Letters to the Editor

Published the week of July 12-18, 2000

At Kriegshauser Brothers, we offer the complete solution to the high-cost funeral home. By specializing in services that do not require a funeral home (e.g., visitation at your church, cemetery or nursing-home chapel, cremation, memorial or graveside service), we do not have high overhead. Furthermore, we pass the savings along to the family. The typical savings can range from $1,000-$4,000. So St. Louis families do have an alternative that meets both their merchandise and service needs.
Douglas E. Kriegshauser
Vice President
Kriegshauser Brothers

D. J. Wilson's "A Run on the Bank" (RFT, July 5) vividly illustrates why it is so difficult to promote economic development in the city of St. Louis and why the smart money usually just packs up and moves to the suburbs (more acreage, fewer headaches). Development opportunities remind me all too often of two prizefighters meeting in the middle of the ring to do battle to the death, not to make a deal for development.

"Ladies and gentlemen, in this corner is the Neighborhood Coalition, amateurish and principled, yes, but unwilling to compromise at any cost. In the other corner are the developers, bottom-line-oriented with little concern for the community. At the sound of the bell, each of you will begin to trash each other in the press, hold meetings ad nauseam, stir up politicians to a frenzy, threaten to either pull the development project from the city altogether (goodbye, jobs and taxbase) or vote out any politician who dares speak out in favor of the 'corporation' (Kmart, Walgreens, South Side National Bank -- it doesn't matter, just fill in any evil bourgeois name here) and generally piss off anyone you can in the process, even your friends. Start swinging at the sound of the bell."

Hello? What's wrong with this picture? Successful development does not and should not resemble Wrestling at the Chase. Has anyone proposed a special taxing district in the area of the South Side National Bank for a developer to raise the necessary public funds to make the redevelopment of this property a reality? (Please, no comments about corporate welfare on this one, OK? It's the 21st century. Everybody wants a piece of the public pie, whether they deserve it or not.). These districts have been creatively used on Cherokee Street, Soulard, the Central West End, etc. Why can't it be used in South St. Louis (again, no comments on hardheaded scrubby Dutch, please)?

Oh and do remember, South Side National Bank is a bank! Yes, and a successful one which has done business in the city of St. Louis for generations! Has anyone approached them about some sort of creative financing for the redevelopment of the building (check egos at the door, please).

Pardon my cynicism, but why do I get the sinking feeling that the South Side National Bank development/demolition will end up being the same disaster as the Southtown Famous-Barr site at Kingshighway and Chippewa? The same fighters, the same positions, the same issues, the same empty results. Hasn't anyone learned, or are we going to get our ear bit off again?
Toby W. Paone

I was happy to see Terry Perkins' short article on the upcoming concert by the four founding members of WAR who now perform under the name S.O.B. ("Sound Checks," RFT, July 5)

However, the article contained one small factual error. Lonnie Jordan, who now owns the rights to name WAR along with manager Jerry Goldstein, was an original member of the band, but he was not the saxophonist. He played, and continues to play, keyboards. The band's saxophonist during their hit-making days was the late Charles Miller.

That small glitch aside, thanks to Terry Perkins and the RFT for taking the time and space to point out that these veteran musicians are indeed still out there working and creating great grooves.
Dean Minderman

In reference to her letter ("Downhill Run," RFT, July 5), I'm sure I speak for all residents of the city of St. Louis when I offer a heartfelt apology to C.L. Westfall for not keeping the sentimental city of her birth in the proper "historic" viewing condition for her occasional visits from St. Charles. Judging from the fact that it has only recently occurred to her that the North Grand area could be perceived as "rundown," her visits must be few and far between! Unfortunately for both of us, there are fewer of us "capable people" around the city than there were, say, 78 years ago. Indeed, it's harder to keep alive that "old-time pride" that Westfall mourns when the old-timers have gone elsewhere. Maybe she could make a start and drive back in from St. Charles to help us "do something constructive" in her old hometown.
Bill J. Michalski

Generally, I believe Ray Hartmann's columns are well thought out and well written. Obviously, this is code for "I didn't like your last column" ("Getting What You Don't Pay For," RFT, June 28) and "I have a little too much free time." Let us see if it is "pretty hard for baseball people to argue credibly that the meek can't compete purely on economic grounds." I have created a spreadsheet that lists teams and their total payrolls for 1992-1999 (the strike-shortened year of 1994 is omitted). Each year, the teams are ranked by their payroll. I believe the word "compete" in this context is meant to indicate a legitimate opportunity to make the playoffs. Even a cursory glance at the analysis should prove that a team's likelihood of making the playoffs is largely influenced by the relative rank of the team's payroll. A few points:

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