Public Safety Director's Spotlight - A Region in Mourning

St. Louis ranked most fire-safe city in Midwest, free movies and concerts, Bingo, Burger Challenge, streetball tryouts and more!

August 14, 2014 | 6 min reading time

A Region in Mourning

As our entire region is mourning the untimely loss of Michael Brown from Ferguson, Missouri and seeking answers and justice in this case, I send my deepest sympathy to the Brown Family.  Thorough investigations take time, but I am confident that justice will be served in the days and weeks ahead.  As we move forward into a new chapter of our region, let us reflect on this quote from Henry Ford, "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."  Together, we will resolve the issues our region faces.

St. Louis Ranked Most Fire-Safe City in Midwest

In the latest report issued by, St. Louis is at the top of the list as the most fire-safe city in the Midwest.  Factors in St. Louis' top ranking included the high percentages of homes that have updated electrical and HVAC and are smoke-free. is part of a network of insurance websites that offer comprehensive insurance coverage.  

Upcoming Events

Aug. 15 – Breakfast for Bikers, Mississippi Mud's Café in the Art Saint Louis Gallery, 7 a.m.

Join Trailnet and fellow bicyclists for free coffee and breakfast this Friday from 7 –9 Mississippi Mud's new Downtown café within the Art Saint Louis Gallery, 1223 Pine. For more information, visit the website.

Now through August 17 – 10th Annual Downtown Restaurant Week, various locations, 5 p.m.

The 10th Annual Downtown St. Louis Restaurant Week is currently underway through Sunday at 26 diverse and delicious Downtown destinations for your dining pleasure.  Invite your co-workers to join you at a participating restaurant for a special three-course dinner menu for $25 per person, plus tip and tax.  Rediscover an old favorite or experience one St. Louis' hot new eateries.  Reservations are highly recommended.  For all the particulars, visit the web site.

Aug. 15 – Free Movie, South Grand Parking Lot, Sundown

Grab your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a free movie -- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 -- this Friday at the South Grand Parking Lot, 3500 Hartford, beginning at sundown.  South Grand vendors will be available but feel free to bring food and drinks.  For more information, visit the web site.

Aug. 16 – The Ball's In Your Court:  Ball Up Tryouts, Fairground Park, 11 a.m.

The Ball Up All-Stars are coming to St. Louis this Saturday in search of the best streetballers in the area. The family-friendly summer tour will begin with open run tryouts at Fairground Park, N. Grand and Natural Bridge, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the live game at 7 the Mark Twain Arena at University of Missouri-St. Louis.  Invite your neighbors to join you at this fun event in the Fairground neighborhood.


Aug. 16 – BBQ, Watson Terrace Christian Church, Noon

Watson Terrace Christian Church, 4205 Watson Road (Watson & Winnebago) will be having their monthly Barbecue this Saturday from Noon to 7 p.m. Food being served will include pork steaks, brats, chicken breasts, hot dogs, burgers, side dishes, desserts and more.  Invite your family and friends to join you in the Lindenwood Park neighborhood for this fun event.

Aug. 16 – Bicrobrews Microbrewery Bicycle Tour, 4 Hands Brewing Co., 11 a.m.

The Bicrobrews Microbrewery Bicycle Tour will take place this Saturday.  Several urban microbreweries will be featured on the tour.  Participants will learn what it takes to craft a great brew from some of St. Louis' finest microbreweries. Tastings and tours will be provided at many of the stops. Riders must be 21 to drink. Cost of the ride day of the event is $10. Registration will run from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.and the group rides will depart at 10:45 and 11 a.m.  from 4 Hands Brewing Co., 1220 S. 8th Street in the LaSalle neighborhood. For more information, visit the web site.

Aug. 17 – Bingo, St. Louis Gateway Classic, 4 p.m. 

The St. Louis Gateway Classic, 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King, is hosting Bingo every Sunday night. Doors open at 4 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Scholarship Program that currently has eight St. Louis area students attending college. The Gateway Classic has given away more than $2 million in scholarship support to date. For more information, call (314) 621-1994 ext. 201.

Aug. 17 – 6th Annual Top Chef Challenge, Soldiers' Memorial Plaza, Noon

You're invited to watch six local chefs compete for the title of Top Chef in the Ultimate Burger Challenge this Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. at Soldiers' Memorial Plaza, 13th and Chestnut, in exciting Downtown St. Louis.   Enjoy live entertainment, games, shopping local culinary themed vendors and savoring the grilling showdown. General Admission ticket is $25. For more information visit the website.

