Saturday, December 31, 2011

Shreveport Dog Park Alliance fund raiser, 'Wine and Beer Tasting with a BITE!' Sat, Jan 14, 7-10 pm, Barnwell Art Center

Shreveport Dog Park Alliance  by trudeau
Shreveport Dog Park Alliance , a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

We are having a fund raiser, Wine and Beer Tasting with a BITE! Sat-Jan 14, 7-10pm, Barnwell Art Center, says Cynthia Keith.

The BITE? Wines and beers have animals on the labels!

For a $35 donation enjoy the silent auction, live music, funniest animal photo contest, heavy hors d' oeuvres, Lion coffee, Raising Cane's sweet tea and soft drinks.

See Shreveport Dog Park Alliance facebook page (event page: Wine and Beer Tasting with a Bite) for info/funny animal photo entries.

Dress in the colors of your pet or animal prints, but please leave pets at home for this one.

Please respond if you are attending, for more info call me at 469-1325.

Cynthia Keith -Top Dog, Shreveport Dog Park Alliance

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Better Shreveport-sponsored Holiday Bike Ride in Broadmoor postponed to Tues, Dec 27, begins at Johnny's Pizza at 5:30 pm

Our Holiday Bike Ride starts at Johnny's Pizza on Preston at 5:30, Tuesday, December 27, writes Stephanie Pedro.

Hope to see you there! I will have some hot cider for us to sip on before we set off, then beer and pizza at Johnny's afterwards!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Route for Holiday Lights Tour Decided at Last Meeting, More Tours to Be Made at the Next

In attendance: Robert Trudeau, Kathryn Brandl, Elizabeth Roselli, Brian Salvatore, Ryan Tew, Maurice Loridans, Feico Kempff, Susan Keith, Ian Webb, Cynthia Keith, Steph Pedro.


Ian talked about the maps he’s been developing of self-guided tours to take via bicycle. Adding to those tours has been our theme of the month. Loren has been in communication with Centenary archivist and local music historian Chris Brown about making a musical tour, and the group is set to have a second annual holiday lights tour this year on the day after Christmas.

(Although the idea is to see the lights via bicycle, not so much decorate one's bike, who knows what folks might chose to do? Some of us won't soon forget how Maurice Loridans decorated his helmet for mardi gras cyclovia!)

The group first discussed the future of such tours. Robert has suggested a podcast that would be done while you ride, or walk. Loren mentioned the interactive musical soundtrack that’s been created as an app to use for walks in Central Park, as described in the New York Times recently. The app uses the walker’s GPS activates different audio sounds. Ian mentioned the possibilities of musical and historical tours.

Regardless of future possibilities, though, the current format Ian is using is a .pdf file that people can print out as a map and take with them. Ian doesn’t want to post all the tours until he has a good amount of them. He’s found a site for storing all the pdf’s. Robert talked about his favorite ride down Texas Avenue and seeing the old Blue Goose site, so that could be integrated into a tour. Ian said he’ll be able to rank them by which rides are most often downloaded. Ian said people can send links from google maps or whatever and his team can put them into .pdf form.

The group then discussed various routes for the Christmas light ride. After considering various areas to bike through, as South Highlands, but group settled on Broadmoor, like last year, partly because of the easily hill-less riding it provides, as well as a fairly spectacular set of lights we can go by which Susan Keith mentioned.

The group spent most of the rest of the meeting deciding on the route and drawing it on google maps. Stay tuned to this blog for details of when the ride will start. But it will likely start and end at the Johnny’s Pizza parking lot, and after the tour people can eat pizza there at Johnny’s, if they like.


Loren announced that the IRS has formally approved our filing as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. We will scan and post the letter and put in our google docs for our reference

Loren also noted the success of the last two meetings. The last one was a social gathering over drinks at the Lake Street Dance Hall downtown, and the other was an advocacy meeting where we did such things as writing letters to city officials, enter survey data, and draw maps. (Loren apologized for not posting summaries; he explained the deadlines of a publisher for a manuscript and Centenary's Registrar for grading finals conspired against it.)

Steph announced that 90% of our radio shows at KSCL have been saved on their server. They will be made available as podcasts by a Centenary student volunteering at the radio station starting January 10th. It was mentioned that the easiest way to access them would be as MP3’s; it was noted that one of us could make those transformations ourselves.

Maurice met a person who lives near the Coates Bluff trail on the Bossier Parrish side. He is a retired architect, and it was noted that perhaps he might be able to help us design the pier.

Robert reported that he’s learned a photography teacher at Magnet, Terrance Flores, has taken students on the trail; another example of students using the trail as part of their education.

Steph asked if we’re still on board with our improvements for capacity building. The group decided we will make strategic planning our theme for January.

The group discussed connecting with other communities. Rotating meeting locations may not be as effective as making a video showing what we do. A student leison could go to different communities and show the video and talk to people about how to do what we or how to connect with us. Steph mentioned she could shape up what one gets out of ABS and make a flier.

Feico noted U.L.Coleman’s development near Coates Bluff.

Brian noted the city losing two professional sports teams, the Mudbugs and the Pilots; he said it seems they’re leaving because of the lack of educated, upper-income people here, and that improving our education and income levels should be among our primary metrics for what constitutes a better city.

