Thursday, September 23, 2010
Recycling, Zoning, Pratt Industries, the Velo Dendro
Before the regular meeting Loren met with Caroline Majors and Stephanie Pedro about the service learning projects for his Urban Sociology class. One project will be a class project, and there will also be different team projects.
Related to the interest on outlining a model for downtown building refurbishment, Caroline said her firm did the arranging for the Community Renewal building; they’ve done conceptual design; the project to abate the building; its on the EPA website as a model project.
Caroline said she’d be willing to meet with students about Downtown and the West Edge projects. Steph said she could meet with those working on the Greenways Projects.
Caroline also pitched the idea of doing a downtown parking study with the class, and Loren and Steph liked the idea. Loren later described it to the class and they were willing to adopt it as the class project.
In attendance: Loren Demerath, Caroline Majors, Robert Trudeau, Carolyn Manning, Cynthia Keith, Brian Lusk (opthamologist), Stephanie Lusk (real estate, finance), Will Lowe, Jon Soul, Susan Fontaine, Garrett Johnson, Stephanie Pedro, Maurice Loridans, Feico Kempff
Caroline and Steph had a detailed scope of services for the making the bike-ped plan but we didn’t go over it. Next week we can discuss it if both Caroline and Steph can be there.
In the course of making introductions for new attendees, Will noted that his wife, Amy Lowe is organizing the Highland Jazz and Blues Festival, and said she could offer us a table to publicize the group’s projects.
Jon said he wants to bring back the lightening bug. They used to be very plentiful in the area.
Robert mentioned Pratt Industries founded in Australia, and that is here recycling, could be a potential partner for us. They’re in all 50 American states. Robert tried to get a recycling bin at Magnet. He’s discovered they have more resources than we’ve been allowed to see. Maurice said when they first came to town the Ozark Society hosted his talk and questioned them. They’ve since discovered there’s no market for glass and plastic and they now take it to the land fill now. The news media hasn’t covered it. Matthew has invited them to track the trucks and record the trucks going straight to the landfill. Originally they were going to haul it to Texas, at some transportation cost. There is a market for metal and paper. Other places have outlawed plastic bags and styrofoam. Carolyn said she sometimes forgets her cloth bags, but carries the stuff anyway. Caroline mentioned you can incentivize not using plastic by charging more or giving a discount. Brookshires and Walmart. Robert said they might help fund our bike path; they might have grants. Jon said an alternative there’s Hughes Recycling in our area. It’s provided recycling for the last two bayou cleanups we did. Channel 6 does “ArkLaTex Green” and did a segment on Michael Hughes. He provides businesses with big cardboard bins; he’s on Linwood and you can take material to him. He’d be good to have on the show. He’s good on a grass roots level and is local. (The students could make a piece on it.)
Maurice noted the recent emails on the Velo-Dendro date; can we move the date? Ian pointed out its the biggest cycling date of the year; the tour de Good Will. Susan and Garrett mentioned they want to do both and that it seemed unfortunate that the two biggest biking events of the year would be happening on the same date.
Loren mentioned Hallie Dozier had signed us up as sponsors, know that we would have to fund raise somehow to raise money. Stephanie Lusk mentioned we might be able to offer in-kind donations for Velo-Dendro; such as promoting it on the radio show.
The group voted to change $5 “donations” to contributions. That will something to change in the by-laws. In addition, we need to officially vote on the by-laws.
In other housekeeping notes, we vowed to list board members on the web site, perhaps alongside capacities or offices or the “specialty” or interest of that person so they can be contact people for those interested in particular projects.
Cynthia said the Sheriff’s dept. and Patrick Williams are collecting old bicycles to send to the penetentiary, at 4910 N. Market the deadline for donating; we could partner with them.
Jon asked if we could post on the website when its an ozone action alert day. Could be a link people could click on; through the National Weather Service.
This last year when Shreveport moved into a non-attainment status, we’ve not been informed about that. Coal-fired power plants are the main culprit; gas-fired is much cleaner. SWEPCO is building a new plant in Arkansas that will be coal-fired. State of Colorado recently banned coal-fired power generation; causes problems in health for children and pregnant women, etc.
Caroline talked about the Ledbetter Heights / West Edge Opportunities Initiative that includes the West Edge, all of Ledbetter, and down to where the new Greyhound bus station will be. They’re partnering with TACA about convening interested parties. They’ll be finding the financing, getting some catalyst projects in the area. Caroline has talked to Ron Hardy, David Nelson, and others about what they want to do there. If everyone had funding it would all be redeveloped. The zoning doesn’t help, nor do the building codes--especially on Texas St. and downtown. There are different ways you can zone to make development possible. Rezoning comes about because of changes in property development. Now the zoing is blunt with B# over everything and doesn’t allow you to develop in specific places, such as allowing mixed use on particular blocks.
Maurice said to Caroline if you ever need our help, just ask, we’ll send a letter. The public has to vote in zoning changes. Some money is budgeted to go towards rezoning.
The meeting ended at 7:08. The next meeting will be Monday the 27th.
Posted by Robert Trudeau at 11:36 AM