Letters in the Attic

By Kathie Kerr, Editor “Tower Talk”

(Some examples of photos and letters found in our attic are interwoven in this article and at the bottom of the article.)

If only the walls in these old Waldo houses could talk, what secrets they might share. In our case, it wasn’t the walls, but letters from the attic that told a tale of the Great Depression and the hopefulness of youth.
Shortly after we started renovating our almost 90-year-old home near 75th & Oak, we found letters from around 1935 tucked hazardously between the attic rafters and covered with insulation. They are yellowed and crumbling memories of a young man who used to live here, William “Bill” Patrick Dooley.

Thanks to Dr. John Horner, researcher/writer at the Kansas City Public Library, we know that Bill was the son of William and Florence Dooley, and was three years old during the 1920 census. His sister, whose name was Florence, was 9.  In 1935 when most of the letters were written, Bill would have been 18 years old. Bill Jr. would be about 97 today if he is still alive. I don’t know how to reach any surviving family members, so maybe this article and the names it mentions will ring a bell with someone.

The letters reference the Great Depression and how hard it was for these young folks just graduating from Southwest High School to find work and how their families were getting along. The letters also vibrantly pictured teenagers who were still being kids—going to dances, going on dates, gossiping, and attending events in places in Waldo long ago gone.

Letter after letter written to Bill was, with a few exceptions, from teenagers from Southwest High School, and from young people attending the new St. Elizabeth Parish Church. For this reason, I believe Bill was a recent graduate himself. Our house was built in 1925; if Bill had indeed been living here since childhood, he would have been 8 years old when he and his family built the house and moved in.

The profile of Bill Dooley isn’t hard to piece together from his letters. And, I will call him Bill because the man I see in my head is young, handsome and self-assured. Bill doesn’t seem like a typical teenager, after all, he took the time to saved all these many letters from his days in New Mexico.

From the dates on the letters, he appeared to have left Kansas City sometime in the winter of 1934 and ended up in Artesia, New Mexico, a very tiny town.  We don’t know why. A letter dated Feb. 21, 1930, presumably addressed to Mr. Dooley Sr., mentioned  mineral rights in Artesia, so there might have been a family business or connection to the town in that regard. We do know from the letters that Bill Jr. was active in leading a Boy Scout Troop there.

We also know from the letters that Bill was missed when he left Kansas City to go out West. From the gentle chiding of his friends back in Kansas City to some rather insistent young ladies begging him to come home and go to dances, you get a sense of an easy-going, trusted confidante who didn’t let the nation’s economic disaster knock him down. In fact, all the letters from these young people were bright and sassy and filled with hope.
Could this be Bill? This photograph was found with the letters.

could this be bill0001croppThe first letter Bill received while in New Mexico was dated December 10, 1934 from Josephine “Jo” Hecht whose returned address was 7345 Walnut. “I went to the Waldo on Sunday and saw The Count of Monte Cristo,” she wrote. “I think that was its name but anyhow it wasn’t any good.”

1934_Count_of_Monte_Cristo*Picture of movie poster found on Wikipedia.org.

She probably saw the movie at what was then called the Westmoreland Theater at 7428 Washington Street. When it opened in 1924, the theater offered silent films, vaudeville and burlesque during its first 15 years in business. By 1939, the theater was solely a movie house and had changed its name to the Waldo Theater. It remained a movie house until it closed in 1972.

Ms. Hecht went on to write in that same letter, “I think the church dinner was a success, at least Father Kennedy hasn’t asked for money again.” This reference is to Father Peter Kennedy, who served as pastor at St. Elizabeth from 1924-1957. He passed away in 1958, shortly after his retirement.

One of the most entertaining letters is not signed, but was written on Jan. 8, 1934. “The Nash still eats as much gas as ever. We ran out of gas yesterday at 51st and Ward Parkway and pushed the car to 48th Street where we forged Brush Creek by foot and bought some gas. Neil and I are seriously considering buying or trading for a Austin. … We asked Mr. Taylor the code price on a ‘31 Austin and he said $81 sounds like a good buy. They get 48 miles to a gallon of gas.”

1931-american-austin*Picture of 1931 Austin found on Wikipedia.org.

According to a description in Wikipedia, they really did get that much per gallon, but I can’t believe it. That’s better than some hybrids today! The coupe was billed as a sedan, and sold for $445, slightly less than a Ford V8 roadster. The Great Depression made the cheaper secondhand cars more appealing, so sales dropped off.

A final piece of correspondence in 1934 was a postcard picture of two ladies in hats. The names appear to be Mrs. Hepworth and Doris, according to the back of the postcard.
two ladies0001

Bill received his first letter in 1935 on Jan. 9 from Lois. She wrote: “I suppose you are having a grand time in New Mexico. But I hope you’ll come back to K.C. once in a while as I really miss your cheerful telephone calls. I was surprised to hear that you’ve become a “Boy Sprout” leader. I just can’t imagine it. Do you blush when you have to give orders to the boys?”

Ms. Josephine Hecht wrote to Bill again on May 23, 1935 with news that “The towers are now on St. Elizabeth Church only there are no bells in them. They had a real nice dedication and Father Kennedy didn’t get mad at someone in the middle of mass. Your sister sang.”

The timing would have been right. By the time the church was dedicated on April 22, 1935, the exterior also had two stone towers (one with bells) added, and the faith community had grown to 265 families. It was a vibrant part of the Waldo community.

