if not most - of them government system that we are not even choose to be uninsured. Poor people can supposed to understand, because this leg- get insurance through Medicaid. islation is to be rushed through Congress Free-loading at emergency rooms - manbefore even the Senators and Representa- dated by government - makes being unintives have a chance to read it? sured a viable option. Among the things that people complain Within living memory, most Americans about under the current medical care had no medical insurance. Even large system are the costs, insurance company medical bills were paid off over a period of bureaucrats’ denials of reimbursements months or years, just as we buy big-ticket for some treatments and the free loaders items like cars or houses. This is not ideal at hospital emergency rooms whose costs for everybody or every situation. But if we have to be paid by others. are ready to rush headlong into government Will a government-run medical system control of our lives every time something make these things better or worse? This is not ideal, then we are not going very basic question seldom seems to get to remain a free people asked, much less answered. very long. If the government has some magic Ironically, it is politiway of reducing costs - rather than cians who already have shifting them around, including made medical insurance shifting them to the next generation so expensive that - they have certainly not revealed many people that secret. The actual track record refuse to buy of government when it comes to it. Insurance costs - of anything - is more alarmis designed ing than reassuring. to cover risk. What about insurBut politicians have ance companies denymandated that insuring reimbursements ance cover things that are for treatments? Does not risks and that neither anyone imagine the buyers nor the sellers of that a government insurance want covered. bureaucracy will In various states, medical not do that? insurance must cover the costs Moreover, the of fertility treatments, annual worst that an insurcheckups and other things that ance company can have nothing to do with risks. do is refuse to pay What many people most want for medication or is to be insured against the risk of treatment. In some having their life’s savings wiped countries with out by a catastrophic illness. But government-run you cannot get insurance just for catastrophic illnesses when politicians medical systems, the government can prevent you from spending keep piling on mandates that drive up the your own money to get the medication or cost of the insurance. These usually are treatment that their bureaucracy has denied state mandates but the federal government you. Your choice is to leave the country or already is promising more mandates on insurance companies - which means still smuggle in what you need. However appalling such a situation may higher costs and higher premiums. All this makes a farce of the notion of be, it is perfectly consistent with elites wanting to control your life. As far as those a “public option” that will simply provide elites are concerned, it would not be “social competition to keep private insurance justice” to allow some people to get medi- companies honest. What politicians can cal care that others are denied, just because and will do is continue to drive up the cost of private insurance until it no longer is some people “happen to have money.” But very few people just “happen to have viable. A “public option” is simply a path money.” Most people have earned money toward a “single payer” system, a eupheby producing something that other people mism for a government monopoly. wanted. But getting what you want by © 2009 what you have earned, rather than by what



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Event s HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS Lutheran High School of St. Charles County presents “The Divine Child,” a sacred Christmas choral and instrumental concert, at 5 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 5, at Zion Lutheran Church, 3866  Harvester Road, St. Charles.  A freewill offering will be received to  further the music ministry of the school.  ••• St. Peters Choral Society Christmas Concert will be held at 2 p.m., Sun., Dec. 13, at the Fort Zumwalt South High School Auditorium, 8050 Mexico Road. The performance will include selections of traditional Christmas music with special arrangements for your listening pleasure. The concert is free and no tickets are required. For more information, call 978-8404. ••• Jingle & Mingle will start at 6:30 p.m., Thurs., Dec. 17, at the Oak Tree Village Retirement Community, located at 363 Jungermann Road. A holiday wreath silent auction will be held at 7 p.m. For more information, call 928-3877. ••• SCC Young People’s Theatre will present

“Scrooge, the Stingiest Man in Town” at 7 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 18 and Sat., Dec. 19, and at 2 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 19, and Sun., Dec. 20 in the theater of the Donald D. Shook Fine Arts Building on the SCC campus. No holiday season is complete without a retelling of Charles Dickens’ beloved Christmas classic, “A Christmas Carol.” Local youths will perform the show. Tickets are $7 for general admission and $6 for senior citizens and students.

7717 Hwy. N. Come listen to Fr. Dom weave together stories, Christian reflections and Scripture while incorporating the traditions of baking. Proceeds benefit the local St. Vincent de Paul Society. Tickets are $25 per person and include dinner of an assortment of soups, salad, a plethora of bread and a holiday cookbook. To order tickets call the parish office at 561-6611.


St. Charles Community College Concert Band Winter Concert be held at 8 p.m. on Mon., Dec. 7, in the theater of the Donald D. Shook Fine Arts Building. The event is free.

The Oak Leaf Artist Guild will hold its 2009 Holiday Art Show “People and Places at Christmas,” from Sun., Dec. 6, to Mon., Jan. 25, at the St. Peters Community and Arts Center located at 1035 St. Peters Howell Road. A reception will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sun., Dec. 6. Light refreshments will be served, and awards will be presented at 2 p.m. For more information, visit

CHARITY “Rise to the Knead,” an evening with Fr. Dominick Garramone, host of the popular PBS show Baking Bread with Fr. Dominic, will be held on Sat., Jan. 2, in the parish hall at Immaculate Conception of Dardenne,

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••• St. Charles Community College Jazz Combos Winter Concert will be held at 8 p.m. on Wed., Dec. 9, in the theater of the Donald D. Shook Fine Arts Building. The performance is free.

