Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Jan. 20, 2011

How you can help neighbors impacted by the New Year's Eve storms, learn about orchids and hear a great debate

January 20, 2011 | 5 min reading time


For many of us, the New Year has begun in earnest, the holidays are over and life is back to normal. However, that is not the case for our neighbors on Lewis Place and other parts of the City that were impacted by the New Year's Eve storms and strong winds. This week Mayor Francis G. Slay and members of his staff and cabinet along with United Way President Gary Dollar and Alderman Terry Kennedy visited the historic Lewis Place neighborhood to meet with residents. Mayor Slay, in cooperation with the United Way of Greater St. Louis, has set up a tornado relief fund in order for donations to be made to the tornado victims. All donations to the fund will go directly to the needs of the tornado victims. If you wish to make a donation to this effort, there are several ways to go about it:

1)    You may donate online:

2)    Mail a check or money order to: 2-1-1 Tornado Relief Fund, c/o United Way of Greater St. Louis, 910 North 11th Street, St. Louis, MO 63101. Checks should be made payable to: United Way of Greater St. Louis.

With help from all of us, we can ensure that the historic Lewis Place neighborhood is preserved for generations to come. If you have questions or need assistance, please call 2-1-1 or 1-800-427-4626. 

Listed below are a few neighborhood events that you, family and friends may find of interest. I encourage you to stop by those in your neighborhood as well as consider exploring neighborhoods new to you. They are perfect places to meet friends and neighbors or go to in support of worthy causes. See you in the neighborhood!

Third Friday Open House

Third Degree Glass at 5200 Delmar continues its Third Friday Open Houses in 2011 with its 1st Open House of the year on Jan. 21. The Open House will take place from 6 – 10 p.m. You'll be able to watch glass blowers at work, listen to live music, enjoy food and take a mini-class and make a small art object. For more information, visit .

Orchid Extravaganza

Mr. David Bird, one of Missouri's most unique orchid growers, will be at Bowood Farms, 4605 Olive at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22 to share tips and techniques on growing and repotting these beautiful tropical plants. For more details, visit .

Learn How You Can Help Our Troops

The new St. Louis Regional Alliance for the Troops (RAFTT) is launching a free day-long event on Saturday, Jan. 22 at Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri - St. Louis. The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. For all the details, visit .

2011 Choo Choo Ride

The first-ever marathon indoor cycling event, 2011 Choo Choo Ride, will take place simultaneously at nine health and fitness clubs around St. Louis from 9 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, Jan. 22. Participants will choose if they want to ride for 1 hour, 2 hours or 3 hours and donate $50, $100 or $125. Proceeds will benefit Friends of Kids with Cancer. Sante Fitness at the Chase Park Plaza is one of the participating clubs. To sign up on line visit .

Young Variety's Trivia Night

Are you an Einstein or a Know-It-All? Then there is a table for you at the Young Variety's Trivia Night that will be held at St. Louis University High School, 4970 Oakland on Saturday, Jan. 22. Doors open at 6 p.m. Trivia begins at 7 p.m. To register your table of 8, go on line at . Proceeds will benefit Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis.

Family Sunday

The St. Louis Art Museum in beautiful Forest Park will hold its Family Sunday event from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 23. The focus will be Art From Asia. Tour the galleries, then try your hand at creating your own work of art with an Asian theme. For more information, visit .


The Legend Singers will hold a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23 at Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Place. The concert will feature Negro spirituals, worksongs, jazz, and music of African-American composers. For more details, visit .

Great Debates

The second installation of the St. Louis Great Debates will take place at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. The expert panel will tackle the question, "What is a Winning Strategy for Economic Development in the St. Louis Region?" The event is free and open to the public, but registration in advance at is recommended to ensure a seat at the event.

Home Ownership in Forest Park Southeast

Since 1997, Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation has provided incentives for employees of BJC HealthCare and Washington University to purchase homes in FPSE through the Employer Assisted Housing Program (EAHP). The program has now expanded to include the Skinker-DeBaliviere, West End, DeBaliviere Place and Northeast University neighborhoods. For detailed program guidelines, visit .  Many thanks to WUMCRC for your efforts to stabilize these City neighborhoods.

Tip of the Hat

My Tip of the Hat this week goes to all the people both here in St. Louis and across the country who volunteered this past Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend to work on community service projects. Mayor Slay, Alderman Jeffrey Boyd and hundreds of AmeriCorps volunteers distributed 27,000 Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) to more than 6,000 households in the College Hill neighborhood in the City's 22nd ward. According to information from Ameren Missouri, if every home were to switch just one incandescent light bulb with a CFL, it would prevent the release of greenhouse gas emissions equal to that of about 800,000 vehicles. Other Community Service Day events included working at food pantries and neighborhood beautification projects, to name a few. Thank you to everyone who participated, and let's make the 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Community Service even better than this year's.


Have you signed up for free Nixle service yet? The Department of Public Safety's City Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) provides free emergency alert service through When you sign up, you will receive our informative and timely text messages on your cell phone and/or as e-mails on your computer. I invite you to visit the Nixle webpage and sign up for the service today. If you have any comments about the service, please let me know.

Having an event in your neighborhood that we can support? Either e-mail the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at

And remember, if you see something in the neighborhood that just doesn't look right, REPORT IT!

Charles Bryson

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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