City looks to resident to help plan pocket park on Garden Avenue

Niagara Falls Community Development is looking to create a pocket park on Garden Avenue in Niagara Falls and wants residents to help plan it. The meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. March 26 in the first floor auditorium of the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building, 3001 Ninth St., Niagara Falls. The city department has assistance from State Sen. Robert Ortt for this project. Questions or comments may be sent to Seth Piccirillo, director of Niagara Falls Community Development, at [email protected] Continue Reading

St. Anthony Park library, gardeners and neighbors in tug-of-war over land

At St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park public library, a three-way turf battle has book worms, bee lovers and neighboring homeowners abuzz. The city plans to settle a dispute over lot lines through a land sale this month. But nearby residents are racing to stop it in the name of goldenrod, bee balm and butterfly bushes. The Carnegie library, on the National Register of Historic Places, has maintained that the sizable lot to its southeast is city-owned public property. However, after studying property records going back as far as 1903, neighboring homeowners Richard and Nancy Foss have claimed that the hilltop belongs to them. In an uneasy compromise, the couple now plans to buy most of the property from the city — 3,000 square feet — at market value. Many, though not all, members of a garden club that uses the sloping land downhill of the site say both sides are wrong. A century ago, the Carnegie family insisted that the city buy property at 2245 Como Ave. before they would fund library construction, and the land was sold to the city for $1 by the Freeman family in 1917 to accommodate the requirement. Raymond Avenue resident Pat Thompson, a member of the St. Anthony Park Garden Club’s Weekly Weeders, said the city isn’t just parting with part of a historic gift — it’s also selling an opportunity. “The area is facing a lot of development pressure — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing — but when you have that, it’s even more important to preserve your public green spaces and make them into usable space for the public, which this could be made into,” Thompson said. “Why don’t you split it in half?” In August 2016, a neighborhood petition against the land sale drew 143 signatures. Efforts to reach the Foss family for comment this week were unsuccessful. DECISION TIME On March 7, the St. Paul City Council is poised to move forward with a compromise that almost everyone calls Continue Reading

KC Council backs memorial garden for fallen police officers

Kansas City has several memorials honoring law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, but none the kind of quiet spot where families, friends and colleagues can visit to reflect on their loss. The Kansas City Council voted unanimously Thursday to contribute $600,000 toward creation of a memorial garden paying tribute to all local, state and federal officers in Kansas City who made the ultimate sacrifice. The money is intended to attract private donations for the memorial, to be located on 3.5 acres of city-owned land near the Shoal Creek Patrol Division and the Kansas City Regional Police Academy in Clay County. The total cost is estimated at between $3 million and $4 million dollars. “This is an excellent opportunity for us to honor lives lost in the line of duty,” said Councilwoman Heather Hall, the sponsor of the measure, who is married to a Kansas City police officer. The city has a statue honoring its fallen in front of police headquarters on Locust Street. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 99, the union for Kansas City police, has a memorial display at its headquarters, and there is a state memorial in Jefferson City. The design of the new project is under wraps until the March 1 kickoff of the fundraising campaign, to be led by a private non-profit, the Kansas City Police Officers Memorial Foundation. But city architect Eric Bosch told the council’s finance and governance committee Wednesday that plans call for the names of officers to be engraved on granite stones. Visitors will be able to follow a trail that ends with the overlook of a grassy meadow. “It’s going to be a very nice place to go,” Bosch said. The $600,000 will come from funds raised by the 1-cent sales tax for capital improvements. About $4 million a year is allocated to each of the six council districts for neighborhood projects recommended by the 13-member Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC). Two members are appointed from each Continue Reading

