Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Recycling Rumors, Implenting Master Plan, Radio Show, and more discussed at last meeting

In attendance: Robert Trudeau, Carolyn Manning, April Waren, Maurice Loridans, Loren Demerath, Cynthia Keith, Feico Kempff, Garrett Johnson.


Group briefly discussed the fundraiser for Dan Garner’s museum, “North by Northwest La” (NXNWLA) that occured the night before at the old Woolworth building--516 Texas St. across from the courthouse. Robert mentioned how it was bought it when he learned it was in danger as a structure and has allowed it to be used as a place where teens can go that is relatively safe. It is 18-and-over friendly, has a lot of loud music “that’s good for teenagers,” April said; “watch out for tinitus” Loren said.


The group discussed the future agendas of the radio show, and among the topics mentioned were the dog park with Cynthia, bicycle commuting with Maurice (now set for September 13th), “Shreveportitis” with Jon Soul, Michael Carmody, or Jeff Welborn; bicycle coop with Garrett and Jennette, building coops with Dan Marcalus and Steve Shelburne; community gardening with Grace Peterson, Jon, and/or Leia Lewis; community art with Leia, etc.

Loren mentioned that if people would call the show's number (734-9101), and leave a message about a topic they'd like to hear about, we could play it on the air and show how people at large can contribute to the show by submitting questions and comments that way.

[Later in the week, Feico Kempff suggested shows on the Master Plan--perhaps chapter by chapter. Also, April Dahm suggested she and Caroline do a show on ABS Downtown, as the group is beginning to get more active again. Both ideas were supported by others over the email list.]


The group discussed the perceptions of the Hamels Park area after the drownings. Cynthia worried it would hurt the prospects of the dog park being located there, but the rest of the group didn’t think so. The mayor (when Cynthia and I chatted with him after the bicycling photo session) said he didn’t think that would be a problem. The pond being there is one of the assets to the dog park being there, as well as the fact that there’s parking.

Carolyn said the city needs to get the pools back open and start giving swimming lessons. Others have said it should be something that’s taught as part of physical education.


The group then talked about the bike ride coming up on Thursday the 2nd and the need for a “sag wagon,” i.e., a car that will follow the group in case anyone needs help.

The e-vite for the forum is going to be revised tomorrow and sent out. A pre-revised e-vite went out earlier and is being distributed, but, ce la vi.

[The bike ride will be one option. The other will be a walk. The walk will be rehearsed Monday the 30th at 6:00 p.m. from the old Central Fire Station at Common and Crockett.]


For the forum we’d like to provide beer and wine: sufficient for two drinks per person.

The food theme will be “Breads and Spreads” (April is homebaking bread and making the spreads!). Garrett noted homebrewers could be solicited for a brew. Carolyn will volunteer to buy paper cups, plates and cutlery.


The group discussed the rumor that the city has not succeeded in finding a taker for our to-be-recycled plastic and glass. It was noted that it may be more cost effective to get people used to recycling the most common forms than to only turn in the forms we successfully recycling. On a related note, Maurice reported that SuperOne and Brookshires are giving a 5 or 10 cent per bag discount if you use your own bag.


Feico reported on his trip downstate to the Keep Louisiana Beautiful conference, funded by the Committee of 100: the focus at the conference was to limit the amount of litter in our cities and towns. Stats: the amount of litter on the ground is about 10-15% of what’s actually there, and the rest is less than 4 inches long and that stuff is there for hundreds of years. One program involves going to elementary schools and addressing kids who will then tell their parents not to litter. Today’s ad says its 40 million plus dollars out of Louisiana’s coffers to clean up litter. The Coates Bluff cleanups brought home the fact that a lot of litter is carried by the storm drainage system, Maurice noted. The Bayou Chapter of the Ozark Society regularly does a Red River cleanup. If you cleaned up every plastic bottle from the river and returned the next weekend it would all be back. Carolyn talked about cleaning up around her property and it never stopped. Ron Hubbard (??) once told the story of cleaning up outside of Libby Glass where employees exited, picking up trash; it took a year, but eventually people kept it clean and he didn’t have to clean it up anymore.

