Red and Black Brass Band

A parade, great music and dancing in the streets

Now that’s a way to welcome in the first day of fall.. Returning from a trip to the store with my family, we noticed some stilt walkers and a gathering of people near Flora & Manchester.   We turned around to investigate, only to be pleasantly surprised by some fantastic local talent making a traveling drop-in appearance throughout the streets of Maplewood. We were welcomed by the #RedandBlackBrassBand, a fun and New Orleans-y group native to Saint Louis.  The group got started at the beginning of Pandemic, about 7 months ago and has been bringing joy to neighborhoods across St Louis. Not only do they have fun rhythm and instrumental pieces, but they also mix in some great vocals that makes you want to tap your feet, claps your hands or get up and dance. They were accompanied by the #RainbowStiltWalkers adding some fun New Orleans flair to band and the music as the parade traveled down the street.

Boardwalk Waffles New Location

Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream begins build for new location

On Wednesday, Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream began putting up signs for their new location at the corner of Sutton.  Eric of Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream said they will start offering delivery next week, but currently they are offering curb-side pick-up. Other local businesses such as Boogaloo took some time this week to work on interior renovations.  It’s good to know that even while we’re all struggling through these tough times, there is a light at the end of the tunnel – and that area businesses are preparing to open for business when things clear up. Boardwalk Waffles owner Eric Moore posted these photos on Facebook.

Penzeys to close temporary location on Monday, return to original spot on Manchester in Maplewood

Penzeys Spices plans to close down its current store location in the Schnucks mall and reopen at its original location, at 7338 Manchester Road, five days later. A fire in the second floor of 7342 Manchester Road last August resulted in smoke and water damage to several businesses in the block. As a result Penzeys moved across the street while its original store was being renovated. The temporary location, two doors from Schnucks, is closing on Monday, May 20; the store will reopen on May 25 at its original location, building owner Rob Birenbaum confirmed.  

Police search for car break-in suspects involved several Maplewood blocks

Residents on Marietta Avenue in Maplewood saw police officers going from backyard to backyard with flashlights Monday night two weeks ago. One asked 40 South what was going on. Maplewood Police said that on April 23 at approximately 12:15 a.m. officers spotted several individuals believed to involved in car break-ins near Elm, Walter, Cherry, Comfort, Burgess, and Flora. The search for the suspects most likely included Marietta Avenue. Police said no suspects were caught; they got away.

Computer & IT Security

Internet of Things & Security

What is the “Internet of Things” and why should it be important to me? Many of you may have heard of the term “Internet of Things”, but may not be sure exactly what it refers to.  The last 20 or so years have seen a massive boom in advances in technology, specifically many consumer devices that connect to the web, from nanny cams to wireless doorbells, smart speakers (such as Alexa and Google Home), and Internet connected thermostats, among many others. It is estimated that there will be 20.4 BILLION IoT Devices by the year 2020, and that every second another 127 devices are connected to the Internet.  This doesn’t even include the estimated 2.87 billion smartphone users that would be online by the same year.  Originally it was just computers that would connect to the Internet – but now we live in an Internet of Things or IoT era. So now that we are in a world where today’s children wouldn’t even understand NOT having the Internet, most kids know more than their parents – and many elementary schools now have smartphones
So what does my smart fridge, nanny cam or WIFI light-bulb
have to do with security and why is it important?? With advances in technology, it’s not uncommon for people to get a new computer every 5 years, or a new smart phone every 2-3 years – and new “smart” home devices or other IoT devices are being made each day.  While the United State has a number of safeguards in place to protect our privacy, and the handling or data, etc.

2nd shooting on Commonwealth Avenue in 2 nights; police find more than 40 spent casings

Maplewood Police reported in a release on Tuesday that a second round of shots fired on Commonwealth Avenue followed the first the following night. According to the release Maplewood police officers responded to a report of multiple gunshots fired in the 7300 block of Flora Avenue at approximately 11:40 p.m. on Feb. 25. The officers failed to locate any shooting on Flora but then discovered that a second shooting had occurred at the same apartment in the 7400 block of Commonwealth Avenue, as previously reported, on Feb. 24.

Shots fired into empty apartment in Maplewood; 17 spent casings found

On Sunday on about 11 p.m. Maplewood police officers responded to a report of multiple gunshots fired in the 7400 block of Commonwealth Avenue. According to the police department when the officers arrived, they discovered that someone had fired several rounds into an unoccupied apartment. Some of the shots traveled through the walls into an adjacent apartment to the rear, which was occupied by the residents. Police recovered 17 spent 9 mm shell casings at the scene, and Maplewood police detectives are investigating. No one was injured during the incident.

Maplewood mayor commends local heroes

On Tuesday night, Maplewood Mayor Barry Greenberg presented certificates of commendation to Gina Imo, Jeffrey Summers, and Richard Sykora for rescuing a man whose car had become stuck on the train tracks on January 5, 2019. Greenberg praised them for the way they “distinguished themselves through their immediate response to the emergency,” and commended their courage under pressure. The council also overruled a request from Elmwood for four parking spots to be used for valet parking (Monday – Saturday, 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.) next to the new restaurant at 2704 Sutton Boulevard, suggesting they reduce the number of spots to two, after the owners of the Nova Salon asked the council to deny the request, claiming it would hurt local businesses.  

