By Lindsay Toler
By Chad Garrison
By Brett Koshkin
By RFT Staff
By Lindsay Toler
By Riverfront Times
By Danny Wicentowski
By Pete Kotz
Glitterous, superhero, University City
St. Louis and the St. Louisans residing here could afford to improve their sparkle. As the largest metropolitan area in the belly of America, we can and should do better at showing our sparkle. Our recent ranking in violence and crime statistics is not very inviting. I propose to improve St. Louis' sparkle by starting a "Sparkle" campaign modeled after the "BELIEVE" campaign Mayor Martin O'Malley started in Baltimore in 2002. The campaign will consist of posters, stickers and banners with the word "sparkle" on them, reminding people to do just that: Sparkle. Smiles are contagious. And acts of kindness don't go unforgotten. Sparkle!
Cory Spinks, professional boxer, St. Louis
There used to be a lot of roller-skating rinks and drive-in theaters in St. Louis, but they all left. Now kids don't have anything to do. They need something to do. That's why there's been a lot of violence. A lot of people pay attention to those things. They need to open up more community centers. Bring the skating rink back. We have no skating whatsoever, not like they used to have, with a dance floor. That's where everyone used to go. Then they took our drive-in away. They have to give the kids in St. Louis more to do. They're lashing out because they don't have anything to do.
Zlatko Cosic, multimedia artist, Shrewsbury
In 2008, at least once every month, I would love to see everyone turn off their television sets and attend a cultural or artistic event. The art community could help the overall development of St. Louis, and we can help by giving support to artists and their work. An involved community is an important force that can achieve positive results.
Joe LeGrand, butcher and owner, LeGrand's St. Louis Hills Tomboy Market
I would like to see the city encourage more small businesses to set up residency here. Small businesses make a city unique. They give the neighborhoods their personality. Places like Vintage Vinyl, Blueberry Hill, Milo's, Zia's, ServiceStar Hardware, Ted Drewes and, of course, LeGrand's. The list goes on and on. It is these small businesses that make our city different from anywhere else. I would love to see the city encourage more small businesses to come here. I'd also like to see the city promote these businesses more. It is these small businesses that make St. Louis fun, unique and memorable.
Dieta Pepsi, entertainer, St. Louis
There needs to be better barbecue in St. Louis. I'm originally from Kansas City and we have the best barbecue in the country. You'd think St. Louis, being the home of jazz, would have better barbecue. To rectify this, I would open my own barbecue stand and bring my family's barbecue recipe here. We make our own sauce and sell it in Dierbergs. It's called Gator Sauce, and my friends just love it.
Jennifer Joyce, St. Louis Circuit Attorney
I would encourage every citizen to get involved in creating safe neighborhoods. We all have a basic human right to feel safe, regardless of where we live or our economic status. My team and I are passionate about fighting for justice on behalf of victims whose lives have been devastated by violence and hatred. Involved citizens are the most powerful crime-fighting tool my office has. Although citizens may feel helpless against crime, they actually have more power than they think. I encourage people to visit our Web site for more information about becoming part of the solution: www.circuitattorney.org.
Marcia Sindel, baker and owner, La Dolce Via in Forest Park Southeast
There's a considerable population of the elderly in the city, people who bought their homes and stayed here. There are not many services for mowing their yards and getting leaves out. The old lady across the street from us just fell the other day. I've been trying to help rake her yard, but there's just too much. Now that they've cut down the street-cleaning to one day a month, you have to clean up the leaves yourself. There are so many people doing it and so few yard-waste containers. There could be an increase in yard-waste containers, or there could be a program where we put them out in recyclable bags and have the city take them out. There could be a service to help the elderly people take care of these things, and it might be a way to give people work who don't have jobs.
Kathryn Davis, novelist and writer in residence, Washington University
St. Louis drivers seem more loath to permit other drivers to merge than any other drivers in the world. They stare straight ahead with nary a glance to the right or the left, with steely, heartless resolve. (OK, I've never driven in Rome...) My solution to this deep-seated character flaw would be to advertise the fact that once a week, perhaps, somewhere in the city, an unmarked car would bestow upon an unsuspecting merge-permitting driver some sort of prize — ideally money — and that the recipient would also receive public praise. A billboard would be nice.
Kitty Ratcliffe, president, St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission