Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Old, vacant buildings, houses and, for some reason, movie theaters intrigue me. Left of the lives and businesses that once inhabited the dwellings are the memories that will live on forever. At the last ABS meeting, Jason Brown-new owner of one such dwelling on Texas Ave, shared findings of a demolished building in downtown, now a parking lot (sing it with me, "paved paradise and put up a parking lot"). Many memories are shared from that Nankings restaurant/building that once stood on Milam Street. Jason told of blocked off rooms that seemed to be "frozen in time" found in the upstairs portion of the building. There we no staircases that led to the rooms. Were they secret rooms? Hiding spaces? What was their original purpose? Jason spoke of archeologists digging in the ruins before cement covered up history that could date to a time before the building was even constructed, telltale signs of our past. What will future historians and archeologists find when we're gone? What was beyond that outdoor staircase that still remains on the side of the roads we travel in downtown and the surrounding areas? Whose memories are there? Somewhere there are old photos of such to be found, the faces may not be familiar in them, but they are an important voice of “what once was”. Our history is our future, preserve and protect!

Texas Ave and Shreveport Common: a visit with designer Gregory Free, with downtown Jason Brown and businessman Richard Sparke

A Better Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
By Loren Demerath.
In attendance: Loren Demerath, Robert Trudeau, Jason Brown, Gregory Free, Garrett Johnson, Cynthia Keith, Susan Fontaine, Carolyn Manning, Richard Spark, April Dahm, Caroine Majors, Stacye Palmer, Steph Pedro, Feico Kempff, Maurice Loridans, April Waren, David Nelson, Linda England.

The group discussed its wants and needs for Texas Ave., and downtown generally. It was noted that ABS members are people coming to ABS from other experiences, cities, etc, and have wanted to incorporate the best practices from elsewhere, yet as they best fit this area.


Gregory Free spoke of how SRAC's burning down provided the opportunity for a Shreveport Common and a new headquarters for SRAC that can be an asset to the city. There was a fear that the organization would never see its insurance money, or that it would be placed where ever there is vacent space; vs. where could it go that would help the city; the nature of the Central Fire Station provided the particular opportunity.

They looked at 12 sites over 2 days, not including the Fire Station; it was going to be the Fire Fighters Museum, but museums don’t have the same impact. Brian Crawford, the Fire Chief (great guy, says Gregory) helped a lot in making the transition.

Shreveport is well-organized, the arts located in that area naturally, with the Central Fire Station located centrally; there's been a lot of buy-in locally and early; Greg chatted with Mayor Glover about use for the station; the plan of SRAC helped funnel the available money; “where could it better help the city?” was a phrase the Mayor borrowed from Gregory. State Senator Lydia Jackson helped find funds; SRAC has found 2.5 million that’s been matched, with the Mayor’s help to leverage insurance money to match the grant. Out of 200 cities they chose 20, and Shreveport was one of them chosen by the Endowment for the Humanities. Now they’re all working as parts of teams, figuring out the roles of the partners along the way.

This is has to be a social, collective effort; it will look to the history of the city to give it depth and meaning; Greg is inspired by Dolores Hayden, “The Power of Places” to change our lives for the better; Kevin Lynch, J.B. Jackson, etc. to maximize the power of our city’s history and culture. The term Common comes from a meeting place, a shared public space, etc.


ABS has long talked about how downtown needs a grocery story and bookstore downtown. There's the old saw that retail follows rooftops, but it didn't across the river at the Boardwalk in Bossier; when a group of properties can be parcelled together and coordinated, things can happen.

As the group discussed perceptions of safety in downtown, it was noted that Ledbetter Heights is now emptier; Jason said that Sprague St. is no longer full of addicts and prostitutes; Jason has been working for the prosecutor’s office to help change it; he noted that now is the opportunity to make something of that area; he's been working on Snow St., and is near shutting down the Livingston Motel which is used predominantly for drugs and prostitution; once they seize the property, what to do with it? Options are to give it to non-profits, or more responsible developers.