Student-led memorial garden now graces UTSA campus

Student-led memorial garden now graces UTSA campus By Silvia Foster-Frau February 12, 2018 Photo: Bob Owen, Staff / San Antonio Express-News The new Roadrunner Memorial Garden located at the UTSA Oval at the Main Campus, is a place to honor the memory of Roadrunners present and past. The new Roadrunner Memorial Garden located at the UTSA Oval at the... After three years and three student government administrations, UTSA’s Roadrunner Memorial Garden is open. “It started out as smaller ideas, and as more people got involved it ended up becoming a much bigger project, and stands to be what it is today,” said Marcus Thomas, 21, the University of Texas at San Antonio’s student government president. Express Newsletters Get the latest news, sports and food features sent directly to your inbox. Sign up Most Popular 1 Child dies after being found in deep end of Stone Oak pool 2 Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que last of a South Texas barbacoa... 3 Spurs’ plans still revolve around belief in present 4 Judge leans toward asserting right to rule on border wall 5 Alamo takes center stage in race for state land commissioner Before, the UTSA Oval was an open space with little more to offer than a path between campus buildings. But now it’s a spot for quiet reflection for anyone mourning the death of a fellow student, staff member or professor. The student-inspired Roadrunner Memorial Garden has a half-circle, stepping stone wall with a plaque at the center, in front of three flags: United States, Texas and UTSA’s. Beyond it is a sloping green hill with benches and a garden. Every year UTSA holds an event for students to remember loved ones in a multi-purpose room, but now, due in large part to funding through the Launch UTSA web page — its crowdfunding site — university goers have a space solely dedicated to honor those who Continue Reading

Artillery veterans seek a memorial garden at Camp Pendleton

Organizers have collected $40,000 to build a special memorial for the 11th Marine Regiment in the Las Pulgas section of Camp Pendleton. The 11th Marines Ceremonial Garden will honor the artillery regiment’s battles and those who fought and died in them. Organizers estimate that they need about $150,000 more in donations to finish the garden. If the “Cannon Cockers” have their way, the story of those who fought and died for the famed 11th Marine Regiment will live on in a special place tucked into the Las Pulgas section of Camp Pendleton. Since 2015, Marines and sailors who served in the artillery regiment have sought to erect what they call the “11th Marines Ceremonial Garden,” a quiet place to reflect on the sacrifices of those who came before them, especially those who died fighting for their Corps and country. “It’ll be there for reenlistments, retirement ceremonies, for families and friends to gather and remember the fallen and for veterans to remember their time in the 11th,” said retired 11th Marines commander Col. Mike Frazier, nodding toward the space between Fiddler’s Green and the chapel where organizers want it to be built. Formed a century ago, the 11th Marines have served in every major conflict America has fought since World War I, including quashing guerrillas in Nicaragua; the World War II battles on Guadalcanal, New Britain, Peleliu and Okinawa; duty in Korea’s Pusan Perimeter, Inchon and the Chosin Reservoir, plus campaigns in South Vietnam, Kuwait and Iraq. Today’s Cannon Cockers are serving in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. The site concept proposed by Frazier’s Friends of the 11th Marines features a two-tiered plaza big enough to hold unit formations and their visitors, plus emblems and signs that commemorate the veterans and the battles they waged overseas, all of it framed by native plants and trees. Their plans have been approved by officials from the Office of Continue Reading

‘Les Miserables’ cast member Kyle Jean-Baptiste will be honored with Central Park memorial

“Les Miserables,” the popular Broadway show with the history-making lead will go on, even without one of its brightest lights. Kyle Jean-Baptiste was saluted on and off Broadway as one of the theater’s shining stars Sunday, a day after he died in a fire escape accident outside his Brooklyn home. Jean-Baptiste, 21, made history this summer when he became the youngest actor and the first African-American to take the Broadway stage in the lead role of Valjean in the venerable “Les Miserables.” Friends of the actor are planning a Central Park memorial Monday at 2 p.m. according to Playbill, the theater magazine. Mourners will gather near the park’s Bethesda Fountain, near the north side of W. 72nd St., for a memorial organized by, which highlights the achievements of blacks on Broadway. “Yesterday, a young man who was kind, thoughtful, respectful, confident and vulnerable, left our world,” Jean-Baptiste’s family said in a statement Sunday. “He was a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, and a friend. With a smile ‘yay wide,’ a heart worn on his sleeve, and a song always on his lips, he walked with us for 21 years. To say he will be missed would be an understatement. Our pain has no boundaries.” Jean-Baptiste was with a friend on a fourth-floor fire escape outside his parents’ Fort Greene apartment early Saturday when he apparently lost his balance and fell to his death, according to police. Though cops were investigating, police believe the death was accidental. The LaGuardia High School alum was cast in the Broadway musical in May following his graduation from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. Visitors who caught the show’s Sunday matinee at the Imperial Theater said they were impressed with the grieving cast’s fortitude. “The performance has been great so far,” said Patrick Vanderploeg, Continue Reading

