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Kirkwood and Webster should strongly consider adding dockless bike share to their growing arsenal of ways to get around.
Since mid-April St. Louis city has seen great success with Lime and Ofo —the two private companies that it has granted permits to for operation within its boundaries.
While a few of these bikes have trickled out here, we and the region would both greatly benefit from a larger integration. Ride from Meramec to home, downtown Kirkwood to Webster, from Webster University to Maplewood (or wherever else). Get some exercise along the way; keep some CO2 out of the air; encourage regionalism, and when you're done doing all that, just leave the bike wherever it is that you end up.
What's not to like? Best of all it wouldn't cost us anything. In fact, St. Louis makes a little money off of it.
We have the density (the companies already service suburbs across the country); we have the destinations; and St. Louis already broke the ice for us. Let's get it done.
June 14, 2018
Once again the Webster-Kirkwood Times proves that they really do not care about railroad history. Back in 2011, the Times said in an article on high-speed rail that said: "Legend has it that when engineer James Pugh Kirkwood first put in the rail route west from St. Louis and beyond, he agreed to one of the worst, hilliest routes through Kirkwood in exchange for the fledgling suburban city honoring him by taking his name."
Shortly after the article appeared, I sent a letter to the paper stating that the so-called "legend" was false. I even documented my source. The paper's response was, "it was a legend."
Now seven years later on page one above the fold there is virtual verbatim repeat of the same story. Why?
The whole relocation of the railroad to name the town after Mr. Kirkwood story is false, period. Mr. Kirkwood never wanted to take the railroad through the town that bears his name. He was forced to by land owners and steamboat interests to re-route the railroad onto an inferior route. He was well aware of the presence of the 1 percent grade in both directions with summit at what is now Kirkwood Station. That is the reason why the trains are so loud when they go through Kirkwood on the Union Pacific. No matter which direction they are going, they have to go up hill.
Think about that fact next time you get woke up at three o'clock in the morning by a freight train crawling up "the hill."
As a rail historian I get tired of seeing false information about railroad history printed repeatedly in the media. At a time when many people are questioning journalistic integrity, you would think the Times could make an effort to check their facts.
June 14, 2018
Here are just a few of the comments from different people about Sugar Creek Valley. It's an important brand that Kirkwood should cherish.
• Sugar Valley is the one place in Kirkwood that feels like you're in the country. It's a gorgeous area that so many of us have great pride in.
• It's one of the coolest natural places left in Kirkwood … which also houses the Frank Lloyd Wright historical house.
• One of the prettiest parts of West County; please don't allow it to be destroyed.
• I grew up in Kirkwood and loved this area so much. Even today when I make my way to Kirkwood I always travel through Sugar Creek.
• It would ruin the beauty of the area. Please keep it intact.
• Please don't ruin the beauty and integrity of Sugar Creek Valley!
• When fortunate enough to have a resource like Sugar Creek Valley, why would anyone advocate a plan that would destroy the beauty, privacy and charm of this property forever?
• Please, please do not allow the destruction of the most beautiful street in Kirkwood.
• This area is beautiful and the reason is because it maintains the beauty and respect for the natural surroundings. There aren't many places like this left "in town."
• Save Sugar Creek Valley's forest.
• Preserve the beauty of Sugar Creek Valley.
• Sugar Creek is a gorgeous part of Kirkwood – keep our community preserved.
• We can't allow rezoning to allow developers to decimate the beauty and historical value of Sugar Creek Valley.
• This is a unique area to Kirkwood and should not be changed.
• Sugar Creek is the most beautiful area within Kirkwood.
• Preserve this asset to the culture and community of Kirkwood.
• Please keep our ecosystems on Sugar Creek as they are. It is a beautiful area. Please don't destroy it!
See more comments and sign the petition at: https://tinyurl.com/sugarcreekzoning.
June 14, 2018
I am writing as a 47-year resident of Kirkwood, a past member of Kirkwood Planning & Zoning Commission, a founding and charter member of Kirkwood Landmarks Commission, and an elected member of the Kirkwood Home Rule Charter Commission.
I am urging the Kirkwood City Council to vote "no" on rezoning of 1837 Bach Avenue.
1. There is a reason communities adopt zoning ordinances. Residents are entitled to expect zoning will remain stable and protective of their property investments. All Sugar Creek valley properties along West Adams and Ballas are zoned R-1 and should stay so zoned.
2. Sugar Creek is a unique and beautiful part of Kirkwood and we all should treasure it and protect it.
3. Rezoning would establish a bad precedent which could impact large lots in Sugar Creek in the future.
4. The topography of the lot is so steep that any development, even if only one new house is built, will cause greatly increased run-off and have dramatic visual impact.
Developers/speculators often ask for more than they legally are allowed, hoping to get lucky and get more money in their pockets. Please resist this siren song and say "no!"
Bette Miller, M.A. Urban Affairs
June 14, 2018
We recently watched a state representative walk the steep hill on Bach Avenue because she was interested in viewing the property petitioned for rezoning at 1837 Bach Ave. in Kirkwood. I wonder how many Kirkwood city officials walked the property.
Rezoning 1837 Bach should be a major concern for the community for these important reasons:
1. The petitioner implied as many as five houses could be built on this 1.98-acre lot. This would result in the clearing of hundreds of trees, impacting Sugar Creek and causing more flooding for homes downstream.
