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  • April 2019 Security Update

    • 4/1/19 at 2158 hours, Officers responded to a disturbance at 2164 Tulip Street. The resident advised a female on scene was causing a disturbance. The resident agreed the female could stay if she would calm down. The female agreed and no further disturbances were reported.
    • 4/13/19 at 1335 hours, Officers responded to a loud music complaint at 1130 Park Bl. Officers contacted the individual with loud music and he agreed to wear headphones to further prevent disturbing his neighbors.
    • 4/17/19 at 0941 hours, Officers responded to 614 Park Bl. The resident advised a Lilly plant and a statute were stolen from their front porch. This case is still being investigated and there are no known suspects at this time.
    • 4/24/19 at 2310 hours, Officers responded to 2105 Kleinert Ave. relative to the resident receiving unwanted calls to their phone. The resident reported an unknown person called their phone 30 times in a row from an unknown number. Officers were unable to determine who the caller was. The resident believed it was an ex.  
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    John WilliamsApril 2019 Security Update
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    Business Spotlight: Pink Elephant Antiques

    Lisa Pellissier is owner and operator of The Pink Elephant Antiques.  Her business is located at 2648 Government Street, Baton Rouge, and consists of three historic buildings built in the 1930-1950s.  The wonderfully colorful building complex is very welcoming and just invites you inside to dawdle and shop the many vendor stalls.

    Lisa is a 30-year resident of the Garden District.  She states that her family loves the neighborhood and she would not dream of living anywhere else.  Lisa earned a degree in horticulture from LSU and has always been interested in antiques and vintage.  She was a dealer for five years at a local antique mall before purchasing the building on Government Street and transforming it into The Pink Elephant Antiques.

    The business has been opened for three years and according to Lisa, “It’s not your typical antiques store.”  There are over thirty vendors in the building who sell a variety of antique and vintage items including, but not limited to, jewelry, clothing, lighting, furniture and household goods. Lisa states,” Vintage lovers come in all shapes and sizes. We truly have something for everyone – whether it’s a walk down memory lane for some or cool stuff the young folk have never seen before! We can furnish an entire house, outfit you for a special occasion, fulfill all your gift giving needs and just provide a fun place to spend an afternoon.”

    In addition to their normal business hours, trunk sales featuring outside vendors are held in the store parking lot about six times a year during the spring and fall. The store also participates in Hot Art Cool Nights and White Light Nights, two very popular Mid City events. Additionally, Lisa hosts Margarita Day, Christmas open house, and Meet the Dealer events.

    Contact information for the Pink Elephant Antiques includes;

    Facebook – The Pink Elephant Antiques

    Instagram – The Pink Elephant Antiques Mall

    Website: https://www.pinkelephantantiques.com

    Lisa states,” I would love to thank everyone for the support and love the shop has gotten since we opened. It is wonderful to see so many neighbors I have known for years patronize the shop and give us so much positive feedback! We love our happy customers!”

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    John WilliamsBusiness Spotlight: Pink Elephant Antiques
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    Business Spotlight: Sweet Fern Landscapes

    Sweet Fern Landscapes, is a landscaping business owned and operated by Garden District resident Jess Cole. Jess started her business in 2015, and most of her clients are in the Garden District/Mid City area.  Jess describes herself as an organic/sustainable gardener and and loves the area as she feels her neighbors are like-minded and are open to her practice of sustainable gardening methods.

    Jess earned her degree in fine arts from LSU and included various horticulture courses in her studies. She worked in the landscape horticulture industry for ten years before opening her own business. She currently employees one person besides herself.

    Jess will redo old garden beds and install new gardens to include perennial beds, pollinator beds, vegetables/edibles. She also performs sustainable/organic gardening consultation and design work.

    Jess’ business is unique in that she installs and maintains gardens without the use of any man made chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. In her words, ”We believe in the fact that our local ecosystems are intrinsically connected and that it is incredibly important to look at the whole picture for both the clients personal yard and our local urban environment as a whole. We believe gardens can be sustainable when approached through bio mimicry. Plants and soil are alive and need tending and understanding like humans and other live creatures. Plants have important symbiotic relationships with the soil, bugs, etc..  What we do is build gardens that work with these organic agricultural processes that have been happening naturally (and very successfully) on their own for millions of years”. She states that,” a key aspect of my company is our relationship with pollinators in our urban environment.”

    Jess is hoping to work with local schools and city government to get more pollinator/perennials beds in the city.  She has her own greenhouse in which she grows perennials and annuals to include in her plantings.

    Though most of her referrals come by word-of-mouth, Jess can be reached at her website Sweet Fern Landscapes:

             www.sweetfernlandscapes.com

    You can see Jess’ work first hand at the entrance to the Garden District located at Park Blvd. and Government Street. She is in the process of filling the bed with perennials and annual flowers, mulching and irrigating the bed.