Several letters were sent to Bill in May, 1935. Ms. Flynn (no first name that I could find) lived at 5730 Forest Ave. She sent Bill homemade fudge with her letter. In her letter dated May 27, 1935, we get a glimpse of how hard the times were back then as she described a special dinner with guests.

“We had stewed chicken, noodles, Popeye’s favorite dish, salad, and ice cream. Best we’ve had since the depression!”

Ms. Flynn mentions that Kansas City had been caught up in the “dime chain letter gang.” “Golly, KC certainly went crazy! At least it was a change from the everlasting talk about the depression. I got in on one of them, and so far all I’ve gotten is 50 cents.”
Chain letters began to circulate in 1935 promising the poor that they could become rich quickly.

The origin of the chain letters is still not known. But the post offices of that time had to hire people to get extra help as the chain letters were too many in number to handle by the normal staff.
This chain letter below was found among Bill’s letters. It is a typical Send-a-Dime money chain letter.

chain letter jpeg0001Also on May 27, 1935, Bill received a letter from Leroy. Leroy was hopeful that he would be getting a job with American Products in Cincinnati, although he wanted the Kansas City dealership. “If I get the agency I should make about $40 a week; but if I could have gotten the dealership, I could have made $60 and up (not too bad).” It is an excellent possibility that this is same Leroy F. Magee who later that summer sent Bill an invitation to attend his high school graduation at Southwest High School on June 5, 1935.

southwest hs0001 croppedfin

Some letters raised some intriguing questions, like the unsigned letter dated June 6, 1935, presumably from a young woman that reads, “Dearest Bill, I want to tell you that I had a wonderful time last night and I am honest and truly sorry for the way I acted … ”

Ken “Dagger” Davis from 7128 Jefferson typed a letter to Bill on June 21, 1935, addressing him comically as “Senore William.” Mr. Davis talked about his romantic conquests on the dance floor, and then the dialogue turned a little sad.

“Say old pal do you think that if I come down there I could find something to do. As you probably know there is nothing doing here. I have been going out on the road with my cousin while he sells shoes. In fact I just got back from Atchinson with him. … My birthday is next month you know and I was just wondering where in the devil I’ll be. I might try to come down to New Mexico there if you think I could find anything to do. Do you?”

It’s interesting to me how many young men wrote Bill as well as young ladies. One unsigned letter from a young man confesses to Bill, “I had another enjoyable evening and this time brought her home (in cousin’s truck). I did not kiss good night maybe because I am too bashful or perhaps I thought it better to be a gentleman. I told her to be sure to wash behind her ears and she told me to be sure and changed my socks.”

One letter is from Des Moines in August, 1935 from Ruth who is on her way to California to find work. “I’ll have an address when we get there so you can write to me then.”

Sometime in the summer of 1935, Bill moved back to Kansas City from New Mexico. It seemed as though Bill left a string of broken hearts wherever he lived. One letter dated August 1935 has “Avis” writing, “I miss your bright and smiling face. Why don’t you take another sudden notion and rush back to this beautiful city of Artesia—no, don’t. I like you too much to wish that misery upon you even for selfish reasons.”

So many references in the letters were about dancing and going to dances. The letters didn’t mention dance marathons by name, but it would have been the right time in history. Dance marathons spread from New Orleans to Chicago to Kansas City to Harlem. Dance marathons (also called Walkathons), an American phenomenon of the 1920s and 1930s, were human endurance contests in which couples danced almost non-stop for hundreds of hours (as long as a month or two), competing for prize money.

And, Bill must have been a very good dancer.

Ruth writes on Aug. 4, 1935, “If you go to a dance tomorrow night I’ll pretend that I’m dancing with you every dance!”

A few things strike you about these letters. They are beautifully written and they are long. Thank goodness there was no 140-character Twitter max back in those days. Another is just the feeling you get from those youthful voices who are talking about going to business school, or becoming hair stylists and secretaries.

I don’t know how long the Dooleys lived in our house, but I can say one thing. Sometimes I smell cologne and can imagine a handsome young man shining his shoes and whistling, combing his hair and smiling, getting ready to trip the light fantastic with a bevy of Waldo beauties.

Did Bill marry Lois or Ruth or Jo?  Do they have grandchildren still living in Kansas City?  If anyone reading this knows of this family or any of the others mentioned here, please let me know at towertalkwaldo@gmail.com.  And, if you, too, have found treasures in your attic, I would like to feature your finds.
Kathie Kerr

Here’s a postcard we found with the letters.

old car postcard0001back of car postcard0001

Wonder who these children were?  Photo found with letters.

group shot of kids0001

motor vehicle0001 Traffic code booklet from 1932

Letter from Lois0001

 

Lois letter 2 & 30001

Letter from Ms. Flynn0001

dickinson secretarial school 20001Dickinson secretarial school0001

letter spread 20001

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What would you do with $250?

THA-cag_FBimageFour lucky Tower Homes Association members will soon find out as it is that time of year again for our Curbside Appeal Grant drawing. Now is the time to submit your applications for your outdoor projects and on July 16th, we’ll draw out 4 lucky winners to receive $250 reimbursements towards an outdoor project.

YOU MUST BE A MEMBER TO WIN

THA invites you to join us from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 16 at District Pour House + Kitchen, 7122 Wornall Road for the drawing. This event is your final opportunity to apply for a Curb Appeal Grant. Be present for the drawing that evening and you could win up to $250 toward a project that improves your home’s curb appeal! Appetizers will be provided.

