Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Distracted Driving Awareness

Fish Fries, Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, Teen Talent Competition, Civic Greening and more fun this weekend

April 3, 2014 | 6 min reading time


Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The National Safety Council (NSC) is recognizing the month of April 2014 as Distracted Driving Awareness Month and is encouraging everyone to join them in urging family members and friends to devote their full attention to driving when behind the wheel of a vehicle. While progress has been made in the last few years about raising awareness of risky driving behaviors, the fact remains that distraction continues to be a significant contributing factor to deaths and injuries on our streets and highways.  The most common source of distraction for drivers is cell phones.  One NSC report found that people talking on cell phones or sending text messages cause more than one out of every four traffic accidents.  A text or a call is not worth your life, or anyone else's.  I encourage you to drive cell free and to talk with your loved ones about the dangers of cell phone distracted driving.  For more information, visit the web site.


Upcoming Events

April 4 -- Fair Housing Training Conference, Missouri History Museum, 8:15 a.m.

The Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council will hold its 17th Annual Fair Housing Training Conference this Friday at the Missouri History Museum in beautiful Forest Park.  The workshop will bring together community members, leaders, organizations, policy makers, and advocates that will explore barriers to equal housing in the St. Louis region and create collaborative community action plans to overcome barriers and increase access to opportunities for all people.  The full-day workshop will feature speakers and action-focused work sessions on topics including disparities in health, crime-free housing ordinances, and policies affecting immigrants.  The workshop will run from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 .m.  Cost is $35 per person.  For complete information, visit the web site.

April 4-6 -- Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, America's Center, 3 p.m.

Meet your favorite pop culture television and movies stars, including the original TV Batman and Robin -- Adam West and Burt Ward -- plus Star Trek's Captain Kirk -- William Shatner -- and stars of Dr. Who, Buffy, Firefly and many more this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con at America's Center in exciting Downtown St. Louis.  Celebrate the best in pop culture, movies, TV, comics, toys, art, gaming and more.  For all the details, visit .

April 4 -- Lenten Fish Fries, various locations, various start times

During the Lenten Season, many St. Louis churches and organizations offer Friday Fish Fries.  These events are a great way to gather with family and friends and meet new neighbors.  Here are a few to consider:

  • Sts. Teresa & Bridget Church Fish Fry, 2401 N. Grand, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • St. Peter Project Uplift Fish Fry, 4730 Margaretta, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

April 4 -- St. Louis Teen Talent Competition, The Fabulous Fox Theatre, 8 p.m.

St. Louis high school students have talent!  More than 100 acts were judged by performing arts professionals and the top groups will compete on the stage of the Fabulous Fox Theatre this Friday for college scholarships and prizes in the Fourth Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition. The free event will be a Broadway-style family show.  All tickets are general admission and available by phone at (314) 534-1111 or in person at the Fox Box Office.  Please arrive early as seating is not guaranteed and management will not seat beyond theatre capacity.  For more information, visit .

April 5 -- Civic Greening, Kiener Plaza & Market Median, 9 a.m.

Volunteers are needed this Saturday for soil prep of the Civic Greening Projects Downtown.  If interested, meet at Kiener Plaza at 9 a.m. for work there and in the Market Street Median until Noon.  For more information, visit

April 5 -- Free Tax Preparation, Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Center, 9 a.m.

The National Association of Black Accountants volunteers will provide free income tax preparation for elderly, disabled and low-to-moderate income ($55,000 or less) individuals this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Center, located at 5471 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in the Wells/Goodfellow neighborhood.   For more information, call (314) 367-5820.

April 5 -- Compton Hill Attractions Open, Noon

Two architectural gems in the Compton Heights neighborhood will be welcoming visitors this Saturday from Noon to 4.  The Compton Hill Water Tower at Grand and Russell and the Magic Chef Mansion at 3400 Russell will be open to the public from Noon to 4 p.m..  Cost at the Mansion will be $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for children.  Cost at the Tower will be $5 for adults and $3 for children.  Need more information?  Visit the and web sites.

April 5 -- International Pillow Fight Day, Tower Grove Park, 2 p.m.

It's B.Y.O.P (bring your own pillow) this Saturday for the Third Annual International Pillow Fight in Tower Grove Park at the Tunica Pavilion near the central fountain.  All ages are invited to this free fun-filled event that will run from 2 to 4 p.m.   Questions?  Call (314) 275-0631.

April 5 -- The Clean Comedy Series:  Family Funny, The Kranzberg Arts Center, 7 p.m.

Humor for Hire will present The Clean Comedy Series:  Family Funny, hosted by DeAndre Whitner, this Saturday at The Kranzberg Arts Center, located at 501 North Grand Boulevard in Grand Center.  This monthly clean comedy show for all ages to enjoy is held every first Saturday of the month and features national and local comedians.  Doors will open at 6 p.m. and show time will be at 7 p.m.  Tickets are $15 each.  To learn more, visit the web site or call (314) 329-1503.

April 6 -- Free Concert, Christ Church Cathedral-Episcopal, Anglican, 2 p.m.

The Shepley Concert Series at Christ Church Cathedral and the Webster University Department of Music will present a free concert of new compositions by Webster University student composers at 2 p.m. this Sunday at the Cathedral located at 13th and Locust in Downtown St. Louis.  Many of the works have been composed especially for this concert and will reflect the unique styles and experiences of the talented musicians.  Need more information?  Call (314) 255-1634.

April 7 -- Cardinals Home Opener Pep Rallies, Downtown, 10 a.m.

There will be a sea of red Downtown this coming Monday, April 7 when the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Cincinnati Reds in the Cards' home opener.  Before the first pitch at 3:15 p.m. at Busch Stadium, the #1 baseball fans in America will be able to enjoy a number of pep rallies starting at 10 a.m. to celebrate Opening Day. Here are the rallies scheduled as of print time for this newsletter:

  • Kiener Plaza, 7th and Chestnut
  • J Buck's, 10th and Clark
  • Busch Stadium, on Clark between Broadway & 8th
  • Tums Lot, on Broadway
  • Ballpark Village

Save the Date

April 11 & 12 – Book Fair, Lafayette Park United Methodist Church, 8 a.m.

April 12 – City Schools 101, Bishop DuBourg High School, 9 a.m.

April 12 – Second Annual South City Business Opportunity Showcase, St. Anthony of Padua Meeting Hall, 9 a.m.

April 12 – Health and Resource Fair, Grace Hill Water Tower Campus, 10 a.m.

April 12 – Czech Festival, American Czech Education Center, 11 a.m.

April 12 – St. Louis Slow Art Day, Citygarden, 11 a.m.

April 12 – 30 Day Entrepreneurship Challenge Showcase, Lab1500, 1 p.m.

April 12 – Tower Grove Farmers' Market Opens, Tower Grove Park, 8 a.m.

April 12 – The Art of Riding Bicycle Ride & Public Art Tour, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, 10:30 a.m.

April 13 – Organ Recital, Second Presbyterian Church, 4 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.

Lives Change @ Your Library

National Library Week will be observed April 13-19, and the St. Louis Public Library (SLPL) wants to know how the SLPL has changed your life.  Maybe it was a special librarian, an inspiring program, a favorite book or something else.  Whatever it is, SLPL wants to know about it in 100 words or less. You may email your brief story to or mail it to St. Louis Public Library (Attn: Marketing Dept.), 1415 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO  63103-2325.  For more information, visit the web site.

Col. Richard Gray
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

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