Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
When a Clayton home went up for sale a while back, the city decided to buy it for 650,000. The purpose in owning this home next to Hanley Park was to tear it down. This park holds the oldest building in Clayton, the historic Hanley House which has become something of a museum in the city. Now the former house site will become a "passive park", a green space next to history.
But, the purchased home is being taken apart piece by piece and given over to a salvage company. Hardwood floors, windows, walls, everything. Almost 100% of the lumber is going to be salvaged from this place. The City of Clayton hired the non-profit, REFAB, to salvage nearly everything from the oak floors to window hardware, hinges, and light switch plates. REFAB is providing job training for recently homeless vets at the same time.
All of these pieces of the house will be available for sale at the REFAB store at 3130 Gravois which is in the Benton Park neighborhood.
I'd guess there aren't too many St. Louis metro cities which would spend that kind of money to do what Clayton is doing.
Actually this headline from the Riverfront Times is a bit misleading. The best places to live aren't all in St. Louis, some are suburbs. However, number one on the list is the Hi-Pointe neighborhood and this area borders on the seminary so we know it well. Around here it is known as the Hi-Pointe/Demun neighborhood, but who's counting.
What makes this area unique is not just the bars and restaurants, hotel and theater, but the people. Most of the area consists of brick two or three level apartment buildings which are occupied by graduate students from Wash U or the medical school. Also professors and young, well educated adults just starting out in their careers. We get to know many of these people because so many have dogs and walk through our campus with them. Part of the area is in the city of Clayton and part in the city of St. Louis. Those who are within Clayton's boundaries often feel neglected by the city. Bill McClellan of the Post Dispatch is one of these and he jokingly calls his neighborhood, "Lower Clayton".
Be that as it may, it's an interesting place to live.
Today is a municipal election for many counties in Missouri, a day to vote for mayor, aldermen, school board members and propositions. This is only a couple of weeks after the federal primary election. What's even more mind boggling is that there will be another primary, this time in August I believe, to choose party candidates for congress and senate and state and federal office who will then run in November.
It seems to me that Missouri could save some election money by doing what other states do and putting all the federal/state primary offices in one election.
One interesting proposition being voted on today is Prop B which will essentially preserve the existing sales tax on out of state and person to person vehicle sales.
This means that if a Missouri resident buys a car in Illinois they have to pay Missouri sales tax. In 2012 the Missouri Supreme Court struck down this sales tax on titling vehicles purchased out of state. Then in 2013 the state legislature "fixed" this ruling by allowing jurisdictions to continue collecting the sales tax, but said the tax must be approved by local voters on the ballot by the November 2016 election. If isn’t placed on the ballot or is voted down, the tax will be terminated.
So here we are voting to allow this tax to continue. We found ourselves in this position when we bought my Ford Sport Trac truck a couple of years ago. The only place we found this vehicle which we'd been searching for, was over in Illinois at Koetting Ford. Dale and I are trying to remember if we paid Illinois sales tax as well as Missouri. I know we had to pay Missouri when we titled it, did we pay both states? I'll have to dig out the records.
In Clayton there is no competition for the office of mayor, he's running unopposed which is fairly typical here. There is competition for school board seats.
There is one area in Clayton which has basically been abandoned for 12 years. It is at the intersection of Clayton Road and Hanley, the site of an old Schnucks which closed in 2003. Living here, we've heard discussions about this site for years with people wondering just why a busy spot would not be attractive to someone to open something. And, also, how ugly this deserted Schnuck's building looks.
Well, now, there is a fairly good chance something will be coming to this area. A development company based in suburban Nashville, Tenn., hopes to start construction next year on an office, retail and apartment complex. But here's the part which boggles my mind. This is a 3.3 acre property on which the developer plans to construct:
a 43,000-square-foot grocery, restaurant and retail development, 42,000 square feet of office space and — at the site’s eastern end — a 15-story tower of 247 apartments and garage parking. Including a separate mid-rise building of apartments, the project would have 291 residential units.
It's hard to imagine how all this will fit together and aside from the garage parking for the 247 apartments, will there be room for grocery store, restaurant and office parking? It seems to be a trend for micro groceries to be created under condos or apartments, but will there be enough business from residents to sustain them?
I'll be interested in seeing if this comes to fruition.
Rain and more rain brings more mosquitoes than we've experienced in many years. It's impossible to go outside without being bitten multiple times. Hard to sit outside in fairly moderate temperatures or weed or cut grass or even take walks the mosquitoes are biting so fiercely. I don't know if Clayton or Collinsville are going to bring out the fogging trucks but I really hope they do. Also going to go buy some anti itch cream today.
Also, spiders. It takes no time at all this summer to put something or other down before spiders begin making their webs on whatever it is.
The annual Fourth of July neighborhood bike/walk/visit parade took place this morning with many kids/adults and dogs in attendance. This is such a nice event-colorful, friendly and patriotic which begins at the corner of Demun and Arundel and heads up to Aberdeen down to Dartford or University and back down Arundel. Here's a look.
Before everyone took off there was a giveaway table holding 4th of July things kids could take home. And there was lots of visiting.
Bikes were ready
The National Anthem was played
And everyone was ready for the start
Dogs were ready too.
And we're off
And at the end there were snowcones and pony rides and donkey cart rides and dunk a punk and face painting.
Out of no where comes the news that the St. Louis County Board has plans to take over ownership of several of Clayton's major downtown streets, including South Central, Bonhomme, Meramec, Forsyth, Carondelet and Bemiston avenues.
Legislation to hand oversight of the roadways surrounding the Government Center to the county transportation department is headed toward preliminary approval by the County Council next week. Formal enactment is expected in June.
The city manager said this move comes as a total surprise to the city and the county board chairman believes it is necessary for security reasons although he wouldn't say just what the security reasons are.
It seems hard to believe that one agency of government can just decide to take over a part of another government's venue. I can't say I blame Clayton city officials for be upset about this, these are major streets in the downtown and the county will most likely forbid parking if they get ownership.
Clayton is holding their annual electronic recycling event today and tomorrow in Shaw Park. The recyclers will take about anything that plugs in or has a battery, not to mention old lawn mowers etc. However, many companies which provide this service will not take the older CRT tvi's which are the kind with the fat backs. Clayton's event will take them but will charge 15-20 dollars to do so.
Collinsville's recycling company will not take the CRT's at all during their monthly electronic recyling days. So this weekend we're going to hand over some money in order to get rid of the two we still have in order not to be stuck with them when the time comes that no one will take them money or not.