PLEASE RSVP to info@towerhomesassociation.org so we have enough snacks for everyo0ne.  CLICK HERE to learn about the Curb Appeal Grants and fill out your application online.

Posted in Events, News | Comments Off

THA Garden Tour this Saturday

garden tourSaturday, June 28, is the Tower Home Association Garden Tour. This is a free event so invite your neighbors. There are four gardens that will be on the tour and are listed below. The tour will run from 10 a.m. to noon followed by lunch at St Elizabeth’s community garden from noon to 1 p.m.

10:00 – 12:00 Garden Tour Stops

New Reform Temple Community Garden
7100 Main Street

Kathy Stockard Residence
7318 Walnut Street

John Bozarth Residence
617 E 77th Street

St Elizabeth Community Garden
74th and Main

Noon – 1:00 Lunch at St Elizabeth Community Garden
74th and Main
THA will provide burgers and lemonade come join us in the garden.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Joshua Hemberger at 913.752.7103 or by e-mail at info@towerhomesassociation.org

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Rain Didn’t Dampen Spirits at Dumpster Day

dumpster day photoThanks to everyone who made Tower Homes Association Spring dumpster day a success today! The final tally on how many members participated isn’t in yet; but, despite the rain, we had a good turn-out and dumpsters were more than half full. John Bozarth is chairperson of dumpster day and has been for years. He organizes the delivery and pick-up of the dumpsters and makes sure volunteers are there to check members in and to help upload. Say hello and “thank you” to John next time you run into him working at Soil Service. Volunteers for the day were Angie Lile, Kathie Kerr, Karol O’Brien, Cassi Neff, Safia Grey, Kurtis Marinez and Rick Yarnell.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

23 April 2014 Board Meeting

Tower Homes Association Board Meeting

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

 7:00 PM

7521 Main

Josh Hemberger presiding

 

Catherine: Social at gym – a few families came, but she thinks she’ll stick to restaurants from now on.

 

Josh: Upcoming:

April 26th – Dumpster Day this weekend. Need folks to work 8 – 10 or 10 – 12. Limit people to 2 loads, unless room left in dumpsters close to the end. Please get contact info for new members.

May 3rd – walking tour on schedule, but has anything been done? It is intended to be an informal walk on the trolly trail. Elizabeth will pick starting place and time and get email out.

May 31st – Picnic in the park. 2 – 5. Garth will do food. Burgers and hot dogs. Need dedicated person for lemonade. Angie usually orgaizes kids’ stuff, maybe ask WABA for door prizes. Answer 3 questions about Tower Homes to qualify? Safia will donate a blanket. THA membership for next year? Ask Marty about library books? Subject to approval by Jeff, Josh made a motion to budget $400 for food, motion carried.

June 11th – Next board meeting at John’s.

June 28th 2 – 5 THA garden tour and curb appeal grants. Kansas City Academy, St Elizabeth, Stoney Crest might be approached to be part of tour. Elizabeth, John will work on this.

August 30th maybe later in the day – Jam for neighborhood musicians. Damien will look into this. Park shelter has been reserved for this, or maybe Beer Garden?

 

Postcard to remind membership of upcoming events.

 

Garth moved, Damien seconded no general meeting in May. Catherine checking to see if already announced – it was. Elizabeth will check to see if library has been reserved – it has. Probably need to have meeting. Something related to gardening?

 

Kathy – is newsletter being read? Maybe a blog on the website would be better. Garth agrees. Josh will check with Angie about having blog on website. Mary will check to see how many receive hard copy newsletter. Karol will poll people over time to ask their preferences.

 

 Tower Homes Association / Waldo Homes Merger progress – none to report. Josh will follow up.

 

Chad (having baby in a couple of weeks): Rain gardens in tower park – eastern one has been having trouble with droughts. Bill of Parks and Rec will have work done on them in the next few weeks: clean, mulch, add plants? Maybe we could chip in too.

 

Adjourned about 9:00 PM.

Board members in attendance

Josh Hemberger x

Kurtis Marinez

Jeff Highfill

Cassi Neff x

Elizabeth Hollins x

Charlotte McCloskey

Garth Stocking x

Karol O’Brien x

Marty Hatten

Chad Potter x

Catherine Dobson x

Saphia Gray x

Mary Cary x

Angie Lile

Teresa Bolton

Michelle Bailey

John Bozarth x

Patrick Allen

Damien McNearney x

Kathy Kirk x

Simon of Waldo Homes

Martha Dromey of Waldo Homes

Posted in Board of Directors Minutes | Comments Off

2014 Spring E-Newsletter Tower Talk

Click here or on the headline above to view the spring 2014 edition of the Tower Homes Association newsletter, Tower Talk. Inside are features on a Waldo bagpiper, new businesses moving in and out, upcoming dumpster days and much more!

Posted in News, Tower Talk Newsletter | Comments Off

Waldo-Area Bar & Restaurant Guide

Waldo area restaurantsMarc14Final

Posted in News, Resources, Tower Talk Newsletter | Comments Off

8 March 2014 General Meeting

Tower Homes Association General Meeting

Saturday, 8 March 2014

10:00 AM  Waldo Library

Josh Hemberger, presiding

Ashley Hand: Friends of Hale Cook School. Pre-K through 2nd grade opening fall 2014. Tours coming up (facility still under constructin), enrollment is under way.

