Wednesday, July 28, 2010

At Last Meeting: KSCL Radio Show, Blue Goose Development, Forums, Candidates Bike Ride

A Better Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Notes by Loren Demerath.

In attendance: Robert Trudeau, Micheal Laffey, Caz Verbois, Carolyn Manning, Sara Hebert, David Aubry, Steve Godfrey, April Waren, Feico Kempff, Carolyn Manning, Askari Hinton, Deborah Allen, Garrett Johnson, Dan Marcalus, Loren Demerath

What a great meeting! Here were the main topics discussed:

* New Taco Bell--and more--on Kings Highway
* City Council Forum and preliminary bike ride with the candidates
* Radio Show coming August 16th, 5 p.m. on 91.3 FM, KSCL
* Downtown properties to buy for condominium development
* Possibilities for the Blue Goose area

Carolyn updated us on the bike-ped plan work. She's chatted more with Stacye Palmer at the National Park Service; Stacye has talked with her boss and is collecting other successful bike-ped master plans from around the country that she’ll be using with us to create one for Shreveport. Carolyn will be going down to New Orleans August 18-20 to meet with her. Feico will be able to join them while he’s downstate at the same time representing ABS and the city at the Keep Louisiana Beautiful conference courtesy of the Committee of 100. By that time Stacye hopes to have a skeleton plan ready.

After reviewing the chain of emails from Jennette Ginsburg, Dan Marcalus, Monty Walford, and Kern Courtney, on concerns about the new Taco Bell on Kings, David noted that Liz Swain and others had ridden the backs of McDonalds and others franchises for a while now on these kinds of issues. April noted that Subway might the most likely to pile them in without regard to density, as they’ve got no stipulations on that kind of thing (and are also the cheapest franchises to own).

Robert thanked HRA via Dan Marcalus for their work in tempering the impact of the new Taco Bell; Feico said it's over 5 acres and was originally a planned Albertson's market; so other things might be coming in there along the lines of the zoning that’s been established.

Based on the work done last Friday, including a spreadsheet of tasks and deliverables compiled by April, Carolyn, and Stephanie Pedro, the group discussed the bike ride, including the route, the tasks, how to contact the candidates (Steve mentioned the elections division of city government), the benefits of publicizing it by getting Mayor Glover to join us (Robert said he would be contacting Ian Webb about a bike loan for the Mayor following up on the discussion the Cedric and Ian had at the press conference for bike racks on city buses), as well as the value of publicizing it on the radio show. (We may be posting the spreadsheet.)

Centenary Faculty Advisor to KSCL, Dr. Michael Laughey, and KSCL Station Manager Caz Verbois discussed with the group the possibility of having a radio show devoted to informing people and inviting their contributions to ideas and projects for a better Shreveport. (The full proposal is online as a shared document.)

The following decisions were made:

* The show will be mix of previously recorded segments and live talk. Although KSCL doesn’t have the technology to put live calls on the air (one needs a delay to ensure no language violates FCC regulations) we might be able to use a new, free technology such as google voice or youstream to the same effect. We can use email and instant messaging as a way of interacting with audience during show.
* We will aim to debut the show on August 16th. This will allow us to talk about Feico and Carolyn’s trips coming later that week, the Mayoral Forum that’s the following week, the warm-up bike ride to the City Council Forum on September 2nd, and the Council Forum itself on the 9th.
* The show will be from 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday afternoons. That’s a prime drive-time spot, its weekly regularity will allow people to know when to find it. The slot would also give us a chance to advertise the weekly ABS meeting that’s at 6:00, and that would start a half an hour after the show ends.

Other related notes:

* Robert noted that people come to him to record a piece for the show, having it already outlined in detail, nearly scripted, will help with quality.
* Caz said he would give us a mini-training session and tour of the studio some time prior to the first show.
* Michael said he would like to have a student host or co-host the show, and he and Caz were thinking Marquette LaForest might be a good person already on the staff of KSCL to do it.
* Loren asked about theme music, and Michael said they pay a regular fee to BMI that would allow us to play anything. (So think of theme music y’all.)
* Caz noted that pieces produced for the show could also be disseminated through other media, such as youtube, facebook, the ABS blog, etc.
* Garrett said Ian could be a guest on a show on bike repair.
* Debbie suggested that one show could devoted to health issues in Shreveport, and others agreed. Debbie mentioned that Shreveport has the second highest rate of HIV in the state, and funds have recently been cut that would’ve helped with treatment.
* (BTW, we didn’t talk about the title of the show. How about “Time for a Better Shreveport” “A Better Shreveport Quality of Life” or “What’s a Better Shreveport?” or “30 Minutes to a Better Shreveport”. Comments? Other suggestions?)

The group then heard Askari Hinton talk about his hopes and plans for the Blue Goose area downtown. Properties there have been in Askari's family for over 60 years; his family owns land there, and he thinks it could be a good place for historical tourism. He’s currently trying to raise money to refurbish the area. The two anchors of the area are Fertitas and Blue Goose, and if they’re both open and healthy, that area will be an asset to the city. September the 6th is the date for a music festival Askari is planning to raise money for the area. It will be in Festival Plaza and not in Princess Park because the latter has been abandoned and neglected “as if the land as been written off”. Currently, it’s a park that the children who live there can't play in.

Many in the group noted that its a promising area. Debbie said, when you walk the tour you can feel what the park was and what it can be in the future. Robert said if you walk down from Municiple Auditorium to the railroad tracks you can feel the history of the area.

Carolyn said a problem is not having a safe public parking lot downtown, and doesn’t like having to use the Casino parking lots. Another person said it was as if the city was forcing us to the casinos.

Debbie said part of the plan is to restore some of the homes. Garrett said the Blue Goose area borders the Shreveport Commons area of the West Edge being promoted by ShRAC. On August 25th will be the formal announcement and a push for developers to invest in that area.

Askari has a drawing of the potential development including studio, bed & breakfasts, houses, and a park, by Allan Dyson. Askari has started rennovating one of the shotguns (his family owns 12 of them) and it is now very open and feels like a big studio apartment. Feico said he thought Ron Hardy is trying to do similar with other properties.

Carolyn is looking for someone who wants to buy a building downtown to turn into condominiums. This person is looking for something that’s not too expensive and not too hard to refurbish.
ABS could get a tent/booth as the music festival, but we don't have funds.

Feico reported that April Dahm says there's a call for proposals for master gardening; it would be for setting up and planning community gardens; slow food at camp forbing is April Waren’s community garden; Jon Soul, Maurice Loridans and Leia Lewis are all ABS members who have helped organize community gardens.

It was mentioned that there's an old building that's being refurbished on Lake Street at Marshall, facing the Times' new press building. Apparently the owner also owns the Tatoo School and the offices there will be for his businesses.

Stay tuned for a work session announcement from Stephanie Pedro. The next regular meeting will be Monday, August 2nd, 6:00 to 7:00, Centenary Square room 206 as usual--though Garrett has agreed to chair and take notes, as Loren will be out of town.

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