2. Sugar Creek Valley cannot handle more flood damage resulting from city-approved building of McMansions in Kirkwood. While we support the performing arts center, our city officials have continued to disregard flood issues, instead transferring $246,138 from park and storm water fund reserves to the "operating account" for the performing arts (Bill 10628, March 13 city council meeting).
3. This rezoning will set a precedent for large properties along Adams to be rezoned, permanently changing the density/landscape of Kirkwood.
The city council will hear public comments on June 21 and vote in July. There are currently 1,100 individuals opposing this initiative. It would seem that Kirkwood elected officials should vote in a way that represents the majority of the community. After all, they were elected to represent the will of Kirkwood citizens. If this is approved against the wishes of the majority, then it will be understandable if the city finds itself defending the vote in court.
Supporting this petition, which is against the city's own zoning code, is a destructive and irreversible decision that would negatively impact all future generations. Please sign our petition at www.savesugarcreek.com, attend the June 21 meeting, and write your city council members today.
Perrin and Ace Marchionne
June 14, 2018
My family rented a summer clubhouse from John and Edna Mraz in the early 1950s. Mraz Lane was named for this family who farmed about half way between Route 66 and the Meramec River. They built a ranch house for their daughter Eleanor and family near the farm house and it remained for some time after the majority of the property was sold to the Chrysler Corporation.
I don't know when this family began farming this area, but they were early settlers of the area now called Fenton.
It is unfortunate that their name will disappear from the exit sign on Interstate 44 (May 11 South County Times, "Mraz Lane To Become Fenton Logistics Park Blvd.).
June 07, 2018
The lack of direction — and often misdirection — that our country has taken has prompted me to do something I've never done. I have joined an election campaign.
Hopefully, Mark Osmack will be our representative in the House of Representatives. Mark has specific, good ideas that will help our country.
Mark has served in the military, is levelheaded and does not change his views on issues every other day (as some politicians seem to do).
It took almost 50 years for me to realize that if I want change, I must act. I urge readers to act, even if it's in a small way.
I'm hopeful that the people of Missouri will at least vote on Aug. 7 for Mark Osmack. If anyone wants information concerning Mark's stance on issues, he or she can go to www.markosmack.com.
We welcome any participation in this campaign.
June 07, 2018
I recently learned about an incident in March 2013 where our supposed "champion" for women, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, blocked (by placing a "permanent hold") the nomination by President Obama of Lt. Gen. Susan Helms to vice commander of the Air Force Space Command. Gen. Helms was highly qualified for the promotion; however, McCaskill placed the "permanent hold" and prevented the career advancement of Gen. Helms (Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2013, "Gen. Helms and the Senator's Hold").
Fast forward to a more recent McCaskill "war" on women. I was shocked by her "no" vote for Gina Haspel to become the first female head of the Central Intelligence Agency. A 33-year veteran of the CIA, Haspel had the strong endorsement of numerous top National Security leaders of both parties, as well as CIA employees. Even Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), ranking Democrat of the Senate Intelligence Committee, voted for Haspel to head the agency.
Shame on you, Claire. With a woman like you in a powerful position to determine the career advancement of highly qualified women, those women don't need any other enemies.
June 07, 2018
I agree with Martin Walsh (May 25 Mailbag) about Ann Wagner's disturbing comments concerning the Iran Nuclear Treaty. It's certainly one thing to say that a peace treaty is bad. It's very much another to rip it apart with no better idea, no plan, no negotiation, no international support, and no ultimate goal except perhaps starting another serious conflict.
Ann Wagner has aided and abetted Donald Trump and the Republican Party as it has destroyed this treaty, the Affordable Care Act, The Paris Climate Accord, the American Presidency and much, much more. It's time for Ann Wagner to go!
Central West End, Formerly Webster Groves
June 07, 2018
First, I would like to justify my heritage as a longtime family resident of Kirkwood. My grandparents, the Tessons and the Lewises, settled in Kirkwood 170 years ago.
My grandfather was the chief of police in Kirkwood in the '50s. My mother, who attended Kirkwood High School, was queen of Kirkwood in the '30s. My older sisters attended St. Peter School and Ursuline Academy.
I attended Pittman in the late '50s, went on to St. Peter for grade school, St. John Vianney High School for two years and graduated from Kirkwood High School in 1964.
I personally did not know Udell Chambers (Webster-Kirkwood Times May 25). I did know his older brother Lawrence who was in my class at Kirkwood High School of 1964.
What a horrible fate for a young Kirkwood man with so much promise as a professional ballplayer and a resident of Kirkwood!
Many of our Kirkwood residents were drafted and many volunteered to serve our country honorably.
I volunteered after my first year in college and had a number of friends who did the same. We are all proud – draftees and volunteers alike – to have been able to serve our country and our community. Some of us came back wounded and some didn't come back! All of us have friends who didn't return; they are the true heroes!
I am writing to express my opinion of the incorrect perception of Mr. Campbell (who I consider a friend and a fellow combat veteran) that a number of Kirkwood residents were not inscribed on Kirkwood's Vietnam Memorial intentionally; I personally know that is absolutely not accurate.
To me and my fellow Vietnam veterans, who I still communicate with, we all have learned through experience and age: friendship, trust, loyalty, honesty are paramount to happiness!
Michael L. Kavanaugh, 173rd Airborne Bde, 101st Airborne Div. Vietnam
June 07, 2018