Litter Education for Grades K-5 Receives Unanimous Support

litter educationphoto courtesy


By Susan Russell / Executive Director, Keep Louisiana Beautiful

At a time when our national and state politics are fraught with partisan discord, it’s significant to note that there are some policies that find favor on both sides of the aisle. Such a case occurred last month, when House Bill 111, which calls for the incorporation of litter education into the K-5 curriculum, received unanimous support from the House and Senate — to a round of applause. The bill was signed into law earlier this month as Louisiana Act 72, and Governor Edwards gave it his executive approval surrounded by Keep Louisiana Beautiful representatives, Representative Stuart Bishop (R-Lafayette, author of HB111), First Lady Donna Edwards and Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, all of whom have been ardent supporters of anti-litter initiatives in our state.

Much has been said about Louisiana’s dirty habit: we have a crippling litter problem that seems to be getting worse. Much time and resources have been spent bemoaning the problem, pointing well-intentioned fingers in different directions, all trying to find out exactly what the problem is here that you don’t see in many of our neighboring states. As in most complicated social problems, there is no magic bullet to apply to this issue and a multi-pronged approach from all aspects of our society will be required. While parents assume a huge responsibly to teach their children not to litter, we cannot put this squarely on the back of those that are oftentimes the biggest offenders. The problem will only be resolved when all of Louisiana embraces three core initiatives: improving infrastructure and policy to make it easier to reduce littering and increase recycling; increasing enforcement of the litter laws; and influencing behavior change through environmental education. Louisiana Act 72 will go a long way to address the latter.

Teaching environmental stewardship and litter education is the first step we can make towards changing our prevailing cultural attitude from one of environmental disregard to one of true stewardship. Litter education goes beyond simply not throwing trash on the ground– it includes full understanding of the impact of litter on the health of our wildlife, waterways, and economy. Most importantly, it focuses on prevention rather than spotty-at- best treatment.

Keep Louisiana Beautiful, its statewide network of 40 affiliates that boast a combined force of 35,000 volunteers, and all of its many partners and supporters extend a sincere thanks to Representative Stuart Bishop and the state’s top leadership body for supporting legislature that teaches our children environmental responsibility. We hope that this measure will spark a new level of commitment and care for our state and its natural resources.


The Fair Grounds Recovery Roads program will include multiple construction repair projects with an estimated value for roadway improvements that is approximately 3.8 million dollars. Design of the future road repairs is currently underway and is being closely coordinated with the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. The project timeline is under development. Road resurfacing work will be limited in some areas of Fair Grounds.

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Contact the Department of Public Works at (504) 658.8046, visit or

Design Engineer: Urban Systems, Inc.
Project No: 2013-FEMA-4ABE
Project Limits: N. Broad St., St. Louis St., Bayou St. John, Florida Ave., Dugue St., Treasure St., Republic St., and Abundance St.




Every so often when I send around info on cleaning the front of storm drains, I get an angry response from a Fortin Street resident exclaiming that there are no storm drains on Fortin Street by their home.

Every so often I write the Councilmember asking that Fortin Street get storm drains, repaving and a makeover.

Fortin Street is the entrance to Jazz Fest, runs along the Fair Grounds and should be a welcoming entrance to Faubourg St. John.

It would be awesome if there was an arch on Fortin by WBOK (like you see at Desmare and Stallings Playgrounds) that said “Welcome to Faubourg St. John”.

Fortin Street gets run-off from the Fair Grounds’ sea of cement but does not have enough storm drains.

The owner at 1641 Crete installed his own drainage system rather than wait for the City... 10 years ago.   Click on the photo for a larger view.
The owner at 1641 Crete (at the corner of Fortin and Crete) installed his own drainage system rather than wait for the City… 10 years ago. Click on the photo for a larger view.

A year or so after “the storm”, a man that lives on Fortin on the corner that is one block off of Gentilly, paved the ditch by his house and installed his own pipe to funnel away water run off. It looks nice but the City should have done this.

Fortin street should have storm drains on both sides of the street all the way from Gentilly to beyond Mystery Street.

Fortin street should be repaved and have curbs installed all the way to the end where the Fair Grounds’ property ends beyond Mystery Street.