Brenda Thomas, Board Member of the Marlborough Community Coalition. Our organizations share Troost Ave. as the border. Learn about MCC’s exciting Catalyst Project!

6,000 houses, 80% rentals. Some undeveloped land. 5 neighborhoods. Mix of cultures: 75% african american, 10% caucasian, also hispanic, asian, etc. South side of KC has suffered from neglect: sidewalks, water tower. Not everything east of Troost is bad – lots of good thinkers and involved people. Need to make sure that city hall hears, understands, and respects us. Housing crisis contributed to neighborhood deterioration. Catalyst Project: MARC award + city money + garage sales, bake sales, lawn mowing they do to earn money. Contracted with BNIM to plan projects, do documention, analysis, reporting, help find grant-writers (students at Avila helped). Committees for: visioning group, increase neighborhood participation (teenagers helped with walkabout), housing… surveyed neighborhood, etc. Imaging and branding: want to overcome “east of Troost” negative perception. Now “We are Marlborough”. Four main projects are Marlborough Village commercial area; redevelopment of Marlborough School (501(c)3s, alternative medicine, greenhouse, art…) (school has been closed since 2007); Target Green; Coalition capacity building. Had to do fund-raising: another thing BNIM helped them organize. Added 60 or 65 additional active neighbors, including local artists.

Ravin Graham, Southtown Council, will speak about the new Troost Community Improvement District and answer any questions you might have about Waldo businesses and the Wornall corridor. Ravin had to step out, so Angie Lile spoke about Waldo CID: paid for by extra sales tax and pays for extra security, trash pickup etc. New Troost CID will be doing the same in their area. She left some handouts for us.

Josh Hemberger, Tower Homes Association President, will announce information regarding the recent vote to merge the Waldo Homes Association with the Tower Homes Association. 

THA boundary was down to about 79th; combined boundary will be to 85th. 900 more homes will now be included. Call ourselves Waldo Tower Neighbors. THA board voted to begin 9-month plan to look into this. Homes dues paid for either organization count for new merged group. Pros: better clarify our geographical zone; Waldo Homes was losing structure; be able to provide our services (Dumpster Days etc) to Waldo Homes and benefit from their active members. Con: don’t want to lose Waldo’s focus on park maintenance etc. How will leadership and financials merge? THA board continues and we hope Waldo Homes members will join in (most recent Waldo Homes election drew no candidates). We will be adding 4 districts. Waldo Homes has banners that they will have taken down from light poles.

Country Club Right-of-Way has been selected for study as possible extension of trolly system. Currently no plans to demolish any homes.

About 15 people in attendance

Adjourned about 11:15 AM.

Board members            in attendance
Josh Hemberger x

Kurtis Marinez x

Jeff Highfill

Cassi Neff x

Elizabeth Hollins x

Charlotte McCloskey

Garth Stocking

Karol O’Brien x

Marty Hatten x

Chad Potter

Catherine Dobson

Saphia Gray

Mary Cary

Angie Lile x

Teresa Bolton

Michelle Bailey

John Bozarth

Patrick Allen

Damien McNearney

Simon of Waldo Homes

Martha Dromey of Waldo Homes x

 

Posted in General Meeting Minutes | Comments Off

12 February 2014 Board Meeting

 

THA February Board Meeting

 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

 

Location: 7567 Grand

 

Time: 7:00 pm

 

 

Angie: Neighborhood Improvement District

 

How big would we want the boundaries to be? A lot of work up front to get it set up, but big benefits. 60% of people in the area should agree. It would add a line item to everyone in the district’s property tax that would support projects in the district. It could be used for sidewalk repair / construction, lights, etc. Can set it as dollar amount or percentage of home value. Need a lawyer to set it all up. It would be nice to have Greenway Fields (a neighborhood that has set up a NID) and the city council members (Councilmembers Taylor and Sharp for Districts 5 and 6), for this area come to a board meeting to talk to us about their experiences. Could cost $15,000 for legal fees to set it up. We are investigating the details of what a Neighborhood Improvement District would be for THA and there are no plans yet to move forward with implementation.

 

 

Some objection to new brewery at 79th and Wornall across from the ReStore. One person is upset that she wasn’t consulted ahead of time, but she had been at meetings where it was discussed.

 

Elizabeth: “I know we like beer, but we’re still reasonable people.”

 

 

Possible merger with Waldo Homes. Fewer people in Waldo Homes object than formerly – they voted to merge. South Oak Park must not be forgotten, like honeysuckle cleanup once or twice a year. We would need to change our registration with city and state. They have no debt, and not much capitol. It will cost about $50 per pole to remove their banners (about 20 of them). Membership is 65 (about half last year’s number). About 900 homes. Tower Homes is is about 2200 homes. They have 5 districts; most of the active folks are in two of them. We need to ask Jeff about merging finance. Call ourselves Waldo Tower Neighborhood Association, or Waldo Tower Neighbors.

 

 

Tower Homes has already sent renewal notices out; Waldo Homes will do the same.

 

 

Elizabeth moved that Waldo Homes Association and Tower Homes Association work on an approximately 9 month merger transition plan including the rebranding as Waldo Tower Neighbors.

 

Safia seconded.

 

All in favor.

 

 

Josh will get with Jeff about renewal with city.

 

Simon will start on letter to Waldo Homes membership.