A Hunter Jumper Horse Show will be presented by National Equestrian Equine Productions Dec. 2-6 and Dec. 9-13 at the equestrian center, located at 6880 Lake Saint Louis Blvd. in Lake Saint Louis. Admittance is free. At 7 p.m., Dec. 11, Great Griffen Farm and Purina Mills will sponsor a party to collect Toys for Tots. Those attending are asked to bring an unwrapped new toy. For more information, visit

NETWORKING The Community Council of St. Charles County will host its monthly Network Luncheon from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 3, at Stegton Regency Banquet Center. The December luncheon will feature a speed networking event. The cost of the luncheon is $12. The public is encouraged to attend. Reservations are required; call 936-8023.

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••• St. Charles Community College Singers Orchestra Winter Concert will be held at 8 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 8, in the theater of the Donald D. Shook Fine Arts Building. The performance is free.


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Event s SEMINARS Sore Shoulder Solutions will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wed., Dec. 2, at the Progress West HealthCare Center Community Room located at 2 Progress Point Parkway in O’Fallon. Visitors may review common shoulder injuries, conservative treatments, when surgery is needed and recovery times involved.  To register, call 344-CARE. ••• Know Your 10 Warning Signs will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 8 at the Hwy. K Medical Building & Urgent Care Center, 2630 Hwy. K in O’Fallon. Along with the advice of a doctor, 10 warning signs are critical to detecting Alzheimer’s. The workshop will cover questions about dementia, how to seek a diagnosis, and next steps if you’ve been diagnosed with dementia. Local resources and support services will also be presented. To register, call 344-CARE. ••• Breast Cancer Update 2009 will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wed., Dec. 9,


at the Middendorf-Kredell Library Branch, 2750 Hwy K. in O’Fallon. During the talk with Dr. Stephanie Sandberg, attendees may find out if they are a candidate for genetic profiling. In addition, the latest diagnostic tools and biopsy methods will be reviewed. To register, call 344-CARE. ••• CPR for Family & Friends will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 10, at the Progress West HealthCare Center Café, 2 Progress Point Parkway in O’Fallon. A program will include instruction and hands-on practice in infant, child and adult CPR and first aid for choking taught by St.  Louis Children’s Hospital instructors trained by the American Heart Association. The cost is $25 per person. To register, call 314-454-KIDS. ••• Introduction to Breastfeeding will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 10 at the Progress West HealthCare Center Community Room located at 2 Progress Point Parkway in O’Fallon. Open to moms-to-be and new moms, this class

will help you prepare for the breastfeeding experience, understand the process, and provide tips and techniques for  success. The cost is $30 per mom or couple. To register, call 344-CARE.

given away. The night will benefit the St. Patrick Center. For more information, call 314-802-5445 or visit the Web site,

••• Babysitting 101 will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 29 at the Progress West HealthCare Center Community Room located at 2 Progress Point Parkway in O’Fallon. This class is an introduction to the basics of babysitting. Topics include: the business of babysitting, child development, safety and first-aid, and fun and games. A 28-page workbook and light snack is provided. The cost is $24 per child. To register, call 314-454-KIDS.

ONGOING Pictures with Santa will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays at the Convention and Visitors Bureau located at 230 South Main Street in St. Charles. Shops will also be open until 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings through the end of the year. Visit for more information. ••• The Santa Parade will be held at 1:30 p.m. on every Saturday and Sunday during the holiday season at the corner of South Main Street and Boone’s Lick Road. Visitors can follow the procession to Berthold Square to experience caroling and a short dramatic program with the Christmas Traditions characters. Visit for further information.

TRIVIA The seventh annual Sports Trivia Championship Presented by Budweiser will be held on Fri., Feb. 12 at the Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University. Sports celebrities and broadcasters will be on hand and an ultimate sports prize package will be

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Basements by Design LLC "Simply the Best"

(636) 675-1850

Home Improvement JS Home Services Handyman • Carpenter 25 Plus Years Experience Cheap Rates! Free Estimates! House Closings, Deck Repairs, Structural Repairs. All Jobs Big or Small. Licensed, Bonded, Insured. Call James at 314-420-3562

Pet Services KENNEL ME NOT GOT TRAVEL PLANS! Bring your Dog to one of OUR loving HOMES while you travel! We provide companionship in a private, caring, dog loving home. Why pay more for cramped, lonely cages or kennels.


To Advertise Call 314-610-3313

Roofing Services A-ACCURATE ROOFING SIDING & GUTTERS no job too Large or too Small, Affordable Roofing residential & commercial, all types of roofing, 40 year experience, call for a Free Estimate, 636-939-5109 or 1-800-459-ROOF

Tax Services

636-928-1040 Wedding Services

Anytime... Anywhere... Marriage Ceremonies Renewal of Vows Commitment & Affirmation of Love

(314) 703-7456

Get an iPod Promo begins November 16th and refers to new purchases of Beautyrest NxG Mattress Sets. Promotion ends December 23rd. Previous purchases are excluded.

Mid Rivers Newsmagazine December 2, 2009  
Mid Rivers Newsmagazine December 2, 2009  

Mid Rivers Newsmagazine December 2, 2009