The Civic News to Know This Week

The City of St. Louis is strong and resilient. Read more to learn about the ways our community continues to grow.

Photo courtesy of Forest Park Forever

Photo courtesy of Forest Park Forever

Forest Park is a central attraction for St. Louisans and visitors alike. The City of St. Louis and Forest Park Forever are working to make the city park more accessible by adding bike lanes, better bus lanes and a metro stop. They invited community members to offer feedback and ideas for improvement in an online survey and have based their plans on the results. In minimizing the impact of cars in the park, these developments will cut down on traffic, open up parking and create a more sustainable park for the future.

The third leg of The Grand Chess Tour, the 2016 Sinquefield Cup, recently concluded last week at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. Only four years running, this tournament now draws some of the world’s best in chess. A former student from Webster University, Grandmaster Wesley So, won the tournament in an exciting  finish. This achievement brought him $75,000 in prize money and 13 Grand Chess Tour points, making him a contender for the grand prize of $100,000. The remainder of the tour will conclude in London this December.

Former Executive Director of Teach for America St. Louis Brittany Packnett is moving on to a national position as TFA’s vice president of National Community Alliances. She will assume her new position on Oct. 1. Due to her time in St. Louis, she will take many valuable lessons with her as she strives to improve the organization’s impact throughout the country. In a recent conversation with St. Louis Public Radio’s Don Marsh, Packnett reflected on her time in St. Louis and discussed her hopes for the future. As vice president of National Community Alliances, she will travel around the country, communicate with parents, students and educators and use her knowledge to boost TFA’s civil rights agenda.

St. Louis County Libraries are promoting the need to read to children long before they can read to themselves. Reading to children from birth not only creates a habit, it also enhances crucial language skills and fuels imagination. Last week the St. Louis Public Libraries joined a nationwide initiative, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, to encourage parents of young children to develop a love for reading at a young age. Families can pick up reading logs at their local branch to join the program. With each milestone in the program, the library will award participating families and children.

St. Louis residents and officials alike are pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the radioactive waste from the West Lake Landfill site in Bridgeton. At a meeting last Monday night, locals brought their concerns to the EPA. The agency must decide on one of four plans by December of this year. They could potentially choose to leave the waste untouched, cap the waste, partially remove it or completely dispose of it. Residents are hoping for a full removal as the presence of this waste threatens public health and safety.

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