 

 

Angie: Some concerns with getting database online so there is just one, and so Mary is not updating a separate document from the master list. The one Mary has does not have phone numbers.

 

 

Adjourned at 9:00 PM.

 

 

 

Board members in attendance

 

Josh Hemberger x

 

Kurtis Marinez x

 

Jeff Highfill

 

Cassi Neff x

 

Elizabeth Hollins x

 

Charlotte McCloskey

 

Garth Stocking

 

Karol O’Brien x

 

Marty Hatten

 

Chad Potter

 

Catherine Dobson x

 

Saphia Gray x

 

Mary Cary

 

Angie Lile x

 

Teresa Bolton

 

Michelle Bailey

 

John Bozarth x

 

Patrick Allen

 

Damien McNearney

 

Simon of Waldo Homes x

 

Colleen of Waldo Homes x

 

Posted in Board of Directors Minutes | Comments Off

16 December 2013 Board Meeting Minutes

 

THA December Board Meeting Agenda Tuesday, December 16, 2013

 

Location: 707 East Gregory

 

Time: 7:00 pm

 

Chris and AndyLewellen – owners of The Well and Lew’s

 

-always come to neighborhood association before making changes

 

-live in neighborhood

 

-Opened Lew’s 10 years ago

 

-5 years later thinking about opening a second Lew’s location, decided on another Waldo business instead: The Well

 

-Over 100 employees, most live in Waldo

 

-Currently liquor license only allows them to stay open until 1:30 AM

 

-They have a temporary 3:00 license – can stay open 6 times a year. They want a permanent 3:00 license.

 

-A liquor license stays with the building when it is sold.

 

-Josh: What about noise, so late at night? They close doors and windows at 10:00 PM.

 

-They need a letter of endorsement from us to take to the city council. It will probably take a year to get the license change.

 

 

2013 goals and events

 

MEMBERSHIP GROWTH

 

  • Involve more people

  • Build enthusiasm

  • Increase neighborhood’s profile

  • Walk about in districts to talk with residents about involvement

  • Revenue growth through membership in order to have more visible activities

  • New neighbor bags Did a good job with this

  • Provide additional benefits to our association

  • Online survey of membership to learn more about needs/ideas

  • Raffle gift cards to local businesses at general meetings

  • Themed general meetings (environmental, volunteer opportunities, health and wellness)

  • Membership much the same as last year

  • Crime pretty low this year

  • Police would like to work with block captains to encourage neighbors to work together, look out for each other

 

OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOCIAL INTERACTION

 

  • More social events

  • Educational activities

  • One big event (May Day in Tower Park)

  • Social networking events

  • Increased participation from general membership (committee involvement and

 

more interactive meetings, circular seating)

 

  • Collaboration with surrounding neighborhood groups

  • Pilots of different kinds of general meetings (e.g. with other organizations)

  • Yoga at the Tower

  • Trail walk (Dog walk: “Tails on Trails”)

 

NEIGHBORHOOD BEAUTIFICATION – Didn’t do much this year – be nice to get grant money to do things like restore library walls

 

  • Community development

  • Community gardens

  • Household hazardous waste collection event (ABOP) to supplement Dumpster

 

Days

 

IMPROVED COMMUNICATION – No one is complaining. Maybe yard signs before general meetings? Maybe move THA membership database to google docs

 

  • Build solidarity

  • Utilize all channels of communication (email, phone, Yahoo group)

 

NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY -

 

  • Provide resources to residents about safety

  • Ensure Tower Park is safe

 

BOARD DEVELOPMENT

 

  • More knowledge amongst Board of “behind the scenes” operations so we can all help each other (i.e. website, Facebook, membership list)

 

 

Upcoming 2014 events:

 

May 31st picnic

 

2nd saturdays at the library: Jan, Mar, not May, not July, again in Sept and Nov

 

January general meeting focused on education

 

Dumpster days – last sat in April, Oct

 

 

THA garden tour? Connected with curb appeal grant? Mid to late June, with rain date.

 

Trail event – trolly trail? In August?

 

Jam sessions? Aug 30? Late afternoon?

 

Jan 15th social event? Once / quarter on Waldo Wednesdays

 

Blanket winner – Josh

 

Detailing business at 79th and Wornell has events, wants liquor license

 

 

Adjourned after 9:00 PM.

 

 

 

Board members in attendance

 

Josh Hemberger x

 

Kurtis Marinez x

 

Jeff Highfill

 

Cassi Neff x

 

Elizabeth Hollins x

 

Charlotte McCloskey

 

Garth Stocking x

 

Karol O’Brien x

 

Marty Hatten

 

Chad Potter

 

Catherine Dobson x

 

Saphia Gray x

 

Mary Cary x

 

Angie Lile x

 

Teresa Bolton

 

Michelle Bailey

 

John Bozarth x

 

Patrick Allen

 

Damien McNearney x

 

Colleen of Waldo Homes x

 

Posted in Board of Directors Minutes | Comments Off

You’re Invited: THA Neighborhood Happy Hour January 15th

Happy_Hour_JanuaryNow that the temperature has jumped above 0 degrees, venture out for a Tower Homes Association Happy Hour!

Join us from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, January 15 at the Waldo Pizza Tap Room, 7433 Broadway.

THA will provide appetizers, and Boulevard Wheat is on special for $2. RSVP to info@towerhomesassociation.org.