Maplewood city council candidate on economics, race, LGBT, education

Scott Criscione has filed to run for Maplewood City Council, Ward 3. He sent his thoughts on economics, race, LGBT and education. He’ll be running against incumbent Jennifer Schmidt in the April 2019 municipal election. From Criscione:

Economics: We spend more in taxes than in food and clothing combined in the US. We have record high taxes and even worse, record high spending.

Maplewood business owner hopes to become marijuana dispensary

A Maplewood business owner hopes to become a medical marijuana dispensary when it becomes possible, KSDK has reported. Voters approved the sale of medical marijuana in November. Kelly Christensen has been in business about a year selling hemp products at Canvas Boutique and Dispensary in Maplewood, in the 7100 block of Manchester. Many of her products contain CBD — or Cannabidiol; it comes from the hemp plant, a close relative to marijuana. Both plants contain Cannabinoids, but marijuana is high THC, while hemp is rich in CBD.“Business has been awesome.

Ballot is set for Maplewood council election: challenger in every ward

The incumbent in each of Maplewood’s three wards will be running for their seats April 2, 2019 General Municipal Election, and each will have a challenger. Filing to run for Maplewood City Council closed on November 20. The incumbents and challengers for each ward:

Ward 1 — Karen Wood (incumbent), Jason Goldkamp
Ward 2 — Eleanor Pardini, Tim Dunn (incumbent)

Ward 3 — Jenny Schmidt (incumbent), Nicholas (Scott) Criscione

Jason Goldcamp announced his run in April 2018. Eleanor Pardini filed to run in October. Scott Criscione announced earlier this week that he had obtained the needed signatures.

Sole Survivor to open in new location, other relocations and openings

In Maplewood, Penzeys Spices has moved temporarily to 7345 Manchester Road (three-month lease, an employee said) and Fantasy Shop has moved to 7329 Manchester Road — both in the mall with Schnucks on the north side of Manchester Road. Also in Maplewood, Sole Survivor is set to open in its new location at 7401 Manchester on Friday, and Taco Bell opened two weeks ago at the former Tim Hortons location (2750 S. Big Bend Boulevard).  

Police report assault at Metrolink station on Sunday

Maplewood Police report that on Sunday, Nov. 18 at approximately 12:28 p.m., Maplewood Police officers responded to the Manchester Metrolink Station for multiple 911 calls regarding a fight in progress. 

Two subjects were charged with assault and disorderly conduct. One subject involved was transported to the hospital for minor injuries. Investigation revealed that no robbery occurred.

Burgess Avenue residents complain about parking: city manager proposes restrictions

Maplewood City Manager Marty Corcoran proposed Tuesday night at the city council meeting that several parking spaces on Burgess Avenue be reserved for residents only, in response to several complaints from residents of Burgess. Corcoran told the council, “There are a couple of residents there [Burgess Ave.] that do not have driveways, and they’ve become fed up with school parents leaving them no place to park.” In response to the complaints, Corcoran initially inspected the school to see if there was, in fact, adequate parking for parents picking up their children and stated both times he visited there were at least thirty spaces left unused while the parents opted to park on Burgess Avenue instead to avoid the line. “The only solution we can think of is to create resident-only parking within certain periods of time,” Corcoran said. Mayor Barry Greenberg suggested an alternate plan in response, proposing only the residents without driveways be given two reserved parking spots each.

Penzeys Spices in Maplewood moves to temporary location

Beginning Sunday, Nov 11 Penzeys Spices in Maplewood will operate out of a new temporary location — 7345 Manchester Road, across the street from their usual spot and two doors down from Schnucks (between Nu Fashion Beauty and Clarkson Eyecare), the store has announced. It’s the planned location through the holidays while repair work continues following a fire above the store in the 7300 block of Manchester Road in August that caused smoke and water damage.

Maplewood Police adds two new officers

Maplewood Police has hired two new probationary officers recently. Both were announced on the department’s Facebook page. Probationary Police Officer Ryan Gibbons (below) will be assigned to the patrol division. Officer Gibbons is a nine-year veteran of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and has served in various specialized units.

Maplewood Penzeys recouping from fire: reopening date uncertain

Penzeys Spices, in the 7300 block of Manchester Road, opened soon after a smoke and water damage from a fire in August in a second-floor business  forced its closing, but closed again for repairs. A source has said it’s hard to know when the store might reopen, but progress is being made and they might have a better idea within a week or so. The source added that it’s certain that Penzeys will reopen in its current space in Maplewood. A sign on their door says for now to visit the Penzeys store in Chesterfield.

Maplewood business to move to larger space a block away

Business is growing for Maplewood business, Sole Survivor Leather, so owners Steve and Kay Rye began a search for a larger showroom with more inventory space. They found it at 7401 Manchester Road — the northwest corner of Manchester and Sutton — the business announced Sunday. They’ve been in business since 1968. They moved to Maplewood  (7312 Manchester Road) from University City in 2015. The business is expecting to open in the new space on or before November 23, Black Friday this year.

Leopard Boutique announces Maplewood opening

Join Leopard Boutique on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7407 Manchester Rd. in Maplewood to celebrate the grand opening of its Maplewood store. It’s their third in the area. From their press release: Founded on the principal of providing a positive boutique experience for women, Leopard continues to aim for excellence via its promise to redefine femininity for the modern woman.