It was noted that so many downtown properties are in adjudication; the core of the city should be valuable property; not festering with crime and danger; that’s why emminant domain is proper when its used in the interests of the city.

The group discussed the predicament of wanting to move crime out of valuable areas in the city on the one hand, to not wanting to isolate and ghettoize low income people on the other hand. Caroline was referred to Jason as having information on what proper mixed income can look like. (What's truly mixed income, by the way? Is a more realistic model to have a healthy balance of intra-neighborhood homogeneity and inter-neighborhood connectivity? -- Loren wondered aloud.)

Taxes are a concern for the impact of improvements and development in an area. There was fortuitous timing in Jason getting the Calanthian Temple just as Millennium Studios was beginning, but that would coincidence. The Calanthian will be a private building; limited commercial space; office space for an attorney, for example. Jason said that in seeing a vision for downtown and not wanting to go live on Ellerbe Road, etc., "apart from us here, everyone thinks we’re nuts." April disagreed, noting that when you talk to people about downtown they want to happen and see potential. Loren noted that people wanting an active downtown is practically universal; who doesn't like the French Quarter, Paris, Manhattan, or a big university campus, for that matter? Active pedestrian spaces are exciting and interesting.

In discussing downtown spaces, it was noted that the space adjacent to the Forum News is being abandoned, Jack Lamb, doesn’t care about refurbishing it necessarily. Richard Sparke said he would be willing to sell his space for the purpose of redevelopment, but not for having it torn down it for some supercenter; but others said there is a new culture that is emerging where people don’t want to ever go to another chain restaurant; and smaller scale groceries are becoming fashionable; Richard said that may just be Yankee culture that doesn’t belong here and wouldn’t work. Loren said that was debatable and trends would suggest the contrary.

It was noted that the Feist and the Jenkins families have properties downtown and are not doing anything with them; the Carruthers family also owns property downtown; Roland Toups bought 3 buildings downtown and destroyed them to have a parking lot; the property was more valuable to him that way. It was noted that these things could be similar to forcing I-49 into unhealthy areas for the city for private profit. When Loren spoke to Mayor Glover about that possibility and shared his perception that doing such a thing for that reason would be a sin, the Mayor immediately stuck out his hand and said, "Amen!"

But it was asked what’s there in ordinances to protect downtown from being devastated for private profit? The answer from planners Steph Pedro and Caroline Majors and others: precious little. It was noted that the zoning laws need to change and they’re looking for funding to do that. Linda England passed on the message to April Dahm that Jeff Everson wanted to know what TACA needs from him for funding for historical areas because Jeff knows his way around that funding. Stacye Palmer knows about the national historic areas and she said she might be able to help as well.

Jason said in New Orleans, there are organizations that have complete control over certain historic areas and that’s how those areas have been preserved; Caroline and Steph and Cynthia all noted there is a redevelopment authority for Shreveport that’s being proposed in the Masterplan; now it’s the city council, which means there is really no authority; Jason said he was there when they tore down the buildings for Toups, and they found perfectly preserved rooms to which there was no access!

Jason also talked about renovate properties and selling them at cost; and not just one property but several. You can coordinate and centralize control over renovation by giving seized properties to developers with a purpose. (Sounds like an idea!!)


April Waren spoke on her and Steph’s meeting with Kent Rogers and NLCOG; Southern will be cooperating with a shuttle service; Ken Rogers will be also be talking to Brian Parsons, the head of bicycle-pedestrian transportation for the DOTD of Louisiana. Kent is going to help seek funding for the bike-ped plan, and Brian has wanted to fund one. Go Kent! And be our hero, Brian!

Mr. Richard mentioned that the Oakland Cemetery group is in the process of trying to restore the cemetery; on the 7th they’ll have an event. They’ll eventually have to put in new family stones; they’ve had to identify the graves.