Posted in Events, News | Comments Off

January 2014 Tower Homes Association Newsletter

Click Here to view the January 2014 edition of the Tower Homes Association newsletter, Tower Talk. The fresh feel of the newsletter is thanks to our new (returning) editor, Kathie Kerr.

Posted in Tower Talk Newsletter | Comments Off

Karol O’Brien

Karol is a resident of Tower Homes Association and has been involved with us more and more by attending forums like the Kansas City Neighborhood Advisory Council Forum where she took great notes and reported back to us. Recently Karol stepped up to fill a Director position for District 4. We are happy to have Karol on our team!

Posted in Directors | Comments Off

9 November 2013 General Meeting

Meeting Minutes

 

November 9, 2013

The meeting was called to order by Elizabeth Hollins, filling in for president Josh Hemberger, who was unable to attend due to schedule conflict.

 

 

Home rehab speaker, YMCA and new church at 7800 Troost to be used as community center. 

 

 

Curtis – Tower update.  Some changes from initial plan necessary.  Currently replacing roof and exterior concrete is being repaired.  Antennas have been removed which has improved overall appearance.  Bird screens will be installed on the windows.   Then exterior will be painted and junction boxes removed.  Addition of door on backside still might happen this round.

 

 

Phase Two of renovation will include remainder of painting and repair of ladder.  Mock gas lamps will be installed. 

 

 

Long term plan includes installation of an elevator to transport individuals up to first balcony level to look out windows.  John Sharp is supporter of this feature.  This elevator would not be open to public on general basis, but possibly for special events.  Elevator primarily for maintenance.

 

 

John spoke on Dumpster day last weekend reporting response was good, with over 50 households participating.  The next scheduled brush and leaf pick up is November 21st. 

 

 

Colleen Durkin spoke about possible streetcar expansion through the Waldo area.   Caro brought a copy of the Kansas City paper from 1957 that she found that featured an article about the closing of the old trolley line.  Colleen also reported on attending the last meeting with John Sharp at Trailside Center.  An architect and representative from the city were on hand.  Studies regarding proposed streetcar expansion routes were presented to the city council on Thursday. 

 

 

Streetcar Neighbors is a Facebook presence to get neighbors onboard about streetcars.  There are signs available to the public for display in your yard.  If you want one, contact Colleen Durkin at treasurer@waldohomes.org, or Melissa at Co-Works. 

 

 

On November 21st, the full council will have a meeting to adopt an ordinance to fund the study for additional lines.  This meeting is open to the public.  Melissa at Co-Works has signs available.  Members are encouraged to contact John Sharp to express their opinions on this issue. 

 

 

In lieu of guest speaker, breakout sessions were held as an ice breaker activity as several guests from Waldo Homes Association were in attendance.  Participants were encouraged to brainstorm on priorities for the upcoming year.  Results reported as follows:

 

1)       Welcome bags to recruit new members, speed bumps at Main & Pico, expanding the rain garden at Tower Park, maybe do fundraising with historical society on need on north and east side of Tower Park which is prone to flooding.

 

2)       Concerns about landscaping in Tower Park being used as cover for crime, number of foreclosures and empty buildings in neighborhood, with related vermin and crime activity.

 

3)       Continuing to advocate with the city – sidewalks to re-enforce walkability and encourage development of bike paths.  Think things are generally going in right direction.

 

4)       Schools, excitement with Hale Cook and pre-k development, public safety and improvements to parks.

 

 

Members were reminded of  peace rally scheduled for 3 pm today at Liberty Memorial. 

 

 

Rake-a thon : Shepherd Center provides services to seniors.  Tower Homes is coordinating volunteers to help seniors to clean up their yards for the fall as an outreach project to support the community.

 

 

There is another social get together planned for Dec. 2nd at Chelly’s Restaurant.  RSVP at  towerhomesassociation.org.  Chelly’s management will provide an appetizer spread.

 

 

Next meeting will be Saturday, January 11, 2014.

 

 

Respectfully submitted by Connie Ferro, Secretary, Waldo Homes Association.

Posted in General Meeting Minutes | Comments Off

Tower Homes Association says “Yes” to Streetcar Study for Country Club Right of Way

KC Street Car rendoringTower Homes Association issued an official letter of support to Counciman John Sharp and Kansas City Mayor Sly James on Thursday, October 31, 2013 in support of studying the Country Club Right of Way for future Street Car plans. Learn more about the KC Street Car movement here.

You can READ THE LETTER here: http://towerhomesassociation.org/wptha/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/11-01-2013_THA_Streetcar_SupportLetter.pdf

Posted in News | Comments Off

17 October 2013 Board Meeting Minutes

Tower Homes Association Board Meeting

Thursday, 17 October 2013

7:00 PM

617 E 77th Street

Joshua Hemberger presiding

Agenda

  • Streetcar planning team – Gunner Hand
  • Highlights of KC Neighborhood Advisory Council-Candidate Forum
  • THA good neighbor award
  • Marty Update
  • Trolley Trail Memorial Plan
  • Tower Park Path complaint
  • Next social event?
  • Review Patricks thoughts for enhancing THA

 

Ballot Initiative # 1: Graham Renz & Miriam Hennosy

½ cent sales tax for 20 years to pay for a “Translational Medicine Institute”

Basic scientific discovery, finding ways to deliver it to bedside: treatments, devices, cures.

