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    Fall Picnic 2019

    The GDCA fall social activities began this past Sunday, September 29, with the annual fall picnic.  Although we did not have the crisp, cool autumn weather we were hoping for, Garden District families came out to enjoy the delicious food, live entertainment, face painting, bounce house and good conversation and interaction with neighbors and friends.  

    The GDCA provided BBQ pulled pork from Memphis Mac and lemonade. The attending families contributed various side dishes and desserts. All dishes were finger-licking good, and there was plenty to go around.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed the bounce house and face painting artists, and everyone enjoyed the guitar picking and performance from Brad Storin & David Pearce.   And of course the neighborhood camaraderie was enjoyed best of all.

    Our local councilwoman, Tyra Wicker, also stopped by for a visit.  She had a chance to speak individually with some of our neighbors and discuss their concerns regarding street flooding and other issues.

    GDCA would like to offer our sincerest thanks to The Purgesons for hosting the annual fall picnic at their lovely home.  Their back yard, filled with magnificent live oak trees, was the absolute perfect setting for launching the first in our series of fall/winter activities. Also their daughter and her friends did the face painting!

    We also want to thank our board members and others who helped to set up and break down all the tables and chairs and for cleaning up after the picnic.  We have a hard working and committed group of board members and we certainly appreciate their effort.

    The GDCA’s next social activity will be the Champagne Stroll scheduled for Sunday, October 27.  Get your tickets early as this event sells out quickly.

    The Garden District Fall Picnic and other organized activities are made possible by member dues and the generosity of you, our neighbors!! If you are not already a member, please consider becoming a GDCA member or Sponsor at https://gdcabr.org/product-category/join/

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    Claire PittmanFall Picnic 2019
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    September 2019 Drainage Update

    Working with the City

    Since the June 6th flooding, the Garden District Civic Association has been working closely with neighbors and the City to get answers and resolutions.

    On July 31, 2019, through the hard work of our neighbors on Cherokee Street, who have experienced flooding over the last two decades, we met with Fred Raiford and Kyle Huffstickler from the East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Transportation & Drainage and Darryl Gissel from the Office of the Mayor. Following the meeting the GDCA, in conjunction with active neighbors, continued to followup with the City to ensure steps were being taken to address issues with our drainage system.

    With these concerns fully communicated, the City has been working to get us answers:

    What we know has been done

    • The City checked the drainage system on Government St. from Eugene to Acadian Thruway and did not find any sign of sediment or debris that would stop the flow of drainage
    • DOTD inspectors have checked all drainage boxes on Government St. from I-110 to S. 22nd St. and all pipes on Government St. from I-110 to Park Blvd. They have identified 14th St. to Park as a problem area, and have cleared clogged pipes between 14th and 16th Streets.

    What we know has not been done

    • They have not checked any pipes and most boxes between Park and Eugene
    • They have not checked the two box culverts near Eugene and Government (they say they will do this over the Thanksgiving holiday).

    What we do NOT know

    • They’ve “cleaned the Cherokee area” but we have not received specifics on what the “Cherokee area” entails.
    • The overall pattern of subsurface drainage in the Garden District. We can reasonably infer from statements from the city that some of the Garden District drains east to Dawson’s Creek and some drains west to Corporation Canal, but again, we do not know which areas drain in which direction.
    • We do not know the geographic scope of “the Cherokee area.” Based on the number of drains around the Garden District that do not drain at all or are backed up, a comprehensive inspection of subsurface drainage is still needed. It is not likely “the Cherokee area” includes all of these drains.

    In short: Some things have been done, some things are scheduled to be done, and more will need to be done to ensure all existing drainage in the Garden District is functioning as it is designed to function.

    Hurricane season is not over! Drainage is a top priority for the GDCA board, and we will continue to monitor it.

    To help us, please report drainage and flooding to 311. Download The Red Stick 311 app on Apple and Android devices.. It is so easy! Snap a photo, enter the information, and it will be logged in the City’s database. If we are not reporting it then there is no record.

    The Garden District is also keeping their own drainage log. Please report drainage and flooding issues to gdcabr.org/contact-us.