April Dahm reminded all that the Makers Fair is this and the next Saturday 10 to 4; Port Belly at 3; live music at other times, all at Texas Ave. and Common, across the street from the Central Fire Station, future home of SRAC, as discussed previously.

Jason noted that where the old SRAC space is the space is currently wasted. A real asset for the city, he said, could be a classically designed rugby field, usable for all sorts of small crowd football games as well. The rugby club in town has a lot of support, and is a long standing tradition in town, the longest running competitive sports club in shreveport. They're thinking about a roofed, bandstand style small stadium setting. Most high school crowds get swallowed up in stadiums that are much too big form them. This would be a community draw, fitting the scale of local events, and be right downtown!

The group will meet again next Monday, again from 6:00 to 7:00 in Centenary Square.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Highland Jazz & Blues Fest next week on Time for A Better Shreveport, 5 to 5:30 pm, on KSCL, 91.3 fm

Listen at 5 pm on Mondays to hear live chats with community leaders on the KSCL program Time for A Better Shreveport.

A recent guest was Maurice Loridans, a Shreveport attorney who commutes via bicycle. He has been pedaling to work and to most social appointments since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Loridans recommends, based on his daily riding:
- fenders
- riding as though you were a motorized vehicle
- bright lights, front and rear
- steady hydration
- planning your route with both traffic and elevation in mind.
- he also promised to respond to riders who want advice about strategies in smart bike commuting in Shreveport. That's

Nov 22 on KSCL: Huw & Corolyn Thomas, Cornwellians who are crossing the US on a tandem bicycle rig that includes a shelter box, will be overnighting in Shreveport and available for questions. Their trip is connected to the cause of International Disaster Relief. Please see

Next week: background on the Highland Jazz and Blues Fest from founder Amy Loe and also from one of the primo musicians performing at the fest.

Velo Dendro Shreveport, 2010: liesurely tour by some 75 riders across 15 miles of tree-lined East Shreveport streets

Over 75 riders pedaled a route that stretched for 15 miles across East Shreveport in the second annual Velo Dendro, a tour of significant trees.

Hallie Dozier, prof of forestry at LSUBR and former Shreveporter, led the tour. She was aided in the event planning by Matthew Linn and founder of Baton Rouge Advocates for Safe Streets (BRASS) founder Mark Martin.

The route went from Columbia Cafe to Betty Virginia Park, where Shreveport Green's Donna Curtis and Chapellie Henderson presided over a tree planting. At the public gardens in front of First Baptist School the group looked at the crepe myrtles planted along Bayou Pierre. The route went across Broadmoor with stops at the Akers house to see the magnolia above and at AC Steere Park for a look at a champion sycamore.

The group pedaled past the river along Fant Parkway while taking care to avoid nests of tiny, tire-puncturing thorns in grassy areas.

Downtown, the path led to the great oaks surrounding the Courthouse.

In the grove beside Columbia Cafe riders enjoyed jambalaya and a discussion of plans for the next Velo Dendro, to be planned and coordinated by A Better Shreveport with tour founders Linn and Dozier.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bike-Ped Plan, "Gasland" Discussed at Last Meeting

In attendance: Loren Demerath, Kari Brownholland, Caroline Majors, Susan Fontaine, Garrett Johnson, Stephanie Pedro, Carolyn Manning, Maurice Loridans

The group discussed “Velo Dendro” tree tour organization; Carolyn volunteered to be the point person. We’ll start registering people at 8:00. Carolyn and Steph will write the press release. Trudeau knows the route, and Loren will call him and get him to distribute it in prose at least. [Turns out it was Matthew Linn who had it; he distributed it later in the week.] Ian volunteer to set up a bike tune-up tent to be used at the beginning of the tour at the registration area. [It was great to have it there! Really help with airing up tires! Thanks Ian!]

Decided to table the bylaws discussion and vote since Susan hadn’t had time to review them.


Caroline and Steph then talked about the bike-ped plan. They went through a detailed document outlining the tasks and timing of the various steps that would be taken along the way to producing a plan.