Coalition wants to put together an institute in Jackson County. No tax dollars will be spent to build the institute: Hall family has pledged $75 million. $40 million will go 50% to Children’s Mercy Hospital, 20% to St. Luke’s Hospital, 20% to UMKC, and 10% to workforce development. 20% of profits from institute discoveries will stay in Jackson County for public education, public health and indigent care. Profitablilty projected to begin in year 5. Oversight will be provided by advisory boards. This has been in the works for a while.

 

Streetcar planning team – Gunnar Hand

2015 downtown starter streetcar line. 8 extensions are being considered, decision to be made in March 2014 as to which will be built first. This will be a streetcar (in the street with car traffic), not light rail (which would have its own separate right-of-way). Streetcars draw development – a hotel has already chosen to locate near starter line downtown because of the streetcar. Ours (Country Club right-of-way) is being projected to possibly go as far as the coming Cerner campus at Bannister Mall. Suggestions for supporters: write your council members, send ideas to ideas.nextrail.com

 

Garth moved Tower Homes write a letter in support of streetcars and the Country Club right-of-way. Karol seconded, motion carried. Josh will write letter.

 

Next meeting – holiday meeting and brainstorming for next year. December at Safia’s.

 

Elizabeth – social activities. Shepherd Center looking for volunteers to rake yards for seniors. Maybe we could work as a group to rake yards in our area. November 9th.

 

Saturday 28 October: Dumpster Day and Rain Garden work day 10:00 AM at Tower Park.

 

John – Trying to work with students at SW High. 30% of students have no home. Wornall Road Baptist Church inviting volunteers: Need assistance with preparing simple meals, donating personal hygiene items, mentor students. John will get more info and pass it on.

 

Kurtis – Tower restoration is about to begin: roof, birdscreens in windows, paint, removal of antennae. Door will be put off. Some trouble with people driving across grass – various solutions are being considered.

 

Mary – do we want to send out membership packets in January rather than March?

Garth so moved, Josh seconded, motion carried.

 

Karol – Neighborhood Advisory Council to funnel neighborhood needs and desires to city.

 

Sewer Insurance – lots of sewer troubles in the area, but some think insurance will not pay in cases of tree roots, etc.

 

Have Gunnar come back in January for public meeting to talk about the School Board.

 

Adjourned about 9:00 PM.

 

Board members in attendance

Josh Hemberger x

Kurtis Marinez x

Jeff Highfill

Cassi Neff x

Elizabeth Hollins x

Charlotte McCloskey

Garth Stocking x

Karol O’Brien x

Marty Hatten

Chad Potter

Catherine Dobson x

Saphia Gray

Mary Cary x

Josh Hemberger x

Angie Lile

Teresa Bolton

Michelle Bailey

John Bozarth x

Patrick Allen

Damien McNearney x

Colleen of Waldo Homes x

Posted in Board of Directors Minutes | Comments Off

How you can help us with a Civil Service Project during our Fall Dumpster Day

Twice a year we get to clean out our basements and garages and sheds and yard beds and bring all of that trash and waste to the Tower Homes Association Dumpster Day. It’s not just a day where you end up feeling like you got a lot done, but a day where you can hang out with your friends and neighbors, help each other and even get help! It’s a fun experience and well worth the time but this up-coming dumpster day promises to be even more rewarding!

Border Star Montessori’s Girl Scouts will be with us all morning long, hoping to collect donations for a Civil Service Project that they are working on in conjunction with Humanity’s Team Kansas City. Donations will be put together and sent over to the Gillis Center as well as True Light Family Resource Center which provides a daytime homeless shelter for women. Both of these organizations are dedicating to providing services which helps educate and empower those that reach out to them.

We hope you’ll consider dropping by and donating some of the following items during our Fall Dumpster Day, October 26th from 8am – Noon. Even if you don’t plan on cleaning out your garage, perhaps you might have a spare can of soup and you can meet your friendly neighbors while you’re at it!

If you know you can’t make it on October 26th, then don’t worry. There is a public donation collection bin at Cowork Waldo (right inside the door) and you can drop your donation off there anytime between 8:30am and 12:30pm Monday – Friday from now until the 26th.

CLICK HERE to find out what you can donate and the other collection dates and locations.

2013_G1day_general

Posted in Events, News | Comments Off

Fall 2013 Tower Homes Association Newsletter

Click Here to view the Fall 2013 edition of the Tower Homes Association newsletter, Tower Talk. The fresh feel of the newsletter is thanks to our new (returning) editor, Kathie Kerr.

Click Here to view the special photo additions.

Posted in News, Tower Talk Newsletter | Tagged | Comments Off

14 September 2013 General Meeting Minutes

Tower Homes Association and Waldo Homes Association combined General Meeting
Saturday, 14 September 2013
10:00 AM  Waldo Library
Elizabeth Hollins, presiding

Announcements:
Waldo Fall Festival – Marty: Next Saturday.  Food trucks, stuff for kids, pancake breakfast, music, etc.  Volunteers needed to staff homes association booth.

Library – Marty: Big Read  - True Grit

Dumpster Day and Rain Garden – Elizabeth: Dumpster day (8:00 AM to full) and rain garden work day (10:00 am) Saturday 26 October 2013

Next THA general meeting – Elizabeth: Nov 9 2013 will be here at Waldo Library

Streetscape plan for Community Improvement District /Waldo Area Business Association – Angie: plan available for view.

There will be two fall brush collections by city, one in October and one in November, on regular trash days.