Fortin Street should have trees that provide shade like Ursulines Avenue.

Fortin Street should have permeable pavement and permeable sidewalks to reduce flooding from run-off.

Currently, this is a pipe dream, (pun intended) but, it doesn’t have to be.

I think a coalition that includes the Fair Grounds, Jazz Fest, City Officials, WBOK, and passionate Faubourg St. John neighbors could make Fortin Street a show-place.

Can you help make Fortin Street all it can be?

Please call 311 from a local phone or 504-658-2299 from an out of area phone with an address or hundred block and cross street. You can email with the information as well. If you email, please include a photo along with the specific location of the problem.

Charlie London

A rising tide raises all ships



photos and info from Jeffrey Major on Facebook…

Yesterday, at about 5pm I spent about 3 1/2-4min compiling some of my pics, some friends pics and some off my FB feed, to give my friends in other places some perspective on what’s unfolding down here. I woke up to 10000 shares, 500 friend requests, 100 messages, 15 nonprofits wanting to use the album, and very sweet ladies from Indiana and Iowa calling me a hero and asking me how they can help.

loveisallyouneedJeffreyMajorIt’s crazy, and on top of disaster recovery, a little overwhelming. But I will take it. Every bit of it. In between clean up and work and fighting bad phone service to check on folks, I’m gonna try and respond to everyone.

It’s time to step up, and my people, Coon-asses we call ourselves, have stepped up. And stepped up big time, in their white boots, their aluminum bateaux skiffs, their big ass trucks, they are stepping up. Welders, fishermen, farmers, lawyers, oil field hands, insurance salesman, housewives, truck drivers, just regular guys and gals who are being real heros. I’ve never been more proud of my people. Please share if you’d like and if you can help, even in some small way, we really appreciate it. Thank you


Second Harvest is distributing water, food, and emergency supplies


Please donate now to help your fellow man




The Louisiana SPCA team is at the flood sites. If you want to help our neighbors NOW, drop off unopened pet food and basic pet supplies at these awesome locations:

Demo Diva, Camp Bow Wow Mid-City New Orleans, La, or Canine Connection.

Several local and national organizations have put a call out to request donations and volunteers in the wake of Louisiana’s historic flooding.











RC Cola and a Moon Pie

~Tracy Byrd

Pal’s Lounge is once again parading in style
on Mardi Gras day

costumercmoonpieThey’ll have Moon Pies available which prompted me to remember a childhood favorite combination of an RC Cola and a Moon Pie. Below is some fun info about the product. Millions are sold annually.  Click on the moon pie costume on the left for a larger view. Click on Pal’s Lounge above for more info about their Mardi Gras Day revelry.   ~Charlie London



From Wikipedia… The Moon Pie became a traditional “throw” of Mardi Gras “krewes” in Mobile, Alabama during 1956,followed by other communities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The westernmost outpost of the Moon Pie as an important Carnival throw is Slidell, Louisiana, which has a parade by “The Krewe of Mona Lisa and Moon Pie.” Also, in the town of Oneonta, Alabama, there is a moon pie eating contest started by Wal-Mart employee John Love when he inadvertently ordered too many. This anecdote was featured in Sam Walton’s autobiography, Made in America.

rccolaandamoonpieMoon Pies have been made at the Chattanooga Bakery since 1917. Earl Mitchell Junior said his father came up with the idea for Moon Pies when he asked a Kentucky coal miner what kind of snack he would like to eat, and the miner requested something with graham cracker and marshmallow.

There is a custom for eating moon pies with RC Cola, although the origin of this is unknown. It is likely that their inexpensive prices, combined with their larger serving sizes, contributed to establishing this combination as the “working man’s lunch”. The popularity of this combination was celebrated in a popular song of the 1950s, by Big Bill Lister, “Gimmee an RC Cola and a Moon Pie.”

Big Bill Lister, who toured with Hank Williams and was billed as “Radio’s Tallest Singing Cowboy”. He was born Weldon E. Lister in 1923, and earned his radio nickname because he stood 6-foot-7 without his cowboy boots and hat. Texan Big Bill Lister is best known for his early 1950s stint as Hank Williams’ opening act and rhythm guitarist. In the video below he sings “Gimme and RC Cola and a Moon Pie”.