The goal is to get a bike plan at an affordable budget, and to do so, they have had to connect a lot of people and partners in different ways. The main goal is to get a list of projects that are time phased; they can then give the list to local governments and it will be their cook book; we can revisit it every few years and hold them accountable; it can also be used to identify funding sources; the plan will help market what each project can be and how to do them; it will save resources for governments because they can open the book and put it out to bid.

Caroline and Steph have already done a lot of the leg work in identifying partners; They’ve suggested we reach out to Bossier City to leverage their resources; to see if they want to be involved.

Need to identify capacity; depends on our partners and how much they want to contribute; could determine if it’s bike-ped or just bike.

Group discussed whether to privilege bike over ped; doesn’t have to be either or. But does need starting point. Bike seems more manageable; ped is smaller systems with smaller radiuses; can get more impact city wide.

But, as some ped concerns are simply paths, could fold in path projects from a team of people that we compose; it’s a pallette/buffet of opportunities; off-road trails can be easier to fold into it than crosswalks, etc.

We’ll assemble an advisory group to represent all interested parties. That group will decide the direction of the plan.

Could have a meet and greet session: here are the people who’ve said they’re enthusiastic about working on this and to help fund the plan. Any professionals involved would be paid by the funds we raise: planners, graphic designers, etc.
We would recruit from who we know who’d want to work on this. We’d get commitments from them for what they’d work on and references for any funding.

Once we’ve secured funding we can procede with the plan. We would research interests of different kinds of users/stakeholders. Might not have many formally organized groups out there now, but they might form as a result of this plan.

Would keep in the loop the committee updating them on what we’ve found are the needs and desires.

Then we find where are the issues and needs for investment. E.g., crash data that the police department has the data and NLCOG holds the data; would identify hotspots, such as schools, retails sites, etc.; as you start to layer the data you start to see a heat map of where the needs are. E.g., households without a motor vehicle identifies where people are and how they are under-served; gets at socio-demographic and socio-economic status variables.

Actual counts and street inventories and photos are some of the data that we’ll need to collect. We’ll then share our GIS analysis with the stakeholders.

Solution wise looking at these projects on a time table will help us leverage the plan with other monies and projects that are occurring.

After vetting our hotspots with the public we’ll look at how to meet those needs using best practices such as are taught at that designing for bikes course that Tim Wachtel sent out the other day and Steph has previously attended in New Orleans.

Can then have charettes by individual groups or one big one.

Every proposal is then analysed for how it will affect our hotspots.

The matrix digests all the criteria and makes it like a checklist of what’s being done, how it’s being funded, implementation of the plan has a timeline.

Interim tasks include those that ABS could do; ABS could serve as a big outreach mechanism for the plan; having events that publicize it; talking up the plan and what it can do.

It would take a period of time to complete this because it’s small cobbled together scale, but the interim tasks would help.

Political leaders need to see how it’s a good investment and will make money for Shreveport in the long run and/or that everyone just wants it.

Caroline said they wanted feedback and Garret says it’s amazing. Caroline and Steph feel like they could sell it.


Chris Jay spoke about a little film that’s going to be here next week, “Gasland”; HBO has purchased it and is showing it now. Many people in town do not want it to be shown. It’s about a town getting caught up in a gold rush over natural gas just like we are. Will be free next Monday in Kilpatrick at 7:30 for free. It’s a documentary on no budget.


Carolyn talked about sharings; Caigslist and freecycle is like it. Mandatory Craigslist could be something ABS could do. Steph couldn’t sell her couch in Shreveport; was the only good couch on craigslist. Took her two months to sell it; would’ve been gone in two or three days in New Orleans; within an hour she’d normally get calls on something she post when she was there.

Next Monday, architect Gregory Free, and members of TACA will be on hand to discuss the Texas Avenue area.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bike Safety, Police Helmets at Last Meeting; By-Laws & Bike-Ped Plan Next Week!