Aug. 17 – OpSPOT's "Hope for the Animals Day," Tower Grove Park9 a.m. 

"Hope for the Animals Day" is OpSPOT's animal low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic for dogs and cats.  Rabies and distemper combo shots are $10 each; Avid microchips that include the national registration are $10; nail trims for dogs are $5; Ask-a-Vet advice; information on $10 spay/neuter and more. No income or residence requirements.  Questions? Visit or call (314) 995-8678.


Aug. 17 – Ice Cream Social, Francis Park, 6:30 p.m.

The St. Louis Hills Church Alliance will hold an Ice Cream Social this Sunday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Francis Park, Eichelberger and Tamm. Invite your family and neighbors to join you for free ice cream and fellowship.

Aug. 20 – Trailnet on Tap, Melt, 6:30 p.m. 

Join Trailnet for a night of art, bikes, and cold beverages next Wednesday, Aug. 20.  Celebrate expressions of what bikes mean to St. Louis, the future, and you. Enjoy mini-documentaries featuring St. Louis bike commuters of note, hear locally renowned artists and entrepreneurs discuss their bike-themed work, and how to pedal to a better city. Attendance is free; food and drink available for purchase. Melt is located at 2712 Cherokee Street in the Gravois Park neighborhood. To learn more, visit the web site. 

Aug. 20 through Aug. 24 – Missouri Style Week, Moto Europa, 6 p.m.

Missouri Style Week will take place in Grand Center from Wednesday, Aug. 20 through Sunday, Aug. 24, beginning at 6 p.m.each evening at Moto Europa, 3410 Locust Street.  Visit the site for more details and ticket information.

Aug. 21 – Rise Up Festival-Celebrating Revitalization, Crown Square6 p.m. 

The Rise Up Festival is part of Rise STL's continuing efforts to raise awareness about the importance of the revitalization of the St. Louis metropolitan area.  Stop by Crown Square, 14th and St. Louis Avenue, next Thursday, Aug. 21 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and enjoy live music, street entertainers, mural painting, kids carnival area with games and face painting, food trucks, local business showcase and more! Go to to learn more.


Free Concerts

Invite your family, friends and neighbors to join you at one of the neighborhood concert series currently underway.

Aug. 16 – Free Concert, Lafayette Park, 6 p.m. Visit the website for more details.

August 17 -- Free Concert in Carondelet Park, Loughborough and Eugene, 5:30 p.m. To learn more, visit

Aug. 17 – Free Concert, Benton Park Lakeside, 3 p.m.  Go to the web site for more information.

Save the Date

Aug. 22 & 23 – Rummage Sale, Union United Methodist Church, 7 p.m.

Aug. 23 & 24 – Festival of Nations, Tower Grove Park, 10 a.m.

Aug. 23 – Greyhound Centennial Tour, St. Louis Zoo, 9 a.m.

Aug. 23 – Grand Center Street Party, Grand & Washington4 p.m.

Aug. 23 – House History 101, Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center, 9:30 a.m.

Aug. 23 – Rags to Riches Neighborhood Yard Sale, starts at Grace Methodist Church Parking Lot, 8 a.m.

Aug. 23 – Flicks and Foodies, Gateway Arch Grounds, 7 p.m.

Aug. 23 – Old Frenchtown Bicycle Tour, Church of St. Vincent DePaul, 9 a.m.

Aug. 23 – Croatian Junior Tamburitzans 1st Annual Social, St. Joseph Croatian Catholic Church, 6 p.m.

Aug. 24 – 21st Annual Orchid Auction, Missouri Botanical Garden, Noon 

Aug. 24 – National Park Service Founder's Day Celebration, Gateway Arch, 1 p.m.

Aug. 24 -- Free Concert, Carondelet Park, 5:30 p.m.

Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight?  If so, you may email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration.  You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is at the very bottom of the home page.  The listing is free.  I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.

Neighborhood Leadership Academy

The Neighborhood Leadership Academy provides hands-on leadership training that emphasizes community building principles, organizational leadership and management practices, and personal leadership skills.  The Fall 2014 Academy will consist of ten sessions, from Sept. 4 – Nov. 20, on select Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. The registration fee is $400. The registration deadline is Thursday, Aug. 28. To register, call (314) 516-6590 or visit


Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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