Yeah our idea of high class livin’
Is sittin’ on the porch on a cool night
Our Champagne and Caviar
Is an RC cola and a moon pie

You can hear the lyrics above in the video below:


History of Moon Pies

Chattanooga Bakery was founded in 1902 in Chattanooga,Tennessee. There is an interesting story behind how the moon pies became their best known product. Coal miners were wanting something solid and filling, since they didn’t always have time for a real lunch break.

Mr. Earl Mitchell Sr. returned to the store after talking to the miners and noticed employees dipping graham crackers into marshmallow and leaving them in window to dry. They then came up with the idea of adding another cookie on top of the graham crackers and adding chocolate covering to the cookies. The first moon pie was sold in 1917 and went on to become one of the most popular products for the Chattanooga Baking Company.

Hundreds of thousands of moon pies were sent to soldiers serving overseas during World War II. Racegoers to NASCAR races in the 50’s were known to carry moon pies with them to the races.

The first Double Decker Moon Pie was manufactured in 1964. It has three cookies and two layers of marshmallow in each Double Decker Moon Pie.

Moon pies started being thrown in Mardi Gras parades in the 1970’s, since they were softer, than the Cracker Jack boxes that had been thrown in previous parades.

Courtesy Blast from the Past

Flag Day is June 14th

Flag Day in the United States

People across the United States celebrate Flag Day on June 14 each year to honor the United States flag and to commemorate the flag’s adoption. On the same day, the United States Army celebrates its birthday.

What do people do?

Flag Day in Faubourg St. John.
Flag Day in Faubourg St. John.
Flag Day falls within National Flag Week, a time when Americans reflect on the foundations of the nation’s freedom. The flag of the United States represents freedom and has been an enduring symbol of the country’s ideals since its early days. During both events, Americans also remember their loyalty to the nation, reaffirm their belief in liberty and justice, and observe the nation’s unity.

Many people in the United States honor this day by displaying the American flag at homes and public buildings. Other popular ways of observing this holiday include: flag-raising ceremonies; Flag Day services; school quizzes and essay competitions about the American flag; musical salutes; street parades; and awards for special recognition.

Organizations such as The National Flag Day Foundation are actively involved in coordinating activities centered on the event and keeping the flag’s traditions alive. Following Flag Day is Honor America Days, a 21-day period through to Independence Day (July 4) to honor America. During this period, people hold public gatherings and activities to celebrate and honor the nation.

Public life

Although Flag Day is a nationwide observance, it is not a public holiday in many parts of the United States. It is a legal holiday in a few areas in the USA, such as Montour County in Pennsylvania.


On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress replaced the British symbols of the Grand Union flag with a new design featuring 13 white stars in a circle on a field of blue and 13 red and white stripes – one for each state. Although it is not certain, this flag may have been made by the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross, who was an official flag maker for the Pennsylvania Navy. The number of stars increased as the new states entered the Union, but the number of stripes stopped at 15 and was later returned to 13.

In June 1886 Bernard Cigrand made his first public proposal for the annual observance of the birth of the flag when he wrote an article titled “The Fourteenth of June” in the old Chicago Argus newspaper. Cigrand’s effort to ensure national observance of Flag Day finally came when President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of the event on June 14, 1916. However, Flag Day did not become official until August 1949, when President Harry Truman signed the legislation and proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day. In 1966, Congress also requested that the President issue annually a proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as National Flag Week.

The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation to: call on government officials in the USA to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on Flag Day; and to urge US residents to observe Flag Day as the anniversary of the adoption on June 14, 1777, by the Continental Congress of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States.


The American flag, also nicknamed as “Old Glory” or “star-spangled banner”, has changed designs over the centuries. It consists of 13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars. Each of the 50 stars represents one of the 50 states in the United States and the 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies that became the first states in the Union.

The information above was obtained from:


The idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as ‘Flag Birthday’. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as ‘Flag Birthday’, or ‘Flag Day’.

On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.

Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as ‘Flag Day’, and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag.

Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered.

