Saturday, February 04, 2012

Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Mardi Gras Fun & More

Published: 02-02-2012
Mardi Gras seasonal events, gatherings to strengthen and improve neighborhoods, emergency preparedness drill and more!
Charles Bryson, Director of Public Safety
Many entertaining and fun events are on the calendar for this weekend in St. Louis, but before I showcase a few of those activities, I want to pass along several items of interest. First, a free, highly informative presentation will take place on Monday, Feb. 6, from 2 – 4 p.m. at the University of Missouri - St. Louis' Millennium Student Center Century Room C. David Weisburd, an internationally acclaimed criminologist and a leading authority on place-based ("hot spot") policing will give a talk on why specific streets in a city have specific crime trends over time. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (314) 516-5031.
Second, the deadline to register for the Neighborhood Leadership Academy at UMSL is Wednesday, Feb. 8. The academy provides hands-on leadership training that emphasizes community building principles, organizational leadership and management practices, and personal leadership skills. The 2012 session will consist of 10 sessions, Feb. 14 – May 22. Registration fee is $400. For more information, visit or call (314) 516-5994.

Third, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is accepting applications for the next CitizensAcademy, which will begin on March 7. Apply online at or via email at or call (314) 444-5638 for an application by mail. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, a St. Louis City resident or business owner, have no outstanding warrants and agree to a background check.

Finally, the St. Louis Public Schools have created the Fresh Start Academy program where students ages 17 to 21 may earn a high school diploma or a GED. If you know a young person who has dropped out but wants to earn his or her high school diploma, contact:

*     Fresh Start Academy-North, 4248 West Cottage Avenue, (314) 531-2220
*     Fresh Start Academy-South, 2030 S. Vandeventer Avenue, (314) 932-1337.

Listed below are just a few of the terrific events that are coming up in St. Louis. I encourage you to take advantage of all that our great City neighborhoods have to offer. Also, if you haven't visited the City's website ( ), I encourage you to do so. On our home page you will find a link to the Calendar of Events. Please feel free to see what activities are coming up and to submit an event that your organization will be holding. The listing is free. See you in the neighborhood!

Mardi Gras Wine Taste

The popular annual Mardi Gras Wine and Beer Taste, billed as a "Mardi Gras Happy Hour," will take place on Friday, Feb. 3 from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. in the St. Louis City Hall Rotunda, 1200 Market Street. It will feature a variety of vintners, as well as beers from A-B InBev and whiskeys from the Jack Daniels family. Cost is $40 at the door. To read more, visit

Friday Night Film Series

A free screening of the film "The Pruitt-Igoe Myth" will be held Friday, Feb. 3 at Washington Tabernacle Church, 3200 Washington Blvd. The reception will begin at 6 p.m., the film will begin at 7 p.m. and a post-viewing discussion will follow. For more information, call (314) 283-6123.

Teacher Workshop

A teacher workshop entitled, "St. Louis and the Civil War: Untold Stories, New Perspectives" will take place at the Old Courthouse in Downtown St. Louis on Friday, Feb. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The workshop will shed light on homefront St. Louis during the Civil War. Educators will come away from this free talk with content knowledge, lesson plans, primary source documents and classroom activities. To learn more, call (314) 655-1635.

Volunteers Needed

Join neighbors in the Holly Hills Neighborhood to plant 8,000 daffodil bulbs at and near Carondelet Park. No experience is necessary. Please feel free to bring your own shovel, gloves, etc. Meet at the Boathouse in Cardondelet Park starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4. Planting will take place at the Boathouse, the Holly Hills Parkway, Federer Parkway, the small park at Leona and Bowen, Leona Parkway, Holly Hills Community Garden, Bellerive Parkway, and other common public areas.

Bone Marrow Registration Drive

A Bone Marrow Registration Drive will take place at Harris-Stowe State University at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4 in the William Clay Sr. Early Childhood Development Center, 10 North Compton. For all the particulars, call (314) 348-5650 or email .

2012 Mardi Gras Crystal Cajun Cook-off

This year's Crystal Cajun Cook-off will feature 10 professional chefs and 10 amateurs, who will brew up their best Cajun/Creole dish to compete for the title in their respective categories. The cook-off will take place on Saturday, Feb. 4 from Noon to 4 p.m. in the Rotunda of City Hall, 1200 Market Street. Cost is $40 at the door and includes food, beer, SoCo Hurricanes and entertainment. Want more information? Visit .

Trivia With a Purpose with Prison Performing Arts

Join popular St. Louis personalities and friends of Prison Performing Arts (PPA) for a night of trivia in the Central West End on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Central Reform Congregation, 5020 Waterman Avenue. The price is $20 per person or $160 for a table of 8. To reserve your table, call (314) 289-4190 or email .

Great Central U.S. Shakeout

More than one million people across nine states (including Missouri) will participate in the 2012 Great Central U.S. Shakeout at 10:15 a.m. CST on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The earthquake drill offers individuals, schools, businesses, governments, and communities an opportunity to prepare themselves before a damaging earthquake strikes. There are steps you can take before, during and after an earthquake to protect yourself, your family and your property. Briefly, to begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. During an earthquake, "drop, cover and hold on." Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place, stay there until the shaking has stopped, then look around to make sure it is safe to move. For more tips, visit

African American Read-In

Since 1990, more than one million readers from across the U.S., the West Indies and Africa have participated in the African American Read-In, an annual celebration of African American literacy. On Tuesday, Feb. 7 starting at 6:30 p.m., K-12 students will share selections from works of African American literature at the Missouri History Museum, Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park. The free event will take place in the AT&T Foundation Multipurpose Room at the museum.

Progressive Insurance St. Louis Boat & Sportshow

Escape the winter freeze and prepare for outdoor fun at the Progressive Insurance St. Louis Boat & Sportshow, the one-stop destination event for every boating and outdoors enthusiast, showcasing hundreds of the newest boats, marine accessories, fishing and hunting gear, and much more. The show will be at America's Center Feb. 8 – 12. For ticket information and more details, visit .

Save the Date

Feb. 9 – Black History Month Program, St. Louis College of Pharmacy
Feb. 10 – Trivia – Mardi Gras Style, Grbic Restaurant
Feb. 11 – St. Louis Community Farmers' Market, St. John's Episcopal Church
Feb. 11 – Curatorial Tour, Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
Feb. 11 – Valentine's Free Family Day, Contemporary Art Museum
Feb. 11 – Safe Haven Community Seminar, Poor Souls Society
Feb. 11 – 5th Annual St. Wenceslaus Trivia Night, Parish Hall
Feb. 11 – Princess & Father Valentine Dance, Regional Arts Commission
Feb. 11 – Wall Ball 2012, Third Degree Glass Factory
Feb. 11 – Taste of Soulard
Feb. 11 – Beggin' Pet Parade, Soulard
Feb. 11 – So You Got Moves Fitness & Sports Expo, Forest Park Community College
Feb. 11 & 12 – Stories of the "Freedom Rides," Christ Church Cathedral-Episcopal
Feb. 12 – Run for the Chocolate, Downtown
Feb. 12 – Wiener Dog Derby, Soulard


The Department of Public Safety's City Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) provides free emergency alert service through Nixle (  ). When you register for the service, you will receive our informative and timely text messages on your cell phone and/or as emails on your computer. Visit the Nixle website and sign up for the free service today. If you have any comments about the service, please let me know.
Will you be having an event in your neighborhood that we can support? If so, you may email the information about it to me at  or to Cathy Smentkowski at   for consideration of noting it in the Spotlight or you may post it on the City's Calendar of Events.
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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