Community cleans up Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens

Members of the Cumberland Township community, from unpaid interns to a county commissioner, brought weed trimmers, lawnmowers and American flag markers to Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens on a balmy Thursday morning.The effort, organized by the Adams County Veterans Affairs Office, intended to improve the presentation of the cemetery, particularly the grave sites of veterans, ahead of Memorial Day.Oak Lawn cemetery's conditions came under fire in March when families who had purchased plots and buried loved ones at the site took issue with the lack of maintenance following a transition in ownership in January. People reported crooked headstones, tire marks and heaps of soil lying on graves at Oak Lawn, which is the only privately owned cemetery in Adams County.Around 640 complaints have been lodged to Cumberland Township Police Department, according to Lt. Tim Guise, who volunteered his time on Thursday. The investigation is ongoing and should find resolution in three to four weeks, Guise said.Two months later, dead grass covered the plots, some of which have fallen into ruts, and one headstone is propped up against a tree. Volunteers, which included veterans, local police, the Adams County Department of Planning and Development, Sheppard's Groundskeeping and veterans groups, collected trash, cut weeds and grass and marked veterans' plots with American flags to prepare for the holiday."At least for the short term, we're trying to make it as presentable as possible for Memorial Day," said Commissioner Chairman Randy Phiel, who noted that it's unfortunate it has to be done at all.Beyond the county responsibility to maintain the graves of veterans, Veterans Affairs put out a call to set up the cleanup effort after fielding "hundreds of phone calls" regarding Oak Lawn's conditions, Clark said. There are around 580 veterans on record buried at Oak Lawn.Bion Merry, a Marine Corps veteran, came to help at the cemetery because he said he has Continue Reading

Inwood’s fallen heroes: 9/11 memorial garden gives families comfort

The boys of Inwood would be proud. Proud to see how their childhood buddies have taken care to remember and honor them, the 22 who were killed in the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Guys like Tommy Dowd, Bobby (Rock) O'Shea, James (JimmyMac) McAlary, John Burnside and Christian Regenhard. Joe Kellett, Brian Monaghan, Kieran Gorman and Joe Holland. From the sidewalks and parks and schools of Inwood, they grew up to be cops and firefighters, Wall Street brokers and construction workers. Today, their smiling faces peer up from grey headstones in a memorial garden that's easy to miss in the city's hurried pace. SHARE YOUR 9/11 MEMORIES ON OUR SPECIAL TRIBUTE SITE But for residents of upper Manhattan who know where to look, the garden is a peaceful refuge in the courtyard of Good Shepherd Church - a little-known tribute to Inwood's fallen heroes just off the busy corner of Broadway and Isham Ave. Towering above the sculptured lawn is a steel cross made from the ruins of the fallen towers. Buried beneath it in a time capsule are personal keepsakes from the dead. "I grew up with these guys," said Joe Loperfido, a retired transit worker who spearheaded the committee to create the "Fallen Friends of Inwood" and tends to the garden along with landscaper and Inwood chum Tom Dixon. "We were walking around in a fog for months after Sept. 11. We needed to figure out a way to bring everyone together from Inwood. It's been an honor to do this for the families." "There is a review of the operations of the incident," the source said.Tombstone dedicated to Inwood resident Tommy Dowd, who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald and perished during the 9/11 attacks. Families like the Meehans. Every day for the past six years, Peg Meehan, 79, has made a quiet pilgrimage from her fifth floor walkup around the corner to Good Shepherd's Church – first to attend Mass, then to the garden to remember her youngest son. Damian Meehan was 32 on that sunny September Continue Reading

