Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Distracted Driving Shatters Lives

Lots of fun activities in St. Louis City neighborhoods on the calendar.  Stop by a few.

April 11, 2013 | 7 min reading time
Charlene Deeken, Director of Public Safety
Photo by Cathy Smentkowski Title: Portrait of Charlene Deeken, Director of Public Safety
Source: Cathy Smentkowski


Distracted Driving Shatters Lives

Any activity that distracts a driver can lead to a serious accident.With ever increasing demands on our personal and professional time, multi-tasking in the car may seem like the best decision, but it's not.  For anyone who thinks they can talk on their phone, text, apply make-up, or do any other distracting activity while driving, they must realize their decision could have deadly consequences.  According to a study by Carnegie Mellon, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.  Driving is an activity that requires your full attention and focus in order to keep yourself and others safe.  Set a good example for your children and other drivers by concentrating on driving – not multi-tasking -- when you're behind the wheel.


Upcoming Events

 April 12 -- Mouse Races in Carondelet, The Spanish Society, 5:30 p.m.

The Carondelet Community Betterment Federation will be holding its First Annual Mouse Races in Carondelet this Friday beginning at 5:30 p.m. at The Spanish Society, located at 7107 Michigan Avenue. Activities will include the Mouse Race Track and 10 live races, silent auction, pot of gold, a raffle, attendance prizes and many more fun activities. The $15 per person (tables of 8) admission price includes dinner and beverages. To reserve your table, call(314) 752-6339.

April 12 & 13 -- LPUMC Book Fair, Lafayette Park United Methodist Church, 8 a.m.

The Lafayette Park United Methodist Church at 2300 Lafayette will be hosting its annual Book Fair this Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to Noon.  Book lovers will find a wide selection of titles and on Saturday shoppers will be able to purchase books for $2 per bag.

April 13 & 14 -- Project Blitz, Region 3 North & South

Brightside St. Louis' Project Blitz 2013 continues this weekend in the Region 3 North and Region 3 South areas.  The boundaries for Region 3 North are:  W. Florissant on the north; Grand on the east; Natural Bridge on the south, & the city limits on the west. The boundaries for Region 3 South are:  I-64 & MetroLink on the north; Grand on the east; Meramec & Chippewa on the south, & Macklind, Arsenal & Kingshighway on the west.  

For more information and to learn how you can join your neighbors to clean up the streets, alleys and vacant lots in your neighborhood, visit the web site or call (314) 772-4646.

April 13 -- Czech Festival, American Czech Education Center, 11 a.m.

Everyone is invited to stop by the Czech Festival this Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. at the American Czech Education Center, 4690 Lansdowne Avenue in the Bevo Mill neighborhood. Admission is free. Guests will be able to enjoy music by the St. Louis Czech Express and the St. Louis Button Box Club. Czech dinners will be available for purchase and other activities will include a Czech Boutique, Czech cooking instruction, Fashion Show, booths and dancing. Invite your family and friends to join you for this fun cultural event. For more details, call (314) 752-8168,

April 13 – Art and Tweed Bicycle and Art Ride, Kemper Art Museum @ Washington University, 10 a.m. 

Experience art and history dressed in your finest knickers and caps for the Art and Tweed Bicycle and Art Ride this Saturday.  Sponsored by Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis,  Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Saint Louis Art Museum and World Chess Hall of Fame, the 9.5 mile ride on city streets and trails will begin at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University, 1 Brookings Drive. Registration will take place from 10 to 10:30 a.m. and the free group ride will depart at 10:30 a.m. Commemorative t-shirts for $5 will be available while supplies last. Come prepared to view art, make art, and enjoy English inspired treats. To learn more, visit the web site. 

April 13 -- Song Circle, Carondelet Historical Society, 2 p.m.

If you enjoy listening to and singing old songs, the Carondelet Historical Society invites you to join them this Saturday from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for Song Circle in the first public school Kindergarten Room of the Des Peres School at 6303 Michigan Avenue, which is owned by the Society. The event is free. Questions? Call(314) 481-6303.

