Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Listen to A Better Shreveport on Kscl, 91.3, Mon, Aug 16, 5 pm; National Park Service at ABS meeting Mon, Aug, 16, 6 pm

A Better Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau

Another fine meeting last night, writes Loren Demerath.
In a nutshell, with deserving exclamation points:

* Radio Show debuts Monday the 16th at 5:00!
* National Park Service is here to meet with us the 16th at 6:00!
* Ride the Bus for Research Thursday the 12th at 3:30 @ TGIFridays!
* Party at Carolyn’s Wednesday at 6 and on!
* Greenway term jettisoned! ...well maybe.

In attendance: Robert Trudeau, Carolyn Manning, April Waren, Garrett Johnson, Loren Demerath

The group recorded several snippets for the radio show to debut Monday, though the next day Loren and Robert decided a live format with two to three ABS members discussing a topic would be a better, more do-able format.

Nonetheless, the live two or three person format notwithstanding, the following segments may be used at some point:

* Loren spoke on a bike shop owner’s story about a heavy woman who thought she was too big to ride a two-wheeler. The shop owner showed her that she could, and gave her a brief lesson in riding. She bought a bike, and came back four weeks later & fifty pounds lighter. She said it changed her life; she rode it every day, loved it.
* Carolyn spoke on riding her bike to show houses. She said just today she rode from her real estate office to a house she was showing, and she loved it. She described her route.
* On the other hand, April spoke on her frustration at not being able to walk to the grocery store on the other side of Youree from her apartment complex.
* Feico talked about representing ABS and Shreveport at the Keep Louisiana Beautiful conference; how the conference is about more than reducing litter, but about not polluting our environment and sustainable living generally, as well as transportation and consumption issues that relate to pollution.
* Garrett talked about the renovations of the Central Fire Station for SRAC’s new offices that will include an emerging artists gallery, as well as a performance space in the old engine room, and a five story tower space for an artist in residence.

In addition to recording segments for the radio show, the group heard news and reports from various quarters:


April reported there is a woman who’s recently moved to town, Margarita Hill, who’s recently completed the paperwork for a non-profit that would help families who have family members that are incarcerated. One of her ideas is to put on dvds videos of prisoners reading stories for their respective children to watch. This would help maintain relationships between children and their incarcerated parents, not to mention encouraging the practice of reading to children that’s been linked to future academic success. (Louisiana Endowment for the Humanties nationally successful program “Primetime Family Reading” is based on that link.)
One of the models is “critical resistance” based in Berkley California. (Robert said a great piece of equipment she could use for that is the Flip camera.)

The group then enjoyed a brief digression into talk about crime control, gun control, rights to gun ownership, and speculation about areas where violent crime happens to be low but gun ownership is high. (Multiple views were shared and respected.)


The group discussed the term “greenway,” and how it’s like librarians giving special abbreviations to their card catalogs outsiders don’t understand (e.g., Centenary’s “MOXIE” catalog, or the “LOUIS” system, or Shreve Memorial Library’s “iBistro”). Urban planners and wanna be’s (like ourselves) might like the way the term “greenway” connotes many things at once, but most folks just aren’t sure what it means, or how to react to a proposal that we build a network of greenways. But using the terms “bike paths and nature trails” is more direct. People may not know what to do with a greenway, but they know how to use a trail.


Group also discussed the work being done for the forum, including the plan for a “dress-rehearsal” of the bike ride warm-up to the city council forum (about two weeks from today). This is where ABS members and others will have the opportunity to get to know the candidates in the course of riding from Central Fire Station to Cohabitat, where there will be a post-ride reception. During the ride, certain features of downtown will be highlighted, such as the historical architecture, the wide sidewalks, the need for bike-racks, and the general importance of bike-ability and walk-ability to a vibrant downtown.


Thursday, at 3:30, in front of TGIFriday’s on Youree, April, Carolyn, Jennette, Stephanie will be catching the bus and doing experiential research on the bus system as a way of preparing for their meeting with Gene Eddy, director of Sportran. Anyone is welcome to join them.

April noted that she would love to be able to ride the bus for her job. She’d save $500-$600 a month on gas alone. She visits commercial properties for her job as an independent agent for Aflac.


Garrett said the HUD grant is due on August 22nd. (This is the HUD-DOT-EPA partnership grant that’s designed to help housing, transportation, and economic development.) Although SRAC hasn’t been called about it yet, they expect to be, since they’re the arts part of it. It’s grant opportunity is part of an initiative from President Obama to facilitate sustainable living, fair share of transportation usage, and development. For the next five years they’ll be doling out significant funds to metropolitan areas like Shreveport/Bossier. (Apparently Bossier had some problems with it, but they’re back on board now.) Go grant writers, go!


Stacye Palmer of the National Park Service will be coming up from New Orleans on Monday and we’ll be turning our whole meeting over to her agenda. As soon as she comes up Carolyn will be meeting with her, and anyone else who wants to meet with her, just let Carolyn know. She’ll be here to work on the bike-ped master plan, the greenways plan, and the Coates Bluff project. IT’S A BIG MEETING Y’ALL! PLEASE COME MONDAY THE 16TH!

Speaking of get togethers, Carolyn’s hosting a party/meeting to pre-meet before Stacye comes on Wednesday. BYOB, and word is, April will be cooking! 149 Carroll, two blocks south of Southfield off Grover.

Making a better Shreveport, it’s just a party!

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