Rock star-worthy resting place: Nirvana Memorial Garden in Singapore livens up the afterlife

It's billed as a "six-star" columbarium, and the luxurious final resting place at Singapore's Nirvana Memorial Garden lives up to its name.The urns of the deceased are situated on pedestals and lit with a ray of bright white light. A statue of Buddha pulsates with LED lights and families of the deceased can memorialize their loved ones in the style of a rock concert, according to Reuters.Conspicuously absent are traditional trappings of Buddhist post-cremation funeral ceremonies such as incense, chanting monks and urns piled in small pigeonholes up to the ceiling. (More than 40 percent of the population in Singapore declare themselves believers in Buddhism.)“This is not a place for people to come only once a year to visit their parents or relatives,” Nirvana Memorial Singapore’s director, Jeff Kong, told Reuters. “We want to create an environment to encourage them to come as often as possible.”Besides a $2 million sound and light system, the 120,600 square-foot columbarium is carpeted and air-conditioned, and has an indoor car park with a skylit lobby. When it’s fully open next year, there will be space for 50,000 urns in 11 suites, each designed with feng shui elements. And every suite will have lounges filled with sofas and rosewood furniture so families can rest when they are visiting. Instead of old fashioned keys, families will get into their loved one’s niche with an electronic keycard.But these comforting trappings are costly. Families can expect to pay $22,000 for a double niche in the Royal Suite, or $2,200 for an “economy” class niche.Madam Goh, a 60-something woman who bought herself a niche, said it was worth it.“This place is clean, comfortable and much less eerie than traditional columbariums,” Goh said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Drinking beer for fun and closing Hubbard Park Beer Garden

It's nearly Movember, that curious charitable movement in which men grow mustaches that would make Tom Selleck jealous.Participants in Movember are encouraged to shave at the start of the month then grow a mustache to draw attention to men's health concerns, such as prostate and testicular cancer.Movember was founded in Australia, where "as David Hasselhoff is to Germany, Tom Selleck is to Australia," said David Thorpe, who directs the Milwaukee activities. Growing an outrageous mustache "begins the conversation," Thorpe said.Movember MKE opens with Shave the Date, a fundraiser that starts at 10 a.m. Nov.1 at Stag Barbershop, 3064 S. Delaware Ave. For each $25 shave, a portion will be donated to the Movember Foundation.Those who shave (either at Stag or on their own) can have photos taken at Sugar Maple, 441 E. Lincoln Ave., to document a clean look and help keep track of mustaches grown during the month. Stone Brewing will have beers on tap for the event. See the Shave the Date event page on Facebook. Bell's, Stone, 3 Sheeps and New Belgium breweries rallied to create the Mo MKE Craft Beer Coalition for The Movember Foundation USA. Other Movember events, from a Nov. 11 volleyball tournament and more at participating breweries like Third Space and MobCraft and D14, which have collaborated on a special beer for the month, are listed at the Movember MKE page on Facebook. Here are some beer events for the meantime:  Tuesday: Explorium Brew Pub, 5300 S. 76th St., Greendale, puts its collaboration with 1840 Brewing Company on tap (first time the Bay View brewery will be on tap) starting at 3 p.m., according to the event page on Facebook. Look for the Funky Doc Rae, made from Explorium's Doc Rae Scotch Ale wort and barrel fermented it in wine barrels at 1840. It packs a wallop at 10% ABV.Friday-Sunday:Hubbard Park Beer Garden, 3565 N. Morris Ave., Shorewood, closes the season with a Drink Us Dry Continue Reading