    Jess would like for folks to “consider ditching chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides! Its one of the best things you could do for your own health, our local environment and our ground water. There are great alternative/organic products to use as well as a wealth of information out there about how to make the switch. I think anyone who gives it a go may find it rather fulfilling.”

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    John WilliamsBusiness Spotlight: Sweet Fern Landscapes
  • March 2019 Security Update

    • 3/4/19 at 0011 hours, Officers responded to Camellia Ave. relative to an individual at this address stating they were feeling suicidal. The individual was transported to the hospital for a psychological evaluation.
    • 3/10/19 at 1237 hours, Officers responded to a suspicious incident at Park Bl. The complainant requested Officers clear their abandoned residence because they thought trespassers were inside conducting criminal activity. Officers cleared the residence and reported that no one was inside.
    • 3/13/19 at 0954 hours a resident at Kleinert reported that their front door was open when they returned home. The resident reported they had closed and locked the door before they left. There was no evidence of forced entry, no one inside of the home, and no items missing from the home. The resident advised they feared an estranged lover may have been inside of their home. However, there were no signs that anyone had been in the home.
    • 3/14/19 at 1629 hours Officers responded to Park Bl. relative to a medical call. A resident suffering from dementia was having a psychological episode and was subsequently transported to OLOL.
    • 3/15/19 at 2237 hours, a resident at Kleinert Ave. reported a vehicle burglary that occurred on this date between 1730 and 1830 hours. The vehicle was left unlocked and rummaged through. The resident’s checkbook, iPad, and $4 worth of change were missing. There were no surveillance cameras in the area.
    • 3/16/19 at 0640 hours, a resident at Camellia Ave. reported a vehicle burglary that occurred throughout the night. The resident advised their vehicle was locked, but the suspect managed to enter it. The suspect stole a laptop, iPad, Apple pencil, wallet, Beats headphones, Ray Ban sunglasses, and a firearm. There were no surveillance cameras in the area.
    • 3/17/19 at 1144 hours, Officers responded to a disturbance at Park Bl. The resident accused their neighbor of placing nails, staples, and screws in their driveway to intentionally damage their tires. The resident advised there is an ongoing dispute with the neighbor. Officers contacted the neighbor who advised they were unaware of any kind of dispute the resident could have been talking about, but the neighbor did advise the resident does not like them. Officers reported they believe the resident suffers from a mental disorder or is an emotionally disturbed person.
    • 3/20/19 at 1500 hours a resident at Park Bl. reported their identity had been stolen. The resident advised an unknown person has been using their identity. This case is still under investigation.
    • 3/21/19 at 2021 hours, a resident at Park Bl. reported a suspicious incident. The resident advised a white male was on the sidewalk in front of their residence with blood covering their shirt. Officers located the male, who advised he had a fight with his roommate. The male stated his lip was bleeding but he did not want medical attention. He also stated he did not want to make a report about the fight.
    • 3/26/19 at 0848 hours, an anonymous person reported a suspicious incident at Park Bl. The complainant advised a female appeared to be intoxicated and talking to a Mickey Mouse doll in the area. The Officer reported he patrolled the area and was unable to locate the female or re-contact the complainant.
    • 3/30/19 at 0335 hours, a resident at Tulip St. reported their vehicle stolen. The vehicle was taken from in front of the residence. This case is pending investigation.
    • 3/30/19 at 1348 hours, a resident at Park Bl. reported an attempted vehicle burglary. The resident advised he went into his apartment briefly and left his vehicle running. Upon returning to his vehicle, he realized it had been moved and the doors were locked. He observed juveniles in the area, who ran when they saw him looking at them. The juveniles had the complainant’s keys and threw them while they were running. There was nothing missing from the vehicle.
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    John WilliamsMarch 2019 Security Update
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    Neighborhood Yard Sale brings spring cleaning forward

    What treasures were you searching for – books for the home library, that vintage t-shirt, kitchenware, perhaps a pink Christmas tree or an adorable elephant liquor decanter?  Whatever it was, you may have found it at the Garden District Civic Association’s spring garage sale. Shoppers were out early on March 23, a glorious spring morning in the Garden District.  The weather was perfect and yards were filled with all sorts of goodies waiting to be recycled and re-homed.  Sixteen Garden District homes participated in this year’s sale and visitors from within and outside of the neighborhood perused the goods and visited with shoppers and sellers.  Even though combined sales won’t be enough to pay for the new Mississippi River bridge as anticipated, it was great fun for all and we look forward to next year’s sale. 