April 14 -- Free Gospel Concert, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 4 p.m.

The Community Gospel Choir will present a celebration of gospel music this Sunday at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 3519 N. 14thStreet in the Hyde Park neighborhood beginning at 4 p.m. The free concert will feature a wide selection of traditional spirituals and gospel favorites performed by the 60+ member choir. Need more information? Call (314) 241-9165.

April 13-21 – 50thAnniversary of the Planetarium, Forest Park, various times 

The James S. McDonnell Planetarium will be celebrating its 50th anniversary from April 13-21.  Visitors will be able to enjoy 1963 prices (50 cents) to see a Planetarium Show, tour a special exhibition and take part in hands-on activities and more.  For all the particulars, visit web site.

April 16 -- Not So Quiet! Concert, Central Library, 6:30 p.m.

Singer-songwriter and composer Javier Mendoza will perform on Tuesday, April 16 as part of the St. Louis Public Library's popular Not So Quiet! Concert Series. The free concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Central Library's auditorium, 1301 Olive Street. Mendoza has received many honors throughout his career.  Invite your friends and family to join you for this unique evening of entertainment. For more information, visit the web site.

April 17 -- DT2 April After Hours, Ivory Coast Bistro, 5:30 p.m.

Meet the great businesses of Dutchtown. Join the Downtown Dutchtown Business Association for food, drink and friends on Wednesday, April 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ivory Coast Bistro, 7637 Ivory Avenue. RSVP to Lucy at or call (314) 329-8878.

April 18 -- Shrimp Boil, The Boathouse in Forest Park, 6 p.m.

Time is running out to enjoy the Shrimp Boils at the Boathouse in Forest Park. The last two for this season will take place on Thursday, April 18, and Thursday, April 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Diners may enjoy three courses highlighted by mountains of mouth-watering peel-and-eat shrimp for $19.95 per person. Walk-ins are welcome, or reservations may be made by calling (314) 367-2224.

April 19 -- Breakfast for Bikers, Downtown Bicycle Station, 7 a.m.

Bring your bike and your appetite to Trailnet's Breakfast for Bikers event on Friday, April 19 from 7 a.m. to 9 the Downtown Bicycle Station, 1011 Locust Street. This is a great opportunity to meet fellow bicyclists who bike to work and exchange ideas over free coffee and breakfast. Trailnet CEO Ann Mack will also be riding in that day. Follow @annmack on Twitter for coffee shop pickup locations along her route. For more information and subsequent dates for Breakfast for Bikers, visit the web site.

April 19 – Trivia Night, 2700 N. 14thStreet, 7 p.m. 

A Trivia Night for North Side Farmer's Market and the 13th Street Garden will be held on Friday, April 19. Join farmers' market enthusiasts, community gardeners, and neighborhood residents for this annual fundraiser at 2700 N. 14thStreet. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and trivia will begin at 7 p.m. The cost is $15 per person or $100 for a table of 8. Reserve your table soon as spaces go quickly. Contact Kristen Lange at (314) 241-5031 for more details.


Save the Date

 April 20 -- Family Theatre Service, Central Library, 2 p.m.

April 20 -- Downtown Living Tour, Noon

April 20 -- St. Louis Serves Day, City-wide day of service, various times and locations

April 20 & 21 -- St. Louis Earth Day Festival, Muny grounds in Forest Park, 4 p.m.

April 20 -- African American History and Genealogy Workshops, Missouri History Museum, 1 p.m.

April 21 -- Earth Day Hymn Festival, 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 on the home page. The listing is free. I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.


Disposing of Unused Medicine

The City of St. Louis is partnering with St. Louis College of Pharmacy and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to allow residents to drop-off expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter medications at sites throughout the St. Louis region from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27.  The sites within the City of St. Louis will be Walgreens stores located at 1530 Lafayette, 4813 Lindell, 3720 N. Kingshighway and 3822 S. Kingshighway.  To learn more about the program, visit the web site.


Charlene Deeken
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

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