Notes by Loren Demerath.
In attendance: Robert Trudeau, Kathy Fontaine, Susan Fontaine, David Aubry, Kari Brownholland, Cynthia Keith, Garrett Johnson, Maurice Loridans, Steph Pedro, Loren Demerath

Cynthia described her research on the identities of the two young women who spoke at the MPC hearings on the Master Plan and who so thoroughly spoke to the interests of the city in exactly the way we’ve discussed in meetings (the need for bike paths and nature trails among other things [Loren thinks?]). Yes, it was said we stalk our new members!

The radio show was noted and Liz Swain and Kathy Johnson and Susan were all complemented for their contributions. We were so excited by having so many fun guests we forgot to mention this meeting afterwards during the show, or even to invite Liz Swain! Cynthia said we should’ve invited Liz Swain to the meeting. We maybe could partner with them next year. Robert noted we’ve come a long way just to get a walking tour of historic Highland. It happens a lot elsewhere, but not here, and this is a big step getting this here.

A digital copy of the poster that Marion Marks would be nice--one that we can e-mail.

Next week we could talk to Shreveport Green; they and the Ozark Society will be doing a cleanup of the Red River this Saturday. We can talk about how that was and then about Velo Dendro coming up and the tree planting. Robert will contact Donna Curtis about that. Kari will email Marion Marks. Steph talked about her web app that you can use from any mobile device; can be used even from laptops. Jennette can’t be here but the group discussed the letter to send to the police department.

Dear Chief Willie L. Shaw, Jr,
It has come to the attention of A Better Shreveport that our bicyclist police officers in the downtown area do not wear helmets. This is of concern to our organization for several reasons. First, we believe the police should be setting a positive example for the rest of the community, especially children and young adults. Bike-related crashes kill 900 people every year and send about 567,000 to hospital emergency rooms with injuries. Wearing a bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent (US Consumer Product Safety Commission). Because of the nature of their duties (chases, etc.), bicycling police officers have a greater risk of injury. With that in mind, we are also concerned about taxpayer costs associated with police bicyclist injuries and rehabilitation. Further, the image of the bicycle officers wearing bullet-proof vests (but not helmets) sends a very mixed message about public safety in the downtown area.
Bicycle advocacy is a priority of our organization and we would be happy to offer our experience and expertise in urban bicycle safety to the police department, if needed.
Thank you for taking this issue under consideration. Please keep us informed of the progress you make on this important issue. We look forward to hearing from you.

Members of

Maurice talked about his ambivalence towards helmets. Bright colors and caution are more important. They say, “dress like a clown, and ride like an invisible clown” if you want to be safe. The Europeans don’t use them, nor the Chinese, but they have so many cyclists there’s safety in numbers, urban transportation biking isn’t like racing in the Tour de France--35 mph in a pack.

It was agreed that we should send the letter, nonetheless, because of the priority for setting an example for kids, not to mention adults. Kari mentioned her very serious bike accident--the group was stunned. [Would not have happened on a bike path, Loren wonders?]

Susan passed around the Austin Bike map complete with safety instructions.

Caroline will be here next week and Steph and she will talk about their scope of services for the bike-ped plan. Should be great to see how the pieces can fit together for really designing a more bike-able walk-able Shreveport. Bike paths and nature trails for all!

Because of Susan’s election as CAO and contributions and commitment, etc., all agreed she should be nominated as a board member. She was so nominated, and was then elected.

David Aubry discussed the Riverscape properties and there are a number of businesses considering it, but each is waiting to see who goes first.
The new Petrohawk, #2 driller in the Haynesville Shale is using a lot of the ideas in the Master Plan to build on the old Champion Links par-3 and driving range.
They’ll be making the connector to the bike path there off Preston soon. The bike path linking 70th and Tokyo area of the automall will be fixed soon as well.

In Desoto Parish they’re having to resurface roads because of the hauling trucks associated with drilling. They don’t have an enforcement officer there, but their taxes should be paying for it. But the designs need to accommodate the weight.

