Thursday, September 19, 2013

Independence Bowl for Football Safety, Bicycle Coop, Pollution in Cross Bayou Discussed at 9/6 Meeting

At the meeting of Monday, September 9th, were Maurice Loridans, Loren Demerath, Cynthia Keith, Feico Kempff, Nick Runyon.  Here are Loren’s rough notes:

Nick noted that the NFL settlement just followed our discussion from the previous week.  Feico said if you leave the equipment choice to the players, things might look different; people would want their own safety.  
    Loren is scheduled to meet with Kelly Wells of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau to discuss two topics: 1) leveraging the Independence Bowl, or even just use of the stadium, to improve football safety, and 2) leveraging the I-Bowl to publicize an issue that would help the city.

Cynthia noted that the mountain bike trails by the boat launch by Veteran's Park are being featured as a recreational amenity.  Maurice said a number of the obstacles have been home-made--as have all the trails--and are dangerous.  It doesn't mean they shouldn't be there, just that the city should be careful in what it recognizes and for which it then implicitly takes responsibility.  The National Park Service doesn’t publicize hair-brained activities, as the City shouldn’t in publicizing and supervising the Stoner Park trails.  But one person asked about the skate park, noting that skateboarders break their arms and such all the time. There’s also some R-rated graffiti there, but Nick thinks there’s a norm set by the older skaters against messing up the deal they've got and not doing things that would get it taken away from them.
It was noted that there used to be trails at the northern end of the Hamel property but you can’t get through any more.  You can come back from the beach to lower Hamel park.  If you come down the northern end of the mound it used to have a nice trail there, but not anymore.
There was sentiment that we’ll have a meeting out there when it gets cooler.
Speaking of that area, Loren noted that Jon Soul has mustered a number of volunteers under his "Bayou to Bay" watershed education project, and they've recently cleaned up the beach by the Jimmie Davis Bridge this past weekend.  
Cynthia wondered if there were alligators.  Maurice said there are alligators in every body of water in this state, even in bodies so small you wouldn’t consider them bodies of water!
Feico noted that there was an application for commercial fishing of turtles in Cross Bayou and under consideration at the city council this week.  
Maurice said he wouldn’t eat turtles out of Cross Bayou, but almost every year Shreveport pumps out of Cross Bayou for our water, and you can taste it in the musty flavor of the water at those times of water.  Maurice has said he’s seen ruptured sewer lines in Cross Bayou.  Moreover, there was decades of dumping of organic matter from the roof shingle manufacturing there years ago, but nobody’s ever asked them to clear it up.
    The foam blobs floating down the river can be naturally occurring.  But the water in the Red River is cleaner than that in Cross or Twelve Mile Bayou.  That would be a beautiful area to paddle if it weren’t for the people living along it not treating it like a dump.  There are garbage bags, refrigerators, and such thrown down there.
    Loren asked advice on what to do about the streets going through isolated areas.  He regularly bikes home from Magnet High School through one area.  Feico said it's 13 acres that was in the Rossbottom bankruptsy and is now owned by a local doctor.  Loren noted the dumping of trash there is a shame, that it's a peaceful country road going through a beautiful forest, otherwise.
    Maurice said construction companies tell their low level employees to dump stuff and be back on the job in five or ten minutes, sometimes even knowing there's no place they can do it legally that fast.
Loren asked if we should post signs of penalties, even warnings of video surveillance, etc.  Police receive complaints about that sort of thing but the responses can be ham-fisted.  The response can be to cut down the woods, like cutting off your nose to save your face.
    The possibility of automatic sensors was raised.  Nick’s brother is a radio personality in Cedar Rapids and he's told Nick about the huge controversy in there surrounding automatic traffic tickets. Maurice said there can be defenses; it’s not completely automatic with no chance for contesting the ticket.  But, it does generate revenue.  A friend in New Orleans has gotten a ticket for running a red light at 4:00 a.m. when there wasn't a soul around.


Loren is thinking that the Theater Department might be able to share some space with us in certain locale where they store old scenery.  It would need to be secured, but that could be done by putting a gate there.
    We could use the old props creatively.  Some of the old giant trees with hooks on it, etc.  Folks can get national attention for creatively designing a bicycle coop, let alone doing that for bicycles. 
    As for folks who might be interested in collaborating on that sort of thing, Steve Culp is contact who’s mechanically inclined, husband of Liz Swaine.  

On Thursday, 9/12, is the fundraiser for the dog park at Canes (5-8 pm) and the Red Mango (noon to 10 pm) on Youree.


Cohabitat is celebrating its reopening in its new location under the Texas Street Bridge with live music on the 20th, 5-10 pm., where Brother’s Seafood was next to Nicky’s.  They've raised $20,000 to refinish the kitchen and make it into a test kitchen.

Next week: the Local Idea Festival concept, community gardening at the Barnwell, Healthy Green and Into the Outdoors possible advocacy on anti-obesity Policies, and whatever other topics come up!

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