June CRNA Minutes

Carrollton/Riverbend Neighborhood Association
Minutes
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Board members attending: Betty Dimarco, Camilla Franklin, Martin Huber, Byron Johnson, Bob Larsen, Anne Nicolay, Liz Reed, Jerry Speir, Ariel Wallick, and Brad Wilkins.

Board members absent: Pax Bobrow, Barry Brantley, Andreas Hoffman, Jill Stephens, and Rick Wilkof.

Residents and guests: Lisa Manning Ambrose, Katrina Badger, Wanda Brooks, Judy Caliva, Kevin Caliva, Frank Coco, Jason Coleman, Marc Irwin, Linda Marchand, Robert Morris, Steve Novak, Leon Touzet, Ann Vosepka, Terri Wide, Sherri Wilder, Min Yang

Lisa Ambrose, staff person for Congressman Cedric Richmond, brought the Congressman’s greetings and offered to be of assistance with any federal matters that residents might have (Social Security, Veterans’ affairs, FEMA, passport issues, immigration issues, etc.) The local office is at 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 309, NOLA 70122. Office phone: 504-288-3777. Fax: 504-288-4090. Ms. Ambrose can be reached by email at Lisa.Ambrose@mail.house.gov

Sherri Wilder, skwilder@nola.gov ,staff person for Councilmember Susan Guidry, noted that the Councilmember is Chair of the City Council Cable, Telecommunications and Technology Committee, and is overseeing the renewal process for the current Orleans Parish Cable Television Franchise (Cox Communications) which is up for renewal this year.

She wants to hear from citizens. The public engagement process will include an online survey and public hearings. She is asking all her constituents to take a moment to answer the online survey.

You can also participate in the public hearings by attending any of the Cable, Telecommunications and Technology Committee meetings to be held in the Council Chambers at 10 a.m. on the following Mondays: June 27, August 22 and September 26.

Cox has a non-exclusive franchise to operate in Orleans Parish. The non-exclusive franchise was initially granted in the mid-1980s and renewed in 1995. Federal law governs cable television franchises and designates citizen input as a step in the local renewal process. The public input gathered will be used in the renewal evaluation process. Federal law does not allow the City Council to set subscriber rates; therefore the Council has no influence over a Cox subscriber’s monthly bill.

The second phase of the citizen engagement process will be a public meeting in the Council Chamber on June 30. For additional information, please visit http://www.nolacitycouncil.com.

Council Redistricting Open House

The Council Redistricting process is continuing. A Redistricting Open House is scheduled for Saturday, June 18, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Council Chambers. Maps and proposals will be available for public review and comment.

A public hearing will be held on the redistricting maps and proposals at the Redistricting Committee meeting to be held the following week on June 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers. This will be the public’s opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns based on the various proposed redistricting maps, and to have any questions answered. The Redistricting ordinance(s) will then be drafted by the councilmembers for introduction at the July 7 Council meeting.

Business Information Session

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development is coordinating a Business Information Session featuring information, resources and opportunities helpful for business owners and entrepreneurs presented by the City of New Orleans Office of Economic Development, Office of Supplier Diversity, and Cultural Economy, the New Orleans Business Alliance, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Small Business Administration (SBA), JOB1 Business and Career Solutions, New Orleans Fresh Food Retailer Initiative, and the World Trade Center.

When: June 16, 2011, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Where: City Church of New Orleans
13123 I-10 Service Road
New Orleans, LA 70128

This event is free and open to the public. To RSVP call (504) 658-4237 or email mmfrazier@nola.gov.

Katrina Badger, kebadger@nola.gov , staff person with the administration’s new Office of Neighborhood Engagement, encouraged participation in a “Hello Hurricane Season Summit,” June 11, 8:30-noon, at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Leon Touzet, proprietor of Patois and of the new Tru Burger restaurant at 8115 Oak Street, described his new restaurant and his desire to apply for a low-alcohol (beer and wine) license there. After discussion, he expressed his willingness to enter into a Good Neighbor Agreement with CRNA, similar to those the organization has entered with other restaurants in the neighborhood: limiting transfer of the license, requiring operation as a standard restaurant, prohibiting “go cups” and video poker, and providing that there will be no advertising of alcohol in the windows, etc. As to a commitment to closing hours, several board members suggested that the hours should be the same as those recently approved for the Cowbell restaurant. That agreement provided for a midnight closing (or earlier) each night.
On motion by Anne Nicolay, seconded by Bob Larsen, the board voted unanimously to support Mr. Touzet’s application for a low-alcohol license, conditioned on his signing a Good Neighbor Agreement with the above provisions.

Jerry Speir noted that it had only come to his attention within the previous 24 hours that the Shell Station at Carrollton and St. Charles was applying for an appeal of the alcohol moratorium in connection with a change of operator. The applicant seeks only to continue the sale of beer and wine for off-site consumption that was in place for the previous operator. The application had already been to the City Planning Commission where a staff report had been generated, recommending approval, with several provisos, including: additional landscaping to the strips adjacent to the sidewalk and removal of vendor signs (including alcohol vendors) in the windows. Bob Larsen moved, seconded by Martin Huber, that the organization take no official position on the application, because of the lack of timely notice, and that we express our concern to the city about the notice problem. Passed unanimously.

Elections: The board elected new officers, all unanimously.

Treasurer—Jill Stephens
Secretary—Barry Brantley
Vice-President—Byron Johnson
President—Anne Nicolay

Wanda Brooks, principal of James Weldon Johnson Elementary School, made an appeal for mentors/tutors to volunteer, beginning with the fall semester, to tutor/mentor individual children for 2-3 hours per week at the school. The focus will be on third to eighth grade children who are “on the cusp” or “almost passing,” but who could benefit from some extra, personalized attention. Volunteers will need to sign up no later than August, so that necessary background checks can be conducted. A one-day training day for the tutor/mentors is planned. Ms. Brooks can be contacted at wanda.brooks@rsdla.net

New President Anne Nicolay led a discussion of goals for the organization for the coming year. A single goal (or two) to create “focus” for the organization has been frequently suggested.

Topics discussed included:
–zoning and code enforcement, generally
–blight
–crime
–assisting Johnson School and tracking the status of what is supposed to be a new school building at the former Priestley School site (Leonidas, between Birch and Green)
–street and streetlight repairs
–parking
–Quality of Life issues, with a focus on children and families
–porch parties
–the abandoned Entergy property adjacent to the Chevron station
–Block Captains and relationship building
–Community Center on Leonidas

The group agreed to make time at upcoming meetings to continue this discussion until consensus can be achieved.

Minutes by Jerry Speir

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