St. Louis is America's Most Charitable City

Categories: Community

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Towboat Garage via Flickr
St. Louisans donating supplies to tornado victims in Joplin.
St. Louis is the most giving city in America.

That feather in the Lou's cap comes per the tenth annual national study from nonprofit Charity Navigator, which analyzes the financial, accountability and transparency practices of charities in the 30 largest philanthropic marketplaces in the country.

St. Louis has consistently ranked high in studies of philanthropic cities, though that didn't stop Charity Navigator from admitting what the rest of the country must be thinking: St. Louis? Really?

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Dear St. Louis: Anonymous Notes of Encouragement and Love for 2015

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Robert Rohe/courtesy Henry Goldkamp
Henry Goldcamp installing one of his typewriters and drop boxes for What the Hell Is St. Louis Thinking?
A few weeks back, poet Henry Goldkamp sent Riverfront Times an SOS of sorts. The publishing deal for his crowdsourced book What the Hell Is St. Louis Thinking? had fallen through. Goldkamp wanted to know, would the RFT be interested in publishing the entire collection (or parts of it) in the newspaper?


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STL 250 Birthday Cakes Voted 2014 St. Louis Person of the Year in Mayor's Poll

Categories: Community

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Lindsay Toler
The Walk of Fame STL250 birthday cake in the Delmar Loop.
Love 'em or hate 'em, the STL250 birthday cakes are officially the 2014 St. Louis Person of the Year.

The cakes inherit the title from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha, who was voted 2013's person of the year in the annual poll posted by St. Louis mayor Francis Slay.

This year, the cakes took the cake against four other finalists: Rasheen Aldridge Jr., director of Young Activist United and a Ferguson Commission member; LGBT rights activist A.J. Bockelman; the contentious recorder of deeds-elect Sharon Carpenter; and Tricia Roland-Hamilton, director of Magdalene St. Louis, a home for victims of sex trafficking and abuse.

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After Performing for Peace in Israel, Circus Harmony Brings Message of Unity to Ferguson

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All photos courtesy of Circus Harmony
The cast rehearses for Circus Harmony's new show, Guibilante.
Jessica Hentoff thought she was escaping violence when she and nine children in her Circus Harmony troupe returned to St. Louis from Israel last summer during the height of a violent conflict with Gaza.

Hentoff and the child performers had been safe in northern Israel from the bloodshed down south and spent their time promoting social change and unity through a circus called "Peace Through Pyramids. But things changed twelve days after the troupe came back home, when then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown and peaceful protests devolved into arson, shootings and looting.

"Everybody's like, 'Oh, it's so dangerous in Israel,'" Hentoff tells Daily RFT. "And then we came home, and our office, my home is in Florissant. Then we were three miles from violence."

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With No Love for St. Louis, Huffington Post Names Kansas City "Coolest" City in America

Categories: Community

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L Allen Brewer via Flickr
Lookin' good, Kansas City. But are you really America's "coolest" city?
Sorry, St. Louis, but you're just not as "it" or "hip" as your across-the-state counterpart, Kansas City.

That's according to a Huffington Post lifestyles blog post about the new up-and-coming cities for young people. Kansas City (the Missouri side, not the Kansas side) takes the top title.

What makes Kansas City so totally in right now? After "much map-scouring and a sprinkle of savvy" from author Carly Ledbetter, Kansas City was named No. 1 thanks to its jazz scene, BBQ and food, historical sites, affordability and "nice" residents.

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How To Buy One of St. Louis' 250th Birthday Cakes

Categories: Community

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Paul Sableman on Flickr
The Citygarden-inspired birthday cake for St. Louis' 250th anniversary.
As St. Louis' 250th birthday year comes to a close, it's time to find new home for the 250 birthday cakes spread across the region. The question is: Who will take the cake?

Now Stl250, the volunteer group organizing the year-long sestercentennial celebration, is auctioning off many of the cakes painted by local artists to decorate the city.

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Hey Dogtown, This is Why Your Sewers Smell Awful (Hint: It's Not Poop)

Categories: Community

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Flickr
No, St. Louis isn't being attacked by Ghostbusters 2 ooze -- but that smell in Dogtown is definitely sewer related.
There's something stinky in Dogtown.

Residents of the quaint neighborhood south of Forest Park have been whiffing the mystery odor for several days, describing it as a sort of toxic, permanent-marker-type smell. Some have reported the stench in their homes.

It turns out the odor is coming from the sewer, although not for the usual poop-related reasons.

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Three of America's 25 Wealthiest Suburbs Are in St. Louis

Categories: Community

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Paul Sableman on Flickr
A year-old home in Ladue.
Not every St. Louis suburb is Ferguson.

After four months with the national spotlight on Ferguson, a racially diverse, middle- to lower-class suburb, the town's name has become interchangeable with St. Louis as a whole.

"Ferguson has become synonymous with St. Louis, and St. Louis with Ferguson," the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership wrote in a September letter to the St. Louis County Council. Chief executive Denny Coleman was outlining how tens of thousands of negative news stories about Ferguson were affecting the entire region. "These two names have been used interchangeably, and it has had an immediate effect on economic development efforts."

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[VIDEO] St. Louis Flash Mob Honoring Martin Luther King Featured in PBS Documentary

Categories: Community

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Tony Barsanti
The unrest in Ferguson brought the PBS documentary crew behind Dance the Dream, a world-wide tribute series and flash mob in respect of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to St. Louis last month.


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9 Things To Be Thankful For in St. Louis

Categories: Community

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Steve Truesdell
Volunteers transform South Grand's broken windows into painted murals.
Happy Thanksgiving, St. Louis!

We've come a long way in the last three months, Lou. We've seen fires, tear gas, blood, tears and outrage. While today's national day of gratitude can't take away from the pain this city has been through, it is a good time to remember what's worth a hearty, "Thanks."

So here are nine things we at the Riverfront Times are thankful for in a St. Louis forever changed by the shooting death of Michael Brown.

We are thankful for...

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