Robert fetched the Velo Dendro posters from Marion Marks' nearby office.

April Waren, April Dahm, David Nelson, Carolyn Manning could all pick up and distribute; Steph will take one to Ian Webb for Rivercity Cycling. Maurice will take on to Scott at Scooter’s. [NOTE TO ALL: VELO DENDRO POSTERS ARE OUTSIDE LOREN’S OFFICE -- PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COME BY AND PICK UP AT 213 CENTENARY SQUARE.]

The group discussed the need to publicize Velo Dendro. Kathy Fontaine said she is willing to cork. Robert will be taking photographs.

Lastly--but not least!--the group also nominated and voted to the board Cynthia Keith.

Steph also asked what we can do to get a dog park faster. Cynthia thinks the election is holding it up. It was said many of us would be more than happy to do leg work for the dog park. Shelly Raigle had said by this fall we would have one, and fall is certainly here. We need to have a new ordinance that allows people to drop the leash. Stephanie has seen all the ordinances that are going to be introduced and they don’t include that one. It was agreed that we should call somebody.

Loren suggested that next week we vote on the bylaws and it was agreed that we would try to do so and put in on the agenda. Susan said she would review them by then and come to Monday’s with possible suggestions if she thinks we need them.

Next meeting is Monday the 14th, when we’ll vote on the bylaws and hear about the bike-ped plan scope of services from Caroline Majors and Steph Pedro. Should be a great meeting!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Donna Curtis will be guest on "Time for ABetterShreveport" on KSCL, 91.3, Monday at 5:00

NeighborWoods Month (Oct) and the following topics will be discussed by Shreveport Green director Donna Curtis when she appears on Time for ABetterShreveport on KSCL, 91.3 fm. That's Mon, Oct 18, 5 pm.

- Velo Dendro bike tour
- Recent successes of Spt Green
- Bit of history on Spt Green
- Recycling in Shreveport at the 2 year (?) mark.

Hosts are Loren Demerath, Carolyn Manning and Robert Trudeau.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Promoting the tree-centered Velo Dendro city bicycle tour on Sat, Oct 23, 8:45 am

Notes by Loren Demerath.
Call 734-9101 anytime to record your idea or comment and hear it broadcast on the live show Mondays. Do it! We DARE you!


In attendance: Loren Demerath, Matthew Linn, Hallie Dozier, Carolyn Manning, Maurice Loridans, Kari Brownholland, David Brownholland, Cynthia Keith, Robert Curry, Susan Fontaine, Garrett Johnson

The group welcomed Kari and David Brownholland. Kari worked with a non-profit in St. Louis before moving here with David, who is Centenary’s new organic chemistry professor. (Both awfully nice folks!)

The group heard from Hallie on what we need for the bicycling city tree tour. Promotion is the main need, but the day of the ride we’ll need help with registration work; we need to have a release signed for each rider. Carolyn and Kari both volunteered to help with registration.

We’ll have an ice chest and a trailer with bike repair materials.

The route people think should be the southern half of the route we didn’t get to complete last year. The total is only 15 miles. Last year was tricky going through the arboretum at Centenary; the route was too tight. We’ll start by going south to Betty Virginia Park where there will be a tree planting in honor of Yvonne Lee who was a Shreveport Green employee who was murdered last year; the Bike Pedaler is donating the tree.

Hallie will need people to help marshal the riders.

Our posters didn’t have the effect that we wanted, but where did we get the 100 riders? Maybe from using e-mail lists as well as the organizational meeting Hallie and Matthew held the previous spring. We can send out the same list; it came from Matthew. Mary Allan Hoffman can put it out. Maurice can send it to the Ozark Society, Loren to ABS, Matthew to his list, Ian can send it to his people too; we can all post and publicize on Facebook. Email instead of posters might be sufficient. We can email the people who registered as well. Steph pointed out that Facebook has over 1,500 members, issuing an invite through there is what Matthew is doing, and we can pass it on to the ABS group...