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    John WilliamsNeighborhood Yard Sale brings spring cleaning forward
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    GDCA hosts Annual Meeting at the Guru

    The Garden District Civic Association (GDCA) held the annual member’s meeting Sunday, March 10, 2019.  Over forty members of the association were in attendance.

    We want to thank Sidney Coffee, owner and operator of The Guru, for graciously hosting our meeting. The venue was very comfortable, and Sidney was most accommodating for the meeting.

    President John Williams presented his state of the neighborhood address which covered the following topics:

    • Membership: The GDCA currently has 330 members.
    • Neighborhood security: Off-duty BRPD officers provided 600 hours of security patrol at a cost of $25,000 during calendar year 2018.  This amount represents 80 percent of the Association’s annual budget.  Statistics indicate that crime has decreased in the neighborhood. Officer Haley Stafford continues to provide a monthly crime report, which is posted on the GDCA website.
    • Social Events: In 2018, the Association organized several social activities for neighborhood adults and children.  These events included: spring garage sale; spring crawfish boil; Easter egg hunt; fall family picnic; fall champagne stroll; and the holiday lighting contest.
    • Live Oak Trees: The glorious live oaks that line so many of our streets in the Garden District are in desperate need of some tender loving care.  The city parish does not have the funding to provide the needed care. One quote obtained from a professional tree service by GDCA estimated $80,000 to trim and fertilize the trees. The GDCA does not have the funds to cover this cost. It will take a concerted effort by volunteers and sponsors to tackle this issue.  We are considering forming a committee whose members will be tasked with finding funding solutions (solicitations, grant writing, etc.) to care for our trees.  These magnificent trees help make the Garden District so unique and we need to do everything we can to care for them.
    • Alley Clean-Up Day:  The GDCA would like to organize an alley clean-up by homeowners or renters whose properties border the alleyway.  In the meantime, homeowners and renters can call 311 to report alley issues such as pot holes, trash, abandoned cars, etc.
    • Corporate Sponsorships: The GDCA added six new corporate sponsors this past year.  Corporate sponsors pay $350 a year. To become a sponsor, visit gdcabr.org

    Guest Speakers

    Speakers from several governmental and community organizations addressed the GDCA members.

    Rowdy Gaudet with the EBR Mayor’s Office addressed the following topics:

    • Move EBR Infrastructure Work: RFQs have been issued for the major infrastructure work and for the community enhancement beautification project. Traffic light synchronization is high on the priority list.
    • Blight Efforts: Big problem but also a major priority. 300 condemned house were torn down in 2018.
    • St George Effort: Proponents have obtained enough signatures to bring it to a vote. Mayors office would like to see public meetings with residents inside and outside the proposed boundaries to enable transparency.
    • Kansas City Southern Railroad crossing closures are still being negotiated.
    • The Lincoln Hotel was purchased by a private investor who plans to the renovate the facility.
    • Downtown library construction will get underway again soon.

    Patrick Foy with Red Stick Social, which is the main building within the Electric Depot, gave the members an update on the progress of the facilities.  will contain bowling, restaurant, beer garden, event space, roof-top terrace, and stages.  The second building will house apartments.  Only foot traffic will be allowed on the campus.

    Daniel Esperanza with The Walls Project told members that their next planned project will be a mural on the recording studio at Myrtle and Perkins roads.  They are hoping to obtain the needed funding through donations.  They have raised $5,000 of the needed $10,000.  Individuals can donate by texting Mural Mystery to 71777.

    Congressman Garret Graves addressed traffic and congestion.  Reported that the Washington Street exit redo should be opening later this year, and the I-10 expansion is underway.  Three billion dollars in new flood protection funding has been secured.  Congressman Graves stated that he is working with EBR District Attorney’s office, Sheriff’s office and police department to obtain funding to get staff levels in these departments up to full capacity.

    Marlee Pittman with the Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance summarized progress on the Electric Depot and the Government St. road diet project. Their community engagement team works with homeowners associations.

    Our 2019 GDCA annual meeting was well attended and members were eager to engage in conversation with all of our guest speakers.  We would like to express our sincerest thanks to those speakers for taking time from their Sunday afternoon to attend out meeting and provide such valuable information.

    We would also like to thank Hollie Falgoust, owner and operator of The Haven at 1857 for gifting our attendees with coupons for discounted services at her day spa located next door to The Guru.

    A big thank you to our board members who have rolled off of the board this year; Jenny Iverstine who served as Secretary of the Association and Greta Corona, who served on several committees and led our champagne stroll social activity.  Thank you ladies for your time and unselfish service to our organization.

    Lastly, a huge shout-out to our grillers, Daniel Pittman and Jason Day.  The burgers and hot dogs were delicious and such a treat. The food and socializing after business was completed was the perfect ending to our 2019 annual meeting.

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    John WilliamsGDCA hosts Annual Meeting at the Guru
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