Election:
Josh Hemberger – president
Kurtis Martinez – vice president
Cassi Neff – secretary
Jeff Highfill – treasurer
No nominations from floor.  Motion to approve slate: Angie Lile
Second: Mary Cary
Motion carried

Program:
Chris Veach – Arborist / University Missouri Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
Fall tree planting
Good time to plant for most trees
Watering – screwdriver test
Many considerations in tree selection
www.MODOT.org plant finder link
Understory Trees
Dogwood
Flowering Crabapple
Redbud
etc
Emerald Ash Borer – coming.  Expensive to treat.
Evergreens – have had 5 tough years (cold wet spring and / or hot dry summer)

Laura Isch & Andy Schively – KCMO Water Services
Water department is divided into Water (drinking water), Wastewater, Stormwater (5% of the total budget is for Stormwater).
Overflow Control Program sewer project (25 yr project starting in 2010, 4.5 to 5 billion dollars overall)  Most of the problem is with combined sewer lines which handle both sewage and stormwater.  Program includes incorporating green solutions (mimic what nature would do if we were not here), repair, replacement, minimizing runoff.
Questions: 816-513-0124

About 20 people in attendance

Adjourned about 11:50 AM.

Board members            in attendance
Elizabeth Hollins                   x
Kurtis Marinez
Jeff Highfill
Cassi Neff                               x
Charlotte McCloskey
Garth Stocking                       x
Karol O’Brien                         x
Marty Hatten                          x
Chad Potter
Catherine Dobson
Saphia Gray
Mary Cary                              x
Josh Hemberger                     x
Angie Lile                              x
Teresa Bolton
Michelle Bailey
John Bozarth
Patrick Allen

Posted in General Meeting Minutes | Comments Off

15 August 2013 THA Board Meeting

Tower Homes Association Board Meeting

Thursday, 15 August 2013

7:00 PM

CoWork Waldo

7449 Broadway

Elizabeth Hollis presiding

Newsletter: now most people get the newsletter via email, so there are not enough paper subscribers to bulk mail. Kathie Kerr will be doing the newsletter. Remember to include her on email distribution lists.

21 Sept 2013 Fall Festival 10:00 to 5:00

Marty – usually get two tables. Need electrical? Maybe for Tower display. Those available to help staff the homes association tables should email Marty with the times they would like to work. martyhatten@gmail.com

Possibility of having a neighborhood Community Investment District instead of homes association – works for Greenway. Fee is built into property tax. Management is done by professionals. Angie and John will research for next board meeting. “Homes Association” evokes bossy control, “Neighborhood Association” maybe not.

September 14 2013 THA general meeting: Room A at Waldo Library. Master gardener coming to speak. Public Works: Overflow control project also coming. Board member elections coming up. Elizabeth not renewing presidency.

Angie – Streetscape: “Amenity zones” will have electricity and / or water for holiday lights, plantings, etc. Waldo CID will fund most of it. Will be done piecemeal over time. Will hire engineering firm to locate water mains, etc.

Kurtis – Tower park: will get bollards put in to prevent parking on grass. Looking at bids for work on Tower: roof, bird screens, parapet concrete work, antenna removal, door at base.

Angie – Waldo Area Business Association is doing summer passport. Get stamps from 10 businesses by 31 August and get 5 Waldo bucks and enter a drawing for $100.

Connie and Colleen – Waldo Homes Association: 3rd Saturday of October will have gardening event.

Elizabeth – next year maybe alternate service projects with social meetings. Lessons learned in past year, goals and passions for next year:

Elizabeth – important to do social funcitons. People like them and there isn’t necessarily a lot of burden to put them on. More than one service project. We have received enough complaints about properties that maybe we need to be more proactive with prodding city for action. This may be a role for Elizabeth post-presidency. Maybe rethink structure of our organization – more by project than district? Could give annual awards to community leaders, for people, places, things?

John – Safety in neighborhood. Have been some break-ins, seem to be random. During day, kick in door. Would like to request additional police patrols. (Intruders came through back door at Kurtis’s.) Not much crime in park. Also passionate about gardens. Will continue to coordinate Dumpster Days.

Colleen – combine Tower and Waldo picnics. Last year Waldo Homes Association picnic had a very small turnout. Maybe have a joint event at the new beer garden. Progressive party?

Angie – passionate about neighborhood CID. Need campaign to get neighborhood behind it. Would be nice to have a retreat to spend 4 hours setting priorities etc.

Catherine – likes idea of alternating social meetings with service projects

Marty – is on Waldo Program committee, likes to do Fall Festival.

Karol – enjoys Second Friday Council Meetings. 7:30 am at Trailside. Good programs.

Kurtis – Tower renovation is his baby. Convenience store at 75th and Holmes is finally doing some cleanup. Cut brush, fixed doors and fence.

28 Aug 2013 School board meeting re Bingham at 6:30 p.m. at the Board of Education building, 1211 McGee St.

Adjourned about 8:15 PM.

Board members in attendance:

Elizabeth Hollins x

Kurtis Marinez x

Jeff Highfill

Cassi Neff x

Charlotte McCloskey

Garth Stocking x

Karol O’Brien x

Marty Hatten x

Chad Potter

Catherine Dobson x

Saphia Gray

Mary Cary

Josh Hemberger

Angie Lile x

Teresa Bolton

Michelle Bailey

John Bozarth x

Patrick Allen

Colleen and Connie of Waldo Homes x

Posted in Board of Directors Minutes | Comments Off