Robert noted that Craig Durrett mentioned that bike paths should be incorporated into the widening of 3132. The group was glad about that. It was noted that as editor of the editorial page of the Shreveport Times, Craig is an important contributor to the public discourse about what would improve the city.

The next meeting on December 19th will center on the theme of tours for the city, trying to create more, but the one after that on the 26th will be on bicycle, in the form of the Christmas light bicycle tour! Stay tuned to the blog for details!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I-49 chat on KSCL at 5 pm, Mon, Dec 19: Fuller Center's Lee Jeter, and State Rep Roy Burrell

Completing I-49 will not be easy. Several routes for the highway are currently being discussed - with no easy or clear choice.

Lee Jeter, of the Fuller Center, and State representative Roy Burrell are among the well-spoken and well-educated voices discussing the issues.

Interviewers Robert Trudeau and Stephanie Pedro.

Stream at
Questions and remarks: 318 869 5297.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Angie White, Slow Food North La, and Martha Marak, Food Bank of NW La, guests on radio Mon, Dec 12, 5 pm

Guests for Time for A Better Shreveport, Mon, Dec 12, are Angie White, who will
talk about the Slow Food movement - - as
well as her econ dev work.

And Martha Marak, director of Food Bank
NWLa. - - who will talk about an
institution that is one of the city's proudest points of light.

Co-hosts will be Stephanie Pedro and Maurice Loridans, tentatively.

Stream at
Questions straight to the interview booth: 869 5297.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ABS member, Cynthia Keith and Baxter the dog park dog, enjoying the view from the future home of our first regional dog park inside of the city park, Hamel Memorial Park. Read the article from the Shreveport Times for more info Join us on our Facebook page for Shreveport Dog Park Alliance.

Monday, December 5, 2011

First Ever ABS Social Meeting Tonight!

Our new monthly format includes a social meeting on the first Monday of every month. Last month we used it for a slide show on the Occupy Movement, but this month, we're not letting our social meeting get occupied by anything!

Join us tonight for a beverage and chat. 6:00-7:00 at the Lake Street Dance Hall (pictured above). Hopefully we'll come away with ideas for self-guided bike/ped city tours -- the theme of this month!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Time for A Better Shreveport: Philadelphia Center's Deborah Allen andthe TEDx Red River series organizer, Cole Brand

Join us at 91.3 fm, KSCL, from 5 to 5:30 pm every Monday for interview with community activists.

Remarks: 869 5297.


ABS meeting this week is the social mixer. The site is Lake St Dance Hall. That's right, the projector & overhead screen, maps and laptops will be replaced by curvilinear beverages and freely overlapping discussions.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Upcoming Meetings on I-49 Corridor a Chance to Shape What Happens?

Here's three chances to influence the future of our city in two ways: to influence public opinion on I-49, and to influence the capacity of public opinion to shape our city for the good of public interests.

To quote from the flier: "These three community-wide input meetings are being scheduled as the project moves into the environmental assessment phase. They will provide opportunities for you to learn more, voice your opinion and give the planning team specific ideas about design alternatives for this interstate

Tuesday, December 13th 6:00 pm
LA Technical College
2010 N. Market Street

Wednesday, December 14th noon
Shreve Memorial Library
424 Texas Street
Bring your lunch!

Thursday, December 15th 6:00 pm
J.S. Clark Middle School
351 Hearne Avenue

There's a dark side and a bright side to these meetings. The dark side is that they might be just for show. The bright side is regardless of that, that the more the public meets and communicates, the stronger its voice gets. But for that to happen, we have to go to the meetings, and we have to talk about them. ABS was founded to strengthen the public's voice by facilitating that talk, and here's something that deserves talk.
And we may have to express ourselves, because not every meeting has decision makers that are listening; not every urban planner is well-trained in soliciting community input; not every metropolitan planning organization even uses planners!
So, the folks in charge could be holding these meeting just for appearances; to look like their listening to public opinion. It's possible their minds are made up already. And there's plenty of people who've been trying to influence them; wealthy, politically connected property owners, for example, who would make money by the interstate taking a certain form. Sadly, we know their interests can dominate the discussion and in the end decisions are made in their favor. Read any textbook in urban sociology and you'll see studies showing it happens.
But there are also studies showing private interests don't always win. Sometimes the public does.
Obviously, individual interests can and should matter. But the costs and benefits to a community can and should outweigh individual interests. The dark side is that money and power influences the negotiations over any decision.
But on the bright side, the public is a player in those negotiations, and with potentially dominant power. There is always a court of public opinion that can rule loudly and with real consequences if enough people care to speak up.
Moreover, that court gets more powerful and useful the more its used. In participating in the dialogue that shapes public opinion, we get stronger as a community. We get practice in articulating our views, in sharing them and communicating them. We get to know different leaders and organizations from different neighborhoods, schools, and community organizations. And we figure out how to pool our resources to make the rulings we make matter. As people connect with each other, a web of diverse social networks eventually spreads across the city. As those networks are connected and then used to voice a single point of view, it gets heard loud and clear.
This makes all of us players in the negotiations over I-49. And the real bright side is that just trying to be heard on this issue makes us a more powerful court for future decisions. Let's make our court of public opinion one that private interests have to worry about. Let's go to the meetings and talk, there and afterwards, and push the public interest to the forefront!