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    Claire PittmanSeptember 2019 Drainage Update
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    August 2019 Security Update

    Seth Gautier, from East Baton Rouge Police Department and the new GDCA off-duty police coordinator for our neighborhood patrols, met the GDCA board at the September board meeting. He gave an overview of what to expect from him and his officers. Halley Stafford will continue to be involved and provide detailed updates to the board. There are three officers who patrol our neighbors. Two are usually with traffic patrols when on duty. Patrols will stop vehicles in the neighborhood when they see violations and start by giving warnings. He gave a monthly report. A high percentage of the crimes are crimes of opportunity. The monthly report will continue to be reported in the GDCA newsletter. To reach Officer Gautier, please contact GDCA former president and current board Security Liaison, Eric Troutman, at [email protected].

    In addition, Officer Gautier recommends that the board look into obtaining more up-to-date alley signs with the current ordinance that applies to them, 11:286 of the Traffic Code Ordinances.

    August Security Report

    • 8/1/19 at 1036 hours, a resident at Tulip Street reported an attempted residential burglary. The resident advised Officers that a black male wearing a white shirt, light color shorts and green and orange shoes walked up to his front door and knocked on the door. The male attempted to gain entry through the front door. The front door was locked, so the male jumped the fence to the backyard and attempted to open the back door, which was locked. The resident saw the male, and the male ran off. The resident lost sight of the male and Officers were unable to locate him.
    • 8/1/19 at 1407 hours, Custom Security reported a back door alarm at Myrtle Walk Ave. Responding Officers observed a burglary had occurred and several items were stolen from the home.
    • 8/3/19 at 1007 hours, a resident at Camellia Ave. reported an aggravated burglary of a vehicle. The resident reported two black males were burglarizing their vehicle. When the resident confronted the males, one pointed a firearm at the resident. Officers were unable to locate the males, but did obtain video surveillance of the incident.
    • 8/6/19 at 1710 hours, Officers responded to a burglary at Park Bl. The resident reported someone had broken into his home during the day and stole his PlayStation along with three firearms.
    • 8/8/19 at 1404 hours, a resident at Park Bl. reported a burglary. The resident advised someone broke into the home throughout the day and stole $4,000 worth of jewelry, a laptop, and personal documents.
    • 8/9/19 at 1356 hours, a resident at Park Bl. reported a residential burglary that occurred between 0600 hours and 1330 hours. The glass on the back door had been shattered with a brick for the suspect to gain entry. The resident advised nothing was missing from the home that they could immediately tell, but the home had been rummaged through.
    • 8/9/19 at 1520 hours, a resident at Park Bl. reported a residential burglary that occurred within the few hours prior. The glass on the back door had been shattered with a brick for the suspect to gain entry. This home has bars on the back door which prevented the suspect from entering after the glass was shattered.
    • 8/17/19 at 1750 hours, Officers responded to Kleinert Ave. relative to an abandoned vehicle. The vehicle was tagged with a 48 hour notice.
    • 8/17/19 at 1744 hours, Officers responded to Wisteria Street relative to a damage to property complaint. The resident advised a juvenile busted the rear windshield to her vehicle because the juvenile did not like her son. Officers located the juvenile suspect and arrested him.
    • 8/20/19 at 1431 hours, the resident at Cherokee Street reported that she observed a black male looking into houses earlier in the day. She later observed the male pushing a lawn mower down the street. However, she reported the incident hours after.
    • 8/21/19 at 2053 hours, Officers responded to Cherokee Street relative to a Hit & Run crash where an argument was heard in the background. Officers reported they were dispatched to a possible fistic encounter stemming from the crash. Upon arrival, nothing was located in the area. Officers called the original complainant. They advised they left the area, and no longer wished to file a report.

    ALL BURGLARIES ARE PENDING INVESTIGATION

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    Claire PittmanAugust 2019 Security Update
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    GDCA Social Activities

    The Garden District Civic Association has sponsored several social activities so far this year.  A neighborhood-wide yard sale was held on March 23. Shoppers from around the metro area stopped by the neighborhood to see what goodies and oddities were available for purchase.  It was a great time once again for both buyers and sellers.

    On April 7 the Association sponsored the annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Since the annual event’s previous location at City Park is now a croquet court, the hunt was relocated to a lovely home within the Garden District. Chad and Brooke Cole were very gracious in offering their yard for the hunt and we sincerely thank them for hosting the event.  The children were provided lots of treat-filled eggs to hunt, refreshments were offered and photos were taken with our very sweet Easter bunny. Once again, it was a fun-filled family Easter egg hunt in the Garden District.

