Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Tips to Prevent Identity Loss

Neighborhood Family Reunion, free concerts and movies, cardboard boat race and more on tap this weekend.  Enjoy!

July 25, 2013 | 5 min reading time


Tips on Preventing Identity Loss

I want to begin this week's Spotlight by passing along some important information from the Federal Trade Commission.  Identity theft is a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation – and can take time, money, and patience to resolve.  To reduce your risk of becoming a victim, here are a few tips to follow:

* Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write it on your checks.  Only give out your when absolutely necessary.

* Protect your PIN.  Never write a PIN on a credit/debit card or on a slip of paper kept in your wallet.

* Watch out for "shoulder surfers."  Use your free hand to shield the keypad when using ATMs.

* Keep your receipts. Promptly compare receipts with account statements.  Watch for unauthorized transactions.

* Tear up or shred unwanted receipts, credit card offers, account statements, expired cards, etc., to prevent dumpster divers from getting your personal information.

* Don't respond to unsolicited requests for personal information in the mail, over the phone or online.

* Install virus-detection software on your home computer.

* Check your credit report once a year.


Upcoming Events

July 26 – Food Policy Brown Bag Series, Gateway Greening, Noon

Gateway Greening will be hosting a Food Policy Brown Bag Discussion on Farm-to-School this Friday from Noon to 1 p.m. in the Gateway Greening Office located at 2211 Washington Avenue.  Join a representative from school food service provider Chartwells School Dining Services to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing efforts to improve the nutritional content of school meals through local produce sourcing.  Specific topics will include logistical considerations faced by large-scale institutions and examples of how to modify school food options to incorporate local produce and healthier alternatives.  For more information, contact Hannah Reinhart at (314) 588-9600 ext. 104.

July 26 – Summer of Love Outdoor Film Series, Art Hill in Forest Park, 7 p.m.

The Saint Louis Art Museum's Summer of Love Outdoor Film Series will conclude this Friday.  The party will start at 7 p.m.  Enjoy food, music and festivities on Art Hill Plaza before the movie, "Roman Holiday," is shown at 9 p.m.  Visit the web site for details.

July 27 – North City Farmers' Market, Crown Square, 10 a.m.

Everyone is invited to stop by the North City Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for fresh produce, live music, fun kids' activities and more.  The Market is located at 2700 N. 14th Street.  For more information, call (314) 241-5031, ext. 104.

July 27 – Central West End Literary Bicycle Tour, start at 4183 Lindell, 9 a.m.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, St. Louis' Central West End and a few blocks to the north were home to a surprisingly large number of writers who became part of the American literary tradition.  This Saturday's Central West End Literary Bicycle Tour on city streets will include visits to select writers' former homes for short readings of their work, and historic interpretation on a route through architecturally fascinating neighborhoods.  The cost will be $5 for adults and $3 for children 10 and under.  Registration will take place from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on the parking lot of Five Guys Burger and Fries, located at 4183 Lindell Boulevard.  The group ride will depart at 9:30 a.m.  For more information, visit the web site.

July 27 – Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Annual Family Reunion Picnic, Barrett Brothers Park, Noon

The Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Association will present its Sixth Annual Family Reunion Picnic this Saturday from Noon to 4 p.m. in Barrett Brothers Park located at Goodfellow and St. Louis Avenue.  Everyone is invited to come out and get reacquainted with neighbors and enjoy family-friendly fun.  There will be pony rides, face painting, bounce slides, local authors, volleyball and more.  For more information, contact (314) 389-3363.

July 27 – Hope Floats Cardboard Boat Race, Grand Basin in Forest Park, 11 a.m.

The Fourth Annual Wings of Hope "Hope Floats" Cardboard Boat Race will take place this Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the beautiful Forest Park Grand Basin.  Corporations, clubs, families and individuals are invited to come build a boat and have fun.  All proceeds will benefit Wings of Hope's Medical Relief Transport Program.  To register, visit the web site or call Ann at (636) 537-1302.

July 27 – Free Concert, Lafayette Park, 6:30 p.m.

Invite your family and friends to join you this Saturday from 6 – 9 p.m. in Lafayette Park, Mississippi and Lafayette, by the gazebo for a free concert by "Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers."  Pack a picnic basket, bring lawn chairs or a blanket and enjoy a fun evening under starlit skies.

July 28 – The Wedding Show, America's Center, 11 a.m.

The largest wedding planning event in the St. Louis metro area, "The Wedding Show," will take place this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at America's Center, 701 Convention Plaza in exciting Downtown St. Louis.  The show will feature 80,000 sq. ft. of exhibits, a Main Stage fashion show, unique wedding products, live music, free samples, giveaways, and more.  There's even a free Smartphone App you can download to help you organize your visit (search stl wedding show).  There will be an $8 registration fee at the door.  To learn more, call (636) 530-7989.

July 28 – Free Concert, Carondelet Park, 6 p.m.

The Carondelet Community Betterment Foundation will sponsor a free concert in Carondelet Park this Sunday, starting at 6 p.m. at the Bandstand off Loughborough. Bring your lawn chair, pack a picnic basket and enjoy the "Abbey Road Warriors."   For a complete list of the concert schedule, visit the web site.

July 31 – Free Jazz Concert, O'Fallon Park, 6 p.m.

The fifth season of the O'Fallon Park Jazz Concert Series will conclude on Wednesday, July 31 with a performance by "Coco Soul."  Bring your lawn chairs, pack a picnic basket and enjoy the free outdoor concert with your family, friends and neighbors.  The festivities will run from 6 – 8 p.m.  O'Fallon Park is located at West Florissant and Harris.


Save the Date

Aug. 2 – Second Annual Contemporary Night Out, Contemporary Art Museum, 6 p.m.

Aug. 3 – 2013 Back to School Festival, Chaifetz Arena, 9 a.m.

Aug. 3 & 4 – SerbFest 2013, Holy Trinity Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church, 11 a.m.

Aug. 5 – Neighborhood Crime Summit, BFL Cultural Center, 6 p.m.

Aug. 6 – National Night Out Celebrations, various locations, 6 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.


Start a Community Garden with Gateway Greening in 2014


Each year, Gateway Greening assists neighborhoods, community groups, and organizations start community garden projects in St. Louis City and St. Louis County.  Its Community Garden Program supports groups that are committed to creating successful, food-producing gardens or urban greening projects by providing resources and education to help them succeed.  For more information about upcoming orientation sessions and how to apply to start a community garden project with Gateway Greening in the spring of 2014, contact James Anderson, (314) 588-9600 ext. 105.

Charlene Deeken
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

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