We’re not stealing people from the Tour de Goodwill, because the roadies and the family riders are different groups.

Postcard size fliers that the stores can put in the bags of customers, etc. Kari pledged to finish a postcard flier by Thursday! A specific day!

Bossier is having a bicycle swap this weekend.

The attic of Mickle Hall; or under the Centenary Square parking lot might be good sites for a much needed old bicycle and parts depository.

Would the Theater Department be o.k. with that? Kari will ask if she gets a chance in her capacity as head of Student Academic Services (in which she often talks with faculty about their needs).

Steph reported a request for a letter to the Police Department by wearing a helmet; Kari said helmets aren’t statistically related to safety; can give the impression of bicycling being dangerous; and give cyclists a false sense of security. has cool helmets.

The Europeans don’t wear helmets; they’re going slower and sitting upright... the more people that ride the safer you are, and they have more people riding there.

Susan and Garrett passed 5 people biking on Creswell; none were Salmon or Ninjas. (Ninjas have no lights, Salmons go against the flow.)

We can ask why the police don’t wear them, and remind them it sets a good example for kids. Tweedrides and copenhagen cycle chic are the web sites that talk about cycling in business attire.

Susan said we should push for the permanent airpump installation they saw in Baton Rouge. Matthew said he could install one at Columbia Cafe. Maybe RFC could be the downtown companion, or even better the bus station downtown.

Cynthia said Kathryn Usher--who started the ghost tours--said she’d give ABS a personalized ghost tour, maybe for a special ABS meeting.

She also said there’s a boat tour run by Sam Flood, we could also publicize that and meet during on deck one day, perhaps. We do discuss the Red Rive and Cross Bayou’s potential regularly at our meetings.

Caddo Parish is constantly in a state of renovating the parish courthouse, and there’s a hangman on the top floor that’s one of the last ones in existence; that could be integrated into a ghost tour.

Matthew showed on a map he brought how a sector of land the parish has bought will allow stormwater to be absorbed in a much more effective and environmentally healthy.

We’ll talk next week about the bike-ped plan and greenways scope of services. The greenway plan will be initiated by members of Loren’s class this semester as part of a service-learning project. There are other things ABS can do to carry the plan forward.

Cynthia said the Metropolitan Planning Commission heard the arguments for accepting the Master Plan. Two young women came and spoke for it and everything they said paralleled what we’ve talked about in these meetings. They talked about being able to bike down Gilbert, about the riverfront, about downtown, flea market under the Texas st. bridge, mapped and displayed bike routes... one of the MPC members brought up the difficulty of biking from Sams to Willis Knighton. Cynthia spoke at the beginning and mentioned the blog, the dog park, and spoke in favor of the Master Plan.

Susan mentioned we know a person who’s an engineer who’s may be willing to make our dog poop electricity machine. (All it is, Steph said, is an anaerobic digestor, which they have everywhere; they use it for hog waste; Robert said his turkeys behind his gallery generate a fair amount--they’re in the country in winter and summer.)

Next meeting is next Monday, 6 to 7, as usual.

Monday, October 4, 2010

ABS Submits Ceiling Tile

Stop by the Lazy Fisherman restaurant at 530 East Kings Hwy (formerly Church's Chicken by Nader's Gallery) to view the ceiling tile submitted by ABS. As a surprise, ABS members Cynthia Keith and Garrett Johnson entered the "Paint a Ceiling Tile" contest, a promotion for the new restaurant. This ABS entry features a nesting egret protecting her eggs. In keeping with the guidelines of a water themed entry, the tile reads "Keep our rivers clean and our food fresh for A Better Shreveport". Stop by the restaurant to view this and other entries displayed on their ceiling. Since the restaurant is close to Centenary College's campus, we thought it would be nice to be represented. Besides ffried ish, the restaurant is home to the "peanut butter burger", they say it tastes better than it sounds!