"I read the 'Taco Whoever' article the first time and it gave me a headache.

"So I took some aspirin and read it again."

Mar 28, 2007 at 4:00 am

News Real, March 15, 2007

Taco Whatever

It ain't about racism: I live off of Sulfur Springs in Ballwin, which borders Valley Park, and I just wanted to send you my two cents on the now-controversial Valley Park article. I read the "Taco Whoever" article the first time and it gave me a headache, so I took some aspirin and read it again.

I don't understand why Mayor Whitteaker has turned on the RFT for comments that were blown out of proportion by all the liberal, Jesus-loving, George W.-loving seniors who should be enjoying all the Social Security money they are getting and go on vacation. The ordinance is a very good idea. The point of the ordinance is to keep the American economy strong. I have no problem with a person from a different country coming to America and pursuing the "dream," but they need to follow the immigration laws of our country. It's not fair to real, land-born Americans that immigrants get better incentives for being here illegally. It has nothing to do with racism or discrimination. It has to do with keeping the rules of becoming a U.S. citizen followed to a T!
Marc Randolph, Ballwin

Cafe, March 15, 2007

Viva Columbia!

Getting fresh: Ian Froeb hit a lot of the best spots in Columbia in his article "Roll On, Columbia," especially the Wine Cellar. I had that tuna mac dish last Friday and it was awesome. I've lived in Columbia for six years (I'm moving home to the West End in May), and the Wine Cellar is one of the best restaurants in the state, St. Louis and Kansas City included. But there's one gem of Columbia that you missed — Main Squeeze (www.main-squeeze.com). Not just a juice bar or a place full of "hippie" food, I've gotten everyone I know to fall in love with this place (even ones who would much rather be at a place like Booches). Make sure you stop by next time you're in Columbia; they have the freshest ingredients and most inventive, healthy foods around. It rivals places like Real Food Daily in LA for veg-type dishes.
Nathaniel Broughton, Columbia

Preach it, Ian: I live in Columbia and just read your article about our restaurants in town. I'm happy to hear that you experienced a sort of culinary cabaret during our film festival. Thank you for spreading the word about our fantastic town! You chose some fine selections amongst our restaurants. Will you be returning next year for True/False? If so, feel free to contact me and I will take you to a few more places that you may have missed. As an Orr Street artist, I encourage you to check out the art scene here. We are fortunate to have so many creative souls living in our sweet town! As a proud resident of Columbia, I thank you again for your lovely article.
Josie Sullivan, Columbia

Feature, March 8, 2007

Anchors Aweigh

Chad Garrison's who-done-who piece "Ship of Fools," What were you thinking, Ed? While I thoroughly enjoyed Chad Garrison's who-done-who piece "Ship of Fools," the comedic spirit of the article was ruined for me regarding the anchor which now sits at Soldiers Memorial. The anchor is and was a completely separate action from the gun debacle.

Noel Stasiak first became aware that this anchor was available in 1998. The Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, was closing. They contacted the Navy League in St. Louis and were soliciting help with where could they place this historic naval memorial. Noel acquired the anchor and began making plans for its transportation to St. Louis. He then began his search for the best place to position this naval memorial. His first thought was his home in Carondelet on the riverfront at Sr. Marie Charles Park. He then contacted the Merchant Marines, and he and they worked with Ralph Wiechert, director of the Soldiers Memorial, on placement of this anchor.

It is disheartening that Ed Dierkes, as present leader of the Merchant Marines, would denigrate Noel Stasiak's efforts to celebrate the Merchant Marines with this memorial. The Merchant Marines had long been looking for validation from the military and civilian communities. The lighthearted give-and-take of this who-did-who article was ruined by the intrusive comments by Ed Dierkes. He needs a reality check and to check his own "bullshit." If not for Noel's efforts, there would be no anchor at Soldiers Memorial, period. End of story.
Leigh Leonard, St. Louis

Oh. Here's what Ed was thinking: Noel Stasiak has every right to boast that he donated the nine-ton anchor to the Soldiers Memorial. He was the driving force behind getting the anchor, but the Merchant Marine veterans paid the bill to have the anchor delivered to St. Louis. I don't recall Noel actually running for alderman, although there were rumors that he would.

As far as the park goes, a group of us Merchant Marine veterans went there and it was overgrown with weeds. It was a terrible mess, and we decided then that this was no place for the anchor. We were in constant touch with Ralph Wiechert, director of Soldiers Memorial, and we finally got the approval to have the anchor brought to the memorial after storing it for over a year. We couldn't find a better place than Soldiers Memorial for the anchor.

Referring to the squabbles with Noel Stasiak, they were all minor, and I did not say he was all bullshit. What I said was, "It was all bullshit," referring to our squabbles about the anchor. I do not know Noel Stasiak personally, but what I do know of him is that's he's an honorable man. We Merchant Marine veterans do not have anything to do with the U.S.S. Inaugural or the guns. We wish Noel Stasiak good luck in getting the gun back. The Inaugural, being a former U.S. Navy warship, deserves a decent burial at sea. In closing, I have one question for Mr. Chad Garrison: Why are you dragging the Merchant Marines into this fray? It's none of our business.
Ed Dierkes, St. Louis

Ship of Fools, Part Deux? While I chuckled over the article last week on the "Ship of Fools," there is one clarification I would like to highlight. Okie Moore stated that he was still waiting for my letter "accepting" the gun from him. Number one, if he was and is still waiting for said letter, how the hell did I steal it? Number two, anyone familiar with nonprofit donations understands that the letter has to be generated by the person who donated the gift. Who else could confer ownership and determine the value of the gift? If not, the receiver could place any value they choose to it.

If Okie Moore could generate the letter to me, he can still get his donation write-off, and I could have Patzius arrested for theft, and I could then donate the gun to the city as I originally planned. Patzius acquired the ship after the guns had been removed by Okie Moore. Therefore, he has never had any ownership of the guns. "Ship of Fools, Part Deux."
Noel Stasiak, St. Louis