    The annual GDCA crawfish boil was held Sunday afternoon, May 19. The morning weather threatened to make it a soggy boil but by the start of the festivities, the sun was shining and made for a perfect spring afternoon.  The crawfish boil was catered by Jason Petrie of Tru Crawfish and the crawfish and fixings were delicious.  Jambalaya was also available as well as ice cream and drinks. The youngsters were able to burn off some energy jumping in the provided bounce house. Another successful tail pinching, head sucking crawfish boil in the neighborhood.

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    Claire PittmanGDCA Social Activities
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    Neighborhood Walls Project

    During the March GDCA annual neighborhood meeting, Daniel Esperanza with The Baton Rouge Walls Project advised members of the next planned project which was to be a mural on the side of a building at Myrtle and Perkins Road. Well, the Old South Mural is now complete. The mural covers the side of Disk Productions at 1100 Perkins Road. An unveiling of the crowd-fundraised mural was held on Saturday afternoon, July 18. Neighbors gathered to meet Jonathan “Skinny Dope” Brown, the artist/muralist who created the exuberantly colorful, happy scene featuring historical storefronts of Old South Baton Rouge.  Skinny is a local artist who has collaborated with the Walls Project on a number of projects before.  His artwork can be found on buildings throughout the area.

    View the WAFB report on the project.

    Stop by and view the mural.  It’s sure to bring a smile to your face.

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    Claire PittmanNeighborhood Walls Project
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    Storm Drain Issues

    The morning of June 6 brought unexpected amounts of rainfall to the city and the Garden District did not escape the deluge.  Streets that had never flooded before, saw feet of water pouring over the pavement into automobiles, under houses, and sadly into some homes.  The large amount of rain could not drain fast enough to prevent the water from causing damage to homes and autos.  One of the reasons cited for the lack of drainage is the clogged storm drains throughout the neighborhood. Compacted leaves, grass clippings, litter, and dirt were just some of the materials found by neighborhood residents who took it upon themselves to attempt to clear some of the drains before Tropical Storm Barry made landfall.  Drainage issues are the responsibility of City Parish government but we can all do our part in helping to maintain the storm drains. The following information is taken from the City of Baton Rouge, Environmental Services Department.

    Storm Drains Do’s and Don’ts.

    If you have curbs and gutters near your home or business, they likely lead to a storm drain. Storm drains are the metal grates found on local streets and transport anything that is washed or dumped from nearby properties into stormwater ponds. These ponds then transfer the water directly to nearby rivers and lakes. 

    Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect system. Contaminated stormwater can flow from rooftops, paved streets, sidewalks and parking lots, across bare soil, through lawns, and into storm drains. Along the way, it collects and transports soil, pet waste, pesticides, fertilizer, oil and grease, litter, and other pollutants. 

    Therefore, if there are contaminants in the water that enters storm drains, they too will be washed into local waterways. To make matters worse, discarding trash or sweeping materials such as grass and tree clippings into a storm drain, or onto the street, can cause street-level flooding by clogging your storm drain. 

    There are some very simple steps you can take to help protect our environment and make our stormwater system easier to manage, as well as less costly to maintain.

    • Use lawn chemicals safely. Follow instructions and never apply before rain or watering the lawn, unless directed. 
    • Pick up after pets. Bring extra bags to pick up and dispose of waste properly. 
    • Recycle used oil. Never place used motor oil in the trash or pour down storm drains. Instead, bring it to a local recycling location
    • Wash cars on the lawn or at a car wash – not on a driveway or in the street. 
    • Dispose of debris with a broom instead of a water hose. Hosing can send unwanted debris into your storm drain. 
    • Keep litter and yard debris clear from storm drains. Litter is easily carried into storm drains and waterways by wind and rain. 
    • Secure items intended for trash and recycling pickup. Wind could easily blow these items into a storm drain. 
    • Properly store household items. Repackage leaking containers and secure other household items to prevent them from falling over and leaving your property. 
    • Sweep pesticides and fertilizer off hard surfaces and onto your lawn to reduce the likelihood of these substances being washed away in a storm.

    To learn more about what’s good for our East Baton Rouge Parish storm drains, download a copy of our stormwater brochure and share it with your neighbors and friends!

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    Claire PittmanStorm Drain Issues
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