In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children’s celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.

Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: “I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”

Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

Information above obtained from:




NOLA FOR LIFE DAY January 10th


Join Mayor Mitch Landrieu, City departments and agencies, and citizens of New Orleans for a day of service to the community.

On 10 January 2015, the ninth NOLA FOR LIFE Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

in and around Sampson Playground at 3101 Louisa Street.

NOLA Trash Mob will be cleaning up in and around the Playground during the event.

Please bring gloves. White or clear bags are used for recyclables and black bags for trash.

RSVP here (and please put NOLA Trash Mob as your organization):


January 10, 2015 10:00 AM through January 10, 2015 2:00 PM

Sampson Playground-3101 Louisa Street New Orleans, LA 70126

Mayor Mitch Landrieu will host the ninth NOLA FOR LIFE Day on Saturday, January 10, 2015.

All residents are invited to get involved and help rebuild our neighborhoods.

Activities will take place in and around Sampson  Playground at 3101 Louisa Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

2552 St. Philip to Get an Inn with Neighbors

2552stPhilip-300x240Nearly everyone who spoke before the City Planning Commission this week about the proposal to convert the century-old New Orleans Police station at 2552 St. Philip Street into a bed-and-breakfast was in favor of it — including the neighbors, the commissioners and even the city staffers who said it was impossible.

Only the language of the city’s land use bureaucracy stood in the way, an obstacle that proved insurmountable Oct. 28. After the City Planning Commission voted to postpone a decision on the project, District D City Councilman Jared Brossett said he is preparing to amend city law to make it possible.

Please click here for the rest of the Mid-City Messenger’s story.

2552 St. Philip auction

A “Police Jail and Patrol Station” built in the turn of the 20th century in the Esplanade Ridge neighborhood was auctioned off for $175,000 Friday(December 13, 2013), according to city officials.

The 6,291-square foot Queen Anne and French Renaissance Revival-style building, located at 2552 St. Philip Street, was given a market value of $175,000 in September 2012. It is “in very poor condition,” with “substantial flooding and roof damage,” according to an appraisal done by Stegall, Benson and Associates, LLC for the city of New Orleans.

According to Tyler Gamble, the city’s press secretary, Liz and Raul Canache purchased the property.

December 16, 2013


by Charlie London
Property Disposition 12/12: Consideration of the sale of 2552 Saint Philip Street, Lots 99 and 100, Square 322, in the Second Municipal District, bounded by Saint Philip, Dumaine, North Rocheblave and North Dorgenois Streets. (ZBM C-13, PD-4)


You may remember that I have been passionate about the restoration of 2552 St. Philip for many years now. I happened upon the property while surveying the area after moving to Faubourg St. John after my previous house was destroyed by the Federal Flood. I literally gasped when I first saw the property. It is a stunning architectural gem of serious historical significance.

I am happy to announce today that dream of getting the property restored may indeed become a reality… with your help. You see, the city wants to auction 2552 St. Philip off to the highest bidder. I hear you saying, “so what, I can’t afford that!” Maybe not, but you may know someone who can. Let’s work together to find someone who will provide the care and restoration this property so desperately needs.

There are many people who helped bring this city property up for auction. Michelle Kimball of the Preservation Resource Center has been a stalwart fan of 2552 St. Philip and deserves much of the credit for keeping the pressure on the city to do something with it. The Louisiana Landmarks Society was also instrumental in bringing attention to 2552 St. Philip when it listed it as one of its “New Orleans 9 Most Endangered Properties”.

Former Councilperson Shelley Midura and present Councilperson Susan Guidry both of New Orleans Council District A and their staffs were also extremely helpful.

2552 St Philip Street was included in a presentation given to the Council Housing and Human Services Committee yesterday. It is among the City’s first list of surplus properties to be auctioned.

2552 St. Philip is just one of the historic city-owned properties being demolished by neglect…

Restoring City-owned historic properties would create anchors of positive development throughout New Orleans and give a big boost to our restoration efforts. My previous blog posts about 2552 St. Philip are in the links below:

PHOTO and DESCRIPTION of 2552 St. Philip



PHOTO and DESCRIPTION of 2552 St. Philip