March message from CRNA President

Friends and Neighbors—

Now that Carnival is behind us, there is much to report. 

Monthly meeting—Because our regular meeting date (second Thursday) was so close to Mardi Gras, we decided to postpone our regular monthly CRNA meeting to this coming Wednesday evening, March 16—7 p.m.  in the back dining room of Squeal Bar-B-Q, corner of Oak and Cambronne.  In addition to reports on neighborhood activities, we’ll be planning a general meeting for April, plus nominations for our board.  We also expect to have a YMCA representative to talk about their plans for the future and how they might impact our neighborhood.  The new community liaison from Councilmember Guidry’s office also hopes to join us.

You are always welcome.  We’d be especially happy to see you this month if you are interested serving on the board or otherwise helping out with association activities.  As always, if you drive to the meeting, we’d ask you NOT to park in the spaces immediately adjacent to the restaurant.  If we fill those up, we tend to scare away other customers.  And you’re welcome to order from Squeal’s excellent menu during the meeting.

Town Hall with Senator Karen Carter-Peterson.  Thursday evening, March 17, 6 p.m. at St. Matthew’s, corner of Carrollton and Willow.  The legislature will be meeting soon, of course.  The senator has invited representatives from the State Departments of Revenue, Education, Insurance, and Health and Hospitals to attend and answer questions. Representatives from Council Districts and State Representatives’ offices have also been invited.  As the senator says:  “Before I speak as your voice, I want to hear yours.”

“Fight the Blight” Day at Harrell Park, Claiborne and Leonidas – Saturday, March 19, 8-2.   Organized by the Mayor’s office.  More details as they become available in the next few days, but plan now to join us for a major neighborhood clean-up effort.

Big garden-building day at Johnson School, Saturday March 26, 9-12.  Many of you have helped with earlier stages of the garden and beautification efforts around the Johnson School.  Here’s your chance to be part of the next big phase of the Community Schoolyard Garden.

3 projects are to be completed on the 26th:

1) Building of the remaining beds and the filling of beds with gravel and soil

2) Building of the base stands for the rain barrels

3) Construction of rain barrels

Each project will have a team which will include one project leader, team leaders, and volunteers.  Project leaders will oversee the entire project.  Team leaders will work with small teams of volunteers on specific aspects of the project.

If you are able to attend the workday on 3/26 please read the project descriptions below and decide which project you would like to work on and in what capacity.  Then let Mary Dewitt Dukes know by emailing  Team leaders will meet with their project leaders at 8:30 on the 26th to clarify project details before the build begins at 9:00am.

PROJECT 1:  Building of the remaining beds and the filling of beds with gravel and soil

This group will work in the garden site laying out and building the remaining beds out of cement blocks.  They will fill completed beds with 4 inches of gravel, and then fill with soil.  This group requires the most help.  Several team leaders are needed to direct the movement and distribution of gravel and soil, ensuring appropriate levels of each.  Many volunteers are needed to move blocks, gravel, and soil.  
PROJECT 2: Building of the base stands for the rain barrels

This group will work inside the courtyard of the School to build the raised wooden bases that the rain barrels will sit on to provide stability and gravity pressure for the water system function.  We need 7 base stands for the garden.  Plans for the base stands have already been designed.  Team leaders (preferably 7) with construction skills are needed to work with 2-3 volunteers each to follow the plans and construct the bases

We also need two people with measuring and sawing experience to run a cutting station to provide lumber for project 2. 

PROJECT 3: Construction of rain barrels

This group will also work inside the School’s courtyard to build the rain barrels which will sit on top of the base stand when finished.  Each set of four barrels (7 sets) will be constructed using 50-gallon plastic barrels, PVC pipes, faucets etc.  Individuals with plumbing and PVC pipe experience are needed for this project.  As the barrels are built they will be moved onto the bases already in place to be finished and secured

Again, Please respond to Mary Dewitt Dukes- to let the planning team know what project you would like to work on and if you have skills to lead a small team of volunteers.  Team leaders will meet with their project leaders at 8:30am on Saturday, March 26th to review project details before the build begins around 9am.

And FYI:  In the last month, your neighborhood association has supported alcoholic beverage licenses for Pepperoni’s Pizza on Hampson and the new Cowbell restaurant on Oak (with understandings in which they agree to limit their hours of operation and the transfer of the license).  We have also been part of a “friends of the court” brief in a lawsuit brought by groups in the French Quarter seeking to enforce rules against the illegal expansion of hotels into residentially zoned properties.

Hope to see you Wednesday.

Best, Jerry


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