Feico said one person at LSU organized a cleanup before and after LSU football games. She got a lot of corporate sponsors, e.g., from beer and soda companies for money and containers. She got 17 tons of trash over the season.

Feico said Sidney Torres was a person who started with a truck and generators cleaning up in New Orleans, then leased more trucks, now has a whole fleet of trucks. Now he has a reality show on tv called Trashman.

Feico also attended the CPEC (Center for Planning Excellence) convention that is the affiliate for Smart Growth America where they talked about what’s evolved since Katrina. He described some of the designs that recieved awards:
  • Holly Grove Market in New Orleans, a community garden and coop where the people who grow then sell at a farmer’s market, then put that money back into their farm. ( around Carollton Ave.)
  • The downtown store, Kress and Company, using fed and state and rehab tax credits to build a condominium and restaurant combo at Kress Third and Market. (Kress was the Walmart of the 1920’s) Feico visited the building and met the developer. Feico also met with AARP about their Livable Communities program.
  • North Boulevard in Baton Rouge also received an award for being put on a “street diet” and giving protected space to pedestrians.
Jason Tudor, the Associate State Director for Community Outreach for AARP said he would like to come to Shreveport and speak to our group -- and we would enjoy welcoming him! (Thoughts of a radio show appearance too!). AARP, CPEC, and the Lt. Gov’s office head the live-able communities council. Centenary College is a live-able communities council member and Loren is the go-to person.

Feico brought several publications back, including a Louisiana Bicycle Map, and the magazine, “On Common Ground” by the National Association of Realtors’ Smarth Growth organization.


The group resolved to thank the Committe of 100 for sending Feico to the Keep Louisiana Beautiful Conference in Baton Rouge last week. Much was learned and good connections were made!

Loren nominated Susan Fontaine to serve as the Chief Administrative Details Officer of ABS that would include keeping our checking account and domain registrations up-to-date. The group unanimously voted in favor of the nomination. (Hooray for Susan! And a big thank you to her as well!)


Maurice reported the new bike rack outside the main library, unfortunately, is what’s known in bicycling circles as a “wheel-bender”. An old style bike rack meant for kids’ bikes; when larger, lighter bikes get knocked over while parked there, the wheels often get bent.

As a model of what bike paths can be--in Louisiana--Garrett recommended the Taminey Trace bike trail that goes 30 miles from Covington through Abita Springs. Can stay at bed and breakfasts along that rails to trails project path, even sip beer as the bikes go by at the Abita Brew Pub.


It was mentioned that the big city wide Master Plan meeting is this Saturday (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the convention center); recommendations will be made to MPC, they’ll be working at keeping up with the plan; it’s not an instruction manual.
Loren mentioned that some of his students in Urban Sociology will be there. His class is looking at different projects sketched in the Implementation chapter of the Master Plan to take on as service-learning projects.

Dan Marcalus reminded us that 6:30 to 8:30 Thursday is the District B City Council Forum for Highland, South Highland, Downtown.

At Sustainapalooza it was announced that Shreveport’s first Leed Certified Platinum building that local architect Kim Mitchel will be designing it. International Community Renewal has done their asbestos abatements and appears on the way to making a finished building a reality.

As noted above, the bike ride on September 2nd will be one way of meeting candidates while experiencing downtown and exchanging views on its potential. A walk will be the other option. That walk will be rehearsed Monday the 30th at 6:00 p.m. We will meet at the old Central Fire Station at Common and Crockett.

1 comment:

Michael Carmody said...

RE: "Garrett recommended the Taminey Trace bike path"

I really enjoyed seeing Tammany Trace mentioned. I've ridden it many times and it is a public treasure to hundreds of cyclists, in addition to runners and walkers (and roller-bladers). Please note the spelling is the same as St. Tammany parish.

We could do that here if we had the political will.